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 Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church 
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New post Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
As a sedevacantist I have been struggling with the visibility of the Catholic Church. Now I believe that the Catholic Church is and must have a visible hierarchy, but at the same time it cannot be the novus ordo hierarchy who were ordained with the new rite (most of them) or are public heretics. I have seen the argument that since this would leave no ordinary magisterium, sedevacantism denies the visibility of the Catholic hierarchy and therefore must be a false solution.

Now while I disagree with the conclusion of the argument, I am confused how to rebuttal it for none of the traditional clergy (SSPV, SSPX, CMRI, etc.) that I know of claim ordinary jurisdiction. So if someone could enlighten me on ordinary jurisdiction I would appreciate it very much. I am curious to know when it was defined, if prior to that all bishops were thought to have ordinary jurisdiction, if a bishop could pass ordinary jurisdiction to another bishop without a papal mandate (does a bishop receive it from the pope or through the pope), is it a right of the pope or is he the only one who could grant it to a bishop, who can create a diocese (were all dioceses created by the apostles or a pope), and who would still have it today.

James Schroepfer


Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:43 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
As a sedevacantist I have been struggling with the visibility of the Catholic Church. Now I believe that the Catholic Church is and must have a visible hierarchy, but at the same time it cannot be the novus ordo hierarchy who were ordained with the new rite (most of them) or are public heretics. I have seen the argument that since this would leave no ordinary magisterium, sedevacantism denies the visibility of the Catholic hierarchy and therefore must be a false solution.

Now while I disagree with the conclusion of the argument, I am confused how to rebuttal it for none of the traditional clergy (SSPV, SSPX, CMRI, etc.) that I know of claim ordinary jurisdiction. So if someone could enlighten me on ordinary jurisdiction I would appreciate it very much. I am curious to know when it was defined, if prior to that all bishops were thought to have ordinary jurisdiction, if a bishop could pass ordinary jurisdiction to another bishop without a papal mandate (does a bishop receive it from the pope or through the pope), is it a right of the pope or is he the only one who could grant it to a bishop, who can create a diocese (were all dioceses created by the apostles or a pope), and who would still have it today.

James Schroepfer


This entire issue is loaded with assumptions which are not proven. We do know of some certainties, however, in regards to the hierarchy.

1. There are alive in the world today bishops appointed by Pope Pius XII.
2. The same for John XXIII.
3. An argument could be made that it may have been possible that Paul VI was a Pope and then fell when he promulgated the Vatican II documents, December 7, 1965. If this were the case additional bishops could be added.

The bishops appointed by Pope Pius XII would certainly have been valid by ordinary jurisdiction of the Pope. The bishops appointed by John XXIII and Paul VI until December 7, .1965 may have been appointed with the ordinary jurisdiction of a pope.

4. As John Lane has pointed out on this forum, another group of bishops may exist, those appointments to vacant sees through supplied jurisdiction to an act of the antipope.

Every member of the hierarchy who has not lost his office through heresy, (or other reasons specified in the Code), remains in his office.

A good explanation of ordinary jurisdiction can be found here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08567a.htm

None of the traditional groups claim jurisdiction, they cannot claim it, as it has not been given to them. The remaining members of the hierarchy are the only men on earth who have jurisdiction in the Church, each over his respective diocese.

The hierarchy are made up of those bishops lawfully appointed by a pope (or appointed to a vacant diocese by an antipope when the conditions are present for supplied jurisdiction), and those bishops have kept the faith, I.e. they have not fallen into heresy.

I hope this helps.

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:24 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
As a sedevacantist I have been struggling with the visibility of the Catholic Church. Now I believe that the Catholic Church is and must have a visible hierarchy, but at the same time it cannot be the novus ordo hierarchy who were ordained with the new rite (most of them) or are public heretics. I have seen the argument that since this would leave no ordinary magisterium, sedevacantism denies the visibility of the Catholic hierarchy and therefore must be a false solution.


Hi James! In every period of the vacance of the Holy See the Church remains without universal ordinary jurisdiction, because there is not the Pope.


Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:37 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Thank you for the feedback. However, I am still curious, given how ordinary jurisdiction originated, can it come only from a Roman Pontiff? Yes I understand the Roman Pontiff has universal jurisdiction, and he receives his jurisdiction from Christ. But so did all of the apostles, and bishops are the descendants of the apostles (although only Peter received the Keys).

For Christ told all of the apostles to go forth and teach all nations baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

14. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule.
(SATIS COGNITUM
ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
JUNE 29, 1896)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia 1917 [Jurisdiction]:
“In the hierarchy of jurisdiction the episcopate and the papacy are of Divine origin; all the other grades are of ecclesiastical institution…
After the archbishops come the bishops, who of Divine right administer the dioceses entrusted to them by the Holy See, which may determine or in a measure limit their rights.”

[Auxiliary Bishop]
“In the fourteenth century, the great number of bishops without occupation, and their invasion of the rights and privileges of the diocesans brought about necessary legislation. Clement V (I, iii de elect. V, Clem.) prohibited the election and consecration of any cleric, without papal license, to any of those vacant sees (sine clero populoque).”

[Bishop]
“It is of Catholic faith that bishops are of Divine institution. In the hierarchy of order they possess powers superior to those of priests and deacons; in the hierarchy of jurisdiction, by Christ's will, they are appointed for the government of one portion of the faithful of the Church, under the direction and authority of the sovereign pontiff, who can determine and restrain their powers, but, not annihilate them.”

So yes the Roman Pontiff has the right to limit their authority to a point. But in the absence of a Roman Pontiff would a bishop's authority still be limited in regard to passing on ordinary jurisdiction? "An example of this would be in the thirteenth century, where one finds an almost three year period between Pope Clement IV death on November 29, 1268, to the election of Blessed Gregory X on September 1, 1271. During this three year vacancy, twenty-one bishops were consecrated for a dioceses without a papal mandates (Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, Fr. Conrad Eubel, O.F.M., S.T.D., 1913). All of these consecrations were ratified by Pope Gregory X, who affirmed the lawfulness of such consecrations (Il Nuovo Osservatore Cattolico, Dr. Stephano Filiberto)." (Episcopal Consecrations During Interregnums, Bishop Mark Pivarunas). Now would these bishops have had ordinary jurisdiction or supplied jurisdiction?

And in the early Church, where not dioceses created and filled by others rather than the Roman Pontiff?

New Advent Encyclopedia
[Diocese]
"It is impossible to determine what rules were followed at the origin of the Church in limiting the territory over which each bishop exercised his authority. Universality of ecclesiastical jurisdiction was a personal prerogative of the Apostles; their successors, the bishops, enjoyed only a jurisdiction limited to a certain territory: thus Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, and Polycarp, of Smyrna. The first Christian communities, quite like the Jewish, were established in towns. The converts who lived in the neighbourhood naturally joined with the community of the town for the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries. Exact limitations of episcopal territory could not have engrossed much attention at the beginning of Christianity; it would have been quite impracticable. As a matter of fact, the extent of the diocese was determined by the domain itself over which the bishop exercised his influence. It seems certain on the other hand, that, in the East at any rate, by the middle of the third century each Christian community of any importance had become the residence of a bishop and constituted a diocese.

From the fourth century we have documentary evidence of the manner in which the dioceses were created. According to the Council of Sardica (can. vi), this belonged to the provincial synod; the Council of Carthage, in 407, demanded moreover the consent of the primate and of the bishop of the diocese to be divided (canons iv and v). The consent of the pope or the emperor was not called for. In 446, however, Pope Leo I ruled that dioceses should not be established except in large towns and populous centres (c. 4, Dist. lxxx). In the same period the Apostolic See was active in the creation of dioceses in the Burgundian kingdom and in Italy. In the latter country many of the sees had no other metropolitan than the pope, and were thus more closely related to him. Even clearer is his rôle in the formation of the diocesan system in the northern countries newly converted to Christianity. After the first successes of St. Augustine in England, Gregory the Great provided for the establishment of two metropolitan sees, each of which included two dioceses. In Ireland, the diocesan system was introduced by St. Patrick, though the diocesan territory was usually coextensive with the tribal lands, and the system itself was soon peculiarly modified by the general extension of monasticism (see IRELAND). In Scotland, however, the diocesan organization dates only from the twelfth century. To the Apostolic See also was due the establishment of dioceses in that part of Germany which had been evangelized by St. Boniface. In the Frankish Empire the boundaries of the dioceses followed the earlier Gallo-Roman municipal system, though the Merovingian kings never hesitated to change them by royal authority and without pontifical intervention. In the creation of new dioceses no mention is made of papal authority. The Carlovingian kings and their successors, the Western emperors, notably the Ottos (936-1002), sought papal authority for the creation of new dioceses. Since the eleventh century it has been the rule that the establishment of new dioceses is peculiarly a right of the Apostolic See. St. Peter Damian proclaimed (1059-60) this as a general principle (c. 1, Dist. xxii), and the same is affirmed in the well-known "Dictatus" of Gregory VII (1073-1085). The papal decretals (see PAPAL DECRETALS) consider the creation of a new diocese as one of the causœ majores, i.e. matters of special importance, reserved to the pope alone (c. 1, X, De translatione episcopi, I, 7; c. 1, X, De officio legati, I, 30) and of which he is the sole judge (c. 5, Extrav. communes, De præbendis et dignitatibus, III, 2)."

And to quote (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma pg 289)
"2. Manner of Conferring The individual bishop receives his pastoral power immediately from the Pope. (Sent. probabilior.)
In the Encyclical" Mystici Corporis" (1943) Pope Pius XII says of the Bishops: "Each of them is also, as far as his own diocese is concerned, a true Pastor, who tends and rules in the name of Christ the flock committed to his care. In discharging their function, however, they are not completely independent, but are subject to the proper authority of the Roman Pontiff, although they enjoy ordinary power of jurisdiction received directly from the Sovereign Pontiff himself" (quamvis ordinaria jurisdictionis pote!tatc fruan­ tUf, immediate sibi ab eodem Pontifice Summo impertita). 0 2287. Cf. D 1500. The opinion cited (Papal Theory) corresponds best to the monarchical con­ stituation of the Church. When the Pope unites in himself the whole fullness of the pastoral power of the Church, then it corresponds to this that all incumbents of the offices subordinate to him should receive their power immediately from him, the representative of Christ on earth. This conception is favored by the current practice, according to which the Pope authorities the bishop nominated or ratified by him to guide a diocese, and requires the clergy and laity to obey him. A second opinion (Episcopal Theory) assumes that each individual bishop receives his pastoral power direct from God, as does the Pope. The activity of the Pope in the nomination or ratification of a bishop is claimed to consist simply in that he allocates to the bishop a definite territory in which he is to exercise: the power received immediately from God. In order to establish this theory it is argued that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, receive their power just as immediately from Christ, as the Apostles received their power immediately from Christ, not through the intermediation of Peter. In favor of the second view the historical fact is also urged that in Christian antiquity and in the early Middle Ages, the choice of bishop by clergy and people, or the nomination of a bishop by princes was not always and everywhere ratified by the Pope. It is asserted that a tacit ratification and conferring of the episcopal jurisdiction, such as is assumed by the exponents of the former view, is not demonstrable and is improbable.
'The former opinion, which was already approved by Pius VI (D 1500), received a new authoritative confirmation by the Encyclical" Mystici Corporis:' but the question still remains without final decision."

The Episcopal Theory is not contrary to the faith that I can tell, so could one not argue in a case of necessity (no Roman Pontiff) a bishop could pass ordinary jurisdiction to another bishop?


Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:26 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Is that not more plausible than an anti-pope, who would hold no office or authority in the Church, being able to grant ordinary jurisdiction to a bishop under common error????


Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:28 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
Thank you for the feedback. However, I am still curious, given how ordinary jurisdiction originated, can it come only from a Roman Pontiff? Yes I understand the Roman Pontiff has universal jurisdiction, and he receives his jurisdiction from Christ. But so did all of the apostles, and bishops are the descendants of the apostles (although only Peter received the Keys).


Consider what Pope Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis:

"Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called "principal parts of the members of the Lord;" [62] moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ. [63] Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff".

St. Peter and the Apostles received the power of jurisdiction directly by God. But, while the successors of St. Peter continue - like St. Peter - to recive this power directly by God, the bishops recive the power of jurisdiction directly from the Pope.

A cordial greeting


Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:40 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
Is that not more plausible than an anti-pope, who would hold no office or authority in the Church, being able to grant ordinary jurisdiction to a bishop under common error????


In a case of the appointment a bishop by an antipope, if it did happen, it would be an act supplied by the Church, the antipope would have no part in it, except the naming of the bishop.

The concept is not only plausible, it is certain, once one understands supplied jurisdiction correctly. There is in my opinion a great ignorance on this subject, even among many learned men.

Another point to consider would be that the Church would not supply if the common good would be harmed, so in the case of the appointments of the antipopes, we could be certain that appointees with publicly heretical and gravely erroneous ideas would not have jurisdiction.

It seems to me more likely that many of the bishops who obtained jurisdiction over their diocese in this manner would more likely have come from the Eastern rites, and even in that most likely those appointed in the 1960's through the 1980's, prior to the fall of communism.

By saying that, I am not excluding any possibility, just speculating on where these bishops would be more likely to be found.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:10 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Gabriele wrote:
James Schroepfer wrote:
Thank you for the feedback. However, I am still curious, given how ordinary jurisdiction originated, can it come only from a Roman Pontiff? Yes I understand the Roman Pontiff has universal jurisdiction, and he receives his jurisdiction from Christ. But so did all of the apostles, and bishops are the descendants of the apostles (although only Peter received the Keys).


Consider what Pope Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis:

"Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called "principal parts of the members of the Lord;" [62] moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ. [63] Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff".

St. Peter and the Apostles received the power of jurisdiction directly by God. But, while the successors of St. Peter continue - like St. Peter - to recive this power directly by God, the bishops recive the power of jurisdiction directly from the Pope.

A cordial greeting


Another aspect to consider, James, is the follow: the Pope is successor of St. Peter and the Bishops are successors of the Apostles, but in a different way! Indeed, that of the Pope is a personal succession. On the contrary that of Bishops is not a personal succession. So the bishops have not the same powers of the Apostles. These ones have received their power directly by God while their successors receive their power of jurisdiction by the Pope.


Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:54 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
If one to interpret Mystici Corporis as the power comes from the Roman Pontiff it seems to contradict Satis Cognitum. For they inherit their power which is really their own, is different then receiving their power as something that is another's to give (the Roman Pontiff's). Inherit refers to receiving something from one that came before by the nature of being who you are. The one who came before would be the bishop of that diocese leading back to the apostles who all received it from Christ. Notice Satis Cognitum is stated the bishops are not vicars.

I take this to mean the bishops receive their power through the Roman Pontiff but from God. The pope has the right to determine who receives the power, but the power comes from God. Therefore the pope's permission could be explicit or implicit such as in the period before Papal Mandates (for if the early bishops did not receive jurisdiction from the pope, how did they have ordinary jurisdiction?). So to me it would be possible to have ordinary jurisdiction without explicit papal approval in the event of the See of Rome being vacant.

Yes the Roman Pontiff has the right to limit their authority to a point. But :?: the important question :?: is in the absence of a Roman Pontiff would a bishop's authority still be limited in regard to passing on ordinary jurisdiction? "An example of this would be in the thirteenth century, where one finds an almost three year period between Pope Clement IV death on November 29, 1268, to the election of Blessed Gregory X on September 1, 1271. During this three year vacancy, twenty-one bishops were consecrated for a dioceses without a papal mandates (Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, Fr. Conrad Eubel, O.F.M., S.T.D., 1913). All of these consecrations were ratified by Pope Gregory X, who affirmed the lawfulness of such consecrations (Il Nuovo Osservatore Cattolico, Dr. Stephano Filiberto)." (Episcopal Consecrations During Interregnums, Bishop Mark Pivarunas). Now would these bishops have had ordinary jurisdiction or supplied jurisdiction?

14. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule.
(SATIS COGNITUM
ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
JUNE 29, 1896)

Definition of VICAR
: one serving as a substitute or agent; specifically : an administrative deputy

Consider what Pope Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis:

"Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called "principal parts of the members of the Lord;" [62] moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ. [63] Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff".


Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:19 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James, there's no logical problem, no contradiction.

Consider Holy Orders. This sacrament is divinely instituted; it is not dependent for its valid exercise upon any superior (except in the sole case of Penance); yet it cannot be obtained except from a superior, that is, a bishop.

So it can certainly be true to say that something can be properly "ordinary" (i.e. belonging properly to oneself and not merely delegated) and yet unable to be obtained except from a superior.

Jurisdiction is ordinary when it is proper to he who holds it. That is, when a bishop governs his diocese he is not acting as an agent of the pope, but as the prince of that diocese. He is not independent of the pope, but he is truly the ruler of his diocese. This is best understood by comparing it to the jurisdiction enjoyed by a papal legate or an auxiliary bishop. These act as the agents of he who authorised them. They do not act in their own name, but in the name of their superior.

A papal legate returns from attending a council where he has agreed to something or other in the name of the pope. The pope looks at it and says, "No, I do not agree with this. You had no right to agree with this. Yes, you acted as my agent, and those to whom you were sent had every right to expect that you would only agree to things that I truly agree with, but in this case you did not do so. You accepted something beyond the scope of what you were entitled to accept. I will write and repudiate your act, which is not mine. This will be awkward and embarrassing and perhaps harmful to peaceful relations, but it is necessary."

This is totally different in principle to how a pope can interfere in a diocese. Say that a bishop appoints an unsuitable man to be rector of the diocesan seminary, and the pope hears about it. He decides that he must interfere in this matter. The pope simply cannot tell the appointee that he was invalidly appointed, so that he has never really been rector of the seminary. No, the pope must remove him. He must step in over the head of the bishop, and either order the bishop to remove the seminary rector, or he must do so himself. But the act of appointment was not the pope's and therefore the pope cannot repudiate it. He can only countermand it after the fact. The bishop's act was his own (bad) choice. He did not act as the pope's agent, but rather he acted in his own name, with his own proper authority.

James Schroepfer wrote:
(Episcopal Consecrations During Interregnums, Bishop Mark Pivarunas). Now would these bishops have had ordinary jurisdiction or supplied jurisdiction?

Bishop Pivarunas is not touching that question. He is merely attempting to prove that episcopal consecration is not necessarily unlawful during an interregnum. That is all.

Nobody "has" supplied jurisdiction. Certain acts, given particular circumstances, will attract the supply of jurisdiction. So some acts attract supplied jurisdiction. Men do not "have" and cannot "have" supplied jurisdiction. The notion is actually contradictory. If the jurisdiction is possessed, then it will not be supplied; it's only supplied if and when it is not otherwise present, and then only under certain conditions, and only for specific individual concrete acts, one at a time. "Supplied jurisdiction" is fleeting, transitory, for an act and only for that moment when the act is placed. It does not persist and cannot be "possessed."

In those cases listed by Bishop Pivarunas, the twenty-one bishops were consecrated for existing vacant dioceses which had ordinary jurisdiction attached to them. That's the nature of an episcopal see - it's an office with ordinary jurisdiction attached to it by law, established by the Roman Pontiff. Such an office can be lawfully and validly filled with the presumed approval of the Roman Pontiff, when he is unable to be consulted. That's what this example illustrates, I think. Gregory X may have been issuing a sanatio in radice and fixing what was otherwise unlawful and invalid, but I don't think so, and one would think that if it were a radical sanation this would be known. So, it's important to note that receiving jurisdiction "directly from the Supreme Pontiff" does not exclude receiving it by obtaining an office to which the Roman Pontiff has previously attached it. What it excludes is the notion that God bestows jurisdiction directly upon each bishop, even if the pope must approve in each case. In fact, that is how the pope himself receives his jurisdiction - directly from God once he has been elected and has accepted the election - but other bishops receive their jurisdiction from the pope, not directly from God.

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Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:29 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
I understand a man cannot have supplied jurisdiction in the sense of possessing something, as only the act can be supplied jurisdiction for that act alone given the circumstances. I can also see Bishop Pivarunas in his article is not addressing the question of jurisdiction of the twenty-one bishops.

I see your point and agree with your statement,

Quote:
So it can certainly be true to say that something can be properly "ordinary" (i.e. belonging properly to oneself and not merely delegated) and yet unable to be obtained except from a superior.


But I think you have made an assumption in answering the question that the twenty-one bishops held ordinary jurisdiction prior to their explicit ratification by a pope. The assumption is not they held ordinary jurisdiction, but that they obtained ordinary jurisdiction because they were elevated to episcopal see already established by a Roman Pontiff.

Quote:
That's the nature of an episcopal see - it's an office with ordinary jurisdiction attached to it by law, established by the Roman Pontiff.


For not all episcopal see were established by a pope or the Apostles according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (cited above). Some were established by the surrounding bishops in the area during the first centuries of the Catholic Church. These men I would assume had ordinary jurisdiction despite them not being explicitly approved by a pope nor their see being created by a Roman Pontiff. Now I would argue although they did not have the explicit consent of the Roman Pontiff, they still needed his implicit consent. Yes the current Church law reserves this right of instituting new diocese to the Roman Pontiff, but in previous times, bishops themselves could and did create dioceses (obviously with at least the implicit approval of the pope as to do so contrary to his will would result in one becoming a schismatic). Does this not prove then that this law is a disciplinary law created for the good of Church which, under extraordinary circumstances, would cease under the principle of epikeia because it is impossible to observe? Is this not a logical way to explain where the visible hierarchy of the Church is? For the traditional bishops are visible unlike this “invisible” bishop most traditionalists point to who is going to step forward someday having ordinary jurisdiction. For if the Roman Pontiff has to set up every diocese, how could we claim the bishops in the early centuries of the Church had ordinary jurisdiction?


Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:25 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Quote:
Bishop Pivarunas is not touching that question. He is merely attempting to prove that episcopal consecration is not necessarily unlawful during an interregnum. That is all.

Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but aren't the referenced examples of those who were consecrated for a specific office? It seems the comparison to today's trad episcopal consecrations isn't entirely relevant.


Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:53 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
The question which makes this discussion pertinent to today is who has the authority to create dioceses and consecrate bishops to fulfill these offices. Yes the Roman Pontiff absolutely has this authority or someone with his explicit approval has this authority, but the question here is, in his absence or with his implicit approval, can another bishop create a diocese or consecrate a bishop to fill that diocese (a bishop obviously cannot when there is a sitting pope as this would be schism to purposely circumvent the Roman Pontiff's authority)? I don't know. All I am saying is it would appear that this is how dioceses were created and filled in the early Church after the Apostles proving it is within a bishop's power to do so.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:34 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
The question which makes this discussion pertinent to today is who has the authority to create dioceses and consecrate bishops to fulfill these offices. Yes the Roman Pontiff absolutely has this authority or someone with his explicit approval has this authority, but the question here is, in his absence or with his implicit approval, can another bishop create a diocese or consecrate a bishop to fill that diocese (a bishop obviously cannot when there is a sitting pope as this would be schism to purposely circumvent the Roman Pontiff's authority)? I don't know. All I am saying is it would appear that this is how dioceses were created and filled in the early Church after the Apostles proving it is within a bishop's power to do so.
My point is that nobody seems to be doing this. I'm not suggesting they should, just pointing out they are not. The diocese is already there and they are not claiming to fill or occupy any existing diocese. There are no new territories, only the existing ones.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:22 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
In words the traditional bishops deny holding any ordinary jurisdiction but what about their actions. To me their actions seems to speak the opposite. Not that I view this as wrong for perhaps they should or could claim ordinary jurisdiction. I don't know. I was just wonder whether or not they could claim ordinary jurisdiction in an existing see or if they have the power to create one.


Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:48 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
In words the traditional bishops deny holding any ordinary jurisdiction but what about their actions. To me their actions seems to speak the opposite.
Except their actions do not really clearly indicate they think they hold any office.

James Schroepfer wrote:
Not that I view this as wrong for perhaps they should or could claim ordinary jurisdiction. I don't know. I was just wonder whether or not they could claim ordinary jurisdiction in an existing see or if they have the power to create one.
The short answer seems to be no. If they don't claim to hold any office and occupy a territory, then by definition they can't even make the claim they have ordinary jurisdiction. They all may do certain things that only a bishop with an office and territory can do, yet that seems to me only accidental.


Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:16 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Fr. Cekada on IA adds some data to his previous theorising about his own, and presumably, Bishop Dolan's, status and authority, and the broader question of where the Church hierarchical is today.

Fr. Cekada wrote:
Nishant wrote:
Also do you disagree that the unanimity spoken of by the theologians is moral unanimity? Finally, as for sedevacantists who hold there is no hierarchy, or even in reply to sedeprivationists, obviously we would not rely on this argument since it could not apply, then, in the usual way.

If you've seen Cardinal Billot's argument, Father, he says your argument is in reverse. For universal acceptance proves that all conditions required for validity are fulfilled even in the internal forum, therefore if it is verified, by that very fact, the Pope is not a heretic.

But the opinion that the Church has no hierarchy, possessing both power of order and power of jurisdiction, is surely an impossible and erroneous hypothesis at best. It would imply the Catholic Church has ceased to be Apostolic. I cannot see how it could be sustained.


A very interesting and helpful exchange, this!

1. On "moral unanimity," sure. But you get this only by going back to a circular argument: (a) those who do NOT recognize JP2 as a true pope on grounds of heresy (sedes) are NOT part of the Church, and (b) those who DO adhere to the same errors as JP2 ARE part of the Church.

2. As regards Billot, see 1.

But in any case, canonists and dogmatic theologians who address the specific issue of qualifications for the papal office say that the prohibition against the valid election of a heretic is a matter of divine law.

As far as I know, Billot did not address this specific issue. Discussions of the "dogmatic fact" as regards a papal election turn on worries about whether the requisite legal technicalities were observed, thus to avoid the prospect of a re-run of the Great Western Schism.

3. As regards hierarchy, mission and apostolicity, the short answer is this:

The mission and command that Our Lord gave to the apostles and their successors (teach, rule, and sanctify) is a matter of divine law.

The matter of how that mission and command would be carried out and passed on to succeeding generations of bishops and priests Our Lord left to the Church to implement via human law (i.e., ecclesiastical law, which over history, employed various procedures to achieve this.

In more recent times, ecclesiastical law finally came to provide that any appointment to episcopal office depended solely on the Roman Pontiff for the legitimacy of the incumbent's mission and his reception of true apostolic succession.

If there is no true pope, as a sede like me would maintain, the provisions of ecclesiastical law pertaining to legitimacy of mission and apostolic succession can no longer be said to apply strictly.

Nevertheless, this mission and command Our Lord gave to the apostles and those who would succeed them still applies as a matter of divine law, because the divine law endures for all time, even when the provisions of human-ecclesiastical can no longer be followed.

Traditional bishops and priests received the obligation to continue this apostolic mission from Christ in virtue of their consecrations and ordinations. Despite the fact that their mission and succession did not come to them through the provisions of human-ecclesiastical law, their mission and succession is indeed apostolic as regards the divine law because it is identical with the mission Christ gave to the Church.

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Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:56 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Thanks to Mr. Lane for his latest post in this thread, as I do not keep up with IA.

Fr. Cekada wrote:
Nishant wrote:

[ . . . ]

But the opinion that the Church has no hierarchy, possessing both power of order and power of jurisdiction, is surely an impossible and erroneous hypothesis at best. It would imply the Catholic Church has ceased to be Apostolic. I cannot see how it could be sustained.


[ . . . ]

3. As regards hierarchy, mission and apostolicity, the short answer is this:

The mission and command that Our Lord gave to the apostles and their successors (teach, rule, and sanctify) is a matter of divine law.

The matter of how that mission and command would be carried out and passed on to succeeding generations of bishops and priests Our Lord left to the Church to implement via human law (i.e., ecclesiastical law, which over history, employed various procedures to achieve this.

In more recent times, ecclesiastical law finally came to provide that any appointment to episcopal office depended solely on the Roman Pontiff for the legitimacy of the incumbent's mission and his reception of true apostolic succession.

If there is no true pope, as a sede like me would maintain, the provisions of ecclesiastical law pertaining to legitimacy of mission and apostolic succession can no longer be said to apply strictly.

Nevertheless, this mission and command Our Lord gave to the apostles and those who would succeed them still applies as a matter of divine law, because the divine law endures for all time, even when the provisions of human-ecclesiastical can no longer be followed.

Traditional bishops and priests received the obligation to continue this apostolic mission from Christ in virtue of their consecrations and ordinations. Despite the fact that their mission and succession did not come to them through the provisions of human-ecclesiastical law, their mission and succession is indeed apostolic as regards the divine law because it is identical with the mission Christ gave to the Church.


I'd love to read Fr. Cekada's long answer to such a question; as it stands, the approach seems to me totally novel. Then again, 55 years without a pope (as opposed to 39 years of multiple simultaneous claimants) might demand a novel solution: I do not know, but the above explanation (as much as I'd like to believe it) is on its face too convenient. Especially the part I underlined (seeing as how valid ordinations and consecrations do not an obligation bestow, per se).

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Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:44 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Thomas, it just reeks of Protestantism. Private judgement erecting ministers of Christ. No public authority involved. This is worse than Anglicanism, which at least replaced the authority of the Church with secular authority.

It's one thing to defend another who is under attack when the police cannot be found; it's entirely another thing to don a uniform and pose as a cop.

Who's the judge of the fitness of a potential bishop? The potential bishop (and his sidekick, perhaps)? What's the authority of a bishop without a mission from the Church? His own declarations to the effect that his Gospel is the true one? How does this differ from Protestantism? Does not every apologetics manual condemn this kind of theory on every second page?

Fr. Cekada tells us, "As regards hierarchy, mission and apostolicity, the short answer is this:..." He needs to give the long answer, ASAP. His short answer just opens the door to countless heresies, if it isn't heretical itself.

Quote:
...their mission and succession is indeed apostolic as regards the divine law because it is identical with the mission Christ gave to the Church.


It's a facsimile, is what he is claiming. It isn't the Apostolic mission, because that comes exclusively via the Roman Pontiff.

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Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:13 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Fr. Cekada wrote:
3. As regards hierarchy, mission and apostolicity, the short answer is this:

The mission and command that Our Lord gave to the apostles and their successors (teach, rule, and sanctify) is a matter of divine law.

The matter of how that mission and command would be carried out and passed on to succeeding generations of bishops and priests Our Lord left to the Church to implement via human law (i.e., ecclesiastical law, which over history, employed various procedures to achieve this.


Apostolicity has nothing to do with priests. In fact not even parish priests are of divine law. Priests are not the successors of the Apostles and they don´t receive the mission to teach, sanctify and govern.

Fr. Cekada wrote:
Traditional bishops and priests received the obligation to continue this apostolic mission from Christ in virtue of their consecrations and ordinations. Despite the fact that their mission and succession did not come to them through the provisions of human-ecclesiastical law, their mission and succession is indeed apostolic as regards the divine law because it is identical with the mission Christ gave to the Church.


1) When did they receive the obligation and who gave it to them? God? If so Luther must be very happy...

2) It is not true that the power to teach and govern comes through consecration. This is against the specific teaching of Pius XII, as everybody knows.

3) If the mission Our Lord gave to the Apostles (and to their successors) was the threefold power to teach, baptize and govern, and the "Traditional Bishops and priests" have it, then they are successors of the Apostles and have ordinary jurisdiction.

With defenders like Fr. Cekada, sedevacantism doesn´t need enemies...

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Leon Bloy


Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:27 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Since posting the topic I have looked further into the matter. I find it interesting and confusing to see people who don't condemn the SSPX for their position turning around and condemning certain sedevacantists for theirs. It seems like a double standard. In any case, the SSPX have even suggested the legitimacy of the notion that ordinary jurisdiction can be conferred by a bishop with only the implicit approval of a pope. This ides can even be found in the book Schism or Not written by Rev. Pivert in defense of the 1988 consecrations by Archbishop Lefebvre.

Form Church history it certainly appears to me as if this method was the norm in the early centuries and even found in recent times in the underground churches located in communist countries. How could such an idea be considered novel then if it is as old as the Church?

Yes, under normal circumstances jurisdiction is passed exclusively through the Roman Pontiff. As a matter of fact, if there is a Roman Pontiff one is able to contact, I don't see how such an action would not constitute Schism. However, in the absence of a Roman Pontiff or if it is impossible to communicate to the Holy Father, could it come via implicit consent or does it have to be explicit consent? To me it appears as it is at least a possibility that it could come through implicit consent.

Now I would never argue that jurisdiction can be conferred via the laity. This would indeed be protestant. However, when a general dies in battle it is the obligation of his second-in-command to take command and his orders are as binding and hold the same amount of authority as the general's despite the fact that he is not the general. Valid orders are confirmed later when there is a valid general. Not a perfect analogy, but a thought. Protestantism would state the soldiers need to elect their own which sounds ludicrous to me as no army has ever conducted itself in such a manner. The bishops are the Church's second-in-command, so it would only seem logical that the ability to continue the hierarchy of the Church would fall to them.

Another example similar to the ones I posted at the beginning of this thread would be the case of St. Eusebius. Bishop of Samosata during the Arian crisis, it appears to me that he ordained bishops for sees even those occupied by heretics. There is no mention of him obtaining permission from Rome for his actions. As a matter of fact he died consecrating a bishop. It was also interesting to note that when the emperor replaced him with an Arian heretic, the people refused to recognize the heretic.


Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:49 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
So I would, like a ignorant fool, be bold enough to respond and say,
1.) The ordaining bishop
2.) Not by nature of the consecration but by the authority of the ordaining bishop
3.) Yes, logically if does follow than that the traditional bishops (not priests) are successors of the Apostles and hold ordinary jurisdiction. How it works theologically or ecclesiastically I don't pretend to know though it doesn't seem to oppose it, it just appears logical to me, validated by Church history itself.

If someone else can point a particular bishop out in the Novus Ordo Church, who has ordinary jurisdiction and does not follow the novus ordo teachings then the mystery of where the visible hierarchy is located is solved. Otherwise, the above seems to be one rational line of thought to explain the current mystery of the visible hierarchy, and I don't see where it is novel or protestant yet alone heresy in its line of thinking. The bishops, although we may not like them or like the men they chose to consecrate, are the Church authority although incomplete without their head. They still will answer to God for any bad choice they make in picking a man to be consecrated a bishop or a priest.


Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:10 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
2.) the authority of the ordaining bishop with the implicit consent of the Roman Pontiff.


Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:12 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
The argument against sedevacantism on the basis of the visibility of the Church has always seemed odd, chiefly because the most notorious fact of the crisis is surely that the post-Conciliar church presents no visible unity. It is therefore an extraordinarily weak argument against sedevacantism to say that our theory disposes of the visibility of the Church! Sedeplenism has already disposed of it.

Anyway, that should serve as an introduction to the following quote from Romano Amerio, the professor of philosophy, in his work, "Iota Unum" (p. 143).

"The external fact is the disunity of the Church, visible in the disunity of the bishops among themselves, and with the Pope. The internal fact producing it is the renunciation that is, the non-functioning, of papal authority itself, from which the renunciation of all other authority derives."

Well, that's our whole theory in sum, pithily expressed. In fact, it would seem hardly possible to improve upon it.

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Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:43 am
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Brunsmann-Preuss Handbook of Fundamental Theology - Vol III, pp. 340-343.

Quote:
St. Cyprian writes: “Novatian is not a bishop in the Church, nor can he be reckoned as such because, disregarding the Evangelical and Apostolic tradition, he succeeded nobody, but started with himself.”

Corollaries

I. The Apostolicity of the Church in her origin and teaching follows from the Apostolic succession of her teachers and rulers. A church that lacks the Apostolic succession cannot be of Apostolic origin because its ministers are unable to trace their lineage to the Apostles. As a rule, in such a case, there will be no Apostolicity of teaching, because without the Apostolic succession and Apostolicity of origin there can be no infallible teaching office, which is a necessary condition of perfect purity of doctrine. If such a church would by some accident teach Apostolic doctrine, this would be no proof that it was the true Church of Christ, since Apostolicity of origin and of succession would be lacking.

In order to be able to distinguish with certainty the true Church of Christ from all false claimants, it is sufficient to establish the Apostolic Succession with regard to the primacy of Peter. For, since the primacy is the crown of the Apostolate, the Church which possesses the primacy must needs be Apostolic. The primacy, reaching back to the Apostles, who were the first bearers of the ecclesiastical teaching office, has Apostolicity of origin for its necessary presupposition and, because of the infallibility with which it is endowed, also includes Apostolicity of doctrine. Hence that Church, and that Church only, which can trace its rulers to the first primate, namely, St. Peter, is in fact and by right Apostolic in every sense. Those regional churches which are subject to the successor of St. Peter, and live in community with him, participate in this Apostolicity. All others, be it that they have separated from the one only Apostolic Church or developed independently of her, lack the note of Apostolicity and consequently cannot be the true Church of Christ.

2. The theory of the so-called missio extraordinaria is untenable. The Church of Christ will continue to the end of time, unchanged in all her essential elements, one of which is the ordinary and legitimate Apostolic succession of her teachers and rulers. For the same reason she will never at any time lack the missio ordinaria and apostolica. Consequently, there is no room for an extraordinary mission (missio extraordinaria) of the kind invented by orthodox Protestantism to support its false view of the nature of the Church. The 16th century Reformers deemed it possible that the Church of Christ could err so profoundly in matters of faith and morals that no suitable rulers could be set up by ordinary human means, and those still in office could no longer be employed with advantage for the salvation of souls. In that case, they held, God would send men with an extraordinary mission to reform His Church. Such a man, e. g., was Martin Luther. We hold that such an extraordinary mission is incompatible with the nature and organization of the Church. She can never be without the Apostolic succession, which is based upon the ordinary and Apostolic mission and invariably accompanied by the gift of infallibility and the efficacious assistance of Christ, and therefore the teaching of the Church cannot possibly be distorted to such an extent that its purification would necessitate an extraordinary mission. Even though moral corruption may at times be widespread within her pale, the Church of Christ has the promise of indefectibility, and hence immorality cannot flourish to such an extent as to render impossible the government of the faithful by the ordinary means appointed by the Founder.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:35 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
John Lane wrote:
Brunsmann-Preuss Handbook of Fundamental Theology - Vol III, pp. 340-343.

Quote:
2. ...The Church of Christ will continue to the end of time, unchanged in all her essential elements, one of which is the ordinary and legitimate Apostolic succession of her teachers and rulers. ...

...She can never be without the Apostolic succession, ...

...hence immorality cannot flourish to such an extent as to render impossible the government of the faithful by the ordinary means appointed by the Founder.

As I have repeatedly stated here, we CANNOT be without a legitimate pope for an extended period. A 55+ year-and-continuing "sedevacante" simply contradicts all of the above.

While it appears to be true that nothing the Church has taught denies the possibility of such an extended "sedevacante", there is also nothing in Church doctrine that directly assures us that there ever will be one either.

I simply don't believe it is possible.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:22 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Except a 55+ year and continuing sedevacante does not contradict the passage from Brunsmann-Preuss. I believe you are confusing what they mean by missio extraordinaria. The texts refers to missio extraordinaria to a teaching office set up by ordinary human means. They use the example of the Protestant notion of Martin Luther, who was a Catholic priest, having such a mission and how this is contrary to the indefectibility of the Church. Now a priest holds no more authority in the Church as far as jurisdiction then a laity and neither hold the power to create bishops. This being because neither are successors of the Apostles. Bishops, however, are the true successors of the Apostles as taught by the Church, example see below.

(SATIS COGNITUM
ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
JUNE 29, 1896)
14. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule [Bold added].
This being the case, a consecration of a Catholic bishop by a Catholic bishop is the ordinary means of Apostolic Succession because the ordaining bishop is a true successor of the Apostles. This would never be the case for a bishop consecrated by a priest or laity as they are not successors of the Apostles. Two distinctly different situations which the phrase missio extraordinaria would only apply to the second.

But could not one claim that a bishop consecrating another without the explicit consent of the pope (papal mandate) to take upon oneself a missio extraordinaria? Not in the sense of missio extraordinaria but to me the action could constitute schism rendering the bishops outside the Church. However, it would depend on the circumstances of the case. For a bishop to consecrate another bishop without the explicit consent of a pope while there is a sitting Pontiff would constitute the consecration a schismatic act. Whether or not the consecrating bishop was a schismatic would have to be affirmed by whether the act was done in disobedience or from a rejection of the Roman Pontiff’s authority. The act however would render the consecrating bishop suspect of schism and demand further investigation. If disobedience then the pope could excommunicate the disobedient bishop; if schism the bishop would separate himself from the Church.

However, this is not what is being discussed here. The question being addressed is whether a Catholic bishop (Bishop Lefebrve or Thuc), unable to attain explicit consent of a Roman Pontiff, could consecrate a bishop to supply the sacraments for the faithful? This again has nothing to do with missio extraordinaria as again the Catholic bishop is a true successor of the Apostles and has the power to confer the sacrament. The question is whether the implicit consent of the Roman Pontiff could be assumed in such a case or would this action constitute schism rendering these bishops outside the Catholic Church. I believe, understanding that the sacraments are the ordinary means of salvation and these require priests and bishops, implicit consent of the Roman Pontiff could be assumed although the action would have to be ratified by a pope as soon as the ordaining bishop could contact him. Given that the seat of St. Peter is currently still sede vacante, the Catholic bishops will have to wait until the time when the seat is again occupied by a legitimate successor of St. Peter, and until that time they are the ordinary means by which the faithful are ruled as bishops are shepherds of their flocks as appointed by the Founder. So as one can see, “ 2. ...The Church of Christ will continue to the end of time, unchanged in all her essential elements, one of which is the ordinary and legitimate Apostolic succession of her teachers and rulers. (Brunsmann-Preuss Handbook of Fundamental Theology - Vol III, pp. 340-343.), is in no way contradicted.

While there is nothing in Church doctrine which assures us of an extended sede vacante period, Church doctrine does assure us of the indefectibility of the Church and her infallibility. It is from this that a Catholic can know that the Catholic Church cannot teach error, cannot produce false worship, cannot promulgate a code of law containing sacrilege, and therefore the Novus Ordo Church CANNOT be the Catholic Church and the Novus Ordo hierarchy CANNOT be the Catholic hierarchy. It is simply not possible based on the divine promise of Christ Himself that “the gates of Hell will not prevail.”


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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
Except a 55+ year and continuing sedevacante does not contradict the passage from Brunsmann-Preuss. I believe you are confusing what they mean by missio extraordinaria.

You're quite simply wrong in your assessment: I have never read Brunsmann-Preuss, and have no need, nor desire, to do so.

James Schroepfer wrote:
While there is nothing in Church doctrine which assures us of an extended sede vacante period, Church doctrine does assure us of the indefectibility of the Church and her infallibility. It is from this that a Catholic can know that the Catholic Church cannot teach error, cannot produce false worship, cannot promulgate a code of law containing sacrilege, and therefore the Novus Ordo Church CANNOT be the Catholic Church and the Novus Ordo hierarchy CANNOT be the Catholic hierarchy. It is simply not possible based on the divine promise of Christ Himself that “the gates of Hell will not prevail.”

With all of which I have absolutely no argument: the NO cannot possibly BE the Catholic Church. It is an abomination before both God and man, its "heads" have been and are, all of them, antipopes, beginning with so-called "John XXIII" up to now, and are, in my opinion, the Precursor of AntiChrist and the False Prophet foretold by St. John in his Apocalypse. It is an heretical religion and any real Catholic who knowingly has anything at all to do with it is committing a mortal sin of praying with heretics.

Yet none of this precludes there being a True Pope in existence either.

I suggest that those of you who believe Sedevacantism to be the ONLY POSSIBLE explanation for the present crisis are being very shortsighted. I further suggest, and have so stated, that when God finally does make it clear what has actually taken place during this crisis, all of us will be amazed at His wisdom...and imagination.

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Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:42 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
I agree. When God reveals how he has guided the Church through this time of trial all of us will be amazed. I also agree with the assessment that the Office of St Peter will eventually be filled and that this sede vacante state will not last till the end of time. Could this have already happened? Possibly, but I think unlikely. For a pope to be accepted by the universal Church the faithful would have to be certain of his election: "A doubtful pope is no pope at all." The only way I think this will happen with certitude is for a general council as in the case of the Council of Constance to be called by all the Catholic bishops to resolve the crisis. I think it would be dangerous to call a council without at least a significant majority of the Catholic bishops being present to elect a pope as it could further separate the Church into schism and confusion. To my knowledge no council has been called for or attended by the Catholic bishops. Regardless how much we may lament that fact, I don't think we will have another true pope until the Catholic bishops understand completely how necessary one is and make the effort to elect one. Right now I think many of the Catholic bishops, "traditional bishops," are too comfortable acting on their own (have their own agendas and prejudices), and they are hesitant to reach out and try to work with other Catholic bishops to resolve the crisis of an empty chair. In my personal opinion, I believe it is their duty to be at least trying to resolve the crisis. And working toward this goal is not rash, but necessary for the Church.


Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:41 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
I agree. When God reveals how he has guided the Church through this time of trial all of us will be amazed. I also agree with the assessment that the Office of St Peter will eventually be filled and that this sede vacante state will not last till the end of time. Could this have already happened? Possibly, but I think unlikely. For a pope to be accepted by the universal Church the faithful would have to be certain of his election: "A doubtful pope is no pope at all." The only way I think this will happen with certitude is for a general council as in the case of the Council of Constance to be called by all the Catholic bishops to resolve the crisis. I think it would be dangerous to call a council without at least a significant majority of the Catholic bishops being present to elect a pope as it could further separate the Church into schism and confusion. To my knowledge no council has been called for or attended by the Catholic bishops. Regardless how much we may lament that fact, I don't think we will have another true pope until the Catholic bishops understand completely how necessary one is and make the effort to elect one. Right now I think many of the Catholic bishops, "traditional bishops," are too comfortable acting on their own (have their own agendas and prejudices), and they are hesitant to reach out and try to work with other Catholic bishops to resolve the crisis of an empty chair. In my personal opinion, I believe it is their duty to be at least trying to resolve the crisis. And working toward this goal is not rash, but necessary for the Church.

Well, this series of statements leaves too many questions unanswered, and probably unanswerable in the present situation, for me to even attempt to address.

In fact, I cannot even think of where to begin, although I will ask one question: who, exactly, do you mean by "Catholic bishops" ?

Those like Bishop Sanborn, who obviously have no jurisdiction whatever?

Or those who no one except a very select few know even exist?

The True Church hierarchy is and must be "underground" in order to survive. And the situation is going to get much worse in very short order. The forces of evil cannot allow such Bishops to live.

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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
There are many questions unanswered nor am I the one with authority to answer them. I can only apply my limited knowledge and reason to try and make sense of these confusing times.

If the Church is visible, I don't see how it could then be "underground" at the same time. While I think its teaching authority could be "underground" in the sense of not visible to many, it would still have to be visible to a few and the faithful have to know it exists. There must always be the outward profession of faith by the Church. There always has been this outward profession of faith even in previous persecutions and trying times.

By Catholic bishops I mean bishops consecrated with the catholic rite, not the Novus Ordo way of installing, who profess the catholic faith. I cannot prove who has ordinary jurisdiction, but someone has to. Ordinary jurisdiction to me seems it can be the authority over a diocese as an actual territory or it can be over a group of people. While the traditional bishops do not fill a territorial diocese in regards to one created by a Roman Pontiff, it begs the question, could they have ordinary jurisdiction granted by their ordaining bishop over a group of people who submit to their authority?

Looking back at Church history I would argue they could. But what about their not having this ordinary jurisdiction granted by a pope? In the early years of the Church it seems this ordinary jurisdiction was granted by the ordaining bishop/bishops with only the implicit consent of the pope. These bishops also created additional dioceses and consecrated bishops for them when it became necessary without the explicit approval of the pope. Why then can it be argued that an anti-pope could be supplied with the jurisdiction necessary to create dioceses and grant ordinary jurisdiction to bishops but not other bishops? To me it seems that although the power to lawfully do these actions can be reserved exclusively by the pope for himself, church history shows bishops also have this power in the case of not being able to communicate with him as in times of the early church.

Just as in the Great Western Schism, I don’t believe it is obvious who has ordinary jurisdiction and who doesn’t. I don’t think it is obvious that Bishop Sanborn and other traditional bishops do not have ordinary jurisdiction. I believe it is possible they could and more likely than the Novus Ordo bishops who adhered to the heretical Church of Satan even if they were properly ordained. As it has been almost 45+ years since they invalidated Holy Orders and the only true remaining NO bishops are 80+ years, I don’t think it will be long and the answer to these questions will become more clear.

The devil and evil forces are arrogant so I don’t think looking at what seems to be the smoldering remains of the Catholic Church, they are too worried about the few bickering, for the most part indifferent, Catholics that remain. How many traditional Catholics care that their family members are in error? How many make the effort to try and show them the truth? Many my age are just comfortable going to the latin mass and calling it good. The older generation still carry the torch, but they are disappearing with time. The chastisement God is going to let happen is the natural progression of a Godless society, the society of man. It is not that the forces of darkness on a human level are overly concerned with the few remaining Catholics or clergy.


Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:59 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
If the Church is visible, I don't see how it could then be "underground" at the same time.

You have this problem because you do not understand what the CHURCH means by the word "visible". You might wish to find Fr. Sylvester Berry's book on the Church, "The Church of Christ", available on Amazon, for one, and read it. He devotes an entire chapter to this question.

As he explains very clearly there, the Church's meaning and understanding of the word "visible" simply means "not a ghost", or "able to be seen with the eyes". It simply means there must be physical people in it and of it, and this absolutely contradicts the stupid protestant idea of a "spiritual" "church".

The word "visible" as applied to the Church and/or its hierarchy does NOT mean, "able to be seen by everyone everywhere all the time". For the first 300 years, in fact, the church was "invisible" in that sense, being in the catacombs most of the time. In addition, for many centuries of the life of the Church, many Catholics not only did not know who the Pope was, not knowing his name, or even whether he was alive or dead, yet the Church was still "visible".

Means of communications then were not as they are now.

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Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:04 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
I have The Church of Christ and have read it. I agree it is excellent. My first statement was worded incorrectly. I concur that the Church to be visible does not require for it to be "able to be seen by everyone everywhere all the time". My point, if you finish the paragraph, is that the faithful have to acknowledge that somewhere there has to be a hierarchy visible to someone. The hierarchy cannot be invisible to everyone. Which simply leads to the question, where is it? Catholics may not always know where it is, but I think true Catholics are always seeking it. The Church certainly does not rely on a pope to remain visible, but he is very important in maintaining a unity of faith and charity.

Yes, the Church survived 300 years in the catacombs, but last time I checked the hierarchy did not lock themselves like sniveling cowards in the caverns and leave the faithful without a teaching guide. As a matter of fact, many of the early martyrs where clergy who were caught while teaching the faith or administering the sacraments to the faithful. They were then executed making their outward profession of faith. It was often this outward profession of faith which led to even more converts.

Your assertion that there is a hidden hierarchy hidden in some corner of the world while possible seems highly unlikely. Like you said, the means of communication then are not what they are now. If there were a true pope or true bishops other than the ones we see, don’t you think they would have made some effort to communicate with the few faithful remaining? With the internet and phone, this would be really easy in our day. If they were in a communist country, it is certainly possible to escape these days. Wouldn’t this be their moral obligation? The response that someone would kill them if they spoke out would not make sense either because like the martyrs of the early Church, the threat of death did not stop them from fulfilling their duty. Again is a hidden pope or hierarchy with ordinary jurisdiction possible? Maybe? But I think it very unlikely. I think what we have in the traditional catholic bishops is what we got like it or not. I don’t believe silver is going to show up and bring the lone pope.


Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:39 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
James Schroepfer wrote:
My point, if you finish the paragraph, is that the faithful have to acknowledge that somewhere there has to be a hierarchy visible to someone. The hierarchy cannot be invisible to everyone.


Exactly, but that doesn't imply logically that we will know the people that have that knowledge, does it? Moreover, the visibility of the Church, as Ken has said, is objective visibility - that is, her capacity to be seen (contrasted with the Protestant theories which posit a church which cannot possibly be seen). The question of whether she is actually seen is quite distinct.

I know a man has legs, since he is a man and he is walking as I watch him, but his legs are hidden behind a wall as he ambles along. His legs are objectively visible, they can be seen, just not by me at present, and it may well be that nobody else actually sees them right now either. But the man's soul is invisible by its very nature, and it wouldn't matter where one stood in relation to the man, one could not possibly see his soul.

James Schroepfer wrote:
Which simply leads to the question, where is it? Catholics may not always know where it is, but I think true Catholics are always seeking it.

It's not clear what your logical point is here.

And in any case, the clergy abandoned us, we didn't abandon the clergy. It's the responsibility of the shepherd to seek the sheep, not vice versa.

James Schroepfer wrote:
The Church certainly does not rely on a pope to remain visible, but he is very important in maintaining a unity of faith and charity.

This point cuts the other way more savagely than it could possibly touch our position. The post-Conciliar popes have presided over a catastrophic abandonment of the faith, and over the introduction of countless errors and heresies, without any effective counter-action, so that there simply isn't any unity of faith in the New Church - not even a unity in the profession of a false faith. The unity of charity is even more absent. The manifest disunity of the New Church is the greatest proof of the vacancy of the Holy See, in my opinion. It's the gigantic fact which few see, but which is totally obvious when viewed with any objectivity. That emperor has no clothes.

James, this point is at the heart of the current mystery of the Church. It leads, in my view, either to a crisis of faith or to sedevacantism.

The unity of the Church is the unity of the profession of the true faith. Therefore the most obvious part of the Church, perfectly united in faith, is the traditionalists.

James Schroepfer wrote:
Yes, the Church survived 300 years in the catacombs, but last time I checked the hierarchy did not lock themselves like sniveling cowards in the caverns and leave the faithful without a teaching guide.

But we're not discussing what men ought to do, rather merely what they may in fact do without Our Lord's promises becoming false.

James Schroepfer wrote:
Your assertion that there is a hidden hierarchy hidden in some corner of the world while possible seems highly unlikely.

I agree.

James Schroepfer wrote:
I think what we have in the traditional catholic bishops is what we got like it or not.

They are not the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and nobody who has read even the smallest bit of ecclesiology would be in any doubt about that. Even on the hypothesis that a true Successor of the Apostles can be created without the prior explicit mandate of the pope (an hypothesis I accept myself) none of these men meet the most fundamental criterion - they do not even claim an office to which is attached ordinary jurisdiction. None of them even claims any right to rule the faithful, as far as I'm aware. They are sacramental bishops only, by their own claim. Therefore they are not the hierarchy or even members of the hierarchy.

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Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:37 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
John Lane wrote:
They are not the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and nobody who has read even the smallest bit of ecclesiology would be in any doubt about that. Even on the hypothesis that a true Successor of the Apostles can be created without the prior explicit mandate of the pope (an hypothesis I accept myself) none of these men meet the most fundamental criterion - they do not even claim an office to which is attached ordinary jurisdiction. None of them even claims any right to rule the faithful, as far as I'm aware. They are sacramental bishops only, by their own claim. Therefore they are not the hierarchy or even members of the hierarchy.


What about this quote that I read on another forum:

Quote:
Any Church which disclaims for itself the right to rule its members, sets itself down as not being the Church of Christ.

I Also Send You, by Father Thomas H. Moore


Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:11 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
Mr. Lane,

I remember a post you wrote a while back (it could have been weeks, months, or years, I don't know) in which you suggested how a traditional bishop might make the case that the heretic in the cathedral is not a Catholic bishop and that he claimed jurisdiction over the particular see. I've tried several times to locate that post but to no avail. Do you, perhaps, remember the arguments you used or know where that post is located?


Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:16 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
TKGS wrote:
Mr. Lane,

I remember a post you wrote a while back (it could have been weeks, months, or years, I don't know) in which you suggested how a traditional bishop might make the case that the heretic in the cathedral is not a Catholic bishop and that he claimed jurisdiction over the particular see. I've tried several times to locate that post but to no avail. Do you, perhaps, remember the arguments you used or know where that post is located?


Here perhaps? http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8

And here: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewt ... ?f=2&t=429

And here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=945

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Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:53 pm
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New post Re: Sedevacantism and the visibility of the Catholic Church
This is obviously nothing but speculation on my part, but the "Siri Thesis" intirgues me somewhat. Siri, elected Gregorius XVII at the 1958 conclave, goes into hiding along with his cardinals and thus preserves the papal succession. A hierarchy in exile, blocked from publicly exercising their authority by the Conciliar Church of Darkness. This theory does fit nicely with the prophecies of Our Lady of La Salette concerning a "Church in eclipse". Now, the sun does not cease to exist during an eclpise, obviously, but is merely blocked from view. And while most sedevacantists would deny that they believe that the Church has been reduced to a scattering of warring traditional chapels, the fact remains that the vast majority of them (at least the ones I have talked to) have no clear answer as to where the Church is in the world today.
I recently watched some of the debate between John and Robert Sungenis. When Sungenis argued that "where Peter is, there is the Church", John mocked this argument by bringing up the case of the interregnum that occurs between the death of a pope and the election of another. While I certainly agree with Mr Lane that the leaders of the Conciliar sect can in no way be legitimate Catholic authorities, this seemed to me to be an insufficent answer. The gap between popes can be seen as simply a bridge between one Pontiff and the next; what we have here is the unprecedented situation where the entire hierarchy of the Church appears to have collapsed, with no Cardinals, no bishops with jurisdiction, etc. Granted, many claim that there are indeed bishops with jurisdiction, but none seem able to identify any of them.


Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:00 pm
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