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 Perpetuity 
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:06 pm
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New post Perpetuity
Is it correct to say that the Holy See having successors in perpetuity means no more than the chair is always there ready to be valid with a valid claimant. Is that all it means? Or is there something I'm missing? Is there a limit between interregnums? Could it last for say 200 years or 1000 years?


Mon May 12, 2014 7:19 pm
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New post Re: Perpetuity
First of all, we don't know if the See is in fact vacant, or if there is an underground Pope somewhere who is unable to exercise his office, at least as per the vast majority of the Catholic faithful.

Secondly, perpetual successors also means that if there is no Pope now, there will be one in the future.


Mon May 12, 2014 8:28 pm
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New post Re: Perpetuity
Brendan wrote:
First of all, we don't know if the See is in fact vacant, or if there is an underground Pope somewhere who is unable to exercise his office, at least as per the vast majority of the Catholic faithful.

Secondly, perpetual successors also means that if there is no Pope now, there will be one in the future.


Not sure if it even means that, since eventually the world will end and there will be a "final" pope after which there will be no other one. There is also nothing which requires the end times to be a period of occupancy, indeed it is conceivable that the end times will be a period of interregnum, in which case there would be a vacancy that went unfilled.

To the OP, I can't say that as a matter of principle there is anything which prevents an interregnum of X amount of years. Indeed we are enduring a ~50 year one, now.

Besides "perpetual successors" obviously not meaning that there will be an unbroken and successive occupation of the Holy See, it it therefore obviously seeming to refer merely to the papacy as an office (being unalterable and uneliminable) and the perpetual nature of the papacy and the rights and prerogatives established therein by Christ (not something which was merely granted to Peter alone, but to his successors, and to all of his successors) I wonder if part of perpetual succession refers to the perpetuity of the teachings of the popes.

Some non-sedevacantists like to claim that sedevacantists run afoul "Unam Sanctam" which teaches the necessity of being subject to the Roman Pontiff. This is a non-argument for many reasons but one of the chief one's is that it does not take into account just how one is subject to the Roman Pontiff; this does not merely mean being vainly "subject" to the current Roman Pontiff by putting up his picture in the vestibule, nor does it merely require being subject to the specific laws and teachings of the current pontiff (something which they themselves reject in toto) but it requires being subject to those laws (still in effect) and teachings of past Roman Pontiffs-- else we reach the absurd conclusion that those who die while there is no Roman Pontiff to be subject to will necessarily perish, so if it wasn't already obvious that subjection to the Roman Pontiff requires much more than simply assenting to the fact of a title and nothing else (afterall, every news media in the world calls Francis "pope;" are they subject to him by this fact?), this absurdity should show that subjection to the pope is not merely referring to the current pope's legitimate status as well as his laws and teachings-- those who reject legitimate popes and their teachings and laws are indeed schismatics, whether that pope is reigning currently or deceased for fifty or even five hundred years.

So, I wonder if in the same way perpetuity may refer to the perpetuity of doctrine (obviously) and of laws. That when Vatican I says Peter will have perpetual successors, it in part is referring to the perpetual infallible and binding nature of what a pope produces: teaching and laws. I do not have a source which explains it this way, but I don't have access to all the sources that everyone else does, so it would be interesting if this view can be corroborated.


Mon May 12, 2014 9:36 pm
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New post Re: Perpetuity
Maria, Father Cekada is right about this.

Scroll down to Chapter IV (The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff) in this page - about 2/3rds the way down - and read: http://strobertbellarmine.net/wilhelm_scannell_2_6.html

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Tue May 13, 2014 12:25 am
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New post Re: Perpetuity
Maria Looch wrote:
Is it correct to say that the Holy See having successors in perpetuity means no more than the chair is always there ready to be valid with a valid claimant. Is that all it means? Or is there something I'm missing? Is there a limit between interregnums? Could it last for say 200 years or 1000 years?


I didn't address your questions properly, I just realised. I agree that the notion of a permanent office precludes its vacancy for, for example, 1000 years. When "occupied" again such an office would really be a new one. Charlemagne's office was not really the same as that of the Roman Emperors, and the Kaiser's was not the same as Charlemagne's, and Hitler's was not the same as the Kaiser's - despite the fact that all claimed to be the successors of the Roman Emperors in some sense or other. The papacy, on the other hand, is absolutely one office with identical powers etc from St. Peter right down to today.

The difficulty is in saying precisely how long a vacancy would be incompatible with the notion of permanency. Jim Larrabee used to say that he thought a generation (often given as forty years) might be the outside limit, after which you would have to consider the vacancy permanent, and therefore the office would be proven not to be permanent (which is impossible). An alternative view, with some scriptural warrant, is the lifetime of a man, say seventy years - which happens to be the length of the Babylonian captivity, for example.

The sedeplenist view of the problem doesn't really help, however. At least, it doesn't help me. The sedeplenist theory is that the Church has had her chief offices filled during the whole crisis yet the pope has never spoken infallibly, the rest of the bishops have, with moral unanimity, taught nonsense or error during the whole time, and the faithful have lost their faith in unprecedented cascades of apostasy whilst under this divinely guided authority, the official worship of the Church has been blasphemous, ... Well, that's not even a plausible theory, as far as I'm concerned. It's rather a caricature of the Church and of all that we know about her in the light of both faith and historical fact.

So we have a mysterious situation in which the Church looks to those without faith to have died, yet we can see (perhaps only through a glass, darkly) that she somehow lives - albeit not in a state in which we have seen her before. In this there is a striking parallel of Jesus the all-beautiful who became, in Isaias's words, the object of horror to man's natural eye, so that "there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him: Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not."

That's how the Catholic Church is now, despised, and not esteemed by men. Why? Because her principle of unity, the pope, is absent. The chaos that she endures, that afflicts her in every part, is in direct proportion to the absolutely fundamental importance of the papacy. Without it, chaos. With it, peace, order, growth.

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Tue May 13, 2014 2:34 am
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New post Re: Perpetuity
Thank you very much for the replies. Unlike other offices it is the same exact office no matter how long it was vacant. That would lead one to believe it could be vacant for 1000 years and still be the same when occupied. But on the other hand that would be somewhat of a mockery of perpetuity I suppose. I believe it is true that we are living in a mysterious time where we will not have all the answers. But one thing seems certain and that is that no one has put a specific limit on how long a vacancy can last. Additionally we can be 100% certain there is no visible Pope and has not been one for at least 50 years, the hypotheticals can be worried about by those who wish to worry about them I suppose.


Tue May 13, 2014 12:30 pm
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New post Re: Perpetuity
Well to be fair we know that it will not last another 500 years. We know that we live in the last age of the Church, we can be certain of that.

Now it is my humble estimation and OPINION, that within my own lifetime (26 years old currently) I don't die from unnatural causes that I will very likely see the reign of the anti Christ (assuming I live like 90 years atleast, advances in modern medicine will also help) or I am even more certain that atleast the next generation (say I have a child right now) that he will most certainly see such a scenario within his own natural lifespan (assuming no immediate unnatural causes kill him and he lives a generally healthy lifestyle). So given that we have already ~50 years, it won't last forever.

I think it might be very likely that we might see a true Pope again and then we return to a long interregnum for a last time. However, this is not really based on theological thought, but rather pious private revelations. I am inclined to believe that it is certainly possible, not sure exactly when such a thing would happen. This is all very speculative so I take my own assertions, with a grain of salt and if anyone presents a very plausible scenario I would be more then happy to change my mind on this issue.

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Sun May 18, 2014 9:41 am
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