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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Not directed at you FF. Directed at the post directly above it. Sorry for confusion.


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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Zeno wrote:
Do everyone (including yourself) a favor and understand we are all familiar with the obvious facts of this and other issues. Please use the search function and see what has already been said. But please also refrain from commenting on threads that are years old and long dead. It might also be useful for you to look at the "joined date" of the people you are interacting with. And for most with dates of 2002 add 5 years or so. 2002 is just when we switched over to this format. We welcome you and your enthusiasm but would really appreciate not being approached as if we are neophytes. It is rather off-putting.


The reason for posting that was simply to show what the Archbishop had been thinking while this was going on. It was not meant to make anyone feel like a neophyte. My apologies.


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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:36 pm 
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The comment was not limited to this particular instance. Consider it general advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:57 pm 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:

Okay St JP II had the authority to say if there was or was not a state of necessity, but +Lefebvre sincerely (it seems) believed that there was a state of necessity. So before St JP II ruled on the issue would +Lefebvre not be protected because he was in good faith



What Lefebrave may or may not have believed is completely irrelevant. What matters are actual objective facts, not subjective perceptions.

By the same reasoning, a Lutheran could well argue that Martin Luther sincerely believed that the Pope was the antichrist and every Christian had a duty to leave the Catholic Church and rebel against papal authority, and therefore, Martin Luther's excommunication was not valid.

If we allow ourselves to be influenced by subjective perceptions, then no excommunication can ever be valid, because every excommunicated person believes that he acted out of necessity.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:55 pm 
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verumfidei wrote:
The reason for posting that was simply to show what the Archbishop had been thinking while this was going on. It was not meant to make anyone feel like a neophyte. My apologies.

You have stumbled by chance (or providence) into a group of people who, in large part, are sympathetic to where you're coming from. Relax; you are among friends, not among people you need to exhort to agree with you. We might not all go as far as you, but many of us are in the ballpark.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Doom wrote:
ForeverFaithful wrote:

Okay St JP II had the authority to say if there was or was not a state of necessity, but +Lefebvre sincerely (it seems) believed that there was a state of necessity. So before St JP II ruled on the issue would +Lefebvre not be protected because he was in good faith



What Lefebrave may or may not have believed is completely irrelevant. What matters are actual objective facts, not subjective perceptions.

By the same reasoning, a Lutheran could well argue that Martin Luther sincerely believed that the Pope was the antichrist and every Christian had a duty to leave the Catholic Church and rebel against papal authority, and therefore, Martin Luther's excommunication was not valid.

If we allow ourselves to be influenced by subjective perceptions, then no excommunication can ever be valid, because every excommunicated person believes that he acted out of necessity.


Good point


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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
verumfidei wrote:
The reason for posting that was simply to show what the Archbishop had been thinking while this was going on. It was not meant to make anyone feel like a neophyte. My apologies.

You have stumbled by chance (or providence) into a group of people who, in large part, are sympathetic to where you're coming from. Relax; you are among friends, not among people you need to exhort to agree with you. We might not all go as far as you, but many of us are in the ballpark.


*Relaxes with some gregorian chant on*


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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:29 am 
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Doom wrote:
What Lefebrave may or may not have believed is completely irrelevant. What matters are actual objective facts, not subjective perceptions.

Actually no, subjective perceptions are very important in this case (my emphases):

Quote:
Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

...

4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;

We know the act of consecrating a bishop, even without a Papal mandate, is not intrinsically evil; it happened in the past and has even happened in recent times behind the Iron Curtain (for example, Cardinal Husar was consecrated without a Papal mandate by Cardinal Slipyj). That the consecrations might tend to the harm of souls is a totally subjective judgment as well. I'm not saying that the judgment is incorrect - merely pointing out that it is not an objective one - and considering that laws that impose a penalty are supposed to be interpreted narrowly....

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:53 pm 
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While this discussion has been inactive for a while, I decided to post because it appears that no conclusions were reached. Having studied this issue in-depth, canonically, it is my sincere hope that the community would kindly permit me to add my two cents.

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Can. 16 §1 Laws are authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation.
So it's up to the legislator (in this case, the pope) to determine whether 1323 applies. He said it didn't.


While it is true that laws are interpreted authentically by the legislator and by those to whom the power of authentic interpretation has been entrusted, canonical interpretation is distinct from the application of canonical laws. The canonical legal system does not operate under judicial supremacy, in which the judgements given by the competent authority form the basis of interpretation, but under legislative supremacy, in which, as you rightly cited, laws are properly interpreted by the legislator of those laws. In Archbishop Lefebvre's case, if his excommunication had been ferendae sententiae, then your position would enjoy the rock-solid guarantee of accuracy, but this is not the case, as excommunication for illicit episcopal consecrations is incurred ipso facto according to c. 1382.

Zeno wrote:
What [Lefebvre] may or may not have believed is completely irrelevant. What matters are actual objective facts, not subjective perceptions.


The "state of necessity", which is often appealed to when discussing this topic, can actually be examined objectively and ascertained juridically. While not explicitly contained under cc. 1323 or 1324, it finds its basis in very old principles of jurisprudence. This "state of necessity" argument was addressed by Fr. Gerald Murray in his canonical thesis on the SSPX excommunications, in which he argued against their validity.

verumfidei wrote:
JPII instructed +Lefebvre before the Ordinations that he was not to proceed with them, Cardinal Ratzinger acting as emissary.


Actually, Pope John Paul II had already demonstrated that he was not opposed, in principle, to the idea of consecrating bishops for the Society of St. Pius X. In practice, however, the disagreement was over the candidates and more importantly, the date of the consecrations. Archbishop Lefebvre thus concluded that everyone simply wanted to stall for time, with the end goal of postponing the consecrations indefinitely. This is simply an observation, but the Fraternity of St. Peter, which formed when a group of priests left the SSPX over disagreements about the consecrations, has been waiting thirty years for a bishop. Having the benefit of hindsight, it does seem that the situation in 1988 was more complex than it seemed to be at first glance.

verumfidei wrote:
Getting back to that. What is the use of such canons when a simple statement of the Holy Father has more weight. Obviously St JP II had the authority to excommunication Archbishop Lefebvre; but he did not, he claimed Lefebvre excommunicated himself. I find it hard to understand why the canons go at such length to protect people acting in a subjective state of neccesity if it can not withstand any word against it from the Pope


You are very correct to state that John Paul II could have made use of excommunication ferendae sententiae, but chose not to. In Cardinal Gantin's Decree of Excommunication, as well as in John Paul II's Ecclesia Dei, there is never any appearance that a censure was being imposed on Archbishop Lefebvre; rather, the documents agree that the excommunication was latae sententiae. Thus in this case, the law itself has more authority than what was written in any decree, even if written by the Pope, because he was not using his papal authority to perform a juridic act, but simply declaring what he thought was already fact. Thus, it would be an oversimplification to state that John Paul II's statement renders moot any points raised by canonists concerning the validity of the excommunication. (On that same note, it is also an oversimplification to say that the Pope is "above canon law", but I digress.)

Anyway, I hope my comments here may provide some food for thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:24 pm 
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The FSSP has never been offered a bishop, thus they are not "waiting" for one.

I personally do not believe that the excommunication of Abp. Lefebvre was valid, but -- that said -- there are reasons beyond "stalling" that the Holy See might have opposed Lefebvre's "terna" of bishops. For example, Bernard Fellay was below the canonical age (he was 29 when he was consecrated a bishop!), and Richard Williamson was a somewhat recent convert from Anglicanism.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:32 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Richard Williamson was a somewhat recent convert from Anglicanism.


Williamson is also a loose cannon. Why did +Lefebvre pick him

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:35 pm 
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My guess is because Williamson was a loyalist.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
My guess is because Williamson was a loyalist.

Loyal to whom?

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:19 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
I personally do not believe that the excommunication of Abp. Lefebvre was valid, but -- that said -- there are reasons beyond "stalling" that the Holy See might have opposed Lefebvre's "terna" of bishops. For example, Bernard Fellay was below the canonical age (he was 29 when he was consecrated a bishop!), and Richard Williamson was a somewhat recent convert from Anglicanism.


Bp. Fellay (b. 12 April 1958) was actually thirty by June 1988. I suppose Abp. Lefebvre would have considered the requirement laid down in c. 378.1.3 to be of little importance, since the reason for the four consecrations was to consecrate a sufficient number of bishops who would be able to continue to ordain priests who would say the traditional mass, uphold traditional Catholic doctrine and morality, etc. His intention, on the other hand, was not to consecrate bishops to serve in specific dioceses or territories, and he never pretended to give his bishops any ordinary territorial jurisdiction. According to the SSPX’s own explanation:

"The priests of the Society…were perfectly aware of the distinction between the power of orders and the power of jurisdiction, and that the power of jurisdiction can only be conferred by the Sovereign Pontiff. They were also perfectly well aware that Abp. Lefebvre in no way pretended to bestow any jurisdiction on the bishops, and that he consecrated them for the use of the power of orders".

archives.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/catholic_faqs__canonical.htm.

Under the usual circumstances, it is unthinkable that the consecration of a new bishop would exclude the fact that he should be designated for a specific diocese or territory, and hold territorial jurisdiction: "Bishops to whom the care of some diocese is entrusted are called diocesan; others are called titular" (c. 376). SSPX bishops do not have territorial jurisdiction, since they do not hold ecclesiastical office in this manner, and nor were they consecrated for this purpose.

Considering that c. 378.1.3 is found in a section of the Code entitled Bishops in General, and many of the canons near it also relate to ecclesiastical offices and jurisdiction, it can only be logically concluded that the rationale behind the list of requirements laid down in the said canon takes into consideration (at least in part) the responsibilities of holding an ecclesiastical office such as that of an Ordinary. Given the principle of "subsidiarity" upon which the entire 1983 Code was based (the idea that what can be handled by a lower authority should not be given to a higher authority), it makes sense that many responsibilities which were previously handled by higher authorities are now handled by Ordinaries. We can conclude that the rationale behind raising the minimum age from 30 (under the 1917 Code) to 35 is clearly related to the increased responsibility of holding an ecclesiastical office with territorial jurisdiction. According to one commentary: "The 1983 Code...raises the minimum age to thirty-five, perhaps because of a clearer sense of the significance and burdens of the office".

From this, we can see that since SSPX bishops hold no territorial jurisdiction as part of an ecclesiastical office, it is quite possible that from Abp. Lefebvre’s view, this requirement was of relatively little importance given other pressing matters at the time. I would be surprised that Rome objected over this, since the ability to choose which candidates to consecrate was delegated to Abp. Lefebvre.

Peregrinator wrote:
My guess is because Williamson was a loyalist.


Did you mean to say he was a monarchist?

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:06 am 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
My guess is because Williamson was a loyalist.

Loyal to whom?

Abp. Lefebvre

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:08 am 
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Christus_vincit wrote:
the reason for the four consecrations was to consecrate a sufficient number of bishops who would be able to continue to ordain priests who would say the traditional mass, uphold traditional Catholic doctrine and morality, etc.

Well four is more than sufficient for that. One or two would have been sufficient.

Quote:
Did you mean to say he was a monarchist?

Nope. I mean to say that he was loyal to Abp. Lefebvre.

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 Post subject: Re: Was Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Well four is more than sufficient for that. One or two would have been sufficient.


At the risk of veering slightly off-topic, since this deals with prudential issues involved in the 1988 consecrations rather than the validity of the excommunications, I'm just going to offer my two cents. Of course we can't discern Abp. Lefebvre's thinking, but at first glance there are the following considerations...

The bishops were consecrated for the purpose of being able to ordain priests and perform confirmations, the ability and faculties for which are provided by the law itself only for bishops rather than priests. Remember, since the bishops do not hold the ecclesiastical office of ordinary, the faculty for confirmation cannot be delegated, due to the lack of jurisdiction. And without bishops to ordain new priests, the Society would not be able to continue. These were, as is self-evident, the most basic and fundamental considerations involved in the situation.

If only one or two were consecrated as bishops, there are still some problems; the SSPX operates across nearly all of the continents, and it would be utterly exhausting (and unreasonable) to expect only one or two bishops to travel constantly for confirmations and ordinations. In addition, it is clear that Abp. Lefebvre needed bishops who spoke different languages, to make their ministry more effective as part of a worldwide apostolate. For example, Bp. Williamson (that is, before he went into schism) worked primarily in the United States, because he spoke English. And Bp. de Galarreta, who spoke Spanish, worked primarily in Spanish-speaking regions. It is very likely that language was a factor in Abp. Lefebvre's choices of candidates.

Finally, if there were too few bishops, there is also the following issue: what if something unexpected happens to the one or two bishops? Already, with four (and now three left, after Bp. Williamson's defection), the bishops are careful not to travel together, lest something happens.

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