“Sedemenefreghismo”: Nine Theologians Weigh-In on State of Affairs Under Francis

“Sedemenefreghismo” is an invented Italian word based on the word “sedevacantism” which means “holding that the (Holy) See (sede) is vacant” and “me ne frega,” meaning, “I don’t care” (link), so that this invented word could be translated as “I don’t care at all whether the (Holy) See (is vacant or not)”


Aware of the unparalleled crisis that has been wounding the Church for a long time now, and noting that, among the good, the quarrels, divisions and endless diatribes often have as their object the state of the Petrine See (and of the entire Ecclesiastical Hierarchy), as private persons (clergy and lay people, theologians, philosophers, canonists, jurists and historians), we have unanimously drafted the following:

  1. That there is an unparalleled crisis within the Church, that this crisis sees the genuine Catholic Tradition overwhelmed by heterodox doctrines (modernism and neo-modernism), that this crisis is a doctrinal, liturgical and moral crisis, that this crisis involves the ecclesial body (disciple and teacher) up to the Roman See — that all this is not something to be demonstrated, but only recognized;
  2. That the crisis, which really has ancient roots, had its turning point in the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) with the coming into dominance of non-Catholic thought in the Hierarchy, up to the Roman See itself, is not something to be demonstrated but only to be recognized;
  3. That the new liturgy imposed by Paul VI represents an artificial construction and an objective break with the uninterrupted Tradition of the Church and with Catholic Dogma is not something to be demonstrated but only to be recognized;
  4. It is the duty of every baptized person to persevere in the profession of their baptismal faith, that is, in the faith of all time, in the immutable Doctrine received from the Apostles. It is the duty of every baptized person to live and pray in accordance with the holy will of God manifested in Divine Revelation (Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition);
  5. It is the duty of every baptized person to avoid what could be harmful to their soul, what represents a danger to the integrity of the faith;
  6. Given the extent and gravity of the crisis, and until its resolution (condemnation and expulsion from the Church of every heterodox idea, integral return to Tradition in doctrine, liturgy and customs), it is a duty of prudence to be wary of Hierarchs dominated by non-Catholic thought, as well as ecclesiastical institutions that become instruments of non-Catholic thought;
  7. It is prudent to stick to what is certain (lex credendi, lex orandi and lex vivendi as they have always been taught) while suspending assent to everything that is doubtful;
  8. The faithful, cleric or lay person, are not called to examine every single teaching, every single liturgical text, every single statement of the Hierarchy, to verify whether or not it conforms to the Deposit of the Faith. Rather, a prudential and “prophylactic” criterion must be adopted: if a non-Catholic thought has infected the Hierarchy up to the Roman See, what was taught before the crisis must be prudently followed and assent to what was taught after must be suspended;
  9. The suspension of assent is not “free examination” but a duty of prudence for the preservation of the faith. By suspending assent, one postpones the judgment on the doctrine (of faith and/or morals) and on the lex orandi, leaving it to the Authority of the Church. When the crisis is overcome and the Hierarchy is once again certain in the orthodoxy of the faith, it will be the legitimate Authority that will judge;
  10. The crisis can be considered overcome when the Hierarchy (Pope and moral unanimity of the Bishops) teaches the same Doctrine taught by the Church continuously until the Second Vatican Council and the lex orandi of Apostolic Tradition is re-established;
  11. Due to the involvement of the Roman See itself in the crisis, it is legitimate to question the state of the Papal See. It is a legitimate opinion to believe Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a true Pope, albeit seriously heterodox. It is a legitimate opinion to consider Jorge Mario Bergoglio an illegitimate occupant of the See and/or as an Antipope. It is a legitimate opinion to consider the See vacant. It is a legitimate opinion to believe the Headquarters is only physically occupied. It is a legitimate opinion to consider the crisis of the Roman See as one of an heretical Pope. It is a legitimate opinion to consider the crisis of the Roman See as one of a schismatic Pope. It is also a legitimate opinion to believe in the co-presence of “two churches” behind the appearances of a single Church (in the post-conciliar Church there would be both the true Church of Christ, the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, and a gnostic Neo-church) with the Pope at the top of both, so that the Pope would be the Vicar of Christ but also the Head of a new faith, of a new cult, of a new Church. It is a legitimate opinion to consider the post-conciliar Popes to be true Popes even if marked by non-Catholic thought.
  12. As for point 11, these are irreconcilable opinions; therefore they cannot all be true; only one can be the true one. The judge of which one is true can only be the Supreme Authority of the Church. Until the Supreme Authority of the Church, once the crisis has been resolved, has judged, all of them remain mere opinions, legitimate and disputable;
  13. As mere opinions, none of them, although each is legitimately sustainable, may be considered a certain criterion for dealing with the crisis;
  14. Since only the Supreme Authority of the Church is entitled to judge the issue relating to the See, developing/supporting one thesis or another will be an exercise inevitably destined for non-solution. The question of the See is destined to remain open, unresolved, until the end of the crisis, until a certain judgment by the Supreme Authority;
  15. Differences of opinion regarding the See can never be a reason for division, as they are disputable opinions and not certain truths;
  16. Whatever the opinion may be about the See, given the recognized crisis (also of the Roman See and of the entire Hierarchy) the prudential attitude must in any case be that of suspending assent, awaiting the end of the crisis.
  17. Let’s also give this thesis of ours the name of “Sedemenefreghismo” in the double meaning of:
    • I don’t care” about the question of the See as it is an unsolvable question for us and therefore useless
    • “I don’t care” about what emanates from the See, in so far as who sits (legitimately or illegitimately, only materially or even formally, de facto or de iure, is a disputed question) on the See is dominated by a non-Catholic thought and therefore, prudentially, is not to be listened to.

—The Group of the Nine

Republished from Stilum Curiae