[Previously published post, now available here]
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All are shocked, as I am, by Francis’ approval of adultery and sodomy. In so doing, he has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and has opened a whole new world for the Novus Ordo, a world that they cannot change.
This bold and shameless violation of the natural law has caused a significant uptick in interest in sedevacantism. The reason is very simple.
The sedevacantist position rests on principles which are unassailable, namely (1) that it is impossible that a true Roman Pontiff together with a true Catholic episcopate promulgate to the whole Church false doctrines, evil disciplines and false liturgical practices, and (2) that it is impossible that a public heretic be a pope. These principles come directly from the Church’s teaching, as well as the unanimous consent of popes and theologians. There is no argument about these principles. Indeed, one could not deny them without falling into serious error or even heresy.
The whole force of the sedevacantist argument, therefore, does not consist in defending these general principles, but in pointing out the evidence for the accusation. The sedevacantists must prove that in fact Vatican II and its reforms do constitute a new and false religion, and that therefore the hierarchy which has promulgated it cannot have the authority from Christ to rule the Church. The sedevacantists must also point out that the Vatican II “popes” are guilty of public heresy, which can be manifested not only in word but also in deed, that is, through heretical practices.
The sedevacantist position, therefore, rises or falls on the evidence of deviation from the true faith in Vatican II and its reforms, as well as in the “popes’ who have promulgated them.
It is quite simple to figure out that Francis is a heretic when he approves of adultery and sodomy. For adultery is contrary to the Sixth Commandment, and sodomy is contrary to the natural law.
However, this deviation from the Catholic Faith must not be seen merely as a “Francis phenomenon,” but has its roots very firmly in Vatican II.
Vatican II declared in its Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanæ): “It follows that he [man] is not to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious.” (No. 3)
In vain does one look for this principle enunciated in any Catholic book before the Council. It is a distortion of the commonly taught doctrine that one must follow his conscience, even if it is objectively erroneous. The obligation, however, to follow even an erroneous conscience does not create a right to perform what is an objectively sinful act. Those who commit immoral acts ought to be constrained from the evil which they are doing, no matter how much their consciences should dictate it, even if they are convinced that they are obeying God in what they do. Suicide bombers are convinced that they are obeying Allah as they blow themselves up and kill people. Should they not be constrained?
Adultery and sodomy are being approved not in themselves and objectively. The Novus Ordo catechisms have not — yet — been altered. These evil acts are approved because the persons who are committing these sins are acting according to their consciences. Vatican II enthroned conscience over the teaching of the Catholic Church, and we are now seeing the fruits of it.
The same could be said of ecumenism. False religions are considered true religions for the reason that the adherents of these religions are acting according to their consciences. Francis even gave atheists a path to heaven, because they were following their consciences.
In other words, there is nothing in Francis which has not been previously found in Vatican II.
Francis is not the problem. Vatican II is the problem.