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Author Topic: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction  (Read 4542 times)

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Offline DecemRationis

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The indefectibility of the Church requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisdiction or rule/governance, which means legislative, judicial, coercive, and administrative power - the power to make laws, mandate liturgical and sacramental norms and rules, make binding discipline, and the power to punish those who violate the laws, rules, etc.

Cardinal Franzelin (papal theologian to Vatican I) and associates, who drafted the First Dogmatic Constitution of the Church in preparation for Vatican I, like the schema Cardinal Ottaviani oversaw in preparation for Vatican II, said this about the indefectibility of the Church:



Quote
We declare, moreover, that, whether one considers its existence or its constitution, the Church of Christ is an everlasting and indefectible society, and that, after it, no more complete nor more perfect economy of salvation is to be hoped for in this world. For, to the very end of the world the pilgrims of this earth are to be saved through Christ. Consequently, his Church, the only society of salvation, will last until the end of the world ever unchangeable and unchanged in its constitution. Therefore, although the Church is growing—and We wish that it may always grow in faith and charity for the upbuilding of Christ's body—although it evolves in a variety of ways according to the changing times and circuмstances in which it is constantly displaying activity, nevertheless, it remains unchangeable in itself and in the constitution it received from Christ. Therefore, Christ's Church can never lose its properties and its qualities, its sacred teaching authority, priestly office, and governing body, so that through his visible body, Christ may always be the way, the truth, and the life for all men.


Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary's College. The Church Teaches: Docuмents of the Church in English Translation . TAN Books. Kindle Edition.


This adds the note of a "visible" hierarchy, which is capable of drawing and attracting men and lighting the way of the Gospel for men's salvation.

The Catholic Encyclopedia makes clear that the indefectibility of the Church requires a hierarchy that has the powers of accurately teaching Gospel truth, sanctifying with grace, and authoritatively ruling on matters involving faith and morals for mankind:



Quote
Ordinarily, also, the teaching power (magisterium) is connected with the power of jurisdiction. It is possible, of course, to distinguish in the Church a threefold power: the potestas magisterii , or the right to teach in matters of faith and morals ; the potestas ministerii , or the right to administer the sacraments, and the potestas regiminis , or the power of jurisdiction . Christ, however, did not establish a special hierarchy for the "potestas magisterii", nor does the teaching power pertain to the power of order, as some have maintained, but rather to the power of jurisdiction.


https://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=5760

Elsewhere,  the CE describes this as a twofold power, as all three of the above powers are including in the powers of order and jurisdcition:


Quote

It is usual to distinguish a twofold hierarchy in the Church, that of order and that of jurisdiction, corresponding to the twofold means of sanctification, grace, which comes to us principally through the sacraments, and good works, which are the fruit of grace. The hierarchy of order exercises its power over the Real Body of Christ in the Eucharist; that of jurisdiction over His Mystical Body, the Church (Catech. Conc. Trid., pt. II, c. vii, n. 6). Christ did not give to all the faithful power to administer His sacraments, except in the case of baptism and matrimony, or to offer public worship. This was reserved to those who, having received the sacrament of order, belong to the hierarchy of order. He entrusted the guidance of the faithful along the paths of duty and in the practice of good works to a religious authority, and for this purpose He established a hierarchy of jurisdiction. Moreover, He established His Church as a visible, external, and perfect society ; hence He conferred on its hierarchy the right to legislate for the good of that society. For this double purpose, the sanctification of souls and the good or welfare of religious society, the hierarchy of jurisdiction is endowed with the following rights :

the right to frame and sanction laws which it considers useful or necessary, i.e. legislative power;
the right to judge how the faithful observe these laws i.e. judicial power;
the right to enforce obedience, and to punish disobedience to its laws i.e. coercive power;
the right to make all due provision for the proper celebration of worship, i.e. administrative power.

Furthermore, with the power of jurisdiction there should be connected the right to exercise the power of order. The acts of the power of order are, it is true, always valid (except in the sacrament of Penance, which requires in addition a power of jurisdiction ). However, in a well-ordered society like the Church, the right to exercise the power of order could never be a mere matter of choice. For its legitimate exercise the Church requires either jurisdiction, or at least permission, even of a general character.


https://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=5760



The CE makes it clear that if "either" the power to sanctify by providing grace through the sacraments, or the presence of a true hierarchy with its proper powers, is lost, then the Church has defected:



Quote
Among the prerogatives conferred on His Church by Christ is the gift of indefectibility. By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will preserve unimpaired its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men. The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ, in the words in which He declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is manifest that, could the storms which the Church encounters so shake it as to alter its essential characteristics and make it other than Christ intended it to be, the gates of hell, i.e. the powers of evil, would have prevailed. It is clear, too, that could the Church suffer substantial change, it would no longer be an instrument capable of accomplishing the work for which God called it in to being. He established it that it might be to all men the school of holiness. This it would cease to be if ever it could set up a false and corrupt moral standard. He established it to proclaim His revelation to the world, and charged it to warn all men that unless they accepted that message they must perish everlastingly. Could the Church, in defining the truths of revelation err in the smallest point, such a charge would be impossible. No body could enforce under such a penalty the acceptance of what might be erroneous. By the hierarchy and the sacraments, Christ, further, made the Church the depositary of the graces of the Passion. Were it to lose either of these, it could no longer dispense to men the treasures of grace.Promulgating invalid Sacraments would constitute a defection of the Church in the very essence of her mission.



https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm


On March 13th,  Fr. Desposito posted this on Twitter:


Quote
There is a simple way to show that sedevacantist bishops are not members of the Catholic hierarchy (of jurisdiction). Sedevacantist bishops do indeed have supplied power to forgive sins. But does anyone recognize the power to enact laws in a sedevacantist bishop? Authority is defined as 'the ability to pass a law'. Does your sedevacantist bishop enact laws in your church? Does your sedevacantist bishop have power over a particular territory? Does your sedevacantist bishop grant special indulgences? Does your sedevacantist bishop refers to his church as a cathedral? The answer to these questions is in the negative. If your sedevacantist bishop were in fact a member of the Catholic hierarchy (of jurisdiction), he would be able to demand obedience. His laws would bind in conscience. No sedevacantist bishop has such power.

Fr. Desposito is correct.

Fr. D holds to the Cassiacuм thesis, and he believes that the "Conciliar Church" hierarchy maintains the Church's ongoing, apostolic Catholic hierarchy. Really?

What Novus Ordo bishop does Fr. D, or any Sedevacantist, believe has legislative, judicial, coercive or administrative power over him (them) or any Catholic in their jurisdiction?

If none, then the hierarchy is gone, no matter how upsetting that fact would be to Fr. Desposito or any other Sede.

If that is the case, the Church has defected, just as it does if it teaches a false Gospel. A defect is a defect,  a defection is a defection.

Our Lord came to establish the truth. I am Catholic in part because I seek Christ's Church, and it is the Catholic Church which has descended from the Apostles and which alone has the fullness of His Gospel truth. That truth is not served when we embrace positions subject to being exposed as false for convenience, emotional or psychological need, fear of having to adjust to a changed reality, etc.

As John Daly said in a talk once, if one has cancer, one wants to be told one has cancer, not that one is fine. We  need the truth, and our Catholic faith distinguishes itself by its dedicated pursuit of it, and its being committed to it.

This crisis has been prophesied, and foretold in Scripture - that a time would come when, as Cardinal Manning accurately noted, the forces of darkness would prevail for a brief period. The darkness of that period does not cancel out or give the lie to the light of Catholic truth that shone prior, or the hierarchy that truly proclaimed it.

Rom. 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins" 

Apoc 17:17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled.


Offline Yeti

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  • Fr. D holds to the Cassiacuм thesis, and he believes that the "Conciliar Church" hierarchy maintains the Church's ongoing, apostolic Catholic hierarchy. Really?

    What Novus Ordo bishop does Fr. D, or any Sedevacantist, believe has legislative, judicial, coercive or administrative power over him (them) or any Catholic in their jurisdiction?

    If none, then the hierarchy is gone, no matter how upsetting that fact would be to Fr. Desposito or any other Sede.

    If that is the case, the Church has defected, just as it does if it teaches a false Gospel. A defect is a defect,  a defection is a defection.
    .

    This question and these ideas have received an increasing amount of attention in the sede world in the last couple of years, I'm not quite sure why. The more it's discussed, the more I incline to the idea that sede bishops and priests are the true hierarchy of the Church. That is the position that seems to have the least amount of problems; there is no angle on this that is without problems.

    You are correct; by Fr. Desposito's criteria, one would have to conclude that the hierarchy no longer exists. But this is impossible.

    If we are to read works like the one quoted by Cardinal Franzelin, he talks about the hierarchy being Catholic bishops who preach the Faith and rule the Church. (Ordinarily it includes a pope too, but we all agree that's not happening at the moment.) Well, who is doing that? Trad bishops, and no one else.

    I think this is convincing. As far as the objections against it, Fr. Desposito says authority means having the power to enact law. Trad bishops certainly enforce Church laws on souls, as do trad priests. They require Catholics to believe in Catholic doctrine and practice the Faith, and even observe Church laws such as the six precepts of the Church.

    The objection that they are unable to enact law seems a little weak, especially given that there is no other competing group of Catholic bishops who could be entertained as the hierarchy. Maybe this objection could be answered by saying trad bishops do in fact have the power to enact law, but incorrectly believe they don't. Or maybe they choose not to enact laws, despite having the power to do so, because they believe (and reasonably so) that it would be imprudent to claim jurisdiction in that sense over the faithful, but that doesn't in itself prove they don't have the power to do so.

    Or maybe the simple power of enforcing already-existing legislation, such as the six precepts of the Church, is in itself sufficient to prove they have jurisdiction, even if they don't have the power to enact new laws.

    We live in strange times, but it seems obvious to me that the Catholic Church is the group of people loosely referred to as traditional Catholics today.


    Offline 2Vermont

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  • .

    This question and these ideas have received an increasing amount of attention in the sede world in the last couple of years, I'm not quite sure why. The more it's discussed, the more I incline to the idea that sede bishops and priests are the true hierarchy of the Church. That is the position that seems to have the least amount of problems; there is no angle on this that is without problems.

    You are correct; by Fr. Desposito's criteria, one would have to conclude that the hierarchy no longer exists. But this is impossible.

    If we are to read works like the one quoted by Cardinal Franzelin, he talks about the hierarchy being Catholic bishops who preach the Faith and rule the Church. (Ordinarily it includes a pope too, but we all agree that's not happening at the moment.) Well, who is doing that? Trad bishops, and no one else.

    I think this is convincing. As far as the objections against it, Fr. Desposito says authority means having the power to enact law. Trad bishops certainly enforce Church laws on souls, as do trad priests. They require Catholics to believe in Catholic doctrine and practice the Faith, and even observe Church laws such as the six precepts of the Church.

    The objection that they are unable to enact law seems a little weak, especially given that there is no other competing group of Catholic bishops who could be entertained as the hierarchy. Maybe this objection could be answered by saying trad bishops do in fact have the power to enact law, but incorrectly believe they don't. Or maybe they choose not to enact laws, despite having the power to do so, because they believe (and reasonably so) that it would be imprudent to claim jurisdiction in that sense over the faithful, but that doesn't in itself prove they don't have the power to do so.

    We live in strange times, but it seems obvious to me that the Catholic Church is the group of people loosely referred to as traditional Catholics today.
    👍

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)

    Offline Yeti

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  • Fr. Desposito wrote:


    Quote
    Authority is defined as 'the ability to pass a law'.


    Defined by whom? Where? I thought the definition of authority was the power to punish those who disobey the law. And certainly there are people in every society who have the power to punish those who break the law without being able to change the law or make new laws. The police have authority, which means they can write tickets, for example, against people who break the law, but they don't have the power to make laws.

    Offline DecemRationis

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  • Fr. Desposito wrote:



    Defined by whom? Where? I thought the definition of authority was the power to punish those who disobey the law. And certainly there are people in every society who have the power to punish those who break the law without being able to change the law or make new laws. The police have authority, which means they can write tickets, for example, against people who break the law, but they don't have the power to make laws.

    Well, what authority have you consulted? Jurisdiction is the real issue. Fr. D is using a synonym for jurisdiction in  ecclessiological terms, which includes the legislative power, as indicated in the CE.

    But forget the CE. Do you have any theological manuals? I think Pope Leo talks about this is Satis Cognitum, and Pius XII maybe in Mystici Corporis. Consult some authority on the issue.
    Rom. 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins" 

    Apoc 17:17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled.


    Offline Pax Vobis

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  • "Indefectibility" has never been adequately defined, in my opinion.  When you read theologians, they only describe it generally, not with a lot with a specifics.

    Offline DecemRationis

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  • .

    This question and these ideas have received an increasing amount of attention in the sede world in the last couple of years, I'm not quite sure why. The more it's discussed, the more I incline to the idea that sede bishops and priests are the true hierarchy of the Church. That is the position that seems to have the least amount of problems; there is no angle on this that is without problems.

    You are correct; by Fr. Desposito's criteria, one would have to conclude that the hierarchy no longer exists. But this is impossible.

    If we are to read works like the one quoted by Cardinal Franzelin, he talks about the hierarchy being Catholic bishops who preach the Faith and rule the Church. (Ordinarily it includes a pope too, but we all agree that's not happening at the moment.) Well, who is doing that? Trad bishops, and no one else.

    I think this is convincing. As far as the objections against it, Fr. Desposito says authority means having the power to enact law. Trad bishops certainly enforce Church laws on souls, as do trad priests. They require Catholics to believe in Catholic doctrine and practice the Faith, and even observe Church laws such as the six precepts of the Church.

    The objection that they are unable to enact law seems a little weak, especially given that there is no other competing group of Catholic bishops who could be entertained as the hierarchy. Maybe this objection could be answered by saying trad bishops do in fact have the power to enact law, but incorrectly believe they don't. Or maybe they choose not to enact laws, despite having the power to do so, because they believe (and reasonably so) that it would be imprudent to claim jurisdiction in that sense over the faithful, but that doesn't in itself prove they don't have the power to do so.

    Or maybe the simple power of enforcing already-existing legislation, such as the six precepts of the Church, is in itself sufficient to prove they have jurisdiction, even if they don't have the power to enact new laws.

    We live in strange times, but it seems obvious to me that the Catholic Church is the group of people loosely referred to as traditional Catholics today.

    Yeti,

    Your subjection to a Trad bishop is purely voluntary. The authority they have over you is given by you to them. A Catholic in any region where they operate can say, "no," I'm going to Bishop X down the road, or I prefer SSPV, or SSPX, or CMRI, or some independent chapel and priest. The rejected bishop has no power and authority which says, "here is the Church, and I am the local authority." 

    You chose to be subject to whomever you are subject to. That's not power of jurisdiction over you,  whether you like it or not. 
    Rom. 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins" 

    Apoc 17:17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled.

    Offline DecemRationis

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  • "Indefectibility" has never been adequately defined, in my opinion.  When you read theologians, they only describe it generally, not with a lot with a specifics.
     
    At the moment Yeti and I are discussing the power of jurisdiction, Pax. 
    Rom. 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins" 

    Apoc 17:17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled.


    Offline Yeti

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  • Yeti,

    Your subjection to a Trad bishop is purely voluntary. The authority they have over you is given by you to them. A Catholic in any region where they operate can say, "no," I'm going to Bishop X down the road, or I prefer SSPV, or SSPX, or CMRI, or some independent chapel and priest. The rejected bishop has no power and authority which says, "here is the Church, and I am the local authority."

    You chose to be subject to whomever you are subject to. That's not power of jurisdiction over you,  whether you like it or not.

    .

    Before Vatican 2, someone could decide he didn't like his bishop either, and move to another diocese. That's not exactly the same thing we're talking about here, but it's not entirely different either.

    Moreover, what traditional Catholic bishops command Catholics to do today is merely what the Church already requires -- to keep the six commandments of the Church, for example. If someone violates those laws, God will certainly punish them.

    I agree that many Catholics can and do switch from one organization to another, sometimes on flimsy motives, but I'm not really sure what that proves. Given the universal state of chaos resulting from the crisis in the Church, it's really not clear who if anyone has jurisdiction over whom, so in any given case someone could say he can go to another chapel or whatever. And someone could easily argue that any given bishop doesn't have jurisdiction over him given the universal uncertainty. I'm not sure this proves there is no jurisdiction, though.

    Offline Stubborn

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  • The indefectibility of the Church requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisdiction or rule/governance, which means legislative, judicial, coercive, and administrative power - the power to make laws, mandate liturgical and sacramental norms and rules, make binding discipline, and the power to punish those who violate the laws, rules, etc.
    Yes, in this crisis the hierarchy as a whole are / have abused their authority, but what laws, liturgical and sacramental norms, disciplines etc. need to be made that are not already on the books for centuries in many instances?
     
    "But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men." - Acts 5:29

    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man" - Fr. Hesse

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction
    « Reply #10 on: March 16, 2023, 08:08:28 AM »
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  • What a wall of hogwash.  Where to begin. :facepalm:


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction
    « Reply #11 on: March 16, 2023, 08:21:37 AM »
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  • The indefectibility of the Church requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisdiction or rule/governance, which means legislative, judicial, coercive, and administrative power - the power to make laws, mandate liturgical and sacramental norms and rules, make binding discipline, and the power to punish those who violate the laws, rules, etc.

    What do even "laws" and "binding" discipline even mean to you people?  What's the point of having an authority that can bind and promulgate Sacramental norms/rites, etc. when there's no obligation to submit to these laws and disciplines and to accept their Sacramental norms?

    You effectively say that there is NO POWER OR AUTHORITY because people are free to accept or reject it.  That means they're not authorities at all.

    So by your own criteria, the NO has defected, because they have no authority.

    What does teaching "authority" mean to you people?  What does disciplinary "authority" mean?  It means nothing when you claim that Catholics are free to take it or leave it.

    You describe teaching authority as binding when it conforms to Tradition but not binding when it doesn't?  So that gives the Church's "teaching authority" and Magisterium no more AUTHORITY to bind than if, say, Ratzinger was writing some book.  If Ratzinger write in the book that Gods is Three Persons in One God, then that's binding, but not by the weight of his authority, but by the weight of prior authority and truth.  In other words, any given Ratzinger Encyclical has no more "authority" in your warped, twisted, non-Catholic view of things than his various books.

    Yes, Our Lord established the hierarchy with AUTHORITY ... which R&R deny by redefining what "authority" means.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction
    « Reply #12 on: March 16, 2023, 08:29:26 AM »
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  • As a corollary, why is teaching and disciplinary authority essential to the Church?  That's because God set this teaching and disciplinary authority up as a reliable guide to preserving intact the Deposit of Revelation.  If this authority were capable of corrupting the faith and the Sacraments and the public worship of the Church, then thanks but no thanks.  We'd be better off without such an authority.

    As for the existence of ordinary jurisdiction at any given time in Church history, I, as more of a privationist, used to take issue with the sedevacantists on the "ecclesiavacantist" problem, but their citations from various theologians persuaded me that straight sedevacantism is quite tenable.  Even if the V2 Popes are Antipopes, they serve as a conduit for jurisdiction through Color of Title, as Christ would transmit the jurisdiction through them.  Also, during any given papal interregnum, the nature of jursidiction changes.  It's no longer transmitted to the Church through the pope, but is supplied directly by Christ to the extent needed by the Church to continue in her mission of saving souls.

    It's of the Church's essence to have a hierarchy, but it doesn't mean that the hierarchy has to be actually present at all times.  Similarly, human beigns are essentially soul and body, and that does not change even when there's no body for a time.  Some early Christians have been without their bodies for nearly 2,000 year now, and that doesn't make them any less human, nor does it detract from the fact human beings are essentially soul and body.  So the essence of a human being doesn't change even if one component is lacking for a time.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction
    « Reply #13 on: March 16, 2023, 09:17:37 AM »
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  • You focus exclusively on one aspect of the Church's constitution vis-a-vis indefectibility, but completely ignore the other aspect.

    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm
    Quote
    Among the prerogatives conferred on His Church by Christ is the gift of indefectibility. By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will preserve unimpaired its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men. The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ, in the words in which He declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is manifest that, could the storms which the Church encounters so shake it as to alter its essential characteristics and make it other than Christ intended it to be, the gates of hell, i.e. the powers of evil, would have prevailed. It is clear, too, that could the Church suffer substantial change, it would no longer be an instrument capable of accomplishing the work for which God called it in to being. He established it that it might be to all men the school of holiness. This it would cease to be if ever it could set up a false and corrupt moral standard. He established it to proclaim His revelation to the world, and charged it to warn all men that unless they accepted that message they must perish everlastingly. Could the Church, in defining the truths of revelation err in the smallest point, such a charge would be impossible. No body could enforce under such a penalty the acceptance of what might be erroneous. By the hierarchy and the sacraments, Christ, further, made the Church the depositary of the graces of the Passion. Were it to lose either of these, it could no longer dispense to men the treasures of grace.

    This is the battle between SV and R&R in a nutshell (as per the bolded summary sentence above).  Which of these aspects of indefectibility are most difficult to salvage?  To me the answer is clear.  It's easier to uphold the temporary interruption of a normally-functioning hierarchy than to explain the corruption of the Church's doctrine, moral standards, or Sacraments by an allegedly legitimate hierarchy.

    If the Church's hierarchy can promote corrupt doctrine, corrupt Sacraments, corrupt moral standards (as with Bergoglio in particular), then what's the point of having a hierarchy?  None.  We'd be better off without it, since they only serve to corrupt the faithful.

    Offline DecemRationis

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    Re: Indefectibility requires a hierarchy with the power of jurisidisdiction
    « Reply #14 on: March 16, 2023, 12:04:50 PM »
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  • What a wall of hogwash.  
     

    Well, I've read your responses, and the only hogwash in this thread has come from your "mouth."  
    Rom. 3:25 Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins" 

    Apoc 17:17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled.