The following is the English translation of the article published on my blog (pelagiusasturiensis.wordpress.com) on August 22. I explain here the circumstances and point out the texts that led me to abandon the SSPX “recognize-and-resist” ecclesiology and recognize the fact that the Church finds herself with no pope by reason of heresy and apostasy of those who hold positions of ecclesiastical authority. This is not a treatise on the sedevacantist position.
It is not “dogmatizing” sedevacantism, what most of those ignorant of what it really is fear, but a theoretical principle guiding my actions. If the essence of liberalism is a dualism between convictions and actions, I join those who are firmly convinced of the fact that the “Chair is empty” and act in total conformity with this fact. It is having nothing to do with heretics, nullam partem habere, not only in practice, but in theory as well. Having no authority to do it, by no means do I impose it. Catholics do not have to believe the See is vacant. They must, however, offer due submission to the Supreme Pontiff as required by Boniface VIII in the bull Unam Sanctam.
For those looking for the right (Catholic) solution to the present crisis and not satisfied with theological juggling presented by those who resist authorities they recognize as legitimate (rejecting thus the teaching of the Church), please refer to the two texts mentioned in the article. The major issues of indefectibility and infallibility of the Church as well as the necessity of submission to the Roman Pontiff are explained and many misconceptions about sedevacanstism are debunked there along with other subjects pertinent to the problem of authority, the fundamental problem in the present crisis of the Church.
If you have any questions or comments, please write to me at email@example.com or post your comment below the article.
Pelagius of Asturias
From the Resistance to Sedevacantism
“This conciliar church is schismatic because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principals opposed to those of the Catholic Church […]. The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic! To whatever extent pope, bishops, priests, or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. Today’s Church is the true Church only to whatever extent it is a continuation of and one body with the Church of yesterday and of always.” Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, Reflections on the suspension a divinis, 29 VII 1976 (English version corrected by me to reflect the original)
“I do not say that the pope is not the pope, but I do not say either that one cannot say that the pope is not the pope.” („Je ne dis pas que le pape n’est pas pape, mais je ne dis pas non plus qu’on ne peut pas dire que le pape n’est pas pape.”) Abp. Marcel Lefebvre to American priests at Oyster Bay Cove, New York, United States, VII 1979
“To recognize the popes of Vatican II is to recognize that Christ has made them His Vicars, and has invested them with His Authority.” Fr. Noel Barbara, Open Letter to Members of the Society of St. Pius X, 1993
“Sedevacantism is the only logical conclusion that follows from the initial judgment every traditionalist makes — that the New Mass is evil and the new doctrines are errors. Evil and error can come only from non-Catholics — not true Successors of Peter who possess authority from Jesus Christ. All traditionalists, therefore, are really sedevacantists — it’s just that they haven’t all figured it out yet.” Fr. Anthony Cekada, „The Remnant”, XI 2005
Indeed, as announced by me on July 22 (“Some Reading”), in the second half of July I gave myself to the study of a certain subject to which no Catholic can remain indifferent. Before I go on to the circumstances and texts that were decisive in the matter, an introductory remark regarding authority is necessary.
Authority, Abp. Lefebvre and Bp. Williamson
The blog of Pelagius of Asturias was created in order to join the resistance to the new conciliarizing policy of SSPX leaders, who want to get reconciled with modernist Rome and objectively lead the work of Abp. Lefebvre to a demise through compromise with the enemies of the Church in Rome (cf. “Against Modernism and Practical Deals With Modernists. The Aim of This Blog”, the first post from December 5, 2012). It was created shortly after the “expulsion” of Bp. Williamson from the Society also as an expression of support towards the British prelate inconvenient to the present SSPX direction on the way “towards the necessary reconciliation” (for years elaborated by GREC). However, I never took every word of Abp. Lefebvre or Bp. Williamson uncritically. Not entering into detail here as far as my reaching a few years ago the traces of true, traditional Catholicism, which is persecuted by the modernists of the Vatican II Newchurch, I was convinced, and am still, of the providential role Abp. Marcel Lefebvre played in the present crisis of the Church and the Catholic world. He created a truly worldwide organization perseveringly resisting conciliar novelties, consequently contributing as probably no one else to the rescue of the Catholic Mass and priesthood. Nevertheless the Archbishop never had for me the authority equivalent to that of the magisterium, I did not consider every word of his to be holy and infallible (especially asking the greatest enemies of the Church permission for “the experiment of Tradition” or the acceptance of the mason Bugnini’s missal of 1962). In the present unprecedented crisis of the Church he was, however, a guide and authority like no other. I had and still have a similar opinion about Bp. Richard Williamson, who after many years of faithful service to the Society was abandoned by his own.
The “Line of the Archbishop” With Regards to the Possible Sede Vacante Yesterday and Today
It is not my intention to present all the arguments of those who resist “the pope” recognizing his supremacy (the so called “recognize-and-resist” line) against the sede vacante position. The significant majority of SSPX clergy and friendly communities and many independent priests collaborating with the SSPX belong to this “recognizing-and-resisting” group. I will then describe briefly the so called “line of the Archbishop” concerning this matter which is maintained to this day by some SSPX members.
In 2006 John Daly wrote (posted on Fr. Cekada’s blog, the Polish translation is found on Pelagius’ blog) an excellent article in which he put various true pronouncements of Abp. Lefebvre regarding a possible vacancy of the Apostolic See caused by the heresy and the apostasy of the Conciliar “popes”. It clearly follows from all those mentioned in the article as well as others easily accessible on the Internet that Abp. Lefebvre never decided to really research the issue and left the definitive decision to a future pope. The lack of a sufficient examination of the issue led to the situation of permanent indecision. Although the Archbishop essentially recognized the authority of Paul VI and John Paul II, he nevertheless often spoke rather sharply and some of his words could be ascribed to a sedevacantist. In this matter this is what the “line of the Archbishop” more or less consisted in and in the conservation of this status quo it consists in today as well.
With this in mind I will bring up the opinion of two prelates belonging to the most reasonable clergy rightly opposed to the occupants of the Vatican, who at the same time defend the papal authority of conciliar antipopes. They are no doubt faithful partisans of the “line of the Archbishop” discussed here.
When in June I translated the letter of Bp. Tissier de Mallerais on sedevacantism (posted under the date of July 18, for the English translation go here) I was not able to accept His Excellency’s argumentation. Although then I was not yet convinced of the many year long vacancy of the Apostolic See because of the lack of due research, I could not understand how the opinion of the majority of “traditional Catholics” could decide in such an important question as the loss of Church office because of heresy, schism or apostasy. For this is what Holy Scripture says about the opinion of the majority of the multitude: “Non sequeris turbam ad faciendum malum: nec in iudicio, plurimorum acquiesces sententiae, ut a vero devies.” („Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou yield in judgment, to the opinion of the most part, to stray from the truth.”, Ex. XXIII, 2). The majority of today’s clergy did not delve into the arguments and most of the faithful blindly follow the shepherds, exactly as after the council when people got their religion changed.
I doubt that what His Excellency meant was to have in the chapels as many faithful as possible, not to scare away the “non-sedevacantist” majority. All the more so did I not understand Bp. Tissier de Mallerais’ argument, since His Excellency, in an interview for The Remnant in 2006 (on True Restoration, in Polish on my blog) said that Ratzinger preaches heresies, and the same ones for a few decades (what better definition of pertinacy!), but he does not go so far as to state, that the preacher of heresy is a heretic (addendum: it is only on September 25 that I read that Bp. Tissier de Mallerais did use the word “heretic”, but wanted it omitted in the transcript of the interview. I translated this into Polish). Moreover in 2009 he wrote an excellent book on Ratzinger’s heresies, the translation of which by the Polish pro-Roman SSPX we can only dream of. Anyhow, it was not the French SSPX that published the original, but the Avrillé Dominicans not subjected to Bp. Fellay.
A different defense of the Conciliar antipopes’ authority is the conception of two hierarchies, two churches simultaneously having one pope as the head of both, which appeared sometime in the 70’s. The recently deceased Jean Madiran expressed a similar opinion in the Itiniéraires revue founded by him (“One Hierarchy for two Churches” which is my translation of the French original from DICI). Abp. Lefebvre also seems to adopt it in his reflections concerning the suspension a divinis (Reflections, 29 VII 1976, translated by me from French), at least to the extent in which he still recognizes the pontifical authority of Paul VI. It seems that generally the entire traditional movement resisting the “popes” it recognizes (the “recognize-and-resist” position) took up this opinion as its own ecclesiology, which was, as we saw, pointed out by Bp. Tissier de Mallerais.
Therefore one pope for the Catholic Church and the same one for the Conciliar church, a schismatic and heretical counterfeit in total war with the Catholic religion. How then can one and the same person be the head of two contrary bodies battling against each other (did not Bp. Williamson himself say once: “Eminence, we have two different religions here… which are fighting it out to the death”?)? How is it possible that such a person is someone and someone else in the same aspect simultaneously? For in the case at hand the same aspect is the relationship with the Catholic religion, that is orthodoxy or heterodoxy. One cannot be Catholic and heretic at the same time, one cannot simultaneously accept the Catholic faith in its integrity and partially (heresy) or entirely (apostasy) reject it. It is a position that cannot be defended, unless on the basis of one’s own authority. Bp. Williamson, whom I particularly esteem for his exceptionally enlightening exposition of modern (and old) errors and his courage in preaching the inconvenient truth, in this respect is no doubt trying to keep “the Archbishop’s line”, while the famous “nine” were removed from the SSPX in 1983 for their infidelity towards it.
The Current “Resistance Movement” of 2012/13 and the So Called “Affair of the Nine” of 1983
The main problem of the “recognize-and-resist” group lies in the recognition of the Conciliar “popes’” authority and in the simultaneous resistance and justified disobedience towards them. In practice this position is sometimes called, and not without foundation, “practical sedevacantism.” It consists in acting as if the Apostolic See were empty, however without the theoretical deliberation on the vacancy issue, and at the same time requiring of the Conciliar “popes” a public confession of orthodoxy. However, just like Abp. Lefebvre at some moments in the history of his turbulent relations with the Conciliar authorities, so also the present SSPX superiors cannot resist the temptation to reconcile with them in order to convert the Conciliar church from within and remodel this “modernist Newchurch” into the Immaculate Bride of Christ. It is nevertheless commonly known how such attempts at reconciling the irreconcilables end up. We have many examples of congregations which in this way betrayed the Catholic Faith and abandoned the fight for the Faith.
Faced with the recent attempts of SSPX superiors to convert the modernists through a reconciliation with them a Resistance Movement, not very numerous but not insignificant either, came into being. Its beginnings can be seen already after 2001 but it was then essentially ad intra. It is only when, in 2009, some more conspicuous cases of expulsions or departures of SSPX priests and a campaign against a certain bishop took place that it became more visible ad extra. It could be said that that as well as the present Resistance is a healthy reaction of the remains of Catholic sense left in the SSPX. It also seems to me that it keeps best what is best in “Abp. Lefebvre’s line”, that is, practical sedevacantism meaning “not having anything to do with Conciliar Rome.” For it awaits the conversion of Conciliar authorities to the traditional Catholic faith, in conformity with the principal idea of some of the Archbishop’s declarations, especially from the end of his life. For example:
[In the situation of an eventual return to talks,] “at that point, I will be the one to lay down conditions. I shall not accept being in the position where I was put during the dialogue. No more. I will place the discussion at the doctrinal level: ‘Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? […] If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these Popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.’ The positions will then be made more clear.” Fideliter, September-October, 1988
That practical sedevacantism is clear in the ranks of the resistance. Otherwise, how could an SSPX priest cry anathema against Ratzinger and Bergoglio, playing, one better, the other worse, Catholic popes:
“I, Father Olivier Rioult, by the grace of God priest of the Catholic Church, although not worthy, because ‘I adhere to the holy Faith of our Fathers’ and want to ‘die’ in this truth, I cry anathema at the ‘impious novelties’, at Benedict XVI and at Francis: both apostles of masonic religious liberty. The love of my neighbor compels me to declare with no ambiguity the Catholic faith and its consequences. This is why I declare that I refuse communion with these perpetrators of errors, these corruptors of the faith, these destroyers of the Church and these traitors of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Article “Finishing Off With the Conciliar Church: Anathema!” My own translation from: La Sapinière.
A recent expression of exactly this line is the declaration of Fr. Arnold Trauner, who left the SSPX on the nineteenth anniversary of his priestly ordination (“Fr. Arnold Trauner is leaving the SSPX”).
However, it was not always so with the Archbishop. There was a time when he still hoped for collaboration with Conciliar authorities and removed from himself those who did not want that or warned him. It is true that sedevacantists were not stigmatized in the beginning but everything started after the election of the charismatical Pole at the Vatican. From then on the Archbishop had new hopes that were not shared by all of his priests. An interesting case took place in the Spring of 1983. I do not remember any longer how in July I found an interesting post-question to Fr. Anthony Cekada, one of the notoriously famous nine American priests expelled then by Abp. Lefebvre. Never did I research the affair in depth, and here I stumbled upon some interesting details. On the Ignis Ardens forum, on June 12 2012, Mr. John DeLallo posed the following question to Father:
In your opinion:
Do you think the current Separatist trend within the Society (i.e., having nothing to do with Rome until Rome converts back to the True Faith) vindicates the position of “the Nine” who were expelled from the SSPX in 1983 for condemning Archbishop Lefebvre for his attempts to reconcile with Rome at that time?
And received the following reply from Fr. Cekada:
In 1982-83 Abp. Lefebvre was in the process of negotiating with Card. Ratzinger in order to regularize SSPX’s status. Our refusal to go along on three hot issues of the time — Abp. Lefebvre’s insistence that we accept the 1962 Missal, the validity of the Paul VI ordination rite and Conciliar marriage annulments — could not have been tolerated in a “reconciled” SSPX.
The SSPX party line then, as now, was that they would NEVER compromise. When, during the height of the ‘83 crisis, Fr. Dolan preached from the pulpits that ABL and SSPX were in the process of selling out to the modernist Vatican, and word of his sermons got back to Ridgefield, Fr. Sanborn overheard Abp. Lefebvre, Fr. Schmidberger and Fr. Williamson laughing about it.
But as Bishop Sanborn said a few weeks ago, “No one’s laughing now.”
While the specific issues in the 2012 SSPX/Rome controversy are different, the underlying worry of the contemporary objectors is the same as ours was: integration into the Conciliar Church will compromise the faith and represent a surrender to modernism.
For forty years, SSPX has been saying that they “recognize the pope,” while at the same time “resisting him to his face.” The imminent prospect of actually having to take orders from Benedict XVI, follow his rules in conducting their apostolate, and cooperate with bishops subject to him is what scares many anti-accordistas (accordianists?).
And while this possibility seemed real but a little more remote in 1983, in 2012 it seems to be right around the corner. As Dr. Johnson said, “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
So it is encouraging to see that on the part of many in SSPX, there is still an at least instinctive reaction against formally working alongside modernists and against absorption into their dogma-less, ecumenical, one-world church.
And then “hollingsworth” remarks and asks:
I see then that I must revise what has become my (simplistic?) understanding of your situation at the time, Father. Here, all this time, I’ve been thinking and led to believe that the severance of “the nine” was caused by their sedevacantist position. Yet, no mention of that in your answer to John D. That was not a part of the „three hot issues of the time?”
To which in turn Fr. Cekada answers:
Though only three (possibly four) of us were sedevacantists in ‘83, it was in fact the other issues (the ‘62 Missal, the annulments, and the doubtful priests) that set the whole crisis rolling.
Abp. Lefebvre and SSPX, though, used “sedevacantism” as a convenient club to bash everyone, and ever since, the myth of an “’83 sedevacantist crisis” has become part of SSPX’s official party history.
I wrote an article five years ago about the dispute, and in one section, I went through the real issues in some detail. So did Fr. Sanborn in the early ‘80s.
Source: Ignis Ardens forum.
I found the article mentioned by Fr. Cekada and in the meantime read it. But at this stage here were my conclusions: if Bp. Williamson, Fathers Cardozo, Faure, Pfeiffer, Chazal, Hewko, Trincado, Girouard, Ortiz, Ruiz, Rioult, Pinaud, Zaby, Ringrose, Voigt, Trauner, Raphael, etc. etc., the Brazilian monks and German Carmelites are presently right (of which I became convinced and what constituted the reason of this blog’s foundation), if a profound analogy exists between the present situation and the “affair of the nine”, then the nine must have been right and not Abp. Lefebvre and his supporters.
This whole affair does not prove anything else. It was not about sedevacantism then, but about reconciliation with modernist Rome, and the American priests were against that (for objectivity I will indicate the only voice from the other side concerning this conflict known to me: an interview with Fr. Williamson from July 1983 on Angelus Online).
Yet when one completes the above with a little bit of reading, of which I will speak below, it is easy to reach the conclusion that the temptation to reconcile with Rome will be alive so long as the modernists sitting in the Vatican (or in St. Martha’s house) will be considered as the Head of the Catholic Church.
Sedevacantism, a Theological Opinion and an Article Apparently Never Refuted
Ever since I remember (after having found the true faith) I never regarded the position called sedevacantist as schismatic, just like the more reasonable SSPX clergy and faithful. How could the separating of oneself from the Conciliar Popes who are destroying the Catholic Church mean schism with the Catholic Church? Abp. Lefebvre did say, although before conflicts with those who would later disagree with him:
“To whatever extent pope, bishops, priests, or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. Today’s Church is the true Church only to whatever extent it is a continuation of and one body with the Church of yesterday and of always.” Reflections on the suspension a divinis, 1976
Going along with this argumentation one can easily say that those who completely separated themselves from this schismatic church are simply Catholic. Not recognizing the authority of the Conciliar usurpers, sedevacantists are therefore Catholics. On the contrary, the more one is attached to the Conciliar church, the more easily, consciously or not, he is infected or permeated with the heresy of Vatican II.
That is why, without any studying of this position’s argument itself, sedevacantism was for me a justified theological opinion that has among its adherents very intelligent people. For instance, Bp. de Castro Mayer began to proclaim openly that we have no pope at the latest in 1988. Fr. Guerard de Lauriers, one of the most eminent theologians of the 20th century also recognized the state of vacancy. This position cannot therefore be absurd, as many of its opponents make it to be.
Sometime in the past I stumbled upon the True Restoration blog (truerestoration.blogspot.com), on which I noticed interviews with Bp. Williamson, Bp. Tissier de Mallerais, but also with sedevacantist clergy. Sporadically visiting it, around the middle of July of this year I found an article by Fr. Cekada entitled “Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope”, which was supposed to expose the reasons behind the sedevacantist position. The author of the blog, Stephen Heiner, wrote that the article was never refuted. This attracted my attention and I began to read.
Why the Conciliar Heretics/Apostates are not Catholic Popes and the Conciliar Church Cannot be the Catholic Church
Having presented some aspects of the circumstances of my decision to recognize the Conciliar heretics sitting in the Vatican as antipopes I will now pass on to the crux of the matter.
Just as I heard a lot of various unfavorable opinions pertaining to the SSPX before I became convinced of traditional Catholicism a few years ago, so for a long time now I saw an often ridiculous antisedevacantist rhetoric on the part of the SSPX milieu. Now, as back then, I decided to investigate the matter that I simply considered heretofore as a possible opinion.
Two texts were decisive here. Firstly it was the aforementioned text by Fr. Cekada, “Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope” (on the traditionalmass.org site, in Polish on the Ultramontes site). The text was sufficient for me, having finished it on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (according to pre-Roncallian reform rubrics), to become convinced that indeed the Conciliar heretics/apostates are not Catholic popes, just as the Conciliar church cannot be the Catholic Church (the second is still also preached by some SSPX clergy). Right after having read this key text I reached for a two part article that an acquaintance sent me at that time. The many page long, excellently argued text “The Chair is Still Empty” (on the novusordowatch.org page) written by Gregorius refutes antisedevacantist allegations contained in two articles by Mr. Salza, an American lawyer, that appeared in the The Remnant (I) and Catholic Family News (II) magazines.
Fr. Cekada’s text is of a rather apologetical nature (explaining simple things in the natural order of cognition), Gregorius’ – of a polemical nature (more extensive and retaining the order of the adversary’s arguments). However, both are simple, comprehensible, based on Catholic teaching and common sense. They are founded on the authority of theologians, canonists, two Doctors of the Church, two popes, among which the bull Cum ex Apostolatus from 1559. The first text convinced me. The second only confirmed me in the conviction.
My goal here is by no means an exhaustive justification of the position called in the present circumstances sedevacantism. The two texts mentioned (and others I have read since) in a convincing way show that by divine law a heretic, schismatic or apostate pertinaciously persevering in his errors and publicly preaching them loses any office held in the Church and moreover, were he to be elected to any ecclesiastical office, such an election would be invalid and all his actions on the usurped position would not be binding because they also would be invalid (cf. Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus). And no canonical monitum nor ecclesiastical trial is needed for this, because if there is no one above the pope, no one can admonish or judge him.
Let me cite here the words of just one pope and five Catholic theologians, who wrote canon law manuals, stating that by divine law a heretic, schismatic or apostate cannot validly hold an ecclesiastical office:
“Heretics and schismatics are barred from the Supreme Pontificate by the divine law itself… [T]hey must certainly be regarded as excluded from occupying the throne of the Apostolic See, which is the infallible teacher of the truth of the faith and the center of ecclesiastical unity.” (Maroto, Institutiones I.C. 2:784)
“Appointment to the Office of the Primacy. 1. What is required by divine law for this appointment… Also required for validity is that the one elected be a member of the Church; hence, heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are excluded.” (Coronata, Institutiones I.C. 1:312)
“All those who are not impeded by divine law or by an invalidating ecclesiastical law are validly eligible [to be elected pope]. Wherefore, a male who enjoys use of reason sufficient to accept election and exercise jurisdiction, and who is a true member of the Church can be validly elected, even though he be only a layman. Excluded as incapable of valid election, however, are all women, children who have not yet arrived at the age of discretion, those afflicted with habitual insanity, heretics and schismatics.” (Wernz-Vidal, Jus Can. 2:415)
Citations from: Fr. Cekada, “Can an Excommunicated Cardinal be Elected Pope?” (Fr. Cekada’s emphasis)
“Still less can the Roman Pontiff boast, for he can be judged by men — or rather, he can be shown to be judged, if he manifestly ‘loses his savor’ in heresy. For he who does not believe is already judged.” (Pope Innocent III [†1226], Sermo 4: In Consecratione PL 218:670).
“A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.” (St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice. II.30).
“Through notorious and openly divulged heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact [ipso facto] is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgement by the Church.… A pope who falls into public heresy would cease ipso facto to be a member of the Church; therefore, he would also cease to be head of the Church.” (Wernz-Vidal, Ius Canonicum. Rome: Gregorian 1943. 2:453).
Citations from: Fr. Cekada, “Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope”
All created beings are subjected to divine law from which there is not the smallest exception (in the natural order of course). There are, on the other hand, exceptions and dispensations from canon law, which is a type of positive law. In the lack of this distinction between canon and divine law lies the fundamental vice of many antisedevacantist treatises. Even Fr. Boulet’s “canonical and theological analysis” (published in three parts in the Polish SSPX review “Zawsze wierni”, I. 12/2005, II. 01/2006, III. 02/2006 and in a booklet form by “Te Deum” editions, also of the SSPX), which does realize this distinction, treats of it rather vaguely. In reality that text leaves more questions than gives answers, and an honest reader will rather become convinced of sedevacantism after reading it or at least will reach for better works. Above all the ridiculous accusations of “fixation”, “obsession with the papacy” and “mental strait” prove the determination with which Fr. Boulet wants to discredit sedevacantists.
Oftentimes argumentations defending the “papacy” of our Conciliar usurpers confuse heresy as a sin, that is a crime against divine law, and heresy as a canonical crime. This error, however, also presupposes the confusion in the domain of law.
To everyone willing to know the obvious Catholic solution to the present crisis in the Church called “sedevacantism” I recommend the aforementioned two texts. An attentive reader will become convinced of sedevacantism also after the reading of Fr. Boulet’s study. Contrarily to expectations, it rather serves the cause than discredits it.
A Word About Those Who Are “Imbued With the Spirit of Personalism”
In the words of his apology of “pope and papacy”, departing greatly even from the language of Abp. Lefebvre in spite of a few selected quotes of the French prelate, a certain SSPX superior wrote:
“People imbued with the spirit of personalism often can no longer distinguish the person from the office he occupies. This is where a whole series of improper comportments comes from. Resentment towards a person holding an office leads to a weakening of respect for the office itself. It is not allowed for Catholics to deny the office of the papacy but we know that some practice their faith as if the Apostolic see simply did not exist or as if it was of no need to them. The most radical example of such thinking is sedevacantism.” “The Pope and the Papacy”, „Zawsze wierni” Nr. 3/2013 (166) (my translation of the excerpt, no English translation is available, but it was translated into French on La porte latine)
Well, there are indeed such “[p]eople imbued with the spirit of personalism” who “often can no longer distinguish the person from the office he occupies”, probably the best example of which is given by the author of the text himself. And by no means is it sedevacantism. The present sedevacantism absolutely does not “deny the office of the papacy” but states the fact of its vacancy since the death of Pius XII. As is rather commonly known, practically all sedevacantists await the election of a true pope and practice their faith as if the Apostolic See did exist but at the present was simply vacant. They are fully conscious that it is necessary for them. It is those, then, that confuse these notions and claim that those who, by not recognizing a given person (Roncalli, Montini, Luciani, Wojtyła, Ratzinger or Bergoglio) as pope simultaneously deny the papal office itself, are indeed “imbued with the spirit of personalism.” The best remedy for this does not have to be the acceptance of sedevacantism at all but a reading of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologica. The antidote for personalism is Thomism.
It should be evident from the foregoing that disappointment caused by the small force of the so-called resistance to the maneuvers of Bp. Fellay’s and his supporters in and around the SSPX is not the cause of my acceptance of the sedevacantist position. Just as I am not surprised that the “fiftyism” (as it is incisively called by Bp. Williamson) dominated Catholics, clergy and laity, so much that confronted with the modernist attack the Catholic reaction was so weak, so I am not surprised by the small in number reaction to the SSPX direction’s attempts to reconcile with Rome, “despite the fairly strong opposition in the ranks of the Society and at the price of substantial disruption” (Bp. Fellay in a letter to Benedict XVI, June 17, 2012).
Independently of the SSPX crisis, I simply found time and consecrated it to reading. For, every Catholic has an obligation to study his Faith by reading the catechism, but also good books and writings. And it is an obligation particularly neglected today, especially by Catholics calling themselves traditional.
With the change of the theological position presented by this article the question regarding the character of the blog of Pelagius of Asturias is also necessarily raised. Because the modernist invasion still endures, I am absolutely not abandoning the fight for Catholic resistance against the enemies of the holy Catholic Church. And this resistance was started even before the coming to being and operation of the Society founded by Abp. Lefebvre. Besides, Archbishop himself wavered in the beginning and unwillingly took active part in the initiatives of the authentic and early resistance, as remarks Fr. Barbara, its true pioneer, in his open letter to the members of the SSPX in 1993 (English translation on the-pope.com).
And when on November 8, 1979 he made the “fratricidal declaration” unfortunately he contributed to the decomposition of the unity of Catholic resistance. From then on he started to remove from himself clergy full of merit like Fr. Barbara. And this mistake should be, as far as possible, corrected, keeping in mind, however, that our dear Savior said, and His words seem to regard in a special manner our times: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed” (St. Mark XIV, 27). No wonder then that with the lack of papal authority we have so much division among Catholics themselves. That is why, as far as my modest capabilities will allow, I mean to consecrate all my forces to contribute to the unity of the Catholic resistance, especially keeping in mind the idea that:
“our rule is too plain and to concrete to admit of misconception. It is this: Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity. This charity is practiced in relation to our neighbor when in his own interest, he is crossed, humiliated and chastised. It is practiced in relation to a third party, when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and pervert, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all.” Fr. Feliks Sarda y Salvany, Liberlism is a Sin, Chapter XIX.
That is why modernist usurpers should be called by their name. They are antipopes possessing no authority over Catholics, whether clergy or lay. It is only a true Catholic pope that will be able to put an end to this terrible but merited chastisement of God which is the present state of the universal Church, the Bride of Christ unsoiled by modernists’ heresy. And in the meantime, as wrote another great pioneer of the resistance, Fr. Roger Thomas Calmel OP, that “false church” should be unmasked “and shown to have no authority. As soon as this happens, this false church will crumble into dust because its greatest strength derives from its intrinsic mendacity, passed on as the truth, which has not been effectively disavowed from on high”, that is by the hierarchy („Itinéraires” nr 173, in “Fortes” in Fide” 10/11, 1990). Since only Christ, our Lord and Savior, is the truth.
Adveniat regnum tuum!
Pelagius of Asturias
August 22, 2013
On the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And the octave of Her glorious Assumption