Forgive the physical length of this post, but I'm not saying a whole lot, just compiling all of your replies into one reply.
BPD has an interesting simplification of Siscoe's article, but my preferred simplification is: "Even if these men are not Catholic and not popes, you have to keep it to yourself."
In other words, even if it's true, you can't talk about it.
Your simplification indeed encapsulates the inherent duplicity of R&R.
R&R is a great example to give to demonstrate the meaning of the colloquialism: The Elephant in the Room.
I've been thinking a lot about whether there is a position or program of Catholic counter-revolution that avoids the pitfalls of both SV and R&R: Those pitfalls being division; internecine warfare; cafeteria defense of pet errors; failure to recognize, comprehend, defend, and teach the entire Deposit of Faith; growing ignorance among clergy and layfolk; stagnation of Catholic action; contraction - both numerical and doctrinal.
The working title for the new position is: PROPAGATE AND DENOUNCE
PROPAGATE: BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY - NUMERICALLY AND DOCTRINALLY
DENOUNCE: HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED, HE SHALL BE SAVED: BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE CONDEMNED
If I may, the "pitfalls" you describe are really just symptomatic of not having a pope. As the scriptures say, "when the shepherd is struck, the sheep will scatter." And scatter they have. The pet errors and other prideful clinging to political positions would, in normal times, receive rebukes from lawful authorities and the offenders would either shape up or face punishment-- and, most offenders presumably (hopefully!) being good Catholics, they would shape up. I don't anticipate an improvement in these pitfalls until the restoration occurs, if that is God's will (I like to think that it is).
[Dimond] doesn't actually touch on whether or not these men are Catholic (or popes).
That is correct, and that is why I find his presentation useful.
I think I know what Siscoe is trying to do. He is going after the First (and true) Premise of SV: They Ain't Catholic.
Like the SV's he tries to rebut, he is looking for logical closure. He possibly thinks that he cannot reach logical closure (except SV) if he admits the truth of the First Premise. Wherefore he seeks to falsify it in order to avoid having to arrive at the SV conclusion.
Dimond is sticking in this presentation to the defense of the truth of the First Premise, and I'm very happy he is doing that, because the truth of the First Premise of SV is what is hotly (and erroneously) denied by R&R. Their denial of this truth is what produces all of their bad fruits.
NOTE: This denial is sometimes explicit, and quite often implicit.
I am not promoting Dimond's presentation as the answer to any ultimate question. As I said, he is providing quite a lot of food for thought. I want to hear all arguments for the truth of the First Premise.
Siscoe is trying to come up with a reasoned analysis that falsifies the Premise. He has put forth more effort than many R&R proponents, who do more sidestepping. I commend him for trying, but he is not even remotely convincing. I agree with Dimond that he is blowing a lot of hot air. I also suspect that Dimond is right in calling out his argument as one that is novel and not backed up by Magisterial teaching authority.
Food for thought is what Tradition sorely needs, because Tradition has bogged itself down into two unsatisfactory positions that seem, at this late hour, to exist, not for the propagation and defense of the Faith, but solely to contradict one another.
Tradition has stopped multiplying. It is now in a terrible state of division, corruption, disrepair, and contraction. I hold that the sorry state of the Catholic counter-revolution is due entirely to endless artificial and sophistical posturing, at the expense of the propagation and defense of the integral Catholic Faith.
Neither SV nor R&R has been able to pull the Church out of Her tailspin. By their fruits we see that God is not happy with our current modes of operation.
I'm going to continue going through Dimond's presentation because I think he frames some excellent questions.
Thanks for your responses, Mith!
As you seem to remark later, the comment you quoted of mine was actually referring to Siscoe, not BPD.
I don't think that Siscoe is touching on the first premise of sedevacantism, and I would also say that I think one can argue for the sedevacantist case in more than one way, but there are two major ones: the one we are dealing with now, which is that these "popes" themselves are not Catholic and either fell from office due to public heresy, or, much more likely the case, never possessed it to begin with (especially in the cases of Ratzinger, Bergoglio and Wojtyla). Then another argument is that the doctrines of VII, and especially the True Mass cannot be products of the Catholic Church, therefore the men who issued and approved them cannot possibly be popes (because a true pope would be prevented from doing such a thing).
I honestly think that the second way is probably, overall, a more effective way of arguing. That isn't to say that the first is not effective, I just think the second is more effective.
As far as Siscoe not using magisterial documents, that doesn't really bother me. He used theologians, which he should. If he has some encyclical or council that supports him, then he can cite that but the truth of the matter is that this is a very specialized and localized issue, and there aren't any encyclicals or papal documents that deal in great depth with these issues. Not from his side, that is! But the fact that he relies on theologians is not a problem. That he quotes them very selectively and out of context to make them appear to agree with him, that's another matter entirely. But the Dimond's did the same thing with Pius XII in that video, to try to make him appear to teach that private heretics lose membership. This is why the theologians exist. They (especially in the plural) can be used to properly understand primary documents like encyclicals when there is a point of dispute.
Not to spin off too much, but I'm not sure that the fact that neither SV or R&R has been able to stop the "tailspin" of the Church is a good argument against either. I honestly do not know what will cause the restoration, but if it is God's will I have a difficult time thinking anything other than a major catastrophic event will. Nuclear war eliminating most of the world's population, leaving alive mainly faithful Catholics and the true successors to the apostles to rebuild the Church, some other man-made disaster such as a war resulting in the death/and or dethroning of the Vatican usurpers, some natural disaster which has the same effect or even a massive and worldwide (or darn near) apparition of sorts. The Church's credibility is shot, as it were. No one will take her seriously if the heretics in Rome just "convert" on a dime, and repudiate everything that happened over the last fifty years. At least, in my opinion. A massive and worldwide catastrophe from which the Church emerges triumphant, on the other hand, would definitely have that effect; even moreso were it accompanied by some blatant sign of the supernatural (e.g. an apparition). Point being, the last thing on most trads minds is actually taking action to solve the problem. And I can't say I blame them: what can one do? Honest question. I think we're all waiting for a miracle.
Is Dimond relaying Siscoe's argument that an internal heretic is not expelled from the Body of the Church, and then arguing that it does?
The video uses incredibly sloppy language.
I listened to the a few minutes of the video and it seems that it is saying that Siscoe claims that a person who publicly proclaims heresy cannot be considered a heretic because, until he's been judged by a competent authority, the heresy is, by definition, internal.
But it also seems that the Dimonds are arguing that an internal heretic is expelled from the Body of the Church rather than arguing that when a person who publicly expresses his heresy it is no longer internal since it is, obviously, public.
Their language in this video is not precise and, quite frankly, makes their arguments against Siscoe weak. There are other written refutations of Siscoe's thesis that are precise and strong that one should not resort to these people for their arguments.
I'd love to read them.
Can you provide links?
Pretty sure TKGS is referring to the bright boys on Bellarmine Forums work: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1606&sid=e4fc601b200c606fef917b4483fa89d4
Siscoe himself got involved in the thread (RJS). He, shall we say, revealed his character? The man has no business writing Catholic articles.
[Siscoe is] surely not trying to argue that these men are Catholic because their heresy is secret, it's anything but secret.
Just curious - did you read Siscoe's article? I have not.
R&R is a true no man's land, in that it' duplicity prevents it from answering unequivocally the question: Are They Catholic?
Do you think it is possible that Siscoe's article amounts to an absolute failure either to say They Ain't Catholic or They Is Catholic?
Does he comes out clearly for one or the other of these propositions?
Because surely, surely, surely to goodness, no one should take up the sword in this arena without a firm conviction one way or the other.
Yes, I have read it. I read it first when Sean Johnson posted it as the most recent "Death Knell" to sedevacantism, among several other death knells it received in quite a short amount of time. I have not read it for probably two weeks so it isn't that fresh in my mind.
Essentially, Siscoe is content to argue a paralyzing legal technicality. He doesn't quite admit that they are public heretics (though he might as well have) but insists that even if they are, we can't regard them as such (and therefore can't regard them as antipopes) until the proper authorities admonish him (give him two warnings). And even then, I think he confuses the theological dispute over how such a man is "removed" from the office he "holds" (he isn't really holding it, of course) with actually judging
a pope (not a "pope") as a heretic-- something which cannot be done, since the pope has no judge on earth. It's really a mess, to be honest.
As far as the warnings theory goes (to be a public heretic one must be warned twice by the proper authorities), his own source argues against him. Siscoe claims the admonishments have to come from some sort of ecclesiastical authority when the theologian he quotes on the issue actually says anyone
can give the warning-- but of course, Siscoe doesn't quote his source saying that. This is all dealt with on the Bellarmine thread, as well. But even if that were true, what was Archbishop Lefebvre, de Castro Meyer and the conservative fathers at Vatican II doing if not admonishing these men?
It's really a joke. And what he's left with, as a conclusion, is having not dealt at all
with whether or not these men are Catholic (or the second argument I alluded to earlier, which is whether or not the laws and liturgies and doctrines they've issued could have come from a Catholic pope) but has instead decided to rest his case on the idea that even if they were
(anti-popes), we can't say
that they are. It's a blatant disregard for the truth, which can never detract from God's glory.
So, I suppose I didn't answer your question as to whether or not he actually affirms or denies the statement "these men are Catholic." That's because he sidesteps the entire issue. He seems to admit that they aren't, tacitly, in the fact that he has written an article that takes as a premise that these men are public heretics, we just can't regard them as such. I mean, none of this would even be relevant if they hadn't
committed such offenses, would it?
Siscoe's argument seems to be a perfect summation of the anti-sedevacantist thesis at this point (after what, fifty years?). He has completely left alone the question of whether or not these men are Catholics . . .
Okay! That's what I get for not reading your whole post first!!!!!
Son of a gun!!!!
Siscoe dodged the bullet!!
Be back later. Gotta go ride the bicycle!
Well, that bullet has caught up to him with anyone who isn't content to take his word for it.
Have a fun ride!