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What is a Dogmatic-Sedevacantist?PART 1 (of Four)
“On the back of a mule a heavy pack can be difficult to balance. If it shifts to the left, one must push it to the right. If it tilts to the right, it must be pushed to the left. But such double pushing is not contrary – it has the single purpose of keeping the pack balanced. Similarly, for these “Eleison Comments” to argue repeatedly against sedevacantism is not to push towards liberalism, nor is it to suggest that sedevacantism is as bad as liberalism. It is merely to recognize that the outrageous words and deeds of the present occupant of the Holy See are tempting many good Catholics to renounce their reason and to judge of reality by their emotions. That is a common practice today, but it is not Catholic.
“…And here is the second argument: for the individual and fallible Catholic to set himself up as judge of error by the Church’s infallible Magisterium is ridiculous.” (Bishop Williamson, Eleison Comments, Emotional Arguing). Emotional Arguing
What a confusing time in this 21st century; dis-unity and factions all throughout the Catholic Church. Opinions fly of one sort to another. The Catechism is considered to be just a book for childhood. We all suffer in this scourging and disfigurement towards another crucifixion -against Christ’s Bride- the Catholic Church.
Because the Pope has been struck with the French revolution, and every other revolution, it is even more necessary to discern what he is saying and what he is not saying. There are many trying to get informed and distill the propaganda that happens to be in abundance. It is even hard to discern the accuracy of such statements in a technological age. More so, to use the language of the Church, is what the Pope said really a “Material heresy or a Formal heresy”?
Because we are talking about souls, the Roman Pontiff is God’s anointed one; we have to have all the more due diligence to protect God’s interest in the authority of His Chair. As it is said, we do not follow the man of the Pope, we follow God’s Authority in the Petrine Office.
As many people already know what a Sedevacantist is, though there are many variants to their beliefs, they all have in common a belief that one or more of the post-Vatican II Popes are not Popes from the sayings and doings of strange things in a society that is rampant with Narcissism and Modernism. They view and judge the Pope/s from either not being validly elected, or not being eligible as a Pope from defaulting to be a Catholic prior, or defaulting because of a material or formal heresy spoken by one or more of these Popes.
As Sedevacantism has been addressed many times elsewhere, there is an interesting term called “Dogmatic-Sedevacantism” and “Dogmatic-Sedeplenism” getting tagged on people; even one called “Dogmatic-anti-sedevacantism”. What are they? Is it real? What is being said about them?
Dogmatic-Sedevacantism, like Dogmatic-Sedeplenism, actually is not in a dictionary, or even in Wikipedia; nor is it a Catholic dogma; it is a neologistic word, which means, it is made up for an idiom usage.
While Dogmatic-Sedeplenism is a "sterner" phrase than just "Sedeplenism" (the Chair is full) created by them to provide a term for the position of those Catholics opposed to sedevacantism and in a “default” Catholic position of Catholics who recognize the present occupant of the Holy See as the Pope that God provided. What a novel term!
Like R&R (Recognize and Resist) was created by them for the same reason, such terms were derived from these sedevacantists group/s in order to justify their presence and their position in the Catholic world.
None the less, Dogmatic-Sedevacantism itself is an interesting term. On one hand, it is used to describe a sedevacantist who declares anyone who does not accept the sedevacantist thesis is to be "outside the Church"; but outside which church? The view of the church as they see it, like those in the conciliar church building their own version, or the real Catholic Church that Archbishop Lefebvre guided us on? These sedevacantists have a de fide attitude that there is no valid Pope(s) since Vatican II.
The term Dogmatic-Sedevacantism was also derived by the Sedevacantists to distinguish themselves from their more "extreme" brethren. Knowing that every entity has a far left liberal side and a far right conservative side, it is not unordinary even in different religions to make these kinds of “distinctions”. The Amish have these differences within themselves that happen to be manifest in their attire; yet, they are all still Protestants.
Then on the other hand, a Dogmatic-Sedevacantism is a term that is actually self-incriminating to the very sedevacantists as a whole, who in all of their groups and factions, they all hold and live out their belief that there is no valid Pope on the Petrine Throne before God.
In other words, like the Amish, the sedevacantists may distinguish nuances amongst themselves, they nonetheless all share in the common denominator to judge that the Pope is NOT the Pope, and by it, they separate themselves into another structure of society to have their own beliefs and worship alienating from the Catholic Catechism in regards to the Pope.
With that said, and what needs to be drawn out here, is the fact that all of the Sedevacantists have separated themselves with independence from the Pope of the Catholic Church; they in whole do not pray for him in the Mass, they do not pray for him in their personal devotions, they do not promote his Papacy in the eyes of their children, or to their neighbor, or in the apostolate to help convert others to the person of God’s Authority; that is a huge injustice. In essence, they have effectively cut themselves off from the Doctrines of the Church necessitating communion with the Pope, per our Lord’s words…for salvation.
The Catholic Church is one: one God, one Revelation, one Bible, one Church, one Faith, one Truth, one Belief, one Doctrine, one Pope, …
All of the sedevacantists who live in the state of their [independent] decision to publicly judge the Authority of the Pope, regardless if they term others in their group as “dogmatic” or not, have taken onto themselves an authority that they do NOT have. To claim such, like Protestants do, is to set up their own parallel structure of teaching, doctrine, and dogma; hence a different religion to worship in. That is what the novus ordo people are doing; no different in their picking and choosing what to accept and what not to accept. (Less, one has the duty by the commands of Holy Scripture, not to accept error.)
I know, by this time the sedevacantist camp is now saying: but, but, and but; yet the reality is there -one cannot judge the Authority of God- like David when he was anointed; he did not judge King Saul while he was still on the Throne of God’s Authority, even though he was anointed, and God blessed David for that (1 Samuel). As such, David believed that God had also anointed Saul, and only God Himself could remove him from office. It was God’s job and not David’s to judge Saul’s sins (Leviticus 19).
So let’s pull up the definition of a Dogma.
: a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted.
: a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization.
: a specific tenet or doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group.
: a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle:
: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself. The term can refer to acceptable opinions of philosophers or philosophical schools, public decrees, religion, or issued decisions of political authorities.
As shown, dogma is a word that describes a belief of principles by adherents of a group who maintain a common agreement. Its synonym is: doctrine, teachings, and philosophy.
So the word dogma is synonymous with teaching and doctrine.
Let’s see how it applies to a Sedevacantist as being the same as a Dogmatic-sedevacantist.
The sedevacantist position say that they have the authority to publicly declare that a man 1) elected by the College of Cardinals as Pope, and 2) recognized by virtually all Catholics as Pope, and 3) prayed for in the canon by virtually all priests and Bishops of the world, is not a true Pope.
The Catholics who follow the catechism state that they do not have the authority to publicly declare these Popes to have lost their office due to heresy, until a competent authority from God had convened on the matter as in the past history of the Church shows, as also within the history of Holy Scripture; but these same Catholics do have the authority to personally avoid them in there sin and errors (St. Paul).
St. Robert Bellarmine stated the same:
“Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will. It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, II.29.)”
St. Thomas also states:
"Since it belongs to the same authority to interpret and to make a law, just as a law cannot be made except by public authority, so neither can a judgment be pronounced except by public authority, which extends over those who are subject to the community .... Wherefore even as it would be unjust for one man to force another to observe a law that was not approved by public authority, so too it is unjust if a man compels another to submit to a judgment that is pronounced by other than the public authority.”
The Fourth Council of Constantinople states that individuals, be they laymen, priests or Bishops, cannot separate themselves from communion with their patriarch before a synod has passed judgment about the man. If they do so, they themselves are cut off from communion.
“The Fourth Council of Constantinople-Canon #10: “As divine scripture clearly proclaims, Do not find fault before you investigate, and understand first and then find fault, and does our law judge a person without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does? Consequently this holy and universal synod justly and fittingly declares and lays down that no lay person or monk or cleric should separate himself from communion with his own patriarch before a careful enquiry and judgment in synod, even if he alleges that he knows of some crime perpetrated by his patriarch, and he must not refuse to include his patriarch's name during the divine mysteries or offices.
“In the same way we command that bishops and priests who are in distant dioceses and regions should behave similarly towards their own metropolitans, and metropolitans should do the same with regard to their own patriarchs. If anyone shall be found defying this Holy Synod, he is to be debarred from all priestly functions and status if he is a bishop or cleric; if a monk or lay person, he must be excluded from all communion and meetings of the church until he is converted by repentance and reconciled”. www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum08.htm
Thus, a sedevacantist cannot make a public judgment since he has no authority to do so; if they do, they cut themselves off from the communion of the Catholic Church.
It follows that a sedevacantist, or whether they term another one within their groups “dogmatic” sedevacantist, or any variant of the sedevacantists who lives in their belief of making a new doctrine to follow, a teaching [hence a dogma] to dispose a Pope, that according to the definition of a dogma, all of the sedevacantists fulfill the terms listed above; therefore, all sedevacantists are DOGMATIC-sedevacantists.
It follows, like Vatican II, there is no argument to dialog with them outside of the define norms of Catholic Doctrine. As the whole premise of Vatican II is wrong, it needs to be thrown away. Likewise, the whole premise of sedevacantists is wrong, so throw it away.
Sedevacantism, like the Pharisees who wanted to scramble on dialectic arguments, did not move Christ, rather it was Jesus Christ Who had maintained the one path that He handed down for everyone to follow, and no one could refute Him. Likewise, we also need to maintain that one course -you cannot judge a Pope- PERIOD!
Fr. chazal also mentioned that John of St. Thomas quotes an important decree of Gratian (I, Dist 40, D 79, C.11) “Eiectionem summorum sacerdoutum sibi Dominus reservavit, licet electionem eorum bonis sacerdotibus et spiritualibus populis concessisset” [“The Lord has reserved to Himself the deposition of the Sovereign Pontiffs”].
AZORIUS, quoted by John of St. Thomas says, “No heretic Bishop, no matter how visible his heresy may be, and in spite of him incurring excommunication, or loses jurisdiction and Episcopal power, until he is declared such by the Church and deposed.”
As Nishant on Cathinfo had said:
“50+ year Sedevacantism is gravely false, erroneous and no informed Catholic should in any way support such a position, especially it being publicly preached. Dropping the name of the man universally recognized as Pope from the canon is a borderline schismatic act at best, objectively speaking, it separates one from Catholic unity and the communion of the Church. Claiming the Church can be reduced to bishops without ordinary jurisdiction is heretical. Claiming bishops can receive ordinary power of jurisdiction and formal Apostolic succession from anyone other than a real Pontiff is heterodox. There is practically no sedevacantist in the world who doesn't believe in some combination of these errors, and the Society has pointed it out many times. While some sedevacantists may be in good faith, their position is objectively erroneous, and therefore must be opposed, most of all for the sake of these souls, who are materially attached to this separatist position. Forget failing to oppose it, to even in any way indicate indifference toward the position is wrong, for as the Popes teach, to be indifferent between truth and error is to show oneself to be in error.”
For the sedevacantist movement to contradict the above and still say that they are “right”, even by adding other theologians or saints, they also need to remember in New Testament History that even theologians and saints have been on the wrong side of which pope was the real pope (1376 in the Divine Providence of St. Catherine…).
It shows concretely that Sedevacantism in its nature is independent and protestant at best in its judgment of a reigning Pope; and Jansenist in its least, with a legal determinism and stubbornness to see what is in front of them. It comes down to a religion of vying for a scholastic "Throne of pride" and an apostolate of disturbing the innocent.
As Bishop Williamson has said, "Protestantism and Sedevacantism are two sides of the same coin".
Simply, if the Pope is an undeclared heretic, and the Holiness of the Church by God's voice has not manifested a "conclusion" to this crisis which He is allowing for the greater good of a certain something, then no one can go around "privately or publicly” declaring that the Pope is an "anti-Pope". That would be much like Protestants in their independent spirit running around saying that the Holy Eucharist is not the Son of God…it ends in ruin.
As Protestants are individuals who "protest" with judgement against God's Church and against His order, it is certainly one of disaster; and Sedevacantists are individuals who "protest" with judgement that the order of God's Church is empty for 50-years from His visible authority -is also one of disaster.
Open the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments you will never find a long eclipse of Visible Authority; it is not in God's order. So this question obliges one to rise to a Faith that is stronger and humbler while looking at this "mystery". If God is God, then He knows what He is doing.
To some of the sedes who also argue that Popes are infallible because they are “Popes”, is unlearned; they are not, they are human with original sin; they also go to the sacrament of confession to ask God’s mercy for the irrational things that they say and do. There is a defined outline that a Pope must do to facilitate an infallible decree. Every statement out of their mouths do not meet those defined terms. It is Truth that is infallible by itself; not men, or the virtue of a Prelate. As God is Truth; and Truth comes from God, it is passed through men as Revelation; as Faith comes by hearing, no one can change it, nor make the Truth "more of a Truth"; we can only describe it more fully in the guidance of the Holy Spirit; as past Popes and Councils have done.
Thus, irregardless of different “groups” of men, groups of Bishops, or Popes in their own person, as with having all of the bishops together with the pope agreeing on something, it does NOT make something infallible all by itself. That would be no different than a bunch of elephants getting together and agreeing on lunch. Truth stands by itself; groups of men only proclaim it. To say otherwise makes it humanistic and tribal; and would be definitely a cult. Like Vatican II and their assembly of prelates, not only was it in error from its past, and in error from Revelation, and not only was it declared not to be infallible, nor dogmatic by virtue of their assembly, that by fact, it was declared a Pastoral Council from the post-Vatican Popes. Vatican II, was it Pastoral?
To continue the understanding that ALL sedevacantists are in fact “DOGMATIC” sedevacantists, there is also in Holy Scripture the principles and foundation laid down for us to accept God's vested authority in His choice to sit on the Petrine Chair. As God controls all things, and chooses who He anoints to rule over His people, and Holy Scripture shows over and over again that we must follow God's order, that some of those Anointed had been faithful to God's will, and some have not; yet, they were still the leader/s that He put over us; whether we like it or not.
This is God's world and His creation; it is His Will that guides the drama of human history. As a Conductor of an orchestra selecting his players, setting the tone for the music, making the story line, then executes His will. We players either make that sympathy beautiful to His order, or fall out of tune with [erroneous] musical notes that vibrate through space and time for all of eternity disturbing what God has set-up to prepare for His Son, prophesied in Holy Scripture, for His Second coming.
While so many of us are speaking about the Pontiff, it is certainly a very serious thing. We have to be careful, as scripture shows, “…the people had murmured against God’s anointed.” They murmured against Moses, Solomon, Samuel, David, Saul, Abraham, Jacob, and many others. Human nature is fickle; we are always “upset” about something. Especially when a group gets fermented, they can upset God's order, like they did to Christ: ”Crucify Him…”
I wish to reiterate why it is so imperative to examine this present situation that we find ourselves in with the reigning Pontiff and the Petrine Chair. The only Scriptural answer to any question of high authority is to stay with the Faith that we know until God makes it manifest to do otherwise; not to abandon God’s order. It is God who governs and controls His Church; not us. As Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre warned in 1979:
"The visibility of the Church is too necessary to its existence for it to be possible that God would allow that visibility to disappear for decades. The reasoning of those who deny that we have a Pope puts the Church into an inextricable situation. Who will tell us who the future Pope is to be? How, as there are no cardinals, is he to be chosen? The spirit is a schismatical one.
“And so, far from refusing to pray for the Pope, we redouble our prayers and supplications that the Holy Ghost will grant him the light and strength in his affirmations and defense of the Faith."
So it is, that the sedevacantists community by its nature, is a dead end road; there is no conclusion. It just runs around in circles because it can only provide “evidence and judgement” for where there is NO virtue or authority to judge. So for someone to physically put their foot, and their children’s feet, in a sedevacantist camp is to cut yourself off from the Petrine office -which makes it a schismatic mentality- as Archbishop Lefebvre had mentioned above. It is a mentality that is so parallel to a protestant spirit; a spirit of independence. Which is also why Archbishop Lefebvre had always refused to ordain a seminarian that was sedevacantist; that was the policy in the SSPX until his death.
There is also another natural hallmark of Sedevacantism, they become to themselves a vibrant body of intellectual “legalism”; like the Sanhedrin. While the Sanhedrin always went off with their theories, it was also the same group that constantly tried to trip up our Lord. Remember one of their many follies with trying to trap our Lord with the coin of Caesar; “to whom do we give tribute to…?”
The answer is always in our Lord’s Wisdom; have the foundation of humility and give your understanding and suffering to God the Father who awaits Paternally for our needs, wants, and sacrifices. Ultimately, to surrender an unattached and unfettered soul. “…Give to God the things that are God’s.”
When Peter in the beginning was in the boat with the other Apostles, he passionately went out to our Lord walking on water; then he began to sink because he took his eyes off of the Lord and onto his own concerns and conclusions. Peter was only saved from drowning because he reached back out to our Lord with the correct humility and vision of the Faith again. “Lord I am drowning…” The focus was returned back on our Lord’s Power and His Authority to calm the sea.
And St. Peter was in prison, in chains: “But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him… And the chains fell off from his hands.” (Acts 12:5-7).
That is unity in the body of Christ; that is the Faith in practice for those who suffer.
The Pope needs our attention yes, and our prayers; not to split the Church even further, and turn other souls away from the one Ark of Salvation.
Suffice that there is one common denominator that rests at the bottom of all of this, it is that Christ is the Head of His Church; and it is He who governs it. We need to have a greater Faith to know that God is God, and He is good at it.
Being baptized Catholics, we all recognize that God needs to help us and provide for us in this grave situation. To say, to live, and try to influence others that the Pope is not the Pope is very grave personally, and it is also very grave to influence others when God has NOT provided an exterior manifestation that moves in that direction.
As our catechism teaches us that the Pope is the Highest Authority in the Church, and the world itself, Holy Scripture is plentiful in showing us God's hand on the anointed one; even if that person is a grave sinner. Time and time again, God still commands that we follow the "Chair of Moses"; it does not mean to follow the "person of Moses"; it means to follow the Authority of God "through Moses".
I do realize ahead of time that there are a 101 different sedevacantist “theories” out there that will constantly dispute this ancient position, however, we must remember that it is God's Church and it is God that is in Authority of His Church. It is for us to know and study our Faith; yet in all things, like reading Holy Scripture, we must submit our understanding, gifts, and intelligence to the mysteries of God and His ways.
It is for us to continue our duty of state, sanctify ourselves, and to wait for God's Hand to show us the way that this will be fixed; either by direct intervention, or by another St. Catherine. We need to have the humility to know that we are not raised to that state to confront His Authority.
God will provide...as Archbishop Lefebvre has always said: "I will wait for Providence; I will not go ahead of it.”
Further, as a Catholic, it is our primary belief in the Faith on this matter that it is to first accept the Pope on God's authority, then it is up to the Church and God's providence to manifest events if God so chose to dispose of him.
For the Sedevacantist position being one of pride first, to judge God's authority to suit their understanding, then to wait for the Church and God’s providence to manifest the events afterwards, is one of a direct anarchy against God Himself.
In Catholicism that cannot be. The existence of the Catholic Church is for the salvation of souls; not to judge God’s order.
As shown above, the scandal is immense to judge a reigning Pope without a just trial to flush out his intentions and understanding of such and such a statement; he very well could be mis-taught from bad narcissists superiors and professors above him with no intention to do contrary to God’s Faith if he knew it otherwise; that could be possible could it not? Natural Law even provides for that in indigenous people.
So for the sedevacantist position to erroneous judge the Pope, God’s anointed, without God providing a just trial to give him the opportunity to convert from the alleged error, is that fair?
So how can the Sedevacantists make such an irrational and imprudent judgment to say he is a “heretic” without a just tribunal?
When the Church goes through the process of investigating and declaring someone a "heretic" it goes through a very long and tedious process; it could take years to complete; as had many times before. Also, the process is not designed to purposely declare someone a "heretic", it is designed to save them from their error; if not, then a declaration is made.
Cannot a sedevacantist agree with any kind of compassion that to say if one is a "heretic', that in itself, is casting a very grave judgment on another person; it dams them to hell without a conversion. Isn't it then also very grave to judge any other individual without all of the evidence that forms the statement/s of that person of why they said it? Certainly, one can say something because one is ill informed; which is widespread today through error and propaganda.
None the less, isn't it always wise and prudent to gather more information before judging another individual, especially if it is a higher authority, because the scandal of doing so can be greater than the accusation?
In other words, there is 4,000 years of Foundational Scriptural History in the Old Testament, and 2,000 years of Catholicism in the New that proves God's highest authority on this earth cannot be judged and removed by anyone but God Himself.
To judge that the Pope is a "heretic" and cannot hold the Chair that God put him in, is unjust without having tribunal evidence at your disposal and being a Pope yourself to judge another Pope; it then remains only a personal interpretation of things you heard and read. Therefore, such a position cannot dispose of God's anointed. Even if we like it or not.
Even in a question today by a sedevacantist: “When a claimant to the papacy teaches that there is no Catholic God we have abundant reason to suspect that he is a heretic.", dreadful as that is, there are abundant examples in the Old Testament that God's highest authority of Kings, and also of Prophets, have also done the same in leading the Israelites into all kinds of sins and into idolatry. Salomon, Aaron, Saul, and other Kings and some prophets have done such abominable things against the Faith. God still held them in the Chair of authority in order to use those abuses to chastise and purify his people (...).
So this is a religious problem; therefore, it is a direct question of what is God's will in it (as in all things). For the Sedevacantists who conclude in a proud act of disdain to God’s authority is in error themselves. Why not “judge’ yourselves more harshly with an examination of conscience than to direct your energies condemning another when you do not have the authority to do so?
Who of these sedevacantists really dares to question God’s authority for choosing and raising up His earlier Prophets to instruct His people, or of one who was Anointed to the Authority on the Throne of His Petrine Chair to govern us? Who is like unto God to judge His authority? In Scripture, Job had a brief conflict in his own sufferings to question God’s designs; and God admonished his unbelief (Job, Chapter 38).
To bring the sedevacantist argument in its conclusion, the same scandals are then true of all the world’s diocesan bishops who are also consequently “heretics and non-members” and are without “authority”, thus needing to be removed from office; therefore, for the sedevacantist, the Catholic Church must be identified only with those who adhere to the sedevacantist beliefs and who refuse communion with these Popes or Bishops. That is a ludicrous understanding of Catholicism; then Christ’s Church had defected.
Sedevacantists need to understand that they may be good “paralegals” to gather and organize information; however, they need to also understand that the many theologians of the Catholic Church did not even agree with one another over these questions. So how can a layman think they have the “judgmental” answer?
Sedevacantists have no place, or right, to judge God’s authority; that is what the devil did; his actions caused a revolt; created a division; and now reaps his rewards. God will not be mocked; and we need to take His creative order seriously. And yes it is true that we are immersed in our psychic of a western civilization that is rooted in a Protestant and Masonic spirit, rebellious for independence, and wanting a self-governance in the Church, like the French Revolution, a voice that constantly shouts for democracy towards those who have authority over us. Are we really in greater influence by that in what we do, or by the rule of our Catholic Catechism? That is the struggle of our day.
Only God creates, only He governs, only He sanctifies, and He alone provides for us -there is no room for "private" interpretations in His universe.
If someone still has “doubts”, as St. Alphonsus had once said, there is a greater wisdom to die on the “right side” of obeying God and His authority than to die being on the other side of refusing God’s authority.
For the sedevacantist movement to eclipse the authority of God in His Anointed Pope, they set themselves up as an independent class of citizens and another "legalistic" movement, like the Calvinists in their day, which is a hindrance to the need of salvation in front of them.
For these post-Vatican II Popes to be innocent in what they do is far from the truth also; they are modernists, and therefore incapable of spotting contradiction. St. Pius X said evolution was the primary characteristic of modernism. False doctrines to them are developments which evolve with the living Church, rather than contradictions.
So welcome to the irascible world of the Modernists, narcissists, and sedevacantists. The list goes on…
When reality becomes present for the Sedevacantists, as shown above, they make up new words and crony definitions of “Dogmatic-Sedevacantism”, “Dogmatic-Sedeplenism”, and “Dogmatic-anti-sedevacantism”.
To address also another “unique phrase” of the sedevacantists, is that they call a Catholic -a “Dogmatic-Catholic”- as one who staunchly opposes their erroneous premise. Imagine, calling a Catholic a “dogmatic-Catholic”, isn’t that a rather redundant statement? All Catholics are “dogmatic” by the very nature of one’s Baptism –as everything a Catholic believes is from the Revelation of God! God is Dogmatic…!
If it is a matter of highlighting their brilliance of being in a "superior" religion than the "common" Catholics, then they will need to work that out with the majesty of God in their own particular judgment when they die.
So it remains that Sedevacantism is a culture and another religion for themselves. Like every religion, and birth of nations, the [powers] need to find an identity; whether it is like the Protestants originating in Germany, and of those who sailed over the Atlantic to use a “negative” approach to find their [origin] and cause of being by bashing Catholicism and raising the anti-Popeism spirit, or by the Sedevacantists who also use a “negative” approach and invent neologistic words to find their origin by calling into question the authority of Catholicism and also raising the anti-Popeism flag.
It is a known fact that without Faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11). To purposely deny anything of the Faith is to deny the Authority of the Faith and God Himself. To give an example, the Faith and its Doctrines are like a chain; each Dogma is linked to each other, and as the chain is held up, like ascending to God on the rungs in Jacobs ladder, that if someone was to deny just one Dogma of the Faith whereby taking out one of the links, the rest of the chain falls. As like if one denied the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, all the rest of her attributes fall, including her Assumption into heaven.
Either there is a Catholic Faith that came from the monarchical order of God that does not judge a Pope outside of the established authority, or there is a catholic faith that is a democratic order that anyone can judge the Pope; that democratic order is sedevacantism.
As the Church defines that if the current occupant of the Chair of Peter has deviated in any way from the faith, and by all visible evidence, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they should be avoided, and therefore withdraw from obedience toward them in their error, but we cannot completely sever communion with them. This position is based on the words of our Lord who said to beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and on the authority of [St. Paul] who said to avoid the heretic.
It is one thing for an individual to avoid a man they consider to be a danger, and another for an inferior to depose a superior. Since we will all have to answer for ourselves on judgment day, one does NOT have the authority to make a public judgment, nor do they have the authority to "compel another to submit to a judgment that is NOT pronounced by the Church’s public authority".
This is the Catholic position, which is of course is the appropriate response to the present crisis.
So what does Catholicism say about Sedevacantism? Sedevacantism is always a possibility in any epoch of time. To discuss the possibilities is a good and discerning thing to do; with humility, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and patience.
The possibility of Sedevacantism can be collected from the faithful and prelates to form a body of "evidence", then submit it to the proper Authorities God had established. If that cannot be done in a time of crisis, then be patient, and let God act as God. He will not leave us "orphans".
For a person(s) who is studying sedevacantism and “conclude” that there is the greatest evidence that he is "not the Pope", the same people need to recognize that it is first [their] private understanding and cannot push it in public, and secondly, if one thinks that they can take that “conclusion” to the next level of judging a valid Pope on their own, whether as a layman or a prelate , when one has NO authority to do so, and spread that "belief" to others on a public platform is not only erroneous, it is evil. "Whoa to those who scandalize the children...” says our Lord.
Where is the humility to know one’s place? Judging a valid Pope out of his office is NOT a place for any baptized and non-baptized soul without God, in the Authority of His Church, to judge matters that relate to His pristine and absolute Authority.
Our Lord is the Head of His Church. He teaches, governs, and sanctifies it in minute detail. He is God; and He knows what He is doing.
Though this is so, there are many weak souls who only look at themselves and their lifestyles more than the Faith that is to supply their understanding and life. If the awareness of pride doesn’t stop the mal-intent, then where is sedevacantists absolute certitude to judge another soul? There is none! Then it is self-evident not to judge God’s Authority –the Pope
Further, Sedevacantism is a NOUN. It is a state of being. When one describes oneself as a Protestant, or a Sedevacantist, one is stating that they have already made that judgment against God’s Authority and disposed the valid Pope in their mind and life; extremely dangerous. As said above, a Catholic cannot judge God’s Authority without disassociating oneself from the communion of the Church. You can look up the catechetical quotes of what that separation means.
The warnings must be made.
There is no "picking and choosing", either one is Catholic and follows all of the Perennial teachings, or not. No admixture; nor novelties.
Part 4 (conclusion)
We are also in a crisis of words and their meanings. Modernism did that; the political elite play on that, and ambiguous terms are used for their ends and to the collection and demise of the [slaves].
We are in a time that is confusing and immoral. Every which way there is something there ready to apostate us to deny Christ.
As God is all powerful, all knowing, and all present, then God is in perfect control over all things; including this situation with the Pope. While we humans see the drama of human history standing in a forest with a lot of trees in front of us trying to see and understand the other side of the forest. God sees all things from His Throne; He knows and guides all things unto His will.
This is a universal SHAKING of the whole world to its very foundation; all Catholics, pagans, atheists, and false religions… are affected. All of the past, present, and future history is in axis of this present, unprecedented, crisis. The Old Testament has its unique human drama; the New Testament also has its own human drama that is being played out -before our very eyes in God's plan- for His Son, Jesus Christ.
As there are two natures to the Catholic Church: one Divine, the other human. This crisis is a human problem within the human part of the Church; not within the Divine part of the Church. Therefore, the Catholic position is based on the fidelity to the Divine Constitution of the Catholic Church, and to resist the human errors.
The confusion within this crisis is that many do not distinguish this; and live accordingly.
Not to pray for the Pope is separation of thought and faith. To continue to use and attach the word Catholic to the sedevacantist theses is really a nuance rather than an absolute in nature as they do not follow a vertical authority handed down from God. Like protestants, the sedevacantists pick and choose what to believe:
• The sedevacantists deny the primacy of peter and refuse Christ’s teaching in His governance to establish His own Pope; whether the Pope is good or bad for our blessing or chastisement.
• By the sedevacantists “ad hocs”, they completely overturn the true "norm" of doctrine and belief in the Church by making up their own form of understanding to their followers (and for everyone to follow); that for them, it becomes an interpreted set of a quasi-doctrine or a quasi-dogma to judge the Pope.
Hence, all Sedevacantists are truly “DOGMATIC-sedevacantist”!
Therefore, as there is no right of a Catholic to dialog and “commune” with other beliefs who are in error, regardless of what is under the appearance of good, even if one claims that they are “Catholic” before they state their creed, it all shows that in order for the Sedevacantism community to exist, its true nature is a parasite to Catholicism; it leaches and needs to make itself a platform of being a “trad-ecumenist” in its outreach in order to survive. [Trad-ecumenism is false ecumenism within Tradition]. Whereby, they are another golden calf of error robed under the appearance of good with “traditional garb and traditional incense”.
We do not need to seek anything outside of the salvation God had already communicated to us for 6,000 years; and we must realize that God has placed rulers in authority over us and we should respect their positions (Romans 13:1-5):
“Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God' s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God' s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.”
God gave us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Obedience to His creative order gives us the conviction to serve Him and the love that He asks of us to be like His Son in the footsteps of His Cross.
For further reading on Sedevacantism, see:
• Sedevacantism is not an Option (compilation). Sedevacantism is not an Option
• Provoking Questions about Sedevacantism Link
• Sermon - Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer: Sedevacantism and the Canon of the Mass
• Canon Hesse has given excellent answers to understand this present crisis; along with addressing the sedevacantist issue.