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Re: The Error of Sedevacantism

J.M.J.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Feast of the Immaculate Heart

Dear Friend of Our Lady,

In our last letter, we sent an urgent appeal asking for prayers and sacrifices in conjunction with the U.S. bishops “Fortnight for Freedom”, part of the bishops’ plan for a nationwide spiritual defense against the Obama administration “Contraception Mandate”.

“Fortnight for Freedom” ended July 4, but we need to continue praying for the same intention as noted in our last letter:

The protection of the Catholic Church from all her enemies internal and external, foreign and domestic — particularly protection from the encroachment on things pertaining to the Faith by the governments of the U.S. and Canada.

Our letter of February 18, 2012, reported that the Ontario provincial government is forcing Catholic schools to promote the homosexual agenda.

More recently, it was reported June 22 on LifeSiteNews.com, that in the Province of Quebec, “a homosexual activist group has launched a ‘registry of homophobic acts’ with support and funding from the Quebec Government’s Justice Department.”

“Included in the definition of actions classified as ‘homophobic’ and deemed worthy of reporting to the registry are: ‘any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general...”

This means that a priest or lay person may end up on the government sanctioned, taxpayer funded ‘registry of homophobic acts’ for stating the truth, that homosexuality is a sin, or for expressing that they are against so-called same-sex “marriage”.

Modernism and Sedevacantism: Two Grievous Errors

It is no secret that the error of Modernism has spread successfully in the Church, misleading millions, for at least the last 50 years.

Pope Saint Pius X (the first sainted Pope in nearly 400 years and the last Pope to be canonized) warned of this grievous error already threatening the Church during his pontificate at the turn of the twentieth century.

Modernism is the belief in some transformation of the Church’s dogmatic teachings over time. That is, introducing non-Catholic elements from heretical or false belief systems into the Faith. The Church’s dogmatic teachings cannot be changed by anyone, not even a Pope.

Sedevacantism, Catholic Tradition Gone Wrong

Another less well known error being promoted by some (and spreading) is the error of sedevacantism.

Sedevacantism is the false belief that we have no true Pope. Sedevacantists today believe we have not had a Pope since Pius XII died in October 1958.

Recently I received a letter from a long-time supporter and volunteer for Our Lady’s Apostolate from the southwest part of the U.S. In her letter she relayed the problem of sedevacantism that she and her friends are encountering among those who consider themselves traditional Catholics.

We at the Fatima Center are also receiving inquiries via phone and mail about this grievous error. Some of the callers cite the same two men as the source of information which led to their adopting this belief system.

Who are these men misleading Catholics by spreading this error of sedevacantism?

They are siblings, Frederick and Robert Dimond, who are more widely known as Michael and Peter Dimond, the names they chose in referring to themselves as so-called religious brothers, at Holy Family domicile which they call a monastery, located in Fillmore, New York (formerly their domicile was in New Jersey).

Sedevacantists attempt to justify their position by pointing out modernist or heretical errors that have infiltrated into the Church. Certainly as Catholics we are expected to defend the Faith by refuting and resisting these errors.

But sedevacantists go beyond resistance and defending the Faith. In doing so, they fail to recognize that their approach is actually quite similar to the approach used by one of the most Faith-destroying heretics in history.

The Catholic monk Martin Luther objected to certain things going on in the Church in his time, such as the selling of indulgences. That was one of the reasons he used to justify his decision to abandon the true Faith.

If one believes oneself to be a member of the One True Church of Jesus Christ, which is what the Catholic Church is, then one must of course fight to preserve the Faith whole and intact as given to us by Our Lord.

But instead of fighting against any errors, he protested and chose to start his own heretical belief system which became known as the Lutheran “Church”.

In doing so Martin Luther led millions away from the true Faith and down the path that leads to hell. And that is still going on today, centuries later.

imilarly today, the sedevacantists, objecting to the errors that have invaded the Church in the last 50 plus years, instead of resisting and fighting to preserve the Faith, have chosen to separate themselves from the True Church.

They have passed sentence on those elected to the papacy during this time. They seem to think it is their right to do so, and it is not. Or at least, it is not if they want to remain Catholic.

Subsequently, like Martin Luther, the sedevacantists are bulldozing another path away from the true Church, making adjustments as they please to what they profess belief in, and of course, in the process leading many astray (sin and error seeks company).

And just as the Protestant sects, since the Reformation, started to branch off forming new “churches” according to the desires of individuals, there are now different types of sedevacantist groups.

For example, there are those who say we have no Pope at all. And there are sedevacantists who say we have a Pope, just not the one sitting in the Vatican in Rome.

Some say the true Pope is in Spain. Others report the true Pope is in New York City — yeah, right. You get the picture. It goes on and on.

Once a person falls into this error, just like those who fall into heresy, the sedevacantists begin to fall into other errors as well. Why? Because to be a sedevacantist is to separate yourself from the true Church, thereby removing oneself from the state of grace.

This is Catholic teaching. Understanding that error has invaded the Church, a Catholic must stand up and resist by defending the Faith to the misinformed and by prayers and sacrifices. Direct from Our Lady to St. Dominic, the most effective form of prayer against heresy and error in the Church is the Holy Rosary.

Consider the arrogance of a lay person, a religious Brother or Sister, or even a priest and quite possibly even a bishop daring to say the Pope isn’t the Pope. That is not our call!

Here is what one of the Doctors of the Church, Saint Robert Bellarmine, had to say about resisting a Pope who is in error:

“Just as it is licit (legal, allowed by God) to resist the Pontiff (the Pope) who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or above all, who attempts to destroy the Church.
“I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders (that is if what he orders is outside the Catholic Faith or God’s law) and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.”

It is not our right to say the Pope is not the Pope.

And as previously stated, once one falls into this type of error, it starts a downward spiral. In his book, Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation, “Brother” Peter Dimond questions the teachings of one of the greatest Saints and Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Imagine the arrogance and ignorance of a Catholic (lay, religious, priest or even bishop) calling into question the teachings of a canonized saint that no serious scholar has ever questioned in over 700 years.

St. Thomas Aquinas is often referred to as the Angelic Doctor and is considered by the Popes and the Council of Trent as the Church’s greatest Theologian and Philosopher.

Imagine two men who have read a few books in Theology thinking they can simply state St. Thomas Aquinas is wrong. It implies that not only is he wrong, but also the thousands of men who have spent their lives actually studying Theology using St. Thomas Aquinas as their role model and mentor in the seven hundred years since his death in 1274 A.D.

Is this the first time such deceptive and destructive foolishness has been spread? No, of course not, just read the “Protestant Doctors” who, thanks be to God, were put in their place or bested by St. Francis de Sales in the 1570s — three hundred years after St. Thomas Aquinas died.

No serious Catholic scholar would dare say or write what Robert the sedevacantist wrote when it comes to St. Thomas Aquinas.

The sedevacantists for the most part are not Theologians (though many of them speak as if they think they are). That is, many of them have never studied Theology, or they have read books, but received little or no formal education in Theology.

To obtain a diploma, and in many cases a license in a profession, and be able to call oneself, legally and truthfully, medical doctor, lawyer, chemist, priest, physical therapist, etc. requires years of study in a university (or four-year college setting). At the very least it requires four years and for many professions at least another four years after that.

For someone to call himself a Theologian it generally requires more than eight years at the university level. Four years to earn a Baccalaureate degree in basic sciences and other courses, then another four years in studies in the Catholic Faith and most often pertaining to the priesthood. Theologian comes after that.

Any science is an organized body of knowledge with certain fixed principles based on reality. These principles must be followed to learn that particular science. The science of Theology is the highest of all the sciences.

The fundamental principles of Theology are very different from any other science. Without the knowledge of these principles and without a well-trained and disciplined mind it is easy to fall into heresy — that is, to fall into false ideas and false conclusions which are against the one True Faith.

Despite the amount of formal education required for a title of Theologian, or a title in any of the sciences or various professions, today there is a new class of people who seem to think they are experts in Theology and other areas despite their ignorance and lack of formal education and training.

It appears they think that because they have studied on their own and read books on Theology that they are experts, maybe even Theologians.

It would be like someone with a high school diploma reading books on Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, etc. independent of any appropriate educational institution and then calling themselves medical doctor despite the lack of formal education and training, just because they have done some reading and studying on their own.

Would you allow someone calling himself a medical doctor who had never attended a university medical school or had any formal training to oversee your health care? Of course not.

Then why would anyone accept the words and writings of someone lacking formal, proper education and spiritual formation when it comes to things pertaining to one’s soul, which is so much more important than the body?

Don’t be taken in by sedevacantists, avoid them. “Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.” (Matt. 15:14)

The title of Peter Dimond’s book is reflective of staunch traditional dogmatic Catholic teaching and that is what hooks a traditional Catholic into reading it. But some of the content, if successful in fooling the Catholic, is what will drag the soul to hell.

Peter Dimond’s book was shown to me by a friend who had been approached by a mutual acquaintance — unfortunately a former traditional Catholic now led away by sedevacantist error — who tried to steer my friend into the same error.

She presented the above-mentioned book by Peter Dimond as her proof of justification for becoming a sedevacantist. Misery loves company and seeks others to justify its existence.

Any true Catholic should only have to hear or read the word “sedevacantist”, and it should be enough to send one running away fast in order to preserve one’s soul from such a grievous error and the person(s) promoting it.

The sedevacantists snare their victims by promoting many of the perennial teachings of the Faith. Teaching the infallible dogmatic definitions is a good thing.

Unfortunately, all it takes is one grievous error and a soul may be lost forever.

Remember, satan snares his victims by promoting ninety percent truth and once snared, he sneaks in the ten percent error that drags souls to hell. That is sedevacantism.

A friend of mine described what seems to be the attitude of a number of sedevacantists he has encountered, “The Church and everybody would be fine if I were Pope”.

Understand that in their opinion that we have no Pope in the Vatican (and have not had one for a long time) essentially the sedevacantists may as well be calling Our Lady and Our Lord deceivers or liars. Why?

Heaven has given us a simple means for obtaining world peace, heralding in Our Lady’s Triumph and the Social Reign of Christ the King. I am referring, of course, to the Message of Our Lady of Fatima.

What is the simple means required for obtaining these Heaven sent goals? The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Who is it that must make this solemn public act? The Pope in union with the bishops of the Catholic Church.

In essence, sedevacantists call Our Lord and Our Lady deceivers, because by saying we have no Pope is to remove the means or the person necessary for achieving the promise made by Heaven.

Heaven would not give us a task to do and then remove the means of achieving that task. Only the cruelty of the devil would do something like that.

The sedevacantists are on the wrong path and for the sake of our own souls, should be avoided.

Enclosed with this letter is Issue 80 of The Fatima Crusader, which contains two articles pertaining to sedevacantism.

To help you to defend the Faith from this error if confronted by someone espousing it, I urge you to read Father Gruner’s article entitled “Defend Your Salvation”, beginning on page 3 and Chris Ferrara’s article entitled “Defending the Papacy: Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise” starting on page 8.

For more copies of this Issue of The Fatima Crusader, call us at 1-800-845-3047.

You will note that only Part 1 of Mr. Ferrara’s article is in the enclosed issue of The Fatima Crusader. This article, plus Father Gruner’s article, gives enough of an explanation for many to understand sedevacantism and its grievousness.

For a more in-depth understanding we have been given permission to make available a reprint of the entire four-part article, entitled, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise”. For a copy of the full article call us at 1-800-845-3047.

Due to the cost of making copies of this article we are able to provide one free copy per person. For more copies we request a donation of $2.50 per copy or 3 copies for $5.00. We encourage you to have extra copies made as needed, to give to others.

Don’t forget, September 15 is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. There are great promises attached to the practice and promotion of this devotion. We have booklets and leaflets (English and Spanish) available pertaining to this devotion. For copies of either or both, call us at 1-800-845-3047.

Joanna Swords

In the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,

P.S. The latest issue of The Fatima Crusader, Issue 102 is now available. This issue covers the May 2012 Fatima: Your Last Chance Conference. For copies call us at 1-800-845-3047.