Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Cure For Sedevacantism?

 A reader left some interesting questions/observations at my last post of 2/16/14. It involves sedevacantists and electing the next pope to end the interregnum. I will reproduce his comments and add my response in red. I would also like to direct the reader to my post of 5/10/13, "Attempting To Replace The Heretical With The Delusional," as I partially addressed that issue there and will reprint parts of it.

My reader comments: This is a serious question. Have sedevacantists (outside the lunatic fringe) ever considered electing their own pope? I don't want to be flippant but the sedevacantists seem not to have the courage of their convictions. After all, according to the sedes, the papal claimants and hierarchy are outside the church. Aren't those still within the church then obligated to elect a pope? They seem to be waiting for a sign or divine intervention, but you know what Our Lord said about those who "seeketh after a sign". The great western schism is always held up as a scandal, but may it really be the proper model for handling such a situation? After all, a true claimant eventually emerged. Why don't the sedes lead a movement to elect a true pope? How could the Almighty be against such a thing if the sede claimant (1) held and defended the faith; and (2) dedicated himself to saving those who have been led into error? By failing to advance a rival claimant to contest the conciliar pope, the sedes seem to be making the conciliar pope's job of destroying the faith much easier. 

The problem with this age of near universal apostasy is that there are no fast and sure answers on how to get out of it and bring back a true pontiff. As Fr. Cekada has written:
 IF THE POST-VATICAN II popes are not true popes, how might the Church one day get a true pope again? Here are some theories:1. Direct Divine Intervention. This scenario is found in the writingsof some approved mystics.2. The Material/Formal Thesis. This holds that should a post-Vatican II pope publicly renounce the heresies of the post-Conciliar Church, he would automatically become a true pope.3. An Imperfect General Council. The theologian Cajetan (1469–1534) and others teach that, should the College of Cardinals become extinct, the right to elect a pope would devolve to the clergy of Rome, and then to the universal Church. (de Comparatione13, 742, 745)Each of these seems to present some difficulties. But this should not be surprising, because the precise solution to an unusual problem in the Church cannot always be predicted beforehand.This can be seen from the following comment in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia: “No canonical provisions exist regulatingthe authority of the College of Cardinals sede Romanâ impeditâ, i.e. in case the pope became insane, or personally a heretic; insuch cases it would be necessary to consult the dictates of right reason and the teachings of history.” (“Cardinal,” CE 3:339) 

Sedevacantists are basically divided into three "camps" so to speak, as to how the pontiff can be brought back:
1. The Divine Interventionists, who are waiting for a miracle from God.
2. The Sedeprivationists who hold to the material/formal thesis. Accordingly, Francis is a material pope, not a formal one. What this means is that he is a place holder, like being elected U.S. president by the electoral college, but impeded from taking the oath of office. You would become president if you could take the oath. Analogously, if Bergoglio were to publicly  abjure his heresies and embrace the Catholic Faith (then getting a valid ordination and consecration from a Traditionalist bishop) he would formally become Pope.
3. The Sedevacantists proper.  This would include those, like myself, who aren't convinced by the material/formal thesis of the sedeprivationists, and think an imperfect general council is the way to go.

 Now I'm sure my reader can see that the problem would lie in getting sedeprivationists (e.g. Bishop Sanborn embraces this view) and divine interventionists to work with sedevacantists proper on an imperfect general council. God has His reasons for doing what He does and His ways are not ours. It will take time to get a general consensus on what to do. In the meantime we hold fast to the Faith. 

Next, my reader says:A few more observations. The sedes (and SSPX for that matter) are always claiming that the conciliar popes and hierarchy believe, teach and do things the church has always condemned. As a result, the sedes (but not the SSPX) conclude that the popes and hierarchy are heretics and outside the church. But I can say the same thing about the sedes! The sedes (and SSPX) have adopted a form of church government the church has never used before - essentially the orthodox model where you have a collection of autocephalous entities that do not take orders from one another. I can say that adopting such a model is heretical - the church is a monarchy not a loose confederation. Those who do not recognize the conciliar pope either explicitly (the sedes) or implicitly (SSPX) are obligated, it would seem to me, to come together and elect their own pope and then, the hard part - TO OBEY HIM. Otherwise, the sedes and SSPX are using a form of church governance NOT instituted by Our Lord. Further, if the sedes and SSPX did elect a Pope and the election was in accordance with the will of the Almighty, those in the conciliar church would be obligated to acknowledge the sede and SSPX pope as the true pope and the conciliar pope for the heretical antipope they always have been, How can a true pope ever emerge if those who hold the faith don't advance one of their own into the fray?

 Once more, it is vital to have a deep knowledge of the Faith in these unprecedented times. The SSPX, who believe that Francis is pope cannot "elect" a "rival pope." There can only be one visible Head of the Church of Christ. To attemp to elect another would be admitting to electing an antipope. As to the charge that we sedevacantists have set up a "church" akin to the Eastern schismatics, this is simply false as proven by the teaching of the Church Herself. According to theologian Dorsch:

  “The Church therefore is a society that is essentially monarchical. But this does not prevent the Church, for a short time after the death of a pope, or even for many years, from remaining deprived of her head. [vel etiam per plures annos capite suo destituta manet]. Her monarchical form also remains intact in this state.…
 “Thus the Church is then indeed a headless body.… Her monarchical form of government remains, though then in a different way — that is, it remains incomplete and to be completed. The ordering of the whole to submission to her Primate is present, even though actual submission is not…
 “For this reason, the See of Rome is rightly said to remain after the person sitting in it has died — for the See of Rome consists essentially in the rights of the Primate.
      “These rights are an essential and necessary element of the Church. With them, moreover, the Primacy then continues, at least morally. The perennial physical presence of the person of the head, however, [perennitas autem physica personis principisis not so strictly necessary.” (de Ecclesia 2:196–7)
It is the teaching of the Church that she can be deprived of a visible Head for for many years and still Her monarchical structure remains.
 In summation, it is prudent to wait and discern the Will of God with patience and in keeping with Church teaching. As I will be writing about in the near future, it is prudent for Traditionalist Bishops to begin talking to each other in some sort of synod and try to work out these problems. Trying to "advance one of our own into the fray" without taking however long as necessary to find the Will of God will give us a dubious "pope" and a cure that is worse than the disease. 


  1. This call for sedevacantists to elect their own pope began a few years ago. Lately, I have noticed it is catching on. Beware. There is a reason for it. What the real reason is, I am not certain and can only speculate. I will keep my speculations to myself.

  2. It has always been my understanding that the sedevacantism was a possible answer to the crisis. There is no one sedevacantist, be he priest or bishop, who has the authority to definitively declare the See of Peter vacant. With this in mind, wouldn't it make more sense to let God handle this? If you go ahead with the election of a pope, you will become the laughingstock of the church. I tell you this because you are all close to my heart, and I know you are all trying your best to maneuver your Catholic way through this mess.

    1. I am not advocating the election of a pope. I am advocating some sort of Traditionalist synod of Bishops to see if certain issues in this time of sedevacante can be worked out. This, I believe, will help us better discern the Will of God as to what action (if any) should/must be taken.

  3. Some more comments:

    (1) I had already read your prior piece (I have read most prior blog pieces on your site), and that is why I stated that this was not a “flippant” suggestion from the “lunatic” fringe, but rather addressed to all catholics – sede, SSPX and conciliar – who have concluded (as in the case of sedes) or suspect (as in the case of the SSPX and conciliar) that the pope and hierarchy have defected. Regarding your statement that the SSPX can't elect a pope because they already recognize the current one, I assumed that a reader could figure out that since the SSPX recognize the Pope but don't obey him, to them he really isn't the pope. Therefore I suggested that the SSPX take an honest position and come together in association with the sedes to elect a single pope.

    (2) The main problem I have with the arguments about why we can't elect a true pope is that the arguments are unpersuasive. These are unprecedented times – the church is apparently controlled by heretics, sodomites, hirelings, cowards, and the irredeemably dull. But the “mere” fact that the church is controlled by heretics, sodomites, hirelings, cowards, and the dull isn't what makes this unprecedented – it is that the current batch of heretics, sodomites, hirelings, cowards and the dull are using the levers of the church to corrupt the faith. This has been going on for a long time. I was shocked to learn that although each of j xxiii, p vi, jp ii and benedict had a cloud over their head for disciplinary or doctrinal reasons they were still elected pope! Now we have the college of cardinals obstinately electing an out-an-out modernist heretic in francis. The hierarchy is apparently beyond redemption. In this situation, anything should be on the table.

    In addition, this has persisted for upwards of fifty years because at least two leaders of the church did not follow through with the courage of their convictions. Both Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer recognized the conciliar church for the false church that it is but only took half-steps to combat it. Their spiritual descendants in the SSPX up to this day have been reluctant to use words like "heretic" and "apostate" to describe those in the hierarchy of the conciliar church. They should have dialed the burner up to full boil as soon as they saw the drift of the church – after all, souls were, and are, at stake.

    Further, many have likened this situation to that of Our Lord's passion. I reject this as a false analogy and excuse-making. Our Lord, although betrayed by one of his own – was not crucified by Judas – but by Romans. Romans were outsiders and continued to persecute the church for hundreds of years. The present situation is not like that of Our Lord or the early church. There is no outside power murdering true popes or preventing them from being elected at this point. No, the current situation has happened as a result of those within the church and is self-inflicted.

    1. I agree that the position of the SSPX is both un-Catholic and contrary to the manifest weight of the credible evidence. Good luck in convincing Bp. Fellay and company.

  4. Some more comments:

    (3) Regarding the academic propositions for handling the situation, e.g., divine intervention, “material pope”, etc. none of them persuade me.

    “Divine intervention” seems blasphemous to me. After all, it assumes that Our Lord did not provide the faithful with enough tools to govern His church here on earth. I assume he provided all the tools we need. Further, Our Lord always emphasized in these situations what was lacking. For example, Our Lord said those that seeketh after a sign or divine intervention were effectively members of an evil and adulterous generation (i.e., faithless), whereas those who have faith can move mountains.

    Fleshing this argument out further, with respect to faith, we are taught that Our Lord delivered the faith to the apostles whole and complete. Those doctrines that have developed over time are not new or fundamental, but really only implicit or suggested by those truths contained in the deposit of faith. Hence, nothing Our Lord delivered in the nature of faith or belief can be said to be lacking in some essential part or incomplete.

    In like manner to the delivery of the faith, Our Lord also instituted disciplines, a model for transmission of authority and a model for church governance. It would seem to me the phenomenon of heretical popes persisting for a long time begs at least two questions, one of which can be rejected out of hand. The first question is did Our Lord not anticipate our current hour of need and not provide the faithful with disciplines and a model of governance that could be used in the current hour? I reject this as essentially blasphemous – Our Lord would never do such a thing! The second question is have the faithful properly used the means given to us by Our Lord to rectify this situation – since the first question I reject as blasphemous, we the faithful must be at fault.

    Regarding the material/formal dichotomy, this also is unpersuasive. The Pope is selected to serve the faithful by being, among other things, the proximate rule of faith. If he is not only not the proximate rule of faith, but an out-an-out heretical stumbling block we are under no obligation whatsoever to accept this travesty. In fact, we are obliged to recognize him for the heretic he is, and in no manner to obey him. It also seems ridiculous that Our Lord would expect the faithful to recognize an heretical Pope as a pope in any manner whatsoever. After all, several biblical passages come to mind – not the least of which is “the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” Our Lord instituted the papacy to serve the faithful, not for the faithful to render service in the manner of hollow allegiance to a false claimant who destroys the faith at every turn. The only “service” the faithful should render to a heretical antipope is to run him out of the Vatican in the manner of Our Lord cleansing the Temple.

    (4) Regarding the pope as being the proximate rule of faith, I have heard the sedes castigate the SSPX repeatedly with this formulation. If the SSPX recognize the pope as the head of the church, they are obligated to obey him and believe what he believes since the pope is the proximate rule of faith. Now, this has been repeated by the sedes so much, I fear that it may become an indictment at their own particular judgments. “During life, you recognized repeatedly the pope as being the proximate rule of faith for the faithful, but you obstinately resisted providing a true pope to guide the faithful”.

    (5) Exactly how unexpected is the eventuality of a heretical pope? Not so much, after all, since at least one pope and several doctors of the church recognized that this could happen. Enough discussion of this situation has occurred that the Catholic Encyclopedia in the section on Councils states that a Council can depose a Pope for heresy.

    1. Your point # 3 is mistaken. Several approved mystics believed in Divine Intervention as a way to end a period of sedevacante. It can therefore not be blasphemous. Your conjecture that Our Lord would not provide us with all the tools to govern the Church is just that--conjecture. Who is to say that one tool will be the intervention of the Almighty? To claim limitations on how God can choose to restore His Church, when the Church has not definitively taught anything about this subject, seems blasphemous.
      You do not seem to grasp the sedeprivationist theory. Under sedeprivationism, Francis is not the pope, merely a placeholder for the pope--in a manner of speaking. He is not to be obeyed, revered, or have his name in the Canon of the Mass. He is not the "proximate rule of faith"--only the possibility of becoming such should he convert to Catholicism, abjure his errors and receive a valid ordination/consecration. Those who hold to this theory would not wish to elect a pope because the only way to get one back is by the conversion of the antipope, so no valid election is possible.In a sense every non-catholic is a potential Catholic convert, so it's not logically impossible for Bergoglio to convert like Saul into St. Paul (although I'm not holding my breath for that one).We did not "refuse to provide a true pope." Please tell me the correct procedure as TAUGHT BY THE CHURCH. It is very sparse and nebulous when spoken of at all. In a footnote, theologian Van Noort, discusses (written in 1950s) what would happen should an atom bomb be placed in the Vatican killing the pope and all his cardinals--but he delineates no process for replacement. A council can depose a pope for heresy? No. This is the error of Gallicanism. Please provide me with the relevant citation of this alleged article and I'll investigate. It's common knowledge that, speking of proceedure, the First See is judged by no one. We can recognize that Francis is not pope, but we can not formally declare such is the case. If the Church one day returns to normalcy, a future General Council under a True Pope may declare--in retrospect--that John XXIII through Francis were not popes, but no living pope may be deposed. There's an old adage,"What you don't know can hurt you a whole lot." Not knowing exactly how to end the interregnum and proceeding with some "make-it-up-as-you-go-along" conclave will do far more harm than good, and may result in yet another papal phony that causes even more problems. I understand your wanting a pope. I want that too. But in God's good time, not ours. It's possible that we might never get back a pope, and Christ will return. Did Christ not say, "When the Son of Man returns will He find any Faith on Earth?"

  5. Regarding item (3), the point I was making was that I assume the Almighty gave us everything we need to remedy the situation IF we have sufficient faith. I believe it would be blasphemous to say that Our Lord would not provide a generation with an especially strong faith the means to avoid a situation where the organization that calls itself "the Roman Catholic Church" is really a false church that destroys faith.

    On the other hand, it perfectly synchronizes with the teachings of the Lord and the mystics that a generation with a particularly weak faith cannot escape a situation of widespread apostasy. Even though Our Lord provided everything that generation needed to avoid widespread apostasy, their faith was so weak they could not avail themselves of the means provided by Our Lord to avoid the situation.

    In other words, you assume that my insight is necessarily incompatible with those of the mystics or Our Lord. It is attributed to Our Lady of La Salette that "Rome would lose the faith and become the seat of the anti-christ". The necessary condition for the coming of the anti-christ is the loss of faith. Further, Our Lord himself questioned whether he would find faith when he returned perhaps meaning that the faith would be at such low ebb it would be difficult to find it.

    If that is true, and we don't want to suffer the ignominy of living in that generation that was so lacking in faith the anti-christ inaugurated his reign, we had better start praying for leaders of great faith. Several come to mind, like St Athanasius, St. Benedict, St. Dominic, and Pope St. Pius V. Each of these men of great faith were able to accomplish great things in periods where many had lost the faith, or the faith was under attack. Hence, we should follow the example of these men and act, and not wait for divine intervention. It is better to have tired in good faith to remedy the situation, than to do nothing. After all, Our Lord has called us to action in this world to contend with it, not to retreat from it with a defeatist attitude.

    Regarding sedeprivationism, that theory seems to assume that there will be a false claimant who those with a relatively strong faith will be able to recognize as such, but those with a relatively weak faith will be misled by and they will believe him to be a valid claimant. Those with a relatively strong faith will tolerate the situation of those with relatively weaker faith being led to their doom because electing a true pope who might prevent this is worse than the damnation of those with a relatively weak faith who are easily misled.

    Thus, the sedeprivationists seem to implicitly assume that trying to elect a true pope might cost them salvation so they won't risk it and they allow those who are easily misled to continue to be easily misled by the false claimant. This entire way of thinking seems very selfish and self-concerned. Note the examples of the saints mentioned above who contended with heretics in an attempt to save souls from damnation, particularly St. Athanasius and St. Dominic.

    Further, the possibility that an heretical pope may abjure his heresies and convert is all fine and good. But a period of long apostasy and misuse of the papal office is hardly the qualification of a pope. As far as I'm concerned such a pope has disqualified himself from any leadership position. Just to remind you, St. Paul was not made pope.

    Regarding my mention of the Catholic Encyclopedia, here is the citation:

    Regarding your mention of the "first see is judged by no one" that is a conclusion of canon law - the law of the church. The pope is above canon law and all that. But the Pope is not above divine law. A pope who professes a false faith violates divine law and places himself outside the church. As Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum, it is absurd to believe that someone who is outside the church can command within the church.

  6. You are correct that "the first see is judged by no one is a proceedural law of the Church to which the pope is not subject. Equally correct that a pope loses his office by DIVINE and not ecclesiastical law. I've said this many times on my posts since I started this blog in 2010. However, the idea of an ecumenical council deposing a current pope is heresy, and your citation confirms what I said, to quote your source.....
    "A council not only acting independently of the Vicar of Christ, but sitting in judgment over him, is unthinkable in the constitution of the Church; in fact, such assemblies have only taken place in times of great constitutional disturbances, when either there was no pope or the rightful pope was indistinguishable from antipopes. In such abnormal times the safety of the Church becomes the supreme law, and the first duty of the abandoned flock is to find a new shepherd, under whose direction the existing evils may be remedied." We do not have competeing claimants to the throne of St. Peter, or a case where there is universal consensus that there is no pope. As your cite says that a council would sit in judgement on a pope is "unthinkable." An imperfect general council to fill the vacancy would be a great grace---but can you cite the authoratative steps that need to be taken, as defined by the Church, to do so? If not, then we must wait and be prudent until God reveals His Will. As you further explained your comments on this generation's loss of Faith, I'm in general agreement with you.

    1. I'm not sure you read the entire article in the encyclopedia. The portion you refer to assumes normal times in which, I agree, that it is unthinkable that a council could sit in judgment of a pope who is neither a heretic nor a false claimant.

      However, towards the end of this article in the Encyclopedia it states the following:

      "This question is a legitimate one (can a council depose a pope), for in the history of the Church circumstances have arisen in which several pretenders contended for papal authority and councils were called upon to remove certain claimants. The Councils of Constance and Basle, and Gallican theologians, hold that a council may depose a pope on two main grounds:

      - ob mores (for his conduct or behaviour, e.g. his resistance to the synod)
      - ob fidem (on account of his faith or rather want of faith, i.e. heresy).

      In point of fact, however, heresy is the only legitimate ground. For a heretical pope has ceased to be a member of the Church, and cannot, therefore, be its head. A sinful pope, on the other hand, remains a member of the (visible) Church and is to be treated as a sinful, unjust ruler for whom we must pray, but from whom we may not withdraw our obedience."

      This portion of the article seems to confirm that a council can depose an heretical pope.

      By the way, Novus Ordo Watch published an excellent piece by Bishop Sanborn today. The reason that I have been asking a simple question - can the faithful elect a true pope when it becomes clear the hierarchy and pope have defected - is because I take seriously the point Bishop Sanborn makes about private judgment and sifting the teachings of a semi-faithful (I used this oxymoron on purpose) pope. Private judgment is a heresy. How do the faithful avoid the heresy of private judgment when the pope publicly professes heresy? Bishop Sanborn makes a strong case that the proper Catholic response is to reject the pope in totality and not to try to sift his teachings to accept that which is orthodox and to reject that which is heretical. The question does not end there, though. If the we reject the Pope as a heretic, aren't we then forced to become our own popes? How do we avoid the heresy of private judgment in such a situation?

      Going forward, would Our Lord really expect us NOT, at some point, to conclude that with the appearance of a Bergoglio - enough is enough? Would Our Lord damn us for wanting a true pope and a living proximate rule of faith? By so desiring it seems that we are truly honoring the spirit in which he instituted the papal office.

    2. I read the article about popes and Councils and it does not stand for the proposition of Gallicanism. The very next paragraph after the ones you quote clearly states,
      "But the question assumes another aspect when a number of claimants pretend to be the rightful occupants of the Apostolic See, and the right of each is doubtful. In such a case the council, according to Bellarmine (Disputationes, II xix, de Conciliis) has a right to examine the several claims and to depose the pretenders whose claims are unfounded. This was done at the Synod of Constance. But during this process of examination the synod is not yet Ecumenical; it only becomes so the moment the rightful pope assents to its proceedings. It is evident that this is no instance of a legitimate pope being deposed by a legitimate council, but simply the removal of pretender by those on whom he wishes to impose will.

      Not even John XXIII could have been deposed at Constance, had his election not been doubtful and himself suspected of heresy. John XXIII, moreover, abdicated and by his abdication made his removal from the Apostolic See lawful. In all controversies and complaints regarding Rome the rule laid down by the Eighth General Synod should never be lost sight of: "If a universal synod be assembled and any ambiguity or controversy arise concerning the Holy Church of the Romans, the question should be examined and solved with due reverence and veneration, in a spirit of mutual helpfulness; no sentence should be audaciously pronounced against the supreme pontiff of the elder Rome" (can. xxi. Hefele, IV, 421-22)." Furthermore theologian Parente states,
      (The four articles of Gallicanism)
      "...(2) The pope is subordinate to General Councils........These four articles, which were immediately CONDEMNED BY THE CHURCH.." (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology pg. 109, (1951).
      Such opinion was also expressly condemned by Pope Alexander VIII in 1690, See Denzinger at para. #1322ff.
      Until you can cite the exact procedure of electing a pope in these times AS DEFINED BY THE CHURCH we must be prudent and wait for Morally certain judgement as to how (if at all) to proceed. As to the "private judgement" charge--see my posts from 2010, when I had a debate of sorts with a former Vatican II "priest" (or at least seminarian), Mr. Peter Gaffney about "The False Charge of Private Interpretation."

  7. I'm the author of the first two comments, and I wanted to thank you for your reasoned and charitable responses to comments on your blog.


  8. Thank you June. It is our duty as Traditionalists to be charitable in imitation of Our Lord. These are trying times, and we need to hear each other's arguments without being rude, and praying that the Holy Ghost will lead us to the right way to go. I have particular disdain for Traditionalists (and the apologists for the Vatican II sect) who have nothing to offer those with whom they disagree other than thier personal attacks--ad hominem arguments, which are really no argument at all. This blog will always be rational and charitable. Please keep me in your prayers.

  9. I assure you a daily remembrance in my prayers, and I ask that you pray for those of us who are still trying to maneuver our way through this fog.


  10. Your thoughts on "pope" Michael?

  11. I wrote about this sad character on my post of 5/10/13, "Attempting To Replace The Heretical With The Delusional." It was my response to the so-called "conclavists and mysticalists" who try to "elect a pope" with no clue as to what the theologians taught about the subject.
    I address "Pope" Michael" in the following paragraph:

    "The frauds of the conclavist/mysticalist movement can be spotted in their own heretical positions and/or absurd situations. "Pope" Michael (David Bawden, claiming papacy since 1990) was "elected" by six people; his parents, himself and three neighbors who were "the only viable Catholics remaining in the world." He lives at home with his mother on the farm. He claims to have been ordained and consecrated a bishop, but he refuses to name the alleged bishop who ordained and consecrated him. There is a documentary on his sad life you can view on YouTube."
    In my opinion, the man is mentally ill. Sadly, even he has a better grasp of Catholicism than Bergoglio.
    God pity us.

  12. I want to thank you for this article. I have been researching this topic and have been confused about a great many things. I have long considered the theological possibility of sedevante but have not, until recently, considered myself holding that position. I appreciate the breakdown of "camps" as you call them. I know a few people of each camp and now their positions seem to make sense to me. I am not certain yet which solution to this problem or which camp I would consider myself a part of. But this position of sedevacante seems the only logical one for me at this moment.

  13. Glad I was God's instrument to help you in these difficult times of near universal apostasy.

  14. The longer it goes on,the less sense it all makes.We traditional catholics are starting to look protestant.Each group celebrates different holy week's,different holy masses (meaning different Missal's from different era's)etc..I still hold the sede position but it looks bad to outsiders.
    I can understand where they're coming from when they ask "So,you're not one faith united,just a bunch of different groups doing everything differently from each other?How you any different from the novus ordo or protestants?"
    Then they quote "one faith,one lord,one baptism" (they understand we're catholic,they just notice the extreme diversity amongst the traditional groups) It hurts our cause more with arguing & fighting.The SSPV doesn't recognize The Thuc line,the other groups don't recognize the SSPV,Etc..
    It's a mess and it's not good.
    Even the SSPX split and that's a disaster to begin with.