Table of Contents
Foreword by Bishop Williamson
Part One: Doctors, Theologians
- Middle Ages
- Closer Era (1789-1962)
Part Two: Canons
- Canon 188.4
- A Pope by Divine Right with No Rights Whatsoever
- Cum Ex and Sedeprivationism
- Universal Peaceful Acceptance
- In Dubio...
- In Obscuris…
- Presumption of Innocence
Part Three: Popes and Councils
Part Four: St. Thomas
Part Five: Scripture
- Parenthesis: Private Revelations
Part Six: History
Part Seven: Common Sense
- A False, Modern Notion of Authority
- An Opinion, Both False and Dangerous, Raised to the Level of Dogma
- Instant Damnation of the Catholic World
- Confusion Between Infallibility and Impeccability in the Faith
- Anarchical Refusal of the Juridical Order of the Church
- Invisible Apostolic Visibility
- A Portico to Many Other Errors
- Francis Gets Away
Appendix: Chart Of Sedevacantism
Great Doctors of the Church have written works named from the author of the errors being refuted by the Doctor, for instance St Augustine's Against Cresconius or St Jerome's Against Jovinianus. Both Cresconius and Jovinianus have today been largely or altogether forgotten, but the works of the Doctors live on because the Doctors lay out good Catholic doctrine in refuting the errors. In the same way Fr Chazal names his refutation of sedevacantism (the See-vacant doctrine that the Popes since Vatican II have not been Popes at all) from Fr Anthony Cekada, a long-standing and outstanding defender of the sedevacantist position. Fr Cekada's arguments and opinions have acted like the grain of sand inside an oyster, which by the irritation which it produces makes the oyster produce a pearl.
Fr Cekada argues as though sedevacantism is not merely one opinion in a difficult and highly disputed question. He presents it as a dogmatic certainty, to refuse which means that one is not Catholic. Fr Chazal has a measure of sympathy for sedevacantists (he prefers them to liberals), and he shows charity towards Fr Cekada, but the great merit of Contra Cekadam is that he proves to any reasonable reader that, at the very least, no Catholic is obliged to accept the sedevacantist position. Fr Cekada writes as though he is a master of theology and of Canon Law, but Fr Chazal has looked up the theologians and the Canons in question and he proves that they are far from proving that the See of Rome has been vacant at any time since Vatican II.
To do this Fr Chazal goes in turn through the Church's theologians, canonists and Popes, St Thomas Aquinas, Scripture and history with a final resort to common sense. Let us here evoke briefly the theologians and the canonists on whom sedevacantists rely heavily.
Their favourite theologian is St Robert Bellarmine who held that any Pope becoming a heretic automatically ceases to be Pope. But Fr Chazal opens the books and finds that this opinion is by no means the common opinion of Church theologians, and that Bellarmine himself requires that the Pope concerned be first given two warnings before he is deposed. For indeed, as many other famous theologians argue, the Pope is not just an individual who can lose the faith personally, but he is also head of a worldwide society which cannot function without a head. Nor does the personal loss of faith necessarily impede his headship of the Church. Therefore they argue, for the sake of the Church as a whole, God preserves the Pope's headship until the highest competent Church authorities can make a public declaration of his heresy (to prevent public chaos in the Church), and then and only then does God depose him. No such declaration has been made since Vatican II.
Sedevacantists also love Canon 188.4 which states that public defection from the faith on the part of a cleric means automatic loss of his office. But many other Canons and the other sections of Canon 188 clearly show that this “public defection” must include the cleric's intent to resign by such acts as, for instance, attempting marriage or joining a sect, and also there must be a warning and official monitions before the cleric loses his office. Common justice calls it the right of self-defence.
In fact Fr Chazal presents a multitude of arguments which prove the human wisdom and patience of Mother Church in dealing with faulty ministers. For the sake of the Church as a whole, it is not only the Pope who does not have his head immediately cut off, as sedevacantists seem to think. The wheels of God may grind exceeding small but they also grind slowly, as the proverb says.
If anybody wishes to learn just how little the position of the sedevacantists is binding on Catholics, by all means let them read this brief and entertaining study by Fr Chazal.
+Richard Williamson, Broadstairs, 20 February, 2018.
Francis is a total disgrace for the office of the Papacy. He is even lacking the good manners of Benedict XVI and the paternal ways of John Paul II, his predecessors in heresy. He is Vatican II's logical conclusion, a new Caiphas.
An important Roman principle remains: "Non Nocere" (do no harm). It was perfectly understood by Archbishop Lefebvre, who retained whatever could be retained of today's Papacy and rejected ever more clearly, especially after 1988, the pestilence of heresy.
The Papacy is of Divine Institution (can. 100.1), it still serves a purpose until the end of times. By reducing it to a cardboard level, or denying it's continuation today, a Pandora's box is being opened.
It will not hurt sedevacantists to hear that if something is left of the authority of Francis, it is in no way to enable him to spread heresy any further. Barriers against heresy were erected by our Fathers: let us use them, even against a reigning Pope.
While we remain convinced he is a heretic, and while he remains a suspect of heresy before the law, much against his will to destroy, his presence guarantees several indispensible things, which Christ, the Head of the Church, has promised to His Spouse until the end of times.
Seeing that a certain seminarian recently approached the owner of a certain forum, asking for a little discount to make the book more affordable, and after seeing the cold response he received there, we decided to try and help those people who would like to read up about the problems with sedevacantism, but who may be struggling to afford the cost of obtaining a copy of Fr. Chazal's book.
Tradidi has teamed up with Mr Akins and is offering 25 gift vouchers, to the same value as the book sells for (10 USD), available at the Catholic Action Resource Center. You will then only need to pay for the shipping. We only ask you to be honest about your genuine need to take up this offer. Simply send us your name and email address through our contact page and we will email you the gift voucher to be spent purchasing Fr. Chazal's book at Mr Akins' website, the Catholic Action Resource Center.