Sedevacantism


#1

Hi. I was hoping someone might help me with something about sedevacantism. I’m thinking at the moment of Gerry Matatics, who has adopted this view. I’m reproducing his nutshell sketch of his arguments below from his site. What puzzles me is why his arguments aren’t susceptible to the argument you hear all the time from Catholic apologists that the individual Christian lacks the “authority” to make these sorts of theological judgments on his own (and hence that each minor premise of his syllogisms cannot be supported). What confuses me is that this just can’t be the whole answer to Matatics, because he is extremely well versed on Catholic doctrine, and does not make elementary mistakes about it. (The man was a professional apologist with the primary Catholic apologetical organization, for crying out loud.) So I guess my question is why aren’t Matatics’s arguments below susceptible to that simple-minded argument?

Here are his syllogisms:

The case for “sedevacantism” can be succinctly stated in three separate syllogistic arguments. Any one of these three arguments is sufficient in itself to demonstrate that Benedict XVI cannot possibly be pope and is as likely a candidate as we’ll perhaps ever see for the prophecy of the “German antipope” of the last days who will lead many astray (see abovementioned anthologies of Catholic prophecies). But the combination of all three composes quite a formidable case. The syllogisms are as follows:

Syllogism #1: No true bishop, no true pope

  1. Major premise: A man who is not a validly ordained bishop cannot function as the bishop of Rome, i.e., as the pope. [Note: a non-bishop – even a layman – can be, and sometimes has been, elected to the papacy, but in every case he had to receive the necessary ordination(s) to ascend, however quickly, up through the required ranks of the clergy before he began to reign as pope.]

  2. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is not a validly ordained bishop, having received (in May 1977) the demonstrably invalid episcopal ordination rite promulgated in June 1968 by antipope Paul VI. (For a devastating demonstration of the fact that the new rite is invalid, read the brilliant 12-page article by Fr. Anthony Cekada, or at least the less technical two-page summary.

  3. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be a true pope.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Syllogism #2: No true orthodoxy, no true pope

  1. Major premise: A manifest heretic cannot be a true pope.

[See Canon 188.4 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Paul IV’s 1559 Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (the English translation of which is posted on this website in the “Library of Key Documents” section), the unanimous consent of the Fathers and doctors of the Church, as documented in articles by Fr. Cekada on sedevacantism on his website, http://www.traditionalmass.org/, as well as articles on strobertbellarmine.net/.)

  1. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is a manifest heretic, as can be amply demonstrated from his numerous writings and addresses both before and since his “papal” election. (See articles on Ratzinger on traditionalmass.org/, novusordowatch.org/, or mostholyfamilymonastery.com/.)

  2. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be a true pope.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Syllogism #3: No true Church, no true pope

  1. Major premise: A head of a non-Catholic church cannot simultaneously be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

  2. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is the head of a non-Catholic Church, namely the Vatican II or postconciliar Church, the non-Catholic nature of whose doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws can be readily demonstrated by comparing them to the perennial doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws of the Catholic Church down through the ages. (See articles on above-mentioned websites.)

  3. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

An astute observer might notice that the order in which I have presented these syllogisms, moving from the simpler to the more challenging: each of the above three syllogisms demands less material to be surveyed and studied, less of a mental effort, and less of a radical conclusion than the syllogism that follows it.


#2

These discussions are only allowed in the Traditional Catholic forum - you may wish to have this moved there before it is deleted - or post it there as well and ask to have this one deleted.

~Liza


#3

Oh, okay. I don’t know how to move a message or else I’d do it in compliance with the rule. To be clear, my motivation for asking is apologetic in character, because it strikes me as highly relevant to me, as a non-Catholic, what is the Catholic response to this sort of argument. So I’m not sure I understand why it is off-topic, but obviously I’ll defer to whoever sets the rules around here (with the caveat that I cannot move the post myself.

CThomas


#4

Anyway, I’ve just posted the question over there, so if the rules require for whatever reason that it be deleted here, the powers that be are free to do so!

Best regards,

CThomas


#5

Yeah, I think it’s all that simple.

He has empowered himself to make assumptions that are the basis for all 3 arguements.

1.) Ordinations since 1968 are invalid.
2.) The Popes Writings are Heretical.
3.) The Catholic Church is not the Catholic Church.

Me thinks the burden of proof rests with him.

Chuck

, as well as articles on strobertbellarmine.net/.)

  1. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is a manifest heretic, as can be amply demonstrated from his numerous writings and addresses both before and since his “papal” election. (See articles on Ratzinger on traditionalmass.org/, novusordowatch.org/, or mostholyfamilymonastery.com/.)

  2. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be a true pope.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Syllogism #3: No true Church, no true pope

  1. Major premise: A head of a non-Catholic church cannot simultaneously be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

  2. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is the head of a non-Catholic Church, namely the Vatican II or postconciliar Church, the non-Catholic nature of whose doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws can be readily demonstrated by comparing them to the perennial doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws of the Catholic Church down through the ages. (See articles on above-mentioned websites.)

  3. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

An astute observer might notice that the order in which I have presented these syllogisms, moving from the simpler to the more challenging: each of the above three syllogisms demands less material to be surveyed and studied, less of a mental effort, and less of a radical conclusion than the syllogism that follows it.


#6

FYI, someone over at Traditional Catholicism called my attention to this ruling. I apologize for inadvertantly violating this ban.

Regards,

CThomas

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=222052


#7

Those arguments are pure garbage, there is no logic to this at all. The “minor premises” are based on presumptions to make the “conclusion” be whatever he wants them to be. The pope is valid when they feel like it and invalid when they dont.

The fact he tells us to check out MostHoly FamilyMonastary.com destroys his credibility right there. Those guys literally go through every word the pope ever said in his lifetime and take out anything that simply sounds bad.

, as well as articles on strobertbellarmine.net/.)

  1. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is a manifest heretic, as can be amply demonstrated from his numerous writings and addresses both before and since his “papal” election. (See articles on Ratzinger on traditionalmass.org/, novusordowatch.org/, or mostholyfamilymonastery.com/.)

  2. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be a true pope.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Syllogism #3: No true Church, no true pope

  1. Major premise: A head of a non-Catholic church cannot simultaneously be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

  2. Minor premise: But Joseph Ratzinger is the head of a non-Catholic Church, namely the Vatican II or postconciliar Church, the non-Catholic nature of whose doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws can be readily demonstrated by comparing them to the perennial doctrines, sacraments and worship, and laws of the Catholic Church down through the ages. (See articles on above-mentioned websites.)

  3. Conclusion: Therefore Joseph Ratzinger cannot be the head of the Catholic Church, i.e., the pope.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

An astute observer might notice that the order in which I have presented these syllogisms, moving from the simpler to the more challenging: each of the above three syllogisms demands less material to be surveyed and studied, less of a mental effort, and less of a radical conclusion than the syllogism that follows it.


#8

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