Archive for January, 2019

Dr. Taylor Marshall recently posted a video on the late Fr. Malachi Martin and sedevacantism. [1]

Besides the subject of Fr. Malachi, Dr. Marshall and Gordon give reasons why they aren’t sedevacantists. However, they innocently (I believe) present a false narrative of sedevacantism. Their misgiving in accepting sedevacantism is the result of misunderstanding the position and the facts about the Church.

Both of these men seem like fine gentlemen. Hopefully, this post will encourage them and others to take a closer look into the issues and reconsider the possibility that sedevacantism is the correct position.

There are 7 main misconceptions about sedevacantism that’s implied in their video:

1.      Gordon’s words, “There is no papacy. The papacy ended” at 1:18:18 and Dr. Marshall’s reference to Vatican I on perpetual successors (implying perhaps that sedevacantism doesn’t fit.)

Sedevacantism is a position that there’s no current pope. It’s not a position that the papacy or perpetual successors has ended. A long interregnum is the proper way of understanding the situation. Vatican I didn’t say nor could it say that there must at all times be a pope. As long as the principle of perpetuity is present (and it is), all is needed to fulfill the declaration of Vatican I.

2.      Sedes are counter-factual on Fatima.

This objection is more about opinions of sedevacantists rather than sedevacantism. However, I have presented all the necessary answers concerning Fatima here:

Our Lady’s Fatima Message and the Consecration of Russia

and here:

The Hidden Message of Fatima

3.      The Gates of hell have prevailed if sedevacantism is true.

This objection is answered here: The Gates of Hell and Sedevacantism

4.      All the world’s cardinals, bishops, priests, and laymen follow an antipope, which is impossible.

Rev. Francis X Doyle, S.J. explains: “The Church is a visible society with a visible Ruler. If there can be any doubt about who that visible Ruler is, he is not visible, and hence, where there is any doubt about whether a person has been legitimately elected Pope, that doubt must be removed before he can become the visible head of Christ’s Church. Blessed Bellarmine, S.J., says: ‘A doubtful Pope must be considered as not Pope’; and Suarez, S.J., says: ‘At the time of the Council of Constance there were three men claiming to be Pope…. Hence, it could have been that not one of them was the true Pope, and in that case, there was no Pope at all…. (The Defense of the Catholic Church, 1927)

Notice that it is possible that everyone could follow an antipope since everyone followed one of the 3 so-called popes during the Great Western Schism.

5.      Communion with a false pope makes one a non-Catholic.

As was shown in the previous objection, this is not necessarily so.

6.      There were no sedes until the 1970’s.

This objection has no bearing on the question because Catholics can be mistaken on the issue. However, there were sedevacantists in 1958. Vatican insider Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner didn’t recognize Roncalli. I’m sure there were others. Jesuit Father Joaquin Saenz Y Arriaga was a doctor of Theology, Church History, and Canon Law. He was one of the first sedevacantists recognizing it in the mid to late 1960’s, perhaps earlier. He was a highly educated and courageous priest. He wrote a devastating critique of Paul VI in “The New Montinian Church” published in 1971. One of his followers, Fr. Moises Carmona would later become a sedevacantist bishop. He was killed in a tragic car accident in 1991. His body was later to be found incorrupt.

7.      There’s no documentation that Roncalli and Montini were Freemasons.

First, I’m happy to hear that they acknowledge that a pope can’t be a Freemason. Now if a document was presented that Roncalli and Montini were initiated into Freemasonry, would it be accepted? Not only is there documentation that they were Freemasons, but their words and actions corresponded to the beliefs of the secret societies. I suggest reading the facts about Roncalli and Montini below:

Pope St. John XXIII or Antipope John XXIII?

Pope St. Paul VI or Antipope Paul VI?

I invite Dr. Marshall and Timothy Gordon to contact me by email or phone (which I’ll provide by email) to discuss these topics or other aspects of sedevacantism.


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0SiRVsrO84

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Both the pseudo-traditionalists “Catholics” and the Eastern “Orthodox” have attempted to argue against the position of sedevacantism using Pope Pius IX’s Etsi Multa document [1] .​ They claim Pope Pius IX condemned sedevacantism over a century ago. The relevant passage of the document reads:

Further Heresies

They obstinately reject and oppose the infallible magisterium both of the Roman Pontiff and of the whole Church in teaching matters.  Incredibly, they boldly affirm that the Roman Pontiff and all the bishops, the priests and the people conjoined with him in the unity of faith and communion fell into heresy when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council. Therefore they deny also the indefectibility of the Church and blasphemously declare that it has perished throughout the world and that its visible Head and the bishops have erred. They assert the necessity of restoring a legitimate episcopacy in the person of their pseudo-bishop, who has entered not by the gate but from elsewhere like a thief or robber and calls the damnation of Christ upon his head.

Yet they do not blush to call themselves Catholics and Old Catholics, while in their doctrine, novelty, and number they show themselves in no way to be either old or Catholic. Certainly the Church rises up with greater right against them than it once did through Augustine against the Donatists. Diffused among all people, the Church was built by Christ the Son of the living God upon the rock, against which the gates of Hell will not prevail, and with which He Himself, to Whom all power in heaven and on earth is given, said He would be with until the consummation of the world. “The Church cries to her Spouse: Why do certain men withdrawing from me murmur against me? Why do these lost men claim that I have perished? Announce to me the length of my days, how long I will be in this world? Tell me on account of those who say: it was and is no longer; on account of those who say: the scriptures have been fulfilled, all nations have believed, but the Church has apostatized and perished from all nations. And He announced and the voice was not vain. What did He announce? ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Moved by your voices and your false opinions, it asked of God that He announce to it the length of its days and it found that God said ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Here you will say: He spoke about us; we are as we will be until the end of the world. Christ Himself is asked; He says ‘and this gospel will be preached in the whole world, in testimony to all nations, and then will come the end.’ Therefore the Church will be among all nations until the end of the world. Let heretics perish as they are, and let them find that they become what they are not.”[8]

Pseudo-traditionalist “Catholics” and Eastern “Orthodox” claim that sedevacantists are just “Old Catholics” with a new name.

As usual, these anti-sedevacantists fail to make key distinctions, which prove they don’t know what they are talking about.

Contrary to the belief of “Old Catholics”, Catholic Sedevacantists do not hold that the Roman Pontiff can fall into heresy when teaching a doctrine for the whole Church. I personally don’t think the pope can fall into heresy at all.

Catholic Sedevacantists don’t believe there was a Roman Pontiff at Vatican 2, or that all the bishops necessarily fell into heresy at Vatican 2, or there’s no Church among all nations.

What’s most bizarre about this accusation is how both psuedo-traditionalist “Catholics” and Eastern “Orthodox” actually do believe Vatican 2 is heretical and was approved and promulgated by a Roman Pontiff. The pseudo-traditionalist “Catholics” are more like the “Old Catholics.”

As for Eastern “Orthodoxy,” they are just the precursors to Protestantism. You’ll find both using the same absurd and blasphemous arguments against the Catholic Church. In this case, it’s a straw-man argument against sedevacantism.



[1] Etsi Multa http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius09/p9etsimu.htm

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The early Church has celebrated this feast day in memory of the day when St. Peter first preached in Rome.

It just so happens that Antipope John XXIII of the Vatican 2 religion removed this feast day from his liturgical calendar along with the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, which is celebrated on February 22 and Saint Peter’s Chains, which is celebrated August 1.

He removed other feast days and reduce many others to commemorations.

See http://www.missaleromanum.it/Summorum/Summorum05.pdf

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Many may be unaware that the majority of theologians maintain that the destruction of the buildings and even the complete uninhabitability of the city of Rome itself would in no way necessitate the destruction of the Roman local Church.

When Catholics say Rome has defected or fallen, they mean the majority of clergy and laymen, not necessarily every single person.

We might say the Church in England apostatized during the Protestant Revolt because of the Archbishop of Canterbury along with the vast majority left the faith. However, quite a few people remained faithful including many priests. Therefore, in one sense, the Church of England fell, but in another sense, it did not fall, because part of the Church still existed in the Catholic remnant.

We might even say the whole Church has apostatized, but we don’t mean it in the sense that contradicts the dogma of indefectibility. We simply mean the vast majority of clergy and laymen. There are still thousands if not millions of Catholics all around the world.

In the cities around me, Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, you’ll find pockets of devout Catholics holding the Faith. Every year, Catholics pop up within 15 miles from my home that no one within our community knew exited.

In the past, the faithful survived Japan without priests for 300 years. Korea was founded by laymen who stumbled upon Catholic materials left by the Chinese and Japanese. “The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3:8).

Since these facts are true, there’s no reason to believe that there’s absolutely no one left in the Eternal City. In fact, there are over a dozen Catholic communities operating openly all across Italy, including a seminary. It just so happens that one of those communities is the Oratorio San Gregorio VII located in Rome less than a half mile from the Vatican.

It has been held by the Catholic Church that the vast majority of Catholics will leave the faith at the end of time, including those in Rome. There are many different opinions among theologians how this will happen, but all agree that it will happen. Cardinal Manning tells us, “Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early Church.” [1]

Manning continues, The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism.” [2]

In no way does this opinion contradict the First Vatican Council’s decree on the indefectibility of the Roman Church, when you understand everything properly.

Each and every time the First Vatican Council refers to the “Roman Church” it does so inseparably from the Roman Pontiff, whether it concerns the permanence of the primacy of Peter in the Roman Pontiff, or on the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, or the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff.

The Council makes it abundantly clear that the Roman Pontiff is what makes the Roman Church pre-eminent and mother of all Churches.

Indefectibility of the Roman Church is secured by papal infallibility. What’s interesting about the dogma of infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is that theologians have speculated about what happens if the pope should fall into heresy as a private theologian, because as a private theologian, the man and not the papal office falls.

Through the Roman Pontiff’s charism of infallibility, the Roman Church never falls.

Where the Pope is, there is the Roman Church. Even when the Chair of Peter is vacant, the Roman Church exists in view of the successor who is awaited. The office never disappears. Therefore, the Roman Church never disappears.

When the popes ruled in Avignon, France, they were still the Bishops of Rome. The Pope is always the Bishop of Rome regardless as to where he is located.

Often Catholics say, “The Church teaches…” which means “the Roman Church teaches…” which really means “the Pope teaches…” Therefore, the Roman Pontiff is the Roman Church in the practical application thereof.

When we speak about the Church’s indefectibility, we aren’t necessarily talking about the people. The Church must have bishops. The primary reason why we say England defected is due to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other English bishops. The one faithful Cardinal and Bishop, St. John Fisher was martyred.

Indefectibility of the Roman Church lies in the Roman Pontiff and the ability to have future Roman Pontiffs.

Lastly, an antipope sitting in Rome doesn’t mean the Church has defected. Many antipopes have sat in Rome, but they aren’t sitting in the Chair of Peter.

Pontrello points to the dubious prophecy of LaSallette (which was condemned by Rome) that, “Rome will become the seat of the antichrist” and then states, “As already shown, proposing that the Holy See can defect at the end of time is heresy…”

This prophecy (although not approved) of LaSallette wouldn’t mean the Holy See defects. A proposed antichrist sitting in Rome is no different than an antipope sitting in Rome.

The pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church is Peter who forever lives, presides, and exercises judgment in his successors.




[1] Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861, London: Burns and Lambert, pp. 79.

[2] ibid. p. 88.

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