I am astounded by this article Still Lost in Blunderland (PART ONE): Refuting Peter Kwasniewski’s Latest Attack on Ultramontanism and Still Lost in Blunderland (PART TWO): Refuting Peter Kwasniewski’s Latest Attack on Ultramontanism from the sedevacantist site Novus Ordo Watch. They have castigated an author who participates in the New Liturgical Movement and Rorate Coeli by the name of Dr. Peter Kwasniewski. I have read a number of his articles and I find them impressive by their critical and “out of the box” thinking.
I advise readers to go straight to these two parts of the article and then come back to my terse reflections. (…) That was quite a dense reading and an eye-opener into the drama of sedevacantism, essentially that a Pope is not Pope when he is not infallible. Otherwise said, how do we maintain the infallibilist notion of the Papacy when it is evident that it has made Catholicism complete nonsense? Sedevacantism “saves” infallibility by demonstrating that the fallible Pope is in fact a false pope. Of course, there is a notion, largely thanks to Cardinal Newman who was an “inopportunist” at Vatican I, according to which the Pope is only infallible when he “engages” his infallibility by solemnly defining a dogma of faith or moral teaching. However, the implication is to present the precedent of the notorious ideological slogans of the twentieth century – Der Führer hat immer Recht and Il Duce ha sempre raggione. Likewise, the main characteristic of Big Brother in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is always right and it is a thought crime to deny it. The anachronistic extension of the idea is to postulate an Orwellian Church, a hypocritical dystopia.
Dr Kwasniewski needs to be read attentively, and I haven’t yet had the time to go through all his work on this subject. I am likely to find his ideas more credible than those of the sedevacantists.
As far as I see it, with my own experience of right-wing conservatives and sedevacantist totalitarians, taking a retroactive position with the Old Catholics and Bishop Strossmayer of 1870 is an attempt to “save” the Church against the papalist ideology. Strossmayer was alleged to have made a highly polemical speech to the first Vatican Council, but one that is considered by serious historians to be spurious. It was promoted for a long time by anti-Catholic Protestant polemicists. Hans August Hasler wrote How the pope became infallible in 1981 and mentions this text. It is a text of which we must be wary. Who really did write it? Ian Paisley’s grandfather? The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions the speech, said to have been forged by a former Augustinian Mexican, Dr José Agustin Escudero. At the same time, some had highly cogent reasons for such nonsense to be defined as Church dogma. Strossmeyer was indeed an opponent of Papal infallibility and did make a speech to that effect at the Vatican Council. The text should be available in the Acta of the Council should someone have the heart to find it in a library. Strossmayer and Newman played the card of diplomacy whilst the German opponent of infallibility Ignaz Döllinger got himself excommunicated bell, book and candle.