Expert Answer Forum

Sedevacantists& SSPX QUESTION from Kathy August 16, 2000 I have seen odd websites and information re: sedevacantists and SSPX. I do not trust their versions of their histories; I would like to hear an account of how those 2 groups came about from a perspective that is faithful to the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. I thought that this forum would be a good place to start :) Thanks for all of your work and God bless this ministry!
ANSWER by Mrs. Suzanne Fortin, B.A. on Monday, August 21, 2000 Dear Kathy,
To answer your question, I am posting a link to an article by Matt C. Abbott published in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review (March 1999) called Schismatic Traditionalists.
In short: Priests who are members of the SSPX are followers of Mgr. Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 for illicitly ordaining bishops . He believed that Vatican II was a heretical council and preached doctrines that were in contradiction to the Council teachings (such as only Catholics go to heaven). Note: Mgr. Lefebvre reconciled with the Church before his death.
Sedevacantists are similar to followers of SSPX in that they also believe Vatican II was a heretical council. However, they go one step further and claim that the popes after Pius XII, that is, John XXIII, who called the Council, Paul VI, who completed it, and Pope John Paul II, who supports it, are all anti-popes (i.e. pretenders to the throne). They believe that the Chair of Peter is empty (hence their name). Some groups have actually elected their own popes. These groups have a very faulty knowledge of Catholic theology and are very aggressive in their hatred of the “Conciliar Churchâ€. Not unlike Protestant anti-Catholic fundamentalists.
Another article you might like to read is by Michael Petek, published in This Rock magazine, March 2000.
Thank you for your question.
God Bless, Suzanne Fortin
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