Before we quote this new SSPX declaration, let’s step back a moment and see the big picture.
Now the “new” SSPX claims Pope Francis abides in the truth and is preserved from error. Here is that claim which the “new” SSPX recently published worldwide, in English and French:
We invite the faithful of the District of France to pray and to do penance for the Supreme Pontiff so that Our Lord, whose Vicar he is, may preserve him from error and guard him in the truth of which he is the guardian.3
The truth is that Pope Francis preaches error every day. It is a scandal for the “new” SSPX to ask its followers to pray that he be preserved from what he already has: viz., countless errors! This is like the fact that we don’t pray for a person to be preserved from cancer, when he already has contracted cancer. Rather, we pray that his cancer be cured. Similarly here, Pope Francis has the cancer of modernism and the “new” SSPX falsifies this truth by asking that he be preserved from the “cancer” of error.
The “new” SSPX commends to its followers a second prayer intention, viz., that Pope Francis be guarded in the truth. (See, quote above.) In this way, the “new” SSPX falsely tells its followers that Pope Francis now has the truth. When a bank has already been ransacked and its money stolen, it is too late to guard that bank so that the money be kept safe. Likewise, it is too late to prevent the truth from being taken from Pope Francis. He does not have the truth.
Unlike the “new” SSPX, a genuine Traditional Catholic prays that Pope Francis come to the truth.4 The “old” SSPX used to teach that the conciliar popes do not have the truth and that they are imbued with error. For example, Archbishop Lefebvre declared that the conciliar popes do not have the truth and we must not accept their practical control until they come to the truth. Here are Archbishop Lefebvre’s words:
It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith.
Spiritual Journey, ch. III.
In the progressive revolution in the conciliar church, Pope Francis is further from the truth than his conciliar predecessors. But the “new” SSPX falsely claims he has the truth, because this claim will make it easier for them to make a deal with him.
And, because the “new” SSPX wants to conceal its spiritual sellout with a thin veneer of piety, the “new” SSPX conceals its falsification as a prayer request that Pope Francis continue to be preserved from error and stay in the truth.
Sedevacantism is wrong and Catholic Candle is not sedevacantist. In fact, we published a nine-part series setting out the errors of sedevcantism (and also why it is wrong to believe that former Pope Benedict XVI continues to be pope).
A reader would be mistaken to believe that the present article gives any support to sedevacantism. Pope Francis holds many objective errors but there is no evidence that he knowingly holds any position that he consciously knows would prevent him from being Catholic according to his understanding of what is currently required to be Catholic. In other words, he is a material heretic but not a formal heretic. See the explanation of this crucial distinction.
In the past, popes have been material heretics but did not cease to be popes because they were not formal heretics. See, e.g., Pope John XXII’s material heresy in the 14th century.↑