Author Topic: Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?  (Read 3399 times)

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Offline Lover of Truth

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Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
« on: September 26, 2012, 10:14:45 AM »
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  • I don't think the Catholic Church is in the N.O. or in the woods but right where it appears to be and I don't think we need to deny a doctrine to accept that fact.  We just need to destroy the false interpratation of that doctrine.  Let the readers decide for themselves.

    Here is the article from The Four Marks on the Hierarchy:

    The Mystery of the Hierarchy

        Where is the Church? That is the question, which I believe lies at the root of much of the confusion faced by real Catholics today. It really comes down to our understanding of the Catholic doctrines of Ecclesiology. Traditional Catholics understand that we “traditionalists” are in fact the remnant Roman Catholic Church. But what of the hierarchy?

        For all too many, the phrase “the hierarchy” is taken to refer to an organization which is currently headed from Vatican City and comprised of “priests” and “bishops” and “pope,” most of whom aren’t even Catholics. They do not worship as Catholics. They do not believe and teach what Catholics must all believe and teach. They do not stand up to be counted as Catholics when the fallen world opposes God’s own Truth and Justice. And yet so many of us real Catholics just unquestioningly think of them as being “the hierarchy.” Why? Are there no alternatives? In fact, there are several.

        I have identified four categories of belief regarding the whereabouts/identity/existence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy today:

    1.   Vatican organization retains hierarchical claim,
    2.   Hierarchy has utterly vanished,
    3.   Phantom (or totally concealed) hierarchy, and
    4.   Traditional clergy retain hierarchical claim.
     
        Let us briefly explore what each of these is about.
     
    1  Vatican organization retains hierarchical claim: This alternative forces Catholics to try to reconcile the things done and taught by them with the teachings of the Church. One twists their mind into a pretzel by trying to make the new teachings fit into the old (or the old fit into the new). Or else one twists their mind into a pretzel by trying to figure out how the present Fallibility doesn’t refute the past doctrine of Infallibility.

        One common approach taken is to fault the individuals concerned. The Church does not err, but individual fallen men do, even churchmen. But that is a dead end. It merely leads one into making accusations. Individuals DO err, and must be held accountable for their errors. But is their error merely their own or is it a result of following official policy? Herein lies the fundamental difference between the Pre-Vatican II and Post-Vatican II hierarchies. The divine spirit of the first is the Holy Ghost, and the demonic spirit of the second is the “spirit of Vatican II.” The first builds Faith; the second destroys it.

        Before Vatican II, the prevailing customs and policies inclined all towards the Faith. The success or failure of any individual cleric in imparting Faith correlated quite closely to the degree to which he abided by those prevailing customs and policies himself. But during and since Vatican II, the customs and polices of the Vatican organization became the reasons for altars to be smashed, rosaries to be ripped, liturgies to be debased, errors to be exalted, and Faith to be lost. Even where some individual Vatican-approved cleric might actually stand up for a worthy Catholic teaching (e. g. Fr. Frank Pavone in the Right-to-Life cause), he does this on his own, with no particular support or blessing from his superiors.

        Clearly, the organization itself is the problem, not merely those in it. That is doctrinally impossible for the Church, yet undeniable with regards to the Vatican organization today. For these grave doctrinal reasons this alternative simply cannot be true. Today’s Vatican organization simply cannot be the real Roman Catholic Church. Yet large numbers of traditional Catholics just seem to assume this alternative to be the case. This category includes not only the “Indult/Motu” crowd, but also the SSPX and other resistance groups, and even many sedevacantists!

    2)  Hierarchy has utterly vanished:  There are some who speak as if there really were no bishops with authority. This cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of Indefectibility of the Church. There are dogmatic reasons to believe that the hierarchal Church shall exist clear up to the time of the actual return of Christ. The only remotely possible exception to that would be in connection with the claim that the return of Christ is immediately imminent. But have those who actually advocate this alternative reflected on just how imminent that End of all Time would have to be? Mere days or weeks at the most. How could one account for this supposedly hierarchy-less period of time having lasted for decades, thus far?

        Yet the scenario one might tolerate for a very brief period has become for some a de facto long-term belief. That amounts to a belief in the total failure of the Church, a doctrinal impossibility. I suspect this is why many have feared to become sedevacantists. They imagine that the sede vacante finding would imply a failure of God to keep His promises regarding the Rock of St. Peter. We really should learn to focus not only on where the Church isn’t, but where the Church is, lest we unintentionally convey the idea that the Church isn’t.

    3)  Phantom (or totally concealed) hierarchy:  This category includes both those who claim there to be some secretive papal succession, and those who think some bishop from the era of Pope Pius XII might still be alive and keeping the living Magisterium going in his own utterly forgotten corner of the world. This category avoids the doctrinal problems of the first two categories, but then presents the new problem of finding this hidden hierarchy. More seriously, how does one account for their complete undiscoverability, even by its most loyal possible friends?

            Can the Church be regarded as a visible society unless at least one living episcopal officer of it can be identified by name? I don’t see how. It is one thing to say that you or I do not know the answer to that question as we sit here talking about it. Many things like this might simply not be common knowledge. And some bishops have had to function “underground.” But it is quite a different thing for not one to be discoverable by anyone, all around the world. Back in the 1970’s most Catholics vaguely knew that there was some such faithful bishop truly keeping his diocese Catholic, perhaps somewhere in South America. It couldn’t have taken too much asking around to find out that the bishop in question was Bp. Antonio de Castro-Meyer of the diocese of Campos, Brazil. But no amount of asking around or digging can point any of us to such a bishop today.

        The City on the Hill may be camouflaged, but never truly hidden. At least some of its light must always shine through even the thickest fog. Even if some dire threat could seemingly force them to conceal their existence as a hidden papal succession somewhere, how is it that not even the name taken by any current secretly reigning pontiff has ever been let slip out? Could any “Pope Gregory XVII” still be alive after all these years? Yet no successor is named. Surely if such a pope existed, he would have wanted to enable all faithful clergy to be able to express their union with Peter by naming him in the Canon of the Mass, etc. And after all, that really wouldn’t reveal anything useful for anyone trying to threaten him. And what threat could be so dire as to warrant abandoning the remainder of the whole Church all around the world to careless and heretical pastors all alike without authority or authoritativeness in the Gospel [as they could be in this scenario]? Not even the detonation of a nuclear bomb under the Holy City could do as much damage as has been done by the enactment of Vatican II.

        The apostolic mission of the Church continues to be the conversion of the world. Therefore, they cannot all be content to remain hidden in whatever corner of the earth they presently occupy, showing no concern for all the rest of us. How would one account for their universal refusal or inability to continue the Church’s mission to preach the Gospel to all creation and baptize the nations in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost? For if only any one or more of them did, we the Faithful could find them. Indeed, it is they who should be seeking us out, not the other way around, for the Lord is ever anxious to gather His sheep. While one could posit that some few might be stranded on desert islands or trapped in gulags or solitary confinement, how is it that not one has been released over all these many years, as the angel freed Peter and company from prison (Acts 5:17-25)? Does God no longer watch over His own Church?

    4)  Traditional clergy retain hierarchical claim:  This category, my own position, is that the obviously traditional Catholic priests and bishops simply are the Roman Catholic hierarchy as it exists today, despite their not having been personally appointed by a pope. I realize that this position raises a couple questions as to the exact canonical mechanism of their authority in the Church and how they are meant to function together today. But, unlike the other three alternatives, the problems raised by this alternative are only disciplinary, not doctrinal. Let’s look at what this alternative solves:

        We who recognize our traditional clergy as the hierarchy alone have an institutional and historic and unchanging Church that we can point to. That Church, our Church, has continuously existed, from ancient times until now, unchanging in any of Her doctrines or liturgies. Our Church has, and has always had, identifiable ministers who can be contacted for membership and for all the sacraments, teaching, and guidance the Church has ever offered. The clergy so identified have never taught heresy but have always and consistently opposed the radical errors of the Novus Ordo religion. In this alternative, the Church fully evidences Her retention of Her Divinely appointed prerogatives and apostolic mission.

        It is much easier to explain how, in the midst of a lengthy papal vacancy, the episcopal succession can proceed officially without direct papal appointments, than it is to explain how the Church could contradict Herself, teach error, or disappear. This alternative is a big reprieve for those who have long agonized over the evident fall of the Vatican organization, thinking it to be the Church. It is the perfect antidote to those who charge that sedevacantism is merely some inexplicable negative finding that seems to deny the practical existence of the Church.

        With our traditional clerics duly recognized as the Teaching Church and the Vatican heretics as mere sectarians visibly outside the Church, one need not reconcile the Modernist ecumenism with the teaching that there is only one true God and one true Church. One need not reconcile the indefectibility of the Church with the evident defection of the Vatican organization during and since Vatican II. One need not go sifting through the teachings of any putative “pope” whom we cannot rely upon to be a valid point of reference for our Faith. And one need not judge the man who leads the Modernist sect.

        In the context of this view, it clear that we traditional Catholics, together with our clerical leaders, are not on the sidelines but straight front and center responsible for the state and future of the Church. It means that we — together with, and under the guidance of, our traditional Catholic priests and bishops — can and must continue the apostolic mission that our Lord Jesus Christ imparted to our forebears to preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, confident in God’s Divine help, and in our ability and authority to do so.
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline SJB

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 10:54:52 AM »
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  • Quote
     I have identified four categories of belief regarding the whereabouts/identity/existence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy today:

    1.    Vatican organization retains hierarchical claim,
    2.    Hierarchy has utterly vanished,
    3.    Phantom (or totally concealed) hierarchy, and
    4.    Traditional clergy retain hierarchical claim.


    Number 2 is heretical. Number 4 is contrary to all known authorities.
    It would be comparatively easy for us to be holy if only we could always see the character of our neighbours either in soft shade or with the kindly deceits of moonlight upon them. Of course, we are not to grow blind to evil


    Offline Lover of Truth

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 11:05:50 AM »
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  • Quote from: SJB
    Quote
     I have identified four categories of belief regarding the whereabouts/identity/existence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy today:

    1.    Vatican organization retains hierarchical claim,
    2.    Hierarchy has utterly vanished,
    3.    Phantom (or totally concealed) hierarchy, and
    4.    Traditional clergy retain hierarchical claim.


    Number 2 is heretical. Number 4 is contrary to all known authorities.


    According to some of our 21st century interpraters of doctrine.  

    Do you insist that ordinary jurisdiction is obtained through the expressed will of a Pope?  Please explain.
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline Hobbledehoy

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 06:15:33 PM »
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  • Quote from: SJB
    Quote
     I have identified four categories of belief regarding the whereabouts/identity/existence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy today:

    1.    Vatican organization retains hierarchical claim,
    2.    Hierarchy has utterly vanished,
    3.    Phantom (or totally concealed) hierarchy, and
    4.    Traditional clergy retain hierarchical claim.


    Number 2 is heretical. Number 4 is contrary to all known authorities.


    Exactly.

    The author of the article in question seems to be of good will and recognizes the problematic nature of the stance espoused in therein, writing: "I realize that this position raises a couple questions as to the exact canonical mechanism of their authority in the Church and how they are meant to function together today."

    The author goes on to write, "But, unlike the other three alternatives, the problems raised by this alternative are only disciplinary, not doctrinal."

    I am afraid it is not as simple as it seems. There theological subtleties and nuances inherent in such a stance have profound ramifications that the following generations of Catholics who endeavor to resist the Johannine-Pauline anti-Church will have to countenance. Not anyone amongst us can claim the requisite training―much less the competence and authority―to form a theological opinion, stricte dicitur regarding these complex matters.

    The exigencies of the spiritual welfare of the faithful demand of the clergy of the anti-modernist resistance to apply themselves with utmost piety and industry to the study of the sacred sciences the knowledge of which their hallowed vocation demands: but their problematic Canonical predicament―lacking missio, officio and jurisdiction―demands that they humbly acknowledge not only the insufficiency of human frailty (the difficulties of which even the most devout clergy of happier ages faced) but also the juridical insufficiency whereby they can claim no authority to preach, teach, administer the holy Sacraments, offer the Holy Sacrifice upon the sacred Altars, &c., without that jurisdiction which Holy Mother Church supplies for those precises instances and only for the duration thereof, no matter how many times such instances are multiplied.

    In the article cited, the author claims:

    Quote
    With our traditional clerics duly recognized as the Teaching Church and the Vatican heretics as mere sectarians visibly outside the Church, one need not reconcile the Modernist ecumenism with the teaching that there is only one true God and one true Church. One need not reconcile the indefectibility of the Church with the evident defection of the Vatican organization during and since Vatican II. One need not go sifting through the teachings of any putative “pope” whom we cannot rely upon to be a valid point of reference for our Faith. And one need not judge the man who leads the Modernist sect.


    Indeed, the sensus Catholicus recoils at having to reconcile the "Œconomia nova" of the modernists who occupy the Johannine-Pauline structures and the depositum fidei of the Church of Christ. However, identifying the acephalous and vagrant clergy of the anti-modernist resistance with the duly appointed hierarchy of the Church of Christ only complicates things. In order for the sedevacantists to logically posit their self-appointed clergy as constituting the Ecclesia docens, they must first demonstrate and prove:

    (1) precisely how, when and why the occupants of the Johannine-Pauline structures cannot claim to constitute the Ecclesia docens;

    (2) precisely how, when and why the occupants of the Johannine-Pauline structures lapsed away from the Catholic and divine faith into formal heresy, properly so-called;

    (3) what precisely in the documents of the Johannine-Pauline council can be said to constitute the "Œconomia nova" of the modernists, by identifying the heresies and errors thereof and demonstrating what theological label is to designate these propositions (according to the methodology of the eminent theologians whom Holy Mother Church has proposed to us as our teachers and guides in these matters);

    (4) they must demonstrate the theological, moral and Canonical ramifications of the deliberate and contumacious adherence of these propositions of the Johannine-Pauline council, both as regards to the Bishops of the time and to the laity and clergy who remain materially adhered to the structures that were brought forth by the Johannine-Pauline council and its modernist proponents;

    (5) how exactly are we to contextualize these occurrences to the doctrines of Holy Mother Church as set forth in the Encyclical letters of the Roman Pontiffs, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the approved theologians of the illustrious schools; and

    (6) why does it necessitate positing the conglomerate and acephalous clerics of the anti-modernist resistance as constituting the Ecclesia docens, and what are the criteria whereby the faithful may readily identify who exactly amongst these same clerics to be ascribed the "hierarchical claim" and how these clerics are to "exercise" such a claim (for example, what prevents one from ascribing such "hierarchical claim" to Bp. Pivarunas, but denying it to Bp. Slupski, or how can the faithful determine who are the charlatans and frauds, such as Ryan "St. Anne" Scott?).

    Numbers one through five have been done by individual apologists (whether clerical or lay), or groups thereof, but not in a systematic manner, much less according to the strict scholastic methods of inquiry as seen in how theologians such as Franzelin, Van Noort, Scheeben, Garrigou-Lagrange, Tanquerey, Fenton, &c., present sacred doctrine in their manuals and commentaries. As one sedevacantist has written:

    Quote
    There is no "complete" published sedevacantist theory except the Guerardian one (and even that has not been published in any language than French, and even in French it was not put into a systematic form and published in a volume, but rather it appeared scattered throughout issues of a journal). Yet non-sedevacantists are attacked for failing to adopt "sedevacantism". This only needs to be stated for its absurdity to be immediately apparent. Can any reasonable and just man condemn another for refusing to accept a theory which, as far as he can see, involves the denial that the Church has a hierarchy? Can anybody really be condemned for not adopting a theory which nobody has even bothered to present in a professional and complete form?


    Number six essentially constitutes the controversy in question, and it has become a public controversy now because of the contumacy of certain polemicists who have made novel theories in prejudice to sound theology.

    In order for either the aforementioned polemicists or for such sedevacantists as the author of the cited article to evade the censure of theological error or of being "rash," they have to methodically and systematically present the predicament of the Church in the present day according to the teachings and methods of Thomistic philosophy and theology. They cannot just pretend the Johannine-Pauline structures do not exist or have relevance, because millions of Catholics adhere to them in good faith, and immune from danger of formal heresy according to the promise of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima in the third portion of the great "Secret."

    For to posit that the conglomerate of acephalous and vagrant clergy in the anti-modernist resistance is to be identified as the Ecclesia docens is equivalent to stating categorically and unequivocally that the "traditionalist movement" is the Church (not just a portion thereof), and that the Johannine-Pauline structures necessarily impute the guilt of formal heresy unto those who adhere to them, without due consideration of the great obfuscation of the present age whereby millions of Catholics yet remain deluded and led astray without guilt of their own.

    The author of the article continues, writing:

    Quote
    In the context of this view, it clear that we traditional Catholics, together with our clerical leaders, are not on the sidelines but straight front and center responsible for the state and future of the Church. It means that we — together with, and under the guidance of, our traditional Catholic priests and bishops — can and must continue the apostolic mission that our Lord Jesus Christ imparted to our forebears to preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, confident in God’s Divine help, and in our ability and authority to do so.


    This statement, without any qualifying remarks, has disastrous implications, of which many Catholic may be unaware.

    Positing that the the conglomerate of acephalous and vagrant clergy in the anti-modernist resistance is to be identified as the Ecclesia docens would indeed invest them with "executive responsibility" for what has been happening with the Church for the past decades: including everything from the Johannine-Pauline council, to the sex abuse scandals and the conspiracy to conceal these crimes, to the immorality rampant and encouraged at such events as the "Youth Days" or whatever they are called, &c.

    For, if these clerics have been "sent" by some sort of missio extraordinaria, and have been endowed with the necessary power and jurisdiction: why would Christ make this hierarchy (sic) of His Church so powerless, divided, and enfeebled so as to allow the damnation of millions upon millions of Catholics who have defected into modernism or lapsed away from the faith in the Johannine-Pauline structures?

    Or is the responsibility of these clerics limited to the faithful who attend their chapels and give them stipends? If so, how can their missio be universal and pertain to the entirety of the Church of Christ (both the Latin Occident and the Churches of the Orient)?

    This is how problematic the so-called "hierarchical claim" of the traditionalist clerics truly is. It is not helping the anti-modernist resistance, nor does it vindicate sedevacantism in any way, as the author of the above-cited article writes: "It is the perfect antidote to those who charge that sedevacantism is merely some inexplicable negative finding that seems to deny the practical existence of the Church." On the contrary, it is inherently subversive not only to sedevacantism, but to the entire resistance against the Johannine-Pauline structures.

    For in positing these ecclesiological errors, sedevacantists such as Mr. Ruby incur the censure of Cajetan as cited by Msgr. Journet

    Quote from: Msgr. Charles Journet, in fact, in his work [i
    The Church of the Word Incarnate: An Essay of Speculative Theology[/i] (trans. A.H.C. Downes; London: Sheed and Ward, 1954), pg. 411n]

    During a vacancy of the Apostolic See, says Cajetan, the universal Church is in an imperfect state; she is like an amputated body, not an integral body. "The Church is acephalous, deprived of her highest part and power. Whoever contests that falls into the error of John Hus―who denied the need of a visible ruler for the Church―condemned in advance by St. Thomas, then by Martin V at the Council of Constance. And to say that the Church in this state holds her power immediately from Christ and that the General Council represents her, is to err intolerably" (De Comparatione etc., cap. vi., 74). Here are the seventh and the twenty-seventh propositions of John Hus condemned at the Council of Constance: "Peter neither is nor ever was the head of the Holy Catholic Church"; "There is nothing whatsoever to show that the spiritual order demands a head who shall continue to live and endure with the Church Militant" (Denz. 633 and 653).


    The anti-sedevacantists could make the argument that such polemicists as those in question expose "sedevacantism" as theologically untenable by subscribing to the condemned twenty-seventh proposition of John Hus.

    Moreover, the twenty-eighth proposition seems to be blueprint of the so-called "Apostolic Church" that these sedevacantists have devised: "Christ through His true disciples scattered through the world would rule His Church better without such monstrous heads," Christus sine talibus monstruosis capitibus per suos veraces discipulos sparsos per orbem terrarum melius suam Ecclesiam regularet" (Denz., no. 654). And there have been sedevacantists who have lamented the dogmatic definition of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff by the Vatican Council (Session IV, 18 July 1870) in the Constitution Pastor aeternus as the "preparation" for the present day ecclesiastical crisis; ironically echoing the Jansenists and Gallicanists that preceded them.

    Ultimately, this renders such sedevacantists' opinion the very "sedevacantism" (to speak anachronistically) that John Hus himself professed, as his twentieth proposition seems to show: "If the Pope is wicked and especially if he is foreknown, then as Judas, the Apostle, he is of the devil, a thief, and a son of perdition, and he is not the head of the holy militant Church, since he is not a member of it," "Si Papa est malus et praesetim, si est praescitus, tunc ut Iudas apostolus est diaboli, fur, et filius perditionis, et non est caput sanctae militantis Ecclesiae, cum nec sit membrum eius" (Denz., no. 646). For if these so-called apologists of the sedevacantist camp adopt an ecclesiology that hearkens to the errors of John Hus, there may be a legitimate objection that posits the possibility that "sedevacantism" as interpreted by these polemicists is ultimately a revival of the Hussite heresies.

    In making the acephalous and vagrant clergy the Ecclesia docens, such theorists are devising an "Œconomia nova" of their own, wherein this sort of "sedevacantism" brings forth a new abominatio in desolationem (cf. Dan. cap. xi., 31, cap. xii., 11), or, rather, a new abominatio desolationis (cf. Dan. cap. ix., 27, S. Matt. cap. xxiv., 15, S. Marc. cap. xiii., 14): not only a Church without a Pope, but a Church that has no need of a Pope to have a hierarchy that can claim Apostolic succession formaliter and ordinary jurisdiction. A new and vile form of fideicide that brings about scandal and error in a manner analogous to the Hegelian historicist "dogmatics" of the modernists and their Johannine-Pauline structures.

    I hope the author of the above-cited article reconsiders his positions carefully in light of these principles.

    "Qui legit, intelligat" (S. Matt. cap. xxiv., 15).
    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.

    Offline Hobbledehoy

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 08:55:53 PM »
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  • From Msgr. Charles Journet's The Church of the Word Incarnate: An Essay of Speculative Theology (trans. A.H.C. Downes; London: Sheed and Ward, 1954):






















    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.


    Offline Lover of Truth

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 05:38:17 AM »
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  • It is too bad that some people think Kathleen allows, obviously, erroneous articles to be printed in her paper and that the clergy that vet those articles are equally erroneous.  

    These people are loud and proud when they tell us where the Church isn't but are deafenly silent when we ask them where the visible [formally] Apostolic Church is.  Some of these are the same "experts" that would brazenly contradict Father Stepanich's highly educated and qualified opinion on the Pius XII liturgy.  

    Don't get your theology or interpretation of obscure (to the average layperson in the pew) doctrine from laymen on this forum.  Better to trust a highly scrutinized paper like The Four Marks than to come here to get de fide interpretations that makes the Church disappear.
       
    I say this with all due respect to Hobbles, who seems to have written a charitable response above and to SJB who I believe is of good will.  I wrote the above before glancing at Hobbles response and did not notice any venom, this time, dripping off the seams.  

    Good Catholics of good will really can politely disagree.  

    I asked SJB if he insists that a Pope must expressly approve of episcapol consecrations in order for a bishop to have ordinary jurisdiction or not. I'm waiting for an answer or a repost if I missed it.
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    Apostolic Church Not Where She Appears To Be?
    « Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 08:43:36 AM »
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  • It is not a question of trust in priests without any teaching authority or in a paper published without canonical approval. Under the premise of an acephalous state of the Church, layman, writer and priest have the same authority, namely none.

    All that remains is, to follow the teachings and prescriptions of the Holy See, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and the approved manuals as well as theologians of the illustrious schools, may they be Dominican, Jesuit or Franciscan.

    Should the necessity arise to clarify certain teachings, their practical meanings or even to publish theological novelties, scientific standards must be kept. Neither the title of magister or the name of a newspaper, which does not claim to be a theological journal, carry any value, but only their content. I do know that the Four Marks publish upper-standard articles, but still, it is not a platform of theological discussion. The Rev. Fr. Stepanich OFM also did not publish any writings meeting academical standards in recent times, according to my knowledge.


    In regards to the question of episcopal consecrations, the necessity of the Papal approval have been confirmed over and over again, especially against the schismatics, by several Popes and theologians. One wishes to ask with the Roman liturgy: Habetis mandatum Apostolicum?"

    What question can there be, when the Code of Canon Law speaks so plainly:

    Quote
    Canon 329: "Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and by divine institution are placed over particular churches which they govern with ordinary jurisdiction under the authority of the Roman Pontiff. They are freely appointed by the Roman Pontiff."



    It is tantamount to understand the meaning of Papal approval as explained by SRE Cardinal Charles Journet's ecclesiological treatise, where the scholarly author quotes Leo' XIII. encyclical Satis Cognitum of the 29th June 1896 as well as St. Thomas in his commentary on the Sentences in support:  

    "When a Pope is created the electors merely designate the person, and it is Christ who then confers on him immediately his dignity and power. But, when the Sovereign Pontiff, either of himself or through others, invests bishops, the proper jurisdiction they receive does not come to them directly from God, it comes directly from the Sovereign Pontiff to whom Christ gives it in a plenary manner, and from whom it comes down to the bishops: somewhat after the manner of the life-pulse that begins in the heart and is transmitted thence to the other organs. And that is why the Sovereign Pontiff must not be conceived as merely designating bishops who then receive directly from Christ their proper and ordinary authority; but as himself conferring the episcopal authority, having first received it from Christ in an eminent form." (loc. cit. given supra by Hobbledehoy, p. 404)

    The Pope is himself conferring the the authority! How can authority now be granted, without  the See of Peter being occupied?


    Great thanks must be given to Pope Pius XII., who settled any controversy that there might have been once and for all.

    "For it has been clearly and expressly laid down in the canons that it pertains to the one Apostolic See to judge whether a person is fit for the dignity and burden of the episcopacy, and that complete freedom in the nomination of bishops is the right of the Roman Pontiff. But if, as happens at times, some other persons or groups are permitted to participate in the selection of an episcopal candidate, this is lawful only if the Apostolic See has allowed it in express terms and in each particular case for clearly defined persons or groups, the conditions and circumstances being very plainly determined. Granted this exception, it follows that bishops who have been neither named nor confirmed by the Apostolic See, but who, on the contrary, have been elected and consecrated in defiance of its express orders, enjoy no powers of teaching or of jurisdiction since jurisdiction passes to bishops only through the Roman Pontiff as We admonished in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis…"

    "And when We later addressed to you the letter Ad Sinarum gentem, We again referred to this teaching in these words: "The power of jurisdiction which is conferred directly by divine right on the Supreme Pontiff comes to bishops by that same right, but only through the successor of Peter, to whom not only the faithful but also all bishops are bound to be constantly subject and to adhere both by the reverence of obedience and by the bond of unity." (Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum principis, 29 June 1958)

    "…the power of jurisdiction, which is conferred upon the Supreme Pontiff directly by divine rights, flows to the Bishops by the same right, but only through the Successor of St. Peter..." Pius XII, Ad Sinarum gentem, 7 October 1954)


    That this is not a new doctrine can be seen from the Fathers of the Church till modern times, once again pronounced by another Pontiff:

    " …this power of giving jurisdiction as a consequence of a new practice established now for several centuries and confirmed by general councils and even by concordats, has returned to its point of origin and does not belong in any way to metropolitans, but resides solely in the Apostolic See. So today the Pope as a duty of his office appoints bishops for each of the churches, and no lawful consecration may take place in the entire Catholic Church without the order of the Apostolic See." (Pope Pius VI, apostolic letter "Caritas", 13th April 1791, quoting Trent, session 24, chap. 1, de Reformat.)


    Numerous passages could be quoted, numerous theologians, Msgr. Fenton, for example, in recent times:

    "There is another important item on which the Mystici Corporis Christi issues a doctrinal decision. Prior to the issuance of this encyclical Catholic theologians had debated as to whether the residential bishops of the Catholic Church derived their power of jurisdiction immediately from Our Lord or from Him through the Roman Pontiff. In this document, Pope Pius XII took occasion to speak of the Bishops' power of jurisdiction and he described it as something "which they receive directly (immediate) from the same Supreme Pontiff." In the edition of his Institutiones Iuris Publici Ecclesiastici which came out after the issuance of the Mystici Corporis Christi, Cardinal Ottaviani took occasion to state that this teaching, which had hitherto been considered up until this time as more probable, and even as common doctrine, must now be accepted as entirely certain by reason of the words of the Sovereign Pontiff Pius XII." (Pope Pius XII and the Theological Treatise on the Church, taken from "The American Ecclesiastical Review" December, 1958)


    To sum up the principle, striping all canonical and circumstantial flesh from the bones of the Churches particular teachings: The formal element of Apostolicity, the episcopal mission, comes from the Supreme Pontiff, directly or by delegation.  


    To the present day, contrary examples in history or authoritative teachings could not be shown.
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 10:29:01 AM »
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  • All these quotes above have been brought to you before.


    You might wish to consult John Daly, who did write for the Four Marks and has a lot of expertise in this area.


    Oh, and to answer for SJB (I hope you don't mind!): Yes, the express or delegated will of the Supreme Pontiff is necessary for conferring episcopal jurisdiction.
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus


    Offline Lover of Truth

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    « Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 10:33:20 AM »
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  • Quote
    have been elected and consecrated in defiance of its express orders, enjoy no powers of teaching or of jurisdiction since jurisdiction passes to bishops only through the Roman Pontiff as We admonished in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis…"


    Thak you for your dispassionate response.

    Have our current bishops been consecrated in defiance of its expressed orders?

    Are they unecessary, schismatic, heretical?

    ---

    Can you answer the below question "yes" or "no".  If "yes" can you provide a specific quote that states this clearly.

    Do they need the expressed consent of a Pope to be formally Apostolic?


    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 10:53:26 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    Can you answer the below question "yes" or "no".  If "yes" can you provide a specific quote that states this clearly.

    Do they need the expressed consent of a Pope to be formally Apostolic?



    The answer "yes" is summoned up best in Canon 329: "Bishops are the successors of the Apostles[...] They are freely appointed by the Roman Pontiff."

    In light of the recent teachings, canonical decisions and theological opinions, no additional past participle is necessary to explain the consent of the Pope. The Popes will is sufficiently expressed, when a e.g. a subordinate is given leave to participate in the teaching capacities of the Holy See, as a Prefect of the Holy Office, or more fitting in this context, when a Patriarch is given the permission to chose and consecrate a successor for a suffragan See.


    To cast away any doubt, one might ask the opposite question: Was there ever any bishop considered to be part of the Apostolic Hierarchy, when he was consecrated without the consent of a Pope? I don't think so.


    By the way, dear Hobbledehoy, would you mind to look up what Card. Gasparri has to say about this specific Canon?
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Lover of Truth

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    « Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 10:56:58 AM »
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  • Quote from: Pyrrhos
    All these quotes above have been brought to you before.


    You might wish to consult John Daly, who did write for the Four Marks and has a lot of expertise in this area.


    Oh, and to answer for SJB (I hope you don't mind!): Yes, the express or delegated will of the Supreme Pontiff is necessary for conferring episcopal jurisdiction.


    I'm don't mind at all and am glad you responded.

    Here are quotes from Van Noort that seem to contradict your response:

    Quote
    To be able to do this, we state, they must be adopted by the authority of the supreme pontiff.  Adoption (assumption) is a short form standing for “adoption or assumption into the corporate body of the pastors of the Church.”  It designates the factor by which the formal admittance of a selected or elected candidate is brought to its final conclusion.  We use the phrase, “by the authority of the pope,” to indicate that a direct, personal intervention by the pope is not necessarily required.

    So long as the adoption be done by someone to whom the pope has entrusted the task (regardless of the precise way in which the pope commissions him to do so), or in accord with regulations already established or approved by the pope.  

    The objection is raised: in ancient times the popes did not intervene in any way at all in the selection of bishops.  That they did not always intervene directly and by explicit consent is granted;

    That they did not intervene at all, not even mediately and by legal consent we deny.

    Still, keeping in mind Catholic principles, it is fair enough to reconstruct the process somewhat as follows.  The apostles and their principal aides, in accord with Peter’s consent and will, both selected the first bishops, and decreed that thereafter when sees became vacant the vacancy should be taken care of in some satisfactory way, and in a way which at the very least would not be without the intervention of the neighboring bishops.

    As often, therefore, in accord with this process, established with Peter’s approval, a new bishop was constituted in the early Church, Peter’s authority ratified that selection implicitly.

    Later on, when ecclesiastical affairs were arranged more precisely by positive law, [this speaks to the positive law and not the doctrine, correct? j.g.] the patriarchs in the Eastern churches and the metropolitans in the Western churches used to establish the bishops; but they did so only in virtue of the authority of the Apostolic See by which they themselves had been established, even though in a variety of ways.  


    Did the original bishops consecrate our bishops "in virtue of the authority of the Apostolic See"?  Did they not have that authority?  Could they pass that authority on.  When there is no Pope, it is the only authority left, the authority given by a valid Pope to the consecrators of our Bishops.  Did not Thuc and Lefebvre have that authority?

    Quote
    Finally, in later centuries the matter of establishing bishops was set up in different fashion; indeed in such a way that in the Latin church especially, the direct intervention of the Roman pontiff was required.  For details in this matter, consult the canonists.


    So eventually it was "set up" in a "different" way.  So this does not pertain to the doctrine either.  To understand this properly we have to consult the canonists.  Do we have an authentic canonist to clarify?

    as far as each one’s own diocese is concerned, they [the bishops] each and all as true Shepherds [are the traditional bishops not true shephereds?] feed the flocks entrusted to them and rule them in the name of Christ.  Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are duly subordinate to the authority of the Roman Pontiff; and although their jurisdiction is inherent in their office, yet they receive it directly from the same Supreme Pontiff. – MCC 52; italic ours.

    Are our current bishops not subordinate to the "authority" of the Papacy or the "Roman Pontiff" when there is one?  

    I believe our bishops, because they are Catholic, and doing what the Catholic Church does, by preserving the Church through her Bishops, and since they are not schismatic in any way but subordinate to the Papacy have the "Peter's approval" at least "implicitly".  They are not setting up a Church against the Catholic Church, which is what the doctrine protects against but continuing the Church.  And in the needed way as can be shown by what follows:

    As often, therefore, in accord with this process, established with Peter’s approval, a new bishop was constituted in the early Church, Peter’s authority ratified that selection implicitly.  

    The large letters are simply to make sure that you do not miss it and that you address it.  :smile:
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church


    Offline Lover of Truth

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    « Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 11:01:30 AM »
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    To cast away any doubt, one might ask the opposite question: Was there ever any bishop considered to be part of the Apostolic Hierarchy, when he was consecrated without the consent of a Pope? I don't think so.


    I like that quote.  I believe "in ancient times" this was frequently done.  

    I don't think the doctrine forbids Catholic Bishops from continuing the Apostolic Church.  It forbids none-Catholics from doing this, or Catholics doing it against the expressed will of the Pope.

    I believe the Apostolic Church is something we should be able to point to.

    Can you point it out for us?  This is not meant to be sarcastic.  Or to pin you down in a nasty way.  You could respond that it is not necessary to be able to point it out, but you would have to explain why that is so.

    Thanks again for your patience.
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 11:37:00 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    Here are quotes from Van Noort that seem to contradict your response...


    I don't believe van Noort contradicts me, but of course I would yield gladly to a theologian of such great renown.

    As I alluded to elsewhere, the expressed consent of the Pope is not equal to his personal intervention in any matter. There are many decisions from the Holy See where the Pope had no personal part in, nevertheless, it is done with his consent.

    On the Bellarmine Forums, John Daly, whom I mentioned before, quoted a historian (Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:08 pm):

    Quote
    Is There a Historical Precedent for Episcopal Consecrations without the Mandate of the Holy See ?

    1. First of all, a very important precision :


    It is quite certain that for some centuries the Holy See did not take part in the election and consecration of many bishops...

    However, this by no means casts doubt on the crucial need for the apostolic mandate. This is because:

    “Even when, as occurs in some cases, persons or groups of persons other than the Pope are permitted to intervene in some way in the choice of a candidate for the episcopate, this is legitimate only in virtue of some grant—express and particular—made by the Holy See in favour of some clearly determined persons or groups, in conditions and circumstances clearly specified.” (Pius XII, encyclical Ad Sinarum Gentem, 7th October 1954.)

    2. The Case of Saint Eusebius of Samosata

    The following is the only historical source which some persons have considered as sufficient foundation for stating that Saint Eusebius of Samosata undertook unauthorised episcopal consecrations:

     “He [the emperor Valens] began by relegating Pelagius to Arabia, then he relegated the saintly Meletius to Armenia, and finally he relegated Eusebius, sweat-drenched by his apostolic labours, to Thrace. Upon learning that many churches were bereft of pastors, the latter [i.e. Eusebius], clad in the costume of a soldier and wearing a turban on his head, travelled throughout Syria, Phœnicia and Palestine, laying hands on priests and deacons; if there were bishops who shared his opinion, he also designated chiefs in favour of those churches which needed them.”

    (Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, Vth century)

    “...he also designated chiefs in favour of those churches which needed them.”

    1. Does this expression necessarily refer to episcopal consecration ?

    2. Even on the hypothesis that it does indeed refer to episcopal consecrations…

    …what source of information informs us that they were carried out in conflict with the canonical norms then in force in Syria, Phœnicia and Palestine, three sub-provinces belonging to the same eparchy (ecclesiastical province)?

    It is know that the canonical norms then in force in that region required that the bishop be consecrated and receive jurisdiction with the assent of the bishops of the heptarchy.

    But Theodoret specifically mentions that Eusebius had recourse to other bishops : “if there were bishops who shared his opinion, he also designated chiefs in favour of those churches which needed them.”


    Thus the evidence provided by Theodoret of Cyrrhus does not prove that Eusebius carried out uncanonical or unauthorised episcopal consecrations. As it is the only known evidence bearing on the subject, it remains perfectly reasonable to hold that he did no such thing.


    Cf. Frère A.-M. Lenoir, "Saint Eusèbe de Samosate et les consécrations épiscopales en Syrie au IVème siècle", in Sedes Sapientiae, nn° 22 et 23 (automne 1987 et hiver 1988).




    I personally do no longer hold the sedevacantist thesis, so for me the Apostolic Church is the Roman Church under Benedict XVI., to "point it out for you".

    I also don't know how any implicit consent would help you out, as there is no successor of St. Peter, according to the SV thesis, to begin with. In any case, the question of implicit or explicit will is more of a minute matter, even quibbleism, where the main flaw in your argumentation lies within the understand about Apostolicity, Apostolic Succession and the manner it is transferred.

    If the traditionalist bishops today were Successors of the Apostles, they would also have a specific jurisdiction of a place. Surely St. Peter willed a successor for, let's say, Aquileia, as he himself established the See and gave the rights to the clergy of people of the place to chose an successor. This is still expressed consent.
    But when a Bishop without or outside of his jurisdiction, as Archbishop Lefebvre, consecrates without consent of a Pope wandering bishops who also did not nor will receive jurisdiction, then there is a problem.
    Some even go as far as to say it might invalidate the consecration, as jurisdiction is something essential to the nature of an ἐπίσκοπος.

    Jurisdiction, Missio needs to come from somewhere. That it flows from the Roman Pontiff is established as theologically certain. But without the Roman Pontiff, nobody can receive a Mission, this is quite easy and clear.
    If if were true otherwise, we would have no need of Peter, falling into the error of the mentioned Hussites, Episcopalians et alia.


    Unfortunately I do not have the time and unfortunate events robbed me of my library (literally!) to answer more for today. That's why I did not even want to start in the beginning, but I just could not resist, uh!

     
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Lover of Truth

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    « Reply #13 on: September 27, 2012, 01:00:48 PM »
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  • Well you are to be commended for taken the time out to try to respond.  Looking at your answer it is not so cut and dry as people would wish.  For instance, because of this issue you are not allowed to accept the divine law that a public heretic cannot be Pope or you have to deny that Ratzinger is a public heretic and you have to accept V2 and all the rest.  That is where intepreting the doctrine incorrectly does.



    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 07:55:04 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    I don't think the doctrine forbids Catholic Bishops from continuing the Apostolic Church.  It forbids none-Catholics from doing this, or Catholics doing it against the expressed will of the Pope.


    It does forbid precisely that, because they cannot continue the Apostolic Church without receiving their Missio as formal constituent of their Apostolicity.

    At which point to you believe Apostolic Succession is conferred? It is not a matter of Order, but of Jurisdiction and Order.

    The matter of whether Jurisdiction comes from Our Lord directly or through mediation of Peter is not even relevant, as the Rev. Fr. Billot pointed out in his celebrated work "De Ecclesia":

    Nam et illi theologi qui episcopalem iurisdictionem immediate a Deo derivari volunt, adhuc
    eam sine dubio dicunt a Deo conferri cum vera et plena dependentia a Summo Pontifice.
    (Tom. 1, Rome 1909, Questio XV. De Episcopis, p. 691)


    The necessity of Papal approval, which you admit to concede but exclude from the transmission of ordinary jurisdiction, is expounded by Canon Law and virtually all commentators of Canon Law. For a perhaps more detailed answer, Hobbledehoy will consult the Fontes of the Code by Card. Gasparri. One example would be Fr. Augustine OSB Commentary, published by Herder in London, 1918:

    Quote
    From this we must conclude that whereas the potestas ordinis is equal in the bishops and the Pope, the latter is superior to the bishops as to the potestas iurisdictionis; (2) that bishops are superior to ordinary priests both in power, order, and jurisdiction. These conclusions are de fide [...] by virtue of their episcopal consecration, bishops are radically (aptitudinaliter)
    qualified to rule a diocese assigned to them by the Pope. Jurisdiction, of course, no matter how we conceive it to be conferred, whether immediately by God through consecration,
    or mediately through the Pope, can neither validly nor licitly be exercised without a canonical mission, which, on account of the monarchical principle of the Church, must be imparted by the supreme head. (p. 342)



    Before the approval of the Holy See, any nominated, even already consecrated candidate to a Cathedra does not possess any jurisdiction (cf. Const. "Apostolicae Sedis", 12 October, 1869, V, i; "Collectanea", no. 1002), but then immediately and even without inthronization or consecration.


    Further, "it is certain", expounds Rev. Fr. Billot SJ:

    "[A]d hierarchiam iurisdictionis divinitus institutam illi soli pertinent, qui ex praescripto divinae constitutionis Ecclesiae, in ipsa Ecclesia praesunt cum iurisdictione propria atque ordinaria." (op. cit., p. 696)

    Not even in ordinary times, Bishops without jurisdiction, prelates nullius, heads of congregations or parochial priests are part of the Churches hierarchy. Much less our present day traditionalist clergy!


    Nobody but the heretics and schismatics, foremost the Gallicanists and Febronians, have ever taught that jurisdiction is passed down by other bishops. This opinion is censured in the most grave manner by Pope Pius VI. in his brief, "Super soliditate," Nov. 28, 1786 (D 1500):

    Quote
    All the more must be deplored that blind and rash temerity of the man who was eager to renew in his unfortunate book errors which have been condemned by so many decrees, who has said and insinuated indiscriminately by many ambiguities, that every bishop, no less than the pope, was called by God to govern the Church, and was endowed with no less power; that Christ gave the same power Himself to all the apostles; and that whatever some people believe is obtained and granted only by the pope, that very thing, whether it depends on consecration or ecclesiastical jurisdiction, can be obtained just as well from any bishop.


    These men, Febronians and Gallicanists, were Catholics, even enthroned in the most noble and ancient Sees on the other side of the Alps. It is not a matter of "non-Catholics", who are forbidden to ordain and consecrate as they please, but it precisely what makes us Catholic, only to adhere to those Bishops which have been set before us by the rightful authority of the Pope.

    The Pope cannot be taken out of the equation, may it be in times of a vacancy or not.


    PS: Also, I do not concede that Ratzinger is a public heretic and I accept the Second Vatican Council. But for the sake of argument, I accept the sedevacantist premise, to which I adheared to for several years.
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

     

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