Sedevacantism round two?

I just read this article (below) on laicized Father Leatherby who, among many inappropriate things he conducted, he used Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer because he doesn’t believe Pope Francis is the true Pope. Apparently he ministered Mass to a large group of like-minded people in his former diocese of Sacramento…

It’s a alarming to hear this talk/thinking in general but especially from a priest. It is a form of modern day sedevacantism and it’s painful for me to see people falling for it.

Is this mindset more widespread than a group of folks in Sacramento?

The priest is laicized. Laicized priests often do and say all kinds of off-the-wall things, which is frequently why they are laicized in the first place.

Sedevacantism and laicized priests with odd views have been with us for decades. It’s not some big growing movement. You pray for such people and ignore their silliness.

Edited to add, from reading the article it sounds like this priest had a lot of issues in addition to just not accepting Pope Francis as the true Pope. He sounds like he’s been off the chain for years. A standard “rogue priest”.


Preach it!


The priest is not laicized, he is only suspended. Two different things.


Actually he’s excommunicated, which is beyond suspended. But you’re right, it doesn’t look like he’s laicized yet.
If he keeps up the bad behavior, forced laicization might be the next step.
Usually, first they will suspend, if he doesn’t shape up then they excommunicate, and finally if he continues doing enough bad things he gets laicized.


Right. I just saw the “suspended” part. The excommunication part just flew over my head.

It is late and I really need to get to bed. Deo volente, see everyone tomorrow.


The problem with sedevacantism is there is no standard or permanent structure. They disagree wildly with each other.
Most argue Benedict was never a pope either. This priest rejects Bishop Soto, who was first appointed to be a bishop by St JP2, and appointed Ordinary of this diocese by Pope Benedict!

In the future some may argue Francis was a valid pope, but not his successor.


It seems he’s decided to save them the trouble. Although he could still be dismissed it’s probably not worth the effort.

How very sad. However, regardless of whether he views Pope Francis as the Pope or not, if he can call himself “Father” then the bare minimum he can do for Pope Francis is call him “Bishop Bergoglio”. Somehow he’s a priest forever according to Melchizedek, but Pope Francis isn’t a bishop because… he doesn’t think he’s the Pope. So it’s okay to just call him “Bergoglio”. That aggravates me immensely. It’s incredibly rude.


He is requesting to be laicized, since the excommunication. He has been suspended for 4 1/2 years, pending a canonical trial on issues unrelated to the excommunication.

Indeed a very sad situation.

Technically though, I sense it might present him with a further dilemma. Would not his request for laicization have to be granted by the current pope? Pope Francis whom he does not recognize or Pope Emeritus Benedict who I doubt would get involved?

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Laicization is a double-edged sword. Yes, you prevent a priest from ever ministering again in the name of the Church. But you also release him from his ordination promises, and thereby from his duties and responsibilities as a cleric. He is no longer under obedience to a bishop or anyone. If a priest remains a priest, he can be suspended indefinitely, ordered to confinement, a life of penance and prayer. Laicize him and you cut him loose to do whatever he pleases, and that might not end well.


It’s not just a matter of good manners, inclusion of the name of the local bishop and Pope in the Eucharistic Prayer is reflective of communion with the local and universal Church. So leaving either one out (or including a name of the priest’s choosing) is in fact an affront to ecclesial communion and is otherwise known as schism. I can only truly call myself Catholic insofar as I am in communion with the universal and local Church.


I am sorry this priest seems to have gone off the rails by crossing boundaries repeatedly with women, as he seems to be admitting in his letter, and by refusing to recognize Pope Francis.

Not much I can say to all that except that I will pray that he is able to reconcile himself with God and the Church.

Also I pray for his victims.

Ah yes, I should have mentioned I wasn’t referring to his omitting Pope Francis’ name from the canon, but the parts of his letter where he simply refers to him as “Bergoglio”.

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