With all the confusion in the church today, you can sympathize with Sedevacantist. But nevertheless they are wrong. Sede Vacante means empty chair. What chair, but the chair of St. Peter as first pope when he was given authority by Jesus to rule the church. They believe that because the popes since Pope John XXIII have expressed opinions that may appear to be heretical, they are no longer is popes. They believe that these popes (John XXII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict) are automatically excommunicated when they express these opinions or teach something that appears to be inconsistent with church dogma. With the feast day of the Chair of St. Peter we look at the SEDE of the Pope. “Where the pope is there is the church.” We love our catholic church. We love our pope.
This is a very difficult topic to discuss. It is a grave danger for those who are well educated in catholic dogma and theology and are trying to be faithful to traditional catholic teaching a practices find inconsistencies with how the catholic faith was taught before and how it is taught and practiced today. There are so many independent catholic communities with priest and even some bishops who believe with all their hearts that these popes are not really popes. But if there has not been a pope for the last 50 years, how has God been faithful to His church and where is His church. Is the catholic church just in one of these independent churches with just a few people. Many of them believe so. They are the tiny remnant.
But again there is a great deal of disagreement between all the sedevacantist. Just google sedevacantist and see what you come up with. Which one of the sedevacantist is correct?
I am not an expert on this subject at all. I do not claim to be able to debate with all of their theories. I respect them but disagree with them. I respect them because they are sincerely trying to be faithful to their catholic faith.
So my suggestion is to honestly and lovingly talk together. I find that there is a good deal of negativity when someone tries to dialogue with them. They try to convert you right away. I cannot fault them for trying. There is nothing that will take me away from the pope.
I do agree with them in being critical of the pope’s opinions that are not consistent with catholic dogma. We need to be critical of their actions such as kissing the Koran or the whole Assisi peace event. But we need to be very careful and prayerful in all this. And again do it all in love and out of love for our faith. I totally agree with them that the church is in total disarray. There are sex abuse problems, liturgical abuses and bishops teaching new doctrine. There is corruption in the church. When I bring up these issues, many good catholics blame it on a few people in the church or just say it is alright. No it is not alright. We have huge problems, but saying the pope is not the pope is not solving anything. Thank you sedevacantist for bringing up the problems, but stay with the pope and work to stop them.
As we pray for a new pope we need to ask God for a pope who will be clear and consistent with what the church has taught for 1980 years. This will bring back many good catholics who have become sedevacantist. We are not a new church since Vatican II. We are a consistent church that develops but never changes. The pope and bishops are to preserve the DEPOSIT OF FAITH given to them by Jesus Christ and handed on by St. Peter and the other apostles.