After the objection that “you guys are just a bunch of Protestants!!”, probably the most frequently-made argument against Sedevacantism is that our position contradicts the teaching of the First Vatican Council that St. Peter will have “perpetual successors”. If there hasn’t been a true Pope in decades, how then can we maintain that there is a perpetual succession of Popes?
Our response will be twofold. We will demonstrate that (1) the objection from perpetual successors is actually based on a misunderstanding of the teaching of Vatican I; (2) even if the objection were not based on a misunderstanding, it would still not refute the sedevacantist position.
Anything but Sedevacantism!
Analysis of a curious Phenomenon
We have said a number of times on this blog that in the world of the semi-traditionalists, the blind are leading the blind. This is not just rhetoric, it simply describes reality. Whether it be people arguing that there is no point to having the correct diagnosis of a problem if one does not have the cure — as though a correct diagnosis were not at least the indispensable starting point for any remedial action; whether it be Christopher Ferrara promoting the idea of an “Anti-Catholic Pope”; whether it be one blogger’s argument that the Pope need not be submitted to “if he’s an idiot”; or whether it be “Bp.” Athanasius Schneider’s bizarre thesis that while being in union with the Pope one could nevertheless be in schism with Christ: No thesis is too absurd or anti-Catholic for adherents of the recognize-and-resist position not to entertain it as a possible explanation for the current state of the Church, as long as that thesis does not require them to hold the position that the Vatican II Church is not the true Catholic Church and its head is not a valid Catholic Pope (commonly known as “Sedevacantism”).
One of the most common objections made against the Sedevacantist position is that if it were true that Francis or any of his five predecessors are not valid Popes, it would mean that the gates of hell have prevailed against the Church and therefore Christ’s promise in Matthew 16:18 that this could never happen would be made void. Although one would hope that most people who have looked into Sedevacantism would know by now that surely no one would hold this position if it were that easy to refute it, it is nevertheless useful to give it some renewed attention.
As we all suffer through these most distressing times in which confusion and chaos reign among all who seek to be genuinely Catholic, members of the only true religion established by God, it is helpful and important to reflect on the fact that the situation we find ourselves in today — no (known) valid Pope since 1958, and no apparent Catholic bishop left with ordinary jurisdiction, while a counterfeit institution masquerades as the Catholic Church, spreading heresy, immorality, and impiety — was foretold in Holy Scripture.
A significant contribution given its outlet’s Vatican-vetted content & the author – now spokesman-emeritus to the Popes – in @civcatt, the venerable Fr Lombardi surveys the decades-long path to February “Abuse Synod”… with some subtle prods along the way: https://t.co/BeJpfN3ysM
The fact that the Novus Ordo Church considers ecumenism an imperative - when the #Catholic Church taught it was impermissible - is one of the clearest proofs of a substantial change in religion: https://t.co/dhmcdnwPv0 #popefrancis #fssp #vatican #trcot