Sites such as Most Holy Family Monastery are "spiritual pornography," having the same potential for sin as more carnal pornographic sites. The term “great apostasy” is really a theological term that’s based on some passages that indicate there will be a great falling-away from the faith towards the end of the world. So in order to be an apostate, you have to say “I was a Christian and I’m not anymore.”. The Church was instituted by Our Lord to guide her members effectively toward their supernatural end by continuing His own ministry. Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church…” Antipope John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church (# 521): “By his Incarnation, he, the Son of … We encourage you to read them slowly and carefully, and then pray that God will renew and encourage your faith in His Church: Michael Davies wrote a book, I Am With You Always: The Divine Constitution and Indefectibility of the Catholic Church, that is a powerful antidote to the temptation to give up on the Church. I have the first edition of the book and plan on getting the new edition. Library of Online Resources. We receive many inquiries into sedevacantist authors, websites and videos. It developed. "It is the position held by a small portion of traditional Catholics who claim that the Papal Seat, the Holy See, has been vacant since around 1960. Remember that Sedevacantism, the position that there has been no (known) true Pope of the Catholic Church since the death of Pius XII in 1958, and that the current Vatican establishment is not the Catholic Church, is entirely safe theologically. ... Q&A: Catholic Answers to a Catholic Crisis. In terms of Pope Francis, he’s the pope. I have no doubt that the bishops are, as a college, successors of the apostles. Such sites fill the mind with thoughts that make it easier for us to doubt the visible Church, doubt the Holy Father, and to be disobedient to the authority of the Church in all things. Behind a facade of intense loyalty to the Magisterium and the Holy Father, sedevacantists separate themselves from the Vine and become, in practice, "protestants with sacraments." Sedevacantism isn’t the answer. So even if you want to say, “Well, I think they could have done better, or think they could have phrased this differently,” fine. It’s that dangerous. The current Bishop of Rome is an “anti-Pope,” a “false Pope.”  In externals and internal belief, sedevacantists are almost indistinguishable from Catholicism as it was experienced and practiced before the Second Vatican Council. If we have doubts about the authority of the Holy Father, it is easier to disobey him. Against sedevacantism, mainstream Catholics advance arguments such as: 1. Sedevacantists are demonstrably “catholic” but not Catholic. Since Our Lord cannot lie, sedevacantist claims must be false. note: at the time this article was written, it was Benedict XVI] as a … It implies that whoever currently holds the office does so in name only. The footnote to that last sentence points to The Code of Canon Law, article 1325 in the Old Code, article 751 in the New Code. Sure. Catholic Articles. According to standard Catholic doctrine, the Catholic Church is a visible identifiable body that is literally catholic, in the sense of universal ("for all people"). Answer: A “material” heretic is a Catholic erring in good faith about a dogmatic issue. Host: All right, how’s all that, Brent? ... Lefebvre as his determination to let the Church make binding pronouncements (as opposed to the non-binding hunches of Sedevacantists) is the not only Catholic, but is one that is consonant with the most profound humility as well as Catholic realism. I don’t see the “gates of Hell” argument making a lot of sense here. Well, one of the things you discover when you read the Church’s documents and when you study the course of history is, although tradition has elements of continuity that are the same all the way down through Church history and have been since the first century, there are other elements of tradition that adapt and that develop with the course of time. To suspend one’s judgment in the interest of being open-minded and fair is to open a door to God’s enemy, who loves nothing more than to separate men from the Truth. Yes, they reject that Church as false. Because this is a…I mean, I don’t discourage people from looking at information and arguments, but there are questions of timing, and while you’re going through this education of yourself in learning about Church teaching and what the Church says, I don’t know that it’s the most prudent time to be reading material that attacks the Church in this way, because they’re going to be distorting. In other words, by refusing to accept the authority of the current Pope or his recent predecessors, a Catholic who’s a sedevacantist willfully puts himself into a state of schism. If Our Lord abandoned His Church the words: "He that heareth you heareth Me" would be true only for an exceedingly small group who consider themselves as the elect, which is always the most evident characteristic of a sect. However, just as the authority of the Apostles was not compromised by the presence of Judas in their midst, the wounded Body of Christ we experience does not make it other than what it is: the Body of Christ. Jimmy: Sure. So what happens with these sedevacantists is they will typically say things like “Vatican II was the point of the rupture,” and maybe even a little earlier than that, with Pope John XXIII, “He was not a valid pope for…reasons,” which are really hard to specify. 4. Sedevacantism comes from the Latin sede vacante, which means "seat vacant. One of the things that Christ promised is that he would be with his church till the end of time. But if there was some horrendous theological error that struck at the foundation of the Church, some group of the episcopate would have protested. For example, many adhere to the belief that all Popes since Pope Pius XII are "anti-Popes," or that Pope Gregory XVII was a true but suppressed Pope, and that now we have no true Pope. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Some of the specific positions advocated by various groups of sedevacantists might strike ordinary Catholics as funny, but schism is no laughing matter. So we just don’t see the conditions necessary for The Great Apostasy. The 1870 Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus of the First Vatican Councilreaffirmed that "it has always been necessary f… Father Z is not a Sedevacantist in the least, unless one’s definition of Sedevacantism is anyone who criticizes or disagrees with the Pope on some issues (in which case 90% of Catholics, and great Saints like St Peter Damian and St Catherine of Siena would qualify as “Sedevacantists” … As more and more Catholics discover that their Church has been caught contradicting itself in matters that should have qualified under its umbrellas of Infallibility and Indefectibility The Sedevacantist Delusion introduces an explanation that requires readers to reconsider the historical origins of its claims. Examples of this woundedness are legion. This article originally appeared on the Traditionalist blog Athanasius Contra Mundum on September 3rd, 2009. And you do not have bishops, you don’t have the the pope and the body of bishops saying “Guess what, you know, we used to be Christian, but we’re not anymore.” Therefore, whatever criticisms you have of the pope and the bishops, they have not apostatized. What are we to think of the Sedevacantist Position? Jimmy Akin explains why the reasons given by sedevacantists for their position are faulty and contrary to the promises of Christ. Click here to learn about the Society of Saint Pius V. O kay, so that’s sedevacantism. I don’t think they are entirely on the wrong track, but I believe there are decent rebuttals to their answers. That so many good and intelligent Catholics have been seduced by sedevacantist arguments is proof that one should avoid exploring and engaging sedevacantist claims as the occasions of sin that they are. Sedevacantism is the theological position of those traditional Catholics who most certainly believe in the papacy, papal infallibility and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and yet do not recognize “Pope” Francis [Edit. But this is something which can never happen as it would contradict the solemn promise of Our Lord (Mt. 2. Sedevacantism is the claim, espoused by certain extreme traditionalist Catholics, that there is currently no valid pope because of a great apostasy by either the pope or the whole Church. It must therefore be an essentially visible body. It must be visible by the members that compose it, by the authority which directs those members, and by the bonds which unite them with the divinely instituted authority. One more thing: Some sedevacantists tried to leave that stuff at my Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish too. This is seen as incompatible with the sedevacantist claim that the true nature of the Catholic Church has been hidden from the world for half a century. There is no single thread that ties them all together except their conclusion that what most Catholics today believe to be the authentic Catholic Church is really a counterfeit. What we mean is that these can be recognized to constitute the true Church of Christ; so that, in other words, we can point to a specific society and say of it: "This is Christ's Church." Please support our mission! Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983. Letters to Popes and other Clergy. However, you brought up a partial solution to your problem with Francis and his posse. But the Church is still the Church. Sedevacantism is the position held by some people who identify as Catholic that the present occupier of the Holy See is not truly the pope due to the mainstream church's espousal of what they see as the heresy of modernism and that, for lack of a valid pope, the See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 or the death of Pope John XXIII in 1963. And they didn’t. Any sacramental rites authorized by the Roman Pontiff must be and are official sacramental rites of the Holy Catholic Church, and, when celebrated faithfully in accordance with the text and rubrics which he has approved, must of necessity give grace, be free from error, and contain nothing intrinsically harmful to the faith. One among many reasons that pornography is an "occasion of sin" is its ability to draw the mind into the world of evil. So the people who are making these arguments simply do not understand what an apostasy is. John P. M. van der Ploeg, O. P., a Doctor and Master of Sacred Theology, responds to those who give up on the Church and cluster into "remnants" waiting for the "true Church" to reemerge: If these people are correct it means that Our Lord Jesus Christ has abandoned His Church, more or less as the glory of God left the temple of Jerusalem according to the famous vision of the prophet Ezechiel (Ez. And have there been a large number of them in certain parts of the world today? And I don’t see the sedevacantists saying the gates of … You had a little bit of buyer’s remorse afterwards by one bishop—I’m thinking of Marcel Lefebvre— but at the time of the Council, he didn’t you know, shout from the rooftops, “This is all wrong.” He signed the Vatican II documents. The sedevacantist heresy is the claim that the See of Peter is vacant and that we have no true and visible head of the Church. Our feelings encourage us to sin. What Are We to Think of the Sedevacantist Position.pdf (Size: 187.14 KB / Downloads: 2) "So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, Vatican II … And if you’re just learning Church teaching for the first time, you may not want to be exposing yourself to material that has a high risk of distorting things or presenting it in an imbalanced way. I don’t see the “gates of Hell” argument making a lot of sense here. I am not convinced by their answers here. There’s not going to be a sudden apostasy with nobody noticing. Donate Join us LIVE for Post-Election Special tonight at 6:30 PM ET. Download as: 21. Enjoying this content? Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism. Have there been individual people who are apostates in our age? Well, here’s the thing: the bishops of the world, who are guided by the Holy Spirit and are successors of the apostles—they were there at Vatican II! In order to be an apostate, you have to say “I am not a Christian any more.” And that is not what’s happening in terms of the claims sedevacantists are making with regard to the bishops of the Church. Apostasy is defined as—and you can read this in the Code of Canon Law, including the 1917 Code of Canon Law, if I recall correctly, it’s certainly in the 83 Code and it’s in the Catechism—apostasy is defined as the total repudiation of the Christian faith. The reference to the Church as a visible body ... is of crucial importance. Caller: I was protestant, I then ventured into atheism, and now I am currently at RCIA accepting the Catholic faith. What is most difficult when engaging sedevacantist arguments, and dangerous for the unprepared, is that, as with Protestantism, there is much that is true in sedevacantist presentations. And in 381, the divinity of the Holy Spirit was infallibly defined. So did the Protestants. What they all have in common is a belief that the current Pope, and usually several predecessors, are/were "anti-Popes." Grace is produced in the souls of the faithful by exterior means consisting of sacraments administered with special rites, and celebrated by ministers specifically chosen for this function. That is all we set out to demonstrate. It is not an essential mark of the Church that it be without sin, or even that its Popes all be holy. He’s the one that the college of cardinals elected, and I have no doubt about that. And that tells us that Christ is maintaining his Church in the truth fundamentally, just like he said he would. If we cannot depend on Jesus to be faithful to His promises to the Church, then upon what or whom can we depend? But what I find problematic with a lot of these sedevacantist claims is they don’t understand what an apostasy is. And so you have elements of tradition that are in continuity with the past, but you also have developments that occur within that tradition. We have gathered together several quotes from various writers on the issues of the indefectibility of the Church and the necessity that such an indefectible Church be visible. And some of the uses refer to events that are already in our past, but—or actually, “great tribulation” is the term I’m thinking of there. So if you’re a schismatic that has left full communion with the Church, you’re not an apostate. Our intelligence is compromised. What we would need to have The Great Apostasy is the Church, on a global scale, shrinking, dramatically shrinking. If we have doubts about the legitimacy of the Holy Father, it is easier to disobey any and all Church authority, because all Church authority proceeds from the See of Peter: not only do we not need to obey the Pope, we don't need to obey priests and bishops. Tim Staples explains what Sedevacantism is and why it should be rejected. If the conclusion to sedevacantist arguments is false, then the premises which support that conclusion must be deficient, i.e., unable to prove their conclusion. Sedevacantists end up with an invisible Calvinist Church composed of believers spiritually “subject” to illicitly consecrated bishops of questionable validity, giving no adherence to anyone other than themselves, and (in many cases) possessed of mutual hatred for one another as displayed in their puerile pseudo-apostolic diatribes against each other. Jesus was no less God when He was beaten, bruised and crucified. What sedevacantists object to is a Mass being offered “Una Cum” or in union with a Vatican II pope and the local bishop who do not cherish the Catholic and Apostolic Faith as do ‘all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith,’ … There have been many Popes whose personal lives would give reason to question whether they even believed the Catholic Faith. Now there was another component to your question which is: has the Church abandoned its traditions? Each individual example, each premise by itself, is a distraction from the larger context needed to remain faithful to the Church in the face of many undeniable problems. This is really wrong here!” And that didn’t happen. So in your opinion, Jimmy, you would say that there are—this is just a clarification for me personally— you would say that there definitely are not any anti-popes, and all of the bishops still have their full succession from the original Church from the beginning, correct? The Sedevacantists say that there has not been a true pope since Pius XII. Most people are familiar with the word "pornography" and its attendant dangers. 16:18). In a mind filled with the effects of pornography, sinful thoughts and actions are made easier. Book Tim Now! I mean, how do you get—maybe you get some of the bishops to have a wrong-headed notion about something, maybe even got a significant number of them to have a wrong-headed notion about something— but some of them are gonna be guided enough by the Holy Spirit that they say “Wait a minute! I don’t think they are entirely on the wrong track, but I believe there are decent rebuttals to their answers. The Catholic response is that to believe this is to believe that Our Lord's promise to be with His Church until the end of time and protect Her from conquest by the Gates of Hell was a lie. 10). I mean, there’s a guy in Kansas who calls himself Pope Michael, and he’s not the real pope, so that makes him an anti-pope. It talks about how the Church will almost pass out of existence, but Christ will return to save it at the last moment. We live and move and have our being in a wounded Mystical Body of Christ. No. The Church is bigger today than it has ever been in the past, and so it has more members now than it has ever had in the past. And in the 300s, the divinity of Christ was in was infallibly defined, and so even though that had been part of the tradition up to now, now it was an infallibly defined tradition. Most Holy Family Monastery, and other sedevacantist sites, would probably judge Church Militant productions to be "spiritual pornography" for the same reasons we use to warn others about them. Sedevacantism is the claim, espoused by certain extreme traditionalist Catholics, that there is currently no valid pope because of a great apostasy by either the pope or the whole Church. Sedevacantism. The Church as a whole is growing, and it’s one-sixth of mankind. 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