Fr. David Hewko and the Admin of The Catacombs Forum Distort the Teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre on “Who Is the Pope” Question

In this sermon, Fr. David Hewko tries to make the case, using the teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre, that it is only up to the Church to decide on the matter of who is pope. The implication is that one cannot form a private judgment on the matter during a time of crisis before the Church gives a definitive judgment.  Rather, we must in the meantime accept he who the world accepts as pope.  The Administrator of The Catacombs Forum supports Fr. Hewko by making the following statement on this thread:

“This is why no ‘lay armchair theologian’ nor ‘Father X,Y, or Z’ can make declarations on who is Pope and who is not. This is one of the fundamental errors with the sedevacantist theories, including the resignationist theory.”

Where does Archbishop Lefebvre, in any of the quotes provided by Fr. Hewko in this sermon, say that as a matter of principle, one cannot make a judgment of conscience? As a matter of fact, at 10 minutes and zero seconds the Archbishop is quoted as saying, “As long as I don’t have any evidence that the pope is not the pope, then the presumption is for him.” So the Archbishop points to evidence as being the determining factor.  He did not state that a judgment of conscience can never be made. Therefore, Fr. Hewko and the Admin have distorted the teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre by making it seem that he was giving a universal principle when in fact he was only making statements about the particular cases of the conciliar popes up until Pope John Paul II.  Based on the evidence, the Archbishop could not judge they were not popes.  So, Fr. Hewko and the Admin, the Archbishop evidently does not agree with you.

In the case of Benedict XVI, it is Benedict XVI himself who decided that he remains pope by not renouncing the munus.  Hence, it is both of you and the rest of the world that are going against the definitive judgment of the Church, no less than that of the reigning pope!

4 Responses to Fr. David Hewko and the Admin of The Catacombs Forum Distort the Teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre on “Who Is the Pope” Question

  1. A formal heretic meaning someone who has undergone Matthew 18:17-18 and Titus 3:10. Francis or neither of the Conciliar Popes were judged by the Church as ‘formal’ heretics.

  2. Do you have any information regarding The Catacombs-I do not want names of anyone. I would like to know if it is run by ” lay armchair theologians” or is it run by other authoritative people. I would like to know if the name ”lay armchair theologians” could be applied to those who run The Catacombs. In one other of the videos that you shared of a sermon of Father Hewko in which the term ” armchair theologian” was used several times and in a belittling sense, I wonder if the term/insult “armchair theologian” was then morphed into “lay armchair theologian” according to the whims of whomever runs The Catacombs. Now if those who run The Catacombs are “lay armchair theologians” themselves, what might this lead us to think by logical extension.
    Thank you for helping to sort this out.

  3. “On the other hand, if it appears certain to us that the faith which was taught by the Church for twenty centuries cannot contain error, we have much less of an absolute certitude that the Pope be truly Pope. Heresy, schism, ipso facto excommunication, and invalid election are some causes which could make it happen that a Pope never was one or would cease to be one. In this obviously very exceptional case, the Church would be in a situation similar to that which occurs after the death of a sovereign pontiff.

    Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Écône, August 2, 1976.

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