LifeSite News using Cardinal Mueller to promote Sedevacantism

Commentary and Critique by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Sedevacantism is based on a shell game. That is, Sedevacantism, the idea that the Church has no pope, is a sophistic trick of saying one thing and interpreting it as meaning something else, of the classical undistributed middle term, in Logic.

For example,

Every dog has the ability to make a bark.
Trees naturally make a bark.
Trees naturally are dogs.

Here, the phrase in English, “make a bark” is syntactically identical, but it is used in entirely two different senses: in the former regarding the production of a sound, and in the latter in regard to the production of an external superficial covering.

The same game is played by Sedevacantists on a very important thesis. And this is there game:

The Catholic Faith has always taught that a soon as a pope is evidently a heretic, he loses his office.
This man who is claimed to be the pope is evidently a heretic.
Therefore this man is no longer the pope.

This is the same game being launched in the above cited article from LifeSite News, which reports a quote by Cardinal Mueller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who held that office from July of 2012 until the death of the former pontiff.

Sedevacantism is a game which was launched a man who was eventually convicted on three counts of pedophilia. It does not have a good moral lineage.

The Catholic position is more precise, and it’s rational goes like this:

The Catholic Faith has always taught that a soon as a pope is evidently a heretic, he loses his office.
This man who is claimed to be the pope is evidently a heretic.
Therefore this man is no longer the pope.

But is that not the same argument as the Sedevacantists?

No.

And why, “No”?

Because, in the Catholic rational, “evident” means “evident to the Church”, and such evidentiality requires an authentic act of hierarchical discernment and judgement, which can only emanate from a person or group of persons with the charism of discernment which is from God (the Divine Faith), who hold the authority of jurisdiciton, to render a judgement which binds the whole Church.

This group is the Bishops or a legitimate Pope.

But this authority is limited by Canon Law to specific juridical proceedures or Councils.

So when a man who appears to be the Pope is discerned and judged in Council to be evidently a heretic, then, and only then, can it be said that he has lost his office, even if “lost his office” regards a moment in time in the past, according to the judgement of the same authority.

So what is the problem with Sedevacantism?

The person who argues, as the above, is using “evidently” to mean, “evident to me and you”. And is thus arrogating to himself or to the faithful in general the authority and identity which Christ only gave to the Church, in the persons of Bishops holding ecclesiastical authority.

That stricture even excludes persons like Vigano or Gracida, who currently do not hold any office in the Church.

The cure for Sedevacantism is humility, reality and patience. The humility to understand the faith in its proper sense, the reality of recognizing that the Church does have juridical rules to be followed, and the patience to seek that they be followed by petitions, written or in person, with the persons who have the authority to act.

This is why the Sutri Initiative is the cure for both Sedevacantism and the problems of Holy Mother Church, today.

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