“And Elias coming to all the people, said: How long do you halt between two sides? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.” (III Kings 18:21) If Benedict XVI is Pope, then follow him, if Michael is Pope, then follow him. It is time to stop sitting on the fence and make a decision.
Before they were all martyred, the missionaries to Japan gave the Catholics there three marks by which to know the true missionaries that would some day come to replace them. One of these was the doctrine of the Papacy. The Vatican Council in 1870 infallibly declared: “If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.” In the Oath Against the Errors of Modernism we state: “Thirdly, likewise, with a firm faith I believe that the Church, guardian and mistress of the revealed word, was instituted proximately and directly by the true and historical Jesus Himself, while He sojourned among us, and that the same was built upon Peter, the chief of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors until the end of time.” The Roman Catechism, also known as The Catechism of the Council of Trent, commenting on the ninth article of the Apostle’s Creed, states: “That this visible head is necessary to establish and preserve unity in the Church is the unanimous accord of the Fathers of the Church;”
Pope Leo XIII states in Satis Cognitum: “But the Episcopal order is rightly judged to be in communion with Peter, as Christ commanded, if it be subject to and obeys Peter; otherwise it necessarily becomes a lawless and disorderly crowd.” Now this disorder can easily be seen amongst the Traditionalist Bishops, who are not united with each other, but each pursuing their own agenda.
Much more can be said about the necessity of a living and breathing Pope, but a simple look at the chaos over the past half a century should be sufficient to show what happens, when there is an extended vacancy in the Papacy.

If Joseph Ratzinger Is Truly Pope Benedict XVI

When one accepts a man as Pope, they also accept his public teachings on behalf of the Church as well as his regulations. Pope Bonface the VIII infallibly declared in Unam Sanctam: “Indeed we declare, say, pronounce, and define that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” It is not enough to say Benedict XVI is Pope, one must also be in visible union with him and in full obedience. Let us consider then what it means to be in full communion with Benedict XVI:

  • John Paul II is a saint. Since Benedict XVI has beatified John Paul II, it is only a matter of time that he or his successor will canonize him, which canonizes his actions during his papacy and even before.

  • Vatican II is a Catholic Council and teaches pure Catholic doctrine.

  • Lumen Gentium #8. Here it is: “The one Church of Christ…constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by Peter and the bishops in communion with him.” What this implies is that the Church of Christ includes more than just the Catholic Church. Unitatis Redintegratio #3: “Very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. … The churches and communities separated (from the Catholic Church) have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation…”

  • What Pope Pius IX condemned as erroneous in the nineteenth century becomes the truth in the twentieth century. “If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabus… As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution, was, to a large extent, corrected…” (Principles of Catholic Theology, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1982, p. 381) Pope Gelasius I taught that once the Church condemns an error, it can never be taught.

  • The Novus Ordo Missae is certainly valid and pleasing to Almighty God, since Benedict XVI celebrates it in many languages, including German, Italian and English. The form for all in the Consecration of the wine is also valid and pleasing to God, since Benedict XVI has used it in all three of the languages named. Therefore we must be ready to assist at the Novus Ordo celebrated in union with Benedict XVI.

  • The New Rite of Episcopal Consecration is valid and pleasing to Almighty God. Since Joseph Ratzinger was consecrated in 1977 with the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration, if it is doubtful, then he is not a true Bishop. According to the law under which he was elected, a man does not become Pope until he is validly consecrated a Bishop.  Universi Dominici Gregis is the law he was elected under, which requires a man to be a valid Bishop to become Pope.

  • Indeed all of the New Rites of the Sacraments must be valid, for a Pope cannot give an invalid Rite of the Sacraments, and if Benedict XVI is Pope, then Paul VI was Pope, when he instituted New Rites of the Sacraments.

  • If one looks at all of this logically, there is no way that Paul VI and his successors could be truly Popes. Therefore there was a vacancy. We have seen that it is a matter of Catholic Faith that vacancies in the Papacy end.

But David Bawden Is Not Pope Michael

Let us now consider the objections to the election of David Bawden as Pope Michael on July 16, 1990.

  • Cardinal Siri was actually Pope Gregory XVII in exile. This proposition rests on dubious information, but even if it is true, as Pope, Siri never publicly appointed Cardinals to preserve the succession. Since secret Cardinals lose all right to elect a Pope when the Pope that appointed them dies, their rights if they existed died with Siri, who died on May 2, 1989.

  • Such a small number of electors cannot bind the Universal Church. Several Papal Elections consisted of six Cardinals and five consisted of a single elector in the person of an Emperor or Empress, who appointed the Pope. Jesus Christ was a single person, who appointed Simon Peter as the first Pope. With the law of conclave, the electors usually numbered less than fifty. The law of compromise allows the conclave to select a small group from their number and turn the election over to them.

  • Bawden was not a Bishop at the time of his election. The tradition of the Church is that any Catholic man can be elected Pope. Pope Pius XII in a speech on the Lay Apostolate stated: “Even if a layman were elected pope, he could accept the election only if he were ready for ordination and willing to be ordained But the power to teach and govern, as well as the divine gift of infallibility, would be granted to him from the very moment of his acceptance, even before his ordination.” It was 800 years before the man elected Pope was already a Bishop. All were priests, deacons and sometimes even laymen.

  • No one is following Pope Michael. If we use this reasoning, then in the contest between Elias and the priests of Baal, we must side with the priests of Baal, who were 450 in number. (III Kings 18:19) However in that contest, God blessed Elias, who was alone, against the priests of Baal and the people who were following them. 4 Saint Augustine states that several times in history, the Church was reduced to a single person. 5 And Isaias (10:19) prophesied: “And they that remain of the trees of his forest shall be so few, that they shall easily be numbered, and a child shall write them down.”

  • There are a number of claimants to the Papacy, how can we sort them all out? Actually it is easy to sort. First of all, we can discount all of those who claim mystical appointment as Pope. This includes two Gregory XVII and a host of others claiming visions. Also these visionaries have had visions to change the constitution of the Church. For instance, one has women priests and bishops. This leaves us with four elections between 1990 and the present. According to the principle of first in time, first in right, Bawden is Pope, because his election was first. The second was in 1994, the third in 1998 and the last was in 2006. The 1994 and 1998 elections worked from the same basis as the 1990 Papal Election and the participants in both elections were well aware of the 1990 election, yet took no account of it. Victor Von Pentz was elected as Linus II in 1994. He has virtually resigned his papacy and no longer puts his claim forward. Fr. Earl Lucian Pulvermacher was elected in 1998 and died recently and no one has been elected to succeed him, so his claim has ended. Finally the South American group, which elected a series of men from 2006 to 2008 is now without a Pope, for the last in the line has resigned and no effort was made to elect a successor.

  • Prophecy provides that Almighty God will intervene to appoint a successor. Several prophecies indicate some form of divine intervention. One states that Saint Peter and Paul will appoint a Pope. However, Almighty God has bound Himself to have the Church herself elect a Pope in some manner.

  • No Cardinals participated in Pope Michael’s election. By this reasoning, a Papal Election has now become impossible, because there are no Cardinals left to elect a Pope. However, such a claim is a heretical denial of the doctrine that there will be Popes until the end of time. It is merely ecclesiastical law that Cardinals must elect a Pope. Many Papal Elections throughout history have been irregular in that the ordinary electors did not actually elect the Pope. The Catholic Church as a perfect society always has the ability to supply herself with a Pope here and now, when the Papacy is vacant.

  • The group that elected Pope Michael did not wait until the Traditionalist Bishops joined. The matter of electing a Pope was discussed from the early 1970’s until now. Bishop Ngo-Dihn Thuc consecrated bishops for the specific purpose of preserving the Apostolic Succession of Holy Orders until a Pope could be elected. These bishops consecrated others for this same purpose. In January of 1983 Bishop Ngo-Dihn Thuc held a meeting in Louisiana with these Bishops and some priests to discuss the election of a Pope and at the end of the 1983 Bishop George Musey published an article on the same subject. Then dissension entered the ranks of these bishops and no election was ever held. The group that organized the 1990 Papal election contacted every bishop descending from Bishop Ngo-Dihn Thuc as well as many sedevacantist priests and lay people throughout the world to ask them to participate. By not participating they gave up any right they had to participate or to object to the election.

How long shall you remain between two sides. Either Joseph Ratzinger is Pope, and we are obliged to follow him COMPLETELY, or David Bawden is Pope, and we are obliged to follow him. It is time to make the decision! As Jesus said: “You are either for Me or against Me, you either gather with Me or you scatter.”

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