Sedevacantism and the Most Holy Family Monastery

Another immediate reason for putting up this blog was the need to address some of the many issues raised by Sedevacantist apologists such as the Dimond brothers of the Most Holy Family Monastery. They too have an active YouTube channel, not to mention their website www.vaticancatholic.com with many articles attacking the post-Vatican II Church.

So far I am less acquainted with Sedevacantist arguments than Protestant arguments, but since there seems to be much less material out there dealing with Sedevacantists than with Protestants, I feel the need to point out some of the major problems I see with this movement. I hope to study the issues more profoundly as time permits, but for now I’d like to share some insights that will hopefully help readers to think critically with regard to the claims made by the Sedevacantists.

First and foremost, the biggest problem with Sedevacantism seems to me to be the same as the biggest problem with Protestantism, that is, its utter subjectivity and inner divisions due to the lack of a universal authority such as the communion of Bishops headed by the Bishop of Rome. Sedevacantists raise themselves above the Magisterium in judging the Pope or the Church to be in error. They declare their articles and videos to be irrefutable, yet many disagree. It’s one man’s word against another’s.

Yes, they have some good arguments, and so do the Protestants. But the problem is they can’t provide a unified alternative, either. When you look at Sedevacantist websites, you soon get a grasp of the desperate situation the position leads you to. You have no living Magisterium to guide you – you only have your own intellect and the conflicting opinions of others. Each Sedevacantist group or individual is trying to interpret Church documents as coherently as they can, but without an authoritative guide they end up differing from one another and condemning each other as heretics.

Take Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM), for example. They hold to the strictest possible view of extra ecclesiam, even denying baptism of desire. Gerry Matatics, another Sedevacantist apologist, allows for a certain understanding of baptism of desire. Once friends, the Dimond brothers and Matatics now condemn each other on their websites. MHFM has a whole list of heretics to avoid, most of whom are traditionalist Catholics critical of the post-conciliar Church. Prominent Sedevacantist voices are condemned for supporting Catholics that aren’t traditional enough.

The number of questions dividing the Traditionalists is overwhelming. Is one a heretic if one believes that martyred catechumens can be saved? Is one in mortal sin if one financially supports a validly ordained Novus Ordo priest? What about attending a Traditional Mass where Pope Benedict XVI is prayed for? Was John XXIII a valid Pope, and is one a heretic if one believes the opposite? What about attending a Mass offered by a group that preaches a different understanding of extra ecclesiam? Is one a heretic if one doesn’t absolutely reject the possibility of the current Pope being the true Pope?

Once you start going down this road (whoever doesn’t agree with my interpretation of Tradition is a heretic), you’ll end up believing in extra me nulla salus instead of extra ecclesiam nulla salus. How does one know God’s truth is found in one’s personal interpretations of religious documents, when one is almost alone in the world? Of course it’d be flattering to imagine oneself an end-time prophet.

But God never promised that during the Great Apostasy he would make sure the remnant is sustained through an American YouTube channel, he never indicated that in the Great Tribulation his Truth would survive through the clever articles of an isolated monastery. Rather, it was Peter and the apostolic college that received the promises.

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15 Comments on “Sedevacantism and the Most Holy Family Monastery”

  1. Nick Says:

    Not only is there a purely subjective problem with each man being their own magisterial court, but their ‘evidence’ isn’t even valid. Their main ‘evidence’ consists of PRIVATE revelations of Saints, which they latch onto and read their own apocalyptic meanings into – it’s no different than Protestants abusing Revelation.

    Private revelation can be true, but it has to be rigorously examined and Church approved, and never can it be used for establishing major changes in Church doctrine or structure. The Sedes don’t realize this, and use it as ‘primary’ evidence. What is even worse is that they get their information second and third hand, from obscure sources, and not the original Saint’s writings.

    Sedevacantism is a mental-disorder, and it’s caused by scandal, not logic. Often it’s good intentioned Catholics who have been scandalized by gross abuses in the Church that they essentially apostatize.

    • Emil Anton Says:

      I haven’t studied enough to make a reliable estimation, but it would seem to me based on what I’ve read that their primary evidence consists of old magisterial documents which they then interprete in a way that conflicts with the Church’s modern interpretations.

  2. Rasha Lampa Says:

    By the way you are invited to Pascendi’s forum. I think you would like it and would fit in quite well.

    http://pascendi2.websitetoolbox.com/

    Most of us would be clasified as Traditionalists that go to the Novus Ordo Mass.

  3. Emil Anton Says:

    Thanks for the correction!

  4. duckbill Says:

    Hooray!!!Hooray!!!
    Finally a Catholic apologist willing to attack Sedevicantism!
    I enjoyed your posts. I am on the forum Rasha Lampa linked you to above. He posted a thread about your blog.

    I have 2 suggestions to help in your critique of Sedevicantism.
    1. I think when they are using a Papal document and saints to say a Pope can’t be a heretic (which I think is true) but I think these documents and saints were trying to explain infallibility more than point to the impeccable character of the Pope. Everyone knew the Pope had the power to correct errors but the question was how. In history there was evidence of Popes teaching errors but not ex cathedra. Plus most sedis seem to think everything is infallible put out by a pope.( although not the Dimonds)

    2.I think this quote should help to quell the sensitive conscience of those who fall in to Sedevicantism:
    COUNCIL OF FLORENCE

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/Florence.htm#14

    [Excommunicates are not to be shunned unless specifically named]

    “To avoid scandals and many dangers and to relieve timorous consciences, this holy synod decrees that henceforth nobody shall be obliged to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration and reception of sacraments or in any other sacred or profane matters, or to shun someone or to observe an ecclesiastical interdict, on the ground of any ecclesiastical sentence, censure, suspension or prohibition that has been promulgated in general by a person or by the law, unless the sentence, prohibition, suspension or censure was specifically or expressly promulgated or pronounced by a judge against a specified person, college, university, church or place, or if it is clear that someone has incurred a sentence of excommunication with such notoriety that it cannot be concealed or in any way excused in law. For the synod wishes such persons to be avoided in accordance with canonical sanctions. By this, however, it does not intend any relief or favour to those so excommunicated, suspended, interdicted or prohibited.”

    • Emil Anton Says:

      Thanks for the encouraging comment! I enjoyed that Florence quote a lot, it helped a great deal in understanding why the Church seems to be too “loose” on its dissenting members…

      • duckbill Says:

        You’re welcome for the quote. I think the Sedes don’t understand that the Popes they do not recognize are not heretics because to be a heretic one would have to be obstinate and also to be clearly relived of their office. If it was as clear as they imply then their movement wouldn’t be so small.

        Plus I think you hit upon a point that also can be explored, being One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. This has been the traditional way to know the True Church but the Sedes are far from one in their teaching. If only one point is missing from the above formula then it can not be the True Church.


  5. I have just come off The Holy Family Monastery Website,just to listen what they said from a link i was reading from Padre Pio about committing sins while asleep,and what`s more surprising St Thomas Aquinas mention`s this as well. I have been duped by these people in the past,and they sent me nasty email`s when i started to question them. I must stress i did not call them. This to me is where they fell down. I used simple quotes from Jesus,and my catechism which were facts.They changed the topic in the next email,and eventually they called me a heretic,and other names. I am a simple man,and these people are highly educated. It all began when they said the pope is an anti-pope,and that all priests are heretics too.If i was to go to mass i would be committing a sin. They speak like lawyer`s,and saw and heard them catch a priest off guard.when they have all the information in front of them,this to me is being sly and deceitful. Jesus spoke in simple terms that the people could understand,because they were farmer`s,fishermen,and thats why the people could not understand the scribes and pharisee`s. These guys do the same.

  6. Rita Johnson Says:

    I am confused, what on earth happened to the beautiful Catholic faith that I grew in?, I am 76 yrs. old and when I came across the MHFM site, I was shocked. Where do we draw the line. I was taught that the Pope is infallible in matters of the church. Help, do I go to church or not? I don’t want to burn in hell for eternity….Rita J.

    • Emil Anton Says:

      It’s hard not to be confused, I admit. What happened was Vatican II, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it rediscovered the beauty of the Catholic faith instead of throwing it away. The fact that you were taught the Pope is infallible is because you were born at a time when it had been recently defined – a couple of centuries earlier papal infallibility didn’t belong to the Catholic faith. This is something the sedevacantists don’t realize – they talk about changes in Vatican II but fail to recognize that all earlier councils made all kinds of changes in dogma as well. It is not some timeless dogma that is the Catholic faith but the Risen and Living Lord who gathers his people around him in the Eucharist.

    • Rose Doran Says:

      If you follow Jesus’s teaching of a loving father God, then you will not burn in hell for all eternity. The true heresy is teaching that God is full of hate and waiting to catch us out in order to punish us dreadfully. That way of thinking is apostasy and heretical. Jesus had a lot to say about the Pharisees who put heavy burdens on people. It seems to me that sedavacantism is just like the Pharisees, more concerned with laws and regulations than truly following our loving God.

      • passerbuy4 Says:

        You are quite Rose. I am a born again Christian now,because i do not believe a lot of what the catholic church teaches or does.
        There is only one head of the church and that is Jesus Christ,and there is one big document they can`t change,and that is the bible.
        Example- When the pope is in public i have noticed people reaching out to touch him,and making the sign of the cross,and bowing.
        To me this is not what the bible teaches they are worshiping a man? I have every respect for people on this site.
        I have been banned by the Diomond Bros off there YouTube account. I have wrote down what they are Con Men,and upsetting a lot of people including me saying that i was a heretic,and that i was going to hell. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes just a couple of years ago,and i could see everything like the blind man in the temple when Jesus healed him,and he believed.
        I am also not on this site to cause arguments.

  7. passerbuy4 Says:

    This is the truth about the Dimond Bros.For a start they have not been ordained has Benedictine Monks.They have never been members of that order.They have a criminal record,Eric Hoyle Plaintiff wanted to be a Benedictine Monk. The Dimonds said that he would have to give all his worldly wealth to MHFM website amounting to $1.6 million,until later he found out that they were not Benedictine Monks. They hid behind the First Amendment. I have read the case transcripts free online has a PDF. Further more they receive sacraments from a Byzantine rite that is in communion with Pope Benedict XVI, in Rochester, New York. In laymans clothes in Lieu of their Habits for this occasion. This makes them Hypocrites! On YouTube people comment that the Dimond Bros. know their stuff,but a Jehovah`s Witness can more or less do the same,and so can a lot of other people. They personally sent me an email and said I was an heretic,and that I was going to hell. They obviously did not listen to what Jesus said, Judge ye not. I never called them back any names,because of what Jesus said. I am not calling them on this comment. Thats not up to me. It`s very easy to fall into the trap by calling them. I have just wrote down the truth.

    • Emil Anton Says:

      Thank you for this comment. Going to communion in a church with which they are not in communion tells quite a lot about their eucharistic theology and ecclesiology (or lack of it).


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