Even posting this link will set off some readers of this blog. It might be considered unnecessary by all seven of them. However, in the off chance that anyone who is justly dismayed by the auto demolition of the Church since 1962 and the recent turmoil and uncertainty is even thinking of peering down the rabbit hole of sedevacantism, this article from The Remnant should definitively end any doubt.
Though sedevacantism is not a problem in any traditionalist group recognized by Rome (and is not likely prevalent in SSPX communities either, from what I understand), some of us may have family or friends who are sedevacantists or who are drawn to flirt with that position. And when one looks superficially or even soberly at some of the scandalous nonsense that has occurred in the Church, and even in the higher levels of the hierarchy, it is understandable that one looks for answers that satisfy Christ's guarantee that the Church would prevail over the gates of hell.
The problem with forming conclusions is that we have no authority to do so on such a weighty matter as this: Does a pope cease being pope if he is a manifest public heretic? If so, how does this occur? And on whose authority?
If you are still reading this and have never heard the various theories behind sedevacantism-by-heresy, you are no doubt mystified. No problem, feel free to move on with your life. If otherwise, I urge you to read the linked article, which is lengthy but well-reasoned, well-cited, and which discusses the writings of St. Thomas, Suarez, Cajetan, St. Robert Bellarmine and others. It covers all the bases and even historical examples.
Bravo to The Remnant for posting it. And I suppose it is noteworthy to the current crisis that it sure seems to be timely posted.
From the Conclusion:
Just before our Lord’s Passion, He said to His disciples: “All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed”. (Mt. 26:31) According to tradition, the life of the Church will parallel the life of Christ, and at the end experience a passion similar to that of its head. The Church today is following our Lord through His passion. We can even discern a mystical death taking place, in what seems to be a separation of the body and soul of the Church. At the end of our Lord’s Passion, His human soul separation of His body at once, and as such death was instantaneous. But with the Church, the mystical death – separation of body and soul - is extending over a period of time as more and more of its visible members defect interiorly from the Faith.
In such unusual circumstances as this, it is certainly understandable that Catholics would be confused; and it is equally understandable that they would be scandalized by the action and inaction of the recent Popes, who may indeed have lost the Faith. But as we have seen, the loss of faith, in and of itself, does not result in the loss of Papal office. Neither do actions that render a Pope suspect of heresy. And even if a Pope was a manifest heretic (which requires a public warning) there is a two-fold opinion on whether or not he would automatically lose his office, or only be rendered deposable; yet, as we have seen, on the practical level both opinions require a judgment and declaration from the Church. Since none of the recent popes have been given a public warning, and since none have been declared heretics by the proper authorities, they do not qualify as manifest heretics. Therefore, as bad as one may think they have been, they have retained their office.