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 Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope" 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:12 am
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New post Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope"
I am new to the forum and have some questions that I would like to pose to some of the established members who have thought long and hard about these types of issues.

I would first like to address the case of Paul VI, who of course gave us the Novus Ordo.

It is my understanding that an occult heretic remains a member of the Church. Therefore, as to the common opinion that a heretic cannot be pope because a heretic is not a member of the Church (ergo), the heresy of such a person must be “public.” Since heresy involves at least a “denial” of a doctrine which is de fide divina et catholica, a heretic must therefore be one who at least publicly “denies” such a doctrine.

I am not even getting to the issue of willfulness or pertinacity here, and am accepting the “more common opinion” referenced byVan Nort that “public heretics,” those who “externally deny a truth (for example Mary’s Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic),” are “excluded from membership.” Van Nort, Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ’s Church, p. 242. By

As to Paul VI, therefore, we must assume him to be validly elected unless he were either publicly a material or formal heretic.

It would seem to me that one could not seriously challenge the authority of the conclave of cardinals that made his election. This is before a single document of Vatican II had been issued, etc. I do not see how this body of orthodox prelates could have elected a “public” heretic to the throne of Peter. In other words, the election by such a body of cardinals in 1963 by itself arguably answers the question of Paul VI being a “public heretic” to the negative. In any event, I am not aware of any argument adducing evidence that Paul VI was either a “public” material or formal heretic prior to his election.


If Paul VI were validly elected and therefore pope, what about the charism he would receive from the Holy Ghost by virtue of that election (cf. Luke 22:32)? Would that charism not be capable of protecting Paul VI from becoming a heretic after his election?
If it were, would not that charism be in play and cover his actions in, for example, ratifying or signing the Vatican II documents and promulgating the Novus Ordo?

For the sedevacantist claim to hold, Paul VI would have either been a heretic before election, or become a heretic after.

Was he one before? He would have to have been one publicly, and then elected anyway by a conclave of cardinals who one could presume would know better.

Did he become one after? If so, in what sense then was his faith as a valid successor of Peter protected from failure (Luke 22:32)?

I hope these questions are not too amateurish and rudimentary, but I have not found sufficient answer to them – which I concede may be a result of my deficiencies.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:46 pm
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New post Re: Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope"
msscheffer wrote:
I am new to the forum


Welcome. :)

msscheffer wrote:
It is my understanding that an occult heretic remains a member of the Church. Therefore, as to the common opinion that a heretic cannot be pope because a heretic is not a member of the Church (ergo), the heresy of such a person must be “public.” Since heresy involves at least a “denial” of a doctrine which is de fide divina et catholica, a heretic must therefore be one who at least publicly “denies” such a doctrine.


A public heretic or apostate is somebody who does not believe, and this fact is "public". I don't accept the view that if one cannot identify a specific crime of heresy (i.e. one particular act), then one can never accuse another of lacking the faith. It may be that a series of acts, taken together, demonstrate that the faith is manifestly lacking.

In Peter Hebblethwaite's biography, Paul VI, p. 30., he has the following (Montini was ten years old).
Quote:
In his Easter greeting to his parents in 1907 he announced that "from now on I am going to 'do a Vittorio Alfieri'". This was an odd remark from a budding first communicant. For Vittorio Alfieri (1749-1803) was an Enlightenment author who derided confession, pooh-poohed clerical celibacy and denied the immortality of the soul.


I'm not suggesting that this was public apostasy, but it is the kind of data that taken together with many other acts does indeed demonstrate that this man did not profess the faith.

msscheffer wrote:
I am not even getting to the issue of willfulness or pertinacity here, and am accepting the “more common opinion” referenced byVan Nort that “public heretics,” those who “externally deny a truth (for example Mary’s Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic),” are “excluded from membership.” Van Nort, Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ’s Church, p. 242.


Van Noort is only referring to morally innocent Protestants and other members of heretical bodies. In order for one who has been raised in the faith of his baptism to leave the Church, pertinacity is required. Morally innocent Catholics who hold heretical notions are not heretics in any sense, they are ignorant and mistaken Catholics.

msscheffer wrote:
As to Paul VI, therefore, we must assume him to be validly elected unless he were either publicly a material or formal heretic.


Agreed.

msscheffer wrote:
It would seem to me that one could not seriously challenge the authority of the conclave of cardinals that made his election. This is before a single document of Vatican II had been issued, etc. I do not see how this body of orthodox prelates could have elected a “public” heretic to the throne of Peter. In other words, the election by such a body of cardinals in 1963 by itself arguably answers the question of Paul VI being a “public heretic” to the negative.


Well, it's an argument. But are you aware that contrary to good form, over twenty of the cardinals refused to vote for Montini even after his election was certain? The question is, why? It was a dramatic signal that they did not wish to ratify his election, they did not want responsibility for it.

msscheffer wrote:
In any event, I am not aware of any argument adducing evidence that Paul VI was either a “public” material or formal heretic prior to his election.


Well, I think there's plenty, but there would be a lot more if somebody other than Hebblethwaite had written his biography. Hebblethwaite was unhappy with Montini for banning contraception and ruling out women priests. :)


msscheffer wrote:
If Paul VI were validly elected and therefore pope, what about the charism he would receive from the Holy Ghost by virtue of that election (cf. Luke 22:32)? Would that charism not be capable of protecting Paul VI from becoming a heretic after his election?
If it were, would not that charism be in play and cover his actions in, for example, ratifying or signing the Vatican II documents and promulgating the Novus Ordo?


Yes. But he did these things, so he wasn't pope at that time at least.

msscheffer wrote:
For the sedevacantist claim to hold, Paul VI would have either been a heretic before election, or become a heretic after.


This is true, but you're looking at it in reverse. How we see it is that since the Church cannot do the things that the Conciliar Church did, there must have been some element lacking which would have otherwise made Montini's acts her acts. What was lacking? Montini cannot have been pope. Why was this? Evidently it was schism, heresy, or apostasy.

I agree that our case on heresy is arguable. It must be, or the most orthodox and holy would have raised the alarm from the beginning, pointing to public heresies by Montini. But nobody did. What they did do was manifest a deep unease about him, and especially about his "papal" acts. Indeed, they refused some of these utterly, such as the Novus Ordo Missae.

msscheffer wrote:
I hope these questions are not too amateurish and rudimentary, but I have not found sufficient answer to them – which I concede may be a result of my deficiencies.


They are good questions. The whole thing is a mystery, and presents difficulties whichever way one looks at it. But the thing is that if the See was vacant from, say, Montini's election, the difficulties are immeasurably fewer and less serious, whereas if the See was occupied by Montini and his successors, then most of what the Church has always believed about her own nature was wrong.

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Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:06 am
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New post Re: Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope"
John Lane wrote:
msscheffer wrote:
I am new to the forum


Welcome. :)


Thanks, John. A year and a half (or more) later . :D

Quote:
msscheffer wrote:
It would seem to me that one could not seriously challenge the authority of the conclave of cardinals that made his election. This is before a single document of Vatican II had been issued, etc. I do not see how this body of orthodox prelates could have elected a “public” heretic to the throne of Peter. In other words, the election by such a body of cardinals in 1963 by itself arguably answers the question of Paul VI being a “public heretic” to the negative.


Well, it's an argument. But are you aware that contrary to good form, over twenty of the cardinals refused to vote for Montini even after his election was certain? The question is, why? It was a dramatic signal that they did not wish to ratify his election, they did not want responsibility for it.


I take it you adduce that as evidence of evidence that he was a manifest or public heretic at the time of elevation, though they may have had other reasons for the continued “nay.” But this is interesting. Here are the numbers from the conclave that elected Paul VI (in terms of who appointed the cardinals - according to wikipedia) in the conclave: "Of the eighty cardinals who did participate, eight had been elevated by Pope Pius XI, twenty-seven by Pius XII, and the remainder [i.e., 45] by John XXIII.”

Take away those 20 who continued to say “nay,” you’d have a vote of 60 for Paul VI, 45 of whom were appointed by John XXIII. Assuming all the John XXIII cardinals said “yes,” you have a split of 20 - 15 against among the Pius XI and XII cardinals. Interesting.

I don’t know if there’s been much discussion of the “Siri thesis” here, but I find it very intriguing and it sure would explain a lot. We’d not have to deal with the tension between lack of proof of heresy before election regarding John XXIII and Paul VI and the Bellarmine view (which I hold to) of a validly elected pope having the protection of the Holy Ghost from his faith failing. If Siri were elected pope and either resigned or something happened to annul his election (I have no idea what that would be but there has been some speculation) under a threat or coercion from an outside source, the subsequent election of Roncalli would be void under canon law. He would not be pope. His actions as “pope” would be void, including his elevation of the 45 or 50 cardinals that he elevated, 45 of whom (according to Wikipedia) elected Paul VI. The election of Paul VI would then be void, and his “papal” actions void, including his elevation of cardinals and the changes regarding the sacraments, including ordination of bishops. The actions of the whole Conciliar Church from Roncalli would then be void ab initio, and one would not have to pick a time when it went sour, nor deal with a validly elected pope going heretic.

Quote:
msscheffer wrote:
In any event, I am not aware of any argument adducing evidence that Paul VI was either a “public” material or formal heretic prior to his election.


Well, I think there's plenty, but there would be a lot more if somebody other than Hebblethwaite had written his biography. Hebblethwaite was unhappy with Montini for banning contraception and ruling out women priests. :)


Well, I would want so back up to that. :)

Quote:
msscheffer wrote:
If Paul VI were validly elected and therefore pope, what about the charism he would receive from the Holy Ghost by virtue of that election (cf. Luke 22:32)? Would that charism not be capable of protecting Paul VI from becoming a heretic after his election?
If it were, would not that charism be in play and cover his actions in, for example, ratifying or signing the Vatican II documents and promulgating the Novus Ordo?


Yes. But he did these things, so he wasn't pope at that time at least.


Isn’t that circular, John, and avoiding Luke 22:32? That is, if he is protected by the Holy Ghost, the explanation of his not being pope could not be the actions that show him to be a non-pope - the cause would have to be prior; he’d have to be a non-pope first.

Quote:
msscheffer wrote:
For the sedevacantist claim to hold, Paul VI would have either been a heretic before election, or become a heretic after.


This is true, but you're looking at it in reverse. How we see it is that since the Church cannot do the things that the Conciliar Church did, there must have been some element lacking which would have otherwise made Montini's acts her acts. What was lacking? Montini cannot have been pope. Why was this? Evidently it was schism, heresy, or apostasy.

I agree that our case on heresy is arguable. It must be, or the most orthodox and holy would have raised the alarm from the beginning, pointing to public heresies by Montini. But nobody did. What they did do was manifest a deep unease about him, and especially about his "papal" acts. Indeed, they refused some of these utterly, such as the Novus Ordo Missae.


If the case is “arguable” as to pre-elevation heresy, how is the heresy prior to elevation “manifest”? Computer screens are “manifest” to both of us when I type this and you read it - there is nothing “arguable” about that.

The best explanation I think is the “Siri thesis.” What invalidated the election of Roncalli - which seals the doom of the rest of the “revolution” in terms of validity, like a bunch of dominoes necessarily falling - would be secret and not “manifest” as taking place in a secret conclave to elect the pope. The lack of manifestation would be perfectly understandable in that scenario, and we wouldn’t need the election of a “manifest” heretic (who wasn’t manifestly heretical to the Church collectively) to explain it.

Mark


Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:00 pm
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New post Re: Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope"
msscheffer wrote:
I don’t know if there’s been much discussion of the “Siri thesis” here


Mark, there's been some discussion on the topic in this thread: http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=563

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Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:52 pm
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New post Re: Questions Regarding Paul VI as “Pope"
Thomas Williams wrote:
msscheffer wrote:
I don’t know if there’s been much discussion of the “Siri thesis” here


Mark, there's been some discussion on the topic in this thread: http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=563


Thomas,

Thanks for the link. I've been reading it.

Mark


Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:01 pm
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