Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at Sedevacantism:
If you look at the Church post-Pius XII, you can’t deny the sedevacantists have plenty of evidence to support, how shall we put it, not so much a sickness in the Church, nor even an injury, but brutal and sustained torture. Only “the tortured Church” captures the malice, cruelty, danger and grief we have experienced over the last fifty years.
The Church has changed. Better, the Church has been afflicted by a multitude of changes, vandalized by wrong-headed and malicious people. Under Pope Francis, the changes have come at a dizzying rate, and they are not for the better.
Simply put, the Bear believes we can have destructive popes, men who are, for all their folly and mischief, still pope. The Church can be tortured, yet survive. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it, but beyond that there are no guarantees. The Bear cannot bring himself to accept that God would allow the Catholic “brand” to be taken over by anti-popes for half a century with no end in sight. A billion-plus souls look to Rome and Peter. Looking to Peter, even with his flaws, if only as a marker of legitimacy and unity, is the Catholic thing to do.
The final reason the Bear is not a sedevacantist is that is just doesn’t feel right. When looking at sedevacantist websites, the Bear has the same gut feeling as when he looks at 9-11 truther websites. Yes, the individual facts seem like they could be right, but the whole thing lacks balance. The evidence to the contrary is not considered. Ultimately, asking someone to believe everything they know is wrong is asking a lot.
Go here to read the rest. A traditional maxim of English law is that the King can do no wrong. In Catholicism an exaggerated view of the Pope became popular in the 19th Century. Sedevacantism is a cry from the heart of those who can see that Popes can be very ill-advised and their actions disastrous. It is a way of arguing that no true Pope could be guilty of such things. Alas, Catholicism is replete with examples of papal misteps and worse. Papal Infallibility as defined at Vatican I does not guard against foolish Popes, malicious Popes, even evil Popes. To pretend otherwise puts Catholics eventually in either the role of the Ostrich, or down a Sedevacantist path, unless their faith is shattered and they leave the Church as a result. A Catholic who is familiar with the turbulent history of the Church, and realizes that the Church is a much greater institution than the particular Pope of the day, can withstand such temptations to despair or irrationality.