I’m in dialogue with a young woman who is a sedevacantist. I’ve read “More Catholic Than the Pope” by Pat Madrid and Pete Vere, and “The Pope, The Council, and The Mass” by James Likoudis and Ken Whitehead. I’ve also read “What Went Wrong With Vatican II” by Ralph McInerny. Are there any shorter treatments of this subject that I can give to her? Also, are there any recorded debates and/or teaching CDs on Sedevantism and other Schismatics? Thank you.
None of those books will convince her that she is wrong. They’re not strong enough.
Can she listen to a CD? St. Joseph Communications has a CD set with a talk given by Fr. Shannon Collins and then a discussion he had with a layman about this subject:
Is the Chair of Peter Empty? A Catholic Response to Sedevacantism
The author of scripturecatholic.com, John Salza, is a very traditionalist Catholic with sympathies to the Society of St. Pius X, and even he says that the logic of sedevacantism is incoherent. Read his arguments here:
The Errors of Sedevacantism. An interesting quotation from this one:
While Sedevacantists answer the question by literally “taking the law into their own hands,” Catholics are required to look to the ecclesiastical law of the Church to resolve the issue. Ecclesiastical law (canon law and other papal legislation) helps to understand the Divine Law in light of the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Because Sedevacantists believe Pope John Paul II was an “anti-pope,” they believe that the 1917 Code of Canon Law (and not the 1983 Code promulgated by John Paul II) is the operative law. Hence, we begin by looking to the 1917 Code.
First, the 1917 Code says that the Pope is the sole judge of the Cardinals. Canon 1557, par. 1-2 says: “It belongs entirely to the Roman Pontiff to judge…Cardinal Fathers / Cardinal Priests.” Moreover, canon 1558 says: “In the causes of which canon 1556, 1557 treat, the incompetence of any other judge is absolute.” In other words, only the Pope – and no one else – can judge a Cardinal in doctrinal or disciplinary matters. The Pope’s authority is absolute (est absoluta) in this regard. Unlike the Pope, who has no judge, the Cardinals do have a judge – and it is the Pope alone. Therefore, the Pope alone determines if a “Cardinal…prior to his elevation as Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy.”
As applied to the Sedevacantist thesis, Sedevacantists claim that Pope John XXIII (Cardinal Roncalli) was invalidly elected because he was a heretic prior to claiming the papal throne. This is a reason why Sedevacantists don’t believe we have had a Pope since 1958. But in order for Cardinal Roncalli’s election to the papacy to have been invalidated for heresy (or any other transgression), Pope Pius XII would have had to judge that Cardinal Roncalli was a heretic, since Pius XII is sole judge of his Cardinals under canons 1557 and 1558 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law. But he did not. Therefore, Cardinal Roncalli’s election to the papacy cannot be invalidated using Cum Ex because Pope Pius XII did not judge him guilty of heresy, or any other crime which violates Divine Law.
Sedevacantists correctly maintain that Divine Law expels a formal heretic from the Church without further declaration. They point to canon 188, par. 4 of the 1917 Code which says that “all offices whatsoever fall vacant and without any declaration if the cleric…publicly defects from the Catholic Faith.” However, the same Code of Canon Law also determines how we know a cleric has publicly defected from the Faith and lost his office as a result of the defection: The Church tells us. Thus, ecclesiastical law follows Our Lord’s directive: “tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Mt 18:17). While the person in Matthew 18 was publicly suspected of a transgression, Jesus tells us to treat him as excommunicated only after the Church judges the matter.
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Wow Melchior! Excellent blog.I’m sorry this is off topic, but I loved your article: On Marian Devotion & the Immaculate Conception. Bravo!
When I first came to Catholicism I use to be Sedevacantist, but its nothing special to be honest, its just a Cult that rejects the true Catholic Church. Thank God that I’m coming home from Sedevacantistism to the Catholic Church.
Feb 27, '08, 5:55 pm
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NOTICE: Ban on sedevacantism discussions
For the foreseeable future, sedevacantism will not be discussed in the Traditional Catholicism forum. And since sedevacantism was only allowed to be discussed in the Traditional Catholicism forum, it will also not be discussed on any of the CAF forums for the foreseeable future.
We regret the necessity of this ban, but the moderators and administrators just do not have the time and resources to arbitrate the sedevacantist threads at this time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. God bless.