Robert Sungenis vs John Lane


On October 16th Robert Sungenis debated sedevacantist John Lane on whether Benedict 16th was the true pope. If you are well grounded in your faith, you can listen to the whole debate on John Lane’s website.

I would be interested in any comments that could be offered.


I cant wait to hear it…:slight_smile:


I listened to the entire debate last week. I have to say that the debate only strengthened my opinion that sedevacantism is a hopeless position.

John Lane’s own thoughts on the matter are not entirely clear. In the debate and at his own web site, where there has been a discussion of the debate, he has been ambiguous about just when the vacancy in the papal see began. Ditto for sedevacantist commentators at his discussion forum.

Some say the vacancy began as late as 1965, when Paul VI approved Vatican II’s proceedings. (This means Paul VI was a real pope for a couple of years.) Others speculate that the vacancy began in the early 1950s when Pius XII approved NFP, the idea being that NFP is sinful and that a pope, on approving it, ceases to be a pope.

The most common opinion seems to be that the vacancy began at the death of Pius in 1958. Lane himself doesn’t seem to have settled on any of these dates as the undisputed start of the vacancy.

Be that as it may, the question arises: How do you get a new pope? Most sedevacantists seem to adhere to the theory that a new pope can be chosen only by the remaining “true” bishops who have jurisdiction. What this reduces to is some now-forgotten bishops who were consecrated no later than 1958 and who have been living in hiding ever since. Writers at Lane’s discussion forum suggest that there may be one or more such bishops lurking in China, for example.

If there were such a bishop with jurisdiction (which means one consecrated by a real pope to head a particular diocese), he would have to be at least 100 years old now. It should be easy enough to find out whether there is such a man still alive: just look up the records of consecrations done by Pius XII in his last years. See whether any of those bishops still are around.

By following links at Lane’s site I came to an e-mail written by Gerry Matatics to Richard Ibranyi, who might be called the most extreme sedevacantist of all. He claims that there no longer are any valid priests or bishops in the entire world–not a one! In his mind, you can’t be a real Catholic unless you agree with him, and one of Ibranyi’s tests is to see whether you attend Sunday Mass anywhere. If you do, you aren’t a Catholic, since even the Tridentine Mass, wherever it is celebrated, is celebrated by a man who isn’t a real priest at all.

Anyway, Matatics wrote to Ibranyi (his letter is posted at the latter’s web site). Trying to curry favor with Ibranyi, he explained that he and his family no longer attend Mass at all. On Sundays and holy days they just sit at home, read from Butler’s “Lives of the Saints,” recite several prayers in common, and that’s that.

This sad episode is an indication of the hopelessness of the sedevacantist position. If this is where it leads you–into setting up your own house church and imagining that there is no real Mass you can attend–then the theory must be shot through with logical and historical errors.

In a way, Matatics has become a Protestant again, and he, Ibranyi, Lane, and other sedevacantists are leading people away from truth, not toward it.



I’d have to agree with Karl Keating. The sedevacantist position is pathetic to say the least. It’s sad that Gerry Matatics has fallen into this type of error. Gerry used to be one of the greatest apologists around, taking Protestants to task for the heresies they’d harbor, now he’s fallen into a deeper heresy than they have. At least Gerry once HELD the true faith, but has since fallen so far from it, it’s sad that he will never be Catholic again. We lost a great warrior for the faith.



As far as the debate goes(between Robert Sungenis and John Lane), I think it needs to be brought out that Robert completely annihilated the Sedevacantist position. John Lane had no real solid foundation for any of his claims or comments, it was rather sad. Robert did what he does best. He represented TRUE Catholicism and defeated yet another heresy.



I don’t know this man Gerry but it sounds like he needs all our prayers and mortifications.

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus still loves him! May the Lord have mercy on him and give him back his sight.


I watched the whole debate and totally agree. John and Gerry have only to heed and ‘surrender’ themselves to The Church to be WELCOMED HOME again.



Can someone briefly outline the Sedevacantist position?


In short the position is that since Pius XII(most sedevacantists believe this–some say the last Pope was Pius X–very few though) died in 1958 the Papal see has been vacant. Theie basic reasoning for this is that (their argument) a manifest heretic cannot be Pope. There have been various Fathers who taught this.
Bellarmine and Francis Desalles of particular note. Also Paul IV, in an Apostolic Letter Cum Ex Apostilorium, (I think that is spelled right) taught this because it was rumored that a Cardinal was secretly a Protestant, and may have been elected Pope once the Holy Father died.
Ok, got that?? The sedevacantist believes that John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI were/are manifest heretics therefore they cannot be Pope.
There are also variances to these arguments like Karl said.


Thanks. :thumbsup:


Gerry in a way is more anticatholic now then when he was a protestant. at least as a protestant he wasn’t travling aroung the USA preaching against the “Vatican II Church”


Ya he is horrible.


I am still speechless. Gerry has gone so far off the deep end, that he has become a complete idol worshipper. Like all sedevacantists, he worships his own intellect. And since he is a child of The Fall, like all of us, he is victimized by his own intellectual pride. Pray for him.


Robert Sungenis is a true blessing. The guy really knows his stuff and he’s not afraid to defend the faith.


The proper term for this situation is “Protestant.” That is because he engages in private interpretation: elevating his teachings to the level of dogma and not submitting to Church authority.

It is, sadly, a matter of pride. Also, this move of his has totally destroyed his reputation in the Catholic apologetics world, making his return to the Church much more difficult. But still, it’s a matter of pride keeping him where he is.


The Apostolic letter I quoted was mispelled it is Pope Paul IV Cum Ex Apostilatus Officio. Just wanted to clarify that.


Sorry to unearth this corpse of a thread, but it is spelled Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.

Lane, Matatics and Ibranyi are all heretics, in that they all know of the dogmatic decrees they deny, yet they still deny them. That’s what a heretic is.


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