Monday, December 1, 2014

Partially Bad And Completely Insane

  In the Traditionalist movement, there are two groups that have emerged with faulty solutions in response to the heresy of Vatican II. There are those who, while fully acknowledging Vatican II and the "popes" whom followed taught error, nevertheless refuse to accept the state of sedevacante (i.e. "recognize and resisters"). At the opposite end, we have those who realize the See of Peter is vacant, but erroneously believe that we can just go out and elect a new "pope" (the so-called "conclavists" with "Pope" Michael, among other strange and self-anointed "pontiffs.")

 I felt the need to write this post in light of some recent developments and warn my readers to steer clear of both these groups.

I. Recognize and Resist

 These individuals, mostly associated with the Society of St. Pius X, have found a rabid partisan of their position from a former SSPX bishop, Richard Williamson. Bp. Williamson had been expelled from the Society and founded the Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO). In his e-mail newsletter, Eleison Comments, we find His Excellency ranting about alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in his attempt to save the "papacy" of Francis. (See my post of 11/3/14)

 Now Bp. Williamson has come up with a theological novelty--- partial Indefectibility! What is this, you ask?  First, he takes a quote from Pope Pius XII without citation about how if material Rome should crumble".....even then the Church would be in no way demolished or split. Christ’s promise to Peter would still hold true, the Papacy would last for ever, like the Church, one and indestructible, being founded on the Pope then living .” (Emphasis his) Then, he intones that sedevacantists can only see their way through the problems of Vatican II by denying that the "Concilliar Popes" are really popes. (I thought popes were Catholic by definition. The very fact  he claims they are somehow other than Catholic should make him think again). Finally, he quotes Our Lord, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit and an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit (St. Matt. 7:18). However, a tree that is part good and part bad, can bring forth good and bad fruit!! (Seems like Williamson is buying into the whole Vatican II ecclesiology---there are elements of a good tree in one which is half-bad!)

 Therefore, since no one is all good or all bad, the Vatican II "popes" are not entirely bad. Williamson tells us Paul VI wept for a lack of vocations. (He caused them with the Council, and probably wanted more sodomites to join) Ratzinger "hankered" after Tradition (he wanted to ensnare Traditionalists and destroy the remnant of the True Church). Frankie wants to "bring men to God" while "dragging God down to men" (Sure. That's why he tells us "There is no Catholic God," atheists can go to Heaven and "proselytism is nonsense.") Hence, they will not be able to kill off the Church, but we must "resist their Liberalism." Bp. Williamson denies the dogma of the Indefectibility of the Church. She CAN NOT give partial truth and partial error. A pope CAN NOT give that which is evil to the Church. The fact that the "Concilliar Popes" have done so, is evidence that they have defected from the Faith and lost their authority as the unanimous consent of the theologians clearly teaches. He denies that the Church can never be without the papacy, but can be without a living pope for years. As theologian Dorsch teaches:
“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 principis] is not so strictly necessary.” (de Ecclesia 2:196–7). 
 At this point, I feel as if Bp. Williamson has stepped over a line into heresy. A "partially good" Church is simply untenable in Catholic theology. Personally, I could not in good conscience receive the sacraments or attend Mass with Bp. Williamson, unless and until he recants this novel and heretical idea. "Secret apparitions" are looney. Public profession of a partially good/partially bad Church which can give evil, is just plain un-Catholic. Speaking of looney......
II. Conclavists
 I've had a follower of "Pope" Michael adding comments to my post on Sedeprivationism (see my post of 11/10/14).  I think he is a man in good faith searching for the truth, but has been lead astray by a man who is non compose mentis. He thought I was name-calling and being uncharitable. So, I will reprint my response to his comments with some additions to his attempted rebuttal.

So let's look at David Bawden's (aka "Pope" Michael's) claims.

1. "Pope Michael and his group of Catholics informed the world they were going to hold an election, but only a few showed up."

In 1990, I was a 25 year old science teacher in NYC and a Traditionalist for nine years. I never received any "invitation" to a so-called "conclave." Nor did Fr. DePauw, or any of the approximately 100 Traditionalists I knew at the time. In a time before modern computers and the social media, how did he (a) determine exactly who were and were not qualified for this conclave, and then (b) send them an invitation? Was there a full page ad in the NY Times or Washington Post that I missed? You claim a "mob" made Boniface VI pope. I would hardly call six people in Kansas, with no link to Rome (as was the case in those days), a "mob" that can make a pope.

2."Numbers do not determine the validity of an election."
 What does determine its validity? Theologians spoke of an imperfect general council with specific rules, but no pre-Vatican 2 theologian ever taught that some Catholic in Kansas can just decide to invite some "real Catholics" to his house next to the barn and whoever shows up constitutes the electors. Moreover, I would like ANY citation from a reputable pre-Vatican 2 theologian who teaches that women can participate in a conclave. Bawden's mother, a neighbor's wife, and one Theresa Benns,(who is the "theologian" that engineered the whole concept of a farmhouse conclave) were "electors". All this makes his "election" a farce. Furthermore, Benns does not argue that Traditionalist orders are invalid but illicit. She makes the same discredited arguments about "rightly ordained and sent" clergy, which "Home Aloners" always make. See Fr. Cekada's excellent refutation "Home Alone?" available at 
3. "If you believe the SSPX are schismatic as a sedevacantist, hence they would not be called to elect a pope as they are outside the Church."

I do NOT believe the SSPX are schismatic and outside the Church. They refuse to accept the obvious--we have no pope. They are schismatic in the PRACTICAL order, i.e., if Francis is pope they can not refuse communion with him and decide what they will and will not obey. However, you can't be schismatic in reality if there is no pope to whom you refuse obedience. As long as they are not in actual communion with apostate Rome (they are not) and reject the errors of Francis and Vatican 2 (they do) they are not outside the Church.Your assertion that "to adhere to a false Bishop of Rome is to be out of communion with the Church" only holds true if you actually submit to Francis, or wrongly believe Bawden to be "pope." 

4. Bawden has dubious orders. After much investigation, I was able to dig up the name of "Bp" Bob Biarnesen as his ordaining and consecrating prelate. Why would a "bishop" who is in communion with Michael remain such an enigma? Why hasn't he been appointed "cardinal"? He allegedly received his orders in the Duarte Costa line which is rife with problems. Like Thuc, Duarte Costa and his lineage conferred orders on unfit candidates. In regards to Archbishop Thuc, any orders deriving from "Pope Gregory XVII" (an illiterate chicken farmer) must be considered null and void, since he did not possess the minimum theological training to have a presumption of validity in conferring the sacraments. They same can be said of "Bp" Bob. There is no proof he ever was ordained and consecrated, or what comprises his own theological training (if any). The fact that he is kept in virtual secret by Bawden tells me he's got something to hide.
5. Interestingly, Ms. Benns, to whom you post a link in another comment, is back to being a Home Aloner after denying the validity of Michael--the very "conclave" she set up. Her article is prolix. I suggest you have several hours to kill before attempting to read it. After claiming to be an expert at research and writing, she fails to tell us why we should believe her after her vaunted skills set up an antipope, placing his followers outside the Church and leading them to Hell. Since she was a follower of Bawden she publicly placed herself outside the Church. As all Traditionalists (she claims) have illicit orders and no jurisdiction at all, there is no one who can receive her abjuration and grant her absolution, thereby virtually ensuring her damnation--at least according to her own whacky "theology."
 6. "Additionally, what gives the sedevacantists the right to delay electing a pope?"

How about the lack of all things necessary to do so validly? An imperfect general council is much more complex than inviting your parents and next door neighbors to the farmhouse. Before a new claimant can be recognized, the errors of Vatican 2 must be substantially recognized as non-Catholic. We are seeing that now with those claiming that Ratzinger is still "pope" and even others toying with the idea. Next October, we may see widespread rejection of Frankie, with the his probable permission for adulterers to receive the Novus Bogus cracker ("communion"). You deny this principle but supply no proof. In the case of Protestants, they KNEW they were outside the Church. In the case of the Vatican II sect, many believe themselves as authentically Catholic. It's a unique situation. 
7. "Pope Michael is not seriously disturbed. If he is incorrect, he is merely in error. A sedeprivationist or sedevacantist "priest" ordained under "Bp." Sanborn claimed that one who would even consider Michael as pope is mentally ill. However, the same charge could be brought against sedevacantists - it is really a distraction from the issues and logically arguing them."

Anyone who thinks mommy and daddy can elect you pope in the farmhouse has issues. (To be charitable). The SSPV, CMRI, and other independents who base their rejection of Vatican II and the current papal claimant on strong theological principles, and have sound seminaries with great theological formation, can hardly be said to have mental problems. Furthermore, you impugn the orders of Traditionalists without ANY theological justification.

8."I am not aware of many, or any sedevacantists addressing the conclavist issue - which is probably because once they study it they become conclavists."

I am a sedevacantist. I have studied conclavism. I'm well-educated (teacher and lawyer). Now you know one such case! Come to NY, and I'll introduce you to many others like myself!

9. "I hope this was helpful!"

It helped reinforce my conviction that conclavism is a dead end. It will also help my readers to see likewise. I hope Mr. Bawden gets the help he needs. Charles Manson doesn't think he has problems and he has explanations for why he's sane as well. You ask me:
 "What help does he need? Who is to provide it? I think if anyone reads his books, especially the “Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century”, they wouldn’t allege he is insane but merely in error if they disagree with him. He writes cogently and has thought these things out more than any other “traditionalist” I have seen (with Benns). Give him a chance by focusing on your particular problems you have with his position. Don’t you want him to save his soul? Therefore, if you see that he is in error, don’t you just want to help him to know the truth and save his soul? I want ALL of us to get to heaven. We must find the truth and help others to find the truth. At present I think he’s got the correct position. All of the various positions should be collected together and evaluated. We are at present working at that."
I don't know who "we" are, unless you're working on the "pope's" farm. What help does he need? Psychological. Who is to provide it? A psychiatrist in Kansas I suppose would be a good start. I read "Mein Kampf" but I still think Hitler was both evil and disturbed. Yes, I want him to go to Heaven, so let's get him some help, and maybe he can do so. I want you to save your soul as well. That's why I'm urging you and all my readers to stay away from the "recognize and resist" crowd, as well as self-anointed "popes" whose knowledge of theology would actually be funny if it wasn't so pathetic and carried such dire consequences.  
In sum, we are in a state of sedevacantism, and God will show us a way out in His good time. Don't believe in a half-good Church or a half-sane wannabe "pope."


  1. Archbishop Thuc and his lineage is valid.Every traditional catholic order operating outside the vatican 2 heretic cult has received holy orders in the exact same manner as Thuc line priest's/bishop's.It wasn't his fault some of the men he concecrated went full blown insane posthumously.He apologized and felt remorse for these men but it wasn't his fault.He had the best intentions and mistakes happen to the best of us.

  2. I agree. I'm merely pointing out that those who were or became unqualified cannot have the presumption of validity in the sacraments THEY confer. Hence, any "bishop" consecrated by the illiterate chicken farmer Clemente Dominguez (aka "Pope" Gregory XVI) is dubious and so are all the sacraments that they attempt to confect. The same is not true of the well qualified candidates he consecrated.

  3. I agree with your point and think the only way out of this confusion is working together.Any half sane well intentioned traditional catholic could understand our points.Dominus Vobiscum.

  4. Very helpful commentary. My problem with sedevacantism is that short of divine intervention, sedevacantists seem to have no thoughts about a way out of the current crisis. Of course God may intervene to set things right. But in this world, since the time of Christ, God has mostly chosen to act through human beings. Ultimately, I believe that traditional Catholics bishops will have to come together - perhaps in Rome - to elect a real Pope. This may not happen for another 50 years or more, and will require a great deal of thoughtful prayer and diplomacy. But with little or no remaining 'official' hierarchy, it strikes me as the only way - short of the Almighty directly intervening - that we will ever have a valid Pope again.

    1. Our priest told us the book of Daniel states 'the great apostasy will last until the end of time' I stopped worrying about another true Pope.We have valid clergy, valid sacraments,valid masses,and if we choose, to live the catholic faith in our d silt lives.The best we can do is pray for the true church and an end to the crisis.Let Jesus Christ's holy will be done.Viva Christo Rey!

  5. Number 1

    Most don't even try to deal with conclavism. The huge problem there is where else but Rome, Italy do you find a history where the early councils and church fathers (first millennium before there were even Cardinals who were created in the early 11th century) and local synods all pointed to an ecclesiastical law by men that allowed the Bishopry/Patriarchy of Rome to be affirmed as the leader (within proper doctrine and jurisdiction - see Nicene and Chalcedonian definitions of that and the ancient creeds as well for doctrinal summations) of Christendom, i.e. the Catholic Church. It is true that before Cardinals, Rome's Popes were elected by acclamation of the local populace and consecration by neighboring Bishops, it would be a disaster to try that now. Before there would be anything recognizable as a center with a head of which world wide Christendom recognized as the earthly leader of the Church, all the Cardinals and Bishops and other Prelates who are Masons have to be publicly excommunicated (by whom?) and all schismed Churches who date from Apostolic preaching have to be reconciled, since relying on authority from a Rome that has been destroyed doctrinally by the Masonic completion of their plan to do so at the Vatican, is now impossible. We would need that much of a world wide body represented and then the huge question is where? Moscow? Out of the question. Constantinople?, been tried and rejected 15 centuries ago. Antioch?, Peter's first Apostolic mission or Alexandria?, third Petrine See (by the preaching there of St. Mark) according to Pope St. Gregory the Great. Not in today's world - never happen. All the ancient Asia Minor centers of ancient major ecclesial import are gone except Byzantium/Constantinople (Istanbul) which only has a small quarter and as mentioned above didn't make it first go around. Please don't suggest anywhere in the United States or the Americas at all since the history to support it is totally lacking. The actual full consensus of the Church Fathers in fact declares that when things get to this point as they have that there will be no reclamation of the former dignity nor authority on earth of the earthly churchmen in terms of universal obedience to a solid world wide ecclesiastical structure, but that we are in the Great Apostasy (no, that is not something the Evangelicals dreamed up - the Church Fathers of the first millennium taught it plainly). When that happens, and it has, we are counseled by the same Church Fathers to await the return of Our Lord Jesus Christ in whatever congregation, no matter how small, we have resort to provided that it is true to the faith, NOTHING else will do. True to the faith is determined by true to the Apostolic paradosis on all points (you need your whole Bible centered on the New Testament for that with the full consenus of the Church Fathers and clear understanding of the history and content of all the councils) and not just saying "Pope!" "Pope!" The scary thing about the only thing that would seem to unite Novus Ordo pan-pagan religionist cultists with the so called Traditional Catholics is both scream for an earthly Papacy to direct every waking moment of their lives. I am an old enough (before Vatican II was ever convened) to remember in person the real Catholic Church and its teaching was conveyed through the Parish Priest and NOT Papal News Bites every so often. The Parish level was where the ordinary magisterium was taught completely and fully and it was based wholly on the bible and centered on the New Testament.

    See continuation number 2

  6. Continued here number 2

    The simple and terrible truth is that we have only our small gatherings that are loyal to Christ. The beautiful and simple truth is that the absolute Head of His Church Jesus Christ Our Lord and God and Saviour and King has promised to be with us forever and until and at His return from heaven in the same flesh He ascended in forevermore after that. See Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapter 28, verse 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. NOTE that it is what He commands, not St. Peter, not Popes etc. But What He, Jesus Christ, commands. We will always have recourse to that. Let us thank Him for that.

  7. Currently having major temptation thrown my way & I understand why people used to be hernits,loners,or monastically minded.Yes living alone with no comfort in any format would excruciating.However it beats burning in hell after partaking in earthly worldly Vain pursuits.The great apostasy could end at any moment as we don't our Lord's timetable.Please pray for souls that need strength and commitment to resist sin.

  8. I used to laugh at Bishop Bawden (the Duarte Costa line is valid) and call him names.Literally,I thought he was dumb and insane.
    Out of morbid fascination/curiosity,I watched one of his YouTube vids.
    This lead to watching most of his videos including his best,"Communicatio in Sacris",finishing right at 42 minutes.
    Go ahead say what you will but I am convinced he is taking the Catholic route.He is very calm rational humble and orthodox.I enjoy that he isn't arrogant and full of himself.He simply is doing what is best for the True Church.
    He invited every Thuc Bishop and traditional priest that were superiors like the then Fr.Kelly to their conclave.
    Some were offended they weren't invited but this was before the Internet.Also if the clergy in 1990 were serious about ending the vacancy,anyone who wanted to be there at the conclave could've been there by special arrangement.
    Only time will tell if Pope Michael is correct.
    Given all the rivalry,division,in fighting,doubt's about others holy orders,etc..I can say with 100% confidence the current sedevacantist groups are only driving a wider gap in (lack of) Catholic unity and causing damage and scandal to the confused isolated Catholic laity.
    We all need to unite and work together!
    Stop this endless tiring never ending bickering division and hatred amongst traditional Catholics.
    Unite,hold a conclave,and let's get to work repairing our broken system.
    Dominus Vobiscum