I am issuing a retraction and apology for an error I made regarding the term “true pope” and its implication. In several of my past posts I presented the following syllogism:
Every true pope is a validly consecrated bishop.
But Jorge Bergoglio, elected by the cardinals in 2013, is doubtfully a validly consecrated bishop.
Therefore, Jorge Bergoglio is doubtfully a true pope.
Whereas the argument is valid (i.e., the conclusion follows from the premises), there is a problem with my meaning of the term “true pope” in the major premise. What I meant by the term “true pope” is that he is a baptized male, who is validly elected, who accepts his election, and who is validly consecrated a bishop. Only once these four things are in place, he has universal jurisdiction (i.e., the power to teach and govern the whole Church). Without universal jurisdiction, he cannot be a “true pope”. By doubting the validity of Jorge Bergoglio’s episcopal consecration (or even that of Joseph Ratzinger), I wrote that that segment of the Catholic Resistance that has such a doubt must conclude that they doubt whether Jorge Bergoglio is or Joseph Ratzinger was a true pope. By such a conclusion, in their eyes we have not had a certain pope since 2005 (i.e., the death of Pope John Paul II). Therefore, I accused them of being closer to “sede vacante” (not Sedevacantism) than those (like me) who hold Benedict XVI as the current true pope. After further investigation, I found that I made an error in thinking that a valid episcopal consecration is required BEFORE obtaining universal jurisdiction. I used the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canon Law to support my position. However, looking back at them and looking at other documents, I now believe that the truth was an issue of canonical procedure rather than an issue of doctrine.
Here are some references that show that a layman may be validly elected and have the power of jurisdiction before his episcopal consecration:
1. “Even if a layman were elected pope, he could accept the election only if he were fit for ordination and willing to be ordained. But the power to teach and govern, as well as the divine gift of infallibility, would be granted to him from the very moment of his acceptance, even before his ordination.”
(Pope Pius XII, Guiding Principles of the Lay Apostolate, 1957)
2. “A layman can be validly elected to the office, since the power of jurisdiction can be exercised without the the power of Orders. In such a case, the person elected would receive the power of jurisdiction immediately upon his election, but the power of Orders would come only through the Sacrament of Orders, which he would be obliged to receive, since Christ evidently intended that His Church be governed by bishops,- bishops by the power of Orders as well as by the power of jurisdiction.”
(Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 1955, Chapter XII)
3. Pope Adrian V was a layman elected to the papacy on July 12, 1276. He annulled the regulations of his predecessor, Pope Gregory X, concerning papal conclaves. Pope Adrian V died before being consecrated a bishop. Nevertheless, his legal act was not considered invalid by future popes.
(References: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01159a.htm, https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/14511)
I apologize to the priests and faithful of the Catholic Resistance that I accused of being closer to “sede vacante”. I also apologize to everyone for any confusion or concern I have caused.