From the Mail

By Fr. X:

This commentary concerns the section, Fr. Kramer Again Relies Upon “Excerpts” From Sedevacantist Websites (pp. 5-7), of Part II of Exposing the Errors of Fr. Paul Kramer on Mystici Corporis Christi. And I will be referring mainly to paragraphs 21 & 22 (22 & 23) of the Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christs, depending on whose English translation is being used; the Latin text from the Vatican Website is not numbered. First, however, I will provide a literal translation of the Latin from the Vatican Website.

In quoting Fr. Kramer in his translation of Mystici Corporis on page three of your paper, he does not indicate that the two quotes in the second paragraph actually come from two separate paragraphs of the Encyclical. I really detest the deceit of placing the two quotes together as if they came from the same paragraph. It is confusing to say the least, but also can be by intention deceitful, a way of trying to maintain or prove his erroneous position.

A. Concerning paragraph 21 (22) of M.C.

21 (22) In Ecclesiae autem membris reapse ii soli annumerandi sunt, qui regenerationis lavacrum receperunt veramque fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt, vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt.

“But IN FACT/IN REALITY they alone must be included among the members of the Church, who have received the Laver of Regeneration and profess the true Faith, and they have not unhappily separated themselves of their own accord from the structure of the Body, or on account of the most grave sins (admissa) they have been severed by legitimate authority.”

Notice that the Holy Father provides only two ways for a member to be separated from the Church; that is, there are only two ways as to HOW a person can be separated from the Church:

1. He personally and voluntarily withdraws himself from the Church,
2. He is separated by “legitimate authority”.

Now there are various crimes (sins) on account of the commission of which a member can be severed from the church; however there are THREE that OF THEIR NATURE separate a member from the Church, from Its Soul as well as from Its Body, namely, apostasy, heresy, and schism.

Because of the seriousness of certain sins Holy Mother Church provides laws prohibiting those sins and establishes penalties which declare, on account of the serious of the sin, that one guilty of such a sin to be severed from the Church, from Its soul and from Its body. The legitimate authority must make a judgment whereby it is determined that the individual is indeed guilty of the violation of a particular POSITIVE law—the violation of which is called in canonical terms a “delict”--which means a serious sin against POSITIVE Church law, and which sin can also be referred to canonically as a crime or offense.

In Canon Law the “very grave” and “most grave” types of sins are referred to as delicts (delictum, i).    Delict then is a genus in the Code of Canon Law under which are listed those sins, the worst being apostasy, heresy and schism—which of their nature sever one from the Church, from Its Soul and from Its Body. But there are other delicts such as the physical attack on the Pope, the violation of the seal of Confession, all of which are punished by “excommunication”, by which “excommunication the offender is severed from the Body and Soul of the Church. Furthermore, there are delicts for which lesser penalties are attached, for example, simony or the simulation of a Sacrament; the penalties for these are usually “suspension” rather than “excommunication. In any case, it is the term “delict” that identifies canonically the very serious and most serious sins”.

There are other terms that are used canonically in relation to serious crimes as well: “crimen” or crime, namely “offensio” or offense, but these are more general terms basically to refer to sins against positive law.

The term “peccatum” (in a non-moral sense = fault, error or mistake and in a moral sense = transgression or sin against natural or divine law), “admissum” (sin or crime) and “scelus”, sin, crime, evil deed, heinous action, or wickedness, are general terms in referring to morally bad acts, these latter two as well being against natural or divine law (, “scelus” being the strongest of the three, and which terms are not so much used as canonical terms, but more so as theological and moral terminology.

B. Concerning paragraph 22 (23) of M. C.

22 (23)Siquidem non omne admissum , etsi grave scelus, eiusmodi est ut — sicut schisma, vel haeresis, vel apostasia faciunt — suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet.

“Indeed, not every sin, even if [it is] a serious crime, is of such a kind that it severs a man from the Body of the Church of its own nature.”

In this next paragraph the Holy Father uses the two terms “admissum” and “scelus” in such a way that “admissum” (more general/generic) includes “scelus”, (more particular type of serious sin, but the Dictionary of St. Thomas Aquinas says that it is "the strongest general term for a morally bad act or quality."): “not every sin, even if a serious crime, is of such a kind....”

Since paragraphs 21 (22) specifies by what means one is separated from the Body of the Church, what is said in paragraphs 22 (23) seems to be of a comparative nature, indicating, for example that the sin of abortion (grave scelus)—although one incurs excommunication by murdering her baby—is a sin that “of its nature” does not sever the sinner from the Body of the Church; it is the law that does. Likewise an attack on the Pope.

However, since the most serious sins of apostasy, heresy and schism, sins directly against God and the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ are such that the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, must determine the “dolus”, the malice involved, which the Church does by Its Canon Law when She says that “Where there has been an external violation, imputability is presumed, unless it appears otherwise” [c. 1321 §3] (consider so called schism of the SSPX in 1988). When it comes to apostasy, heresy and schism, the means of establishing the malice of these crimes are not only complex but even disputed, and it is solely the responsibility of the Church in making a judgment; individuals of their own accord cannot arrogate to themselves the rendering of a judgment. (Now I am not a canonist, so I cannot be certain that this paragraph is without error, but perhaps you can supply what is missing or correct what is in error.)

The following chart was very hastily put together, but it does indicate the difference between the terminology used in speaking about sin and crime, generally and canonically.

Chart showing the use of words with moral or canonical inference in Canon Law.

When Fr. Kramer makes such an issue concerning the wording in your work, it is only a means of distracting from the essence of your arguments and to cover his own errors. This is not the only time he does this but it is constant throughout his tirades against you. I don't understand how you can really take him seriously and waste your time in trying to argue against him. Granted, however, that it is important to show where he misrepresents your work. God bless and Our Lady rotect you always.

Father X


Dear John & Robert,

Could you please get a more intelligent opponent and not someone who is either drunk or on drugs or both?

I’m sure you have better things to do with your lives than to have to constantly refute an unstable moving target.

Fr. X 

Thanks a million guys.  Every time you write, I understand these issues better.  I read the first half of part II the other day and you really nailed it this time.  I remember Peter Diamond accused Robert of contradicting Pius XII years ago on his web.  I hope he, Cekada, Kramer, and the others take a minute to read your piece, with an open mind of course, and come to a different conclusion than previously.  

Excellent job explaining to Kramer how the pope ipso facto loses office for heresy.  Unfortunately instead of giving you credit for the quotes and explanations of John of St. Thomas and others that contradict him, he resorts to calling you a heretic.  What does he have to say for the quotes that contradict him?  Looks like silence.

I can already tell from your e-mail exchange Kramer isn't particularly interested in hearing theologians that contradict him.  In this particular conversation when he realized John of ST. Thomas completely contradicts him, he remained silent and instead of dealing with his words on the topic, Kramer attempted to sidetrack the conversation  by quoting Ballerini, whom he also doesn't understand.  But the good thing about this e-mail exchange is it brings out terms most of us aren't familiar with such as quoad se and quoad nos, and that a judgment of the Church is an indirect one.  I'm actually glad you posted this exchange because it further clarifies these terms for me and hopefully it will for Kramer.  I really don't see how one can continue arguing in defense of the ipso facto loss of office before the Church establishes the fact of heresy, after reading this exchange.  Unless one thinks John of St. Thomas and others that agree with him were stupid or heretics.  I've heard that before.  I have a family member whom Kramer admires that called John of St. Thomas a heretic a few years ago.  What does that tell us?

The following e-mail is regarding Fr. Kramer’s refusal to allow a panel of traditional Catholic theologians to review his writings (and ours) in an attempt to settle the dispute:

Fr. Kramer's behaviour has been questionable for some time. It seems he is absolutely entrenched in his own opinion and will stand for no possibility of error on his part, much less correction. His attitude towards those who challenge him is disrespectful and aggressive, frequently descending to very un-priestly levels. All of this - the self-assurance, the anger, the avoidance of critical study of his theories, etc. - is classic pride, either of intellect, soul or both.

The only alternative, and I sincerely hope for his sake that it is the case, is that he has gone mad through no fault of his own. At least he would not then be culpable before God for his divisive and destructive actions.

And to think that the same priest once did such great work for Our Lady. The devil wasn't long in diverting him away from that primary vocation!!
Dear Messrs Salza and Siscoe, 

I want to thank you for your book, True or False Pope.  I cannot imagine the number of hours you must have poured into this truly enlightening work.  More than a good read, this book was an experience for me.  

Having grown up attending exclusively Sedevacantist "Mass centers" (they cannot properly be called "churches" in the canonical sense, as even Sedes will admit), I became a Sede myself, although I would submit that I was never of the "card carrying", dogmatic variety.  I attended St. Gertrude the Great, and the pastors I grew up with were none other than Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada.  I have first hand experience with many of the things you point out in your book concerning those two priests, although I have not personally suffered the many injustices wrought upon parishioners of their chapels.  However, such anecdotes are common on those circles, and in other Sede camps, and I believe the reason I was spared most of that is because I was never deeply involved aside from showing up for Mass.  

Thinking back on my experiences and observations, I realize that I, and most other Sedevacantists, apart from being dead wrong on so many of the basic arguments underlying the Sede position, also were/are so uncharitable and prideful in spirit, as Sedes view other Catholics, of pretty much all stripes, as simply being ignorant, duped by the new imposter church and it's "clergy" (as I'm sure you know, quotation marks are routinely used by Sedes in references to "Novus Ordo" bishops and priests).  There is always an air of "I know something you don't know" underlying all the conversations with other Catholics.  For example, another Catholic discusses receiving Holy Communion - a Sede might think to him/herself, "no, your ''communion" is invalid - Christ is not present in your bread and wine."  

A few years ago, I began questioning the Sede position.  I began to ask myself what authority I - or any of these clergy, for that matter - had to determine the Pope is not the Pope, and by what authority do we declare the "new church" to be invalid, along with all its hierarchy, most of its sacraments, etc.  I began to see the same quotes, almost always from St. Robert Bellarmine, grace the pages of Sede websites, and I eventually began to believe there must be more to the matter.  One quote rarely - if ever - settles a complex and polarizing issue.  

In law school, I studied the scholarly research and writing methods required of attorneys and began to see that Sede authors were sorely lacking in those methods, despite the intellectual tradition of the Church.  I attended the University of Dayton - a Catholic school in the Marianist tradition - and met other devout, genuinely good Catholics whose only "fault" was that they didn't know anything about or share my Sede leanings.  Sedevacantism even caused me to doubt the good intentions of campus based acknowledgments of certain Catholic feasts, saints, and historical figures pertinent to the school or region.  

Eventually, the questions began piling up, and there were few satisfactory, or even plausible, answers.  The practical aspect of Sedevacantism alone was enough to cast serious doubt on the thesis.  In what I've come to think of as the "absurdity factor", I think of how improbable - if not impossible - it would be for there suddenly to be an "invalid" election of a so-called "manifest heretic" to the papacy such that all but 0.0001% of all the Catholic world was deceived, for nearly 60 years now, leaving only a few thousand true believers, none of whom can agree on much of anything, spread throughout the world, mostly in the U.S., and that I should be so lucky as to find one of the only true priests (Cekada) and bishops (Dolan) left in the world in one little remnant of true Catholicism in some independent parish in Southwest Ohio.  It's hard enough to teach others that Catholicism is any more legit than any other religion - then you try to explain that no, it's really just your parish and a few others that are the "one true religion".  Riiiiight.  Let me know how that works out for you!

Of course, there are many legitimate complaints regarding the innumerable and egregious liturgical abuses, ambiguity and distortion in Church teaching since Vatican II, and an overall Protestantizing of the language and attitudes of the clergy and faithful.  But, as I now understand after reading your book and relating it back to other authentically Catholic (as opposed to Sede or other erroneous publications) works, I see that this truly is evidence of the Church in crisis, suffering alongside the abused Christ during His Passion, and not that the visible Church has defected, leaving a few thousand "invisible" faithful at obscure Mass centers.

At this time, my family and I have found two excellent parishes - Holy Family in Dayton, Ohio, an FSSP church, and a SSPX mission in Vandalia, Ohio.  There is not a lot of "recognizing and resisting" at the FSSP, but I promise you I have never heard such unapologetically Catholic sermons until now, and I admire the faith, devotion, and pastoral abilities of our priest.  I am also encouraged to see the church so full of traditionalists each Sunday.  At the SSPX chapel, an offshoot of the much larger Our Lady of the Assumption in Walton, KY, we again find a small, but growing group of traditionalists looking to carry on the work of the great Archbishop Lefebvre.  Although I personally prefer the SSPX "recognize and resist" position, the chapel near our home offers Mass only once per month at this point, while the FSSP is a regular, fully functional parish.  

I did not mean for this to become such a lengthy email.  However, I felt the need to reach out to you and explain who I am, where I came from, and to thank you for where I and my family are today, both in terms of the parishes we attend and the evolution in our faith.  I will most assuredly continue to study the issues you have written so thoroughly about, but perhaps most importantly, now that I have shaken off the Sede yolk, I can get back to studying the teachings of the Catholic Church, rather than simply reading and re-reading the talking points of the Sedes, who, as much as I can see, are more interested in their own position than in immersing themselves in the true Faith.  

God bless you both, and all your supporters who made your work possible.  Thank you.

Very truly yours, 


Dear Mr. Siscoe & Mr, Salza,

I want to thank you both for your very carefully researched and documented refutation of Fr. Paul Kramer and like-minded schismatics. Any reasonably informed and objective Catholic reading your presentation of the facts could not disagree with your conclusion, which is that of the Church. Sad to say, however, you are not debating here with objective Catholics but rather with angry men blinded by their own conceit. Frankly, I see no difference between these and the Protestants, who also condemn and reject the Popes by usurped authority (the personal judgment of subordinates). Ultimately, whether it is one Pope, two Popes or every Pope from St. Peter, the penalty for such arrogance is the same for all of these unfortunate souls, namely, excommunication.

It is a most dreaded prospect for any faithful Catholic to have to ponder within himself the question of whether or not the Pope is a heretic without having to further decide, without requirement or authority from God, the nature of that heresy, whether it be material or formal. The Church alone can decide and declare in the matter since it requires high ecclesiastical investigation, confrontation and rejected ultimatum in order to weigh as justly as possible the disposition of the soul of the accused.This is so fundamental to true justice, especially for Catholics, that it should not require lengthy and detailed explanation.

St. James warned, however, that "the anger of man worketh not the justice of God". How right he was, for it produces instead the "kangaroo court" in which facts are twisted to satisfy the pre-judgment of vengeful individuals driven by bitter zeal. I have debated on and off with Fr. Kramer and the sedevacantists many times and have yet to find one who is prepared to entertain even the slightest possibility that he may be in error. That takes some depth of intellectual and spiritual pride given the very grave and divisive nature of the public position they hold and peddle. It seems not to occur to them that while the Lord will not condemn them in eternity for failing to judge and depose a wayward Successor of St. Peter, which they have neither the divine authority nor remit to do, He will most certainly condemn them for assuming such to themselves. 

St. Paul predicted: "...For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."

I have always understood this prophesy to be descriptive primarily of the liberal modernists in the Church of our time, who spread the poison of the "New Theology". However, I now believe that it can be attributed equally to those at the opposite end of the extremist spectrum, the sedevacantists and schismatics whose apparent opposition to the aforementioned results in the same end, i.e., rebellion against all authority save their own. Yes, the devil sure knows how to make use of pride to blind and embitter those who consider themselves blessed above their fellows! That's why it's pointless debating with these people, for the shutters have come down so very firmly on reason and objectivity, not to mention charity and justice, that only a special grace from God can now open them. I pray God that this grace is granted to all of them, yet I pray more in hope than expectation.

God bless you both for your good work in these bitter and confusing times.

In Jesus & Mary

Martin Blackshaw

Dear Robert,

I found your article responding to Fr. Cekada on the internet. I will buy your book tomorrow at my local SSPX parish. I have now renounced Sedevacantism for good. I thought I had an airtight case with the footnotes of Canon 188.4 referencing back to Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio. However, you patiently pointed out that Canon 2314.2 requires that a warning must be given by proper Church authority in order to meet the Church's definition of a public heretic. I hope that Gerry Matatics will learn this information and reject sedevacantism. His talks are one of the reasons I became a  sedevacantist in the first place. I hope that Fr. Cekada converts as well.

Note that some sedevacantists teach that the Ottoviani Intervention was a sufficient warning and claim that Pope Paul VI lost office after ignoring it and instituting the New Mass. Does your book address this? It seems that it would not be sufficient as Ottoviani was only criticizing the New Mass and not accusing the Pope of heresy.

Additionally, nearly all sedevacantist priests (Fr. Cekada is an exception) will conceal their Sede position from their own parishioners for fear of losing parishioners. They never preach Sedevacantism from the pulpit nor talk about it after Mass. Most of their parishioners at the time I attended were ignorant of the Sede position and the Sede priests wanted to keep it that way. In fact, they feared their Sede parishioners would scare off the ignorant. As a result, the Sede priests did NOT want Sede parishioners, only ignorant ones! I found that to be hypocritical and cowardly. I concluded that they had no confidence in their own position, which made me question their position.

Please keep up the good work.

May Jesus and Mary Bless You, 


Absolute clarity on the errors of Sedevacantism after reading this book! Truly makes you fall in love with Holy Mother Church as Christ's bride. Which of course He would never abandon and the "gates of Hell shall not prevail against it". A must read for anyone that believes they know better than the Holy Spirit in how the Church should be visible to the world. As a former "Sede" myself, this book helped me to swallow a huge piece of "humble pie". It was an answer to a prayer that is for sure! God Bless all who read and thank you Jesus for your endless mercy. M.M.
"Exclamation Point"

Just when I thought you couldn't add more exclamation points to sedevacantists arguments, you posted part II inresponse to Cekada's.  Do you know what stands out to me in your article?  You demonstrated why sedevacantists are not only in a state of schism, but are indeed public heretics, by simply quoting John of St. Thomas.  Without a doubt, Cekada's new argument makes him, and those who follow him, public heretics.  What an eye opener.  And the section on dogmatic facts was very helpful.  As a matter of fact, the whole article was a sheer joy to read. The game is definitely over for Cekada.  I can't wait to see if he can come up with a newer one.  

As for John and Kramer, tell John he did a fine job replying to Kramer, whose argumentation reminded me so much of the Protestants I've debated over the years who insist their private interpretation of Scripture is the right one, as opposed to the public judgment of Scripture by the Church over the centuries.   

This is very sad news. I have recently exchanged emails with Fr. Kramer in defending the Salza/Siscoe position and calling on Fr. Kramer to reflect on his wild claims and conspiratorial theories. It was to no avail. Fr. Kramer, God help him, has truly lost the plot. I just hope for his sake that it is some kind of madness that he is not responsible for. (...)
John, you are like a traditionalist Bruce Lee, with black-hooded ninja-sedes coming at you from all directions, it seems.  Seriously, it's just amazing these guys never know when to simply shut up. They are beat!  Will over intellect!

I cannot see why someone cannot accept the notion of an extremely bad, even materially heretical pope that isn't using his authority to bind.  He's not, so it doesn't matter!  Not only that, but the fact that he ISN'T trying to bind is good evidence that he IS a valid pope!  
It seems like these people always take it like a personal betrayal of some sort.  

Thank you very very much. Part one of your last article on Fr Cekada was brilliant. We look forward to part two. We are former CMRI followers and now attend FSSP. Have you looked at exposing the false teachings of "Bishop" Pivarunas? They are worse then Fr Cekada. He has no education having run away from home at age 14 to join the Schuckardt cult. The CMRI "priests" lack true seminary training, basically do it yourself learning. Most of the men are a scandal. A complete sham. Keep up the fine work. C


Wow! I just finished your latest article, and it was like watching a Rambo movie.  Cekada picks a fight, and his friends begin attacking.  You don your machine gun wear and sling, and begin yelling while pulling the trigger.  The enemies begin taking hits and running with nowhere to hide.  Cekada pilots a helicopter with gunner Derksen shooting all directions at you, but  missing.  They fly too low.  You sneak up, grab and throw Derksen out the door, and he falls to his death.  Cekada sees you coming and he jumps out.  You assume the cockpit, fly over the landscape, aim, drop the Billot bomb, and a large explosion occurs.  Dead bodies appear, and it is all over.   


Robert, I'm halfway through your article... and it's revealing Cekada's misunderstandings nicely, especially in the area where he wrongly accuses you of setting up a false opposition between internal heresy and public heresy.  What is interesting, is that his obstinacy is allowing you to give a better explanation of what your book really means.  Brilliant as usual.  Thanks

On The Fall of Fr. Kramer

Dear Mr Salza, 
Thank you for getting back to me. I just read your features on Fr. Kramer and as usual with you both it was very well written and researched. I conclude that you win! I passed it onto my friend, hopefully she will come to the same
conclusion as you have and as any person with sense should. 
 Any conversation I had with Fr. Kramer I found him to be quite lacking in his research. He uses his own opinion as though he is a great canonist, while misrepresenting great Saints by misquoting them. He has become very arrogant and puts himself above anyone who might disagree and show him up. Then goes on to attack the person, as he has done to both you and Robert Siscoe in a scandalous way. 
Also as a side note, your presentations on Freemasonry are amazing and I thoroughly enjoy all your work. May I ask if you have written a book on  Freemasonry? I was led to believe you have. God Bless 
 In Christ 

Thanks for the good laugh

Dear Mr. Salza & Mr. Siscoe,

I was reading your post on John Lane.  When I got to this part:

John Lane:  “You seem to think that I am a promoter of sedevacantism.  I am not.”

I admire Mr. Siscoe's restraint in his response.  Mine was more like this:

[ROFL emoticon]   I did truly Laugh Out Loud when I read that line. 

It seems like Karl Marx saying, “You seem to think that I am a promoter of Communism.  I am not.”

Thank you for your very helpful website.  I very much appreciated a few interviews of John Salza on your book on youtube as well.  

God bless you. 

Love the Book

I just finished Chapt 7.  The info. in there will definitely make sedevacantists rethink before saying the pope is or has been making heretical statements.  This is turning out to be one of my favorite books.  

Re: A new rumor about the book

Dear Mr. Siscoe,

Thanks so much to you and John for the great book True or False Pope.
It was FAR past time we had a contra-sede research effort to equal or
surpass that of the sedes themselves -- not to mention the organization
of all that research into coherent doctrine. I am sure the book will
literally save from hell quite a few disoriented individuals who are
genuinely trying to find an explanation for the unprecedented disaster
which the Church is suffering in our time, but who don't realize the
absurdity and the grave danger that sedevacantism poses as an answer.
(As to the hardcore sedes, who have seared their consciences in a love
of themselves and their own emotionally formed opinions more than Truth,
there is, of course, some hope, but very little based on my experience
of their extreme perversity, and the bad will that they hypocritically
love to accuse others of).

I recently heard, from a person known to have his/her ear very close to
a number of different grapevines, that True or False Pope was not
actually written by you two, but rather by a group of eleven SSPX
I give very little credence to this, for three main reasons:

1) The legal and publicity repercussions, should
develop between yourselves and some of these alleged priest
collaborators, or should this become known, would be potentially
severe. For example, if just one of the SSPX priests in the know about
this should leave the SSPX, or even go sede himself, an obvious way of
expressing his angst could be to blow the cover off this deception. In
fact, even without such an eventuality, it would be hard to keep this
from getting out before too long, just given the large number of people
who would have to be in on the secret. I hardly think that all among
you would have lacked sufficient imagination so as to foresee this.

2) I see no proportionate motive for hiding this fact, given the risk of
its being exposed.

3) The book presents a much too logical and unified plan to one such as
myself -- who has lived for quite a few years under the same roof with
SSPX priests -- as that I could think it could result from a
collaboration of so many individuals.

Since it is clear from evidence in the book itself that (as would be
perfectly natural) the authors have had recourse to the studies of many
other persons, my suspicion is that this rumor is simply a twisted
statement of this fact.

In any case, I wonder if you could confirm or disprove this rumor. (Of
course, if true, you could hardly be expected to confirm it, but be that
as it may...)

Whatever be the answer, may God's blessings be upon you,


Thanks for the e-mail.  We were unaware of the rumor, but there is no truth to it.  John Salza and I wrote the entire book ourselves, from start to finish.  We had chapters reviewed by priests (and laymen) as we completed them, but they only provided minor suggestions here and there (sometimes no suggestions at all).  The Society didn't even get involved with the book until near the end when we decided to ask Bishop Fellay if he would write the Forward.  By then, the book was already 95% complete.  So, there is absolutely no truth whatsoever to the rumor.  


Are you aware that Mario Derkson is giving a talk at the annual Fatima Conference this year called The Papacy and the Passion. Talk about stupidity. You have already knocked his false ideas over and he should be honest along with the rest of the CMRI and answer your book.Y ou will find that most young people like myself woke up along time ago and left that group. Have you had many private emails from former CMRI faithful? Keep up the excellent work. You deserve a reward.

In Christ

Happy Easter, Mr. Siscoe!

My family and I have held extensive and profound discussions regarding the contents of your book, particularly in light of our experience of the sedevacantist sects' culture and politics throughout the past fifteen years. I had been the only member of my family who had discontinued adhering to the sedevacantists' errors. However, thanks mostly to the information you and Mr. Salza presented in Chapters 9 through 12, my family has also rejected the folklore of the sedevacantists and have resolved to discontinue attending their old CMRI Mass-center.

I must clearly state that, contrary to the distortions of the sedevacantists' tribal mythographers, the book does not at all serve as propaganda for the SSPX or its related entities. In fact, my family and I decided to attend the local FSSP parish, without ever considering the SSPX as a viable option, notwithstanding relative geographical accessibility.

What are we to think of the Second Vatican Council, the Pauline Missal and concomitant and consequent cultural and theological phenomena? As a family, we are resolved to move onward and upward: onward professing and practicing the Catholic faith, and upward endeavoring to "seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1); praying and making sacrifice for the liberty and exaltation of Holy Mother Church, whose governance we commit to the providence of her Divine Founder.

Now that we have acknowledged that it is not for us to judge the Pope, or decide the fate of Holy Mother Church and her hierarchy, or declare who is and who is not a "true Catholic," we can focus on what is important. It is the earnest and persevering cultivation of the interior life that is alone important, particularly by means of devotion to the great Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and adhering to the message she gave us as Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima. The value of the message of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima consists precisely in how faithful a mirror it is of Divine Revelation and the doctrines of the Fathers and Saints. It synthesized in a practical manner the doctrines of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort and laid out a practical program whereby we may consecrate ourselves entirely to Jesus through Mary and be enabled to attain to that apostolic zeal and charity that will allow us to edify our fellow neighbor and help restore Christian civilization. If one follows the counsels of the Fatima message with the generosity and magnanimity that presuppose complete and universal mortification and docility to the operations of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which in turn presupposes the active and passive purification of the senses and of the soul, then the interior soul could arrive at the mystical union which St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross saw as the normal efflorescence of the interior life and the terrestrial prelude to the Beatific vision.

Thank you so much for all your hard work and sacrifice in writing this book. It is indeed true that the honest and serious study of this book will render adhering to the sedevacantists' errors very difficult for the person of good will, if not morally impossible. Please be assured of our continued prayers for you and Mr. Salza.

Yours sincerely in Jesus and Mary,

Well, what better way to start off our Easter than watching your part II self propelled torpedo detonate Derksen's failed attempt at a rebuttal on contact!  It did, and it was a direct hit.  He won't recover either, you just sunk his battleship, and surely he's feeling the effects of the explosion.  The question is, will he have any readership left on his website after you are finished with him?  No doubt part III of this series will serve to bury the dead.  

From: Scott S.

Regarding Derksen’s latest article

Derksen attempts to tell us Vatican I ends the debate by codifying Vat I which says 'no one may judge the pope,' which he thinks supersedes pre Vat I theologians arguments on how the Church can judge an heretical pope; and that all post Vat I theologians agree with Vat I.  Derksen first says (before later contradicting himself, as we'll see) an heretical pope can't be removed from office, but can lose office according to his repeated - yet endlessly answered - blunder on canon 188.4.  Then he quotes Cardinal Billot after passing over Billot's 'universal and peaceful acceptance' of a pope ... by saying, "the issue of peaceful acceptance is irrelevant," in order to focus on why he thinks Billot agrees with sedevacantists who say private judgement is the way to solve the situation of an heretical pope.  Derksen thinks Billot didn't leave room for a Church judgement in the matter in his Tractatus De Ecclesia Christi, even though Derksen underlines Billot's quote on pg. 630 which specifically says, "... he would already be subject to the judgment of the Church...", which Derksen fails to see is the opposite of the private judgement of laymen in the pew. Derksen then immediately misapplies [by saying] "... it is a manner of speaking similar to that which the Apostle usesto mean Innocent III didn't really mean the Church should judge the matter, but it's just 'a manner of speaking'.  Then to justify himself, Derksen misapplies the pope Adrian II quote because he can't accept that an heretical pope being judged is the exception to Derksen misunderstanding of Vat I Towards the end of his article, notice what Derksen does, he contradicts himself when he says, "That is why a superior can then be judged, so to speak, by his inferiors: because he is then no longer the lawful superior, but, being a heretic, he is cut off from the Body of the Church." He says "so to speak" because he knows the pope is judged by the Church, but doesn't want to accept that the Church must establish the crime first.  He wants to find any argument he can to justify private judgement in the matter, which is why he ends the article by saying, "Sorry, folks, but if Francis is a true Pope now, then no one can take the pontificate away from him. He cannot be removed from office; he cannot be deposed. You’re simply stuck with him. Welcome to Catholic teaching on the papacy.  The good news is, however, that Francis is not a valid Pope now, and never was. He is not a Catholic and therefore not eligibile to be Pope."  So to summarize Derksen's position, the new "Catholic teaching on the papacy" codified by Vat I leaves us no hope of a Church judgement in spite of everything that all the theologians have painstakingly said over the years, and all we have to do thanks to Vat I is "discern" who is or is not a pope for using private judgement.  Sounds pretty simple, but not particularly Catholic and not the historical way the Church has always operated.  Derksen would do well to read your recent article on the proper implementation of profession of faith if he honestly wants to know how the Church operates.  

Reply:  We will be posting a long multi-part article in response to Derksen’s latest piece.  Our response will enable us to demonstrate for others the kind of Sedevacantist tactics that we discovered while researching our book.   Here is Part I  and Part II of our reply.

I just finished your article on the correct meaning of profession of faith, and you have definitely put another stumbling block to the sedevacantist blunder that laymen in the pew can privately discern and declare who is or is not a pope.  If it weren't enough you rained on their parade with your previous articles exposing their cherry picking goof-ups, their confusion over fact vs. law, their denial of dogmatic facts, their embarrassing ongoing videos errors, and their refusal to submit to the teaching emphasized at the Fourth Council of Constantinople - under pain of excommunication - that laymen must not discern who is or is not a valid pope, now you threw this corkscrew inside batter’s box to befuddle them even more.  They have completely misunderstood the meaning of profession of faith, which explains why they so hastily condemn the popes and ridicule those who don't agree with them (even though they don't even agree with each other)!  With everything you keep putting out there for sedevacantists to "discern," it's hard to believe they can remain where they are.  How long can they read your info. and remain hardened?  


Derksen has no reply nor will he.  He knows it, you know it, he knows you know it, and the rest of us know it.  Derksen is standing like a deer in headlights after reading your book and articles.  He's obviously dumbfounded. … The best they can do is attempt non-replies…” 

Another e-mail about the reply to Derksen:

I relate to how exasperating it can be to deal with people like Derkson - people with seemingly no intellectual honesty and no ethics of any type (Mario isn't even a "good pagan").  It's frustrating to think that the masses who don't know whom to trust could be taken in by what we can see is empty sophism.  And it is more cloying in this particular case because ignoring the theological weight of the book to focus on the subjective and on trivialities is so clearly a cowardly abdication of the debt he's accrued with his attacks. But, since you can never make the horses drink, we just have to do the best job we can objectively and leave the rest to the Lord.

From: I.M.

Laudetur Iesus Christus! In saecula! Amen.

Messrs. Salza and Siscoe,

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to both of you for composing this magnus opus. Through the grace of Our Lord True or False Pope? immediately pried off the remaining fingers of the stranglehold with which sedevacantist rhetoric grasped my soul over the course of last summer and early autumn. That pernicious ideology caused me to stumble on more than one occasion and almost prevented me from following through with my application to enter the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest this year. Fortunately, God graced me with an SSPX father-confessor to straighten my mind out. (...)

Dear Mr. Siscoe,

I just got an email from a sedevacantist friend, which is a promotion of Cekada's new video. He is now attacking the book using the memory of Abp. Lefebvre, manipulating quotes and de-contextualizing them. As if that has any relevance to the question at hand. The fact that they are employing yet another red-herring is further proof that they cannot answer your refutation of their absurd errors and heresies.

The strategy, however, is not surprising. Cekada has successfully demonized the SSPX
Fr. Cekada
in the eyes of his cohorts: it is easy for him to distract these bamboozled folk from the formidable arguments of the book by manipulating them with atavistic lore. Cekada has not retracted his calumny regarding the Society "bank-rolling" the book, and this new video seems to be a different manifestation of the old tactic.

As someone who has read the book, the reason I see why Abp. Lefebvre was not cited in regards to sedevacantism was because the authors were concerned only with those authorities that all Catholics and the sedevacantists would have to acknowledge. The sedevacantists would not have taken the book seriously if it had relied on Abp. Lefebvre regarding this matter, since the Archbishop would not have fared better with these people, seeing that even Cardinal Billot and St. Robert Bellarmine have suffered abuse at their hands. If the Archbishop would have been cited, then Cekada would have exclaimed frantically, "Ha! That's proof that the book is SSPX propaganda!"

It is to be noted that the book does not really mention the SSPX, especially in Chapter 20 where one would have expected some mention of the Society. One may read and completely agree with the book, irrespective of any feelings or opinions towards the SSPX. I am an example of this, as I never had anything to do with the SSPX, nor do I plan in having anything to do with it in the future.

It is really pathetic to see a self-professed Catholic Priest spending Lent, the most sacred season of the Liturgical year, making inane videos. It is disedifying to say the least. It further substantiates the reality that the consequences of sedevacantism in the interior life can be horrendously devastatingleading to a terrible pessimism regarding the history and future of the Church, to a tendency to become one’s own spiritual director, which ultimately leads to the cultivation of lax consciences, and thereby dragging the individual soul to retardation in the interior life, to spiritual pride and vanity, to acedia, to the neglect of the cultivation of the acquired moral virtues, and ultimately to serious spiritual disorders that can pervert the individual soul and lead it astray into formal heresy and schism. These perils are especially increased when one rejects Holy Mother Church for base superstition composed of absurd conspiracy-theories, utter deception and falsification, and shoddy scholarship of spiritually diseased polemicists. It is preferring Barabbas over Our Lord.

When these present-day Pilates happen to be validly ordained, it is almost infinitely worse, as Cekada's case exemplifies: for these so-called clerics "are indeed ravenous wolves” (S. Matt. cap. vii. 15), who, having the seeming of lambs and yet betraying themselves to be dragons (Apoc. cap. xiii. 11), yearn “to shed blood, and to destroy souls, and to run after gains through covetousness” (Ezech. cap. xxii. 27); for they have not entered unto Sacred Orders by Canonical sanction of the Church of Our Lord Jesus, Who proclaimed Himself to be the Door (S. Joann. cap. x. 9) through Whom alone are His ministers sent to preach the Sacred Gospel (Rom. cap. x. 15); and, having not a divine mission, out of their self-will and self-love they are as a thief who “cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (S. Joann. cap. x. 10).

Ultimately, Our Lord shall destroy these heresies, these tools of the devil's "ancient laboratory of evil" (St. Peter Damian, Letter 31), through the patronage of the great Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has exterminated all heresies and who has vanquished the infernal serpent.

God bless,

Reply:  Our reply to Fr. Cekada can be read here.
From a former Sedevacantist

Hello again:

I have finally finished the book. To state that it exceeded my expectations would be putting it too lightly, for the book achieved far more than that. It presented profound and complex ecclesiological doctrines in a very clear, precise and effective manner that was easy to follow and yet did not "dumb it down." Nor did the book engage in the prurient school-yard rhetoric which is apparently so beloved by the extremist polemicists whose errors and heresies it efficaciously refutes. Chapter 21, wherein the authors could have understandably indulged in anathematizing true-to-life caricatures, was particularly salient in its reserve and calm objectivity, with the most scandalous crimes being passed over in silence. The sedevacantists' errors as exposed and refuted throughout the book provide embarrassment enough and they, together with the few things mentioned in Chapter 21 (which are but inexorably concomitant with these errors), sufficed to present to the honest inquirer the true picture of the sedevacantist sects.

However, the value of the book is not solely to be found in its masterful refutation of the sedevacantists' errors and disorders. The book also provides excellent answers to those conservatives, animated by an indiscreet zeal and myopic conditioning, who would denigrate traditionalist Catholics' endeavor to preserve sacred Tradition and the Deposit of the holy Faith. Questions regarding subjects such as the new Missal, the recent Canonizations, the status of the Second Vatican Council, &c., are discussed with radical honesty and in light of numerous authorities and other pertinent sources. To reject the authors' presentation of these questions would necessitate the rejection of the sound teaching and example of so many eminent theologians, canonists, Saints, &c.: teaching and example that would only guide and console us in these tumultuous times.

To be frank, the excesses and disorders of the sedevacantist sects (I had attended a CMRI "chapel") had caused me to embrace the theological orientation of the conservatives, and to excuse away the bedeviling perplexities presented by the Second Vatican Council and the post-Conciliar Papacy. I was very skeptical that the book would change my mind, but now I cannot but seriously consider the possibility that I may have been mistaken and that there is a balance between the extremisms of both sedevacantism and post-Conciliar conservatism.

As someone who has been on both extremes of the spectrum that has arisen over the ecclesiological questions occasioned by the turmoil of the Conciliar and post-Conciliar eras, I can say without hesitation that this book not only refutes these same extremes, but presents a doctrinal compendium that should be in the hands of every serious Catholic who professes zeal for sacred Tradition; especially clergymen, parents, educators, and all else who have the task of teaching others. The present generation of traditionalist Catholics owe an exceeding great debt to the authors, who have calmly and precisely vindicated their hallowed cause against modernists, sedevacantists and indiscreet conservatives.

Thank you very much for cooperating with holy grace and fulfilling the call vouchsafed to you by Our Lord for the instruction and defense of His faithful servants in these calamitous days.

Yours sincerely in Jesus and Mary.

From S.S.

Dear Robert,

Lepanto was right, Peter's video is a prime example of desperation.  The best part about all this is not only do you have your book which makes them look awful, but you can counter their desperate arguments against the book which makes them look even worse.  And you don't even have to go to that trouble, but, I'm glad you are precisely because it makes them look so much worse.  Peter Dimond is probably in a fury right now.  But he has no excuse, he's wrong, and tried to make you look incompetent.  I hate that.  If they weren't so arrogant, annoying, and downright provocative it wouldn't be necessary to return the favor.  They started it, you are finishing it.  In fact in my humble opinion you finished it with the first article "Sedevacantism and the Manifest Heretic."  For me that ended it right there, but they wanted to argue.  So now here we are.  It's not even March, and they are sinking.


Well, Cekada was right about one thing, 2016 is going to be an eventful year.  It's not even the end of February, and we are all witnessing the sedevacantist sect go down faster than the Turkish fleet at Lepanto.  With Peter Dimond's latest misfire, Derksen and Cekada colliding port and starboard, Sanborn throwing his own cadets overboard, and every other failed canon blast directed at your book, pretty soon there will be nothing left but a fading memory of yet another massive battle victory over a short lived heretical sect bound for failure before even beginning.  
From A.E.

Hello Mr. Salza,

So I was perusing the website "Novus Ordo Watch" to see how they're reacting to your and Mr. Siscoe's book, and on their Twitter feed they attempt to discredit your argument by claiming that in your book (on p. 365) you quote from L. Duchesne, who's book of church history was placed on the Index in 1912. However, as even a person with the most basic of English skills can tell, this was quoted by Cardinal Journet, not by you and Mr. Siscoe. Thought you might be interested to know/check out for yourself.

A. E.

"Instaurare omnia in Christo!"

Reply:  Yes, they are clearly getting desperate to find any way possible to discredit the book.  First they found a meaningless typo, which they took a picture of an posted all over the internet, and now this.  It is quite telling that this is all they can come up with in a 700 page book.  They are only discrediting themselves with such tactics.

From S.B.

Thank God for your excellent book and interesting articles.  It's interesting to note not a word has come forth from the mouth of Bishop Pivarunas and CMRI.  I spent some brief time at their seminary (if you could call it that) and was shocked at the low standards and shocking conditions.  I finally woke up and reject the sedevacantist view.  Yes, it is indeed the blind (Cekada, Sanborn, Dolan, Pivarunas, etc.) leading the blind. Keep up the fine work.

From J.A.

In case you missed it, the website Pistrina Liturgica has a great piece praising your latest articles in the debate with Cekada (see the second half, under the heading A Meditation on Error).

From: Scott S.

I just reread your reply to Derksen and it was unbelievably good.  I don't know if anyone else realizes how good it was, but I thought I should say something.  I'm really glad you are taking time to reply to their articles as a defense for the truth itself which they keep distorting, for those whom they are confusing and deceiving, and for themselves.  Though unfortunately instead of helping themselves, it is only hardening.  But like you said in your reply, it will help those of good will.  And that's all that matters.  

One of my favorite Scripture quotes is this  and I think it applies to you and John: “He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

Dear John:

Another great article. You are right - they have descended into blatant dishonesty, without question. They want nothing other than to save face and retain as many disciples as they can at any cost. As you note, only those who don't even look at the other side will stay fooled. (Just as with – say – Fatima.)

I'm deep into the book now, actually. The theological distinctions I'm learning regarding many subjects I thought I knew quite well are worth it.


From Scott S (about our recent reply to Fr. Cekada).

360 Dunk

Ouch that had to hurt!  First you displayed your offensive precision by using the double pump/reverse hang, alley-oop, and baseline slam dunks on poor Derksen with his failed defensive maneuver, and now you saved your crushing 360 slammer for Cekada to duck and dodge from, in reply to his recent article.  The question is, when are they going perceive the game is over and forfeit, and/or stop throwing air balls?  

Surely, now that you've posted a more detailed response to the question of the moment Nestorius actually lost office and how one should understand and interpret everything Cardinal Billot said properly, they will recognize and admit their errors, right?  Or is it too much to acknowledge that a supposed untrained theological "tax attorney and his sidekick" might actually be right regarding an otherwise basic historic fact? 

I look forward to seeing Cekada's next kindergarten style video rebuttal, as he tries to run circles confusing the issues defending the indefensible, while avoiding looking angry.  To his credit he is very photogenic I've noticed!


From: Scott S (concerning Fr. Cekada’s latest damage control video)

Preceding Cekada's recent video, he said, "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!"  Did he read your point by point explanation of the Nestorius situation and how to interpret the Billot quote correctly in your last article?  No.  If he did, he wouldn't have made that statement.  He completely ignored you, and in spite of that he put out this video knowing (or inexcusably not knowing) he was wrong about the Billot quote and Nestorius not automatically losing jurisdiction in 428AD when he first spoke heresy.  It appears truth doesn't matter to him, and he gladly spreads his errors in typical sedevacantist fashion.  

In his video, he calls your book an anti-sedevacantist screed (a long monotonous speech or piece of writing).  I imagine it would be monotonous to see yourself corrected for errors you've been arguing for years, having deceived yourself and others … and knowing numerous others will now be illuminated rather than further deceived (Later in the video he doesn't like that Fellay calls the book illuminating).  He then blunders by saying "Most sedevacantist believe that at least the more recent post VatII popes were public heretics before their election and hence not true popes in the first place."  He says more recent because he knows sedevacantist disagree about John XXIII for example.  So what does he tell those who disagree with him: they are wrong?  On a radio program, Cekeda told Tim Staples he believed John XXIII was a pope, yet Steve Speray emphatically said John XXIII was a heretic previous to his election.  So who decides?  What if someone decides a more recent pope is pope?  If they want to use Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio as proof one can use private judgment on the matter, which one gets to decide who it "appears" was a heretic previous to his election?  I guess Cekada can play pope here and tell Steve Speray he's wrong and vise versa.    

Cekada then said you and John resurrected an older debate regarding a pope losing office due to heresy, which is now out of date.  No.  Actually, Cekada couldn't deal with the fact that you corrected him on Bellarmine requiring warnings in order to determine manifest heresy, and since he realizes a pope doesn't ipso facto lose office without warnings or some kind of Church procedure determining obstinacy, he decided to change his argument to popes not being true popes in the first place because of public heresy before their election.  But now that he thinks he understands Billot, is he going to revert back to his argument that warnings aren't necessary to determine manifest heresy, even though he was proven wrong without a response to defend himself?  Cekada said he considers you're out of date argument moot, but now in the video he decides he wants to address it even though he never addressed Bellarmine requiring warnings.  Interesting.  He then immediately quoted Coronato and Beste who don't support his position, but yours, since they both mention either notorious or manifest heresy causing loss of jurisdiction, which is identical to what Bellarmine used, which Cekada cannot answer.  Yet in spite of that, he then shows a picture of Bellarmine and De Romano Pontifici as if they agree with him!  

He then immediately tells us the general principle of sedevacantism (according to him) and how sedevacantist use this principle to draw their conclusions about guess who?  Paul VI, and his successors.  Not John XXIII, or the Popes whom Our Lady's Resistance thinks are heretics, or his fellow sedevacantist who believes all the popes were heretics since the twelfth century.  So the "general principals" that draws Cekada and sedevacantists to the "true Church" are the general principals that make their true church so unified in belief.   Interesting

Reply:  Our response to Cekada’s latest video can be read here.


From a former Sedevacantist (two e-mails)

I finally purchased the book. Like other readers, I immediately began reading the 21st chapter [The Bitter Fruits of Sedevacantism]. It was very accurate and remarkable for its benign restraint, as it does not even touch upon the most disturbing trends concomitant with sedevacantism (such as the inter-personal disorders seen in their so-called "parishes;" it is inaccurate and misleading to name these sectarians' Mass-centers as parishes, as the Pope can establish true parishes; and the Jerry-Srpinger-like dynamics of their clerical politics). I have also read the first two chapters, and I was very delighted by the clear and precise manner in which you present such a complex subject matter. You have presented in a much better and clearer manner what I had been saying and writing regarding the Apostolicity of the Church throughout the latter years of my involvement with the sedevacantists.

One detail I forgot to mention in last email, which is a rather important one, was the last decisive factor that compelled me to renounce sedevacantism. There is a disturbing trend arising among a few sedevacantist polemicists (thanks to the heresies of A. Cekada) that has now become explicitly vocalized by such amateurs as Griff Ruby: to extol their sectarian leaders as true Catholic clergy with Canonical mission and office, together jurisdiction, which bind consciences of individual Catholics. The same polemicists also regard the warped gaggle of the sedevacantisms as the "true church" (overlooking conveniently the tribal warfare and dissent that plagues these fringe groups). This disturbed me so much that I warned the local sedevacantist Priest about it, only to find out that not only was he powerless to one such polemicist (who happened to be his friend) but also the Priest himself had erroneous notions of Canonical mission and jurisdiction. This was what was necessary for me to see that the sedevacantist sects had truly been all along a conglomerate anti-Church, usurping Canonical office, mission and jurisdiction, and contradicting the order established by Our Lord in the Gospels regarding Apostolic succession.

Either the sedevacantists are right, and Our Lord was a liar when He said that the gates of Hell would not overcome His Church; or, Our Lord was right all along, and the sedevacantists are really among the false prophets about whom Our Lord had warned us in the Gospels. It is as I had written a great while ago to some friends: "In making the acephalous and vagrant clergy the Ecclesia docens, or, worse yet, reducing the magisterium of the Church to the endeavors of numberless individuals who must necessarily have recourse to tomes (Denzinger, the Codex, &c.) or to the endeavors of others (such as untrained clerics or charlatans such as the Dimond Brothers), such theorists are devising an 'Ĺ’conomia nova' of their own, wherein this sort of 'sedevacantism' brings forth a new abominatio in desolationem (cf. Dan. cap. xi., 31, cap. xii., 11), or, rather, a new abominatio desolationis (cf. Dan. cap. ix., 27, S. Matt. cap. xxiv., 15, S. Marc. cap. xiii., 14): not only a Church without a Pope, but a Church that has no need of a Pope to have a hierarchy that can claim Apostolic succession formaliter and ordinary jurisdiction. A new and vile form of fideicide that brings about scandal and error in a manner analogous to the Hegelian historicist 'dogmatics' of the modernists who have profaned the institutional structures of the Church." ...

The work that you have undertaken is of paramount importance and of utmost utility for the faithful of these befuddling days, and constitutes one of the highest spiritual works of mercy (Pope Francis should be proud... but, then again...).

Second e-mail:

It is important for readers to understand that Chapter 21 was outstanding reserved and kind to the sedevacantists. After I read it, my first thought was, "Oh, these guys are really nice." Publications like Pristina Liturgica and its comments are way more graphic.

There is something I forgot to add to my last message: the ultimate antidote to sedevacantism is prayer. I have offered Rosaries in honor of St. Dominic Loricus for those sedevacantists who have usurped Sacred Orders and Rosaries in honor of St. Robert Bellarmine for those sedevacantists who have become public polemicists. While praying those Rosaries, I was given such peace that I was to forgive and forget all the horrible things of "sede-land." I actually had to go to therapy to overcome some of that stuff, but the Rosary was the ultimate solution as Our Lady gave me thereby access to Her Son, coelestis medicina Patris.


From P.F.

You are striking blows that may well prove to be mortal to the [Sedevacantist] movement as a whole, I would say.  "Evisceration" is the word that keeps coming to my mind....  You are circling for the kill - and all with eyes can see it.

As we know, some among them have the emotional need to strip Francis of his office, hurting as they are; they will likely never admit their errors.  But if the movement is reduced to nothing more than a ragtag band of partisans, the battle, and the war, are won.

God bless.



From Scott S.

Slam Dunk

Fr. Cekada's disciple, Mario Derksen
My goodness, I've read some good articles, and I've read some great articles, but your latest is about the best I've read in a long time and will go down as just that.  I'm on the fourth point and still reading, and it is already a slam dunk in more ways than one.  Derksen and company, if they are honest, aren't going to like this a bit are they?  I will be very interested to see if they attempt a reply. 

You and/or John took a lot of time and effort into putting this article together, and I want to say thank you.  I really hope Derksen … and the thousands who read this realize how sedevacantists operate, and start questioning the blunders involved in sedevacantist thinking.  I don't see how they can't after this article.  It was worth the effort you put into it I believe. 

Now I'm going to continue where I left off reading.   

Thanks again.  

Scott S.


From Samantha

I was recently on pilgrimage in Quito, Ecuador, visiting the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Good Success. While I was there, I met a bishop at the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is a few blocks away from the Conceptionist Convent where Our Lady of Good Success is. Upon seeing a bishop in full regalia, I mentioned how glad I was to see a bishop who was actually dressed like one. He agreed completely. He said that they wear those business suits now and said that "I wear one to breakfast so that I don't drool over myself...!" but that he doesn't wear one any other time. 

 He spoke about Our Lady of Good Success and said that he had been in Quito after his episcopal ordination in order to dedicate his episcopacy to Our Lady of Good Success (he mentioned the year...but I cannot remember if it was 2005 or 2008, I think). He also showed me a rather large medal that he had on his rosary depicting the vision that Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres had been given of Our Lady as she was crossing the sea from Spain to help found the convent in Quito.

 Not knowing his status or position in the Church, I asked for his blessing after which I asked who he was. He skirted the issue, but did say he was from Seattle, WA. I finally just came out and asked if he was in union with Rome. He said of course he was not in union with Rome. He was quite pleased with himself, too. So then I said "You're Sede Vacantist?" Yes, of course he is. 

 I was thinking, Oh no...So I said "I don't want to step on any toes, but I have to stand on my own two feet. I am a Traditional Catholic and I am in union with Rome." 

 The first thing he said, after a bit of a condescending smile was, "What is infallibility?" I was definitely nervous, but I said that infallibility is the Pope, sitting on the Chair of Peter, speaking on matters of Faith and Morals, defining something infallibly, pronouncing something to be dogma. 

 "No, it's not" he said. I was shocked. He went on to say that the pope is infallible anytime he speaks of Faith and Morals. ANYTIME. I said that wasn't right, that the Pope couldn't be sitting at the breakfast table, talking about Faith and Morals and be infallible. The 'bishop' said yes, anytime he speaks of those things, the pope is infallible. We went around in circles for a bit and at one point I said "We are speaking the same language in different languages!" He just smiled and went on. 

 He also said that Pope John XXIII wasn't the pope, because he had added St. Joseph to the Canon of the Mass and the Council of Trent had declared, I think dogmatically or something? that no pope could do that. I was way over my head with this one, but I did say that I knew that the Mass had developed over time. 

 Time and time again, he said that we didn't have a pope and hadn't had for years, because they had violated dogmatic teachings from the Council of Trent. He didn't state what those things were. In a way, I was sort of glad, as I am not very knowledgeable about that and wouldn't have known how to defend it. It is difficult though, because he was subtly sowing seeds of doubt. 

 He said that the Holy Father (he never called him pope, but simply Francis,) is a heretic and can't be the pope. Even if he or the other popes were really the pope, they had lost the papacy because of heresy and violating the dogmatic decrees of the Council of Trent. 

 He also brought up Vatican II and how it was a dogmatic council, but was completely bad and unworthy of belief etc. I think he made reference to Trent here too. I told him over and over again that Vatican II was not a dogmatic council. It was not. I said at one point, "why do you think when they started Vatican II, that they closed Vatican I? Vatican I was a dogmatic council, with anathemas. They didn't want a dogmatic council, so they closed Vatican I, so they could wreak havoc." He absolutely did not agree. We went around in circles on this one too.

 At one point, he said that the Society had trained me very well to hold and defend the positions I had. He was kind of smug in the way he said that. I said "I am not in the Society, I do not go to their Mass and I do not confess to a Society priest!" I was kind of worked up... He was extremely surprised to hear this. I could see the shock in his face. 

 A couple of times during this conversation I said "that is incorrect. With all due respect, Your Excellency."

 As a way of wrapping up the conversation, he said that I was obviously wanting to be a faithful Catholic, and that the only way to ensure that I am, is to go to Our Lady. She will guide me to the truth. He said to pray the Rosary every day. Not just pray it, but PRAY it. After he finished telling me to go to Our Lady, I said "And I could say the same to Your Excellency." I think he was a bit surprised and said that he thought we would be meeting again. He said "God bless you." "God bless you too," I said, and that was the end of the conversation. May Our Lady convert him and his followers!

 In Jesus and Mary, 



From J.M.

Hello John,

You're book is very settling in that it answers/quells many questions, doubts and uncertainties.

Ten years in the making - God bless you for undertaking this task.

It should be a must read for those who have embraced Sedevacantism and those who are struggling with it.

I aligned myself with the Traditional "movement" back in the late 1970's with a trip to Econe (and San Vittorino), met Bishop Williamson when a last year seminarian, and attended Father Kelly's Masses celebrated in the converted garage/chapel of his brother, located on Long Island NY.

Fathers Sanborn, Dolan, Cekada et al were all there up until the split.

I appreciate your chapter on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salva. When I lived in New Hampshire I'd often attend Mass at Saint Benedict's Center where Brother Francis moved after the split from the Still River group.

To say the least your book has been a trip down memory lane.

God bless.

J. M. 

From Scott S.

I've postponed my reading [another book] in order to read your book, and have skipped around certain chapters of interest dealing with subjects such as girl alter servers, the Cadaver synod, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, the confusion of Cekada and Derkson with their erroneous view of applying Divine Law to a questionable pope using private judgment apart from a due process similar to that used in Canon Law when dealing with heretical prelates, and the conflicting opinions amongst sedevacantists regarding who is and is not "in fact" a pope.  From what I've read, I'm pleased to say the book is everything I expected it to be, which is the end of sedevacantism as we know it.  There's no more excuse for ignorance on their part or remaining obstinate after such an in depth explanation on every pertinent subject corresponding to this topic.  It will be interesting to see which sedevacantists will step up and "recognize" and admit their mistakes after reading your work, as easily as they "recognize" and admit (wrongly) the recent popes are formal heretics who lost their office. 


From Fr. X

Dear Robert,

Just decided to do something stupid and look up what Novus Ordo Watch is saying about the book
Mario Derksen
. The irony is that he [Mario Derksen who runs Novus Ordo Watch] accuses you of rehashing the same old worn out arguments, when in fact that is what he is doing to hold onto his position. If anything, what has impressed me the most with your book is that there are arguments presented which I have not come across before, two of which I mentioned in my first endorsement [see e-mail below], as well as the OUM, or others that I have seen but which are fleshed out much, much better (i.e. The New Mass and Proving the Crime of Heresy). Oh, and by the way, [they say] Tim Staples endorsed the book, so it must be garbage. Just thought I would add that as this is what is being insinuated on the site. ... Bottom line...your book will greatly help those whom are either struggling with the issue, or who are new and seeking the truth. For many of those entrenched in SV, if they actually read the book, it may help on their deathbed but not much before that unfortunately.

Father X

 P.S. I really am not going to open that website ever again.


From a Traditional Catholic Seminarian:

Dear John and Robert:

I am a seminarian and reading your book True or False Pope. I must say this is a fantastic work. Chapter 3 reads like the textbook to our past few Dogma II classes. This book is sure to do some amazing work. I'm sure the sedevacantists are in panic.

Rev. Mr. X


From: Brother Alexis Bugnolo

“I am quite impressed by this book, so Catholic and scholarly, that it merits to be on the shelf of every priest and bishop! … its superb. It’s a real manual of theology, that all bishops should read. I see that it covers points of theology which have been woefully neglected and which today are crucial to the life of the Church.”

Br. Alexis Bugnolo


From Fr. X

Dear Robert,

Fr. Cekada
The book TRUE OR FALSE POPE? is great.  I just received it today.  I immediately turned to two subjects in particular that have still bothered me in the back of my mind and I am both relieved and annoyed.  The subjects are the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration and the Secondary Object of the Magisterium as it relates to Canon Law... I am relieved because the answers provided are stellar.  I am annoyed because of how damaging and dangerous Fr. Cekada's points are...he actually does what the modernists do, albeit maybe not intending it...he takes terms like "univocal" and "pertinacity" and makes them mean something that the Church "univocally" does not intend.  So, I guess I really am a priest after all (imagine that...not that I was seriously doubting anymore) (…)  So, thank you both for your tremendous efforts and I will read on when I can get back to it this weekend hopefully.  If I read nothing more, the book has already, in one hour, settled issues that have been more or less of a problem for me for close to a decade now.

God Bless you,

Fr. X


From E.M.

 Dear Sirs,

 I have yet to purchase your book, but from what I have read on the website, there is something I would like to convey to you in the most emphatic manner as human effability allows:


 I myself had been a sedevacantist since early adolescence, only to conclude some years ago that the various sedevacantisms out there (for it is a myth that there is such a thing as an unified, monolithic sedevacantism: there are as many transmogrifications of the creature as there are curators of the thing) have ultimately become sects that mirror and surpass the very novelties they purport to oppose.

 I am hesitant to bore you with details of how I came to renounce sedevacantism, but here is a brief summary: 1) I came to see the hypocrisy and aberrant ecclesiology of A. Cekada in rejecting the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII, and I had even written a paper on the matter which was
A. Cekada
published on a forum (which received an hilarious response from the man himself on his own blog); 2) there were scandals in the sedevacantist "Seminaries" that involved the politicization of the conferral of Minor and Major Orders with certain young men who were unjustly expelled and vituperated by the so-called "rectors;" 3) when a sedevacantist bishop endeavored to establish an independent house of formation for these disenfranchised young men, the other sedevacantist bishops stopped at nothing to obliterate the work, which made me question their intentions in presuming to have pastoral offices; 4) matters regarding jurisdiction and Apostolic succession had become far more pressing (they had already been haunting me, having dealt with Cekada's "Missal-sifting"), especially now that I had experienced the inherent failure of the sedevacantists' pseudo-canonical chimeras; 5) finally, I had been given a copy of Cardinal Journet's The Church of the Word Incarnate, which made me see clearly that sedevacanstism is nothing else than the passion-addled zombie of John Hus. There are other many details besides, but the foregoing are the most noteworthy data.

The whole experience of youth wasted in apotheosized opinion was interesting, from psychological and sociological points of view; but it was really a harrowing terror that taught me how infinitely to be praised is Our Lord for having established His Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and their true successors, and not upon individual opinion.

Once again, thank you so much. I look forward to purchasing the book soon.

Yours sincerely in Jesus and Mary,

E. M.


From M.S.

I just read your piece on Mario Derksen.  You nailed it on the head.  I hope plenty of people read that, including Derksen.  What annoys me most about him and those like him, is they … try to make you look stupid … when you have been right all along.  That drives me nuts.  I hope the book does what you intend it to do, which is put a serious hammer blow to all the errors they have been putting out there for so long.  


From: M.C.

An Argument Against Sedevacantism

English is not my first language, so please excuse the mistakes I might make.

I believe sedevacantism is refuted by the same document sedevacantists use to prove their absurd theory. Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio says:

“that the Roman Pontiff,who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be rebuked if he be found to have deviated from the Faith”

It actually says that a true Pope can deviate from the Faith, and should not be considered to have ceased to be Pope or to have never been Pope. On the contrary, he should be rebuked. This also proves that there is no presumption of pertinacity against him.


On January 6, 2016 at 3:13 PM fire family wrote:
Who gives a crap about Ostentiable eridition?
My local priest is a flaming faggot. I suspect the bishop is too.
Your book takes 700 pages to dispute an absurd conclusion: sedevacantism?
Chekata: work of human hands, says it all.
99% of the hierarchy are modernists. THEY are gonna declare Francis an antipope? Doubt it.
History surely will.
Sedevacantism at its worst is simply an error not a heresy.
You neo-trads are all smoke, no fire. Chekata is right. No balls - step away from the comfortable tit of the phoney vatican 2 mutual admiration society.
I'll take one SSPX Priest over a stable of opus dei prima dona priests.
The sedevacantist are smug for sure. They are still in upper room
John Salza Replies:

Perhaps you should learn how to spell "ostensible erudition" before criticizing our use of the term?

Many priests and bishops are sodomites. They are headed for the fires of hell. But, as you say, they are still priests and bishops, that is, they still hold their office until they are removed by the Church. Recognize their office, but resist their errors. It's quite simple, just as the Church's Magisterium teaches.

Our book disputes an absurd conclusion? Yes, correct. The Sedevacantist conclusion is absurd indeed, and we present the Church's theology from every angle to explain to the reader exactly why, arming them with the knowledge they need to explain this absurd conclusion to others so they can reject it.

Cekada's book Work of Human Hands is quite good; too bad Fr. Cekada doesn't practice what he preaches. He rejects the recognize and resist position, and yet he himself recognizes and resists Pope Pius XII and his liturgical legislation, as our forthcoming article will prove. His hypocrisy will soon be exposed.

Your claim that 99 percent of the hierarchy are modernist. That may be true, but you don't actually know. That is your speculation. But let's assume that is the case. So what? 99 percent of the hierarchy in the fourth century were Arian heretics too, and yet the Church did not declare that they lost their office. Almost the entire hierarchy denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. So where was the Church then? Did it defect? Nope. Offices are retained unless and until the Church declares them vacant. Read the book.

If Sedevacantism is not a heresy, it sure leads to heresy, since it denies the attributes and marks of the Church, which we explain in our book.

We are not "neo-trads," whatever that means. But where there is smoke, there is fire, and that fire is going to burn the Sedevacantist enterprise to the ground. This is not a defense of Pope Francis; rather, it is a rejection of the un-Catholic thesis that individuals, by their own private judgment, can decide who lawfully holds office in the Church and who does not, and further, against the public judgment of the Church. The thesis is as un-Catholic as you can get, as we prove in our book.

I too will take one SSPX priest over all the Opus Dei priests combined. Are you aware who is publishing our book?

The Sedevacantists are in a room alright, but I can assure you it is not a room that exists within the Church.

Pray for an open mind. God bless.

John Salza