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 The Church and ordinary jurisdiction. 
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New post The Church and ordinary jurisdiction.
Hello John,

Can ordinary jurisdiction and apostolicity be conferred retroactively?

The main thrust of this question comes from a few sources. The first is from Msgr. Charles Journet in his work "The Church of the Incarnate Word [1954]". Which states;

"We must not think of the church, when the Pope is dead, as possessing the papal power in act, in a state of diffusion, so that she herself can delegate it to the next Pope in whom it will be re-condensed and made definate. When the Pope dies the church is widowed, and, in respect of the visible universal jurisdiction, she is truely acephalous. But she is not acephalous as are the schismatic churches, nor like a body on the way to decomposition. Christ directs her from heaven... But, though slowed down, the pulse of life has not left the church; she possesses the power of the Papacy in potency, in the sense that Christ, who has willed her always to depend on a visible pastor, has given her the power to designate the man to whom he will himself commit the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, as once he committed them to Peter.

--"During a vacancy of the Apostolic See, neither the Church nor the Council can contravene the provisions already laid down to determine the valid mode of election (Cardinal Cajetan, O.P., in De Comparata, cap.xiii, no.202). However, in case of permission (for example if the Pope has provided nothing against it), or in case of ambiguity (for example, if it is unknown who the true cardinals are or who the true Pope is, as was the case at the time of the Great Schism), the power of 'applying the Papacy to such and such a person' devolves on the universal Church, the Church of God."

The next is the consecrating of bishops during an interregnum. Between the reigns of Pope Clement the IV and Gregory the X (a rather long interregnum) bishops were consecrated without papal mandate. These consecrations were ultimately given the "ok" from Pope Gregory the X.

If the church can exist in an acephalous state for a period of time, without a "visible universal jurisdiction", would it be wrong to assume that the church could indeed exist for a period of time without any ordinary jurisdiction? Some have critiqued traditionalists as being in the same state as the Eastern schismatics, but we are not. We are directed from heaven (given the extra-ordinary nature of this crisis), and have no obstacle which would prevent us from obtaining and accepting a future Pope and hierarchy.

Now, given the precedent of bishops being consecrated during a vacancy without papal mandate, and ultimately then being ratafied by a future Pope....does it not follow that Popes can confer jurisdiction and apostolicity retroactively? And if this is the case, the vacancy we are experiencing need not be viewed as a "break in the apostolic line", given the fact that a future Pope can ratify all traditional consecrations, and thus maintain the perpetuity of the apostolic college (in the sense that the apostolic college must always have the capacities of "teacher, priest, and ruler").

Have any of the theologians you've read contradicted this? What do you think?

In Christ,
Bill


Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:59 pm
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New post Re: The Church and ordinary jurisdiction.
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
Can ordinary jurisdiction and apostolicity be conferred retroactively?

No. But it may be presumed, on the expectation that it will be confirmed by the lawgiver when he is again present. This is essentially what Archbishop Lefebvre recommended to Bishop de Castro Mayer in a famous letter advising him to consecrate a successor as Bishop of Campos. You can read the whole thing here:
http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archb ... _Mayer.htm

Btw, there is a translation or transcription error in the text, I suspect. Where it reads, "at least outside the diocese" it should read, "at least not outside the diocese."


Bill wrote:
The main thrust of this question comes from a few sources. The first is from Msgr. Charles Journet in his work "The Church of the Incarnate Word [1954]".


I really don't like this book. Fr. Journet was rewarded for his theological expertise by Paul VI, who made him a Cardinal. That may not be sufficient in itself to discredit him for all, but his mystico-theological approach to questions which had already been rendered into sharp clarity by the scholastics only served to confuse and obscure them. This passage you quote is an absolute classic of this type, in which the visible and invisible elements in the Church appear to lose their clear distinctions, and novel metaphorical terms such as "widowed" - which implies the error that the pope is the spouse of the Church, when in fact he is the vicar of the Spouse - appear to cloud the nature of the true relations which exist between these various realities. The idea that during an interregum the Church is "visibly acephalous" is simply wrong and very, very, dangerous, I think. When he adds the notion that this state is dissimilar to that of the Greeks because Our Lord rules invisibly from Heaven, then the problem is definitely compounded, because here we find ourselves with what can only be described as a Church lacking visible unity but having invisible unity - the error of Luther, Calvin, and the rest.

Chilling stuff.

Let's understand that submission to the hierarchy means, in practice, obeying the general laws of the Church. Therefore, because the traditional Catholic faithful and clergy obey the provisions of the popes from prior to the crisis (i.e. all the true popes), we are in open, visible, submission to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This is true during any interregnum, and it is true now. There is no essential difference. We must insist upon this because it is true and if it is not seen clearly all manner of confusion enters in.

The Church is never visibly acephalous. I will post here Cardinal Franzelin on the question, translated by Jim Larrabee. That should clarify the whole thing, and will also illustrate the point concerning clear, scholastic, treatment contrasted with fuzzy, mystico-theological ramblings.


Bill wrote:
Some have critiqued traditionalists as being in the same state as the Eastern schismatics, but we are not. We are directed from heaven (given the extra-ordinary nature of this crisis), and have no obstacle which would prevent us from obtaining and accepting a future Pope and hierarchy.


We are directed from Heaven, invisibly - True, but irrelevant to questions involving the visible unity of the Church and the transmission of the papal office. We are directed from Heaven visibly and externally, as the Church as a social body always necessarily must be directed - False. This is the Protestant error of the "invisible Church."

We are in fact directed visibly and externally by the laws of both faith and morals and even general government established by the popes before the crisis.

Anybody who wishes to contrast our (alleged) lack of visible government with that prevailing in the tyrannical chaos of the Conciliar Church is doing us a favour by highlighting our unity and their essential disunity. Anybody who wishes to claim that a sedeplenist traditional Catholic enjoys some kind of visible government lacking to a sedevacantist traditional Catholic obviously hasn't ever actually stopped to consider the meaning of the terms he is employing. He is no more directed by Ratzinger in any essential point than the most complete sedevacantist.


Bill wrote:
a future Pope can ratify all traditional consecrations, and thus maintain the perpetuity of the apostolic college (in the sense that the apostolic college must always have the capacities of "teacher, priest, and ruler").


The traditional consecrations are not relevant, since none of the objects of them claims ordinary jurisdiction, nor an office to which it is attached, and therefore there is nothing for a future pope to ratify.

The continuity of the episcopal college will be verified in some other manner than this.

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Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:21 am
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Cardinal Franzelin, translated by James Larrabee.

VACANCY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE

15. "Hence the distinction arises between the seat [sedes, See] and the one sitting in it [sedens], by reason of perpetuity. The seat, that is the perpetual right of the primacy, never ceases, on the part of God in His unchangeable law and supernatural providence, and on the part of the Church in her right and duty of forever keeping as a deposit the power divinely instituted on behalf of the individual successors of Peter, and of securing their succession by a fixed law; but the individual heirs or those sitting [sedentes] in the Apostolic seat are mortal men; and therefore the seat can never fail, but it can be *vacant* and often is vacant. Then indeed the divine law and institution of perpetuity remains, and by the same reason the right and duty in the Church of procuring the succession according to the established law; there remain also the participations in the powers [of the papacy] to the extent they are communicable to others [e.g. to the Cardinals or bishops], and have been communicated by the successor of Peter while still alive, or have been lawfully established and not abrogated [thus the jurisdiction of bishops, granted by the Pope, does not cease when he dies]; but the highest power itself, together with its rights and prerogatives, which can in no way exist except in the one individual heir of Peter, now actually belong to no one while the See is vacant.

"From this can be understood the distinction in the condition of the Church herself in the time of the *vacancy of the See* and the time of the *occupation of the See* [sedis plenae], namely that in the former time, a successor of Peter, the visible rock and visible head of the Church, *is owed* to the vacant Apostolic See by divine right or law but *does not yet exist*; in the time of the occupation of the See he now *actually sits* by divine right. It is most important to consider the very root of the whole life of the Church, by which I mean the indefectibility and infallible custody of the deposit of the faith. Certainly there remains in the Church not only indefectibility *in believing* (called passive infallibility) but also infallibility *in proclaiming* the truth already revealed and already sufficiently proposed for Catholic belief, even while she is for a time bereaved of her visible head, so that neither the whole body of the Church in its belief, nor the whole Episcopate in its teaching, can depart from the faith handed down and fall into heresy, because this permanence of the Spirit of truth in the Church, the kingdom and spouse and body of Christ, is included in the very promise and institution of the indefectibility of the Church *for all days* even to the consummation of the world. The same is to be said, by the same reasoning, for the unity of communion against a universal schism, as for the truth of the faith against heresy. For the divine law and promise of perpetual succession in the See of Peter, as the root and center of Catholic unity, remains; and to this law and promise correspond, on the part of the Church, not only the right and duty of, but also indefectibility in, legitimately procuring and receiving the succession and in keeping the unity of communion with the Petrine See even when vacant, in view of the successor who is awaited and will indefectibly come ... " (Franzelin, op. cit., p. 221-223)

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Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:23 am
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Thanks John,

Clear and concise as usual.

Quote:
The traditional consecrations are not relevant, since none of the objects of them claims ordinary jurisdiction, nor an office to which it is attached, and therefore there is nothing for a future pope to ratify.

I understand.

Quote:
The continuity of the episcopal college will be verified in some other manner than this.

Do you have a moment to point me to some avenues of thought on this? Granted, there may be some bishops left in the world with ordinary jurisdiction...but assuming the crisis continues, and we can reasonably conclude that the hope of these bishops being out there has passed, what then? Is there anyway possible for the church to exist without ordinary jurisdiction?

This question seems to relate more to the apostolic college than to the Papacy. The theologians address the question of a vacancy very clearly. Yet when it comes to the apostolic college, they all (the ones I've read at least) in a rather matter of fact fashion, state that the collage must remain unbroken and "perpetual" in it's ability to teach, sacrafice, and rule. We are very close to the point of having no bishops who can rule. Is this possible? In any way?

Thank you John for your answers.

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:10 pm
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Bill wrote:
Do you have a moment to point me to some avenues of thought on this? Granted, there may be some bishops left in the world with ordinary jurisdiction...but assuming the crisis continues, and we can reasonably conclude that the hope of these bishops being out there has passed, what then? Is there anyway possible for the church to exist without ordinary jurisdiction?


We have considered this before, but I will repeat what I have said, in a slightly different form.

Wilhelm and Scannell gives us the teaching of the Church:
Quote:
The Indefectibility of the Teaching Body is at the same time a condition and a consequence of the Indefectibility of the Church. A distinction must, however, be drawn between the Indefectibility of the Head and the Indefectibility of the subordinate members. The individual who is the Head may die, but the authority of the Head does not die with him – it is transmitted to his successor. On the other hand, the Teaching Body as a whole could not die or fail without irreparably destroying the continuity of authentic testimony.

From this we conclude that the Church must always possess at least one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction or she would not be the Church.

Now, if there is no such bishop, then either the proposition is not true – that is, we misunderstood the doctrinal point – or the sedevacantist solution is wrong.

Of course, until it is demonstrated that the Church does not possess even one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction, then there is no concrete problem. The problem is not just theoretical, but hypothetical.

But, let us consider the idea that the sedevacantist solution is not true. Where would that leave us? It would leave us with a Church which is essentially visibly disunited, unholy, non-universal, and non-apostolic. It would leave us with a Church in which the “pastors and doctors” that we have abandoned the sedevacantist solution to obtain, do not agree with us in faith, worship, or actual government. A Church in which not even one bishop so much as prefers the true Mass, but in which we would be forced, like imbeciles, to celebrate as an “authorised teacher” of the Faith a man who – unlike his fellows – will tolerate the true Mass and will tolerate priests preaching sound doctrine, and who will tolerate altars facing the East, etc. (i.e. the venerable and ancient traditions of our Holy Church, for which we ought to be willing to die!)

The Church must always have authentic teachers. But she must always be a visible unity also.

Now, as far as I can see, the two truths may be verified somewhat independently of each other - viz. the Church is a visible unity of faith and charity and this is verified today by a consideration of the unity of traditional Catholics all professing the same doctrines, sharing the same sacraments, and obeying the same laws; and the requirement for the Church always to possess authentic teachers does not mean that those teachers are always actually teaching, so that this may be verified today in any bishop who retains his ordinary jurisdiction, even if he is unknown to traditional Catholics.

Consider an old "retired" bishop who has retained the Faith in his heart all through the crisis, and has only ever gone along with the “reforms” of Vatican II out of misguided obedience to the man that almost the whole Church regarded as pope. He is in a retirement home somewhere. He was consecrated in 1967. He was appointed to an office of “ordinary” by Paul VI, and this appointment was valid by virtue of supplied jurisdiction arising because of common error (i.e. error about Paul VI’s jurisdiction). 1967 was forty years ago. To be consecrated a bishop a man must be at least thirty years of age, canonically. Our hypothetical bishop was, say, thirty-five years old at consecration. He is now seventy-five.

For validity, a resignation of any office must be accepted by the lawful superior. But the superior of bishops is the pope. There has been no such superior for the past forty years or so. Therefore, our hypothetical bishop’s resignation was invalid due to the lack of a lawful superior to accept it - so he still holds his office of ordinary of his diocese.

Thus our bishop is a Catholic and has episcopal orders and ordinary jurisdiction, even if he isn't exercising it. Potentially there are many such bishops.

Bishop Sanborn, whose colourful language occasionally exceeds his diligence in demonstrating his position, refers to this (or an idea like it) as the "bishop in the woods" idea, I suppose by analogy with the hypothetical case considered by St. Thomas, of the man invincibly ignorant of the Faith because he was raised by wolves in the woods. But under the conditions I have laid out here, there are no woods involved, merely confusion over Vatican II and its exact authority. Unless it can be shown that the acceptance of Vatican II in itself entails the loss of supernatural Faith and thus suffices to strip a man of membership in the Church, Bp. Sanborn cannot dismiss such an hypothesis out of hand. And I am confident that Bishop Sanborn does not in fact hold that acceptance of Vatican II in itself entails the dire consequences mentioned.

I think the idea that there are several such bishops is actually likely rather than unlikely.

This is one possibility. I do not say that it is certain (although I see no problem with it). Perhaps there are other possibilities. But we only need one, and the objection evaporates.

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Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:13 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Consider an old "retired" bishop who has retained the Faith in his heart all through the crisis, and has only ever gone along with the “reforms” of Vatican II out of misguided obedience to the man that almost the whole Church regarded as pope. He is in a retirement home somewhere. He was consecrated in 1967. He was appointed to an office of “ordinary” by Paul VI, and this appointment was valid by virtue of supplied jurisdiction arising because of common error (i.e. error about Paul VI’s jurisdiction). 1967 was forty years ago. To be consecrated a bishop a man must be at least thirty years of age, canonically. Our hypothetical bishop was, say, thirty-five years old at consecration. He is now seventy-five.


I think, perhaps, there may be a misunderstanding here. I believe that ordinary jurisdiction can never be supplied. That jurisdiction comes from a valid reigning pope and is a divine law. I suspect that is why no traditional bishop today claims ordinary jurisdiction. Again, ordinary jurisdiction is that mandate and mission given only by a valid pope and can never be supplied. Perhaps, John Daly and James Larrabee could be asked about this, but I don't think there is any doubt about this matter that ordinary jurisdiction is never supplied and can only be given by a true pope.

Supplied jurisdiction may well be understood as that use of epikeia (an ecclesial application of the virtue of prudence) for the sacrament of penance. There is, of course, debate in theological circles whether the sacrament of penance given without jurisdiction is even licit let alone valid outside of very limited and extreme circumstances. The use of epikeia was understood in a very limited sense to be used in unforeseen, emergency, temporary situation such as a priest on vacation outside his diocese coming across a trafffic accident and the use of his faculties in that circumstance. Epikeia was, I don't think, ever seen as a 'legitimate' on-going way to run the Church.

If ordinary jurisdiction ceased with the death of the last true pope, I suspect that the last bishop given a mandate/mission would perhaps be 1963; if John XXIII is considered a true pope. I suspect most sedes would consider the last true pope as Pope Pius XII. If that be the case, then 1958 would be the last year of appointing true jurisdictional bishops.

Ordinary Jurisdiction is so very important to the Church because it fulfills the mark of apostolicity and unity of government. It can be claimed that apostolicity is the superior mark of the Church because it in a sense 'makes' the other marks. As you John so aptly have shown Faith and Unity are necessary for the Church. However, apostolicity gave us the Faith and maintains the Faith. It is through the Magisterium, bishops with ordinary jurisdiction and the pope, that the Church lives within Our Lord. Our Lord so made it that our faith comes through the Church, through the Magisterium, and never apart from it.

Apostolicity contains within itself the note of visibility. The Church is present through the world in a visible sense through her Magisterium. That visibility need not be large, but it certainly needs to be obvious to those with the eyes of the Faith, and it needs to be either a pope or a valid bishop given his ordinary jurisdiction by a true pope. An example would be Archbishop Lefebrve and Bishop de Castro Mayer. These prelates were valid jurisdictional bishops that were visible and obvious to the faithful. So it also was in the beginning. Shortly after Pentecost the apostles were sent throughout the world. The Church was visible and obvious to anyone at that time. The availability of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the other sacraments is not necessary for visibility. I would imagine a significant number of Catholics throughout the ages did not have access to the sacraments.

I think also that the theologians cannot be misunderstood on this issue. It is very clear that there can never be an interrruption of the college of bishops, those with ordinary jurisdiction, without the Church defecting ... not for one instance. I suspect that is why there was no good Catholic theologian throughout the VII years that posited sedevacantism, not even Msgr. Guerard des Lauriers, who was definitely not a sedevacantist.

If we can concur on where the Church is not (and we do), the sedevacantist should be able to answer where the Church is, in the sense that the Church herself has spoken.

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Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:09 pm
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New post The Church and Ordinary Jurisdiction
As a further addendum to my previous post, mistaken identity as to the validity of a pope does not 'supply' ordinary jurisdiction. I believe ordinary jurisdiction is much like a sacrament. If I mistakenly take someone as a valid priest who in fact is not, my error does not 'validate' those sacraments: does not supply objective sacramental grace. A bishop given an apparent mandate/mission (ordinary jurisdiction) by a non-pope even though that bishop believes the man to be pope does not give said bishop any jurisdiction. That divine right given to a true pope by Our Lord is never given by a man who is not the pope, no matter what the recipient may believe. In a vernacular sense, you can't give what you don't have.

Again, perhaps, Mr. Daly or Mr. Larrabee could shed some additional light on this critical issue. Actually, I think the whole sede position lives or dies on this issue ... apostolicity is the Church and without it there is no Church.

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Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:01 pm
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I think, perhaps, there may be a misunderstanding here. I believe that ordinary jurisdiction can never be supplied.


That's right. But nobody has implied that ordinary jurisdiction is supplied. Ordinary jurisdiction is attached to the office. It comes with it. The office is received by appointment. The appointment requires that the appointer have ordinary jurisdiction - or supplied jurisdiction. In this case the "pope" receives jurisdiction supplied by the Church for this act of appointing a man to an office, for the good of souls.

James Larrabee and John Daly can comment any time they like. I will be astonished if they disagree with this point.

If Guerard was not a sedevacantist then Bishop Sanborn is not one either. I really don't mind either way - it is reality that counts, not labels. You should ask Bishop Sanborn. While you're at it, ask him if Guerardianism, upon which depends the very continuity of the Church (in his view), is an Opinion. Put it in pithy form, "Bishop, are you an Opinionist?" :)

Now, please state your theory of the Church. It is really unreasonable to criticise the only cogent theory whilst refusing to put forward any other. People have asked you politely and you have so far ignored them. Is that the way for Christians to discuss things?

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Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:17 pm
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New post Re: The Church and Ordinary Jurisdiction
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
As a further addendum to my previous post...


Teresa, you really need to stop this and start providing texts. This material is all very confused, but you would eliminate most of the problem if you tried to find a text from an authority stating your view.

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Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:20 pm
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Hello John,

John wrote:
We have considered this before, but I will repeat what I have said, in a slightly different form.

Yes we have discussed this before. I guess I'm a bit of a repetitive chap. But now that I look back, I should have worded the question another way. Let's try again.

Have you given any thought to another solution for the apostolic college problem? That's what I meant by looking for "avenues of thought". Have you thought about, studied, sought guidance from others, about what would happen if we were sure there were no bishops left with ordinary jurisdiction?

I'm adducing from your comments that if we get to that point, your going to adjust your positions rather drastically.

I apologize for my lack of clarity.

In Christ,
Bill


Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:55 pm
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New post Ordinary Jurisdiction
John,

I think the articles from the Catholic Encyclopedia on Apostolicity and Bishop state cogently what I am trying to say.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01648b.htm

Note well the statement, "no one can give a power he does not possess": and, also, the statement about the importance of apostolicity.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02581b.htm

Ludwig Ott's section on Jurisdiction is also helpful.

I am saying that I can't see how the NO is the Church, but, equally, I can't see how the sedevacantists (except the Guerardians) could possibly be the Church. I don't know anything about the material/formal thesis, but it at least attempts in a way to answer the 'pressing' question of jurisdiction/apostolicity. Bishop Sanborn will have to answer for himself as to his position on 'opinionism': I suspect he is not an opinionist.

I believe you are the one that posted Mr. Larrabee's little post giving a timeframe of 50 years without a pope; as he states arguably the vacancy began in 1958. So, it is not in any way off-topic to be bringing this topic before your attention: as 50 years is here tomorrow, so-to-speak.

Again, I think the material/formal response, at least, attempts to answer the question. Whether it is even possible to understand, I certainly couldn't possibly understand it, except in its most simplistic statement.

I believe, somehow, the men in the hierarchy of the Church (?) maintain apostolicity. As for what Bill asked, will you change your position drastically when you become my age, and nothing has changed (please God, Come Lord Jesus)?

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Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:04 am
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Bill wrote:
Have you given any thought to another solution for the apostolic college problem? That's what I meant by looking for "avenues of thought". Have you thought about, studied, sought guidance from others, about what would happen if we were sure there were no bishops left with ordinary jurisdiction?


Yes. But nothing else appeals to me as really solidly founded.


Bill wrote:
I'm adducing from your comments that if we get to that point, your going to adjust your positions rather drastically.


Not at all. I can't predict what information may come my way, so "never say never," but this particular "problem" won't force any radical revision.

I fully expect this crisis to get so bad that it will seem as though the Church really has failed. That will truly be a dark night of the soul. Only grace will suffice then. Because I don't wish to preach, I don't say this too often, but I have said it before and it is my own approach and I intend to intensify it over time:- accept that there are mysteries and make acts of Faith. We hold fast to the Catholic Church. Wherever she is. If she seems to disappear, then we hold fast to her anyway. We accept the sedevacantist solution on condition that it is the truth. If we err, we err without pertinacity. We reject the heretic Ratzinger's claim on condition that he is a heretic, and on condition that heretics cannot possess offices in the Church. If we err, we err without pertinacity. I am sure that God will not ask us on Judgement Day whether or not we penetrated every mystery or got every detail right. He will however expect us to have retained Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Dogmatism about things which have not been settled by the Church is not just erroneous and really contemptible, but it is extraordinarily dangerous for the soul. It contracts and constricts a man's spirit until he is a tight ball of deathly superiority, looking ridiculous to all but himself.

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Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:09 am
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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Bishop Sanborn will have to answer for himself as to his position on 'opinionism': I suspect he is not an opinionist.


Of course he is. Everybody sensible is "opinionist" in this matter.

His article "Opinionism" was a very cleverly constructed lever aimed at protecting the faithful from the V2 errors and "popes", no doubt because Bishop Sanborn fears that without such a simplification of the issue people will be at risk. He knows that most laymen can't sort through all the issues properly; he knows that the Church has not spoken, so he cannot merely point to a decree and instruct the faithful to obey it; so he over-simplifies the issues and conveys the impression that Ratzinger's non-papacy is a theological conclusion of such a nature as to bind all. He knows better than that, however.

So we are faced with two alternatives. Either he is really ignorant of the theological method (which I do not believe), or he has been economical with the truth for (what he thinks is) the good of souls. This latter alternative is what I think he has done.

Note how he first reconstructs Archbishop Lefebvre's statement of policy as though it were a statement of theology - i.e. a proposition. Viz. "I do not say that the pope is not the pope, but I do not say either that one cannot say that the pope is not the pope." This becomes, "Because the Church has not declared him a non-pope, it is a legitimate theological opinion to hold that he is the pope or is not the pope, whichever you prefer. Neither position is offensive to the Faith."

That, I submit, is clever rhetoric, but utterly invalid as a procedure. It appeals to really shallow, ill-educated, minds.

The Archbishop did not assert that either opinion was equally probable or consistent with the Faith, or even describe either as a "theological opinion." He did nothing more than state a policy. That is, a practical rule. Bishop Sanborn has inferred from that rule implications which it does not, in fact, imply. Nor has he even attempted to show that they are implied by it. He has breezed past the challenge merely by stating baldly the proposition he wishes to refute. The fact that it is not the Archbishop's proposition is thereby hidden from view. It's the straw man fallacy. He certainly knows better than that.

Bishop Sanborn's own rule is "I do not say that the pope is not at least materially the pope, but I do not say either that one cannot say that the pope is not at least materially the pope." He permits professors in his own seminary to hold that the present claimant in Rome is neither materially nor formally the pope, despite holding himelf that such an opinion is an implicit denial of the indefectibility of the Church.

So, Bishop Sanborn is certainly an "Opinionist" according to his own definition of that term, and rightly so.

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Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:41 am
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New post Ordinary Jurisdiction
The question, "where will true hierarchy come from?" is certainly valid and extremely vexing.

Has anyone here thought to look to those places in the world where the Church has been most cruely persecuted for a possible answer to this question?

We definitely have precedent for it: the Church was most cruely persecuted for the first 300 years of its existence, and managed to survive with Her hierarchy completely intact during that time. And there have been other such times.

Perhaps our true hierarchy is still underground in places like Russia or China.

To me, this is far more likely than to expect those such as Bp. Sanborn and others of his ilk to be the true heirarchy. I base my belief on the past history of the Church. God sometimes has kept such people hidden until He decided the time was right.

If such were to happen, we would have to be shown some sort of incontrovertible proof, of course. I.e., if someone were to claim that he and his followers were the true hierarchy, he, and they, must be able to prove their claim beyond a shadow of a doubt. We could accept no less.

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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
KenGordon wrote:
The question, "where will true hierarchy come from?" is certainly valid and extremely vexing.


Dear Ken,

I agree with that, although as I said, it amounts to a difficulty or a mystery for sedevacantists, whereas sedeplenists have more difficulties and mysteries - indeed, they appear to me to have impossibilities. That is, we are facing a hyothetically or potentially absent necessity for the constitution of the Church; they are facing the actual presence of several elements which are impossible in the true Church.

If you can see that our difficulty is merely hypothetical, you can understand the flaw in this reasoning of Bishop Sanborn:

Bishop Sanborn wrote:
"The first error leads the sedeplenist into the blasphemous and objectively heretical position that the authority of the Church is capable of promulgating error and impious disciplines. The second error leads the total sedevacantist into an implicit denial of the apostolicity of the Church. For if the line of Apostles, matter and form, has been snipped off by the heretical "popes," then there is no institutional linkage or continuity from the time of the Apostles to the present. One would have to conclude that it was broken with the last valid pope, probably Pius XII." From "An Emperor We Have, But No Bishop."


By "the total sedevacantist" he means sedevacantists. He is contrasting us with Guerardians such as himself. Our position involves the "implicit denial of the apostolicity of the Church." Fortunately for us (and for his seminarians!) he doesn't permit the rigour of his logic to proceed against sedevacantists - he only prosecutes it to its full extent against sedeplenists. So he is an Opinionist, but apparently geography colours it. :)

Be that as it may, it is sufficiently clear that his argument rests on the assumption that in our theory the apostolic succession has been "snipped off," a totally unproven assumption and one which, if the proper principles are applied, seems almost impossible to prove.


KenGordon wrote:
Has anyone here thought to look to those places in the world where the Church has been most cruely persecuted for a possible answer to this question?

Sure, but this is really only a variation on the point that I have put above, unless you are suggesting that one of Pius XII's or John XXIII's appointments is still alive. The appointment of any bishop behind the Iron Curtain, since the death of Pius XII or the death of John XXIII (depending on which you consider to be demonstrated to have been the last pope), could well have been valid by virtue of supplied jurisdiction.


KenGordon wrote:
If such were to happen, we would have to be shown some sort of incontrovertible proof, of course. I.e., if someone were to claim that he and his followers were the true hierarchy, he, and they, must be able to prove their claim beyond a shadow of a doubt. We could accept no less.

I agree with this. But do not discount a miracle as a confirming factor. A miracle does not have to do anything more than reassure the common people that the proper canonical requirements have in fact been met. The historians can then show how this was all true, just as they did with the Great Western Schism, and the common people can get on with sanctifying or being sanctified, which is our proper work.

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New post An Emperor We Have, But No Bishop
This article is like a summary of Guerardianism for laymen. It flatly contradicts St. Robert Bellarmine, of course, even in the very example chosen to illustrate the (false) principles of Guerard's theory - the case of Nestorius.

"An Emperor We Have, But No Bishop"
by Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn

The following is an excerpt from The Supplication to the Emperor of the Monks of Constantinople, being a complaint to him about the heretic Nestorius, then occupying the episcopal see of the same city.

Nestorius professed two errors. The first was that the Man formed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary was other than the Word of God. The incarnation was simply the dwelling of the Word in a man, as in a temple. Hence Christ was not God, but merely the temple of God. His second error was to deny the title of Mother of God (Theotokos) to the Blessed Virgin Mary, according her only the title of Mother of Christ (Christotokos).

The monks are asking the Emperor to intervene on their behalf, and resolve an intolerable situation in which a heretic is occupying the see of Constantinople. The original text is in Greek. We here reproduce an English translation:

The Supplication to the Emperor of the Monks of Constantinople
Quote:
Because this dogma, however, was preached without alloy in the most holy Church of God, and Paul [of Samosata] the heretic was most justly thrown out, divisions arose among the people, as well as disturbances among priests, and agitation among the pastors. But now in this time also some of the most respected priests have often and openly in public assembly accused Nestorius, who occupies this episcopal see (if, however, it is licit to call him bishop, for the fact that he continues to deny, with obstinate resolve, that Christ by nature is true God and that the holy Virgin is the Mother of God). These same priests have cut off communion with him, and to this day are still not in communion; some have secretly removed themselves from his fellowship; others among the most sanctified of priests, have been denied their faculty to preach, for the reason that, in this holy diocese of Irene by the Sea, they attacked the perverse doctrine which was again sprouting forth. It therefore happened that, as the people were seeking the traditional preaching of the Faith, they publicly cried out: "An Emperor we have, but no bishop." But this effort of the people did not go unpunished. For some of them were seized by the ministers, and dragged before the court, and were taken out and beaten in the imperial city with a cruelty not used even in the barbarian nations. There were not lacking those who openly protested before him in the presence of the people who were present and listening in the most holy church, but not without very serious beatings which they bore for that cause. Finally a certain simple monk, enflamed with vehement zeal, making his way to the middle of the church while Mass was being celebrated, tried to stop the preacher of the impiety from coming in. But he knocked him down, and handed him over to imperial prefects. Then, after having cut him up by the lash, and publicly beaten him, while the preacher was going ahead of him and shouting, he sent him into exile. Nor was it confned to this. After that wicked sermon, the partisans of his sect, since he was in posession of the place, would have brought their bloodshed into God's most holy church, if God had not forbidden it.

In this excerpt, the reader should discover and meditate a few items of note. The first is that Nestorius' heresies were not specifically condemned by any act of extraordinary magisterium. He was considered a heretic because his denials and teachings ran contrary to the ordinary universal magisterium of the Catholic Church. One would look in vain in the Councils of Nicea or of Constantinople for a definition of Theotokos. Yet Nestorius' doctrine is regarded as impious, for it contradicts the general teaching and belief of the Catholic Church as a whole.

The second item is that the priests of the diocese, at least those who remain orthodox, have publicly denounced him in council, and have withdrawn communion from him. They obviously already consider him outside the Church for the fact of his public heresy, and this even before his official condemnation.

Thirdly, notice that the people will not recognize him as bishop, for his failure to preach the traditional teaching. They instinctively know that the preaching and teaching of heresy is radically incompatible with the tenure of ecclesiastical authority. Hence they say, "An Emperor we have, but no bishop," and this before any official condemnation by the papal authorities.

Fourthly, despite his public heresy, it was still necessary that Nestorius undergo warnings by the Pope, and having repudiated the warnings, be officially excommunicated and deposed by the same.

The case is strikingly close to our own. The bishop in this instance is the Bishop of Rome and any other bishop, for that matter, who adheres to the heresies of Vatican II. The heretical matter contradicts, in most cases, the universal ordinary magisterium of the Church, although in some cases it could be argued that Vatican II contradicts extraordinary magisterium.

From this similarity, we should take the example from our orthodox forefathers: break communion with the heretics, and deny them the jurisdiction and title of pope or bishop which they claim. "An Emperor we have [Clinton?], but no bishop."

At the same time, we should realize that while we have the right and obligation personally and even collectively to cut communion with heretical prelates, and to regard them as false prelates, we do not have the authority to declare the sees legally vacant which these heretical "popes" or "bishops" possess de facto. Only the authority of the Church can do that. We wait anxiously for the glorious day when the authority of Christ vested in a true pope will declare that the authors of Vatican II and all those who through their own fault adhered to its false teachings are excommunicated from the Catholic Church. We look forward to the authoritative deposition from their putative thrones of Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, with the hopeful addition of John XXIII. How these richly deserve the title which was inscribed on Nestorius' document of excommunication and deposition: the New Judas.

This balance of Catholic outrage against the teaching of heresy, on the one hand, and of Catholic respect for the processes of law, on the other, is the basis of Bishop Guerard des Lauriers' Thesis. Just like the clergy who refused Nestorius communion, and just like the people who said they have no bishop, so Catholics must refuse to be in communion with or recognize the claim to jurisdiction of those who teach the heresies and errors of Vatican II. On the other hand, until their designation to possess the authority is legally declared null and void by competent authority, the heretical "pope" or "bishop" is in a state of legal possession of the see, but without authority. He can only lose that state of legal possession by legal deposition.

This distinction, when properly understood, should satisfy those who object, with certain reason, that the sedevacantist oversteps his bounds in deposing popes and bishops, that he sets himself up as an ecclesiastical authority. It is necessary to wait, the objectors argue, until such time as a pope declares these Vatican II popes and bishops to be null and void. In the meantime, it is necessary to regard them as valid in their office.

Valid quoad jurisdictionem, nego; quoad designationem, concedo. For by nature, by divine law, it is impossible that jurisdiction coincide with the preaching of heresy, since it is impossible that he who wishes to draw the flock into heresy have the habitual intention of promoting the proper ends of the Catholic Church.

Error always happens either by the combining of those things which should be separated, or by the separating of those things which should be combined. In this case the application of the aristotelicothomistic principle of matter and form (act and potency, ultimately) to the office of the papacy delineates the proper distinctions to be made. The sedeplenist fails to make the distinction, and thus confuses the legal designation to be pope with the papacy itself. The total sedevacantist fails to make the distinction, and considers the heretical inmates of the Vatican to be already legally deposed.

The first error leads the sedeplenist into the blasphemous and objectively heretical position that the authority of the Church is capable of promulgating error and impious disciplines. The second error leads the total sedevacantist into an implicit denial of the apostolicity of the Church. For if the line of Apostles, matter and form, has been snipped off by the heretical "popes," then there is no institutional linkage or continuity from the time of the Apostles to the present. One would have to conclude that it was broken with the last valid pope, probably Pius XII.

If the public pronouncement and teaching of heresy means automatic legal deposition, then there would have been no necessity to warn Nestorius or to legally depose him. The case is really quite close to our own problem today, and we should learn from it.

Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn


Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:58 am
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New post Ordinary Jurisdiction
John,

Could you please explain this point you continue to make about 'supplied' jurisdiction for a bishop? As I understand it, a lawful pope must make an appointment for a bishop to have actual/ordinary jurisdiction. I was wondering where you've found that an unlawful pope (or no pope) could appoint a bishop to an office of ordinary jurisdiction? Are you in fact saying that the non-Pope Paul VI could give a mission/mandate to a bishop, and then that bishop has ordinary jurisdiction? Do you have any support for this theological position of 'supplied' ordinary jurisdiction? It certainly flies in the face of the statement that "one cannot give, what one does not have".

Are you also saying non-bishops can acquire ordinary jurisdiction from non-popes, as would be the case from 1968 onwards? Also, when did Paul VI lose the papacy, if he ever had it? At the signing of VII on December 7, 1965?

Another question: is the peaceful acceptance by the universal Church of the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI considered an infallible act, on account of the ordinary, universal magisterium and of the indefectibility of the Church as a whole; true?

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:10 am
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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
Dear Teresa,

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Could you please explain this point you continue to make about 'supplied' jurisdiction for a bishop? As I understand it, a lawful pope must make an appointment for a bishop to have actual/ordinary jurisdiction. I was wondering where you've found that an unlawful pope (or no pope) could appoint a bishop to an office of ordinary jurisdiction? Are you in fact saying that the non-Pope Paul VI could give a mission/mandate to a bishop, and then that bishop has ordinary jurisdiction?


This is a big subject, but try to keep in mind the distinction between the source of the ordinary jurisdiction and the validity of the act by which it is obtained. They are not necessarily the same.

In this case we are discussing a type of jurisdiction which is attached to an office. It is what is called "ordinary jurisdiction." It was attached to the office by the pope. Let's consider any specific office - say, Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio. That is an ecclesiastical office established by the authority of the Roman Pontiff some many decades ago - probably some time in the nineteenth century or even earlier. It does not matter for our purposes when - as long as it was prior to the present crisis. By law, there is jurisdiction attached to that office. This means that the man who validly possesses that office necessarily always also possesses the jurisdiction. In law, an office is nothing more than a stable position to which is attached some power, juridical or of orders. In this case the power is juridical. If the putative Bishop of Cincinnati has the office really, then he has the jurisdiction; if he does not have the office, then he does not have the jurisdiction. One can say truly that, more or less, the office is the jurisdiction. (Here we part company with the Guerardians, by the way, who essentially regard the office and the jurisdiction as separable.)

Now, the Roman Pontiff has universal ordinary jurisdiction. It is attached to his office. It is, in a very real sense, that office. By an act of jurisdiction he appoints a man to an office in the Church - such as Bishop of Cincinnati. The jurisdiction to validate this act of appointment is the Roman Pontiff's by virtue of his possession of his office, as stated; but what if he doesn't really possess that office? Canon 209 supplies jurisdiction to validate any act which would otherwise be invalid for want of jurisdiction, under condition of common error or positive and probable doubt of fact or law. Obviously, all other requisites must be present. That is, the appointee must be a Catholic, sane, of requisite age, and at least willing to receive the relevant degree of Holy Orders.

Therefore, I am suggesting that the Church would supply the necessary jurisdiction to validate the act of appointment of a man to an episcopal see by a non-pope who was thought to be pope by most Catholics. The false pope is not the source of the ordinary jurisdiction - it is already attached to the office. The false pope is merely the source of the designation to the office. In this narrow point we agree with the Guerardians, who also regard such a "designation" as valid. But in our case the explanation is entirely classical, whereas in theirs it is novel and incompatible with the best authorities (e.g. Bellarmine).


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Do you have any support for this theological position of 'supplied' ordinary jurisdiction? It certainly flies in the face of the statement that "one cannot give, what one does not have".

I trust you can see that this is not the case.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Are you also saying non-bishops can acquire ordinary jurisdiction from non-popes, as would be the case from 1968 onwards?

Well, see this is a mystery. A layman can be validly appointed to an office - as long as he intends to receive the requisite degree of Orders. This applies even to the papacy. But what if he thinks he has these Orders? At what point does his failure to rectify the situation by obtaining valid ordination cause him to lose the office? I don't know. In cases where he knows that he doesn't have them, the answer is within a month or so (if memory serves - I haven't checked this for years). But in the circumstance where he has reasonable grounds for thinking he has them already? Who knows?


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Also, when did Paul VI lose the papacy, if he ever had it? At the signing of VII on December 7, 1965?

I don't know. But he clearly did not have it then, or he couldn't have promulgated V2.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Another question: is the peaceful acceptance by the universal Church of the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI considered an infallible act, on account of the ordinary, universal magisterium and of the indefectibility of the Church as a whole; true?


Yes. But da Silveira points out that this acceptance is qualified as "peaceful." Was there peaceful acceptance of Paul VI by the whole Church? No, perhaps not. This is a mystery too.

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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Another question: is the peaceful acceptance by the universal Church of the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI considered an infallible act, on account of the ordinary, universal magisterium and of the indefectibility of the Church as a whole; true?


Yes. But da Silveira points out that this acceptance is qualified as "peaceful." Was there peaceful acceptance of Paul VI by the whole Church? No, perhaps not. This is a mystery too.


I have an idea that the biggest question we have to answer in this particular matter is not whether or not the acceptance was "peaceful", but rather what, exactly, and in fact, is understood to be "The Church", especially by God who sees all things?

I know I, once I fully understood the facts of the matter, most certainly did not accept those elections in any manner whatever, peaceful or not!

Now, I most certainly do not consider myself "The Church", but most certainly do consider myself, and my family, to be members of "The Church".

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:28 am
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New post Ordinary Jurisdiction
John,

Thank you for the reply. So, if I understand correctly, the NO church then would have maintained apostolic succession in the sedeplenist view or the sedevacantist view. The sedeplenists say that the VII popes were/are popes and that their appointment of real bishops to jurisdictional offices maintains apostolicity by those apparent facts. The sedevacantist says that even though there is no pope, and the NO church is not the Church, the Church will supply this jurisdiction to anyone appointed in the NO church, bishop or not, based on error of recognition of the true facts. So, then the NO church is the Church with apostolicity (apostolic succession), somehow, right? :?:

Seems a bit odd to me, but then I'm not a theologian. But, it does answer my question, where is the Church.

Thank you again for your detailed explanation of ordinary jurisdiction. It was extremely helpful.

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:42 am
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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
So, if I understand correctly, the NO church then would have maintained apostolic succession in the sedeplenist view or the sedevacantist view.


No, that is not right. The Catholic Church would have maintained it. The Catholic Church is, in this era, obscured by the imposition of a false church - what we call the Conciliar Church. The goods which belong by right to the Church remain hers. The notion that any good of the Church (e.g. sacraments, truths, buildings, etc.) can be lawfully alienated by the criminal actions of thieving heretics is entirely unacceptable. Just as the Greeks have some of our goods, but which cannot really be regarded as theirs, so the Conciliars have some of the goods of the Church (very few - they jettisoned almost all). But they remain the property of the Catholic Church at all times.

This is the heart of the Vatican II mystery of the Church. What we call the “Conciliar Church” has not been condemned by Rome, and therefore the usual approach to sects can't be applied in toto. For example, no traditional priest that I know of demands a public abjuration of error and profession of Faith prior to admitting former Conciliarists to the sacraments. Yet we feel that we are strictly obliged to flee it and avoid it. I had a quick browse of Angelqueen earlier today, and was interested to see a thread discussing the SSPX attitude to the Sacred Species from Novus Ordo "Masses". The whole issue of the intention of the framers of the rite is discussed, which of course arose here also recently. But, more interesting is the suggestion that the Novus Ordo is essentially the rite of another religion – the attitude in fact of Archbishop Lefebvre, and indeed the attitude of all traditional Catholics, even if they are not clear how to formulate the point.

Yet we see that this sect somehow arose within the Church and took over or alienated her externals, by a gradual process. None of the historical precedents quite parallels this process. We can cite the English schism, which in many ways was very similar, yet in that case the problem is simpler precisely because Rome remained intact. So any mystery about where the Church was in England at the time of St. Thomas More, for example (i.e. after the schism began, but prior to the condemnation by Rome), we can leave on the side of our plates as a difficulty for future solution. That is, there is no strict necessity to penetrate the mystery.

In our case we feel some necessity to do so, because Rome itself appears to have defected. Mystery of mysteries.

So, how do we understand this process, and the resultant sect?

Certainly we can try, by a process of humble steps, to solve particular difficulties, and this can be very fruitful. For example, we can say, well Paul VI was a non-Catholic, and therefore not truly pope, and therefore the otherwise-ecumenical Council of 1962-65 was not in fact truly ecumenical. Therefore it was not protected by the Holy Ghost. This solves a difficulty very neatly. The same is true of the individual bishops around the world who have openly promoted heresy. They have been non-members of the Church and therefore did not really hold offices in the Church.

As explained in earlier posts, by following strictly both the law of the Church and the explanations of her authorised theologians, we can see how the Conciliar Church is not truly the Catholic Church, but that it has in fact been formed rapidly and progressively by the apostasy of members from her, effectively obscuring her in that process.

I don’t pretend that this is not mysterious, but I do think that thoughtful consideration of these points eliminates a lot of difficulties.

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
The sedeplenists say that the VII popes were/are popes and that their appointment of real bishops to jurisdictional offices maintains apostolicity by those apparent facts. The sedevacantist says that even though there is no pope, and the NO church is not the Church, the Church will supply this jurisdiction to anyone appointed in the NO church, bishop or not, based on error of recognition of the true facts.


No, that is not right. The Church will supply jurisdiction because of common error, to a putative office-holder (e.g. the Nope), for the act of appointment to an office of a candidate who fulfils all of the conditions requisite. That is, decidedly NOT to “anyone” and the absence of Holy Orders would indeed invalidate the appointment at some time after, I think. I am just not sure how much time it requires.

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
So, then the NO church is the Church with apostolicity (apostolic succession), somehow, right? :?:

Definitely not. But I think that would be a fair comment on the Guerardian Thesis.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Thank you again for your detailed explanation of ordinary jurisdiction. It was extremely helpful.

You’re welcome, although that was a bare summary, written without reference to any authorities. You should consult a Canon Law commentary for a better and fuller treatment.

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:57 pm
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Hello John,

In regards to this:

John wrote:
That is, decidedly NOT to “anyone” and the absence of Holy Orders would indeed invalidate the appointment at some time after, I think. I am just not sure how much time it requires.


What if, the NO Holy Orders are valid?

Many people equate sedevacantism with a belief that the Conciliar Church's Orders are invalid. This need not be the case. Could the church not supply the needed jurisdiction given the state of common error that we have experienced for the last 40 plus years, if their orders are valid, and if the various candidates have the proper dispositions? A time of "common error" can last for a very long time after all.

Just curious.

In Christ,
Bill


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New post Re: Ordinary Jurisdiction
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
John,

I think the articles from the Catholic Encyclopedia


Dear Teresa,

Please be aware that the "New Advent" site is Novus Ordo. The contributors admittedly "transliterate" and do not transcribe faithfully from the 1907 Encyclopedia. This is the reason that their contributors can safely state that the "Church is continuous from the first pope to the present day." Anyone reading that will be steered in the direction of Novus Ordo without question, even though this may be an accurate statement in 1907.

Upon contacting Kevin Knight in 1997 he informed me that he "did not understand" my query as to lack of accurate transcription [word-for-word] of the texts. The request was not that he adopt anything except following the exact words of the 1907 text. But no, his volunteer transliterators have been allowed to use their own interpretive notions in publishing the texts. Where an uncomfortable phrase or notion was given from a Catholic reference, the transliterator was given license to change it to his own variation, sans any reference. Kevin Knight approved of this system and was not concerned about the actual original texts as shown in the 1907-1913 Volumes with their extensive references.

For an accurate study of the articles you want to quote, I think it is necessary to check the originals against the New Advent interpretations. Only then will it be found whether the New Advent Novus Ordo versions are accurate or novel.




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Bill wrote:
What if, the NO Holy Orders are valid?

Many people equate sedevacantism with a belief that the Conciliar Church's Orders are invalid. This need not be the case. Could the church not supply the needed jurisdiction given the state of common error that we have experienced for the last 40 plus years, if their orders are valid, and if the various candidates have the proper dispositions? A time of "common error" can last for a very long time after all.


I understand this may not be the case, but I would also appreciate an answer to this thought. In addition, and likely I'm not thinking this through very well... but what would happen in a situation where the SSPX does actually be allowed back into full communion with the Novus Ordo Church? If they somehow pulled that off without being required to offer the New Mass, or required to accept their errors as infallible, then wouldn't they have bishop(s) and priests with full jurisdiction? If this were the case, and if they developed an order within the Novus Ordo Church that kept the faith, then this could continue for quite awhile longer. Or not? Although I suppose that once they are reintroduced into the Novus Ordo Church they would likely then be required to use the new forms of holy orders anyways. So I guess it does come back down to the new orders being somehow valid.


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New post Re: The Church and ordinary jurisdiction.
John Lane wrote:
Dear Bill,

Bill wrote:
Can ordinary jurisdiction and apostolicity be conferred retroactively?

No. But it may be presumed, on the expectation that it will be confirmed by the lawgiver when he is again present.


Hello John:

Actually, there are two types of epikeia. For strict epikeia, yes, presumption of permission is implied (as epikeia in this sense presumes authority does not wish to oblige, hence there is a duty to ask him when he becomes available).

But there is also "necessary epikeia." Epikeia in this sense may be used when, in a particular situation, the prescriptions of the positive law are in opposition to a superior law which binds one to regard higher interests. In such a case, it is neither proper nor necessary to obtain permission of the superior, because in such a case we owe obedience to God before men.

To elaborate, it is precisely such a situation which exists in a state of grave general spiritual necessity; a case where the positive law (e.g., the command of the pope not to consecrate bishops) has become evil insofar as it opposes itself to higher and more binding laws (e.g., duties flowing, ex officio, from the episcopal state to provide for the needs of the faithful who have no hope of help from their legitimate pastors).

Naz, commenting on the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, explains that "In certain cases the law loses its power to bind -as where its application would be contrary to the common good or natural law- and in such a case it is not in the power of the superior to bind or to oblige."

Archbishop Lefebvre then, under under the duty of obedience first to higher precepts of divine natural and positive law, was bound "not to observe the law, WHETHER HE ASKS OR DOES NOT ASK PERMISSION FROM THE SUPERIOR (Suarez)."

As regards obtaining permission from the pope in such circumstances, Suarez explains that "In such a case the authority of the superior cannot have any effect; indeed, even if he were to will that the subject, after having had recourse to him, should observe the law, the latter would not be able to obey him, because he must obey God rather than man, and hence in such a situation it is out of place (impertinens) to ask permission."

Continuing the same topic, Suarez teaches, "One does not presume in the lawmaker that he has the will to bind in such a case, and even if he had, it would be without effect. ON THIS POINT ALL DOCTORS ARE AGREED WHO TREAT OF OBEDIENCE AND OF LAWS."

And finally: "For that reason, when it is established for certain that the law in a particular circumstance has become unjust or contrary to another command or virtue which is more binding, THEN THE LAW CEASES TO OBLIGE AND ON HIS OWN INITIATIVE HE CAN DISREGARD THE LAW WITHOUT HAVING RECOURSE TO THE SUPERIOR, given that the law in that case could not be observed without sin, nor could the superior bind his subject to respect it..." (Suarez, De Legibus).

In light of this doctrine, it is difficult for sedevacantists to maintain the "If he is the pope, Archbishop Lefebvre was schismatic" dogma. The Church teaches otherwise.

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SSPXER wrote:
Actually, there are two types of epikeia. For strict epikeia, yes, presumption of permission is implied (as epikeia in this sense presumes authority does not wish to oblige, hence there is a duty to ask him when he becomes available).

But there is also "necessary epikeia." Epikeia in this sense may be used when, in a particular situation, the prescriptions of the positive law are in opposition to a superior law which binds one to regard higher interests. In such a case, it is neither proper nor necessary to obtain permission of the superior, because in such a case we owe obedience to God before men.


Do you have an authority for this distinction of "epikeia" into two kinds please?


SSPXER wrote:
As regards obtaining permission from the pope in such circumstances, Suarez explains that "In such a case the authority of the superior cannot have any effect; indeed, even if he were to will that the subject, after having had recourse to him, should observe the law, the latter would not be able to obey him, because he must obey God rather than man, and hence in such a situation it is out of place (impertinens) to ask permission."

...
In light of this doctrine, it is difficult for sedevacantists to maintain the "If he is the pope, Archbishop Lefebvre was schismatic" dogma. The Church teaches otherwise.


Yes, good point.

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Do you have an authority for this distinction of "epikeia" into two kinds please?


Two types, or, applications of epikeia:

1) Strict (or improper equity): Simple clemency of moderation in the application of laws and in the exercise of authority. Requires permission of the superior if he is present. (Roberti-Palazzini. Dizionario di Teologia Morale, ad. Studium, under "equita." See also: aequitas canonica cit., Dictionnaire Droit Canonique under "equite."

2) Broad/Proper (or "necessary") Epikeia: When in a particular situation the prescriptions of the positive law are in opposition to a superior law which binds one to regard higher interests. Permission not required. Free and obliged to act whatever the superior says. See: Suarez. "De Legibus," 1. VI, c. VIII, n. 1.

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Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:53 am
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Tomorrow I will try to post an article I wrote on the subject against Fr. Brian Harrison (He condemned the 1988 episcopal consecrations because he was ignorant of epikeia in the broad and proper sense).

The thread/article will be titled: "Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre; Contra Fr. Harrison: ON A Proper Understanding of Epikeia"

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Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am
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New post Re: The Church and ordinary jurisdiction.
Sorry, I don't have access to any of those sources, but I'll wait to see what your article says.

By the way, please note that we were discussing the presumption of approval for the claiming of an office, not strictly speaking a question of equity, I would have thought.

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Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:19 am
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Bill wrote:
Hello John,

In regards to this:

John wrote:
That is, decidedly NOT to “anyone” and the absence of Holy Orders would indeed invalidate the appointment at some time after, I think. I am just not sure how much time it requires.


What if, the NO Holy Orders are valid?


I am certain that they are not valid. If they are valid, you still have the problem that only a Catholic can validly possess an office. But at least most Novus clergy are clearly not Catholics.

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Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:54 pm
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Colin Fry wrote:
...what would happen in a situation where the SSPX does actually be allowed back into full communion with the Novus Ordo Church? If they somehow pulled that off without being required to offer the New Mass, or required to accept their errors as infallible, then wouldn't they have bishop(s) and priests with full jurisdiction?


I don't know. Isn't this situation weird? :)

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John Lane wrote:
Bill wrote:
Hello John,

In regards to this:

John wrote:
That is, decidedly NOT to “anyone” and the absence of Holy Orders would indeed invalidate the appointment at some time after, I think. I am just not sure how much time it requires.


What if, the NO Holy Orders are valid?


I am certain that they are not valid. If they are valid, you still have the problem that only a Catholic can validly possess an office. But at least most Novus clergy are clearly not Catholics.


I think I would tend to agree with you on the status of the orders. I did some more reading on the matter after seeing it come up in this thread but never really came to anything conclusive enough to change my mind. As for the clergy not being Catholic, again I agree, but I think it would present a similar case (if the orders were valid) as the one you have described (as have others who call it the "bishop in the woods theory" etc.) where there is a priest/bishop who happened to be ordained/consecrated under the new rites, but who rejected the many false teachings that have come from their church. Now, I'm not sure such a thing could happen or not. I've never really thought it through. It was just that, a thought.


Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:48 am
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John Lane wrote:
Colin Fry wrote:
...what would happen in a situation where the SSPX does actually be allowed back into full communion with the Novus Ordo Church? If they somehow pulled that off without being required to offer the New Mass, or required to accept their errors as infallible, then wouldn't they have bishop(s) and priests with full jurisdiction?


I don't know. Isn't this situation weird? :)


It certainly is. Although having read the MP this week, it seems that the Traditional Rite of Holy Orders may not be allowed. It didn't specifically say this, but then again it was the only one of the sacraments not on the MP list of those allowed to be performed using the Traditional Rite. I can see this going one of two ways. Either they will allow the Traditional Rite of Ordination/Consecration and the SSPX (if allowed to function without compromise to modernist doctrines) will enjoy full jurisdiction with the Novus Ordo Church and could provide relief (who knows for how long) to the question of the necessity of ordinary jurisdiction. On the other hand, if the Traditional Rite of Ordination/Consecration is forbidden, then the SSPX would enjoy full faculties of jurisdiction in the Novus Ordo Church, for a time. After which time all of the original SSPX members to reunite with the Vatican will have died off and the new members of the orders, having been ordained/consecrated in the new rite, will not be true priests/bishops at all. Resulting in possibly very reverent and beautiful ceremonies, but empty of any validity: a shell with no substance. My intuition tells me the second scenario seems more likely (because I don't really see the enemy to be so stupid as to overlook this chance to strongly deplete so large a percentage of the Church's priests/bishops) but I suppose that only time will tell.


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Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:33 pm
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I suspect most sedes would consider the last true pope as Pope Pius XII. If that be the case, then 1958 would be the last year of appointing true jurisdictional bishops.

Not quite, Teresa. It is a known fact that Pope Pius XII gave at least one Bishop, Herbigny, "blanket" authorization to consecrate Bishops behind the Iron Curtain, and to pass that authorization on to certain other Bishops chosen by himself.

Therefore, in my view, it is most certainly possible that there exist a significant number of true Bishops who still have jurisdiction, and can, and have, passed that jurisdiction on to others.

Knowning how careful the Popes have been over the centuries, it also seems to me entirely likely that they have foreseen problems which, at least, were similar to those we are experiencing today, and quietly prepared for them.

I see some evidence for some "things" when I recall that the High Priest Caiphas uttered a truth when he said, "It is expedient that one man die for the people.", not knowing himself the truth he uttered, as brought to our attention by St. John.

Perhaps Bp. Sanborn was allowed to work in the somewhat the same way with his disparaging comment on "Bishop(s) in the woods..." of Eastern Europe or of China.

It is also my view that God is keeping the legitimate hierarchy "in reserve", so to speak, or hidden, and will make them manifest when HE decides the time is right.

It also seems to me that both the Sedevacantist camp, and the Sedeplenist camp are being somewhat blind, in that they both appear to see only their own, and their direct opposition's positions, and do not use their not inconsiderable energies and talents to look for a possible third position.

Neither position really "fits" the known facts. Therefore, there MUST be a third, or even a fourth, or fifth possibility.

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