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 Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio - Pope Paul IV 
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New post Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio - Pope Paul IV
There is an argument which contends that it doesn't apply because it is a disciplinary document and has been abrogated. I was under the impression that discipline can be under the charism of infallibility if it is based on an infallible teaching. How does that apply here?


Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:26 am
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New post Re: Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio - Pope Paul IV
Dear Colin,

This has already been discussed. http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewtopic.php?t=17

In summary:

Does Cum ex apostolatus provide an excellent expression of the Church's mind on the question of heretics claiming offices in the Church? Yes. Is it a solemn definition? No. If it were, some theologian would have noticed, and the editors of Denzinger would have included the relevant part of it. Is it in force in all of its provisions, or was it abrogated by the Code? It was abrogated by the Code (c. 6, 5). Insofar as it expressed divine law, of course, that divine law remains. Some of what is in Cum ex apostolatus is divine law - including the key provision that a public heretic cannot hold an office in the Church. We know that this is divine law because St. Robert Bellarmine tells us that it is, and many other theologians and canonists teach the same thing. And, if that were not sufficient, the Code included this particular provision in canon 188,4, so that even if it were not divine law we can be confident that it is still part of ecclesiastical law.

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Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:51 am
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Thank you. That is as I thought but figured I would double check first.

On a similar note, I have read some theology manuals on the following subject and think I understand it but again wanted to check before saying something off-hand.

That is, what briefly does the role of the ordinary magisterium play regarding this question? As you say, Bellarmine points it out as divine law, and many others also have staed this truth. Does this fall under the general mind of the Church as protected infallibly by the ordinary magisterium?


Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:00 pm
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Could you point out where in his treatment of the subject that Bellarmine points this out to be Divine Law?


Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:27 pm
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Colin Fry wrote:
Could you point out where in his treatment of the subject that Bellarmine points this out to be Divine Law?


"There is no basis for that which some respond to this: that these Fathers based themselves on ancient law, while nowadays, by decree of the Council of Constance, they alone lose their jurisdiction who are excommunicated by name or who assault clerics. This argument, I say, has no value at all, for those Fathers, in affirming that heretics lose jurisdiction, did not cite any human law, which furthermore perhaps did not exist in relation to the matter, but argued on the basis of the very nature of heresy. The Council of Constance only deals with the excommunicated, that is, those who have lost jurisdiction by sentence of the Church, while heretics already before being excommunicated are outside the Church and deprived of all jurisdiction. For they have already been condemned by their own sentence, as the Apostle teaches (Tit. 3:10-11), that is, they have been cut off from the body of the Church without excommunication, as St. Jerome affirms."

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Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:53 pm
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Colin Fry wrote:
That is, what briefly does the role of the ordinary magisterium play regarding this question? As you say, Bellarmine points it out as divine law, and many others also have staed this truth. Does this fall under the general mind of the Church as protected infallibly by the ordinary magisterium?


Well, the ordinary universal magisterium is infallible in binding us to a truth of faith or morals, just as the extraordinary magisterium is. The question therefore becomes one of being clear about when the Church has committed herself on a point of doctrine, which means she imposes it on all. What we want to know is, what is the status questionis? Has this question more than one tolerated answer?

In the present case we have a truth which I think could only be characterised as the constant tradition of the Church over her whole history, as Bellarmine demonstrates. Making the case therefore that this doctrine is true is not difficult. But is it infallibly taught by the Church? Does she demand that all of her members adhere to it under pain of mortal sin? Does the Church bind us on the point? Unfortunately I have to say that I do not think so. Too many eminent men distinguished this question in ways which are incompatible with Bellarmine's lucid presentation and the Church never uttered a word of complaint. Examples include the very, very, great Cardinal Cajetan and the almost equally esteemed John of St. Thomas and the holy Jesuit Suarez (whose intellectual gifts were granted to him miraculously by the intercession of the Virgin!), and the problem continued to our own era with the nineteenth century Bouix and the twentieth century eminence Garrigou-Lagarange.

On any question it is important to delimit the exact ground to be defended, otherwise you end badly. Those who have claimed that the Church has defined this truth have the insuperable obstacle that none of the Church's experts seems to have noticed. Our opponents then go to town and make it appear that our position is weaker than it is. Truly, our theological principles are extremely well-established. That of our opponents is very, very, weak. When the basis of our principles is understood - the visible unity of the Church and the nature of membership in her - this becomes very clear, on both sides. The alternative position (i.e. that of Cajetan) results in absurdities for the nature of the Church which are entirely escaped by our position. Our position is that of the greatest doctors (e.g. St. Thomas and Bellarmine) and of the standard manuals of our own era. But it is not a truth imposed upon all under pain of sin by Holy Mother Church.

Incidentally, I think it is definable. Perhaps one of the fruits of this crisis will be that it is actually defined. That's the way these things very often happen.

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Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:12 pm
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I have read the argument that the Code of 1917 would have settled the issue with canon 188/4, which would have given the force of law to Bellarmine's view and would have made Cajetan's opinion obsolete.

What is the error of this point above? I assume there is one because Journet and Garrigou would never have kept Cajetan's view, as they seem to have done, if this were the case.

(By the way, where does Garrigou deal with this issue? If it's on De Revelatione and it's not too much trouble [if it is, please forget it, it's only for my "documentation"], would you have a quote, since I don't have access to this book right now?)

Thanks.


Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:07 pm
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Dear Zaqueu,

Call me cynical if you like, but I am not convined that either Journet or Garrigou (the latter is more reliable than the former) had ever read the Code of Canon Law. Canon Law was notoriously neglected in the seminaries long before Vatican II. And theologians of recent centuries seldom had much time for it - all a far cry from St Thomas Aquinas, and the popes, who regularly quote the Church's laws in theological contexts.

However it is perhaps a little excessive to suppose that Canon 188§4 settles definitively the question of whether a heretic can be pope, given that it is does not apply directly to the papacy at all. I think I'd describe it as a very powerful, but less than definitive, argument in favour of the Bellarmine doctrine. Bellarmine himself, Canon 188§4, St Alphonsus, Billot, Wernz-Vidal, Cum Ex Apostolatus - all together constitute an overwhelming weight in favour of the fact that no public heretic can be pope or hold any other office in the Church, irrespective of whether he has been canonically admonished. But perhaps no one of them alone would be absolutely decisive if the others did not exist.

And, thank God, we have the clear fact that the V2 pretenders have not only committed heresy but also given us heretical teachings, liturgy and laws - all of which would be impossible if they had been true popes. There can be understandable doubts in the minds of individuals, but there can be no objectively legitimate doubt that the Church has no true pope since V2.


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New post Anti-popes
I have never been able to understand what the controversy is about: to me it is all quite simple.

1) Heretics are no longer members of the Church.

2) The holders of the Holy See since VCII (at least) have shown themeselves, repeatedly and publicly, to be heretics.

3) Therefore they are no longer members of the Church. I.e, they are not Catholcs.

4) Therefore there is NO WAY they could be Head of the Church.

How can anyone be the head of some organization to which he doesn't belong?

To accept a contrary position is simply illogical and unreasonable.

Furthermore, I can see no "extenuating circumstances" which would disprove my position on this matter.

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Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:53 pm
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New post Re: Anti-popes
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Last edited by Brian Kenny on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:08 pm
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New post Re: Anti-popes
KenGordon wrote:
I have never been able to understand what the controversy is about: to me it is all quite simple.

I understand. But it isn't simple for many.


KenGordon wrote:
1) Heretics are no longer members of the Church.


Not all heretics lose membership in the Church - only those who heresy is sufficiently externalised do so. Now, the requisite degree of publicity is a matter upon which the experts are not agreed. Some regard occult heretics as non-members. Others consider that only those who actually join a condemned sect, or who have been canonically warned without good effect, can be treated as heretics who really have lost membership in the Church. I think this view is wrong and can be proved to be wrong, but to be honest we must recognise its force.


KenGordon wrote:
2) The holders of the Holy See since VCII (at least) have shown themeselves, repeatedly and publicly, to be heretics.

This is disputed on two grounds. a) Have they preached heresy, precisely? Or have they only preached error and permitted heresy through weakness? b) Have they really been clearly pertinacious, since the usual method of determining this is the issuance of a canonical warning, which of course has been impossible for the whole period?


KenGordon wrote:
4) Therefore there is NO WAY they could be Head of the Church.

Unfortunatey Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, Suarez, Bouix, and Garrigou-Lagrange are all of the other opinion and the Church has never uttered the slightest word of complaint about it.


KenGordon wrote:
How can anyone be the head of some organization to which he doesn't belong?

Suarez answers that God can do anything. He made the Ass of Balaam speak; He could govern the Church througha bronze head if He chose. I agree, crazy stuff, but the principle seems to me to be irrefutable.



KenGordon wrote:
To accept a contrary position is simply illogical and unreasonable.

Well, all I can say is that there is a surprising amount of these two virtues permitted by the Church. :)

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John Lane wrote:
This is disputed on two grounds. a) Have they preached heresy, precisely? Or have they only preached error and permitted heresy through weakness? b) Have they really been clearly pertinacious, since the usual method of determining this is the issuance of a canonical warning, which of course has been impossible for the whole period?


John,

Are these really valid grounds for disputing the heresy or the seemingly total defection of the hierarchy?

Isn't this just another proof that there is no authority in Rome?

Can the Church teach errors and allow widespread heresy to flourish for forty plus years? Someone who holds this view is really saying that the current hierarchy can issue warnings...but they've just chosen not to for forty years. Does it even matter why they've chosen not to...be it weakness or whatever? Doesn't this just mean that the Church has in fact defected?

This is why I think a vacant see is the correct explanation for this crisis.

Robert


Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:25 am
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New post Re: Anti-popes
John Lane wrote:
KenGordon wrote:
I have never been able to understand what the controversy is about: to me it is all quite simple.

I understand. But it isn't simple for many.


Yes. I understand that too, although I don't understand WHY that is.

Quote:
KenGordon wrote:
1) Heretics are no longer members of the Church.


Not all heretics lose membership in the Church - only those who heresy is sufficiently externalised do so.


Here we go again. I see a common thread here and in the other discussion concerning orders: I cannot help thinking that although we, as human beings, must, of course, rely on what we KNOW, God MUST know better, or, at least, more accurately since He knows things we cannot. Therefore, I don't understand how certain theologians can say, absolutely, that a certain level of "externalization" is required for someone to actually BE an heretic. To me, they either are or they are not, based only on what they believe.

Quote:
Now, the requisite degree of publicity is a matter upon which the experts are not agreed. Some regard occult heretics as non-members.


I cannot agree with that. There are many, many people who were discovered to be really vicious enemies of the Church long after their deaths. They were occult heretics, occult enemies, yet from all external appearances, were unknown to be such. The TRUTH of the matter was that they were heretics and out of the Church by their own responsibility.

Quote:
Others consider that only those who actually join a condemned sect, or who have been canonically warned without good effect, can be treated as heretics who really have lost membership in the Church. I think this view is wrong and can be proved to be wrong, but to be honest we must recognise its force.


Well, I agree with you on the fact that the view is wrong. I do not agree with you that that view has any force on its own. Any force it may have is based on WHO believes it.

Quote:
KenGordon wrote:
2) The holders of the Holy See since VCII (at least) have shown themeselves, repeatedly and publicly, to be heretics.

This is disputed on two grounds. a) Have they preached heresy, precisely?


JPII certainly did. Ratzinger certainly did, and does. I am less certain about Roncalli, Montini, and Luciani, but there are other reasons to suspect them of being out of the Church.

Quote:
Or have they only preached error and permitted heresy through weakness?


Weakness??!?!? Studied, repeated, consistent, obvious, public "weakness"? Well, I SUPPOSE you could call it that...however, I don't believe it. It is too orderly. Too "planned".

Quote:
b) Have they really been clearly pertinacious, since the usual method of determining this is the issuance of a canonical warning, which of course has been impossible for the whole period?


In an ecclesiastical sense, no. In a common sense, yes. Repeated, studied, consistent, obvious.

Quote:
KenGordon wrote:
4) Therefore there is NO WAY they could be Head of the Church.

Unfortunatey Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, Suarez, Bouix, and Garrigou-Lagrange are all of the other opinion and the Church has never uttered the slightest word of complaint about it.


Then St. Robert Bellarmine, who most certainly did say almost the exact words I used, is simply wrong? Oh...I get it...he isn't "the Church". OK.

Quote:
KenGordon wrote:
How can anyone be the head of some organization to which he doesn't belong?

Suarez answers that God can do anything. He made the Ass of Balaam speak; He could govern the Church through a bronze head if He chose. I agree, crazy stuff, but the principle seems to me to be irrefutable.


Yes. God CAN do anything. However, God will not do some things, as He has proven many times. For instance, He has never permitted a true miracle in support of a lie. He COULD do that, but hasn't, and I cannot even imagine a time when He would.

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KenGordon wrote:
To accept a contrary position is simply illogical and unreasonable.

Well, all I can say is that there is a surprising amount of these two virtues permitted by the Church. :)


I'm not sure I would call them "virtues". :D

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Dear Robert,

Robert Bastaja wrote:
Are these really valid grounds for disputing the heresy or the seemingly total defection of the hierarchy?

Well, you know that I don’t think there is a valid argument against the sede vacante thesis, or I’d abandon the thesis. The question is not whether we think the arguments valid, but merely whether we think that these have been placed beyond the bounds of what is permissible by the Church.


Robert Bastaja wrote:
Can the Church teach errors and allow widespread heresy to flourish for forty plus years? Someone who holds this view is really saying that the current hierarchy can issue warnings...but they've just chosen not to for forty years. Does it even matter why they've chosen not to...be it weakness or whatever? Doesn't this just mean that the Church has in fact defected?

This is why I think a vacant see is the correct explanation for this crisis.

It’s also why most others think that the sede vacante thesis is NOT the correct explanation. From their perspective, they have a hierarchy which hasn’t done its job; we don’t have one at all. They do not think it entirely obvious that our position is an improvement.

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New post Re: Anti-popes
KenGordon wrote:
Therefore, I don't understand how certain theologians can say, absolutely, that a certain level of "externalization" is required for someone to actually BE an heretic. To me, they either are or they are not, based only on what they believe.


Dear Ken,

We're not talking about whether they are really heretics, per se. We are talking about whether they are members of the Church. This depends upon externalisation precisely because the Church is a visible unity of those who profess the Faith outwardly. The Church is NOT a "pure" entity consisting only of saints. Nor is she any number of other things which she might be if God had so deigned. She is what she is. And what she is happens to be a unity of sinners who possess some very few qualifications for membership. One of these qualifications is that the person has not publicly repudiated the faith of his baptism. He may privately repudiate it and retain his membership in the Church, but if he publicly repudiates it he leaves the Church.

The real trouble here is that the sede vacante thesis has never been presented publicly in any serious length and detail, by anybody, ever. Even Bishop Sanborn, whose intolerance of those who fail to agree with us on the fact of the vacancy is well known, has only ever presented, in any kind of formal manner, a thesis which posits that the V2 “popes” have had true papal authority in part – viz. the power to appoint cardinals. Fr. Cekada, on the other hand, has never presented a complete thesis on the present crisis at all. He has merely defended the sede vacante thesis as a reasonable position for a Catholic to hold, and given in summary form a few arguments why it is actually the true position.

A complete presentation of our position would have to demonstrate each of the planks of our argument, whilst also solving, or at least seriously addressing, each of the key objections brought against it by our opponents. This has never been done. Even the truly great writers of our era who held our views, never did this work. Patrick Omlor’s collected works, “The Robber Church,” contains not a single line, as far as I recall, on the fact of the vacancy of the Holy See. John Daly, another prolific and well-respected writer who actually reads before writing, has never produced a thorough case either – despite being one of those who have actually put forward serious arguments and supporting documentation for key elements of that case. (There are other writers who, unlike these two mentioned, just write without reading beforehand. I think we may safely dismiss them as irrelevant to the question at issue.)

If anybody thinks that our position has in fact been put, clearly and with sufficient proofs, by anybody at all, please let me know. And please understand that I mean by such a presentation a complete, even if not completely mature, treatment of the question of where the Catholic Church is right now. Those who read these forums will be aware that I have a thesis which addresses this question. I have good grounds for the view that this thesis is that held by men such as William Morgan and other “moderate” (i.e. sensible, Catholic) sedevacantists over the past few decades. But I have merely stated it in a few forum posts – I’ve certainly never developed it publicly. John Daly did at one time attempt to define where the Church is, but he too restricted himself to a relatively brief treatment and later retracted it anyway.

We need “the book” on the sede vacante thesis. We need to remember that we need “the book.” We need particularly to remember that we don’t have “the book” any time we feel inclined to look down upon those who have been so slovenly as not to read “the book” which does not exist.



John Daly wrote:
there can be no objectively legitimate doubt that the Church has no true pope since V2.

I agree with this, of course – when correctly qualified. And I think that John Daly agrees that it needs further qualification before it would serve as a correct statement of the status questionis.

1. What do we know?
2. With what degree of certitude do we know it?
3. What is the immediate source of this certitude?
4. What are we bound to think of those who differ with us?

Merely asking these questions is a healthy exercise. If you were surprised to learn that the old lady who left the confessional early was probably really absolved, then please reflect on what this says about your knowledge of theology. The principle at issue in that case is a commonplace of the manuals. It is my hard-earned judgement that most sedevacantists are certain about the vacancy of the Holy See precisely because they know almost nothing at all about the relevant theology and law. I was in this same position myself many years ago. It’s a salutary reflection.

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:23 am
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New post Re: Anti-popes
John Lane wrote:
Merely asking these questions is a healthy exercise. If you were surprised to learn that the old lady who left the confessional early was probably really absolved, then please reflect on what this says about your knowledge of theology.


Sorry. I don't quite agree. Even The Casuist stated (if the quotation is totally accurate) that the old woman was "...most probably..." absolved...which to my mind, and knowing what little I know about the theological levels of certainty, leaves plenty of room for doubt about the actuallity, the per se-ness, of her situation. Real theologians have argued the point: why shouldn't we?

In other words, there would be nothing wrong if the priest, or the penitent, wished to make absolutely certain she was absolved by going through the process again.

"...most probably..." does not mean, "...most certainly...", or even, "...certainly..." as I remember it.

Quote:
The principle at issue in that case is a commonplace of the manuals. It is my hard-earned judgement that most sedevacantists are certain about the vacancy of the Holy See precisely because they know almost nothing at all about the relevant theology and law. I was in this same position myself many years ago. It’s a salutary reflection.


You ignore or dismiss the point, John, that I am not a sedevacantist. However, I firmly believe that these last 5 "popes" were never True Popes to begin with. Roncalli because of his membership in the Rosicrucian order (as discussed at great length in Sacredotium many years ago) BEFORE his "election", Montini because he made changes in the sacraments, and in the form of worship for the entire Church which were antithetical to Her mission, and you have stated what to my mind were perfectly valid reasons why the others are in the same condition.

It is not required that one have a degree in theology or canon law to recognize evil for what it is. We all have a more or less well-developed "Catholic sense" which suffices in many, if not most, cases for us to save our souls, when coupled with assiduous prayer.

I fear that we too often make things too complicated, which can lead to confusion and loss of one's soul.

I understand that people like Martin Gwynn, for instance, essentially read themselves out of the Church. And he isn't the only one: I know of several people who have essentially lost their souls because they tried to learn things which obviously they shouldn't have without guidance and considerably more humility than they possessed.

A scrupulous conscience is rooted in pride, and too much knowledge which is not properly understood can lead to such a conscience.

Fear of this sort of thing happening to me is one of the main reasons I have not gotten books on Canon Law and theology and started reading them before now.

Therefore, I would really appreciate it if you would in future not, even gently, castigate me for what you perceive is my lack of formal theological knowledge. There are other ways in which you can get your point across.

I have purposely chosen not to study much of this sort of thing out of fear for the safety of my soul.

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New post Re: Anti-popes
KenGordon wrote:
Sorry. I don't quite agree. Even The Casuist stated (if the quotation is totally accurate) that the old woman was "...most probably..." absolved...which to my mind, and knowing what little I know about the theological levels of certainty, leaves plenty of room for doubt about the actuallity, the per se-ness, of her situation. Real theologians have argued the point: why shouldn't we?


I repeat what I wrote, "If you were surprised to learn that the old lady who left the confessional early was probably really absolved, then please reflect on what this says about your knowledge of theology."

But it wasn't directed particularly at you. It was precisely formulated for the hundreds of lurkers who might read it in the hope that it would cause thought to occur. I live in hope.



KenGordon wrote:
You ignore or dismiss the point, John, that I am not a sedevacantist.

I did neither. I thought of that - but I wasn't writing to you. :)



KenGordon wrote:
It is not required that one have a degree in theology or canon law to recognize evil for what it is. We all have a more or less well-developed "Catholic sense" which suffices in many, if not most, cases for us to save our souls, when coupled with assiduous prayer.

I fear that we too often make things too complicated, which can lead to confusion and loss of one's soul.

We are most certainly not talking about saving our souls. We are talking about avoiding the loss of them through schism or grave rash judgement of others, both of which seem to me to be real and present dangers amongst sedevacantists. Nor do I ignore the dangers of sedeplenism, which are manifest. But danger in one direction does not eliminate it in every other direction. Quite the contrary - often it makes the opposing danger even more serious.



KenGordon wrote:
Fear of this sort of thing happening to me is one of the main reasons I have not gotten books on Canon Law and theology and started reading them before now.

Which would be fine if you also avoided forming strong opinions about matters which may only realistically be assessed when equipped with the relevant technical knowledge. The wonderful thing about you, my friend, is your insistence that your opinions are only your opinions. If all were of that mind, everything else would not matter very much.

Please believe me - I was not "castigating" anybody, and especially not you. The specific target I had in view was the person with the unfortunate combination of ignorance and dogmatism. It's extremely common, as no doubt you've noticed over the years, my friend. But castigating them doesn't work - they take it as a kind of moral martyrdom and revel in it. The only thing to do is try and be nice to them and write things that might prompt their minds to switch on, at least for a moment or two. As I say, I live in hope.

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New post Re: Anti-popes
KenGordon wrote:
I understand that people like Martin Gwynn, for instance, essentially read themselves out of the Church.


Just a clarification. I don't know Mr. Gwynne at all, but I have no reason to think he still maintains the views published by Britons Catholic Library years ago, and from the little I've heard about him I'm sure he is a fine Catholic trying to work his way through this crisis like all the rest.

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New post Re: Anti-popes
John Lane wrote:

We need “the book” on the sede vacante thesis. We need to remember that we need “the book.” We need particularly to remember that we don’t have “the book” any time we feel inclined to look down upon those who have been so slovenly as not to read “the book” which does not exist.

Merely asking these questions is a healthy exercise. If you were surprised to learn that the old lady who left the confessional early was probably really absolved, then please reflect on what this says about your knowledge of theology. The principle at issue in that case is a commonplace of the manuals. It is my hard-earned judgement that most sedevacantists are certain about the vacancy of the Holy See precisely because they know almost nothing at all about the relevant theology and law. I was in this same position myself many years ago. It’s a salutary reflection.


WOW, this post contains so many important, really, really, important ideas. I have been learning and battling the sedevacantist vs. sedeplenist position myself over the last 2 years. Today, it depends on which hour of the day you ask me, whether I'm a sedevacantist or sedeplenist. Why? Because I've learned by some hard study, reading, and praying that not everything was as I believed in my totally ignorant beliefs. When I first really understood what apostolicity and visibility actually meant, I was floored to think how absolutely ignorant I was of my basic catechism. That is why I continue to pester the forum about the question: "where is the Church?".

John, I think it a wonderful idea to attempt "the book"; however, I think the main difficulty will be the fact of the "interruption" of the hierarchy/apostolicity. The church reconstructed after 40, 50, 100 years will NOT be numerically the same Church: the interruption is far too long, and, at present, it is difficult to find an apostolic bishop today.


Van Noort again: Apostolicity of membership follows as an inescapable consequence of apostolicity of government. A moral body, despite the fact that it constantly undergoes change and renovation in its personnel, remains numerically the same moral body so long as it retains the same social structure and the same authority. This should be clear from the fact that corporations like General Motors, or RCA Victor, or nations like the United States, France, or Switzerland, remain the same corporate or political entities, and are represented before national or international tribunals as the same moral body even though there is vast fluctuation in their personnel. Please note the word, "numerically;" the same society. A mere specific likeness would never satisfy the requirement of apostolicity. Just for the sake of argument - even though it cannot actually happen - let us conjure up some church which would bear a merely specific likeness to Christ's Church; a church which would be like it in all respects except numerical identity. Imagine, now, that the Church planted by the apostles has perished utterly. Imagine whether you make it the year 600, 1500, or 3000-that all its members have deserted. Imagine, furthermore, that out of this totally crumpled society a fresh and vigorous society springs up and then, after a time, is remodeled perfectly to meet the blueprints of the ancient but now perished apostolic structure. Such a process would never yield a church that was genuinely apostolic, that is, numerically one and the same society which actually existed under the apostles' personal rule. There would be a brand new society, studiously copied from a model long since extinct. The new church might be a decent imitation. It might be a caricature. One thing it definitely would not be is apostolic.


I think, additionally, that the theologians, almost to a man stayed with the institutional Church. The theologians start from the top and work their way down. The sedevacantist start from the bottom and work their way up. What do I mean? To a truly Catholic theologian, apostolicity and visibility are a given for the Church, VII or not. Apostolicity and visibility is the Church, so-to-speak for them. They start from that point, because to them any other point of theological departure is absurd. They then work their way down to defining the 'theological difficulties': the new mass, Assisi, etc. The sedevacantist starts at the bottom: look how awful the new mass is, look at Assisi, and then try to work their way up; left with an enormous hole of no 'apparent' apostolicity or visibility. Cardinal Journet did not mean "Port Royale sans intelligens" only for the Society: I think we'd be included in his acute remark.

Those theologians, and holy people well worth considering/admiring over the last 40 years never left the institutional Church: Padre Pio, Sister Lucy, Archbishop Lefebrve, Bishop de Castro Mayer, Garrigou La-grange, Abbe de Nantes, Cardinal Journet, Cardinal Ottaviani, Fr. John Hardon, Fr. S. L. Jaki, and, of course, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton. I think it almost certain that if Msgr. Fenton or Garrigou La-grange were alive today, they would both in the VII institutional Church. :cry: Sister Lucy, the seer of Fatima who knew the 3rd secret, never left the Church. The theologians among these people would have made convincing (?) arguments of "accepting VII in the light of Tradition", or giving us detailed essays on what is and what is not the Ordinary, Universal Magisterium.

I sympathize with Ken in wanting a black and white world, but it is oftentimes not that easy. :(

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New post Re: Anti-popes
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I think the main difficulty will be the fact of the "interruption" of the hierarchy/apostolicity. The church reconstructed after 40, 50, 100 years will NOT be numerically the same Church: the interruption is far too long, and, at present, it is difficult to find an apostolic bishop today.


Dear Teresa,

These are very confused thoughts, I'm sorry.

The length of the interregnum is irrelevant to the question of numerical identity. I have explained eleswehere several times how the remaining Successor(s) of the Apostles will afterwards be able to be identified and shown to have embodied the hierarchy through the midst of this crisis. I have no difficulty with this, personally, although I am keenly aware that the work necessary to demonstrate it to the world has not been done.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I think, additionally, that the theologians, almost to a man stayed with the institutional Church.

Actually, I think the good ones died before the issue became sufficiently clear. Who was left after the New Mass was instituted? The fact that Hardon makes the list is proof of my point. He was not even a traditionalist for many years. He might have remained "conservative" but I do not recall any protests by him against V2 or the New Mass.

You implicitly admit the difficulty by naming Sister Lucy several times when your ostensible reason for posting the list is to mention theologians.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Cardinal Journet did not mean "Port Royale sans intelligens" only for the Society: I think we'd be included in his acute remark.

The more I hear about him or read of him the less impressed I am. There would be justice in retorting that Journet himself was Marice Blondel without the charity.

The ecclesiological problem exists for all - sedeplenist and sedevacantist. The notion of "sticking with the institutional Church" is one which became, by virtue of the official promulgation of evil reforms by "rome," impossible for a Catholic if one identified "the institutional Church" with "rome." This is why the Archbishop did not "stick with" Paul VI in any meaningful way. Even those who are most bitter against him accuse him not of remaining with Paul VI but rather of hankering after a return to Paul VI. Of being willing to sit down to talk about a reconciliation.

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:34 pm
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Ken and everyone,

Perhaps an issue is that maybe theology alone cannot resolve our situation with the Church.

The Catholic axiom "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” provides a clue maybe to our situation.

And perhaps we should consider words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre - June 29, 1976

Quote:
“the Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship; all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive. This Conciliar Church is schismatic, because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principles opposed to those of the Catholic Church, such as the new concept of the Mass expressed in numbers 5 of the Preface to (the decree) Missale Romanum and 7 of its first chapter, which gives the assembly a priestly role that it cannot exercise; such likewise as the natural — which is to say divine — right of every person and of every group of persons to religious freedom. This right to religious freedom is blasphemous, for it attributes to God purposes that destroy His Majesty, His Glory, His Kingship. This right implies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and all the Masonic freedoms. The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new Church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.”


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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Sister Lucy, the seer of Fatima who knew the 3rd secret, never left the Church.


Right. And neither have we...

I fear that you and many like you are confusing the "institutional church", the physical organization of the church, with its false, traitorous hierarchy, buildings, etc., as being the whole Church. The Catholic Church is much more than that.

When people like you say or think that we have "left the Church", I find it particulary irritating. WE have not left the Church. WE are still doing exactly what we did before VCII. If anything, the "church" (as I think you people mis-define it) has left US!

Quote:
I sympathize with Ken in wanting a black and white world, but it is oftentimes not that easy. :(


I never said it was easy. Our Lord never said it was or would be easy. Nevertheless, I have always firmly believed that where truth is concerned, black is black, and white is white, and there are no shades of grey. There is an hard, adamantine infinity between truth and falsehood, and they do not overlap.

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:56 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Dear Teresa,

These are very confused thoughts, I'm sorry.

The length of the interregnum is irrelevant to the question of numerical identity. I have explained eleswehere several times how the remaining Successor(s) of the Apostles will afterwards be able to be identified and shown to have embodied the hierarchy through the midst of this crisis. I have no difficulty with this, personally, although I am keenly aware that the work necessary to demonstrate it to the world has not been done.


I think I should keep that in mind. I hope someday that you (someone) can write the "book" about the truth of sedevacantism.

John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I think, additionally, that the theologians, almost to a man stayed with the institutional Church.

Actually, I think the good ones died before the issue became sufficiently clear. Who was left after the New Mass was instituted? The fact that Hardon makes the list is proof of my point. He was not even a traditionalist for many years. He might have remained "conservative" but I do not recall any protests by him against V2 or the New Mass.


That is certainly the case with Msgr. Fenton and Garrigou La-grange! Thank you for enlightening me about Fr. Hardon. I was mistaken about his position. He seemed to really gain prestige the last 10 years of his life. I did come across some of his material, and was quite disappointed.

John Lane wrote:
You implicitly admit the difficulty by naming Sister Lucy several times when your ostensible reason for posting the list is to mention theologians.


Actually, I believe I prefaced that paragraph as "theologians and holy people". I listed her, along with Padre Pio, as one of the holy people.

John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Cardinal Journet did not mean "Port Royale sans intelligens" only for the Society: I think we'd be included in his acute remark.


The more I hear about him or read of him the less impressed I am. There would be justice in retorting that Journet himself was Marice Blondel without the charity.


Well, I'll definitely scratch him off my list.

John Lane wrote:
The ecclesiological problem exists for all - sedeplenist and sedevacantist.


Exactly. I'll reread the posts concerning the Apostolic Succession throughout the interregnum.

Thank you for the corrections. :D

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KenGordon wrote:
When people like you say or think that we have "left the Church", I find it particulary irritating. WE have not left the Church. WE are still doing exactly what we did before VCII. If anything, the "church" (as I think you people mis-define it) has left US!


Ken,

I guess that particular sentence could be misconstrued. There was no attempt on my part to regard you as "out of the Church". Forgive the lack of clarity: no offense intended. :oops:

People, like me, are perplexed about the current situation in the Church and would certainly not want to part ways with fellow Catholics, like you.

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:19 am
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New post Re: Anti-popes
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I hope someday that you (someone) can write the "book" about the truth of sedevacantism.

No, I don't think it will be me. There are men who are far better qualified and God has not provided them with sufficient time and resources to do so, so I think we can safely conclude that He is content not to have "the book."

With respect to the theological difficulties of our position, let me point out that I have no particular emotional or other attachment to the sedevacantist position these days. For me it is entirely, dispassionately, a question of fact. That is, it is intellectual. (I personally dislike Ratzinger intensely, but I don't think that colours my views.) The point is this: if I thought that the sedeplenist position were true, or even more probable than the sedevacantist position, I'd adopt it. I really don't care what anybody thinks of me and if such a choice of position lost me all my friends, so be it.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I've read all through the treatise de ecclesia in several manuals and pondered it long and hard, and even largely written "the book" myself (around 80,000 words), and (for what it is worth) I am sure that there is no "killer" argument against the sedevacantist position. There is a killer argument (actually, several) against the neo-sedevacantist position, of course, but that's quite a distinct matter (and, of course, the weakness of their position only makes sedevacantism itself look more vulnerable). There are several killer arguments against the legitimacy of Paul VI and JPII, and at least by implication therefore, against Benedict XVI.

The reason I keep emphasising the difficulties of our position is to undermine the appalling over-confidence of the neo-sedevacantists and their anti-Catholic campaign of disunity. A little diffidence could do a great deal of good.

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:48 am
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John Lane wrote:
Anyway, for what it's worth, I've read all through the treatise de ecclesia in several manuals and pondered it long and hard, and even largely written "the book" myself (around 80,000 words), and (for what it is worth) I am sure that there is no "killer" argument against the sedevacantist position.


This is a little unclear to me. Have you actually written "the book" (around 80,000 words)?

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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
This is a little unclear to me. Have you actually written "the book" (around 80,000 words)?


Yes, I've written around 80k words, but I stopped and won't be publishing it. My point was that I have not only thought hard about the treatise de ecclesia, but I have also written an explanation of how the Church continued through this crisis. I don’t think sedevacantists (i.e. old-style, moderate, ones) have anything to worry about. Sedeplenism as a theory to explain the crisis is bankrupt.

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:49 am
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New post Where is the Church?
Teresa Ginardi wrote:

Quote:
That is why I continue to pester the forum about the question: "where is the Church?".


Dear Teresa,

I think that you have put a lot of thought into this question as I have and I know John Lane has as well. This is the reason that I put online this doctrinally sound answer to this question, yet written in a profoundly easy to comprehend manner.
http://www.catholicresponse.net/onetruechurch.htm This teaching can also be found in Mystici Corporis of Pius XII.

Now, since the heart of your question concerns the hierarchy, the question could be restated, "where is the hierarchy of the Church?" We already know where the laypeople are, and we know where at least some of the priests are, but the real issue here is: where are the bishops authorized and sent to govern the Church?

For those of us who have studied this question, and have tried to find this answer, we know for a fact that there are many bishops alive, around 70 or so, from the days of Pius XII, and even more if we add the bishops of John XXIII, and the number gets even larger if we add the bishops appointed during the reign of Paul VI until the new consecration rite of bishops was used. We also know that there are many older bishops of the eastern rites lawfully appointed to their offices.

You may ask, out of all of these bishops, "who still has the faith?" Why have they failed to act? It would appear that perhaps some have lost the faith, and have adopted heretical ideas, but my thought on this is that there are many that are living a quiet life of prayer, not really knowing what to do or even grasping the current state of the Church.

Recently, a friend told me of a bishop that was appointed by Pope Pius XI, who lived a quiet life, until his death a few years ago, and still said the traditional mass in his home, and kept the faith. He did not grasp the current crisis in the Church, and told my friend that heretics were always there as they are today.

But, ultimately, your question is answered in that the Church is made up of those people who have the same faith, the same sacraments, and our unity is completed in submitting to all legitimate pastors of the Church. In our case, this last qualification would seem to imply that our unity is in our willingness to submit to these pastors when they come again, and secondly to obey all laws that were given prior to the state of sedevacante.

As long as these bishops are alive and in the world, they are the hierarchy of the Church. False claimants to the papacy have no power to accept their resignation, and these bishops, continue in their offices, as long as they have not lost the faith.

We are the sheep, they are the shepherds. We have no choice but to wait for them to act. They may not act as well. We simply to do not know what will happen, but we do know that until we have a legitimate pope, these bishops and only these bishops are the hierarchy of the Church.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:30 pm
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I thihk it should be clear by now that before we can adequately say WHERE the Church is, we must first clearly understand WHAT the Church is.

I think Mike's link explains that very adequately.

From that we can pretty much deduce WHERE the Church is. In my opinion, the Church consists of all "right believers" who are trying to be good Catholics.

As far as I can tell so far, that includes everyone here.

As far as where the valid hierarchy is, again, Mike suggests some possibilities which I have also contemplated.

For instance, we have no clear idea of the legitimate hierarchy which has existed, and possibly still does exist, in hiding in Communist countries. After all, the entire Church, with its hierarchy and laypeople suffered severe persecution for 300 years during which time much of the Church was "underground", both literally and figuratively. Does the word "catacombs" ring a bell with anyone? :wink:

We ourselves are "underground" in a certain sense. We are most certainly out of the mainstream.

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I might also suggest that after a time, those who are "underground", that is, those who survived, would have gotten very good at being there. I.e., that even if a friend (in this case, WE) went looking for them, we could probably not ever find them in the present condition of the world.

THEY would have to find US, not vice-versa.

I am equally certain that if/when God finally straightens out the mess, true Catholics, and hierarchy, will appear like magic out of the woodwork, and we will be amazed at who they turn out to be.

If you don't know the story, it might be helpful and consoling to you all if you read about the prophet Elijah and the 7000 men.

If you would care to read something about it, it is here, entitled "Isaiah's Job" by Alfred Nock:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/nock3b.html

God and Our Lady prepare and preserve Their "little ones" in secret.

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:14 pm
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New post Re: Anti-popes
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
KenGordon wrote:
When people like you say or think that we have "left the Church", I find it particulary irritating. WE have not left the Church. WE are still doing exactly what we did before VCII. If anything, the "church" (as I think you people mis-define it) has left US!


Ken,

I guess that particular sentence could be misconstrued. There was no attempt on my part to regard you as "out of the Church". Forgive the lack of clarity: no offense intended. :oops:


None taken, Dear Heart! :D

I was simply trying to make a point. I know you are a good Catholic who is simply trying to make sense out of this mess, and I, for one, love you and eveyone else here for that, because you, obviously, love God.

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:18 pm
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Oh! By the way: I only "fight" with those I care about. Other people aren't worth the hard work. :lol:

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Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:20 pm
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Mike wrote:
Now, since the heart of your question concerns the hierarchy, the question could be restated, "where is the hierarchy of the Church?" We already know where the laypeople are, and we know where at least some of the priests are, but the real issue here is: where are the bishops authorized and sent to govern the Church?


Mike,

That question certainly is the heart of the question I've asked. However, John has answered similarly to your response, and I begin to see that there are a number of bishops that, if they have not removed themselves by manifest, public heresy, are in a position to be the legitimate pastors of the Church (pre-VII consecration rite, that is). And, as you say, when the Church is restored all this will be made very clear. We must be patient, for the moment.

Thank you for the added explication: hard-head that I am, repetition seems the only way of sinking in! :D

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KenGordon wrote:
Oh! By the way: I only "fight" with those I care about. Other people aren't worth the hard work. :lol:


Ken,

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I enjoy reading your posts. They've added a lot of material worth considering, and engendered a lot of worthwhile discussion.

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John Lane wrote:
Dear Robert,

Robert Bastaja wrote:
Are these really valid grounds for disputing the heresy or the seemingly total defection of the hierarchy?

Well, you know that I don’t think there is a valid argument against the sede vacante thesis, or I’d abandon the thesis. The question is not whether we think the arguments valid, but merely whether we think that these have been placed beyond the bounds of what is permissible by the Church.


John,

I know that...and you also know that I don't exclude those who don't agree with us from the Church. My point is not to focus on what is permissible...but what is correct. Sure, many views are permissible today...but how many are correct? Many if not all those (traditionalists) who hold erroneous views do so in good faith...but we can't then say that it does not matter what position you have on the pope issue...can we?

John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Can the Church teach errors and allow widespread heresy to flourish for forty plus years? Someone who holds this view is really saying that the current hierarchy can issue warnings...but they've just chosen not to for forty years. Does it even matter why they've chosen not to...be it weakness or whatever? Doesn't this just mean that the Church has in fact defected?

This is why I think a vacant see is the correct explanation for this crisis.

It’s also why most others think that the sede vacante thesis is NOT the correct explanation. From their perspective, they have a hierarchy which hasn’t done its job; we don’t have one at all. They do not think it entirely obvious that our position is an improvement.


Well, they really don't have anything but a non-Catholic hierarchy that needs to be miraculously converted to the Faith before they can do anything about this crisis. They do not have a Catholic hierarchy. They have reduced the rule of faith for a Catholic to a remote rule...the preaching of the Church appears to be dead or at best preaching errors. Even the protestants have the remote rule...how are we any different from protestants (on this point) then?

Robert


Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:53 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
My point is not to focus on what is permissible...but what is correct. Sure, many views are permissible today...but how many are correct? Many if not all those (traditionalists) who hold erroneous views do so in good faith...but we can't then say that it does not matter what position you have on the pope issue...can we?


Dear Robert,

Well, my entire Web site is intended to try and make available the doctrines and judgements that I believe to be correct. So I think the pope question matters. I don't think anybody seriously doubts this, even if it suits their polemical agenda to obscure it.

On the question of errors held in good faith, and what effects these might have, it's a big subject, and one that I am more than willing to explore. The neo-sedevacantists are very keen to see any such discussion closed off, it seems to me. Their rule is, either you're with them on avoiding Holy Mass offered by a sedeplenist, or you're denying that the pope question matters at all. Period. Those are your alternatives and no discussion is possible. Such a position is not just un-Catholic, it's also stupid.

So, you tell me, how does the pope question matter, and to what degree?



Robert Bastaja wrote:
Well, they really don't have anything but a non-Catholic hierarchy that needs to be miraculously converted to the Faith before they can do anything about this crisis. They do not have a Catholic hierarchy. They have reduced the rule of faith for a Catholic to a remote rule...the preaching of the Church appears to be dead or at best preaching errors. Even the protestants have the remote rule...how are we any different from protestants (on this point) then?

Yes, I agree with this analysis. I've spent quite a bit of effort explaining the proximate rule of faith myself, and bringing it to the attention of sedevacantists and sedeplenists, and you might recall the particular effort I put in on Angelqueen on that score a year or more ago. It is, in fact, one aspect of a complex issue which I think is best described as the ecclesiological problem.

But please, what is your point here?

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John Lane wrote:
So, you tell me, how does the pope question matter, and to what degree?


Dear Robert,

While pondering these questions, please also consider the question of which position implies the greater respect for the truth that the Holy See is presently vacant - the old, moderate, sedevacantist position, or the neo-sedevacantist position?

The old sedevacantists did everything they could, within reason, to encourage Catholics not to submit to the Nopes in any way. They reinforced the instinct of the Faith in others - the instinct to refuse the Novus Ordo and to keep the laws of the Church from before V2 (fasting, etc.). The same instinct engenders a deep mistrust of the personnel of the New Church. Anybody can witness this at any time by taking a glance at Angelqueen, for example, where even though the Motu Proprio has been welcomed with a somewhat irresponsible naivety, the general sense is that Catholics must be wary of "rome." This reinforcement of the natural reaction away from the doctrines, practices, and personnel of the New Religion is the only sensible approach for anybody who really believes that the See of Rome is vacant and who cares for the souls of his neighbours. It is certainly the policy adopted by the Bellarmine Forums, which in fact exist in order to perform that precise work.

Contrast this with what can only be described as the play-time approach of the neo-sedevacantists, whose agenda would appear to be to drive the typical sedeplenist back into the arms of the seducer by insisting that if he really believes that Benedict is pope, then he must submit unreservedly to him and adopt his New Religion. A more dangerous and irresponsible approach seems difficult to imagine, IF one believes that the See of Rome is really vacant and one thinks it matters.

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John Lane wrote:
Contrast this with what can only be described as the play-time approach of the neo-sedevacantists, whose agenda would appear to be to drive the typical sedeplenist back into the arms of the seducer by insisting that if he really believes that Benedict is pope, then he must submit unreservedly to him and adopt his New Religion. A more dangerous and irresponsible approach seems difficult to imagine, IF one believes that the See of Rome is really vacant and one thinks it matters.


Excellent point! One can't help wondering just where the much revered "consistency" actually is in this approach.


AMW


Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:19 am
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I'm going to chime in about John's point, highlighted by AMWills. It deserves more attention.


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John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
My point is not to focus on what is permissible...but what is correct. Sure, many views are permissible today...but how many are correct? Many if not all those (traditionalists) who hold erroneous views do so in good faith...but we can't then say that it does not matter what position you have on the pope issue...can we?


Dear Robert,

Well, my entire Web site is intended to try and make available the doctrines and judgements that I believe to be correct. So I think the pope question matters. I don't think anybody seriously doubts this, even if it suits their polemical agenda to obscure it.

Yes, I agree...and I’ve never doubted it.

John Lane wrote:
On the question of errors held in good faith, and what effects these might have, it's a big subject, and one that I am more than willing to explore.

I am not speaking here of the effect of an error held in good faith on the individual...I’m thinking in larger terms. I guess what I see is that right now the majority of traditional Catholics believe they must say Benedict XVI is a true pope...and will not even question his claim.

John Lane wrote:
The neo-sedevacantists are very keen to see any such discussion closed off, it seems to me.

Yes, strange isn’t it? :)

John Lane wrote:
Their rule is, either you're with them on avoiding Holy Mass offered by a sedeplenist, or you're denying that the pope question matters at all. Period. Those are your alternatives and no discussion is possible. Such a position is not just un-Catholic, it's also stupid.

I’m not defending that position now and I never have defended it. So yes, I agree, and it is no less stupid that the position that the papacy of Benedict XVI is a dogmatic fact and it may not be questioned. They are both stupid positions and for that reason they are never defended very well or at all.

John Lane wrote:
So, you tell me, how does the pope question matter, and to what degree?

Well, if he ain’t a true pope...then he ain’t gonna fix anything no matter how much one wants to believe he will. The enemy cannot provide the solution. The hope always was that we’d get a real kook elected (didn’t we already get that with JPII?) and then it will be clear to everyone.

It appears that many traditional Catholics believe (or are told to believe) that the recognition of Benedict XVI is the safer course to take...but they make no case for it. I believe that someone here made the statement to the effect that the sedeplentist position allows for more valid priests and more sacraments...how? Things are what they are...the number of valid priests and valid masses is independent of whether one follows a sedevacantist or sedeplentist position.

John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Well, they really don't have anything but a non-Catholic hierarchy that needs to be miraculously converted to the Faith before they can do anything about this crisis. They do not have a Catholic hierarchy. They have reduced the rule of faith for a Catholic to a remote rule...the preaching of the Church appears to be dead or at best preaching errors. Even the protestants have the remote rule...how are we any different from protestants (on this point) then?

Yes, I agree with this analysis. I've spent quite a bit of effort explaining the proximate rule of faith myself, and bringing it to the attention of sedevacantists and sedeplenists, and you might recall the particular effort I put in on Angelqueen on that score a year or more ago. It is, in fact, one aspect of a complex issue which I think is best described as the ecclesiological problem.

Yes, I haven't forgotten that...but how does the sedeplentist position even admit of an ecclesiological problem?

John Lane wrote:
But please, what is your point here?

Is it any clearer now? Please note that I said any clearer. :)

Robert


Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:47 pm
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John Lane wrote:
John Lane wrote:
So, you tell me, how does the pope question matter, and to what degree?


Dear Robert,

While pondering these questions, please also consider the question of which position implies the greater respect for the truth that the Holy See is presently vacant - the old, moderate, sedevacantist position, or the neo-sedevacantist position?

Well, I'm still an old moderate...so I think my view has the greatest respect for the truth. :)

John Lane wrote:
The old sedevacantists did everything they could, within reason, to encourage Catholics not to submit to the Nopes in any way. They reinforced the instinct of the Faith in others - the instinct to refuse the Novus Ordo and to keep the laws of the Church from before V2 (fasting, etc.). The same instinct engenders a deep mistrust of the personnel of the New Church. Anybody can witness this at any time by taking a glance at Angelqueen, for example, where even though the Motu Proprio has been welcomed with a somewhat irresponsible naivety, the general sense is that Catholics must be wary of "rome." This reinforcement of the natural reaction away from the doctrines, practices, and personnel of the New Religion is the only sensible approach for anybody who really believes that the See of Rome is vacant and who cares for the souls of his neighbours. It is certainly the policy adopted by the Bellarmine Forums, which in fact exist in order to perform that precise work.


I agree.

John Lane wrote:
Contrast this with what can only be described as the play-time approach of the neo-sedevacantists, whose agenda would appear to be to drive the typical sedeplenist back into the arms of the seducer by insisting that if he really believes that Benedict is pope, then he must submit unreservedly to him and adopt his New Religion. A more dangerous and irresponsible approach seems difficult to imagine, IF one believes that the See of Rome is really vacant and one thinks it matters.


Even though I do not agree with the "neo" view...I don't see it as a call to embrace the Novus Ordo world...it is an illustration of an inconsistency in a position. I have made that observation myself at times, but never suggesting that one abandon tradition and return to what was fled from in the first place.

Robert


Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:58 pm
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Here’s something crazy that I read recently criticizing laymen attending SSPX masses. It is written by a neo-sedevacantist; someone who became a sedevacantist all-of-five-minutes ago, in the words of a friend.

“They are a house divided. Some are hardliners, some are soft. Some are closet sedevacantists. Some cannot wait for the day of reconciliation with the Vatican, whereas others vow that they will leave the day such a reconciliation goes through. Yet they are all worshipping in the same pews.”.

What’s the crime – holding the same faith and worshipping in common without being carbon-copy Catholics? I found this particular criticism unbelievable. What’s new under the sun? So now the average parishioner-in-the-pew is under attack for not conforming in equal degree to the same views (known or unknown?) of all of his fellow-Catholics? Does the faith even rate at all on the scales of these neo-sedes any more?

I mean, are all sedevacantist chapels filled with parishioners who agree on all things to the same degree so that they can worship in good faith in the same pews and be immune from the scorn of other sedevacantists? Hmmm? In fact, show me ONE chapel where more than a handful of sedevacantists agree in entirety and degree on all their opinions, much less all the sedevacantist chapels around the world. If we are to swallow that this idea holds any sway or has any consequences in regards to pew-filling then to take it to its logical conclusion means us sedevacantists will be the only patsy’s out there faced with going it home-alone.

Yes Eliz, this needs more consideration. No, we are not all mindless bots that are going to swallow this sort of groundless, hypocritical thinking. I’m not interested in belonging to some neo-purist Church, a Frankenstein creation originating from who knows where? This kind of thing has been tried before in history with nothing but dismal results. More sad fruits of the crisis. We need to recoil from the fallacy that the extreme position is always the correct position.

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Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:29 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:

Even though I do not agree with the "neo" view...I don't see it as a call to embrace the Novus Ordo world...it is an illustration of an inconsistency in a position. I have made that observation myself at times, but never suggesting that one abandon tradition and return to what was fled from in the first place.



Robert

I have never seen you be anything but moderate and would expect no less of you. :)

However, I have come across this neo-sedevacantist “all or nothing” view quite a few times over the past year both in public articles and in private correspondence. What I've heard goes something like this, "If they are too blind to see the truth about sedevacantism then they better be obedient to Ratzinger and get back into his church!” Yes, I know it's incredible and what sound Catholic would even think of holding such a view?

It's as if these neo-sedes are placing no emphasis whatsoever on the value of a valid mass and the sacraments and of course the faith, but rather holding obedience and consistency as the supreme goods. Advising people to attend sacrilegious services, eat bread and partake fully in Vatican II and its evils...all because they will not or cannot see their way to declare Ratzinger as a non-Pope. This all being advised in the name of consistency. Just as well all of us trads didn't get this ultimatum before embracing the sedevacantist conclusion.

That’s what I’ve witnessed anyway.

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Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:42 pm
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JakeRM wrote:
Here’s something crazy that I read recently criticizing laymen attending SSPX masses. It is written by a neo-sedevacantist; someone who became a sedevacantist all-of-five-minutes ago, in the words of a friend.

“They are a house divided. Some are hardliners, some are soft. Some are closet sedevacantists. Some cannot wait for the day of reconciliation with the Vatican, whereas others vow that they will leave the day such a reconciliation goes through. Yet they are all worshipping in the same pews.”.
What’s the crime – holding the same faith and worshipping in common without being carbon-copy Catholics? I found this particular criticism unbelievable. What’s new under the sun? So now the average parishioner-in-the-pew is under attack for not conforming in equal degree to the same views (known or unknown?) of all of his fellow-Catholics? Does the faith even rate at all on the scales of these neo-sedes any more?

Jake,

Why do you assume there is a "crime" being identified here? I don't read that into the quote you provided.

Quote:
I mean, are all sedevacantist chapels filled with parishioners who agree on all things to the same degree so that they can worship in good faith in the same pews and be immune from the scorn of other sedevacantists? Hmmm?

I don't know what you mean here.

Quote:
In fact, show me ONE chapel where more than a handful of sedevacantists agree in entirety and degree on all their opinions, much less all the sedevacantist chapels around the world.

They don't need to agree...do they?

Quote:
If we are to swallow that this idea holds any sway or has any consequences in regards to pew-filling then to take it to its logical conclusion means us sedevacantists will be the only patsy’s out there faced with going it home-alone.

I don't follow you here either.

Quote:
Yes Eliz, this needs more consideration. No, we are not all mindless bots that are going to swallow this sort of groundless, hypocritical thinking. I’m not interested in belonging to some neo-purist Church, a Frankenstein creation originating from who knows where? This kind of thing has been tried before in history with nothing but dismal results. More sad fruits of the crisis. We need to recoil from the fallacy that the extreme position is always the correct position.

You read extreme into the "position" of this person...based on what information you've provided here. I'm not defending them...just reading what they said. Who has ever said that the "extreme position" is always correct? Is it always incorrect?

Sorry, but this whole response sounds awful emotional, IMHO.

Robert


Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:50 pm
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JakeRM wrote:
It's as if these neo-sedes are placing no emphasis whatsoever on the value of a valid mass and the sacraments and of course the faith, but rather holding obedience and consistency as the supreme goods. Advising people to attend sacrilegious services, eat bread and partake fully in Vatican II and its evils...all because they will not or cannot see their way to declare Ratzinger as a non-Pope. This all being advised in the name of consistency. Just as well all of us trads didn't get this ultimatum before embracing the sedevacantist conclusion.


Jake,

I believe you are doing the same thing here that you say you deplore about the "neo-sedes". You know darn well that these "neo-sedes" do not place "no emphasis" on a valid Mass and sacraments. They do not hold "obedience and consistency" to be supreme goods.

I rather like being consistent...because it is correct. People who are inconsistent are just that, inconsistent. There's no crime there...but it ain't good is it?

Robert


Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:00 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
JakeRM wrote:
Here’s something crazy that I read recently criticizing laymen attending SSPX masses. It is written by a neo-sedevacantist; someone who became a sedevacantist all-of-five-minutes ago, in the words of a friend.

“They are a house divided. Some are hardliners, some are soft. Some are closet sedevacantists. Some cannot wait for the day of reconciliation with the Vatican, whereas others vow that they will leave the day such a reconciliation goes through. Yet they are all worshipping in the same pews.”.

What’s the crime – holding the same faith and worshipping in common without being carbon-copy Catholics? I found this particular criticism unbelievable. What’s new under the sun? So now the average parishioner-in-the-pew is under attack for not conforming in equal degree to the same views (known or unknown?) of all of his fellow-Catholics? Does the faith even rate at all on the scales of these neo-sedes any more?

Jake,

Why do you assume there is a "crime" being identified here? I don't read that into the quote you provided.


Not a problem. I was not about to post the whole, lengthy article but this quote is not out of context with the gist of it which promotes the neo-sede position under discussion here.

Quote:
I mean, are all sedevacantist chapels filled with parishioners who agree on all things to the same degree so that they can worship in good faith in the same pews and be immune from the scorn of other sedevacantists? Hmmm?


Robert Bastaja wrote:
I don't know what you mean here.


The author of the article is criticizing laymen for worshipping in common yet not holding views consistent with one another.

Quote:
In fact, show me ONE chapel where more than a handful of sedevacantists agree in entirety and degree on all their opinions, much less all the sedevacantist chapels around the world.


Robert Bastaja wrote:
They don't need to agree...do they?


Absolutely not! That is my point. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, and if we are to hold others to a standard then do we not need to hold ourselves to the same? My apologies for not being clearer.

Quote:
If we are to swallow that this idea holds any sway or has any consequences in regards to pew-filling then to take it to its logical conclusion means us sedevacantists will be the only patsy’s out there faced with going it home-alone.


Robert Bastaja wrote:
I don't follow you here either.


Again, if we are to look down on layman attending SSPX masses for not holding consistent views with each other whilst worshipping in the same pews, then to be consistent ought we not to look to ourselves? I'm not agreeing with this nonsense, just trying to follow it through to a logical conclusion.

Quote:
Yes Eliz, this needs more consideration. No, we are not all mindless bots that are going to swallow this sort of groundless, hypocritical thinking. I’m not interested in belonging to some neo-purist Church, a Frankenstein creation originating from who knows where? This kind of thing has been tried before in history with nothing but dismal results. More sad fruits of the crisis. We need to recoil from the fallacy that the extreme position is always the correct position.


Robert Bastaja wrote:
You read extreme into the "position" of this person...based on what information you've provided here.


Actually that is not the case at all. I and many others know this person holds the extreme neo-sedevacantist position and this is certainly not based on the little that I have just posted here. To be fair to you, I can now see why you are so confused.

Robert Bastaja wrote:
I'm not defending them...just reading what they said. Who has ever said that the "extreme position" is always correct? Is it always incorrect?


Of course it is not always incorrect. If it was I would have said, "We need to recoil from the fallacy that the extreme position IS the correct position, leaving out the word "always". John Daly has written well on this very point, and is in fact where I got it from. :) Let me see if I can dig it up.

Robert Bastaja wrote:
Sorry, but this whole response sounds awful emotional, IMHO.


On the contrary there is no emotion at all, I'm sorry to hear my style gave you cause for that wrong assumption. That's the problem with faceless communication. I'll try and use a few more smilies next time in the hope that it'll help. 8)

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Robert

Robert Bastaja wrote:
JakeRM wrote:
It's as if these neo-sedes are placing no emphasis whatsoever on the value of a valid mass and the sacraments and of course the faith, but rather holding obedience and consistency as the supreme goods. Advising people to attend sacrilegious services, eat bread and partake fully in Vatican II and its evils...all because they will not or cannot see their way to declare Ratzinger as a non-Pope. This all being advised in the name of consistency. Just as well all of us trads didn't get this ultimatum before embracing the sedevacantist conclusion.


Jake,

I believe you are doing the same thing here that you say you deplore about the "neo-sedes".


I don't know what you mean.

Quote:
You know darn well that these "neo-sedes" do not place "no emphasis" on a valid Mass and sacraments. They do not hold "obedience and consistency" to be supreme goods.


To get things back in context, I did preface the above quote you supplied above with, "However, I have come across this neo-sedevacantist “all or nothing” view quite a few times over the past year both in public articles and in private correspondence. What I've heard goes something like this, "If they are too blind to see the truth about sedevacantism then they better be obedient to Ratzinger and get back into his church!” I finished my post with, "That’s what I’ve witnessed anyway."

As far as I can tell, consistency and obedience is INDEED being placed over the value of receiving valid sacraments and attending valid masses by the neo-sedevacantist. Which position has salvation of souls, the supreme good, as its end?

I guess that we do not move in the same circles or read the same things, or that we will just have to agree to disagree and move on. But please don't make assumptions that I have written words here contrary to what "I know darn well" about the neo-sedes I've been exposed to and therefore to what I think. If I've read you wrong here, forgive me.

Quote:
I rather like being consistent...because it is correct. People who are inconsistent are just that, inconsistent. There's no crime there...but it ain't good is it?


Consistency is great. I'm all for it. Let's just not put our own spin on what is consistent or not and then judge and hold others to what we think are its conclusions, eh? Particularly when it may appear to others that we ourselves may not be as consistent as we would like to think. That's my only point. I'm not saying you are doing this, of course. :) I don't think I can be any clearer without writing an essay, which I am not about to inflict on you or anyone here. :D

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Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:43 pm
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JakeRM wrote:
Consistency is great. I'm all for it. Let's just not put our own spin on what is consistent or not and then judge and hold others to what we think are its conclusions, eh? Particularly when it may appear to others that we ourselves may not be as consistent as we would like to think. That's my only point.


This is interesting...so we can't know what things are consistent and what things are not...at all? Well, if I'm being inconsistent somewhere show me...don't tell me that I could appear inconsistent to others. I could appear to be a lot of things to others...that doesn't make those appearances correct. This all seems a bit relativistic to me.

Jake, I am obviously NOT doing a good job at making myself understood here...but I think if we sat down and talked we would understand each other... so I'll let it go.

Robert


Last edited by Robert Bastaja on Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:04 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
JakeRM wrote:
Here’s something crazy that I read recently criticizing laymen attending SSPX masses. It is written by a neo-sedevacantist; someone who became a sedevacantist all-of-five-minutes ago, in the words of a friend.

“They are a house divided. Some are hardliners, some are soft. Some are closet sedevacantists. Some cannot wait for the day of reconciliation with the Vatican, whereas others vow that they will leave the day such a reconciliation goes through. Yet they are all worshipping in the same pews.”.
What’s the crime – holding the same faith and worshipping in common without being carbon-copy Catholics? I found this particular criticism unbelievable. What’s new under the sun? So now the average parishioner-in-the-pew is under attack for not conforming in equal degree to the same views (known or unknown?) of all of his fellow-Catholics? Does the faith even rate at all on the scales of these neo-sedes any more?

Jake,

Why do you assume there is a "crime" being identified here? I don't read that into the quote you provided.


A house divided? How is one supposed to interpret this when Our Lord Himself tells us that a divided house must fall? The meaning is clear.

And how "divided" is the sedevacantist house? Old moderates, neo-sedes, Guerardians, conclavists, etc.

Perhaps people in glass (and divided) houses should not throw stones. If they want to be consistent, that is.


AMW


Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:40 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
I rather like being consistent...because it is correct. People who are inconsistent are just that, inconsistent. There's no crime there...but it ain't good is it?


Dear Robert,

If it stopped there, it would merely be a weak argument. Weak because no doctrinal point is really being made, and because we all face the mystery of the ecclesiological problem together, so that everybody can be accused of being "inconsistent" if that's a useful exercise.

A strong argument is one in which the doctrine of the Church is presented and some aspect of one's opponents' position is contrasted with that doctrine.

But it doesn't stop there. Jake seems to be referring to Tom Droleskey. Tom is driving around the USA telling everybody who will hear that they ought to separate from the sedeplenists. That was his message about the CMRI nuns, and it is his message to all sedevacantists concerning where they may worship. It is abundantly clear. I agree with Jake that the passage presented above is objectionable on several grounds. First, it criticises the great, essential, principle of submission to the Catholic Church which is expressed in the St. Augustine saw, "in doubtful things, liberty." Second, it seems supremely unwise for sedevacantists to attack anybody for a lack of unity! Third, it is ahistorical. Bishop Sanborn has been predicting from around 1984 right through until recently that the SSPX would fall apart due to a lack of internal principles of unity - as the "Nine" split repeatedly around him. :)

Yes, the SSPX definitely admit the existence of the ecclesiological problem. The Archbishop consistently referred to it over his entire anti-V2 career, beginning on the Council floor. I'll post some quotes later when I have more time.

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Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:02 pm
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New post Archbishop Lefebvre on the eccelsiological problem
Dear Robert,

Some texts illustrating the thought of the Archbishop concerning the ecclesiological problem.

In a penetrating comment on the nature of what was unfolding on the floor of the Council in October 1964, Archbishop Lefebvre, addressing the proposed Declaration on Religious Liberty, Dignitatis Humanæ, prophesied, “Should this statement in its present terms come to be solemnly accepted, the veneration that the Catholic Church has always enjoyed among all men and all nations, because of her love of truth, unfailing to the point of martyrdom, will suffer grave harm, and that to the misfortune of a multitude of souls whom Catholic truth will no longer attract.” In other words, the very identity of the Catholic Church as the “pillar and ground of the truth” was under threat.

In September 1965, during the Fourth Session, in the debate over the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Archbishop Lefebvre made explicit the question of the source of the errors of Vatican II. “This pastoral Constitution is not pastoral, nor does it emanate from the Catholic Church. It does not feed Christian men with the Apostolic truth of the Gospels and, moreover, the Church has never spoken in this manner. We cannot listen to this voice, because it is not the voice of the Bride of Christ. This voice is not that of the Spirit of Christ. The voice of Christ, our Shepherd, we know. This voice we do not know. The clothing is that of the sheep. The voice is not the voice of the shepherd, but perhaps that of the wolf.”

Thus in a few words the Archbishop stated without any ambiguity his conviction that the novelties proposed by the Council as the doctrines of the Catholic Church were not truly her teachings, nor was the Council truly speaking in her name. How this could be he did not say, and nor did he pretend to know. But he knew the voice of the true Shepherd, and this was not it.

Writing in 1976, the Archbishop commented tersely that “The phrase of the schema [on Religious Liberty] quoted in the intervention: ‘The Catholic Church claims as a right of the human person, etc.,’ is monstrous, and it is odious to credit the Catholic Church with this claim.” But as the Archbishop well knew, the words to which he objected had subsequently been adopted as the true expression of the teaching of the Catholic Church by what appeared to be a General Council. Frightful paradox!

And a summary of the situation by Archbishop Lefebvre - his words to and concerning Joseph Ratzinger in 1987, during the approach to the great climax of 1988.

"I have summed it up to Cardinal Ratzinger in a certain words, of course, because it is difficult to sum up this whole situation; but I said to him: 'Eminence, see, even if you grant us a bishop, even if you grant us a certain self-government in relation to the bishops, even if you grant us all the liturgy of 1962, if you grant us to continue the seminaries and Society, as we do it now, we cannot collaborate; it is impossible, impossible, because we work in two diametrically opposed directions: you, you work for the de-Christianization of society, of the human person, and of the Church, and we, we work for its Christianization. They cannot be in agreement.'

“Rome has lost the Faith, my dear friends. Rome is in apostasy. It is not just words, it is not just words in the air that I say to you. It is the truth. Rome is in apostasy. One cannot have confidence any more in this world. It has left the Church, they have left the Church, they are leaving the Church. It is sure, sure, sure."

Archbishop Lefebvre's clarity in respect of the distinction between the true Church and the Conciliar Church was always refreshing, even if his candid and honest lack of clarity about the juridical status of the office-holders was occasion for some to misunderstand him. The year before his death he illustrated this distinction in the clearest possible manner in a letter to Bishop de Castro Mayer, which unfortunately the latter did not act upon.

"[T]he Conciliar Church, having now reached everywhere, is spreading errors contrary to the Catholic Faith and, as a result of these errors, it has corrupted the sources of grace, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. This false Church is in an ever-deeper state of rupture with the Catholic Church. Resulting from these principles and facts is the absolute need to continue the Catholic episcopacy in order to continue the Catholic Church."

I don't think that there is any question that the Archbishop saw the problem. Indeed, I would say that his view of it forms a kind of key to his reaction to the crisis and his thought concerning it. It explains both his sedeplenism and his inability, ultimately, to do a "deal" with the Modernists.

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Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:01 am
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I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m beginning to wonder if I could even cut softened butter. Something in this discussion, and a few other threads, gives me an uneasy feeling about where the conclusions presented might lead.

If a valid Mass and valid sacraments are paramount above all else, and it is wrong to encourage separation from sedeplenists or to encourage 'consistency' (when the neo-sedevacantists are accused, but not proven, to be 'inconsistent' themselves), and the una cum argument doesn’t hold water (and just inconsequential interruption of the Canon), then I have question:

Is it a valid corollary, therefore, that there can be no valid, sustainable objection whatsover against attending an indult Mass? Before people bombard me with qualifications, I am assuming the priest is unquestionably valid, and Holy Communion is distributed from hosts consecrated during the same Mass; i.e., this indult Mass is, for all intents, purposes and appearances, identical to a Mass in an SSPX or independent sedeplenist chapel.

If not, please point out how it is different.


Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:38 am
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Chris Browne wrote:
Is it a valid corollary, therefore, that there can be no valid, sustainable objection whatsover against attending an indult Mass? Before people bombard me with qualifications, I am assuming the priest is unquestionably valid, and Holy Communion is distributed from hosts consecrated during the same Mass; i.e., this indult Mass is, for all intents, purposes and appearances, identical to a Mass in an SSPX or independent sedeplenist chapel.

If not, please point out how it is different.


Typically, the differences are several.

1. The Indult is not a traditional Catholic scene, as a rule. Or at least, not as far as I know it. It is a scene involving all manner of types, some few of whom are opposed to the Vatican II revolt, but many or most of whom are definitely confused about it. The SSPX position is to resist without compromise the Vatican II "new religion."
2. The minister is often, or usually, not a traditional Catholic. The SSPX priests are usually - almost always - proper traditional Catholic priests.

But in any such question the alternative position needs to be questioned. Would any responsible person recommend assistance at any Mass offered by a "sedevacantist"? I wouldn't.

I am not therefore approving assistance at Holy Mass offered by every SSPX priest. I am merely rejecting as unfounded (and tending to schism) the dogmatic attitude against ever assisting at such a Mass. There is a world of difference. I would call the difference one of faith and prudence.

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Dear Robert,

I disagree, violently, with the whole thrust and spirit of the analysis of the neo-sedevacantists. I will try briefly to illustrate what I think that essentially is, and why I disagree with it.

Do you accept that the default position for any Catholic is sedeplenism?

If you accept that there is a vastly greater number of sedeplenist Catholics than sedevacantists, then it would seem to be a corollary that the acceptance of the claims of the Nopes is the default position for Catholics. The sedevacantist position is therefore an exceptional thing. Once we accept this truth (and who doesn’t accept it except a few screaming Home-Aloners for whom the Church ends at their lounge-room walls?), then there can be no question of patronising the sedeplenists, or worse, of condemning them. There can be no legitimacy, or even reasonableness, in any attitude which asks, “What excuse do these people have for their position?” The onus is firmly upon us to prove our exceptional position. Any attempt to shift that onus to the other side is intellectually hollow and morally objectionable.

Robert Bastaja wrote:
Many if not all those (traditionalists) who hold erroneous views do so in good faith...but

“Good faith” only enters into consideration when the Church has spoken on a point. After the Church has spoken, those who fail to submit can be divided into those who wilfully refuse her instruction and those who have not yet realised that she has spoken. The latter are in good faith in their error. In the present case, the Church has not spoken. Our opinion, for which we believe there are adequate proofs, is our opinion. To speak of those who differ with us as being in good faith implies an authority we certainly don’t have, and a kind of condescension we absolutely ought not to be making. One cannot condescend to those on one’s level, and certainly not to those above one!

This brings to mind a rather withering email I received recently from a prominent sedevacantist, who has taken particular offence at my failure to display the appropriate level of deference to Bishop Sanborn. The same individual displays nothing but contempt for Archbishop Lefebvre. I was trying to discover a principle underlying this assault upon my own approach, and which would simultaneously explain and support my correspondent’s rather complex attitude, and I could not do so. Archbishop Lefebvre earned a bachelor’s degree in theology at Rome, followed by a licentiate, and ultimately, a doctorate. All of this work and achievement occurred in one of the best colleges in Rome, using the very best texts (St. Thomas and Billot). Archbishop Lefebvre was selected and appointed to the episcopacy by the Vicar of Christ upon earth, Pope Pius XII. The Rev. Donald Sanborn earned his theological distinction in the emergency seminary of Econe, receiving no recognised degree in any field of study, and certainly no formal acknowledgement from the Catholic Church that he had achieved any distinction in theology, nor any formal authorisation to teach theology. He was selected for, and appointed to, no episcopal office by the Catholic Church, but rather, he chose himself for the dignity in cooperation with another who had done the same – Bishop McKenna.

Now, despite these stark differences of qualifications, I have a great deal of respect for Bishop Sanborn, who seems to me to be strikingly intelligent, very learned (at least by contemporary standards), and of course most importantly, he has sacrificed his entire life to the defence of the true Catholic faith. But I’m sorry, I cannot bring myself to think of him as the equal of Archbishop Lefebvre, and the suggestion that he is the Archbishop’s superior is, frankly, very funny! I have sufficient respect for Bishop Sanborn to hold good hope that he would enter into the joke, too.

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Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:54 am
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John Lane wrote:
Do you accept that the default position for any Catholic is sedeplenism?


Your post was extremely penetrating and thought provoking. I have never seen it articulated before, but I now know why one of the problems I have with the neo-sedes is the "superior" attitude. I always thought this came from a kind of, dare I say it, pride, at considering oneself cleverer than the sedeplenist, and wondered why this annoyed me so much when it is a pretty common trait of human nature. I am always much more understanding of vices I too am guilty of! But it is more than that and you have helped me to see why. It is not just the "I know more than you" attitude, it is the fact that they have immorally usurped the default position and shifted the burden of proof as a result. A true table turn. From defendants of an opinion that differs from the default, they have become attackers of those who hold the default position, and because their attack is unmanly and unfair, the means they are forced to use are obviously just as unmanly and unfair. Justice is offended, not just charity. And I always thought it was a matter of charity alone.


AMW


Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:59 am
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AMWills wrote:
Justice is offended, not just charity. And I always thought it was a matter of charity alone.

Yes, I think that’s right.

The other aspect to this is the danger that our “shorthand” sometimes has for clear thought. We refer to “the sedeplenist position” as though those traditional Catholics who fail to agree with us have developed some nuanced theory to explain the crisis, when in fact the Archbishop did nothing of the sort. What he did was to hold fast; he did so on the basis that true obedience could never command what is sinful. He regarded this as a sufficient foundation for adhering to the traditions of our ancestors, but he certainly never developed an ecclesiological theory to explain the whole situation. Bishop Williamson has perhaps begun such an effort with his “mentevacantism” theory, but the Archbishop never did. We sedevacantists have developed both the sedevacantist and the sedeplenist positions. That is, we have enunciated the position contained in the various points of doctrine implied or proclaimed by our opponents, whilst explicating our own position. Almost the entire theoretical fabric is the work of sedevacantists.

Now, this is important to grasp, because once it is firmly in mind, another truth I have already pointed out fits neatly into place; viz. the fact that the sedevacantist thesis has never been properly developed and presented at any length. We need the book. We don’t have the book. How can we criticise those who haven’t agreed with it, when they have not read it, because it hasn’t been written yet? :)

Now, an essential component of “the book” will be the explanation of the rule of faith, as Robert has pointed out. But the rule of faith is the preaching of the whole Church – that is, in essence, the teaching of the bishops. Therefore, the defence of the doctrine concerning the rule of faith implies the rejection of not just the chief heretic in Rome, but of all of the officials of the Conciliar church – that is, apparently every Ordinary. But this is precisely what we cannot admit, or we run aground on another doctrinal reef, that of the continuity of the apostolic college. Now, it is one thing to admit a mystery or two in one’s theory – it is another thing entirely to hop onto one’s stilts and absurdly strut about looking down upon those who in reality might be a fully six inches taller than oneself, if the metaphor will serve.

I happen to be on the same team as the bloke on the stilts, but as you have observed, I cannot resist the urge to tap his stilts out from under him and bring him back down to earth. If he receives a bruise or two in the process, that’s his own fault.

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Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:30 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Quote:
1. The Indult is not a traditional Catholic scene, as a rule. Or at least, not as far as I know it. It is a scene involving all manner of types, some few of whom are opposed to the Vatican II revolt, but many or most of whom are definitely confused about it. The SSPX position is to resist without compromise the Vatican II "new religion."

The words you have used to descibe 'traditional Catholic scene', could easily describe the average SSPX chapel or even that of the most ardent "neo-sedevacantist" chapel, despite the best efforts of the 'gatekeepers'. (I witnessed this myself on a couple of occasions several years ago at Saint Gertrude's, of all places.) It is not readily apparent or immediately evident regarding the person next to you or across the aisles or two pews forward, but, perhaps, after donuts and coffee in the undercroft or hall, conversation might indicate where they stand on these issues but most people would not be so rude as to interrogate people that most likely have just met in such a manner. (I do not think even a "neo-sedevacantist' would do this.)

Regardless, it does (or shouldn't) affect the efficacy of the Mass.

Quote:
2. The minister is often, or usually, not a traditional Catholic. The SSPX priests are usually - almost always - proper traditional Catholic priests.


The disposition of the priest, as long as he is validly ordained, is immaterial. I doesn't affect the fruits of the Mass.


Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:45 pm
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John Lane wrote:
“Good faith” only enters into consideration when the Church has spoken on a point. After the Church has spoken, those who fail to submit can be divided into those who wilfully refuse her instruction and those who have not yet realised that she has spoken. The latter are in good faith in their error. In the present case, the Church has not spoken. Our opinion, for which we believe there are adequate proofs, is our opinion. To speak of those who differ with us as being in good faith implies an authority we certainly don’t have, and a kind of condescension we absolutely ought not to be making. One cannot condescend to those on one’s level, and certainly not to those above one!


John,

I was speaking of everyone here...include myself...if our opinions are incorrect, we are incorrect in good faith. I was trying to illustrate the fact that while we don't have any authority to impose our views on others...all views are not equal.

Robert


Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:20 pm
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New post CEAO
I thought I'd interject a somewhat different perspective here. I think the term neo-sedevacantist (ns) more aptly applies to me (quasi), John Lane, et. al., that are sede but attend an SSPX chapel. I am not supporting any theological position here, but just stating historically what happened here in the NE US over the last 25 years. I attended Bp. Sanborn's chapel for years, and have now attended an SSPX chapel for a number of years, so I think I can speak with some little knowledge of the 9 priests and what occurred during those years.

In 1983 at the time of the split, the 9 priests issued their Statement. They posited the sede position as a valid theological opinion; however, that opinion was never, ever treated as such. Day 1 of the split, the 9 never treated their position as opinion, but, always, insisted based on the premises given it was Catholic dogmatic fact. There was never any latitude given to the SSPX's position, and attendance at their chapels was always off-limits. One must, also, remember that for 5 years following the split, the 9 were involved in lawsuits over properties/chapels with the SSPX.

To give Bp. Sanborn his due, he has never altered his position regarding the SSPX from 1983 to this day. Perhaps, Chris Browne or Robert Bastaja could speak to this issue, if I have spoken in error. I cannot speak so readily about the other 9, but I am almost certain that until the time of the 'Thuc' issue, all 9/12 were very opposed to attendance at an SSPX chapel. Bp. Kelly's retreat from this position was subsequent to the split in the 9/12 over mainly the 'Thuc' issue. However, even today, within the SSPV, I believe there are priests that are very 'discomfited' concerning the SSPX, and especially the SSPX position on annulments. Any SSPV priest that 'allowed' attendance at an SSPX chapel did so very hesitatingly and with many caveats.

BCL (Britons Catholic Library), and the CMRI were each undergoing their own change in 'theology' during this period. So, perhaps, those groups can be considered ns from their prior position.

Ken Gordon, Teresa Benns, or other trads from the West, may have a different historical view from out there (ORCM and Fr. Fenton, Dan Jones (?), Fr. Placid White). Patrick Henry Omlor, a pioneer sede who developed and influenced many sede principles, could bring a breadth of historical experience unmatched by almost anyone living today. I don't think Mr. Omlor would classify any of the 9 as neo-sedes. Mr. James Larrabee, who also was a pioneer sede and knows more than most on this subject, I think would be hard-pressed to classify the 9 as neo-sedes.

The 9 always saw the SSPX's theological position as 'dangerous and harmful to the Faith' (including implicitly, una-cum). They taught, wrote, spoke, and counseled as such. They were in many ways responsible for the corpus of literature that is available today on sedevacantism. So, from my historical perspective, I don't see the 9 as neo-sedevacantists in any way. As always, I may be wrong as to the conclusions, but the historical facts are as I present them.

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Teresa


Last edited by Teresa Ginardi on Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:38 pm
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
BCL (Britons Catholic Library), and the CMRI were each undergoing their own change in 'theology' during this period. So, perhaps, those groups can be considered ns from their prior position. Patrick Henry Omlor, Ken Gordon, Teresa Benns, or other trads from the West, may have a different historical view from out there (ORCM and Fr. Fenton, Dan Jones (?), Fr. Placid White).


I have some historical knowledge of certain events concerning the CMRI, since my home town was only about 350 miles from their headquarters. In addition, there were newspaper articles on that organization at times, most of which were either just plain not true or were terribly skewed.

My wife and her family have had some experience with the ORCM, but my family had none. She is from Illinois, by the way, while I am from Montana.

Neither of us have had any experience with either of the last two priests you mention.

Quote:
So, from my historical perspective, I don't see the 9 as neo-sedevacantists in any way.


I must say that since I first read of that term, neo-sedevacantist, here, I have thought that it was not really correct. "Neo" implying "new", whereas most of those who hold that position are most certainly not "new".

Perhaps we need to arrive at a more accurate term for those who hold that position...which position, by the way, I find particularly distasteful and most uncharitable.

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Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:07 pm
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