Refutation of ‘On the Validity of Pope Francis’…

Must Francis be considered a Valid Pope?
A Sedevacantist Response to Athanasius Schneider

‘Bishop’ Athanasius Schneider looks at ‘Pope’ Francis on Sep. 15, 2022, in Astana, Kazakhstan.
(image: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

On Sep. 6, 2023, the Rev. James Altman — one of the “canceled priests” in the United States — published a video in which he explained, in his own style, why he believes that Jorge Mario Bergoglio (‘Pope Francis’) is not in fact the Pope of the Catholic Church:

This has of course triggered a wave of reactions, mostly by recognize-and-resist traditionalists (“semi-trads”) and conservative Novus Ordos who had shown support for ‘Fr.’ Altman or were at least sympathetic to his theological position and his plight.

Curiously, in the land of recognize-and-resist, you are allowed to say virtually anything about Francis — Christopher Ferrara is on record calling him an “anti-Catholic Pope” and even an “undertaker Pope” — with the exception of one thing: You are not allowed to say he is not the Pope. Once you do that, you’re out, no matter how reasonable your arguments may be.

Among those who have attempted damage control in the wake of Altman’s video (his second one, really, since he had already revealed his conviction that Bergoglio is not the Pope back in June of this year), are editor-in-chief Timothy Flanders of One Peter Five, the retired Novus Ordo theology professor Dr. Larry Chapp, editor-in-chief Eric Sammons of Crisis Magazine, Michael Lofton of Reason & Theology, and Kennedy Hall, although the latter at least expressed a lot of sympathy with Altman’s conclusion, even though he does not share it. Michael Voris’ Church Militant operation also just released something against Sedevacantism.

But now the well-known ‘Bishop’ Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of the diocese of Maria Santissima in Astana (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), has also weighed in. A few days ago he published a statement in which he defends the notion that Francis, despite his heresies, blasphemies, and other scandals, is without question the true and legitimate Pope:

Various semi-trad web sites have published a copy of the statement on their own platforms, such as The Remnant and One Peter Five. (In fact, Schneider’s statement was first mentioned by Michael Matt in a recent episode of The Remnant Underground, a video in which Matt tries to defend the recognize-and-resist position against Sedevacantism but uses almost exclusively arguments that have nothing to do with theology and so are ultimately beside the point. In other words, Matt offered a lot of red herrings, nothing more.)

Since Bp. Schneider is considered by many conservative Novus Ordos and recognize-and-resist traditionalists to be the “gold standard” of Catholic orthodoxy — rather than the Pope, as Catholic dogma requires — we have decided to analyze and respond to Schneider’s statement ‘On the Validity of Pope Francis’ directly.

On Sep. 20, 2023, Mr. Kevin Davis of the Catholic Family Podcast hosted Mr. Mario Derksen of Novus Ordo Watch to discuss and refute Schneider’s argumentation, according to which even a publicly heretical Pope would still remain a true Pope.

The full video can be watched below or at this link directly on YouTube. Although 1 hour and 49 minutes in length, it is not filled with fluff but with solid, documented content that is insightful and informative. One viewer has called it a “goldmine of information”.

On the Invalidity of ‘Pope’ Francis:
A Sedevacantist Response to Bp. Athanasius Schneider

Since a number of resources are mentioned in this podcast, we’ll put the links to them right below, that is, those links we haven’t already included in the post above.


If you find the video helpful, please be sure to share it with others so the content can reach more souls.

Bp. Schneider is well-spoken and carries himself with dignity. His theological views, however, do not thereby become safe and orthodox.

In fact, in the past we have had occasion again and again to correct serious errors promoted by the Kazakh auxiliary. Here are some of our articles countering Schneider, in reverse chronological order:

The bottom line is ultimately this: If Francis is the Pope of the Catholic Church, then everything the Church has taught concerning the Pope applies to him and will be found verified in him.

But because that is manifestly not the case, he cannot be a legitimate Pope.

Image sources: Associated Press / Shutterstock (FrankHH; modified)
Licenses: rights-managed / paid

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