Author Topic: Indefectibility: Game Over  (Read 12338 times)

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Indefectibility: Game Over
« on: September 02, 2018, 09:43:49 PM »
It is evident that indefectibility, as the doctrine is commonly understood in the West, is false.  I used to be a semi-trad but that position, too, has been undeniably empirically falsified.  And there's no other way to resurrect the doctrine.  This has devastating consequences but first let's go over the options.  Devotees of all these will, I'm sure, show up to defend their various positions but they either involve a mega dose of special pleading, a wholesale denial of the facts, or else (most often the case) they have already reinterpreted indefectibility to mean something other than what theologians meant by it.

1.  Sedevacantism.  Sure, theologians envisioned that a Pope could become a heretic and thereby fall from office.  What they didn't envision is that this would happen and nothing whatsoever be done about it; that a Pope could crank out erroneous/heretical teaching after teaching.  They all envisioned a Pope's legal removal from office right away.  And rightly so, because the Church must continue to exist materially as well as formally, and any break constitutes a defection.  That is the very definition of the term.  So it's too late.  And it's clear the post-Vatican II Church is materially continuous with the pre-Vatican II Church.  As I said on a different thread, SVs arguing over "ordinary jurisdiction" of Bishops or how to get a new Pope is arguing over who should have locked the barn door after the horses have already escaped from an inescapable barn.  If a new Pope is to come from any other method besides legal election by those legally given the power to do so, there is no material continuity; it is starting a new Church.  But those legally given the power to do so are the post-Vatican II Cardinals.  So that means the material organization can have the Faith, lose it, then get it again (and maybe lose it again in the future).  (And no, to forestall an inevitable side argument, it doesn't matter who some theologian claims has the legal power.  It matters who actually has it, which is determined by Church Law, in this case by Pius XII.)

2.  R & R / SSPX.  There are three methods to this.  One is to insist that the Pope is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra.  Therefore, it simply doesn't matter what he does the rest of the time.  (Fine, you want to disregard Vatican II; I'll then feel free to disregard Mortalium Animos, Quanta Cura, Pascendi Domenici Gregis, and the rest of the encyclicals cited against Vatican II.)  But this disregards the fact that any Church with a substantively false official teaching is a false Church, whether the teaching is qualified as "infallible" or not.  (If not, all Churches are true, since only the Roman Church claims infallibility.)  And, if the ordinary Magisterium can be so far out to lunch, why believe the extraordinary?  There is no logical reason to do so.  Another is simply to deny the facts and deny that the Popes really taught anything.  Paul VI, you see, promulgated the documents of Vatican II "with Apostolic authority" but he didn't really mean it, since the Council was a mere "pastoral Council", etc.  Finally, there is the (desperate) argument that the Popes really only teach when what they say is in accord with Tradition, it being left to the laypeople to decide whether this is or is not the case.  (Fine, Quanta Cura isn't in accord with Tradition; there's absolutely no evidence the Apostles taught their followers what civil government should do in this regard, so I'll reject it as the ravings of a power-hungry Pope.)  Again this is simply a denial of the facts.  The Pope has supreme jurisdiction over the Church, meaning he is not subject to any kind of a board or "second level of review" to determine whether his teachings are official or not.  He and no one else determines whether his teachings are official.

3.  Semi-trad.  This involves straining to the maximum extent possible to show a real continuity between the teachings.  It is a very good question as to why this should be necessary.  But it's a moot point after the reversal on the death penalty.  If Francis is wrong, it's game over.  If he's right, it's also game over, for it means the Church officially sanctioned a grave evil for centuries.

Despite what I know will be the angry retorts, there aren't really any good arguments to be made against the above.  The reason there are such never-ending debates is because the fundamental premise is obviously false.  And it doesn't matter what may or may not happen in the future; it's been falsified by the data which exists in the here and now.

I'm sure some of the Eastern Orthodox posters will be quick to say all of the above proves Orthodoxy.  I won't get into this in much detail here, except to say, as I have in the past, that they lack a framework for deciding who was right in the Schism which doesn't involve making the individual the final authority.  However, I will have to concede the point that if Rome's indefectibility is falsified that can't be brought into the picture either.

So, while I think Churches are there to provide a proper spiritual framework, such that one can thrive and grow, and are "indefectible" in that sense, they do not provide absolute truth.  Despite all the apologetic contortions which have tried to deny the fact, the Church was simply wrong in the Galileo affair.


 
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Offline Machaut1377

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 09:57:37 PM »
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 10:28:12 PM »
Quare,
 is the game over, or is your understanding of the game over?
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline james.rogerson

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 10:56:59 PM »
Thanks Qaure, for this full account of Qaurism as it currently stands.

A couple of questions if I may:

1. Is it really the case that Francis's amendment to the catechism is incompatible with previous teaching? I thought he phrased it in such a way as to avoid stating that capital punishment is, in itself, wrong or evil; I took the claim merely to be that now we *ought* not to do it.

2. What practical consequences follow from the belief that the Churches are not indefectible? I think it would be intolerable to remain a member of an organisation predicated on a false claim such as this. Should we find a religious body that makes no exclusive claims to absolute truth? Personally I have a soft spot for Quakers.

3. I may have misremembered this but I thought it was at one point your position that if the whole business of the papacy and indefectability turned out to be false, Judaism, rather than any other Christian denomination was the best bet. Was this ever your view?
 

Offline Greg

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 12:40:16 AM »
This has been clear for ages.

https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=11812.0

The Church has "defected" in the same sense that Bill Clinton "had sex with that woman" and Joey Lomangino "died blind".

You can start arguing about the legalistic definition of sex, varžous words, get out of jail free clauses but the glaringly truth staring you in the face is that the visible, touchable, tangible, observable church is no more 'undefected' than Bill Clinton is a faithful husband.

The unobservable church is anything it claims to be, because it can never be tested or checked.

Once it has been put through all those loopy holes, infallibility is as worthless as a warranty from a Venezualan department store.

The question is, what now?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 12:44:48 AM by Greg »
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Offline awkwardcustomer

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 01:26:59 AM »
Quaremare,

You've missed out the fourth option - that's it's all over.

Vatican II is the revolt, and the one who holds - the Pope - has been taken out of the way.  The only condition required before the Second Coming, according to St Paul, is the appearance of the antichrist.

It's in the Creed after all. Christ will come again.  Why not now? 
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 09:36:22 AM »
This has been clear for ages.

https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=11812.0

The Church has "defected" in the same sense that Bill Clinton "had sex with that woman" and Joey Lomangino "died blind".

You can start arguing about the legalistic definition of sex, varžous words, get out of jail free clauses but the glaringly truth staring you in the face is that the visible, touchable, tangible, observable church is no more 'undefected' than Bill Clinton is a faithful husband.

The unobservable church is anything it claims to be, because it can never be tested or checked.

Once it has been put through all those loopy holes, infallibility is as worthless as a warranty from a Venezualan department store.

The question is, what now?

Greg, this is what people in the middle ages thought when surrounded by so much clerical corruption (worse even than today), and they became Protestants.

The situation is not as bad as it seems. The Church's indefectibility means that it will never cease to preach One God in Three Divine Persons and the Incarnation of the Word, to administer the seven sacraments, and to bind the Christian people together in one communion under its visible head (the Pope). That may seem too barebones, but there have been times in the Church's history when these have come under threat of extinction (e.g. Arianism nearly abolishing the Incarnation, the Great Western Schism nearly abolishing the papacy, and Protestantism nearly abolishing the sacraments).

We still have these three essential things, even if we've lost much of the Church's tradition which supports them, and even if there are heretics operating within the Church who have practically abandoned them. I am in the Catholic Church and I receive the true preaching of the Incarnation and the Trinity, the sacraments, and the communion under one visible head (and I can't get this anywhere else). You might object that most parish priests aren't preaching properly, that they abuse the sacraments, and that the pope is doing more harm to the Church than good at the moment: but they are still essentially there, and that's all that "indefectibility" promises. Indefectibility does not promise a thriving Church or one with good practical results; it just promises a Church.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 09:37:54 AM by John Lamb »
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Offline Greg

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 09:47:48 AM »
That's not what the Church says that 'the Church's indefectibility' means.

Their definition of it is key, since they are the ones claiming it.


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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 10:17:59 AM »
That's not what the Church says that 'the Church's indefectibility' means.

Where would you say mine differs from the Church's?
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Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 10:49:37 AM »
That's not what the Church says that 'the Church's indefectibility' means.

Where would you say mine differs from the Church's?

Matthew 16:18
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Offline Conclavist

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 10:57:23 AM »
Not entirely in agreement with John Lamb but to me his comments kind of are of the same spirit as my thoughts on this topic.

Sanborn tried to write something on the topic, "Resistance and Indefectibility" http://www.traditionalmass.org/images/articles/Resist-Indefect-P.pdf

Quare: "It is evident that indefectibility, as the doctrine is commonly understood in the West, is false."

One point of conflict in this issue might be with respect to strictly defining conditions that can't happen with Catholicism and then attempting to show that these conditions have been met (by definition if you believe in Catholicism, this is impossible, so if an apparent contradiction was found, it would logically imply that we were incorrect about what the conditions of indefectibility were ... I will set aside the consideration of finding contradictions that would then prove that Catholicism is false).

With respect to "ecclesia-vacantism" or that all bishops have defected, "The Church" New Advent entry states: " The Church can never undergo any constitutional change which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy..." Still this seems a bit ambiguous, as we know multitudes of the hierarchy can fall away (like the Great/East-West Schism), and as John Lamb mentioned, the Arian heresy. It would seem that at the extreme, there would need to be one bishop left, to have the jurisdiction (?) or authority (?) to absolve other bishops of whatever penalty they may have fallen in to.

Even more extreme, it has been considered if there could be no pope (since he is a bishop, right?) and only laymen, who then could elect a "conclavist" pope who receives jurisdiction, and could restore a valid but illicit bishop who fell in to some kind of penalty. It has been proposed that this is the kind of extreme we live in today, where the hierarchy would not defect indefinitely but only temporarily.

Even as such, it is possible this extreme was modified by the existence of bishops and/or priests somewhere preserving the hierarchy (so-called hidden "crypto-clergy"). The existence of such "crypto-clergy" cannot be proven or denied, therefore making it impossible to prove the Church has defected in this respect (which, again, would be considered impossible to the Catholic anyway), since even if such "clergy" seemed physically invisible, they would still constitute a visible Church. I argue also that if the "very" visible Church looked like only Catholic laymen, and yet there were crypto-clergy out there somewhere, they may be able to elect, thereby giving a "very" visible "conclavist" pope jurisdiction to reconcile the "very" visible traditionalist clergy.

The home aloner contention that the traditionalist "clergy" aren't even valid (not simply illicit, but also invalid) clergy would need to be addressed, with the exception that they also seem to think crypto-clergy exist somewhere.

For instance, home aloner Benns on the topic: "Faculties Given to Hierarchy Behind the Iron Curtain"

Quote
In 1946 Stalin declared Catholic churches in Russia dissolved, and Catholic clergy and laity went underground to preserve the faith until 1990. That year, underground priests and bishops met with JP2 on June 25-26, their first real contact with the outside world since 1946. Until then they had preserved those lines faithfully, and some still did not, from all appearances, depart from receiving orders strictly from bishops created in the underground, even once the NO sent their church authorities in. http://www.betrayedcatholics.com/catacomb-catholics/faculties/

So it's been thought some line or multiple ones like this exists out there somewhere.

So jumping back to some post comments:

Quare: "If a new Pope is to come from any other method besides legal election by those legally given the power to do so, there is no material continuity; it is starting a new Church.  But those legally given the power to do so are the post-Vatican II Cardinals."

The election of a pope by cardinals is an ecclesiastical and not divine law; it could in theory be set aside. There was no legal set method of election of popes before 1059. Sedes have routinely appealed to "epikeia" to disregard ecclesiastical laws of jurisdiction. I concede these topics need more discussion but dissent that a canonically elected pope cannot be elected in conformity with the abnormal nature of the situation we have today. It does look "too late" kind of both because clergy mostly defected as well as cardinals dying before electing a pope outside the V2 lineage, although that's basically our task to work through.

Quare: "R & R / SSPX" (the whole section)

SSPX article tried but I don't think was successful on giving "Clear ideas on the pope's infallible magisterium" http://sspx.org/en/clear-ideas-popes-infallible-magisterium

This is the same kind of issue with indefectibility, clearly laying out the conditions of infallibility and then seeing of Vatican 2 or other alleged or real errors conform to Catholic teaching or not.

Quare: " the reversal on the death penalty."

I had a big question here about if the issue of slavery is related? Slavery is considered moral in theory, but not only today is it discouraged in practice but it has also seemed to be morally discouraged. So I was wondering if Francis had similarly kind of in theory allowed the death penalty to be acceptable, but then was trying to say it was immoral today because of conditions. We have legitimately in a "modernist" way rejected slavery today based on the "dignity of man", right? I read the source material and they used a lot of ambiguous language as normal, and it seemed like this precedent of slavery, so the change in morality would be dependent on their authority. Usury is another topic that might be related as it seems the Church softened (?) its view on it over time.

james.rogerson seemed to ask a similar question.

Quare: "So, while I think Churches are there to provide a proper spiritual framework, such that one can thrive and grow, and are "indefectible" in that sense, they do not provide absolute truth. "

Literally heresy I think but I know what you are trying to express in a non-heretical way, that the Church says it is indefectible but it looks like it defected, so it looks like they are not absolutely true in what they say.

Quare: "Despite all the apologetic contortions which have tried to deny the fact, the Church was simply wrong in the Galileo affair."

New Advent on Galileo: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06342b.htm

I'm not versed entirely on this issue but it seems like the issue of evolution:

Quote
Galileo and Foscarini rightly urged that the Bible is intended to teach men to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that, while there was as yet no sufficient proof of the Copernican system, no objection was made to its being taught as an hypothesis which explained all phenomena in a simpler manner than the Ptolemaic, and might for all practical purposes be adopted by astronomers. What was objected to was the assertion that Copernicanism was in fact true, "which appears to contradict Scripture".

Lately there seems to have been some revival in geocentrist arguments (?). I thought the conflict here was over authority and of a mixing of science and religious views, like in evolution if people denied the sin of Adam that Jesus needed to redeem, trying to say there was no literal original sin because of evolution.

On Evolution:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution#Pope_Pius_XII

http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis.html

Quote
For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11]

So evolution was considered a permissible opinion, mostly they were concerned with any kind of scientific view in conflict with religious truth.

Michael Wilson: "is the game over, or is your understanding of the game over?"

Correct question, I believe we need to work on understanding the predicament, I don't think the game is over.

Greg: ["You can make legalistic justifications"]

I just lament more wasn't done to go all the way to the end of this, but that's just what needs to happen, I think traditionalism basically only progressed half the way to understanding what needs to be done. It's like there was a flood and tornado and they patched up some parts of the house but the whole thing has mold damage and they need to demolish and rebuild the entire house - to be clear, I don't mean the Church defected here but that symptoms were treated rather than maybe treating the underlying disease (?).

livetonoevil: "matthew 16:18" (the gates of hell shall not prevail...)

Again, an ambiguous passage as to what that means exactly. The feeneyites cite, what is it, John 3:5 to "prove" that water baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, but then the Church explains that baptism of desire also exists. So I think there is unresolved dispute over exactly what indefectibility means here and what conditions some people think were met proving the Church has defected (which, Catholics would argue haven't been met, or would argue that there are false conditions promoted of what indefectibility means I think).
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 11:09:35 AM »
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Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 11:22:03 AM »
Well, to be fair to the case of Galileo, Vatican I only determined infallibility on the grounds of Faith and Morals.

However, what I will say in regards to Eastern Orthodoxy is: yes, there is no precise epistemological framework of "how to know without studying dogma who is in error" other than the imprecise conciliatory system, but for now, ignoring the obvious contradictions of believing in this epistemological certainty, I've yet to find a sufficient argument as to how this exact precision of knowing who to follow within a body of the Roman Catholic Church somehow makes the body legitimate, especially in context of the current crisis the Roman Catholic Church is in.

If all that is necessary for knowing the truth is an organized body that has one person who claims to receive Divine Revelation, what makes the Roman Catholic Church more likely to be the Truth in comparison to the Mormon Church, whose leader claims to be a Prophet that received Divine Revelation? Or perhaps maybe we should follow Aum Shinrikyo, because after all, he's the new Christ. It's obvious that epistemological certainty - whether one believes in it or not - is clearly not what is primary to determining where the Truth is. Unless you just accepted the Roman Catholic faith from your childhood and haven't done any research into the history of your church, you are probably Roman Catholic because of the fact that Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Paul, that there is supposed Apostolic continuity, the Divorce argument (in light of contradictory history, but that's for another time of denial), etc.

Moreover, it's not as if this epistemological certainty was helpful IN THE SLIGHTEST when it came to the massive historical schisms themselves. When the Oriental Orthodox schism occurred, most of the Egyptians broke away from the Chalcedonian Church and stayed with their own bishops, which is why even in Egypt today, the majority of Christians there are Coptic - the only ones who were with the Chalcedonian Church in Egypt were Greek speakers in Cairo. And when the Great Schism of 1054, not one Church or group of people decided to stay with the Pope who used the Byzantine Rite. The Slavs, the Greeks, the Antiochians, the Greek Alexandrians, and those even under the historical Patriarch of Jerusalem, which has continuity from James, the Step-Brother of Jesus, all broke communion with the Pope. In fact, there is debate as to where even the Saxon and Celtic Churches stood on this issue until 1066, some who hold they had sympathy to the Eastern Churches when the schism happened.

Nor has this supposed certainty even prevented such travesties as the Protestant Reformation, which has led to there being a total of 10,000 - 30,000 different Christian denominations with different beliefs.

And neither has this certainty prevented groups of Traditional Catholics from rebelling from their supposed infallible authority, as they are practicing the Tridentine Mass, despite Pope Francis decreeing with Magisterial authority that the Vatican 2 Reforms are unchangeable.

If you believe that the previous dogmas supersede the Pope's authority in his own declarations, you are no better than an Orthodox who believes that Traditional Doctrine is what grants Bishops authority, and you prove that this certainty - in addition to being meaningless - is also false. For those who follow to the letter epistemological certainty, the mere action of contradicting Tradition in terms of dogma and morality renders Christian history meaningless as well as the Church meaningless, so regardless of what path of loyalty you take, you hold firmly to an ultimately superfluous term.
May God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
 

Offline Livenotonevil

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May God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Indefectibility: Game Over
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2018, 11:34:43 AM »
As many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (John 1:12)