Sedevacantism Now And In Future
I am asked how I reconcile my refusal of Sedevacantism with my often-repeated statement that I would recognise the See vacant if the SSPX said so. The matter seems pretty obvious to me; but hey, let's have a blog post, as it can be a useful reading to refresh a thing or two.
I do not have a crystal ball. Sedevacantism as it is peddled nowadays seems utterly absurd to me for the reasons explained in many blog posts. Still, it is obvious – and this issue has been also dealt with frequently on this blog – that Sedevacantism per se was never an absurdity, but actually a very real possibility at various times in the history of the Church.
If, for example, John XXII had dared to proclaim a wrong dogma, I cannot imagine any other solution than the See being declared vacant by at least a number of Cardinals (plus theologians, prestigious religious, & Co.) It is also obvious that theologians like St Roberto Bellarmino dealt with the issue because they considered it a possibility, not merely a pastime for rainy winter afternoons.
Unfortunately – and this has, also, been stated often on this blog – we are now in one of those times in which Sedevacantism starts to appear on the horizon as a possibility. Why is that? Because Francis is such a pothead that there is literally no limit to where his arrogance, ignorance and breathtaking faithlessness could lead him.
Can, therefore, Sedevacantism become a reality? Of course it can. This was, in theory, always the case. But this time, the possibility is far less remote than in usual times.
How can we, then, recognise when such a point has come? You, who know better than me, will certainly be able to decide for yourself. But I, who am terrified of dying and being reproached of having wanted to decide who is and is not the Vicar of Christ, will defer the matter to the superior authority of those to whom I would, when in doubt, always entrust my salvation in preference to an idiot like Francis; those I consider the purest sanctuary of Catholic orthodoxy and to whom I can, therefore, entrust a decision, and die in the fear of the Lord but able to say, on that fateful day, “confronted with unprecedented scandal, I chose the side of your most faithful allies”.
Do I need to be a theologian to make such a decision? No. What I need is to realise that now, as in other times in the past, when we seek orthodoxy we must look to Athanasius rather than Liberius; without saying that Liberius is not the Pope, as long as Athanasius thinks Liberius is; but following Athanasius rather than Liberius if the modern Athanasius (the SSPX) were to declare the See vacant, and Liberius an imposter.
The above should be sufficient to make the rather banal point. But as I am by the argument, I will say two words more.
There are many shades of gray between the white of an orthodox Pope and the black of a vacant See. A Pope can position himself at very many points in the Saint-to-Idiot scale without the See being vacant. Pope John XXII was certainly a heretic, albeit a material one. Honorius was officially condemned. Liberius was weak, at the very least, to the point of being an accomplice of the gravest heresy, and vastly below the required standard. But even a materially heretical Pope does not a vacant See make, which is why Bishop Fellay calls Francis a Modernist, but still sees in him the Pope.
The See is not vacant. More prosaically, a total ass is in charge. There is no saying what kind of stupid things this ass may not do. Therefore, Sedevacantism is a possibility. We, who care for our salvation, do not assume that we can decide for ourselves whether there is a Pope; rather, we defer to the best Catholic authority we can pick around to orientate ourselves; then we may not be the finest theologians, but we know enough to choose between Athanasius and Liberius, and know that a bad Pope can be extremely bad and even heretic, and still be the Pope.
That's it, really. It's not complicated. It should not have needed an extra blog post, but I thought it could be a useful reminder anyway.