I have recently watched a YouTube video by one Mr. Christopher McCarthy, a Vatican II sect apologist who goes by the moniker "The Marian Catechist." He puts up many videos, however the one I watched was entitled, "The Error of Sedevacantism." You may watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OloVE_TuqkQ. Mr. McCarthy is smug, condescending, and obviously doesn't understand the things upon which he pontificates. Nothing was stated as to his theological education or occupation, and he presented himself as a layman. He makes glaring errors much akin to those who claim that (a) Traditionalist priests and bishops are valid but have no Ordinary Jurisdiction so you can't go to them, and (b) sedevacantism must be wrong because "we can't get a pope again, or we have to elect one ourselves." I begin to wonder if such people are really that culpably ignorant, or if they have an intent to deceive souls. I will address these (real) errors in this post.
Mr. McCarthy informs us that "most sedevacantists believe that there has been no pope since the death of Pope Paul VI in 1978." I don't know of any Traditionalists who believe this, except for the Palmar de Troya conclavist-cult which claimed Clemente Domingues was "mystically crowned Pope Gregory XVII by Jesus Christ" upon the death of Paul VI. Most sedevacantists (myself included) believe that the papacy has been unoccupied since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958; it is morally certain that the Chair of Peter has been unoccupied since the signing of the heretical document Lumen Gentium (with its false ecclesiology) by Paul VI on November 21, 1964. McCarthy then goes on to inform us that sedevacantists hold all popes since John XXIII to have been antipopes. True enough for the majority, but what about his prior statement concerning Paul VI? Does he even bother to check his research or examine his own videos prior to uploading them for the world to see?
He calls sedevacantism "one of the dumbest theological errors I have ever encountered." Why, you may ask? Due to it's "false premise" that Vatican II contained heresy. He cites Vatican II apologist Michael Voris as a "Traditionalist" (!) who says there are no heresies in Vatican II. The documents are merely "ambiguous" and can be twisted by "liberal bishops." Well, that certainly settles it, no? Voris is neither a Traditionalist, nor a theologian. Even so, I could once more show the glaring heresies contained in Vatican II, but there is no need. Let's suppose, ad arguendo, that the documents are merely ambiguous. That, in itself, is a defeater for McCarthy's case in defending Vatican II.
The Church teaches that God doesn't allow ambiguity to be taught by the Church!
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos,January 6, 1928:
"The teaching authority of the Church in the divine wisdom was constituted on Earth in order that the revealed doctrines might remain forever in tact and might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men." (Emphasis mine)
Pope Pius VI taught in Auctorum Fidei, of August 28, 1794:
"In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.
Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions, which are published in the common language for everyone's use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor St. Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged. The more freely We embraced a program of complete moderation, the more we foresaw. "(Emphasis mine)
This disposes with McCarthy's video quite easily. It is shoddy research coupled with sheer ignorance of Catholic theology. Now, on to the other two errors (not in McCarthy's video) about which I receive inquires or denouncements for not accepting them.
Traditionalist Clergy Lack Ordinary Jurisdiction So Stay Away
- There is no teaching (infallible or otherwise) that declares the Church can't exist without Ordinary Jurisdiction.
- Supplied jurisdiction is all that the Church needs to function in a time of emergency, such as we have now. We have at least two historical precedents for this fact: The Great Western Schism when a true pope was unrecognizable, yet bishops continued to be consecrated and act, and the interregnum from 11/29/1268 to 9/1/1271 (2 years and 10 months) between the death of Pope Clement IV and the election of Pope Gregory X. Several Diocesan Bishops died during this time. Ordinary jurisdiction can only be granted by the pope. However, nearby bishops consecrated a priest of the diocese to act with supplied jurisdiction (only supplying the sacraments) until the papacy could be restored. What happened when Pope Gregory X was elected? He praised the bishops who so acted (by consecrating those priests) thereby giving the people access to bishops and the sacraments. The bishops so consecrated, he ratified and then supplied them with Ordinary Jurisdiction.
How Can Sedevacantism Be True If We Are Left With No Way To Get A Pope?
Let me begin by stating that the answer is not as simple as getting someone elected by his mommy, daddy, and three other nice people on a farm in Kansas, as was the case with "Pope" Michael (David Bawden). If sedeprivationism was true, Bergoglio would need to publicly abjure his errors and get validly ordained/consecrated. The most probable way of restoring the papacy is an "imperfect General Council." Since all the validly appointed cardinals are deceased, there would need to be a rejection of the Vatican II sect as "Catholic." Some pre-Vatican II theologians pondered such a Council in the absence of cardinals. Indeed, theologian Van Noort pondered it as late as 1956 (See Dogmatic Theology 2: 276).
Theologian Cajetan wrote: "...by exception and by supplementary manner this power [electing a pope], corresponds to the Church and to the Council, either by absence of Cardinal Electors, or because they are doubtful, or the election itself is uncertain, as it happened at the time of the schism." (See De Comparatione Auctoritatis Papae et Concilii)
Theologian Billot wrote: "When it would be necessary to proceed with the election, if it is impossible to follow the regulations of papal law, as was the case during the Great Western Schism, one can accept, without difficulty, that the power of election could be transferred to a...Council...Because natural law prescribes that, in such cases, the power of a superior is passed to the immediate inferior because this is absolutely necessary for the survival of the society and to avoid the tribulations of extreme need." (See De Ecclesia Christi).
Then again, perhaps we are living in the end times, and the pope will not return. Who knows? Just remain in the state of Sanctifying Grace, and stay close to the Sacraments and Our Blessed Mother. Don't fall into the clutches of the Vatican II sect, or stay "Home Alone" because of those who either refuse to heed the truth through obstinacy, or desire your damnation through deceit.