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New post Jurisdiction
I would like to ask a question about jurisdiction and sedevacantism. I think that all traditional Catholic bishops have no jurisdiction 'in fact': they may have 'material' jurisdiction, but no formal jurisdiction. Since jurisdiction is a necessary part of apostolicity as a mark of the true Church and its indefectibility; and, since there are very few 'jurisdictional' bishops left worldwide, how, for a sede, will apostolicity be maintained? :?:

Teresa Ginardi (login as fabiola)


Fri May 19, 2006 3:03 am
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New post Re: Jurisdiction
fabiola wrote:
... jurisdiction is a necessary part of apostolicity as a mark of the true Church and its indefectibility ...
I wonder if this is the case? May there not be apostolic succession without jurisdiction in emergency times? I don't see jurisdiction among the marks of the church, any more than I see Roman-ness or Palmarian-ness.


Fri May 19, 2006 11:18 am
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New post Re: Jurisdiction
fabiola wrote:
I would like to ask a question about jurisdiction and sedevacantism. I think that all traditional Catholic bishops have no jurisdiction 'in fact': they may have 'material' jurisdiction, but no formal jurisdiction. Since jurisdiction is a necessary part of apostolicity as a mark of the true Church and its indefectibility; and, since there are very few 'jurisdictional' bishops left worldwide, how, for a sede, will apostolicity be maintained? :?:

Teresa Ginardi (login as fabiola)


Dear Teresa,

Nice to see you here. :)

I agree that ordinary jurisdiction is an essential feature of the constitution of the Church. Which means that without it she would not be the Church. Therefore it seems that somewhere in the world there must always be at least one bishop who has it.

Some additional comments on this to put it in context. Anti-sedevacantists often cite this requirement and assert that unless we can identify such a bishop by name our position is essentially in conflict with sound doctrine. But the necessity of identifying such a bishop in fact does not follow - only that we acknowledge that such a bishop or bishops must exist. Just as, for example, it is not required for every Catholic to know many facts about the Church.

What does follow is that if our opponents could prove that there was in fact no such bishop then we would have to revise our theory. The onus is therefore on them, and I welcome any serious attempts they may choose to make to examine the relevant theology, law, and fact, so as to assess the question.

For example, can they be sure that one of the gaoled bishops in China has not remained a Catholic and therefore retained his jurisdiction?

When thinking about this question one must keep in mind the role of supplied jurisdiction in cases of common error. Even many sedevacantists have failed to do so and thus ended up with a slightly skewed view of things. They have done this because, as far as I can tell, they have not understood Cum ex apostolatus correctly, imagining that every provision of it stands, or some erroneous conception such as that. It is doubtful to my mind that even when the bull was published it could have had the effect of nullifying the automatic supply of jurisdiction by Holy Mother Church in cases of common error. I think, on the contrary, that the bull was stating a truth no different from that stated by St. Thomas when he says that schismatics immediately lose all jurisdiction – meaning, of course, habitual jurisdiction (which is what ordinary jurisdiction is). That is, there is a radical incompatibility between the possession of habitual jurisdiction and the status of non-member of the Church. One must be a member in order to govern in the Church. But (and all theologians seem to grant this) a non-member may exercise supplied jurisdiction on occasion. And this would appear to be the basis for the fairly common opinion that the sacrament of Penance is valid amongst the Greeks.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that an episcopal appointment made by, say, Paul VI, would be valid if the appointee was capable of receiving it. That is, if the appointee was “valid matter” for the appointment. Which is to say, if he was a Catholic. Now, this would have been less likely to be true as the years rolled by after Vatican II. So that fewer and fewer appointments would have been valid, and maybe the last such valid appointment was as long ago as 25 years. But the picture created by such a consideration is very different from the “mathematical” one presented by the sedevacantist who declares that by virtue of Cum ex apostolatus and/or Canon 188:4, every office in the Church was vacated instantly at the close of Vatican II in 1965.

I hope these considerations assist.

We should also not fail to note that the very men who accuse us of holding a theory in conflict with sound doctrine have themselves several points upon which their own stance conflicts with sound doctrine, so that we should give thanks to God that they are coming around to our view on the necessity of believing with the Church. :) Further, and as a consequence of this new piety on their part, we may look forward to the day when they cease to use as an excuse for being in conflict with Catholic teaching that the point at issue "has never been defined." :oops:

Yours,
John Lane.


Last edited by Admin on Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat May 20, 2006 4:34 am
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Hi John,

Thank you for the greetings. I believe I understand your reply, but I would like to 'flesh' out this jurisdictional issue, if I may with more questions.

1. Since an appointment by any Pope to a bishop usually falls at the same time as consecration of said bishop; are we to understand that PVI could make valid 'mission' for a bishop when the consecrating bishop was valid and used the traditional consecration rite? This is what I understood by your reply that the last valid jurisdictional bishop could be as recent as 25 years ago, which puts that bishop squarely in the last years of PVI, even JPII. Can a 'false' pope give jurisdiction to a valid bishop?, as that would have been the case (I think) 25 years ago? Perhaps, I misunderstood your reply. I would have thought that the last valid jurisdictional bishop would have been made 41 years ago in 1965 (but what do I know ).

2. Also, 28 years ago the consecration rite was changed: would this not alter jurisdiction?

3. Does a valid jurisdictional bishop lose his jurisdiction upon retirement (I think so)?

As you, John, are a relatively young man; you, as well as all of us (but not so much us older folks), may need to investigate this issue sooner than you think. God, hopefully, will intervene soon; but as we know not His Designs, a valid, non-retired, jurisdictional bishop is probably not likely to be around 10 years from now. Perhaps, there's something I'm not seeing here which I should. I'm taking the year 1965 for the last jurisdictional bishop to have been made; perhaps, at the young age of 35 years old. That makes that young bishop 76 years old today; already beyond retirement age, but for the sake of argument the bishop is not retired, yet. Said bishop will definitely be retired in 10 years; unless, of course, bishops do not lose jurisdiction upon retirement.


Sat May 20, 2006 7:26 pm
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fabiola wrote:
1. Since an appointment by any Pope to a bishop usually falls at the same time as consecration of said bishop; are we to understand that PVI could make valid 'mission' for a bishop when the consecrating bishop was valid and used the traditional consecration rite? This is what I understood by your reply that the last valid jurisdictional bishop could be as recent as 25 years ago, which puts that bishop squarely in the last years of PVI, even JPII. Can a 'false' pope give jurisdiction to a valid bishop?, as that would have been the case (I think) 25 years ago? Perhaps, I misunderstood your reply. I would have thought that the last valid jurisdictional bishop would have been made 41 years ago in 1965 (but what do I know ).


Dear Teresa,

You're welcome. And please remember, as I try to, that I am only a layman like all others, trying to work my way through this labyrinth that Our Lord has been please to permit us to live. I think that my ideas are the ideas of the Church, and I believe that I have put in a diligent effort to know the truth, but I may well be mistaken.

Yes, a false pope could provide a "mission" - that is, in this case, jurisdiction - by virtue of supplied jurisdiction because of common error.

In cases of positive and probable doubt of law or fact, or common error, the Church supplies jurisdiction. She does so only for the good of souls, so that (for example) the excommunications of Archbishop Lefevbre and Co. would not be valid due to lack of jurisdiction (apart from any other defect), but the appointment of a bishop to a see or a priest as pastor of a parish would in fact be valid if all other conditions are met. That is, if he is a sane Catholic male and he has the relevant Orders, and if the relevant See or Parish is vacant.

fabiola wrote:
2. Also, 28 years ago the consecration rite was changed: would this not alter jurisdiction?


If the new rite is invalid, as I think it is, then it would prevent the man from becoming truly "Bishop of Wherever," yes. I wonder if he were to discover his defect and rectify it, whether his appointment might still be valid, but such a case seems unlikely at best. Consequently insofar as the new rite was employed universally from the date of its institution, that may be the date of the last true appointments. That is still a lot more recent than, say, 1958 or even 1965.

fabiola wrote:
3. Does a valid jurisdictional bishop lose his jurisdiction upon retirement (I think so)?


No, the Code stipulates that for a resignation to be valid - and retirement is only a form of resignation - it must be accepted by a superior. No superior = no valid resignation. For this reason I and many others considered Bishop de Castro Mayer to be true Bishop of Campos long after he "retired." And if you read carefully the letter sent by Archbishop Lefebvre to Bishop de Castro Mayer encouraging him to consecrate a successor, it is apparent that the Archbishop considered this to be true also - canonically as well as in every other way. He told Bishop de Castro Mayer that his situation was "classical" which is a way of saying that it fit within the cases covered by the authors (whereas his own case did not).

I hasten to add, a "retired" bishop is in fact more likely to be a Catholic than any other, for the simple reason that he may no longer be in the midst of the heresies of V2 and required to impose them on the Faithful.

fabiola wrote:
As you, John, are a relatively young man; you, as well as all of us (but not so much us older folks), may need to investigate this issue sooner than you think. God, hopefully, will intervene soon; but as we know not His Designs, a valid, non-retired, jurisdictional bishop is probably not likely to be around 10 years from now. Perhaps, there's something I'm not seeing here which I should. I'm taking the year 1965 for the last jurisdictional bishop to have been made; perhaps, at the young age of 35 years old. That makes that young bishop 76 years old today; already beyond retirement age, but for the sake of argument the bishop is not retired, yet. Said bishop will definitely be retired in 10 years; unless, of course, bishops do not lose jurisdiction upon retirement.


I agree that this is a real "problem" with our thesis, but it remains a problem of fact, not principle, and any alternative theory which attempts to explain V2 is in conflict with Catholic doctrine on several points, so that the improbable "sede vacante" thesis is the only possible true answer.

Yours in Christ our Risen King,
John Lane.


Sat May 20, 2006 11:02 pm
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Hi again John,

After considering your responses for several days, I am left with one thought and one question. First, may I say that with this post I don't want the discussion to devolve on the NO and its heresies and horrors. The arguments for the sede position must be answered clearly on their own merits without the need to leave our first and last arguments that the 'other' side is worse than us.

Thought 1. At this time, I posit the statement that the sede position cannot be held legitimately and be consonant with the marks of the Church. The reason for this is all about apostolicity and oneness in government. For me as a sede to state that somewhere in the world there is a Catholic bishop (not NO), but I don't know who he is and I don't need to know who he is; is straining credulity. To state that this is similar to not knowing facts of the Church is imo not similar. The facts of the Church not known by me are definitely known by many; probably the clerics for sure. However, this Catholic bishop that has jurisdiction is not known by anyone Catholic, else every sede would know it in hours. Also, I certainly won't say absolutely that there isn't any Catholic bishop out there with jurisdiction lest I have to prove a negative; however, the onus is on us sedes to identify this bishop else what is jurisdiction about. Until this crucial first step happens, I think the sede thesis (and those of us connected with it) are in imminent danger of forming a different church than the Church of Christ, or we're left with the Church of Christ failed. Remember, also, time is of the essence here (barring God's intervention) the Catholic Church must have within itself the means to correct this situation, in a natural sense. You've chosen 1968 as your cutoff, which I find strange indeed, even given your argument about the Church supplying in the case of common error with a false pope (sounds like the material/formal thesis). I believe most sedes choose 1958. Whichever year, the case to even have a live, valid, jurisdictional, Catholic bishop is becoming slim and none.

Question 1. After identifying said bishop, the need then becomes to convince him that the See of Peter is vacant. Then, what happens? Can he alone elect a pope? How will unity every prevail within sede circles to submit to this Catholic bishop when large sections of the sede group don't even agree as to who is a valid bishop? (This last question is more an editorial than not).


Tue May 23, 2006 12:05 am
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Several other thoughts following from my previous post: you've stated that as long as we believe that there is still one jurisdictional bishop, we need only believe that in principle and not fact. Jurisdiction, or the power of governing (legislative, juridical and coercive), imposes itself immediately and durationally for the common good to prevent anarchy and chaos in any society, but, most especially, in Christ's most Immaculate Spouse, as fact, and not principle: lest, minus its true and active presence, as fact; the members of that society are left helpless against its own auto-demolition

The need is for us sedes to face this crucial and single most important issue, that as of this very moment, we, who consider ourselves the Catholic Church, lack an essential mark of the Church, in fact. I care little about answering this question for others who may argue with us on this point. I care that we have it right, and that we stay in the Church.


Tue May 23, 2006 5:01 am
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New post jurisdiction
This is a very interesting exchange, for which I thank the participants. May I again raise the question of whether jurisdiction is necessary?
Fabiola wrote:
... jurisdiction is a necessary part of apostolicity as a mark of the ... Church ...
I don't doubt that apostolicity is a mark of the church, but please may we have a source on how jurisdiction is itself a mark of apostolicity? Can't you transmit clerical orders without a diocese?


Tue May 23, 2006 9:35 am
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fabiola wrote:
Hi again John,

After considering your responses for several days, I am left with one thought and one question. First, may I say that with this post I don't want the discussion to devolve on the NO and its heresies and horrors. The arguments for the sede position must be answered clearly on their own merits without the need to leave our first and last arguments that the 'other' side is worse than us.


Dear Teresa,

The crisis is a question of fact for which we are seeking explanation. The Faith is an immovable; the facts, insofar as they are clear, are indisputable. It is the explanation which is the only variable, as a rule. And the sede vacante explanation is the one which satisfies the greatest number of difficulties whilst leaving the least number of mysteries. In that sense the comparison with other proposed solutions is a useful and even necessary aspect of this.

fabiola wrote:
Thought 1. At this time, I posit the statement that the sede position cannot be held legitimately and be consonant with the marks of the Church. The reason for this is all about apostolicity and oneness in government. For me as a sede to state that somewhere in the world there is a Catholic bishop (not NO), but I don't know who he is and I don't need to know who he is; is straining credulity. To state that this is similar to not knowing facts of the Church is imo not similar. The facts of the Church not known by me are definitely known by many; probably the clerics for sure. However, this Catholic bishop that has jurisdiction is not known by anyone Catholic, else every sede would know it in hours. Also, I certainly won't say absolutely that there isn't any Catholic bishop out there with jurisdiction lest I have to prove a negative; however, the onus is on us sedes to identify this bishop else what is jurisdiction about. Until this crucial first step happens, I think the sede thesis (and those of us connected with it) are in imminent danger of forming a different church than the Church of Christ, or we're left with the Church of Christ failed.


I think you're coming at this from the wrong end. For example, you say, "However, this Catholic bishop that has jurisdiction is not known by anyone Catholic, else every sede would know it in hours." I can't agree with this. Imagine he is a retired bishop appointed to office in, say, 1966. He is known by numerous older Catholics presently enmeshed in the Novus Ordo but who have not accepted any of its heresies and therefore have remained members of the Church themselves. Sure, the sedevacantists don't know him as a Catholic bishop, because the sedevacantists don't know everything and cannot be sure how the principles all apply to every concrete case, but he is known by Catholics. This same example works if you imagine such a man to have been appointed in, say, 1958.

As for the sedevacantists forming a separate Church, that is precisely the danger in imagining that all non-sedevacantists are non-Catholics. A number of sedevacantists are offended by my position on this, which is the standard position adopted by most sedevacantists until Martin Gwynne and, later, the Dimond Brothers, came up with their "exclusive Church of the sedevacantists" theory, but I'm yet to see any cogent argument for such a change of position. And, incidentally, the new position of the exclusivists has done a lot to keep people acknowledging the fake popes.

fabiola wrote:
Remember, also, time is of the essence here (barring God's intervention) the Catholic Church must have within itself the means to correct this situation, in a natural sense. You've chosen 1968 as your cutoff, which I find strange indeed, even given your argument about the Church supplying in the case of common error with a false pope (sounds like the material/formal thesis). I believe most sedes choose 1958. Whichever year, the case to even have a live, valid, jurisdictional, Catholic bishop is becoming slim and none.


Just for clarity, I'm not choosing any year as a "cut-off." I'm merely applying principles and saying what they appear to imply. I don't feel the need to solve every mystery. I only feel the need to defend the Faith, insofar as something looks to impinge upon it.

fabiola wrote:
Question 1. After identifying said bishop, the need then becomes to convince him that the See of Peter is vacant. Then, what happens? Can he alone elect a pope? How will unity every prevail within sede circles to submit to this Catholic bishop when large sections of the sede group don't even agree as to who is a valid bishop? (This last question is more an editorial than not).


Unity insofar as it is essential, will be maintained as it is presently maintained, by the Holy Ghost acting to keep Catholics obedient to the authority of the Church and in communion with each other, and retaining and professing the true Faith. And all of this, visibly.

Insofar as unity is non-essential, it will continue to dissolve as the crisis persists and worsens, until "even the Elect" might be deceived. Watch and pray.

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Tue May 23, 2006 8:44 pm
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First reply to Mr. Danon: ordinary jurisdiction is perhaps the defining element in apostolicity. The eastern schismatics have valid orders but do not enjoy apostolic succession. Why? They have not received ordinary jurisdiction or (meaning the same thing essentially) they have not been given a 'mission' or been 'sent'. At the time of consecration, a priest that becomes a bishop receives the 'fullness of the priesthood', but, also, is given a 'mission' or is 'sent' (the definition of apostle, 'one who is sent'). This 'mission' can only be given (or assented to) by the Pope. Jurisdiction implies governance and gives the new bishop true legislative, juridical, and coercive power in his territory. This governance is, perhaps, the core characteristic of being a bishop, or having true apostolic succession: this is apostolicity or being a true successor to the apostles.

The Catholic Church is a perfect society, and, as such, She operates with laws and jurisprudence to maintain and transmit faithfully to her children the Deposit of Faith which has been entrusted to her. A bishop that has not received jurisdiction is essentially a higher order of priest: he can confirm and ordain, but he lacks the power to legislate for his flock (perhaps, restricting attendance at certain movies, dispensing his faithful on a fast day (such as St. Patrick's Day), he lacks the power to adjudicate for his flock (e.g., marriage problems that may involve annulments), he lacks the power to coerce or command compliance to Church laws (perhaps involving excommunications), and he, also, lacks membership in the Magisterium of the Church (he cannot authoritatively teach his flock and be considered a member of the Living Magisterium of the Church). The bishop without jurisdiction is not a successor to the apostles (at least not formally) which is what true apostolicity is all about.

Reply to John,

Thanks John. I'm am heartened to hear that there are some sedes that actually realize there are a number of Catholics to be found in most positions probable today (NO, R&R, recognize & resist, sede; certainly not neo-Catholics). I think I see a little more light given this option. However, could you perhaps elaborate a little more on how you see the Church today (structure, if any) or, maybe more importantly, how you see unity possible without much structure. This would probably need to be in another topic, I suppose. I will continue to pray and think about this.

As an aside, I think Mr. Danon's question shows what I think is common error among most sedes, including myself for a number of years (also, no offense intended to Mr. Danon). I think, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that most sedes have no real definitional conception of apostolicity. I think the common idea is that if a bishop is consecrated that's all that's necessary. We average pew-sitting sedes don't know our basic catechism, or haven't studied some of the points in our catechism more completely. Which leads me to more questions which I hope to post soon in another topic.

Thanks again John for your studied and considerate answers.


Wed May 24, 2006 4:05 am
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New post jurisdiction and apostolicity
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
As an aside, I think Mr. Danon's question shows what I think is common error among most sedes, including myself for a number of years (also, no offense intended to Mr. Danon). I think, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that most sedes have no real definitional conception of apostolicity. I think the common idea is that if a bishop is consecrated that's all that's necessary. We average pew-sitting sedes don't know our basic catechism, or haven't studied some of the points in our catechism more completely.
Absolutely no offence taken; indeed am most grateful for your postings and your patience with me. I should be most interested in a reference to an (ideally online) catechism which zooms in on this issue of apostolicity and, in particular, its relationship with jurisdiction. BTW, I am not one of those who would expect an episcopus vagantis to go around granting annulments, there presently being no tribunal system or Roman rota.


Wed May 24, 2006 9:11 am
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Paul Danon wrote:
I should be most interested in a reference to an (ideally online) catechism which zooms in on this issue of apostolicity and, in particular, its relationship with jurisdiction.


Dear Paul,

I've just posted an article on a related point by Monsignor Fenton which will repay careful study. Please note in connection with your query that, "any bishop not in union with the Holy Father has no authority over the faithful."

One is not and cannot be a "successor of the Apostles" if one has no authority over the Faithful.

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Wed May 24, 2006 12:15 pm
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New post Pope Pius XII on the authority to teach
Monsignor Fenton commenting on, and quoting, Pius XII's allocution, Si diligis.

"The Si diligis is the allocution delivered by Pope Pius XII on May 31, 1954, to the Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops who were present in Rome for the canonization of St. Pius X. It contains a magnificent explanation about the relation of the Sovereign Pontiff and the other members of the apostolic college to the men they employ to aid them in their work of teaching the faithful. As such it brought needed clarification to one part of the theological treatise on the Church of Christ.

Quote:
Christ Our Lord entrusted the truth which He had brought from heaven to the Apostles, and through them to their successors. He sent His Apostles, as He had been sent by the Father (John, 20:21), to teach all nations everything they had heard from Him (cf. Matt., 28:19 f.). The Apostles are, therefore, by divine right the true doctors and teachers in the Church. Besides the lawful successors of the Apostles, namely the Roman Pontiff for the universal Church and Bishops for the faithful entrusted to their care (cf. can. 1326), there are no other teachers divinely constituted in the Church of Christ. But both the Bishops and, first of all, the Supreme Teacher and Vicar of Christ on earth, may associate others with themselves in their work of teacher, and use their advice; they delegate to them the faculty to teach, either by special grant, or by conferring an office to which the faculty is attached (cf. can. 1328). Those who are so called teach not in their own name, nor by reason of their theological knowledge, but by reason of the mandate which they have received from the lawful Teaching Authority. Their faculty always remains subject to that Authority, nor is it ever exercised in its own right or independently. Bishops, for their part, by conferring this faculty, are not deprived of the right to teach; they retain the very grave obligation of supervising the doctrine which others propose, in order to help them, and of seeing to its integrity and security. Therefore the legitimate Teaching Authority of the Church is guilty of no injury or no offense to any of those to whom it has given a canonical mission, if it desires to ascertain what they, to whom it has entrusted the mission of teaching, are proposing and defending in their lectures, in books, notes, and reviews intended for the use of their students, as well as in books and other publications intended for the general public.[19]


"Prior to the issuance of the Si diligis, there was a tendency on the part of some popular writers in the field of religion to imagine that any one at any time might set himself up as a teacher of Christian doctrine within the Catholic Church. The masterful allocution delivered by Pope Pius XII effectively disposed of this pernicious mistake."

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Wed May 24, 2006 12:29 pm
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
John Lane wrote:
... "any bishop not in union with the Holy Father has no authority over the faithful."
Agreed, and I trust that we also agree that, during an interregnum or other period (such as now) when the holy see is apparently* vacant, bishops do not cease to be able to perform their duties as bishops, including ordaining, consecrating and putting the faithful right on matters doctrinal.
John Lane wrote:
One is not and cannot be a "successor of the Apostles" if one has no authority over the Faithful.
Surely it's the other way around. One's apostolic succession gives one authority. Otherwise one is in the bizarre situation (which I have heard used to describe the relationship between an Anglican bishop and his or her cathedral chapter) where jurisdiction confers apostolicity.

I'm not a bishop because I'm the bishop of London. I'm a bishop because I'm consecrated. If, in ordinary times, I'm sent to London to be its bishop, then I make London have a bishop. London doesn't make me a bishop and if, at the age of 75, I retire to a monastery or seaside resort, I don't revert to mere priesthood.

I'd be interested to know where the idea comes from that, if the last diocesan bishop dies, the gates of hell have prevailed. But maybe I misunderstand, in which case sorry.

* I do not necessarily suggest that there is an occult pope but would not rule out the possibility that there could be one.


Wed May 24, 2006 6:19 pm
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Paul Danon wrote:
I'd be interested to know where the idea comes from that, if the last diocesan bishop dies, the gates of hell have prevailed. But maybe I misunderstand, in which case sorry.

* I do not necessarily suggest that there is an occult pope but would not rule out the possibility that there could be one.


There are other bishops who are not attached to dioceses. Say in an emergency situation like this where one has to consecrate another bishop so that more priests can be ordained, etc. . . there wouldn't be diocese for that bishop to be assigned to (since there is no pope), but in cases where jurisdiction is necessary, such as hearing confessions and granting absolutions, the Church supplies jurisdiction.

No need to worry about the "gates of hell" in this instance. The Church teaches that the "gates of hell" are heretics.

(edited for clarity)


Wed May 24, 2006 7:31 pm
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Paul Danon wrote:
bishops do not cease to be able to perform their duties as bishops, including ordaining, consecrating and putting the faithful right on matters doctrinal.


It is not a question of what might "cease" but rather what might "begin." From whence may a new bishop received the mission which constitutes him asuccessor of the Apostles?

Paul Danon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
One is not and cannot be a "successor of the Apostles" if one has no authority over the Faithful.
Surely it's the other way around. One's apostolic succession gives one authority. Otherwise one is in the bizarre situation (which I have heard used to describe the relationship between an Anglican bishop and his or her cathedral chapter) where jurisdiction confers apostolicity.

I'm not a bishop because I'm the bishop of London. I'm a bishop because I'm consecrated. If, in ordinary times, I'm sent to London to be its bishop, then I make London have a bishop. London doesn't make me a bishop and if, at the age of 75, I retire to a monastery or seaside resort, I don't revert to mere priesthood.


Let's be clear in our thinking on fundamentals, and then we can see how this looks.

The office and the person are entirely distinct realities which both may and do exist without the other. The Code lays down that an office is a stable position to which is attached some power of jurisdiction or orders. The person who is a valid recipient of the office of the episcopate must have various qualifications (be of legitimate birth, a priest for five years, over the age of thirty, etc.) and he must be consecrated a bishop before canonical installation. One therefore becomes "Bishop of London" by receiving the existing office which is the government of the diocese of London. Jurisdiction does indeed bestow apostolicity, in the sense that it is one of the elements which constitute apostolicity (along with valid episcopal orders etc.). Who cares what the Anglicans say?

You say, "I'm a bishop because I'm consecrated." Yes, but I distinguish, you are not a successor of the Apostles unless you have more than the episcopal orders - otherwise all valid bishops would be successors of the Apostles, and we know that is false. The Greek schismatics have valid episcopal orders.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, Bishops. "Two classes of bishops must be distinguished, not with regard to the power of order, for all bishops receive the fullness of the priesthood but with regard to the power of jurisdiction: the diocesan bishop and the titular bishop or, as he was called before 1882 the episcopus in partibus infedelium. The former is here considered. Those belonging to the second class cannot perform any episcopal function without the authorization of the diocesan bishop; for as titular bishops there have no ordinary jurisdiction."

Are we agreed on this much?

Paul Danon wrote:
I'd be interested to know where the idea comes from that, if the last diocesan bishop dies, the gates of hell have prevailed. But maybe I misunderstand, in which case sorry.


I'd be interested to know where your ideas come from. What books are you reading?

Paul Danon wrote:
* I do not necessarily suggest that there is an occult pope but would not rule out the possibility that there could be one.


A doubtful pope is no pope. Therefore an occult pope is no pope.

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Thu May 25, 2006 12:55 am
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Quote:
Paul said:
Absolutely no offence taken; indeed am most grateful for your postings and your patience with me. I should be most interested in a reference to an (ideally online) catechism which zooms in on this issue of apostolicity and, in particular, its relationship with jurisdiction. BTW, I am not one of those who would expect an episcopus vagantis to go around granting annulments, there presently being no tribunal system or Roman rota.


Paul, I think John has given some excellent readings about jurisdiction. Also, The Catechism of the Council of Trent is online. The Catholic Encyclopedia, also online, has a fairly good summary of jurisdiction.

Quote:
Hudson said:
There are other bishops who are not attached to dioceses. Say in an emergency situation like this where one has to consecrate another bishop so that more priests can be ordained, etc. . . there wouldn't be diocese for that bishop to be assigned to (since there is no pope), but in cases where jurisdiction is necessary, such as hearing confessions and granting absolutions, the Church supplies jurisdiction.


As John has indicated, let's be clear on this issue. The Church may supply jurisdiction to priests/bishops to hear confessions, which implies absolution, as a recourse to epikeia; but that bears no relationship to ordinary jurisdiction. Reread PPXII's grand and glorious encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. The Vicar of Christ is the sole source of ordinary jurisdiction. Without this jurisdiction, a validly consecrated bishop can certainly ordain priests and administer the sacrament of confirmation, but that's all he can do; and, he is NOT a successor to the apostles. He is not a member of the Magisterium, ergo he cannot teach in the name of the Church: he cannot issue a catechism: adjudicate annulments: handle excommunications: discipline his priests: he cannot stand as a source of unity for the Church: he cannot govern, shepherd, protect, and guard his flock, for in fact, he has no flock.

The Church is the Kingdom of God on earth; we being the Church Militant. The Church as a perfect society, as I've said before, has government. It is not an anarchical society. The Church is far more than bishops consecrating other bishops who ordain any number of men to be priests. The Supreme Teacher, Priest, Legislator, and Judge is the Vicar of Christ who by his assent (active or tacit), and his only (nothing supplied here by the Church) hands a part of his flock to a validly consecrated bishop, so that said bishop now truly governs: that is apostolic succession.


Thu May 25, 2006 3:00 am
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Hudson Jackson II wrote:
There are other bishops who are not attached to dioceses. Say in an emergency situation like this where one has to consecrate another bishop so that more priests can be ordained, etc. . . there wouldn't be diocese for that bishop to be assigned to (since there is no pope), but in cases where jurisdiction is necessary, such as hearing confessions and granting absolutions, the Church supplies jurisdiction.
This is what I thought, which is why I'm puzzled at the apparent assertion that jurisdiction confers apostolicity rather than the other way around.


Thu May 25, 2006 6:52 am
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Paul Danon wrote:
Hudson Jackson II wrote:
There are other bishops who are not attached to dioceses. Say in an emergency situation like this where one has to consecrate another bishop so that more priests can be ordained, etc. . . there wouldn't be diocese for that bishop to be assigned to (since there is no pope), but in cases where jurisdiction is necessary, such as hearing confessions and granting absolutions, the Church supplies jurisdiction.
This is what I thought, which is why I'm puzzled at the apparent assertion that jurisdiction confers apostolicity rather than the other way around.


Well, I was considering commenting on that, too, because it isn't quite right.

Particularly this:
Hudson Jackson II wrote:
there wouldn't be diocese for that bishop to be assigned to (since there is no pope),


Dioceses persist during a papal interregnum. And in fact I think may be filled, on the basis that they are filled subject to the future approval of the Roman Pontiff. This is effectively what Archbishop Lefebvre wrote to Bishop de Castro Mayer, advising him to consecrate a successor.

Here is an extract (from: http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archb ... _Mayer.htm)
Quote:
It seems to me that the case of the Diocese of Campos is simpler, more classical, because what we have here is the majority of the diocesan priests and faithful, on the advice of their former bishop, designating his successor and asking Catholic bishops to consecrate him. This is how the succession of bishops came about in the early centuries of the Church, in union with Rome, as we are too in union with Catholic Rome and not Modernist Rome.

That is why, as I see it, the case of Campos should not be tied to the Society of St. Pius X. Resort would be had to the Society's bishops for an eventual consecration, not in their role as bishops of the Society but as Catholic bishops.

The two cases should be kept clearly separated. This is not without its importance for public opinion and for present-day Rome. The Society must not be involved as such, and it turns over the entire responsibility - altogether legitimate - to the priests and faithful of Campos.

In order for this distinction to be quite clear, it would be altogether preferable for the ceremony to take place at Campos, at least outside the diocese. It is the clergy and the Catholic people of Campos who are taking to themselves a Successor of the Apostles, a Roman Catholic bishop such as they can no longer obtain through Modernist Rome.

That is my opinion. I think it rests upon fundamental principles of Church Law and upon Tradition.


I agree with the Archbishop. Indeed, I would say that it was absolutely correct to consecrate a successor, and that the clergy should have declared the see of Campos vacant by the heresy of its claimant, citing canon 188,4, and in accord with the canons, elected a successor. Such a course would have been canonically unimpeachable. But of course, it would imply the absence of a Roman Pontiff...

And this also is wrong, I think:
Hudson Jackson II wrote:
but in cases where jurisdiction is necessary, such as hearing confessions and granting absolutions, the Church supplies jurisdiction.


Jurisdiction is supplied under particular conditions for particular purposes. It is not ordinary jurisdiction and it is not supplied just because it is "necessary." Sometimes it is perfectly necessary and not supplied.

I encourage everybody to take the pains to look up a source before commenting definitely on anything. Please.

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Thu May 25, 2006 8:38 am
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Thanks to all for their helpful input. Thanks for what Mr Lane writes about occult popes.
John Lane wrote:
Who cares what the Anglicans say?
I don't, except that it worried me when I heard someone from the Canterbury cathedral chapter saying that, when a new archbishop bangs on the church-door with his crozier, he's not so much demanding to claim his see and requesting the chapter's kind permission to let him in! It's as if they believe jurisdiction confers apostolicity.
John Lane wrote:
... you are not a successor of the Apostles unless you have more than the episcopal orders - otherwise all valid bishops would be successors of the Apostles, and we know that is false. The Greek schismatics have valid episcopal orders.
I am starting to understand (!) that one can be episcopal without being apostolic.
Catholic Encyclopedia wrote:
Two classes of bishops (sic) must be distinguished, not with regard to the power of order, for all bishops receive the fullness of the priesthood but with regard to the power of jurisdiction: the diocesan bishop and the titular bishop or, as he was called before 1882[,] the episcopus in partibus infedelium (sic). The former is here considered. Those belonging to the second class cannot perform any episcopal function without the authorization of the diocesan bishop; for as titular bishops there have no ordinary jurisdiction.
I see this, but I can't see it saying that titular bishops aren't apostolic; just that they lack ordinary jurisdiction which isn't in dispute.
John Lane wrote:
I'd be interested to know where your ideas come from.
This forum, but, as I say, I could be misunderstanding the apparent assertion that jurisdiction confers apostolicity rather than vice versa.

Please might someone kindly quote from a source which describes this distinction between apostolic and non-apostolic bishops? The bit above from the Catholic Encyclopedia says what a titular can and can't do but it doesn't say what he is.


Thu May 25, 2006 10:33 am
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:

As John has indicated, let's be clear on this issue. The Church may supply jurisdiction to priests/bishops to hear confessions, which implies absolution, as a recourse to epikeia; but that bears no relationship to ordinary jurisdiction. Reread PPXII's grand and glorious encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. The Vicar of Christ is the sole source of ordinary jurisdiction. Without this jurisdiction, a validly consecrated bishop can certainly ordain priests and administer the sacrament of confirmation, but that's all he can do; and, he is NOT a successor to the apostles. He is not a member of the Magisterium, ergo he cannot teach in the name of the Church: he cannot issue a catechism: adjudicate annulments: handle excommunications: discipline his priests: he cannot stand as a source of unity for the Church: he cannot govern, shepherd, protect, and guard his flock, for in fact, he has no flock.


Sorry about that. That was the problem, I should read things more carefully.


Thu May 25, 2006 2:07 pm
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New post Re: jurisdiction and apostolicity
Paul Danon wrote:
I see this, but I can't see it saying that titular bishops aren't apostolic; just that they lack ordinary jurisdiction which isn't in dispute...
Please might someone kindly quote from a source which describes this distinction between apostolic and non-apostolic bishops? The bit above from the Catholic Encyclopedia says what a titular can and can't do but it doesn't say what he is.


Here is Van Noort, from his volume, "Christ's Church," p. 152.

Quote:
It has already been established … that bishops succeeded to the position in the Church originally filled by the apostles. But as was pointed out, this succession does not mean that a particular bishop succeeded to the job of a particular apostle — say that the bishop of Bridgeport has taken over the job of St. Bartholomew. Rather, it means that the college of bishops, viewed collectively, succeeded the apostolic college, viewed collectively. It may be asked then: “How can you be sure that this or that bishop should be counted as a legitimate successor of the apostles?” Obviously a man does not become a genuine successor to the apostles merely by arrogating to himself the title of “bishop,” or by carrying on in some fashion a function once performed by the apostles. Neither is it enough for a man merely to possess some one, individual power, say for example, the power of orders. — The power of orders can be acquired even illicitly, and once acquired can never be lost. — What is required for genuine apostolic succession is that a man enjoy the complete powers (i.e., ordinary powers, not extraordinary) of an apostle. He must, then, in addition to the power of orders, possess also the power of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction means the power to teach and govern. — This power is conferred only by a legitimate authorization and, even though once received, can be lost again by being revoked.


So it seems to me that unless one has jurisdiction as well as episcopal Orders, one is not a true successor of the Apostles.

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Mon May 29, 2006 2:02 pm
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New post bishop-in-the-woods hypothesis?
Mr. Lane, you have said several times in the past that you believe there must be a bishop alive today with ordinary jurisdiction, and that that is deduced from Catholic dogma. That is interesting, because I have heard people whose theological knowledge I highly respect ridicule this theory as the "bishop-in-the-woods" hypothesis. Could you give your reasons for saying that?

Fr. Barbara sent letters to all the bishops in the world to see if he could find one that still had the faith. The result was as it says in Psalm 13: "They are all gone aside, they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good: not even a single one." Then Bp. Sanborn got the Vatican directory of bishops about 15 years ago and sent each one a letter in Latin describing his position, but got no response. About a year later tried again. Again, not one.

That's not exactly an argument, because it doesn't make sense to argue Catholic dogma with (apparent) facts; I'd say it's more of a data point. But it does make it seem fairly speculative, especially to resort to positing the existence of a true bishop with jurisdiction imprisoned in Siberia or China. And if there were such a bishop, could he pass on his jurisdiction to a successor the way he could pass on his orders? If not, then we are really sitting on a time bomb. :shock:

I'd just like to get your whole position on this. Thanks!


Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:09 pm
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New post Re: bishop-in-the-woods hypothesis?
Dear Penrod,

Did you read this post?

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... hp?p=20#20
And this, from a succeeding post on the same page?

John Lane wrote:
Imagine he is a retired bishop appointed to office in, say, 1966. He is known by numerous older Catholics presently enmeshed in the Novus Ordo but who have not accepted any of its heresies and therefore have remained members of the Church themselves. Sure, the sedevacantists don't know him as a Catholic bishop, because the sedevacantists don't know everything and cannot be sure how the principles all apply to every concrete case, but he is known by Catholics. This same example works if you imagine such a man to have been appointed in, say, 1958.


Now, let's examine for example Bishop Sanborn's views, because it sounds like you might be referring to him. As I understand him, he agrees that it is possible to be innocently enmeshed in the Novus Ordo, in which case he would argue that such a person is "objectively" in schism, but not subjectively. As for membership in the Church, this can only mean that such a person retains it, although on such a question I cannot presume to know - he uses these terms in ways that seem to me both novel and nonsensical. But if he did grant that such a person retains membership, would he be prepared to admit the same possibility for a retired bishop? And if so, would he assert that such a bishop was "in the woods"?

Frankly, I would agree that such a bishop is "not yet out of the woods." And neither are we. :)

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Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:35 am
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And now for a little time travel...

(Please, in your charity remember Jim McNally in your prayers.)


-----Original Message-----
From: James Larrabee
To: jmcnally@fred.net <jmcnally@fred.net>
Date: Tuesday, November 11, 1997 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: #1400 Some Ideas from France on Indefectibility


>Absolute sedevacantism would seem to me to place the apparent
>occupant of the Apostolic See, and all bishops nominated by him, in
>the impossibility of a return to Catholic orthodoxy.

There are two issues here: return to orthodoxy, and recovery of
jurisdiction.

By "return to orthodoxy," a return to the Church would seem to be
implied. Orthodoxy, in the sense of the Catholic Faith, can exist
outside the Church, as in schismatics, catechumens, or those who
believe, but simply are unwilling to become Catholics for some
personal reason.

It would seem that in regard to the "absolute sedevacantist" position,
only the question of a return to the Church, as opposed to return to
orthodoxy as such, is relevant.

> No jurisdiction could ever exist to "put things right" and reconcile
>repentant heretics to the Church.

It remains to be proved that it is impossible for one who left the
Church by his own act to return to it except by formal reconciliation
and absolution in the public forum. (The internal forum is not
concerned in the question of membership in the Church.) In the absence
of a priest, that is, of one with jurisdiction to give such absolution,
if this absence is protracted, I do not see any impossibility.
Membership in the Church is the sacramental result of Baptism, in the
absence of intrinsic obstacles. Such obstacles are heresy, schism,
apostasy, and excommunication by name by the Holy See with a
declaration of "vitandus." In the present hypothesis, we can eliminate
each of these obstacles. The first three are eliminated by a public
renunciation of heresy and/or schism, and a public profession of faith
and submission to the Apostolic See. The fourth cannot exist, because
no one has thus been excommunicated within living memory (I am not sure
whether anyone was thus excommunicated during the pontificate of Pius
XII.)

Absolution in the public forum is not a sacrament, so its use cannot,
it seems to me, to be more than a question of public discipline,
rather than of an absolute necessity for membership in the Church. The
expressed intention of submitting oneself to it, even if the ceremony
is prevented for some reason, would seem to be adequate to satisfy the
visible nature of the Church and her membership. Granted, when it is
available, one who refused or negligently failed to make use of it
could not be seen as sincerely submitting himself to the authority of
the Supreme Pontiff.

Furthermore, the automatic excommunications which are the concern of
the criminal law of the Church are not the issue here, since of
themselves, they neither deprive one of membership in the Church nor
of jurisdiction, as shown by the Code itself.

These are the requirements for membership in the Church as taught by
Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis. Since they are met (ex hypothesi),
it is up to those who claim it is impossible for such a one to return
to the Church in this manner to prove otherwise.

The question of recovery of jurisdiction also arises, even if the
above argument is granted. In the case of the Pope (if he had been
validly elected, or generally thought to have been), by a return to
the Church, he would remove the obstacle to jurisdiction which
existed. If he were then accepted by the Roman clergy as Pope at least
implicitly, he would become Pope by acclamation. Of course, a formal
election might also be in order. This is assuming, of course, valid
electors among the Roman clergy. (See below) There must always be some
such, at least when needed, if the indefectibility of the Church is to
be assured. This latter principle is clearly agreed between the
Guerardists and the "absolute sedevacantists."

I think it is also arguable that an office vacated by the tacit
resignation of canon 188:4, as it was lost by the sole action of the
individual, can be regained in the same way, as long as no formal
action vacating the office or filling it has been taken by competent
authority, and when no such authority is currently available. The
designation by the lawful superior (e.g. in the case of the bishop)
would persist, just as the election of the Pope by the Roman clergy
would persist, in the argument of the Guerardists (though I do not see
how this can be extended to a man who, at the time of the election, is
not even a Catholic), when no subsequent action by the superior has
voided it. (Just as the jurisdiction of a bishop persists even after
the death of the Pope who appointed him.) The designation is an act of
public law, not merely that of individuals as such. So long as it
persists, the individual can recover his office by returning to the
Church, thus eliminating the grounds of the tacit resignation, either
renewing or re-acquiring the office to which he was appointed.

> Absolute sedevacantists tend to consider that the Power of
>Jurisdiction would then be vested in validly consecrated bishops,
>such as those of Archbishops Thuc or Lefebvre, and in the laity.

Actually, I am not aware that they hold this, in my acquaintance. Who
are you referring to? The one or two laymen who supposedly hold that
the laity might have a role in a papal election (Messrs. Mock and
Bateman) besides being isolated instances, do not state this clearly
on their website or in messages of theirs which I have seen. I've
never seen anyone on this list, at least, hold this.

The problem of a papal election may be met in various ways, it seems
to me. It seems certain that only the Roman clergy has any competence
in a papal election, though Cajetan apparently held otherwise (given
the absence of Roman electors, a situation which would appear to be
impossible anyway). Given agreement on the competence of the Roman
clergy, it is easy to suppose that in the absence of Cardinals, the
lower clergy can act. I don't believe anyone disputes this, and
Cajetan states it clearly. At present, it might be that there are
pastors or "retired" pastors at Rome from the time of Pope Pius XII;
possibly others who can claim some status in the clergy. (If they
"retired" under Pius XII's successors, this would be invalid because a
resignation is not effective in canon law until accepted by one's
lawful superior.) These men could elect a Pope. That is one
possibility.

Incidentally, I think it is an error to consider the act of election
an exercise of jurisdiction, as some seem to think. It is the exercise
of a legal right, but not of jurisdiction, which by definition is an
act of authority over others. Thus, the right to elect might not even
depend on holding any office in the Roman Church, but simply being a
member of the Roman clergy on any level, by ordination and some
canonical attachment to the Roman diocese. (I present this merely as
my own opinion, not something I have seen treated in any authority.)
This might allow for electors from a more recent era. What if a man,
for instance, were born in the diocese or legitimately resided there?
If he received first tonsure, he would be a cleric of the Roman
diocese. Or am I mistaken?

Another possibility, related to this, is that the traditional bishops
could convene a council. This would not have any legal status, but of
course the councils convened to solve the Great Western Schism had no
legal status either, but this did not prevent the bishops from acting,
to a reasonable extent (without condoning evident errors). The purpose
now would be to give the problem publicity, to denounce the conciliar
antipopes, to try to engage conciliar bishops willing to renounce
Vatican II heresies to take part, to discuss the theological and
canonical problems and possible solutions at the highest possible
level, and to try to get some action out of the Roman clergy, or to act
on other possible solutions if they are reasonably proposed.

<Snip>

A.M.D.G.

JLarrabee

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In Christ our King.


Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:01 am
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