I thought I would share some questions I had for Griff regarding his belief that our only Catholic Bishops are indeed Apostolic and therefore have ordinary jurisdiction. I asked if you are correct why don't the traditional Bishops realize it or more precisely:
> People will argue that if this is true why don’t the successors realize it.
Perhaps they do, but prefer to remain silent about it. At the very least, I think they have to interiorly sense that they indeed have more authority than they publicly own up to, else much of what they do would be difficult to impossible to justify or explain, such as establishing religious orders and seminaries, blessing altars, consecrating sacred oils, confirming Catholics (Sacrament of Confirmation), continuing the episcopal succession, and processing annulment cases.
I think there is a concern that they would not want to be seen as “tooting their own horn” too loudly, at least until the apostolic nature and validity of their authority becomes much better known and widely recognized. So long as it is not well known or recognized, any attempt to declare it formally and publicly runs a considerable risk of causing them to be seen, though obviously falsely, as if they were arrogating this to themselves, though in fact their authority really came from Christ through His Church.
There may also be a matter of being that, until they have a better idea of what exactly their authority consists of and what prerogatives it bestows (or doesn’t), they may prefer to tread very carefully and slowly, testing the waters of exercising authority in one small area after another to see if it “carries” as it ought, demonstrating God’s own backing.
The key thing here is that none of them have ever made any official declaration, one way or the other regarding the source of their authority being more than that of mere epikaea or ecclesia supplet, informal “off the cuff” remarks one way or the other notwithstanding. One cannot validly conclude from this silence on their part that they are wholly ignorant of at least the possibility, or even probability, of their possessing more authority than those “exceptions” can provide, but rather point to those exceptions as something that “at the very least,” they obviously would have to indeed possess, should nothing greater be found, for the Church to have any presence today, or any future in the ages to come.
> Are we to assume that a layperson like Griff knows more than them?
As to knowing more, I rather doubt it, but who can say? I am sure that there are many things they know that I do not, but conversely I also believe there are or may be at least some things that I know and that they do not. Does “a layperson like Griff” KNOW more than them, particularly about the issues relevant to their authority? I have no idea. But I think we can all safely agree that “a layperson like Griff” SAYS more than them.
> Could you picture a valid Pope being elected and condemning all the orthodox Bishops for consecrating and being consecrated bishops? That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it.
Yes it does sound ridiculous, all the more so that unless he somehow comes along in the next 20 years or so, then to be consecrated an actual “bishop” of Rome he would have to derive his orders either from our traditional bishops, or else from some historically schismatic line. Short of turning to the schismatic East Orthodox or Old Catholics of Utrecht, he would in effect have to condemn his own episcopal lineage (the others already having been condemned, by name, by the Church). How can that differ from the wickedness of a child that kills his own parents, except only to be all the more vastly evil still?
> Do you think a new Pope will clarify the jurisdiction issue? Or maybe even the conclave issue should we get into a situation like this again?
Assuming that “the end is not yet,” that we still have many centuries of Church history yet to unfold before us, and that therefore the current crisis must one day be resolves as have all previous crises, the circumstance of our current situation will no doubt provide a great many precedents that will prove almost directly most useful for that fateful “final age” leading up to the return of Christ and during the actual presence of the ultimate Antichrist of Biblical prophecy. Once there is a pope and better times truly beginning in the Church, it would most gravely behoove him to select and appoint the most wise and erudite theologians and experts to draft of a set of protocols or procedures to follow in the event of such a catastrophic fall as was brought about by Vatican II. This would not only clarify the nature of the Church’s jurisdiction in such an extended popeless period as ours, but also lay down what it takes to convene a conclave if all cardinals either perish or fall into heresy. It is doctrine that a pope (truly pope and as such) cannot err in matters of faith or morals. And it is also doctrine that at all times at least some bishops must be sufficiently orthodox (and valid and lawfully appointed, etc.) in order to sustain the apostolicity of the Church. But recent history has demonstrated (proof by example) that no such promise attaches to the college of cardinals, nor to any other specifically ecclesiastically created rank. One cannot gather together all the cardinals, or all the archbishops, or all the Legates, or all the Nuncios, or all the priestly Monsignors, or all the population of the (local) Diocese of Rome, and say of this group “not all can fall into error at once,” for indeed “all” of any such community can, as has been seen. Only of the total community of all bishops can it be said of them as a group, “not all can fall into error at once.” Whatever protocols or procedures as may be generated will have to take this fact into account.