Do the FACTS Really Support "Sedevacantism"?
Starting tomorrow and for the next nine days (Sept 30 - Oct 7) my six-year-long (2006-2012), 300-city Mega Tour, which has already hit over 55 cities since it started last year, continues with talks in Erie PA (Sat, Sept 29), Jackson MI (Sun afternoon, Sept 30), Lansing MI (Sun eve, Sept 30), Kalamazoo MI (Mon, Oct 1), Grand Rapids MI (Tues, Oct 2), Traverse City (Acme) MI (Wed, Oct 3), Saginaw/Flint (Birch Run) MI (Thurs, Oct 4), Ann Arbor MI (Fri, Oct 5), Detroit (Southfield) MI (Sat, Oct 6), Pittsburgh PA (Sun afternoon, Oct 7), and Altoona PA (Sun eve, Oct 7). See the "Upcoming Events" section of my website's home page for exact times, locations, and other details.
Since my objective at each stop on my tour is the same -- to deliver in that city or town what I truly believe to be the most important talk I have ever given in my entire life, entitled "Counterfeit Catholicism: Why Vatican II, the New Mass, and Benedict XVI Are Not What They Claim To Be" -- I thought it might prove helpful here to attempt to explain, in a somewhat more detailed essay than I've previously provided, why I believe the facts squarely support my "sedevacantist" message. (I prefer the term "consistent Catholic" to the highly inaccurate term "sedevacantist," for reasons explained elsewhere on this website.)
My message, summed up in one sentence, is that a) the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church are the one true Faith and the one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation (as the Church has infallibly defined countless times), but that b) that authentic Catholic Faith and that authentic Catholic Church are no longer found at the local parish, in the local diocese, or even ruling from Rome in our day.
Since I know from experience that many people's initial reaction to this message is, "But God wouldn't let this happen!", in my talk I seek to thoroughly demonstrate that, in fact, God already has let this happen several times before in Church history (though never on such a sweeping scale as today), and that God repeatedly warned us that He would let it happen again in the last days, this time on an unprecedented global scale.
In my talk I stick to easily provable FACTS, several of which facts many people in my audiences have told me they have never heard before. I will provide a sample of 24 such facts below, though my presentation includes many others.
Fact #1: The Roman Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, established by Him to continue His saving presence and mission in the world. It thus has a three-fold mission to teach, sanctify, and govern precisely because Christ, who indwells His Church, is Prophet, Priest, and King respectively.
His Church, therefore, must always 1) teach the same doctrines, 2) offer the same holy sacrifice of the Mass and sacraments, and 3) enforce the same divine law until the end of time, without obscurantism, distortion, violation, or pollution. In support of this one can cite Pius XII's 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, paragraph 66, "Certainly the loving Mother [Holy Mother Church] is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed upon all," and similar magisterial statements.
Fact #2: Because there is no salvation outside of Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 John 5:12), one must be "in Christ," which in Scriptural term means to be in His Mystical Body, outside of which there is no salvation (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), nor is there salvation outside the Catholic Faith perennially professed by that Church. Various solemn pronouncements of popes and councils can be cited in support of this central and essential dogma. (In an expanded version of this essay, to be posted later, I will provide these citations, as well as citations supporting the other facts listed below.)
Fact #3: Not only Sacred Scripture but also Our Lady and numerous saints -- including, Popes, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church -- have foretold that prior to the Second Coming of Christ we will witness the greatest apostasy (falling away) of all time from the True Church and the True Faith.
In this section of my talk I examine numerous Biblical types and prophecies from the Old Testament, Our Lord (Matthew 24; Luke 18:8), St. Paul (2 Thessalonians 2) and St. John (Apocalypse 17). I also cite Our Lady's words at LaSalette, France on September 19, 1846, an approved apparition ("In the last days, Rome itself will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist ... the Church will be in eclipse"), the prophecy of St. Nicholas of Flue ("The Church will sink deeper and deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and the other Apostles will seem to have expired"), the 1888 vision and prayer of Pope Leo XIII, and many other prophecies.
Cardinal Henry Edward Manning's little-known work, The Present Crisis of the Holy See Tested By Prophecy, just brought back into print by Tradibooks under the title The Pope and the Antichrist and available from us for $20 postpaid, is loaded with facts and acute observations which corroborate my position, and numerous passages of the book are cited by me in my talk. (Manning was the primate of the entire, newly-restored Roman Catholic hierarchy in Great Britain in the 1800's.)
Fact #4: Moreover, these Biblical and extra-biblical prophecies make it clear that this will be a "disguised apostasy" brought about by a) the setting up of a counterfeit Catholic Church with counterfeit popes, a counterfeit hierarchy, a counterfeit Mass and sacraments (2 Thessalonians 2:4 and many other passages), and then b) the successful duping of nearly all Catholics in order to get them, over an extended period of time, to migrate "on the installment plan" from the real Catholic Church to the counterfeit one (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). This is exactly what has been going on over the last 45 years, as I show in my talk.
Fact #5: The fulfillment of these divine prophecies is brought about, under God's permissive Providence, by the long-standing plans of Talmudic Judaism, Freemasonry, Communism, Modernism, and other occult and revolutionary groups to infiltrate and subvert the Church -- plans revealed in various public documents, such as the Masonic Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, which I provide to my audiences, and hope to post soon here on my website.
Fact #6: Just as God provided throughout Old Testament history various types (foreshadowings) of His Son's First Coming and of the accompanying circumstances of that advent so that the elect would be prepared for it, so too God in His mercy has provided throughout Old and New Testament various types of His Son's Second Coming and of its accompanying circumstances of that final advent, including the great apostasy that must precede His coming. To prepare us for this Great Apostasy of the last days, God has permitted previous apostasies, crises, and schisms to trouble and test His Covenant People, His Church, down through the ages. Each of these foreshadows one or more aspects of the final apostasy, so that this final crisis would simply be the combination of all these previous crises, and would involve no element that had not already been undergone by the Church before, although in piecemeal fashion.
Fact #7: These foreshadowing apostasies would include those of the Old Testament era written down for our instruction (as St. Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13), such as:
a) the fall of Lucifer, who was the head or "pope" of the angelic church
b) the fall of Adam and Eve, and in them the whole of humanity
c) the slaying of Abel by Cain, and the Scriptural type this provides of the persecution of the True Church by the Antichrist
d) the destruction of nearly the entire human race by the Flood in Noah's day, from which -- by means of the Ark, a type of the Church -- only a handful were saved, which Our Lord warns us foreshadows a similar situation at His return (Matthew 24:37)
e) the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
f) the pagan worship of the golden calf led by the high priest Aaron
g) the extinction of all but two (Joshua and Caleb) of the adults of the Exodus generation during 40 years of wandering in the desert
h) the various recurrent apostasies of Israel throughout their history in the Promised Land
i) the Babylonian Captivity in which for 70 years the Israelites lost their Temple and the priesthood became non-functioning so that the people were deprived of their normal "sacramental" life
j) the attempted imposition of syncretism by Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes and the Maccabean resistance to this
and many other examples.
Fact #8: In case someone might argue that such apostasies are limited only to Old Testament Israel, I also examine the foreshadowings of the Final Apostasy furnished by previous crises and apostasies through which the New Covenant Church has passed as well, such as the Arian crisis, the Nestorian crisis, the reign of antipopes (over 40 before the twentieth century), the Eastern Schism of 1054, the Great Western Schism, the various Protestant "Reformations" (Lutheran, Calvinist, English, etc.), the martyrdom of the clergy in the Japanese Church so that Japanese Catholics had no priests for over 200 years (and the similar situation in Korea), etc.
Since, as was just mentioned, one of the crises the Church has had to undergo in her past is the reign of antipopes -- a feature we would therefore expect to reappear during the final crisis -- next one must carefully investigate the beliefs of the men who have sat on the throne of St. Peter since the death of Pius XII in 1958: John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I & II, and Benedict XVI. An examination of their writings, speeches, and actions, both before and after their elections, readily reveals the following disturbing but unavoidable facts:
Fact #9: John XXIII was not an orthodox Catholic, even before his election, but a modernist and a manifest heretic, a Freemason, and a promoter of Communism and Talmudic Judaism.
Fact #10: Paul VI was not an orthodox Catholic, even before his election, but a modernist and a manifest heretic, a Freemason, and a promoter of Communism and Talmudic Judaism (and most likely Jewish himself, from a long-standing Marrano family).
Fact #11: John Paul I was not an orthodox Catholic, even before his election, but a modernist and a manifest heretic.
Fact #12: John Paul II was not an orthodox Catholic, even before his election, but a modernist and a manifest heretic, a Freemason, and a promoter of Communism and Talmudic Judaism (and possibly Jewish himself).
Fact #13: Benedict XVI is not an orthodox Catholic, even before his election, but a modernist and a manifest heretic, and a promoter of Talmudic Judaism.
Again, I will provide abundant documentation in support of each of these claims in an expanded version of this essay to be posted in the near future.
Fact #14: This being so in the case of each of these men, another alarming but inescapable fact emerges from this: namely that, according to the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, these five men cannot be lawful successors to St. Peter, i.e. valid occupants of his papal throne. Why is this?
Pope Paul IV's 1559 bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, among other authoritative statements, teaches that a heretic cannot be validly elected to the papacy, even if elected by the unanimous consent of all the cardinals, and even if acclaimed as pope by the whole world. Moreover, even a pope who was validly elected would fall from his office and thus cease to be pope if he ever became a manifest heretic after his election, as I show by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, ably summarized by St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church. This is because one cannot be the head of that of which he is not even a member, and these men cannot be members of the Catholic Church due to another related but often unappreciated fact:
Fact #15: Knowingly embracing even a single heresy automatically severs one from membership in the Church, as Leo XIII's 1896 encyclical Satis Cognitum, Pius XII's 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, and many other authorities I cite clearly prove. (This same impossibility of membership in the Catholic Church for heretics applies also to Freemasons, Communists, and Talmudic Judaizers, by the way, so that several of these modern-day antipopes actually have several strikes against them, as indicated above.)
The see of Peter has thus been vacant, not de facto but de jure, i.e., not actually but legally, since the death of Pius XII in 1958. The Church uses a Latin legal term, sede vacante ("the seat being vacant"), to describe each such period between the previous legal papal reign and the next legal one. (Such a period occurs every time a pope dies, for example.) From this term the nickname "sedevacantist" has been derived, and applied (somewhat inaccurately, as I show in my talk) to those who recognize the unlawful character of the reign of these last five usurpers.
Fact #16: This in turn means that, as unlawful usurpers of the papacy, John XXIII had no authority to call, and Paul VI no authority to consummate, a lawful and valid general council of the Church. The therefore illicit and invalid council John XXIII and Paul VI did call and conclude, respectively, would not and could not enjoy the protection and infallibility of the Holy Ghost.
Fact #17: A careful examination of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) shows them to contain numerous errors previously condemned by the Magisterium (teaching office) of the Catholic Church. These errors -- officially promulgated in the sixteen documents of Vatican II and eventually codified in the New Catechism of the Catholic (sic) Church promulgated by John Paul II in 1992 -- include such novel teachings as:
a) a new ecclesiology (doctrine of the Church) by which the Church of Jesus Christ is no longer equated with the Catholic Church (as it is in all previous magisterial teaching) but is said rather to "subsist" in the Catholic Church, but to also be sufficiently present in heretical churches and even pagan religions so as to be able to impart salvation to practitioners of these false, diabolically-inspired religions; flowing from this novel ecclesiology are several consequent errors, such as:
c) religious liberty
d) the ongoing validity of the Old Covenant today
e) the "truth, beauty, and goodness" of such blasphemous religions as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Voodoo, animism, etc.,
and too many other heresies to mention. Quotes from the sixteen documents of Vatican II, contrasted with previous magisterial pronouncements condemning these errors, are provided in my talk and will be posted here as well.
Vatican II's official promulgation of heresies -- something a true ecumenical council of the Church, even a "pastoral" one, is incapable of doing -- shows it to be but another "robber council" like 17 others previously condemned by the Church.
Fact #18: The Church's constant teaching is that public heresy automatically excommunicates & deposes all office holders in the Church -- up to and including even a pope -- from their offices, as we've seen in the case of a pope in fact #14 above, and as Canon 188.4 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law and other proof texts make clear. When we apply this same truth now to the bishops who signed the heretical decrees of Vatican II, we see that those bishops, though they may have come to the Council as bishops of the Catholic Church, would therefore have ceased to be bishops of the true Church and instead returned home to their respective dioceses as bishops of the new, counterfeit (pseudo-Catholic) church -- just as all the Catholic bishops in England during the English "Reformation" of the 1500's (except St. John Fisher, who refused to subscribe to Henry VIII's proposed schism and was martyred as a result) became the bishops of the Anglican Church.
Fact #19: The Mass, the central Action of the Church on earth, has been illicitly subjected to radical revisions in the wake of Vatican II. These revisions are in many cases identical to, and in some cases even worse than, the revisions made by the Protestant Reformers, all of which revisions were condemned for all time by the Catholic Church. These revisions even include tampering with the form of the sacrament, the words which must be pronounced to make the sacrament take place. This change alone has rendered the New Mass invalid, making it the "abomination of desolation" predicted by the prophet Daniel and Our Lord. This can be proven from numerous documents of the Magisterium (teaching office) of the Church, as Patrick Henry Omlor and many other authors have ably shown.
Fact #20: Similar changes to the other sacraments renders the validity of several of them suspect as well. Particularly alarming is Paul VI's new (1968) rite for consecrating bishops, which mimics the rite composed by apostate Archbishop Thomas Cranmer during the 16th-century English "Reformation," a rite officially declared "absolutely null and utterly void" by Pope Leo XIII in his 1895 encyclical Apostolicae Curae. Furthermore, any such revision as Paul VI's new rite is already declared invalid in advance by Pius XII in his 1947 Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis. This requires an entire essay in itself, to be posted here shortly. In the meantime, you can profitably read Fr. Anthony Cekada's article, "Absolutely Null and Utterly Void," at www.traditionalmass.org.
Fact #21: The logical consequences of this are disturbing but undeniable. The invalid "bishops" produced by this new rite cannot help but ordain invalid "priests," since one must be a real bishop in order to ordain a priest. And invalid "priests" -- even if they use the valid pre-Vatican II rites, as do the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter -- in turn cannot help but celebrate invalid "Masses," confer invalid absolutions, and perform invalid "extreme unctions," since one must be a real priest to do these things. (Baptisms and marriages could, if performed properly, still be valid, since they do not require a priest. Thus, even a layman who thinks he's a "priest" would still validly dispense these sacraments, provided he does them with proper matter, form, and intention.)
Fact #22: The Vatican II revolution produced not only new (previously condemned) doctrines and new (invalid) sacraments, but also new but immoral laws, finally codified in the New Code of Canon Law promulgated by John Paul II in 1984. These new laws drop the Church's historic condemnations and prohibitions of Freemasonry (membership in which meant automatic excommunication under the old 1917 Code), of mixed marriages, of intercommunion and participation in non-Catholic worship, of cremation, etc. etc.
Fact #23: The conclusion of all of the above is inescapable: The Vatican II church currently occupying Rome, the dioceses of the world, and the local parishes, thus teaches a different faith, offers different worship and sacraments, and imposes different laws -- a faith, worship, sacraments and laws that would not be considered "spotless" (as Pius XII said the Church's faith, worship and sacraments, and laws will always be) from the perspective of classical, pre-Vatican II Catholicism. Unless we are to (heretically and blasphemously) accuse the Church herself of adulterously betraying her husband (Christ) and ceasing to be the faithful steward of the message, grace, and morality He has entrusted to her, the only possible conclusion is that what is found in Rome, in your diocese, and at your local parish is no longer the Catholic Church, but the above-mentioned clever counterfeit that God Himself has permitted to take over the infrastructure of the Church, in order to fulfill His prophecies and plans.
Fact #24: The final fact, however unsettling to opponents of this position, is that, contrary to their claims, there is absolutely nothing in this "sedevacantist" position that is in any way contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church; on the contrary, it is the only position that is logically consistent with those teachings, and preserves those teachings from corruption or compromise.
Christ's promise that "the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church" (Matthew 16:18), for example, in no way precludes either the reign of antipopes (over 40 in the history of the Church, by everyone's agreement) or the complete usurpation of Catholic parishes, dioceses, and whole national hierarchies by heretics and schismatics (as happened during the Arian heresy, the Nestorian heresy, the Eastern Schism of 1054, the English "Reformation," etc.). Nor has the Church ever taught that She couldn't be without a valid pope for nearly fifty years, as can be shown from numerous theologians, such as Fr. Edmund O'Reilly, SJ, writing after Vatican I.
Nor has the Church's indefectibility ever been understood to mean that Catholics will always be able everywhere to conveniently get sacraments at the local parish. (The English recusants of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries who had no Catholic parishes anymore to go to in their homeland would certainly be surprised to hear of such a naive notion, as would the Japanese Catholics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who went over two hundred years without a priest or a Mass, or the upholders of Nicene orthodoxy in the East during the Arian crisis, when heretics occupied 99% of the episcopal sees of the Church, or -- to revert to an Old Testament example -- the Israelites during the 70 years of the Babylonian Captivity of the seventh century, who had no Temple and no functioning priesthood.
During such times of trial and tribulation, the Church still exists, and consists of those who hold fast to the traditional Faith, even if they have lost all their buildings, as St. Athanasius famously reminded the faithful of his flock during the aforementioned Arian crisis, and Blessed Edmund Campion and the other English martyrs reminded their fellow English recusants.
Once intellectually honest Catholics investigate these facts with an open mind, reading the relevant documentation, they can see through the counterfeit nature of the "Catholicism" that has taken over the dioceses and the local parishes. They can see this pseudo-Catholicism is not the uncompromising Faith of our Fathers for which so many Catholics have shed their blood down through the years. And they can come away from the investigation, not only with a properly-grounded hope (as opposed to the wishful thinking of non-sedevacantists, who have both the lie that Benedict XVI is a "traditionalist" or the lie that we have turned the corner of the crisis of the last 40 years), but with several practical pointers as to how we and our loved ones can survive the current apostasy and emerge with our faith intact.
That, in brief, is the message I tirelessly seek to bring to Catholics in hundreds of cities and towns all across our land, in the effort to reach them before God's wrath falls on our wicked nation in a great chastisement that will make future travel and evangelization quite problematic.
I need your help, however, to continue bring this message to our spiritually bankrupt nation. To be perfectly frank, even with the book and tape sales I hope to make at each venue after my talk, I often don't make enough to even cover my expenses that day (advertising, renting the meeting space, dinner and a sleeping room for the night, and enough gas in my car to get me to the next stop on my tour). Yet with this apostolate as my only source of income and nine children to feed when I get home, I cannot afford to merely "break even" at each city, much less come home with even less money than when I started out because my expenses exceeded my income (as often happens, even though I pinch every penny).
Can you please help me? A one-time gift of only $50 from even a handful of you who are reading this essay would cover all my expenses for each day of my trips, so that whatever I make in tape and book sales can send me home with enough money to buy our groceries and pay our bills for another week. (As has happened all too often in the past, tomorrow I'm leaving my wife and children at home with virtually no money left in our bank account; accordingly, they'll be praying up a storm that Dad comes home with some!) Could you prayerfully consider responding today with a sacrificial almsgiving of $50 (or more, if you can spare it, to compensate for those who perhaps cannot afford to send $50)?
Of course, that will only get me though this current trip, and possibly the ensuing week as well. I'm only home for a week and a half before leaving again on my next trip, September 29 - October 7, which takes me to 3 major cities in western Pennsylvania and 7 major cities throughout Michigan, and I have several more such trips -- at least two each month -- that I'm already committed to taking during the coming months.
I'm hoping, therefore, that you might consider becoming a regular monthly supporter by joining my new "50/50" support squad. I'm looking for a total of 50 people across the nation -- 12 such people have already signed up, so I only need to find 38 more -- who would be willing to donate only $50 each month - by cash, check, Visa or MasterCard - to keep my MegaTour going, week after week, month after month.
50 faithful supporters times $50 each month equals only $2500 a month. That's all I need to make two week-long trips each month -- a shoestring budget compared to other apostolates which spend dozens of times that much each month with much waste and overhead, not to mention their dangerously misleading message (promoting as they nearly all do, to varying degrees, the counterfeit Catholicism of our day, by promoting Benedict XVI, etc.).
If you can let me know today that you wish to sign up as one of these 50 loyal monthly supporters, I can immediately start making the down payments necessary at the hotels for the next several, already-planned fall trips after my two September ones, to keep my Mega Tour moving forward. (These upcoming trips, if sufficient donations arrive, will take me to Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Washington, Oregon, eastern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey so far, and hopefully a couple of other states as well.)
Should you wish to donate by Visa or MasterCard, you can e-mail me your credit card number and expiration date. Or you can fax your credit card information to my private fax line at (570) 969-1725. Or you can call me at (570) 969-1724 and, if you don't get me "live," leave your information on my voicemail. Or you can send your donation by mail, either by mailing your credit card number and expiration date or by sending a check or money order (made out to either "Gerry Matatics" or "Biblical Foundations International") to me at PO Box 569, Dunmore PA 18512.
Whichever way you prefer to respond -- by e-mail, phone, fax, or letter -- your vision and support in keeping this vital evangelistic campaign moving forward is greatly appreciated. We are all obliged to bring as many people to heaven as possible during our sojourn here on earth, and this is one way you can not only help us, but also help yourself to achieve that goal. Those whose conversions and eventual salvation (please God) your generosity will make possible will certainly be eternally grateful to you in heaven, where God's abundant grace will assuredly bring us if we cooperate faithfully with it.
And my wife, our children (nine on earth, one in heaven), and I remember the needs - both spiritual and temporal - of all of our donors and their loved ones in our daily family rosaries, novenas, and many other daily prayers. Please help! I'm counting on you! And may God richly reward you, both in this life and in the life to come, for your assistance.
Yours in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts for the conversion of America to the true Catholic Faith and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart,
Gerry Matatics, Founder & President
Biblical Foundations International
PO Box 569, Dunmore PA 18512
phone: (570) 969-1724
fax: (570) 969-1725