It is currently Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:14 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
 A Challenge from Robert Siscoe (& John Salza) 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post A Challenge from Robert Siscoe (& John Salza)
More of the email correspondence partially published by Mssrs Siscoe and Salza, published here in the interests of accuracy. What is really excellent about this exchange is that it exposes the intellectual and moral methods and standards applied by these writers in putting their book together. For example, if they believe that another person's position logically leads to some conclusion or other, they are entitled to write that he "declares" this conclusion. I doubt too many readers would be happy to discover that many of the purported facts in True or False Pope? have this character. What people want is to know where others stand, and why, and then be given arguments as to whether or not those positions are sound.

______________________________________________________________

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:47 AM
To: John Salza; John Lane
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: The theological/canonical/church history censors of TOFP

Actually, I will respond to something you wrote:

“I point out that the acts of jurisdiction of a putative pope would be valid by virtue of supplied jurisdiction…”

John, please provide an authoritative source who teaches that a false pope receives supplied jurisdiction that renders his “papal” acts valid. And please don’t quote the doctrinal dissertation by Francis Miaskiewicz as your authority, since he never says the acts of a false pope are valid. He is simply repeating the common teaching (annunciated by St. Alphonsus, Cardinal Billot and John of St. Thomas) which maintains that a pope who has been illegitimately elected becomes a true pope when he is accepted as such by the Church (“the adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election,” as Billot teaches).

The “formalities of Church law,” spoke of by Miaskiewicz, which would be supplied in the case of an invalid papal election, are those required for the election (i.e., for legally designating the man who is to receive the papal jurisdiction from Christ), not for acts of papal jurisdiction. Papal jurisdiction itself does not come from the Church, but directly from Christ, and hence the Church cannot supply it (nemo dat quod non haben).

If you believe Miaskiewicz meant that a false pope receives supplied jurisdiction that renders his acts valid (and not that an invalidly elected pope becomes a true pope when he is accepted as such by the Church), quote an authoritative source who teaches what you think Miaskiewicz meant.
____________________________________________________________________

To which I replied (no doubt to Mr. Siscoe's very great surprise):

From: John Lane
Sent: 24 January 2017 09:08
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

Dear Robert,

Here’s a translation (courtesy of Jim Larrabee) of Wilmers saying very clearly that Christ will grant jurisdiction to validate the acts of non-popes for the common good, but not for those acts by which they excommunicate others, for example. Since you haven’t read my writings, you won’t be aware that I have been saying this for at least a decade, in season and out of season. That’s a pity, given you decided to use my name a couple of hundred times in your book, and so completely misrepresented me.

There’s no difference in this context between a doubtful pope and a certainly false pope – otherwise Wilmers would be positing that all three doubtful popes were true popes, and he’d not be talking about supply because they would have ordinary jurisdiction. Talking about doubtful popes, he explicitly says that they are certainly not popes (a doubtful pope is no pope). “Indeed, he whose authority is uncertain, cannot require one to obey him for the same reason for which men are not obliged to obey a law which has not been promulgated.” And, “It is not enough that the election has been legitimate before God; it is necessary that it also be known as legitimate and as not subject to serious doubt. Analogously, it is not enough for a law to have been approved, but it is required that it have been also promulgated.” In other words, Wilmers gives exactly the same doctrine as Bellarmine, Billot, and the rest.

OK, here’s the relevant text, in context (he’s answering an objection against the doctrine that the bishops receive their jurisdiction from the Roman Pontiff, not from Christ directly):

"Obj. 5. If the Supreme Pontiff conferred jurisdiction on bishops, considerable difficulties would follow. It would follow, in the first place, that in the time of the Western Schism, as long as the Pope was doubtful and therefore null, the bishops who had been confirmed by the doubtful Pope would have lacked jurisdiction, and those priests would equally have lacked jurisdiction who had been granted jurisdiction by bishops lacking jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the bishops in the Council of Constance supposed that they enjoyed jurisdiction for the purpose of settling the schism.

"Resp. a. This difficulty, if it is one, weighs on everybody, since all must admit that a bishop, in order to be a legitimate pastor, must be assumed and acknowledged by the supreme pastor, the Roman Pontiff. It weighs on each and every one of those who admit that jurisdiction, [even] if it is immediately conferred by consecration or by Christ, cannot nevertheless be validly exercised unless the Pontiff assigns a particular flock, that is, provides the matter.

"b. In this matter, the same principles apply as those which apply in supplying jurisdiction when it is a question of a colored title, and of invincible or common error of the faithful. See above p. 257. A priest who is proclaimed as parish priest by simony lacks jurisdiction, according to the canons. But because he is thought to be the parish priest, the simony being unknown, and he has some title, although invalid, therefore he has jurisdiction, because the Church supplies for the defect. The same is to be said of a bishop chosen simoniacally and consequently, according to the canons, lacking jurisdiction; the Church here equally supplies the defect, and thus such a bishop, for the sake of the common good, obtains jurisdiction.

"This is to be applied to the three doubtful Pontiffs, supposing all of them to be doubtful; but with this difference, that it is not the Church but God Himself who supplies for the defect and grants jurisdiction. Indeed, each of the obediences thought and said that its own Pontiff was legitimate, and that the two others were schismatic; and each Pontiff possessed some colored title, and in such manner that for many people it was very difficult, and is so even now, to discern which of them was truly legitimate. Hence, just as God Himself confers jurisdiction to govern the Church on the legitimately elected Pontiff, in the same way He also went on granting jurisdiction on a doubtful Pontiff on account of the invincible error of those adhering to him, to the extent necessary; he himself therefore could confer jurisdiction on the bishops adhering to him. We said "to the extent necessary," that is, for the government of the faithful who adhered to them. But it was not necessary for this purpose that, if they pronounced an anathema on the opposing side and excluded it from the Church, this exclusion should take effect. Hence it does not follow from the fact that their other acts were valid, that the act by which they excommunicated the other side was also valid.

"Cf. Bellarm. De Rom. Pont. bk. 4, ch. 24. Zaccaria ..."

Apply this to the Church after, say, 1958 on the hypothesis that Roncalli was not pope, and whatever is for the common good, including appointing Catholics to offices, is validated by supplied jurisdiction, and whatever constitutes an obvious act of violence against the common good (e.g. suspending Lefebvre a divinis) would be invalid. And of course, despite supplied jurisdiction sanating, act by act, whatever is for the common good, a false pope cannot validly demand that anybody obey him.

The bishops appointed in much of the East would be validly appointed (because they typically remained Catholics), and most of the bishops appointed in the West would not – because so many of them were open schismatics and/or heretics.

The state of the Church is a mess on whatever hypothesis we try and analyse it. My approach is to take what’s in the theology manuals and believe it, then let the chips fall where they may. Yours (I do not suggest you really have much idea what your own method actually is, you seem to be acting somewhat unconsciously) is to take the legitimacy of the Nopes as dogmatically certain, and then ignore or suppress or deny anything in the manuals that won’t fit with this one big new dogma.

You should withdraw your assertion that Miaskiewicz cannot have meant what I say. It’s at least as likely correct as your view.

This whole subject is a lot more complex than you think (as I have been saying for a quarter of a century, actually, against people such as Fr. Cekada and Bishop Sanborn). If you had taken the problem more seriously, you’d not be in the position you now find yourself in, with a book that requires massive editing merely to make it orthodox.

I’m not your enemy, Robert, I’m only your intended victim. I forgive you, but I am going to keep making sure I’m not your victim. When you realize this, we can cooperate.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John.
____________________________________________________________________


Mr. Siscoe replied with this:

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 10:00:01 AM
To: John Lane; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

John,

Thanks for the quote, but it doesn’t help your position. During the Great Western Schism there was not a single pope who was accepted as such by the universal Church. Rather, there was two or three purported Popes (all claiming to be the true Pope) and a division in the universal Church concerning which one was legitimate. This was not the case with John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I John Paul II, Benedict or Francis. These Popes were not doubtful. On the contrary, according to the manuals that you claim to accept, their legitimacy is infallibly certain.

You wrote: “ My approach is to take what’s in the theology manuals and believe it, then let the chips fall where they may. Yours (I do not suggest you really have much idea what your own method actually is, you seem to be acting somewhat unconsciously) is to take the legitimacy of the Nopes as dogmatically certain, and then ignore or suppress or deny anything in the manuals that won’t fit with this one big new dogma.”

You’ve got it exactly backwards. You don’t take what is written in the manuals, believe it, and let the chips fall where they may, I do. If you believed the manuals, you would accept the dogmatic fact that the Popes mentioned above were all certainly true (not doubtful) Popes, since they were accepted as such by the ordinary and universal magisterium and at least a moral unanimity, if not a mathematical unanimity, of the faithful.
By rejecting these Popes, you are either guilty of an objective mortal sin indirectly against the faith (one opinion), or heresy (another opinion), either of which will land you in hell.

I pray that you renounce your public errors, accept what the manuals teach, and cease your efforts to lead others into objective mortal sin. If you do this then perhaps we can be friend, but not before.
___________________________________________________________________

I attempted to keep some kind of order in the discussion:

From: John Lane
Sent: 24 January 2017 10:50
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

Robert, why are you changing the subject?

I gave a principle, you challenged me to prove it, and I have.

Before we discuss a new question, you have to concede that you were mistaken.

This is good order, and good for you too.

___________________________________________________________________

Order was not of interest, apparently. Mr Siscoe replied:

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: 24 January 2017 11:04
To: John Lane; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

John,

I wasn't mistaken about anything. I asked you to provide a quote to back up your position and said not to cite Maiskiewicz, since he does not support your position. You provided a quote that addresses jurisdiction being granted by Christ to doubtful popes during the Great Western Schism. I thanked you for that. But, as I mentioned, the current popes are not "doubtful" so that does not help your position. Now, please explain why you reject the teaching of the manuals concerning the infallible certitude of a pope who has been accepted as such by the universal Church.
___________________________________________________________________



From: John Lane
Sent: 24 January 2017 13:23
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

Robert,

This is very disturbing. I am due justice like everybody else, which means that in order to attack me personally, or even to attack my arguments dispassionately (a better idea all round) you need to ensure that you have understood my position. Otherwise you commit an injustice against me. In a scholastic disputation, you would not be permitted by the moderator to say a single thing against your opponent's thesis, not a word, until you satisfied your opponent that you had grasped his position. Wasn't that a different world?

In your book, you accuse me of holding the view that the hierarchy is unidentifiable and therefore the Church has defected. You sarcastically remark, in the book, that somebody needs to explain to me that the Church cannot defect even over time, as if that were my position.

The substantial issue in dispute is whether the sede vacante thesis as such necessarily leads to the conclusion that the hierarchy is extinct.

So you were mistaken about two things. 1. My position, which I have now made clear. 2. Whether a vacant See results in all papal acts being invalid (including, obviously, appointments to offices).

On the first of these, if you wish to display sincerity, you need to accept that you were mistaken about my position and tell me that you will correct the book. In strict justice, you should issue a public retraction and apology also, but I'm beyond demanding that. (Your adoption of Fr. Cekada's utterly false caricature of my views, which he calls the bishop-in-the-woods thesis, was another mistake.)

On the second, the hypothesis under examination is the possible vacancy of the Holy See. I have just proved to you that IF it is vacant, THEN those acts which are objectively for the common good are validated by supplied jurisdiction due to common error. You cannot reply to this by arguing that the hypothesis - that the See is vacant - is impossible, therefore the principle of supplied jurisdiction does not apply. That is nothing more than begging the question.

Now, that challenge on the ground of universal, peaceful, acceptance is a different argument and I am happy to enter into it in in due order. You might offer your explanation of why it didn't occur to Archbishop Lefebvre as clear proof that Paul VI and JP2 were popes. Was he not as learned as you? But you cannot move to that ground without first accepting that even IF the See is vacant, it does not follow that the offices of the ordinaries are ALSO vacant, which was your first position.

If you reply that you weren't claiming this, but only asking me to prove my position, then you need to explain your attack on me in your book, which was precisely on the ground that my position leads logically to all of the offices of ordinaries being vacant, a conclusion which - you also add in the book - I do not accept only because I cannot abandon my view that the See of Rome is vacant (one of your many, many, efforts at guessing, badly, my motives), when in fact I do not accept that conclusion because it doesn't follow from my position at all. And now you know why it doesn't follow from my position (you should already have known, but as you said, you didn't read my writings...).

Yours in the Immaculate, who alone has destroyed all heresies,
John.

___________________________________________________________________________

More bile from Mr. Siscoe, with more dodging of the question that HE had raised, and which he now knew for sure he was wrong about:

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:18 PM
To: John Lane; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

John,

Your hypocrisy never ceased to amaze me. You lie by accusing us of “praising Dollinger,” of “accepting his theology,” and of “spending half the book” arguing that “many popes have been heretics, and taught heresy officially to the Church,” and you claim we have misrepresented your position?
Your false statement that we spent “half the book” arguing that many Popes have “officially” taught heresy to the Church is a perfect example of the dishonest lengths to which you will go in your efforts to discredit the book. We spend a portion of one chapter discussing examples of Popes who have erred, not half the book. And I’m sorry if the historical examples we provide disturb you, but facts are facts. John XXII taught a false doctrine that was formally condemned as a heresy by his immediately successor (but you will say that represented no serious danger to the faith), Pope Stephen VI declared the ordinations of his predecessor invalid based on a doctrinal error common during his day (i.e., that for an ordination to be valid it also had to be licit), Celestine III implicitly denied the indissolubility of marriage by advising a divorced and remarried woman to remain with her second “husband” and not return to her first, who desired to have her back (and this teaching was included in canon law for a time), and Honorius was condemned as a heretic by several councils for agreeing with the heretic Sergius – “in all respects he (Honorius) followed his (Sergius’) view and confirmed his impious doctrines.” If spending a portion of a chapter (not half of the book) relating these events bothered you, that’s too bad. These facts need to be shown in order to demonstrate what it is possible for God to permit in the Church. These examples helped to counter the error that Archbishop Lefebvre complained about, when he said:

“We have too easily believed since Vatican I, that every word that comes from the mouth of the Pope is infallible. That was never said in Vatican I! The Council never said such a thing. Very specific conditions are required for the infallibility; very, very strict conditions. The best proof is that throughout the Council, Pope Paul VI himself said "There is nothing in this Council which is under the sign of infallibility". So, it is clear, he says it himself! He said it explicitly.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1989)

Now please stop avoiding my question and explain why you reject the teaching of the manuals (qualified as “theologically certain”), which maintains that a Pope who has been accepted as such by the Church is certainly a legitimate pope. For example, explain why you reject the following from Van Noort’s manual:

“Meantime, notice that the Church possesses infallibility not only when she is defining some matters in solemn fashion, but also when she is exercising the full weight of her authority through her ordinary and universal teaching. Consequently, we must hold with an absolute assent, which we call ‘ecclesiastical faith,’ the following theological truths: (a) those which the Magisterium has infallibly defined in solemn fashion; (b) those which the ordinary magisterium dispersed throughout the world unmistakably proposes to its members as something to be held (tenendas). So, for example, one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII is the legitimate successor of St. Peter’; similarly … one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII possesses the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church.’ For — skipping the question of how it begins to be proven infallibly for the first time that this individual was legitimately elected to take St. Peter’s place — when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church, it is clear that the ordinary and universal magisterium is giving an utterly clear-cut witness to the legitimacy of his succession.”

Do you deny that John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II were “theoretically and practically recognized as [Popes] by the bishops and by the universal Church.” If you do, you are delusional; if you don’t explain why you reject the above teaching. Here’s another from Billot:

“The adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and the infallible providence of Christ: ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ and ‘Behold I shall be with you all days’.”

Do you accept this teaching from Billot’s manual? If not explain why stubbornly reject it. And Billot is not speaking of the acts of a doubtful pope being valid, but of the legitimacy of a Pope who has been accepted as such by the universal Church, as has been the case of the recent Popes who you publicly reject.

You asked:

“You might offer your explanation of why it didn't occur to Archbishop Lefebvre as clear proof that Paul VI and JP2 were popes. Was he not as learned as you?” (John Lane)

Let’s see what the Archbishop said. Let me know if any of the following sounds familiar:

"Does not the exclusion of the cardinals of over eighty years of ages, and the secret meetings which preceded and prepared the last two Conclaves, render them invalid? Invalid: no, that is saying too much. Doubtful at the time: perhaps. But in any case, the subsequent unanimous acceptance of the election by the Cardinals and the Roman clergy suffices to validate it. That is the teaching of the theologians.” (1979)

So tell me John, do you accept this teaching of the Archbishop and all the manuals (as I do), or do you claim he (and the other theologians) are “not as learned as you.” No need to reply to that rhetorical question. We already know the answer.

On a related note, perhaps someone should send your priest the following citations from the Archbishop so he can consider whether he should permit a public Sedevacantist apologist such as yourself to receive the sacraments.

“The Society of St. Pius X, its priests, brothers, sisters, and oblates, cannot tolerate among its members those who refuse to pray for the Pope” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1989).

Do you pray for the Pope (Francis) during the Mass at the Society chapel? While it true that you are not an official “member” of the Society (and the Archbhshop was likely referring to priests), one can easily apply the teaching to those who are, practically speaking, “members of a Society parish. Here are some more very wise words of the Archbishop:

“All those who separate from us, we are very affected by it, but we really cannot make another choice if we want to keep Tradition. We must be free from compromise as much with regard to sedevacantists…” (1989). “I have always warned the faithful vis-à -vis the sedevacantists for example.” (Lefebvre, 1991)

One can only imagine the danger the Archbishop would have considered it to have a public Sedevacantist apologist such as yourself mingle with the faithful who attend Mass at a Society parish, especially when the Sedevacantist apologist in question so easily rejects the teaching that the Archbishop himself affirmed (see above) concerning the universal acceptance of the Pope, and how this proved that Paul VI and John Paul II were true Popes. I'm curious, have you led any members of the Society parish you attend into your Sede errors? If so, that is very serious crime.

As we have already seen, to deny the legitimacy of a Pope who has been accepted as such by the Church is at least a mortal sin indirectly against the Faith. Yet this is what you do publicly! Since you claim to be an expert on moral theology, I ask: Aren’t public sinners to be excluded from the Sacraments? Perhaps banning you from receiving the Sacraments at a Society chapel would be the act of charity and justice you need to help the scales fall from your eyes? Then again, it may end by causing you to become even more bitter and hardened in your errors than you already are? But if so, at least the innocent ones who attend Mass at your chapel would be protected from the serious danger to their faith and eternal salvation that you, and the errors you spread, represent.

May Our Lady, the conqueror of all heresies, intercede for you, and may she enlighten your priest to the proper course of action necessary to protect the faithful from you and the grievous errors you publicly promote.

___________________________________________________________________

From: John Lane
Sent: 25 January 2017 00:37
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Supplied jurisdiction for papal acts

Dear Robert,

We can come back to whether you spend half your book inculcating Gallican theology in your innocent readers’ minds. I’m in no hurry at all. Whatever the proportion of words expended on it, the central thesis of the book is that of Bossuet – Rome errs occasionally but not very often, and we need to be on our guard. Your book will one day be placed on the Index.

I see that you have the Michael Davies’ selective quotation of Archbishop Lefebvre approach down to a “t”. See if you can hold the same views as you do once a more complete record (and certainly not a totally complete record, there’s much more) is restored: Archbishop_Lefebvre_and_the_Sedevacantist_Thesis.pdf

As for warning people against “the sedevacantists” I have done a great deal more of that than the Archbishop ever did. But you know this, as you borrowed huge amounts of my argumentation for your book. (A thought occurs to me – does John Salza know where all that stuff came from, or does he think you came up with it yourself?)

Recommendations: Don’t patronize the Archbishop by saying that he was momentarily scandalized by certain excesses of the Nopes (unlike yourselves, being of a superior character, much more calm and judicious than the excitable and pious Archbishop). And don’t fall into the sede allegation that he flip-flopped. He didn’t flip-flop, he responded to objective data and he obviously pondered the situation as it developed. Nobody in 1975, for example, thought it would last another ten years, and very few, in say 1985, thought that it could conceivably keep going for another 30 years, but it has.

I note that you are slipping away from the question at issue, which I remind you is that at least some of the acts of a non-pope can be validated by supplied jurisdiction. You demanded that I prove this, which suggests very strongly – indeed, it seems impossible to explain on any other basis – that you yourself were unaware of the doctrine. Now you have Wilmers, and if you need another authority, have somebody translate Zapalena on the same question. So, the next step is for you to say, Yes, John, you are right, the thesis that the See of Rome has been vacant for the past fifty years does not necessarily lead to the vacancy of all other, lesser, offices in the Church.

When we have this concession, we can discuss the question of universal, pacific, adherence. You know full well that I will answer this so please stop pretending that you have a killer argument that I cannot answer.

You also seem to think that you are an expert on my views, while maintaining that you haven’t read much of what I have written. Leaving aside the contradiction, it is I who is the authority on what I think, and if you are confused, you should ask me. What is totally indefensible is for you to have used my name some one hundred and ninety times in your book, with much opprobrium, and when I complain, turn and attack me further.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John.

_____________________________________________________________________


-----Original Message-----
From: John Lane
To: John Salza
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Sent: Thu, Jan 26, 2017 9:16 pm
Subject: Disappearance of the hierarchy

John, Robert, I’m plowing through the book, and I see the following data. How do you explain it?

TOFP p. 70 has the following:
It’s quite convenient for Mr. Lane to declare, on his own authority, that all the bishops currently in charge of the episcopal sees lack ordinary jurisdiction... (Emphasis in the original)

TOFP p. 211 has this:
But to William of Ockham’s credit, he did not go nearly as far as John Lane and his many Sedevacantist colleagues, who now claim that all the other Bishops of the world – or at least all who are in charge of the dioceses – have also publicly defected from the faith and lost their office.

Is there a single quote in TOFP from my writings in which I assert that all of the bishops with ordinary jurisdiction, or those “who are in charge of the dioceses,” or any other way of describing the ordinaries of the Catholic Church, have lost their offices, or are in some other manner illegitimate claimants? No, there is not. So how do you support the assertions above?

I was going to put this into the document regarding your errors of theology, history and law, but it occurred to me that actually, this is really the centerpiece of your charges against me personally. Maybe we can get it out of the way separately.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
__________________________________________________________________

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2017 11:44 AM
To: John Lane; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Disappearance of the hierarchy

John,

If those comments are not an accurate reflection of your position, please demonstrate it by providing a list of bishops currently in charge of episcopal sees that you accept as legitimate bishops, and then explain what objective criterion you used to accept them as opposed to the others.

Robert

__________________________________________________________________

From: John Lane
Sent: 27 January 2017 11:46
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Disappearance of the hierarchy

Robert,

Please don’t try and shift the burden of proof. You know that I am horrified by any theory which asserts or even suggests that the hierarchy has disappeared.

You and John stated that I “declare” that “all the bishops currently in charge of the episcopal sees lack ordinary jurisdiction

Is that your inference, masquerading as a confident assertion of fact? Or did you have some proof for it?

Yours in the Immaculate,
John.

__________________________________________________________________

From: John Salza
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2017 12:57 PM
To: John Lane
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Disappearance of the hierarchy

John, we have accurately presented your position. To preserve the Church’s indefectibility, you maintain that there must be “at least one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction remaining somewhere” in the world, but you also maintain that this bishop would not be a “Novus Ordo” bishop in charge of an episcopal see. This is your position and exactly what we present in the book. If we have not accurately presented your position, then prove it by telling us what Novus Ordo bishops have ordinary jurisdiction and the criteria you used to make that determination. The burden is on you to prove our explanation of your position is inaccurate, which you have not done.
John

__________________________________________________________________

From: John Lane
To: John Salza
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Sent: Thu, Jan 26, 2017 11:50 pm
Subject: My ACTUAL views: re. Disappearance of the hierarchy

So, what you have done is infer a position which actually I explicitly denounce, and have done so publicly for almost twenty years (since 1998, when I started publishing). I was denouncing this error when you and Robert weren’t even Catholics.

Having inferred my views 100% wrongly, you then tell the world that I “declare” it. A slip of the keyboard, no doubt.

Now you demand that I prove that I do not hold something that I have always denounced, and you have absolutely no hope of showing that I hold?

This is monstrous.

Written in 2012: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1371&start=0

And in 2013: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewt ... f=2&t=1443 (This thread is actually quoted in TOFP, so at least one of its authors read it.)

As for the “one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction” that is not what I think is the case, not even close. You are taking that out of context. The point is purely logical, it serves to illustrate the doctrine that the hierarchy cannot be extinct, according to Catholic doctrine, and at the same time to highlight that we ought not to presume to place undue limits on what God may permit (a point you learned from us, like so much else in your book).

I don’t need to name a bishop with ordinary jurisdiction for a very good reason – I don’t say that the appointments by the Nopes are invalid. For example: “I have no doubt that a good number of the bishops appointed by Paul VI, for example, were Catholics when they were appointed. No doubt many of them were not, as well, but that doesn't affect the fact that many of them were. And in any case, the logical landscape is this: those who say that this is wrong, are required to show why his acts could not attract the supply of jurisdiction (something you hinted at above - "heretical antipopes" - but could not sustain) or alternatively show that each and every episcopal appointment made by Paul VI was of a non-Catholic.” From: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1552

But I have said, many times, that I would like others to tell me why Cardinal Burke is not a Catholic, and does not have jurisdiction, and the same with Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Read those two first threads linked above, right through, then explain to those who put their faith in you how you managed to put them in such an awful position, if you can.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
__________________________________________________________________

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2017 10:08 PM
To: John Lane; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: My ACTUAL views: re. Disappearance of the hierarchy

John,

What your e-mails demonstrates is that your acceptance of a legitimate hierarchy is merely speculative, since, out of the 5000+ bishops of the Catholic Church, you are unable to name any that you accept as being legitimate (and your comments about Burke and Schneider were not a positive affirmation that you hold them as possessing jurisdiction).

What this shows is that your first error has led you to a practical rejection of a visible hierarchy and hence to a position that is incompatible with the indefectibility of the visible Church. And it is no surprise that the vast majority of those you’ve helped lead into the error of Sedevacantism now deny, even on the speculative level, that a legitimate hierarchy exists today.

This only demonstrates the wisdom and prudence of the great Archbishop Lefebvre, when he said: “I have always warned the faithful vis-à -vis the sedevacantist,” and, speaking of those who left the Society because of the error you promote, “we cannot have relations with them anymore.” One can only imagine what the great Archbishop would say if he learned that a leading Sedevacantist apologist not only attends Mass at a Society chapel, but is seeking to slither his way into the upper echelons of the SSPX clergy in the hope of gradually and subtly leading them into his pernicious errors, while at the same time seeking to discredit anyone who serves as an obstacle.

Robert
_________________________________________________________________

From: John Lane
Sent: 27 January 2017 22:32
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: My ACTUAL views: re. Disappearance of the hierarchy

I really was hoping for too much. I did think that you would admit that you erred, and that you should not have said that I “declare” something that I vigorously denounce.

If you were a gentleman, Robert, you would apologise for asserting something that is plainly untrue, and you would in future write instead something clearly opinionative like, “John Lane denies that the hierarchy is extinct but clearly it is the logical outcome of his position” and then proceeded to show why.

Of course, if you had the slightest sense of justice you’d have checked what I think before writing what you did, but that’s your concern. You’re the men who call people arrogant, liars, deceivers, lacking in integrity, and accuse us of all manner of other sins.

What were conceivably innocent errors are now lies, since you now cannot plead ignorance. You do not truly attack me because of my opinions; you make my opinions fit a caricature which you can then abuse me for. I saw that the moment I saw your book, but I was assured since, by one I respect, that it must all be a misunderstanding, because you are such good men.

That’s all from me for now. I’ll send you a document explaining some of your errors and if you publish a new edition without correcting them, and the lies about me, that’s your choice.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:05 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post A Challenge from Robert Siscoe (& John Salza)
Mr Salza replied:

From: John Salza
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 12:06 AM
To: John Lane
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: My ACTUAL views: re. Disappearance of the hierarchy

John, I have been a Catholic my entire life. Get off your high horse. You have publicly denounced me in writing as a Conciliarist heretic which is false and you know it, and yet have persevered in this lie for years. You have no qualms about your lie. And now you accuse us of misrepresenting your position on the Catholic hierarchy which we have not – whether you actually, or practically, or theoretically reject the ordinary jurisdiction of the Catholic hierarchy, it's a grievous error. And you have injected that venomous idea into the minds of countless Catholics and have led them right out of the Church and into your Sedevacantist sect. You are a Sedevacantist; you reject the dogmatic fact that the conciliar Popes are true Popes which is a sin against the Faith, if not heresy, and this has led to your many other errors. Quit complaining that people misunderstand you. It's quite simple, John. You need to renounce your Sedevacantist position and return to the Church, while God still gives you the opportunity. While it is rare for Sedevacantists to do so, it does happen (former Sedes who now attend my SSPX chapel are living examples). That is my prayer for you.

_____________________________________________________

From: John Lane
Sent: Saturday, 28 January 2017 9:08 AM
To: John Salza
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Conciliarism etc.

Dear John,

I want to end this email exchange, as it is undoubtedly tedious for all concerned, but it would be unkind to you not to answer your latest complaints.

I saw in an earlier email that you thought I called you a Conciliarist heretic. I did not.

Here’s the text, in some of its context:

“Supposed errors.” A quick reply, without proofs, to John Salza's comments on sedevacanism.

1. The sedevacantist thesis is a solution to a problem - the problem of heresy and error in documents that appear to be from the magisterium, false worship offered virtually universally by what appear to be the officials of the Church, evil laws promulgated apparently by the Roman Pontiff, and finally (and most importantly) the apparent loss of the essential unity of profession of faith of the Church. It is true that for men such as Robert Sungenis, for example, who doesn't see the problem, there cannot be any need, let alone any urgency, for a solution. Apparently John Salza is in the same boat. Hence he does not grasp why the N.O. Watch people accuse him of facilely reducing the problem to a canonical question of heresy and penalties.

...

8. Salza is a Conciliarist – he cheerfully asserts what every non-Gallican theologian since Cajetan has been at pains to deny – that the Church can judge a pope. “The crime (heresy) must be determined before the punishment for the crime (loss of office) can be inflicted. As Bellarmine, Suarez and the consensus of theologians maintain, the offense of Papal heresy is determined by the Church, and the divine punishment is inflicted by God (severance from the Body of Christ)...”

Salza’s position is that the Church can judge the pope but cannot, or at least does not, punish the pope. Since this position is heretical, I don’t think we need to concern ourselves any further with it.”

Full text here: viewtopic.php?p=17715#p17715

If I think a man is a heretic, I will say so. Nobody thinks that I hide my views. I don’t think that you are a heretic, and I did not say that you are. I think your theory is Conciliarist, and to my mind it is so clear that it is Conciliarist that it surprised me to see it in your book unreformed, when you had been put on notice about it in December 2014.

I am very sorry that you took offence at this. I wish I had known what satisfaction you would exact!

I apologise also for thinking you had been a non-Catholic. I don’t know much about you, except that I understood that you were a Freemason and then returned to the Church. Obviously I have something mixed up there.

Find me an SSPX priest who will point to any Latin-Rite bishop and say, “You can safely learn the faith from him,” and I will return the favour and say “There’s a man who is a Catholic and has ordinary jurisdiction.”

I make this point because I think it illustrates the stark difference in my approach, and that of the SSPX generally, on the one hand, and yours on the other. Burke’s as good as one could hope for in the West, and even Rorate Caeli criticized him for not noticing all the previous heresies coming from the Vatican. (That doesn’t make him a non-Catholic, of course, but he’s hardly a safe pastor and teacher. That’s why we have traditionalist clergy.) Your ecclesiology is all hollowed-out and unreal, and your grasp of the seriousness of the situation in the Church is weak. You don’t see the problem, therefore all proposed solutions strike you as irresponsible at best. That might also explain why you call me a schismatic.

I don’t promote sedevacantism. If I did, the priests would hear about it and have a word with me. My writings have all been discussions with interested people, or essentially defensive efforts, against attacks on my opinion, or against attacks on Roman Theology. If you want to see what “promoting sedevacantism” looks like, check out NovusOrdoWatch. Mario and Co. think it’s important that others are sedevacantists, and in his charity he expends a great deal of effort promoting his position. I, on the other hand, don’t care that another is not a sede, don’t generally raise it with people, and don’t discuss it unless somebody else brings it up. One of our parishioners approached our priest last year and asked, breathlessly, if he knew that “John Lane is a sedevacantist”? Father laughed when he told me. The man had been a parishioner at our chapel for many years. You really did pick the wrong windmill to tilt at, John.

Whatever the effect of Mario’s and certain other parties’ efforts might be, sedevacantism isn’t chiefly caused by them, or by me. You could have me strung up under a tree tomorrow, next to Mario and Fr. Cekada, and the ecclesiological problem would still exist, and people would wonder what the right answer is, and some of them would read about the pope-heretic question in theology books, and think that it explains a lot of what we see. And that would not make them schismatics.

Thanks for your time.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.

_____________________________________________________________

The priest who read the book True or False Pope? prior to publication (apparently the only priest who did so) then intervened:

From: Fr. [N]
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 2:36 PM
To: Robert Siscoe; John Salza; [One other SSPX Member]
Cc: John Lane
Subject: RE: Conciliarism etc.

Dear Robert and John,

The email from John Lane is a good example of “escape” – fear to say openly what he does thing, but raising a false question. You have repeatedly asked him to give a list of local bishops with jurisdiction that he would recognise as part of the Catholic Hierarchy. He has repeatedly avoided giving such list, and here is his last attempt, which is blatantly wrong!

He writes:
Find me an SSPX priest who will point to any Latin-Rite bishop and say, “You can safely learn the faith from him,” and I will return the favour and say “There’s a man who is a Catholic and has ordinary jurisdiction.”

Now Cardinal Liénart was appointed by Pius XI and always kept in office and recognised by Pius XII: yet, there may have been priests who would not have given his name as someone from whom you could safely learn the Faith. There has been quite a few example of others in the past whose doctrine was confused and unreliable (e.g. Bishop Dupanloup), and yet nobody questioned whether there were “a Catholic [bishop who] has ordinary jurisdiction.” In [most] of the chapels of the SSPX there is the name of the pope and of the local bishop in the sacristy, and [most] priests of the SSPX do pray for them at Mass, and yet most of these priests would not give the name of such bishop as someone from whom one could “safely learn the faith” on all points: yet these same SSPX priests do recognise these bishops as “Catholic bishops who have ordinary jurisdiction.”

Sedevacantists as John Lane claim that their position is a solution to today’s problem: in fact, it makes the problem to disappear. Indeed, according to their (erroneous) ideas, there is no Catholic pope teaching something wrong, there is no Catholic bishop teaching something wrong, there is no liturgy currently harming the Catholic church… because none of these are Pope, Bishop or catholic clergy: these problems are not in the Church. And they can’t see that then the Church itself disappears!

Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,

Father [N]
______________________________________________________________

I replied:

From: John Lane
Sent: 28 January 2017 16:15
To: Fr. [N.]; Robert Siscoe; John Salza; [Four other SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Conciliarism etc.

Dear Father,

The comparison was not a parallel, so your argument does not follow.

The argument is this:

Claim by anti-sede polemicists:

An undoubted Roman Pontiff is necessary to ensure that there are always Successors of the Apostles
The sede vacante thesis denies that there is a Roman Pontiff
The sede vacante thesis results in the extinction of the hierarchy

Refutation: I deny the major. Supplied jurisdiction (proofs from Wilmers, Zapalena, and others) suffices to validate some acts of a putative Roman Pontiff which would otherwise be invalid due to lack of habitual jurisdiction

End of argument.

A rigorous logician would concede that his attack was without force. Instead of doing this, the anti-sede polemicist switches ground from the realm of principle to the realm of fact (implicitly but clearly admitting that his argument on principle was invalid), and demands that the sedevacantist name a specific individual who is a bishop with ordinary jurisdiction.

This is an unfair demand – not (merely) morally, but logically – as it requires that the sedevacantist verify not merely principles, which can be found in the books, but a whole raft of specific concrete facts about individuals. Logically, this is an invalid argument, demanding what is in today’s circumstances morally impossible.

But to ensure that you do not return with more of the same, I always point out that the situation in the East is different from the situation in the West, where we suffered the Great Schism of Paul VI.

If your side has not the capacity to argue in an orderly fashion, and instead must resort to these tactics, what does that say about the strength of your case? I remind you, your case is NOT that of Archbishop Lefebvre, who held that the question of the pope was an open one, but rather, your case is that it is unlawful to hold any opinion but yours. Indeed, the book that you and Fr. [N.] are so determined to make your own maintains that sedevacantists are schismatics, period. That is not even the position of the Society today, let alone of the Archbishop.

Back to my comparison. So, you cannot name a single ordinary that safely teaches the faith, supervised as he is by an undoubted Roman Pontiff? Where is the Catholic Church, and how do you evade the charge of heresy yourself?

He who proves too much, proves nothing. If you hadn’t apparently irremediably hitched yourself to the wagon of these professors of novelty, you’d not be having to deal with this. Why not retreat to the position of the Archbishop?

Thank you for your efforts, and especially for advising Robert to change that CFN text last year.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John lane.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:26 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: A Challenge from Robert Siscoe (& John Salza)
Correction. This priest did reply, as follows:

From: Fr. [N.]
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 4:59 PM
To: John Lane; Robert Siscoe; John Salza; [Four SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Conciliarism etc.

Dear Mr Lane,

1/ You distort and make up the argument of the opposite side, and then you refute it, but such argumentation is evidently not right.

The argument against the sedevacantists is this:

The reasons with which they claim that the Pope is not Pope would – a fortiori, when applied the bishops – imply that most, if not all, the local bishops would not be local bishops, and thus end up in an invisible church hierarchy.

And when pressed to name local bishops that you recognise, the very fact that you escape that answer manifests that the above argument is indeed very much on target! And thus sedevacantism is rightly refuted by pointing out that the consequence is against the faith.

2/ One could add that the presence of a Successor of Peter is required for the hierarchy to be conformed to what our Lord Jesus Christ has established: a church hierarchy without Pope would not be a Catholic Hierarchy. The inter-regnum is evidently not an objection to that, because the Church is evidently busy getting the successor, which is NOT the case now, and has not been for the past 50 years: such a hierarchy that would have no pope and would not be busy electing its successor would not be a Catholic hierarchy.
That second line of argument is independent from the one above, and has its own value – sufficient also to ruin the sedevacantist errors. It is based on the structure of the hierarchy, the first is based on the visibility of the hierarchy.

3/ Your first line is logically EMPTY. I was denouncing you for ESCAPING the required answer: give a list of the local bishops whom you recognise as Catholic, endowed with regular jurisdiction. Your answer WAS an escape, and your newer answer is again another escape: you have still not given such a list!
My comparison with Liénart, Dupanloup etc. is very much valid logically. One cannot infer from the fact that a priest would not recommend a bishop to be a “safe” teacher of the faith to whether the priest recognises that bishop as a “catholic bishop who has ordinary jurisdiction”: giving some individual cases which you would agree is logically sufficient to prove it. If there is ONE bishop whom a priest could legitimately not recommend as a “safe” teacher of the Faith, and yet would recognise him as a “Catholic bishops who has ordinary jurisdiction”, it logically implies that “to be a safe teacher of the Catholic faith” is more restrictive than “to be a Catholic bishop who has ordinary jurisdiction”, and therefore you are hiding behind an invalid escape, asking for the first (rarer) when you are required to give the second. There is NO LOGIC in claiming “The comparison was not a parallel, so your argument does not follow.”

Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,

Father [N.]


Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:30 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: A Challenge from Robert Siscoe (& John Salza)
The following is not an email, but a post I have now written in order to answer this priest. I've sent him an email pointing him to this post. I told him that if he replies, I will edit his email to make it anonymous and publish it here.

Mr. Siscoe had made a specific challenge, as follows:

From: Robert Siscoe
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:47 AM
To: John Salza; John Lane
Cc: [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: The theological/canonical/church history censors of TOFP

Actually, I will respond to something you wrote:

“I point out that the acts of jurisdiction of a putative pope would be valid by virtue of supplied jurisdiction…”

John, please provide an authoritative source who teaches that a false pope receives supplied jurisdiction that renders his “papal” acts valid. And please don’t quote the doctrinal dissertation by Francis Miaskiewicz as your authority, since he never says the acts of a false pope are valid. ...

_____________________________________________________

Wilmers was provided, and he says perfectly, beyond the possibility of contradiction, that the acts of a non-pope would be valid by supplied jurisdiction "to the extent necessary."

The reply to this by Mr. Siscoe was to change the subject. This priest (the only priest known to have read and approved the contents of the book, True or False Pope? prior to publication) then accused me of distorting and making up the arguments of the other side!

Let's have a look at the new arguments now introduced into the debate.

The claim by this priest is that the argument has been misunderstood.

Quote:
You distort and make up the argument of the opposite side, and then you refute it, but such argumentation is evidently not right.

The argument against the sedevacantists is this:

The reasons with which they claim that the Pope is not Pope would – a fortiori, when applied the bishops – imply that most, if not all, the local bishops would not be local bishops, and thus end up in an invisible church hierarchy.

And when pressed to name local bishops that you recognise, the very fact that you escape that answer manifests that the above argument is indeed very much on target! And thus sedevacantism is rightly refuted by pointing out that the consequence is against the faith.


The primary reason that most sedes, certainly the most well-read sedes, place against the claims of the Conciliar popes is the indefectibility of the Church. That indefectibility includes her infallibility in doctrine, law, and public worship, but it is much broader than this, because it extends to the Church's essential mission of sanctifying souls, training them practically for heaven. The Conciliar system does not do this, it wrecks the faith of those who entrust themselves to it. This constitutes, in sum, the mystery of the current state of the Church.

Now, this argument does not imply that all of the bishops who believe that Francis, for example, is pope, are false pastors. The logic of the argument is that the pope is the keystone of the unanimity of the Church; if he is present, then the Church can act as a whole. If the pope is absent, the Church is crippled, deprived of her principle of visible unity, and able to suffer a great degree of disunity. Franzelin explains this is lucid terms. She does not defect in periods of sede vacante, for she cannot act with full unanimity during such periods. If she cannot act with her full degree of unanimity, as she can when there is a pope, then she cannot defect either. Men may, and do, leave her unity, during periods of crisis, and if there's no Roman Pontiff, this effect will be greatly exacerbated.

That's our argument, at least our chief argument, and nothing about it leads logically to the conclusion that all of the lesser offices in the Church are also vacant.

The second of argument of this priest is as follows:

Quote:
One could add that the presence of a Successor of Peter is required for the hierarchy to be conformed to what our Lord Jesus Christ has established: a church hierarchy without Pope would not be a Catholic Hierarchy. The inter-regnum is evidently not an objection to that, because the Church is evidently busy getting the successor, which is NOT the case now, and has not been for the past 50 years: such a hierarchy that would have no pope and would not be busy electing its successor would not be a Catholic hierarchy.

That second line of argument is independent from the one above, and has its own value – sufficient also to ruin the sedevacantist errors. It is based on the structure of the hierarchy, the first is based on the visibility of the hierarchy.


The force of this argument is very difficult to perceive. Let's try and break it down into a logical form.

Major: The pope is an essential element in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church
Minor: An interregnum, by definition, is the absence of a pope
Conclusion: An interregnum is incompatible with the definition of the hierarchy

This argument is obviously wrong, as there is an interregnum every time the pope dies, and our priest opponent recognises this, and seeks to distinguish the putative interregnum at present, according to the sedevacantist thesis, from all other interregna.

Major: It is essential to the definition of a true interregnum that the hierarchy is working to elect a pope
Minor: During the putative sedevacantist thesis interregum, the hierarchy is not working to elect a pope
Conclusion: The putative interregnum of the sedevacantist thesis is not a true interregnum

I distinguish the major. It is essential to the definition of a true interregnum that the hierarchy has an efficacious desire to do whatever is necessary to provide the Church with a pope, conceded. It is necessary that the hierarchy actively work on electing a pope at every stage of the interregnum, denied. The conclusion therefore does not follow.

It is not the role of the ordinaries to elect a pope, it is the role of the cardinals. If there are no cardinals, then the power to elect would devolve in some manner or other - either to the Roman Clergy generally, or to an imperfect general council. That is what the Roman theologians say about the matter. It is no part of Catholic doctrine that the cardinals will always act in a timely way to end an interregnum (i.e. elect a pope). Indeed, we have seen one historical interregnum of three years. Now, if the cardinals decline to act, or in the absence of true cardinals, it is no part of Catholic doctrine that the ordinaries will always take advantage in a timely way of the devolved power to elect. One would expect a great deal of confusion in any such circumstances, and a consequent hesitancy to act decisively.

Indeed, at least one theologian has described the possibility of a lengthy interregnum in perfectly clear terms. He did not seem to be aware of the notion being put by our priest correspondent:

Quote:
The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfill His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.

Fr. Edmund J. O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society, trans. by Matthew Russell. John Hodges, London, 1892, pp. 287-288; emphasis added.


Fr. O’Reilly's comments on the Councils of Pisa and Constance are worth pondering also: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1184

Now, our priest's third argument:

Quote:
Your first line is logically EMPTY. I was denouncing you for ESCAPING the required answer: give a list of the local bishops whom you recognise as Catholic, endowed with regular jurisdiction. Your answer WAS an escape, and your newer answer is again another escape: you have still not given such a list!

My comparison with Liénart, Dupanloup etc. is very much valid logically. One cannot infer from the fact that a priest would not recommend a bishop to be a “safe” teacher of the faith to whether the priest recognises that bishop as a “catholic bishop who has ordinary jurisdiction”: giving some individual cases which you would agree is logically sufficient to prove it. If there is ONE bishop whom a priest could legitimately not recommend as a “safe” teacher of the Faith, and yet would recognise him as a “Catholic bishops who has ordinary jurisdiction”, it logically implies that “to be a safe teacher of the Catholic faith” is more restrictive than “to be a Catholic bishop who has ordinary jurisdiction”, and therefore you are hiding behind an invalid escape, asking for the first (rarer) when you are required to give the second. There is NO LOGIC in claiming “The comparison was not a parallel, so your argument does not follow.”


Again, this is difficult to deal with because the opponent has forgotten what was at issue. The challenge by Mr. Siscoe was to the principle of supplied jurisdiction to a putative pope. That challenge was answered, but unfortunately the answer was not recognised, and instead the subject was switched. The new challenge was that if one cannot name a member of the hierarchy, then our view is defective. The logic of this was not made explicit, so we have to infer it. There appear to be two possible conclusions, the first incompatible with sacred doctrine, and therefore inadmissible, and the second incompatible with (at least) intellectual integrity on our side. The first possible conclusion is that if one cannot name members of the hierarchy, then the hierarchy does not really exist. The second possibility is that if one cannot name members of the hierarchy, one is not admitting one's true position, either through prejudicial blindness, or through dishonesty. We can ignore this second possibility, because even if it is the real objection of this priest (and it seems it is the real position of Siscoe and Salza on occasion, at least), there is no point engaging with people who doubt your honesty, or who think you are so blind as to be incapable of clear thought.

So, back to the first possibility, which is as follows:

Major: The hierarchy is visible to every member of the Church.
Minor: But the hierarchy is not visible to some members of the Church,
Conclusion: Therefore, the hierarchy does not exist.

I deny the major. Indeed, it's prima facie absurd.

My obligation is limited to identifying the local ordinary, if there is one, and ensuring that I am subject to him. Obviously, no traditional Catholic recognises his putative ordinary as somebody to whom he can really be subject, so the burden weighs upon all of us, not only upon sedevacantists. Non-sedevacantists escape this problem, in their own minds, by redefining "being subject to" as "verbally acknowledging, with no intention of taking the slightest practical action towards obeying the man."

I say that the hierarchy is intact except and insofar as individual bishops have disappeared into heresy (or schism). In the West this is a very widespread problem, and even, theoretically, for the sake of the argument, universal. In the East the problem is nowhere near as severe, although it's still a widespread problem. I presume that many of the bishops of the Eastern Rites are what they purport to be, and it's no part of any obligation of mine to go around determining which of them is or isn't a true successor of the Apostles.

Our priest correspondent thinks this is a dodge. He could only think that if he didn't recognise the reality of the depth of this crisis. In order to bring him face to face with the depth of the problem, I issued a counter-challenge: Show me a single member of the hierarchy who is a safe pastor for Catholics. He declined to do so. Let's have a look at how he addresses my challenge, having avoided answering it directly.

Our opponent asserts,
Quote:
One cannot infer from the fact that a priest would not recommend a bishop to be a “safe” teacher of the faith to whether the priest recognises that bishop as a “catholic bishop who has ordinary jurisdiction”


This is entirely beside the point. The point had nothing whatsoever to do with whether any bishop is a true successor of the apostles. It had to do with the indefectibility of the Church in faith. If the entire hierarchy cannot be trusted to preach the faith in its purity, then the Church has defected. As I said, "So, you cannot name a single ordinary that safely teaches the faith, supervised as he is by an undoubted Roman Pontiff? Where is the Catholic Church, and how do you evade the charge of heresy yourself?"

In formal terms (the major is Catholic doctrine; the minor is our priest opponent's position, according to his own logic, if not being able to name a member of a group necessarily implies that the group is empty of members):

Major: The Catholic Church is the sure ark of salvation; her preaching of the faith is trustworthy.
Minor: But the entire hierarchy of the post-Conciliar Church is untrustworthy in faith
Conclusion: Therefore the Church has defected.

Obviously this conclusion is inadmissible. Where is the fault in the reasoning? Clearly it lies in the minor. Our priest opponent, and all Catholics with sound faith, deny that the entire hierarchy is unreliable in faith. But this does not mean that we are obliged to name those whose preaching is reliable. It suffices to say that faith assures us that the hierarchy has not universally defected in faith, and leave it at that.

This priest concludes:
Quote:
There is NO LOGIC in claiming “The comparison was not a parallel, so your argument does not follow.”


The logic was inescapable, actually, if understood at all. My argument should now be utterly clear. It is not connected with the contention of our opponents that if we cannot name a member of the hierarchy, it follows that the hierarchy, on our principles, has ceased to exist. It was not a parallel, either. It was a comparison argument, intended to show one thing and one thing only - that the central principle of our opponents' argument is invalid. In our opponents' argument, and in mine, the same principle shares centre stage. If it's valid, it leads to heresy in either case. If it isn't valid, it cannot be employed against sedevacantists.

Actually, it's an entirely vacuous principle, without even a shadow of logical force, and this is seen the moment it is isolated and defined clearly, as has now been done, and which should finish this debate.


Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:11 am
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.