Imprisonment for Sedevacantism

- Press release: At least two years in jail -
(Kirche zum Mitreden, 21.05.2011)

The following press release can be spread by anyone anywhere.

Imprisonment for Sedevacantism
On May 26th, 2011, the Roman-Catholic priest Father Rolf Hermann Lingen, Germany, shall be sentenced to jail for at least two years, maybe up to four years. His crime: He is sedevacantist. First some background information. "Sedevacantism" simply describes the strong conviction that the Papal See is vacant; it is, however, not necessarily combined with the Catholic belief. Thus, if there is no legitimate pope now, than every Catholic is necessarily sedevacantist, but sedevacantists are not necessarily Catholics.
The arguments for and against sedevacantism can be studied in the internet. The topic of this press release is the persecution of sedevacantists in Germany.
As mentioned, Father Lingen shall be imprisoned for at least two years. According to German justice, he is not allowed to call himself a "Roman-Catholic priest". Germany claims that only the white-clothed man in the Vatican is the pope and that only his followers are Catholics. Therefore, sedevacantists are not allowed to call themselves Catholics.
There is, however, no such anti-sedevacantist law. In fact: Even if such a law existed, it would be illegal, e.g. because of the fact that white clothes alone do not make someone pope, not even in the Vatican, and because of the fact that there have been several false popes, even in the Vatican.
As an occupied country, Germany has no constitution. But at least Germany's basic law includes the principle "no penalty without a law": No one may be punished for an act unless it has been expressly declared illegal. According to this legal principle, the persecution of sedevacantists is absolutely impossible.
But is it not obvious that sedevacantism is wrong? Well, obviously there are sedevacantists. Obviously there are many people who do not know the Catholic faith and therefore do not care about sedevacantism. Obviously even the indictment against Father Lingen already begins with the absurdly false claim that sedevacantists are a group within the Church, so it is based on false premises. And in the whole long indictment, not a single word explains why sedevacantism should be false, by what law sedevacantism is prohibited or anything. And if sedevacantism is an error? Obviously, Father Lingen is convinced of sedevacantism, as he calls this position absolutely unavoidable. Therefore he is persecuted by the German justice for nearly all of his fifteen years as a priest now. Obviously, according to the law, unavoidable error cannot be punished.
In essence: Germany simply punishes sedevacantists for being sedevacantists.
Furthermore: In 1948, the United Nations defined Genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
Obviously, Germany has the intent to destroy sedevacantism. Obviously, Catholic sedevacantists are a religious group. Obviously, persecuting and even arresting Catholic sedevacantists causes serious bodily or mental harm. Obviously, hindering sedevacantist priests from serving sacraments and hindering sedevacantists from receiving sacraments inflicts on the group conditions of life.
So regardless of one's personal view on sedevacantism: Obviously, Germany itself heavily violates even the most elementary principles of law.

Father Rolf Hermann Lingen, Goldbrink 2a, 46282 Dorsten

See also: Genocide in Germany

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