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The following is the first part of a debate on the topic of sedevacantism that took place in October 2006. The participants in the debate were John Lane and Dr. Robert Sungenis. Lane defended the proposition that Pope Benedict XVI is not the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church having dethroned himself by participating in various heretical acts, while Dr. Sungenis opposes this claim and says that Pope Benedict XVI is indeed the Supreme Pontiff and that sedevacantism is not a tenable position.

When I began writing on this site almost a year ago, I wrote several articles about various traditionalist, sedevacantist Catholic groups including those led by Fr. Anthony Cekada, the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen as well as a profile of Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey (the man you see at the beginning and end of the debate). Each of those articles dealt with their respective subjects and their opinions on various issues including “internet theologians” and the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

The following debate centers on an issue that marks the “dividing line” between those conservative, traditional Catholics who are loyal to the Holy Father and those who are in schism (pace SSPX).

As the debate will make clear, the issue of sedevacantism is based on a hypothesis  put forward by St. Robert Bellarmine  in his book, De Romano Pontificis (On the Temporal Power of the Roman Pontiff). In his book, St. Robert Bellarmine clearly states that IF a pope were to be a manifest heretic then he should be dethroned and an interregnum would take place. According to the sedevacantists, the interregnum has continued for fifty years after the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. Are they correct or is the truth on the side of Pope Benedict XVI?

Watch the debate and find out for yourselves.

Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!

St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!