… certain conclusions are implied. First of all, no valid Pope can teach heresy, so Pope Francis would have to be an antipope. And the same is true for Ecumenical Councils. No valid Council can teach heresy. So if Vatican II taught heresy, it would not be a valid Council.
But there is more. The Bishops of Vatican II, if they taught heresy, would be automatically excommunicated. And the Popes who approved of Vatican II and who continued its teaching would also be guilty of heresy, and be automatically excommunicated.
The inexorable end result of the proposition that Pope Francis and Vatican II taught heresy is that of sedevacantism. All the Popes from John 23 to Francis would be invalid as would be the Council. And all the Bishops who accepted and taught from Vatican II would also be heretics, who were automatically excommunicated. This proposition destroys the body of Bishops. The number of Bishops remained faithful would be very small. So there would be no body of Bishops, no valid Pope since Pope Pius XII, and no continuous Apostolic succession.
See this article, Asking Sedevacantists: A Church without Popes Forever? which explains that if there have been no valid Popes since Pius XII, the Apostolic succession would have ended. “As the Church of Christ cannot cease to be apostolic, so she cannot cease to have at least some bishops who are formal and full successors of the apostles.” The article continues: “the power of orders is sometimes referred to as the ‘matter’ or material element of apostolic succession, while the power of jurisdiction is the form or formal element in a man’s succession to episcopal authority.”
So it is not enough to merely have Bishops validly ordained. Heretical and schismatic Bishops can validly ordain successors. But for valid succession, the Bishop must have valid jurisdiction, and this comes only from a valid Roman Pontiff, so that the appointments of the Pope giving Bishops ordinary jurisdiction must also continue for apostolic succession.
And that has ended. The last Bishop appointed to ordinary jurisdiction has passed away. So either the Popes after Pius XII are valid, or the Apostolic Succession of the Church has ended. Since the latter cannot be true, as the Church is forever Apostolic, the former must be true — the Popes since Pius XII cannot be invalid, otherwise the Church would not be Apostolic.
But if the Popes are valid, then Vatican II must be valid. If Vatican II taught heresy, then all the Popes since Vatican II would be invalid. So we are left with a clear decision. Either we must hold that Vatican II did not teach heresy, and that the Popes since Vatican II did not teach heresy, or we must hold that Apostolic Succession has ended and the Church is not indefectible and not Apostolic and has failed. There are no other choices. You accept Vatican II and the Popes from John 23 to Francis, or you reject the Church with Vatican II and the recent Popes. You cannot claim to be a faithful member of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, while accusing Vatican II and the Popes who taught from Vatican II of heresy.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
I suspect Sedevacantists will just ignore this argument.