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 Siri's "election"/acceptance of popes/Paul VI 
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New post Re: new Quidlibit = pope as "manifest" or "pu
Pat Beck wrote:
I thought it could easily fit into this subject matter.


Yes, I agree, it does fit. However, I didn't understand it. I'll post some comments and questions when I have more time.

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Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:16 am
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New post Two questions:
!) What is Quidlibet?

2) Why does it seem to me that some here give Fr. Cekada the respect due to great a theologian?

I think some here (and I do NOT consider myself to be among them) are at least as clear and thoughtful theologically as Fr. Cekada ever was.

I find his brand of sarcastic "humor" to be particularly distasteful and downright hurtful in many respects. It seems to me that he often resorts to his favorite brand of "humor" when he cannot effectively answer important points, making fun of those who pose serious questions instead of answering such questions, nor even admitting the fact that he cannot answer them.

No great theologian I have ever read, such as St. Thomas, or St. Alphonsus, or St. Robert Bellarmine, would have done such a thing.

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Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:13 pm
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New post new Quidlibet article - Fr. Cekada
Ken: I can't understand your anger with Fr. Cekada. No one said he is a great theologian. Fr. Cekada has a brilliant mind, IMHO, and I thought his explanation was brief and understandable to me. Fr. Cekada has had to take all kinds of criticisms, and I think he uses a bit of humor to keep many discussions from going deeper and deeper into either anger or nastiness. When one uses a quick wit, it shouldn't always be taken in the negative.

He made a very important point in the case of (canon) law - the pope is above being found guilty of a "crime". Rather, a pope can be found guilty of "sin". No one can judge a pope other than one higher than him, and in this case, it is God. This makes more sense to me than other discussions on the subject, but I am no scholar, so I thought it would be something worth reading.

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck

Edit: I forgot to mention that Quidlibet is Fr. Cekada's discussion area on his website, and other articles have been posted on this forum before.


Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:09 pm

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New post Re: new Quidlibet article - Fr. Cekada
Pat Beck wrote:
Ken: I can't understand your anger with Fr. Cekada.


Dearest Pat: What makes you think I am angry with Fr. Cekada? I simply do not understand his attitude.

Quote:
No one said he is a great theologian. Fr. Cekada has a brilliant mind, IMHO, and I thought his explanation was brief and understandable to me. Fr. Cekada has had to take all kinds of criticisms,


Haven't we all? :D Or, perhaps I should say, "Welcome to the Club!"

Quote:
and I think he uses a bit of humor to keep many discussions from going deeper and deeper into either anger or nastiness. When one uses a quick wit, it shouldn't always be taken in the negative.


Except that what little I have seen of his "humor" always seems to come out when he is asked questions by those whom he considers his inferiors. I could be mistaken, but I don't think so.

Quote:
He made a very important point in the case of (canon) law - the pope is above being found guilty of a "crime". Rather, a pope can be found guilty of "sin". No one can judge a pope other than one higher than him, and in this case, it is God. This makes more sense to me than other discussions on the subject, but I am no scholar, so I thought it would be something worth reading.


I'll have to read it. I know that a true-pope cannot be JUDGED by anyone other than God, and I suppose if a particular case included some crime, then of course, I would agree with Fr. Cekada.

I might add that this is another reason that I believe that no true pope could ever really fall into heresy. If one whom everyone accepts as the pope should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was, in fact, an heretic, then that simply proves to me that he was never a true pope to begin with, and that everyone was wrong. :D

Quote:
Edit: I forgot to mention that Quidlibet is Fr. Cekada's discussion area on his website, and other articles have been posted on this forum before.


Yes. I remember seeing those. I didn't know what that meant then either. Thanks.

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Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:58 pm
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New post 
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If one whom everyone accepts as the pope should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was, in fact, an heretic, then that simply proves to me that he was never a true pope to begin with


That is exactly the way I think.

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Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:11 am
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New post Re: Opposition to Roncalli
KenGordon wrote:
At the time of his "election", I was 16 years old by a few months.

I distinctly remember my shocked Mother saying, "He has taken the name of an anti-pope! I wonder how he can do that?!? Why did he do that?!? I wonder what that means?!? Something smells fishy here!!"

Then she discussed this with some of her Catholic friends. Part of the discussion revolved around whether or not he was a true pope at all. The consensus arrived at was that they didn't know enough to say. They decided to wait to see what the priests would say about it.

One of my Mother's favorite sayings was, "Something smells rotten in the state of Denmark", and she applied it here.

But, then again, I suppose she and her friends wouldn't be included in "everyone" or "everybody"...


I was amazed recently when I learned that the Catholic Encyclopedia (the one online at newadvent.com) specifically states that the election of a heretic to the papacy would, of course, be null and void.

Clearly, this is what pre-Vatican II Catholics could have learned from ordinary sources, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia. It was not an issue hidden from the man in the pew as it is today. While it may not have been an ordinary topic of discussion, all one needed was a curiosity, or a high school thesis paper due on some aspect of heresy, to discover.

Here, Mr. Gordon, is the evidence I needed to satisfy my own personal need to know if the concept that the person elected to the papacy might not be a true pope could even cross the mind of of the ordinary Catholic. I am absolutely sure that if a self-professed atheist were elected to the papacy by the group known to the world today as the College of Cardinals, virtually no ordinary Catholic in the Conciliar church would question the election one bit, while The Wanderer would tell us how an athiest pope would not necessarily in a conflict with the Catholic religion.

Thank you. If you have any more personal stories about how the New Church came to be accepted by the vast majority of Catholics and how your family saw through the fog, they would be much appreciated.


Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:21 am
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New post Re: Opposition to Roncalli
TKGS wrote:
Thank you. If you have any more personal stories about how the New Church came to be accepted by the vast majority of Catholics and how your family saw through the fog, they would be much appreciated.


Unfortunately, not all of my family (brothers and sisters) saw through the fog. My Mother certainly did, but the rest of my family are all NO, and they all think I and my dear Wife are nuts.

Perhaps they're right. :)

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Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:47 am
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Myrna wrote:
Quote:
If one whom everyone accepts as the pope should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was, in fact, an heretic, then that simply proves to me that he was never a true pope to begin with


That is exactly the way I think.


And me. I'd like to an argument that says you were a valid Pope until your heresy was discovered.

Heresy is simple to define and therefore an objective measure. Publicity is not. Does half the Catholic world need to know, 99%?

What if a majority of Catholics who understand what heresy is perceive you as a heretic but the 900 million others who don't understand the term are not able or simply don't care to come to a conclusion? Are you public then?

The idea that any Pope would be judged during his lifetime by other bishops as a heretic is laughable. Even St. Thomas More played the politics of the day and only took a stand when circumstances forced him to choose. For Bishops to act in unison in any age in history the heresy would have to be SO appalling and SO public and manifest that not bringing the Pope to trial threatened them more than doing so.

That is an almost meaningless concept.


Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:42 am
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Myrna wrote:
If one whom everyone accepts as the pope should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was, in fact, an heretic, then that simply proves to me that he was never a true pope to begin with


Sure, but one of the points being made here is that if all Catholics accept a man as pope then he is, period. So the scenario you describe will not ever occur.

Cardinal Billot explains:
Quote:
Finally, whatever you still think about the possibility or impossibility of the aforementioned hypothesis [of a Pope heretic], at least one point must be considered absolutely incontrovertible and placed firmly above any doubt whatever: the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and infallible providence of Christ: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, and “Behold I shall be with you all days”. For the adhesion of the Church to a false Pontiff would be the same as its adhesion to a false rule of faith, seeing that the Pope is the living rule of faith which the Church must follow and which in fact she always follows will become even more clear by what we shall say later. God can permit that at times a vacancy in the Apostolic See be prolonged for a long time. He can also permit that doubt arise about the legitimacy of this or that election. He cannot however permit that the whole Church accept as Pontiff him who is not so truly and legitimately. Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions. Let this be said in passing against those who, trying to justify certain attempts at schism made in the time of Alexander VI, allege that its promoter broadcast that he had most certain proofs, which he would reveal to a General Council, of the heresy of Alexander. Putting aside here other reasons with which one could easily be able to refute such an opinion, it is enough to remember this: it is certain that when Savonarola was writing his letters to the Princes, all of Christendom adhered to Alexander VI and obeyed him as the true Pontiff. For this very reason, Alexander VI was not a false Pope, but a legitimate one. Therefore he was not a heretic at least in that sense in which the fact of being a heretic takes away one’s membership in the Church and in consequence deprives one, by the very nature of things, of the pontifical power and of any other ordinary jurisdiction.


Saint Alphonsus Liguori teaches essentially the same thing: "It is of no importance that in past centuries some Pontiff was illegitimately elected or took possession of the Pontificate by fraud; it is enough that he was accepted afterwards by the whole Church as Pope, since by such acceptance he would have become the true Pontiff. But if during a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant, as it is vacant on the death of a Pontiff."



ConversionofRussia wrote:
I'd like to an argument that says you were a valid Pope until your heresy was discovered.

Then you simply have not understood what is being said.


ConversionofRussia wrote:
Heresy is simple to define and therefore an objective measure. Publicity is not.

Publicity and heresy are both qualities of human acts, and both have their objective and subjective sides. Neither is a mathematical question susceptible to mathematical precision, but both a perfectly capable of the degree of precision necessary to clear thought in respect of them. “Our discussion will be adequate if it has as much clearness as the subject-matter admits of, for precision is not to be sought for alike in all discussions, any more than in all the products of the crafts. …it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs. Now each man judges well the things he knows, and of these he is a good judge. And so the man who has been educated in a subject is a good judge of that subject, and the man who has received an all-round education is a good judge in general.” (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book 1.).


ConversionofRussia wrote:
Even St. Thomas More played the politics of the day and only took a stand when circumstances forced him to choose.

Actually, the last thing he did was to play politics. What you are observing, mistakenly, is his profound humility and legendary prudence, which led him to avoid tempting God, waiting until it was completely clear that God demanded the great sacrifice of him before he made it, so as to ensure that he would have the necessary graces for martyrdom. Those who foolishly place themselves in danger thereby tempt God, demanding of Him graces that He may not have deigned to provide. One must also keep in mind More’s status as a father and husband, with clear duties towards his family. He was a man of wonderful order, in all things.

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Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:07 am
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Pax Christi !


Just posted in Fr. Cekada's Quidlibet section, the topic of " A Pope as a “Manifest” or “Public” Heretic"


http://www.traditionalmass.org/blog/

In Xto,
Vincent


Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:07 am
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Just a thought regarding the conflict between John XXIII legitimacy as pope (which I'm still struggling with a bit) and the Siri theory. It is my understanding that Cardinal Siri was allegedly elected in both 1958 and 1963 (the election of Paul VI). While I'm not ready to completely agree with either side of this discussion just yet, might it be that the two positions are not mutually exclusive? Maybe, somehow, John XXIII was actually a real Pope. Then, after he died maybe Siri was legitimately elected (instead of Paul VI) and this is where the Siri Theory would take off from, 63 instead of 58. I don't know how that would all work out. Just a thought.


Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:37 am
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New post Questions for John.
John Lane wrote:
Myrna wrote:
If one whom everyone accepts as the pope should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was, in fact, an heretic, then that simply proves to me that he was never a true pope to begin with


Sure,...


Are you saying that you agree with the above statement, or does your "Sure" mean something else?

What I am trying to get a handle on here, John, is the exact meaning of "...universally accepted...".

Does this mean 51%? 90%? 100%? Catholics only? Cardinals only? Clerics only? Every human-being on earth?

How many, or what percentage, of any, or each, or all, of these would it take for such recognition to NOT be universal?

And my next question is part of the above: how could you tell, either way?

At the very least, wouldn't some time have to elapse before either was clearly known?

YOU obviously do not believe that these last 4 were true popes, since something or someone or the force of circumstances has placed you as the foremost spokesman for sedevacantism. So, perhaps, if YOU don't accept them, they aren't popes, even although every other person whom you regard as Catholic in the entire world accepts them?

Or do you believe that they all were legitimately elected and accepted by all but fell away through subsequent heresy, an idea which St. Robert Bellarmine, at least, appears to reject?

I must say that if the answer to the question, "...legitimately elected..." is "yes", and knowing what we know about satan's propensity for conspiracy and intrigue, and the large numbers of his followers, both secret and known, such an answer could easily be construed as extreme naívete at the very least, couldn't it?

After all, how could an anti-pope be legitimately elected? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

And, by the way, I do most certainly understand what Billot and St. Alphonsus are saying. However, I also believe that their statements do not cover our present situation adequately, or that we are incorrectly applying them to our present situation.

Our present situation is unique in Church history. The great chastisment foretold by Our Lady at Fatima (at least) IS this terrible confusion in the Church. It is not wars, or plagues, or other evils. It is simply this eclipse of the Church and the terrible falling away. Among other things, most of the world did not appreciate the Church and everything it provided for us, so God took it away from the generality of mankind for its ingratitude to Him and His gifts.

Sedevacante IS the Great Chastisment!

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Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:20 pm
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Quote:
2) Why does it seem to me that some here give Fr. Cekada the respect due to great a theologian?


Dear Ken,

I do not think anyone on this list holds Fr. Cekada at the same level as a theologian, but many on here do have a great respect for him, and the work he has done over the years, carefully researching and writing on points of complex canon law and theology.

Many people on this list have publcily disagreed (including myself), with Fr. Cekada's views on a least one or two significant issues, but while there may be some disagreement on those points, I don't think anyone would think any less of him or his other work.

I do think that some people in our times in their quest for answers put all of their trust in a particular organization, traditional bishop or priest, and sometimes laymen. This is of course very dangerous as only the hierarchy of the Church, are authorized to teach and govern the flock. But, in this crisis that we are living through, I think it can be safely argued that Catholics who are better knowledgable must step forward help other Catholics confused in these times, as the hierarchy to which we owe our obedience and submission cannot be easily found.

I think that this forum itself offers at least some protection against erroneous ideas, in that on this forum people are respectfully taken to task on their ideas, to help foster clear thinking and root out error. In any field of science or advanced studies, peer review is one method in which errors of fact and faulty methods and conclusions are rooted out. Fr. Cekada's ideas on several points have been discussed on these forums, and I am sure that he appreciates having other Catholics give him feedback, as he is writing publicly on matters of Faith without the beneift of having his writings reviewed by competent Church authorites.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:28 pm
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New post interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 election
John: I am curious to know how all the references you quote can "mesh" with sedevacantism? How do you distinguish the criteria to apply to the post-conciliar popes, as to which are valid and which are not? When St. Alphonsus Liguori says the "whole Church" - does he mean the hierarchy/governing body, or all the members of the Catholic Church, when accepting a pope? Since sedevacantists do not accept a heretic as pope, would that change things? It would no longer be the whole Church accepting the "pope", would it? It is such "grey" ground, that I am truly confused, and I think others are as well.

The times in which we live are so much worse than the times in which St. Athanasius lived, that past theologians, such as Cardinal Billot (1846-1931), would not have had the wildest imagining, unless through grace given by God, of knowing what would happen in our times. Biblical passages warn of a time such as ours, as well as several prophesies.

And, how does this bring to point moral heresy: sin against divine law (peccatum), and canonical heresy: crime against canon law (delictum) as a distinction of/for the sedevantist thesis? Since "a pope is Supreme Legislator, and above canon law, and therefore cannot commit a crime against it, no evil act he commits can properly be called a crime", so that makes him subject to the divine law alone. Fr. Cekada calls it a "category error." Canonist Coronata taught: "Loss of office of the Roman Pontiff. This can occur in various ways.....c) Notorious heresy...." If indeed such a situation would happen, He (the Roman Pontiff) would, by divine law, fall from office without any sentence, indeed, without even a declaratory one." (Institutiones Iuris Canonici [Rome: Marietti 1950] 1:321-316.) Here Coronata used the term, specifically, "divine law."

These are just questions, not accusations. I am just curious as to reasoning. I cannot possibly imagine that Christ would want or permit a heretic to head the Catholic Church because the whole Church, either through ignorance or corruption, would seem to accept him. But, as I said, I am neither a scholar, nor a theologian.

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:58 pm
New post interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 election
John, I have been thinking more of my last post, and the thought of universal adhesion or recognition of the whole Church for legitimacy of a pope. I discussed this issue with a friend, and he offered some facts that I had forgotten about. How could I have forgotten Fr. Edmund O'Reilly's work on the Council of Constance?!

Could Cardinal Billot have meant the Magisterium of the Church, the historical whole, when referring to the whole Church, and not some sort of opinion poll of Catholics?

Unfortunately there was a time in the history of the Church when there was, in fact, no such "majority" recognition of one true pope. During the Great Western Schism (1378-1414) there were at first two simultaneous popes, and later three, each duly elected (according to all the rules) by competing factions. This problem was not solved by the death of the "extra" popes, since the respective faction would immediately call a conclave and elect a successor.

There was no clear majority backing a single pope, and indeed, there was much confusion among the faithful as to who was the true pope. Also, after the resolution of the crisis by the Council of Constance, later canonizations were made of saints belonging to competing factions. Thus it cannot be claimed that only the ignorant or unvirtuous dupes followed popes other than the true one.

Yet the Church teaches that during the Great Western Schism there always existed a true pope, despite the difficulty in recognizing who he was at the time. Hence the Church did not become defective, and the "gates of hell" did not prevail. I think this shows that "universal recognition guarantees legitimacy" is not true. There was not always a majority of Catholics for any single pope during the Schism, but there was still a true pope at all times - though it was not always clear who that was. It is also not a given that a majority never followed the "wrong" pope, but the consequences -"the gates of hell" prevailing, the contradiction of the indefectibility of the Church - did not prevail. I remember Fr. O'Reilly having stated that it was very fortunate that there was a valid pope during that Schism. But, he also said: "...not that an interregnum covering the whole period would have been impossible or inconsistent with the promises of Christ, for this is by no means manifest."

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:34 am
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New post Re: interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 electio
I received the following from a non-member via email today.
_____________________________________________________________________________
From:
Sent: Sunday, 14 October 2007 11:54 AM
To: 'John Lane'
Subject: Re: new Quidlibet article - Fr. Cekada


John Lane wrote:
KenGordon wrote:
If by "everyone" we mean the entire Catholic world (which, if I am not mistaken, is what John means by "everyone") then the man so elected is not yet the pope until "everyone" acknowledges him as such.


No, the moral unanimity of adherence is sufficient proof of valid election, not necessary proof. Innocent II was pope right from when he was elected, but not everybody understood this.


Cardinal Billot explains:

Quote:
…Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions. Let this be said in passing against those who, trying to justify certain attempts at schism made in the time of Alexander VI, allege that its promoter broadcast that he had most certain proofs, which he would reveal to a General Council, of the heresy of Alexander. Putting aside here other reasons with which one could easily be able to refute such an opinion, it is enough to remember this: it is certain that when Savonarola was writing his letters to the Princes, all of Christendom adhered to Alexander VI and obeyed him as the true Pontiff. For this very reason, Alexander VI was not a false Pope, but a legitimate one. Therefore he was not a heretic at least in that sense in which the fact of being a heretic takes away one’s membership in the Church and in consequence deprives one, by the very nature of things, of the pontifical power and of any other ordinary jurisdiction.



Dear Mr. Lane,

Fascinating discussion! I believe your argument holds that moral unanimity is sufficient proof of valid election (it would be impossible for a pope who is so recognized to be a formal heretic) but that, as in the case of the so-called “Western Schism”, it is not necessary proof?

However, you also quote St. Liguori who seems to suggest that moral unanimity (universal acceptance) is also necessary:

‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori teaches essentially the same thing: "It is of no importance that in past centuries some Pontiff was illegitimately elected or took possession of the Pontificate by fraud; it is enough that he was accepted afterwards by the whole Church as Pope, since by such acceptance he would have become the true Pontiff. But if during a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant, as it is vacant on the death of a Pontiff."’

The typical argument (see comments of Pat Beck) is that not one of the three claimants to the papacy during the “Western Schism” had “been truly and universally accepted by the Church”, so may one conclude with St. Liguori that “during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant, as it is vacant on the death of a Pontiff”? I believe that the Church has since declared that the initial election of Urban VI was the valid election and that the moral unanimity of universal acceptance existed as soon as the pope accepted the office and when “all of Christendom obeyed him as the true Pontiff”:

Quote:
“On the evening of the same day thirteen of them proceeded to a new election, and again chose the Archbishop of Bari with the formally expressed intention of selecting a legitimate pope. During the following days all the members of the Sacred College offered their respectful homage to the new pope, who had taken the name of Urban VI, and asked of him countless favours. They then enthroned him, first at the Vatican Palace, and later at St. John Lateran; finally on 18 April they solemnly crowned him at St. Peter's. On the very next day the Sacred College gave official notification of Urban's accession to the six French cardinals in Avignon; the latter recognized and congratulated the choice of their colleagues. The Roman cardinals then wrote to the head of the empire and the other Catholic sovereigns. Cardinal Robert of Geneva, the future Clement VII of Avignon, wrote in the same strain to his relative the King of France and to the Count of Flanders. Pedro de Luna of Aragon, the future Benedict XIII, likewise wrote to several bishops of Spain.

Thus far, therefore, there was not a single objection to or dissatisfaction with the selection of Bartolommeo Prignano, not a protest, no hesitation, and no fear manifested for the future.” (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13539a.htm)


And though this universal acceptance would soon dissipate, the Avignon contingent of Cardinal electors simply could not render void a valid election and universal recognition; and whether one appeals to a supposed heresy (Alexander VI) or to a supposed defect in election (Urban VI), “from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy.”

Urban VI was a valid Pope and there was no earthly power which could licitly remove him from office - not even the Council of Constance. For the good of the Church, we know what happened - but that does not change the facts and the magisterial principles governing valid papal elections. The argument may be made, however, that Boniface IX, who had succeeded Urban VI at Rome, never enjoyed a universal recognition (neither did any of the other claimants such as Benedict XIII who had been elected pope at the death of Clement of Avignon). So was Boniface IX a true Pope as a valid successor to Urban VI by virtue of his valid election, given that he was never recognized by the universal Church as supreme pontiff?

Confusing too is St. Liguori statement: “But if during a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant”, which suggests that Urban VI was not a true pope soon after his election when he ceased to enjoy universal acceptance.

I look forward to your response on the forum and also your “comments and questions” (when you have more time) to Fr. Cedaka’s article.


Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:35 am
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Dear Pat,

Pat Beck wrote:
John: I am curious to know how all the references you quote can "mesh" with sedevacantism?

So am I. This is why I put the start of the vacancy later than some others. You'll have to ask those who differ with me how they can reconcile these texts with their position. If I could do so I'd happily change position. (I think my position on John XXIII is the same as Fr. Cekada’s, by the way, although I could be mistaken.)

You might reflect on the fact that our sedeplenist brethren, having learned theology in the seminary, are familiar with these doctrinal points and find them as difficult to reconcile with sedevacantism as you do. And you know what conclusion they draw. Such thoughts are most salutary, giving us solid grounds for believing well of those who differ in their judgements with us. Especially when we discover, as with this present case, that their judgements differ with ours because they know more than we do about the relevant subject. :)


Pat Beck wrote:
These are just questions, not accusations.

I can't see why you'd think I would take what you wrote as "accusations." Perhaps you meant to imply things that I have not understood? What did you think I might not like?


Pat Beck wrote:
I am just curious as to reasoning. I cannot possibly imagine that Christ would want or permit a heretic to head the Catholic Church because the whole Church, either through ignorance or corruption, would seem to accept him.

I assume that you mean a public heretic, not a secret one. A secret heretic could certainly be visible head of the Catholic Church, according to all of the authorities – especially St. Robert Bellarmine. But a public heretic cannot be pope because he isn't a Catholic. That is, he isn’t a member of the Church. You need to keep firmly in view that the sin of heresy is like every other sin, until it is externalised and affects the common good, at which point it has social effects. But until that point is reached it is a mortal sin which makes a man an enemy of God just as every other mortal sin does. The Church consists of wheat and tares, good and bad, saint and sinner. That is what Christ “wants and permits.”

Fr. Cekada’s comments on sin and crime are very confusing to me. He seems to have in view the need to highlight that popes are not subject to the canons, which is generally speaking correct and of course, like any truth, important. But I think his approach carries its own dangers, particularly in that it tends to confuse the points I have just made in the previous paragraph.

Before we discuss this difference in terminology further, I wish to make a comment on the causes of the difference in approach. My perception is that Fr. Cekada’s two main motives are to prove the sedevacantist position true, and also to cut off excuses for those who fail to agree with him. My own motives are to prove the sedevacantist position true, and to highlight the excuses those who fail to agree with me have for doing so. To put the best (and correct) light on Fr. Cekada’s approach, I think he is under the impression that his strategy will work and mine will fail; that his strategy is the safe course, and that mine is dangerous. I am under the exact opposite impression in strategic terms (that is, I think his has proved to be of limited productive value and mine is more utilitarian, and that his is about the most powerful means for scaring people away from the sedevacantist thesis, whilst mine is much less threatening); but more importantly, I think my approach is dictated by the moral law, which means that utilitarian concerns are irrelevant in any case. One must do what is right, even if it seems counter-productive.

The reason for these comments is to remind you that he and I are on the same side, and have in view the same final objective, which is to render the faithful safer by stripping away the façade of legitimacy that the Conciliarists have constructed, especially the pretence of papal authority – the veritable nuclear weapon of Conciliarism, without which it could hardly have done one hundredth of the damage that it has actually done. Our difference is almost exclusively strategic, although of course there are important subsidiary and consequential judgements which follow from the initial difference - he thinks I am a compromiser and I think he is fomenting a schism, in all innocence, of course.

Now, Fr. Cekada says that we should not speak of the crime of heresy in relation to “popes” but only the sin of heresy.

A “crime” is a sin which affects the common good; it’s a sin which has social effects. Murder, theft, bigamy, heresy, all have in common an external character which attacks the social fabric. That is why they are crimes. Evil thoughts are not criminal even when they are mortally sinful precisely because they do not directly attack the common good. So, a public heretic is guilty of a crime against divine law, not just a sin. As I put it in my article, “The Loss of Ecclesiastical Offices” in 1999:
Quote:
Note that crime is a juridical concept. A crime is essentially a wrongdoing in relation to the public order, and as such it is judged in the external forum. The key point to grasp is that secret heresy is a sin but not a crime. Therefore it has no juridical effects. Public heresy, though, always has juridical effects for the obvious reason that it is a crime. The crime is, by definition, the refusal of a person to profess the true faith outwardly.


And also,
Quote:
Judgements concerning who are the members of the Church are primarily concerned with a question of fact in law, not of sin. Canonists treat of these questions from the perspective of law, and are therefore interested in whether it is possible that a putative malefactor could be ignorant in the matter at issue. Moralists, on the other hand, are directly concerned with what is sinful, which is a distinct (though related) question. (Canonists interest themselves in the question of sinfulness also, but only in respect of juridical effects, which are obviously subsequent to the question of fact relating to whether a crime has been committed or not.)

In legal terms, pertinacity is judged present when a man clearly knows the law, or the faith, yet violates it anyway. This is always sinful, of course, but to repeat, the sinfulness of the act is a distinct matter from its effect in law. Holy Church has explicitly recognised this distinction. Regarding penalties, Bouscaren and Ellis write: "Grave fear (not necessarily unjust and external) excuses from penalties latae sententiae even if the act was intrinsically wrong and gravely culpable, but not if it tends to the contempt of the faith or of ecclesiastical authority or to the public harm of souls. (c. 2229, §3, 3º and Reply of Code Commission)."18

What this demonstrates is that the sinfulness of an act is considered quite separately from the fact of the crime itself. They are distinct questions, with distinct consequences.


What I had in view when I wrote those passages was to eliminate some of the sloppy thinking in relation to heresy which arises from reading moral theology tracts and losing sight of the fact that they generally only discuss the sin of heresy as it is judged in the internal forum, rather than the crime of heresy as it is judged in the external forum. For the latter you need to consult canonists. As a result they make silly errors, such as supposing that unless the culprit makes an open confession, he can’t be known to be a heretic. Bellarmine’s comments concerning the relevant principle are thus completely befuddling for them. “For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.” And the same thing is explained in the Medieval handbook of the Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum. "There are two kinds of judgement, that of God and that of men. God judges the inner man; whereas man can only judge of the inner thoughts as they are reflected by outer actions, as is admitted in the third of these arguments. Now he who is a heretic in the judgement of God is truly and actually a heretic; for God judges no one as a heretic unless he has some wrong belief concerning the faith in his understanding. But when a man is a heretic in the judgement of men, he need not necessarily be actually a heretic; but because his deeds give an appearance of a wrong understanding of the faith he is, by legal presumption, considered to be a heretic." (James Sprenger & Heinrich Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum English ed. The Pushkin Press, London, 1951, p. 200.)

Now, this principle has in turn been misunderstood and misapplied so as to short-cut the need to demonstrate pertinacity, but that does not take away the fact that judgements of the internal forum (i.e. primarily concerning sin), resting as they do on voluntary confessions, are more direct and more secure than those of the external forum (i.e. those concerning crimes); but nor should we use this observation as an excuse to pretend that nothing can be known with certainty in the absence of a confession, voluntary or coerced. Aristotle has given us the golden mean, and St. Thomas quotes him with approval on the point; we should expect that degree of precision which is applicable to the matter at hand, and no more. The fact that men may err is not any kind of proof that they can never be right, or certain. It merely means that each kind of judgement must be classified correctly and the appropriate rules applied to it.

So where are we in relation to Fr. Cekada’s comments? I would say that if we ditch the notion of “crime” in relation to public heresy, we must jettison with it any social effects, which include the loss of membership in the Church and the incapacity of such a culprit to possess ecclesiastical offices. Murder is a sin against divine law – I presume that Fr. Cekada would not attempt to disallow discussion of it as a “crime” with all that the notion entails.

Likewise the degrees of publicity are relevant. Fr. Cekada seems to be claiming that before the Code there were really only two categories – external and occult, even though the canonists employed several terms (external, manifest, public, notorious, open, etc.). This is plainly incorrect and he cannot really mean it. Nor is it irrelevant to the question of the kind of heresy by which one would lose membership in the Church and any offices one might possess. Pascal II granted the power of investiture of bishops to the Holy Roman Emperor and thus provoked outraged resistance from various bishops and saints. But even though it was generally agreed to be heretical, men were reluctant to accuse Pascal of actual heresy. Why? Because they doubted that he was really pertinacious. Now, the crime was certainly materially public – it was notorious. But it remained “formally occult,” to use technical language; that is, pertinacity was occult, if it existed at all. This was because Pascal was seen to have acted under duress. But if his actions had been unambiguously free, then pertinacity would have been public too, and at least some observers would have declared him guilty of heresy and cut off communion with him. Some saints even threatened this course of action in order to bring him to his senses.

It was this kind of precedent which, at least in part, governed the thinking of Archbishop Lefebvre and others who observed the insanity of Paul VI’s reforms, and wondered whether he was really pope. One may rightly place the exact technical terms of the Code outside the discussion as not directly applicable (although I think they admirably cover the actual possibilities, as one would expect) without by that tactic eliminating from consideration the real importance of the degrees of publicity in relation to heresy, membership in the Church, and the possession of ecclesiastical offices.

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Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:12 am
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New post Re: interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 electio
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Fascinating discussion! I believe your argument holds that moral unanimity is sufficient proof of valid election (it would be impossible for a pope who is so recognized to be a formal heretic) but that, as in the case of the so-called “Western Schism”, it is not necessary proof?

However, you also quote St. Liguori who seems to suggest that moral unanimity (universal acceptance) is also necessary:

‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori teaches essentially the same thing: "It is of no importance that in past centuries some Pontiff was illegitimately elected or took possession of the Pontificate by fraud; it is enough that he was accepted afterwards by the whole Church as Pope, since by such acceptance he would have become the true Pontiff. But if during a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant, as it is vacant on the death of a Pontiff."’


St. Alphonsus is speaking purely in the context of an objectively doubtful or invalid election, and the possibility of its convalidation by universal acceptance – that is, essentially election by acclamation. He means only that such convalidation would not occur if the acceptance was not universal. He does not mean, as you suggest, that any pope who lacks universal acceptance is thereby not pope.

Quote:
I believe that the Church has since declared that the initial election of Urban VI was the valid election…

No, she has not. The author of The Catholic Encyclopedia article is claiming, in accord with the principles laid out here from Liguori and Billot, that Urban received universal acceptance and was therefore necessarily truly pope. He is not claiming that the question has been declared upon by the Church in any other manner, and nor could he, because she has not done so.


Quote:
Confusing too is St. Liguori statement: “But if during a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant”, which suggests that Urban VI was not a true pope soon after his election when he ceased to enjoy universal acceptance.


All of that is contingent upon a doubtful or null election which awaits convalidation. Any other reading of it takes it out of context. Read it like this: “But if the invalidly-elected 'pope' during a certain time had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the Pontifical See would have been vacant; when he was accepted afterwards by the whole Church as Pope, by such acceptance he would have become the true Pontiff."

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Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:24 am
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John: I am getting ready to go to our CMRI Mass, and I don't have time to post a long response at the moment, but I did want to comment on a couple of things.

I always make a statement on this forum that I do not accuse anyone - sometimes statements are misinterpreted or misconstrued. I have so many questions, and I am working on them, piece by piece. Fr. Cekada's article made a great deal of sense to me.

In regard to Fr. Cekada's article, I cannot speak for him as to what his intentions were. My interpretation of his coments are that he distinguishes heresy under two aspects: moral, and canonical. Fr. Cekada says that heresy in the first sense (a sin against divine law) prevents a public heretic from becoming or remaining pope. He used Coronata, the Canonist, aas his example. Divine law is above canon law. A notorius heretic would, by divine law, fall from office without any sentence, indeed, without even a declaratory one, and this makes sense to me, regarding the post-conciliar popes.

I think the person who sent in the e-mail to you (and he should join the forum if he wishes to present information) misunderstood what I had stated previously. All three were questionable popes, but no one knew which was the valid pope, and there was one valid pope. Fr. O"Reilly stated that in his chapter on the Council of Constance. I also would not place complete trust in the on-line Catholic Encyclopedia, but try and get an old edition of it, to be sure the work is "pure" and without modern changes. I would have to go back to Fr. O'Reilly's work to see what is written in that - which dates from the early 19th century, regarding what happened at the Council of Constance.

Fr. Cekada was referring to only two general types of papal heresy according to "notice" or "publicity" it received. One was secret (occult), or hidden, and the other was public (non-occult) - published, etc. He also noted that various theological and canonical treatises did not always use an identical term, but instead employed a variety of "expressions" to describe the papal heretic or his heresy: "public," "notorious," "manifest," "openly divulged," etc. Fr. Cekada wasn't intent on jettisoning the term notorious "crime." He is discussing how a "pope" can be removed from office.

Fr. Cekada also said that to attempt to judge the pope for crime(s) against canon law would be a category error, to ascribe to something a property it could not possibly have. A pope, as Supreme Legislator, is above canon law, and therefore cannot commit a crime against it (how would he judge himself?), so no evil act he COMMITS
can be properly called a crime. It can only be called a sin, because he is subject to the divine law alone. This does not include other members of the Church. This discussion is strictly about a pope. Others can be judged, because the Pope is the Supreme Legislator of any crime that may be judged. I don't know if I am making myself clear.

I have to go before I am late for Mass, and we only get them twice a month!

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:08 pm

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Pat Beck wrote:
I have to go before I am late for Mass, and we only get them twice a month!

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


What?!?!?! I thought Fr. Puskorius lived at the Mount. Why does he not offer the Mass there every day?

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Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:36 pm
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New post Re: interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 electio
John Lane wrote:
Quote:
However, you also quote St. Liguori who seems to suggest that moral unanimity (universal acceptance) is also necessary:...


St. Alphonsus is speaking purely in the context of an objectively doubtful or invalid election, and the possibility of its convalidation by universal acceptance – that is, essentially election by acclamation. He means only that such convalidation would not occur if the acceptance was not universal.


Ah! So, both St. Alphonsus and Billot are addressing ONLY the issue of an objectively doubtful or invalid election? From what has gone before, I was distinctly under the impression that their comments held for AND and EVERY papal election. Thanks for that clarification.

Now, please clarify: what, exactly, is meant by "...universal acceptance...", in THIS context?

I know from Church history that the only real "...universal acceptance..." in the early Church was by the clergy and people of Rome (only). Has that changed to include a wider "audience"?

So, after all this, your primary reason for using Billot and St. Alphonsus in support of your contention that John XIII was "probably pope" is that there was, as far as you're concerned, no "...objective doubt..." concerning his election?

Which then brings up the next point: what constitutes "...objective doubt..." if, in fact, this is the only sticking point...?

To me, all this "...universal acceptance..." and "...objective doubt..." are entirely too vague to suit me.

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Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:54 pm
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New post Re: interesting confirmation on Cardinal Siri's 1958 electio
KenGordon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
St. Alphonsus is speaking purely in the context of an objectively doubtful or invalid election, and the possibility of its convalidation by universal acceptance – that is, essentially election by acclamation. He means only that such convalidation would not occur if the acceptance was not universal.


Ah! So, both St. Alphonsus and Billot are addressing ONLY the issue of an objectively doubtful or invalid election?


No, both make the point that the acceptance by all of any claimant is in itself a sure sign that the claimant is really pope. This is true whether the election was contested or not, initially doubtful or not, even openly fraudulent or simonaical.

The point of the post you are quoting here is merely to say that St. Alphonsus did not hold that if a man is not universally accepted, he cannot be pope. He held, with all of the solid authorities as far as I am aware, that a valid election produces a real pope even if most of the Church rejects him. This is what probably happened in the Great Western Schism.


KenGordon wrote:
Now, please clarify: what, exactly, is meant by "...universal acceptance...", in THIS context?

Well, let's not make the error of the beard, which is the specious argument that says, a three day growth is not a beard, and a four day growth is not a beard, and in fact the exact day when the growth constitutes a beard is difficult or impossible to say, therefore there is no such thing as a beard. We all know there is a thing called a beard, and we all should know that arguing about the point at which a new beard is really a beard is foolish.

So, morally universal acceptance is what Pius XII enjoyed, and John XXIII enjoyed, and John Paul II definitely did not enjoy. Paul VI seemed to enjoy it, but the misgivings already present and expressed from the beginning of his reign make it possible, I think, to argue that the acceptance was not really "peaceful." Your problem is that you don't have a single established case of any such lack of peaceful acceptance of John XXIII. The very thread we are in here was started with a story in which the witness, if he is accepted as reliable, provides yet another clear statement that Cardinal Siri did not accept the election, and therefore was not only not pope, but did not wish to be pope and did not think he was pope. To gain anything useful for the "Siri Thesis" from such a witness you need to hold him credible and incredible on a selective basis.

So, morally universal peaceful acceptance would be denied if it could be shown that there was some credible group of Catholics who rejected or at least challenged the claim, and continued that challenge throughout the reign; or if it could be shown that the acceptance of the whole Church was not "peaceful." This latter is the manner in which we attack the problem of Paul VI. I don't see how we can apply it to John XXIII.


Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:04 pm
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Pat Beck wrote:
Fr. Cekada's article made a great deal of sense to me.

Yes, I understand. But to me, it didn't. It seemed to me to be seriously flawed on several key points. We'll have to agree to differ.


Pat Beck wrote:
Fr. Cekada says that heresy in the first sense (a sin against divine law) prevents a public heretic from becoming or remaining pope.

Yes, but his position is not cogent. Coronata is not talking about a pope falling into heresy. He's talking about a non-pope heretic who is elected. Such a man could not become pope because he isn't a Catholic, because he is a public heretic. How does Fr. Cekada's argument that canonical considerations are not applicable make sense in such a case? It doesn't. All of those who claim the papacy are not "above the canons" as a pope is. Joseph Ratzinger was not "above ecclesiastical law" when he was "elected" was he?

The pope heretic thesis (i.e. "a pope falling into heresy") is found in a separate area of theology treatises from the "divine law prevents women, insane people, and non-Catholics from becoming popes" doctrine. Divine law governs both, and I say it is the same divine law and applies in a consistent manner. Fr. Cekada's argument seems to me to demand some kind of distinction to be drawn between them, and it is not at all clear that his thinking will work.

Pat Beck wrote:
Fr. Cekada was referring to only two general types of papal heresy according to "notice" or "publicity" it received. One was secret (occult), or hidden, and the other was public (non-occult) - published, etc. He also noted that various theological and canonical treatises did not always use an identical term, but instead employed a variety of "expressions" to describe the papal heretic or his heresy: "public," "notorious," "manifest," "openly divulged," etc.

He claims that these terms are all roughly equivalent and were only used in contradistinction to "occult." This is not true universally, as many of those terms were indeed employed to express distinctions, but it might be true in relation to the pope heretic thesis. But if the latter is the case Fr. Cekada should demonstrate it. I don't imagine it will be difficult, if it's true. But even if it's true, he still would not succeed in achieving what he must achieve for the argument to work, which is that he must show that the idea that a man might be suspect of heresy, or even secretly heretical, but not openly heretical, is not relevant. If he could show that, he could convince some or even many sedeplenists to change position - or at least, show how naughty they are for failing to reject Ratzinger's claim.


Pat Beck wrote:
Fr. Cekada wasn't intent on jettisoning the term notorious "crime." He is discussing how a "pope" can be removed from office.

Well, with respect, his quote from Coronata was not about a pope falling into heresy or losing office. And yes, he is definitely intent on eliminating the term "crime" from the discussion, precisely because, as you've noted, he wishes to discuss public heresy purely as a sin against divine law. Since this is an argument about terminology, it demands an understanding of the underlying realities and proofs drawn from those. That is what I have given you, by showing what the term "crime" actually means, distinguishing it from the concept of "sin." Fr. Cekada has not done this and cannot even enter into such a debate, because if he does his case will evaporate. He should withdraw his article and re-write it.



Pat Beck wrote:
Fr. Cekada also said that to attempt to judge the pope for crime(s) against canon law would be a category error, to ascribe to something a property it could not possibly have. A pope, as Supreme Legislator, is above canon law, and therefore cannot commit a crime against it (how would he judge himself?), so no evil act he COMMITS
can be properly called a crime. It can only be called a sin, because he is subject to the divine law alone.


If a pope murders his chef for serving cold pasta, is that not a crime?

Fr. Cekada is immeasurably my superior in every important respect, but on this occasion he has winked.

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Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:34 pm
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Colin Fry wrote:
Just a thought regarding the conflict between John XXIII legitimacy as pope (which I'm still struggling with a bit) and the Siri theory. It is my understanding that Cardinal Siri was allegedly elected in both 1958 and 1963 (the election of Paul VI). While I'm not ready to completely agree with either side of this discussion just yet, might it be that the two positions are not mutually exclusive? Maybe, somehow, John XXIII was actually a real Pope. Then, after he died maybe Siri was legitimately elected (instead of Paul VI) and this is where the Siri Theory would take off from, 63 instead of 58. I don't know how that would all work out. Just a thought.


Colin, just to confirm. My source confirmed directly to me that Cardinal Siri had personally told him that he was elected in 1958 (not 1963).

I personally don't subscribe to the 1963 theory for several reasons.

1. Why would the Cardinal Electors elect a man that they knew had turned down the Papacy five years earlier (under duress or otherwise in make no difference).

2. Why would we want a man as Pope that was such a coward for his own physical well being that he would ignore the will of the Holy Spirit not once but TWICE!!!

I think the 1958 election is certain and the 1963 election is a fantasy.


Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:19 am
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John Lane wrote:
Dear Ken,

I can only know what I have evidence for. The Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Other than that, things not seen are not in evidence and are not believed. Declining to believe things which are not in evidence is not a form of naiveté; it is common sense. We are not required to prove negatives; the proponents of any positive claim are required to prove it.

Keeping one’s mind open to possibilities, even unlikely ones, is a good idea in a climate of extreme disorder like this, but there is a Colorado chasm between keeping one’s mind open to possibilities and accepting mere suggestions as truth.


Ken,

I've not had time to follow this closely, but I didn't see you answer this comment by John. It is well said, IMHO, and reflects my thoughts exactly.

This is the same type of thing we discussed with "the grand inquistor" regarding "the murder" of JPII...there is a huge distance between something being "a possibility" and something being "probable". Until the evidence is presented...why discuss it? It appears to be just wild speculation and makes traditional Catholics open to the "kook" charge.

Robert


Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:38 pm
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Ken: I think you make the mistake of thinking I am from Spokane, Washington! I live on the other side of the country - Maine!! In our wasteland, we are fortunate to have the CMRI fly from the west coast to our humble Mass site and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass twice a month, thanks be to God!

And John, I feel that the argument is one of apples and oranges. Speaking of like - if the pope murders his chef for serving cold pasta - that is a CIVIL crime. Comparisons can't take place, because Fr. Cekada's posting was about a pope, period. You seem to be taking the exact same position as in the pubication (book) by the priests of the Italian District of the SSPX: "Sedevacantism: A False Solution to a Real Problem." The authors stated on p. 24, para 3 of that work: "...the position of the Society of St. Pius X is read and presented in the following manner: 'John Paul II is the pope if he teaches what is orthodox, and is not if he teaches heresy.'" However, the book goes on to "prove" at length that: a pope who is validly elected and recognized by the majority of Catholics is by that very fact guaranteed not to be a heretic (p.35,ff)(p.37, para 2)(p.61,para1); that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic (p.62,para 2); and that once recognized as pope, a pope can never subsequently lose his office even if the impossible idea that he was a heretic were accepted (p.25 ff)(p. 42, para 2,ff)(p. 44 footnote, para 3)(p.64 para 1).

Therefore the "position of the Society" that John Paul II is not the pope if he teaches heresy is not consistent with their own reasoning. The pope can never teach heresy, the authors affirm, and a pope can never cease being a pope under any circumstances (except death, obviously, which is not under discussion). So the position expounded in the book can only properly be stated thus: "John Paul II is the pope, because it is impossible for him not to be." However, the stated position of the SSPX admits both the possibility of heresy, and that this heresy would cause loss of papal office. How can the reader rely on the writers' conclusions to formulate what they term "a proper, prudential view" of the current situation in the Church, when the authors themselves do not rely on their own conclusions in forumlating the Society's position? This can apply to any of the post conciliar popes, I believe.

Toward the end of their treatise, the authors discuss some common objections to their position (against sedevacantism). Remember that the SSPX authors' view is that recognition of a papal election by the majority of Catholics guarantees legitimacy; that once recognized as pope, heresy is impossible for a pontiff; and that once recognized, loss of papal office is impossible. These tenets (herein subsquently referenced as the Recognition Thesis) are repeatedly declared "dogma" in the book. Also the writers offer no citation of any Church authority that defines this "dogma". Not one papal decree, or point of canon law is quoted in their thesis. Where is the definition of the Recognition Thesis to be found? There is not even a quotation of any theologian who explains the Recognition Thesis the way the authors interpret it. Even the Cardinal Billot quote they use (the one you use) only affirms that recognition of a pope (not by majority of Catholics but by the "whole Church"), guarantees the legitimacy of the election. Billot does not argue that this recognition then extends to ensure that the pope cannot fall into heresy, nor that it renders impossible a pope's loss of office.

The objection discussed is the papal bull of Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. While it is referenced, it is never directly quoted. Here is the relevant citation: "In addition, by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define: (6) that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he is acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy: (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless; (ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation."

It is clear that Paul IV (4th), teaching publicly in his role as pope, and invoking his papal authority, defines that the election of a heretic to the papacy is possible, but would be automatically null and void regardless of how universally it was accepted as valid. Thhis contradicts each and every tenet of the "dogmatic fact" of the Recognition Thesis. Paul IV (4th) teaches that a papal election can be null and void regardless of universal recognition, that a pope can be a heretic, and that he can lose his papal office. This poses a real problem for the authors.

Their solution is simple: (p 66; para 2) the Bull has been abrogated by the 1917 Code of Canon Law, by virtue of the fact that this portion is not included in the code (though other parts of the same document are included)! (P.67, para 2) "The sixth canon of the Code of Canon Law prescribes that what is not taken up again in the 1917 Code should be considered as abrogated unless the law is evidently by divine right." The key words are: DIVINE RIGHT.

According to Vatican I, Chapter 4: "when the Roman pontiff speaks ex-cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses infallibility. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable."

In Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV (4th) publicly exercises his role as Teacher, invokes his papal authority, and issues decrees to the whole Church ("in perpetuity," no less). By the very arguments made by the authors, the subject matter that Paul IV addresses concerns an article of faith. Therefore, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio meets all of the criteria established by Vatican I for papal infallibility. Thus he cannot err. It also means that his decree is infallible and belongs to DIVINE RIGHT, and so cannot be, and has not been, abrograted. Since we are dealing with divine right, it is an act of presumption on the part of the authors to take upon themselves to declare as abrograted a papal bull.

Quotes: St. Antoninus (1459) Bishop and Theologian: "In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off."

Pope Innocent III (1198) "THe Roman Pontiff has no superior but God. Who, therefore (should a pope 'lose his savor') could cast him out or trample him under foot -- since of the pope it is said 'gather thy flock into thy fold'? Truly, he should not flatter himself his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory (Minus dico) because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away in heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged. In such a case it shoud be said of him: 'If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men'." Sermo 4.

Matthaeus Conte a Coronata (1950) Canonist: "If indeed such a situation would happen, he (the Roman Pontiff) would, by DIVINE LAW, fall from office without any sentence, indeed, without even a declaratory one. (Institutionis Iuris Canonici (1950) 1:316)

I can't find any more concrete evidence to present. We will just have to be content to differ in opinions.

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


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ConversionofRussia wrote:
Colin Fry wrote:
Just a thought regarding the conflict between John XXIII legitimacy as pope (which I'm still struggling with a bit) and the Siri theory. It is my understanding that Cardinal Siri was allegedly elected in both 1958 and 1963 (the election of Paul VI). While I'm not ready to completely agree with either side of this discussion just yet, might it be that the two positions are not mutually exclusive? Maybe, somehow, John XXIII was actually a real Pope. Then, after he died maybe Siri was legitimately elected (instead of Paul VI) and this is where the Siri Theory would take off from, 63 instead of 58. I don't know how that would all work out. Just a thought.


Colin, just to confirm. My source confirmed directly to me that Cardinal Siri had personally told him that he was elected in 1958 (not 1963).

I personally don't subscribe to the 1963 theory for several reasons.

1. Why would the Cardinal Electors elect a man that they knew had turned down the Papacy five years earlier (under duress or otherwise in make no difference).

2. Why would we want a man as Pope that was such a coward for his own physical well being that he would ignore the will of the Holy Spirit not once but TWICE!!!

I think the 1958 election is certain and the 1963 election is a fantasy.


Thank you for that. Personally I think there is a lot to the Siri elections that makes one wonder. However, if John XXIII was a true pope, then I was just throwing that post out there to see if the two theory's could co-exist. If John XXIII did actually enjoy a real election and become pope, I would re-consider my views on his pontificate. Before I was subscribing more to the idea that none of them ever became pope (not that they lost it at some time after election), but if he was a real pope I just can't see (at this time) how he could have remained legitimate throughout his time in office.


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New post Reply to Robert Bastaja
Robert:

I have tried several times to post to the list over the past three days and something has interfered each time. Maybe God figures I am wasting my time here when I should be doing something more productive.

I'll try one more time later. If it doesn't work then, I'll give up.

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Pat Beck wrote:
Speaking of like - if the pope murders his chef for serving cold pasta - that is a CIVIL crime.


Dear Pat,

Do you think that murder is not a sin? Obviously it is. It is a sin and it is a crime also, because it affects the common good. It is also recognised as a crime by the civil law. So, murder is a sin, a crime, and a crime recognised by the law of states. In the Middle Ages heresy was a sin, a crime, and a crime recognised by the law of states. Nowadays it is a sin and a crime, but not recognised as such by the civil law.

Fr. Cekada is saying that in relation to heresy we must not consider it as a crime, but only as a sin. Perhaps he means that we must not consider it as a crime against canon law, and perhaps he would agree that it is by its nature a crime against divine law, and not just a “sin” against divine law. I don’t know, but he certainly doesn’t make it easy for us to believe that he thinks this, because he has specifically excluded the term “crime” from relevance. But having done this he has raised the bar for proving the sedevacantist thesis (sin is harder to prove than crime), and he has confused the nature of things under consideration (a crime is still a crime even if the law of a state specifically permits it – e.g. abortion), and he has dragged in Coronata speaking about papabile (i.e. non-popes) whilst maintaining that the core principle governing the whole matter is that popes are above the canons.

Frankly, it’s a mess. I’m sorry you can’t see it, but it’s one of the worse things he has ever written, and I say that even though I agree in general with his thesis. That is, I agree with Fr. Cekada that heresy and the consequent loss of office are questions of divine law and therefore purely canonical considerations are subsidiary, and I also agree that Fr. Boulet hasn’t a clue about the subject.


Pat Beck wrote:
You seem to be taking the exact same position as in the pubication (book) by the priests of the Italian District of the SSPX: "Sedevacantism: A False Solution to a Real Problem." The authors stated on p. 24, para 3 of that work: "...the position of the Society of St. Pius X is read and presented in the following manner: 'John Paul II is the pope if he teaches what is orthodox, and is not if he teaches heresy.'"

That’s not the SSPX position – it is the SSPX position as caricatured by some sedevacantist critics. That is all the authors are saying.

But I’m glad you’ve seen that book. Despite its weaknesses, it is an honest and charitable effort, and it should do a great deal to remind readers of the Catholic instincts and the good will of the SSPX clergy. It also completely wrecks the Cassiciacum Thesis, which is what it chiefly refers to when it employs the term “sedevacantism.” I had been working on a reply to it, but it hardly attacks real sedevacantism at all, really, which makes it awkward to refute. :)

You might also note that on pp. 61 and 62, for example, these Italian priests give some pure sedevacantist arguments and point out that the proponents of the Cassiciacum Thesis (i.e. the Guerardians, such as Bishop Sanborn) reject these arguments. I don’t really care about this, of course, because I think the Guerardians, despite the lack of cogency to their arguments, are of good will also, and are doing their best to solve the mystery represented by this crisis in the Church. But I bring it to your attention because it is a good reminder that this crisis really is obscure, and really is difficult for even the most intelligent and learned men to understand, so that it is completely inappropriate to take a superior attitude to those who differ in their judgements with us.



Pat Beck wrote:
However, the book goes on to "prove" at length that: a pope who is validly elected and recognized by the majority of Catholics is by that very fact guaranteed not to be a heretic (p.35,ff)(p.37, para 2)(p.61,para1);

Well, that isn’t what they say at all. They actually say that the man recognised as pope by “the whole Church dispersed throughout the world” really is pope. Not a “majority of Catholics.” They are speaking about Paul VI. The answer to this is not to deny the theology, which is sound, but to question the fact, which is disputable. That is what Da Silviera did – he questioned whether Paul VI was ever accepted in a manner which can be characterised as “peaceful.”

I really would be surprised if Fr. Cekada differed with me on this point, and I encourage you to ask him lots of detailed questions about these things. Don’t forget to ask him if he thinks that John XXIII was not pope, and if not, to point you to the essay or book in which this has been demonstrated by himself or one of the other priests.

Pat Beck wrote:
that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic (p.62,para 2);

Yes, that was the opinion of Bellarmine, of Billot, and of the majority of post-Reformation theologians, as far as I know. It’s also my opinion, although on this I do seem to part company with Fr. Cekada, who appears to reject Bellarmine’s opinion on this point. I’m not sure why he does so, but I suspect that it is because Fr. Cekada holds that Paul VI was truly pope from his election until he promulgated Vatican II, and that he holds this opinion because of the theological certitude that a man who is universally peacefully accepted as pope must necessarily be pope (i.e. the theological certitude we have been discussing here).

My own view is that Paul VI could not have been pope when elected, because he was not pope later on, and popes can’t lose the faith. These views are the views dictated by following Bellarmine and the common opinion of theologians.


Pat Beck wrote:
and that once recognized as pope, a pope can never subsequently lose his office even if the impossible idea that he was a heretic were accepted (p.25 ff)(p. 42, para 2,ff)(p. 44 footnote, para 3)(p.64 para 1).

Yes, well that’s only the common opinion of the experts of the Church. I’m not sure where we would go for our theology if not to the theologians.



Pat Beck wrote:
These tenets (herein subsquently referenced as the Recognition Thesis) are repeatedly declared "dogma" in the book.

No, that is not correct. You really need to take more care in presenting the work of others. They refer to only one of those tenets with the word “dogma.” What they say is that it is a dogmatic fact that a man peacefully accepted as pope by the whole Church is pope. This is true. The error is in the application to the concrete facts of our era, not in the theology.



Pat Beck wrote:
It is clear that Paul IV (4th), teaching publicly in his role as pope,

No, he is not – he is legislating. If he was teaching, some theologian would have noticed. None of them did.


Pat Beck wrote:
Thhis contradicts each and every tenet of the "dogmatic fact" of the Recognition Thesis.

I can understand why you think that, but do you think that Billot and all the rest were not aware of Cum ex apostolatus? Obviously they were aware of it, accepted it, and did not see the contradiction that you see.

There are two truths to consider. A public heretic cannot be pope, no matter what; also, the peaceful acceptance of the whole Church guarantees legitimacy. How do we reconcile these two truths? Simply by asserting that no public heretic ever could be peacefully accepted by the whole Church. This is not difficult or surprising, and I think the disturbance caused to the Church by the Conciliar “popes” only adds weight to it. The Church enjoyed no peace under Paul VI. The Church could not and did not treat him as though he had true papal authority, because to do so would have been to abandon the faith.


Pat Beck wrote:
Their solution is simple: (p 66; para 2) the Bull has been abrogated by the 1917 Code of Canon Law, by virtue of the fact that this portion is not included in the code (though other parts of the same document are included)! (P.67, para 2) "The sixth canon of the Code of Canon Law prescribes that what is not taken up again in the 1917 Code should be considered as abrogated unless the law is evidently by divine right." The key words are: DIVINE RIGHT.


Pat, I trust that you realise that you are reading the words of Fr. Ricossa, the friend of Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Cekada, and the fellow-Guerardian with Bishop Sanborn? Those are not the arguments of the SSPX – they are the arguments of the Guerardians. The SSPX writers are quoting Sodalitium, the journal published by Fr. Ricossa’s Mother of Good Counsel Institute. Yes, they are against sedevacantism. Yes, Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Ricossa argue against sedevacantism. Yes, they argue that proving public heresy is impossible because nobody has sufficient status to issue canonical warnings to a putative pope. Now, please don’t lose your sense of outrage at these arguments merely because they came from “our” team, will you? :)

The argument that the Code abrogated Cum ex apostolatus is that of Fr. Ricossa too, but I agree with that one.



Pat Beck wrote:
In Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV (4th) publicly exercises his role as Teacher, invokes his papal authority, and issues decrees to the whole Church ("in perpetuity," no less). By the very arguments made by the authors, the subject matter that Paul IV addresses concerns an article of faith. Therefore, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio meets all of the criteria established by Vatican I for papal infallibility.


No, it did not, and no theologian has ever thought that it did. The text is not included in Denzinger, and no dogmatic theology manual that I have seen even refers to it, let alone elevates it to the status of a dogmatic definition. Fr. Cekada has refuted these same kinds of arguments in relation to Quo primum (including the “perpetuity” error), here: http://www.traditionalmass.org/blog/200 ... uo-primum/

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Pat Beck wrote:
Ken: I think you make the mistake of thinking I am from Spokane, Washington! I live on the other side of the country - Maine!! In our wasteland, we are fortunate to have the CMRI fly from the west coast to our humble Mass site and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass twice a month, thanks be to God!


Ah! Yes, I was mistaken, all right. You have my deepest sympathy. We are in much the same boat.

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New post John XXIII the fallen star?
Dear All, hail Mary.

As everyone knows, Paul VI once lamented that the smoke of Satan had sneaked into the Church. Pope or not, it's hard not to see these words as prophetic.

Now, in the Book of Revelation, there is that famous passage where a star falls from heaven and is given the keys nonetheless, proceeding thus to open the gate of the abyss, from whence comes a smoke that darkens the sun (IX, 2).

If I'm not mistaken, it is the general interpretation of the Fathers that the star means a bishop, since it's the stars that guide sailors in the sea, much like Bishops in union with the Pope guide the faithful in the world.

Now, a fallen star that receives the keys can only mean a Bishop who, being an occult heretic, is elected Pope. Plus, given that it was John XXIII who convoked the Council, gave its evil "pastoral" orientation by his opening speech (Gaudet Mater Ecclesiae), and finally did away with the excellent preparatory material for not being "pastoral" as required by said speech, it surely was him who opened the gates of the Church for the infiltration of the above-mentioned smoke of hell.

These seem to be two strong reasons from Prophecy that match perfectly with John Lane's belief that John XXIII was Pope. With regard to the following Antipopes, the same Book of Revelation (XIII, 11) mentions that the false prophet has the horns of the lamb but speaks with the voice of the dragon, which can only mean an usurper of the Chair of Moses.

Needless to say, all that is only speculation. But it does seem to fit rather well, at least to me. What are your thoughts on this?


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New post Reply to Robert
Robert Bastaja wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Dear Ken,

I can only know what I have evidence for. The Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Other than that, things not seen are not in evidence and are not believed. Declining to believe things which are not in evidence is not a form of naiveté; it is common sense. We are not required to prove negatives; the proponents of any positive claim are required to prove it.

Keeping one’s mind open to possibilities, even unlikely ones, is a good idea in a climate of extreme disorder like this, but there is a Colorado chasm between keeping one’s mind open to possibilities and accepting mere suggestions as truth.


Ken,

I've not had time to follow this closely, but I didn't see you answer this comment by John.


Robert:

Several things have intervened in my attempts to answer John on many aspects of the subject(s) we are presently discussing. I won't go into details, but it has been extremely frustrating for me.

However, one of the most important things you are, apparently, missing here is that at the moment, I, at least, am not answering John's ripostes concerning the Siri question, since he has not yet been able, for one reason or another, to answer my questions.

I am working towards a goal, but there are many steps in between.

At present, I am trying to find out simply why John insists that Roncalli was "probably a valid pope". From much of the evidence I have seen, it seems very unlikely to me. If I am correct in this, then that opens up other questions for discussion.

For me the following evidence seems valid:

1) From a post here on this thread, and from previously mentioned sources, amongst them, Sacerdotium, we learned that Roncalli was most likely a Mason, and, apparently, publicly acknowledged his membership (and that of Montini) in the Masonic order. Since the Masonic order is a religion itself, and has been repeatedly condemned by previous popes, and membership in that order has been a cause for excommunication for any "Catholic" who dared to belong to it, then, to me, that means that Roncalli was excommunicate when he was "elected".

2) We have also, in other threads, discussed what has been agreed on, that a non-Catholic, which I assume also means that particular type of "excommunicate" which Roncalli falls into, can not be the head of something to which he does not belong.

3) There is our discussion of the papal bull, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio that while, as John and some others insist, is not dogmatic, still must, at least, show to us the mind of the Church on these matters. If it does not, then why does John have it posted prominently on his web site?

4) Roncalli's actions subsequent to his election seem, to me, fraught with significance, especially his calling a bogus council, and arranging it, according to several articles I have read on the subject, so that Montini would carry on after his death. In short, his "pontificate" was laced with actions which hardly seem appropriate for one who has the duty of guarding the Church against error. Actions similar to Roncalli's have been attempted in the past only by Anti-popes, and considering Montini, we can only say, "Like father, like son."

There is much other published evidence of Roncalli's pefidy, which if you care to look for it is easily found.

Against these, John's only real argument seems to be that Roncalli's pontificate "...was accepted universally and peacefully by everyone...".

I have repeatedly asked John to define what "...universal acceptance..." actually MEANS, and he has skipped around that question repeatedly, positing legitmate examples, surely, but never actually defiining the term, and, apparently ignoring even those small bits of evidence I have presented here.

In an admittedly weak attempt to show that at least some did not "...peacefully accept..." Roncalli's pontificate, I mentioned my Mother and her discussion with like-minded Catholics. This was my attempt to show that if even some simple lay-folk found him suspect, surely there were other more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions.

John dismissed that as irrelevant.

John, and you, keep mixing into the discussion concerning Roncalli's pontificate what I consider to be, for the moment, a side-issue, that of whether or not Siri was elected in his place, with John insisting that there is no proof for such an idea.

I have repeatedly agreed that such proof is tenuous and difficult to obtain. I have also said, at least once, that I was firmly convinced that it is most probable that no DIRECT EVIDENCE for such a thing will ever be found, and I gave reasons for my believing this. My statements to that effect were, essentially, ignored.

Getting back to the primary question we are, supposedly, discussing, there is much published evidence that there were very big problems within the 1958 conclave, some directly contradicting John's flat statements of "...peaceful universal acceptance...".

Some of this evidence has been posted to our (my dear Wife's and mine) website at http://www.eclipseofthechurch.com, which John, at least, has read, but apparently none, or at least very few, of the rest of you have even seen.

And here is a bit more: http://www.novusordowatch.org/story081004.htm

This last, at least, is very short, unlike ours which is pretty voluminous and will take you some time to read, and possibly even longer to understand.

Therefore I ask once again: what, exactly, constitutes "...universal acceptance...", peaceful or othewise? What does that MEAN? What is its definition, in canon law or othewise?

For example, within a legitimate conclave, when a pope is elected, only the cardinals and others present there have any idea that anyone at all has been elected, and who he is. If the election is completely above-board, the only "...universal acceptance..." which takes place, or is even possible, is by those in attendance. The rest of the Church, those outside, have no idea what has taken place. Therefore, in the larger sense, the elected has not been "...universally accepted..." at all, but only by a very few men locked away in a room. Yet we all agree that, all things being equal, he IS the pope. Is this not correct?

Yet from what John has said, it can be said that if this man were then presented to the world, and he was NOT "...universally accepted..." he would not be the pope? I find this unacceptable.

In point of fact, what John has said repeatedly is the opposite; that if a man is "...universally accepted..." he IS the pope, but the contrary, if I am understanding him correctly, doesn't prove anything.

Therefore, in order to clear up this bone of contention, we MUST know what the term "...universal acceptance..." MEANS.

I do not believe Roncalli was "...peacefully universally accepted...". However, I also believe that it can take some time, in the case of even a legitimate pope, for this "...peaceful universal acceptance...", or its contrary, to take place, or be discovered.

I gave as an example of this the contested election of Innocent II vs Anacletus II. Depending on HOW YOU DEFINE IT, one can most certainly say, with justification, that Anacletus II was "...peacefully universally accepted..." by a large percentage of the Catholic world at the time, and must, therefore according to what has been discussed here, have been the true pope during that time.

Then it took St. Bernard and others some time, several years in fact, as I recall it, to gain the "...peaceful universal acceptance..." of Innocent II, who was, in fact, the true pope.

A definition would certainly be helpful in resolving this dilemma, wouldn't it?

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New post Another reply to Robert:
Now, if John would say, "In my opinion, Roncalli's pontificate was "...universally accepted..."," I would be less distressed by it than by his flat statement that, "Roncalli's election was "...universally accepted...", therefore he was "...probably..." the true pope."

But he hasn't.

Furthermore, he has repeatedly used that as an argument against the Siri Thesis.

I have been trying, repeatedly, to insist that the Siri question has no bearing whatever on whether or not Roncalli was a true pope, and should be left completely out of this part of the discussion!

I have, not once, attempted to present Siri's possible election as any sort of proof for Roncalli's anti-pope-ness.

I insist that there is enough OTHER evidence to prove that Roncalli was an antipope, with no recourse to the Siri question being necessary whatever.

John, and you, only, keep bringing that issue up. I have tried to ignore it, for the time being, since in this case, for the moment, I think it is completely irrelevant and totally unnecessary to the case against Roncalli.

To me, Roncalli's anti-pope-ness, and Siri's possible election are two completely separate issues and should not be "mixed" at this point in the discussion.

Am I, finally, making myself clear?

I wish to deal completely with one question at a time, and not go kiting off on side roads!

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New post Definition of "...universal acceptance..."
The Cardinals represent the Universal Church. Therefore, the definition of "...universal acceptance..." only is applicable to them.

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New post 
Ken Gordon wrote:
In an admittedly weak attempt to show that at least some did not "...peacefully accept..." Roncalli's pontificate, I mentioned my Mother and her discussion with like-minded Catholics. This was my attempt to show that if even some simple lay-folk found him suspect, surely there were other more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions.

John dismissed that as irrelevant.


Ken,

What is irrevelant is your Mother's discussion with other Catholics. What is not irrelevant is "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions".

Now, who were these "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions" and where is the evidence that these people, in fact, ever existed? Who were they? What were their questions? You are merely suggesting that they existed...that's not evidence...it is 100% speculation.

Robert


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New post Siri Thesis
Sorry to jump in here, but I, along with Ken, would like to know what constitutes 'universal acceptance'. I see no difference in the 'universal acceptance' of Paul VI vis-a-vis John XXIII. In fact, subsequent to Paul VI's election, all the bishops in the world met for several more sessions of VII: hardly a sign on 'non-acceptance' by the hierarchy. There was definite 'universal acceptance' by the Church of Paul VI's election to the papacy by both the hierarchy and the laity: at least in the external forum.

I have several questions regarding 'universal acceptance', and heretic pope:

1. I understand it to be that the Mystical Body of Christ cannot 'universally accept' a non-pope. This concurrence is not a necessary proof but a sufficient proof of validity of a pope. Question: if all the hierarchy accept an election, but the laity do not: what then? We know that the Magisterium cannot all fall away from the Faith, another aspect of the "gates of hell will not prevail": what does 'universal acceptance' by the Magisterium of the Church mean? Is it a necessary proof for validity of a papal election? Is it sufficient proof the legitimacy of a papal claimant without concurrence of the laity? Is it necessary that only the electors 'universally accept' the new pope?

2. Is the theological opinion that a valid pope can never become an heretic during his pontificate, a majority opinion of theologians and has this opinion changed throughout the centuries? There certainly have been at least a 1/2-dozen or so theologians that have speculated on an heretic pope: Bouix, Suarez, John of St. Thomas, Garrigou La Grange, etc. Since the Church has allowed speculation either way in this area, one is not bound to accept St. Robert Bellarmine's position: is this true?

3. Any appearance of 'non-universal acceptance' of Paul VI's pontificate came some years later, if ever: when does 'universal acceptance' end? By this I mean, if 'non-universal acceptance' appeared 5, 8, 10 years later into a pontificate: what does this say about the initial 'univeral acceptance'? What comprises 'non-universal acceptance' by the Church subsequent to 'universal acceptance'? Is this even a real possibility according to St. Robert Bellarmine, it seems not?

4. In addition, following Robert Bastaja's questions to Ken, can someone point out "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions" concerning either John XXIII's or Paul VI's election/legitimacy as popes? Setting aside Archbishop Lefebrve, who never questioned Paul VI's legitimacy as pope: remembering that Paul VI died in 1978, what "powerful, knowledgeable cleric questioned" John XXIII's or Paul VI's invalidity? Why would Archbishop Lefebrve attend an invalid council headed by non-popes: John XXIII, Paul VI?

Thank you for an interesting discussion. I look forward to further help in this area.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:14 pm
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New post Yet another reply to Robert.
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Ken Gordon wrote:
In an admittedly weak attempt to show that at least some did not "...peacefully accept..." Roncalli's pontificate, I mentioned my Mother and her discussion with like-minded Catholics. This was my attempt to show that if even some simple lay-folk found him suspect, surely there were other more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions.

John dismissed that as irrelevant.


Ken,

What is irrevelant is your Mother's discussion with other Catholics.


I do not agree.

Quote:
What is not irrelevant is "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions".

Now, who were these "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions" and where is the evidence that these people, in fact, ever existed? Who were they? What were their questions? You are merely suggesting that they existed...that's not evidence...it is 100% speculation.


Dear Robert, am I so incapable of really communicating that you read what I wrote as you have described above? If so, I am astonished!

Let me re-write what I wrote above, emphasizing what I meant:

Ken Gordon wrote:
...if even some simple lay-folk found him suspect, (then) surely there were other(s) more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions.


From this, how can you read that I am saying that there WERE/ARE these "...more powerful..." etc.? I am simply attempting to use a little logic to show that if one, then possibly the other.

Have you read ANYTHING on our website? Obviously not.

Please try not to read more into what I say than what is immediately obvious. I have no hidden agenda. Everthing I say or do is very much like an open-faced ham sandwich: everything is visible.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:22 pm
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Ken Gordon wrote:
Please try not to read more into what I say than what is immediately obvious. I have no hidden agenda. Everthing I say or do is very much like an open-faced ham sandwich: everything is visible.


Ken,

I am quite surprised that you would say such a thing. It should be obvious that an open faced sandwich is anything but open...how can you say that between the layers of meat there might not be some hidden cheese...or a few crunchy pickle slices???

An open face sandwich is anything but open...it is capable of hiding almost anything...it is possible that there is a piece of cardboard in there somewhere. :)

Now, I am not serious here...but then neither is most of this conversation. :) I was trying to make a few points about discussing solid evidence and not just speculating. Btw, I do not think you have any hidden agenda...we are just not understanding each other here.

Robert


Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:00 pm
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New post Response to John Lane's reply to Pat Beck
Mr. Lane:

I have been a “lurker” in this forum for some time. Usually someone else says what I would have said anyway, and I haven’t thought myself possessed of sufficient “expertise” to weigh in with some decisive pronouncement. I hope my lack of previous participation will not cause my current comments to be dismissed.

In this current thread, Pat Beck and John Lane have had several exchanges. The most recent post from Mrs. Beck discussed an SSPX publication (Sedevacantism: A False Solution to a Real Problem), and Mr. Lane replied to several points. I happen to have this particular book, and need to respond.

Mrs. Beck cites p.24, para 3, “The position of the Society of Pius X is... ‘John Paul II is the pope if he teaches what is orthodox, and is not if he teaches heresy.’” Mr. Lane claims that the authors are in fact only stating what the Society is ACCUSED of saying.

Mr. Lane is unequivocally wrong. I am looking at the text right now! The cited passage is exactly the authors’ statement of the position of the SSPX (at the time, though perhaps not any longer). The entire preceding section introduces this statement, explaining that this represents the “prudential view” taken by the Society. It is NOT a “caricature by sedevacantist critics” as Mr. Lane alleges.

I am appalled that Mr. Lane can later condescend in his post that Pat Beck needs “to take more care in presenting the work of others.” I have verified each of her citations, and the book says EXACTLY what she quotes it to say. That Mr. Lane denies it, is deeply disturbing to me. What happened to Catholic honesty? Is it possible to lack reading comprehension to the extent of actually not realizing what such a simple text means?

Indeed, the SSPX treatise DOES declare that it is dogma that the recognition of a pope’s election by the whole Church not only guarantees the validity of the election (which actually IS dogma), but necessarily also insures that the pope can never fall into heresy, and that even if he should, he cannot fall from his papal office. The SSPX authors make this point over and over, so I don’t see how Mr. Lane can fail to notice this when reading the book.

By all means disagree with the authors and their conclusions, Mr. Lane, but there is no need to deny that they say what they say! Do you think that the forum’s readers are so dense that all you have to do is say “that isn’t what they say at all” and no one will bother to look at the SSPX book to see what it does in fact say?

Finally, replying to Pat Beck saying “that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic,” Mr. Lane has at long last come out from under cover, with a simple “Yes, that was the opinion of Bellarmine, and the majority of theologians. It’s also my opinion.”

Really, Mr. Lane? Would you be kind enough to provide the citation for this? Exactly where does Bellarmine say that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic, and what is the precise quote?


Fr. Cekada and numerous others have cited Bellarmine and quite a large number of other eminent theologians as saying exactly that a pope CAN be a heretic, and that the consequence of this heresy would be his immediate fall from office. Unless Mr. Lane is using very convoluted phrasing and means that since a heretical pope immediately falls from office and is thus no longer a pope, therefore a pope cannot be a heretic since heresy ends his papacy, his opinion stands AGAINST the majority of theologians. I am very eager to see the citations for Mr. Lane’s opinion if he does intend to say that a validly elected pope can never become a heretic. Just saying that everyone agrees with you is not a citation!

Please, Mr. Lane, provide your sources, and be sure to follow your own advice to Mrs. Beck: “take care in presenting the work of others.”


St Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice. II.30.

"A pope who is a manifest heretic (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction."


Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:00 pm
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Thank you, Miles. I had just read John's reply to me, and I was "scratching my head," in confusion!!

I also think Ken and Teresa have some very good questions as well. We await detailed answers.

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:23 pm

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New post Re: Response to a Response to John Lane's reply to Pat Beck
Miles Peior wrote:
Finally, replying to Pat Beck saying “that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic,” Mr. Lane has at long last come out from under cover, with a simple “Yes, that was the opinion of Bellarmine, and the majority of theologians. It’s also my opinion.”

Really, Mr. Lane? Would you be kind enough to provide the citation for this? Exactly where does Bellarmine say that it is impossible for a pope to be a heretic, and what is the precise quote?


Really, Sir! First of all, you are far from "The Worst Soldier". I think several of us, including myself can easily gain that appellation. Secondly, I don't know what other quotations Mr. Lane has to support the above, but I recently posted one here which addresses that question...and I also firmly believe that no true pope can ever be an heretic...even privately. Here is what I wrote earlier:

Ken Gordon wrote:
In St. Robert Bellarmine's book, Controversiarum, De Summo Pontifice, Liber Quartus, De Potestate Spirituali, Caput VI, entitled, De Pontifice ut est particularis quaedam persona., he says, ...Secundo probatur ab eventu; nam hactenus nullus fuit haereticus, vel certe de nullo probari potest, quod haereticus fuerit; ergo signum est, non posse esse.

According to my very free translation of this, St. Robert is telling us that his study of all the true popes who have ever been accused of heresy shows that NONE of them actually were ever proven to be heretics, and that "...therefore, this is a sign that this is not possible." The fact that no true pope, in his study of them, was EVER really proven to be an heretic, is a sign from heaven that no true pope could ever be an heretic, or fall into heresy. He would be protected by Heaven from it.


Quote:
Fr. Cekada and numerous others have cited Bellarmine and quite a large number of other eminent theologians as saying exactly that a pope CAN be a heretic,


You must be very careful here: I believe, if you will re-visit those theologians, they preface their entire discussion on this subject by saying something like, "IF it should ever occur that a true pope falls into heresy, THEN..." They are speculating on what would occur IF that happened. They are not saying WHEN it happens, or that it HAS happened. St. Robert, in the book I quoted above, says flatly that it has never happened, and never will.

You may also wish to visit my and my Wife's website at: http://www.eclipseofthechurch.com and read, especially, the article entitled "The Honorius Calumny" which you may find particularly interesting in regard to this matter.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:34 pm
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It is probable, and can be piously believed, not only that the Supreme Pontiff cannot err as Pontiff, but also, as an individual person cannot be a heretic, by pertinaciously believing against the Faith anything false. (De. Rom. Pont., lib. iv, cap vi.).

Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ's Church wrote:
Thus far we have been discussing Catholic teaching. It may be useful to add a few points about purely theological opinions – opinions with regard to the pope when he is not speaking ex cathedra. All theologians admit that the pope can make a mistake in matters of faith and morals when so speaking: either by proposing a false opinion in a matter not yet defined, or by innocently differing from some doctrine already defined. Theologians disagree, however, over the question of whether the pope can become a formal heretic by stubbornly clinging to an error in a matter already defined. The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so too he never will permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic. Still, some competent theologians do concede that the pope when not speaking ex cathedra could fall into formal heresy. They add that should such a case of public papal heresy occur, the pope, either by the very deed itself or at least by a subsequent decision of an ecumenical council, would by divine law a forfeit his jurisdiction. Obviously a man could not continue to be the head of the Church if he ceased to be even a member of the Church.


Last edited by Robert Bastaja on Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:40 pm
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New post Re: Continued response to Miles Peior:
Let us continue for a bit:

I made the following statements, among others, in my previous response:

KenGordon wrote:
...I also firmly believe that no true pope can ever be an heretic...even privately.


and

Ken Gordon wrote:
...St. Robert, in the book I quoted above, says flatly that it has never happened, and never will.


Prescinding from these and what went with them, I have logically come to the conclusion that IF this is the case, THEN, since it can be reasonably easily proven that these last 4, at least, "popes" are/were heretics, they were never true-popes to begin with.

Your comments, please?

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:54 pm
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New post Getting back on track...
Well... :D

We have had a nice jaunt down a side-road. Now I think and hope it is time to get back to the question at hand: i.e. what is the exact MEANING of the statement "...universally accepted..."?

First, I wish to lay down a couple of points which I think bear directly on this question:

1) It seems to me that for anyone to fully and completely accept someone as the pope, that "anyone" must have reasonably full and complete knowledge of the facts of the case. If this were not so, then the efforts of St. Bernard with regard to Pope Innocent II would have been completely un-necessary.

2) It further seems to me that the only ones who really enjoy such full and complete knowledge are, in the present scheme of things, only the Cardinal-electors within the conclave, and previous to this time, only the clergy and people of Rome.

3) We have also discussed the case of Innocent II in at least enough detail to know that much of the Christian world at the time didn't know one way or the other what to believe.

4) Therefore, some certain amount of time must be involved in the question of their "...universal acceptance...".

5) These same sorts of thoughts may also be applied to one or two cases during the Great Western Schism, as pointed out by others in this discussion.

6) We have also discussed the cases of the recent anti-popes. Although from other evidence we have amassed, we can fairly easily conclude that they were and are not true popes, yet at the times of their elections, and for some time afterwards, and even now, they were "...universally accepted..." as true popes by the vast majority of the Catholic world...and the latest one still is.

There are certainly other points one could make, but I will leave these for now.

From the above, I can logically conclude that when the theologians say "...universally accepted..." they can only mean, only truly Catholic electors in the immediate sense, and by no stretch of logic can it include anyone outside of that immediate group.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:18 pm
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New post Re: Continued response to Miles Peior:
Ken Gordon wrote:
...St. Robert, in the book I quoted above, says flatly that it has never happened, and never will.


St. Robert Bellarmine says it is probable that it will never happen...he does not say it is certain.


Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:20 pm
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New post Re: Siri Thesis
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Sorry to jump in here, but I, along with Ken, would like to know what constitutes 'universal acceptance'. I see no difference in the 'universal acceptance' of Paul VI vis-a-vis John XXIII. In fact, subsequent to Paul VI's election, all the bishops in the world met for several more sessions of VII: hardly a sign on 'non-acceptance' by the hierarchy. There was definite 'universal acceptance' by the Church of Paul VI's election to the papacy by both the hierarchy and the laity: at least in the external forum.

I have several questions regarding 'universal acceptance', and heretic pope:

1. I understand it to be that the Mystical Body of Christ cannot 'universally accept' a non-pope. This concurrence is not a necessary proof but a sufficient proof of validity of a pope. Question: if all the hierarchy accept an election, but the laity do not: what then? We know that the Magisterium cannot all fall away from the Faith, another aspect of the "gates of hell will not prevail": what does 'universal acceptance' by the Magisterium of the Church mean? Is it a necessary proof for validity of a papal election? Is it sufficient proof the legitimacy of a papal claimant without concurrence of the laity? Is it necessary that only the electors 'universally accept' the new pope?

2. Is the theological opinion that a valid pope can never become an heretic during his pontificate, a majority opinion of theologians and has this opinion changed throughout the centuries? There certainly have been at least a 1/2-dozen or so theologians that have speculated on an heretic pope: Bouix, Suarez, John of St. Thomas, Garrigou La Grange, etc. Since the Church has allowed speculation either way in this area, one is not bound to accept St. Robert Bellarmine's position: is this true?

3. Any appearance of 'non-universal acceptance' of Paul VI's pontificate came some years later, if ever: when does 'universal acceptance' end? By this I mean, if 'non-universal acceptance' appeared 5, 8, 10 years later into a pontificate: what does this say about the initial 'univeral acceptance'? What comprises 'non-universal acceptance' by the Church subsequent to 'universal acceptance'? Is this even a real possibility according to St. Robert Bellarmine, it seems not?

4. In addition, following Robert Bastaja's questions to Ken, can someone point out "more powerful and knowledgeable clerics who had questions" concerning either John XXIII's or Paul VI's election/legitimacy as popes? Setting aside Archbishop Lefebrve, who never questioned Paul VI's legitimacy as pope: remembering that Paul VI died in 1978, what "powerful, knowledgeable cleric questioned" John XXIII's or Paul VI's invalidity? Why would Archbishop Lefebrve attend an invalid council headed by non-popes: John XXIII, Paul VI?

Thank you for an interesting discussion. I look forward to further help in this area.


Teresa,

I think that the 'universal acceptance' was also referred to as 'universal adherence'. If one looks at adherence, then I think the difference between John XXIII and Paul VI becomes clear. It can be argued that Paul VI did not enjoy universal adherence...it is much more difficult to argue this with John XXIII, IMHO.

Robert


Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:43 pm
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New post Siri Thesis
Ken,

I think you've asked an important question: what is the definition of 'universal acceptation', by whom, how long, etc.?

However, I think we must remember several things: 'universal acceptation' of a papal election is a 'doctrine' of the Faith. It's non-negotiable. The issue of a pope-heretic is still in the arena of theological debate, as Robert has shown. So, Catholics accepting St. Robert Bellarmine's theological position are left with a real conundrum: John XXIII and Paul VI were definitely 'universally accepted' by the Church. So where does that leave those of us accepting St. Robert's theological position?

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:43 pm
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New post Reply to Robert
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Ken Gordon wrote:
Please try not to read more into what I say than what is immediately obvious. I have no hidden agenda. Everthing I say or do is very much like an open-faced ham sandwich: everything is visible.


Ken,

I am quite surprised that you would say such a thing. It should be obvious that an open faced sandwich is anything but open...how can you say that between the layers of meat there might not be some hidden cheese...or a few crunchy pickle slices???


Ummm....yas, ur right. But then again, I am a ham....radio operator. :D


Quote:
...we are just not understanding each other here.

Robert


Yup. My dear wife insists that I don't communicate very well, and she is certainly right about that! :D

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:44 pm
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New post One further point...
On the issue of "...universal adherence, or acceptance..." if it can be properly applied to the entire Catholic world: how, on earth, could we accurately know such a thing?

I don't know too many people who know everyone in the world and has asked them the appropriate question.

Therefore, this "...universal..." must necessarily be limited.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:49 pm
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New post Siri Thesis
Robert,

I guess I'd disagree about Paul VI's election in 1963. There was 'universal acceptance' or 'universal adherence' of Paul VI's election. If not, can you provide any notable, knowledgeable clerics, hierarchs, laity that offered opposition? You are making the assertion that there was not 'universal acceptance' in 1963 to that papal election, so I guess the onus is on you to provide the facts that would support your position. My guess is you will be unable to provide any documentation to this question. Any speculation as to Paul VI's papacy did not become apparent (if ever) until well after the Council; perhaps, 1967 - 1970.

So what does that say about 'universal acceptation/adherence' and a pope-heretic?

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:50 pm
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New post Re: Siri Thesis - not
Robert Bastaja wrote:
It can be argued that Paul VI did not enjoy universal adherence...


From what point in time?

From the moment of his election?

Then how did he get elected at all?

Isn't it true that Montini "...did not enjoy universal adherence..." only some time after his election?

Probably some time after the first time he proved himself to be a traitor. Like 1968.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:54 pm
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New post Re: One further point...
KenGordon wrote:
On the issue of "...universal adherence, or acceptance..." if it can be properly applied to the entire Catholic world: how, on earth, could we accurately know such a thing?

I don't know too many people who know everyone in the world and has asked them the appropriate question.

Therefore, this "...universal..." must necessarily be limited.


It is moral unaniminity...not absolute.


Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:01 pm
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New post Re: Siri Thesis
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Robert,

I guess I'd disagree about Paul VI's election in 1963. There was 'universal acceptance' or 'universal adherence' of Paul VI's election. If not, can you provide any notable, knowledgeable clerics, hierarchs, laity that offered opposition? You are making the assertion that there was not 'universal acceptance' in 1963 to that papal election, so I guess the onus is on you to provide the facts that would support your position. My guess is you will be unable to provide any documentation to this question. Any speculation as to Paul VI's papacy did not become apparent (if ever) until well after the Council; perhaps, 1967 - 1970.

So what does that say about 'universal acceptation/adherence' and a pope-heretic?


Teresa,

I don't think this acceptance/adherence can be immediate for obvious reasons. We are talking about externally verifiable things here...it takes some time to ascertain these things. As John Lane has pointed out, just because we cannot determine exactly this period of time...that does not mean that the time period does not exist at all.

I see (this is my opinion) this universal acceptance/adherence is dealing mostly with past pontificates. It means that they cannot be questioned at a later date because the entire Church accepted and adhered to the claimant as Pope. I believe there was considerable non-adherence during the reign of Paul VI. That was not the case with John XXIII, IMHO.

Also, if the acceptance/adherence was immediately after the election...there would be no way to question the claim at all...no matter what happened after the election.

Robert


Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:25 pm
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New post The important question
In my opinion, we are still talking all around the issue, and will be until we have a complete and accurate definition of "...universal acceptance...", or as Robert prefers, "...universal adherence..."!

Until we know EXACTLY what this means, we are tallking all around the issues involved.

And thank you, Robert, for addressing, even in a small way, the TIME aspect of the question.

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I believe things become clearer if we proceed in order.

First, there is the truth that universal acceptance of someone as Pope is sufficient proof that this someone really is Pope.

Second, there is the case of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who can't possibly be Popes, for a priori we know that no Pope as Pope could ever teach the grave errors against the Faith that they taught and teach, nor could a real Pope promulgate the Second Vatican Council, the so-called New Mass and New Code of Canon Law.

Third, comes the problem: how do we reconcile their manifest Nopeness with the fact that there seems to have been universal acceptance of these Nopes as Popes? Here is the problem, the "aporia".

Fourth, comes the solution: the apparent contradiction mentioned above might be answered by introducing the following distinction: Paul VI and his successors have been accepted as Popes only nominally, but not really. Nominally -- because, at least initially, everyone would agree that the Pope was Paul VI; not really -- because as soon as Paul VI started teaching and legislating, his teachings and laws were more or less openly resisted by almost everyone, both right and left.

In sum, almost no Catholic followed the teachings and laws of the Nopes as a Catholic should follow the teachings of Popes. Hence, even if there was nominal acceptance, there was never true adherence to Paul VI and his followers as Popes.

And so we conclude, finally, that it is universal acceptance in this second sense, that is, real acceptance, adherence, as opposed to merely nominal acceptance, which is the sufficient proof that someone is Pope, and the content of the theological truth mentioned in the first point above. Thus, this theological truth does not help the case for the Papacy of the post-conciliar Nopes.

Does that help?


Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:28 pm
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New post Response to Ken Gordon
I'm late to the party, obviously. But, responding to your response to my earlier post regarding the POSSIBILITY of a pope becoming a heretic, I offer the following simple logic:

All men have free will.

The individual elected to the papacy is a man and remains a man even after ascending to his office.

Therefore the pope has free will.

Heresy is an act of the will.

Therefore the pope can choose to be a heretic.

To claim that "God would not allow" a pope to fall into heresy would mean that a pope no longer has free will.


Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:38 pm
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New post Regarding the pope and crime
Much earlier in this thread the discussion involved the distinction between a canonical crime and a sin (which is by definition a crime against divine law).

It is still relevant to the current issue to point out that the pope also holds diplomatic immunity, as the head of the Vatican state. This means that if the pope struck down a person in the streets of Rome, the Italian courts could do nothing about it. He could not even be charged with murder, let alone prosecuted. It is not valid to conclude from this fact that a pope therefore cannot commit murder.

He cannot commit the CRIME of murder in the eyes of the temporal courts, because his diplomatic immunity shields him from any and all legal recourse against him. The act, of course, still remains a crime against Divine law, that is, it's still a sin, and the pope is not precluded from committing it.

Anyone with free will can choose to sin, and the technical details of whether that act can also be ruled a crime by some court is irrelevant. The pope is capable of murder despite the fact that he can commit no (prosecutable) crime in the eyes of the law.

Similarly, a pope is capable of heresy despite the fact that no canonical court would have the power to charge him with it.


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New post Re: Response to Miles Peior
Miles Peior wrote:
To claim that "God would not allow" a pope to fall into heresy would mean that a pope no longer has free will.


No. If you state that, you are, essentially making the same mistake that Calvin did about predestination and free will.

God has chosen to never usurp free will. But He can, and does, prevent us from doing certain things. At the very least, He can arrange circumstances so that WE choose not to do that certain thing.

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New post Re: Response to Ken Gordon
Miles Peior wrote:
I'm late to the party, obviously. But, responding to your response to my earlier post regarding the POSSIBILITY of a pope becoming a heretic, I offer the following simple logic:

All men have free will.

The individual elected to the papacy is a man and remains a man even after ascending to his office.

Therefore the pope has free will.

Heresy is an act of the will.

Therefore the pope can choose to be a heretic.

To claim that "God would not allow" a pope to fall into heresy would mean that a pope no longer has free will.


Miles,

Sometimes "simple logic" is mistaken. :)

Van Noort says the following:

Quote:
Thus far we have been discussing Catholic teaching. It may be useful to add a few points about purely theological opinions – opinions with regard to the pope when he is not speaking ex cathedra. All theologians admit that the pope can make a mistake in matters of faith and morals when so speaking: either by proposing a false opinion in a matter not yet defined, or by innocently differing from some doctrine already defined. Theologians disagree, however, over the question of whether the pope can become a formal heretic by stubbornly clinging to an error in a matter already defined. The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so too he never will permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic. Still, some competent theologians do concede that the pope when not speaking ex cathedra could fall into formal heresy. They add that should such a case of public papal heresy occur, the pope, either by the very deed itself or at least by a subsequent decision of an ecumenical council, would by divine law forfeit his jurisdiction. Obviously a man could not continue to be the head of the Church if he ceased to be even a member of the Church.


No one thinks a Pope can, in an official capacity, teach heresy to the Church...but some do hold that a pope could fall into heresy as a private person. St. Robert Bellarmine teaches that this will never happen...but he does not say that it is certain that this will never happen. I believe it is certain, however, that no Pope can or will officially teach heresy to the Church.

Robert


Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:46 am
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
Quote:
I think that the 'universal acceptance' was also referred to as 'universal adherence'. If one looks at adherence, then I think the difference between John XXIII and Paul VI becomes clear. It can be argued that Paul VI did not enjoy universal adherence...it is much more difficult to argue this with John XXIII, IMHO.


I think this is s breakthrough in the discussion, and is key to understanding it. The concept of 'adherence' becomes clearer when we realize that the state of Catholicism in 1963 was very different from that of 1958. 'Cracks' had begun to appear in the masonry, and it was evident that the attempt to dismantle the Church had begun. Dissent was more common - and open.


Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:28 am
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