Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Can Sedevacantism Be Condemned as Heresy? No, Here is Why

Can Sedevacantism Be Condemned as Heresy? No, Here is Why · Casey Chalk is Wrong to Deny Scripture is Perspicacious

Q on
Catholic Apologetics
Why do a number of Catholics believe in Sedevacantism? Why has the Catholic Church not declared it to be a heresy?

Submission accepted by
Alex Pismenny

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Catholic convert, reading many Catechisms
Palm Sunday, 2.IV.2023
To the first:
Because various Catholics due to various traditionally held positions on what certain Catholic dogmas mean have concluded that people who are widely claimed to have been or now be the Pope of the Catholic Church have contradicted such dogmas, and therefore are not Catholics, and therefore, according to Catholic dogma, cannot be Popes. Note that Sedevacantism (in this sense) subdivides into Sedevacantism proper (there have been no Popes since 1958) and Ortho-Papism (someone else than the commonly accepted series of “John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis” has been pope for at least part of the time since 1958).

To the second:
Catholic dogma is not a sand box for the Popes’ whims, nor a stronghold for the Popes’ powers. A Pope (if such) who wants to discourage Young Earth Creationism, the Latin Mass, Catholic exclusivism, the understanding that people in objective circumstances of mortal sin have to abstain from receiving the sacraments, would be better bolstered there were a Catholic dogma that stated Sedevacantism cannot be true. There cannot be, since the best relevant dogma at least does not exclude Orthopapism, and was in fact interpreted so that at least a 40 years sedevacancy was considered as within the limits imposed by “perpetuos successores” at Vatican Council, decision about the papacy. And, as said, it is dogma that a Pope cannot be a heretic. Logically there is in this no preference for concluding “he is a Pope, ergo not a heretic” over “he is a heretic, ergo not a Pope” … it’s a question to be decided about the facts, not a once and for all principle.

Side note:

5 Things Every Catholic Should Know