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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Comedy is on: The Anti-SSPX Resistance group is coming to Nigeria!: Involve in Anything but AVOID Sedevacantism at all cost!


Consecration of Bishop Jean-Michel Faure




The comedy is on! The current usurpation of official Catholic offices and buildings has elicited many types of responses many of which are hardly Catholic!


The most well know answer to the fact that a new religion in at the Vatican posing as the Catholic Church is the Society of St. Pius X known generally as SSPX.


SSPX keeps all things Catholic but then accepts the false religion at the Vatican as being Catholic! This is the most absurd dimensions of the current crisis!


They believe that apostates like John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI were popes! Francis is also a pope! They mention him in their masses which are valid Masses but which has a flavor of Protestantism! They also deny many basic catholic principles leading to them to believe that Novus Ordo sacraments, including their bastard mass, are valid and its priesthood valid!


This is tantamount to eating back one’s vomit.

SSPX has been seen as reengage because it does not take orders from the Vatican and yet it recognizes the Vatican as legitimate! Talk of illogicality! However, despite this, SSPX and the Vatican have been engaging in ‘dialogue’! The SSPX wants the Vatican to recognize it as Catholic! But right now those talks have collapsed! The Vatican wants the SSPX to accept everything they believe in. SSPX have refused!


Imagine that! A group claiming to be Catholic wants a non-Catholic group to recognize them. Talk of absurdity 101.


Now many within the SSPX resist this stance of the superiors of SSPX. These resistance groups garnered many lay people who support them and they departed from the SSPX calling themselves many things like: The Resistance, SSPX-Marian Corp, SSPX-SO (SO here means strict observance)


The most important thing to note is that the resistance is still in the same illogical and un-Catholic positions of the SSPX as explained above but the only difference is that The Resistance does not speak to the Vatican for any reason! But they recognize the Vatican as being catholic and then refuse it obedience! Absurdity 101!


Now the SSPX in Nigeria has been shooting itself in the leg promoting the absurd to a heroic degree and causing rancor between them and many faithful.


Now those faithful have now invited the Resistance to take the place of SSPX in Nigeria and this will work!


This will divide the SSPX in half!


But The Resistance is still wrong and un-Catholic! The people inviting the resistance are simply doing so because they fear one thing:  SEDEVACANTISM!


Sedevacantism as the ONLY proper Catholic response to the apostasy in the Vatican has been in Nigeria for years and have converted hundreds of faithful in 8 cities across Nigeria! Many of these faithful are formerly SSPX people who saw the folly of the SSPX and joined Catholics holding the sedevacantist position.


But many have refused Sedevacantism out of fear and sentiments! These fears and sentiments arise due to lack of knowledge of catholic teachings. IF one were to properly understand the Church, one will hold the sedevacantist position in the era of apostasy.


One of the kingpins of The Resistance in the world is Fr. Fran├žois Chazal!

We have to look at Fr. Chazal’s non-Catholic response to the Vatican to see what the Resistance will be bringing to Nigeria! Fr. Chazal’s thinking is illogical, funny and reeks of bad theology! I wonder why these faithful think that SSPX-Marian Corp or whatever is the solution to the other monstrosity called SSPX! It just beats the imagination. But I blame lack of true catechesis in the lay people who went this length to bring Chazal’s group!


The will be bringing another SSPX but which are not talking to Rome!

At the end of November 2013, the well-known traditionalist Novus Ordo invalid priest Rev. Paul Kramer, editor of the popular book The Devil’s Final Battle, declared publicly that Francis could not possibly be the Pope of the Catholic Church and that the Holy See was vacant. 


As Kramer had hitherto been loosely affiliated with the Fatima Center, The Remnant, and Catholic Family News and had joined their well-known opposition to sedevacantism, this announcement came as quite a surprise to many. Shortly thereafter, however, Kramer began to say that even though Francis was not a true Pope, he was convinced that Benedict XVI’s resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, was invalid and that Benedict was still reigning as the true Pope. (We gave this novel position the label “Resignationism.”) You can read about the reports on the Rev. Kramer conversion here:


On Dec. 8, 2013, Fr. Francois Chazal , formerly of the Society of St. Pius X, now with the newly-founded so-called “Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance” depending on who you are listening to (abbreviated as “SSPX-SO”), wrote a brief letter to the Rev. Kramer in which he disagreed with him on his view that Benedict XVI is still Pope but lauded him for supposedly “dealing a severe blow to sedevacantism,” as Chazal put it. 


He then offered his own objections to the sedevacantist position to reassure “Fr.” Kramer — and, presumably, himself — that it is a dead end. But is it really? Does Catholic teaching even allow for any other position?


It is quite tragic that after everything that has transpired since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, and especially now with the election of Jorge Bergoglio as the latest papal impostor, there are clergy who are still either unable or unwilling to recognize that the theological position of Sedevacantism, despite some admitted difficulties, nevertheless is the only position that can make sense of the apostasy of the Modernist Vatican II religion without at the same time contradicting Catholic teaching (see here how sedevacantism compares to the indult and to the resistance position).



We shall now highlight the arguments Fr. Chazal uses against sedevacantism and offer a sobering reality check in response (Fr. Chazal’s entire letter can be read here).


At the outset, Fr. Chazal cheerfully argues that “Fr.” Kramer’s embracing of the Resignationist position, i.e. the idea that Benedict XVI is still Pope, discredits sedevacantism:



Alas I cannot follow you when you publicly declare that Francis is no pope while Benedict is instead. Yet I must thank you from the onset because you are dealing a severe blow to sedevacantism in the process. It confirms that sedevacantism is in fact a logical Pandora’s box, leading more to confusion than order, since, yet again, another theory emerges… one among so many species.


It is really not clear just how Fr. Chazal reasons that the idea that Benedict XVI is still the Pope and Francis is not somehow deals a “severe blow” to sedevacantism. Obviously, the Rev. Kramer does not believe that the Holy See is vacant (which the expression sede vacante signifies), so sedevacantism, properly speaking, really has nothing to do with Kramer’s position. The only thing “Fr.” Kramer and sedevacantists agree on is that Jorge Bergoglio (“Francis”) is not the Pope. If Francis is not the Pope, then there are two possible scenarios: Either (1) there is no Pope, or (2) someone else is the Pope. Kramer has decided on option (2). So just where is the problem here? Where is the absurdity? Where is the “severe blow”?


Ah, Fr. Chazal says the problem lies in the fact that now “another theory emerges… one among so many species.” Yes, Father, it is indeed another theory, but one not held by sedevacantists (we labeled it, as stated above, “resignationism”). All this proves is that the Eclipse of the Church we’re in, the terrible crisis that has come upon us since the passing of Pope Pius XII, has just caused even more confusion. Imagine that. To pin this on sedevacantism, which is first and foremost a diagnosis of the situation rather than a remedy, is entirely unjust. Fr. Chazal seems to be reasoning with his emotions rather than with his intellect, which, alas, is not uncommon for people who hold to the “resistance” position of the SSPX or SSPX-SO.


It is not sedevacantism that is the Pandora’s Box, but the situation we find ourselves in: the ostensible defection of the Catholic Church after Pope Pius XII. There are three basic approaches to this problem that people who consider themselves Catholic Traditionalists have taken:


The Indult Position, which says there is no real defection, only unfortunate ambiguity, “novel concepts”, and some exaggerations and non-magisterial errors; this position seeks to work for change within the Vatican II Church to turn things around and have the old ways restored;


The SSPX/Resistance Position, which acknowledges the defection as genuine but refuses to participate in it and instead “does its own thing” on the side, as a parallel establishment as it were, essentially ignoring the Pope and the entire hierarchy and actively opposing them as needed; this position considers Traditional Catholics, especially the SSPX, the “baby sitter” of the Holy See, which is acknowledged to have defected; people of this persuasion firmly believe they can eventually make the Holy See Catholic again;


The Sedevacantist Position, which acknowledges the defection but, adhering to the Catholic teaching on the Church’s infallibility and indefectibility, as well as the nature of papal primacy and the inherent binding authority of the Catholic Magisterium, concludes that therefore the Church after Pius XII cannot be the true Catholic Church but must be a false church that has “eclipsed” (to use the words of Our Lady of La Salette) the True Church, in accordance with (but not based on) various Catholic prophecies; this position holds that the “Popes” after Pius XII must have been impostors because they have done things true Popes cannot do and furthermore have shown themselves to be heretics who reject Catholic teaching. This is the position of the present author.


Comfortably ensconced in his resistance position, which presents the most convenient of all the alternatives because it has the “best of both worlds” (no indult submission to the Modernist hierarchy — no sedevacantist difficulties about an apparent absence of the Church), it is easy for Fr. Chazal to take aim at sedevacantism and accuse it of “leading more to confusion than order.”


It is easy to make the charge because sedevacantism is messy indeed (more on that in a moment). Yet, let’s not lose sight of the fact that, despite first appearances, Fr. Chazal is hardly one who can claim “order” in his church or his resistance position. Consider these facts:


The institution he believes to be the Catholic Church and to which he professes allegiance, has no unity of Faith (one of the marks of the True Church), as it includes people as far left as Hans Kung, Roger Mahony, and Richard Rohr in it, yet also, on the other side of the spectrum, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Fraternity of St. Peter, and people like John Vennari and Michael Voris — and a whole host of individuals in between those two extremes, incl. Fr. Chazal himself (well, at least he would insist that he is a part of that church also). Oh, and let’s not forget the Feeneyites! Seriously — is this order or confusion?


The “order” in his church is so great that the teachings, laws, sacramental rites, canonizations, marriage tribunals, and disciplinary sanctions of the (supposed) Pope can be resisted, contradicted, dispensed with, denounced, and ignored at will — the final authority is not the Pope in Fr. Chazal’s church but each individual Catholic’s understanding of “Tradition.” The one-size-fits-all excuse to be used each time is the panacean “diabolical disorientation”, a phrase coined by a woman claiming to be Sr. Lucy of Fatima. Is this order or confusion?


Fr. Chazal himself was just recently expelled from the Society of St. Pius X — so we must ask, Just who is really traditional here? Is it he or is it the SSPX he left? Who gets to decide? To be really traditional, that is, authentically Catholic, ought one to follow the SSPX or Fr. Chazal? (We’ve already learned you can’t follow the Pope, whom Chazal labels a “heretic”, so this question must be permitted.) Again, is this order or confusion?



All this “resisting” the SSPX, SSPX-SO, and other groups and individuals have been doing with regard to the Novus Ordo hierarchy, just how will it end? Who will say, “OK folks, now we have a really great Pope again, time to stop the resistance, it’s back to normal now, back to pre-Vatican II papal submission! From now on, you have to obey again and can’t do your own thing!”? And what if people disagree? What if one group thinks the current Pope is traditional and it should be back to normal, whereas others don’t agree? Then what? Who is the final arbiter? One more time: Is this order or confusion?


Now keep in mind: All the chaos described above is true for Fr. Chazal’s church despite the fact that they have a Pope and a fully functioning hierarchy! If this mayhem can prevail when there is a Pope and a body of bishops and cardinals and the Holy See is functioning, then who needs a Pope and a hierarchy?!



Don’t fall for the illusory argumentation of “disordered” sedevacantism versus the “neat” and “orderly” resistance position. If there is confusion in sedevacantism, as there no doubt is, at least our confusion has a very simple cause and also a very simple remedy: We have no Pope and we need one! Once there is a true Pope, all problems can be resolved. Yet, with the resistance position advocated by Fr. Chazal, this is not at all the case. They have a true Pope (so they insist), and it’s still chaos! What, then, is their solution? There is none, there can be none, for they have already rejected even the ultimate solution: the Pope!


We continue with what Fr. Chazal writes:


Just recently I bumped into another sedevacantist who told me that Mgr. Guerard des Lauriers is a traitor. But that Bishop is a founding father of the movement. Among the non conclavist sedevacantists, it is getting harder and harder just to know what the different schools think. Such total talmudization I refuse to find myself embarked on.



For those not familiar with the bishop mentioned, here is a little background. 


Bp. Michel-Louis Guerard des Lauriers, O.P. (1898-1988), was a highly-gifted Catholic theologian and mathematician who taught at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. It is commonly said that he was one of Pope Pius XII’s theological advisers on the dogma of the Assumption (defined in 1950). He ghostwrote the famous Ottaviani Intervention of 1969 and concluded at some point in his life that the See of Peter was vacant — he became a sedevacantist.


More specifically, he held the position that the Vatican II “Popes” were Popes “materially” but not “formally”, which, translated into layman’s terms according to Guerard des Lauriers’ thesis, means that they were “Pope-elect”, if you will, that is, someone who would become the true Pope automatically as soon as he would renounce his heresies and become a Catholic.


This position is known as the “Material/Formal Thesis”, the “Cassiciacum Thesis”, or also as “sedeprivationism”. It is held by a number, though probably the minority, of sedevacantists throughout the world, the most well-known defenders being Bp. Robert McKenna, O.P., and Bp. Donald Sanborn. The great advantage of this sedeprivationist position is that it provides an answer to the pressing question, “How do we get a true Pope back to restore the Church?”


It answers this conundrum by arguing that the bogus Novus Ordo “cardinals”, despite their invalidity, nevertheless possess the power to designate a true Pope, whether potentially or actually. One may not agree with this stance, but everyone should be put on notice that it cannot easily be dismissed and has very strong evidence in its favor, which should not be surprising given that it originated with the great theological mind of Bp. Guerard des Lauriers. For those interested in understanding this thesis, we recommend Bp. Sanborn’s article “The Material Papacy” (click here), which explains it in detail.


So Fr. Chazal apparently bumped into a sedevacantist who disagrees with the Material/Formal Thesis. So what? Most likely, the man in question didn’t really understand it, because to call Bp. Guerard a “traitor” on account of his theory is totally unjust. But in any case, whether it be true or false, the Cassiciacum Thesis is a lot better than Chazal’s “Popes-can-be-heretics-but-then-we-cannot-submit-to-them” position, which is theologically indefensible (although quite convenient and emotionally satisfying, we understand).

Next, Fr. Chazal cedes at least a little bit of respect to the Guerardian Thesis:


Archbishop Lefebvre was keen to say that the theory has some serious reasons, but it leads to no certain conclusions. It looks very clear at the start, yet ends in great confusion, leading to a dangerous fragmentation of the Remnant of the Faith. Theologians are split into those who don’t even consider the case and those who do… and among those who do, there again, their sentences are split.
Ah yes, and of course Abp. Lefebvre’s theological credentials when compared to those of Bp. Guerard were….? …Exactly. We didn’t think so.



Novus Ordo Watch does not endorse the sedeprivationist position but does not reject it either. The great St. Augustine advised:
“In doubtful things, liberty.”



It should not be surprising that, being faced with the most horrible crisis the Catholic Church has ever gone through in her 2,000-year history, with an apparent disappearance of the Catholic hierarchy and the Magisterium, and nothing but blatant heretics claiming the Papal Throne, those few remaining Catholics should perhaps differ on the exact nature of the problem and therefore also on the means to its resolution. Only the proudest of the proud could possibly think they have all the answers in this time of the Passion of the Mystical Body. If anything, sedevacantism draws people to humility as we realize just how limited we are in the face of this terrible exile, and how we must beg God without ceasing to end this most distressing state of affairs if it should so please Him.


In the above quote, Fr. Chazal insinuates that we don’t really know if Popes can be heretics; that, historically, Catholic theologians have been divided over this question and over what would follow if a Pope were to become a heretic or if a heretic were to be elected Pope. But this is not quite true. We can simply quote the great Doctor of the Papacy on the matter, St. Robert Bellarmine:


Therefore, the true opinion [of the five examined] is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; and for this reason he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian…. (St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Ch. 30; underlining added.)


St. Robert is clear that this position — that a heretic Pope is impossible and any Pope who would become a heretic would thereby automatically cease to be Pope because he would no longer be a member of the Church or even a Christian — is true. It is true and “the opinion of all the ancient Fathers.”


Furthermore, Pope Pius XII reiterated this teaching in his 1943 encyclical on the 
Church, in which he clarified that to be a member of the Church it is necessary to “profess the true Faith,” which is something a heretic by definition does not do. Moreover, His Holiness pointed out that the sin of heresy “of its own nature [severs] a man from the Body of the Church” (Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, par. 22-23), so the question is really settled.




There is no great difficulty or mystery here; we simply have to accept it: A heretic is not a member of the Church and therefore cannot be Pope. Period.


What is so difficult or hard to swallow about this? For anyone interested in studying this issue in greater depth, we recommend the well-researched essay “Concerning an SSPX Dossier on Sedevacantism” by Mr. John Lane, which is a response to an SSPX priest’s objections to the sedevacantist position.


The dreaded “fragmention of the remnant of the Faith” that Fr. Chazal mentions is no concern at all if people realize that in unresolved, doubtful matters, Catholics enjoy the liberty to accept that position which they find most reasonable, assuming at all times, of course, that no alternative runs afoul of Church teaching in any way. That in some matters we can currently have no certain conclusions is irrelevant, since we are not bound to have certainty in every matter, and in this, Almighty God has obviously not seen fit to give us the desired certainty. (We are speaking of sedevacantism vs. sedeprivationism here, not sedevacantism vs. the recognize-and-resist position.)


But even so, is Fr. Chazal seriously asserting that his position causes no confusion? We challenge Father and those who agree with his “resistance” stance to tell us how it squares with the following papal teachings, and how it does not even so much as cause confusion:


“…religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair [of St. Peter] remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion.” (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices, par. 7)



“If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.” (First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Chp. 3; Denz. 1831)


“In the Apostolic See, the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated.” (First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Chp. 4; Denz. 1833)


“To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.” (Pope Leo XIII, Letter Epistola Tua to Cardinal Guibert, June 17, 1885; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 263)


“Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic…. ‘You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held.'” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, par. 13)

“…the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate.” (Pope Leo XIII, Allocution of Feb. 20, 1903; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 353)


It is impossible to apply the above to the Vatican II “Popes” and still maintain the same Faith the Catholic Church taught from 33 AD to 1958. Yet, this is exactly what the recognize-and-resisters like Fr. Chazal attempt to do, and the result is a horrific distortion of sound doctrine they pass off as “traditional Catholicism.” For a fairly recent example of the absurdity to which this attempt to square the circle leads, see our post on John Vennari declaring that he would not allow the “Pope” to teach religion to his children! Clearly, no confusion in the non-sedevacantist camp, eh?!


Fr. Chazal next advises:


We should be content with the principle of Nullam Partem [“no part”] with heretics, not denying the existence of heresies when they appear in Rome, unlike the XSPX [sic], who threw us overboard on account of us sticking to that principle.



The problem with remaining “content” with this principle of having no part with heretics is that if at the same time you say that one of those heretics is the Pope of the Catholic Church, you run into a conundrum, because not only does Catholic dogma require you to be in communion with the Roman Pontiff but also to submit to him under pain of eternal damnation. This goes to show how serious the matter is:



Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
(Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam [1302]; Denz. 469)


Clearly, we cannot be content with Fr. Chazal’s position because it is contradictory, that is, it is in blatant opposition to defined Catholic dogma. On the one hand, we must refuse to have anything to do with heretics; on the other, we are required to submit to the Pope. So how could a heretic possibly be Pope, or the Pope a heretic? Such a scenario would require us to do two mutually exclusive things. The concepts of “heretic” and “Pope” cannot go together, any more than you can have a married bachelor. Talk about a position that creates confusion!



We continue with Fr. Chazal’s letter:

But the Archbishop [Lefebvre] always refused to tread beyond this point, the overall sterility of the sedevacantist movement proved him right. Just one look at the city of Cincinnati is enough to see: the turf wars, the mutual excommunications, the endless doctrinal hair splitting, the comparatives between the different lines of bishops and the quarrels around the validity of this or that line… all of it like the vain genealogies denounced by St. Paul.



For most people, a bit of background and context will be needed to understand this. Father is here referring to the U.S. city of Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the most populous areas of sedevacantists in the world. At present, there are as many as three sedevacantist parishes in the larger metropolitan area there. But since sedevacantists deploringly acknowledge the tragic absence of a (known) true Pope and a (known) true governing hierarchy in the Church, it follows that when disputes arise, there is no one who can resolve them in an authoritative and binding manner. This is simply the logical implication of the predicament which sedevacantism points out: We have no Pope!



Disagreements about various Church matters is a regrettable but unavoidable truth that comes with the fact of the vacancy of the Holy See; it is thus not due to a defect or flaw in the sedevacantist position but is part of its essential thesis. Quarrels and disputes among the “Pope-less” shows the high importance the papacy plays in Catholicism as the ultimate unifying principle — quite in contrast to the “resistance” position, where the papacy is, for all practical purposes, irrelevant, because the resisters decide on their own when to submit to the Pope and when not to; they essentially ignore him and do their own thing.


Yet, Fr. Chazal wants to use our admitted lack of a Pope — which we genuinely lament — against us: He wants to fault us for recognizing we have no Pope, claiming that instead it is better not to hold this position. In this he again fails to realize that sedevacantism is, first and foremost, a diagnosis, not so much a solution. Before we can even hope for or work towards a genuine solution, we must be sure that we have the correct diagnosis. What would we think of a doctor who refuses to diagnose in patients what he does not know how to cure? Would we want a doctor to tell a cancer patient he has pneumonia instead, simply because he is perplexed and bewildered by a cancer diagnosis? Is such a doctor actually serving the patient, regardless of intent? Is he actually concerned about his physical health? But how much more important is the soul than the body (cf. Mt 10:28)?


Disagreements among sedevacantists are typically not regarding the Faith, for all hold to the same Faith, nor about the Sacred Liturgy, for all subject themselves to the same law, but rather about the application of Faith, morals, and Church law to specific problems and circumstances. This is completely normal in the absence or eclipse of the unifying authority which can settle all such disputes (i.e., the Church hierarchy, esp. the Pope). Some matters are speculative (e.g., whether the above-mentioned Material/Formal Thesis is correct), others are practical (e.g., whether a sedevacantist may assist at Masses offered by a priest who erroneously professes communion with Antipope Francis but really does not follow him). People disagree over these things, and these disagreements are legitimate, that is, one does not somehow cease to be a Catholic by taking one side or another in these matters, or even suspending judgment altogether, because they have not been definitively settled by rightful Church authority.



It is ironic that Fr. Chazal brings up questions of sacramental validity. Obviously, those questions more than any other ones, are going to be prominent in times when no legitimate Church hierarch with jurisdiction can be approached to resolve such cases authoritatively. And for this Father scolds sedevacantists? Seriously?


Secondly, does the Society of St. Pius X not suffer from the same kind of problem, regarding the validity (or lack thereof) of Novus Ordo ordinations? For example, the official line of the SSPX is currently that ordinations carried out in the Modernist rite of Paul VI (1968) are valid, and so they have some “priests” in their worldwide organization that were “ordained” in Montini’s doubtful rite, or that were “ordained” in the traditional rite but by a “bishop” who was consecrated in the invalid rite of the Novus Ordo. Yet, SSPX Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais is on record stating he does not believe that the 1968 rite of episcopal consecration is valid (source).


What about Fr. Chazal? Does agree with Bp. Fellay that the Modernist ordination rites are valid? Or does he agree with Bp. Tissier that they are invalid or at least doubtful? Most importantly, what do the SSPX lay faithful think about these things? The SSPX doesn’t exactly advertize who among their priests was “ordained” in the Novus Ordo rite or by a Novus Ordo “bishop” and who wasn’t. Could that be because they fear disagreement concerning the validity of these orders?! And who in the SSPX is the final authority that could settle this, anyway? The Superior General, Bp. Fellay? If so, why did Fr. Chazal not submit to him and instead allowed himself to be expelled? Is it the man they recognize as Pope? If so, why is Fr. Chazal not in communion with him?


For the “resistance” clergy to accuse sedevacantists of having some disagreements and confusion is simply the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever problems they may be able to point to in sedevacantism, these exist equally in their own position, but much more seriously so.


The difference is that in sedevacantism, any problem can be resolved in principle by a judgment from a true Pope, to whom everyone submits; in the “recognize-but-resist” position, no solution is possible even in principle, for the final authority, the Pope, is eschewed at will by them, based on people’s subjective ideas about what constitutes the True Faith and Sacred Tradition. Thus they neutralize, nay castrate, the Papacy and make the Pope subject to them rather than themselves subject to him.



But the Pope “is judged by no one”, as Canon Law legislates (Canon 1556); and contrary to what the SSPX has been saying, this canon does not mean that one cannot discern that a particular person’s claim to the papacy is false, but rather that any judgment made by the Pope is final and admits of no appeal, revision, disagreement, or “loyal opposition.” That’s how submission and obedience work in the Catholic Church. Otherwise, you have chaos and you deprive the Vicar of Christ, the highest authority in the Church, of the power to settle disputes and rein in wayward sheep. He would then no longer be what he was constituted by Christ to be, namely, the principle of unity in the Church (cf. Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, par. 13). In short, the sheepfold cannot be kept together unless the shepherd has legitimate power over the sheep, and this power cannot be contradicted, neutralized, minimized, or taken away by individual sheep (cf. Jn 10:16). It’s really not that complicated once you know how to think about it.



As Bp. Sanborn once pointed out, it is possible that any individual person or group of people go astray and fall into heresy. This is possible. It is possible that a heretic invalidly usurp the Papal Throne (hence Pope Paul IV’s Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus regarding such a scenario). It is perhaps even possible that a validly-elected Pope at some point become a heretic — but then he would necessarily and immediately lose the pontificate. All this is possible.


But it is not possible that the Pope lose the Faith and remain Pope, a faithless Pope, a non-Catholic Pope, a Pope deprived of authority, to whom no submission is allowed to be given. It is not possible that the Church should cease to be true to her Founder. It is not possible that the Bride of Christ turn into the Whore of Babylon. It is not possible that the Church should teach error. It is not possible that by clinging to the Church in all things, souls could be led astray. It is not possible that the very Church that Christ has instituted as our necessary means of salvation should become a means of damnation. These things are not possible!


And so we choose the possible over the impossible, the unpleasant and improbable over the irreconcilable and antithetical. This is why we are sedevacantists: Because the position is possible, whereas all other alternatives are impossible. No doubt, there are numerous phony reasons not to embrace sedevacantism, and only one reason to do so: because it is true. But that alone suffices for those who love the truth, because Christ is the Truth, and, as He taught, “the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32; cf. Jn 14:6).


Fr. Chazal’s letter continues, but he makes no further arguments against sedevacantism.



In a nutshell, our answer to him and all other “recognize-and-resist” priests is this:
If you want to be a Catholic, then be a Catholic and submit to Catholic teaching, all of it. This is the Catholic Church, not Burger King — you can’t have it “your way.”


So the resistance coming to Nigeria is another jamboree of comedy that has nothing to do with the Catholic Church! It is another game played with people’s souls! People should indeed come to their senses!


We thank novusordowatch for most part of this expose.




Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 26th July 2017, Feast of St. Anna, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

‘Pope’ Francis comedy: Putting a Square peg into a round hole!






Many thinking people abandon reason and claim that the current apostate at the Vatican Jorg Bergoglio is indeed the Catholic Pope and his heirachy a true catholic hierarchy!


This line of thought is clearly absurd since there is NO body that will claim to be catholic and at the same time claim that Jorg Bergolio, aka Francis, is the pope and his hierarchy is Catholic! It does not fit!


If anyone claims that Francis is pope despite what I will present here from the teachings of the Church on the papacy, then we will be sure the person is NOT a Catholic.

The person is a member of the Masonic Novus Ordo/Vatican II religion which is occupying the Vatican, formerly Catholic dioceses and Parishes!

The person should know that without faith, no one can please God. Here means the Catholic faith. Any other faith is false and leads to the fires of hell for all eternity!

At the dictation of the Holy Ghost, the first Pope, St. Peter, wrote concerning his Lord and Master Jesus Christ:

‘…it is said in the scripture [Is 28:16]: Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious. And he that shall believe in him, shall not be confounded. To you therefore that believe, he is honour: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set’.(1 Peter 2:6-8)

It is fitting that the Pope, being the Vicar of Christ, should have a share in His Lord’s attribute of being a stumbling block to those who do not believe. In our day, this truth is being accentuated with particular force, although in a way that most would, presumably, never have expected.

In a recent post entitled “A Dangerous Experiment: Taking Francis’ Claim to the Papacy Seriously”, we took the First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pastor Aeternus, and replaced each occurrence of the phrase “Roman Pontiff” in it with “Pope Francis”, to demonstrate what one would have to believe about Francis if he truly were the Pope of the Catholic Church. After all, to accept a man as Pope means to affirm of him whatever the Church affirms of the Papacy.

The results of this experiment were grotesque and showed that most people who call themselves “traditional Catholics” and accept Jorge Bergoglio as Pope, do not in fact believe about him what the Church teaches about the Pope. The excuses people come up with to justify their stance are endless, but they all seem to be consistently driven by one single overall motive: to avoid Sedevacantism at all costs. That price, however, is too high; because by taking an anything-but-Sedevacantism approach, they distort and thereby deny the Catholic Faith of which they imagine themselves to be loyal adherents and staunch defenders.

Put in figurative but more practical terms, the recognize-and-resist traditionalists are faced with the problem of the square peg (Bergoglio) not fitting into the round hole (Papacy). Since the two won’t fit, there are only two ways to make them fit if one insists on recognizing Francis as the Pope of the Catholic Church: either modify the peg (by spinning Bergoglio into a Catholic) or modify the hole (by changing and thus denying Catholic doctrine on the Papacy).

In the face of the undeniability of Francis’ open apostasy, more and more people who refuse to let go of the idea that the man really is the Pope, are going with the second option. That is, they would rather deny the office of the Papacy than deny that one particular man actually possesses it. Here is a brief excerpt from one of our podcasts making this very point:

This tragic phenomenon we will evaluate in this post. In particular, we will examine three recent cases of individuals who mean to be traditional Roman Catholics but have, explicitly or implicitly, denied (“stumbled over”) the Papacy as a result of their refusal to abandon the idea that Francis is a true Vicar of Christ. In other words, because they have insisted on continued use of the square peg and were determined to make it fit into the round hole, they left themselves no choice but to clumsily and forcefully adjust the shape of the hole.

The three individuals who have recently engaged in this impossible task are: Nick Donnelly, Hilary White, and George Neumayr.

Nick Donnelly
We’ll begin with Nick Donnelly, a widely known Novus Ordo permanent deacon in Lancaster, England, who owns the web site ProtectThePope.com and is active on Twitter.

For years Donnelly ran his Twitter account under the handle @ProtectThePope, yet a few days ago, on July 17, he notified his followers that he was changing his Twitter name from @ProtectThePope to @ProtectTheFaith. Take a look at his tweet announcing the change

This change from “Pope” to “Faith” is very revealing: Donnelly had to change his handle because it became manifestly undeniable that protecting the Faith could not be accomplished by protecting (defending) Francis. As the last 4+ years have proved, “Pope” Francis is clearly not the bulwark of the Faith, is not the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. But that is precisely what the Pope — a real Pope — is, according to Catholic teaching:

‘By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?’ (Pope St. Leo IX, Apostolic Letter In Terra PaxDenz. 351)

Again,  

‘This chair [of Peter] is the center of Catholic truth and unity, that is, the head, mother, and teacher of all the Churches to which all honor and obedience must be offered. Every church must agree with it because of its greater preeminence — that is, those people who are in all respects faithful….
Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against this Chair; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion. Therefore, because of your special faith in the Church and special piety toward the same Chair of Peter, We exhort you to direct your constant efforts so that the faithful people of France may avoid the crafty deceptions and errors of these plotters and develop a more filial affection and obedience to this Apostolic See. Be vigilant in act and word, so that the faithful may grow in love for this Holy See, venerate it, and accept it with complete obedience; they should execute whatever the See itself teaches, determines, and decrees’. (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices, nn. 1,7)

Also these quotes are important here:

‘Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors’. (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17)

‘Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic…. “You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held”’. (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13)

‘In the Catholic Church Christianity is incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ and which has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Saviour, the daughter and the heiress of His redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance, and of that immortality which have been promised it, it makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity’. (Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: 

‘The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [Mt 16:18], cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion.’…

To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world … referred to this apostolic see those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing….
For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [Lk 22:32].
This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell. (First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4)

As we can see here, in the Catholic Church, protecting the Pope is protecting the Faith because the Pope himself is the divinely guaranteed guardian of the Faith.

Presumably, this was also Donnelly’s own understanding at some point and the reason why he originally set up his handle as @ProtectThePope to begin with. But then Francis came and made a mess, and now Donnelly has stumbled: Instead of leaving his Twitter handle intact and rejecting Francis as Pope — which would have been compatible with Catholic principles –, he decided to retain Francis and instead change his idea about the Papacy. In other words, instead of tossing out the square peg, he decided the hole needed adjustment.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that Twitter does not allow account names longer than 15 characters, else Mr. Donnelly might have chosen @ProtectTheFaithFromThePope as his new handle, which would have illustrated the monstrous absurdity of the notion that Francis is a true Pope, even more clearly.
We must never forget that Catholic teaching on the Papacy applies to each and every Pope equally. Once he is validly elected and accepts the office, even an unfit man, an oddball, or a great sinner is no less of a Pope and is owed no less submission and obedience by Catholics than a St. Pius X or a St. Gregory the Great:
‘The Church, as St. Leo the Great teaches, in well-ordered love accepts Peter in the See of Peter, and sees and honors Peter in the person of his successor the Roman pontiff. Peter still maintains the concern of all pastors in guarding their flocks, and his high rank does not fail even in an unworthy heir. In Peter then, as is aptly remarked by the same holy Doctor, the courage of all is strengthened and the help of divine grace is so ordered that the constancy conferred on Peter through Christ is conferred on the apostles through Peter’. (Pope Leo XII, Encyclical Ubi Primum, n. 22)

‘All who defend the faith should aim to implant deeply in your faithful people the virtues of piety, veneration, and respect for this supreme See of Peter. Let the faithful recall the fact that Peter, Prince of Apostles is alive here and rules in his successors, and that his office does not fail even in an unworthy heir. Let them recall that Christ the Lord placed the impregnable foundation of his Church on this See of Peter [Mt 16:18] and gave to Peter himself the keys of the kingdom of Heaven [Mt 16:19]. Christ then prayed that his faith would not fail, and commanded Peter to strengthen his brothers in the faith [Lk 27:32]. Consequently the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, holds a primacy over the whole world and is the true Vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christians.’ (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 16)

‘…the Church has received from on high a promise which guarantees her against every human weakness. What does it matter that the helm of the symbolic barque has been entrusted to feeble hands, when the Divine Pilot stands on the bridge, where, though invisible, He is watching and ruling? Blessed be the strength of his arm and the multitude of his mercies!’ (Pope Leo XIII, Allocution to Cardinals, March 20, 1900; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 349;)

Not only is this the dogmatic teaching of the Church, it is also verified in ecclesiastical history, as we can see, for example, in the case of the notoriously sinful and unfit Pope John XII:

‘Nothing in his life marked him for this office, and everything should have kept him from it. He was rarely seen in church. His days and nights were spent in the company of young men and of disreputable women, in the pleasures of the table and of amusements and of the hunt, or in even more sinful sensual enjoyments. It is related that sometimes, in the midst of dissolute revelry, the prince had been seen to drink to the health of the devil. Raised to the papal office, Octavian changed his name and took the name of John XII. He was the first pope thus to assume a new name. But his new dignity brought about no change in his morals, and merely added the guilt of sacrilege.
Divine providence, watching over the Church, miraculously preserved the deposit of faith, of which this young voluptuary was the guardian. This Pope’s life was a monstrous scandal, but his bullarium is faultless. We cannot sufficiently admire this prodigy. There is not a heretic or a schismatic who has not endeavored to legitimate his own conduct dogmatically: Photius tried to justify his pride, Luther his sensual passions, Calvin his cold cruelty. Neither Sergius III nor John XII nor Benedict IX nor Alexander VI, supreme pontiffs, definers of the faith, certain of being heard and obeyed by the whole Church, uttered, from the height of their apostolic pulpit, a single word that could be an approval of their disorders.
At times John XII even became the defender of the threatened social order, of offended canon law, and of the religious life exposed to danger’. (Rev. Fernand Mourret, A History of the Catholic Church, Vol. 2 [St. Louis, MO: Herder Book Co., 1946], pp. 510-511)
Let no one, therefore, say that Francis is a “bad Pope”. He is not. He is a non-Pope. A bad man who is a Catholic can be Pope, but a non-Catholic man cannot. 

Hilary White

Next, we turn to another recent Papacy stumbler, the semi-traditionalist blogger and Remnantcontributor Hilary White. On July 16, she sent this tweet:

Notice that Miss White is questioning Vatican I, not Vatican II. Talk about stumbling over the Papacy!

But then, what should keep her from it, given the “recognize-and-resist” position she espouses? After all, if we can resist one legitimate church council, why not the others as well? This is simply the logical conclusion of the resistance position, where each individual Catholic is ultimately the judge over which magisterial pronouncements to accept and reject, and where each believer determines for himself when the Pope is to be submitted to and when he must be resisted. The end result? Absolute chaos, with no possibility of resolution even in principle, since the Pope has been rejected as the ultimate Catholic authority that can bind consciences and move wills. The Pope is reduced to a figurehead who is “followed” only whenever what he decrees is already in agreement with the personal conviction of each believer.

So now White has simply extended her resistance to Vatican I as well. And for what reason? Because it seemed better to her to throw out Vatican I than to give up the idea that Francis is Pope. (Once again, modifying the round hole was preferred to junking the square peg.) We had warned about this back in April in our response to Steve Skojec’s preposterous recommendation of a “practical Sedevacantism”, the idea that we must say Francis is Pope but act like he’s not:

Thus, while “practical sedevacantists” may very well think of themselves as retaining the traditional Catholic faith, the truth is that they have long rejected it — keeping in mind that rejecting even one dogma rejects the Faith entirely, since the Faith exists only as a whole and not in parts or degrees….

Certainly, the “practical sedevacantist” may perhaps pay lipservice to the traditional Catholic teaching while contradicting it in practice, but such a course of action would not only be dishonest and hypocritical, it would also amount to cognitive dissonance, a state in which one’s actions deny — or at least do not match — one’s thoughts or stated beliefs. Such a state cannot last long for a sane human being. The discrepancy between one’s thoughts and one’s actions will quickly resolve itself into either changing one’s actions to align with the thoughts, or changing one’s thoughts to correspond with the actions.

Since he refuses to abandon the belief that Francis is a true Pope, no matter the consequences, the “practical sedevacantist” thus forces himself to either submit to Francis and become Novus Ordo, or else deny the traditional Catholic teaching on the Papacy. We are reminded of these words of St. Jerome: 
“…every schism fabricates a heresy for itself to justify its withdrawal from the Church” (qtd. by Pope Pius IX, Encylical Quartus Supra, n. 13).

Tragically, White has proven our analysis correct: No longer able to bear the obvious conflict between the teaching of the First Vatican Council on the Papacy and the known facts about Jorge Bergoglio, White is now toying with the idea of abandoning belief in the Papacy altogether. This corroborates the warnings we’ve issued on this blog and in some of our podcasts, namely, that acceptance of Francis as Pope is dangerous and destructive of the very Faith one means to uphold.

George Neumayr

Lastly, we will examine some ideas recently put forth by George Neumayr, who writes for The American Spectator and just published the highly informative work The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives (New York, NY: Center Street, 2017).

On July 14, Mr. Neumayr appeared as a guest on the Tom Woods Show (episode no. 952) to discuss his new book, meaning he spoke in detail about the apostasy of “Pope” Francis. Toward the end of the program, Woods asked Neumayr what he would, ideally, like to see happen in the church now with regard to the “Pope”. Neumayr’s response was explosive and telling: “This might sound glib but the best-case scenario that I could envision would be if the Pope converted to Catholicism” (31:25 min mark)!

Yes, wouldn’t it be helpful if the Pope were also a Catholic? If the head of the Catholic Church were also a member of the Catholic Church? Wouldn’t that make the Catholic teaching on the Papacy — especially Vatican I — so much easier and more meaningful?

As we saw above, the simple fact of the matter is that Catholic doctrine does not allow for the idea of a non-Catholic Pope. It’s impossible, nay absurd. For Neumayr to state something so outrageous shows that he does not know — or, at any rate, does not adhere to — Catholic teaching on the Papacy. How could the Pope be the rock on which rests the foundation of the Church and which the gates of hell cannot overthrow, if he himself denies the very Faith his office is divinely guaranteed to protect?

Neumayr elaborates on his answer and goes on to describe various other possible scenarios he envisions. Although we cannot transcribe everything here, you can listen to the entire podcast at this link. There is, however, one more comment he makes that we cannot pass over in silence (beginning at the audio’s 32:28 min mark):

Catholics are going to have to decide whether they [audio unclear] the Faith over papolatry; whether preserving the integrity of the faith is more important to them than maintaining a sort of phony appearance of unity. The cardinals are going to have to decide whether they’re really defenders of the faith or not. And if they do make that decision, then they have only one choice, and that is to declare to the faithful that the current Pope is a bad Pope, and he must be resisted, for the good of the faith.

Now that’s a new one: The Novus Ordo cardinals are to get together and declare, not that Francis isn’t a Pope, or that they will remove him from office (which they couldn’t do if he were a true Pope, but this had been suggested by semi-trads before), but that he is a bad Pope and ought to be resisted!? Precisely where in Catholic doctrine does Mr. Neumayr find such an idea? Is he making it up as he goes along?

This shows that people have lost all sense of what the Papacy is, even those people who think themselves defenders of the Faith. And no wonder, for if you continually make yourself believe that a square peg can go through a round hole, it is not surprising if after a while you start thinking of the hole as having corners itself.

The Pope is sovereign and supreme. No one can judge him; no one can punish him; no one can even subject him to a trial, and all must submit to him under pain of eternal damnation. We have laid out all this in some detail at the following links:

There is a lot more in the Neumayr podcast audio that we could take issue with here — such as his claim that if Francis doesn’t answer the dubia, there is no way to know whether he is a formal heretic or not — but this will suffice to make our point: Once again an attempt is being made to “defend the Faith” by people denying that Faith. We have no reason to doubt Mr. Neumayr’s sincerity and good will, but that is irrelevant to the cold hard fact that he cannot defend a Faith that he himself does not hold. It is absolutely astonishing to see to what lengths people will go in order to avoid the conclusion that Francis is not a valid Pope. There really does seem to be a veritable “Sedevacantophobia”.

 

Answering a Common Objection


At this point, someone may argue that there is no danger in accepting Francis as Pope, as long as we reject whatever he teaches that is false. We can simply “take what is good” from him and “reject what is bad”, can’t we?
The short answer is no, we can’t. The longer answer is given by St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church. In his magnificent treatise On the Roman Pontiff, he refutes precisely this very argument:
The Pope is the Teacher and Shepherd of the whole Church, thus, the whole Church is so bound to hear and follow him that if he would err, the whole Church would err.
Now our adversaries respond that the Church ought to hear him so long as he teaches correctly, for God must be heard more than men.
On the other hand, who will judge whether the Pope has taught rightly or not? For it is not for the sheep to judge whether the shepherd wanders off, not even and especially in those matters which are truly doubtful. Nor do Christian sheep have any greater judge or teacher to whom they might have recourse. As we showed above, from the whole Church one can appeal to the Pope yet, from him no one is able to appeal; therefore necessarily the whole Church will err if the Pontiff would err.
(St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book IV, Chapter 3; translated by Ryan Grant as On the Roman Pontiff [Mediatrix Press, 2016], vol. 2, p. 160; underlining added.)
Again we see that the true Catholic teaching on the Papacy is all but forgotten in our day. If submission to the Pope consisted in nothing more than a “take what is good, reject what is bad” approach — in which each individual believer has to decide for himself what is good and what is bad, of course –, what would be the difference between a Pope and a Protestant minister? Could we not say the same about “Pastor Fred” at Rainbow Bible Fellowship down the street — take from him what is good and reject what is bad? Is the Papacy essentially the same, then, as the pseudo-offices of heretics? Is the Vicar of Christ and Sovereign Pontiff of the Bride of Christ really just another “Pastor Fred”?
Obviously not. But it is precisely to this that the recognize-and-resisters, especially the Society of St. Pius X, have reduced the Papacy in their stubborn refusal to abandon the idea that an apostate like Jorge Bergoglio could be the head of the Catholic Church. Apparently it is just so much easier to rework that round hole than to throw away the square peg and insist on one that will fit.

But can’t we just “leave all this to God”?

All these considerations likewise refute the so-called “Opinionists”, that is, those who maintain that it is entirely legitimate to accept Francis as Pope, as long as we don’t submit to him. But this would only be a tenable position if submission to the Pope were not required by Catholic doctrine — yet it is, under pain of heresy and under pain of schism. And this makes perfect sense, for it would be absurd to say that the Church could have a faith different from that of her head.
Still, some people sincerely wonder: “Can’t we just keep the Faith and simply not worry about the Pope issue? Whether Francis is Pope or not, we know what we have to believe and how to practice our religion. So can’t we just do that and leave the rest to God?”
At first sight, this might seem like a reasonable position to take, and one can sympathize with those of good will who hold it. There is so much turmoil, so much struggle in souls over everything that has happened, and one cannot help but feel a certain compassion for people who seek refuge in such a “let’s just be Catholic and leave this to God’ approach.
However, while those who struggle deserve our sympathy and compassion indeed, this does not make the truth about the matter somehow relative or optional. In a nutshell: The reason why we cannot just “keep the Faith” and ignore the Pope question is that Catholic teaching on papal authority and submission to the Pope is part of the very Faith we need to keep and defend.
You cannot simply cut out a portion of the Faith and decide to only “keep the rest”. If you toss out the Papacy, you are not keeping the Faith, no matter how many other dogmas you embrace. Of course we understand that it takes people some time to “sort things out”, so to speak, and that is entirely legitimate. We do not condemn people who are searching for doing what they need to do: search, investigate, assess. But this does not take away from the fact that there is only one conclusion at which ultimately to arrive.
Consider this analogy: A Protestant man is having some doubts about his religion and is starting to research to see if Catholicism is true. This is difficult for him because he does not have a lot of Catholic apologetics material at his disposal, he has to work a lot of hours to support his wife and eight children, and he is a slow reader. Besides, because of how he was raised, he has a difficult time accepting the Catholic veneration of saints and in particular Catholic teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Do we sympathize with this man’s struggle? Of course we do. Do we recognize his good will, pray for him, try to help him, and wish him well? Naturally. But none of this means that the truth of the Catholic religion is therefore a matter of opinion, that it is not that important, that he can just “accept Christ, try to live a holy life, and leave the rest to God.”
The mere fact that people struggle to come to understand certain things does not do away with the fact that there is something to be understood. And that something is certain and not optional.

“But you have no Authority!”

The same goes for the objection that sedevacantists have “no authority” to require anyone else to be a sedevacantist. Of course we don’t. But then, we do not invoke any pretended authority to begin with. To return to the analogy we just used, Catholics also don’t have any authority to require a Protestant to be a Catholic. But it’s not a matter of authority: Catholicism is true because it is the religion founded by Jesus Christ, not because Catholics “authoritatively” declare it to be true. And just as this lack of authority on the part of individual Catholics with regard to converting Protestants does not render Catholicism optional, doubtful, or reduce it to an opinion, neither does a sedevacantist’s lack of authority make Sedevacantism optional or doubtful, nor does it make Francis’ status into an opinion.
The lack of authority is not a genuine difficulty because it simply does not require authority to point out that the peg is square, the hole is round, and you’re not allowed to change the shape of either.
For those who would like to investigate this whole issue about opinion and authority further, we recommend the following:
These articles will help you rediscover the true Catholic teaching on the Papacy.

Believe in the Papacy, not in Francis

The Papacy is not the problem — anti-Catholic usurpers of the papal throne are. And unless we firmly reject their false claims to the Papacy, we will be led into serious error by them, either directly (by embracing their false teaching) or indirectly (by rejecting their false teaching but then, by necessary implication, denying the Catholic doctrine on the Papacy, which requires that we submit to papal teaching).
The Catholic teaching on the Pope is true, and it is immensely beautiful and consoling: “To you therefore that believe, he is honour” (1 Pet 2:7). At the same time, it is also quite terrible, becase the rock of St. Peter, which perdures in all of his legitimate successors (see Denz. 1824 and our post on Perpetual Successors), “to them that believe not” becomes, like Christ, “the stone which the builders rejected, … the head of the corner: a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set” (1 Pet 2:7-8). We must take great care, therefore, that we do not stumble: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder” (Mt 21:44).
The people we have criticized in this post, we have criticized in charity. We do not want to see them ground to powder, so to speak. They have stumbled and fallen, and we want to help them get up. We exhort them, therefore: “Do not believe in Francis at the expense of the Papacy! Rather, believe in the Papacy at the expense of Francis!”
Doubting or denying Catholic doctrine on the Papacy is a very serious sin, even heresy with regard to those teachings that are dogmatic. To all those who are more willing to doubt the Papacy than the legitimacy of the world’s greatest apostate, we say: Why? Why do you let Bergoglio do this to your soul? Why do you let him steal your faith? If Bergoglio causes you thus to sin against the Faith, cut him off! For it is better for you to enter Eternal Life without a Pope than to go to eternal damnation with (a putative) one (cf. Mt 5:29-30).
If this makes you uneasy and the prospect of having no Pope frightens you, this is understandable. However, do not let this be an excuse not to heed the admonitions of our Lord: “Fear not, only believe” (Mk 5:36); and, “…be not faithless, but believing” (Jn 20:27). It is okay to be frightened, but it is notokay not to believe: “…he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16); “Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (2 Jn 9).
And thus we believe.
We believe in the Papacy and therefore not in “Pope” Francis.

Culled in the main, from Novusordowatch

Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 26th July 2017, Feast of St. Anna, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary