In this essay, I would like to comment on the conceptions of Mr. X (a follower of the Vatican II church), of Mr. Y (a follower of a "hidden pope") and of Mr. Z (a “Home Aloner”).
Although the conceptions of Mr. X and Mr. Y are not based on Catholic Doctrine and are therefore false, their views leave a little room for a Pope and can therefore be discussed.
The views, however, of Mr. Z are absolutely Protestant, not leaving even a little room for a Pope, and removed, therefore, from Catholic discussion.
Commenting on all these views I will give arguments explaining why Catholic Sedevacantism is true, and why all the accusations against it are false.
Generally speaking, between two Popes, Sede is Vacant, and therefore every Catholic is a Sedevacantist (I use the term "Sedevacantist" here as an adjective to the noun "Catholic").
If within a period of vacancy of the Apostolic See someone says that Sede is not Vacant, he is first denying reality; secondly, he denies canonical prescriptions on the Election of a Pope during the Vacancy of the Apostolic See.
In other words, if someone says that he is not a Sedevacantist during a vacancy of the Apostolic See, he does not have the right to call himself a Catholic.
The latest prescriptions on the Election of a Pope were given in the Apostolic Constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica, December 25, 1904 by Pope St. Pius X, and Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, December 8, 1945 by Pope Pius XII.
1. A conception of Mr. X, a follower of the Vatican II church:
“After the death of Pope Pius XII, all his successors possess apostolic succession, because they were elected licitly by valid Cardinals. All Popes after Pius XII are valid and legal, and all Catholics are obliged to recognize them and obey them under pain of excommunication. Therefore, the Sedevacantists, not recognizing these Popes and not obeying them, are excommunicated.”
Commenting on this conception of Mr. X, I refer to the Bull CUM EX APOSTOLATUS OFFICIO, February 15, 1559 by POPE PAUL IV, and to the Constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica, December 25, 1904 by Pope St. Pius X.
According to these Papal documents, the election of an infidel, heretic, schismatic, or female would be invalid.
Since Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (“John XXIII”), Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (“Paul VI”), Albino Luciani (“John Paul I”), Karol Józef Wojtyła (“John Paul II”), Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (“Benedict XVI”) and Jorge Mario Bergoglio (“Francis”) were/are to one degree or another, infidel, heretics and schismatic, their elections were invalid and they are therefore not popes.
Also, in the Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, December 8, 1945, Pope Pius XII says the following about the electors:
“36. Cardinals that have been canonically deposed or have resigned the cardinalitial dignity with the consent of the Roman Pontiff have no right of election. Indeed, during the vacancy of the See, the Sacred College is not able to reestablish and habilitate, not even for voting, Cardinals who have been deprived [of the cardinalitial dignity] or deposed by the Pope.  Bonif. VIII, cap. un., de schismatic., V, 3 in Sext.; Pii IX Litt. Quamquam, 29 Septembris 1867.” (n. 36 Translated by a Traditional Catholic priest, professor of the Most Holy Trinity Seminary, Florida) (ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS, COMMENTARIUM OFFICIALE, An. et. vol. XXXVIII, 4 Februarii 1946 (Ser. II, v. XIII) – Num. 3, TYPIS POLYGLOTTIS VATICANIS, M-DCCCC-XLVI, ACTA PII PP. XII, CONSTITUTIO APOSTOLICA, DE SEDE APOSTOLICA VACANTE ET DE ROMANI PONTIFICIS ELECTIONE, Article 36, p. 76)
Since Cardinals are of the clergy, we can say that canonically deposed Cardinals are those clerics who have lost their offices ipso facto according to Can. 188.4: “A fide catholica publice defecerit – a public defection from the Catholic Faith”.
All Vatican II "popes" had already lost their offices in the Catholic Church before their elections, according to Can. 188. 4, and the Cardinals who elected those "popes" lost their offices according to the same Canon as well.
The Faith precedes the election, and not vice versa.
Since both the electors and the candidates to the Apostolic See did not have the Catholic Faith during the conclaves, all these conclaves were invalid, and therefore, all Vatican II “popes” were never Popes at all.
Perhaps an exception can be made for the Conclave of October 26, 1958, because it is impossible to assert with certainty that all the Cardinals gathered at that Conclave did not possess the Catholic Faith. “John XXIII”, however, who appeared after this Conclave, did not have the Catholic Faith, and consequently was not the Pope.
The fact that a public heretic who wears a white cassock visibly occupies the Vatican Palace, the whole world calling him "Holy Father", does not make him a Pope and Visible Head of the Church.
Therefore, we can say that the conception of Mr. X is inconsistent with the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, and thus should be rejected as false.
2. A conception of Mr. Y, a follower of a "hidden pope":
"Even if nobody knows the name of a hidden Pope, who elected him and when, who ordained and consecrated him, where he has been residing for more than sixty years; despite all this unawareness, all Catholics are obliged to obey him under pain of excommunication. All those who do not recognize such a hidden Pope, have no right call themselves Catholics. Such people are cursed sedevacantists. All sedevacantist priests and bishops, while administering the Sacraments and serving the Holy Masses not in unity with the hidden Pope, are the servants of Satan".
Commenting on a Mr. Y’s conception, I refer to THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA and to Canons promulgated on July 18, 1870 in the 4th Session of the Holy Ecumenical Vatican Council (1869-1870):
[CANON] Si quis igitur dixerit, beatum PETRUM Apostolum non esse a Christo Domino constitutum Apostolorum omnium principem et totius Ecclesiae militantis visibile caput; vel eundem honoris tantum, non autem verae propriaeque iurisdictionis primatum ab eodem Domino nostro Iesu Christo directe et immediate accepisse: anathema sit.
[CANON] Si quis ergo dixerit, non esse ex ipsius Christi Domini institutione seu iure divino, ut beatus PETRUS in primatu super universam Ecclesiam habeat perpetuos successores; aut Romanum Pontificem non esse beati PETRI in eodem primatu successorem: anathema sit.
(HENR. DENZINGER ET CLEM. BANNWART S.J., ENCHIRIDION SYMBOLORUM DENIFITIONUM ET DECLARATIONUM, DE REBUS FIDEI ET MORUM, EDITIO DECIMA QUARTA ET QUINTA QUAM, QUAM PARAVIT IOANNES BAPT. UMBERG S.J., Fribugri Brisgoviae MCMXXII, HERDER & Co., TYPOGRAPHI EDITORES PONTIFICI, BEROLINI, CAROLSRUHAE, COLONIAE, MONACHII, VINDOBONAE, LONDINI S. LUDOVICI MO., Imprimi potest: Bern. Bley. S.J. Praep. Prov. Germ. Inf., Coloniae, die 4 Ianuarii 1922, Imprimatur: Dr. Mutz, Vic. Gen., Fribugri Brisgoviae, die 1 Februarii 1922, Typis Herderianis Fribugri Brisgoviae, Printed in Germany)
[CANON] If anyone, therefore, shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant, or that the same directly and immediately received from the same our LORD JESUS CHRIST a primacy of honour only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction; let him be anathema.
[CANON] If, then, anyone shall say that it is not by the institution of CHRIST the LORD, or by divine right, that Blessed Peter has a perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy; let him be anathema.
(THE DECREES OF THE VATICAN COUNCIL Edited WITH AN INTRODUCTION by the REV. VINCENT McNABB, O.P. NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO BENZIGER BROTHERS Printers to the Holy Apostolic See 1907 Imprimi potest: FR LAURENTIUS SHAPCOTE, O.P., S.T.L. Prior Provincialis, Imprimi potest: + GULIELMUS Episcopus Arindelensis Virarius Generalis, Westmonasteril die 19 Oct. 1906, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ. pp. 36-39)
It is clear from these Canons, ratified by Pope Pius IX, that Blessed Peter the Apostle was the visible head of the whole Church militant, and every his successor should be the visible head of the whole Church militant as well, and those who state the opposite should be excommunicated - let him be anathema.
It is important to emphasize that the term “Sede Vacante” was established by none other than the Pope, the Visible Head of the Church Militant.
So, by saying, that sedevacantist Catholic priests are the "servants of Satan”, Mr. Y inflicts this terrible insult upon the Vicar of Christ as well.
Also, can Mr. Y answer the question: “In unity with which Pope do Cardinals celebrate Masses during a Conclave?”
According to the Papal Constitutions, the Cardinals celebrate Masses during the Conclave not in unity with the Pope, because the previous Pope has already departed, and a new Pope has not yet been elected, i.e., Sede is Vacant. The Cardinals celebrate Masses not in unity with the Pope as long as the Apostolic See is vacant. If they had celebrated Mass una cum an imaginary "hidden pope", it would have looked at least silly.
Therefore, it is canonically justified during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, for Catholic bishops and priests around the world to celebrate Holy Masses not in unity with a non-existent "hidden pope".
Such priestly acts (the celebration of Holy Masses not in unity with a non-existent "hidden pope") are in conformity with right reason, and according to THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA are man’s good acts:
Whence is derived the goodness of an object, of an end, and of the circumstances?
This goodness is derived from the relation that all these things have with right reason (XIX. 3-6).
What is meant by right reason?
By this is understood the reason enlightened by all the lights that come from God, or which at least is not knowingly at variance with them.
When man then wills or chooses something in conformity with right reason for an object or an end of which right reason approves, and of which all the accompanying circumstances accord with right reason, the act willed or chosen by man is a good act?
Yes; then, and then only, is man's act a good act. If on any one of these counts whatsoever man's act is not conformed with right reason it ceases to be a good act, and it becomes in a less or great degree, as the case may be, a bad act (XVIII.-XXL).
(CATECHISM OF THE "SUMMA THEOLOGICA" of Saint Thomas Aquinas For the Use of the Faithful BY R. P. THOMAS PEGUES, O.P. MASTER IN THEOLOGY, London, Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 28 Orchard Street W I 8-10 Paternoster Row EC 4, And at Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow. 1922, NIHIL OBSTAT: F. Thomas Bergh, O.S.B., Censor Deputatus., IMPRIMATUR: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii, Die 8 Junii, 1922. p. 60-64)
In our case we choose “something in conformity with right reason”: the goodness of the object (Holy Mass), of the end (Holy Communion is prescribed for adult Catholics both by the law of the Church and by a Divine command), and of the circumstances (the vacancy of the Apostolic See).
This goodness is derived from the relationship that all these things have with right reason, enlightened by all the lights that come from God.
Both Canon Law and right reason say to us that the vacancy of the Apostolic See cannot stop or cease the Holy Mass from being the Real and True Sacrifice of the New Testament.
Mr. Y instead proposes to us to do man's act not in conformity with right reason, resulting in badness of the object (an imaginary "hidden pope", whom nobody knows), of the end (the committing of a bad act not in conformity with right reason), and of the circumstances (there is no possibility to contact a "hidden pope" who has hidden for more than sixty years).
Therefore, we can say the following:
- Mr. Y induces Catholics to pay obedience to an imaginary person deified by him.
- He calls Catholic priests “servants of Satan” because they don’t obey an imaginary “hidden pope”.
- Evidently the conception of Mr. Y is inconsistent with the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, and should thus be rejected as false.
3. A conception of Mr. Z, a “Home Aloner”:
“Pope Pius XII was the last Pope, and since his death the Sacrament of the Priesthood has ceased, and there are no longer valid priests who are able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. Only the laity remain true Catholics.
All priests are invalid and all chapels are illicit and, therefore, worship in such chapels is a grave sin.
Since there are no more priests, the laymen themselves have the right to baptize at any time. In doing so, only laity, without clergy, form the Mystical Body of Christ.
Moreover, laymen themselves have the right to marry without a priest’s assistance.”
Although the conception of Mr. Z is absolutely Protestant, and therefore moved beyond Catholic discussion, I will try commenting on this view as well.
Commenting on Mr. Z’s conception, I refer to the Holy Bible, THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, the Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, December 8, 1945 by Pope Pius XII, to Can. 107, Dogmatic Theology, the Catholic Catechism, etc.
Canon Law says that there is distinction between the clergy and laity within the Church, and this distinction rests on a firm biblical and traditional basis.
Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Priesthood at the Last Supper and gave hem the authority to offer the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass until the Day of Judgment, to administer the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance and others.
The Catholic Church teaches that there is no Church without priests and the Holy Mass, and that the laity cannot form the Mystical Body of Christ without priests.
One essential feature of the constitution of the Church is the Hierarchy involving a distinction between clergy and laity, and no man can change this essential feature.
CAN. 107. Ex divina institutione sunt in Ecclesia clerici a laicis distincti, licet non omnes clerici sint divinae institutionis; utrique autem possunt esse religiosi.
After treating generally of the members of the Church who are such by baptism, and of the different physical and moral persons who may exist within the Church, the Code draws the line of demarcation between clergy and laity. This distinction, as pointed out above, is based upon the nature of the Church, which, because of its divine and therefore legal and necessary existence, has a constitution of its own, neither made nor to be changed by men, at least in its essential features. One essential feature of this constitution is the hierarchy in the broad sense, involving a distinction between clergy and laity.
The term clergy is derived from the Greek κληρος, (Latin sors), a lot. According to St. Jerome, clerics are so called because they are called into the lot of the Lord, or because the Lord is their portion, or because they are chosen by lot. Therefore every clergyman may in a particular sense be called a servant of God. That the clergy, distinguished into its hierarchic orders, has gradually grown into a minutely arranged system, is owing to circumstances of necessity and natural development, excepting, of course, the divinely ordained distinction between bishops, priests, and deacons.
The word laity is derived from λαος (plebs), people, in which sense it occurs in the epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians. Hence this organisation or distinction can claim divine institution. (A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D. Professor of Canon Law, VOLUME II , B. HERDER BOOK CO. 17 SOUTH BROADWAY, ST. Louis, Mo. AND 68, GREAT RUSSELL ST., LONDON, W. C. 1918, CUM PERMISSU SUPERIORUM, NIHIL OBSTAT: Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 7, 1918 F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum. IMPRIMATUR: Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 8, 1918 +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici. Copyright, 1918 by Joseph Gummersbach p. 41-42)
According to Dogmatic Theology Holy Communion is prescribed for adult Catholics both by the Law of the Church and by Divine command.
Thesis II: For adults the reception of the Holy Eucharist is necessary as a matter of precept.
This proposition is likewise de fide.
Proof. Communion is prescribed for adult Catholics both by the law of the Church and by a divine command. Cfr. John VI, 54: "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."
a) In conditioning eternal life upon the reception of His Body and Blood, our Lord obviously meant to give a strict command. There can be no doubt that His precept (Luke XXII, 19): "Do this for a commemoration of me," refers not only to the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice on the part of the priest, but likewise to the reception of the Blessed Sacrament by the faithful, especially since the Apostles were commanded to distribute this Sacrament to all. (1 Cor XI, 26.)
The Council of Trent plainly intimates that it is a divine command. (Sess. XIII, cap. 2. Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 875). (THE SACRAMENTS, A DOGMATIC TREATISE BY THE RT. REV. MSGR. JOSEPH POHLE, PH.D.,D.D. FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF APOLOGETICS AT THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, ADAPTED AND EDITED BY ARTHUR PREUSS, VOLUME II, The Holy Eucharist, SECOND, REVISED EDITION, B. HERDER BOOK CO. 17 SOUTH BROADWAY, ST. Louis, Mo. AND AT 68 GREAT RUSSELL St., LONDON, W, C, 1917, NIHIL OBSTAT: Sti. Ludovici, die I3, Sept. 1917, F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, IMPRIMATUR: Sti. Ludovici, die 15, Sept. 1917, +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici. p.241)
The infallible teaching of THE COUNCIL OF TRENT:
“SESSION XIII October 11, 1551
DECREE CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
Wherefore, this sacred and holy synod, delivering here, on this venerable and divine sacrament of the Eucharist, that sound and genuine doctrine which the Catholic Church - instructed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and by His Apostles, and taught by the Holy Ghost, Who day by day brings to her mind all truth (John xiv. 26; xvi. 13) - has always retained and will preserve even to the end of the world, forbids all the faithful of Christ to presume to believe, teach, or preach henceforth concerning the holy Eucharist otherwise than as is explained and defined in this present decree.”
On the Reason of the Institution of This Most Holy Sacrament
Wherefore, our Saviour, when about to depart out of this world to the Father, instituted this Sacrament, in which He poured forth as it were the riches of His divine love towards man, making a remembrance of His wonderful works (Ps. cx. 4); and He commanded us in the participation thereof to venerate His memory (I Cor. xi. 24), and to show forth His death until He come (Ib. 26) to judge the world.” (DOGMATIC CANONS AND DECREES AUTHORIZED TRANSLATIONS OF THE DOGMATIC DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, THE DECREE ON THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, THE SYLLABUS OF POPE PIUS IX, AND THE DECREES OF THE VATICAN COUNCIL. BY THE DEVIN-ADAIR COMPANY, Nihil Obstat: REMIGIUS LAFORT, D.D., Censor, Imprimatur: +JOHN CARDINAL FARLEY, Archbishop of New York June 22, 1912, COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY THE DEVIN-ADAIR COMPANY, THE DOGMATIC DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, DECREE CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST, p. 71)
Also in the Catholic Catechism it is written as follows:
“Mass will be celebrated until the Day of Judgment (1 Cor, XI, 26). This is what Our Lord meant when He said: “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt. xxviii, 20)". (The Catechism Explained, From the original of Rev. Francis Spirago, Professor of Theology, Edited by Rev. Richard F. Clarke, S.J. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: BENIGER BROTHERS, Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 1899. Nihil Obstat: Thos. L. Kinkead, Censor Librorum, Imprimatur: + MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York. New York, August 8, 1899. Copyright 1899, by Benzinger Brothers, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago p. 536.)
It follows also from the Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, Article 98 that during the vacancy of the Apostolic See the Hierarchy still exists. Pope Pius XII mentions the following Hierarchs whose duties to govern remain in force during a period of Sede Vacante: “Patriarchae, Archiepiscopi, Episcopi et alii Ecclesiarum Praelati”. That means that the death of the Pope does not strip them of the jurisdiction over their particular churches. The Pope orders them to continue to fulfill their duties to govern the particular churches.
98. Since, however, the faithful should not so much rely on human industry, however solicitous, as on the earnestness of humble and devout prayer, We further enjoin that in all cities and other places - at least the most prominent - as soon as the news of the death of the Pontiff shall arrive, after the celebration of the solemn funeral rites for his soul, the Clergy and the faithful offer humble and assiduous prayers to the Lord every day (until the Roman Church should be provided with its Shepherd), to the end that He who maketh peace in His high places may make the hearts of the aforementioned Cardinals so concordant in electing, that a speedy, unanimous and advantageous election may result from their unanimity (as the salvation of souls demands, and the interests of the whole world requires). And lest such a salutary enjoinment as is hereby prescribed should be neglected under pretense of ignorance, We order that the Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops and other Prelates of the particular churches, as well as all those whose duty it is to preach the word of God, to convoke the clergy and the faithful more frequently with this special end: that they may skillfully move them by their sermons to pour out assiduous prayers of humble petition for the prompt and happy outcome of such an important affair, and to exhort them by the same authority not only to assiduous prayer, but also (as it should be judged prudent according to circumstances) to the observance of fasts. (Translated by a Traditional Catholic priest, professor of the Most Holy Trinity Seminary, Florida) (ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS, COMMENTARIUM OFFICIALE, An. et. vol. XXXVIII, 4 Februarii 1946 (Ser. II, v. XIII) – Num. 3, TYPIS POLYGLOTTIS VATICANIS, M-DCCCC-XLVI, ACTA PII PP. XII, CONSTITUTIO APOSTOLICA, DE SEDE APOSTOLICA VACANTE ET DE ROMANI PONTIFICIS ELECTIONE, Article 98, p. 96)
The Pope orders the Hierarchy to pray during the Conclave for the successful election of a new Pope. Pius XII listed the Hierarchy by titles as is usual during the reign of the Roman Pontiff. The Pope said nothing about their offices becoming vacant during the vacancy of the Apostolic See. He only ordered them to include in their sermons the appeals to the clergy and the faithful to pray for a prompt and happy outcome of the Conclave.
It is important to emphasize that Pope Pius XII did not introduce any innovation saying that the Hierarchy is still exists because in preceding ages during the whole history of the Catholic Church, the Hierarchy was always active during all periods of the vacancy of the Apostolic See.
“Can. 208 speaks of the loss of ordinary power. It says (1) that even if the superior who has conferred the office to which that power is attached goes out of office by death, resignation, transfer, or privation, the power is not lost. Hence the bishops of the U. S., who are appointed by the Pope, do not lose their ordinary power by a vacancy in the Holy See. (2) The ordinary power is lost if the office itself is lost. Thus, if a bishop dies or resigns or is deprived of his office, his power ceases.”
(A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D. Professor of Canon Law, VOLUME II , B. HERDER BOOK CO. 17 SOUTH BROADWAY, ST. Louis, Mo. AND 68, GREAT RUSSELL ST., LONDON, W. C. 1918, CUM PERMISSU SUPERIORUM, NIHIL OBSTAT: Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 7, 1918 F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum. IMPRIMATUR: Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 8, 1918 +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici. Copyright, 1918 by Joseph Gummersbach p. 190)
"Legate-judges are those who have ordinary spiritual jurisdiction in the country to which they are sent. Legates a latere and nuncios or delegates apostolic have such ordinary jurisdiction in the countries confided to them; and this jurisdiction does not expire through the death of the Pope who appoints them, even though they have not yet assumed their office. The reason is that they are commissioned and sent by the Apostolic See which never dies." p. 299
(The Roman Court, OR A Treatise on the Cardinals, Roman Congregations and Tribunals, Legates, Apostolic Vicars, Protonotaries, and Other Prelates of the Holy Roman Church, BY THE Reverend Peter A. Baart, S. T. L., Author of "Orphans and Orphan Asylums," and "Episcopal Claims Disproved" FR. PUSTET, Printer to the Holy See and the S. Congregation of Rites FR. PUSTET & CO., NEW YORK AND CINCINNATI. Nihil Obstat: Carolus O'Reilly, S. T. D., Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: Joannes S. Foley, Episcopus Detroitensis. Die 25, m. Septembris, 1895. Copyrighted, 1895, BY P. A. BAART. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, Press of The Statesman, Marshall, Mich. p. 299)
After the latest Conclave of 1958, unfortunately, a man had appeared who, instead of serving as the Roman Pontiff, prepared and convoked the Vatican II pseudo-council at which a new, anti-Catholic religion was adopted. By that is meant that “John XXIII” was not pope.
Almost all Hierarchs fell into the Vatican II heresies and therefore lost their rights to govern the particular churches.
However, the Hierarchy remains even during the vacancy of the Apostolic See.
Therefore, those Hierarchs who did not fall into heresies, or who have repented after their fall, should continue to carry on their duties for the salvation of souls (“for the common good and public security”, Can. 209) in accordance with the Will of God and the will of the Church (even if they are retired or lacking the ordinary or delegated jurisdiction).
Even during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, when there is no Pope, no patriarchates or dioceses, there are still some Traditional bishops and priests who did not accept the evil reforms of Vatican II.
In these hard times they can only fulfill their duties by means of administering the Sacraments and celebrating Holy Masses in accordance with the Catholic Tradition and right reason.
Moreover, in 1968, Vatican II’s “Pope Paul VI” renounced the Catholic Priesthood by introducing the new rites of ordination, and therefore the new "clergy" of the Vatican II church are not priests at all.
All Traditional Catholic bishops, therefore, having been supplied jurisdiction by the Church (Church supplies the necessary jurisdiction when a common error or a positive doubt arises. Can. 209), being the Hierarchy of Order, are obliged to ordain priests and consecrate bishops in order to save the Catholic Priesthood, without which the laity would not be incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ.
The power of order is the power imparted by ordination and is separable from that of jurisdiction.
“Through the sacrament of Holy Orders the hierarchy receives its power of offering public worship, of administering most of the sacraments, and of instructing the faithful; and it is therefore known as the Hierarchy of Order. It possesses also the power of making laws and of ruling the faithful; and it is therefore known as the Hierarchy of Jurisdiction.” (THE VISIBLE CHURCH BY Rt. Rev. JOHN F. SULLIVAN, D.D., A TEXT-BOOK FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Fifth Edition, Revised. NEW YORK. P. J. KENEDY & SONS PUBLISHERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE. NIHIL OBSTAT: ARTHURUS J. SCANLAN, S.T.D. Censor Librorum. IMPRIMATUR: PATRITIUS J. HAYES, D.D. Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis Neo-Eboraci die 5, Aprilis 1921. Copyright, 1920, 1922, BY P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York. Printed in U. S. A. p. 1)
“Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders there would be no Church, and without the Church there would be no incorporation with Christ into the mystic body which sustains our life in God.” (THE SEVEN-FOLD GIFT A Study of The Seven Sacraments, BY WILLIAM F. ROBISON, S.J., Ph.D. St. Louis University, B. HERDER BOOK CO., 17 South Broadway, St. Louis, Mo. AND 68 Great Russell St., London, W. C. 1922, IMPRIMI POTEST: Sti. Ludovici, die I. Mail, 1922. F. X. McMenamy, S. J., Praepositus Provincialis Prov. Missour. NIHIL OBSTAT: Sti. Ludovici, die 23. Maii, 1922, F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, IMPRIMATUR: Sti. Ludovici, die 25. Maii, 1922. +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici, Copyright, 1922, by B. Herder Book Co. pp. 191-193)
Canon VI. If anyone saith that in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests and ministers; let him be anathema. (DOGMATIC CANONS AND DECREES AUTHORIZED TRANSLATIONS OF THE DOGMATIC DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, THE DECREE ON THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, THE SYLLABUS OF POPE PIUS IX, AND THE DECREES OF THE VATICAN COUNCIL. BY THE DEVIN-ADAIR COMPANY, Nihil Obstat: REMIGIUS LAFORT, D.D., Censor, Imprimatur: +JOHN CARDINAL FARLEY, Archbishop of New York June 22, 1912, COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY THE DEVIN-ADAIR COMPANY, THE DOGMATIC DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and on Ordination, p.157)
Therefore, we can say that the conception of Mr. Z is evidently inconsistent with the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, and thus should be rejected as completely false.
The point of view of Catholic Sedevacantists, based on the Doctrine of the Catholic Church and right reason, is clear and logical:
- From the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958 until now, the Apostolic See is Vacant.
- All men after Pius XII, who reside in the Vatican and call themselves Popes, are not popes because they profess and spread non-Catholic false doctrines invented by the Vatican II pseudo-council.
- However, the Hierarchy remains even during the vacancy of the Apostolic See.
- Bishops and priests who did not fall into heresies of Vatican II, or who have repented after their fall, continue to carry on their duties for the salvation of souls in accordance with the Will of God and the will of the Church.
- In these hard times these Traditional bishops and priests constitute the Hierarchy of Order.
- Having supplying jurisdiction from the Church (Can. 209), being the Hierarchy of Order, Traditional Catholic bishops are obliged to ordain priests and consecrate bishops in order to save the Catholic Priesthood, and thus the Church.
- All Traditional Catholic bishops and priests are obliged to fulfill their priestly duties even during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, and can do this only by means of administering the Sacraments, of celebrating Holy Masses and of instructing the faithful in accordance with Catholic Tradition and right reason.
- There is an unquestionable integrity between the Hierarchy of Order and its power of offering public worship, of administering the Sacraments, and of instructing the faithful.
- The Hierarchy of Order has not ceased because of the lack of Hierarchy of Jurisdiction. However, the Hierarchy of Order has no power to make laws, exercise judiciary power, establish new dioceses, patriarchates, etc.
Therefore, Catholic Sedevacantism is true, and all the accusations against it are false.
P.S. It makes no sense to ask Mr. X a question, because any one of his answers can be predicted very easily.
However, a question can be posed to Mr. Y and Mr. Z.
If a valid bishop of a schismatic church of the Byzantine Rite who rejected schism and its heresies, and accepted the Catholic Faith, will ask Mr. Y or Mr. Z to explain him, how a former Schismatic can join the Catholic Church, what they would answer such a bishop?
If Mr. Y intends to firmly uphold his principles, he should say this:
“You must celebrate Divine Liturgy in unity with an invisible "hidden pope", whose name nobody knows, and nobody knows who consecrated him and when, who elected him and when, and furthermore, nobody knows where he has hidden himself from the Church for more than sixty years.”
Aslo Mr. Y should warn the bishop that if he would attempt to celebrate Divine Liturgy not in unity with the “hidden pope”, he will be a “cursed sedevacantist” and a “servant of Satan”.
Most probably, a converted bishop, frightened by the prospective to convoke people to prayers for a “hidden pope” whom nobody knows, will prefer to return to where he came from, because he would think that somebody deceived him by giving him the wrong address.
As for Mr. Z, he should tell a converted Eastern bishop this:
“Sir, after joining the Catholic Church you will become an ordinary layman, because there is no longer Priesthood in the Catholic Church. Since you are no longer a bishop, Sir, be bold, as Luther, get married to a former nun, give birth to father children, and don’t worry, be happy.”
Therefore, we have the right to say that the “apostolate” of Mr. Y and Mr. Z is the same as that of Mr. X.
In fact, their common “apostolate” is to cultivate an aversion to the Catholic Faith, and to create obstacles for the conversion of schismatics, heretics, pagans and atheists.
After studying the views of Mr. X, Mr. Y and Mr. Z, people have only one option - to stay there where they are now, since regardless the conception they prefer, they will still end up outside the Catholic Church, inside the priestless ‘three dimensional space’ of Mr. X, Mr. Y and Mr. Z.
The related link: Home Alone?