Monday, November 10, 2014
In all my posts, I've never discussed the form of sedevacantism known as sedeprivationism (the thesis advanced by the late theologian Bp. Guerard Des Lauriers that the "seat is deprived" of a valid pope).
The most vocal and erudite proponent of the thesis is Bishop Donald Sanborn, who wrote a magnificent article about it. I just recently had the good fortune of reading it and was very impressed. As the article is a good ten pages long, I thought I would try to condense it down as concisely as possible and omit the theological jargon where feasible. In this way, I hope my readers will be better acquainted with Sedeprivationism which may very well prove to be the state the Church is in since the Great Apostasy of Vatican II.
1. The Roman Catholic Church is Indefectible.
This is a dogma of the Faith taught by all pre-Vatican II theologians. It means that the visible Church will endure until the end of the world, and that, right until the end of time, it will keep Christ's religion incorrupt. (See Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology 3:25).
2. A Heretic Can't Be Pope.
This is the universal teaching of the theologians as well as Pope Paul IV in Cum ex apostolatus. Public heresy automatically severs the heretic from membership in the Church, and if you are not a member of Christ's Mystical Body on earth, you cannot be the visible head of that Church. (See Fr. Cekada, Traditionalists, Infallibility, and the Pope for a complete explanation and list of citations. Available at www.traditional mass.org)
3. Vatican II and The Post-V2 "Popes" Teach Heresy.
The list here is endless. We could begin with Lumen Gentium claiming that the Church of Christ "subsists" in the Roman Catholic Church, rather than "is identical with," and continue right up to the present with Francis claiming, "There is no Catholic God," and atheists can go to Heaven. Those who wish to "recognize and resist" Frankie as pope, like the Society of St. Pius X, will often say that the pope has "no authority to change" the basic constitution of the Church. They have it backwards. The fact of the change means they had no authority. It was lost through heresy.
4. There Must Be Perpetual Successors To Saint Peter In The Primacy Given By Christ.
This was infallibly defined in 1870 by the Vatican Council. However, it does NOT mean there always has to be someone in the office. Theologians, such as Dorch, have clearly taught that there could be an interregnum of many, many years between popes. Having no pope does not mean we have no papacy.
Up to this point, sedevacantists, who hold that Francis is in no way the pope, agree with the sedeprivationists (hereinafter SP). The only difference between the two positions is how and why Francis is not the pope. Differing with the sedevacantists, SP hold Francis is a material, but not a formal pope. Read on to find out what this means.
5. There Is Such A Thing As Material Succession.
The Greek Orthodox have valid sacraments, which includes valid bishops. However, they do not have formal apostolic succession, only material secession. That is, they occupy the place of bishops(material)but lack all jurisdiction and authority (formal).
They have no legitimate right to the authority of the office of bishop, since they were designated by those who were legally excluded from the Church.
6. Vatican II "Popes" Have Material Succession.
Sedevacantists put the V2 "popes" in the same boat as the Greek Orthodox, they succeed materially and without formal, legitimate designation. SP say they also succeed materially, but they DO have legitimate designation. Both sides agree they lack all authority and jurisdiction and are, therefore, false popes.
7. Power To Designate VS. Power To Rule
Designation to power is different from the power to rule. The Electoral College elects the president, but the electors do not rule. The purpose of designation is to select someone to hold authority. However, someone merely designated holds no power to rule. The president-elect has been designated, but cannot make any presidential acts, like using the veto, until he takes the oath of office and assumes the mantle of authority to which he was lawfully designated. The president-elect is recognized as having the potential to rule, but he is not the president and not to be obeyed.
8. De Facto VS. De Jure
Someone can have a legal status (de jure) different from their actual status (de facto). A person can murder someone and be in fact a murderer, but if and until convicted, he does not have legal recognition as such. The converse is also true. Someone my be wrongly convicted of murder and have the legal status of a convicted killer, even though he remains innocent de facto.
9. Application To The Vatican II Sect.
The power to rule the Church comes directly from God. The power to designate the ruler is ecclesiastical; it comes from the Church. There was a time when Cardinals were not the method of choosing the next pope. The Church changed the manner of designation several times in history.
Since the profession of heresy by the hierarchy during Vatican II, the clerics lost all power to rule, but they retain the right to designate the ruler, since the Church never took that right away from the cardinals before the Great Apostasy. By Divine Law, heresy removes all power to rule, but not the power to designate the ruler.
The chosen heretic is pope-elect, but not the pope, because his profession of heresy prevents the authority from vesting. He has material succession, not formal, and holds the office of pope de jure, not de facto. In like manner, the president-elect can not receive the power to rule unless and until he takes the oath of office.
The false pope retains the ability to designate men who will, in turn, designate a material pope. In this way the succession of St. Peter continues materially. How does this thesis impact the Church?
There is a simple, but far from easy, solution to get back a True Pope. If Bergoglio were to publicly abjure his heresy and embrace the Catholic Faith by swearing to the Profession of Faith and the Anti-Modernist Oath, he would remove the obstacle to the reception of his designation to rule. He would become a formal pope de facto. Bergoglio must then receive a valid ordination and consecration from a Traditionalist Bishop, and the interregnum of decades is finally over.
This, in a nutshell, is sedeprivationism. Only time will tell if it's the real solution to the apostate times in which we live.