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Dead on Arrival: True or False Pope

113 TrueFalse coverby Rev. Anthony Cekada

IN JANUARY 2016, the Society of St. Pius X published a 700-page book touted as the definitive refutation of sedevacantism and the ultimate vindication of the “recognize-and-resist” (R&R) position, John Salza and Robert Siscoe’s True or False Pope.

When it first appeared, I thought it would merit a series of videos that would allow me to present various aspects of the sedevacantist case. But the Salza/Siscoe production turned out to be so fatally flawed that I quickly concluded it was simply not worth the time or the attention.

In this video, I explain why.

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Veni, Sancte Spiritus: A New Musical Setting

H Spir RoundA liturgical motet by Rev. Anthony Cekada

In the Preface to my book on the New Mass, Work of Human Hands, I mention that the bad music that invaded the liturgy almost immediately after the liturgical changes began in the 1960s prompted me to study music — specifically, organ, choral conducting and musical composition. I was blessed to have studied under some excellent teachers.

More than forty years later, I found myself once again immersed in church music, this time as organist and musical planner at St. Gertrude the Great, where I was able to put to use some of my long-dormant composition skills for the benefit of our small, but excellent choir.

As a result, since 2013, I’ve managed to publish twenty-three editions of Mass settings and liturgical motets, mostly for smaller choirs, on CPDL (Choral Public Domain Library) which makes thousands of pieces of traditional Catholic choral music available for free downloads.

Interested readers can find a list of my editions here. Most of them are arrangements for small choirs of existing works, and would therefore be practical to use in many traditional Catholic churches and chapels.

Among the few, new compositions is my setting of Veni, Sancte Spiritus, the text for the Sequence on Pentecost. It is based on an altered version of the Gregorian melody, harmonized by the late 16th-century composer Seth Calvisius. I reworked the rhythms of the odd-numbered verses and composed descants (a melody that a higher voice sings above the main melody) for the even-numbered verses.

I sought to imitate the harmonized chants and faux bourdons once sung by massed choirs in the great French cathedrals.

It’s an easy piece for a small choir that has at least one soprano able to hit the high notes of the descant. (We’re blessed with a few of these!)

Veni, Sancte Spiritus may be used for the Sequence on Pentecost, a processional on a solemn occasion (such as an ordination or confirmation) or even an Offertory motet.

If you like it, please pass this link along to your local choir director! He can get a pdf of the score here.

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Marcel Lefebvre: Sedevacantist

A video by Rev. Anthony Cekada

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre made many statements that support sedevacantism, the theological position held by Catholic traditionalists who believe that the Vatican II popes were not true popes, due to public heresy.

Father Anthony Cekada, a priest who was a seminarian in SSPX’s early days and who personally knew the archbishop, provides a selection of these statements in this video, and offers a historical perspective on sedevacantism in the Society.

Father Cekada also discusses True or False Pope, a recently-published book-length assault against sedevacantism that was bankrolled by SSPX’s seminary publishing arm, extensively promoted by the Society, and lavishly praised by SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay, as well as a slew of SSPX priests.

Among the pointed questions Fr. Cekada raises in this video are:

  • What statements did Abp. Lefebvre make in favor of sedevacantism?
  • Why are the archbishop’s statements missing from a book on sedevacantism that Bp. Fellay and its authors claim is “comprehensive” and “systematic”?
  • Where did the priests attacked in True of False Pope get the idea for sedevacantism anyway?
  • Did Abp. Lefebvre treat sedevacantist clergy as non-Catholics and refuse to associate with them?
  • Did Abp. Lefebvre ever indicate that he would publicly declare the Holy See vacant if he thought it necessary, even though he was only a retired bishop?
  • Did Abp. Lefebvre say it was necessary to put a pope on trial before declaring him a public heretic?

The answers will surprise SSPX priests, seminarians and lay supporters, and will be of great interest of other traditional Catholics, whether Indult, R&R or sedevacantist.

For an article that provides additional quotes on the topic, click here.

If you enjoyed this video

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Pope Fictions 1: Nestorian Story Time

A video by Rev. Anthony Cekada

The first in a series of shorter videos taking on SSPX’s two anti-sedevacantist musketeers, John Salza and Robert Siscoe, authors of True or False Pope, as SSPX-bankrolled screed against sedevacantism.

To support the R&R theory that a heretical pope would not automatically lose his office, Messrs. Salza and Siscoe point to the case of Nestorius — only to be clobbered with a quote from the great 20th-century Thomist, Louis Cardinal Billot, who lays down a principle that reaffirms the sede position!


SGG Choir: Music for Candlemas 2016

CANDLEMAS or the Feast of the Purification on February 2 is always solemnly celebrated at St. Gertrude the Great with either a Pontifical or a Solemn High Mass, preceded by the striking ceremony of the Blessing of Candles and Procession. We are pleased to present excerpts from our choir’s outstanding selection of music for the occasion, directed by Joan Lotarski, Andrew Richesson, Organist.

The selections include:

  • Lumen ad Revelationem,  Anthony Cekada, based on faux bourdons by R. Quignard and P. Chassagne.
  • Mass Salve Regina, J.G.Ed. Stehle, (1839–1915, German, Caecilian)
  • Tota Pulchra Es, Maria, Luigi Bottazzo (1845–1924, Cecilian school, Italian).

SSPX and Bitter Fruit: Look Who’s Talking!

Video by Rev. Anthony Cekada

AN EXAMINATION of the Society of St. Pius X’s charge that sedevacantism produces “bitter fruit,” which some “disproves” its theological reasoning.

  1. Historical perspective: conflict among Catholics where in situations where authority could not be effectively exercised.
  2. Conflict withing non-sedevacantist traditionalist movement in the United States.
  3. A history of the internal turmoil, division and other “bitter fruit” within SSPX itself, with forty-eight examples.

The Pope Speaks: YOU Decide!

A video by Rev. Anthony Cekada

THE YEAR 2016 will be a banner year for traditionalists to argue over the question of the Pope.

First, there will be the ongoing antics of Bergoglio, aka Francis, the “People’s Pope.”

Second, there will be a lot of back-and-forth over True or False Pope? a 700-page anti-sedevacantist tract written by John Salza and Robert Siscoe, and bankrolled by the Society of St. Pius X. Messrs. Salza and Siscoe, and SSPX, adhere to the “R&R” position – that trads must “recognize the post-Vatican II popes” but “resist” them.

The following video is a little analysis of the R&R position.

Viewers may also be interested in two earlier videos in which I discussed Messers. Salza’s and Siscoe’s attempts to refute the sedevacantist position:


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If I Were Not a Sedevacantist…

A New, Short Video

I’M happy to pass along an excellent little video by Fr. Nicolas Desposito, a colleague and theology professor at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida.

The point: If you insist Bergoglio’s a real pope, you’ve got to treat him like one!

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SGG Choir: Music for Epiphany 2016

WE are pleased to offer excerpts from the music sung by the St. Gertrude the Great Choir at Solemn High Mass on Epiphany 2016. The celebrant was Rev. Roberto Mardones of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who was celebrating the the twenty-fifth anniversary of his priestly ordination.

The selections include:

  • Mass in Honor of St. Joseph Calasanctius, Oreste Ravanello (1871–1938, Venetian, Romantic)
  • O Magnum Mysterium, Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611, Spanish school, Renaissance)
  • Brightest and Best (Star of the East), Alastair Cassels-Brown (1927–2001, American, Modern)
  • Allegro Maestoso from Sonata II, Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847, French, Romantic)

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