On the illogic and insanity of sedevacantism

Fr. James Altman and his fellow radical traditionalists have done more than jump the shark. What they have said and written is actually schismatic, and may even indicate that Fr. Altman has formally excommunicated himself.

Fr. James Altman seen giving a talk titled "Bergoglio is Not the Pope" (YouTube, Sept 8, 2023). (Image: Screen capture)

By now it is common knowledge among Catholics who follow social media that the firebrand and rogue traditionalist priest Fr. James Altman has formally declared, in a video posted to YouTube, that Pope Francis is not really the pope and is in fact an anti-pope. This should come as no surprise since he said similar things at a conference for the so-called “cancelled priests” held in June of this year in Chicago. It is noteworthy that in attendance at the conference was a veritable “who’s who” assemblage of the leading lights of the radical traditionalist movement. Fr. Altman was applauded and cheered as a hero by those in attendance even if, to be fair, it cannot be accurately ascertained exactly who was applauding and who was not.

Also, last year we saw the popular Catholic podcaster Patrick Coffin come out of the closet as a “Benevacantist”. He believed that the resignation of Benedict XVI was not valid and that the late pontiff was still the Pope and Francis was not. Now, with the death of Pope Benedict, Coffin asserts that he now believes the See of Peter is indeed vacant.

If you follow my column in this journal you know that I have not been shy about criticizing certain aspects of the Francis papacy. In particular, I have been critical of his episcopal appointments, his seeming lean toward a very latitudinarian moral theology, and of the vague and theologically shallow mess that is the “synodal way”. I have been critical of his rolling back of a more liberal use of the old rite of the Mass and of his disdain for what he dismissively calls the “backwardists” in the Church, which strikes me as both uncharitable and in contradiction to his own frequent calls for an open dialogue in the Church where “everyone is welcome.” Finally, I have also noted that he has sent mixed messages with regard to the whole LGBTQ thing, wherein he says many orthodox and proper things, all the while sending approving letters to folks like Sr. Grammick of New Ways Ministry and continually promoting the work of Fr. James Martin, SJ.

In other words, I have “issues” with Pope Francis and I could not in any conceivable way be considered a strong supporter of this papacy along the lines of folks like Massimo Faggioli, Austin Ivereigh, and Mike Lewis. Therefore, when someone like me says that Fr. James Altman and his fellow radical traditionalists have jumped the shark it should carry some weight. And they have done more than jump the shark. What they have said and written is actually schismatic, and may even indicate that Fr. Altman has formally excommunicated himself.

But of course, that is not for me to judge and it will be interesting to see what moves his bishop now makes in that regard.

Here are the facts. Pope Francis is not an anti-pope and he has not taught anything heretical in a magisterial way. Off-the-cuff statements in airplane conversations with reporters or incautious remarks in an interview with an octogenarian atheist who does not take notes do not an anti-pope make. Nor does the cautious opening for some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion in an ambiguous footnote in Amoris Laetitia rise to the level of formal heresy.

It is true that Pope Francis does seem to “make a mess” and it is just such ambiguities that trouble me about this papacy. But not because I think he teaches formal heresy, because he has not. Rather, it is because I view the role of the Petrine ministry as one of unifying by clarifying, whereas Pope Francis sows division while muddying the waters. But this just makes him a pope with deficits of judgment I wish he did not have, not an anti-pope from the pits of Hell. And that is what the insanity of a Fr. Altman claims. For him, Pope Francis is not just a lousy pope, but a dupe of Satan and the tool of Hell.

And not even Pope Francis’s now infamous signing of the Abu Dhabi declaration with its affirmation that God, in his wisdom, has willed the plurality of religions, rises to the level of a magisterial affirmation of a kind of religious relativism. Because even this text must be viewed in its overall context as an affirmation of the importance of the religious sense in all human beings, implanted there by God’s design.

As Catholic University theologian Chad Pecknold puts it in an article in The Catholic Herald:

It is puzzling, and potentially problematic, but in the context of the document, the Holy Father is clearly referring not to the evil of many false religions, but positively refers to the diversity of religions only in the sense that they are evidence of our natural desire to know God. God wills that all men come to know Him through the free choice of their will, and so it follows that a diversity of religions can be spoken about as permissively willed by God without denying the supernatural good of one true religion.

The Abu Dhabi statement is replete with phrases that have become commonplace in modern religious dialogue since Vatican II and therefore a charitable reading of it in that light is not only possible, but necessary. But, of course, radical traditionalists will only say that this is just further evidence of the evils of Vatican II, which is like a “tell” in poker, where we can see that for the traditionalists the real issue is not whether Pope Francis holds a losing hand, but rather whether the Church since Vatican II has as well.

One can perhaps quibble with Pecknold’s spin on this, but the fact remains that the Pope’s endorsement of this document can be read in an orthodox manner and there is certainly no necessity to rush to the conclusion that it is a smoking gun for heresy. Do I wish he had signed it? No. But I also wish St. Pope John Paul II, a great ecclesiastical hero of mine, had not kissed a Koran or held that famous interreligious meeting in Assisi. So, for the Fr. Altmans of the world, was Pope John Paul also an anti-pope?

As for the resignation of Pope Benedict, which many traditionalist sedevacantists hold to be invalid, I can only say that the late Pope himself said that he really did resign the papacy and that he did so of his own free will. And no less a light than his secretary of many years, Archbishop Gänswein–no friend, I think, of Pope Francis–has also affirmed that Pope Benedict really did resign. Are Pope Benedict and Archbishop Gänswein liars? Because that is what you must be committed to claiming if one affirms that Pope Benedict did not really resign and that he knew it. I, for one, do not think the late pontiff was a liar.

But what of all of the pre-conclave machinations of the St. Gallen mafia where a strategy was hatched in order to get Bergoglio elected? Does this not invalidate the whole conclave since such machinations are expressly forbidden in canon law? This criticism presumes that these kinds of pre-conclave shenanigans are the exception and not the norm in the history papal elections. And if you believe that such goings-on are the exception, then you are either woefully ignorant of Church history or just a naïve innocent who actually believes that most conclaves take place in a cone of silence devoid of backroom deals. I am sure that if this standard were applied in a rigorous way that most papal elections would need to be retroactively invalidated. Perhaps then the See of Peter has therefore been vacant most of the time? Or at least back to Pius X, when men were still men and popes knew how to pope?

Therein resides the problem. When one peruses the social media posts of some leading traditionalists there is a constant undercurrent of a latent sedevacantism, if not in fact at least in spirit, in the constant berating of Vatican II and all modern papacies since that time as having succumbed to and officially taught, “modernist” theology. If you doubt me just go onto a typical traditionalist social media post and toss out the name “Pope John Paul II” and see what pops up. You won’t have to wait long. Or if you want some real fun, mention Paul VI or Henri de Lubac. Mention any of those names, and a few others, and it is like tossing a Tomahawk Rib eye steak into a den of starving hyenas. Yes, you can say that it is unfair of me to judge the movement based on social media posts, but that is where the Fr. Altmans live and move and have their being.

In this regard, the Fr. Altmans, Patrick Coffins, and similar folks of the sedevacantist world are merely connecting the dots of this implied logic and saying out loud what others in the movement lack the courage to say. This is why they are wildly popular in this subculture. Because they are saying out loud what many traditionalists are privately thinking. But it is all, in an ecclesiastical sense, quite insane.

Because if one’s deeper issue, as it most certainly is with many of the leading traditionalists, is with the entirety of the modern Church beginning in 1955—when even Pius XII committed the apparently modernist act of revising the Holy Week liturgy—then one cannot escape the “onion peeling” effect wherein some fantastical era of ecclesiastical purity is sought after with the net effect being the utter dissolving of the magisterium as such. And in its place we see the faux magisterium of “mini me” internet Torquemadas issuing YouTube Motu propios filled with all manner of anathemas.

But, you might wonder, why bother with these folks at all? Why give them publicity? Because they matter, that’s why. We live in a digital age, an internet age, and this is where many impressions of the American Catholic Church are formed in Rome. We see this writ large in the Pope’s recent remarks to the Portuguese Jesuits where he openly called out the American Church for being hamstrung by “backwardists” and theologically “rigid” leaders. Where do you think he and his papal advisors get such ideas? I think, of course, that they should know better than to trust social media and there is probably already a predisposition in Rome to view conservative Catholics in America in a bad light, so the internet posts just constitute confirmation bias and a convenient foil.

Nevertheless, there is a real, necessary, and important critique of this papacy that demands a hearing. And there are many scholarly and nuanced theologians of impeccable credentials who are making these critiques. But their voices run the risk of being eclipsed and drowned out by the constant chattering and scorched-earth denunciations of the Fr. Altmans of the American Church.

And that is a pity and a tragedy. Because the problem we face is not that Pope Francis is not really the pope. Rather, the problem, as with all popes, is that he is. And it is with real popes with which we must, for better or for worse, engage and contend.

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About Larry Chapp 47 Articles
Dr. Larry Chapp is a retired professor of theology. He taught for twenty years at DeSales University near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He now owns and manages, with his wife, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania. Dr. Chapp received his doctorate from Fordham University in 1994 with a specialization in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He can be visited online at "Gaudium et Spes 22".


  1. Thank you very much, Dr. Chapp, for this information and analysis.
    As one who avoids social media, I was unaware of this sedevacantism lunacy. And I agree that such ridiculous nonsense should not detract from or obscure the painful but necessary and truly important critiques of Pope Francis and the clerics he has appointed and supported for the severe problems they have caused for the Church of Jesus Christ.

    • The one place where I’m concerned about formal heresy is the issue of capital punishment. This seems like a Trojan horse which reveals how clear Scripture and 2000 year Tradition seems get washed away through dishonest claims of development of doctrine. If CP can be washed away then why not the teachings on sexual morality and marriage? Changing the official Catechism could be construed as a Magisterial action and if the most recent Popes can simply sidestep Scripture/Sacred Tradition- that’s a big problem. I would like it if you could analyze and engage Edward Feser and his body of work on CP. please!

      • You have touched on the very issue I have struggled with since Pope Francis changed the Catechism’s teaching on capital punishment.

      • Sedeprivationism makes a certain logical sense, though the distinctions are irrelevant for most clerics, let alone laymen. Needlessly complicated.

    • Tom, the assertion by Dr Chapp that “Francis is the Pope”, is not an indisputable fact. Perhaps you’re unaware of the legislation pertaining to Conclaves that was promulgated by St John-Paul which clearly stipulates that willful violation of its precepts invalidates the ensuing election. There is a good deal of circumstantial evidence that willful violations did indeed take place. It is not lunacy to ask whether the election of Bergoglio was invalid. Bergoglio’s behavior and teaching in the intervening years does seem to indicate the possibility of an invalid election: thus a vacant see. Somehow, by the grace of God, a thorough investigation must get to the bottom of this. We need to pray!

    • Tom, Dr. Chapp’s assertion that “Francis is the Pope” is not an undisputed fact. Perhaps you’re unaware of changes that St. John-Paul made to the legislation pertaining to Conclaves. This legislation clearly states that willful violation of its precepts invalidates the ensuing election. Within 2 days of the election of Bergoglio, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to indicate the probability of willful violation. This together with the ensuing behavior and teaching of Bergoglio seem to provide sufficient grounds to question the authenticity of the current “Papacy”. It is neither illogical nor insane to ask if the See is vacant. By the grace of God, an investigation must take place to get to the bottom of this. We need to pray!

    • Chapp begs the question, and as usual smears his opponent with insults rather than seriously examine his premises.
      If Francis is a bad Pope who confuses the faithful, that is the definition of “tool of Satan” and a man is not crazy to say it.
      All of the comments below saying Francis is the Pope also beg the question. The question is how can a man be said to be the vicar of Christ if his election was uncanonical, his predecessor resigned under duress, or he teaches contrary to Christ’s teaching? Whacking people over the head with labels is not answering the question. I do not understand how Chapp gets published.

        • Dear Mary McCurry, thank you for this excellent explication by Bishop Athanasius Schneider – what a great next Pope he would make? He writes:

          “The surer Catholic tradition says, that in the case of a heretical pope, the members of the Church can avoid him, resist him, refuse to obey him, all of which can be done without requiring a theory or opinion, that says that a heretical pope automatically loses his office or can be deposed consequently.”

          Yet, this does not help the sheep & lambs of our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who are being scandalized by Pope Francis and his immorality-fostering mafia. Souls are being lost through many of Francis’ anti-Apostolic words & actions. He is flouting Matthew 18:14 – “it is never the will of your Father in Heaven that any of these little ones should be lost.”

          Does not the instruction of our LORD in Matthew 18:17 – to treat unrepentant renegades as pagans and tax collectors – apply? The next verse seems to give the assembly of true disciples divine authority to sort out any & all such problems: “whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven”.

          Today, who are these ‘true disciples’ of King Jesus Christ? Surely those who fully trust in and build their lives on The Holy Spirit’s witness to Christ in the 27 texts by 9 Apostolic authors of The New Testament & their extensive explication in The Catechism of The Catholic Church.

          Is this not the authority that this pope and his coterie are denigrating and working to abolish?

          Are not all true disciples of Christ deeply concerned that Francis’ manipulative, pseudo-synodality is set-up to achieve his pre-determined, anti-Apostolic, destructive goal?

          To many of us it seems that we are facing more than a pope with some heretical beliefs, such as Bishop Schneider refers to.

          Unlike any previous pope, Francis’ is subtlety, energetically, perseveringly warring against the very foundation stone of Catholic Christianity.

          Such an unprecedented assault seems to demand a competent response.

          Ever following King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

    • Tom,
      The sedevacantist lunacy has been around for over 40 years. One massive problem is that nature abhors a vacuum. So some sedevacatists decided that they wanted a Pope of their own. Around 1983, the late Michael Davies noted the existence of four such “Popes” – one each in Italy, Spain, Canada and Brazil, if my memory is correct. Then there was another guy who got elected “Pope” in a hotel in Assisi. Then there was Pius XIII (aka Lucian Pulvermacher) issuing encyclicals from the wilds of Montana, but he died years ago. He had a particular bee in his bonnet about the immorality of wasting money on useless pets. There may be other “Popes” I have never heard of.

      The prospect of multiple competing “Popes” anathemising one another from different parts of the earth was so bonkers that that style of sedevacantism seems to have fizzled out, at least temporarily. The very vocal Novus Ordo Watch website is content to spit endless venom at the Vatican and declare that the Seat of Peter is vacant…. and, rather like Mr Micawber, wait for something to turn up from Divine Providence.

      • Bill, there have been, in the past, unsubstantiated assertions of a vacant See. Agreed. However, you seem unwilling to consider the possibility that Bergoglio’s election may have violated provisions of John-Paul II’s Conclave legislation. As I stated in an earlier post, there is significant circumstantial evidence of this which emerged within 2 days of the closing of the Conclave. Evidence in the form of published comments by some of Bergoglio’s supporters. Why am I and others who question the validity of bergoglio’s election consigned to some “lunatic” brigade by people like you and Dr.Chapp who refuse to address or even to acknowledge reasonable questions. Next you remark that “The very vocal Novus Ordo Watch website is content to spit endless venom at the Vatican…” Have you failed to notice that “The Vatican” spits endless venom at targets near and far? I’m 75 years old and have followed papal teaching since I was 12. (John XXIII was Pope). The torrent of invective gushing out of “the Vatican” has stunned me. It seems incredible that someone who has no problem being referred to as “the Holy Father” feels free to regularly chastise people he has never met for behavior they are not guilty of (2 examples): “rigid young people” who attend the traditional Mass, “Merciless Priests” most of whom seem to live in “Pope Francis’ head. It seems to me that one who shows no respect to people whose perspective he doesn’t share, yet constantly pretends to “listen” and to want to “dialogue”, and “open the doors of the Church to everyone” that such a one is a total hypocrite whom no one can respect. This man has no respect for the office of the Papacy, no respect for the magisterium, and even no respect for his immediate predecessors – whose teaching he has labelled as “small-minded”. Is this a “rant”, is it “needlessly combative”? The editors know I’m not exaggerating, they know that “Francis” has spoken more harshly. Catholics have a duty to speak up against this man and his lies. For ten years, he has been spitting in the face of Jesus Christ. The editors know this. It’s time for the Catholic World Report to print an article detailing the doubts about the conclave, and a list of the most egregious of Bergoglio’s false teachings. The editors also know that the three popes who were accused and cleared of heresy had not made an official declaration, yet were accused. I don’t think it’s necessary to catalogue Bergoglio’s evil actions because evil actions have (sadly) been committed by true Popes. So unlike a possible invalid election (which, if proven, would immediately “evaporate” the “Francis Papacy”) or a catalogue of his 20 most egregious false teachings (which, by their sheer number would clearly indicate that he cannot have been validly elected) the evil actions could not serve to invalidate the pontificate, although people might be stunned by the sheer number. IT occurred to me after I started writing this reply that perhaps a plea to the editors would be this lowly laymen’s best chance (besides praying fervently) to actually do something.

        • So much truth, dear George D’Orazio.

          Can I add to your impressive partial list of un-papal words & actions: Pope Francis’ claim that all Catholic doctrines preceding his New Age views (on the impossibility of sexual immorality) were but babies in ethical nappies!

          A scandalous truth: the octogenarian we call ‘The Pope’ still wears spiritual nappies.

          Keep praying for The Light of Christ to dawn in the mind of Pope Francis.

          Ever in the love of The LORD; blessings from marty

      • FYI Fr. Lucian’s brother is/was Fr. Carl Pulvermacher who was affiliated with the SSPX for many years. “Bishop” Williamson said his funeral Mass.

  2. Pope Francis is the Pope.
    “A schismatic is a fool.” St. Catherine of Siena
    Chaos rules. The result is a mess of doctrinal confusion and pastoral perversion from Altman to Zanchetta.
    A future saintly Pope will clean up the mess.
    In the meantime, we pick up our cross and follow Christ.

    • Saint Catherine of Siena is of course right that schism is lunacy, and yet during the extreme confusion of the Great Schism during which she lived, another saint (who also happened to be a Dominican), Saint Vincent Ferrer, was technically MATERIALLY schismatic, because he supported an antipope. Being wrong about a question of fact does not automatically make one guilty of schism. And the multiple “popes” of that time were not even teaching error. It is not surprising that in our own time — a situation where the putative pope is indeed teaching error (sometimes at a higher and sometimes at a lower degree of authority) and where a can of worms has been opened by an unprecedented and bizarre resignation of the previous pope (although a few other popes in history did resign, no one did exactly what Benedict did, and Benedict himself claims that he was creating a new institution of “pope emeritus,” which raises the question as to whether what he thought he was doing is even possible) — some Catholics trying to make sense of all this should conclude that Francis is, or may be, an antipope. There is no Catholic doctrine which says that antipopes can exist up until the 15th century but after that, never again. Some of the reasons for claiming that Francis is an antipope are risible, but others are not. Even if a Catholic were to be wrong about the fact of whether or not Francis is the pope, that in itself would not make a person guilty of schism.

      • Crazy days indeed!
        Thank you for your excellent response.
        True, St. Vincent repented of his foolish mistake. Am praying Fr. Altman will also.

      • Peter, Excellent post. There are plenty of non-schismatic reasons to doubt the legitimacy of Francis. Prayers for him & all clergy, both heterodox and orthodox.

  3. The comments of the Pope are infuriating and and at times crass, but he is still the Pope. What his ten years shows is that God is incharge and in that we must take comfort. I am hurt by what he has done with the TLM and the language used against those who find spiritual nourishment in its timelessness, but I focus on Christ On the Blessed Mother the sacraments etc and I find a peace I’ve never experienced before. The Year of Mercy was a great time to reflect and enjoy God’s Fatherly care and while frustrated and confused by Francis, in that gift for 2015-16 was good and it should be repeated! I know Fr Altmann has great zeal but I believe that he went too far and I understand where he is coming from, but keep to the basics God is incharge!

    • The “Year of Mercy” had better been preceded by the Year of Repentance, but that would have required an authentic examination of ecclesiastical conscience, a task the Bergoglian pontificate has never been able to shoulder.
      Fantasy and authentic Roman Catholicism are diametrically opposed.

  4. I’m a “traditionalist ” but I don’t think it’s a bad thing and it doesn’t infer that I believe the worst of the Pope or anyone else.

    • Mrscracker, Amen! “Trads are haters” is a fabricated stereotype. Like all recent name-calling (including leftist mockery of & insults to conservatives), it is invented to undermine a legitimate movement… in this case, a movement towards the traditional, orthodox teachings, liturgy, beauty, moral seriousness, and Eucharistic reverence of the Catholic Church through all the ages of history.

  5. Francis is the Pope.

    I mean it: Francis is truly the Pope.

    Let me say it again with all seriousness: Francis IS the Pope.

    Let me make it clear for a final time – Francis is the Pope.

    • “…it is with real popes with which we must, for better or for worse, engage and contend.”

      WHY EXACTLY MUST we engage with Francis? Are we to be given in marriage to him? A pope and his office are a symbol of catholic unity. A pope is neither the cause nor the reason for catholic unity. A pope is a figurehead, a sign, a symbol. A pope is not the real Flesh and Blood of Christ the God.

      A pope represents the teaching of Christ ONLY IF and when he teaches as Christ has taught.

      As the Bride of Christ, the Church and her members are in union with Christ.

      The pope is a groomsman of the groom. The groom is Christ. Does not the Bride deserve, is She not worthy of clear, straightforward, zealous protection and guidance from the groomsman such as Jesus would give? If upon His return, will He find a good and loyal, a good servant? Upon His return, will He find faith upon the earth?

      May God save the soul of Francis from his vicious and legion enemies. If American conservative and traditional Catholics are seen as sinful, rigid, and indietristically deserving of ridicule and denial of service from Christ’s Church and Her figureheads of unity, we should ask: Would truth ever have shown itself so low, so rotten, so boring, so stupidly crass, so much of boor?

      • One so prudent as you could teach a pope a thing or two, particularly a pope who is as you once were.

        What led you to convert?

        • Thank you for the kind words. We need to encourage each other in the Faith.

          Praying no one leaves the Mystical Body of Christ because they are mad at His Vicar.

          Am a revert. Was blessed to encounter the Triune God in prayer at 21. God’s peace to all.

          • God’s Fool, so glad you reverted! True, those outside the Church are in effect playing at being their own ultimate authority, their own pope.

            This situation is a bit different, however. In this case, we’re not focusing on uninformed Catholics just being “mad,” frustrated, exasperated, etc., at the pope, or wanting to make their own rules or be their own authority.

            This is a case of true, devout, educated Catholics struggling with a possible ANTIpope. Did you know there have been dozens of antipopes (false papal claimants) throughout history? That didn’t mean the end of the Catholic Church or her teachings, just a leadership struggle or confusion.

            In this case, we have a documemted centuries-long plot by Freemasons (satanic occultists are at the top of that organization) to seize the Catholic hierarchy and the papacy, to control it from the inside. This plot is part of their effort to slowly morph the Catholic Church into a New World Religion (“brotherhood of man” without God & without moral restraints), to bring on the end times and the AntiChrist. They aim to do this in practice, especially by creating ambiguity and confusion amongst the laity, since the Church can never change in her doctrines. The official doctrinal teachings of the Church are protected forever by the Holy Ghost.

            There are several reasons to question Francis’s legitimacy, ranging from Benedict’s very ambiguous purported resignation, to the conclave, to Francis’s questionable informal teachings, etc.

            If you haven’t already, I invite you to try out the traditional Latin Mass a few times, and learn about the traditional customs of the Church (the FishEaters website is great for that). The traditions & TLM are so beautiful, and they give a truly different perspective on the Church and our responsibilities somehow.

            Even if we are in the end times and face persecution, we can stay Catholic, become saints, evangelize, and build God’s Kingdom on earth. As I’m sure you know, it’s more important than ever to do just that. God bless you and your loved ones, and may He send the Holy Ghost to sanctify us, and guide us into all truth, virtue, and charity.

          • Antonia, if Pope Francis is an anti-Pope, only a future Pope can say so. To think otherwise is to flirt with the satanic spirit of rebellion. And yes, by God’s grace let’s stay Catholic. No one can make us sin.

            Been blessed to attend the TLM, but I prefer Mass in the vernacular. My Parish is at: https://reverentcatholicmass.com/map
            God’s Peace

    • Then why is he (Pope Francis) not following the Deposit of Faith, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? Why is he trying to create a parallel church with his Pachama nonsense and Climate Change nonsense. Follow the science pope Francis.

      It takes courage to tell the truth – I support Father James Alltman.
      He has quoted the pope’s mistruths and heresies.
      I support the Church of Jesus Christ, not the church of Jorge Bergoglio.

      • Precisely.

        That all being said, it must be affirmed til we’re blue in the face: Francis IS the Pope. Now, everyone, repeat after me: “Francis is the Pope.” If you’re caught not shouting out the mantra, you’ll be taken out to the Vatican’s woodshed. Again, Francis IS the Pope.

      • For this, Francis’s apologists have no answer. Fr. Altman’s position is clear: to be Catholic, one must hold fast to what has been handed down to us through the ages. Anyone who introduces novelty is not Catholic, and Francis has indulged in novelty after novelty. Therefore he cannot be Catholic — by that alone he has excommunicated himself. So how then can he be the legit Pope if he isn’t Catholic in the first place?

    • How do you know? I respect Larry Chapp. But I will not be intimidated in my private beliefs, and I don’t believe I need to be. Francis has provided a Mt. Everest of evidence that he is not only a heretic but an atheist. Creating a God of one’s fantasies is no different than denying His existence, especially when those fantasies include declaring God is deficient and in the “process” of still figuring things out. Add to this, a manifestly corrupt conclave process. If my having grave doubts that he is not an actual pope places me beyond the reach of God’s mercy, I have to accept this.

    • Ok, he’s the pope and you are welcome to him. He has abrogated his authority over me and many others I know and if that makes me a schismatic, then so be it. Altman is correct.

  6. As a non-theologian, but fairly well informed, yours truly especially appreciates your distinction between the “religious sense” (part of the universal natural law) and ambivalent references to a “pluralism of religions” as if willed by God (rather than only permitted), e.g., the Abu Dhabi Declaration.

    Still, the repeated and fine art of strategically placed ambivalences is a divisive and highly disturbing pattern. Butt, about the “religions sense,” here’s the link to my directly-related and earlier CWR posting (2019), which ends this way:

    “How might the Apostolic Church evangelize the Scandal of the Cross? Perhaps, the universality of the prior ‘religious sense’—our baked-in, gut-level hope deep beneath both Abu Dhabi’s ‘diversity of [natural] religions’ [together with] the higher and revealed Faith in the singular Person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Lord of History.”

  7. “Rome will lose the Faith”, she said.
    A false church will arise within the church warned B Sheen prophetically.
    Fr Altman listed 20 heresies by Bergy as he sees them.
    Personnel is policy and imho the pro- gay and pro-abortion appointments are reason enough to challenge this bishop of Rome.
    Fr Altman famously said one cannot be
    a Catholic and vote for the DemoncRats. Oh, dear Lord, would that we had just a mere handful of such courageous priests.
    It is not in Fr Altman’s authority to accuse out clerical traitors by name, Satan is the Grand Acvuser, nor is it proper for Fr Altman to arrogate to himself the authority to condemn Bergy to hell. The Beloved One of God is the Judge.
    But I find myself in agreement with his litany of criticisms but not with his tactic. Perhaps his boiling and righteous anger against the depredations against our suffering Church have caused him to fall into folly.
    It appears we are on a punishment; the general laxity and licentiousness of the laity has given us a totally corrupt ‘leadership’ in Rome.
    The laity, a small remnant, will save His church,
    The young priests, devout -heroic – traditional, are proof the Holy Spirit is at work.

    • If by “Rome will lose the faith” you are referring to what was said by Melanie, one of the seers of Our Lady of LaSalette, please bear in mind that was not part of the original apparition, but something she said later. It is worth remembering that while the apparition was approved, the other follow-up messages not only were not approved, but their written forms were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. The source of the words she said about Rome (and the papacy) was Martin Luther from the sixteenth century. It would be better not to use them as some kind of prophecy, especially since it is not even from the apparition’s messages that Melanie originally received.

    • Although the authors use of some uncommon words may not be easily understood by us less educated Catholics, his clever & repeated disdain for Fr Altman and we traditionalists is unsupported. Francis’s inclusion of idols and obvious support for his modernist church are not what Jesus had in mind 2000 years ago. Enough said. Dave

  8. The Code of Canon Law states as follows.

    Can. 194 §1. The following are removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself:

    1/ a person who has lost the clerical state;

    2/ a person who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church;

    3/ a cleric who has attempted marriage even if only civilly.

    §2. The removal mentioned in nn. 2 and 3 can be enforced only if it is established by the declaration of a competent authority.

    For a Bishop of Rome to have publicly defected from the Catholic faith, it is not necessary that he be found to have done so heretically and in the ostensible exercise of the Magisterium.

    It is sufficient that he be found to have erred in fide divina. However, neither Father Altman nor anyone else may declare sede vacante on own authority. Father Altman is entitled to state as a witness that Pope Francis has publicly defected from the Catholic faith, if he believes it to be true. He is entitled to do so as a litigant or advocate (as he was in a previous life) in canonical proceedings.

    But nobody but ‘the competent authority’ is entitled to intervene in such a manner as to execute or certify the loss of office on the part of Pope Francis: such authority is most likely to be the Dean of the College of Cardinals, and might include an ecclesiastical judge to whom it falls to decide the matter as a collateral issue in proceedings.

    • Really? You might not be familiar with the Code of Canon Law’s c. 1404: Prima Sedes a nemine iudicatur.” (The Prime See [of Rome] is judged by no one.) That includes the incumbent of the See, himself, over whom no one on earth can exercise juridical authority–including his removal.

      • OK, dear Charles Urban.

        Yet, The Canon Law is a work of men reaching out as best they could for God’s Holy Will.

        It did not descend from Heaven like the inscriptions on the stone tablets of Moses; nor is it God incarnate in Christ our King; neither is it the Apostolic witness of The New Testament.

        The fact is that the present incumbent of The See of Peter is presuming on ‘The Prime See [of Rome] is judged by no one.’ to subvert the clear intent of our King and His Apostolic witnesses, who have indisputable priority over The Code.

        In that light, is not the current lively debate concerning the papal authenticity/inauthenticity of ‘Francis’ godly and legitimate.

        Ever following Christ Jesus; love & blessings from marty

  9. “can be read in an orthodox manner”

    Interesting choice of words. This is exactly how some people have mistakenly interpreted Vatican II.

    Charity assumes ignorance, but those with a duty to teach have a duty to know and of clarity of teaching orthodox doctrine.

    Vagueness is a hallmark of modernism.

    “rather whether the Church since Vatican II has as well”

    Some of the traditionalists may think this, but there are others who believe that the problems started before the alleged ecumenical council called Vatican II. In other words, Vatican II was a symptom and not the cause.

    Ultimately, the question of who the true pope is is historical.

    The fact is that with regards to history it is necessary to attempt to as far as possible pretend as though one is in a courtroom in a trial. Strictly speaking, trials are a matter of “doing history” except that the participants aren’t dead.

    There is one argument that is missing in this article. I see nothing concerning any alleged controversy surrounding the papal conclave of 1958.

    • Vatican II is not an “alleged ecumenical council”; it is one. It followed the form that came before: It was convoked by a pope or his legate; it included all the hierarchy from the East and West (including those separated by the 1054 Schism); it was ratified and closed by a pope or his legate. It would be interesting if there was some sort of explanation offered as to why this council isn’t ecumenical or even a council, but I suspect I’ve done this dance before and it’s sort of boring.

      • Antonia,

        It is claimed that Cardinal Siri was elected and accepted the papacy as Pope Gregory XVII. However, Freemason cardinals (acting under the direction of those “who-must-not-be-named”) somehow threatened very serious consequences for Catholics (behind the Iron Curtain) if he refused to resign. Subsequently, he resigned, but, the theory goes, according to canon law, such coerced resignation isn’t valid.

        The wickedness is said to have been behind the widely documented confusion with regards to the smoke signals that occurred during that conclave.

        I will not confirm or deny my beliefs concerning the truth of this.

        • Shawn, Thanks very much for your great summary. From what I now know about Freemasons (& the other occult, satanist groups), it’s easy for me to believe this may have happened. And the horrible changes in the Church since then would be **entirely** consistent with this story. How we would ever know for sure is the difficulty. Thanks again, and may God bless you & yours.

          • Cardinal Newman wrote one of the most significant pieces concerning epistemology in his Grammar of Assent. In it he states what is likely a “common sense” truth. The extent to which a person should believe something is proportional to the amount of what I believe would be best termed “corroborating evidence.”

            Such evidence needn’t be relegated to courts, but is present whenever a human is trying to determine the truth of some claim.

            In this spirit, I will present something of the same regarding this claim “on the table.”
            This is taken from the CD “Faith at Work & the Holy Moment” 2014

            Track 10 0:20…

            Kelly: “I had lunch with a Jewish friend of mine last week. Oh, two weeks ago now. We scheduled it like six months ago. I got to the restaurant. He’s at the door. He’s waiting for me.

            He says, “Matthew, I’m so glad that we scheduled this lunch.”

            “I’ve got to talk to you.”
            “Shall we sit down, first?”
            He said, “Yeah. Yeah. Let’s sit down. Let’s sit down. Let’s sit down.”

            But on the way to the table he says, “I’ve just got to tell you. I’m so glad we scheduled this lunch. I just love our new pope.”

            [The audience laughs.]

            This is much more understandable after the following books are considered.

            “The Plot Against the Church.” Maurice Pinay. Published during Vatican II.
            “The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia” (esp. Chapter 8: The Pink Pope.)
            “The War of the Antichrist with the Church and Christian Civilization”
            “No Crisis in the Church?”
            “The Broken Cross”
            “School of Darkness”
            “AA-1025: The Memoirs of a Communist’s Infiltration into the Church”

            I haven’t read this, but it is seems good.
            “Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism”

        • Shawn,

          It’s a quite different thing to say that Cardinal Siri invalidly “resigned” the papacy under pressure, than that he simply “declined” to accept it.

  10. “a dupe of Satan and the tool of Hell.”

    Something to consider: could he actually be the pope and these things at the same time? In other words, is it possible for someone to be these things and yet remain pope simultaneously? Given the current situation, I feel I must at lease consider this possibility.

    • And, dear ‘BXVI’, not the first . . . as made clear in Eamon Duffy’s magisterial: “Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes.”

      Beloved Professor, Larry Chapp has given us another very finely argued and evidenced CWR article yet with the Achilles-heel you have noted – that is his apparent blindness to the problem of co-existence of formal popehood with anti-Apostolicity.

      Even the first pope, Saint Peter, had to be rebuked by King Jesus Christ: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in My path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.” Peter also copped a public rebuke from Saint Paul.

      It would have been good if Larry had essayed an irenic resolution of the matter, perhaps in terms of functionalism and nominalism. For example, one might see the logic of regarding Francis as nominally pope but as also demonstrably dogmatically dysfunctional. Canon lawyers might assist us with opinions as to the point when unrepented serious dogmatic dysfunctions cause fatal dilution of the papal office.

      Rationally, there has to be such a point and popes have been dismissed in the past.

      Ever praying for the Pope & all Catholics to follow Jesus Christ to the end; with love & blessings from marty

    • “…Could he actually be the pope and these things at the same time?” I certainly believe that he not only could be both, but that he indisputably is both. In ten years, this man has utterly and completely forfeited any presumption of innocence or good will to which he may have been entitled at the start. With the news that the ouster of Bishop Strickland may only be a question of time, how can anyone credibly continue to maintain that Francis is a well-meaning servant of Our Lord, who wants to do the right thing but is so clumsy he ends up damaging the church time and time and time again? Do you understand what these latest pronouncements from the papal stalking horse Fernandez really amount to, when coupled with the rest of the buildup to the Synod on Synodality? Francis is asserting that he and he alone has plenipotential authority and discretion over the moral law, which Christ explicitly declared is beyond the power of any human authority to touch and which in fact, Christ said, would never be touched unto the end of time! According to the present pope, the death penalty, once licit, is now out of bounds because and only because Francis has said so. Moral censure against homosexual acts and relationships may, it is insinuated, be mitigated (and perhaps vacated entirely?) because Francis will have said so. No one, not even bishops, says the stalking horse, may criticize Francis’ discretionary modifications of the moral law, because by the will of God, such discretionary acts are beyond even the comprehension, let alone the exercise, of those not entrusted with the papal office. Are these the actions and thoughts of a holy man–or even a moderately good man–to arrogate to himself far more power than any bad man should have or good man should want? These thoughts and actions are not only evil, they are evil of the highest order–for they are manifestations of colossal pride, which is known as the sin of the angels. Francis does not sin as an average man. He sins as did the angels. And yes, he is the pope! A pope who clearly sees himself as the successor of Christ, not Peter. The only consolation we have is that his power to destroy–for that is what he is doing and seeks to continue doing–is and will be constrained by how much the Lord will allow.

  11. While we might have objections to the conclusion of Father Altman’s reasoning, the evidence he articulates is sound. What do we do in such a situation? I can’t help but remember the OJ trial… Not guilty?
    All Roman Catholics not numbered among the episcopate are without a voice in the tragedy which the Church presently endures. In essence, we are victims of a perverted clericalism unhinged. How long, in the age of lunacy, can the Church adopt the reasoning of the world and continue to save souls? Pride, privilege and perks appear to be the driving force in the clerical sandbox. Like it or not, pastors such as Father Altman and those of a more calculated discretion are speaking more of the truth than that with which we are comfortable. Is that their fault?
    I continue to marvel at the mirror image which Roman Catholicism and the United States provide each other at this moment in history. Who would have thought? Nevertheless, we witness two critical entities under demonic assault.
    We had best get this puzzle solved very quickly, and that will take an abundance of courage. When the nation state is not up to the task, the Church had best be.

  12. Jorge Bergoglio is not the pope. The reasons have been set out and are clear. The See of Peter is currently vacant, occupied by, therefore, an imposter – and an imposter who is routinely mendacious, actively employs studied ambiguity, and is a source of so much contradiction and self-contradiction that had he ever had any theological credibility, it would now be irrevocably lost. Dr. Chapp presents a skilful apologia, no doubt inspired by the horror of the reality of a vacant Petrine ministry, but his attempts to persuade ultimately fail – though for those who share such horror and wish to put their heads in the sand rather than contemplate the current emergency, Dr. Chapp’s words will provide comfort, but sadly a false one. There is but one answer now, and that is to pray that we are given a Holy Pope, and we know what is necessary for that to occur.

    • Father, I agree we should pray for a Holy Pope. The rest of your post is just hurt and anger, which I share, and unfounded assumptions, which I do not share. It would be wonderful indeed if Francis were NOT the Pope. It would easily explain and way away all of his hateful rants, his heretical suggestions, his hostile, Machiavellian plans to destroy the liturgy. But unfortunately, a valid pope can also be a horrible pope. That is the time we live in.

  13. I agree. Sedevecantism is a dead end. But for Dr. Chapp and others like him it seems that what’s going on is all just so much ecclesial politics. “Yes, it’s bad but none of it should cause us to question our faith in the Church, and it will all work out in the end.” I feel he just doesn’t “get” how deep the crisis is for folks like Fr. Altman – and indeed the sedevecantists and rad trads seem to infuriate him because they hurt the cause of “sane” Catholics like him who resist Pope Francis’ shenanigans “from within the lines.” When Dr. Chapp puts out articles like this one, I realize that the current papacy just hasn’t presented the same type of existential crisis for him as it has for me and many others.

    • It helps to take a long view of Church history. This is not the first time we’ve had a pope who wasn’t the best. The Church survived then and it will survive now. I used to get all worked up by everything Francis said but now I have limited my consumption of media on the topic and it’s been great for my blood pressure. Same thing with politics. I try to save my energy for things going on in my parish, diocese, school district, county. Those are where I can channel my outrage into actual change instead of yelling into the void of the internet. Yes, Francis is not doing us any favors. But for most of the history of the Church, ordinary Catholics barely knew what was going on in Rome, and if they found out it was weeks or months after the fact. Maybe it was better that way.

    • I guess you have missed my multiple articles in CWR where I am very, very critical of Pope Francis and the Synodal way in general. And if you go to my blog you will find even more. Heck, I even wrote a blog post on the awful episcopal appointments in America by Pope Francis called, “The Clerical Dung Beetles”. So if you think I am just treating this all as so much ecclesial “politics” I think you are greatly mistaken. Why do you think I have spent so much of my time on this if I think it is no big deal really?

      And if I am offering such criticism from “within the lines” it is because those “lines” as you call them are called “Catholicism”. But my criticisms have been anything but anodyne and benign. In fact, you are the first person to accuse my writing of being “safe” or something similar. Most commentators find me too acerbic and pointed. I guess you cannot please everyone. What would suffice in your view then for my critique of Fr. Altman to be more outside the lines? That I agree with him? That his calling the Pope all manner of awful things and accusing him of being an anti-pope is something we should at least be sympathetic to?

      I do think that there is a great deal of just old-fashioned 1970’s style theology going on here. But that theology was awful and I do not take its return lightly at all. Again … that is why I have spent so much time on it. There is a real danger here of the Church losing its evangelical bite.

      I do understand the existential anxiety this pope has caused. Again, I have written extensively and sympathetically on that anxiety. You seem to think that only a deeply sympathetic essay toward the likes of Fr. Altman would prove that I do indeed understand the Angst. I feel it myself and deeply so. I was in seminary when Pope John Paul was elected. He was then, and is now, my greatest ecclesiastical hero. And watching what Pope Francis has done to his legacy, and that of Benedict, makes me sick to my stomach every day. I wish you could read my private corresponded with my many interlocutors to see just how sick to my stomach it does make me.

      But no amount of anxiety will cause me to shy away from criticizing those who have overreacted to the current papacy. I get the amount of dread he has caused, but now is not the time to lose our heads. Now, as I ended my essay, is the time for sharp but sane criticism of the pope. Not the ravings of a celebrity priest who we must pray for right now. Because he is in need of prayers. I wish Pope Francis would reach out to folks like him to accompany him. But I am not going to hold my breath.

      • Well argued, dear Larry.

        Maybe consider, though, that you may be averse to what so many loyal Catholics hear our King Jesus Christ saying to the present incumbent of the Chair of Peter: “Get behind Me Satan! Francis, your way of thinking is that of the world not of God!”

        How we understand the nature of God will influence the degree we are offended by the immorality-promoting mafia now assembled in Rome. If we are tinged with doubts regarding the governing authority of the apostolic witness of The New Testament (as so many influential catholic theologians have been & are), then we’ll be soft on a panentheistic view of the less than perfect nature of God. We’ll subscribe to renovationist, universalist worldviews and we’ll consider perfect being theism and Christ’s SALVAGE worldview to be mistaken.

        Under the comprehensive grace of King Jesus Christ, sole Ruler of The Heavens & The Earth, it maybe that the impact of the current papal folly will be like a shot of adrenaline, galvanizing a moribund Church into questioning: “Who are we really?”

        Ever in the incomprehensible joy of Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

      • I agree with much of what you say here, Dr Chapp and I acknowledge your writing has been highly critical of PF. But I do think that this statement reflects the difference between our reactions to his papacy: You say “There is a real danger here of the Church losing its evangelical bite.” I say it’s much, much worse than that. The Church is in danger of being completely falsified – ie, of being proven to have been an utter fraud from the beginning.

        • My brother, I’m trying to find a way to say this charitably… Do you not believe that the Church is indefectible? If you believe it could possibly be proven a fraud from the beginning, ask yourself if such a belief could possibly accord with the Catholic Faith.

          • Hi, dear Garth.

            Brother: Q: who IS ‘the Church’? Ans:

            1st: Jesus Christ, Crucified, Resurrected, Ascended, Reigning, soon returning. The Only Begotten Son of God, with The Father, The Holy Spirit, & His Most Blessed Mother, Mary.

            2nd The Mighty Archangels and the very numerous Host of Holy Angels, not forgetting The Elders & The Awesome Creatures of God’s Realm

            3rd: The Apostles and their Apostolic Witness to Christ’s indefectible teachings & life, as given us in The New Testament.

            4th: The Great Cloud of Faithfully Witnessing believers, Saints & Holy Martyrs and wonderful men & women Inspired & Faithful Teachers; a number beyond counting from every nation & from all ages, who live forever.

            5th: The earthly, temporal People of Christ who are faithful to His Teachings and to the just ordinances of The Catechism of The Catholic Church. That is us: to the extent we serve one another in Jesus’ Way.

            6th: The Ordained Men & Women clergy called to serve the rest of us, including the current pope, the college of cardinals, the curia, archbishops, bishops, priests, sisters, deacons, & lay servant leaders.

            Sadly, historical realities & psycho-social sin factors have worn us down and made us susceptible to the lies of The Accuser, so we tend to turn the whole thing upside down to make the 6th grade into a god (see Genesis 3:5).

            Careful study of the words & actions of our current pope show he relegates the 1st part of the Church to the last. Hence, Pope Francis’ church is not THE Church, until he repents and restores the correct priority.

            Hoping this perspective is helpful; blessings from marty

  14. For faithfulness to Christ, and to give witness to the truth for my children and lived ones, I do not agree that anything the Pontiff Francis says or does, or fails to say and do, “must be given a charitable reading [or interpretation].”

    My sense is that the “sedevecant” topic is a feature of the “infantalized” culture of the “contemporary-Catholic-Church.”

    The Pontiff Francis deliberately produced and personally orchestrated an act of idolatry by “his Amazonian cohort,” and has promoted apostate Cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity who publicly oppose the commandments of Christ and his apostles about the reality and moral obligations of human beings “made male and female in the image of God,” for the purpose of teaching our children to abandon the apostolic commands against fornication, sodomy, and abortion. He has made a secret accord with the homicidal Communist State of China, and liberated the sex-abusing-fraud McCarrick to do it, and he has had his Argentinian spokesman Sorondo declare that the monstrously Christ-hating Chinese state is the exemplar of “social justice.”

    “The seat” is simply occupied by a Pontiff who, instead of “the mind of Christ,” has “the mind of McCarrick.”

    As Birgit Kelle of Germany has observed, this is “The Dirty Schism,” which means, as Fr. Robert Imbelli observed, this Pontiff Francis and his agents are carrying out “the decapitation of the Body of Christ.”

    Which leaves the Pontiff Francis, his “Team Francis” in the ridiculous posture of stealing the Bride of Christ, and asserting themselves as the new Bridegroom.

    To me, the situation seems much, much worse than a vacant seat.

    The ascendant ecclesiastical establishment of the Church is denying its own identity, and asserting a new, and very contrary, identity.

    And that is as big as it gets…

    • To Chris in Mayland: Thank you for clearly spelling out what is obvious to many of us who refuse to keep our head in the sand.

      Yes, Francis is the Pope A THOUSAND TIMES OVER. Who cares whether the See of Peter is vacant or not? What disturbs me is that Francis is harming the Church and he is leading Catholics away from the Church instead of attracting converts to a faith in Jesus Christ. Other that that, he’s a helluva nice guy who spends a lot of time on planes.

      • To Deacon Edward Backwardist Peitler
        and Chris in Maryland: It matters whether Francis is the pope because that determines:

        1) whether or not we need to obey him on liturgical matters (e.g., destroying the traditional Latin Mass) and other issues

        2) whether or not bishops he has ordained are truly bishops, and thus the priests under them are validly ordained, and thus the sacraments are valid

        • Antonia,

          Bishops are ordained by other bishops – the ritual calls for three bishops to participate (this seems to be for the purpose of being totally sure the ordination is valid, just in case one or two of them just miiiight be somehow invalidly ordained, unknown to themselves or others). Popes may or not be involved in ordaining/consecrating bishops, but they do so as bishops themselves – the papacy is not a factor in it.

          As long as a bishop is ordained by another bishop, he’s a valid bishop. Popes appoint bishops to their offices but that has nothing to do with ordination or validity.

    • Chris,
      Thank you. You speak well and true.

      I too wrote above but later than you on the Church as the Bride, the pope as groomsman. We’re on the same page.

      I too see worry about a priest going pseudo-sede-rogue as a small drop in a large body of water. As if we could scape-goat-blame that priest and that idea and all would be be well. As if one American orthodox priest and his zealous rage were to blame for the caricatured and carnivalled image Rome sees as American Catholic orthodoxy! As if Rome and her legion cared to know or understand any type of above-the-belt truths of faith.

      Crisis today has an article on Rome’s lack of focus on sin, on Fatima and on Garabandal. The article contains this Thomas Weinandy quote: “What the Church will end up with, then, is a pope who is the pope of the Catholic Church and, simultaneously, the de facto leader, for all practical purposes, of a schismatic church. Because he is the head of both, the appearance of one church remains, while in fact there are two.”

  15. Any criticism of, and means of charting the way forward during, this disastrous Pontificate should start with the acceptance that Francis is, in fact, the valid Pope, that the Church has had bad Popes before, has one now, and likely will again in future (hopefully not too soon after the end of this Pontificate).

    Anything else is retreating from reality into fantasy and replacement of faith and reason with tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.

  16. It would have been much more helpful if the author had defined what sedevacantism schism, and anti-pope are.

    Sedevacantism is the heresy that there hasn’t been a pope since some point in the distant past. It contradicts the doctrine of apostolic succession. Technically, the Holy See is vacant upon the death of a pope. But what is alleged by some sedevacantists is that the Holy See has been vacant since – possibly – the death of Pope Pius X.

    I don’t know how long the longest valid period of sedevacantism has lasted, but my guess is that more than three years is doubtful.

    The Baltimore Catechism can supply the rest.

    “Q. 1170. Name the different classes of unbelievers and tell what they are.

    6. Schismatics, who have been baptized and believe all the articles of faith, but do not submit to the authority of the Pope;”

    Lesson 30

    “Q. 537. What does anti-pope mean, and who were the anti-popes?

    A. Anti-pope means a pretended pope. The anti-popes were men who by the aid of faithless Christians or others unlawfully seized and claimed the papal power while the lawful pope was in prison or exile.”

    Lesson 12

    From this, it follows that any person who calls a person an anti-pope, must have – excepting ignorance – the name of the allegedly lawful pope that he follows. It would seem mandatory that the name be publicized, if possible. Therefore, a person who claims that a person is an anti-pope ought not to be considered a schismatic.

    My guess is that even if the true pope is, theoretically, unknown that a person couldn’t be called a schismatic if he was to call, in good faith and with sound reason, the alleged pope an anti-pope. One thinks of the “unknown God” that was worshiped by the Greeks before St. Paul taught and attempted to convert them.

    All of this said, there is a person – who isn’t Benedict XVI – who has been publicly alleged to be the lawful pope, but I won’t say his name because I doubt that this would be publicized.

  17. Thomas Weinandy, OFM, Cap:

    “What the Church will end up with, then, is a pope who is the pope of the Catholic Church and, simultaneously, the de facto leader, for all practical purposes, of a schismatic church. Because he is the head of both, the appearance of one church remains, while in fact there are two.“

  18. Father Altman addresses specific issues and actions of Pope Francis in his YouTube rant on sedevacantism. I would love to read a logical refutation of each issue/action of Pope Francis, presented by Altman in that video, and the rationale for a more moderate conclusion than that drawn by him.

  19. Thank you for your comments. I was not aware of Fr. Altman. He is just one of the problems in a whole sea of “sharks” as you say. I was born in 1952 and have seen the church struggle all these years, all I can say is that we have to be informed (again, thank you) but also must carry our cross daily.
    This synod will be another push and pull of the tightrope; Pope Francis, with all his flaws and positive feature is Pope. Period. He will pass on and we will get another Pope who will be in charge. That new Pope will also pass on and we will get another Pope who will be in charge, and so on.
    Being aware of the mess that you describe calls me to prayer and contemplation. May God’s will be done.

  20. As dangerous as these ideas are, Vatican II conservatives only further fuel them when they refuse to take the underlying problems seriously. Larry insisting the Abu Dhabi statement is really orthodox and dismissing what the Gallen group openly bragged about doing as merely par for the conclave course is only throwing gasoline on a fire. Larry might also want to consider whether Abp Ganswein’s comments about an expanded Petrine ministry with a contemplative member, or Benedict’s own intervention during the Amazon Synod, may have also added to the confusion.

    Lastly, I just wish he would stop laying the blame on traditionalists and equating them with progressives, as if we had just as strong a foothold in the hierarchy or academic theology. Patrick Coffin was a longtime Catholic Answers host and Antonio Socci is an admirer of the postconciliar Popes like Paul VI. The Society of Saint Pius X, the great archenemesis of the conservatives, have published extensively thorough refutations of sedevacantism.

    • I believe Chapp dramatically downplays the seriousness of the problem of this pontificate in this article. You get the feeling from Chapp that he is really just as torqued by the trads as by the progs, even though it is the progs who have all the power and are destroying the Church in front of our eyes. The vibe I get from him is that he sees what the progs are trying to pull off as just another example of the same old ecclesiastical politics that will inevitably work itself out in the end, rather than the true existential crisis and life and death struggle that it is. It’s kind of like “We’ve seen all this before in the 1970s and it didn’t work then so its bound to fail again this time.” While I agree that sedevecantism is a dead end, I can certainly sympathize with those who have effectively been gaslighted by PF and his cronies into taking that position. I wish Chapp had more sympathy or understanding for them, too.

      • Chapp appears to pit his prejudicial chips against trads, dating from what I know and can tell, to a time when one dared publicly tread against Balthasar and his hope for universal salvation.

      • As I said in my previous response to you, I have written a great deal in these pages and elsewhere on the problems of this pontificate. Do I have to do that in every article on every other topic? And so long as we are reading between the lines here I guess it is fair game for me to read between your lines and see someone who has “dramatically downplayed” the toxic lunacy of Fr. Altman and those like him. I can read between your lines and see someone who is sympathetic with the notion that Pope Francis is an anti-pope. I get it, you think this papacy is a train wreck and so you have sympathy for those who have overreacted to it. I do too. But rushing in there to criticize my criticisms of Altman as being unsympathetic to people like him is unfair. He is a celebrity priest who has put himself out there in the public eye and he is therefore fair game for critique. And his latest videos have really gone way too far. And in so doing he is hurting, not helping, the traditionalist movement. He is hurting the very people you say I need to be more sympathetic toward. I say it is you who needs to have greater sympathy for the long-suffering faithful Catholics who are troubled by this papacy. Because if you had real sympathy for them you would be trying to offer them better options than the options put forward by Altman and his ilk.

        • Dr. Chapp – I just wanted to express a sincere thank you for your excellent articles. They are very well written and thought provoking. They also generate lots of commentary, that is a testament to how well written they are. Keep up the great work! You’re in my prayers.

        • ‘ May God save the soul of Francis from his vicious and legion enemies. If American conservative and traditional Catholics are seen as sinful, rigid, and indietristically deserving of ridicule and denial of service from Christ’s Church and Her figureheads of unity, we should ask: Would truth ever have shown itself so low, so rotten, so boring, so stupidly crass, so much of boor? ‘

          (meiron AKA)

        • I have never watched one of his videos. I am quite sure you are right. From what I have read he seems very angry and prideful as well as being disobedient to his bishop. I agree with you that sedevacantism is a dead end. And yet, I do feel something much more serious is going on here that merely having a “bad pope,” or for that matter the “worst pope.” I believe there is an existential threat to the very identity and legitimacy of the Church itself. I guess it is evidence of very weak faith in God’s promises on my part, but I worry constantly now that PF is doing / will do something that shatters my entire worldview, ie that causes me to conclude that the Church has been a fraud from the beginning and has never been what she claimed to be. Maybe I read you wrong, but my sense from your writings is that while you think this papacy has been terribly harmful, it has not thrown you into the kind of existential crisis that I and many others are experiencing. Peace be to you.

  21. ‘he has not taught anything heretical in a magisterial way’.

    well, AL has/is, also in backdoor manner put an ‘interpretation’, yes?, into the AAS, as the magisterial truth that is not….

    • Post-synodal exhortations are very low on the binding authority list. If it had been issued as an apostolic constitution, a case could be made that he taught something heretical in a magisterial way. Helen Hull Hitchcock wrote an excellent article on the hierarchy of authority in papal documents on Adoremus.org Definitely worth reading.

  22. Given this papacy, the sedevacanists are merely trying to deal with the apparent problem with their own way of explaining away this papacy of heretical trending.

    While those who are not sedevacanists try to explain it away in their own way.

    Both sides try to postulate that there really is a remnant core of the true Church hidden somewhere in this mess.

    While both side’s legalistic word games fall far short of simple explanation comprehensible to the majority of seekers of God, and those seekers shake their heads and turn away, now doubting a real Church exists, or ever existed at all.

    I recall all the writing worthies early in this papacy clearly stating there was no reason to worry, because if this pope did the feared x, y, and z, then he would cease to be pope as the prior teachings could not be contradicted as the Holy Spirit would not allow it, indefectability, etc etc etc, bishops would etc etc etc.

    And to outsiders looking in, and to many insiders, what the catechism says could not happen, and what the writing worthies said could not happen, not only is happening, but has happened. There sits a pope who when asked as to non-Catholics taking communion, says, “yes, no, I don’t know,” while priests, bishops and archbishops all over the world now say on authority from the pope say, “step right up, no repentance and turning away from sin required, come get your medicine.”

    While writing worthies still try to explain all this away, sedevacanists or not.

  23. This Pope has certainly introduces chaos unnecessarily at the expense of clarity and objective truthfulness. The Classic Pope is in the business of conforming the world to God (Way, Life, Truth), the Progressive Pope in the business of conforming God to the world.

    The root cause issue is the direction that this Pope has taken, the traditional sedevacantists, bless their hearts, on the right contend away from God while the progressive sedevacantists, bless their hearts, contending he is leading the Church to the world.

    The Church is totally immersed in the cultural divide though the progressives are in full control of the administrative church and her purse strings thus the power of the Church. thus by definition the RadTrads are on the outside.

    The souls of millions are at stake as we should remember the Stages of Sin recollecting the sage guidance of St Thomas Aquinas “The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him from error to Truth.”

  24. I would only caution you, Dr. Chapp, to keep in mind that not all “trads” are of the “rad” variety. Judging only from what you’ve written here, it seems like you don’t realize that there are many, many Catholics who love the TLM and the other traditional aspects of the Mass and the faith, who also fully acknowledge Francis’ papacy. Ther are even perhaps more of them then the there are the sede-friendly kind. You shouldn’t ignore or dismiss them by lumping them all in with these others. This includes some “trad” Catholic blogs and podcasts that are also not “rad”. Or at least not out of the barque of Peter.

  25. A suggestion for a future article by you – research Pope Francis’ eulogizing the late French philosopher Edgar Morin. Morin wrote along the lines of no absolute truth and evolution of truth. Also, Francis went to school in Germany for a time. Hamburg School of thought, may be influenced by Hegelian synthesis theory. Seems to be present in his writing, speaking and action.

    • Thanks, dear Anthony Souza.

      You are spot on. Even the very useful articles in CWR and The Pillar fail to come to grips with Pope Francis’ heterodox personal theology, a sort of panentheism that scorns the tenets of Classic Catholic Perfect Being Theism.

      The next pope should be required to publicly assent to The Creeds and sign a PAFA (Personal Affirmation of Faith Allegiance) BEFORE installation!

      Are we paying a price for having been too gung-ho in accepting our Church leader?

      Ever in the love of The Lamb; blessings from marty

  26. Francis might the Pope but he best start listening to people like Father Altman because setting the standards according to the scriptures and tradition and not worldly culture. So, embracing the queer folks and abortionists without repentance is nothing more than compromise.

  27. Sedevacantism is a total dead end. It’s the ecclesial version of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. It’s a desperate move to reconcile Papal authority with the the fact that Popes, as individuals, aren’t perfect in everything they say and do. Perhaps we should move away from Papal maximalism.

    PS: I find Fr. Altman’s rants to be ego and rage driven. One can “tell it like it is” without being a jerk about it. Altman is purposefully rude and provocative (i.e. uncharitable). He has also been ordered by his bishop not to present himself in public as a priest. So he is also disobedient. Fr. Altman cannot demand obedience of others whilst being disobedient himself.

  28. Note that in the referenced video Mr. James Altman DOES NOT say that Francis is an anti-pope. That is from a different video of his.

    He DOES SAY in this video that Francis is not the pope.

    People shouldn’t watch the referenced video. James Altman isn’t totally correct, and he is mildly immodest with some of his descriptions of the sins committed.

  29. Hmmm…Catholic Worker Farm?? I appreciate what you are saying. However, it seems to me entirely reasonable to suspect that Francis is an anti-pope and that his errant statements and appointments, while perhaps not rising to the level of magisterial teaching, clearly deviate from what the Church has always taught in a number of areas. At least you ought to be able to approve of leaders like Cardinal Muller giving Francesco a strong rebuke and correction, so that he can return to upholding the Magisterium and not promoting more innovations.

  30. I should be infuriated that this is even necessary to talk about. But thank you, Dr. Chapp. Your rational analysis actually makes me feel better about Pope Francis and Rome in general. Also, I’m happy to have a sensible Ordinariate pastor who says, “Don’t seek information about anything coming out of Rome. If there’s something from Rome that you need to pay attention to, our bishop will let me know and I’ll pass it on to the parishioners”. I’m happy to do just that and leave the debate to the theologians.

      • Dear K G Bradfield & dear ‘Margarita’. Sounds delightfully easy. Yet . . .

        The specter of Catholics (& Lutherans) in 1930’s Germany who decided to find peace of mind by simply doing what their legally & religiously established leaders told them . . ?

        True, we Catholics & other Christians are instructed again and again to be peace seekers and peace makers.

        Yet don’t we also need godly discernment to know when, for example, Matthew 10:34-39 and 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 supervene.

        At least for me, this is quite a cognitive challenge.

        In the amazing love & unique peace of Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

  31. I think we are seeing something profound. All those who break away from the Catholic church, and adhere to schismatic movements such as the SSPX, SSPV, sedevacantism, etc. lose God’s grace.
    So many of the people that once seemed to be good Catholics but solidly in the traditionalist camp now have completely lost it. Some lost their faith entirely or partially (Steve Skojec) some believe freakish cult religions like sedevacantism, some really seem to lose their minds (Mel Gibson), Some become youtube gurus with insane ideas like we did not land on the moon (Taylor Marshall). Many of those that adhere to the SSPX often seem vicious and even Satanic. This belief seems to grip them like a cult membership.
    Stay within the Catholic church. If you don’t it seems you give an opening to Satan to attack you and make a fool of you.

    • True, they lose God’s grace. Sedevacantists and schismatics cut off their communion with the Church. They place themselves outside the Church. As Lateran IV declared, those outside the Church cannot be saved. Following this by logic, they go to hell.

    • We’ve “lost” it? How about all your Novus Ordo clown masses, masses in swim pools, masses where donuts and coffee are consecrated, or beer and pretzels, masses where Our Lord is given out like a carnival ride ticket, even to Muslim clerics and Bill Clinton, gay masses, masses where same-sex couples are “blessed”, masses where gay couples are allowed the Ambo to give the homily, masses with naked interpretive dancers, masses that are the equivalent of disco scenes . . . we’ve “lost” it? Care to re-consider???

    • I’m not endorsing the SSPX but as I understand it they’re not formally in schism. I really think Rome & the SSPX need to get things back on track together because in the developed West at least, that’s where the Church is growing demographically. Have you seen the size of SSPX seminaries & some of their newly built churches? My goodness. Their new church in Mexico is absolutely amazing.
      They’re not closing down/consolidating parishes like the rest of the US. They’re growing in leaps & bounds.

      • Mrscracker and Margaret:
        The SSPX is in schism. All the Popes from Paul VI to Francis (except JPI who died early in his pontificate) tell people not to attend SSPX because it’s schismatic. Pope Francis himself says SSPX is in schism in his letter accompanying “Traditionis Custodes.” (Please read fully the papal quotes below).

        1. Pope Paul VI’s letter to Archbishop Lefebvre on the (schism) withdrawal of canonical recognition from the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) June 29, 1975:
        ” … Our grief is even greater to note that the decision of the competent authority – although formulated very clearly, and fully justified, it may be said, by your refusal to modify your public and persistent opposition to the Second Vatican Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the orientations to which the Pope himself is committed.
        ” Finally, the conclusions which [the Commission of Cardinals] proposed to Us, We made all and each of them Ours, and We personally ordered that they be immediately put into force.”
        Source: PAUL VI, “Lettre de S. S. Le Pape Paul VI a Mgr. Lefebvre,” 29 June 1975, La Documentation Catholique, n. 1689, trans. in M. DAVIES, Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, p. 113.

        2. Pope St. John Paul II on SSPX schism in his Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, February 7, 1988:
        ” In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of CEASING THEIR SUPPORT IN ANY WAY FOR THAT MOVEMENT. Everyone should be aware that formal ADHERENCE TO THE SCHISM IS A GRAVE OFFENCE AGAINST GOD and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.”

        3. Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to the Bishops dated March 10, 2009::
        “The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church.
        “In order to make this clear once again: UNTIL THE DOCTRINAL QUESTIONS ARE CLARIFIED, THE SOCIETY HAS NO CANONICAL STATUS IN THE CHURCH, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church…
        “This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially DOCTRINAL in nature and concern primarily THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND THE POST-CONCILIAR MAGISTERIUM OF THE POPES.
        “The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society.

        4. Pope Francis did give SSPX the faculty to hear confessions legally and validly, because it does not contradict Canon Law. There have always been exceptional circumstances or instances of necessity in which the Church recognizes as valid and licit the reception of sacraments from priests who may be immoral, schismatic, irreligious, laicized, or even non-Catholic, provided their denominations have sacramental confessions.

        Canon 844 §2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.
        Canon 976 Even though a priest lacks the faculty to hear confessions, he absolves validly and licitly any penitents whatsoever in danger of death from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.

        While Pope Francis’ gesture of mercy shows an important precedent — for the good of souls, the Church has the power to grant faculties even to priests who are not in good standing — it is nevertheless NOT AN APPROVAL OF THEM – not an approval of SSPX, or their situation.

        5. Pope Francis in his letter Misericordia et Misera, November 20, 2916: “For the pastoral benefit of these faithful (who attend churches officiated by the SSPX ) and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s HELP FOR THE RECOVERY OF FULL COMMUNION IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon.”


        Very clearly, Pope Francis’ motu proprio shows there is still the need for SSPX “to recover full communion in the Catholic Church.” Therefore, Pope Benedict’s statement on SSPX’s non-canonical status in the Church still stands.

        6. Pope Francis’ letter, dated July 16, 2021, that accompanies Traditionis Custodes, specifically mentioning SSPX to be in “schism.” Here’s the 2nd paragraph, fully quoted:

        “Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The faculty — granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984 and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988 — was above all MOTIVATED BY THE DESIRE TO FOSTER THE HEALING OF THE SCHISM WITH THE MOVEMENT OF MONS. LEFEBVRE. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the “just aspirations” of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal.”

        7. About the SSPX faculty to officiate in Catholic weddings (Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated March 27, 2017). It states that with the diocese’s permission, an SSPX priest may officiate in a Catholic wedding but only if there is no diocesan or religious priest available, and the documents must be forwarded to the diocesan curia. It should be remembered, too, that in the sacrament of matrimony, the ministers are the couple themselves. A priest is only there to witness for the Church and receive the couple’s consent.

        Other than those limited faculties, the sacraments of the SSPX, although valid, are not recognized by the Church because, as Pope Benedict XVI writes, the Society has no canonical status and no legitimate ministry in the Church.

        8. Many people, including bishops, who say SSPX is not in schism or has reconciled with the Church, should be able to produce a document similar to Pope John Paul II’s letter welcoming the SSPX in Campos, Brazil (now the Union of St. John Mary Vianney) into the fold, otherwise they should not be believed. Here’s the link to Pope JPII letter:
        Thanks. God bless you.

        • Many thanks, dear ‘Margarita’ for that very helpful piece of scholarship.

          Yet, maybe there’s an embracing context, that of a more pervasive, serious, & deeply insidious schism within what we think of as the doctrinally orthodox Church, as it self-righteously judges the Latin Rite Catholics.

          The judgments of a judge are disrespected through inauthenticity of that judge.

          Unorthodoxies among the SSPX people pale into insignificance in comparison with the numerous catholic hierarchs, clergy, & lay who we find ourselves among today, who’ve voluntarily ‘blended’ our inherited Apostolic Faith with panentheism, witchcraft, freemasonry, Buddhism, Hinduism, Marxism, antinomism, & even satanism, thus severely denigrating the clear instructions of our LORD Jesus Christ & His Apostles, mocking almost two millennia of witness by numerous saints & martyrs.

          I’m a middle-of-the-road, well educated, and much travelled, committed Catholic Christian, not an SSPX member, yet it seems to me that Pope Francis & all the other SSPX critics are the worst sort of hypocrites. They insist on extracting mere flecks of sawdust from the eyes of traditionalists, whilst pretending the massive anti-Apostolic splinters in their own eyes are not a problem at all!!!

          Only if Francis & Co repent and return to Apostolic Truth, will their judgments about the peccadillos of traditional Catholics be worth considering.

          Many of us ordinary Catholics would rather receive Holy Eucharist from the hands of such as a Christ-faithful SSPX priest than from the hands of any of the current Christ-demeaning papal gang.

          This is not to criticise your excellent scholarship, dear Margarita, but only to draw attention to the larger context.

          Always seeking to follow The Lamb of God; love & blessings from marty

    • The SSPX is not schismatic nor sedevacantist. Every bishop and priest prays for Pope Francis by name in the Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The SSPX is in an irregular canonical situation. That does not mean that they’re schismatic.

      Otherwise nice post.

      • Mscracker and Margaret: SSPX is in SCHISM. Don’t take the misrepresentations and falsehoods of SSPX members, symphatizers (even bishops), and promoters like Taylor Marshall or Kennedy Hall, but the solemn declarations of the Popes. From John Paul II (Ecclesia Dei, 1988), to Benedict XVI (Ecclesiae Unitatem, 2009), to Francis (Traditionis Custodes, 2021), all the Popes have declared that the SSPX is in SCHISM, that is “not in full communion with the Church,” meaning they are outside the Church. Pope Francis, to take a sampling from this line of papal judgments, in his letter of July 16, 2021 accompanying Traditionis Custodes noted that the action taken by his two predecessors to accommodate the celebration of the old pre-Vatican II Mass “granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984 and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988 — was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the SCHISM with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre.”

        • But an irregular status does not automatically translate to schism.
          I don’t attend the SSPX Mass but I think we should be fair about their status.
          My prayer is that some day we will all be one again. And that goes for the Anglican Church too. So close & yet so far…

          • mrscracker:
            Please read my response to your earlier comment, proving that all the Popes from Paul VI to Francis have declared SSPX is in schism.

          • A significant point of history: the Anglicans (and other Protestant sects) are an “ecclesial community” (Leo XIII, Vatican II, and Dominus Iesus, 2000) and not a Church, in that they renounced valid ordination, under Elisabeth I. The schismatic Orthodox Churches retain valid ordination.

        • So says St. Thomas Aquinas . . . 3 offenses exist against Peace in the Church: 1. Schism, 2. Heresy and 3. Unbelief. The first two are egregious because they are an attack on the Peace that should exist in the Church. The 3rd, Unbelief, is far worse, for it is an offense against Peace and is directed at God Himself. Have you taken a keen look at the statistics that have been compiled about belief in the Real Presence, vis-a-vis those that attend the Novus Ordo and those that attend the Vetus Ordo? Roughly, 30% of those that attend the NO Missae believe in the real presence, while 98% of those that attend the Vetus Ordo believe in the real presence. Indeed, while roughly 3% of those that attend the NO hold to the doctrine of the Church as evinced by St. Pope Paul VI found in Humana Vitae, 98% of those that attend the Vetus Ordo follow this teaching. While the NO Missae parishes have been fodder for all types of novelties and innovations to induce attendance, the VO has been tried (1600+ years) and True to the the IDENTITY of Catholicism. Sadly, the NO amounts to an effort by “progressives” to “eliminate all stumbling blocks from the Mass that would offend our separated brethren.” As a result, it downplays the Real Presence, thus the “Eucharistic Revival”. It downplays the role of the Priesthood and where you have no priest, you have no Body and Blood; where you have no Body and Blood, you have no sacred; and where you have no sacred, you have no Church. Again, the Protestant Revolt set a blue print that the progressives (many of them planted in the 1920’s, anent Bella Dodd) have used to undermine the CC and bring cultural ruin to humanity (See Taylor Marshall’s Book Infiltration). Sadly, this pope is not casting nets, he’s caught in them. For the love of God and for the love of your own soul, Brother, seek out a Latin Mass and become familiar. It will be your lifeboat as the Barque has been intentionally steered into the rocky shoreline and is now clearly taking on water. If you don’t believe me, pick up and read The Ratzinger Report again. It was originally published in 1984. Yet, reading it today is as relevant as having read it in 1984. God bless you! Deo Gratias!

          P.S. “Parish Families” coming to a diocese near you. I pray you’ll be content.

    • Saint Cajetan says, ‘If someone for a Reasonable Motive holds the Person of the Pope in Suspicion and Refuses his Presence, even his Jurisdiction, he Does Not commit the Delict of Schism’

  32. Let’s stop all the theological babel and just make it very simple.
    Any Pope who seeks to divide his flock is leading people away from Jesus. To me that’s an Anti Pope.

  33. I hope that Dr. Chapp and indeed the rest of us will be able to continue to believe that he is still a valid pope after Pope Francis finishes with his Synod-on-Synodality nonsense.

    • Quite honestly, I choose to believe our Blessed Mother that “Rome would lose the faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ”. I can’t imagine a church in which such a prophecy has become the case than the CC since V2. The NO church prays for vocations and our SSPX chapel picks them up. So far, over the course of the last 10-years, our parish of 150 Catholic Families has given the Catholic Church 14 religious vocations. Tradition, i.e. the Catholic Church, is where the Church is thriving and growing. The NO Church is one or two generations from demise. It can’t come soon enough.

      • Mark T: The SSPX has had multiple cases of absolutely brutal sexual abuse, rape and cover up among its members. I hope you get just as upset about that fact as you do about unapproved abuses of the liturgy in NO parishes. Don’t fool yourself, there is no perfect place this side of heaven.

        • Andrew, every institution that deals with children and vulnerable young people has the same sort of abuse issues. Perhaps you are saying this also.

          • Mrscracker: No, not every institution has the level of systemic depravity and cover up that has been exhibited in Catholic institutions over the years (including the Trads). Moreover, even if what you said is true. We should be absolutely outraged that it happens in the Church and not shrug our shoulders and say “it happens” (as you seem to). Trad communities should be especially vigilant and outraged as not only is this behaviour profoundly immoral and damaging BUT they also claim to be the guardians of true Catholicism. They are called to the highest of standards (as are all Church institutions). But when it comes to this issue the Trads seem no better but, at times, even worse than their Novus Ordo counterparts. Moreover, commentators like Mark T have all sorts of negative things to say about the Novus Ordo Church, but seems to turn a blind eye to the glaring issues within the Trad world. With rose coloured glasses and a total deference to priestly authority the trad communities are especially at risk for predators. Nice vestments and adherence to the liturgy does not undo the abuse and cover up in these communities.

            Just two examples of many…btw the Sedevacantist world is also rife with abuse:



        • Church militant is always hard at work filing the shapest edge of their bitter zeal. Naturally, I understand perfection exists only on the other side of this lacrimarum vale…that said, there is nothing more beautiful than the Latin mass this side of heaven. Deo gratias!

        • Andrew, you seem to be suggesting that the SSPX is running a menagerie for saints rather than a hospital for sinners. If that is your impression of what Vetus Catholics believe, you don’t speak for me or anyone I know within the SSPX Chapel I attend. That’s simply a shadow dancing on the wall inside your own little cave. I invite you to enlarge your understanding and in the vast number of cases, the 800 lb. gorilla in the room is not whether one attends the Vetus Ordo or the Novus Ordo, but whether one is homosexual. North of 80% of all cases of abuse were perpetrated by homosexuals. Let us not concentrate on the speck when the plank is the problem. God Bless!

  34. Beautifully said. I particularly liked the conclusion of the article, which said everything very concisely, summing it all up. I’m with you 100%.

  35. The present nature of the Church can be observed when even polite comments softly challenging the premise of the article are withheld from publication. In conjunction with the announcement that the deliberations of the upcoming Synod of Bishops will be held in secrecy this only furthers the distrust daily communicants can have with the episcopate and Catholic journalism.
    One is left to suppose that Catholic journalism is of the same caliber as the other information providers servicing Babel.

    • Right. Listening to laity has ceased. Now we are to stay silent. Accept and assent to the follow-up slug-slime oozing from the ferns and like species planted on the stage of speakers. Their published exhorts may then be read at Mass, but no one will listen because noise accompanies, remember, active participation in the SACRIFICE of the meal. We’ll banally sing modern fluff, we’ll kiss, we’ll dance, of course we’ll offer our blather, we’ll clap, high-five, and otherwise commune by melding clammy hands, raise a toast, and then, at the end, we’ll hear something from the synod, someone like the wife of a deacon who will drone on, proclaiming and confessing her success: She has been granted the synodal privilege to become one. We’ll sing in celebration then use our cell phones to inform friends: “It’s over.”

      • Dear ‘meiron’: sad reading indeed.

        The ideal we expect from the Church can be deeply subverted when we are living the reality.

        New Testament therapy recommended: prayerfully read Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and the first letter of Saint Peter; these give a down-to-earth idea of what we should expect to encounter within our Church.

        Simply put: a rare treasure in an unwanted, derelict paddock! a perfect pearl in a stinking, chaotic marketplace!

        If you can find the funds, volunteer for a year to help the work of the Sisters of Charity, somewhere in Asia or Africa. ‘Tis worth the effort if you discover the treasure amidst the detritus . . .

        Ever in the love of Christ Jesus; blessings from marty

        • I agree that we may find the pearl of great price amidst trash heaps. Consider Mother’s home for disabled orphans in Agra, India. Agra is also home of that wonder of the world, the Taj.

          Consider that some disabled orphans were intentionally made disabled ad well as perhaps made orphans by the intentional purpose of their very own parents. Why? Handicapped children make better beggars, being better able to open the thick doors of hard covetous hearts of rich tourists.

          I’ve been blessed to personally experience the love, the smiles, the joy on the faces and in the persons of these little blessed orphans disabled by their very own parents, now under the watchful eye and care of Our Sainted Sister of God and her Sisters.

          I also have seen numerous American Christian ‘tourists’ lined up over a half mile, waiting to meet Mother Superior, checkbook in hands.

          None of this negates disorder of hearts and minds of a particular Roman hierarchy. Blind men can only lead other blind men. Those who ask Christ for his wisdom, for His eyes, DO SEE the truth and DO HOLD the pearls of great price. We will not be denied Jesus and His Spirit because we do not deny Him.

          • Very heartening to read that, dear brother ‘meiron’. Good on yer!

            ‘Tis also continuously heartening to read so many insightful articles and passionate comments in CWR, by loyal Catholics outraged at the anti-Apostolic direction the current incumbent of The Chair of Peter & cronies are plotting, shamelessly sharing with the media, & beginning to enact.

            Yet even if they were successful in their most dastardly schemes, we should not be overly concerned. Evil must out, that’s one of the main purposes of this universe – space-time where evil is comprehensively expressed, fairly judged, and finally removed forever (see ‘Ethical Encounter Theology’).

            On Judgment Day, the ‘Francis Putsch’ will be a mere pimple on the rear of the supra-cosmic, Glorious Body of Christ; to be exorcised eternally.

            Evil is always more impressive in presentation than in its pathetic reality. In the words of a great praise song: “I fear none evil for YOU are with me, strong to deliver, mighty to save.”

            Ever in the love of our King, Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

  36. Larry Champ has provided here a sort of road map where the disloyalty and disrespect of Pope Francis and resistance and rejection of Vatican II can eventually lead and logically end. The antagonism towards the Pope and the Council of backwardist and rigid Catholics whose writings and comments for example are often promoted and spread here in CWR and best mirrored by its current celebrity star in Bishop Strickland, will sooner or later transition into the Sedevacantist position where Father Altman has moved as interpolated by Chapp here. Much further afterwards if passionately and ardently deepened, the position can lead into the schism and excommunication which Archbishop Lefebvre obtained and incurred. What is notable in the Strickland, Altman, and Lefebvre positions is that in its bottom line is the vice of pride that angrily shouts out loud, “I am more Catholic than the Pope.”

    • You’re sadly mistaken deacon and your assessment more reveals a sad ignorance of the parallels that exist between what the Protestant Reformation did to the church and the changes at V2. Simply, please get educated before you elect to condemn. You’re spreading ill-will against the Catholic Church. Shame. I recommend reading Eamon Duffy’s “The Stripping of the Altars” or the trilogy of Michael Davies. You really need to see that the impressions of the church since V2 are simply the shadows of the wall within your cave.

      • Mark: I can see that in Larry Chapp’s road map sketched out in this essay you have long ago crossed into the darkness of Lefebvre’s territory of schism and excommunication by taking Michael Davies’ SSPX rejection of and resistance to Vatican II, hook, line and sinker. Davies has long been debunked and dismissed as lacking objectivity, done selective presention of facts, and having misrepresented and caricatured Vatican II to fit into the SSPX extremist position that led to its schismatic (not in full communion with the Church, placing them outside the Church) and the excommunication of Lefebvre for disobeying the direct and explicit order of St. Pope John Paul II in 1988 not to ordain bishops. Here we can see a similarity between Altman today with Lefebvre in 1988 with both filled with the vice of disobedient pride (“I am more Catholic than the Pope!”). Unfortunately, many who read Davies uncritically continue to repeat his claims (just claims without evidence and so not the truth!) which are now standard talking points of backwardist and rigid Catholics. Foremost of these is that the 21st ecumenical council was a rapture from Church tradition. This brings us to your citation of Eamon Duffy which is the illogical and unwarranted interpretation to compare Vatican II with the rapture of the English Reformation. Even Duffy himself declined to do that juxtaposition. Pope Benedict XVI in his first papal Christmas address to the Roman Curia was clear in teaching that Vatican II should be understood and implemented not as rapture (total break) but as reform (containing both elements of continuity and change). For your enlightenment and broadening of horizons, I invite you to take up and read the book, “The Pope, The Council, and the Mass,” by James Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead.

          • Deacon, I invite you to consider the parallels that exist between the Protestant Revolt in the mid 1400’s and the Modernist Hi-jacking of the Catholic Church by the in the mid-1960’s (arguably beginning in the 1950’s). The parallels are eerie and cannot simply be dismissed. What both groups did to the Mass is unconscionable and, frankly, evil. Beyond that, I attended the NO for 55-years! Please don’t allude that I don’t know what I am talking about. I can say with 100% certainty it’s why my 3 eldest children now have ZERO affiliation with the Catholic Church in any form. Simply put, it’s banal and cringey. It’s ALWAYS been banal and cringey. That you prefer it is your own business. That I happen to know that because I sought out a Mass where edification is possible is no reason to attack me personally. If you care to be fully apprised of the TLM, go seek out a High Mass of the SSPX. If you fear it, like most NO Catholics do, I beg you to ask yourself why. I suspect you know that it will shake your faith in the NO and compel a deeper investigation into your own, current personal preferences. Be well, Brother. Deo Gratias!

          • To Mark Tabish (below this): I reiterate my invitation that you take up and read the book by James Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead, “The Pope, The Council, and the Mass.”

    • “…the vice of pride… backwardnest (sic) and rigid” One reads a lot of cliché’s here, but there is no evidence of a logical argument. The basic reality is that a lot of things that the Pope’s critics point out, can be drawn right out of a studied reading of the post Vatican 2, Catechism of the Catholic Church, and studied understanding of Church’s battle against communism. There are many prelates who see the problem of Francis (I am speaking from personal experience), but are afraid to say it openly: Francis is off the wall; at best he is confused and confusing, at worst he is a material heretic. It’s not a sin of pride to point to the obvious craziness of what he says. Even as far back as 2016, the chief theologian of the USCCB, Fr Weinandy, warned Pope Francis that he risked sinning against the Holy Spirit. If there is a vice a pride in all of this, look no further than the Pope himself.

    • With all due respect, Deacon Dom, I take exception with your comments that followers of Bishop Strickland have been lumped in with sedevacantists, Lefevre-ists and with followers of Father Altman. I am a follower of Bishop Strickland and respect and pay close attention to his statements. I believe that he calls a spade a spade and we need more outspoken leaders like him both now and in the months/years to come. We need more voices like his, speaking out and inserting clarity to all the confusion that is coming out of Rome and other places.

    • I am not anti Vatican 2 and I attend Mass regularly. It seems to me that the Vatican IS anti traditional mass.
      At one time the church was one, Catholic, and universal. I could attend andfollow the Latin mass in any country of the world. Why did that become something to destroy.
      Francis is the Pope and Biden is the President. One is doing his best to destroy my church and the other my country.
      It’s not schism for me to feel that way. It doesn’t make me a radical.
      Even Christ threw the money changers from the temple.

    • Deacon – What do you think is driving these men to make desperate moves like going over to the SSPX? Could it be that they have been gaslighted by evil men in the Vatican? I know many, many people were once solid but whose faith is on a razor’s edge now due directly to the words and actions of Pope Francis. And honestly, I do not know a single person whose faith has grown stronger and deeper because of Pope Francis. That is a problem.

    • Yawn. Progressive talking points. People’s concerns about and criticisms of Francis are truthful and legitimate. You are defending the indefensible here.

    • Deacon Dom, you speak of pride in those who doubt the authenticity of Bergoglio’s papacy. Have you asked yourself why one who declines to be referred to as “the Vicar of Christ”, has no issue with being referred to as “The Holy Father”? Could it be that “Vicar” makes him a subordinate (can’t have that!)…whereas: “The Holy Father”….

      • Dear George D’Orazio, thank you.

        That seems to me to be a Holy Spirit inspired insight into Pope Francis’ hubris.

        Fatal for him & his coterie but, not for The Church of Jesus Christ; praise God!

  37. I too find myself in agreement with Larry. But I feel he gives to much credit to pope francis….so far we have not seen any changes to moral doctrine but we shall have to wait and see…..he gives the benefit of the doubt to the pope but the real subversives in the vatican have the pope,s ear and his recent appointments cause a real head scratching as has the gutting of jp2,s Institute of life….something much deeper is going on…we should definitely be fasting and praying or we could see a repeat of church history….

  38. Today’s Spirit Daily has an interesting article on how we might be in times of so called illumination of consciousness , as experience of His mercy as has been in many prominent lives …Having wondered about the extent of grumbling and murmuring about the Synod , instead of seeing in same the trusting hope of the Holy Father – that he has a role , even a mysterious role for our times , to invoke the Holy Spirit in the Synodal manner … he is now pleading aid of journalists , as in the case of the Father sending forth persons to come to the Wedding Banquet ..
    https://www.usccb.org/prayers/prayer-synod-synodality – good little prayer for the Synod – to bless our families and other areas too , to ‘know ‘ the Father’s Love , including through the loving tender gaze of our Mother , with eyes as bright as the suns of pure holy love…her strength in standing at The Cross in the Divine Will Love …to help us too , to see worldy affairs in its right perspectives, at times even like peanuts , compared to the eternal Truth …. Would it not be good if all who have complained about the Synod choose to recite and share the above prayer few times a day to trust that they and families would get to ‘know ‘ more deeply the Father’ Love as the Precious Pearl…that the Holy Father intends no less ! Mercy !

    • Dear ‘J.P.G./M.’,

      What an outpouring of religiosity, distinguished by the notable absence of any mention of Our LORD Jesus Christ, His Apostles, their New Testament, The Catechism of the Catholic Church and our non-negotiable requirement to hear and lovingly obey.

      That you intimately link this heterodox, feel-good religious spirit to your trust in Pope Francis reinforces the grave concerns so many authentic Catholics have about this pope’s behavior. Christ-ignoring religiosity serves the anti-Apostolic agenda of Pope Francis and the immorality-propagating mafia he is appointing to run the Church.

      Please get hold of a New Testament and prayerfully read Colossians chapters 1 & 2.

      Ever in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

  39. Fr. Altmann is very dangerous, he is very prideful and out of control, and he was wrong with the statement he originally made, about politics, when the bishop told him to abolish his statement and to ask forgiveness..
    Father Altmann,
    and the cancellation priests movement, is totally manipulating, these weak individuals who are being used by Satan, and funded by the premier sede vacantist, Mel Gibson.
    Fr. Altmann needs to be put down in a debate by good traditionalists, who truly love the Church. The more they speak me like idiots, the more I will.unite with Rome and this Pope,

  40. The other issue with sedevacantism is that those who claim to believe in the papacy have a duty to elect a new pope if they truly believe that an office that is essential to the Church is vacant. I suspect that claiming a vacancy is more convenient for them. After all, as long as the See is “vacant,” they are answerable to no one.

  41. Here are some of the people who spoke at the conference in June that Dr. Chapp just implied are sedevacantists: Dr. Janet Smith, Jesse Romero, Doug Barry, Abby Johnson, and Eric Sammons. There are more that I could list who are emphatically not sedevacantists, nor are they “radical traditionalists.” Anyone who attended (I did not see Dr. Chapp in attendance, but I might have missed him) would know that Fr. Altman was (and has been) out of step with the rest of the coalition in how he refers to the Holy Father. A very poor lapse in judgement from an often excellent writer and good man. The vast majority of speakers (and attendees) at the conference are run-of-the-mill EWTN Catholics (and many of the speakers are former EWTN guests or hosts), not crazies from the SSPV.

    What none of them are is “Balthasarian” or “Congarian” or “Rahnerian,” which is what Chapp’s real problem with them is.

    There is going to come a time very soon where the nouvelle theologie portion of the Church will have to come to terms that the rehabilitation of their pet theologians at V2 comes as a package deal with the rest of the nonsense we’ve seen since then. If your basic position is that Trent got it wrong and the Church was in error for the 400 years between it and V2 (which is the heart of nouvelle theologie theology), then how different are you from a Mormon or Baptist or Old Catholic who has bought into the Great Apostasy conspiracy.

  42. Rad Trads, Larry Chapp’s defendants on trial for schism are ironically radical ultramontanists. Strange as it seems. At the core of their accusation of a false papacy is the refusal to believe that a Roman pontiff can disseminate falsehood. Their error is that they’re convinced that Abu Dhabi, Amoris, in flight interview remarks are, as Chapp correctly analyzes their mistaken opinion, formal repudiations of Apostolic tradition.
    His Holiness is much too versed in theology, the law [canonical] and its limitations, despite accusations by many that he’s incompetent. The pattern of dual messaging, appointments, structural changes indicates a keen intellect knowledgeable of how to promote an ideological change in doctrine without stepping over the line, or being perceived as purposeful.
    Now I’ve said previously I don’t wish to judge the intent of His Holiness, which may sincerely be in the best interests of the Church. I leave that judgment to God. It’s the apparent machinations that drive an agenda that is harmful in nature to the faith as revealed in Christ that’s of concern. How might that occur under Our Lord’s watchful eye? It may well be permitted. Benedict XVI vacated the office of papacy because he said so. His words are the testament. Whether it was allowed for good or for evil, Benedict questioned that possibility the very day of resignation after the famous lightning strike. God in His wisdom may have his own agenda, always in the interests of justice and salvation.
    During this moment of darkness and confusion it’s clear that we cannot in all justice repudiate by essential change of what Christ has revealed. We must judge that manifest adultery is adultery, that homosexual acts are contrary to natural law and are grave sin, that we must confess our sins to a priest for absolution, and prior to receiving the Holy Eucharist as a means to strengthen our resolve to sin no more. And best said, “It is with real popes with which we must, for better or for worse, engage and contend” (Larry Chapp).

    • Erroneous declarations of any sort do deliberately articulate a point of view. Hiding behind rationalizations of “formal” or “material” heresy at this point is disingenuous. The only thing that hasn’t been up for scrutiny in the post-conciliar epoch has been the weaponization of evangelical obedience wedded to fine-tuned “theological” gymnastics providing ground to heterodoxy The mode of engagement of the current occupant of the Chair of Saint Peter is not, by any means, evidence of intellectual acumen of any sort. It is rather merely symptomatic of a manipulative character in the service of personal perspectives which contradict the perennial magisterium. No doubt this is natural knack well-honed in Jesuitical formation. Undoubtedly it has worked for his purpose throughout his life and difficult to shed. It is impossible to forget the perspective of Peter Kolvenbach, SJ [Superior General 1983 – 2008] who told Pope John Paul that Father Bergoglio was emotionally unstable and temperamentally unreliable when he was being considered for the episcopate.
      While our Lord exhorts us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, He also advises us to let our yes be yes and our no be no, always in service to His divine revelation, not in the promotion of our own notions. Persistent appeals to the action of the Holy Spirit which contradict what the Holy Spirit inspired in the previous epochs fall very seriously, even mortally, flat. Pastoral practice cannot ever stand in contradiction to doctrine. Our persistently unsuccessful attempts to thread the needle of right respect for Peter and reconciling the contradictions flowing from the Chair are symptomatic of a critically treacherous situation which will not be healed by a deference to soft-peddled error tickling the ears of the theological avant-garde and those enslaved to their own impulses.

      • Methinks that Chapp means to say, and does say, that the pope knows how to avoid “formal” heresy which canonically must be explicit, directly against doctrine (not innovative in practice), and pertinacious. Ambiguity stops short.

        As for theological competence, James, it seems the pope does agree with you, having said along the way “I am not a theologian.” So, appearing to be astute and competent due to guidance from the inner circle who waited 35 years for a successor to John Paul II and then Benedict.

        • Correct. Formal heresy v material references indefectibility. That Christ’s revealed Word is eternal. That’s not at all disingenuous if we have faith in Christ. Whether Francis is competent, the fact remains his effort to change practice is successful. For many who dismiss the difference either due to lack of knowledge, theological acumen or by choice, inadvertently risk loss of faith.

  43. Mr Chap seems to spend much of his time (and words) failing to recognize the walk of the duck-non duck. Perhaps he could better enlighten us with acknowledging the validity of the Council of Trent as a start?

  44. On July 25, 1968, pope Paul 6th penned the encyclical “ on human life”. He shocked the then Catholic world by declaring anathema to the idea of condoning the use of artificial birth control. The upcoming synod promulgated by pope Francis is replete with many so-called changes to future Catholic moral doctrine and practices. I suggest that we beg our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to guide our Pope in his final decisions about what he is to accept and reject in regard to Catholic doctrine going forward.

  45. Hey Larry,

    What part of our Blessed Mother’s message to Melanie at LaSalette has you confused? You know, her very clear message that “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ”. Ask yourself, what would a Rome look like that has lost the faith and you just might just find that it would be one that resembles exactly the post V2 church replete with every embrace of heresy in action (if not in theory and teaching) that the church in her wisdom justly condemned following the protestant revolt. Or, will you be confident enough in your personal assessment to consider Our Blessed Mother a “liar”?

  46. I would like to ask Mr Chapp to be more cautious about his use of the expression “leading traditionalists.” Catholics who, for example, love the Traditional Latin Mass, are not “led” by journalists and YouTubers but by their bishops or religious superiors and, to a lesser degree, the representatives for whom they vote in such associations as Una Voce Internationalis. There is a difference between a merely famous person who objects to doctrinal and liturgical novelties and an authentic leader, be he a bishop, a parish priest, or an elected layman, who does so.

  47. Sedevacantism is a dogmatic error. No one, however; is addressing the pertinent question – except a few who hold that the Pope is protected from serious error even in his authentic, non-infallible Magisterium. These few deny the existence of the least doctrinal or moral error emanating from these Pontifical acta. My question: Can the ordinary faithful hold that the Holy Ghost would allow the Pope to teach serious errors in various modes and degrees of this Magisterium ‘mere authenticum,’ without temerity, rashness, or at least an error proximate to heresy? I – for one – do not think so. Francis, however, is doing this frequently and repeatedly. The Pope is the proximate rule of faith, morals, worship, and discipline for the universal Church. How can this ‘regula fidei’ become so corrupted in such a short time? Even the question sounds heterodox.

  48. Your comment on Pius the 10th being elected without things happening seems to be false.The last exercise of the veto occurred in 1903, when Prince Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko informed the College of Cardinals that Austria opposed the election of Mariano Rampolla.
    One of the early things that Pius the 10th did after becoming Pope was to stop the vetoes of certain European nations in the election of a pope.

  49. It may be presumptuous of any individual believer to proclaim that Francis is not the Pope. Let history sort all that out. But it is the height of absurdity to maintain that he does not hold and teach heretical positions. Just where “ex cathedra” falls into all of this does not really concern me. Francis is a cancer, and it is simply insane to pretend otherwise.

    • I can’t help but perceive Dr. Chapp swatting at the mosquito while the bear pillages the campsite. It could not be more apparent who is the actual problem. That this is not recognized by every authentically faithful Roman Catholic is a blistering critique of the post-conciliar enterprise.

      • Per usual, what you say makes sense James. But anyone would have thought that 95 ideas nailed to a Church door by an obscure Augustinian priest would not have mattered in the 16th C. Luther’s errors spread like a cancer. Better to deal with Stage 1 than after it grows into Stage 4. Even a mosquito bite can kill.

        For Fr. Altman to be correct that he can know Pope Francis is not Pope, Fr. Altman would need to be a future Pope or omniscient. Fr. Altman has no authority or ability to judge a Pope. To say otherwise is illogical and/or insane.

    • You are right, dear Mark Tabish.

      “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely!”

      Our beloved Savior, King Jesus Christ, instructs us in ‘power under’. Francis & Co. simply pretend to do that, meanwhile being ‘power over’ bullies to the core.

    • Mark, What’s 73 million abortions a year among friends? And since the papal sycophants are scurrying off to Rome for Synodaling, allow me to offer an America Magazine headline:

      Pope Francis and President Clinton Discuss the Jesuit Option for the Poor.

  50. My sincere apologies. I did not type those words and did not intend for them to be delivered. They were directed verbally something else in a burst of anger. I am very sorry.

  51. If I were an antipope trying to destroy the Catholic Church, I would restrain myself from changing doctrine while at the same time refusing to teach it and giving every appearance that I was changing it. I could do maximum damage this way because very few people actually study the faith: they need to be told, and they will know only what I tell them. This already worked with Vatican II. My accomplices could cover for me by pointing to the fact that I’m not actually making any ex-cathedra declarations. And if anyone exercises their god-given reason about the situation, I would just label them a schismatic or an ideologue, and apply the same kinds of pressures that silenced people during the clerical sex-abuse crisis.

    This is the current program.

    Francis might actually be the pope, but he gives ample reason for any thinking, informed, honest person to suspect he is an antipope, and I see no grounds for the sin schism there. Holding the pope (?) in suspicion is not the same thing as schism.

  52. I’ll acknowledge Francis is the pope. I am willing to accept that he has not technically fallen into heresy. I’ll agree to both of the above mostly because random laymen or priests are not qualified to declare otherwise. If a future pope, or a current council of cardinals who may finally be pushed beyond the limit of their patience as a result of, say, whatever abominations might begin to emerge from the “Synod on Synodality”, declare the opposite, I would view it as a validation of my amateur, but well-informed and reasonable suspicions.

    What I will not say is that Francis is a good man. I will say that his agenda is evil, and I will resist it as much as possible. He has proven by his words and deeds that he is a committed leftist who is determined to stamp the Church with a poisonous ideology. We have obviously had personally corrupt popes in the past. In almost all cases they did not tamper with doctrine or liturgy and, of the ones who did, none to the nearly the degree Francis has. Likewise, none have promoted anything remotely similar to the anti-Christian political program Francis has pursued so relentlessly.

    Francis is the pope. I’ll leave to theologians to figure out how such a man could have risen to the Throne of Peter. I show my loyalty to the magisterium (and even to Francis) by opposing him with all the respect an enemy in his position is due.

  53. “Pastor Aeternus” of Vatican I which defined the nature of papal infallibility provided a linchpin toward the end: “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles.” It would do well to recall a statement of sixteenth century Bishop Melchior Cano, O.P., theologian at the Council of Trent: “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See – they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.” Presently we observe those who weaponize the impulse to papolatry against which Cano warns in order to eviscerate the papacy and make Roman Catholicism prone to total deconstruction from within while maintaining the façade.
    Ignorance bequeaths a false bliss.

  54. This website invites vigorous debate so, as an American who came upon this website by accident or algorithm, concerning the idea of the Seat being vacant, and Pope Francis not living up to expectations, how about considering the prophecies of St. Malachy? Up to the death of Pope John Paul II, the prophecies seemed to fit, but then, if Benedict XVI was the Olive Pope, is Pope Francis the last pope, the “in extremis” pope? If so, is this the end of the Catholic Church completely? Talk about the seat being empty!!!

    Things move in cycles, so how does the Catholic Church transition into the new cycle? Letting go of the old and coming into the new? What is the old and what is the new?

    So, going back to the birth of the Catholic church, with Jesus of Nazareth, and St. Peter becoming the Rock the Church stands on and the story of the Pearly Gates, how does that all fit into where the Church is today? Is there a new Age of Prophecy? Is a new Bible being written?

    So, there are three paths the Catholic Church can take. Straight ahead and ignore the crises, go down into the power games and schism, or what will take the Church to the higher level?

    • Dear Karen Holmes, there’s no ‘higher level’ than faithfully immersing ourselves in The New Testament and so coming to know the unique love of God in Christ Jesus and His practical instructions for us to be accepted into the family of God and so to inherit the ecstatic joy of eternal life with Jesus, His Most Blessed Mother Mary, and the great multitude who love God, gathered from all ages and all nations.

      The Catechism of The Catholic Church is built on over 3,500 citations from The New Testament and should be the guiding light for every authentic Catholic (yes, even Pope Francis!).

      Under the easy yoke & lite burden of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

    • I hate to break the news, but the “Prophecies of St. Malachy” are a Renaissance hoax, possibly intended as a joke. The descriptions fit the early popes in the series well, as they should, being composed ex eventu. A lot of fudging is needed to connect them with post-Renaissance pontiffs. For example, how is the sophisticated, urbane Benedict XIV a “rural animal”? No to mention efforts to see Benedict XIV as the “glory of the olive.” It would be a nice party game (for the right sort of party goers) to put slips of paper with historic papal names of the last three centuries in one hat and one with the Malachy phrases in another. Then have participant blindly draw one of each and make them fit.

      Furthermore, the full “Secret of La Salette” is ridiculous and not worthy of attention. Garabandal has been repeatedly judged non-supernatural by the local authorities and is actually a retread of the resoundingly condemned “apparitions” of Eskioga claimed earlier in the same region.

  55. The ambiguity and confusion are tools used to divide the bride of Christ, by a bishop with the mission to unite her in accordance with Christ’s priestly prayer. It’s the same tactic with every communist plant. How is it not heretical? Be specific.

    • Dear Edward Lafean.

      Yes, the Church is in a mess and there’re many in leadership who are following other gods that cause them to despise King Jesus Christ.

      But, please read Acts 20:27-30 and you’ll find that the mixture of godly & ungodly are found in the Church from the very start. Only Christ knows our hearts and can sift us.

      Our job is to be faithful to the Apostolic witness of The New Testament and to be watchful and prayerful that the ungodly ‘catholics’ don’t wear us down!

      Hope this helps. Ever in the love of Jesus; blessings from marty

  56. Such a waste of talent. Why are you wasting your time on such things? You are a bit too cocksure with your subtle criticisms of Francis and the synod. A bit more humility and a less cantankerous tone would really be nice. Let’s have a decent article on the Larger Hope. Gosh that would be wonderful!

  57. “In this regard, the Fr. Altmans, Patrick Coffins, and similar folks of the sedevacantist world are merely connecting the dots of this implied logic and saying out loud what others in the movement lack the courage to say.”

    I agree with the general thrust of the point you are making here, but hang out with the ex-trad community faithful to Pope Francis and they will suggest that even Coffin and Altman, while going further than Pope Francis’ other critics within the Latin trad movement, fall short of going on the way.

    Especially in light of the First Vatican Council’s dogmatic declaration that St Peter will enjoy successors in perpituity.

    In other words, one who truly connects all the dots will either become Big “O” Orthodox or a Skeptic (whether atheist or agnostic). In recent times only Steve Skojec has had the courage to publicly connect these dots all the way.

  58. The author of this essay, Dr. Larry Chapp, said, “the late Pope [Benedict XVI] himself said that he really did resign the papacy and that he did so of his own free will.”

    May I respectfully ask, where did BXVI actually state that he had “resigned the papacy”? The only statements I’ve been able to find were ones where he put things much more ambiguously, such as “There is only one pope,” which could be referring to himself as pope.

    An unforced resignation of the papacy was required, and a total resignation was required (not one where Benedict might have been mistakenly trying to divide the papacy between two men, one with an active ministry and the other with a contemplative mission, keeping the contemplative “half” of the papacy for himself). I haven’t yet read anything by BXVI, including the resignation itself, that rules either of those possibilities out.

    His resignation (?) states that he will resign, at a certain future date, but not that he does resign. It states that he will resign (at a future date) the ministry, but does not state that he will resign the papacy, or the office of the papacy, or the office of Pope. There was never another, final “I resign now” document. He just left in a helicopter.

    President Nixon did not resign from the duties (administration, ministry) of the presidency, but from the presidency itself.

    I’d be happy to be wrong.

  59. The problem with this article and this author is that it fails to recognize the deviousness of pope Francis.

    I heard a great priest in Chicago call it “weaponized ambiguity”. This is not accidental confusion or “messiness” this is a plan by a socialist pope to ruin the part of the Catholic Church that is growing.

    Pope Benedict declared nobody can declare the TLM illegal or cancel it. This is how mass was said for 1500 years.

    If he cancels TLM, then I would agree with Fr. Altmann

  60. The reason that I defend Pope Francis against Traditionalist Critics like Father Altman, is that the bishops and priests of the persecuted Church support Him. At least 99% of the bishops, and 99% of the priests in countries where there is severe persecution of the Catholic Church – Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Iraq and others – strongly support Pope Francis. Bishops and priests who are ready to die for Christ do not betray Christ. Pope Francis is a good Pope. I am convinced that He will be canonized someday. Yours in Christ. Joe Simon.

    • With that said, we should all start referring to him as “Pope St. Francis.” All in all, yours was a great attempt to rehabilitate a pontificate that has done much to harm the Body of Christ.

      But let’s never forget: Francis truly IS the Pope and saying so publicly is all that matters.

    • I think Pope Francis would expect a pastoral response to Father Altman and not an ideological response that seems to be emanating from this piece and some of the respondants. Let’s show some respect for the Supreme Pontiff who is Pastor to the universal Church.

      • Deacon Edward, you ask:” Let’s show some respect for the Supreme Pontiff who is Pastor to the universal Church.” Could we ask that he show respect for previous Popes? He has actually used the expression “small minded” to characterize the teaching of Benedict XVI and John Paul II. For one who is ever ready to hurl insults and derogatory remarks at those he disagrees with, he’s remarkably thin-skinned. For all his insistence on “dialogue”, and “listening”, he is utterly close-minded to those whose perspectives he doesn’t share. Respect? Please, Bergoglio has no use for it, except when demanding it for himself and his brood of vipers. Have I said something needlessly combative? A very famous Person in catholic history addressed the religious big shots of His day using some of these very words.

    • You painfully neglect to mention Communist China and the person of Cardinal Zen and the cautions he has struggled to make to the Vatican.
      Many third world countries have a presbyterate constituted with a conflicted theological and philosophical training, given to proper devotion [presently held suspect by Rome] and coupled with a poor understanding of the dimensions and limits of papal authority.
      Yes. There are limits.
      “Pastor Aeternus” of Vatican I which defined the nature of papal infallibility provided a linchpin toward the end: “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles.” It would do well to recall a statement of sixteenth century Bishop Melchior Cano, O.P., theologian at the Council of Trent: “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See – they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.” Presently we observe those who weaponize the impulse to papolatry against which Cano warns in order to eviscerate the papacy and make Roman Catholicism prone to total deconstruction from within while maintaining the façade.

    • Joe Simon, where do you get these statistics? Who collects statistics on support for the Pope in countries where it is dangerous just to be a Christian? Sources please!

    • I don’t know about good, but he is pope and those in the third world do seem to like him and they are orthodox. In a way its a paradox. Among the West and in Latin America he’s seen as this liberal figure, but to the world outside of that, he’s just the pope. They seem to be in union with him. I think it says more about the priests than the pope, but I get it. I don’t hate him. I just wish he did better.

  61. I have just read Bishop Strickland’s latest pastoral letter concerning the worthiness to receive Holy Communion. He expounds on the Catholics’ belief in the Real Presence: the Eucharist being “the source and summit of the Christian life, and the seriousness of receiving the Eucharist unworthily: detailing many situations that so many Catholics may find themselves in today. Although I do not know the bishop; in fact, I come from Australia; but my initial reaction is one of admiration and gratitude because so many Catholics are not formed in the Faith and we need courageous leaders.

    • Looking it up, the photo of the sanctuary at St. James the Less appears set up for the EF Mass but my home parish is the same way though it is an OF parish. Fr. Altman appears to still be under discipline by the diocese. I couldn’t find more recent information.

    • Good question. I too questioned Chapp’s statement that Altman is a traditionalist priest. I don’t know much about Altman.

      I consider myself a ‘traditional’ Catholic [I love the EF Mass and the unambiguously reasoned theology of Thomism. I deplore the Church’s loss of solemnity and dignity post VCII but I respect and greatly admire the efforts of Popes JPII and Benedict. ]

      Am I a traditionalist? I intensely dislike Chapp’s lumpen-labelling, ascribing identity-ideology to individual persons he names, as here with Altman. Why does he do that?

      I understand that Chapp has characterized his theology as leaning to the communio-ressourcement bent, but I wish his theological tree had more classical branches and leaves, more aggorniamento with Thomists and neo-scholastics.

      No one likes to be casuistically categorized. The being of a person precedes the person becoming a member of a group.

  62. I am not familiar with the expressions of Patrick Coffin, although I plan to be, but my guess regarding his view of the papal vacancy is, not that Pope Benedict was forced to resign, but that the resignation and new selection were not permissible in some way. I also doubt that mere disagreement with Pope Francis is Coffin’s justification.

  63. Mr. Chapp, a fine article, but I must admit you were the Fr. Altman in reverse. A little more charity needed. Yes, shinanigans have been going on in papal elections for quite some time, and yes, Satan does use (dupe) all unrepentant sinners. Yes, they are his tools, whether in the papal office or on city streets. That said, I am and hope and pray to remain a faithful Catholic enduring to the end inside the True Faith of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

  64. From Edward Pentins article, another change in doctrine and how is was accomplished, is in the CCC on God’s Authority and Teaching on capital punishment,

    viz., Another guardrail is the Vincentian claim that growth and change must be in eodem sensu eademque sententia, that is, according to the same meaning and the same judgment. For the monk of Lérins, any growth or development over time must preserve the substantive meaning of earlier teachings. For example, the Church can certainly grow in its understanding of the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, but it can never backtrack on the definition of Nicaea. The idem sensus or “same meaning” must always be maintained in any future development. Pope Francis rarely, if ever, cites this important Vincentian phrase—but any call for change must be shown to be not simply an alteration, or even a reversal of prior teaching, but in fact in eodem sensu with that which preceded it.

    I would also counsel the pope to avoid citing St. Vincent to support reversals, as with his teaching that the death penalty is “per se contrary to the Gospel.” Vincent’s organic, linear understanding of development does not include reversals of prior positions.[20]

    This notwithstanding, the change Pope Francis introduced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding capital punishment was precisely the example he gave in his talk to Portuguese Jesuits to endorse his claim that “the view of Church doctrine as monolithic is erroneous.” In Lisbon, he went further than previous statements, claiming that “the death penalty is a sin. You cannot employ it, but it was not so before.”[21]

    • The Catechism’s formal statement (versus editorial remarks in Lisbon) limits itself to the cryptic term “inadmissible,” which theoretically can still be a matter of prudential judgment (?). But, more broadly, why does the pope refer to Vincent of Lerins while overlooking the more explicit Cardinal Newman and his “Development of Christian Doctrine.”

      “I venture to set down seven notes of varying cogency, independence, and applicability to discriminate healthy developments of an idea from its state of corruption and decay, as follows: “There is no corruption if it retains: (1) one and the same TYPE, (2) the same PRINCIPLES, (3) the same ORGANIZATION, (4) if its beginnings ANTICIPATE its subsequent phases, (5) its later phenomena PROTECT and subserve its earlier, (6) if it has a power of assimilation and REVIVAL, and (7) a vigorous ACTION from first to last…”. In short, organic growth rather than mutation.

      But, underlying the current dogmatic/theological fog, are the core insights of philosophy also up in the air? How many fence-sitting, clericalist illuminati still concur with what is self-evident to Pope St. John Paul II in “Fides et Ratio”?…

      “Although times change and knowledge increases, it is possible to discern a core of philosophical insight within the history of thought as a whole. Consider, for example, the principles of non-contradiction, finality and causality, as well as the concept of the person as a free and intelligent subject, with the capacity to know God, truth and goodness.. Consider as well certain fundamental moral norms which are shared by all” (n. 4). Indeed!

      Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall…

      • Thanks, Peter, for reminding us of core philosophical principles, derived from that famous Greek born 384 BC. Aristotle quotes Hesiod (c. 700 BC) in The Nichomachean Ethics, Bk.I, Chapter II ad finem:

        Far best is he who is himself all-wise,
        And he, too, good who listens to wise words;
        But whoso is not wise or lays to heart
        Another ‘s wisdom is a useless man.

        ‘Nuff said except to say that Humpty is an egg…unfertilized?

    • Dr. Fastiggi has written, in my judgment, a superb accounting of the matter in a 4-part series.

      Capital Punishment and Magisterial Authority Part 4 – Where Peter Is (Links to the first three parts are at the bottom.)

      While I had previously thought that the pope’s action was defensible as a prudential judgment and should be adhered to as such, Fastiggi makes a convincing case that its moral legitimacy has not been taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium as I had previously thought. As to whether it is now, definitively determined, as intrinsically evil, I am less convinced.

      • For those who find the time to read Dr Fastiggi’s 4 part series, I suggest they should also read Edward Feser’s two part rebuttal, at edwardfeser.blogspot.com

  65. Pentin’s article also presents behind Francis’ magisterial changes seems to be this, not Revelation:

    To dismantle the false alternative presented by Pope Francis, namely, of having to choose between evolutionary doctrine and morals or a rigid ideology, it helps to recall the abysmal difference between the Church’s traditional pastoral mission and the Argentine pope’s new one. As Guido Vignelli explains, in its traditional sense,

    pastoral theology is a practical science that studies how to adjust human life to the requirements of revealed Truth by fulfilling its dogmatic, moral, and liturgical principles. It does not address the goal but only the way to attain it by effectively announcing and transmitting the Gospel to humanity in a way that befits the opportunities of time and place.

    Pastoral policy, therefore, depends on dogma, morality, and liturgy; it . . . cannot change dogmas, law, and worship. . . .

    Thus, [the] new pastoral policy . . . is understood not as the art of converting men to God . . . but as a pedagogy of dialogue and encounter among equals between the Church and humanity in its concrete historical and social situation. . . .

    At the end of this process, a reversal takes place: Instead of adapting life to truth, truth is adapted to life, and therefore pastoral policy is no longer a way but a goal, not a means but an end. . . .

    In assuming that life holds precedence over truth, the way over the goal, and the means over the end, modern theology ends up enshrining the primacy of pastoral policy over doctrine. . . .

    . . . Behavior becomes the absolute criterion and supreme law not only of life but also of Church doctrine and teaching, replacing her magisterial function with the pastoral one.

    At the end of the process, “the only true orthodoxy is . . . orthopraxy,” as a future pope denounced in his time (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, trans. Salvator Attanasio and Graham Harrison (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985), 185).[22]

    Founded as it is on a novel and erroneous pastoral theology, Pope Francis’s attack on American Catholics for their attachment to the traditional understanding of the Faith and its pastoral ministry was wholly undeserved.

    Moreover, the philosophical and theological underpinings for this misguided indictment reveal an immanentistic, relativistic, and populist understanding of culture and Faith, akin to that of the “Theology of the People” together with a modernist view of the evolutionary development of dogmas and morals long condemned in Pascendi Dominici gregis.

    • Thanks for that helpful explication, dear ‘JMJ”.

      In short, the current incumbent of The Chair of Peter, has bent Classic Catholic Perfect Being Theism to fit the world-worshipping panentheism of Teilhard de Chardin & many other heterodox philosophers & theologians.

      Can authentic Perfect Being Theism be reconciled with solid cosmological & evolutionary insights? Obviously NOT by Pope Francis’ anti-Apostolic blunders.

      For the beginnings of another way, see ‘Ethical Encounter Theology: An Interdisciplinary Consonance’; and “Ethical Ontology Harmonizes Science, Revelation and Human Lives” – both free on the web.

      Always in the grace & mercy of The Lamb of God; love & blessings from marty

  66. Perhaps you should have titled your post “It is not Catholic or logical to follow a schismatic ant-Pope who denies The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque)” , and thus can not possibly be in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

  67. Salvation is of The Jews, From The Father, Through The Son, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque).
    To deny The Filioque, is to deny The Unity Of The Holy Ghost.

    • NB: now it is from the NEW Jews, id est, Catholics…..from….blessings through Our Lady of Sorrows whose soul is pierced that She may reveal to us the Beloved and His Saving Love and Life!!!

  68. Concretely?

    francis: Moses teaching the people in and by lived daily experience changes to divorce by ‘theology of the people’
    Christ: returns, goes backwards, to Genesis, Teaching no divorce in God and as the saving “Theology {Revelation} of the Living God”.

    ‘Choose, for me and my family we choose the Living God and His Revelation’…

  69. francis: Moses teaching the people in and by lived daily experience changes to divorce by ‘theology of the people’
    Christ: returns, goes backwards, to Genesis, Teaching no divorce in God and as the saving “Theology {Revelation} of the Living God”.

  70. He’s my pope. I pray for him. I don’t listen to him. He’s a globalist and a communist. Ever wonder who is enemies are? Listen to whom he condemns; he condemns Catholics. He condemns Catholics who have historically seen the world, the flesh and the Devil as their enemies. He condemns all those that still attend the Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Padre Pio, St. Therese the Little Flower, et alio. For all of you who still attend the Novus Ordo Missae, get ready to attend the Missa Novi Ordinisi – the Mass of the New Order. It will be replete with all of the ornaments of the most Modern of the Modernists. Just how far does this Pope have to defy his own Papal identity before most Catholics wake up and see him for a jackal or a wolf? Again, I pray for his conversion. I pray for his soul. He is my pope. He just happens to be his own sedavacantist and he likes it that way.

  71. As always, many thanks to Larry Chapp for another insightful contribution to the discussion about the crisis of the Francis regime, as confused Catholics try to navigate through a situation which our understanding of indefectibility had always led us to believe would be impossible (a pope using the authority of the papacy to lead people into error). However, this statement does not seem adequately to weigh the gravity of the situation: “Nor does the cautious opening for some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion in an ambiguous footnote in Amoris Laetitia rise to the level of formal heresy.” In reality, an isolated “ambiguous” footnote is not the only source of error in AL. One of the gravest statements in AL comes from the main body of the text, paragraph 303: “It [conscience] can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.” This contradicts defined Catholic dogma about the possibility of integrally observing God’s Law. Back in 2016, when pope-splainers tried to find a way to read AL in an orthodox fashion, the bishops of Argentina implemented this teaching in a way the defied that attempted hermeneutic of continuity, and Francis subsequently wrote to the Argentine bishops that their interpretation is the ONLY one that is possible; he thus removed any possible ambiguity, if ambiguity there was. Francid subsequently ordered that letter to be included in the A.A.S. In other words, we are required by Francis himself to believe the that rupturist interpretation of AL is in fact what AL means. Whether AL itself must be held to be a magisterial teaching is a separate (debatable) question, but the gravity of the situation is that a papal document (assuming Francis is the pope) is being used — correctly, according to Francis — to lead people into error and sin (obviously he himself doesn’t think it’s a sin, however). This goes far beyond the case of a pope as a private individual COMMITTING an error (like John XXII on the beatific vision) or ALLOWING error to spread without correcting it (like Honorius) but of, effectively, IMPOSING error on the Church. THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED. A true pope cannot use his office to impose error on the Church. Speaking in the abstract, if a putative pope were to do so, this would be a SIGN that he in fact is not actually the pope, as evidently he is not being protected by the Holy Ghost (this is different from the thorny hypothesis of a true pope subsequently LOSING the papacy because of committing the delict of heresy, whether he imposed his heresy on the Church or not). Speaking in the concrete of the issue at hand, if one believes in Catholic orthodoxy and in the principle of non-contradiction, it is hard to deny that, even in official teachings, Francis has at least occasionally taught error. The question is whether he has technically used the office of the papacy to IMPOSE error. Cardinal Burke, for example, is of the view that AL does not actually possess magisterial authority because of the more modest goal Francis sets: “For this reason, I thought it appropriate to prepare a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation to gather the contributions of the two recent Synods on the family, while adding other considerations as an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice” (AL 4). In that case, AL would still contain errors but would not actually IMPOSE them and thus could not be evidence that Francis is not the pope. (Not that this would be much of a consolation, since the practical effect of AL is still to lead people into error, even if hypothetically, not possessing full magisterial weight, it would not be imposing upon well-instructed Catholics the obligation in conscience to ACCEPT its errors.) All this is to say that, even if Father Altman, who unfortunately now seems to have a case celebrity priest syndrome, has given a long series of insufficient accusations against Francis (does he think that Francis really lost the papacy MULTIPLE TIMES “from that moment that” Francis did X, Y or Z?), this does not mean there are not also more serious grounds for bishops, theologians and canonists to consider the thesis that Francis may not be the pope. And if the Church is NOT willing to consider that possibility, then, let’s face it, we need to modify our understanding of indefectibility.

  72. The worst thing about this article is that Dr. Chapp seems to be making the point that the general nastiness of Pope Francis – and his vicious efforts to root out and destroy any trace of traditional Catholic liturgy or devotion – is somehow the logical result of his being provoked by nasty, anti-Francis comments from “conservative” American Catholics. This is just another form of gaslighting, or at least of putting the cart before the horse.

    It is not some radical, right-wing conspiracy to point out the Pope’s actions, to quote the ambiguous formulas in his writings, or his many bizarre impromptu remarks, or to be outright scandalized at the kind of men he promotes in the Vatican and elsewhere.

    It is Pope Francis who decided on the tone and direction of his pontificate. Nobody forced him into it. He declared his intention to create a mess, and he has been true to his word. That is about the only thing this Machiavellian Marxist has been truthful about.

  73. #1. That Francis is one lousy Pope and is harming the Church – the Body of Christ, I would agree with Fr. Altman
    #2. That Francis is legitimately the duly-elected Pope of the Universal Catholic Church, I would agree with Dr. Larry Chapp.

  74. It would serve Mr. Chapp well, and all CWR followers to listen to a recent interview of Argentina presidential candidate Javier Milei given to Tucker Carlson. As Pope Francis is from Argentina, Mr. Milei has great insight into our Holy Father’s predispositions. From what I learned from this very powerful interview is that our current pontiff needs to decide if he wants to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as His Vicar here on earth, or as a communist in priestly attire. I think Mr. Chapp would be quite enlightened with this penetrating insight by Mr. Milei. I hope Mr. Carl Olson also watches this interview. There’s no doubt in my mind what the real problem is in the Vatican right now. Here’s the link my fellow Catholics in the pews. Decide for yourselves. https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1702442099814342725

  75. I love the last paragraph — so true! If there’s a silver lining in this papacy for me (not for the Church) it’s that I never became unhealthily attached to either the TLM or ultramontanism. I love the TLM. I don’t mistake it for the Church. I pray for the Holy Father. I think he’s a terrible pope.

  76. While some may object to using private revelation, I will state two that refer to what we see happening in the Church today.

    Prophecy of Saint Francis: “The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

    The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.

    Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

    There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.”

    First of all, if this prophecy is accurate in that a a man not not canonically electedis “raised to the Pontificate” who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death,” the Church obviously would not acknowledge that this man was not canonically elected. Either the church would not know or no bishops would speak up. If the Church DID know the man is not canonically elected, then he would not be able to “draw many into error and death.” This is because the church would acknowledge that he is not a true pope.

    Fr. Altman or no priest of course can officially declare a pope’s resignation invalid. Only the cardinals can do this. We do know that Bergolglio was the man chosen by the San Gallen group to be the pope since the time of JPII’s pontificate. They were seeking to get him raised to the pontificate. Benedict go elected however. Yet, the San Gallen group did not want Benedict elected. There clearly has been a group of liberal cardinals and bishops who have been opposed to Benedict who carried forward the teachings of JPII. There was a war brewing to change the church. So, after Benedict “resigned” Bergoglio was elected. And San Gallen cardinal Daneels was right there on the logia with pope Francis when he was elected. Moreover, Saint Francis describes this man as a “destroyer.” Everything Francis does fits this description: confusion, not responding for clarification putting heretics in top positions in Vatican, changing the JPII institute… attacking the Latin Mass. Francis’s actions show that he is dividing the church. The synod on synodality was originally from Cardinal Martini of the San Gallen Mafia. Moreover, the way to seek to destroys the church would be to divide the church and create schisms and confusion. This is worse than an official “antipope” who clearly goes against the teaching of the church. Francis’ method is to create ambiguity, say contradicting things… He is dividing the church.

    We look at another Catholic private message from Akita in 1973 that states: “”The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises.”

    A pope is called to prevent this. Yet, Francis is bringing in controversial cardinals who make compromises. He is creating division (that was there but coming to the open).

    Again, a priest can’t declare a pope’s election invalid. But, this does not mean that a pope cannot be raised to the pontificate with an agenda during a time when many cardinals and bishops no longer bey the true Sovereign Pontiff (JPII and Benedict who upheld the Church teachings). Watch the mess that comes out of the synod, and watch how Francis cunningly creates a mess.



    • Do you have a citation to go with that quote from St. Francis? I assume this is St. Francis of Assisi (d. 13th C)? If it’s genuine–and a lot of “prophecies” in the old collections aren’t–why do these words apply to the present and not to the Great Western Schism of the 14th C which started with two rival popes and ended with three, over the course of 70 years?

      • Not a historian, but I’ve read the purported St. Francis prophecy as a Google books, purportedly translated in 1882 by one . Washbourne, entitled ” Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi.”

        Academia has an online paper by a Father Benfatti of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, written 2018 in response to the popularity of the internet Franciscan prophecy. He concludes:

        “The prophecy is written in a time of tribulation for those Franciscans who have a particularly rigoristic approach, who find themselves to be persecuted for their beliefs. Some of them go underground in order to wait out the storm, convinced that they are part of an eschatological fulfillment taking place. The Church, at least to them, is filled with confusion, and her apparent leaders lead the charge of their persecution, even while they are the truly spiritual men foretold prophetically by the great mystic and abbot, Joachim of Fiore. They brand more than one pope “pseudo,” and, all this, many years yet before the Great Western Schism. In light of the times and circumstances, some of these friars seek to piece
        together stories about their founder that would make sense of their present struggles.

        “Today we enjoy a perspective they could not have had, because after a century of digging through and studying rigorously medieval manuscript collections, publishing convenient volumes of critically edited texts, and studying and debating those texts at length, we have come to understand, on the whole, what the early and authentic source literature for Francis looks and feels like, and Francis’s
        alleged prophecy of a non-canonically elected pope has nothing in common with it, but is rather a reflection of a complex state of affairs about a century after the death of the Poor Man of Assisi.”

        What have you found?

  77. One need only listen to the Argentine candidate for president, Javiar Milei, to hear and understand how our duly elected Pope Francis is in no man’s land. Knowing what a Vicar of Christ is called to be, I am very much going to pray to our Blessed Mother Mary to intervene and save this Vicar of Christ from the Spirit of the World. As a professional funeral director for 37 years, I have to ask, who is the lowly monk who will enter the Vatican Palace and remind the Vicar of Christ of this undeniable truth: “Remember O Man, thou are dust and unto dust thou shall return”.

    • If, as many think, that Pope Francis has caused harm to the Church – the Body of Christ – in his role as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church and he is, in fact, the duly elected Pope (which I believe he is), then we should certainly pray that Christ has mercy upon him when he comes before the judgment seat. In this same mien, I ask all my brothers and sisters here to pray that God is merciful to me when I am presented for judgment.

  78. One great mystery is the manner in which some of the visions such as of LaSallet are used to almost invoke ? false dire times prophesies from such into these times – as much controversy is there about same .. Pope Benedict OTOH had possibly kept up with the revelations on the Divine Will ,as seen by his act of honoring St.Hannibale who is very much connected to S.G Luisa of Divine Will …even likely that his resignation was related to same , knowing that a son of Italy was going to be the one to deal with the ‘mess’ of having to help persons more into the Divine Will aspects , by removing the rigidity and yes backwardism too that more Light in The Spirit for our times is to be denied ..
    Article above on Orthodoxy of Divine Will by Daniel O Connor to be of help to persons of good will who are not set on forcing the ‘end times ‘ end too soon , seeing malice where there is none . Mercy !

  79. Here is an email I sent to a friend who asked about Fr. Altman’s argument:

    Got your message. I watched the first 17 minutes of the video. Fr. Altman makes some fundamental missteps in his assessment of Catholic truth and Pope Francis, which he then repeats ad nauseam. Logically speaking, these are invalid premises from which no sound argument can form.

    1. Fr. Altman suggests that Trent’s discipline regarding the reception of the Eucharist is infallible, a Level 1 (divinely revealed) or Level 2 (logically or historically follows from Level 1) teaching. But the infallible teaching here is that those who receive Our Lord unworthily do so to their own condemnation. The discipline or prudential judgment to safeguard this truth — that people are not allowed to receive in this way — can change. Excommunication for doing so is likewise, a third-level teaching.

    BTW, virtually all schismatic problems are a result of confusing a third-level teaching with an infallible one.

    2. Fr. Altman presents a laundry list of actions that Pope Francis has done as tantamount to abandoning the faith, but the only action that serves to render a Catholic a non-Catholic is the self-proclamation that “I am no longer Catholic” (paraphrasing). Mortal sin doesn’t eject someone from the Catholic faith.

    3. Fr. Altman suggests that those in authority within the Church who produce bad fruit are not Catholic (but, see #2). Correlation is not causation. All kinds of bad things happened under Trump’s presidency. Is he at fault for each of these? In any case, human acts, however, immoral or unwise, do not count for apostasy or heresy, only deliberate statements contrary to the faith.

    4. Referring to #1, even though a pope could remit Canons 915 & 916 on the improper reception of the Eucharist for those in manifest grave sin, Pope Francis has not done so. The disciplines still hold.

    5. Manifest grave sin is not simply equatable to mortal sin. Mortal sin also requires full knowledge and complete consent (CCC 1859).

    Hope this helps!

  80. Per Chapp –

    ‘ It is true that Pope Francis does seem to “make a mess” and it is just such ambiguities that trouble me about this papacy. But not because I think he teaches formal heresy, because he has not. ‘

    Surely if the Holy Father had a change of heart by the grace of God it wouldn’t be enough just to seek out the right side, at the very least he’d have to be firing people like Spadaro and Fernandez and maybe even Parolin?

  81. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of Pope Francis. I really wish that we had a more conservative Pope right now, but as it is, Francis IS our Pope. Yes he’s more liberal, yes he’s made dumb comments, but he’s still the Pope.
    Christ said that the gates of hell will not prevail against My Church. Fr Altman, although I agree wholeheartedly with his views on abortion etc, is a sedevancantist. He, along with “Dr” Taylor Marshall and John Henry Westen are basically just conservative Protestants; they’re acting like whiny, stubborn Orthodox Christians.
    I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, with its infallible Pope, along with the fact that some of you here will disagree with me, but that’s fair enough, because I also believe that this article wouldn’t have nearly as many comments if they had elected a more conservative Pope in the (valid) 2013 papal conclave.
    The Church saves us and our souls. It’s not up to us to save the Church from a validly elected, 86 year old liberal Pope, who probably won’t live long enough to read through all of Altman’s lies anyway.

    • Yeah! Dear ‘Didn’tThinkSo’.

      The passengers had a great, worry-free time on the maiden voyage of The Titanic. . . . . . .

      “She’ll be right, mate!” “Hakuna matata!” “Don’t worry, be happy!”

    • Mislaid adjectives, eg., consider how “whiny” really belongs somewheres else, not calling names, like an abortion advocate or a vogue apologist or international philanthropic personality.

      Or “stubborn”.

      Now then who “infallibly” – or “fallibly” – is protecting them whether or not we can say of him that he is “lying” or “dumb”.

  82. Fr. Altman’s minimization and weak explanation of lynching in his now infamous homily on YouTube is anathema to Catholic teaching in any light. 5,500+ innocent people, overwhelmingly African American men were murdered not for what they did but because of who they were. The phrase “they all look alike” shows the depth of depravity involved. Anyone who thinks that Altman is preaching the Gospel needs to read an unsanitized account of a lynching to see what took place. Even worse, very VERY few of those people who committed the atrocity ever faced justice in this world.

  83. “I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me.”

    A Faithful Catholic will know through both Faith and Reason, they must not deny The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque) and thus follow a schismatic apostate “pope”, who is not in communion with Christ and every validly elected Pope, if they desire to remain in communion with Christ and every validly elected Pope, for to do so is both anti Christ and anti Pope which is, in essence, a denial of The Deposit Of Faith.
    It is absurd to suggest that a Faithful Catholic cannot recognize heresy And Apostasy,, by affirming The Deposit Of Faith, and thus discern the difference between Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church,Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), and a counterfeit schismatic church, that denies that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, And thus The Author Of Our Unalienable Right To Life, To Liberty, And To The Pursuit Of Happiness, the purpose of which can only be, what God Intended.

  84. Similarities between Pope Francis and Chapp are they both have large following and they freely place themselves in the way of criticism and collaboration.

    Differences could be that Pope Francis is untroubled about fallibility and consequences where Chapp is concerned not to be misleading or off-hand.

    In the way of contrast, Pope Francis has the casuistry of the aesthetics he makes known to all and Chapp has the casuistry of The Doubting Thomas unknown to the Holy Father and the ones favoured by him.

  85. Lots of interesting and insightful comments by many regarding Dr. Chapp’s article that I find to be somewhat compelling for the most part, but there are a number of statements by the good doctor that are somewhat troubling in many respects. For instance:

    1. What does Dr. Chapp mean by “so-called ‘cancelled priests'”? Based on how the organization defines “cancelled priests,” are they dishonest in this regard, or is Dr. Chapp expressing an unjust disapproval of them by hinting at the very least a misleading representation?

    2. Dr. Chapp writes: “The Abu Dhabi statement is replete with phrases that have become commonplace in modern religious dialogue since Vatican II and therefore a charitable reading of it in that light is not only possible, but necessary.”

    —Why does the fact that X has been commonplace since Vatican II mandate a charitable reading of statements that are indeed problematic in many respects, especially if one really knows and understands the modus operandi of Islam and its actual doctrines and practices instead of how Pope Francis views the barbaric religion? Aren’t some of the “commonplace” statements regarding many things since Vatican II rife with problems that should be criticized? What is Dr. Chapp saying here: ‘Well, these kinds of statements since Vatican II have been sloppy, so just accept more sloppy statements and read them with more charity.’ ???

    3. What does “charitable reading” actually mean, and why are the Faithful told repeatedly that the number one teacher of the Church needs the rest of us to read many of his statements with more charity? How come this “charitable reading” never or hardly ever applied to the Pope’s predecessors? I don’t recall being told repeatedly that any past Pope “really didn’t mean X; he meant Y…just so long as you give his writing a “charitable reading.”

    –Methinks “charitable reading” is used too often as a hammer to try to shame people into accepting and SPINNING what Pope Francis has set forth instead of more honestly acknowledging that the Pope has once again employed his studied ambiguity to make yet another mess…on purpose. In fact, engaging in some “charitable reading” contains pernicious elements of relativism that essentially compel some people to lie to themselves as well as to others.

    —Now, instead of the Faithful being required to apply a “charitable reading” standard, how about having the Pope charitably re-write some of his statements? After all, if the teacher is unclear and/or presents troubling statements, the real burden is on the teacher to clarify; not leave it to the students to make up things for the teacher based on a “charitable reading” of what the teacher said or wrote. But of course, Pope Francis is never willing to engage in a charitable re-writing of even a few sentences, and so he just tells the Faithful to ‘deal with it as it is, and if you don’t like some of it, re-interpret it as you will…with the kind of charity and clarity that I, the supreme teacher, refuse to exercise on your behalf.’

    Good readers of CWR: Fr. Altman has indeed blundered big time in his erroneous declarations regarding Pope Francis, but how do you suppose his remarks could be twisted and viewed by employing a “charitable reading or interpretation” to them as we are told we must do regarding erroneous declarations made by the Pope? Would Dr. Chapp and others be willing to accept such a spin on Fr. Altman’s remarks if we were told by those who spin what the Pope often says that ‘Fr. Altman didn’t really mean that Francis is not the Pope. He was referring to Jorge Bergolio before he was elected, and of course before he was elected, he was not the Pope. C’mon you uncharitable people, Fr. Altman is quite subtle at times, and things have gotten much looser when it comes to dialogue post Vatican II, so you need to exercise a more charitable attitude toward what he says and writes…even if he says 2 + 2 = 5. He really means 4, but he was referring to curved space.’

    Food for thought.

  86. An entirely different way of interpreting the Francis papacy–other than short-term sedevacantism-or-not, or a theological hermeneutics of continuity vs discontinuity, or, institutionally, Vatican II vs Trent–might there be another angle?

    As a thought experiment, let’s take the political culture of Medieval papalism vs the empire. How to reconcile the “two swords,” one of God and the other of Caesar, as announced much earlier by Pope Galasius in the fifth century (492-496 A.D.)?

    As one half of the standoff, part of the asserted absolute supremacy of the papacy in all things rested in part upon the (yes, fraudulent) Donation of Constantine. Some canonists proposed that if Constantine did have the authority to transfer his realm to the papacy, then the people’s prior sovereignty over the emperor allow them to transfer his powers to someone else. (The first canonist to hold this view seems to have been the German monk, Manegold of Lautenbach, in 1083-5).

    The same kind of asserted popular or imperial sovereignty did not upstage the papacy, however, because he received his authority not from the emperor or the people, but from the incarnate and resurrected (!) Jesus Christ. Likewise, later, the bishops directly under the apostolic succession.

    How then, today, to rationalize both swords in a now postmodern and secular world? A world that does not recognize even the vocabulary of emperors, or civil society, or of religion and revelation?

    Why not inflate the synodal feature of the field hospital/lifeboat Church into an “inverted pyramid” middle case, or halfway house—with expanded synodal membership and a blurred “welcoming” of secular, ecclesial and post-moral “tensions”? A grand synthesis, and even a pluralism of religions. In practice (not in doctrine), is Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium (and the “hierarchical communion”) to be repurposed less as a legitimate development of the suspended (not adjourned) Vatican I, than as an expendable step while “walking together”—now to be absorbed into a possibly indeterminate and even syncretic process? With Marshall MacLuhan: “the medium IS the message”?

    And, rhyming with Dostoevsky: “If there is no God, all things are possible”–AND, if there is only a half-way house–and no transcendent and permanent LOGOS–then all things are provisional.

    Again, only a thought experiment.

  87. As a person who attends an SSPX parish, (no they are not in schism, according to Pope Francis) yes Francis is the Pope, and the priests of the SSPX also affirm that at each Mass. The sad part is does Francis believe it or is he just managing the decline and dissolution of the Catholic Church into the globalist agenda. I guess we are going to find out at the upcoming Synod with its radical LGBTQ, environmental, and feminist agenda. St. Athanasius pray for us!

    • “Believing,” “recognizing,” and “praying for” the pope are not the same things as obeying him. Protestants, Orthodox, Jewish, and atheist individuals can say the exact same thing. Catholics need to be in communion with the pope. It’s a defining hallmark of claiming to be Catholic. The SSPX will never teach that to their followers, because then they would leave. Worse, they fill their followers heads with anti-catholic rhetoric. They’re protestants.

      • Dear ‘Kelley J.’

        So, you advocate that, all around the world, we committed Catholics obey the Christ-demeaning, anti-Apostolic, immorality-advocating words & behaviors of Pope Francis and his many like-minded appointees?

        Does that not set aside King Jesus Christ’s warning that we, who love Him & follow Him, must ever be on the alert to discern wolves in sheep’s clothing, wolves who we will tell from their ungodly actions?

        As down the centuries: genuine Catholics will respect & obey the pope of the day, to the extent that he manifestly obeys & fosters obedience to the clear teachings of The Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit inspired Apostles, as made perfectly clear in the Creeds, The New Testament, & The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

        The Francis Faction are attempting to corrupt the instructions of King Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Out of love for the eternal souls of these misguided leaders we must persistently interrogate that treachery with all of our hearts & souls & minds & strength. This is our moment to stand strong for The Truth above all truths.

        Catholic People stir yourselves! For to be passive is to be accessories to the Francis Faction’s rebellion against God. May they repent before it’s too late.

        Always in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

  88. I find myself to be in 100% agreement with Bishop Schneider’s recent letter on the point of PF as antipope and sedevacantism. I think Fr Altman would do well to read and meditate upon it. As the rest of us. I also keep coming back to the quote from Fr. Weinandy, which I posted below, and which is consonant with Bishop Schneider’s analysis.

    • Thomas Weinandy, OFM, Cap:

      “What the Church will end up with, then, is a pope who is the pope of the Catholic Church and, simultaneously, the de facto leader, for all practical purposes, of a schismatic church. Because he is the head of both, the appearance of one church remains, while in fact there are two.“

      • That would be a denial of The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque).

        It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), for it Is “ Through Christ, With Christ And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (Filioque), That Holy Mother Church, outside of which there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (Filioque), exists.

  89. I don’t want to be uncharitable, but it almost seems as if Altman is on something. I don’t know what, but he not only seems off, but under the influence. Maybe its just how he is, but whatever it is, its not good. I get people are upset with how things are but this isn’t good. This is not a man at peace. This isn’t a man who’s calm or full of fraternal correction. This is a man who’s broken and maybe unfairly, but even if treated unfairly, that doesn’t excuse his beliefs. Sadly he’s joined the same outrage industry many pundits have. Plus, in his latest video he says the US has only two good bishops, Burke and Strickland. I’m sorry but what planet is he on? Yes we have a lot of not so great ones but my goodness only two good ones? Its this type of stuff that leads people out of the church and what’s sad is, many won’t go to your local TLM, or even a sedevacantist or SSPX one, but nothing but will claim the church changed and they are done.

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. On the illogic and insanity of sedevacantism – TigerFish
  3. On the illogic and insanity of sedevacantism - JP2 Catholic Radio
  4. Don’t Go Down the Dead-End Road of Sedevacantism – Via Nova

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