By Joseph Peter Calleja
A Philippine bishop has warned the faithful in his diocese against joining a Catholic splinter group that he says rejects Vatican II and has branded the pope as “anti-Christ.”
In a Dec. 3 letter sent to churchgoers, Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio warned Catholics against being seduced by the group called Rosary Confraternity Benguet, which he said was active and recruiting members in his diocese.
Rosary Confraternity Benguet is a sedevacantist group and not a Catholic one, the bishop said in the letter.
Sedevacantism refers to people who see themselves as Catholic traditionalists but who reject the pope because he embraces the mainstream church’s teachings formulated during the Second Vatican Council.
These people see such modernism espoused by the church as heretical.
“I admonish all the faithful to be guided accordingly and strongly discouraged from joining any activities of such a group,” Bendico said in the letter.
He said the group was “not related” to any parish or recognized church organization in his diocese.
He said the group currently existing in his diocese were recruiting members to attack the pope and the Catholic Church.
It accuses the pope of being “anti-Christ” and does not adhere to Vatican II, he said.
“They deny the validity of the sacraments administered by the Catholic Church. This group, therefore, brings confusion and propagates erroneous, false, and distorted teachings to our Catholic faithful” Bishop Bendico added.
The bishop also called for vigilance against such groups whose teachings and activities “bring confusion and propagate erroneous, false and distorted teachings to our Catholic faithful.”