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
"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?)."