The first Traditionalist web site "Traditio" (www.traditio.com) is problematic. While "the Fathers" who run the site are to be commended for exposing much of the Vatican II sect's dogmatic and moral failings, they miss the mark. Traditio began on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29, 1994. It is run by "Frs" Morrison and Adamson, whose ordinations are dubious. It seems they derive from a bishop of the Old Catholic sect. Old Catholics, separated by their heresy of rejecting papal infallibility in 1870 after Vatican Council I, have valid orders in certain places in Europe, but in America and elsewhere their ordination ceremonies have been substantially altered so as to cast serious doubt upon them. Add to that their ordinations and consecrations of the canonically unfit, and the doubt becomes even more pronounced.
Not to worry, however. They will assure you that they were validly ordained, even as they refuse to name their ordaining bishop, and if you e-mail them that question they refuse to respond. I actually spoke with "Fr" Morrison and he told me not to worry over the validity of priestly orders, because what really matters is if the "priest" offers a reverent Traditional Mass. Unfortunately, if his orders are invalid, the Mass is null and void, no matter how beautifully "offered." Traditio offers a directory of Traditional Mass chapels and churches throughout the U.S., but will include SSPX, Vatican II "Motu Masses", and FSSP "Masses" along with independents, CMRI, and SSPV. The CMRI, SSPV, and most independents get "smiley faces" next to their contact info, while the others get angry red devil-like faces. So, why include them?
Well, in Traditio land, if valid orders make no difference, why not include them? Most disturbingly, they view sedevacantism as an academic question; much like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They have often made the bold (and quite unsubstantiated) assertion that "most Catholics before Vatican II didn't even know the name of the pope." (Maybe someday their version of reality will come out on Blu-Ray so we can all enjoy it as much as they ostensibly do).
In their post of May 6, 2013, the "Fathers" rightly mark the passing of Mr. Patrick Henry Omlor. (See my post doing likewise). They make the following statement:
Contrary to what you will read in such ignorant sites as "Wikipedia," Omlor was not a "sede-vacantist." His works have far more impact that picayune theological disputes about whether the clearly unCatholic post-Vatican II popes are technically valid or not. No, Omlor's well-argued position was that the Newchurch of the New Order sect, which was officially implemented under the Newpapacy of Paul VI-Montini (not John XXIII as many wrongly believe), proved that Newchurch's very "sacraments," particularly its "eucharist," are invalid under undisputed Catholic theological principles. If the New Order sect doesn't have true sacraments, any disputes, sede-vacantist or otherwise, over its Newpopes are unimportant, from a practical point of view. Omlor's arguments proved that, whoever the Newpopes may or may not be, the Newchurchers are indisputably munching on invalid cookies!
Well, yes and no. Yes, the Vatican II sect has no valid Eucharist. Yes, wikipedia is not to be trusted, but Mr. Omlor was a sedevacantist, and proud of it too--it was not a "picayune theological dispute" about "technical validity" of popes. As a matter of fact "the Fathers" contention that "If the New Order sect doesn't have true sacraments, any disputes, sede-vacantist (sic) or otherwise, over its Newpopes are unimportant from a practical point of view" shows quite the opposite.
1. The fact that the Vatican II sect has no valid sacraments, means that they did not come from the Church, but from apostates who lost all authority from the pope on down to the bishops.
The Catholic Faith does not admit of degrees. It is by nature integral, since it proceeds from the authority of God and is believed on the authority of God. It therefore cannot admit of exceptions. If there is the slightest taint of heresy in a doctrinal or moral teaching, in worship, or in discipline, then it is not Catholic.
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum).
2) .It is impossible to recognize the pope and reject his supreme authority and prerogatives. As Bishop Sanborn rightly notes:
Papal authority is infallible in teaching faith and morals, even in the exercise of the ordinary universal magisterium, and is infallible in matters of worship and discipline, inasmuch as it cannot prescribe anything sinful, heretical, or harmful to souls in these matters. The recognition of papal authority in Paul VI or John Paul II involves automatically the recognition that Vatican II is free from doctrinal error, and that the Novus Ordo liturgy and sacraments, as well as the 1983 Code of Canon Law contain no doctrinal error nor anything which is sinful or harmful to souls. The worst that could be said about these things, if they are admitted to have proceeded from true papal authority, is that they may be imprudent, perhaps less aesthetic, or in some way extrinsically repugnant. They must be admitted to be intrinsicallyCatholic, perfect, and conducive to eternal salvation. Pope Pius VI declared“false, rash, scandalous, pernicious, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Church and to the Spirit of God, by Whom it is ruled, at least erroneous,” the proposition that the Church could prescribe some discipline which would be false or harmful (Denz. 1578). Pope Pius IX excoriated those who would recognize his authority on the one hand, but ignore his discipline on the other:
What good is it to proclaim aloud the dogma of the supremacy of St. Peter and his successors? What good is it to repeat over and over the declarations of faith in the Catholic Church and of obedience to the Apostolic See when actions give the lie to these fine words? Moreover, is not rebellion rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that obedience is regarded as a duty? Again, does not the authority of the Holy See extend, as a sanction, to the measures which We have been obliged to take, or is it enough to be in communion of faith with this See without adding the submission of obedience, — a thing which cannot be maintained without damaging the Catholic Faith? In fact, Venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, it is a question of recognizing the power (of this See), even over your churches, not merely in what pertains to faith, but also in what concerns discipline. He who would deny this is a heretic; he who recognizes this and obstinately refuses to obey is worthy of anathema. ( Pope Pius IX, Quae in Patriarchatu, Sept. 1, 1876, to the clergy and faithful of the Chaldean rite)
3. Sedevacantism is the only logical and NECESSARY conclusion. If you accept John XXIII, PaulVI, JPI, JPII, Benedict XVI, and Francis as valid popes they MUST BE OBEYED and CAN'T give anything but true doctrine and sacraments. If they are not popes, then you must expose and denounce them. There is no middle ground and your salvation depends on it.
"Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff" (Ex Cathedra Apostolic Constitution "Unam Sanctum" of Pope Boniface VIII, 1302).
To once again quote Bishop Sanborn:
"But then where is the visible Church? It is realized in those who publicly adhere to the Catholic Faith, and who at the same time look forward to the election of a Roman Pontiff. What about the bishops? This system (sedevacantism) does not necessarily strip every bishop of authority, but only those who publicly adhere to the new religion. But even if it did strip every one of them of their authority, sedevacantism does not intrinsically alter the nature of the Catholic Church, but leaves to the Providence of God the restoration of order. Those systems, on the other hand, which are fearful of cutting themselves off from the modernist hierarchy for their inability to see a solution without it, actually combine the Catholic Church with the defection of Modernism, which are two things absolutely incompatible, as incompatible as God and the devil. Those systems cannot possibly be correct which recognize the papacy of conciliar “popes”. Sedevacantism may lead you to mystery, but it does not lead you to contradiction."
Nor does it lead you to ridiculous assertions that whether or not we have a pope is no big deal, and the papacy is not important, so just find a nice "traditional" chapel and all will be well. Sorry "Fathers." The question of sedevacantism is NOT "picayune."
As a matter of fact, and ironically, the question of a valid pope is one of the antonyms of picayune---"Catholic."