Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can An Atheist Be A Sedevacantist?

  A reader of this blog, John by name, has taken issue with my use of the term "sedevacantist." He has left a couple of comments at my post of October 31, 2013, the last of which will be discussed in this post. With the ascendency of Antipope Francis, it is more imperative than ever to define our terms clearly for the sake of proselytizing. Some people in the Vatican II sect are beginning to wonder about the man who says "there is no Catholic God," and whether such a man can be pope. I will explain what I believe are the correct use of terms in this age of near universal apostasy.

  It seems that John is a sincere Traditionalist and a charitable man. That's why it pains me to see such a person misunderstand both the terms employed and the theologically prudent reasons I have for using them. I will first reproduce John's initial comment, unedited, and my response.

John: Why Catholic dogma that heretic can't be Pope do you call "sedevacantism" (others call it "sedevacantist/sedevacante position") and its adherents "sedevacantists" instead of Catholics?
These misnomers repel people from the mentioned Catholic dogma and do enormous harm to them and to The Church. So these misnomers are, without any doubt, from the enemy of human race and of The Church.
Stop and repent or you'll be guilty of a grievous sin.

Introibo Ad Altare Dei: I'm not 100% sure what you're trying to say, John. My initial post makes it very clear what my terms on this blog mean. In addition, I call sedevacantists "Traditionalists" so as to distinguish us from the false "Catholics" of the Vatican II sect. "Sedevacantist" = "Roman Catholic" and I think I make that understood. I sometimes use the term "sedevacantist" when trying to bring home a certain point, but always letting the readers know that a sedevacantist is a True Catholic. Hence, I see no "misnomers" because I take pains to carefully define my terms. When someone understands that sedevacantism IS THE TRUE CATHOLIC POSITION they will not be "repelled" by the term and the Faith can advance against the Vatican II sect. I have done nothing here from which I need to repent.

 John now comes back with his second comment which I will reproduce below with my comments in red.

Pope Benedict XV in 1914: "it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." ("Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum").

Do you think it is a small matter to do contrary to what the Pope said and a venial sin the consequence of that?

 I am in no way doing "contrary to what the Pope said," at least not when the quote of Pope Benedict XV is read in the context of the encyclical within which it was written. I've seen too many Traditionalists take quotes out of context as proof texts for every goofy philosophical or theological idea, much like the Feeneyite "Dimond Brothers" from "Most Holy Family Monastery" do on a regular basis (I'll save a discussion of their errors for another day).

  In paragraph numbers 23 and 24 of Pope Benedict's encyclical we read, "As regards matters in which without harm to faith or discipline - in the absence of any authoritative intervention of the Apostolic See - there is room for divergent opinions, it is clearly the right of everyone to express and defend his own opinion. But in such discussions no expressions should be used which might constitute serious breaches of charity; let each one freely defend his own opinion, but let it be done with due moderation, so that no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith or to discipline.

It is, moreover, Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as "profane novelties of words," out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: "This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved" (Athanas. Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim "Christian is my name and Catholic my surname," only let him endeavor to be in reality what he calls himself. (Emphasis mine).

We can clearly see from the context that Pope Benedict was NOT condemning those who use appellations to clarify and defend the Catholic Faith "which must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected" in this unprecedented time of apostasy. Rather, he condemns those who are disparaged as being less than Catholic when expressing their opinion (1) in matters without harm to Faith or discipline, and (2) having no intervention of the Holy See.  That certainly does not apply to anything I have written on this blog. The institution recognized as the "Roman Catholic Church" is, since the Second Vatican Council, an apostate man-made sect that is un-Catholic and, indeed, anti-Catholic in both Faith and Morals. I correctly call it the Vatican II sect

 In my initial post of June 2, 2010, I wrote:
  1. By Traditionalist Catholic, I mean a Roman Catholic who adheres to sedevacantism, the belief firmly founded in strong theological arguments that the See of Peter has been vacant since at least 1964, when Giovanni Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) signed the heretical Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. Pope Pius XII was the last pope we can be sure did not lapse into heresy and fall from his office.
  2. I do NOT include those who recognize Joseph Ratzinger (aka "Pope" Benedict XVI) in theory (e.g. Society of St. Pius X) or in fact (e.g. Society of St. Peter, and other so-called "Indult" groups permitted by Modernist Rome) as Successor of St. Peter in my definition of Traditionalist Catholic.
  3. The Vatican II religion is of man-made origin. It is pure Modernist heresy condemned by Pope St. Pius X, and Counterfeit "Catholicism." The only valid sacraments they possess are Baptism (in most cases), and Matrimony (where no bogus "annulments", i.e. divorces, have been granted).
  4. I welcome both comment and debate. "The Truth shall set you free," as Our Lord told us. However all comments and debate must be both free from ad hominem attacks and charitable in tone. I will always respond in like manner.
To have actual communion with an antipope, at least from Paul VI to Francis, is belong to a false sect and forfeit all right to the name Catholic. To consider Francis as pope but to pick and choose what you will and won't follow (SSPX) is to have an un-Catholic schismatic attitude (schismatic in theory, but not in actuality, as there is no pope).  As the erudite Fr. Cekada has written, "All Traditionalists are sedevacantist, some just don't realize it yet!"

 As a means to proselytize, when someone asks me my religion, I reply that I'm a Traditionalist. They ask the inevitable follow-up question every single time: "What's a Traditionalist?" Then I can tell them that it refers to a True Catholic in this time of sedevacante, which engenders even more queries! If I were to say, "I'm Catholic," they would think I belong to the local Vatican II sect parish--end of discussion and the chance for me to plant the seeds of the Faith.

As far as "venial sin" is concerned, I'd like to see where, in any pre-Vatican II theology manual, such a case as I have just described could be deemed "sin" at all on any Catholic principles.

And what if an atheist sees that Bergoglio preaches against Catholic dogmas and isn't Pope? How can you deny him the name "Sedevacantist" when he professes "Sede vacante"?

Obviously, you claim for "Sedevacantist" more than this term has.

Therefore, "Sedevacantist" ??? "Catholic", NOT =.

The part about an atheist being a sedevacantist really made me wince. Sedevacantists are distinguished from Eastern Orthodox schismatics (actually heretics since 1870, since they all deny the dogma of papal primacy and infallibility) because we believe in the See of Peter and its primacy and the infallibility of the office. We do not accept the claim of any post-Vatican II "pope" including the current Jorge Bergoglio (aka "Pope" Francis) that they occupy that office since they are manifest heretics.

 An atheist does not believe in God, so he denies the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If Christ is not God, He did not found the Church with the pope as the visible head on earth. Since an atheist necessarily denies the institution of the papacy, he can no more be deemed a sedevacantist than the Greek Orthodox. This assertion of an "atheistic sedevacantist" belies a poor theological understanding of the issue. A sedevacantist is a True Catholic when the theology is properly understood.

And you must give a single reply when asked about your religion. If you reply “I'm a Sedevacantist.” you have replaced traditional, complete and sufficient term “Catholic” with novel, incomplete and insufficient term “Sedevacantist”. Would any reasonable Catholic do that?

I do not call myself a sedevacantist, nor have I done so on this blog without important qualifications to make a point. I call myself a Traditionalist, as described above, for the reasons I already enumerated. Traditionalist better encompasses what Catholics hold onto in this age of apostasy, and when properly understood, entails sedevacantism. 

I believe you have had good intention and have done everything to preach the truth but even in spite of that you have obviously grievously erred.

I, too, believe you to be a man of goodwill, John. But I hope I have proved to you that I have not erred at all, let alone "greviously."

In all Catholic charity I beseech you that you repent, publish this to correct public scandal due to the error and from now on you use only terms "Catholic" and "Christian" for those who profess the only true faith.
Once more, I have nothing from which I must repent. I will continue to use the terms as I have since this blog's inception with no scandal caused and no apologies necessary. As to the term "Christian," couldn't someone who says they are "Christian" be mistaken for a Protestant or Eastern Orthodox? You would have to use it in conjunction with "Catholic." Christian will not automatically give rise to the same probing questions as will Traditionalist.

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but let's not sully the name "Catholic" by having others associate us with the stench of heresy emanating from Bergoglio's Vatican II sect.


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