Donald Sandborn responds to SSPX allegations

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The in the video above, Bishop Sandborn, a sedevacantist bishop, who is a former member of the SSPX, says there are more cases of abusers in the SSPX. On this, he gives his personal testimony, which is the principal reason I have published it here.

But, though Bishop Sandborn reaffirms many truths of the Catholic Faith, his exposition also includes several grave errors, which I consider necessary to point out, lest the faithful be led astray:

  • He says one can obtain the same graces by watching mass on TV as being present in person. This is simply not true, since the sacrificial action of the Mass has an exorcistic value which is much stronger the nearer one is to the Altar, as is proven in many exorcisms done here in the Eternal City, where the possessed where put in a cage to keep them near the Altar as the Mass was celebrated. Also, being in the very presence of the Sacrifice, the priest and the Sacrament, and among those who are also praying in communion with the priest has a much more powerful force to sanctify and obtain grace than by someone praying alone while watching images on a screen, as should be obvious. This does not deny that for some Saints, because of their personal perfection and holiness, they can obtain just as much grace in either case.
  • He seems to think that the heresy of a Bishop, who was validly appointed, causes the entire local Church to fall away from Christ, when in truth, it only causes him and those who assent to his heresy to fall away. The same regards the case of a Bishop which is in schism. This is because the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and has as its quasi soul, the Holy Ghost, out of Whose Hand the faithful cannot be snatched so long as they remain Catholic.
  • He fails to recognize — because it serves the agenda of Sedevacantists to practice a private religion — that the local Church has the right to have a Catholic Bishop and when deprived of one, by means of the heresy or schism of their bishop, they can ask Rome for a Catholic Bishop and when Rome is impeded by a sede vacante or external forces or unwillingness in the Holy Father to act, the local church has the right to chose and have ordained a Catholic Bishop due to the imminent danger of souls. Thus, there never is a legitimate case to be ordained a bishop apart from a Diocese or jurisdiction established by the Church.
  • He also does not mention, that no man has the right to become a priest or bishop, and that the legitimacy of the election of a Bishop or the ordination of a priest requires that the Church approve it. This is the fundamental fraud practiced by the SSPX and Sedevacantists. They fall into this necessary error, because they do not seek the salvation or assistance of the local Church to have Catholic pastors, but only work to promote their own organizations. This is not the goal supernatural charity, and therefore their works are in vain, because they are not founded upon the will of Jesus Christ, that we be and remain and work for the good of His Church which is one and indestructible.

What needs to be emphasized, on the question of going to Mass,  is that the obligation only exists on Sundays WHEN there is a Catholic priest in communion with the true pope and who is not a heretic or a danger to souls and when the Mass is celebrated without the admixture of heresy or other grave errors or immorality which endanger souls. The Mass also must be no farther than an hour of travel distant, and the weather cannot be dangerous for traveling.

The reason why the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday is actually limited by a lot of conditions is that it is a precept of the Church, applying the obligation of the Decalogue, to worship the True God, which however does not presuppose that you should put yourself in danger of your eternal salvation or grave risk to your bodily or personal safety or health.

This is why, in true plagues, the Sunday obligation lapses. It is also why, if your Church was decorated with art which for you incited lust, you would have no obligation to go to mass there.

But this is why there is no obligation to go to Mass to a Schismatic and why one should never attend mass with a heretic. One is also obliged, if the priest is catholic and in communion with the pope, but during that mass preaches heresy or blasphemes God, to leave the Church and not return until the priest publicly repents.

However, on the question of whether it is morally licit to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament from the hands of a Schismatic, Saint Alphonsus cites many authors in approval, if one has need of the Sacrament. But it is never licit to do so from the hands of a heretic.

However, another important point which Bishop Sandborn ignores, is that there are cases where a man might be led to say that which is heretical without assenting to it as heresy, and likewise in matters of schism, there are cases in which the priest might act as if in schism but not be in schism.

Let us discuss these cases.

For example, if a priest in the missions is told that the Pope has died and that they new pope is Martin XVIII, but does not realize that the person telling him this is lying and that Martin XVIII is really and anti-pope, at mass when he names Martin XVIII he apparently offers the Mass in schism from the true pope, but this is only an error in appearances, because he has no intention of being in schism and is acting without consent to the schism, being only deceived by another.

This case applies obviously to the claim of Bergoglio to be Pope Francis, which is founded on the very common error of holding the act of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013 as a valid renunciation which it is not. Thus, if such priests have not examined the evidence, whether out of laziness or stubbornness or incapacity to understand the problems, or lack of knowledge or Latin or canon law or how to think through a problem, their naming of Francis is not schismatic. However, if they truly want to follow a man whom they know has no valid claim, then they sin gravely in naming him as the Pope and pretending that his claim is valid, even if they think it is not.

However, with Bergoglio there is the second problem, that of his heresy. A priest who knows that he teaches heresy and is pertinacious, in naming Francis in the canon consents to the sin of heresy, and his masses are not offered in communion with the Church, and thus no one has an obligation to attend them, and if he preach heresy certainly no one should, because he is a public heretic.

However, in the same case, since many priests think Bergoglio is the pope and that the pope cannot become a pertinacious formal heretic, even if personally he speak heresies, their error about papal privileges might lead them to think that naming Francis in the canon is possible without consenting to his personal heresies.

Finally, if the priest is promoting the errors of Amoris Laetitia by giving the Sacrament to public sinners, not just as a practice, but because he rejects the teaching of Christ and the Apostles that this should never be done, he is also a heretic, and one should not attend his masses.

As regard the Mass of Vatican II, it can cause some to lose the faith, and for them they should not attend it. But for those who know their faith, attendance at this form of the Mass is not consent to the errors contained in its rubrics, according to the teaching of the Saints who say the sins of the priest in the rubrics of the mass do not make the congregation guilty.  In fact, the errors in the new ritual are not formal heresies nor require the participants to consent to heresies, though they are frequently highly ambiguous or insufficient in expression to nurture dogmatic faith and virtue. However because many priests hold that the New Mass being approved with Church authority is incapable of having dangerous errors in it, they do not by that consent to endangering the faithful, until they recognize that this is the case.

This is one of the common errors of Sedevacantists and some Traditionalists, that they accept the error of the Jansenists who hold that the supernatural habit of dogmatic Faith is destroyed by other sins, though all the Saints teach that it can only be destroyed by sins against the faith.

None of this ignores or excuses the fact that a parish which adopts errors is not a dangerous place for souls. But at the same time, the faithful each have the duty to know their faith and remove themselves from the danger of errors by knowing the faith, refuting errors, and to remove themselves from the moral danger of errors by not frequenting places of sin and public sinners.

Also, when the mass is sacramentally valid, that is, when the Eucharist is truly confected by a valid priest, Our Lord is present and there is a true offering of His Sacrifice. To say that one cannot respect that truth without assenting or consenting to the errors of those who celebrate it, is simply contrary to reason, for it asserts that the intellect is incapable of making distinctions, and that they will is incapable of consenting under a condition or with a partial respect. This is simply absurd and inhuman. And the Church has never taught such a thing. In fact, by regarding the Sacraments of Greek Schismatics as valid, for nearly 1000 years, the Church teaches the opposite, that Christ can be truly present and the Mass truly valid sacramentally even among schismatics and heretics. This does not mean, however, that it is efficacious for heretics or schismatics.

Finally, who is and who is not the pope is not a matter of opinion. It is determined by the norm of Canon Law and by the judgement of the Church in cases of doubt. Though we can in controversial cases make personal judgements and be required to do so, we must nevertheless recognize that the terms of Canon Law or Papal Law are determinative and objective and lead to conclusions which are not opinions but obligatory for all.

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23 thoughts on “Donald Sandborn responds to SSPX allegations”

  1. Outstanding presentation by Bishop Sandborn particularly as he covers what he claims to be the authenticity of our Novus Ordo Church vs. true Catholicism found in sedevacantism. I do support his effort in a small way financially and I am constantly being drawn to their point of view and have been for a number of years. especially given the advent of the heretic Bergoglio, never mind the Protestantized version of Catholicism many of us unhappily endure. Perhaps God is leading me in this direction as every day the attraction of sedevacantism seems to increase and become stronger. Today for example. Beyond all else one must be concerned about his own soul and the souls of those for whom he is responsible.

    1. Michael, the Sede thesis is contrary to the divine faith and to the Magisterium, which says in Vatican 1 that Peter will always have successors. Also it is founded upon rash judgement. However, if a priest thought Bergoglio was validly elected and fell into thinking there was no pope because they reocgnize him as a heretic, as the hermits of N. Scotland did, then there is perhaps little fault in that, since for some minds, seeing the invalidity in Benedict’s renunication is difficult since they have not the training. But Sanborn adopted his position to justify his ordination as a bishop, for which he was excommunicated by John Paul II. Now if Sanborn was so ordained because a diocese wanted a Catholic bishop and the clergy and faithful of that place elected him, then his position would have more justice to it, because it is true that JP2 being trained at the Angelicum did not recognize all error as error, especially in matters of Scriptural interpretation, and thus did not recognize a lot of bishops and his own cardinals as formal pertinacious heretics, and let them run riot in the Church. Remember, being a priest and a bishop is only licit when you receive the sacrament from someone who has the munus, or with the authorization of a Diocese which is deprived of its own bishop. Its not a private vocation.

      1. Thanks Brother. Points well taken but not convincing to me. I am more concerned about the constant exposing myself and others to the on-going error and Catholic morality mitigation by the Novus Ordo Church which does not support our faith and leads us into temptation. God does not lead us into temptation but the Novus Ordo Church does which is the only Church I attend. Continuing to subject ourselves to such undermining of our faith can hardly be in the interest of saving our souls.

        Someday you might inform us about what you mean by “teaching at the Angelicum did not recognize error as error, especially in matters of Scriptural interpretation.” Please provide an example.

      2. At the Angelicum they teach that, for example, some of the letters of Saint Paul were not written by Saint Paul, or that the Gospels were not written by the Apostles but rather compiled by their disciples, etc.., all of which destroy the infallibility of the doctrine contained in each.

      3. Brother Alexis–

        I was under the impression that it is a given that certain letters attributed to St. Paul may have been written by others, e.g., Letter to the Hebrews. And what difference does it make since the Church recognizes them as authentic and inspired.

        Also, many papal encyclicals, teaching, etc were also written by others.

        I guess I just don’t understand your point that a document must be actually written by a person to be authentic.

      4. No, it is a dogmatic fact that the books of Scripture are written by the Saint-Authors who wrote them. To say otherwise is to imply that the Church has deceived the faithful, or that the grace of inspiration was not given to the author but to a committee, which is a very marxist idea.

      5. Bro. Alexis—“No, it is a dogmatic fact that the books of Scripture are written by the Saint-Authors who wrote them.”

        I have never heard of the dogmatic fact you mention. All I have heard in my entire Catholic life is that some of St. Paul’s writing and other Gospel writing may not have been written by the one whose name is the designated author. Could you please tell us where we can find such a dogma in writing?

      6. Bro. Alexis–

        “A dogmatic fact is not a dogma, it is a historical fact which if denied would but in doubt the authenticity of the authority which is teaching.”

        OK. Surely there must a theological reference that can be cited to support this idea. I never heard of such a thing. Who has the authority to apply it? The critical-historical method of Biblical research and understanding would seem to undermine this entire idea.

      7. Br. Alexis–
        “See my booklet, 30 principles for an explanation. As for dogmatic facts, see any manual of dogmatic theology.”

        Thanks Brother. There has been much controversy about Dogmatic Facts between you and others regarding the application to “Pope” Bergoglio’s authenticity, e.g., Dogmatic Fact: The One Doctrine that Proves Francis Is Pope by Robert Siscoe.

        You rebutted his argument in your May 9, 2020 article:
        “Siscoe & Salza attack Bugnolo on Dogmatic Facts: He replies”

        To me what this boils down to is that facts trump dogma. The underlying facts must be correct. In the case of Bergoglio because the facts concerning Benedict’s resignation intent render Bergoglio’s papacy illegitimate.

      8. Yes, and in regard to scripture, if Saint Paul did not write the letter, then it does not contain infallible doctrine, because the Church is not infallible as a community, it is in fallible because it is united to men with offices which have the charism of infallibility, like the Apostles did by their office.

      9. “Yes, and in regard to scripture, if Saint Paul did not write the letter, then it does not contain infallible doctrine, because the Church is not infallible as a community, it is in fallible because it is united to men with offices which have the charism of infallibility, like the Apostles did by their office”

        Question: As far as I know those with the charism of infallibility (Popes) have not, as far as I know, claimed or dogmatized that only those who signed their names to the Scriptures were the actual writers of these works.. For this subject remains an open issue.

      10. Tradition has always asserted that the authors of the Books of Scripture are those which tradition and the texts themselves say they are. And Christ even says that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. These modern scripture scholars break with the entire tradition of the Church and call Her and Christ both liars. We must reject their assertions as heretical. And if you have a bible which says what is heretical, burn it.

  2. The fact is the SSPX hierarchy coverup,
    That is the important thing of the testimony.

    I did not follow the whole , It loose interest for me.

    It is valuable when he refers to the cases and the parallel with the post Vatican II time.

    But he also blames the SSPX FROM THE BEGINNINGS, from it genesis and he is a former member….and he keep quiet about that (I do not know if afterwards he explains his position ).

    He continuously repeats the same thing “Novus order” regarding the SSPX and the Vatican church, and finally borrows.

  3. Was impressed with his illustration of the union of the mass participant being one with the priest/ celebrant in his allegiance to the one he recognized as the pope: When one boards a plane he agrees with what the Pilate does to get to the place he says he is going. A parishioner who participates in a mass by a priest who knowingly calls an apostate heretic the Holy Father gives his own allegiance to that heretic whether he wishes it so or not. Would it then be better to participate in a mass by a priest who believes there is no reigning pope today (denying Benedict’s papacy0 than for one to participate in a mass by one who ignorantly believes Francis is the actual pope despite his positions and statements?

    1. David, both are schismatics, whether they realize it or not, but those who think Bergoglio is the pope, might honesty be deceived by others, whereas those who think there are no pope, cannot be honest in that opinion, because it contradicts the divine faith and is filled with despair and is founded on rash judgement, not distinguishing between error, material heresy, and formal, pertinacious heresy.

      1. That is very insightful in respect to the priest. But in respect to the participant in the Mass would you not say it better to accept the mass of a sedovacantist, who in the liturgy does not deny Benedict’s papacy over the Mass that affirms (through ignorance) the papacy of Francis? I just could not accept a Mass that affirms Francis (even if in ignorance) , without a public correction of the error on the spot but I might accept the Mass that deliberately avoids any identification merely referring to “the Holy Father or “the Pope” of course certainly preferring one who I know accepts the papacy of Benedict though remaining silent.

      2. Benedict XVI is the pope. If we were to attend the mass of someone who thinks he is a heretic and never was the pope, it would be a great act of disloyalty. But in the case of those who name Bergoglio, most are simply deceived through no fault of their own.

      3. The dishonesty of Sedevacantism is mind blowing on so many issues. It is not in keeping with Christ’s promise to be with His Church until the end of time, therefore the Gates of Hell would have prevailed if the Throne of Peter was left vacant for more than the required time taken to elect a successor to a deceased pope.

        There is no such thing as an ‘independent’ priest – all priests, prelates etc. must be in communion with a valid Pope & Vicar of Christ. As sedevacantist priests have broken that bond, they are no longer Catholic (latae sententiae) & don’t have the faculties to function as priests no more than schismatics. Nor does their movement have the authority, indefectibility, infallibility, to licence and ordain priests/bishops.

        They argue that the institutional Church’s sacraments are no longer valid & the NO is therefore evil & harmful while having no proof whatsoever that God has not sustained His sacraments (ex opere operfato) even if VII was a bad council (Our Lady’s description).

        In my opinion, they fall into the Protestant error of the unscriptural invisible church being promoted by Antipope F which will, in time, become the NWO godless church & should be widely denounced.

      4. They also fall into the protestant errors which deny the indefectibility of the Church and exalt private judgement, but most of all they deny the words of Jesus, whasoever you bind, and, the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against MY CHURCH.

  4. Maybe you can help me out here Brother. If I wasn’t confused before, I surely am now.
    We live in an area that’s hosts the NO, SSPX, FSSP, and the Priestly Society of Christ the King. Lucky me right? Not so.
    The NO is not Roman Catholic which I am baptized as. I attended mass at the NO for a year and had to move on.
    The SSPX is Roman Catholic but not transparent. We’ve been told if we don’t like it to move on, which we did. Do not dare to ask questions.
    The Priestly Society of Christ the King is Roman Catholic but I think they are sedevacantists. They are descended from Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Brazil who lived at the same time as Archb. Lefebvre and broke it off with Rome at the same time Lefebvre did.
    The FSSP is Roman Catholic. But with no mass because of COVID would it be wrong to attend the Society of Christ the King?

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