Yes, every salvation effected is always through the Grace given by the Holy Spirit. So if infants baptized by Protestants are saved, as evidently they are, it follows that the Spirit of Christ has indeed not refrained from using the separated communities, in those particular cases, as means of salvation. The efficacy of those means like Baptism is only because of the fullness of grace and salvation entrusted only to the Catholic Church. So we can say the Spirit of Christ uses e.g. Orthodox Priests who also baptize infants as "extraordinary means". The Eastern Churches also give Holy Communion, in both kinds, to freshly baptized and newly chrismated Christian children. So it's certainly possible to interpret those texts within a hermeneutic of continuity, as Pope Benedict XVI asked.
Now, as for this thread, I'm not mocking anyone. There were sedes, even on this forum, who said the End of the Crisis is guaranteed before the death of the last Pope Pius XII appointed Bishops. Indeed, it would have been, if SVism is true. But that hasn't happened.
So what now? Those who believe in SVism can just remain without Popes forever? Even in those instances where interregnums were prolonged for mere months, the Cardinals were urged by faithful and others to get their act together and quickly elect a Pope. The Church has always had the conviction that interregna are not meant to last forever, and even in the GWS when there were opposing Papal Claimants to the True Pope, the Church made very strenuous efforts, including gathering in Councils, to end the crisis and get a Pope with UEA. So if SVism is true, where are these efforts today?
Misereremei, do you have a quote saying any other method is possible? Also, if a few vagrant bishops here and there, without office and jurisdiction, make a declaration, it will not be binding. The sede bishops themselves admit they don't have authority to bind consciences. But if it is not binding, how can a new Pope be elected?
"Pope Michael" type situations will result. Some will accept. And some won't. That is why the Bishops with Ordinary Jurisdiction, with Formal Authority to bind conscience, the only Judges with Jurisdiction in the Church by divine law apart from the Pope, must take action.
But they have not. As I argued in another thread citing Fr. Hunter, the unanimous recognition by the Bishops is proof SVism is mistaken.
Ladislaus, how does Sedeprivationism solve the issue? Heretics cannot appoint Bishops to offices. The Eastern Patriarchs, after they became heretics, as Fr. Gueranger says, lost the authority to appoint Bishops to offices, such that those appointed by them lack authority. If the Popes have all been heretics, wouldn't the same apply to them? Cum Ex also says appointees by heretics lack authority.
Myrna, as you know, I don't believe in post-1958-sedevacantism. But if I did believe even in post-2013-sedevacantism, e.g. if I believed Pope Francis was invalidly elected, I would be doing everything I could to urge the Cardinals and Bishops to take action to end the crisis.
If I had believed in post-1958 or 63-year-SVism up to the very point the last Pope Pius XII appointed Bishop died, I would have changed my opinion on it the moment he did.
How can it be otherwise? I know we will perhaps disagree, but to me the dogma of St. Peter's Perpetual Successors is incompatible with the idea of a sede vacante lasting indefinitely. And yet the idea of an indefinite sede vacante is what some SVs have seemingly resigned themselves to. I am only saying one's actions must be consistent with one's beliefs. If one believes in SVism, one must act accordingly. One must urge those who can Judge - the Bishops with Jurisdiction - to do so.
Can anyone show any example of a Church Doctor who envisioned 6+Popes for 60 years being heretics without the Church taking action? Whenever the Doctors discussed the possibility, they spoke of the Church taking action immediately - and certainly within the lifetime of the Pope. Not after 60+ years.
May God bless and guide us all as we discern how best to remain faithful to Him. May we all live and die as faithful Roman Catholics. Amen.