Best arguments for Sedevecantism?

I don’t desire this thread to become a debate over the validity or lack thereof of this movement. If you are a sedevecantist, I would like to hear your best arguments and reasons for why the seat is vacant below. FYI, I put this in the traditionalist sub thread because I couldn’t think of a place where it might fit better.


I used to be a sedevacantiat, following the Dimond Brothers. Their arguments seemed logical, but ultimately they actually had misleading sources as many sedes do, and a lot of what they said was weaker than others.
I reccomend others considering Sedevacantism to read VII themselves or in light of tradition

What was the basis for their arguement?

Hm, I suppose instead of one big argument it was just a bunch of stuff.

Like, they were feeneyites, and believed baptism of desire wasn’t a thing, so they would also go against traditional groups that taught baptism of desire.

They’d try to say in general that ____ thing was Church teaching, and that Pope ______ did x, which was “manifestly heretical”, and that this made him not the pope but an anti pope (this is not actual church teaching).
They also believed that St JPII was the antichrist and that Pope Francis is the last pope or so, following Revelation and the prophecy of Malachy, etc.
They had a whole eschatology depending on the post conciliar popes being not actual popes.

Denied Vat II completely, saying that the pope who called for it was not a true pope.

I’d tell you to visit their website but I don’t want them to gain popularity or clicks more than they have, being a false group and all.


Well, the biggest problem is it cannot be proven that the current pope is not a real pope. The best arguement that I have heard so far (I myself am definitely not Sedevacantist), is when they quote Paul IV’s apostolic bull Cum Ex Apostolatus, saying he decreed that a heretic cannot become pope. Indeed, this bull of Paul IV is an infallible bull, insofar as the doctrinal statements are concerned. However, inasmuch as the administrative rules are mentioned, it cannot be considered the like. The papal elections are an act of administration carried out by the cardinals. It is not a formal theological procedure of the Church. As long as the duly required procedures of electing a pope are followed, we have a valid pope.

Wouldn’t they then argue that the “duly required procedures” were not followed? (say in 1958, since that is their likeliest year, but could be any year). The balloting procedures are all secret. We have no way of proving that no one stuffed the ballot box, I am not sure if even most of the cardinals themselves would know.

I assume that once you pick a “flawed” papal election year, then sedes would consider all successive papal elections to be invalid, since they would include cardinal appointments by the anti-pope.

I am just wondering. I think there are logical reasons why sedevacantism is self-refuting, but trying to get into their mind set. Is the SSPV the largest sedevacantist organization?

They can claim that “duly required procedures” are not followed, but then they would have to prove it. The burden of proof lies on them. Likewise, when the claim that the See of Peter is vacant, they must substantiate it with proof. Furthermore, procedures for electing a pope kind of follow a similar rule set, however, many popes throughout history have made changes before and these are commonly known.

I am not sure if the SSPV have formally declared their position to be sedevacantist. The group that I know of the most is the CMRI.

It’s interesting that they would oppose baptism of desire when the doctrine was taught authoritatively at Trent… not to mention that the early Church honoured martyred catechumens (though that’s technically baptism of blood).

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I do not know who the biggest is, and it’s been a while, but for me I can tell you that when I was a sede I was shown the utter ridiculousness of the Masses that some did, like clown masses, yadda yadda, I was appalled.
I was young and did not even know that the mass was changed from the TLM, and that was how I learned about the TLM (at least one good thing).

They would show the bull where it says that there would be curses on who changed the mass from the TLM, of course all sorts of things was blamed on Vatican II. Then often there would be news on the pope and what not about ridiculous things he’d say. Oftentimes I believe that things reported of the pope are simply not true/misleading/overly headline gabby.
Then they’d often have all sorts of quotes from church documents (often apart from its actual context), and then they’d say “EX CATHEDRA” on a bunch of stuff that was NOT ex cathedra.
And there were a bunch of quotes that I don’t think had actually good sources from prophecies and revelations supposedly showing that sedevacantism was true during our time, yadda yadda.
Of course, they’d also look at other things and say that popes were manifestly heretical (assuming without actual church declaration that manifestly heretical popes cease being pope, etc), I remember one example was that a pope said Buddhism was a beautiful religion. It got sorta ridiculous.

I would be liking all your replies but I am out of likes for today… I have nothing to contribute, but this is fascinating.

I do believe they believed in baptism of blood. But yes it is weird. I think they either explained it away or just ignored it. I remember being so surprised to realize that bod was in Trent, because they didn’t believe it. I was younger and dumber back then (I am now slightly less young and slightly less dumb).

While Sedevacantists do go to quite an extreme, they are not completely wrong about everything. A lot of things that you mention about them are actual genuine concerns that Catholics should have. I may not agree with them (for good reasons), but I must certainly say that they aren’t exactly composed of all idiots. Some of the more prominent voices (priests) of various sedevacantist groups are actually very learned and excellent theologians. However, their downfall is when they come to draw the conclusion of sede vacante.

All in all, while sedevacantism is at the very core wrong, sedevacantists are not some blind fools either…

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I did not mean to imply they are. Only that I personally was slightly more dumb back then.

As a this is a Catholic website, I cannot accept those terms. Let others pay the cost to present arguments against the Church without rebuttal. If you are going to open the floor for arguments for this travesty, there will be counter-arguments. Go to a Sedevacantist site if you want their apologetics.

There are not good arguments for it that do not fall back somewhere on someone elevating their opinion over the promises of Jesus. Humility is the best solution to this problem.

Great thread. Thank you to those willing to discuss.

In a way, most Protestant Christians are sede. Most point to the ancient unified Christian Church as having been authoritative and “pure”, at least up to the 4th century, when the NT canon was more or less defined.

They don’t exactly p(name removed by moderator)oint full authority in the early papacy but they presume whoever was leader was guided or respectful of “purity” of doctrine, say in 300 AD, and that there came a point, say 400 AD, when the Church leader promoted false or man made doctrine. They might argue the chair of the early leader, passively handing on biblical teaching, was usurped.

Some “traditional” type Protestants, such as Anglicans and Lutherans, seem to assume the Catholic leadership was reliable up till a later year, since they accept early development of doctrine (in effect, overseen by popes) but not development under later popes, closer to their own beginnings.

So, in a way, sedevacantism is later-day Protestantism.

Sedevacantism is immensely different from protestantism. They are very much Catholic. However, their understanding on certain points are arguably in error.

The protestants don’t recognize the authority of popes, nor do they belive in any notion of a “pope.” Sedevacantists, on the otherhand, acknowledge the Catholic belief of a Vicar of Christ. Their main arguement is simply – popes since Pius XII are invalid. That is the very core of their dispute.

To identify Sedevacantists with protestants is extremely exaggerated. If anything, they are Catholics who evidently strive to practice and follow the faith rigorously, despite the fact that they do appear to have some very grave blunders in their understanding of particular things.


I link to my thread on it: Sedevacantism and Its Popularity - #50 by Don_Ruggero If a pope ceases to do his job, he ceases to be pope.

Sedes do in fact reject not just the current pope, but the current college of cardinals, and their own current bishop, and “recent” papal and concilliar decrees. If effect, the individual makes the judgement as to what is truly “Catholic” or not. If the individual feels the recent papal teachings have not been authentic, only then a presumption is made about the 1958 election.

Protestants are not unlike that. Elsewhere on CAF there is a thread about recent statement by dozens of Protestant leaders that what they have is the true Catholic belief (i. e. the ancient Catholic belief). Protestants do not explicitly embrace the authority of the ancient office of the pope, but many of them embrace the teachings of the ancient Catholic Church, which implies the authority of those that defined what they consider reliable, common Tradition.

Protestants disagree among themselves when the ancient Catholic authority went wrong. (325 AD? Middle Ages?) but they, like the sedes, regard the individual as the one who can make that determination. A growing number of Protestants identify themselves as authentically Catholic. Protestants themselves rarely use the word Protestant anymore to describe anyone.

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This characterization of Sedevacantists is quite flawed though. However, I currently do not have the time to discuss this as I am quite busy. I may not be a Sedevacantist myself, but their arguements and reasons are not as dull as most people think. For now, lets leave it at that. If I have time in the next few days, then I will do my best to revisit this thread and discuss.

Thank you for this intriguing conversation thusfar though!