Father Chazal Open Letter to Fr Cekada

From Australia Feb 8, 2015, 3 parts



Please note: one document Father refers to is posted here:
A message from Father summarizes the key points:
We reproduce it below.


Thankfully, Fr. Cekada has replied:

“Fr. Chazal’s ‘Open Letter’ on the True Trad site is simply incoherent, and contains no discernible theological argument. Fr. Chazal doesn’t like what I said about Fatima, and believes that his private understanding of Fatima somehow ‘refutes’ sedevacantism.

The reason Fr. Chazal follows this course is that the ‘recognize and resist’ line he takes on the false Popes of Vatican II cannot be reconciled with the standard principles of traditional ecclesiology which teach that a catholic must submit in doctrine to the Roman Pontiff.

To defend his complete rejection of these principles, Fr. Chazal must turn to his private interpretation of a private revelation, neither of which are a proper basis for a theological argument.

I have repeatedly laid out the argument for sedevacantism, citing text after text from Catholic theologians to support my conclusion. Fr. Chazal, a typical product of the SSPX, offers nothing but hysterical yammering, covered by a veneer of smug piety.

Let him go through my article ‘Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope’ or ‘Resisting the Pope, Sedevacantism and Franken church’ and refute me point by point, citing theologians of equal stature to those I cited.
Until then, those who read Fr. Chazal’s comments on sedevacantism should know that he is spouting nonsense.”
Feel free to post this letter wherever you see fit.
Fr. Anthony Cekada.

Dear Father Cekada,
Thank you for not replying to my argument, that Fatima was made public in front of at least 70,000 witnesses, was publicly approved by the Church as “A great sign from heaven” (Apoc. XII), and concerns the fate of nations at the hands of a POPE.

So I went on ‘CathInfo’ & ‘ArchbishopLefebvreForums’ and tried to find the best Sede argument. It was hard because for the most of them, those replies veered off on side issues or details about “the errors of Russia.” The best I could find is that “yes, there is no Pope now, but when need be, one will pop and consecrate Russia”. My guess is that it is the CMRI position. But this means that Heaven requested something impossible to happen for 57 years (1958-2015); That Sister Lucy [Real (Fr. Gruner)/Fake (M.A. Horvat)] was wrong to beseech John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II.
Mr. Putin is asking Pope Francis to consecrate. Has he in fact no one to turn to, to obtain the conversion of his country??
I wont elaborate on the ludicrous belief that Pius XII sucessfully performed the consecration. (St Benedict Center).
So let’s move on your next and biggest antimony.
Interestingly my “hysterical yammering” resembles your booklet “Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope”: it is an induction. One accumulates particular facts to conclude inductively one truth: Our Lady uses a Pope (my yammering)/ there is no Pope (your booklet).
An induction is false or sophistic, if it leaves out or fails to mention contrary particular facts. And it is especially sophistic if it leaves out a majority of facts.
You contend, Reverend Father, that there are no “Theologians of equal stature to those I cited”, nay, you challenge us to give us any, with great chutzpah, with this great theological self confidence which is so typical of dogmatic Sedevacantism…
and many have been led to believe that indeed this is the case; that the vast majority, nay, the unanimity of theologians, canonists, experts and ecclesiologists are all arguing in favour of the immediate and ipso facto loss of office of a heretical Pope.
But in fact, you have just taken profit of our negligence, because:
(1). Many and quite authoritative theologians argue the contrary: Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, Azorius, Banez, The Carmelites of Salamanca, Suarez, Billuart, Journet, Garrigou-Lagrange, St. Alfonsus of Liguori…..etc.
(2). Many others think it is impossible or never even ask themselves the question, The king of them all is our common doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Yet they provide embarassing supporting arguments (eg. commentary on Timothy).
(3). Some authorities which you cite to support your argument do not indeed teach the automatic, immediate and ipso facto, loss of office of a public heretical Pope.
(4). Others might, but never beyond a probable sentence [either probabilist or probabiliorist]. For the most they are XXth century manuals, often labouring under juridical positivism, like Billot, whom you do not dare to quote. They dealt with the question hurriedly, unfortunately: Manuals.
V: Then there is the question of Cum Ex and can.188.4 with respect of “Vacante Sede” of St. Pius X and “Vacantis Sedis” of Pius XII, IVth Constantinople can.X & the Decree of Gratian (I Dist 40), after and before Cum Ex.
VI: Then the consistent traditional reaction in case of doctrinal errors of previous Popes (Liberius, Honorius, Symmachus, Paschal II, Marcellinus, John XXII, Alexander VI [accused of heresy by Savonarola]).
VII: Then, after Tradition, Scripture: there are obvious reasons why Sedevacantists fail to support their argument with Sacred Scriptures.
So, as your booklet indicates, the question of automatic loss of office is the main axis of your efforts;
hence, if you care to reply, do stay on course, because all too often Sedevacantists veer off on other aspects instead of replying to what is objected to them.
I am happy to see that you want to go “point by point” and let’s see if you stick to the seven course menu…..



In page 11 of your booklet you claimed that Cajetan says that “a Pope may become a heretic and thus lose the Pontificate”.Not only this is false; but Cajetan is the father of a long line of Theologians that states the opposite of Sedevacantism. You do quote the “De Comparatione” on the question of the General Council, but you stay clear from chapter XX that refutes you by proving:
(A). Two extremes are false: The Pope is deposed by the mere fact of being heretic – the Pope can be judged.
(B). Tertium Datur. The Church can only declare him heretic, separate herself from him and wait for Christ to deposed him Authoritatively (we shall explain this later).
I leave it to you, read it up.
Even Bellarmine, your main authority, does not agree with Fr. Cekada’s way of reading Cajetan (“De Romano Pontifice”, Chapter XX). Bellarmine says he disagrees with Cajetan. So please, do yourself the favour of quoting rightly those authorities who agree with you to some extend, perhaps.
Therefore, the famed Cardinal Cajetan, and great commentator of St. Thomas is set, and at great length, against Sedevacantism.

*JOHN OF ST THOMAS (“De Auctoritate Summi Pontificis” Disp III, Art II, XVII to XXVIII) goes at great length on the question, and picks up the disagreement of Bellarmine with Cajetan, supporting the latter (XX). John of St. Thomas is a great and famous commentator of St. Thomas, with Capreolus and Cajetan (whose Commentary thrones usually in the reference section of a good seminary library).
Why such blatant ignorance or refusals to even refute him?
It is because of quotes like this (XXVI): “the Pope does not cease to be the Pope before any ecclesiastical sentence by the fact of heresy itself, and before he is proposed to be avoided”. And he is indeed difficult to refute because, prior to Vatican II, he gave the longest and most augmented exposition on the problem.
His position hinges on two points
1. “The Church has a right to separate itself from a heretical Pope in virtue of Divine Right, and, as a result can take all the means for such a separation”. (XIX)
2. The Pope draws his power immediately from Christ. Only Christ can stop him from that power authoritatively.
We more or less agree with you sedevacantists on (1), but total separation is not enough for you. Fr. Oliver Rioult is right to insist that as long as this separation is made, souls are safe, the Faith is safe, and the rest is a point of theological “Finasserie”. John of St. Thomas adds something to the necessity of separation from heretics; the fact that by his heresy, a Pope is disposed to be deposed, ministerially while we await him to be removed from office authoritatively by Christ. He is actually impounded, incapable to exercise his office to prevent him from causing further damage. “He is necessarily rendered impotent from being the head of the Church because he is a member to be avoided by her, and as a consequence cannot have influence on her” (XXIV).
Sedevacantists always assume that if we recognize a Pope we must obey him, or we will follow his heresies, unlike St. Paul who resisted St. Peter, and St. Peter who resisted Caiphas.
They also fail to notice that non sedevacantists believe that a heretical Pope loses his office down the line, nay, is set to lose it like a train is set on his rails, but such happy event does not occur before he is declared heretic by the Church in due process;
while the duty to separate from him is immediate as soon as one knows him to be a heretic. “That (separation) can remain without a superior power formally above the power of the Pope” (XXIII).
John of St. Thomas also quotes an important decree of Gratian (I, Dist 40, D 79, C.11) “Eiectionem summorum sacerdoutum sibi Dominus reservavit, licet electionem eorum bonis sacerdotibus et spiritualibus populis concessisset” [“The Lord has reserved to Himself the deposition of the Sovereign Pontiffs”]. Worth keeping under the sleeve.
And on the question of the separation of a heretic from the Church, because heretics are not members of the Church, John of St. Thomas makes a distinction, Per Se & Quoad Nos:
– Per Se: in itself, yes the Pope is separate, like any other heretic.
– Quoad Nos: “As far as we are concerned such a separation is not understood to take place without such declaration (…..). For us he is not yet declared infidel or heretic, no matter how much he may be manifest according to private judgement. He is still a member of the Church for us [Quoad Nos], and consequently its head. Therefore the judgement of the Church is required by which he is declared as a non Christian and ceases to be a Pope to us”. (XXVI).
Billuart and Garrigou will elaborate from this, but I hope that you realise, dear Father, that John of St. Thomas is a whole arsenal against your proposed automatic and immediate loss of office of the Pope.

*AZORIUS, quoted by John of St. Thomas says “no heretic Bishop, no matter how visible his heresy may be, and in spite of him incurring excommunication, loses jurisdiction and Episcopal power, until he is declared such by the Church and deposed.[……] Only the ‘non tolerated’ and ‘vitandi’, i.e. those who have been nominally excommunicated or have assaulted a cleric, fall under this case”.

*SOTO (4 Sent, D 22, Q 2, A 2) & CANO (De Locis L.4) say that the case must be proven externally, but sorry, I have not been able to lay my fingers on ‘these texts’. TORQUEMADA’s text also eludes me, yet i know him to be a Judge with a certain taste of judging prior acting. For each of these texts, one Mass intention bounty is promised to the finder.

*SUAREZ is not of your liking. “The Church […] would declare him a heretic and therefore unworthy of Pontifical honours; he would be then ipso facto & immediately deposed by Christ (de Fide, D 10, S 6, N 10).
“If he were a heretic and incorrigible, the Pope would cease to be the Pope only when a sentence has been passed against him for his crime by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church. This is the common opinion among the Doctors” (id.,D 10, S 6, N 3 – 10)… “as long as a sentence is not passed on him”. (id.).
Dear Father, if this is hysterical yammering to you, why do you put Suarez in page eleven of your “T,I&TP”, right after Cajetan (who also disagree so badly with you)??

As I fly over Australia, an overwhelmingly vacant land, I am wondering that your speech might turn the same on these pointed authorities.

Yet, please agree with me, Reverend Father, that this is an interesting debate, and there are plenty, more facts to come… and surprises.

In Iesu et Maria,

Francois Chazal +

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