Author Topic: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)  (Read 1574 times)

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Offline Pax Vobis

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Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2017, 10:10:55 AM »
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    this in no way means we've started "dialogging" again.
    When did we "break up"? 

    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #46 on: September 12, 2017, 11:44:14 AM »
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  • The church, as a human organization, is not immune from mutiny or chaos.  The Church is not immune from the hierarchy falling away from the Faith, or being corrupted with heresy (as has happened during Arianism or in England with Henry VIII).  The Church does have an "inherent flaw", humanly speaking, because She is run by men.  And just as 11 of the Apostles betrayed, denied or abandoned Our Lord during His Passion, so churchmen can abandon the Faith, as they have done nowadays.

    The Faith is learned by children at a young age through the catechism.  It's not rocket science.  If one knows their faith reasonably well, they will know error when they hear it.

    Secondly, we must distinguish between the situation NOW and the situation previous to the 1900s.  Throughout all of history, God has given His Church pastors and bishops who have taught, loved and guarded the faith.  Nowadays, we do not have that.  But our times are the exception to the rule.  Really, throughout 2,000 years, there have been 2 periods of worldwide chaos in the church - Arianism and Modernism.  So out of 2,000 years, only 200 have been where most of the hierarchy have been bad.  That's only 10% of history.  It's not like it happens every 50 years.  For you to say that these situations cause catholics to lose hope in the Church's system is over-the-top.

    How many catholics trusted their bishops and priests in the 50s when error was seeping in, yet, when it reached full-blown error after V2, they recognized it and rejected it?  Many thousands all across the world.  But they didn't lose hope in the Church, or consider that it failed in Her mission.  They simply realized that most clerics had either fallen for error, become lukewarm and didn't want to "rock the boat", or were outright revolutionaries out to cause chaos.

    There will always be priests and bishops who will stay true to the Faith, just as St Athanasius, St Thomas Moore, +Levebre, +Castro Meyer, +McKenna, Fr Wathen, Fr DeGauw, (etc, etc) did.  These men were there in the 60s, 70s and 80s to lead the way and keep the Faith.  God will always provide the Truth to those that want it.
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    Pax, they wouldn't have recognized the error or experienced any sense of ugrency if they were already suspicious.  The infallibility of the OUM is what, in large part, produces the anxiety of traditional Catholics in the sixties, seventies, etc.; they are disposed to learn with docility from the ordinary magisterium, and then, receiving an alien faith (on the hypothesis that Paul VI and all all his successors, were popes-- without which there can be no ordinary magisterium), they are alarmed and become confused.  There's nothing confusing about the ordinary magisterium teaching error if there's never been anything to prevent it in the first place.  The traditionalist reaction makes no sense if the ordinary magisterium enjoys no principle of protection from such a state of affairs.  It's just par for the course.
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    What borders on rocket science is the idea that the Catholic faith cannot be known with any safety from the ordinary magisterium; because even when it's "infallible" (which, by your position, is when it "agrees with tradition"), one can't even recognize that without first going to the primary texts-- Trent, Nicea, etc., none of which were ever intended to be read by the faithful.  None of these councils disseminated texts to the faithful.  What they did, instead, was have all of the bishops disperse back to their respective dioceses and through ordinary teaching (the ordinary magisterium-- all the world's bishops teaching in union with the pope) communicated the Catholic faith to the people. 
    .
    There is always, by the divine praxis of the Church, a "buffer" between the faithful and solemn definitions.  If, on your hypothesis, the faithful must regard such solemn definitions as the proximate rule of faith, then the Church has done a woefully poor job of communicating this fact, given that she's gone centuries without solemn definitions, and even when she does solemnly define, she doesn't invite the faithful to witness the definition and doesn't publish the texts for the consumption of the faithful.  In fact, one very quickly sees that the Church is the greatest impediment to Christian learning there is, because she is always putting bishops and fallible men between the Catholic learner and his real object of learning: some primary council document.  This is just a sloppy re-packaging of protestant methodology but with Latin. 
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    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #47 on: September 12, 2017, 11:51:55 AM »
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  • Also, I'm not sure we're solving the same problem.  I think you're focused on how to justify rejecting the doctrines of Vatican II. 

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #48 on: September 12, 2017, 02:37:08 PM »
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    Pax, they wouldn't have recognized the error or experienced any sense of ugrency if they were already suspicious.
    Not true.  There were plenty of catholics that joined tradition in the 70s and 80s - years after the novus ordo existed.

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    The infallibility of the OUM is what, in large part, produces the anxiety of traditional Catholics in the sixties, seventies, etc.; they are disposed to learn with docility from the ordinary magisterium, and then, receiving an alien faith (on the hypothesis that Paul VI and all all his successors, were popes-- without which there can be no ordinary magisterium), they are alarmed and become confused.  There's nothing confusing about the ordinary magisterium teaching error if there's never been anything to prevent it in the first place.
    Yes, in the normal course of things, Catholics are supposed to be docile and learn from their superiors.  In the normal course of things, none of us would have any reason to even be talking about the issues of infallibility or magisterium or conciliar decrees.  It's beyond our paygrade.  In the normal course of things, we would follow our bishop and his priests in our diocese and our daily concerns would be about our family, our school and the new chapel project to replace the stained glass.  In other words, normal laity stuff.  BUT THESE ARE NOT NORMAL TIMES, so you can't compare the 1940s with now.  It's apples to oranges.  We're in the middle of a war!  Things are different.

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    The traditionalist reaction makes no sense if the ordinary magisterium enjoys no principle of protection from such a state of affairs.  It's just par for the course.
    The traditionalist reaction was alarm and confusion because the heresies and infiltration in the Church was alarming and confusing.  It makes sense for the laity to be alarmed/confused because THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE MAGISTERIUM WORKS.  Pius IX, Leo XIII and (especially) St Pius X all warned us about the infiltration of freemasonry in the Church.  Even Pius XII hinted at it.  But most of those warnings were in our great grandparent's generation - too far removed from the 70s for many to remember.

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    What borders on rocket science is the idea that the Catholic faith cannot be known with any safety from the ordinary magisterium; because even when it's "infallible" (which, by your position, is when it "agrees with tradition"), one can't even recognize that without first going to the primary texts-- Trent, Nicea, etc., none of which were ever intended to be read by the faithful.  None of these councils disseminated texts to the faithful.  What they did, instead, was have all of the bishops disperse back to their respective dioceses and through ordinary teaching (the ordinary magisterium-- all the world's bishops teaching in union with the pope) communicated the Catholic faith to the people.
    Again, you are trying to compare apples and oranges.  You are comparing the 40s atmosphere of the Church (i.e. normal times) with a war zone (i.e. post V2).  The catholic faithful CAN/SHOULD trust the hierarchy safely in normal times.  And one day, we will again.  For right now, we deem them untrustable, except for the Bishops/priests whom God has provided to the traditional movement.

    What happened when the Arian heresy finally came to an end?  Was there a massive "do over" on the hierarchy?  Was a new pope elected, with new cardinals and bishops?  No, they simply returned to orthodoxy and the Church's storm ended.  In the same way, when we find a wolf in sheep's clothing, eventually the wolf will die and we pray that God will give us better sheep in the future.

    Secondly, you imply that that Trent and Nicea, etc NEEDED to be read by the faithful.  In the case of Nicea, what was the result?  The Nicean creed - a simple, easy to understand prayer which explained our Faith.  This is all that was needed for the faithful to know.

    For Trent?  Does a laymen, in orthodox times, need to read the council documents?  Heck no.  All they need to know is that
    1) here are the errors condemned (which, to anyone of the time would be obvious, because these errors were being spread by protestants who had left the Faith)
    2) here is the codified form of the mass (again, which was essentially the same as most people were used to anyways)

    Notice that the Nicean creed and Trent issued nothing NEW.  Nothing surprising.  Any catholic who had 1/2 a brain would've understood the errors of the day and would understand the articles of faith which were being attacked.  Whether they kept the faith, or turned into arians or protestants, that's another story.  Most catholics don't leave the faith because of doctrine; they leave because the 10 commandments are too hard.

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    There is always, by the divine praxis of the Church, a "buffer" between the faithful and solemn definitions.  If, on your hypothesis, the faithful must regard such solemn definitions as the proximate rule of faith, then the Church has done a woefully poor job of communicating this fact, given that she's gone centuries without solemn definitions, and even when she does solemnly define, she doesn't invite the faithful to witness the definition and doesn't publish the texts for the consumption of the faithful.
    You're making this way too complicated.  What have been the last 3 solemn definitions?  And what must the faithful believe?

    1.  Immaculate Conception - Mary, by a special grace from God, was conceived without sin.
    2.  Infallibility - The pope, when he speaks on faith and morals, and when he intends to bind the Church to believe an article of faith, is infallible.
    3.  Assumption - Mary, by a special grace from God, was assumed into heaven, body and soul.

    The above explanations are all that is necessary!  Why do we need to read the intellectual reasons for the above articles of faith (hint: we don't)?  We don't need to read the conciliar documents and we don't need to witness the definition.  Why?  Because, THESE DECLARATIONS AREN'T NEW.  They've ALWAYS BEEN BELIEVED by the Church.  They were true yesterday, today and will be tomorrow.

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    In fact, one very quickly sees that the Church is the greatest impediment to Christian learning there is, because she is always putting bishops and fallible men between the Catholic learner and his real object of learning: some primary council document.  This is just a sloppy re-packaging of protestant methodology but with Latin.
    The object of learning is not a council document, it's the Faith!  The faith can be taught to an 8 year old - fully, completely and simply.  You seem to be implying that to be a good catholic requires great learning, consisting of a theologian's understanding of Our Lady's humility and/or a historian's knowledge of the religious and political atmosphere when Christ was alive.  It's. not. that. complicated.

    Everything we need to know is in the Nicean Creed, Athanansian Creed, the Cathecism and at Mass.  What else is there?  You seem to think that there's something in the future that we will "discover".  That we NEED infallibility to explain some new answer to a problem.  That we NEED a pope in order to constantly teach new and "improve" our understanding of the Faith.  We need none of that.  We just need the basics and to follow the 10 commandments.

    The devil entices us to become more than we are.  To become intellectual, when we should realize our stupidity.  To over-think the Faith; to become bored.  V2 appealed to the people's pride and tempted them to think that "there's more" to the Faith than what you've been told.  "Here is a new way to pray, which we have 'discovered' in researching the early church" they said.  The modernists wanted to "throw open the windows of the church and let the fresh air of the spirit blow through", which implied that the Church was outdated, moldy and old.  What a con they pulled!

    The answer is, we have all the doctrines of the Church NOW.  The 17th century Church had all the doctrines they needed.  So did the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries.  Anything which differs from them is anathema.  We don't need the hierarchy to tell us when a teaching is catholic or not.  We know, because we have it all and have had it all for 2,000 years.

    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #49 on: September 13, 2017, 09:32:13 AM »
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  • Let's just back up a bit and throw out a couple of things that I'm not worried about, and that I don't really think anyone is worried about:

    1) That Vatican II's errors are true
    2) That we've misunderstood the Catholic faith for two thousand years and its always included universal salvation, VII style religious liberty, etc.
    3) That there's any burden whatsoever to reject the faith received for a novel one proposed
    4) That infallibility isn't real

    What we're discussing isn't a problem of figuring out what to believe in the wake of Vatican II; we've already got that down for the most part.  What we're discussing is a theological dilemma that has to do with the nature of the Church herself.

    The faith received, as professed in the manuals, catechisms, and authoritative sources, says that there's an ordinary magisterium.  It says this ordinary magisterium is composed of all the world's bishops, teaching in union with the pope, through ordinary means.  And it says this is infallible.  So, we ask, how is it that what appears to be the ordinary magisterium (Paul VI and his successors along with all of their lawfully appointed shepherds) has clearly taught error?  

    Saying they taught error because they were't infallible isn't actually an answer, it's just a recognition of the obvious.  We need to figure out why they weren't infallible when it appears that they should be.  

    There are two theories.  One retains the faith received regarding the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium, solving the apparent dillemma by contending that there was a missing element for the ordinary magisterium to be infallible-- mainly, though a moral unanimity of the bishops did teach error, they did so without the supervision and union with the pope (because there wasn't one).  So, really, it isn't the ordinary magisterium at all teaching these things; it's "just" most bishops.  Which is something they're "allowed" to do by providence when the Church's immediate source of infallibility is missing-- the pope.  (Incidentally, consider the Church's perennial praxis of urgently electing a successor to Peter; such a praxis implies an understanding to antiquity that the Church is truly wounded without a pope-- if the only real effect he had on the Church was a once in a century supervision and approval over solemn definitions, he's primarily a moral leader.  But, if the Church's ordinary infallibility in teaching is dependent upon him, then we can make better sense of why he is so important).
    .
    Then there's "your" theory (shared by others, of course) which is that the ordinary magisterium did not teach infallibly because the missing formula was their agreement with tradition.  I gather that this idea comes from the Vincentian canon, which (is commonly but incorrectly) regarded as teaching that the ordinary magisterium is infallible when it teaches something that is believed always and everywhere by all.  As I've said, I believe this is circular.  We say that the ordinary magisterium is infallible when it agrees with what we already know is infallible.  That's no good, that's not a proximate rule of faith that everyone calls it.
    .
    I say the Vincentian canon is misappropriated to support this view.  Cardinal Franzelin does, too.  Consider very carefully what he has to say about it.  Mainly, the sense in which it is true that consensus, universality, and antiquity affirm a teaching, but that only consensus and one or the other-- antiquity or universality-- suffices as an indication of what the Church teaches infallibly.

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    Thesis concerning the true sense of the Vincentian Canon.
     
     1. The Canon [or theological rule] of Saint Vincent of Lerins (Commonitorium Chapters 2, 4, 27 and 29) which assigns universality, antiquity and consensus of faith as characteristics of Catholic doctrine is perfectly true in the affirmative sense. In other words, a doctrine bearing these marks is certainly a dogma of the Catholic faith. It is not however true in the exclusive sense, i.e. if it be understood to mean that nothing can belong to the Catholic faith which has not been explicitly believed always, everywhere and by all.
     
     2. In the context of the Commonitorium itself, the purport of the rule is simply to state two marks, either of which is sufficient to prove the absolute antiquity, or apostolicity, of a doctrine, viz : (a) the present consensus of the Church, and (b) the consensus of relative antiquity, i.e. as it stood before the controversy arose.
     
     I
     
     The Canon in question is stated by Saint Vincent of Lerins in the following terms: “Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic... This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity and consensus.” (Chapter 2) Note first that the reference is not to any points whatsoever that are held and observed in the Church irrespective of the way in which they held. It is to those which are believed, i.e. held by faith. Now a thing can be believed in either of two ways: explicitly, or only implicitly. Whatever is contained in the deposit of objective revelation has certainly been believed at least implicitly everywhere, always and by all Catholics and nothing can be contained in the deposit of revelation which is not so believed. One would at once cease to be a Catholic if one were not ready to believe everything which has been sufficiently proposed to one as divinely revealed—or if one’s habit of faith did not extend to the assent to be accorded to everything included in revelation. But in this sense “to have been believed always and everywhere” cannot be given as a criterion and theological touchstone for recognising what is contained in revelation, for the objects of implicit faith are not in themselves known as revealed. And on the other hand, to investigate whether something has been at least implicitly believed everywhere, always, by all, is the same thing as investigating whether it is contained in objective revelation and Tradition; and it must therefore be established in the light of some other criterion—it cannot be itself a means of establishing it. So although it is true, both in the affirmative sense and in the exclusive sense, that everything belongs to the deposit of faith which has been at least implicitly believed everywhere, always, and by all, and that nothing belongs to this deposit which has not been so believed, nevertheless this cannot be the meaning of the Vincentian Canon.
     
     It follows that the proposed criterion can only be understood of explicit faith. Now it has been established in the preceding theses that a universal consensus in recognising some dogma as a doctrine of faith, at whatever period this consensus may exist, is a definite criterion of divinely transmitted doctrine.93 There is therefore no doubt that such an agreement or consensus in antiquity proves divine Tradition, and that the consensus of all ages does so most splendidly.94 So whatever has been believed always, everywhere and by all, cannot but have been revealed and divinely transmitted.
     
     However it has been no less established in the foregoing that certain points of doctrine can be contained in the deposit of objective revelation which were not always contained in the manifest and explicit preaching of the Church, and that for as long as they were not sufficiently proposed it was possible for them to be the object of controversy within the limits of the Church without loss of faith and communion.95 So a given point of doctrine can be contained in objective revelation and can also, with the passage of time—when it has been sufficiently explained and proposed—come to belong to those truths which must necessarily be believed with Catholic faith, while yet this truth, though always contained in the deposit of revelation, has not been explicitly believed always, everywhere and by all; nor was there any necessity that it should be so believed. So although the marks listed in the Canon, if present, constitute manifest proof that the doctrine they relate to is a dogma of the Catholic faith, their absence by no means necessarily proves that a given doctrine was not contained in the deposit of faith; neither does it prove that a doctrine, which, for want of sufficient proposition at a given time, did not need to be explicitly believed, may not at some other time be the object of obligatory belief. So the Canon is true in the affirmative sense, but cannot be admitted in the negative and exclusive sense.
     
     II
     
     If the Canon is considered in context, and together with the explanations set forth by Saint Vincent, it appears that its meaning is as follows:
     a) The absolute antiquity or apostolicity of a doctrine is not proposed as a mark whereby to establish anything else; it is itself the very point being investigated.
     
     b) As marks by which the apostolicity of a doctrine can be known, two characteristics are proposed:
     i) universality, i.e. the present consensus of the Church, and,
     ii) the consensus of antiquity,96 to be understood in a relative sense, i.e. a consensus shown to have existed before the controversy arose.
     
     By either of these two marks absolute antiquity can be known and inferred. For when, by virtue either of a solemn judgment of the authentic magisterium (whether of an ecumenical council or of the pope) or by the unanimous preaching of the Church, a universal present consensus is clear and manifest, this alone suffices of itself; but if, through the arising of a controversy, this consensus were to become less apparent, or were not acknowledged by the adversaries to be confuted, then—says Vincent—appeal must be made to the manifest consensus of antiquity, or to solemn judgements, or to the consentient convictions of the Fathers.
     
     Finally, if, in some polemical altercation, the heretics were to go so far as not even to venerate the authority of the preceding Fathers, he admits that we have no remaining common principle between them and us save the authority of Scripture. That the foregoing interpretation is the true one is clear from the entire context of Saint Vincent’s Commonitorium.
     
     a) He says that one must hold “what has been believed everywhere, always and by all,” without distinguishing whether it was so believed implicitly or explicitly (Chapter 2). But then he indicates marks by which we can come to know whether something was thus believed everywhere, always and by all, and these marks are: universality, antiquity and consensus. “This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consensus.” Hence, “what has been believed everywhere, always and by all” is not itself a criterion [of the duty to believe] but is rather something to be established by means of distinct criteria, namely universality, antiquity and consensus.
     b) What Vincent means by universality he explains straight away: “We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses.” Hence universality is the agreement of the entire Church, and, insofar as it is distinct from the mark of antiquity, it is the consent of the Church at this present time when the controversy has arisen. This is manifest from Chapter 3 in which Vincent contrasts universality, as the present consensus, which can be troubled by newly invented errors, with antiquity, i.e. the agreement of the previous age “which at this day cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty”. Moreover in the Chapter 29 he says that universal consent is to be followed “lest we...be torn from the integrity of unity and carried away to schism,” which he illustrates in Chapter 4 by the example of the Catholics in Africa, who “detesting the profane schism [of Donatus], continued in communion with all the churches of the world [which were at that time in agreement].”
     c) The mark of antiquity is understood by Vincent in the sense of relative antiquity, whereby absolute antiquity or apostolicity is to be inferred: this is clear from his entire manner of reasoning. For he invariably situates antiquity in the judgement of preceding Fathers or Councils—a judgement existing before the appearance of the heresy to be refuted or the controversy to be decided. “In antiquity itself..., to the temerity of one or of a very few, they must prefer, first of all, the general decrees, if such there be, of a Universal Council, or if there be no such, then, what is next best, they must follow the consentient belief of many and great masters.” (Chapter 27)97 And in Chapter 28 he says that to ancient heresies one should oppose councils which took place before those heresies arose, while, if even these councils are condemned by the heretics, there remains only the common source of Scripture to use in argument against them.
     d) Finally, Saint Vincent of Lerins everywhere clearly teaches that either one of these two marks—i.e. universal consent and the agreement of antiquity—suffices to demonstrate the apostolicity of a doctrine. Thus in Chapter 3 he writes : i) “What then will a Catholic Christian do if a small portion of the Church have cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body to the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt member?” Here universal consent is opposed to local error. ii) “What, if some novel contagion seek to infect not merely an insignificant portion of the Church, but the whole? Then it will be his care to cleave to antiquity.” Here antiquity is appealed to in the event that contemporary controversies should have muddied the waters and made it hard to establish for the time being the belief of the universal Church. There can therefore be no doubt that the true sense of the Vincentian Canon is the sense explained in our thesis. Any doctrine which is supported by neither of these two marks must be considered as being, at best, not yet sufficiently proposed to Catholic faith; and a doctrine which is repugnant to either mark must be considered to be a profane novelty.
     
     Publishers’ Note. The foregoing text appears as Thesis XXIV in Franzelin’s masterpiece De Divina Traditione et Scriptura (Rome, 1875).
     
     Footnotes:
     93 See Theses V, n. iii ; VIII, nn. I, ii ; Corollary I to Thesis IX; Thesis XI, n. ii.
     94 See Theses XIV, XV.
     95 See Corollary ii to Thesis IX and Thesis XXIII.
     96 Vincent’s apparently tripartite division in certain chapters : universitas, antiquitas, consensio, in fact contains not three but only two truly distinct parts, as is apparent from the author’s own explanation., and in Chapter 29 (i.e. the Recapitulation which is all that survives of the second Commonitorium), he himself reduces the three to two: “Regard must be had to the consentient voice of universality equally with that of antiquity.”
     97 There are no grounds for seeing in this or other passages from Saint Vincent of Lerins an error against the infallible authority of the definitions of the Roman Pontiff. Saint Vincent’s intention is to set out criteria of doctrinal apostolicity not only for the benefit of Catholics, but also for polemical use against the novelties of heretics—criteria which no one shall be able to refuse.
     a) He offers these criteria against “only...those heresies which are new and recent, and that on their first arising.” (Chapter 28) So, given his supposition that no direct judgement has yet been made against them, he could not fittingly appeal to a papal definition either.
     b) The criteria which he adduces are entirely true. His choice of them does not imply that he denies and excludes other criteria that may be applicable according to circumstances.
     c) In the criteria which he sets forth, the authentic judgement of the Apostolic See is at least implicitly included. For when such a judgement exists, either it authentically declares the antiquity of the consensus, or else it most certainly brings about universality. Hence if there is an extant pontifical definition promulgated in antiquity...it will always be possible to appeal to “the consentient belief of many and great masters” (Chapter 27).
     d) For Vincent of Lerins, as for Irenæus before him, it is enough to appeal to the authority of the Apostolic See in order to establish the apostolicity of a doctrine. He makes this quite clear in Chapter 6: “It has always been the case in the Church, that the more a man is under the influence of religion, so much the more prompt is he to oppose innovations. Examples there are without number : but to be brief, we will take one, and that, in preference to others, from the Apostolic See, so that it may be clearer than day to everyone with how great energy, with how great zeal, with how great earnestness, the blessed successors of the blessed Apostles [i.e. the Roman Pontiffs] have constantly defended the integrity of the religion which they have once received.” He then recounts the innovation of the re-baptisers from Agrippinus of Carthage, before pursuing in the following terms : “When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his position [“loci auctoritate superabat”], so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation—nothing but what has been handed down... What then was the issue of the whole matter? What but the usual and customary one? Antiquity was retained, novelty was rejected.”

    [Translated by J.S. Daly]


    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #50 on: September 13, 2017, 09:44:19 AM »
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  • The ink dried.  Appended to the end of my previous post:

    So, really, I would say that your best case is to assert that they've not taught at all.  Now, such a case does have some legs to it-- there is a very clear difference between how Vatican II and its ordinary magisterium proposes something for belief and how the Catholic Church does.  However, to say that the ordinary magisterium, though existing (i.e., we have a pope), has not taught anything in almost two generations, is highly problematic in itself.  Keep in mind we're not talking about a failure to define or clarify, we're talking about a complete absence of ordinary teaching.  You'll not find absolute and sustained reticence on faith or morals as a quality of the Church, at least certainly not in any Catholic source whose ever treated the matter.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #51 on: September 13, 2017, 01:19:18 PM »
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  • Great discussion so far.  However, I don't think you've answered my point about the role of Tradition/Scripture as the foundation for our Faith.  You haven't answered the philosophical question, which is:  Is the Faith which Christ taught the Apostles different from the Faith of the 21st century, or any century in between?  Does the Faith ever change?

    If the answer is 'no', then you've solved the problem you have with the magisterium having to agree with Tradition.  If the Catholic faith, throughout the centuries, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (which it is), then the ONLY reason for infallibility is the re-teach, clarify and/or re-clarify what Christ originally taught the Apostles (i.e. Scripture/Tradition).  Therefore, the magisterium is ONLY infallible when it agrees with Scripture/Tradition, because these came from Christ.  To further summarize, what this means is that the Church is only infallible when she re-teaches what Christ taught.

    This is, of course, true, since Christ founded the Church, therefore He is the author of ALL its Truths.  The Church can never add, modify or delete any of Christ's teachings, therefore, all that is left to do is to re-teach, clarify, or re-clarify.

    ---

    If, however, you answer that 'yes' the Faith has changed since Apostolic times, or that it can change, be added to, or modified, then I don't know what to tell you, other than get on the V2 bus and ride it to salvific destruction.  I don't think you would say 'yes', and I don't see a middle road at all, so you must say 'no' it does not change.

    Quote
    Then there's "your" theory (shared by others, of course) which is that the ordinary magisterium did not teach infallibly because the missing formula was their agreement with tradition.  I gather that this idea comes from the Vincentian canon, which (is commonly but incorrectly) regarded as teaching that the ordinary magisterium is infallible when it teaches something that is believed always and everywhere by all.  As I've said, I believe this is circular.  We say that the ordinary magisterium is infallible when it agrees with what we already know is infallible.  That's no good, that's not a proximate rule of faith that everyone calls it.
    I've explained above why it's not circular.  You seem to think that Tradition must be studied and understood, or else we wouldn't know what it is.  Tradition is simply the oral and written writings of the Church Fathers, who learned directly from the Apostles.  It is Tradition that Protestants reject, which is why they don't believe in many of the doctrines related to Our Lady, who is almost absent from Scripture, which is why they say we don't have to focus on Her.

    Further, protestants like to say that when the Church declares some new dogma, that Catholics are "adding" to their Faith, therefore our claim to be "apostolic" is a lie and we are not the True Church of Christ.  The easy answer is:
    'Yes, the pope just proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, but this is not a new belief.  It has always been held throughout the centuries, as handed down from apostolic times, that Our Lady assumed into heaven.  This is a constant belief.  The reason the Church has proclaimed it a dogma is to counter-act those who deny such a doctrine, and to protect the faithful from being led into error."

    This is how we are to understand the role of infallibility (either papal or magisterial).  It is to defend, guard and protect the truths handed down by Christ.  V1 clearly explains the role of the magisterium.  What problem do you have with this quote?  I don't get it.

    "For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter, not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.  (i.e. Scripture/Tradition)"

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #52 on: September 13, 2017, 01:34:59 PM »
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    So, really, I would say that your best case is to assert that they've not taught at all.  Now, such a case does have some legs to it-- there is a very clear difference between how Vatican II and its ordinary magisterium proposes something for belief and how the Catholic Church does.  However, to say that the ordinary magisterium, though existing (i.e., we have a pope), has not taught anything in almost two generations, is highly problematic in itself.  Keep in mind we're not talking about a failure to define or clarify, we're talking about a complete absence of ordinary teaching.  You'll not find absolute and sustained reticence on faith or morals as a quality of the Church, at least certainly not in any Catholic source whose ever treated the matter.
    I don't understand your view of the hierachy.  You are missing the point of doctrine in our daily lives.  Everytime a child reads the catechism, this is the Church teaching.  Everytime one learns the Creed, they are learning the faith.  Everytime one reads the missal at mass, they are experiencing the mysteries of the Church.  You imply that if the pope or bishops are not constantly cranking out newsletters, encyclicals or vatican articles, then the Church has "stopped working" or is "taking a break".  I don't understand where this idea comes from.  ??

    Has there been an absense of official teaching by the ordinary magisterium in the last 50 years?  Of course not.  I'm not going to provide a long list, but here's a few examples which come to mind:
    1.  Paul VI in Humanae Vitae where he affirmed the natural law on marriage and children.
    2.  JPII when he affirmed the Church's stance on only men being priests.
    3.  JPII when he affirmed the natural law regarding 'food and water' in the case of the dying Terri Shiavo.
    4.  Benedict XVI when he affirmed that Tradition is equal to Scripture in understanding our Faith.

    I know you don't believe the above were popes, but for the sake of argument, these were examples of them teaching "what the Church has always taught".  Therefore, these were examples of non-solemn, infallible teachings by the magisterium.


    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #53 on: September 14, 2017, 12:58:39 PM »
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    I don't understand your view of the hierachy.  You are missing the point of doctrine in our daily lives.  Everytime a child reads the catechism, this is the Church teaching.  Everytime one learns the Creed, they are learning the faith.  Everytime one reads the missal at mass, they are experiencing the mysteries of the Church.  You imply that if the pope or bishops are not constantly cranking out newsletters, encyclicals or vatican articles, then the Church has "stopped working" or is "taking a break".  I don't understand where this idea comes from.  ??

    Has there been an absense of official teaching by the ordinary magisterium in the last 50 years?  Of course not.  I'm not going to provide a long list, but here's a few examples which come to mind:
    1.  Paul VI in Humanae Vitae where he affirmed the natural law on marriage and children.
    2.  JPII when he affirmed the Church's stance on only men being priests.
    3.  JPII when he affirmed the natural law regarding 'food and water' in the case of the dying Terri Shiavo.
    4.  Benedict XVI when he affirmed that Tradition is equal to Scripture in understanding our Faith.

    I know you don't believe the above were popes, but for the sake of argument, these were examples of them teaching "what the Church has always taught".  Therefore, these were examples of non-solemn, infallible teachings by the magisterium.
    .
    The hierarchy is composed of the the pope and world's bishops with jurisdiction, and to a lesser extent and degree, those whom they depute to act in their name and exercise their authority.
    .
    The pope alone is "personally" infallible (that is, the pope, when teaching as pope, is himself protected from erring).  The "infallibility of the Church" (i.e., her infallibility in promulgating laws and liturgies which are free from error) exists inasmuch as there is a pope who, infallible, approves of teachings, liturgies, laws, etc.  The infallibility of the ordinary magisterium is likewise a diffusal of the pope's infallibility; without a pope there is no infallibility extended to the world's bishops even if they agree on something.  The pope's teaching (which obviously depends on there being a pope) is what holds all this together.  "Tu est Petrus..."
    .



    Quote
    Quote from: Pax Vobis on Wed Sep 13 2017 13:19:18 GMT-0500 (Central Standard Time)
     Great discussion so far.  However, I don't think you've answered my point about the role of Tradition/Scripture as the foundation for our Faith.  You haven't answered the philosophical question, which is:  Is the Faith which Christ taught the Apostles different from the Faith of the 21st century, or any century in between?  Does the Faith ever change?

    .
    Tradition and Scripture can certainly be thought of as the foundation of faith; in chronological order, these existed before certain implied teachings in the deposit of faith were explicated: e.g., guardian angels, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and so on.
    .
    But, like any foundation, it is a foundation, not the proximate rule of the activity it supports.  If you have a house, you have a foundation (the basement).  But you wouldn't confuse the foundation with the whole house; you certainly wouldn't move your kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms all to the basement.  And likewise, Tradition and Scripture are the remote rules of faith; they "hold up" that which we believe day in and day out; we might even have a discursive day in and day out interaction with them like we would the foundation of a house (a lot of people put their laundry machines down there, maybe a workshop).  But they are not the living rule; that's the ordinary magisterium, i.e., the living, teaching, and infallible authority of the Church.
    .
    Carrying the analogy further, the foundation never changes.  It can, though, imply certain things that have not yet come to fruition.  When we think of the deposit of faith, there are loads of implied truths that were only explicated later.  Canonizations are the perfect example of this; the Church certainly did not always teach that St. Peter was, in fact, a Saint.  But the fact that there was a time in Church history where he wasn't so regarded does not forbid there being a point later where he is so regarded.  He is now explicitly so regarded, as are many other saints, most without ever having been solemnly defined so, by the way.  In our basement analogy consider that the foundation of a home implies certain possibilities that are not yet realized-- additions (to the house), but also limits.  I'm not a contractor or a builder, so I'll leave the analogy there.  But I think the point is clear enough.
    .
    Quote
    If, however, you answer that 'yes' the Faith has changed since Apostolic times, or that it can change, be added to, or modified, then I don't know what to tell you, other than get on the V2 bus and ride it to salvific destruction.  I don't think you would say 'yes', and I don't see a middle road at all, so you must say 'no' it does not change.
    .
    I've explained above why it's not circular.  You seem to think that Tradition must be studied and understood, or else we wouldn't know what it is.  Tradition is simply the oral and written writings of the Church Fathers, who learned directly from the Apostles.  
    .
    Organic developments-- i.e., explications of teachings already implied-- do occur.  That is not a change, but a clarification, or an illumination of what was once obscure.  Objectively, the deposit of faith is complete.  Subjectively, certain things must be and are explicated from it.  
    .
    Actually, I think that we wouldn't know what Tradition is if the Church's ordinary magisterium didn't propose it to us.  St. Augustine says that he wouldn't even believe scripture if the Church did not propose it for belief.  How much more, then, would we dismiss the Fathers, whose work is not divinely inspired?
    .

    Quote


    It is Tradition that Protestants reject, which is why they don't believe in many of the doctrines related to Our Lady, who is almost absent from Scripture, which is why they say we don't have to focus on Her.

    .
    The Protestants do not reject the Fathers; in fact, they (informally) use them as a remote rule of faith, the proximate rule of faith being scripture.  If you look at the counter-reformationists (e.g. Bellarmine) you'll find that a signficant amount of their material is directed toward overcoming Protestant appeals to the Fathers.  The Protestants leverage the fathers to illumine scripture.  Serious protestants today still do this; I'm not sure about you, but I happen to live a very "seriously Lutheran" area (with "seriously Lutheran" in-laws, to boot) and you'll find that they have reverence for the Fathers.
    .
    The protestants rejected the Church as an extraordinary and ordinary authority of what Scripture means, and of how to understand the Fathers.  That was their principle error.  They said the individual is competent, and designed, to understand these sources without the Church's intervention.
    .
    That's why I say that this idea of the Fathers/Tradition as proximate rule of faith is just a repackaged Protestant methodology.  The living, teaching Church has nothing to do with that learning process.  In fact, in this view, the living, teaching, Church is the principal obstacle to true Christian learning and understanding.
    .
    Quote

     
    Further, protestants like to say that when the Church declares some new dogma, that Catholics are "adding" to their Faith, therefore our claim to be "apostolic" is a lie and we are not the True Church of Christ.  The easy answer is:
     'Yes, the pope just proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, but this is not a new belief.  It has always been held throughout the centuries, as handed down from apostolic times, that Our Lady assumed into heaven.  This is a constant belief.  The reason the Church has proclaimed it a dogma is to counter-act those who deny such a doctrine, and to protect the faithful from being led into error."
    .
    If your position is that Vatican II is infallible precisely because it attempts to add something to the deposit of faith which doesn't belong, doesn't the Protestant have a point?  If a Protestant were to say to you "The Catholic Church cannot be the true Church of Christ because at both a solemn and ordinary level it is teaching error regarding the necessity of the Christian faith for salvation", do you just tell them that not to worry because infallibility doesn't "cover" that?  To whatever extent that their is a formal "Lutheran Church," why not just belong to that instead?  You can go ahead and believe what it teaches when it coincides with Tradition (you can find conservative Lutherans who do a decent job in that regard), and just reject it when it doesn't.  No different from what you'll be doing with the Catholic Church.  At least if you belong to the Lutheran Church you don't have to explain away universal error, since they don't claim to ever be infallible anyways.
    .


    Quote
    This is how we are to understand the role of infallibility (either papal or magisterial).  It is to defend, guard and protect the truths handed down by Christ.  V1 clearly explains the role of the magisterium.  What problem do you have with this quote?  I don't get it.  "For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter, not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.  (i.e. Scripture/Tradition)"

    .
    Sure Pax, that's the role infallibility plays, and its purpose is to ensure that the Catholic faith is retained from one generation to another.  Or, to put it another way, the effect of infallibility (its final cause, really) is the faithful retention and genuine illumination of the deposit of faith.
    .
    But a thing's effect is distinct from its cause.  
    .
    There's some criteria for infallibility to "occur" for a teaching activity-- that is to say, infallibility requires a cause.  The effect of that cause will be the teaching's fidelity to Tradition: that might mean the revelation of some dogmatic fact, it might be the clarification of some doctrine, it might simply be the restatement of something we already knew, but whatever the case, the effect of infallible teaching is a proposition that harmonizes with the deposit of faith.  Right?  
    .
    Now, the cause of infallibility (proximate cause, at any rate-- obviously God's promised assistance is the remote cause) is the pope.  That's what I said at the very beginning of my reply.  Without him, there's no infallibility; not ordinary, not extraordinary.  There is no living, infallible teaching authority with no pope.  The requisite cause for infallibility is absent, ergo, its effect (fidelity to Tradition) is absent.
    .
    You are proposing that infallibility only occurs when the teaching is faithful to Tradition, and if that cause is satisfied, it will produce the effect of the teaching being faithful to Tradition.  It's a perfect circle, Pax.  It's fallacious.  


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #54 on: September 14, 2017, 01:27:38 PM »
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  • Not picking a fight here or taking sides . . . asking a question and welcoming comments.

    In an article entitled RESPONSE TO BISHOP WILLIAMSON On the Subject of the Vacancy of The Roman See, By Most Reverend Donald J. Sanborn, on page 3, Bishop Sanborn first characterizes Bishop Williamson's position thus:


    Bishop Sanborn of course rejects that, and in doing so states unequivocally on page 4:


    True of false?

    If false, please cite the theologian or the magisterium.

    Thanks,

    Tornpage

    Bishop Sanborn is correct.  Bishop Williamson has a notion of OUM where it can defect at ANY GIVEN TIME.  +Williamson adds the time criterion into the notes taught by Vatican I, but it's his own addition.  He does this by conflating the St. Vincent of Lerins formula with Vatican I's definition of OUM.  I've argued myself with Bishop Williamson about this before.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #55 on: September 14, 2017, 01:30:54 PM »
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  • All Bishop Williamson needed to reference was V1 where it teaches:

    "For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter, not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles."

    The new doctrines taught by the pope and all the bishops of the world at V2 are, per V1, not infallible, as such, has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimacy of illegitimacy if the pope - or the hierarchy for that matter.

    Nope.  That's a false inbterpretation of this statement.  This simply defines infallibility vs. inspiration/Tradition.  Infallibility does not add to the Deposit but prevents error in subsequent definitions regarding the Deposit.  R&R famously distort this passage to mean that if any new doctrine does not conform with Tradition, then it's not infallible.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #56 on: September 14, 2017, 01:33:58 PM »
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  • Nah, the Church's infallibility/indefectibility are not limited to a handful of relatively rare solemn statements.  R&R overly restrict the scope of infallibility.  Sedevacantists invariably exaggerate its scope.

    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #57 on: September 14, 2017, 01:42:30 PM »
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  • Nope.  That's a false inbterpretation of this statement.  This simply defines infallibility vs. inspiration/Tradition.  Infallibility does not add to the Deposit but prevents error in subsequent definitions regarding the Deposit.  R&R famously distort this passage to mean that if any new doctrine does not conform with Tradition, then it's not infallible.
    Nope. I'm not the one doing and interpretation. V1 very clearly states that the Holy Ghost was not promised so that the pope may make known some new doctrine - meaning exactly what it says. Which is to say the Holy Ghost's protection was not present at V2.

    You are simply repeating what certain well respected theologians who helped get us in this crisis taught. V1 is clear by design, no interpretation permitted or needed.
    Do not be afraid to abandon yourself unreservedly to His loving Providence, for a child cannot perish in the arms of a Father Who is omnipotent.

    St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #58 on: September 14, 2017, 01:44:16 PM »
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    You are proposing that infallibility only occurs when the teaching is faithful to Tradition, and if that cause is satisfied, it will produce the effect of the teaching being faithful to Tradition.  It's a perfect circle, Pax.  It's fallacious.  
    It's absolutely not circular reasoning.

    From the day when Christ ascended into heaven, the Church had EVERY SINGLE doctrine that exists.  These doctrines were either believed formally, or implicitly, but they were all believed.  And every catholic, from the days of the Apostles, has to believe the SAME articles of faith.  (The canonization of St Peter is a judgement from the government of the Church, and is not related to doctrine.  That is obviously irrelevant to our discussion.)

    Christ founded the Church 100% perfect.  Therefore, She needs no improvement, only clarifications of Her doctrines, depending on the situation and attacks She faces.  Only those teachings which agree with what Christ taught are infallible.  Christ is the starting point because He created Tradition and Scripture.  Therefore, Tradition and Scripture are the foundation - but must more!  They are the foundation, the walls, the windows, doors, and every ESSENTIAL detail of a house.

    The magisterium's job, throughout the ages, has been to decorate, beautify, and solemnize the house of God.  They are not to change, discard or make any MAJOR improvements to the house - just NON-ESSENTIAL upgrades.  Minor repairs, here and there.  Painting and maintenance, depending on season or storm which has blown through.  They are to MAINTAIN the house that God built, GUARD it against intruders, and PROTECT it against storms and weather.  That's it!  Nothing more, nothing less.

    You greatly overemphasize the importance of the magisterium and its doctrinal role.  

    Offline tornpage

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    Re: The UOM (Bishop Williamson v. Bishop Sanborn)
    « Reply #59 on: September 14, 2017, 02:02:02 PM »
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  • Bishop Sanborn is correct.  Bishop Williamson has a notion of OUM where it can defect at ANY GIVEN TIME.  +Williamson adds the time criterion into the notes taught by Vatican I, but it's his own addition.  He does this by conflating the St. Vincent of Lerins formula with Vatican I's definition of OUM.  I've argued myself with Bishop Williamson about this before.
    I've seen a lot of "Feeneyites" use St. Vincent's formula the same way. I've used it that way. I've been wrong. 

    Mithrandylan provided a quote from Card. Franzelin about this here, Reply #49 above. 
    "Assuredly the infinite power of God is not bound by anything; all things obey it as so many passive instruments. In regard to this external principle, therefore, we must inquire which one of all the means in His power Christ did actually adopt."

    Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum

     

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