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 On "Schism" and "Universal Acceptance" 
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New post On "Schism" and "Universal Acceptance"
A couple of people have raised the question of schism, in relation to sedevacantists but also in relation to those who are not enthusiasts for "a deal" between the SSPX and the Vatican. Here are some thoughts.

There exists a concrete dilemma today, which was formulated theoretically by St. Robert Bellarmine in the 16th century as follows:
Quote:
St. Paul ... orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate - which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. ... Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?


For those who insist that the Conciliar popes are popes, this dilemma is an insoluble problem, as all the debate about "regularisation" illustrates. It is impossible for a properly instructed Catholic to "avoid" the pope - meaning, to treat him as something other than the pope.

But what does it mean to treat the pope as pope? Let the patron of the Society of St. Pius X answer:
Quote:
The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals; he is the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy; he is the counsellor of princes and of peoples; he is the head under whom no one feels tyrannised because he represents God Himself; he is the supreme father who unites in himself all that may exist that is loving, tender, divine.

It seems incredible, and is even painful, that there be priests to whom this recommendation must be made, but we are regrettably in our age in this hard, unhappy, situation of having to tell priests: love the Pope!

And how must the Pope be loved? Non verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate. [Not in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth - 1 Jn iii, 18] When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, "si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit," [if any one love me, he will keep my word - Jn xiv, 23] therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.

Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey - that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope.

This is the cry of a heart filled with pain, that with deep sadness I express, not for your sake, dear brothers, but to deplore, with you, the conduct of so many priests, who not only allow themselves to debate and criticize the wishes of the Pope, but are not embarrassed to reach shameless and blatant disobedience, with so much scandal for the good and with so great damage to souls.


No traditional Catholic "loves the (Conciliar) popes" as described here by St. Pius X. Actually, the opposite is the case. No Conciliar pope has been "the guardian of dogma and of morals;" - traditional Catholics have instead recognised the urgent duty to defend faith and morals against the instruction and example of the Conciliar popes. Nor has any Conciliar pope been "the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy;" on the contrary, they have each of them acted incessantly to throw all principles into confusion, to permit and encourage all manner of falsehood and unholiness. No Conciliar pope has been "the counsellor of princes and of peoples;" Paul VI very specifically ensured that all hitherto confessional states, that is, states that recognised Our Lord Jesus Christ as King, altered their constitutions in order to eliminate this recognition. As Archbishop Lefebvre put it, they Uncrowned Our Lord. And finally, no Conciliar pope could be described as "the head under whom no one feels tyrannised," when in fact "tyrannised" is the perfect definition of how Catholics faithful to the traditions of their fathers have been dealt with by the Vatican.

So to those who say, all Catholics recognise the Conciliar popes as popes, therefore they must have been true popes, I deny the fact. Traditional Catholics have not recognised these men as popes. They have given them the title, and that is all. Not one of us would for a moment think to take our doctrinal instruction from Paul VI, or JPII, for example. The thought is madness! The same reality exists, although with different effects, in those who love the revolution - they tell us to obey "the pope" but they do not do so themselves. Hardly anybody has treated these men truly as popes.

And why is this so? Well, obviously it is because these Conciliar popes have not behaved as popes. They have not given authoritative instruction binding all of the faithful to assent under pain of sin; they have not made clear laws requiring specific things of specific persons or classes of persons; they have not defended the faith and morals of the Catholic Church. In a word, they have not governed the Church Militant.

To return to St. Robert's dilemma: "Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head?" The answer is, we cannot, and we have not. We have all of us - sedevacantists and non-sedevacantists - avoided the Conciliar popes in the things which matter; that is, in matters of religion (worship, doctrine, organisation). And this proves not that we are schismatics, but that the Conciliar popes have not truly been popes. The schism is real, but it belongs to them. Accusing us of schism is nothing more than aiding the tyrants in their tyranny, by seeking to create unjust fear and confusion in the minds and hearts of those who have so far held fast to the things we have received.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:33 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Thank you John,
It is very clear that all those who refuse the errors of Vatican II and the post Conciliar magisterium, are "not in full communion" with the Conciliar Church.
I will post the discussion from I.A. on here so that forum members can follow.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:21 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Here is what 'tradical' replied;
Quote:
Hi Michael,

I suspected you may weigh in on this particular topic.

The heart of the matter is the following: Is Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ? Was Pope Bendict XVI, prior to his abdication, the Vicar of Christ?

The recognition of a single man as the Vicar of Christ by the hierarchy is an infallible dogmatic fact. There are no excuses such as "moral certainty" in this case - 'Pope' Michael et al are not credible claims.

If the accusations raised that the entire hierarchy has capitalized so it is. Of possible to ascertain the validity of the dogmatic fact - then we are confronted with another dogma: indefectibility.

This leaves the sedevacantist with the need to demonstrate that the Pope has declared his rejection of a truth of the faith in a manner that allows for no subjective interpretation. The alleged heresy cannot be deduced from various collections of writings. It has to be declared by the Pope himself. For example: I deny ...

The presentation of collections of statements that seem to indicate disbelief in a de fide teaching are insufficient.

A sede case in point would be Fr. Cekada. At some prompting I am going to review point for point his claims in his remnant article. As with Mr. Daly, some of his claims are simply ignoring the context of the referenced piece.

It is either intellectual blindness or dishonesty.

With regards to Mr. Lane's piece. Beyond its generalizations, it is necessary to setit aside and settle the core question. The infallibility of the dogmatic fact of who is the Pope. As traditionalists we are supposed to hold to Church teaching - this is such a teaching.

Dealing with the implications of such a dogmatic fact that the Catholic Church has had a succession of bad Popes is another matter.

A theory that leads a person into conflict with a dogma of the Church is necessarily flawed.

God bless!

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:52 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Michael Wilson wrote:
Here is what 'tradical' replied;


He doesn't know what he's writing about, Michael. He seems to have read a one-sentence summary of the doctrine concerning the ordinary magisterium teaching us infallibly whom the current pope is, and grabbed it with both hands, without having the slightest understanding of what it actually means.

The key point of this doctrine, as John Daly has emphasised on several occasions, is to be found in the explanations of it by theologians. Their reasoning is as follows:

a. The pope is the proximate rule of faith of the faithful (i.e. they ordinarily get their doctrine from him, they don't dispute it, sift it, compare it with their own rich and varied store of theological science in order to check up on whether the Holy Father might be misleading them).
b. But if the faithful could treat a false pope as their proximate rule of faith, they would universally be misled about the faith and this would constitute an essential defection of the Church.
c. This is impossible, therefore if the faithful universally treat a man as the pope (i.e. docilely learn from him) then he must infallibly be pope.

Now, this is why we point out that the faithful have not in fact treated the Conciliar popes as true popes. In fact, it is precisely because we have not treated them as true popes that we have retained the faith ourselves. If we had learned our doctrine from JP2, for example, we'd believe in universal salvation, regard all religions as more or less good and praiseworthy, and think it the height of politeness to kiss the Koran whenever some nice Muslims happen to be visiting.

Quote:
The recognition of a single man as the Vicar of Christ by the hierarchy is an infallible dogmatic fact.

Note how he exchanges "the Church" for "the hierarchy"? Why? Because he's making it up based upon what he thinks the doctrine is. But he doesn't know. He reasons from the mention of the universal magisterium by Van Noort, to the notion that it's the view of the hierarchy that counts. But that's incorrect. What matters is the faith. This is why Van Noort says, "when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church..."

Tradical doesn't grasp what those words mean, and that's why he thinks that our response misses the point. He dismisses what I wrote:
Quote:
With regards to Mr. Lane's piece. Beyond its generalizations, it is necessary to setit aside and settle the core question. The infallibility of the dogmatic fact of who is the Pope. As traditionalists we are supposed to hold to Church teaching - this is such a teaching.

His ignorance seems only outdone by his confidence!

Van Noort says that "when someone has ... theoretically and practically been recognized as [pope] by the bishops and by the universal Church..." We point out, NOBODY who has kept the faith has treated the Conciliar popes practically as popes. The acknowledgement of them as popes has been the purest THEORY, never reduced to practice by traditional Catholics - which is what makes us traditional Catholics, rather than Modernist heretics. If we had done what many did in the time of Paul VI, and taken him seriously as pope, we'd be like the many - our faith would have been lost as theirs was lost.

Does Tradical think that we kept the faith because the Conciliar popes guarded it, reinforced it, explained it, and proclaimed it over the past fifty years? Is he really that beyond human help?

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:36 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
This is why Van Noort says, "when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church..."


Can I have the whole quote with the bibliographical source, please, John?

As remember Brendan, the Bull Cum ex Apostolatus of Paul IV says that a heretic is not Pope, even if acclaimed as such by all. And I think she's more authoritative than theological opinion of Billot and others.

Paul IV: Nous ajoutons que si jamais il advient qu'un Évêque, même ayant fonction d'Archevêques, de Patriarche ou de Primat ; qu'un Cardinal de l'Eglise romaine, même Légat, qu'un Souverain Pontife même, avant leur promotion ou leur élévation au Cardinalat ou au Souverain Pontificat, ont dévié de la foi catholique ou sont tombés dans quelque hérésie, la promotion ou l'élévation - même si cette dernière a eu lieu dans l'entente et avec l'assentiment unanime de tous les Cardinaux - est nulle, non avenue, sans valeur et on ne pourra dire qu'elle est devenue valide ou qu'elle devient valide parce que l'intéressé accepte la charge, reçoit la consécration ou ensuite entre en possession ou quasi-possession du gouvernement et de l'administration, ou par l'intronisation du Pontife romain lui-même ou par l'adoration devant lui ou par la prestation d'obéissance à lui rendue par tous ou par quelque laps de temps écoulé pour ces actes : on ne pourra la tenir pour légitime en aucune de ses parties et elle ne confère ni ne peut être censée conférer quelque pouvoir d'administration au spirituel ou au temporel à de tels hommes promus Evêques, Archevêques, Patriarches ou Primats, ou élevés au Cardinalat ou au Souverain Pontificat.


Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:56 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Here, Gabriele:

Quote:
Since it was established in the volume, Christ’s Church, that the Church’s infallible teaching power extends to matters connected with revelation and that its infallible authority deserves an absolutely firm assent, the only question which remains is what name to give that assent and how to describe its nature. These points will be discussed in just a moment.

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

Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. III, The Sources of Revelation, Divine Faith, Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1961, p.265.


The trouble with seeking to rely upon Cum ex apostolatus is that you cannot be sure which is ecclesiastical law and which is theology (i.e. divine law). Reading such a text, which is a legal text, will not tell you. The theologians will. Ergo, Billot, Van Noort.

And what they tell us is that the theoretical and practical adhesion (i.e. not merely the verbal or theoretical acknowledgement of a claimant) of the universal Church (i.e. not merely the cardinals or even the entire episcopate) is an infallible sign of the legitimacy of the pope's claim.

By the way, Billot is arguing against defenders of Savonarola, unless I am mistaken. There was a revived controversy over the Dominican preacher around the turn of the last century. The theologian Hurtaud, a Dominican, put forward a defence of Savonarola (the "Piagnoni").

Cardinal Journet offers the following:
Quote:
In a study in the "Revue Thomiste" (1900, p. 631, "Lettres de Savonarole aux princes chretiens pour la reunion d'un concile"), P. Hurtaud, O.P., has entered a powerful plea in the case - still open - of the "Piagnoni". He makes reference to the explanation of Roman theologians prior to Cajetan, according to which a Pope who fell into heresy would be deposed "ipso facto": the Council concerned would have only to put on record the fact of heresy and notify the Church that the Pope involved had forfeited his primacy. Savonarola, he says, regarded Alexander VI as having lost his faith. "The Lord, moved to anger by this intolerable corruption, has, for some time past, allowed the Church to be without a pastor. For I bear witness in the name of God that this Alexander VI is in no way Pope and cannot be. For quite apart from the execrable crime of simony, by which he got possession of the [papal] tiara through a sacrilegious bargaining, and by which every day he puts up to auction and knocks down to the highest bidder ecclesiastical benefices, and quite apart from his other vices - well-known to all - which I will pass over in silence, this I declare in the first place and affirm it with all certitude, that the man is not a Christian, he does not even believe any longer that there is a God; he goes beyond the final limits of infidelity and impiety" (Letter to the Emperor). [Footnote : These were neither new nor isolated accusations. cf. Schnitzer, "Savonarola", Italian translation by E. Rutili, Milan, 1931, vol. ii, p. 303.]

Basing our argument on the doctrinal authorities which Cajetan was soon to invoke, we should say that Savonarola wished to collect together the Council, not because, like the Gallicans, he placed a Council above the Pope (the Letters to the Princes are legally and doctrinally unimpeachable), but so that the Council, before which he would prove his accusation, should declare the heresy of Alexander VI in his status as a private individual. P. Hurtaud concludes: "Savonarola's acts and words - and most of his words are acts - should be examined in detail. Each of his words should be carefully weighed and none of the circumstances of his actions should be lost sight of. For the friar is a master of doctrine; he does not only know it but he lives it too. In his conduct nothing is left to chance or the mood of the moment. He has a theological or legal principle as the motive power in each one of his decisions. He should not be judged by general laws, for his guides are principles of an exceptional order - though I do not mean by this that he placed himself above or outside the common law. The rules he invokes are admitted by the best Doctors of the Church; there is nothing exceptional in them save the circumstances which make them lawful, and condition their application."

The Church Of The Word Incarnate, Vol. 1, p. 484, trans. A. H. C. Downes, Sheed & Ward 1955


Billot replies:
Quote:
Finally, whatever you still think about the possibility or impossibility of the aforementioned hypothesis (of a Pope heretic) at least one point must be considered absolutely incontrovertible and placed firmly above any doubt whatever: the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and infallible providence of Christ: “The gates of hell shall not prevailagainst it”, and “Behold I shall be with you all days”...

Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.

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Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:06 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Aeternitas on IA has given a really excellent reply to Nishant, however I want to highlight a couple of points about the thread and his latest post.

1. Tradical said he was going to answer what was posted against his position, but he hasn't done so. The thread has therefore been taken off track, which might aid somebody who wants to bury the truth, but is no service to any of the rest of us.
2. Nishant continues to adopt a tone suggesting a complete command of the subject and an unbiased judgement, both of which are unsupported by the evidence. He says, after re-quoting Van Noort (which he got from us!), "Such citations could be multiplied indefinitely but that would be quite unnecessary." Actually, I'm curious which theologians he had in mind when he made that comment. I don't think the citations could be multiplied indefinitely at all, in fact I think they'd be fairly limited. But let Nishant name the ones he had in mind, or instead, withdraw the comment as unsupportable. The point is not merely ad hominem for the sake of debate, it goes to the fact that Nishant is actually giving a strained and false interpretation of a single theologian's brief text (i.e. Van Noort). In order to settle the debate in his favour, he needs some other authorities. I say he can't find any, for the good reason that his understanding is wrong. Let him prove us wrong, and in the process let him source a theological authority that he didn't find on a sedevacantist Web site!
3. Nishant's main problem is clearly on display in the following paragraph:
Nishant wrote:
There is another thing many may not have realized, it is that while at the beginning of all this, under Paul VI, some members of the hierarchy may not have recognized his claim. But today, 50 odd years later, it is undeniable that the whole ecclesia docens, or whoever are even candidates for being members of the episcopal college today, recognizes the Pope, acclaims him as Pope, declares him as Pope, names him as Pope, prays for him as Pope, professess communion with him as Pope etc etc etc on a practically daily basis. Therefore the fact of his Papacy is infallibly certain, objectively speaking, even if we must make allowance for the good faith of those who, for one reason or the other, do not see it yet.


Nishant thinks (along with many, if not most, traditionalists) that a true theoretical and practical acknowledgement of the pope consists of the following: "recognizes the Pope, acclaims him as Pope, declares him as Pope, names him as Pope, prays for him as Pope, professess [sic] communion with him as Pope etc etc etc on a practically daily basis."

Note carefully how every single one of those items (multiplied quite redundantly in several cases) is actually purely verbal? That is, not a single one of them touches on the truly essential recognition that a Catholic gives to the pope - obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have simply developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N." This is not what Van Noort means by "has theoretically and practically been recognized as" pope. It is not what Billot means by "the adhesion of the universal Church" to the pope. Van Noort and Billot, and everybody else including even the most violent Gallicans, knew that adhering to the pope meant obeying him and believing his doctrinal instructions. The Gallicans sought to limit the pope's authority. Traditional Catholics have vacated it of all possible meaning.

Refusing to use the rite of Mass he wants you to use, rejecting his doctrine as ambiguous or worse, setting up or attending regularly what can only be described as irregular chapels which are condemned by the residential bishop appointed by the pope, and all manner of other such examples, are acts which are intrinsically incompatible with the notion of true submission to the pope. And quite rightly, coz he ain't pope. But it's time to tip over the cardboard cutout "pope" and be real about the situation.

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Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:07 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Nishant also quotes us, without attribution as always, from the AER:

Nishant wrote:
The same teaching is contained in an AER article on this subject.

Quote:
in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty – a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty ... This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church's magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church.


It wasn't in an article, it was in one of those Q&A boxes at the bottom of a page somewhere. He'd know that if he'd looked it up instead of borrowing things without attribution. Here's the complete text: http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6295&#p6295

The main point being, Nishant has done no work, doesn't grasp the subject, and now needs to go and get an actual book or two and find in fact what he presently imagines will be there. Then we can resolve this debated point properly.

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Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:22 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
Here, Gabriele:

Quote:
Since it was established in the volume, Christ’s Church, that the Church’s infallible teaching power extends to matters connected with revelation and that its infallible authority deserves an absolutely firm assent, the only question which remains is what name to give that assent and how to describe its nature. These points will be discussed in just a moment.

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

Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. III, The Sources of Revelation, Divine Faith, Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1961, p.265.


The trouble with seeking to rely upon Cum ex apostolatus is that you cannot be sure which is ecclesiastical law and which is theology (i.e. divine law). Reading such a text, which is a legal text, will not tell you. The theologians will. Ergo, Billot, Van Noort.

And what they tell us is that the theoretical and practical adhesion (i.e. not merely the verbal or theoretical acknowledgement of a claimant) of the universal Church (i.e. not merely the cardinals or even the entire episcopate) is an infallible sign of the legitimacy of the pope's claim.


First of all, thank you for the quote, John.
Secondly, I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. Our proxime rule of faith is the Magisterium and not the theological opinions of Billot and Van Noort. Above all when the Magisteriurm is clear.
About the merit, I contest the Billot and Van Noort opinion's because the Church is not infallible without the Pope. On the other hand, the passive infallibility is not called into question, because the recognition (or adhesion) of a Pope/ false pope is not the recognition (or adhesion) of the truth / error.


Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:46 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Here is Nishant's lattest post on I.A.:
Quote:
Dear Aeternitas, thanks for your reply. I think I see three major points in which we disagree.

Yes, I'm well aware of what you say, of heresy as personal sin (formal heresy, a formal heretic is deprived of supernatural faith, the primary internal bond of the Mystical Body) and heresy as canonical crime (public heresy, a public heretic is deprived of membership in the Church) but that is really not relevant here. In fact, Bouscaren and Ellis would tell you, by the very fact that it was known to Savonarola who intended to call a Council, the crime was public. But be that as it may, whatever conditions are necessary for validity of the election, the fact of universal acceptance ,incontrovertibly and surpassing all other criteria, proves those conditions are infallibly present.

Now, if you admit that, then you see that Savonarola was mistaken though he affirmed "with all certitude, that the man is not a Christian, he does not even believe any longer that there is a God; he goes beyond the final limits of infidelity and impiety." My contention is merely that modern sedevacantists are mistaken in the same manner.

It would help to examine why and where precisely he was mistaken.

That a man is a heretic is a judgment of reason made from external facts and not in the internal forum that can at most be made with moral certitude. But if the whole Church, not just in the future, but here and now, judges otherwise, with infallible cerititude, showing that all conditions even internally are fulfilled, then the one must submit to the other. At least after that moment, then, where this external condition is verified, we can no longer raise doubts about the invalidity of the election or refuse to recognize the Pontiff, because a professed moral certitude is as nothing in the face of an infallible certitude to the contrary.

If what Cardinal Billot says had been pointed out to Savonarola, I for one feel sure he would have submitted and recognized Pope Alexander VI as a real Pope. But it is irrelevant even if he would not, we all should. This is what all the authors say, after that moment at least, it is not permitted to raise doubts.

In my first post, I said, "For this reason also if a Pope ever fell into heresy, then a significant portion of the hierarchy would necessarily break away, and remain so until there was a Pope again". If sedevacantism were true, we must expect to find a parallel hierarchy somewhere else, separated from the Pope, still existing, still saying, there is no Pope. But we can't and don't, as almost all sedevacantists concede.

Anyway, you asked for sources? The quote from Cardinal Billot is from his epic work, Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi and that of Msgr. Van Noort is from Dogmatic Theology, Vol. III, The Sources of Revelation, Divine Faith.

Now, here is the same teaching stated even more expressly.

QUOTE (Sylvester Hunter @ Outlines of Dogmatic Theology)
The Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain ... it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith ... communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops; if then the uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise would be falsified, which is impossible. ... it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined.


When the teaching Church unanimously (which is moral unanimity by the way, not that that matters today) declares a certain candidate is Pope, this is already binding on the faithful. That shows the acceptance of the hierarchy is already the essential acceptance of the whole Church because it is already binding on the faithful. The faithful in their turn, obliged and bound to hold this judgment by ecclesiastical faith, will infallibly adhere to the hierarchy and accept the same.

There are other witnesses to it, ancient and modern.

I have read a lot of modern sedevacantist writers on the subject, writers I am indebted to in many ways, but obviously this teaching presents a gigantic difficulty for them, so they in their own articles tend to make it out to say a lot less than it actually does by s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the definition of "acceptance" to such an extent as to make it impossible to apply! And I see you say the same when you claim non-sede trads don't really recognize the Pope in the sense necessary.

But this is not so. John of St. Thomas for one says simply that the acceptance of the elect by the whole Church can operate either positively or negatively, when those present and later others acknowledge him as Pope. That's it. Nothing more required.

An acceptance of a certain person as Pope and a profession of communion with him by the Church. By this that man is indubitably head of the Church and Vicar of Christ, the Successor of Peter, all else to the contrary notwithstanding. No one can deny the whole hierarchy does this today. That is why the Society is obliged to say the Pope is the Pope.

This is an infallible sign of the validity of his election and subsequent possession of authority and consequently of all that is required for that validity even in the internal forum and therefore obliges us to accept the Pope as Pope.

I mean to answer some of the other points you raised later. God bless.


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Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:57 pm
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Gabriele wrote:
First of all, thank you for the quote, John.


You're welcome.


Gabriele wrote:
Secondly, I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. Our proxime rule of faith is the Magisterium and not the theological opinions of Billot and Van Noort.

I agree, but the question is how are we laymen to discover what the magisterium teaches? If the theologians agree on some point, that is a sure sign that the magisterium teaches that point.

Gabriele wrote:
Above all when the Magisteriurm is clear.

In this case you are seeking to rely upon one text, and that is a piece of legislation, not a doctrinal declaration. By definition this cannot be "clear" doctrinal instruction and in fact it isn't. There was plenty of very clear legislation laying down that simony invalidated any claim to an office during the middle ages, and some theologians drew the incorrect conclusion from that legislation, just as you are doing now with Cum ex apostolatus. Yet no theologian now maintains that simony is an essential defect that would invalidate any claim to an office. So the legislation was clear, as legislation, but that didn't make it clear as doctrinal instruction. Far from it. That was not its purpose. Nor was it the purpose of Paul IV in issuing Cum ex apostolatus to teach doctrine.

Gabriele wrote:
About the merit, I contest the Billot and Van Noort opinion's because the Church is not infallible without the Pope.

Billot does not say the same thing as Van Noort. Actually, I think I disagree with Van Noort too, and I think he does not agree with Billot. Your point that infallibility requires the pope's sanction is an excellent one. I think it kills the Nishant view stone dead, and likewise Van Noort's text insofar as that is what Van Noort really means (I think he reads as confused).

Gabriele wrote:
On the other hand, the passive infallibility is not called into question, because the recognition (or adhesion) of a Pope/ false pope is not the recognition (or adhesion) of the truth / error.

I'm not following you. Please re-state your point.

Just to summarise the essential doctrinal point, the conclusion as follows is agreed by all:

"The adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff."

That's Billot's expression of the doctrine, but I think all theologians would accept it. The debate arises when the foundation of that conclusion is explored. Billot's position is based upon the indefectibility of the Church (in faith), rather than on the infallibility of the magisterium. Van Noort seems to be unsure what the foundation of this truth is, since he introduces the magisterium into the question. Hunter is clearer than Van Noort - he doesn't mention the magisterium but rather argues on the basis of the indefectibility of the Church. (Here is the full text from Hunter: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=732 - we are still waiting for Nishant to find a source himself!)

Nishant can't read. This is a serious disability!

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:56 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St. Justin does not appear to grasp the argument.

St. Justin wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Note carefully how every single one of those items (multiplied quite redundantly in several cases) is actually purely verbal? That is, not a single one of them touches on the truly essential recognition that a Catholic gives to the pope - obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have simply developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N." This is not what Van Noort means by "has theoretically and practically been recognized as" pope. It is not what Billot means by "the adhesion of the universal Church" to the pope. Van Noort and Billot, and everybody else including even the most violent Gallicans, knew that adhering to the pope meant obeying him and believing his doctrinal instructions. The Gallicans sought to limit the pope's authority. Traditional Catholics have vacated it of all possible meaning.


So the pittance of trads who don't obey or recognize the Pope as the Pope are enough to offset the rest of the world and all of the Bishops in communion with him thereby making him not the Pope.


It is not a question of one group off-setting another. It is a question of what "adhering to the pope" actually means. To repeat, it means obedience of mind (i.e. learning from the pope) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N."

If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types. They don't learn from him any more than we do.

He ain't pope. That's why nobody (well, except perhaps a few conservatives?) treats him as pope. Nor does he claim the title himself, or even wear the clothes or live in the apartment. This current one isn't even a good cardboard cut-out of a pope!

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:49 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
Nor was it the purpose of Paul IV in issuing Cum ex apostolatus to teach doctrine.


But it is incontrovertible that this legislation goes against the theologic doctrine by which "The adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff".


Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:35 am
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No, it is not incontrovertible at all.

The fact is that all Catholics cannot adhere practically and theoretically, as Van Noort words it, to a false pope as pope. The legislation merely states that even if, per impossibile, all were to recognise a heretic as pope, he still could not be pope.

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:02 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
No, it is not incontrovertible at all.

The fact is that all Catholics cannot adhere practically and theoretically, as Van Noort words it, to a false pope as pope. The legislation merely states that even if, per impossibile, all were to recognise a heretic as pope, he still could not be pope.


What I think it is clear in the legislation of Paul IV, it is just that he did not speak per impossibile, nor in relation to the election of a heretic, nor in relation to the recognisation of such an electee (a heretic) as pope by the whole Church. He had storically and concretely fear that he could be elected the cardinal Morone and that he could be recognized as true Pope by the whole Church.


Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:22 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John, apparently I don't. What I was saying was that every Catholic except the sedes gives obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). I understand you to be saying this is not correct and I don't understand how you can say that.
John Lane wrote:
St. Justin does not appear to grasp the argument.

St. Justin wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Note carefully how every single one of those items (multiplied quite redundantly in several cases) is actually purely verbal? That is, not a single one of them touches on the truly essential recognition that a Catholic gives to the pope - obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have simply developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N." This is not what Van Noort means by "has theoretically and practically been recognized as" pope. It is not what Billot means by "the adhesion of the universal Church" to the pope. Van Noort and Billot, and everybody else including even the most violent Gallicans, knew that adhering to the pope meant obeying him and believing his doctrinal instructions. The Gallicans sought to limit the pope's authority. Traditional Catholics have vacated it of all possible meaning.


So the pittance of trads who don't obey or recognize the Pope as the Pope are enough to offset the rest of the world and all of the Bishops in communion with him thereby making him not the Pope.


It is not a question of one group off-setting another. It is a question of what "adhering to the pope" actually means. To repeat, it means obedience of mind (i.e. learning from the pope) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N."

If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types. They don't learn from him any more than we do.

He ain't pope. That's why nobody (well, except perhaps a few conservatives?) treats him as pope. Nor does he claim the title himself, or even wear the clothes or live in the apartment. This current one isn't even a good cardboard cut-out of a pope!


Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:49 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
What I was saying was that every Catholic except the sedes gives obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws).


Right, well perhaps you can list some things you learned from Paul VI, JP2, or Ben16. I can certainly list things I learned from Pius IX (salvation and the Church), Leo XIII (the Church's social doctrine, just wage, etc.), Pius X (Modernism), Pius XI (Christ's Kingship, indifferentism), and Pius XII (the Mystical Body, numerous other points).

Seriously, what traditional Catholic has treated any post-V2 pope as his proximate rule of faith? It's absurd, literally inherently contradictory. What defines us is, largely, our refusal to treat those men as our doctrinal authorities.

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Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:16 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John, There have been many documents from Pius XII to the present that have been teaching documents and for the most part their contents have been orthodox although containg some not so orthodox information. Again, nearly everyone except the sedes and SSPX rebels ( I am not putting the sede in this group as thing the sedes have good arguments) accept the NO Sacraments and Mass, the '84 code of canon law and for the most part CCC as valid. My question again would still be using this line of reasoning how many dissenting as opposed to those accepting does it take to make the Popes invalid. As a guess i would say 90% accept.

John Lane wrote:
St.Justin wrote:
What I was saying was that every Catholic except the sedes gives obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws).


Right, well perhaps you can list some things you learned from Paul VI, JP2, or Ben16. I can certainly list things I learned from Pius IX (salvation and the Church), Leo XIII (the Church's social doctrine, just wage, etc.), Pius X (Modernism), Pius XI (Christ's Kingship, indifferentism), and Pius XII (the Mystical Body, numerous other points).

Seriously, what traditional Catholic has treated any post-V2 pope as his proximate rule of faith? It's absurd, literally inherently contradictory. What defines us is, largely, our refusal to treat those men as our doctrinal authorities.


Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:06 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
John, There have been many documents from Pius XII to the present that have been teaching documents and for the most part their contents have been orthodox although containg some not so orthodox information. Again, nearly everyone except the sedes and SSPX rebels ( I am not putting the sede in this group as thing the sedes have good arguments) accept the NO Sacraments and Mass, the '84 code of canon law and for the most part CCC as valid. My question again would still be using this line of reasoning how many dissenting as opposed to those accepting does it take to make the Popes invalid. As a guess i would say 90% accept.


Have you ever seen the book entitled, Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II by Kenneth C. Jones, published in 2003 by Roman Catholic Books?

From a statistical standpoint alone, this book seems to indicate that at least 90% of self-professed Catholics reject many of the assumed teachings of even the Conciliar popes. But what I read above seems to indicate that "nearly everyone" accepts the Novus Ordo sacraments, the new Code of Canon Law, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as being valid. I challenge you to demonstrate this assertion. I have spoken of Church matters with many Novus Ordo Catholics (relatives and others) and they are almost universally ignorant of any of these things. As a group, they vaguely know about the word "sacrament" but really have no idea what they are. They are absolutely and completely ignorant of Canon Law even if they have even heard the word. Most seem to know that there is something called the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but very few have ever read it or paid any heed to it. They don't pay attention to their priests giving their weekly "homilies" any more than they pay attention to any of the "teaching documents" that emanate from Rome or the local chancery. (Back when I was Novus Ordo I tried to discuss sermons with some people only to discover that, even though they looked alert, they weren't paying any attention to the priest at all!)

Just out of curiosity, which are all these orthodox documents issued since Pius XII?


Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:21 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
I would hope that you know perfectly well what I am saying. I don't know why you want to pick a fight but I am not biting. No I have not read the book nor do I plan to. My whole family is NO as I was so I have a little background on the subject.

TKGS wrote:
St.Justin wrote:
John, There have been many documents from Pius XII to the present that have been teaching documents and for the most part their contents have been orthodox although containg some not so orthodox information. Again, nearly everyone except the sedes and SSPX rebels ( I am not putting the sede in this group as thing the sedes have good arguments) accept the NO Sacraments and Mass, the '84 code of canon law and for the most part CCC as valid. My question again would still be using this line of reasoning how many dissenting as opposed to those accepting does it take to make the Popes invalid. As a guess i would say 90% accept.


Have you ever seen the book entitled, Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II by Kenneth C. Jones, published in 2003 by Roman Catholic Books?

From a statistical standpoint alone, this book seems to indicate that at least 90% of self-professed Catholics reject many of the assumed teachings of even the Conciliar popes. But what I read above seems to indicate that "nearly everyone" accepts the Novus Ordo sacraments, the new Code of Canon Law, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as being valid. I challenge you to demonstrate this assertion. I have spoken of Church matters with many Novus Ordo Catholics (relatives and others) and they are almost universally ignorant of any of these things. As a group, they vaguely know about the word "sacrament" but really have no idea what they are. They are absolutely and completely ignorant of Canon Law even if they have even heard the word. Most seem to know that there is something called the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but very few have ever read it or paid any heed to it. They don't pay attention to their priests giving their weekly "homilies" any more than they pay attention to any of the "teaching documents" that emanate from Rome or the local chancery. (Back when I was Novus Ordo I tried to discuss sermons with some people only to discover that, even though they looked alert, they weren't paying any attention to the priest at all!)

Just out of curiosity, which are all these orthodox documents issued since Pius XII?


Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:04 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
I would hope that you know perfectly well what I am saying. I don't know why you want to pick a fight but I am not biting. No I have not read the book nor do I plan to. My whole family is NO as I was so I have a little background on the subject.


I'm not trying to pick a fight, but you seem to be saying that the whole world accepts the Conciliar sect as the Catholic Church in spite of what Mr. Lane has been saying that even the members of that sect don't accept their "pope" as their "proximate rule of faith". I've given my observations that Mr. Lane is accurate and noted just one published work (by a non-traditional Catholic as far as I have been able to gather) that seems to confirm this.

I think I know what you're saying, but I think what you are saying is inaccurate and I'd like you to express some facts that would tend to support your theory. The facts seem not to be on your side.

I am truly interested in this discussion. As I said, I don't want a fight; I want to know the truth. My understanding of the Crisis has changed over the years and I would certainly change my understanding again (even to the point of rejecting sedevacantism) if I can see a real demonstration that I am wrong. I'm not interested in "winning"; I simply want to know what is true. So I want to assure you that my post above was simply to point out what seems to me to be inaccuracies in your statement and I would like further clarifications if I am wrong.

Expressing a disagreement with you is not picking a fight. I am truly confused about what you "are not biting".


Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:35 pm
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John Lane wrote:
If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types. They don't learn from him any more than we do.

Even John Vennari, principle editor of Fr. Gruner's "Catholic Family News" said, publicly that he would never allow Frankie to teach the Faith to his children. Yet Venarri still acknowledges Frankie as "the pope" and gets highly irate if anyone suggests that he isn't. Seems contradictory to me, but what do I know?

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Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:41 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Ok, Here is what JOhn says:
Quote:
Seriously, what traditional Catholic has treated any post-V2 pope as his proximate rule of faith?


That to me is implying that only traditional Catholics count.
As for
Quote:
If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types.
TKGS wrote:
St.Justin wrote:
I would hope that you know perfectly well what I am saying. I don't know why you want to pick a fight but I am not biting. No I have not read the book nor do I plan to. My whole family is NO as I was so I have a little background on the subject.


In the negative then who are they learning from. It certainly isn't the Trads.

Quote:
a Catholic gives to the pope - obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have simply developed

It appears that all you have to do is look aorund the NO church, laity and hierarchy and you will see this ia true of the NO church. What I gather from John's posts is that he is refrring to the all of the Trad but inparticular to the "R&R" Trads.

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but you seem to be saying that the whole world accepts the Conciliar sect as the Catholic Church in spite of what Mr. Lane has been saying that even the members of that sect don't accept their "pope" as their "proximate rule of faith". I've given my observations that Mr. Lane is accurate and noted just one published work (by a non-traditional Catholic as far as I have been able to gather) that seems to confirm this.

I think I know what you're saying, but I think what you are saying is inaccurate and I'd like you to express some facts that would tend to support your theory. The facts seem not to be on your side.

I am truly interested in this discussion. As I said, I don't want a fight; I want to know the truth. My understanding of the Crisis has changed over the years and I would certainly change my understanding again (even to the point of rejecting sedevacantism) if I can see a real demonstration that I am wrong. I'm not interested in "winning"; I simply want to know what is true. So I want to assure you that my post above was simply to point out what seems to me to be inaccuracies in your statement and I would like further clarifications if I am wrong.

Expressing a disagreement with you is not picking a fight. I am truly confused about what you "are not biting".


Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:52 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Again we are back to the numbers game. How many Trads both sedes and "R&R" Catholics doe it take for him not to be Pope?
Ken Gordon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types. They don't learn from him any more than we do.

Even John Venarri, principle editor of Fr. Gruner's "Catholic Family News" said, publicly that he would never allow Frankie to teach the Faith to his children. Yet Venarri still acknowledges Frankie as "the pope" and gets highly irate if anyone suggests that he isn't. Seems contradictory to me, but what do I know?


Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:54 pm
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Quote:
Expressing a disagreement with you is not picking a fight. I am truly confused about what you "are not biting".

My apologigy. I guess I have been on IA too long.


Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:05 pm
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Ken,

The way I understand the R and R position is that the Conciliar Popes are popes unless and until the Catholic Church declares otherwise. They do not think an individual has the authority to declare the See of Peter vacant, as this is to be decided by competent authorities. Mr. Beergoggles Paisano might be an antipope, but until the Church declares this, he's His Humbleness, Pappy Frankie. I think this is the crux of the problem in convincing people of the SV thesis. You can compile all the evidence you want, but if the one you're trying to enlighten doesn't believe that you have the authority to pass sentence without the accused being given a fair trial by competent authorities, you might as well try to turn lead into gold.

Pax Christi,

Brian


Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:32 pm
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Quote:
accused being given a fair trial by competent authorities


The idea that the Pope is not guilty unless a 'competent authority' says so is like the American "legal" system which unfortunately is not a very good JUSTICE system. Thus a self-confessed individual with numerous witnesses to his crime is set free by the 'competent authority' because he was not Mirandized . The question is, is the person justly guilty?
Which pope is going to take the 'fifth' when confronted?


Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:39 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St. Justin, could you please read the following through carefully, again? I really don't understand why you keep saying that our position has anything to do with making only trad Catholics count. The argument is very clear - virtually NOBODY treats Begoglio as his proximate rule of faith.

John Lane wrote:
St. Justin does not appear to grasp the argument.

St. Justin wrote:
So the pittance of trads who don't obey or recognize the Pope as the Pope are enough to offset the rest of the world and all of the Bishops in communion with him thereby making him not the Pope.


It is not a question of one group off-setting another. It is a question of what "adhering to the pope" actually means. To repeat, it means obedience of mind (i.e. learning from the pope) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N."

If this is not true, so that those who acknowledge Bergoglio as pope do in fact sit at his feet and learn their doctrine from him, then it should be easy to point this out. But the very idea is absurd. And, in fact, it's equally absurd in relation to Novus Ordo types. They don't learn from him any more than we do.

He ain't pope. That's why nobody (well, except perhaps a few conservatives?) treats him as pope. Nor does he claim the title himself, or even wear the clothes or live in the apartment. This current one isn't even a good cardboard cut-out of a pope!


The only reason I have emphasised the refusal of traditional Catholics to sit at Bergoglio's feet is because that's whom I am addressing, so I want to take the opportunity to press home to them the reality of their own situation.

The actual argument we are considering here is as follows:

Bergoglio defender: If the entire Church acknowledges a claimant as pope, then he's certainly pope. But the entire Church acknowledges Bergoglio as pope. Ergo, he is pope.

Realist: What the theologians lay down as the condition for certitude is true adherence to the pope, not a mere verbal acknowledgement. In fact, nobody acknowledges Bergoglio as pope in the way that the theologians mean when they speak of "adhering to the pope". Therefore the conclusion does not follow - that is, there is no certitude that he is pope.

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Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:51 am
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St.Justin wrote:
Quote:
Expressing a disagreement with you is not picking a fight. I am truly confused about what you "are not biting".

My apologigy. I guess I have been on IA too long.


You made my day! :D

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Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:33 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
Again we are back to the numbers game. How many Trads both sedes and "R&R" Catholics doe it take for him not to be Pope?

You miss the point: the point I was trying to make is that 1) Vennari accepts Frankie as his pope, while 2) refusing to accept him as the defacto source of all doctrine. A true pope IS the source of all doctrine, among his other prerogatives.

"Numbers" has absolutely nothing whatever to do with it. I was simply pointing out Vennari's contradiction.

As more than one saint, among them, St. Thomas ab Aquino, has pointed out, even if the entire world believed something to be true that could not possibly be true, it would still be false.

We have enough of our own errors to correct: please stop accusing us of things of which we are not guilty. It is annoying.

BTW, and FYI, I and some others of us here are not, in fact, sedevacantists: however, we still believe that the usurpers of the Holy See since Roncalli were/are antipopes. Their own actions have proven that to us.

In fact, here is a bit of information which may further your education: there have been 44 antipopes in the history of the Church. According to my reading, there was even one at the time of St. Peter. That works out to around 2 per century. And we have been so blessed as to not have had any in the last two centuries? Seems odd to me. Oh...one more thing: I am not talking about the likes of "Pope Michael" and his ilk either.

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Last edited by Ken Gordon on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:23 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Brian Kenny wrote:
Ken,
The way I understand the R and R position is that the Conciliar Popes are popes unless and until the Catholic Church declares otherwise.


Yes, thank you, Brian. I have understood that for some time now. I also cannot agree with that idea. Truth does not depend on whether or not anyone at all believes it to be true.

Brian Kenny wrote:
They do not think an individual has the authority to declare the See of Peter vacant, as this is to be decided by competent authorities.

Well, on that point, depending on what, exactly, they mean by "declare", I would tend to agree with them. In my very carefully considered opinion, based on many years of study and observation, all known, public, claimants to the papal throne since Pius XII, including Roncalli, are/were anti-popes. You may have a different opinion. Just remember that not one single one of us here has either the competence in law, nor the authority before God OR men, to so declare this opinion to be something that all Catholics must believe.

Brian Kenny wrote:
Mr. Beergoggles Paisano might be an antipope, but until the Church declares this, he's His Humbleness, Pappy Frankie. I think this is the crux of the problem in convincing people of the SV thesis. You can compile all the evidence you want, but if the one you're trying to enlighten doesn't believe that you have the authority to pass sentence without the accused being given a fair trial by competent authorities, you might as well try to turn lead into gold.

Well, there is probably more truth than poetry to that statement of yours. However, it seems logical and reasonable to me, given both the evidence we have, and the actions of those in question, to hold the opinion we, or at least some of us, do.

However, I have said this previously, and will repeat it now for the benefit of those who may not have seen it before: the fact that some of us have been able to accept the truth of many of these very mysterious issues in these awful times is solely due to the graces God and Our Lady have given to some of us. Therefore, it behooves us to continually thank God for them, pray that He will never take them away from us, and beg Him to give them to the generality of those who call themselves Catholic.

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Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:35 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
JUst an FYI for those who are unclear on the meaning of the term "proximate rule of faith":

Quote:
Scheeben - http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/wilhe ... ll_05.html

The Rule of Faith was given to the Church in the very act of Revelation and its promulgation by the Apostles. But for this Rule to have an actual and permanently efficient character, it must be continually promulgated and enforced by the living Apostolate, which must exact from all members of the Church a docile Faith in the truths of Revelation authoritatively proposed, and thus unite the whole body of the Church, teachers and taught, in perfect unity of Faith. Hence the original promulgation is the remote Rule of Faith, and the continuous promulgation by the Teaching Body is the proximate Rule.


Quote:
Van Noort - http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/van_n ... ility.html

The rule of faith. It seems timely to add here a few remarks on the rule of faith. This term signifies the standard or norm according to which each individual Christian must determine what is the material object of his faith.
Protestants claim that the written Word of God, Holy Scripture, and that alone, is the one rule of faith. Catholics, on the other hand, even though they, too, admit that our faith must be regulated in the final analysis by the Word of God — including tradition as well as Scripture — hold that the proximate and immediate rule of faith — that rule to which each of the faithful and each generation of the faithful must look directly — is the preaching of the Church. And so, according to Catholics, there exists a twofold rule of faith: one remote and one proximate. The remote rule of faith is the Word of God (handed down in writing or orally), which was directly entrusted to the Church's rulers that from it they might teach and guide the faithful. The proximate rule of faith, from which the faithful, one and all, are bound to accept their faith and in accordance with which they are to regulate it, is the preaching of the ecclesiastical magisterium.(27) The following assertions concern the proximate rule of faith.
1. The Church's preaching was established by Christ Himself as the rule of faith. This can be proved from Matthew 28:19—20 and Mark 16:15—16; the command to teach all nations certainly implies a corresponding duty on the part of the nations to believe whatever the apostles and their successors teach, On the other hand, there is no notice anywhere of Christ's having commanded the apostles to give the people the doctrine of salvation in writing, and never did He command the faithful as a whole to seek their faith in the Bible.(28)
2. The Church's preaching is a rule of faith which is nicely accommodated to people's needs. For (a) it is an easy rule, one that can be observed by all alike, even the uneducated and unlettered. What could be easier than to give ear to a magisterium that is always at hand and always preaching? (b) It is a safe rule, for the Church's teaching office is infallible in safeguarding and presenting Christ's doctrine. (c) It is a living rule, in accordance with which it is possible in any age to explain the meaning of doctrines and to put an end to controversies.


John Vennari is very open about the fact that the man he claims to recognise as the pope is not, and cannot be, his proximate rule of faith. Other Catholics are less clear-minded than John Vennari, but they have exactly the same attitude.

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Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:23 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
John Vennari is very open about the fact that the man he claims to recognise as the pope is not, and cannot be, his proximate rule of faith. Other Catholics are less clear-minded than John Vennari, but they have exactly the same attitude.

But isn't this attitude a contradiction? In fact, doesn't that attitude approach very close to heresy?

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Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:48 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Ken Gordon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
John Vennari is very open about the fact that the man he claims to recognise as the pope is not, and cannot be, his proximate rule of faith. Other Catholics are less clear-minded than John Vennari, but they have exactly the same attitude.

But isn't this attitude a contradiction? In fact, doesn't that attitude approach very close to heresy?


I don't think so. It is obviously a contradiction but it is an attitude the betrays his true belief that Bergoglio is not the pope in fact even though he lies to himself in continuing to say that he is.

As Mr. Lane points out, Mr. Vennari does not consider Bergoglio to be his proximate rule of faith and thus he declares that he does not accept him as pope. This attitude can be multiplied billions of times over. I truly do not believe there is a single individual on the planet earth that listens to Bergoglio and conforms his understanding of the faith to his teaching. Instead, every single individual who believes Bergoglio is pope praises him when his teaching conforms to his understanding of the faith and ignores him (or excoriates him) when his teaching does not conform to his understanding of the faith.


Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:19 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Dear Ken,

Not heresy, because the doctrinal unorthodoxy is accidental, rather than essential. That is, it is an unintended consequence of holding an orthodox position (I must maintain the faith!) and making a mistake of fact (Bergoglio is pope). We're not held morally responsible for all of the intellectual consequences of our mistakes, fortunately!

Dear TKGS,

I wonder if in fact there is an exception, a group of men who do in fact conform their minds to the doctrine of the Conciliar leadership (when it can be identified with sufficient clarity) - the "conservatives." I suggest that the elite of this group is Opus Dei.

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:10 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
But is it not heretical to claim that the Pope is not the proximate rule of faith? This is one of the tenants of the protestants and, if I remember correctly, was anathematized by the Council of Trent.

As I see it, 1) a Catholic asserts that a certain man is the Pope, and yet 2) denies that this same man is the proximate rule of faith. Ergo: the Pope is not the proximate rule of faith.

That sounds pretty heretical to me.

Agreed that for the Catholic to assert that Bergo is the Pope is a mistake, yet his certainty of this, coupled with his insistence that Bergo is not the proximate rule of faith is not only simply contradictory and therefore wrong, but also an heretical statement.

Furthermore, knowing what we know about the person and office of the Pope, the statement is simply not logical.

I cannot fathom how any Catholic can think this way.

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:38 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Ken, I agree that it would be heretical if one were to deny that the pope's infallible utterances were not our rule of faith. The notion that the constant preaching of the Holy Father, even though not infallible, does not constitute authoritative doctrinal instruction, is also unorthodox, but I don't think that's the essential traditional Catholic notion. I think that the rough idea governing traditional Catholic reservations to what "the pope" says is centred on infallibility; and it is an indisputable fact that the pope is not infallible in every utterance, but only under certain conditions. I think if you listen to what our sedeplenist brethren say they will usually, even exclusively, be found to be talking about infallibility when they explain why they cannot assent to what "the Holy Father" teaches.

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Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:44 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:
I think if you listen to what our sedeplenist brethren say they will usually, even exclusively, be found to be talking about infallibility when they explain why they cannot assent to what "the Holy Father" teaches.

What? :?

I don't understand that statement. Please explain?

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Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:26 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Ken,

Listen to a sedeplenist explain why he cannot assent to what "the Holy Father" teaches. He will talk about infallibility. He will usually be wrong in some aspect or other of his ideas about infallibility, but that's what he will talk about. So he isn't saying, "I refuse to be taught by the Holy Father," but rather, "I cannot accept error even from the Holy Father, and after all, he is not infallible in every word he expresses."

The point is, there's a huge difference between denying that the Holy Father's doctrinal instructions are obligatory, and refusing to accept errors from a non-infallible instrument.

Or, to put it in even simpler terms, they're not (directly) denying that the pope is our proximate rule of faith, they are questioning precisely when the pope's words constitute his obligatory and infallible teaching.

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Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:51 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Quote:
: From tradical:
Hi Michael,

Just for clarity: Is John Lane stating that because the laity don't seem to pay Pope Francis any 'mind' - then he isn't Pope?

Or ...

Is this a tu quoque argument since the non-sede trads recognize Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ?

God Bless!
M.W. Replies:
Tradical,
John states that "acceptance" of the Pope means to adhere to his teachings as the "proximate rule of faith" and to obey his commands. In the case of the Conciliar Popes, how many Catholics "accept" them in the true sense of the word?
Therefore there is in fact, no "universal acceptance" of the Conciliar Popes.

To which St. Justin adds:
Quote:
So if a "Pope" issues no teachings or commands then he is not "Pope"?
His understanding of "adheres to" seems flawed.


Tradical then comments:
Quote:
Thanks.

John appears to be confusing the 'Church Teaching' vs 'Church Learning'.

As Nishant stated, the dogmatic fact concerning who is Pope is established when the Bishops in union with Rome 'recognize' a man as Pope. The laity have nothing to do with the matter.

QUOTE ((Sylvester Hunter @ Outlines of Dogmatic Theology))

The Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain ... it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith ... communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops; if then the uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise would be falsified, which is impossible. ... it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined. UNQUOTE


While the explanation starts just with the word 'Church' it is clear afterwards that this is a reference to the Church teaching as the Church Learning does not establish dogmatic facts per se.

Important as it is to understand our obligations to the Pope as 'Church Learning', this dogmatic fact does not rely upon obedience but recognition. A person can be disobedient but not deny the Pope's divine right to rule.

Unless I missed a point where John links 'recognition' and 'acceptance'.

God Bless!

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Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:57 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Michael, somebody needs to translate this (Thesis XXIX): http://archive.org/stream/tractatusdeec ... 8/mode/2up

but at least Section 3: http://archive.org/stream/tractatusdeec ... 0/mode/2up

Quote:
Sed quidquid demum de possibilitate vel impossibilitate praelatae hypothesis adhuc sentias, id saltem veluti penitus inconcussum et extra omnem dubitationem positum firmiter tenendum est: adhaesionem universalis Ecclesiae fore semper ex se sola infallibile signum legitimitatis personae Pontificis, adeoque et exsistentiae omnium conditionum quae ad legitimitatem ipsam sunt requisitae. Neque huius rei a longe repetenda ratio. Immediate enim sumitur ex infallibili Christi promissione atque providentia: Portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam, et iterum: Ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus. Idem namque foret, Ecclesiam adhaerere pontifici falso, ac si adhaereret falsae fidei regulae, cum Papa sit regula vivens quam Ecclesia in credendo sequi debet et semper de facto sequitur, uti ex dicendis in posterum luculentius adhuc apparebit. Equidem permittere potest Deus ut aliquando vacatio sedis diutius protrahatur. Permittere quoque potest ut de legitimitate unius vel alterius electi exoriatur dubium. Permittere autem non potest ut Ecclesia tota eum admittat pontificem qui verus et legitimus non sit. Ex quo igitur receptus est, et Ecclesiae coniunctus ut corpori caput, non est amplius movenda quaestio de possibili vitio electionis vel defectu cuiuscumque conditionis ad legitimitatem necessariae, quia praedicta Ecclesiae adhaesio omne vitium electionis radicitus sanat, et exsistentiam omnium requisitarum conditionum infallibiliter ostendit. Et hoc sit obiter dictum contra eos qui certa tentamina schismatica tempore Alexandri VI facta hoc nomine cohonestare volunt, quod ab eo fiebant qui de haereticitate Alexandri certissimas probationes in Concilio generali revelandas habere se dictitabat. At vero, ut aliae nunc rationes omittantur quibus opinio ista facile posset confutari, haec una sufficit: Constat nempe quod tempore quo Savonarola suas ad principes litteras scribebat, tota christianitas Alexandro adhaerebat et obediebat tanquam vero pontifici. Ergo eo ipso, Alexander non erat pontifex falsus, sed legitimus. Ergo non erat haereticus, ea saltem haereticitate quae tollendo rationem membri Ecclesiae, pontificia potestate vel qualibet alia ordinaria iurisdictione ex natura rei consequenter privat.

Hactenus de iis quae spectant perpetuitatem primatus Petri in Romanis Pontificibus. Nunc de vi et ratione primatus agendum est.


The text we have seen here before is most of Section 3:

Quote:
Finally, whatever you still think about the possibility or impossibility of the aforementioned hypothesis (of a Pope heretic) at least one point must be considered absolutely incontrovertible and placed firmly above any doubt whatever: the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and infallible providence of Christ: “The gates of hell shall not prevailagainst it”, and “Behold I shall be with you all days”.

Idem namque foret, Ecclesiam adhaerere pontifici falso, ac si adhaereret falsae fidei regulae, cum Papa sit regula vivens quam Ecclesia in credendo sequi debet et semper de facto sequitur, uti ex dicendis in posterum luculentius adhuc apparebit. Equidem permittere potest Deus ut aliquando vacatio sedis diutius protrahatur. Permittere quoque potest ut de legitimitate unius vel alterius electi exoriatur dubium. Permittere autem non potest ut Ecclesia tota eum admittat pontificem qui verus et legitimus non sit.

[This is something like: It would be the same for the Church to adhere to a false pontiff, as to adhere to a false rule of faith, for the Pope is the living rule which the Church always ought to follow and in fact always does follow in matters of belief, uti ex dicendis in posterum luculentius adhuc apparebit (can't get the sense of that clause). Indeed God may sometimes permit a vacancy of the See to be greatly protracted. Also He may permit that the legitimacy of one or the other electees originates in doubt. It is not possible, however, that the whole Church can accept a pontiff who is not true and legitimate.]

Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions. Let this be said in passing against those who, trying to justify certain attempts at schism made in the time of Alexander VI, allege that its promoter broadcast that he had most certain proofs, which he would reveal to a General Council, of the heresy of Alexander. Putting aside here other reasons with which one could easily be able to refute such an opinion, it is enough to remember this: it is certain that when Savonarola was writing his letters to the Princes, all of Christendom adhered to Alexander VI and obeyed him as the true Pontiff. For this very reason, Alexander VI was not a false Pope, but a legitimate one. Therefore he was not a heretic at least in that sense in which the fact of being a heretic takes away one’s membership in the Church and in consequence deprives one, by the very nature of things, of the pontifical power and of any other ordinary jurisdiction.


Any volunteers?

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Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:45 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
A number of texts, including Billot, here:

viewtopic.php?p=10102#p10102


Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:24 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
ignorant guy wrote:
So if a "Pope" issues no teachings or commands then he is not "Pope"?
His understanding of "adheres to" seems flawed.


This person is seriously saying that all the evil that has come from the last several popes hasn't taught or commanded anyone?

It is beyond ridiculous to say that none of Bergoglio's words and actions are not teaching the world something just because he hasn't put it in a special document. I guess he doesn't listen to his priest's sermons on Sunday since they're not "official teaching documents".


Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:00 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John Lane wrote:

Any volunteers?


Well, if you don´t have any better option I can help. Just let me know :)

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:15 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
You first said to me you weren't trying to pick a fight and then you call me "ignorant guy"

The point was very simple if a Pope issues no teachings or commands is he still the Pope as with JPI for example. If he is then the argument put forward by John is incorrect. It was a simple question to which you responded by calling me names and then went off on a false tangent which had nothing to do with my question. Perhaps this is getting like IA. Now man up.

TKGS wrote:
ignorant guy wrote:
So if a "Pope" issues no teachings or commands then he is not "Pope"?
His understanding of "adheres to" seems flawed.


This person is seriously saying that all the evil that has come from the last several popes hasn't taught or commanded anyone?

It is beyond ridiculous to say that none of Bergoglio's words and actions are not teaching the world something just because he hasn't put it in a special document. I guess he doesn't listen to his priest's sermons on Sunday since they're not "official teaching documents".


Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:23 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John, do you have a reference for Van Noort and Billot that you are citing in this post?

John Lane wrote:
Aeternitas on IA has given a really excellent reply to Nishant, however I want to highlight a couple of points about the thread and his latest post.

1. Tradical said he was going to answer what was posted against his position, but he hasn't done so. The thread has therefore been taken off track, which might aid somebody who wants to bury the truth, but is no service to any of the rest of us.
2. Nishant continues to adopt a tone suggesting a complete command of the subject and an unbiased judgement, both of which are unsupported by the evidence. He says, after re-quoting Van Noort (which he got from us!), "Such citations could be multiplied indefinitely but that would be quite unnecessary." Actually, I'm curious which theologians he had in mind when he made that comment. I don't think the citations could be multiplied indefinitely at all, in fact I think they'd be fairly limited. But let Nishant name the ones he had in mind, or instead, withdraw the comment as unsupportable. The point is not merely ad hominem for the sake of debate, it goes to the fact that Nishant is actually giving a strained and false interpretation of a single theologian's brief text (i.e. Van Noort). In order to settle the debate in his favour, he needs some other authorities. I say he can't find any, for the good reason that his understanding is wrong. Let him prove us wrong, and in the process let him source a theological authority that he didn't find on a sedevacantist Web site!
3. Nishant's main problem is clearly on display in the following paragraph:
Nishant wrote:
There is another thing many may not have realized, it is that while at the beginning of all this, under Paul VI, some members of the hierarchy may not have recognized his claim. But today, 50 odd years later, it is undeniable that the whole ecclesia docens, or whoever are even candidates for being members of the episcopal college today, recognizes the Pope, acclaims him as Pope, declares him as Pope, names him as Pope, prays for him as Pope, professess communion with him as Pope etc etc etc on a practically daily basis. Therefore the fact of his Papacy is infallibly certain, objectively speaking, even if we must make allowance for the good faith of those who, for one reason or the other, do not see it yet.


Nishant thinks (along with many, if not most, traditionalists) that a true theoretical and practical acknowledgement of the pope consists of the following: "recognizes the Pope, acclaims him as Pope, declares him as Pope, names him as Pope, prays for him as Pope, professess [sic] communion with him as Pope etc etc etc on a practically daily basis."

Note carefully how every single one of those items (multiplied quite redundantly in several cases) is actually purely verbal? That is, not a single one of them touches on the truly essential recognition that a Catholic gives to the pope - obedience of mind (i.e. learning from him) and will (i.e. obeying his laws). Traditional Catholics have simply developed, under pressure of circumstances, an entirely meaningless "submission" to the Roman Pontiff, one which has absolutely no effect whatsoever on their religious lives beyond a formalised mention of his name in certain prayers where the book says "our Holy Father, N." This is not what Van Noort means by "has theoretically and practically been recognized as" pope. It is not what Billot means by "the adhesion of the universal Church" to the pope. Van Noort and Billot, and everybody else including even the most violent Gallicans, knew that adhering to the pope meant obeying him and believing his doctrinal instructions. The Gallicans sought to limit the pope's authority. Traditional Catholics have vacated it of all possible meaning.

Refusing to use the rite of Mass he wants you to use, rejecting his doctrine as ambiguous or worse, setting up or attending regularly what can only be described as irregular chapels which are condemned by the residential bishop appointed by the pope, and all manner of other such examples, are acts which are intrinsically incompatible with the notion of true submission to the pope. And quite rightly, coz he ain't pope. But it's time to tip over the cardboard cutout "pope" and be real about the situation.


Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:37 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St. Justin, the references are all in this thread, I believe.

The bottom line is this argument, from Billot: "It would be the same for the Church to adhere to a false pontiff, as to adhere to a false rule of faith, for the Pope is the living rule which the Church always ought to follow and in fact always does follow in matters of belief."

As John Daly has pointed out, it's hard for you to run this argument against us, since you deny the foundation of the argument! You essentially deny the revealed truth that the pope is the living rule of faith that the Church ought to, and does, always follow in matters of belief. To the contrary, you maintain that the Church truly acknowledges a pope that it learns nothing from, and does not obey. (Your JP1 case proves nothing. If he never taught anything or issued any laws, then it is not possible to prove he was truly pope using this argument. He may well have been truly pope - I don't think so - but due to the brevity of his reign, this present argument is unavailable for probative purposes. That's all.)

In order to escape the problem you are confronting (i.e. as Bellarmine put it, how can we avoid our head?), you, tradical, and Nishant insist that the ordinary universal magisterium (i.e. the bishops all teaching, in unison with the pope) guarantees infallibly that a given pope is pope. This is true of past popes, but cannot, by definition, be true of the current pope, because then the argument would be perfectly circular. A claimant to the papacy would be infallibly guaranteeing his own legitimacy. Obviously that is a bad argument. Note carefully how Billot is not making such an argument. He is arguing based upon indefectibility, not the infallibility of the magisterium.


Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:11 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John,
I ask because I do not have access to either author and a Priest wants to look these references up and I can't seem to find the references in the thread except for one to vanort. He doesn't believe you are understanding what the two authors are saying and he wants to see for himself. Thanks in advance.

One other quick question. Did we have valid Popes during the hayday of the Arian heresy When for sure the majority of Bishops certainly didn't adhere ( as you seem to be using the term ) to the Popes of the time.

John Lane wrote:
St. Justin, the references are all in this thread, I believe.

The bottom line is this argument, from Billot: "It would be the same for the Church to adhere to a false pontiff, as to adhere to a false rule of faith, for the Pope is the living rule which the Church always ought to follow and in fact always does follow in matters of belief."

As John Daly has pointed out, it's hard for you to run this argument against us, since you deny the foundation of the argument! You essentially deny the revealed truth that the pope is the living rule of faith that the Church ought to, and does, always follow in matters of belief. To the contrary, you maintain that the Church truly acknowledges a pope that it learns nothing from, and does not obey. (Your JP1 case proves nothing. If he never taught anything or issued any laws, then it is not possible to prove he was truly pope using this argument. He may well have been truly pope - I don't think so - but due to the brevity of his reign, this present argument is unavailable for probative purposes. That's all.)

In order to escape the problem you are confronting (i.e. as Bellarmine put it, how can we avoid our head?), you, tradical, and Nishant insist that the ordinary universal magisterium (i.e. the bishops all teaching, in unison with the pope) guarantees infallibly that a given pope is pope. This is true of past popes, but cannot, by definition, be true of the current pope, because then the argument would be perfectly circular. A claimant to the papacy would be infallibly guaranteeing his own legitimacy. Obviously that is a bad argument. Note carefully how Billot is not making such an argument. He is arguing based upon indefectibility, not the infallibility of the magisterium.


Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:25 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
Did we have valid Popes during the hayday of the Arian heresy When for sure the majority of Bishops certainly didn't adhere ( as you seem to be using the term ) to the Popes of the time.


I find this really frustrating. Nobody has so much as hinted that if a number of bishops - even the vast majority - do not adhere to a claimant then he is not pope.

There is no doctrine to the effect that a true pope will indubitably be recognised by all, or even by many.

Indeed, during the early middle ages there was a situation in which the true pope was recognised by a tiny minority, and a large majority adhered to a false claimant, an anti-pope.

What your arguments (e.g. JP1 and the Arian Crisis) reveal is that you are not grasping the proposition being put here. Let me repeat it again.

Some sedeplenists assert that since pretty much everybody says that Bergoglio is pope, he is infallibly pope.

That's the argument. We sedevacantists are answering it. We are not making any positive claim ourselves, we are refuting an argument put by you. So the outcome of this argument, as such, will be nothing more than that you will have succeeded or failed to prove your case using this argument.

Now, there have been two key points of contention put by us.

1. Adhering to the pope does not mean merely "recognising" him purely by words. Rather, it necessarily means accepting his doctrinal instruction and obeying his laws. The staff of the New York Times "recognises" Bergoglio as pope in your sense; I doubt many of them "recognise" him in the sense meant by the theologians. Anyway, that's one point. It proves nothing that everybody merely says that Bergoglio's pope.

2. When the theologians say that the universal peaceful acceptance of a man as pope proves that he truly is pope, they are not basing their argument upon the infallibility of the magisterium, no matter how much some texts may suggest that they are. I grant that some of these theologians are unclear and can be taken that way. But as I've pointed out in a previous post, the magisterium is only infallible when exercised in unison with the pope, so it's not logically possible for the bishops to teach infallibly that a current claimant is truly pope. It's simply illogical to assert such a thing. You may as well forget the bishops and blankly assert that when anybody claims to be pope he must be pope because popes are infallible.

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:11 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
John,
I ask because I do not have access to either author and a Priest wants to look these references up and I can't seem to find the references in the thread except for one to vanort.


You asked for Van Noort and Billot. You've found Van Noort - it's above, as pointed out before - and Billot is immediately above here.

You didn't ask for Hunter, but he's in a post above too - here's the link given there:
Quote:


The only other one circulating at present (also, like the rest, published originally by us) is the brief answer by Rev. Francis Connell in the AER: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/viewt ... 6295#p6295

(And note, Connell's argument is the same as Billot's: "For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements?")

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:27 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
From IA:

tradical wrote:
Thanks.

John appears to be confusing the 'Church Teaching' vs 'Church Learning'.

As Nishant stated, the dogmatic fact concerning who is Pope is established when the Bishops in union with Rome 'recognize' a man as Pope. The laity have nothing to do with the matter.

Sylvester Hunter @ Outlines of Dogmatic Theology wrote:
The Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain ... it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith ... communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops; if then the uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise would be falsified, which is impossible. ... it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined.


While the explanation starts just with the word 'Church' it is clear afterwards that this is a reference to the Church teaching as the Church Learning does not establish dogmatic facts per se.

Important as it is to understand our obligations to the Pope as 'Church Learning', this dogmatic fact does not rely upon obedience but recognition. A person can be disobedient but not deny the Pope's divine right to rule.

Unless I missed a point where John links 'recognition' and 'acceptance'.

God Bless!


Tradical, this is all completely wrong, I'm sorry.

1. The Church Teaching is not infallible without the pope, so as I've pointed out already your argument is logically identical to saying that "the pope must be the pope because he says he is and, being infallible, he must be right!"

2. The part of Hunter you've underlined is not about the Church Teaching, it's concerned with the indefectibility of the Church. This is obvious. Does Hunter say, "if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for they are infallible"? No, he says, "if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined." Indefectibility, not infallibility.

3. You say, "A person can be disobedient but not deny the Pope's divine right to rule." This is not an answer to the argument. The argument is not that all disobedience = refusal to recognise his authority. The argument is that what is called "recognition" or "acknowledgement" or "adhesion" involves real submission to papal authority, not just a verbal acknowledgement. Indeed, the theological shorthand most commonly used to label this is "obedience" - as in, "returning to the obedience of Rome" etc. You say that "this dogmatic fact does not rely upon obedience but recognition". I say, there's no difference - recognition of the pope necessarily implies obedience, for Catholics. I readily grant that it doesn't imply perfect obedience, but your argument is that it implies no obedience at all, merely a judgement of fact - viz. "he's pope."

4. See Billot's argument above. Is he talking about pure "recognition"? He writes, "It would be the same for the Church to adhere to a false pontiff, as to adhere to a false rule of faith, for the Pope is the living rule which the Church always ought to follow and in fact always does follow in matters of belief."

5. Archbishop Lefebvre flatly disagreed with you. He openly speculated that Paul VI and JP2 might not be true popes, many times. Was he unaware of the apparently universal "recognition" given by the world's bishops to those two claimants?

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:32 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
JS Daly has kindly done a fresh translation.

Quote:
Cardinal Billot, De Ecclesia, thesis XXIX, §3.

But whatever one may even now think about the possibility or impossibility of the above hypothesis [concerning a heretical pope], one fact at least must be firmly held as clearly established and beyond any doubt: the adherence of the universal Church will always be of itself alone an infallible sign of the legitimacy of the Pontiff and hence of the fulfilment of all the conditions required for that legitimacy. The reason for this is easy to see, for it is immediately drawn from Christ’s infallible promise and providence: The gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and, Behold I am with you all days. For if the Church were to adhere to a false pontiff it would be the same as if she adhered to a false rule of faith, since the Pope is the living rule that the Church must follow — and in fact always does follow — in believing, as will be more clearly shown in what is to be said later. Granted God may sometimes allow a vacancy of the See to last for a very long time [diutius protrahatur]. He can also allow doubt to arise concerning the legitimacy of the election of one or other claimant [de legitimitate unius vel alterius electi]. But He cannot allow the whole Church to admit as Pontiff one who is not true and legitimate. So as soon as a Pontiff is received and united to the Church as the head to the body there can be no further question of any possible vice in the election or of the lack of any necessary condition of legitimacy, for this adherence of the whole Church radically heals every electoral defect and infallibly demonstrates the fulfilment of all required conditions. Let this be an answer given in passing to those who endeavour to justify certain schismatic acts which took place under Alexander VI on the grounds that the man involved asserted that he possessed irrefutable evidence that Alexander was a heretic and would reveal them in a General Council. Against this, passing over for the present other reasons by which this opinion can easily be refuted, this one alone suffices: it is a certain fact that at the time when Savonarola wrote his letter to the princes Christendom in its entirety adhered to Alexander and obeyed him as Pontiff. Hence by this very fact Alexander was not a false Pontiff but a legitimate one. And therefore he was not a heretic, at least not in the sense which takes away the status of member of the Church and consequently, by the nature of the case, deprives one of the pontifical power or of any other ordinary jurisdiction.

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:50 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
John you are not understanding what I am saying.



John Lane wrote:
St.Justin wrote:
Did we have valid Popes during the hayday of the Arian heresy When for sure the majority of Bishops certainly didn't adhere ( as you seem to be using the term ) to the Popes of the time.


Quote:
I find this really frustrating. Nobody has so much as hinted that if a number of bishops - even the vast majority - do not adhere to a claimant then he is not popeThere is no doctrine to the effect that a true pope will indubitably be recognised by all, or even by many..


So do I. All I was saying was that doing the Arian heresy and at other times there was hardly anyone who "adhered" to the Popes by accepting his doctrinal instruction and obeying his laws. So your argument does not prove that these men were not Popes based against any proposition nor that adhering ( using Your definition )to or not adhering to proves anything one way or the other.

Quote:
Some sedeplenists assert that since pretty much everybody says that Bergoglio is pope, he is infallibly pope.

I would say that that is a summary of all the teachings of the Church but not a specific teaching.
Now, there have been two key points of contention put by us.
Quote:
1. Adhering to the pope does not mean merely "recognising" him purely by words. Rather, it necessarily means accepting his doctrinal instruction and obeying his laws. The staff of the New York Times "recognises" Bergoglio as pope in your sense; I doubt many of them "recognise" him in the sense meant by the theologians. Anyway, that's one point. It proves nothing that everybody merely says that Bergoglio's pope.

But if he were validly elected by the people who according to law had the authority to elect and the election was universaly recognized as such then what?
Quote:
2. When the theologians say that the universal peaceful acceptance of a man as pope proves that he truly is pope, they are not basing their argument upon the infallibility of the magisterium, no matter how much some texts may suggest that they are. I grant that some of these theologians are unclear and can be taken that way. But as I've pointed out in a previous post, the magisterium is only infallible when exercised in unison with the pope, so it's not logically possible for the bishops to teach infallibly that a current claimant is truly pope. It's simply illogical to assert such a thing. You may as well forget the bishops and blankly assert that when anybody claims to be pope he must be pope because popes are infallible.


Were not the Electors given Ordinary Jurisdiction to elect a Pope? As for infallibility I don't know. I have never heard or seen the term used in connection with a papal election. They had the authority and used it and the whole world recognized it..
My whole point is that your argument doesnot disprove anything.


Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:26 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
I have broached this subject many times before. My argument is that if what you say is true then the Church ( the hierarchical Church) has defected, no Sacraments ( Holy )and no Apostolicity (no Bishops with Ordinary Jurisdiction )


Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:17 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Nishant stated:
Quote:
Well, Michael, I understand your point of view, but in my opinion this consideration, which Cardinal Billot introduces as final and definitive and surpassing all others on this question of a Pope heretic, is hardly known to or taken into account by some people in forming their judgment. I understand people may still come to different conclusions in good faith, but I think it is necessary to know all relevant principles before forming one. Non-sede trads are constantly accused of double standards because we are not as quick to say the Pope has lost his office by heresy as we are generally agreed in saying this or that bishop has, but this theological principle shows that there is a solid basis for acting in that way.

Pope Alexander VI was accused not only of simony but also of heresy, infidelity and even atheism. Also, the fact of acceptance by the Church not only proves validity of election but also so long as it endures it shows that the man remains up until that moment truly Pope, so that if it is verified, one cannot refuse to recognize the Pontiff.

Thanks, Aeternitas. This is interesting. I'm familiar with John Lane's position and I just read through the relevant thread on BF. While I understand it, I rather think he will have a hard time convincing most non-sedes that the Church does not recognize the Pope in the sense necessary. Anyway, beside John of St. Thomas cited above, who says that this is meant to be an external sign of validity and is discernible as such, if the election is not contested at once, or is gradually accepted by all, Dom Guéranger also adduces the same principle - when a certain man is recognized as Pope, it is no longer possible to raise doubts at least after that moment.

If I may ask a few questions directly to John Lane.

1. John, do you agree that the recognition of the hierarchy suffices as a practical rule for the application this principle? Up to now it seems as if you've denied it, and you say you disagree with Van Noort's explanation of why it is so. But do you agree with Hunter who says the recognition of the Bishops suffices? That is what Tradical and I have said and what you seem to differ with. We will come back in a moment to what you deem to be the contrasting explanations of Van Noort and Billot.

2. Against the idea that the acceptance is not verified today in the concrete:

First, it is necessary by the very fact that this is meant to be a sign that it be externally verifiable. Therefore, if we had to inquire into the internal dispositions and other similar criteria, it would be impossible ever to apply, which is evidently not what the authors have in mind. The criteria to verify must be something tangible and external.

Second, as the profession of faith is the primary external bond in the Church corresponding to the internal bond of supernatural faith, so in the same way the profession of communion with the Pope, and it alone, is the sufficient external bond in the Church corresponding to supernatural charity, which is the bond of communion. Hunter actually relies on this when he says that it is necessary to know for certain which bishops are in communion with the Pope, otherwise their function of teaching could not be exercised.

So the argument is not circular at all, it goes like this:

Major: The whole teaching body's capability of exercising the function of teaching cannot be legitimately thrown in doubt, otherwise revelation could not be safeguarded and transmitted.

Minor: But if the whole teaching body professing communion with the Pope was still an insufficient guarantor that the man was certainly Pope, the function of teaching could not be exercised

Conclusion: Therefore the man with whom the whole teaching body professes communion is certainly Pope

Just in passing, I'll note none of your earlier examples "refusing the rite of mass he wants you to use ... setting up irregular chapels" etc are true of the hierarchy anyway. I deny that the Society, in that it was canonically erected and illegally suppressed, does what you mean to say either but that is not really relevant here.

3. This is only a theoretical point today, but I was wondering, John, are you in agreement that it is mere moral unanimity that suffices?

4. If I remember correctly, you believe John XXIII, who is generally regarded with suspicion by sedevacantists, as a valid Pope on account of this principle or some variation of it. Is that right and if so, do you agree then, that Pope John XXIII was accepted by the Church in the sense necessary? Just to be clear.

5. Another argument made on your forum, John, was that the Pope can't be Pope because he is not a bishop, or even a priest. Well, I think based on what you've written in the past, you would reject that as mistaken, and so would I. But interestingly, if it were really a plausible argument that a man cannot be Pope unless he is a true bishop, the counter would be that this proves infallibly that that condition is present, so therefore he must be a true bishop, the new rite cannot be invalid, then, at least not per se, exactly as the Society says! Anyway, that's another matter for another time.

God bless.



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Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:53 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
All I was saying was that doing the Arian heresy and at other times there was hardly anyone who "adhered" to the Popes by accepting his doctrinal instruction and obeying his laws. So your argument does not prove that these men were not Popes


It's not meant to prove that. Please re-read the entire thread.

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Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:39 pm
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New post Re: On "Schism"
St.Justin wrote:
Your understanding of "Visibility" and "indefectibility" Do not seem to agree with the Churches definition nor with anybody elses I have discussed this with including sedes so there seems to be no point in carrying on this discussion.


The visibility of the Church does not mean the church buildings--or even Vatican City. The visibility of the Church rests in the faithful Catholics throughout the world. Those individuals who call themselves Catholic but are, in fact, heretics and outside the Church are not part of the visible Church. Just because someone (even if he occupying a bishopric and claiming to rule a diocese as Nestorius did) does not make him a visible member of the Church.

The Church did not cease to be indefectible during the Arian crisis or when Nestorius fell from office due to heresy. Even if nearly all the bishops and priests defect from the faith, there need only be a handful of faithful Catholics keeping the faith alive for the character of indefectibility to remain.

I believe this is Mr. Gordon's understanding (it is certainly mine). It seems that your understanding consists of buildings, the Vatican, and anyone who claims to be Catholic.


Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:33 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
To Nishant:

The bottom line is this argument, from Billot: "It would be the same for the Church to adhere to a false pontiff, as to adhere to a false rule of faith, for the Pope is the living rule which the Church always ought to follow and in fact always does follow in matters of belief."

As John Daly has pointed out, it's hard for you to run this argument against us, since you deny the foundation of the argument! You essentially deny the revealed truth that the pope is the living rule of faith that the Church ought to, and does, always follow in matters of belief. To the contrary, you maintain that the Church truly acknowledges a pope that it learns nothing from, and does not obey.

In order to escape the problem you are confronting (i.e. as Bellarmine put it, how can we avoid our head?), you and tradical insist that the ordinary universal magisterium (i.e. the bishops all teaching, in unison with the pope) guarantees infallibly that a given pope is pope. This is true of past popes, but cannot, by definition, be true of the current pope, because then the argument would be perfectly circular. A claimant to the papacy would be infallibly guaranteeing his own legitimacy. Obviously that is a bad argument. Note carefully how Billot is not making such an argument. He is arguing based upon the indefectibility of the Church, not the infallibility of the magisterium.

Connell's argument is the same as Billot's (i.e. based upon indefectibility, not infallibility): "For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements?"

And so is Hunter's: "it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined." This is not an argument based upon the infallibility of the magisterium, it is an argument based upon the indefectibility of the Church.

If Nishant will not acknowledge this, even if only to give his reply explaining why his view differs, then what is the point of any further discussion? It's just a series of brief lectures by Nishant, to an audience that gives him no credit. Pointless all 'round.

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Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:34 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Nishant does not answer questions, or answer arguments directly – he just puts his own argument and ignores ours. Yet he asks plenty of questions of his own.

So here’s a deal for him. I’ll answer his questions when he answers our arguments and our questions. That way we might just get some order into proceedings and clear up some of the intellectual chaos that has characterised this debate so far.

First point. What is the doctrine concerning universal acceptance of a pope?

I say, Billot expresses it best, most clearly, and he has the greatest authority. The key point in dispute here is what the foundation of the doctrine is; i.e. whether the reason for certitude is the infallibility of the magisterium, or rather the indefectibility of the Church.

Nishant has said repeatedly that only the testimony of the hierarchy matters, and that this is because the certitude about a given pope arises from the infallibility of the magisterium.

I have repeatedly explained that this is a mistaken view, and given proofs, but Nishant is not answering the arguments. Here is Nishant expressing his view:
Nishant wrote:
Please note carefully the teaching of theologians on this point, why a Papacy is a dogmatic fact, when it is universally accepted by the whole Church, especially the ecclesia docens, followed by the ecclesia discens.
Van Noort wrote:
So, for example, one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: “Pius XII is the legitimate successor of St. Peter”; similarly one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: “Pius XII possesses the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church.”

For — skipping the question of how it begins to be proven infallibly for the first time that this individual was legitimately elected to take St. Peter’s place — when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church, it is clear that the ordinary and universal magisterium is giving an utterly clear-cut witness to the legitimacy of his succession.


The ordinary and universal magisterium here refers to the whole Church teaching, i.e. the entire hierarchy, by that infallible authority, this point is known with indubitable certainty.

Then:
Nishant wrote:
Msgr. Van Noort leaves no doubt that the reason for the infallibility is the authority of the ecclesia docens first and foremost, and the ecclesia discens only second and subject to that, as in any other matter, i.e. insofar as the latter will infallibly adhere to the former. It is only in this sense of course that the faithful can ever be said to infallible in believing as the Church is infallible in declaring, the one on the authority of the other.

And:
Nishant wrote:
In other words, this is a dogmatic fact, a fact not in the deposit of revelation but so intimately connected with it that it falls within the scope of the Church's authority to decide infallibly, accepted by "ecclesiastical faith" by the faithful on the authority of the infallible Church.

Such citations could be multiplied indefinitely but that would be quite unnecessary.

Actually, as I’ve pointed out, such citations cannot be multiplied indefinitely, and Nishant has not been able to come up with any more. This is because his view is mistaken.

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Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:39 am
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New post Re: On "Schism"
Well you are both incorrect. I highly recommend that you read what is posted at the following link:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm . It all revolves around Bishops in Diocese with Ordinary Jurisdiction and a Pope with Ordinary Universal Jurisdiction. If you are going to attempt to belittle people with your snide remarks you might want to read up on the subject. By the way a handful of people visibilty and indefectibility do not make. Don't take my word for it look it up or ask John he knows you are incorrect. If you read the above link you will find your definition isn't even close.


Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:11 am
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