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Bishop Joseph Strickland’s Letter – A statement on Sedevacantism

Articles | May 9, 2024 | by Catholics for Catholics

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Recently, as I have endeavored to faithfully defend the Catholic Church and uphold the Sacred Deposit of Faith, a small number of people have begun to falsely label me as a sedevacantist. Let me be clear that sedevacantism is a claim within the Catholic Church that there has been no valid pope since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. The term sedevacantist is derived from the Latin word sede which means “seat” or “chair,” and vacante which means “vacant” or “empty.” Sedevacantists, therefore, hold to the position that the Chair of St. Peter has been empty for over 60 years. Most sedevacantists reject the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and, therefore, they believe that following the changes implemented as a result of Vatican II, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is now no longer valid. Thus, according to this errant belief, any priest or bishop ordained using the post-Vatican II reformed rites is not a valid priest or bishop. That would include myself, as well as a vast majority of all Catholic clergy throughout the Church today. I want to make it clear that I am not and have never been a sedevacantist, as most people who have read my pastoral letters should know. I love the Church and I have the utmost respect for the office of the Papacy—the Vicar of Christ—and I regularly quote the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as other popes who have occupied the Chair of St. Peter since Vatican II.
Our Lord established the Catholic Church and chose St Peter as the rock upon which the Church would be built. Let us pray therefore that this enduring office will stand always as a visible sign of truth, clarity, and unity to Christ and to the faithful.

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland

Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Tyler

You can read the original version of the letter on BishopStrickland.com.



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