The Vacancy of the Apostolic See, the non-papacy of Francis, and for that matter of Benedict XVI, John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI, and even of John XXIII, is an issue which has divided traditionalists perhaps more than any other over the past forty years.
Of those who have taken the path of resistance to the reforms of Vatican II, the majority profess to be sedeplenists, that is, they hold that Francis is a true Roman Pontiff. They do so usually under the direction of the Society of Saint Pius X. Others, a minority but not an insignificant one, are sedevacantists, that is, they say that Francis is not a true Roman Pontiff, nor are his Vatican II predecessors.
Here and here, I spoke about the statements of Novus Ordo Archbishop Viganò. These were cerebral and succinct condemnations of the Second Vatican Council and of the effluent from that dreadful meeting.
In a recent statement to the Remnant, however, which is a recognize-and resist publication, the Archbishop took the position of what I would call recognize and ignore. He says, essentially, that Vatican II can just be ignored. Its false teachings do not matter since there were no definitions of dogma, and therefore are fallible statements.
Bishop Schneider’s statement. On the feast of Pentecost Bishop Schneider issued a lengthy statement in which he rightly criticized Vatican II for having errors, concentrating particularly on Dignitatis Humanæ, which proclaims the moral right to embrace false religions. In this he was correct, of course. However, his solution was very seriously erroneous, namely that the Church’s councils can err, and are in need of correction occasionally. He then went on to point out “errors” in past councils.
There are many traditional Catholics who, in an effort to find a precedent to our current problem in the Church, look to the Great Western Schism as this precedent. The Great Western Schism was a split among Catholics which took place from 1378 to 1417. It was caused by the election of two different popes simultaneously.
A response to Father Ludger Grün. In my last newsletter [blog post version here], I reviewed the motives and reasons why we must avoid the una cum Mass. In most cases this applies to the traditional Masses offered by the SSPX, both mainstream and “resistance.” A Father Grün of the SSPX made a response to my newsletter, and consequently here I would like to make more clear just what our position is.
I am sure that most are familiar with our strict stance on attendance at the una cum Mass. We, the clergy of the Roman Catholic Institute, hold that it is objectively sacrilegious to actively participate in a Mass in which Bergoglio (or the local N.O. bishop) is mentioned in the canon.