Christ is risen!
Well, since the one who the Church considers the valid Pope from this tragic even abdicated on his own, your argument is a non-issue.
The assertion that its solution comports with the ecclesiology of Pastor Aeternus.
Just thought of another issue: Pastor Aeternus states:Are you referring to the western schism?
... it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction. The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the Church, and that it was through the Church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister... For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood. Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received....This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell...we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.
Since the supremacy depends on "succeeding" St. Peter (at Rome, Avignon is not addressed), and the ordinary bishops do not have the power to make one a "successor of Peter" as he is not their minister, it seems they have a problem with that transmission of authority. This is particularly accute with the problem of the council of Constance and solving this
because it claimed the power to make a pope as its minister, and then the pope it made (more his successors) claimed later that it couldn't.
How does the colllege of cardinals, who do not have the power to appoint the supreme pontiff as their minister, do so?
The Church is indifferent to which of your candidates for font of unity was entitled to your office of "supreme pontiff."
But as for your Vatican, you are forgetting the issue of Haec Sancta Synodus
. The Church has valid decrees of Ecumenical Councils, and invalid decrees of void concils, but invalid decrees of Ecumenical (purported in the case of Constance) Councils? No, the Church knows of no such creature.
Your "magisterium" hasn't seen fit to promulgate an "infallible" list of those supreme pontiffs of yours "gifted with infallibility," leaving the question of "valid pope" per Pastor Aeternus up in the air: Pope Alexander VI of Old Rome, which everyone in the Vatican's following counts as a "valid pope," within a century after took the number after Pope Alexander V of Old Rome, or rather Pisa. As the "Catholic Encyclopedia" admits:
Whether or not Alexander was a true pope is a question which canonists and historians of the Schism still discuss. The Church has not pronounced a definite opinion nor is it at all likely that she will. [emphasis added] The Roman "Gerarchia Cattolica", not an authoritative work, which prior to 1906 contained a chronological list of the popes, designated Alexander V as the 211th pope, succeeding Gregory XII, resigned. (See PAPACY.) His remains are interred in the church of St. Francis at Bologna in a tomb magnificently restored in 1889 under the direction of Leo XIII.http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01288a.htm
Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
He was succeeded by Pope John XXIII, who called the council of Constance, which you now recognize as "Ecumenical" and which issued Haec Sancta Synodus
, which anti-Pope Gregory XII submitted and which elected Pope Martin V, whom your current supreme pontiff claims to succeed. Both Popes Alexander V and John XXIII were listed by the Annuario Pontificio into the 20th century, and both are commemorated in the papal medalions on the walls of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls in Rome.
Doubt still shrouds the validity of the three rival lines of pontiffs during the four decades subsequent to the still disputed papal election of 1378. This makes suspect the credentials of the cardinals created by the Roman, Avignon, and Pisan claimants to the Apostolic See. Unity was finally restored without a definitive solution to the question; for the Council of Constance succeeded in terminating the Western Schism, not by declaring which of the three claimants was the rightful one, but by eliminating all of them by forcing their abdication or deposition, and then setting up a novel arrangement for choosing a new pope acceptable to all sides. To this day the Church has never made any official, authoritative pronouncement about the papal lines of succession for this confusing period; nor has Martin V or any of his successors. Modern scholars are not agreed in their solutions; although they tend to favor the Roman line
Broderick, J.F. 1987. "The Sacred College of Cardinals: Size and Geographical Composition (1099–1986)." Archivum historiae Pontificiae, 25: p. 14
So you have no basis to claim your church considers anti-pope Gregory XII as valid over Pope Alexander V, Pope John XXIII, the council of Constance and its decree Haec Sancta Synods
This came up in a debate, where the issues of Orthodox succession were dealt with rather nicely:
Scott starts out by pre-supposing that Pope Benedict XVI is the current and valid successor to St. Peter's See, and the valid Patriarch of the Latin Church, and says he feels safe in assuming I will recognize these facts since apostolic succession in general is something we both agree on. http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/articles/deb_papacy/chris/rebut1.htm
Unfortunately, Scott doesn't know as much about the Eastern traditions as he has made out. There are two theories of valid succession, the so-called Cyprianic view and the Augustinian view. The Cyprianic view is essentially that valid orders, succession and sacraments are a function of the mystical body of Christ, which must of necessity be One. The true church and true succession are not something that can be separated. On the other hand, the Augustinian view is that they can be separated. If orders are bestowed with proper form and intent, then they are valid, regardless of how the Church feels about it.
Eastern Churches have always generally held to the Cyprianic view. Valid succession is a really a question of valid Church. Since Orthodoxy considers Rome's status as a valid church highly questionable, it considers the Pope as a valid bishop equally as questionable.
A problem for Rome is that the Papacy doesn't really fit into the Augustinian model. There are anti-popes both now and in times past with valid orders according to the Catholic reckoning of such things, who have been appointed as Bishop of Rome with correct form and intent. The Papacy is the one ecclesiastical office where Catholics have to fall back to a kind of Cyprianic model, where the true holder of the office is dependant on what the true Church recognizes.
All of which means that Orthodoxy would consider the proposition that the Pope holds any kind of valid orders, to be highly questionable at best, let alone recognizing Benedict as the "Patriarch of the Latin Church". There would be some Orthodox who would express that sentiment, but it would not be the standard position.
The second problem with recognizing Benedict XVI as the "current and valid "successor of Peter, "rightfully sitting in Peter's see", is that as we have seen in my opening statement, Peter has more than one see. At the very least Antioch historically has been regarded as Peter's See and Peter's Chair, and Pope Gregory also regarded Alexandria as Peter's see. However, for Scott to win this debate, it's not enough to prove that Benedict is one current successor of Peter, he must prove he is the only successor.
Under the Augustanian view, Popes Alexander V and John XXIII are as valid as anti-Pope Gregory XII. To try to apply the Cyprian view to vindicate the latter nullifies the argument, as no Pope of Old Rome qualifies under St. Cyprian since 1014.