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Robert Robbins has published a short article in attempt to refute a comment I made to him on my website. [1] 

Robbins stated, “The law does not say that, in the case of necessity, one may ignore the law (because it is no longer binding), and go and get oneself some holy orders and exercise the sacerdotal ministry without being sent by any lawful superior. The law does say that, in the time of necessity when it is impossible to receive the sacraments, one’s desire for them satisfies as a substitute for the sacraments themselves…”

Three points:

1. There is a thing known as cessation of law and epieikeia. Robbins has not made a case that the law of consecrating bishops by papal mandate is absolute where cessation of the law or epieikeia is impossible.

2. If consecrating bishops is lawful under the circumstances, then receiving the sacraments would not be impossible for those who have priests.

The desire clause for Baptism and Confession is there to answer the question whether God can save apart from the sacraments, but that doesn’t mean that the two sacraments aren’t necessary. The books tell us that they are a relative necessity based on a positive precept. 

3. Robbins accuses our bishops and priests of “ignoring the law.” However, there’s also the law on publishing Catholic material. Can. 1384 § 1 tells us we don’t have a right to publish books without approval. § 2: “extends the meaning of the term books so as to include newspapers and other periodical publications as well as all other published writings, unless the contrary is manifest.”

Using Robbins’ argument, the law does not say, in case of necessity, one may ignore the law (because it is no longer binding) and go publish whatever Catholic material without lawful authority. Perhaps Robbins was unaware of this law, but to be consistent with his argument, he must now shut down his website and stop publishing. 

Robbins continues making bad arguments by comparing the Japanese situation where they had no priests for hundreds of years and our situation today.

Two more points:

1. Outside of prayer and fasting, there was nothing whatsoever they could do about not having priests. They had no choice in the matter. Because they didn’t have priests and the sacraments, their way to salvation depended solely on faith, desire, and perfect contrition for salvation. They didn’t receive the graces that come via the sacraments.

2. The Japanese didn’t appoint themselves priests, because they understood that they didn’t have the power to do so. Sedevacantist laymen aren’t appointing themselves priests either. However, every bishop has the power to make priests lawful or unlawful, which means licit or illicit. Gregory IX expressly states: “Necessity makes licit what is illicit.”

The necessity of having Catholic bishops and priests and the lack of true sacraments can easily be seen; therefore, our bishops were validly and licitly consecrated. Pope Gregory IX gave us the decretal of necessity, when it’s for the good of the whole Church.

Robbins continues, “I mean, isn’t it that the Sedevacantists think they know better than the Church? They are not guided by the Church by their own admission, for if they have determined that the law has ceased to bind them, then their only authority becomes, not the law, since it has ceased, but their own human prudence, what they have determined to be expedient in this time of necessity.”

Bishop Carmona appealed to the teaching of the Church when he was consecrated bishop. In fact, all of our bishops appeal to Divine law and the teaching of the Church. Robbins should have researched the topic before writing about it. He has admitted that he’s already made up his mind. Therefore, he makes up lies about our bishops. He writes, “have not all the Sedevacantist bishops sought out their own episcopal consecration? How un-Catholic does it get?”

I know no sedevacantist bishop that sought out his consecration. I know for a fact that Carmona, Zamora, McKenna, and Pivarunas did not seek out their consecrations. What proof does Robbins have to make such slanderous remarks?

Lastly, Robbins makes a serious blunder when he says, “There are no known priests in the world, because God has preordained it to be so, and no matter how much we might want there to be sacraments to help us, these, with the priests, have been taken away as a punishment for our sins.”

The power of a bishop to consecrate and ordain is an indelible mark of the priesthood that cannot be deprived. Even the Eastern Orthodox have valid priests and bishops this very day. The Code of Canon Law permits Catholics in danger of death to receive absolution from non-Catholic priests and bishops. Therefore, we have sacraments to help us no matter how much Robert Robbins denies Catholic theology and says no priests exist to administer the sacraments. There are literally tens of thousands of valid priests and bishops around the world.

Robert Robbins prides himself as being one who exposes false teachers and teachings. Yet, he does what he accuses us. He fails to make proper distinctions and creates fairytales, such as saying there are no known priests in the world and telling us and his children his fairytale is true.

I admire Robbins trying to fight for what he believes in, but he’s fighting the wrong battle with the wrong weapons. Like I said in my podcast interview, if you will not consider the possibility that we are right, nothing will convince you. It’s like this with everything.

Robbins must consider that he might be wrong, that there is such a thing as cessation of law, the Church’s necessity to exist makes licit what is normally illicit, the bishop’s power to consecrate can’t be deprived and valid priests exist everywhere even if unlawfully, canon law permits Catholics to receive the sacraments from any priest (heretic, schismatic, vitandus excommunicate) when in danger of death, receiving the sacraments is better than not receiving them, the safer course is to follow the authorities, and not to allow your own opinion to become a dogma and condemn all others for not following your opinion.   

 

 

Footnote:

https://catholiceclipsed.com/2022/08/11/the-fairytale-of-independent-catholicism/

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This second installment is a defense of the post-Vatican 2 sedevacantist clergy having authority to administer the sacraments, which sedevacantist home-aloners deny. Also included will be two arguments why the home-alone position is problematic.

Before the great apostasy, the Church had customary channels of power and authority, which we now refer to as ordinary times. Formerly, the Church enjoyed normal papal succession, world-wide hierarchy, and ecclesiastical laws, so that everything worked within the framework of the Church’s existence in those times.

The predicament of the great apostasy, however, is an extraordinary phenomenon unprecedented in history. It has affected the Church to such an extent that many laws of the Church can’t apply, can’t be applied, nor can be enforced; an example being the law on papal elections requiring cardinals. See THE CASE THAT PROVES CHURCH LAWS CAN’T ALWAYS APPLY – Revised

Some theologians and canonists have argued this nightmare can’t happen, but obviously that opinion is proven wrong by the very fact it has.

The Catholic Church has gone into what I call survival mode. Some things that would be illicit now become licit as the 4th rule of Pope Gregory IX lays out:

Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum (Necessity makes licit was illicit)

In ordinary times, bishops and priests had ordinary and delegated jurisdiction, which is the power to rule and the authority to administer. In these extraordinary times, the power and authority has taken on a new form due to the circumstances. Therefore, the Church must supply the jurisdiction to stay alive and carry on its mission of saving souls. Exactly how supplied jurisdiction is granted to sedevacantist clergy is the question.

Supplied jurisdiction is when ordinary or delegated jurisdiction is absent and the Church confers it extraordinarily, when it was not bestowed regularly for the purpose of a grave cause and common good of souls.

Since no pope exists, no bishops with ordinary or delegated jurisdiction exist (insofar as we can tell), the Church must carry on lest the gates of hell effectively prevails.

According to the First Vatican Council, just as Peter has by Divine right successors in the primacy, so too, as is natural, the Church has by Divine right to live and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. What Catholic could deny this fact?

Rev. Ludwig Ott taught in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, “The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them.” [1] Ott tells us on p. 332, “All the Sacraments of the New Covenant confer sanctifying grace on the receivers. (De fide.)”

No ecclesiastical law could be used to prevent the Church as a whole from carrying on its mission of saving souls through these life-giving sacraments.

Just as doctrine develops over time, so too, ecclesiastical law develops. It is in this development that we discover how our clergy have jurisdiction supplied to them by the Church.

For example, canon law tells us that Confession can only be granted by a priest lacks ordinary or delegated jurisdiction in the case of danger of death.

Can. 882 states: When there is danger of death, any priest, even though not otherwise approved for hearing confessions, may validly and licitly absolve any penitent from whatever sins and censures, including those which are reserved and notorious, even though an approved priest may be present.  But the rules laid down in can. 884 and 2252 must be observed. [2]

Therefore, based on this canon, any priest (including valid non-Catholic priests) can absolve when there is danger of death. Over the years, the application of this canon has developed.

Several canonists such as Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale and Rev. Matthaeus a Coronata taught that a long-term lack of a confessor may be regarded as equivalent to danger of death for purposes of supplied jurisdiction. It’s an opinion not agreed upon by others. However, I find that d’Annibale and Coronata are applying a fundamental rule of jurisprudence by applying as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law. [3]

The novel interpretation by d’Annibale and Coronata demonstrates that the canon does not have to be interpreted absolutely in the strictest sense. If d’Annibale and Coronata are correct, then by this particular canon, the Church supplies jurisdiction to our sedevacantist clergy. Therefore, we have a law that’s lacking an expressed prescription that canonists think is possible and considered within that law.

Where did they get the opinion that a long-term lack of a confessor is equivalent to danger of death? d’Annibale cites two earlier authorities that taught the “in danger of death” law to mean possibly dying without a priest or confessor over a long period of time. A particular auspicious authority we’ll examine is the Doctor of the Church and Patron Saint of Confessors, St. Alphonsus Liquori who taught:

“Is any priest able to absolve from any sins and censures, not only at the point of death, but also in danger of death? This is denied by [various names] but more truly and more commonly affirmed by…The reason for this is that in this matter, the danger is taken for the point, as is clear from…For in such a case, anyone in mortal sin is bound to confess in the same way as if he were at the point of death. This is accepted by…provided that such a danger be so grave that it can scarcely be distinguished with certainty from the point: but, more immediately, it seems to be sufficient that there be prudent fear that death will arise in the danger. Now such a danger is considered to be present in a battle, in a long sea voyage, in a difficult delivery, in a dangerous disease, and similar cases…The same is true of one who is in probable danger of falling into insanity (amentia)…and the same of those who are captives among infidels with small hope of liberty. For it is believed that they will have no other priests in the future.” [4]

It would seem that in battles, long sea voyages, etc. the same priest without ordinary jurisdiction will be present throughout the situation. In such a case, that same priest can absolve a man repeatedly over the duration of war, long sea voyages, etc.

That said, St. Alphonsus then offers another situation that’s related, but not precisely the same as in danger of war, long sea voyage, pandemic, etc. He refers to those who are captives among infidels (not those who are in danger of falling captives). He’s not very clear what this means precisely. However, we can conclude that this particular situation is not exactly a danger of death. It’s a case outside of some immediate danger of death.

It may be that St. Alphonsus intended to mean those who expect to never have a priest again, which is manifestly not the situation where Catholics today have access to a priest regularly.

If we were able to ask St. Alphonsus, what if there was a priest without ordinary jurisdiction made captive himself with small hope of liberty, can he absolve the other captives as long as they are captives, since there’s small hope of liberty?

It’s reasonable to presume that St. Alphonsus would say yes, since it’s the obvious conclusion. That conclusion is precisely the situation Catholics find themselves today. The problem with our situation is that it’s not addressed anywhere, probably because it wasn’t considered possible.

When Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale explains the law of absolving in danger of death, he lists the different situations in the same order as St. Alphonsus. He even cites St. Alphonsus, because he’s using him as the source. However, when d’Annibale comes to the section of “probable danger of falling into insanity and captives among infidels with small hope of liberty,” he lists it as “Besides, if one is in danger of falling into perpetual insanity, or is in such circumstances that henceforth he is likely not to have a confessor available any more, he is likewise to be regarded as if he were in danger of death.” [5] Interestingly, he doesn’t cite St. Alphonsus, perhaps because he’s already cited him twice, even though Liguori speaks about insanity, but d’Annibale does cite Rev. Leonardo Duardo.

Rev. Leonardo Duardo wrote in Commentaria in Bullam Coenae Domini (1638):

“But that is also to be noted, that if one bound by some censure of our Bull is found in that state, in which if he is not absolved now, it is to be feared as likely, that before death he will not have a Confessor available, as can happen in India, or in some captivity; then I say that he can be absolved by someone other than the Roman Pontiff; because although he is said to be outside the imminent danger of death, still in this matter, and morally speaking, this case is not different from danger of death: all the more, because in such a case, if he were to have access to a confessor he would be bound by divine law to make his confession: as Suarez says in the place cited: as taken from Suarez.” (probably Suarez de pentitentia, disp. 35, sec. 2 & 3) [6]

Duardo and Liguori make the “in danger of death” clause to include in danger of dying without another priest or confessor. It’s technically not “in danger of death” at all. Yet, they include it in the law. These authorities have developed the application of the law to mean something the law doesn’t specifically mention.

Rev. Matthaeus Conte a Coronata, O.F.M. Cap., Institutiones Iuris Canonici, IV. n. 1760 4th edition, published in 1955, writes:

“Danger of death is present for him who is in such circumstances that death is truly and gravely probable, but who also may survive. This situation can arise from various causes, e.g. from illness, injury, difficult childbirth, extreme old age, dangerous journey, imminent battle, surgical operation to be undergone, extreme torture etc.”

“He may be regarded as equal to those in danger of death who is in grave danger of falling into perpetual insanity or who is in such a condition that henceforth he will not have a confessor available anymore.”

Coronata cites d’Annibale as the source demonstrating that he agrees with d’Annibale’s analysis of Duardo and St. Alphonsus. They don’t spend much time on the topic, probably because it’s such a rare situation. Perhaps, they didn’t think an in-depth examination was needed. However, their explanations using confessor rather than priest have connotations that resembles our great apostasy age. As long as Catholics are in a situation where they could die without a confessor, any priest can absolve as many times as needed. It’s the logical extension of Duardo and Liguori’s application.

Duardo and St. Alphonsus are laying out a principle that cases exist outside of immediate danger of death that are equivalent to being in danger of death. They don’t list every possibility, but they came up with something that’s novel and not found elsewhere.

There’s no reason why our scenario can’t be figured into the law and put into practice by our theologians and canonists. d’Annibale and Coronata already point that way.

In his Moral Theology, book 6, n. 560, p. 443, St. Alphonsus Liguori lays out a practical teaching:

“The question is: whether heretics, schismatics, and vitandus excommunicates can absolve a dying man, if no other priest is present.”

“The first opinion says that they can, based on the Council of Trent’s statement that it is ecclesiastical tradition that there’s no reservation [of jurisdiction to absolve] when a man is dying.”

“The second opinion, (which St. Alphonsus agrees), says that such priests can’t validly absolve a dying man because the council wasn’t speaking of priests with no jurisdiction, but of those who lack jurisdiction over reserved cases (that is, reserved to the bishop or the Holy See on account of censure); also because the Council of Trent didn’t make a new law, but only approved the ancient law, which was that priests cut off from the unity of the Church cannot validly absolve under any circumstances.”

“Nevertheless, the Continuator of Tournely says rightly that in such a case, a priest who is a heretic or a vitandus excommunicate, when no other priest is present, may well give conditional absolution to a dying man, because in extreme or urgent necessity according to the common opinion of doctors, as we said n. 482 [citation omitted] … it is licit to follow an opinion that is only slightly probable.” [7]

The Holy Office settled the issue on July 39, 1891, which affirmed the first opinion. However, the relevant part of Liguori’s answer is the last sentence. To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit.

To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit. Also, the Church is in urgent necessity of bishops and priests. The fact that we have all of our theologians and canonists presenting the same argument (I would think) makes it at least slightly probable.

I can think of other possible scenarios not addressed by saints or any theologian (that I’ve found). What if a priest shipwrecks on an island where no civilized persons have ever witnessed? Therefore, the likelihood of being rescued is slim to none. The priest converts the natives and baptizes them. However, we are to understand that he can’t administer the other sacraments because of some particular Church law that’s not referring to this particular situation? Is this the will of Christ and His Church? The priest wasn’t technically sent by the ordinary laws of Church, therefore, the poor Catholics are just out of luck until there is imminent danger of death?

Again, the logical conclusion is that “in danger of death” could include dying without a confessor, but if a priest is present, he can absolve as long as necessary. It isn’t specifically mentioned, but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t in the books about possibly dying without a priest or confessor years in the future until a theologian and a canonist thought of it years later. St. Alphonsus and Duardo’s scenarios don’t become true for the law, because they thought of it. It was always true. The same thing applies to our situation. The “in danger of death” law provides the means for our sedevacantist clergy.

If home-aloners reject my explanation out of novelty or because it’s not a real danger of death scenario, then they would have to apply that same rule to St. Alphonsus Liguori for the same reasons. Then the argument turns against the Patron Saint of Confessors.

The Council of Trent declared, “For those who after baptism have fallen into sin, the Sacrament of Penance is as necessary unto salvation as is baptism itself for those who have not yet been regenerated” (Sess. XIV, c. 2).

We don’t wait until we’re in imminent danger of death for the Sacrament of Penance. We are not living in ordinary times with ordinary circumstances. We have no recourse to ordinary channels of priests with ordinary and delegated jurisdiction. Yet, we have priests and bishops all around us. There’s a law that lacks an express prescription, which is considered by our theologians and canonists to work for the current situation.

Getting back to the problem with home-aloners, I have a question to ponder:

Is it possible for the Church to unintentionally prohibit the administration of all the sacraments to the whole Church except Baptism and Marriage for a day, a year, 50 years, or indefinitely?

The home-alone position must submit that the Church is withholding and prohibiting the sacraments to the whole Church unintentionally, which is contrary to Christ’s mission of the Church. The Church’s mission can’t become counter-missionary to itself. Would Christ place a time-bomb in the establishment of His Church?

It doesn’t say much for a loving Mother that hinders ALL HER children from living and dying as holy a life as possible to be saved.

Home-aloners necessarily hold that the entire Church is incapacitated and paralyzed from administering the sacraments. It would mean that Christ does not and has not provided the means for the administration of the sacraments to His whole Church. The mission of the Church has come to a screeching halt and the devil has thwarted God’s positive Will for His Church of accomplishing what it was sent out to do.

I submit the gates of hell have prevailed if our clergy are wrong for administering the sacraments. What good is a Church that has been totally incapacitated? It would mean the Church’s mission is effectively over and the devil has won. In my estimation, the home alone position is not just impossible, it’s anti-Catholic.

This all leads to my two final arguments.

Before the great apostasy, there were opinions permitted to be held, which post-apostasy circumstances prove to be false opinions. One such false opinion held by the majority of theologians and canonists is the universal acceptance of the Church guarantees a true pope. At least 5 theologians and canonists disagreed with this opinion and were proven right by the circumstances of the great apostasy. This is one reason why listing a collection of theological opinions proves nothing.

So too, the circumstances of the great apostasy prove that the home-alone opinion of supplied jurisdiction to be false by the mere fact that the Church can’t be counter-missionary to itself and be completely incapacitated to administer the sacraments as a whole. The Church has by Divine right to exist and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. That Divine right must exist somehow even if it can’t be shown explicitly.

Lastly is the argument of reason: If we consider both the home-alone position and the sedevacantist clergy position as sincere opinions, what are the pros and cons of each position from the viewpoint of being right or wrong?

If the home-aloners are correct and avoided sedevacantist clergy, they have gained nothing, but the fact they followed their conscience, which both sides do anyway. However, if they are wrong:

     1. They lose numerous graces from the sacraments they could have received.

     2. Their chance of losing their souls becomes greater.

     3. Their chance of gaining heaven becomes less.

     4. The probability of having a tougher purgatory becomes greater.

     5. They will not have lived and died in the greatest possible manner.

     6. They will not be as close to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Their place in heaven may not reach the heights it could have been.

If our sedevacantist clergy are wrong, we have lost nothing. We died in good faith, but were mistaken. However, if we are right:

     1. We gained numerous graces from the sacraments.

     2. The chance of losing our souls decreases.

     3. The chance of gaining heaven increases.

     4. The probability of having a tough purgatory decreases.

     5. We will have lived and died as holy as possible with the sacraments.

     6. We will be closer to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Our place in heaven becomes the highest it could possibly be, because of the sacraments.

The argument from reason demonstrates that the home-alone position gains nothing and stands to lose so much. Our position stands to lose nothing and gains everything. While this argument doesn’t prove which side is right, it does prove which opinion is better.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Rev. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp. 340-341:

The Sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for the salvation of mankind. (De fide.)

As Christ instituted the Sacraments and bound them up with the communication of grace they are necessary to us for the achievement of salvation (necessitate medii), even if not all are necessary for each individual. The efficacious reception of a Sacrament can, in case of necessity, be replaced by the desire for the Sacrament (votum sacramenti) (hypothetical necessity).

The Council of Trent declared against the Reformers who, on the ground of their “sola fides” doctrine, contested the necessity of the Sacraments for salvation: Si quis dixerit sacramenta novae Legis non esse ad salutem necessaria, sed superflua, ct sine eis aut eorum voto per solam fidem homines a Deo gratiam iustificationis adipisci, licet omnia singulis necessaria non sint. A.S. D. 847. In the Middle Ages the necessity of the Sacraments was controverted by the Cathari.

The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them. Thus Confirmation is the completion of Baptism, and Extreme Unction is the completion of Penance, while Matrimony is the basis for the preservation of the Church Commonwealth, and the Eucharist is the end (finis) of all the Sacraments. C£ S. the III 6S, 3 and 4.

[2] Rev. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. IV, p. 286

[3] “A fundamental rule of jurisprudence is to put as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law and to interpret unfavorable laws strictly (e.g., penal laws). (C. 19.)” Moral Theology, Fr. Heribert Jone, p. 23.

[4] Theologia Moralis, Liguori, Bk.6, no. 561, Q.2

[5] Summula theologiae moralis : Giuseppe d’ Annibale : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

[6] Commentaria in bullam S.D.N.D. Pauli Papae V lectam in die Coenae Domini … – Leonardo Duardo (C.R.) – Google Books

[7] https://archive.org/details/theologiamoralis02ligu_0/page/442/mode/2up

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The “home-alone” position holds that sedevacantist bishops and priests are illegitimate and unauthorized shepherds. The problem with this position is two-fold.

1. Only novus ordo heretics and a few sedevacantist laymen hold the position that the post-Vatican 2 sedevacantist bishops and priests are unauthorized and illegitimate clergy.

None of the sedevacantist clergy have taught or practiced it as home-aloners insist.

Theologians such as Bishop Guerard Des Lauriers (Pope Pius XII’s spiritual director who drafted the Assumption dogma), Fr. Stepanich, and Fr. Saenz Y Arriaga (Doctor of Theology, Canon law, and Philosophy) all believed and held that their actions were legit and consistent with Church teaching and canon law.

The Doctor of Canon Law, Fr. Gommar DePauw actually condemned the home-alone position as “sheer insanity” and said those who spread it are “dangerously ignorant of Canon Law.” [1]

To prefer our untrained opinion on the law against the universal position of all the last Catholic authorities who specialize in the field is not reasonable. In fact, it’s not Catholic.

2. The home-alone opinion held only by the heretics and laymen can’t be proved.

The Church has never addressed the possibilities and extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves today. The teaching on Episcopal consecrations needing the approval of the Apostolic See is an ecclesiastical discipline according to Pope Pius XII who said so in the very document that forbids consecrations without the approval of the Apostolic See. [2] That discipline is the law under ordinary times and circumstances, which no longer exists. Pope Pius XII was not addressing our times and circumstances. In fact, all the teachings from popes and theologians on consecrating bishops, jurisdictional issues, etc. do not address the extraordinary circumstances of the post-Vatican 2 Church.

However, Pope Pius XII does allude to a possible good reason to consecrate bishops without the approval of the Apostolic See. Writing about Communism and the Church in China, the pope says:

50. It is obvious that no thought is being taken of the spiritual good of the faithful if the Church’s laws are being violated, and further, there is no question of vacant sees, as they wish to argue in defense, but of episcopal sees whose legitimate rulers have been driven out or now languish in prison or are being obstructed in various ways from the free exercise of their power of jurisdiction. It must likewise be added that those clerics have been cast into prison, exiled, or removed by other means, whom the lawful ecclesiastical superiors had designated in accordance with canon law and the special powers received from the Apostolic See to act in their place in the government of the dioceses. [3]

If it were absolutely necessary to have the approval of the Apostolic See under all conditions, the question of vacant sees would be irrelevant. Yet, he mentions it as a false defense, because the sees are not vacant. This implies that real vacant sees in a Communist world (where communication with Rome could be impossible) is a legitimate reason for consecrating bishops without approval. It would then be a necessity that excuses from the law. 

All of the remaining faithful Catholic bishops and priests did what they believed was necessary. Bishops consecrated bishops, bishops ordained priests, and they continued on as best as possible to continue the mission of the Church.

Bishop Moises Carmona explained:

Pope Gregory IX left eleven rules and Boniface VIII eighty-eight for the true interpretation of the law. These rules, according to Canon 20, can supply the defect of the rule in a particular case, as in the case we presently find ourselves. Consequently, the fourth rule of Gregory IX expressly states: Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum (Necessity makes licit what is illicit.)

The necessity of having Catholic bishops and priests and the lack of true sacraments can easily be seen; therefore, we were validly and licitly consecrated.

Rule 88 of Boniface VIII also expressly states Certum est quod is committit in legem qui legem verbum complectens contra legis nititur (It is certain that one sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit.) Therefore, it is unjust to impute to the legislator a desire to greatly harm the Church during a vacancy of the Holy See by forbidding the ordination of bishops and priests and the administering of the sacraments to the faithful who ask for them. [4]

Bishop Carmona was a seminary professor. In 1991, he was tragically killed in an automobile accident. The October 2016 newsletter Adsum reported, “After a number of years, his body [Bp Carmona’s] was transferred to a crypt in a lower chapel below Divina Providencia Church. There are pictures of his body when laid in the crypt. His body showed no signs of decomposition and looked the same as his funeral.” [5]

It appears that God has performed the miracle of incorruptibility with Bp. Carmona as sign of his holiness, but also as testimony to sedevacantism and sedevacantist clergy.

The Great Western Schism was unprecedented in the 14th century. It required a novel explanation to resolve the difficulty of having a materially divided church over who was the true pope if there was one at all. The doubtful pope theory was one such novel explanation and it was not commonly accepted at first.

So too, the post-Vatican 2 Church is unprecedented. The Church has literally gone into survival mode. Catholics have come up with new theories on how to make sense of the disaster. What we don’t want to do is force our opinions and make the Church essentially ineffective, which is contrary to the Will of Christ and the teaching of the First Vatican Council.

We are not theologians and canonists. Our opinions are just our opinions. We ought to defer to the authorities as it is the safer course.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Introibo Ad Altare Dei (introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com)

[2] AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON COMMUNISM AND THE CHURCH IN CHINA (1958)

37. We have heard that many such elections have been held contrary to all right and law and that, in addition, certain ecclesiastics have rashly dared to receive episcopal consecration, despite the public and severe warning which this Apostolic See gave those involved.

Since, therefore, such serious offenses against the discipline and unity of the Church are being committed, We must in conscience warn all that this is completely at variance with the teachings and principles on which rests the right order of the society divinely instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.

43. We are aware that those who thus belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed, defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying.

44. We mean that discipline which has been established not only for China and the regions recently enlightened by the light of the Gospel, but for the whole Church, a discipline which takes its sanction from that universal and supreme power of caring for, ruling, and governing which our Lord granted to the successors in the office of St. Peter the Apostle.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Bishop Carmona’s Defense of His Acceptance of Episcopal Consecration – CMRI: Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen

[5] https://www.cmri.org/adsum/adsum-2016-10.pdf

 

 

 

 

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