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Author Topic: SSPX breakaway churches  (Read 2338 times) Average Rating: 0
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MalpanaGiwargis
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« Reply #90 on: January 28, 2015, 09:09:18 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/does-laicization-remove-a-priests-powers

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I've heard that when a man leaves the priesthood, he undergoes a process called "laicization," which takes away his priestly powers, making him a regular layman. Is this correct?

So, if  once a priest, always a priest",I suppose that goes for Bishops as well. (To a certain degree, very limited)

He certainly wouldn't be able to make other Bishops.

OP, I hope this helps.  I know I learned something, but I'll keep looking.

Several issues. One is the difference between validity and liceity. Assuming proper from, matter and intention, a man validly ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop is always ontologically a deacon, priest or bishop (cf. Council of Trent, Session 7, Chapter 4, especially Canon 3). Even if he is laicized, he is till ontologically a deacon, priest or bishop, but is forbidden to act as such, except in the case of someone being in the danger of death, when even a laicized priest is permitted to hear a dying person's confession.

Canon law requires that before a man is ordained a bishop, he must have a papal mandate (cf. Canon 1013, Code of Canon Law). If he is ordained without this mandate, then both he and his consecrator(s) are automatically excommunicated. The sacrament, however, is still valid. This was the case with the SSPX; Archbishop Lefebvre ordained three men as bishops without a papal mandate, which is what occasioned the real break with the mainstream Church.

The bishops of the SSPX continued to ordain men as priests. These ordinations are considered valid, but illicit. This irregularity in their ordination means that they are suspended a divinis, meaning they are not entrusted with a legitimate ministry in the Church and are not supposed to act as priests. Nevertheless their Masses are considered valid, but illicit.

Basically as long as bishops, licit or not, continue to observe the proper form, matter and intention, their subsequent ordinations are presumed valid, but illicit. However, in Roman thinking, two sacraments require jurisdiction for validity - confession and matrimony. Since the priests of the SSPX (and other groups) are suspended a divinis, their confessions and marriages are a subject of some controversy.

I think the vagante situation nowadays and the "lines of succession" hunting that attends them puts the lie to the theory of validity the Roman Church holds. It simply does not make sense that Christ intends the episcopal "power" to be exercised by leaders of just any whacko group who found an Old Catholic bishop willing to ordain them; the Cyprianic theory simply makes more sense in dealing with this issue.
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« Reply #91 on: January 28, 2015, 09:19:03 PM »

^ good post.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 09:21:03 PM by ErmyCath » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: January 28, 2015, 09:20:30 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/does-laicization-remove-a-priests-powers

Quote
I've heard that when a man leaves the priesthood, he undergoes a process called "laicization," which takes away his priestly powers, making him a regular layman. Is this correct?

So, if  once a priest, always a priest",I suppose that goes for Bishops as well. (To a certain degree, very limited)

He certainly wouldn't be able to make other Bishops.

OP, I hope this helps.  I know I learned something, but I'll keep looking.

Several issues. One is the difference between validity and liceity. Assuming proper from, matter and intention, a man validly ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop is always ontologically a deacon, priest or bishop (cf. Council of Trent, Session 7, Chapter 4, especially Canon 3). Even if he is laicized, he is till ontologically a deacon, priest or bishop, but is forbidden to act as such, except in the case of someone being in the danger of death, when even a laicized priest is permitted to hear a dying person's confession.

Canon law requires that before a man is ordained a bishop, he must have a papal mandate (cf. Canon 1013, Code of Canon Law). If he is ordained without this mandate, then both he and his consecrator(s) are automatically excommunicated. The sacrament, however, is still valid. This was the case with the SSPX; Archbishop Lefebvre ordained three men as bishops without a papal mandate, which is what occasioned the real break with the mainstream Church.

The bishops of the SSPX continued to ordain men as priests. These ordinations are considered valid, but illicit. This irregularity in their ordination means that they are suspended a divinis, meaning they are not entrusted with a legitimate ministry in the Church and are not supposed to act as priests. Nevertheless their Masses are considered valid, but illicit.

Basically as long as bishops, licit or not, continue to observe the proper form, matter and intention, their subsequent ordinations are presumed valid, but illicit. However, in Roman thinking, two sacraments require jurisdiction for validity - confession and matrimony. Since the priests of the SSPX (and other groups) are suspended a divinis, their confessions and marriages are a subject of some controversy.

I think the vagante situation nowadays and the "lines of succession" hunting that attends them puts the lie to the theory of validity the Roman Church holds. It simply does not make sense that Christ intends the episcopal "power" to be exercised by leaders of just any whacko group who found an Old Catholic bishop willing to ordain them; the Cyprianic theory simply makes more sense in dealing with this issue.

How old is the papal mandate requirement? That certainly wasn't the practice in the pre-schism church (it wouldn't have even been possible back then for the Pope to exercise control over the hierarchy in India, for example).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 09:20:40 PM by Minnesotan » Logged
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« Reply #93 on: January 28, 2015, 09:21:50 PM »

I think the papal mandate requirement started with the 1917 Code of Canon Law. So, it's pretty ancient.
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« Reply #94 on: January 28, 2015, 09:40:28 PM »

What? I thought the Vatican was against man dates, hence the fracas over gay marriage Huh
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« Reply #95 on: January 28, 2015, 09:57:17 PM »

I think the papal mandate requirement started with the 1917 Code of Canon Law. So, it's pretty ancient.

LOL.
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« Reply #96 on: January 28, 2015, 10:10:10 PM »

It has already been explained in this thread that according to the cannons, there is no "Roman Catholic Church."

I quite agree. There is a Latin Church, not a Roman Church.
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« Reply #97 on: January 28, 2015, 11:18:48 PM »

It has already been explained in this thread that according to the cannons, there is no "Roman Catholic Church."

I quite agree. There is a Latin Church, not a Roman Church.

I hope the Pope has since been disabused of this notion...
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« Reply #98 on: January 29, 2015, 03:59:37 AM »

It's amazing - no matter how long one stays away, one can return and find a new iteration of a topic that's been beaten to death time and yet again. I don't believe that I've had the pleasure of meeting Kerdy before now. Let me throw in two cents - maybe even a nickel here.

The theological praxis of Catholics and Orthodox as to the validity of orders and the dependent issue of the validity of sacraments differs significantly. That is fact and we can discuss, debate, and disagree over whether the other's stance is or is not rational, but it won't change the fact that it is what it is. The resolution of such will only occur, if it ever does and hopefully it ultimately will, in circles more august than this revered forum.

There are basically two theories of apostolic succession and, in most instances, the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, whether presbyteral and/or episcopal (putting aside issues as to form and intent, since if there is no validity to the orders of the sacrament's minister, other considerations are of no consequence to either Church).

If the orders claimed to be possessed are themselves invalid, the sacraments derived from him who claims to possess orders will, in turn, be invalid if the sacrament is one which requires conferral by an ordained minister - essentially any except Baptism in extremis in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and Marriage in the Latin Church, where the priest is seen as witnessing rather than conferring the sacrament.

The Augustinian theory effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest, once validly ordained to the episcopate, retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic theory effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

The Catholic Church adheres to the Augustinian theory; the Orthodox Churches to the Cyprianic theory, (although the latter have exercised oekonomia in application of it to instances in which schismatic bodies have returned to communion).

Frankly, the Augustinian theory has been or certainly has become a thorn in the side of the Catholic Church. It effectively assures that all manner of independent hierarchs, both those who pursue their perceived vocation with spiritual and intellectual honesty and those who are episcopi vagante in the most perjorative connotation accorded to the phrase, can sleep at night with at least a modicum of assurance that they possess valid episcopal orders, unless form or intent are at issue. The time-honored practice in the so-called "independent" Catholic and Orthodox movements of garnering multiple episcopal consecrations or, subsequently, being re-consecrated sub conditione is effectively a means of leveraging the Augustinian theory.

Most such hierarchs operate on the premise that "more is better" or "there has to be at least one good one here somewhere". With most having an episcopal genealogy that traces back through an average of 30 ancestral lines of succession, from combinations of dissident Latin Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs, they can feel reasonably secure. Those lines which cannot be proven valid because there is serious doubt as to the validity of one actor (e.g., the so-called Melkite-Aneed Line) can and do feel comfortably buffered by Duarte and Ofiesh Lines.

People sometimes point to subsequent acts by bishops of these "Churches" which break faith with Catholic doctrine and erroneously perceive these as breaking the line of apostolic succession. For instance, no bishop, regardless of the validity of his episcopal orders, can validly ordain a woman. But, that he did so would not invalidate his subsequent ordination of a man, with proper intent and according to proper form. So, it is possible to go rather far afield theologically yet still retain apostolic succession.

None of this is to say that all such entities have valid orders or sacraments (e.g., the Liberal Catholic Church is certainly suspect), but an inordinate amount of effort has to be put into tracing and verifying or rejecting such when presbyters or hierarchs of these Churches are received into communion. 

(Reportedly, the Old Catholic Church of the Utrecht Confession greatly facilitated doing so in its own cases for decades.  They are said to have dutifully sent notice of each episcopal ordination to Rome which, in turn, notified the OCC of its canonical displeasure - an exchange that reputedly traces back more than a century    Cheesy   .  You have to sometimes look at the light side; I know it's sick - humor me - I picture clerical minions on each side, situated in subterranean rooms, cranking out elaborate documentations with seals affixed and dispatching them posthaste to their horrified counterparts.)

The Orthodox Churches, relying on the canonically legal status of the hierarch conferring orders (his status in communion with a recognized jurisdiction to which the Church accords canonical status), have a much simpler task before them in assessing validity and, since they do not make the distinction of licitness, the end result is clear-cut.

Given its historical ties to the Cyprianic theory, it stands to reason that the Orthodox sometimes will not accord validity to Catholic orders or sacraments and that any do so must be seen as an exercise of charity on their part, applying a measure of recognition to the common historical origins of Catholicity and Orthodoxy. We, as Catholics, can dislike the fact that all do not choose to do so, but it is not our place to impose upon others our theological precepts and require that they adopt them.

The potentially most ironic consideration here is that, applying the Augustinian theory, the Catholic Church would in some instances likely  accept the validity of presbyteral and episcopal orders, and, consequently, sacraments, of "independent Orthodox" (and by that I do not mean those essentially mainstream Orthodox Churches which are typically termed "non-canonical" or "of iregular status", such as the "True" Churches, but those of the so-called "independent movement") whom the Orthodox themselves would, rightfully, never deem to be of their Communion, under even the most liberal of interpretations.

I think you'd find that, in practice, the recognition given by the Orthodox to sacraments administered through the Ofiesh line differs significantly, in large part by how far removed the recipient is from the point of origin.  Certainly, there has been some movement among the Antiochians toward "rehabilitating" Ofiesh's memory - I think, in part, because he'd thus be less of an embaressment but, the further removed one is from the direct laying-on of the hands of Archbishop Aftimios, the less credence is ordinarily accorded to the validity of sacraments received from his successors of later presbyteral and episcopal generations.

Among Catholics, Thuc lines are among the most suspect and least likely to be accorded validity by the Catholic Church because there are serious questions as to his mental capacity to have conferred the sacrament.

With no effort whatsoever, I could post links to more than a hundred so-called "independent/autocephalus movement" Churches that label themselves "Catholic" or "Orthodox".  (Those don't even include Churches that might actually be entitled to be accorded some measure of legitimacy, albeit non-canonical.)  The 'independents' vary from highly organized bodies with temples, clergy, and faithful to "archdioceses" that, on examination, would be found to operate from someone's basement family room and a "patriarch" (one of my favorites) whose pontifical vesture most resembles a sofa throw belonging to a grandaunt of which my grandmother once said "the Sallies (Salvation Army) wouldn't give it to a naked man in a snowstorm, if it were the last piece of cloth they had".

Neither Catholics nor Orthodox spend much time or put much effort into publicly addressing these issues. The closest thing to an official statement on the matter from either Church is the recognition by the Catholic Church of the episcopal and presbyteral orders and sacraments of the Polish National Catholic Church (which included its subsumed constituent Czech, Lithuanian, Bohemian, and Slovak entities, but not its (former?) jurisdiction in Poland).  By extension, to accord validity to the PNCC lines, which originated largely from the Old Catholic Church of the Utrecht Communion/Confession, was to hold the OCC/Utrecht lines to be valid, at least to the point in time when the PNCC broke with Utrecht. 

Determinations as to the validity of orders in individual instances are usually not given much publicity because of a desire to not encourage the phenomenon and its proliferation - not that it does much good.

And, as to copyrighting or trademarking "Roman Catholic", there have been a few localized attempts to do so - most recently one in Georgia and another in Florida, as best I recollect - both within about a decade past. As memory serves, one succeeded and one failed in the courts.

The good news in all of this, if there is any to be had, is that the Catholic Church has, in recent years (during Benedict's reign as pontiff) taken a stance in some instances that suggests it may be leaning toward the Cyprianic theory. Emmanuel Milingo, the flamboyant and outspoken Zambian archbishop, who was excommunicated about a decade ago, sparked this when Rome announced that it would not recognize any ordinations, episcopal or presbyteral, performed by him as having either validity or licity.

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #99 on: January 29, 2015, 10:53:41 AM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?
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« Reply #100 on: January 29, 2015, 11:09:15 AM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?
I hear the Skesis Chamberlain's defrocking in The Drak Crystal was based on it.
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« Reply #101 on: January 29, 2015, 03:09:54 PM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?

Phil, and to you as well!

I have never found the text on-line or elsewhere.  My understanding is that HH Benedict XIV promulgated the ritual sometime in the mid-18th century and that it last was printed in the "Roman Pontifical" in the mid-19th century. Father Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), of blessed memory, first brought the referenced incident to my attention some years back.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #102 on: January 29, 2015, 03:28:55 PM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?

This article has an English translation of the text:

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=21242
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« Reply #103 on: January 29, 2015, 05:30:57 PM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?

This article has an English translation of the text:

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=21242
You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.
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« Reply #104 on: January 29, 2015, 06:07:08 PM »

As an aside to Neil's point, the Byzantine Catholic eparchies in the United States were originally part of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh. Following a decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the 1950's, which followed up a decision of the mid level Appellate Court in New York / which affirmed that the term "Greek Catholic" was not, and could not be proprietary and dispositive as to the ownership status of a particular parish, the Eparchy reincorporated as the Byzantine Catholic Church and its parishes followed suit. One might wonder then why we still have a 'Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church'. The answer is complex and simple at the same time. The simple is that those in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church viewed themselves as ethnically Ukrainian, while those in the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church had no singular sense of ethnic identity. Ask a parishioner of that era and one would  get answers ranging from Russian, to Slavish, to 'nash' and even - hard to believe but yes - Greek Catholic. Those who left for Orthodoxy either adopted a Russian Orthodox identity or a distinct Carpatho-Russian one in the ACROD. And we have always - in either direction - exercised a certain 'ekonomia' with respect to orders and clergy and bishops moving 'back and forth.' (It also is why certain long time Orthodox parishes in America are still legally titled as 'Greek Catholic' as a result of said court decisions and orders. This has been and remains a source of great local confusion.)
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« Reply #105 on: January 29, 2015, 07:33:55 PM »

You were Catholic over 30 years and trad for 10, but you never even learned there is no such thing as "Roman" Catholic?  Wow.



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« Reply #106 on: January 29, 2015, 09:16:37 PM »

I almost thought of going to an SSPX church, before I became Orthodox. Their nearest church to my house was still a very long trip. Also, it troubled me that they had political associations with some iffy people. One of their bishops was a Holocaust denier. That's an absolute No for me.
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« Reply #107 on: January 29, 2015, 09:24:50 PM »

I almost thought of going to an SSPX church, before I became Orthodox. Their nearest church to my house was still a very long trip. Also, it troubled me that they had political associations with some iffy people. One of their bishops was a Holocaust denier. That's an absolute No for me.

Yes, their associations with right-wing politics always bothered me, even though ecclesiastically I'm usually sympathetic with them. They tend to see everything through the lens of the French Revolution, and monarchism doesn't appeal to me all that much.
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« Reply #108 on: January 29, 2015, 09:54:56 PM »

I almost thought of going to an SSPX church, before I became Orthodox. Their nearest church to my house was still a very long trip. Also, it troubled me that they had political associations with some iffy people. One of their bishops was a Holocaust denier. That's an absolute No for me.

Yes, their associations with right-wing politics always bothered me, even though ecclesiastically I'm usually sympathetic with them. They tend to see everything through the lens of the French Revolution, and monarchism doesn't appeal to me all that much.

Well, unfortunately there are some Orthodox (mostly the Slavic ones) who are similar in that respect, only for them it's the Russian Revolution (they want to bring back the Tsar), or else it's anti-Americanism or anti-EU-ism. You have people like Dugin (who ironically is an Old Believer, which means the mainstream EO have no authority to discipline him) openly call for genocide against Ukrainians.

If American evangelicals are guilty of making fear their god, Slavic Orthodox these days are too often guilty of doing the same with hate and/or resentment. I honestly wonder how much longer their darkness can remain in communion with light. Sometimes I think a schism within Orthodoxy over belief (or lack thereof) in human rights is inevitable, with one side adopting an Orthodox version of the Barmen Declaration and the other side turning into some kind of "Russian Christian" or "Serbian Christian" movement--a Nazified Orthodoxy. That comparison is far from hyperbolic. Although Dugin identifies publicly as Orthodox he also has many of the same occult and neopagan tendencies that the Nazis did. If he, and the other Russians, Slavs, and Greeks who think like him are not heretics, no one is. This new heresy of "Eurasianism" could be the biggest church-dividing issue since Iconoclasm.

But gladly, American Orthodox (at least the cradles, not the convertitis-ridden youngsters) tend to be rather more sane than most other Americans tend to be when it comes to politics, by which I mean that they generally aren't very politically active, and don't tie their politics to their religion the way Evangelicals, Mainliners, and even Jews tend to do. There certainly aren't any American Dugins. The only people like that in America are usually Protestants (such as Bryan Fischer, who said the genocide of Native Americans were justified because they were modern-day Canaanites, or Ann Coulter who called for scorched-earth tactics in the Middle East). People like that, who don't seem Christian to me at all, are one of many reasons why I started second-guessing Protestantism.

When it comes to monarchism, I don't have a problem with largely symbolic monarchies (and in fact I support restoring the Hawaiian monarchy as a purely cultural institution. It'd help right a historic wrong, and I think all Americans, not just Hawaiians, would benefit from having such a cultural/traditional figure in public life). I think it'd be good to have a figurehead who transcends the narrow partisanship that is so often characteristic of the American political system. This is something that monarchs, at their best, are capable of doing. But I'm definitely not a supporter of authoritarianism, autocracy, or people who support monarchy for those kinds of reasons.
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« Reply #109 on: Yesterday at 03:16:03 AM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?

This article has an English translation of the text:

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=21242

Nice catch, Malpana. I'm kind of embarrassed to realize that I never did an on-line search - very unlike me. The ceremonial details are essentially as I've heard them described. The text can be found in the original Latin  here, at page 4, as can the corresponding texts for degradation of the other orders, major and minor (subdeacon, acolyte, lector, exorcist, and porter, as well as he who has received the first tonsure).  The online copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia details the history of the ritual, and enumerates the prelates by whom the bishop performing the degradation must be accompanied, depending on the status of the ordinand being degraded.

As I said earlier, de Landes Burghes is the last known to have submitted (in earlier times, such were often compelled to submit, by assistance of the civil authority). de Landes Burghes himself served out the remainder of his life (surviving only a year after the ritual was performed) as a professed cleric within the Augustinian monastic community at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where he is buried in the community cemetery. 

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #110 on: Yesterday at 03:21:23 AM »

And, by the way, there is indeed a Catholic ritual for 'defrocking' a bishop. When the Old Catholic Bishop, Prince Rudolph de Landes Berghes, submitted to the authority of the Roman Church in 1919 at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, it likely represented the last public (if not last formal) usage by the Catholic Church of the ancient "Ritual for the Degradation of a Bishop". 

Neil, merry Christpiphany!  Wink

What does this ceremony look like?  Is its text online?

This article has an English translation of the text:

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=21242
You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.
I don't see what in that text implies such a theology.
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« Reply #111 on: Yesterday at 09:34:04 AM »

You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.

I imagine we won't see it anymore because the secular arm isn't interested in compelling a degradandus to endure such a ceremony; I have a hard time seeing many men willingly accepting it!
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« Reply #112 on: Yesterday at 03:28:48 PM »

You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.

I imagine we won't see it anymore because the secular arm isn't interested in compelling a degradandus to endure such a ceremony; I have a hard time seeing many men willingly accepting it!

Turn it into reality TV. 
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« Reply #113 on: Yesterday at 05:28:58 PM »

You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.

I imagine we won't see it anymore because the secular arm isn't interested in compelling a degradandus to endure such a ceremony; I have a hard time seeing many men willingly accepting it!

Turn it into reality TV. 

I'm envisioning one of those old  foreign legion flicks where the General with polished boots is twirling his moustache as he pulls the regimental rank off of the offending Major's epaulets, as the squad marches off to a steady drumbeat......
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« Reply #114 on: Yesterday at 06:35:59 PM »

You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.

I imagine we won't see it anymore because the secular arm isn't interested in compelling a degradandus to endure such a ceremony; I have a hard time seeing many men willingly accepting it!

Turn it into reality TV. 

I'm envisioning one of those old  foreign legion flicks where the General with polished boots is twirling his moustache as he pulls the regimental rank off of the offending Major's epaulets, as the squad marches off to a steady drumbeat......

I feel very old. Thanks, Pod!  Tongue Wink laugh
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« Reply #115 on: Yesterday at 08:22:04 PM »

One mustn't forget the monocle. Wink
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« Reply #116 on: Today at 04:51:19 AM »

You will never see this used again as it is based on faulty theology.  Somewhere along the line the Latin Church started teaching subdeacon, deacon, and priest were the three major orders and a bishop was just a priest with added jurisdiction which he could be deprived off and therefore no longer a bishop but still a priest.  It is more nuanced than that, but that is it in a nutshell.  The Latin Church has happily returned their theology to that of the undivided Church the three major orders being deacon, priest, bishop.

I imagine we won't see it anymore because the secular arm isn't interested in compelling a degradandus to endure such a ceremony; I have a hard time seeing many men willingly accepting it!

As I said earlier, de Landes Berghes is the last to have publicly undergone the ritual and likely among the last to have undergone it period. There is a single later instance of the ritual allegedly being served privately, that in the case of Bishop Joseph Rene Vilatte.

Vilatte consecrated more vagante episcopi than any other single individual and is often described as never having met a man whom he didn't seek to ordain to the episcopate. In the mid 1920s, he reconciled with Rome and made a solemn abjuration of his acts before the Papal Nuncio in Paris; a few sources suggest that the ritual was served on that occasion as well, but there is no definitive record of it.

It was another era, and certainly required an incredible humility on the part of de Landes Berghes - and Vilatte, if he also endured it - to submit to the ritual. I've seen a few folks cynically suggest that there was less humility than there was hubris, as submission to the ritual (absent civil compulsion) in effect forced acknowledgement by Rome of the validity of the episcopal orders claimed. Personally, I'd rather believe that the intentions of both men were genuine.

(Whenever I read about the 19th and early 20th century vagante episcopi, a number of whom appear to have been well-intended and genuinely spiritual, albeit misguided, men - versus their modern-day counterparts, rascals playing dress-up, I'm reminded of a very poignant epitaph on an early 20th century stone in a city cemetery near here. It bears the names of a husband and wife and reads "He was a priest according to the Order of Melchisedek, and I was his wife. We truly strove to serve God's people. May He have mercy on our souls." I like to think that He will.)

Many years,

Neil   
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