Sedevacantist Watch…

Our Response to Cekada’s latest video:
“SSPX and Bitter Fruit: Look Whose Talking”

        Fr. Cekada released yet another juvenile video (this one is called “SSPX and Bitter Fruit: Look Whose Talking”), which is supposed to be a critique of our 700 page book "True or False Pope?". Guess what Cekada did for his book review? He skipped over the first 650 pages (the first 20 chapters) of our book which contain all the theology that refutes the errors of Sedevacantism! That’s right.
       Instead, Fr. Cekada played leapfrog with the book by
jumping to the very last chapter (Chapter 21, called “The Bitter Fruits of Sedevacantism”), which is the only non-theologically focused chapter in the book. This chapter is simply intended to show the unusually bitter fruits within the Sedevacantist sect (admitted to by its own adherents), and was in no way necessary to prove the already-proven theological arguments contained in the previous chapters, as any honest reader could ascertain. That’s why we made it the last chapter.
       In Bishop Sanborn’s January 2016 Most Holy Trinity Seminary Newsletter, he informs us that “Fr. Cekada has purchased the book [True or False Pope?] and is analyzing it.” If this video is the best that Fr. Cekada can do, it looks like Bishop Sanborn is going to be very disappointed.
       Interestingly, these authors (Salza/Siscoe) both speculated that Fr. Cekada would do exactly what he just did (focus on Chapter 21), as a diversionary tactic, since we anticipated his inability to respond to the theological material (and the exposure of his specific errors), found in the previous 20 chapters. He is certainly predictable. Fr. Cekada’s latest video further illustrates that he is running away from the real, theological issues that are no doubt keeping him up at night.
       But we do have to hand it to Fr. Cekada. As the movement’s leading sophist, he is very adept at creating a red herring, which distracts his audience from the truly relevant issues of the debate; for if he can keep them entertained and laughing with juvenile videos, he has a better chance of masking
his theological deficiencies. And he even dresses up his latest video with pictures and sounds of a crying baby, who is grimacing while literally tasting bitter fruits. Very odd indeed. But what’s most ironic is that it is Fr. Cekada who is truly grimacing throughout the video, as his facial expressions make clear. And his grimace turns to seething anger by the end of the video. 
       Fr. Cekada’s approach is to criticize our last chapter discussing the bitter fruits of Sedevacantism, by showing that there have also been bitter fruits among non-Sedevacantists (that is, true Catholics) in Church history, as well as in the Traditionalist movement itself (as if that were news to us!; it’s a classic red herring). Fr. Cekada especially focuses on the infighting that has occurred within his former religious order, the Society of St. Pius X, over the years (the SSPX is Cekada’s main target of the video, with whom he appears to have an axe to grind; in his typical condescending manner, he refers to Salza and Siscoe as mere “flacks” for the Society).
       So, Fr. Cekada’s strategy in the video is to show that true Catholics have also experienced the bad fruits of disagreements and division. So what? We can almost hear the baby in the video crying, “I’m not bad! They’re bad too!” What kind of argument is this? 
       After providing many obscure examples of historical disagreements among Catholics in past centuries, and concluding with some of the infighting that has gone on within the SSPX, Cekada claims that we wrote the bitter fruits material of Chapter 21, as a way of countering and disproving the Sedevacantist’s theological arguments. From his video:

       “The SSPX and R&R Camp’s claim, therefore, that these supposed bitter fruits of Sedevacantism somehow defeat its theological arguments is founded on ignorance of history and hypocrisy.”

      Now think about this for a moment. Fr. Cekada skips over 20 chapters which are full of theological arguments against Sedevacantism, and focuses exclusively on the only chapter in the entire book that was not intended to be theological.  He then complains that this last chapter does not refute the theological arguments of Sedevacantism, which are contained in the chapters he skipped over! Incredible!
       It’s difficult to imagine a more ludicrous argument. But the argument is very telling, as it shows us just where Cekada stands in this debate (in quicksand, up to his neck). We have never argued that the bitter fruits of Sedevacantism “prove” that Sedevacantist theology is erroneous. We addressed the doctrinal errors and bad theology in the first 20 chapters of our book (which Cekada has yet to address).[1]
       This debate, thoroughly explained in the first 650 pages
of our book, is about the flawed and erroneous theology of Sedevacantism, a good portion of which has been invented in the last several decades by Fr. Anthony Cekada himself. To date, Fr. Cekada has conspicuously failed to substantively address any of our theological arguments, most noticeably those which target his own errors.[2] This failure to respond to our theological arguments is quite conspicuous, wouldn’t you say? Especially for the leading Sedevacantist priest in America, and one of the most prolific spokesmen for the sect.
       We presume that Fr. Cekada has had the time to read all 
700 pages of the book, before jumping to page 653 to start his critique (that is, unless Bishop Sanborn was mistaken about Cekada doing the detailed analysis). But if he hasn’t had the time to digest the 700 pages, we direct him to read the short feature articles that we have released over the last couple weeks, which address just some of his errors (these can be found on our website The titles of these articles are as follows:

·         Fr. Cekada’s Glaring Error on Canon 151 (January 5, 2016)
Fr. Cekada’s Response: Nothing

·         Fr. Cekada’s Novel Theory: The “Sin of Heresy” Causes the Loss of Office (January 7, 2016)
Fr. Cekada’s Response: Nihil

·         Fr. Cekada Recognizes and Resists Pope Pius XII (January 8, 2016)
Fr. Cekada’s Response: Nada

·         Questioning Fr. Cekada’s Judgment (January 10, 2016)
Fr. Cekada’s Response: Niente

·         The Pope is Elected: You Decide! - Our Response to Fr. Cekada’s Latest Video (January 23, 2016)
Fr. Cekada’s Response: Gar Nichts

       When will Fr. Cekada stop making foppish videos and start addressing our (or, rather, the Church’s) theological arguments against the absurdity of Sedevacantism? Time will tell. But if he’s pressed for time (it takes time to produce and choreograph those silly videos at St. Gertrude the Great parish!), he can start with the very short and direct articles above.
       Moreover, if Fr. Cekada really wants to compare and contrast the bitter fruits of Sedevacantism with those of the SSPX, it’s no contest (and why he would posit such a comparison is baffling). The rotten fruits of Sedevacantism go beyond mere disagreements and infighting, and involve true “spiritual maladies,” as Sedevacantist John Lane admits. One might ask why Fr. Cekada spends so much of his priesthood writing articles and making ostentatious videos which attack, mock and ridicule those who disagree with the Sedevacantist position (even when they don’t mention him personally). Is this not itself evidence of a spiritual disorder? Even Cekada’s partner, Bishop Dan Dolan, recently joked that their parish should “get him a director’s chair and sunglasses.” What kind of priest seeks such attention?
       We also note that our chapter on bitter fruits was not primarily to highlight how Sedevacantists attack and condemn each other, although this is indeed a wicked fruit of the sect (most of the Sedevacantist clerics condemn other Sedevacantists who do not belong to their particular sect). It is absurd for Fr. Cekada to actually suggest that we are not aware of similar infighting outside of Sedevacantism, although the condemnatory conduct within Sedevacantism far exceeds the rifts and mutual disapproval that currently exists between Traditional and Novus Ordo Catholics – who nevertheless remain united under the Pope they both recognize.
       The real intent of the chapter was to reveal the uniquely diabolical fruits that have issued forth from the unique tree of Sedevacantism, and which have little or no parallels in Church history, notwithstanding Fr. Cekada’s little history lesson in his latest video. These, most notably, include cultish isolationism (attending only Sedevacantist chapels; rejecting all other Traditional Catholic priests and chapels); home-aloneism (Sedevacantists who reject the entire visible Church and refuse to receive the sacraments anywhere, choosing instead to “worship at home”), and Conclavism (Sedevacantist sects who elect their own Pope, resulting in more antipopes than at any period in Church history).
"Pope Michael" (video)
       If Fr. Cekada is going to argue that the rotten fruits in Sedevacantism are nothing different than what has occurred in the past, we would ask him to name any other heretical sect that has produced dozens of antipopes – which is something that Sedevacantism has managed to accomplish in a mere 40 years!  While he’s at it, he can also name any other heretical sect whose leading apologists have admitted, publicly, that the fruits of their sect are so bad that they simply have no way to explain it. For example, John Lane wrote:

       “…people who get interested in Sedevacantism become unstable in their spiritual lives, confused about what matters and what doesn’t, forget their own incompetence in what are often very technically challenging areas of law and doctrine, often destabilize others in their parish, and very often more broadly disturb the peace of the parish. I’ve observed all of this myself, and so often that I can’t answer it. It’s true.”[3]

       Notice, Lane does not say “these bad fruits are normal.” No, he admits that they are so bad that he has no explanation for them. Lane went on to say that while a Sedevacantist might be able excuse doctrinal divisions by saying there is no Pope, he admitted that this argument “says nothing whatsoever about why Sedevacantism is so often concommitant with spiritual maladies.”[4]
       The former Sedevacantist, Laszlo Szijarto, confirmed Lane’s assessment when he said that while he was entangled in the sect, he found “nothing but spiritual disorder.”  He wrote:

       “I myself had once been a Sedevacantist. Only in retrospect can I honestly see the great bitterness and lack of charity that this led to on my part. I have found nothing but spiritual disorder – to one extent or another – in all the Sedevacantists I have ever met (myself included and foremost among them). It would be best to leave out the numerous downfalls – in scandalous fashion – of bitter Sedevacantists.”[5]

       So, while it is true that there are always chaff mixed in with the wheat in the field of the true Church (and hence one can always find bad fruits to spotlight), the rotten fruits in Sedevacantism are clearly in a category of their own. The reason for this is because Sedevacantism is itself a rotten tree, just as is Protestantism and any other anti-Catholic movement.  
       We can further point out the uniquely rotten fruit of dishonesty in scholarship, which is pervasive in the works of those Sedevacantists who choose to publicly defend their sect. As the readers of our book will see, this dishonesty involves editorial subterfuge that includes not only creating novel theological theories that have no precedent in Church history (too numerous to mention here; see Chapter 21), but also citing half-sentences out of context, and removing complete sentences, and even paragraphs, from citations (without ellipses), false allegations of inauthentic resources (claiming legitimate quotes have been "invented") and even accusations of fraud against non-Sedevacantist researchers (see summary of these techniques, also in Chapter 21), all intended to deceive their own flock. And when these purveyors of deception are caught with their pants down, they never (at least not to date) retract their errors, but remain even more emboldened in their position.
      Of course, it goes without saying - or making an “idiotic” video - that immoral conduct exists outside of Sedevacantism, even among true Catholics, and we never said otherwise. But true Catholics have not rejected the definitive teaching of the Magisterium, which condemns those who formally separate from their Patriarch (e.g., the Pope) before a public judgment of the Church. Thus, the bitter fruits of Sedevacantism have a spiritual dimension that will always be qualitatively worse than those among true Catholics who have not formally separated from the Church.
       Fr. Cekada needs to drop the “director’s chair” and “sunglasses,” because his videos are nothing but smoke and mirrors, which seek to draw attention to himself and away from the arguments he cannot address. His latest video is one big, fat straw man (“There is fighting outside of Sedevacantism, too! We’re not so bad!”) that he wanted to knock down, since he himself has been knocked down to the ground. This is all part of his diversionary tactic to keep his audience distracted while he avoids the theology that has already sunk his ship. More of the same childish videos from Cekada – which will surely come our way - will only confirm that he is unable to defend himself and his grievous theological errors, which our book exposes at great length, and which we will continue to expose at www.trueorfalse Stay tuned.

[1] Fr. Cekada’s primary claim in the video is that the historical infighting among Catholics and religious orders of the past was due to the failure or inability of the Popes at the time to “exercise their authority effectively at the local level.” But that same argument could be used today, where the conciliar Popes have failed to use their binding authority to condemn the errors that have invaded the Church. The difference is that the Catholics of yesteryear did not seek to resolve their objections to the Popes’ failures by declaring them deposed by their own private judgment. Thus, the main point of Fr. Cekada’s video does nothing for his Sedevacantist case.
[2] We do not consider his total misfire on the Recognize and Resist position in his “The Pope Speaks – You Decide” video, to which we responded with the feature “The Pope is Elected: You Decide!”
[3] True or False Pope?, p. 654.
[4] Ibid., p. 655
[5] Ibid.