But instead of discussing such cultural things, I get to shift back to Sedevacantism--the schism of our century. It is an emotion-laden knee-jerk reaction to a corrupted Catholic Church that needs all the good people She can get to make Her right again. Without a doubt, the smoke of Satan has filled the ranks of the Catholic Church hierarchy from the bottom, all the way to the top. And yet, though style changes, the message of Christ has not.
Here are some tasty statements from St. Augustine about schisms such as sedevacantism:
No man ought to sever himself from the unity of the Church before the time of the final separation of the just and the unjust merely because of the admixture of evil men in the Church.
Another quotation from Augustine helps one grasp why the sede community is so eager to lash its critics with hateful rejection:
[N]one would create schisms, if they were not blinded by hatred of their brethren...Can it be that schism does not involve hatred of one's brethren? Who will maintain this, when both the origin of and perseverance in schism consists in nothing else save hatred of the brethren?
And here, Augustine discusses the power of the Universal Church's power of unity:
Catholic unity embraces in her motherly breast, bearing each other's burdens by turns and endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, till God should reveal to one or other of them any error in their views... If there was contamination, the Church even then ceased to exist; answer me therefore, whence came ye forth hither? But if the Church remained, the good are in no wise contaminated by the bad in such communion; answer me therefore, why did ye break the bond?Here is the analogy of the candlelight:
Would you indeed maintain that while the light of the sun or of a candle, diffused through unclean places, contracts no foulness in itself therefrom, yet the baptism of Christ can be defiled by the sins of any man, whatsoever he may be?This following quotation is from Augustine's arguments against the Donatists. While sedevacantism is not exactly Donatism, the followers of the two share the same schismatic spirit:
Since, it is very often a matter of uncertainty what kind of man the baptizer is, the hope ... of the baptized [is] of uncertain origin."
E. Michael Jones, further lays out the implications of what the Donatists were doing:
The consequence of their thinking was a clear devaluation of the sacraments. The efficacy of the sacraments, according to the Donatists, depended on the moral state of the minister and not on the merits of Jesus Christ.
Jones further explains a bit about the mindset that takes over in a schismatic sect. He states:
Separation from the unity of the Church becomes, like everything else in the topsy-turvy world of the schismatic, not a grievous sin but an act of highest virtue.
My special thanks goes out to E. Michael Jones for bringing together these quotations from St. Augustine in his article: The Kidnapping of Sister Mary Cecilia. He pointed me to this article this week in a personal correspondence, and for that I am grateful. A link to this insightful article can be found here.