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 Siri's "election"/acceptance of popes/Paul VI 
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Domini Canis wrote:
As it has been pointed on another thread, the infallibility of OUM is independent of time. To quote your own words John from the other thread: "The mark of the universal ordinary magisterium is merely that the episcopate agree in binding the faithful on a point. That is all."

This is true, but some duration of time is required to ensure that you have the unanimity that you require. Time is the measure of change. Some time must elapse before you can know that there is no change in the element of interest.


Domini Canis wrote:
2) We need to re-examine our pristine idea of how the Universal Ordinary Magisterium acts in teaching the faithful infallibly.

There is no problem here, unless for example one does not distinguish between decades and months (or, say, between decades and two years).

But what this does highlight, it seems to me, is that all of these things reduce to questions of judgement. Those without judgement have no idea how to proceed; those with judgement are divided. If this is not both a proof of the necessity of the papacy, and a reminder to be diffident, then nothing would be.

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:45 pm
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Pax Christi !

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This is true, but some duration of time is required to ensure that you have the unanimity that you require. Time is the measure of change. Some time must elapse before you can know that there is no change in the element of interest.


One wonders, if in our life time ,or in the future, the See of Rome is once again occupied will we ever have unanimity among the traditional clergy and faithful? For example, if all agree we have a pope, then this pope starts to make rulings which many individual cleric's and layman have already formed a view of which is opposite. What then?


For example; the Pope Pius XIIth Holy Week Rite. What if this valid pontiff upholds this rite? Me thinks this is indeed what will occur.

Will the small number ( but loud) clergy who currently reject the 1956 Rite then claim he is indeed a false pope? Will this decision then plunge the Church into this " non peaceful" rule principle for rejection of a claiment?

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:23 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Some time must elapse before you can know that there is no change in the element of interest.


True. On the other thread titled "SSPX position on the ordinary magisterium", you provided this helpful explanation in response to "StJustin":

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Yes, some period of time is necessary, if only that the bishops won't launch a new catechism each on the same day of the same month of the same year by coincidence. But the point is that time is not, per se, at issue. Continuity over time is not essential to the question. Agreement is. Moral unanimity. So that if the bishops did happen all to teach something on the same day by coincidence, that unanimity would suffice to guarantee its truth.


This is why I think infallibility can apply in the case of Montini. Consider that single day when the bishops of the entire world presented Montini to the faithful as a true Pope (that is, they included his name in the canon, they certainly would have mentioned the event of his election in their homilies, and most important of all, in the eyes of the entire Catholic world they acted as if the See of Peter had been occupied during that day). All in all, it seems to satisfy the conditions for infallibility via the ordinary universal magisterium.

Oh, and another thing, after some thought let me add a third possible solution that I see: Solution number three: could it be possible that our own private assessments as to what constitutes a man ceasing to be a Catholic be in reality a serious error? Take for instance Cardinal Reconcali. Just examine the haphazard comments some of our fellow traditionlists make towards him: "he is a modernist", "he is a manifest heretic", "he is an apostate" and so on. Even the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office didn't go that far.

Let's just look at the first accusation: "Modernist"? If we read Pius X's encyclical on Modernism, one of the keynote doctrines of an avowed Modernist is their denial of being able to know objective truth. All things according to the Modernist are subject to change and evolution -- even dogmas. However, if you were to read Reconcali's writings, it shows very much how cognizant he was about objectively truth.

Just take a look at the following...

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Some men, indeed do not attack the truth willfully, but work in heedless disregard of it. They act as though God had given us intellects for some purpose other than the pursuit and attainment of truth. This mistaken sort of action leads directly to that absurd proposition: one religion is just as good as another, for there is no distinction here between truth and falsehood. "This attitude," to quote Pope Leo again, "is directed to the destruction of all religions, but particularly the Catholic faith, which cannot be placed on a level with other religions without serious injustice, since it alone is true." Moreover, to contend that there is nothing to choose between contradictories and among contraries can lead only to this fatal conclusion: a reluctance to accept any religion either in theory or practice.


Those are the words of John XXIII in Ad Petri Cathedram.

Based on the above, I don't see how anyone could maintain that Reconcali was a Modernist in the truest sense of the word. Rather, IMHO, he was very much affected by the "spirit" of the modernists. Cardinal Merry del Val at one time exclaimed how he feared this spirit more than modernism itself, because it's this spirit that allows a person not so much to cease to be Catholic, but to be weakened in one's faith as to sympathize with various erroneous principles to the point of greatly harming the Church from within. Now this, coupled with a weak character and a false sense of charity, could somehow shed some light as to the perplexity of John XXIII's pontificate. He was, in my own personal opinion, a Catholic, but one akin to those unfortunate Catholics John Daly listed in his article "Heresy in History".

If you don't agree, the only other logical conclusion to all this is that the Magisterium has failed us. And for a Catholic, that possibility shouldn't even come close to being in the realm of possibility.


Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:54 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
This is why I think infallibility can apply in the case of Montini. Consider that single day when the bishops of the entire world presented Montini to the faithful as a true Pope (that is, they included his name in the canon, they certainly would have mentioned the event of his election in their homilies, and most important of all, in the eyes of the entire Catholic world they acted as if the See of Peter had been occupied during that day). All in all, it seems to satisfy the conditions for infallibility via the ordinary universal magisterium.


I think you are assuming some individual infallibility attributed to each Bishop. In other words, each Bishop can infallibily determine the status of a claimant immediately upon the announcement. This is a moral judgment and as such it simply cannot be immediate...unless these bishops are protected from error in their initial judgment. Yes, he appears to be a true pope...and over some time that will be cemented by a peaceful adherence to the claimant. This does not mean that the claim is in doubt until this period of time passes...simply that until the time passes, the proof of a peaceful adherence is not achieved.

Also, I don't see how the initial acceptance of a claimant is a "teaching" of the bishops.


Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:44 am
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Domini Canis wrote:
All in all, it seems to satisfy the conditions for infallibility via the ordinary universal magisterium.

Yes, I see. But how could you know? This is what Robert is saying - the fact of unanimity is not verifiable instantly. It takes time. And I think he is also right in suggesting that such a judgement is formed over a period, not instantly, so that is another reason not to look for an instantaneous judgement.

Obviously some kind of judgement is formed instantly - but I suggest that it is a provisional one. It is contingent upon several factors, not least the reaction of the Church generally.


Domini Canis wrote:
He was, in my own personal opinion, a Catholic, but one akin to those unfortunate Catholics John Daly listed in his article "Heresy in History".

I think that's probably right. It seems a stretch to argue that Roncalli was an open heretic and nobody said so. How open is it if nobody actually mentions it? Of course, this doesn't mean he was good, or even that he had the Faith interiorly; but both points are irrelevant to the question of whether he was pope.

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:15 am
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John Lane wrote:
Yes, I see. But how could you know? This is what Robert is saying - the fact of unanimity is not verifiable instantly.


I think it would be very disingenuous if we were to try to claim that not all the bishops during the day after his election were in agreement of Montini's election. As it's obvious, news like this travels fast throughout the entire Church, and it is one of monumental importance. I would even go so far as to say that there wasn't even a single bishop in the entire year of 1963 who did not agree that Montini was validly elected as Pope. And remember, all it takes for the ordinary universal magisterium to infallibly propose something is the agreement of the entire episcopal body, even if it be for a single day.

John Lane wrote:
Obviously some kind of judgement is formed instantly - but I suggest that it is a provisional one.


I tried to come up with an explanation like this too. But let's be frank. When the Church elects a Pope, do you honestly think the episcopacy has the attitude of teaching the faithful in this fashion: "faithful, listen, this is our newly elected provisional pope; let's wait and see if he acts the part and in few months or maybe years we'll know for sure if he's pope..." In other words, John, I don't think we elect a pope conditionally. The Church has never elected a Pope whose election is contingent on certain factors in the future (once he is elected, he is elected. Period. He can only be taken out of office by future death, future resignation or future heresy).

John Lane wrote:
I think that's probably right. It seems a stretch to argue that Roncalli was an open heretic and nobody said so.


To be honest with you I don't think Montini was very far off from Reconcali theologically. If I am understanding this correctly (and here I am less certain so correct me if I'm wrong) the minimum for a Catholic to retain his membership in the Church is for him to profess his desire to be within the visible society known as the Catholic Church. Even if he appears to be obstinate, this manifest desire to be a Catholic can be sufficient enough to maintain membership until he is excommunicated by ecclesiastical authorities. I think it was none other than Cardinal de Lugo who proposed this principle?

Anyway, here is Montini's famous Credo of the Pope of God. Just count how many articles of faith in there that would be considered contradictory to the doctrine of the Modernists, Protestants, and non-Catholics in general. It hardly seems like the caricature of an ecuminist bent on pleasing other religions at all cost that some portray him.


Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:54 am
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Domini Canis wrote:
I think it would be very disingenuous if we were to try to claim that not all the bishops during the day after his election were in agreement of Montini's election. As it's obvious, news like this travels fast throughout the entire Church, and it is one of monumental importance. I would even go so far as to say that there wasn't even a single bishop in the entire year of 1963 who did not agree that Montini was validly elected as Pope. And remember, all it takes for the ordinary universal magisterium to infallibly propose something is the agreement of the entire episcopal body, even if it be for a single day.


This is beside the point. This is not what a "peaceful adherence" means. Neither is it "proposed" as a teaching...it is a moral judgment.

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I tried to come up with an explanation like this too. But let's be frank. When the Church elects a Pope, do you honestly think the episcopacy has the attitude of teaching the faithful in this fashion: "faithful, listen, this is our newly elected provisional pope; let's wait and see if he acts the part and in few months or maybe years we'll know for sure if he's pope..." In other words, John, I don't think we elect a pope conditionally. The Church has never elected a Pope whose election is contingent on certain factors in the future (once he is elected, he is elected. Period. He can only be taken out of office by future death, future resignation or future heresy).


Did you read my previous response? The "peaceful adherence" does not make a claimant a true pope...it merely proves the truth of his papacy when it is there.


Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:10 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
And remember, all it takes for the ordinary universal magisterium to infallibly propose something is the agreement of the entire episcopal body, even if it be for a single day.


Yes, well that's not a practical rule - the point was to emphasise that the element of time is not essential to the question. But time is still required for a judgement to be formed and to be manifested.

However, in this case a couple of precisions seem valuable. There are, as you've pointed out, two distinct questions here.

First, the universal peaceful adherence which is an infallible sign that the claimant is pope. Second, the role of the magisterium. Is the episcopate teaching that the new pope is pope? Or merely accepting what they are told is the case?

In relation to the magisterium, the theology texts that I have seen tend to discuss the infallible teaching of the magisterium with respect to past popes. But even in relation to living popes, the point is usually made that without this infallible knowledge one could not have infallible certitude regarding such things as solemn definitions or canonisations. In any such case some period at the beginning of a reign during which infallibility was not yet engaged is quite compatible with the theological notions at play. Fresh popes don't roll out of the conclave, give a blessing, and proceed to a solemn canonisation ceremony all in one day.

John Lane wrote:
Obviously some kind of judgement is formed instantly - but I suggest that it is a provisional one.


Domini Canis wrote:
I don't think we elect a pope conditionally. The Church has never elected a Pope whose election is contingent on certain factors in the future ...

Of course not, but it seems to me that you are ignoring important distinctions. We are not discussing the human certitude of the bishops about the fact. We are discussing infallible certitude. One may be certain by a human judgement, and not yet have the certitude given by infallibility.

Domini Canis wrote:
To be honest with you I don't think Montini was very far off from Reconcali theologically. If I am understanding this correctly (and here I am less certain so correct me if I'm wrong) the minimum for a Catholic to retain his membership in the Church is for him to profess his desire to be within the visible society known as the Catholic Church. Even if he appears to be obstinate, this manifest desire to be a Catholic can be sufficient enough to maintain membership until he is excommunicated by ecclesiastical authorities. I think it was none other than Cardinal de Lugo who proposed this principle?


How far apart the two were theologically is not the only issue. Your comments about membership in the Church seem close to right, but lacking the recognition that one may say that one wishes to be a member and yet show by unambiguous actions that one’s words are dishonest, thus demolishing their probative value. Where did you see the de Lugo text? Did JS Daly present it somewhere?

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:26 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
This is not what a "peaceful adherence" means.


You've misunderstood part of what I was trying to say, Robert. Allow me to refer you to my first post on this thread:

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If I may, I'd like to posit a possible argument for Montini's valid election which is quite close to the argument from the Church's "peaceful acceptance", but very much distinct -- that is, an argument based on the ordinary universal magisterium.


I'm not arguing on the basis of 'peaceful acceptance', but the teaching authority of on the entire body of bishops, which is infallible.

Robert Bastaja wrote:
Neither is it "proposed" as a teaching...it is a moral judgment.


Theologians designates the agreement of the bishops as to the Successor of St. Peter as an object of infallibility because it is closely connected to the deposit of faith. I don't think it is a mere moral judgment on the part of the bishops, as even Fr. Connell stated in that previous quote:

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But in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty – a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty that the present Sovereign Pontiff has been incorporated into the Church by a valid baptism and has been validly elected head of the universal Church. For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements? This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church.


Obviously the Pope is not going to make a solemn and infallible declaration that he himself is a true Pope. When Fr. Connell says that this "must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority", it is in reference to ecclesiastical infallibility which the bishops as a whole possess.

Also, it's interesting that this was written in 1965 (two years or so well into the reign of Montini). It shows that this orthodox theologian who was (I would guess) well acquainted with the affairs of the Church, disagrees with you. He believed that the election of the current Pope of that time was protected by infallibility. And how could he otherwise? When you not only have the entire body of bishops but also the entire body of the faithful believing Montini was Pope.

I would like to ask, though, if you (or John or anyone else) could clarify something. In the case of peaceful acceptance, is there an actual theologian that (1) explicitly defines the precise nature of what constitutes a peaceful acceptance, and (2) even states that there is something more required than just the entire body of the faithful and bishops believing that a given man is the Pope in order to guarantee that beliefs infallibility?


Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:36 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
Theologians designates the agreement of the bishops as to the Successor of St. Peter as an object of infallibility because it is closely connected to the deposit of faith. I don't think it is a mere moral judgment on the part of the bishops, as even Fr. Connell stated in that previous quote:


Quote:
But in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty – a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty that the present Sovereign Pontiff has been incorporated into the Church by a valid baptism and has been validly elected head of the universal Church. For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements? This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church.


Where does it say the agreement of the bishops on the announcment of a new pope is an object of infallibility? And what exactly is "the agreement of the bishops"...are they the confirmers of the election? How can this be immediate? If it is immediate, it seems irrelevant then...why is not just the announcement infallible then?

So a bishop hears of the election of a new pope...he does not disagree with the selection (why would he anyway?)...maybe he does not even know the Cardinal who was elected. It seems you are claiming bishops have some special charism that allows them to immediately make this judgment.


Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:17 pm
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John Lane wrote:
In relation to the magisterium, the theology texts that I have seen tend to discuss the infallible teaching of the magisterium with respect to past popes.


You're probably right. But doesn't the ordinary universal magisterium itself revolve in the now, in the sense that it always stands as a present guarantee that the faithful are receiving sound doctrine?

As it has been explained by a very intelligent fellow sedevacantist on another forum I read: the Church is infallible and does not cease to be infallible even for a single day. It always stands as a guarantee of divine protection from error, even during an interegnum.

John Lane wrote:
But even in relation to living popes, the point is usually made that without this infallible knowledge one could not have infallible certitude regarding such things as solemn definitions or canonisations.


It looks like you are putting the cart before the horse here. Catholics can only have infallible certitude of a doctrine because that doctrine was infallibly taught. In the case of canonizations, we cannot have infallible certitude that all the wittinesses testimonies are true, but that is beside the point. If the candidate for canonization is not in heaven, the Holy Ghost will prevent the Pope from making the canonization despite the witnesses testimonies to the contrary.

Similar to Pontifical Infallibility: it was explained by the Council Fathers at Vatican I that pontifical infallibility stands quite apart from any process, even though the Pope is to act prudentially by consulting his fellow bishops and theologians whose individual reasoning and arguments for a doctrine are fallible.

John Lane wrote:
In any such case some period at the beginning of a reign during which infallibility was not yet engaged...


But what more was needed for it to be engaged?

After Montini's election was there not a unanimous agreement of the bishops that he was Pope and consequently should be held as such by all the faithful? This, according to the conditions discussed on the other thread, suffices for the infallibility of the ordinary universal magisterium.

It appears like you're unwittingly gunning for solution number 2 here -- that we need to change our pristine idea of how the ordinary universal magisterium teaches us faithful infallibly by adding more conditions to it (much like the SSPX does).


Last edited by Domini Canis on Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:18 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
I'm not arguing on the basis of 'peaceful acceptance', but the teaching authority of on the entire body of bishops, which is infallible.


I understand that. You seem quite sure that there is an immediate "teaching" of the bishops concerning the election of a pope. I disagree. They are not teaching anything...again, I think one must assume an infallibility in these bishops that does not exist.


Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:37 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
I would like to ask, though, if you (or John or anyone else) could clarify something. In the case of peaceful acceptance, is there an actual theologian that (1) explicitly defines the precise nature of what constitutes a peaceful acceptance, and (2) even states that there is something more required than just the entire body of the faithful and bishops believing that a given man is the Pope in order to guarantee that beliefs infallibility?


The case of Fr. Connell is interesting not because of the answer, but because the question was put at all. That's the interesting part of it. The answer is merely virtually an extract direct from a theology manual.

Why was that question posited, in that place, at that time?

Peaceful acceptance is self-defining. I really don't understand the problem some people seem to have in understanding it. Pius XII was peacefully accepted. Benedict XVI was not. Do you see that much?

Paul VI was accepted as pope by the whole Church - I agree with that. But was this acceptance peaceful? I think that it was forced, that it was characterised by a kind of violence by which key men felt that they had to accept him but that they could not submit unreservedly to him. They had to maintain their fight against the liberals at the Council, so that the acceptance of Paul VI was provisional - "if he fights the liberals, I'll submit fully; if he continues the liberal agenda, I'll refuse it as I do now, and submit only partially to Montini." The latter is what happened. As the Archbishop said in the mid-70s, we have more certitude about the value of our traditions than we do about the claim of Montini to be pope. That's the mentality right there. It is not peaceful acceptance, whatever else it is.

Infallibility is an attribute of the teaching office. The office must be exercised for it to be incapable of error. That is, the bishops must actually intend to teach authoritatively some object, which means they must intend to bind the faithful to believing it. I simply don't think that when the bishops hear the news of a successful election and accept it as true, that this constitutes a doctrinal effort directed towards the faithful. The closest you have gotten to such a notion is with your mention of the Te igitur, during which the bishop and pope are prayed for by name, thus indicating in some official manner that they are acknowledged to be what they claim to be. But even this is, as a rule, nothing more than a matter of "form" - done automatically and without any particular intention to make a point. The bishop is not thinking, "I must ensure everybody puts the name of the new pope in the Canon so that the faithful know he is pope." It isn't a teaching act at all.

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:59 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
As it has been explained by a very intelligent fellow sedevacantist on another forum I read: the Church is infallible and does not cease to be infallible even for a single day. It always stands as a guarantee of divine protection from error, even during an interegnum.

Well, I'd like to see his texts, because that sounds very vague.

The Church is infallible in teaching, and infallible in believing. Her infallibility in believing is not a guarantee in itself of anything else, except that she will always exist with this essential attribute - that she is indefectible in faith. Her infallibility in teaching is her inability to err in proposing a belief for acceptance by the faithful. If she is not actually teaching, then she is not infallible in that act which is not occurring, obviously. Does your correspondent think that she is always teaching?

Domini Canis wrote:
It looks like you are putting the cart before the horse here. Catholics can only have infallible certitude of a doctrine because that doctrine was infallibly taught. In the case of canonizations, we cannot have infallible certitude that all the wittinesses testimonies are true, but that is beside the point. If the candidate for canonization is not in heaven, the Holy Ghost will prevent the Pope from making the canonization despite the witnesses testimonies to the contrary.


Agreed, but it's all irrelevant. I think you need to re-read what I wrote. I don't think you understood it.


Domini Canis wrote:
But what more was needed for it to be engaged?

Nothing. But it's a question of fact - was it engaged or not?


Domini Canis wrote:
It appears like you're unwittingly gunning for solution number 2 here -- that we need to change our pristine idea of how the ordinary universal magisterium teaches us faithful infallibly by adding more conditions to it (much like the SSPX does).

Not at all. One theory says that unless a doctrine is old, it is not infallibly proposed; the other says that as long as the doctrine is proposed authoritatively, it is proposed infallibly. The former is a novelty in conflict with all of the authorities, clearly invented to solve a present-day problem; the latter is the clear teaching of the manuals.

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:10 pm
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John Lane wrote:
The case of Fr. Connell is interesting not because of the answer, but because the question was put at all. That's the interesting part of it. The answer is merely virtually an extract direct from a theology manual.

Why was that question posited, in that place, at that time?


John,

I don't see how you can consider it interesting in any significant manner, or what inference you may derive from the mere fact that the question was raised. At most, maybe, we can conclude that one Catholic in the entire Church doubted the papacy in 1965? If such is the case, Fr. Connell certainly provided the traditional answer as to why at that precise moment he believed we have an infallible assurance as to the validity of Montini's election. Either way, I certainly find it more interesting that a well trained theologian of that time would come to the conclusion that they currently had a Pope based on the argument I am trying to make right now. Furthermore keep in mind that the whole basis of why Our Lord instituted this magisterium is so that we the faithful can have a sure safety in what we believe. To put it another way, if even Fr. Connell couldn't come to a correct conclusion based on the ordinary universal magisterium --instituted by Jesus Christ so that all may have a security in faith--how can the simple faithful ever could? To borrow your own explanation: if we were somehow obliged to have to test or put into deep examination what the ordinary universal magisterium teaches, "such an approach strips the simple folk of the possibility of safety, and makes religion something only enjoyed with any security by the most intelligent and learned. It would be difficult to imagine a notion more opposed to Catholic truth."

Anyway, I think the question of whether or not the bishops engaged their ordinary magisterium is far more pertinent to discussion (I'll post my thoughts on it tomorrow when I get the time). But yes, this side point is interesting - at least in more ways than one.


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Domini Canis wrote:
To put it another way, if even Fr. Connell couldn't come to a correct conclusion based on the ordinary universal magisterium --instituted by Jesus Christ so that all may have a security in faith--how can the simple faithful ever could? To borrow your own explanation: if we were somehow obliged to have to test or put into deep examination what the ordinary universal magisterium teaches, "such an approach strips the simple folk of the possibility of safety, and makes religion something only enjoyed with any security by the most intelligent and learned. It would be difficult to imagine a notion more opposed to Catholic truth."


And who is following the "ordinary universal magisterium" today? So the common man in the pew, who normally follows the preaching of his pastor, must look deeper...he must disregard these official teachers, the Bishops and their auxiliaries, and figure it out on his own. He must seek out old books and catechisms...and ignore the current ones.

What does this say about the current “hierarchy”? Can they be trusted at any level?


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Robert Bastaja wrote:
What does this say about the current “hierarchy”? Can they be trusted at any level?


This was already true in December 1965, when Fr. Connell answered that startling question, because Dignitatis Humanae had just been solemnly promulgated by the (putative) Roman Pontiff without any explicit, open, objection from any bishop.

That's the problem. Unless it is acknowledged, no solution will make sense.

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John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
What does this say about the current “hierarchy”? Can they be trusted at any level?


This was already true in December 1965, when Fr. Connell answered that startling question, because Dignitatis Humanae had just been solemnly promulgated by the (putative) Roman Pontiff without any explicit, open, objection from any bishop.

That's the problem. Unless it is acknowledged, no solution will make sense.


Dignitatis Humanae was not being "taught" by all the bishops immediately after it was promulgated...but maybe I'm missing your point here. The ambiguity of these documents is certainly sufficient to delay any resistance to them...that was the "beauty" of the documents (in an evil sense, of course).


Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:12 am
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
Dignitatis Humanae was not being "taught" by all the bishops immediately after it was promulgated...but maybe I'm missing your point here.


Well, it was the solemn magisterium, if it was the magisterium, so the problem is larger or more immediate (for sedeplenists).

Ambiguity doesn't solve this problem, in my opinion. DH is not ambiguous on the central point, and nor was it mistaken by either its supporters or its opponents.

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Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:19 am
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John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Dignitatis Humanae was not being "taught" by all the bishops immediately after it was promulgated...but maybe I'm missing your point here.


Well, it was the solemn magisterium, if it was the magisterium, so the problem is larger or more immediate (for sedeplenists).


I agree. The "solution" of claiming the ordinary magisterium can contain error seems not to work here either.

John Lane wrote:
Ambiguity doesn't solve this problem, in my opinion. DH is not ambiguous on the central point, and nor was it mistaken by either its supporters or its opponents.


But did all the bishops teach this doctrine? Or did many disagree but just not openly fight it? I don't know. It seems to me that we definitely had a "pope" promulgating error...but not the entire heirarchy teaching this error. My conclusion is that he was not a true pope...and that the entire Church neither taught nor believed an erroneous teaching.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:56 pm
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John,

We have to keep in mind that when it comes to the ordinary universal magisterium the bishops do not have to have an explicit intention to do some sort of authoritative 'doctrinal binding' in any given particular action. Bishops do not wake up every morning and think to themselves "I' think I'll engage the magisterium today by binding the faithful to doctrine X, Y, Z." No. They go about their day to day duties, tending to the flock in their dioceses, and it is all this taken together around the world that constitutes the infallible magisterium of the Church. Remember, the keynote of the infallibility of the universal ordinary magisterium is the bishops' unanimous agreement that a given point is binding. All which needs to be done after that is that their mind on the matter is somehow manifested to the faithful. This is why Canon George Smith says that even prayers and religious practices can convey the teaching of the ordinary universal magisterium:

Quote:
What is liable to be overlooked is the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church. It is by no means uncommon to find the option, if not expressed at least entertained, that no doctrine is to be regarded as a dogma of faith unless it has been solemnly defined by an oecumenical Council or by the Sovereign Pontiff himself. This is by no means necessary. It is sufficient that the Church teaches it by her ordinary magisterium, exercised through the Pastors of the faithful, the Bishops whose unanimous teaching throughout the Catholic world, whether conveyed expressly through pastoral letters, catechisms issued by episcopal authority, provincial synods, or implicitly through prayers and religious practices allowed or encouraged, or through the teaching of approved theologians, is no less infallible than a solemn definition issued by a Pope or a general Council. ("Must I Believe")


Furthermore, it's quite reasonable to conclude that a few days after the 1963 election, all of the bishops made reference to Montini's assent to the Papacy in their homilies. If I were a Catholic back then in the 60's and were to talk to any one of those bishops after their Masses and ask: "Your Eminence, you said something about the recent papal election, surely you don't mean to imply that I, a faithful Catholic, am bound to accept this new Pope as a real Pope, do you?" Do you really think any bishop of that time would have said something along the lines of: "No...you know how it is with us Catholics; when the Church elects a Pope, us bishops really don't expect you to believe he is a Pope. We're not even really sure given a couple of months or so...maybe even years; so for now, we'll just go through the motions. As for my homily, hey, feel free to disregard it! When I mentioned the Pope in my homily this morning, I kept in mind the 'traditional' Catholic doctrine of optional acceptance to the Supreme Pontiff for the faithful in my diocese"? I think you would join me in believing the absurdity of thinking that a bishop would hold such a point of view, but that is exactly what you are suggesting. Therefore, when Montini was elected, all the bishops of the world (1) agreed he was Pope (2) taught the faithful that he was Pope through their teachings, actions and prayers, and (3) they tolerated him as such (more on this bellow). Hence the ordinary universal magisterium was engaged.

Additionally, you made a good argument in favor as to why the Novus Ordo institution is false. In response to gcbdoj you wrote:

John Lane wrote:
The manuals explain that what is tolerated by the hierarchy is really being implicitly taught by the hierarchy. Ergo, the New Religion is being preached by the “church” even when we can identify technical flaws in promulgation etc.


Obviously the manuals you referenced do not refer to the Novus Ordo institution, which did not exist back then. They applied this principle to the true Church. Ergo, the truth that Montini was Pope was being preached by the Catholic Church even when we can identify technical flaws in promulgations etc.


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Domini Canis wrote:
Furthermore, it's quite reasonable to conclude that a few days after the 1963 election, all of the bishops made reference to Montini's assent to the Papacy in their homilies. If I were a Catholic back then in the 60's and were to talk to any one of those bishops after their Masses and ask: "Your Eminence, you said something about the recent papal election, surely you don't mean to imply that I, a faithful Catholic, am bound to accept this new Pope as a real Pope, do you?" Do you really think any bishop of that time would have said something along the lines of: "No...you know how it is with us Catholics; when the Church elects a Pope, us bishops really don't expect you to believe he is a Pope. We're not even really sure given a couple of months or so...maybe even years; so for now, we'll just go through the motions. As for my homily, hey, feel free to disregard it! When I mentioned the Pope in my homily this morning, I kept in mind the 'traditional' Catholic doctrine of optional acceptance to the Supreme Pontiff for the faithful in my diocese"? I think you would join me in believing the absurdity of thinking that a bishop would hold such a point of view, but that is exactly what you are suggesting. Therefore, when Montini was elected, all the bishops of the world (1) agreed he was Pope (2) taught the faithful that he was Pope through their teachings, actions and prayers, and (3) they tolerated him as such (more on this bellow). Hence the ordinary universal magisterium was engaged.


It is becoming increasingly difficult to take you seriously, Domini Canis. How is this type of thing any different than attributing the following to the sedeplentists; 'Benedict XVI is pope when he says something orthodox, and not the pope when he says something heterodox'.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:02 pm
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Dear Domini,

Let me put a spanner in these works for you.

The Assumption was not commonly considered to be a dogma taught by the ordinary universal magisterium prior to its solemn definition.

But the fact that Antichrist will be an individual man is a dogma taught by the ordinary universal magisterium.

Frankly, I can't tell the difference, but I suspect it lies in the fact that the former was commonly believed as a pious belief, not as something that the faithful were bound to believe, whereas the latter has always been taught as the proper and binding interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

Lest you think that Religious Liberty is like the Assumption was prior to its solemn definition, viz. not imposed authoritatively, please keep clearly in view that Religious Liberty poses unique problems - it isn't true, and it had been solemnly condemned already, and it really was imposed by Vatican II. Three difficulties, no obvious solution, outside of sedevacantism.

Now, I repeat, I think that the putative fact that Paul VI was pope was not imposed authoritatively by the bishops from the moment that he was elected. Note that Connell distinguishes the two kinds of certitude - human and divine. The latter certitude we have once it is clear that the Church teaches any given truth. I'll re-quote the entire question and answer from Connell.

I agree, of course, that Connell disagreed with us. But Connell was not faced with our problem. He may well have reassessed it if he had seen what happened.

Quote:
American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. 153, Dec. 1965, page 422.

Certainty of the Pope's Status

Question: What certainty have we that the reigning Pontiff is actually the primate of the universal Church – that is, that he became a member of the Church through valid baptism, and that he was validly elected Pope?

Answer: Of course, we have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly elected in conclave and accepted the office of Bishop of Rome, thus becoming head of the universal Church. The unanimous consensus of a large group of Cardinals composing the electoral body gave us this assurance. And we also have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly baptized, since there is a record to that effect in the baptismal register of the church in which the sacrament was administered. We have the same type of certainty that any bishop is the true spiritual head of the particular see over which he presides. This type of certainty excludes every prudent fear of the opposite.

But in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty – a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty that the present Sovereign Pontiff has been incorporated into the Church by a valid baptism and has been validly elected head of the universal Church. For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements? This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:51 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Lest you think that Religious Liberty is like the Assumption was prior to its solemn definition, viz. not imposed authoritatively, please keep clearly in view that Religious Liberty poses unique problems - it isn't true, and it had been solemnly condemned already, and it really was imposed by Vatican II. Three difficulties, no obvious solution, outside of sedevacantism.


I am not arguing in favor of religious liberty, but rather that Montini was validly elected and was, for a very brief period, possibly a valid Pope.

John Lane wrote:
Now, I repeat, I think that the putative fact that Paul VI was pope was not imposed authoritatively by the bishops from the moment that he was elected.


I disagree, of course, and I gave reasons for why above. :)

John Lane wrote:
Note that Connell distinguishes the two kinds of certitude - human and divine. The latter certitude we have once it is clear that the Church teaches any given truth.


The point Fr,. Connell is making is that we have both types of certitude at the same time. Just like in the case of canonizations: we can have a moral certitude that the saint really did practice the heroic virtues recorded in their lives based on the testimonies of the witnesses; but in the case of the saint itself we have more than that: we have infallible certitude that the saint is, in fact, a saint, based on the infallible act of canonizations.

In the case of the Pope being validly baptized and elected, Fr. Connell points out that we, of course, have a moral certitude. That he is in fact a Pope, we have more: we have infallible certitude based on "the Church's magisterial authority".


Last edited by Domini Canis on Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:31 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
John Lane wrote:
The manuals explain that what is tolerated by the hierarchy is really being implicitly taught by the hierarchy. Ergo, the New Religion is being preached by the “church” even when we can identify technical flaws in promulgation etc.


Obviously the manuals you referenced do not refer to the Novus Ordo institution, which did not exist back then. They applied this principle to the true Church. Ergo, the truth that Montini was Pope was being preached by the Catholic Church even when we can identify technical flaws in promulgations etc.


I think the point is that a "new religion" is being preached by what appears to be the Church...but it cannot be so...even assuming technical errors in promulgations. A "new religion" cannot be "preached by the Church"...period. What I think where this is leading is that the Church may preach a false religion...so long as there are "technical errors in promulgation" that are present. So, the Holy Ghost does not prevent the Church from preaching false doctrine...but provides an "technical out" instead.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:00 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
I think the point is that a "new religion" is being preached by what appears to be the Church.


We're talking about the years 1959-1963. Most of us are agreed that the whole world's Catholic hierarchy was still in tact during those years.

Robert Bastaka wrote:
A "new religion" cannot be "preached by the Church"...period.


Agreed.

Robert Bastaka wrote:
What I think where this is leading is that the Church may preach a false religion..


The Church may never do so. Which is why it's been argued here that the Novus Ordo cannot be the true Church.

Robert Bastaka wrote:
What I think where this is leading is that the Church may preach a false religion...so long as there are "technical errors in promulgation" that are present.


This is the argument of those who subscribe to the SSPX position - one I vehemently disagree with.

Robert Bastaka wrote:
So, the Holy Ghost does not prevent the Church from preaching false doctrine...but provides an "technical out" instead.


Again, this is the SSPX position. A position I do NOT hold.

What I do hold though, is that if during the first few moments (say days or months) Montini was not a Pope, the universal ordinary magisterium would have defected; because the Holy Ghost would have never allowed the entire episcopacy to lead the faithful to adhere to a head, that was in reality, an impostor.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:23 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
So, the Holy Ghost does not prevent the Church from preaching false doctrine...but provides an "technical out" instead.


I agree, this seems to be the implication of much of the recognise-and-resist thinking and it appears to be very wrong for many reasons.

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Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:28 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
The point Fr,. Connell is making is that we have both types of certitude at the same time. Just like in the case of canonizations: we can have a moral certitude that the saint really did practice the heroic virtues recorded in their lives based on the testimonies of the witnesses; but in the case of the saint itself we have more than that: we have infallible certitude that the saint is, in fact, a saint, based on the infallible act of canonizations.

In the case of the Pope being validly baptized and elected, Fr. Connell points out that we, of course, have a moral certitude. That he is in fact a Pope, we have more: we have infallible certitude based on "the Church's magisterial authority".


Good summary, now you just need to add Connell's reasoning for the latter conclusion: because otherwise without this infallible foundation the infallible acts that he posits, such as canonisations, would not be secure either. But all know that these acts are secure. Ergo.

This is why I pointed out that immediately after election there are not yet any such acts which all know to be infallible. The Church is not, at that time, requiring the faithful to accept any infallible act of her new pope, and therefore does not yet impose his validity as a dogmatic fact.

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Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:34 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
What I do hold though, is that if during the first few moments (say days or months) Montini was not a Pope, the universal ordinary magisterium would have defected; because the Holy Ghost would have never allowed the entire episcopacy to lead the faithful to adhere to a head, that was in reality, an impostor.


Conceded, if Montini posited an act which, if posited by a true pope, would enjoy the charism of infallibility. Otherwise, denied.

When was his first solemn canonisation?

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Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:36 pm
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John Lane wrote:
When was his first solemn canonisation


June 3 1964. Thirteen months into his election.


Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:48 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
June 3 1964. Thirteen months into his election.


Source?

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Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:01 pm
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I got the information from this website: http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pope0262ca.htm


Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:47 pm
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According to that site, the African Martyrs were canonised on October 18, 1964. That's seventeen months into his reign.

Interesting.

Summarising this discussion, then.

1. Universal peaceful acceptance would infallibly indicate the validity of the claim of Paul VI. It remains doubtful that his acceptance, by at least the leading conservatives, was truly peaceful.
2. The Church teaches infallibly that her chief pastor is validly her chief pastor. She does this at least as soon as she is required to accept an act of his which falls within the ambit of infallibility. Paul VI canonised the African Martyrs on October 18, 1964. Ergo, at least at that date, he was pope.

I need to think about this some more.

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:14 am
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Pax Christi


Quote:
I need to think about this some more.


Very interesting. This is a most fascinating discussion !

So much good flows from charitable discussion with Catholic gentleman !

In Xto,
Vincent


Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:31 am
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From Hebblethwaite's biography of Paul VI - p. 331. I think this sufficiently illustrates the lack of peaceful acceptance. The entire Roman Curia was set for a fight from day one. With the Roman Pontiff! Astonishing.

Quote:
It remains to ask how far the conclave conditioned the pontificate that was to follow. The fact that some twenty-two to twenty-five cardinals declined to vote for Montini, even when his election was assured, remained a worrying handicap. They were mostly Italian, and mostly in the Curia. Their refusal to vote for him meant that they were not prepared to yield an inch. Nor were they imbued with the parliamentary virtue by which the minority accepts defeat with good grace. On the contrary, these incorrigibles or intransigents regarded Montini’s election as a temporary setback, and lived to fight another day.

They were particularly incensed by the way Suenens tactlessly appeared on the balcony alongside Paul as though he were the kingmaker. If Suenens wanted to become the first non-Italian Secretary of State since Merry del Val, he was due for disappointment. Paul VI did not have that freedom of action or choice.

The persistence of opposition, finally, shaped the most difficult and urgent problem that faced him on his election: the continuation of the Council and curial reform. He would have to find some way of winning the Curia over to the Council while at the same time reassuring it that orthodoxy would not thereby collapse. That involved the velvet glove, combining la maniere douce with la main forte.

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:37 am
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Stranger things have happened in the past. :)

Quote:
Taking advantage of the dissolute life [Pope Benedict IX] was leading, one of the factions in the city drove[Pope Benedict] from it (1044) amid the greatest disorder, and elected an antipope (Sylvester III) in the person of John, Bishop of Sabina (1045 -Ann. Romani, init. Victor, Dialogi, III, init.). Benedict, however, succeeded in expelling Sylvester the same year; but, as some say, that he might marry, he resigned his office into the hands of the Archpriest John Gratian for a large sum. John was then elected pope and became Gregory VI (May, 1045). Repenting of his bargain, Benedict endeavoured to depose Gregory. This resulted in the intervention of King Henry III. Benedict, Sylvester, and Gregory were deposed at the Council of Sutri (1046) and a German bishop (Suidger) became Pope Clement II. After his speedy demise, Benedict again seized Rome (November, 1047), but was driven from it to make way for a second German pope, Damasus II (November, 1048). (Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Benedict IX)


Far from what you might call peaceful, but they were nevertheless eventually recognized as Popes during the time.


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Domini Canis wrote:
Far from what you might call peaceful, but they were nevertheless eventually recognized as Popes during the time.


Sure, but you seem to flip between very penetrating thought and very sloppy thought, I'm sorry to say. In any case the lack of peaceful acceptance only means that the question is potentially open. It does not mean that it is actually open.

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:59 am
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John Lane wrote:
2. The Church teaches infallibly that her chief pastor is validly her chief pastor. She does this at least as soon as she is required to accept an act of his which falls within the ambit of infallibility. Paul VI canonised the African Martyrs on October 18, 1964. Ergo, at least at that date, he was pope.


Something seems strange to me about this. If Paul VI was not pope at that time then are we saying that the Church would have rejected the apparent canonization of the already beatified African Martyrs because of the protection of the Holy Ghost? What if the canonization is not in error?

The 22 African Roman Catholic martyrs were collectively beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964.


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Robert Bastaja wrote:
John Lane wrote:
2. The Church teaches infallibly that her chief pastor is validly her chief pastor. She does this at least as soon as she is required to accept an act of his which falls within the ambit of infallibility. Paul VI canonised the African Martyrs on October 18, 1964. Ergo, at least at that date, he was pope.


Something seems strange to me about this. If Paul VI was not pope at that time then are we saying that the Church would have rejected the apparent canonization of the already beatified African Martyrs because of the protection of the Holy Ghost? What if the canonization is not in error?

The 22 African Roman Catholic martyrs were collectively beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964.


I confess that the line of reasoning I'm reading above does not make sense to me.

I don't know much about the African Martyrs, but they, it seems, are irrelevant to the question of the papacy. The canonization is merely the declaration that a soul is in heaven. Even a false pope could make such a declaration, but the declaration would not necessarily be true. On the other hand, a false pope could make such a declaration that could indeed be true.

Therefore, the canonization of a saint does not prove the papacy. It appears that I'm reading that the suggestion has been made that if a true saint were canonized that proves the validity of a particular claimant to the papacy.


Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:43 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
Something seems strange to me about this. If Paul VI was not pope at that time then are we saying that the Church would have rejected the apparent canonization of the already beatified African Martyrs because of the protection of the Holy Ghost? What if the canonization is not in error?


Dear Robert, and TKGS,

Yes, it does seem strange, but you need to consider that the Church is absolutely required to accept infallible acts as true and as infallible. To do so she must know that the man positing those acts is really the pope. Now, the whole Church certainly accepted the canonisation of October 18 1964 as an infallible act of the Roman Pontiff. The necessary implication of this is that the man who did it was truly her chief pastor, the Roman Pontiff.

Please re-read Fr. Connell's reasoning and see how it works. The Church must know her chief pastor with infallible certitude because if she did not she would not have infallible certitude about those acts of his which fall within the ambit of infallibility.

It's one thing to say that there were no definite sedevacantists in, say, 1964. This does not mean Paul VI necessarily was pope - so long as the acceptance of him as pope by the Church was not "peaceful." But in the case of his acts, if the Church accepted any of them as infallible without protest, then this poses a problem for sedevacantism.

It may assist to consider the promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae on December 7, 1965. It should have been an infallible act. However, it was not accepted by the whole Church - it was protested. It provoked that amazing question in the American Ecclesiastical Review. It provoked many questions. It provoked these questions precisely because the doctrine that had been (apparently) authoritatively presented in Dignitatis Humanae had already been solemnly (i.e. infallibly) condemned by the Church. One could not both abominate and accept with joy the same doctrine at the same time. One could not believe that the Church had condemned a doctrine infallibly and yet changed her view of it and decided that it was in fact part of the natural law. The situation was impossible, and demanded an answer. One answer was, and is, to deny the presence of a true pope.

But in the case of the African Martyrs the problem does not arise, and did not arise. Paul VI did something which, as far as I know, was entirely uncontroversial. It was accepted as a solemn act of the Roman Pontiff by the whole Church. The clear implication is that Montini was pope at that time.

Which, if all of this is true, brings us back to the notion that a pope may lose his office by heresy. Bellarmine said that it was impossible but that this view of his was not certain and not common. It is true that, later, this view did become much more common - but it never obtained the status, "certain."

Here is the theologian Salaverri, as quoted by da Silveira.
Quote:
As a private person, can the Pope fall into heresy? The theologians dispute about this question. To us "it seems more pious and more probable" to admit that God will take care, by his Providence, "that never will a Pope be a heretic". For this opinion, sustained by Saint Robert Bellarmine and Suarez, was also praised in the First Vatican Council by Bishop Zinelli, Relator of the Faith in the following terms: "Confident in supernatural Providence, we judge it to be quite probable that that will never happen. But God does not fail in the things that are necessary; therefore, if He permits so great an evil, the means to remedy such a situation will not be lacking" (Conc. Vatic., Mansi 52, 1109).


The alternative to the view that Paul VI was pope and lost his office is that he remained pope, and that creates greater difficulties that the abandonment of a probable opinion in theology.

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:39 pm
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TKGS wrote:
Therefore, the canonization of a saint does not prove the papacy.


That's right. But the acceptance of the canonisation by the whole Church does prove the validity of the pope who performed it. It isn't the canonisation in itself that makes the difference - it is the fact that the Church accepted it.

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:47 pm
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John Lane wrote:
It may assist to consider the promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae on December 7, 1965. It should have been an infallible act. However, it was not accepted by the whole Church - it was protested. It provoked that amazing question in the American Ecclesiastical Review. It provoked many questions. It provoked these questions precisely because the doctrine that had been (apparently) authoritatively presented in Dignitatis Humanae had already been solemnly (i.e. infallibly) condemned by the Church.


John,

Do you by any chance know if Dignitatis Humanae was directly addressed in any of the post 1965 articles in the American Ecclesiastical Review? If I remember correctly, Monsignor Fenton resigned from his post at the Catholic University of America because he refused to teach the heretical doctrine of religious liberty... Anyway, it would be interesting to find out the actual reaction of the contributors of that periodical at the time.


Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:26 pm
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Domini Canis wrote:
Do you by any chance know if Dignitatis Humanae was directly addressed in any of the post 1965 articles in the American Ecclesiastical Review? If I remember correctly, Monsignor Fenton resigned from his post at the Catholic University of America because he refused to teach the heretical doctrine of religious liberty... Anyway, it would be interesting to find out the actual reaction of the contributors of that periodical at the time.


I think you'll find that Fenton resigned "due to ill health" in late 1963, so I doubt it was directly related to religious liberty, although from his diary it is clear that he was totally disillusioned by the events in Rome and may well have decided that he could no longer in conscience continue as editor of the AER in the circumstances.

Connell was orthodox and decent, and had been fighting John Courtney Murray on this very subject for around twenty years, so it would certainly be interesting to see how he reacted. Fortunately, Providence has given my friend Dr. Tardugno a complete set of the AER precisely so as to be able to check for us. :)

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Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:33 pm
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Dear John,

I had similar questions about Father Connell a year or so ago and came to the conclusion (although incomplete), after reading some of his post Vatican II writings, that he basically became a conservative Novus Ordoite. I am attaching his short response to a moral question that was proposed to him in the April 1965 issue of AER. After reading this, you will see where I am coming from.




"Answers to Questions"

Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R.

A Prominent Non-Catholic at the Communion Rail





"Question: Suppose that a Solemn Mass is being celebrated at which a very prominent non-Catholic is present-perhaps even a general. What should the priest do if this person approaches the communion rail with the other communicants, evidently believing that he is showing a spirit of good will and appreciation in thus participating in a Catholic ceremony?

Answer : We must first distinguish. If the prominent person described by our questioner is not baptized-for example, a member of the Jewish religion-it would be entirely wrong for the priest to administer Holy Communion to him, because that would be an invalid administration. In the words of Pruemmer: "Such an administration is intrinsically evil, the grave abuse of a most sacred thing. Hence, even to avoid death the minister may not give Confirmation and the other sacraments to an unbaptized per­son" (Manuale theologiae moralis, III, n. 75).

The question is more difficult when the person in question is baptized ­an Oriental Orthodox or a Protestant. For, in this case, the reception of Holy Communion is a valid sacrament, and, because of his good dispositions, may be fruitful. Hence, it would seem per se to be forbidden, not by divine law but by ecclesiastical or divine-ecclesiastical law. At any rate, it is surely forbidden by ecclesiastical law which declares: "It is forbidden to admin­ister the sacraments of the Church to heretics and schismatics, even though they err in good faith and seek the sacraments" (Can. 731). But this must be qualified by the prescription of the new decree (of the Vatican Council

II) on the Oriental Churches allowing priests to administer Penance, the Holy Eucharist, and the Anointing of the Sick to Eastern Christians separated from the Catholic Church in good faith, under certain circum­stances (NCWC translation, n. 27). In view of this, even a Latin priest, I believe, could give Holy Communion to a member of the Orthodox Church who in good faith came to the railing. (This is an extension of the decree, however, because in the decree there is question of an Oriental Catholic priest).

The problem is still more complicated when there is question of a Protestant. Perhaps some would allow the priest to give him the Blessed Sacrament, on the score of a reasonable use of epikeia. Moreover, they might argue, the chagrin and embarrassment this good person would feel if the priest passed him by might alienate him from the Church forever. Although I believe that there is some value to this argument, I believe that the reasons it adduces have not the strength of the argument that if a priest knowingly gives this person Holy Communion it would be a source of grave scandal. It would surely promote the idea that the Catholic Church is becoming as broad as any Protestant Church.

It should be noted that this is a very different question from the one I treated in the July 1964 issue of The American Ecclesiastical Review. There I was speaking of the administration of the Holy Eucharist to non­Catholics who would be invited to receive the Blessed Sacrament; and I contend (and still contend) that it would be wrong to give such an invita­tion. In the present case I am considering what should be done by the priest if he happens to find the distinguished person at the communion rail, and I admit that there might be some grounds for administering the sacrament. The practical conclusion, I believe, is that it would be well to suggest to the person in question through one of his Catholic friends or attendants (if there is any reason to believe that he might approach the communion rail) that Catholics do not expect him to participate in their communion service."


Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:46 am
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Dear Lance,

Thanks for that. I think you can see in this Fr. Connell treating the decrees of Vatican II as additional data for theology, which if it was a genuine general council would be exactly the correct approach. Nor can we really blame him for this at that time - I doubt any prudent man was already convinced that the Council was actually invalid for some reason.

Of course, this was precisely how the whole revolution was carried through, employing ambiguity, deception, and tyranny (called "obedience") to move men from being good Catholics to being empty husks. Tens of thousands of priests lost their vocations within the ten years from 1965 to 1975. A stunning result.

But the question at issue here is actually very narrow. What was the reaction of Fr. Connell and the AER in general to Dignitatis Humanae?

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Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:15 am
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It just so happens that Fr. Connell answered a question About the "Certainty of the Pope's Status." in the December 1965 issue. Here it is.....

Certainty of the Pope's Status

Question: What certainty have we that the reigning Pontiff is actually the primate of the universal Church – that is, that he became a member of the Church through valid baptism, and that he was validly elected Pope?

Answer: Of course, we have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly elected in conclave and accepted the office of Bishop of Rome, thus becoming head of the universal Church. The unanimous consensus of a large group of Cardinals composing the electoral body gave us this assurance. And we also have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly baptized, since there is a record to that effect in the baptismal register of the church in which the sacrament was administered. We have the same type of certainty that any bishop is the true spiritual head of the particular see over which he presides. This type of certainty excludes every prudent fear of the opposite.

But in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty – a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty that the present Sovereign Pontiff has been incorporated into the Church by a valid baptism and has been validly elected head of the universal Church. For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements? This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church.

FRANCIS J. CONNELL, C.SS.R.


Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:16 am
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Dear Lance,

I cleaned up your formatting a bit.

Yes, that text was posted here a while back. Do you have any articles on religious liberty, for example? Or on the decree Dignitatis Humanae specifically?

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Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:49 am
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Here it is John. This is from an interview with Father Connell on December 8th (I believe in 1966). The interview is from the August 1967 issue and Father Died on May 12th 1967. This is the part of the interview that pertains to "RL." Thinking back, it was this part that gave me the impression that he was turning into a conservative "NO." (Yes, I realize that the NO didn't come out for another two years) What bothers me most are the kind words he has for JCM and for the Decree. Please don't misunderstand me, I don't believe that Father was an heretic and thus outside the fold but, I do believe that he was certainly heading in dangerous territory and had he lived longer the danger would have been more jeopardizing to his salvation.

INTERVIEWER : You have been engaged in many controversies in your theological career. Your discussion in the early fifties with John Courtney
Murray, S.J., on the Church-State problem perhaps attracted the greatest interest. What was your position?

FATHER CONNELL: I said that the ideal situation is where the State recognizes the Catholic Church as the one, true Church. Father Murray believed that the Church and State should be separated. I insisted that in the ideal situation they should not be separated, even though in particular conditions they might be.

INTERVIEWER: Does the Decree On Religious Liberty of the Second Vatican Council cause you to change your views?

FATHER CONNELL: Not in the least, because it says nothing about this question. In passing, it did mention that in certain places there is a union of Church and State, but it neither condemned nor approved this. The Decree on Religious Liberty is an excellent statement, and I am in full agreement with it. Father Murray deserves great credit for the labor he put into it. Remember that religious freedom is by no means freedom of Conscience. That phrase was left out of the document completely. Religious liberty is based on the dignity of man and this means that man should not be subjected to any coercion on the part of civil authority in religious matters, either to do what is against his conscience or to refrain from doing what his conscience dictates, unless public order is concerned.
My controversy with Father Murray was on Church-State, and that is not the same as religious liberty. Ideally, the Church should be recognized the State and its rights acknowledged. There should be a union in this sense. In fact, the Church for centuries has claimed certain rights that the state would back by natural law. We have, for example, the matter of marriage Impediments. The Church still claims she has a right to make impediments for the marriages of all baptized persons. That is taking over what in the natural order would belong to the State. The State has the right to make impediments only for unbaptized persons. This means that the State is per se obliged to recognize the Catholic Church as having this Power.

In the practical order, I have always held that it is best, even in Catholic states, to have a recognition of all people. Every man should be allowed do what his conscience dictates. My argument was based on the principle of the greater good. Nowadays, it is based on human dignity.


Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:23 am
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Amazing, thank you, Lance.

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Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:16 pm
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This has turned into a fascinating thread; have you thought any more about the status of Paul VI vis-a-vis the cannonization of the African martyrs, John?


Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:01 pm
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I was just searching through the Internet Archives search engine and found out that some volumes of the American Ecclesiastical Review can be read online. So for those of you who might be interest, the link is here. Enjoy!


Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:47 pm
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Pax Christi !

I just landed from a long, long business trip so forgive my jet lag, upon reading Father Connell's remarks about DU, it appears he sees nothing theologically wrong with this decree? If so, very interesting indeed.

In Xto,
Vincent


Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:11 am
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So what is a person left with ultimately? Would it then, in your opinion, be safer to regard Paul VI as pope until 1965?


Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:47 pm
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Matt wrote:
This has turned into a fascinating thread; have you thought any more about the status of Paul VI vis-a-vis the cannonization of the African martyrs, John?


Dear Matt,

I have been thinking about it, in spare moments, of which there have been too few lately. :)

Bellarmine considered the notion that a pope cannot fall into heresy to be strictly an opinion and did not consider it "certain." However, the arguments adduced for that opinion have always seemed, and still seem, very compelling. In any case, it seems infinitely better to maintain even the mere “opinions” of the Doctors until and unless they are proved to be untenable. This does appear to be such a case. Paul VI seems to have been pope in 1964.

This would appear, on the face of it, to be a further argument that John XXIII was pope also, for a number of reasons.

I suspect that both points – that Paul VI was a true pope who lost office by heresy, and that John XXIII was a true pope who retained his office until death – are shared by Fr. Cekada, by the way.

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Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:11 pm
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Dear Lance,

A comment or two on Fr. Connell’s interview.

First, I agree with you that it puts his answer concerning Paul VI’s status into a very clear context – viz. Connell fully accepted Dignitatis Humanae and therefore had no interest in casting doubt upon it or its promulgating authority, Paul VI. This only makes the question regarding Paul VI's legitimacy more intriguing, however, because Connell felt in December 1965 that he ought to answer it in the AER. Why, if not that somebody, somewhere, was asking it?

Second, the following comment is very, very, interesting.
Quote:
The Decree on Religious Liberty is an excellent statement, and I am in full agreement with it.


That is not how a dogmatic theologian comments upon an infallible decree of a General Council. When the Church speaks, one does not praise her as though she could merit anything but praise; and nor does one’s own opinion continue to exist and therefore cannot be expressed. Connell evidently did not consider Dignitatis Humanae to be an infallible decree of a General Council.

Yet he felt that he must accept it and support it, which is natural enough, and explains his accommodation to its doctrine.
Quote:
My argument was based on the principle of the greater good. Nowadays, it is based on human dignity.

It seems likely that he had accepted the idea that Vatican II was non-infallible due to its "pastoral" intent. This is, after all, the cover which was employed to obtain the votes of numerous uneasy bishops during the council itself, so it would not be terribly surprising if Connell accepted it.

Third, Connell reveals that he was always unsound on the application of the rights of Christ the King, and was infected by the American love of “liberty” with its chimerical benefit of civil peace.
Quote:
In the practical order, I have always held that it is best, even in Catholic states, to have a recognition of all people. Every man should be allowed do what his conscience dictates.


Fourth, Connell’s solution to the difficulty of Dignitatis Humanae apparently teaching liberty of conscience appears to be the same one that Brian Harrison came up with many years later – that is, that Dignitatis Humanae strictly omits to teach liberty of conscience as such, and is concerned purely with a limited liberty before the state, which liberty is properly constrained by objective morality, which means the morals of the Catholic Church, which therefore precludes any “right” publicly to profess erroneous religion. Yes, it is tortured and unconvincing, but the point is that Harrison didn’t invent it and ought to give the credit to Connell – if it can be called “credit.” :)

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Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:35 pm
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Dear John,

I am not sure that this position was always the view of Fr. Connell. I think he wrote on this issue in the AER in the 1950's, and I thought he had held the same view as Msgr. Fenton. I am going by memory here, which is definately flawed, so I will check this out, once I am able to retrieve all of my books from storage.

I wonder if Fr. Connell seeing that he thought that Dignitatis humanae came from the Church, believed that it could not contain any doctrinal error, and therefore, had to find a way to make it reconcile with Church teaching. I think that many of the good theologians of the day, who, taking the belief of Paul VI's claim to the papacy as a fact, must have tried to reconcile Vatican II with Church teaching.

I wonder if Fr. Connell had lived on to see the utter devastation inflicted upon the Church by Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae, and other awful teaching and laws, might have reconsidered his view, and realizing that Paul VI was not a pope, would have thrown out this idea. The whole system rests on Paul VI's papal claim, when that falls, the need for reconciling dies with it. It is interesting that both Fr. Connell and Msgr. Fenton, who worked so close together were both spared from having to face the the issue of having to make a decision on using the Novus Ordo Missae, which at the time must have been an agonizing cross for the clergy.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:41 am
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Dear Mike,

Mike wrote:
I wonder if Fr. Connell seeing that he thought that Dignitatis humanae came from the Church, believed that it could not contain any doctrinal error, and therefore, had to find a way to make it reconcile with Church teaching. I think that many of the good theologians of the day, who, taking the belief of Paul VI's claim to the papacy as a fact, must have tried to reconcile Vatican II with Church teaching.

Yes, I fully agree.


Mike wrote:
I wonder if Fr. Connell had lived on to see the utter devastation inflicted upon the Church by Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae, and other awful teaching and laws, might have reconsidered his view, ...

Sure, and maybe he would not have, which could be why Our Blessed Redeemer took him when He did, so as to ensure his salvation - innocently convinced as he was that the Church taught the doctrine of Dignitatis humanae .


Mike wrote:
The whole system rests on Paul VI's papal claim, when that falls, the need for reconciling dies with it.

Yes.

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Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:57 am
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Do we have proof (a record/Baptismal certificate) that Montini was indeed baptized? As I mentioned before, a footnote in Rama Coomaraswamy's book "The Destruction of Christian Tradition," that his Baptismal record was never found.

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Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:54 pm
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Perhaps the date for Sedevacante could be 1969?


Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:06 pm
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John Lane wrote:
This would appear, on the face of it, to be a further argument that John XXIII was pope also, for a number of reasons.


John,

Why then, would it not also appear that JPII and B16 are also true popes?

I've been thinking about this for some time now...and I don't see what you see here. Does not the universal Church "accept" JPII's canonisations as well? Why is this not evidence that he was a true Pope as well?

Robert


Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:28 pm
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