Author Topic: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis  (Read 2411 times)

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Offline SeanJohnson

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The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
« on: May 04, 2019, 07:03:45 AM »
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  • I didn't want this thesis to get buried, so took the liberty of re-posting it for Roman Theo in its own thread for further discussion, as I believe RT is on to something here.

    I am particularly interested in discovering:

    1) What do sedevacantists think of this thesis (i.e., because I don't think there is any theology contained in the Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos theory they would reject, but accepting it would make them no longer sedevacantists)?

    2) Consequently, does the secundum quid/quoad nos thesis make sedevacantism unnecessary?



    The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos Thesis of Papal Occupancy
    by
    "Roman Theo"

    "It is the common opinion of the canonists that a bishop, who has been legitimately appointed to an office by the Pope, will lose habitual jurisdiction by an act of external occult heresy (i.e., external heresy that no one, or almost no one, knows about); yet it is equally true that external occult heresy does not deprive a bishop of his office, or render his acts of jurisdiction invalid.  On the contrary, as long as the bishop is being tolerated (i.e., has not been legitimately removed from office), each and every act of jurisdiction he performs – related to both the internal and external forum - remains valid by virtue of ecclesia supplet.   In other words, although he lacks jurisdiction as a habit, he always exercises it validly as an act.

    In the case of such a bishop, there is no difference as far as we are concerned (quoad nos), but there is a difference as far as he is concerned (quoad se). He lacks habitual jurisdiction, but those under him would nevertheless be bound to recognize him as holding the office, obey his licit commands, and the priests would be dependent upon him for their faculties.

    Now, if something similar were to place in the case of a Pope who fell into heresy – that is, if Christ stripped him of his habitual jurisdiction yet supplied it when he performed juridical acts – it would follow that he would only be Pope secundum quid (in a qualified sense), not simplicitur (absolutely).  That is to say, 1) he would be Pope according to us (quoad nos); 2) we would be obliged to obey him in all legitimate commands (which would remain valid); 3) bishops would receive their jurisdiction from him (or by his appointment) and any law he established would have juridical force.  Yet, at the same time, when he was not performing an act of jurisdiction he would lack the habit (papal jurisdiction) that makes him Pope (the Pope is constituted as Pope by virtue of his jurisdiction).  In such a case, he would be Pope according to us (quoad nos) and secundum quid, but he would not truly be Pope in himself (quoad se) and simplicitur.  

    Therefore, if the Bishops gathered to remove him from office, in reality, they would not truly be judging and deposing the Pope (since he lacks habitual jurisdiction), yet at the same time he would remain the legitimate Pope according to us (quoad nos) no less than if he were a faithful Pope, until he was legally removed from office, since all his acts of jurisdiction would remain valid.  

    Moreover, the Pope quoad nos would be preserved from error when he defined a doctrine ex cathedra, no less than a faithful Pope. Here’s why:  Infallibility is a charism attached to the papal office and is only enjoyed by the Pope personally when he exercises the office by teaching ex cathedra (like supplied jurisdiction, papal infallibility is not a habit residing in the person, but is only engaged during the act of defining).  Now, since the Pope would legally retain the papal office until he was legally declared deposed, he would have a legal right to exercise the office; and if he exercised that legal right by defining a doctrine, the charism would certainly be engaged to prevent the possibility of error.  

    In such a case, the doctrinal definition would be a legally valid act, by virtue of jurisdiction supplied by God in the performance of the act, and it would be an infallible act by virtue of the charism attached to the papal office, which the Pope quoad nos had the right to legally exercise.  

    There’s more I could say, but I’ll leave it here for now.  Feedback is welcome.   I should also note that what I described is not The Material Pope Thesis, but rather what could be called The Pope ‘Secundum Quid’ and ‘Quoad Nos’ Thesis, According to the Hypothesis of Divinely Supplied Papal Jurisdiction (how’s that for a title?)."
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 07:48:26 AM »
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  • Because I desire the widest and most intense possible scrutiny of this thesis, I have sent it to a broad cross-section of more than 20 SSPX, Resistance, and sedevacantist clergy, asking the following questions:

    1) Is the secundum quid/quoad nos thesis of papal occupancy theologically sustainable?

    2) If the thesis is theologically sustainable, is it theologically compelling (i.e., Does it represent obligatory Catholic doctrine)?
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 07:58:09 AM »
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  • 1st response comes from the sedevacantists: "There are no citations."

    That's a legitimate critique, but then again, Roman Theo could not have known that I was going to pass his thesis around as a scholarly theological position (i.e., In his mind, he was just writing a forum post, and moving on).

    Nevertheless, precisely because the thesis is worthy of further consideration, is there any chance, Roman Theo, that you could augment your post with citations (and also feel at liberty to expand upon the original if you think you can fortify it)?
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 08:20:20 AM »
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  • An email received says that someone named Lazlo Sjiarto published a similar theory in the Angelus "several decades ago."

    I am not familiar with this name, and nothing comes up in an internet search of his name or Angelus (i.e., pre-internet).

    If anyone can provide any information (or ideally, the article referred to), it would be much appreciated.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 08:51:06 AM »
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  • From a Resistance priest:

    "John of St Thomas and the Dominicans with him have mentioned this possibility.
    There is also the distinction depositus/deponendus.
    ...and the distinction before and after a declaratory sentence.
    for my part i would also add the distinction between validity and liceity.
    distinctions can be abused, but when called for by reality itself, i support anyone who is making a correct one."
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 09:07:50 AM »
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  • An email received says that someone named Lazlo Sjiarto published a similar theory in the Angelus "several decades ago."

    I am not familiar with this name, and nothing comes up in an internet search of his name or Angelus (i.e., pre-internet).

    If anyone can provide any information (or ideally, the article referred to), it would be much appreciated.

    In 1995, Fr. Anthony Cekada wrote a article (soon after published as a booklet) titled Traditionalists, Infallibility, and the Pope, which advocated the sedevacantist position.

    The SSPX response was an Angelus article published in October/1995 by Mr. Laszlo Szijarto which, Fr. Cekada says, made an argument similar to that of Roman Theo.

    The article of Mr. Szijarto can be read here: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/currenterrors/sifting.htm

    The rebuttal of Fr. Cekada can be read here: http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/article.php?id=42&catname=10 (clean copy attached)

    [NB: Mr. Szijarto later offered the following explanation against Fr. Cekada's contention: 

    "What The Angelus published was NOT an "article".  Nor was it any "refutation" of Father Cekada's booklet.  It wasn't even a direct response.  I had a friend come up to me and tell me that he had read Father Cekada's booklet and had found it to be persuasive.  Knowing that I had backtracked from SVism myself, he asked me to explain WHY I had backed away from it.  I make NO direct references whatsoever to Father Cekada's pamphlet but was just explaining to MY FRIEND why I had back away from SVism.  This little essay wasn't polished, wasn't edited by me, nor did it constitute anything but an informally and hastily-compiled rough-draft letter to my friend.

    Evidently my friend passed it around until it made its way to The Angelus.  The Angelus edited it, inserted many/most of the translations from Latin, and even SPELLED MY NAME WRONG.  It's Laszlo, not Lazlo.  I didn't even PUT MY NAME on this thing.  They never once contacted me before publishing it.  I founded out only after a different friend came up to me and "congratulated" me for the article.  I asked, "Huh?  What article?"  At no point did they contact me or get my permission to publish (and edit) it, and they KNEW where I was living at the time.

    So that's the complete history of this thing from my end."]
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline forlorn

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 10:30:58 AM »
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  • 1) As someone who's veered between sedevacantism and sedeprivationism in thought these last number of years, I personally think this thesis makes the most sense out of any I heard in explaining how we could have a heretic on the Seat of St. Peter and still have a valid pope, hierarchy, law etc. But it still falls into the same problem every non-sedevacantist position in that it allows for theoretically(and close to in actual fact these days) the error hierarchy to fall into heresy. All the bishops could be replaced with heretics who wouldn't depose each other on account of sharing the beliefs. You could argue that God's providence would prevent this, but already a plurality of cardinals and many, many bishops are saying things that would've outed them as blatant heretics in the past, so the scenario above is becoming more of a reality than a theoretical possibility. Because of this, even this thesis falls into the same indefectibility problem. Obviously you can easily say sedevacantism does too, since it doesn't even *have* a hierarchy besides a couple random independent bishops, but this thesis is still very troubling because of that.

    2) Dimonds and co. will argue that sedevacantism somehow doesn't contradict the indefectibility of the Church but that this does. I don't agree with that idea, but that's what I imagine a large majority of sedevacantists would say in response to this thesis.



    Offline Your Friend Colin

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #7 on: May 04, 2019, 11:12:28 AM »
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  • Thanks for posting this, Sean. I’m eager to hear what the resistance and sedevacantists have to say.
    Humble thy spirit very much: for the vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms. - Ecclesiasticus 7:18


    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #8 on: May 04, 2019, 12:18:54 PM »
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  • Quote
    The Angelus edited it, inserted many/most of the translations from Latin, and even SPELLED MY NAME WRONG.  It's Laszlo, not Lazlo.  I didn't even PUT MY NAME on this thing.  They never once contacted me before publishing it.  I founded out only after a different friend came up to me and "congratulated" me for the article.  I asked, "Huh?  What article?"  At no point did they contact me or get my permission to publish (and edit) it, and they KNEW where I was living at the time.
    That's sad.  He could've sued their socks off.  

    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #9 on: May 04, 2019, 01:44:26 PM »
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  • An email received says that someone named Lazlo Sjiarto published a similar theory in the Angelus "several decades ago."

    I am not familiar with this name, and nothing comes up in an internet search of his name or Angelus (i.e., pre-internet).

    If anyone can provide any information (or ideally, the article referred to), it would be much appreciated.
    He is near.

    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #10 on: May 04, 2019, 02:38:01 PM »
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  • He is near.

    Because the author's name was misspelled, I did not initially recognize it.

    Subsequently, I did, and since I gathered the author seemed to want to remain semi-anonymous, I deliberately withheld the link/attribution from his response which I quoted earlier: He deserves the prerogative to make an appearance or not; I don't want to force his hand.

    In any case, Mr. Szijarto's article is excellent (even if the published form is not as polished as he might have made it, had he known it was going to be published, it is still pretty shiny).

    One of the differences between the two articles of Roman Theo and Mr. Szijarto, is that while both mention the secundum quid/quoad nos distinction, the latter article sought to be a broader explanation (addressing the sedevacantist theses from several different vantages, per the context explained previously in the letter to his friend), while the former article of Roman Theo sought to go into more depth on this specific point.

    Both are excellent, and complimentary to each other.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Offline claudel

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    Re: The "Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #11 on: May 04, 2019, 03:23:30 PM »
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  • … I desire the widest and most intense possible scrutiny of this thesis …
    Thank you for starting this thread, Sean. I had not looked at the "Prominent theologians" thread from which you excerpted RomanTheo's thesis, but having been impressed by his thoroughgoing correction of X in the "New rite" thread—a correction that X's stubbornness prevents him from accepting—I am happy to read more of his comments.

    Permit me to add a few comments of my own. Being mere obiter dicta, they won't advance the discussion.

    (1) I am not surprised that you find RT's thesis appealing, but I am a bit surprised that you seem to be encountering it here for the first time. I say this, not with any implication of disrespect, but simply because it is a thesis that, minus its present name, I encountered as long ago as the early sixties in one of the required theology courses at Manhattan College (perhaps even the freshman-year course, as the sophomore course was exclusively biblical theology). The point, though, is less the time differential than that the thesis was presented as part and parcel of the accepted theological understanding of the doctrinal relation of a cleric with ordinary jurisdiction to the Church office he held.

    Put otherwise, this is not a matter I had previously given much thought to (i.e., as debatable or controversial, let alone novel) simply because it was something I assumed that everyone with a modicum of sound catechesis took for granted. Not for the first time, I have evidently assumed too much.

    (2) You wrote the following in the "Prominent theologians" thread:

    Quote
    Part of me thinks it is better to have a Francis in Rome, than a Pope Burke or Pope Mueller, who would emanate a false "traditionalism" (by comparison). Francis's blatant and overt heretical pontificate threatens to burn down the conciliar house, so they want him out. But a Burke or Mueller could do lots more damage over the long haul by pretending to reject error even as he promotes it much more stealthily.
    Just so. Indeed, I think you will agree that we have already witnessed this phenomenon. It was for the very reason you outline that Benedict XVI's faux sympathy did Tradition much more harm than John Paul II's open antagonism did. No one should forget that the smells-and-bells mob at Rorate Caeli and St. Hugh of Cluny was so agog over Benedict that I wouldn't be surprised if they had bobblehead dolls of him on the dashboard. Also, from the first reading, I saw Summorum pontificum as a major step backward from Quattuor abhinc annos of 1984. SP was confected of cheap talk and sloppy sentiment, and the separate instruction to the bishops effectively undercut everything that the motu dangled before its hungry-to-believe audience. I remain puzzled that so few Trads, hard and soft alike, seem to agree.

    Still, to return to Francis, there is a case to be made that he should not be seen as better than, say, a Burke unless he turns out to rock the foundations of the conciliar temple. On my soberer days, I don't see that happening save amongst the chattering classes.

    (3) Apropos the Angelus article by "Laszlo," as the comments you quote above are excerpted in their entirety from a CI thread of four or five years back, I don't think it's a violation of anyone's privacy or confidence to note that a careful search through the archives will satsfy a reader's curiosity as to his identity.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #12 on: May 04, 2019, 04:01:43 PM »
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  • Pope Benedict was akin to President Bush Jr, who did more to tear down our privacy laws and make the US into a police state than any president since the fake catholic Lincoln during the civil war.  People hail both Benedict and Bush as “conservatives”.  

    Pope Francis is akin to Ob@ma.  Agenda in plain site.   


    Offline SeanJohnson

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #13 on: May 04, 2019, 04:17:39 PM »
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  • Hello Claudel-

    Thank you for your obiter dicta, which, precisely as you predicted, did not at all advance the discussion.

    But allow me to meander with you:

    1) What is the purpose of passing a drive-by comment about the Roman Theo vs. Fr. Cekada thread on the new rite of episcopal consecration (which you inaccurately describe as "X" vs Roman Theo; the former is only keeping the latter on point, but the theology is Fr. Cekada's), lest it be some kind of passive-aggressive shot?  

    As far as I can tell, that thread has nothing to do with this one.  

    The only relevance I can make of it is that, since you know me to also entertain doubts regarding the validity of the form of the new rite, you are trying to take out two birds with one stone?

    But in order to do that, you must be able to accomplish that which Roman Theo has thus far been unable to do:

    You must explain how the equivocal phrase "spiritus principalis" can somehow unequivocally signify the conferral of episcopal orders.  "X" is exactly on point in noting that, "whatever else this equivocal phrase might signify, the conferral of episcopal orders is not among them" (which once again, is actually Fr. Cekada's argument).

    If you believe Roman Theo has done so, please quote his answer/explanation.


    2) As for having mastered the secundum quid/quoad nos distinction as applied to the sedevacantist question in the early 1960's (i.e., before the issue ever arose) as part of your basic catechism class, I acknowledge this may make you the greatest theologian currently living. However, if you are tracking the reactions of other sedevacantist and R&R parties, there seems to be a general acknowledgement of the ground breaking nature of Roman Theo's thesis.  

    Yes, JST said it all before him, but nobody has applied it to the current situation quite like RT has.  

    If, therefore, I am ignorant for not having come to the knowledge of RT's argument before now, at least I seem to have plenty of company (many of whom have been battling on the issue for 10 years or more), and shame on RT for regurgitating such a common and redundant argument.


    3) As regards Mr. Szijarto, if you are determined to "out" him (as you seem to be), there really isn't anything I can do to stop you.

    So what's really gnawing at you?

    Is it still nothing more than that you found Fr. Robinson's book profound, while I find it modernist, and this is all a delayed, melancholic renascence?

    That I find evolution destructive of faith, and you find it a non-issue?

    Explain your crotchety attitude, man!

    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline forlorn

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    Re: The Secundum Quid/Quoad Nos" Thesis
    « Reply #14 on: May 04, 2019, 04:25:57 PM »
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  • Pope Benedict was akin to President Bush Jr, who did more to tear down our privacy laws and make the US into a police state than any president since the fake catholic Lincoln during the civil war.  People hail both Benedict and Bush as “conservatives”.  

    Pope Francis is akin to Ob@ma.  Agenda in plain site.  
    Why are the Confederates seen as the good guys here? Over 90% of Jews were slave owners, and almost half of all slave owners were Jews despite Jews being less than 1% of the population. Only the tiniest fraction of 1% of whites owned slaves. Slavery protected Jewish profits, and slavery was banned by the Church. Why anyone would want to preserve such an institution is beyond me.

     

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