The Vacancy, Queen of Angels Catholic Church,
It helps to know in advance that The Vacancy was produced by a group of traditional Catholics who believe that the current state of heresy in the conciliar church implies that John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II are not legitimate popes. The theology of how an heretical pope is removed or removes himself is a complex and quite debatable subject. Various positions have been held over the centuries by popes, councils, cardinals, and theologians. The fact that a pope may be an heretic does not clearly and certainly demonstrate that he is no longer or never was pope. Unfortunately, The Vacancy presumes that it does and presents this presumption as fact.
While it also overstates a few other claims (e.g. about the exact words of our Lord at the Consecration, the infallibility of Quo Primum, the invalidity of the Novus Ordo and the new sacramental rites, etc.), the overstatement about the papacy is particularly unfortunate because The Vacancy is otherwise excellent. In a simple and straightforward manner, it presents the catastrophic changes orchestrated by the conciliar popes and contrasts them with the authentic Catholic Faith. It does a good job of making people think about the significance of the changes and admit to themselves that they are no longer Catholics if they practice the new religion. Had The Vacancy been more careful in treating the problem of an heretical pope, it would necessarily have had to explain the limitations of papal authority and the possibility of a pope being bad or wrong in the exercise of his ordinary authority, and the obligation of disobeying the bad pope in order to keep God's laws. Oddly, the narrator quotes the passage we have cited in the column below (Apropos), which clearly demonstrates that a pope can be infallible, make an heretical proposition, be corrected, and then go on being pope (c.f. Matthew xvi).
The video concludes with some encouraging footage of Bishop Mark Pivarunas dedicating a traditional church in Los Angeles. These are real people, just like you and me, and it is easy to share their joy.
The Vacancy takes the form of a personal chat between the narrator (who gives his name and telephone number for those with comments or questions!), and doesn't claim to be a sophisticated work of theology. To some degree, this excuses its sedevacantist bias and other overstatements. Yet, these limitations do suggest that it would be unwise to pass this video around indiscriminately -- especially to those for whom it would otherwise be so useful, those Catholics who have finally figured out that something is wrong and now want to know where to turn.
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The newly infallible Peter, a verse or two later, learns that infallibility does not apply to his prudential judgments. He is Peter when he minds the things of God, but Satan when he minds the things of men:
Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Then Jesus answered and said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but My Father in heaven. But I say to thee, thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Then He strictly charged his disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and on the third day rise again.
And Peter taking Him aside, began to chide Him, saying, "Far be it from Thee, O Lord; this will never happen to Thee." And He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan, thou art a scandal to me; for thou dost not mind the things of God, but those of men."
--- Matthew xvi: 16-23