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For Neo-Trad Sedevacantists, “Sex Sells”


As I noted a few weeks ago in The Errors of Athanasius Schneider, the “right” in the Conciliar Church — “conservatives” or, in the case of those who promote the old Mass in the Novus Ordo system, “neo-trads” — has become more and more vehement in denouncing Bergoglio. A mere six years ago, talk of papal heresy was routinely dismissed in these circles as “schismatic sedevacantist fantasies” or as “rejecting Christ’s promise that the gates of hell would never prevail.”

Now, however, we find establishment conservatives and neo-trads, in an “Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church,” declaring that “We are accusing Pope Francis of the canonical delict [i.e. crime] of heresy.”

Strong stuff, and a good development. It is encouraging to see conservatives and neo-trads finally begin to take seriously the notion that heresy itself – and lots of it — is behind the degeneration of faith and morals that came about universally after the Second Vatican Council. And it is likewise encouraging to see them acknowledge that heresy can and indeed does (at least in the case of Bergoglio) come from a putative pope.

But why now? It’s simple: “Sex sells,” says the adman. In other words, it gets the attention of our fallen human nature, one way or another.

Hence the shock and outrage that erupted last summer among Catholics everywhere over the clergy sex abuse scandals, both towards cleric-predators and towards their enablers: McCarrick, Cupich, Wuerl, Farrell, Maradiaga, Ricca, Zanchetta, and hundreds among the lower clergy. Because of the sexual component, the story caught fire in broadcast, print and social media, and shows no sign of petering out.

This would have been a volatile enough mix on its own, but it became linked in many people’s minds with Bergoglio’s more egregious heresies on sexual morality – divorce/remarriage, who am I to judge, the alphabet soup Mafia, “breeding like rabbits,” etc., coupled with his loony dissimulations about “clericalism.”

This combination overthrew the one constant that establishment conservatives after Vatican II felt they could always count on: unchanged official teaching on sexual morality which declared that divorce and remarriage, homosexual acts, contraception, abortion and similar practices were always sinful. While under Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, these official teachings were widely ignored in practice, they nevertheless remained “on the books.” For conservatives, it was as if sex was all that mattered for a true Catholic.

Conservatives go to Defcon 6 and 9

When Chaos Frank recently began to undermine these teachings in both word and deed, therefore, the conservatives and neo-trads went ballistic. Francis’ heresies on sexual morality, their recent Open Letter contends, are ample grounds for cardinals and bishops to find him guilty of the canonical crime of heresy, and if he refuses to repent, declare him removed from the papacy.

So for them, when it comes to heretical popes and sedevacantism, “sex sells.”

But it would do far more good for Catholics in the long run if the authors of the letter were to probe the broader issue: How did we get to such a state of affairs? Sure, Bergoglio’s gutting of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, as well as of Catholic dogmas on sin and grace, is horrifying. But what and who made it possible?

The answer is Vatican II and Bergoglio’s predecessors.

The modernist heresy, ruthlessly suppressed by St. Pius X, re-emerged at Vatican II to sow the noxious seeds of its errors through all the Council’s yes/buts, existentialist blather, equivocations, ambiguities, work-arounds, silences, poisoned neologisms, redefinitions, false equivalences, destroyed distinctions and the rest. And it was the very men whom today’s conservatives treat as heroes of orthodoxy, John Paul II and Benedict XVI-Ratzinger, who participated in the Council — in Ratzinger’s case, even directed its theological course — implemented its “reforms,” and paved the way for Bergoglio’s outrages.

So as the universal degeneration in faith and morals that Vatican II produced rolled on, the conservatives and indultists of the time, content that sexual morality seemed unchanged, passed forty years sedulously ignoring declarations from John Paul II and Benedict XVI that dismantled, undermined or rendered moot large chunks of Catholic dogma.

Thus protected, both Wojtyla and Ratzinger — despite the former’s “theology of the body” and the latter’s approval of condoms — could boldly proclaim a whole array of heresies without so much as a peep from the conservatives and neo-trads, because the Sixth and the Ninth were still somehow “on the books.”

But once the axe is put to Catholic dogma, morality will inevitably follow. And that, for the “right” in the Novus Ordo church, should be the real lesson they draw from the heresies of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

So while it is a very good sign that certain conservatives and neo-trads have reached their tipping point on one Vatican II pope because of his heresies on sexual morality, I hope that they will treat this fact as a giant neon arrow pointing to the myriad dogmatic heresies of his predecessors, and ultimately to the real cause of all our woes — the modernist heresies that are the very foundation of the Robber Council, Vatican II.