A summary of the introduction and core of
J. Rothkranz, Wo ist die wahre Kirche heute?, Durach, 2019, Anton Schmid Verlag
The biggest impediment for a purely theological overhaul of the present crisis in the Church is, apart from the nearly overall reluctance to find the truth, the failing knowledge of theology. Add the unwillingness of too many to acquire this knowledge.
This failing theological knowledge condenses in the actual debate about sedisvacantism most of all herein, that both sides often don’t even see the real, objectively given question, so that the answers also miss the concrete reality.
The present crisis of the Church cannot sufficiently be seen in the light of the ‘privately heretical pope’, as the heresies of the conciliar popes are not at all of a private (only regarding them personally) nature. One should add those of bishops, priests and laymen of the Conciliar Church.
How do John Salza and Robert Siscoe, authors of True or False Pope? describe the Church that they call ‘the true one’? ‘The Conciliar Church, subverted and undermined by freemasons, perished. Popes and bishops won’t stop spreading heresies, hollow out the Faith, continuously damage them heavily, and are a spiritual danger for the Faithful.’
Observing all evils of the Conciliar Church, Salza and Siscoe conclude that it still is the true Church, because its infallibility has never been harmed.
How do they explain the infallibility of the Conciliar Church? Popes nor bishops have, they reason, during and after the Council de facto used their infallibility. Plus: they just can’t ever use it de iure, for as soon as they want to teach some error, the dogma of infallibility prevents them from doing so.
This thesis may be adequate in appearance, but not really. Only when the teaching of the Church about the minimal ability to err of the not infallible Magisterium (the so called ‘authentic Magisterium’) is studied, their mistake becomes visible. Exactly this, Salza and Sisco have neglected wantonly.
What does the Church teach compulsory about its non-infallible Magisterium? It teaches that its authentic Magisterium always teaches and prescribes the truth. The authentic Magisterium of the pope has God’s special help, that of the Bishops His general help. Errors of the pope in exercising his authentic Magisterium are extremely rare, not even one per century. Never did a pope teach against an existing dogma.
What is the consequence of this binding teaching for Salza and Siscoe’s idea that it suffices that the Magisterium of the Church never ‘violated the infallibility’? Their opinion contradicts beyond remedy the Catholic notion of the authentic Magisterium and at least comes close to heresy. The Council of Trent, repeated by Vatican I, defined that the Bishops are the successors, appointed by Christ Himself, of the Apostles, and this again explicitly as ‘shepherd and teacher.’
Why exactly is it heretic to assume that a Magisterium appointed by Christ uses to preach falsehood? This assumption is not only simply heretic, but also blasphemous. For the true God-Man Jesus Christ impossibly can have appointed such successors of the Apostles and such teachers, who in their totality, including the Successor of St. Pete, with authority, i.e. authentically, habitually teach heresies and other errors against the Faith. That contradicts both His divine Wisdom and His divine Goodness.
Salza and Siscoe try to uphold their thesis, that at least is close to heresy, by referring to the fourth century crisis of Arianism, in which 90% of the Bishops taught the heresy that Christ isn’t really God. Well, the crisis of Arianism is useless for Salza/Siscoe’s thesis, as:
a) support for a heresy resp. an error that’s close to heresy principally cannot possibly exist.
b) a small part of the Bishops & the Pope in their authentic preaching of the doctrine firmly maintained the Truth of the Faith in Christ’s Divinity and fought very resolutely against the heresy of the Arians.
We see a total lack of an orthodox Magisterium in the conciliar church. That is an infallible sign that it is a pseudo-church with a pseudo-Magisterium, i.e. a con church with nothing more than a con pope and con bishops.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to deduce, merely from this infallible sign, when and how this con church came into existence. That question needs solid theological research.
It is said that the sedevacantists haven’t yet incontestable theological proof of the con nature of the conciliar church, but Die Konzilserklärung über die Religionsfreiheit. Ein Dokument des II. Vatikanums und seine Folgen (only in German, author J. Rothkranz) contains the incontestable proof.
Then why do most sedes still use so many ‘proofs’, that all are insufficient? They do so while they, mostly theological laics, are unfit for the necessary solid scientific research that the question needs. Also, this book from 1996 is out of reach or unknown by the language barrier.
Might this thesis be untrustworthy by its inaccessibility and its contrariarity to the proofs of most sedes? No, not at all. The incontestable proof is given in Die Konzilserklärung über die Religionsfreiheit. Ein Dokument des II. Vatikanums und seine Folgen. The con nature of the conciliar church and all its ‘herdsmen’ was already public, when not even a single person had proven in a theologically valid way, when and how sedisvacancy and the false conciliar church came into existence in detail.
Does not the insufficiency and opposition of the proofs of most of the sedisvacantists invalidate their thesis? No, for two reasons: firstly, the proof is given in Die Konzilserklärung über die Religionsfreiheit. Ein Dokument des II. Vatikanums und seine Folgen; secondly, the fake nature of the conciliar church was already well known, when no one had yet theologically perfectly and correctly shown how the sedisvacancy and the formation of the fake conciliar church happened.
Salza and Siscoe wrongfully claim that the conciliar church must be the true Church, as, so they say, no other true Church can be found. The true Church can be found indeed! She consists of the sedisvacantists (together with the traditionalists who stayed faithful due to their criticism of the “pope”).
Confronted with heretical “popes”, is it enough to call a pope a heretic to get rid of him? Oh no! By Divine Right someone suspected of heresy should be twice admonished officially in order to declare him a heretic publicly. In the case of a pope, as an extra, his heresy needs to be ascertained by a so-called rump council. This will never happen in the Conciliar Church, as all “bishops” teach the same heresies as the conciliar “popes”. The fact that there is no self cleaning power is a sign of the complete lack of Divine assistance and an infallible sign of the pseudo character of this whole “church”.
Can we depose a pope because he has secretly been excommunicated, and thus not validly chosen? Alas, no! The rules for choosing a pope, in use since St. Pope Pius X, declares the election of a secretly excommunicated cardinal valid.
But then, can we get rid of a conciliar pope who has, some time after his election, secretly been excommunicated and thereby lost his office? Alas, again! The pope, as the highest legislator, is above canon law as long as that is not Divine Law. However, the excommunication latae sententiae is mostly secret – and is only Church Law. The pope is not subjected to it.
Does a conciliar pope lose office because of Canon 188 par. 4 of Canon right? This paragraph only concerns the public conversion to another religion.
Can a conciliar pope lose office because of the Siri-thesis? Well, Cardinal Siri acknowledged all four conciliar popes after their election. He served under all four as archbishop of Genoa. Thus, during his life he treated others as popes. Also, no one knew he was a pope – so he wasn’t.
Can he be deposed by Cum Ex Apostolatu Officio? No, for:
1) The bull was originally only meant for Cardinal Morone
2) The bull was lively discussed before, during and after Vatican I. Opponents of the papal infallibility saw it as an example for papal fallibility, the others as a pure canonical document, without dogmatic meaning.
3) The bull has had no canonical role since 1917, as the CIC canceled its penal provisions.
What about the formaliter-materialiter thesis? This distinction has never been known to the Magisterium and the theologians. It states that the ‘only material’ pope lacks the power of jurisdiction. However, it is exactly the power of jurisdiction that makes a pope.
Well, if the pope lacks all that would make a pope out of him – the power of jurisdiction – then it is an empty phrase to speak of him as an ‘only material’ pope. In reality the thesis says nothing more or less than that there is no pope whatsoever.
So there is no way to get rid of the conciliar popes?
Oh yes, most certainly!
On December 7, 1965, pope and bishops collectively, as bearer or holder of the general ordinary Magisterium, committed an act of absolute temerity, that is absolute rashness. They tried to reverse an already existing dogma by an opposite heresy, its anti-dogma.
The dogma was the rejection of an allegedly general human right, willed by God, of positive freedom of religion and the teaching of the Kingship of Christ over all human society, willed by God, and to be recognized by the state.
The anti-dogma was exactly the opposite: the rejection of this teaching and the appropriate claim that there would exist a general human right of positive freedom of religion, willed by God and to be recognized by the state.
This act of absolute temerity had the direct and necessary result of loss of office by all bearers of the general ordinary Magisterium, i.e. the pope and all diocesan bishops. For this loss there is no further proof necessary, and no admonitions, as is the case for heresies, nor is a pope excluded.
Had those who signed former decrees and constitutions of Vatican II not lost their offices, then? No, for these heresies did not claim to be part of Divine Revelation, and they should have been admonished twice, etcetera. In Dignitatis Humanae, however, the idea of Religious Liberty is openly declared as part of Divine Revelation.
N.B. ‘Absolute temerity’ is a term explained in Prof. Dr. Scheebens Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik. Erster Band. Unveränderter Neudruck, Freiburg, 1933. Part 1, p 213.[i] (Published as Handbook of Catholic Dogmatics 1.1, Volume 1, Steubenville, 2019,[ii] see emmausacademic.com/search?q=Scheeben).
Scheeben gives a definition of absolute temerity: moral madness. Not the very term, but the circumstances of a pope trying to ‘define’ heresies and thereby losing his papal office can also be found in previous theologians, e.g. in Gregory of Valencia (1565-1603, aka Doctor Doctorum) SJ’s opus magnum Commentarii Theologici (1591-1597)[iii]. Scheeben refers to de Valencia, who, on his turn, refers to Turrecramata and Sylvester, who also reckoned with the possibility of a pope trying to ‘define’ a heresy that has already been condemned.
Prof. Scheeben, however, never even dreamed of the pope and bishops committing the act of absolute temerity!
[i] Page 212-214 of Scheeben
[ii] Scheeben in English
De Valencia in Latin
De Valencia in German translation