List of authors who taught the doctrine.
1) Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ (1927), Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009, pp. 288-290.
2) Cardinal, D. Ioannis Claudii Puteobonelli ... In primam (-tertiam) partem d. Thomæquæstiones selectæ: In primam secundae S. Thomae Quaestiones selectae, Volume 2, ex typographia Iosephi Pandulphi Malatestae, 1707, Quest V Art II
3) Monsignor G. Van Noort, Christ’s Church, Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1957, p. 153 (emphasis added).
4) Louis Cardinal Billot, De Ecclesia Christi, (1909), "Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi", I, Editio quinta, apud aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Romae, p. 623
5) Cardinal Journet, The Church of the Word Incarnate (1955), (London and New York: Sheed and Ward, 1955), pp. 481-482
6) Monsignor G Van Noort, Sources of Revelation (Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1957), p. 265
7) Ludwig Van Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Fourth Edition, May 1960 (Rockford, Illinois: TAN Books and Publishers, 1974).
8) Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology (1959) vol I, (New York; Tournai; Paris; Rome: Desclee Company, 1959), p. 146.
9) F. Dominico a SS.ma Trinitate Carmelita Discalc, Bibliotheca theologica: Septem Libris Distincta Prouincia, ROMAE; Typographia Philippi Matiz Mancini, 1668, lib III, Sectio IV, caput X
10) Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Vol XII, pg. 188 1875
11) Rev. James Kavanagh, D.D., A Reply to Mr. Gladstone’s Vaticanism, Dublin, James Guffy, 1895, p. 54
12) Hervé, Hervé, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae, (1952) Berche et Pagis, Editores, Parisiis, 1952) Vol. I.500 (b), I.514.
13) Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa 1B (1955), On The Church of Christ, On Holy Scripture, 3rd ed., translated by Kenneth Bakker S.J., (Keep the Faith, Inc. 2015), bk II, ch. III, a. II., N. 812.
14) Rev. Louis Farris, Ferraris, PromptaBibliotheca Canonica. Iuridica Moralis Theologica, Romae: S. C. De Propaganda Fide, (1764)
15) Billuart, Rene’, Summa S. Thomae Hodiernis Academiarum Moribus Accommodata (Everardum Kints, Leodii, Liege), Tract: De Regulus Fidei, 1754, p. 99
16) Hurter, S.J. Theologiae Dogmaticae Compendium (1885)
17) Fr. Sydney Smith, S.J., The Tablet (1895)
18) American Ecclesiastical Review, Fr. O’Connor’ Q&A (December 1965)
19) Sixtus Cartechini S.J. On the Value of Theological Notes and the Criteria for Discerning Them (Rome, 1951)
20) John of St. Thomas CURSUS THEOLOGICUS, Tome 6. Questions 1-7 on Faith. Disputation 8. 1640 1 2 3 4 5
21) Dr. Boni, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Bologna, and Advisor of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. “Beyond a Resignation. The Decision of Pope Benedict XVI and The Law,” Bologna, 2015.
22) Franciscus Xav. Wernz, Petrus Vidal, "Ius canonicum", II, "De personis", apud aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Romae, 1943, pp. 520-521
23) St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church, Verita Della Fede', Part III, Ch. VIII, p. 720. 1767
24) W. Wilmers, ‘A Handbook of the Christian Religion,’ 3rd ed., Benziger Bros., New York, New York. 1891, page 95
25) Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, 1418
26) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), Commentary on the 1989 Professio Fide, 1998
27) Schmier, Benedict; Grimm, Georg; Merck, Aemilianus; Schmier, Benedict, Ecclesia Christi In Terris Militans: Seu Catholica Religio, Cum Fide, Spe Et Charitate Theolocica, Gratia Habituali, Iustificatione, Et Merito. Tractatus de Ecclesia Militante Questio XX, SALISBURGI: Typis Joannis Josephi Mayr, (1732)
28) Arbiol, Antonio O.F.M., Selectae disputationes scholasticae, et dogmaticae, Caesar-Augustae: Emm. Roman Univ, 1702, Disp II, Art XII.
29) A. Tanquerey – Synopsis theologiae dogmaticaefundamentalis: Ad mentem S. Thomae Aquinatis (1896)
30) Fr. Edmund O’Reilly, S.J., The Relations of the Church to Society (London, John Hodges, 1892, p. 308
31) Arnaldo De Salveria, L’Ordo Missae de Paul VI: Qu’en penser?, Paris, 1980, p. 72
32) Archbishop Lefebvre, The New Mass and the Pope, The Angelus, January 1980
33) Rev. Donald Sanborn (Sedevacantist Bishop), Explanation of The Thesis Of Bishop Guérard Des Lauriers, (2002)
34) Fr. Joseph Mariae de Turre , O.P., Institutionum ad verbi Dei scriptiintelligentiam Tractatus tertius, Typis Pauli Montii, (1711), Tract. III, Quaest V, App., q. 4., p. 176.
35) Fr. Francisco, Palanco Tractatus De Fide Theologica. In 2. 2. Div. Thom. Ad illustrissimum d. d., Tract De Fide, Disp. III, Quaest. XI, Ad hac proposition Innocent XII, (1701) pp. 313-329.
36) Fr. Antonio De Alvalate, Cursus Theologicus...juxta mentem Doct. Joanni Dunsii Scoti, Tract II de Vera Relig., Disp III, Quaest III. (1757)
37) Hunter, Outlinesof Dogmatic Theology, Volume I (New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Benzinger Brothers, 1894) ch. VI, N. 211.
38) Thryso González de Santall, S.J. (general of the Jesuits) Deinfallibilitate Romani pontificis in definiendis fidei et morum controversiis (Rome: Felecis Caesaretti, 1689) Ch. XII, Disp I, Sect IX, XII. pp. 124-127
39) Cardinal Franzelin, Theses de ecclesia Christi (Romae : S.C. de Propaganda Fide, 1887), Thesis XIII, pp 232, 234.
40) Fr. Jourdain Hurtaud, 0. P., Professeur de Théologie Dogmatique, Savonarole. Aux Princes Chrétiens, Revue Thomiste, 1899, p. 660-661.
Fr. E. Sylvester Berry - The Church of Christ (1927)
"The extent of infallibility refers to the truths that may be defined by the Church with infallible authority. Some truths are directly subject to the infallible authority of the Church by their very nature; others only indirectly because of their connection with the former. The one set of truths constitutes the primary, the other secondary extent of infallibility. (…)
"This secondary or indirect extent of infallibility includes especially (a) theological conclusions, (b) truths of the natural order, (c) dogmatic facts (…)
"DOGMATIC FACTS. A dogmatic fact is one that has not been revealed, yet is so intimately connected with a doctrine of faith that without certain knowledge of the fact there can be no certain knowledge of the doctrine. For example, was the [First] Vatican Council truly ecumenical? Was Pius IX a legitimate pope? Was the election of Pius XI valid? Such questions must be decided with certainty before decrees issued by any council or pope can be accepted as infallibly true or binding on the Church. It is evident, then, that the Church must be infallible in judging of such facts, and since the Church is infallible in believing as well as in teaching, it follows that the practically unanimous consent of the bishops and faithful in accepting a council as ecumenical, or a Roman Pontiff as legitimately elected, gives absolute and infallible certainty of the fact." Berry, The Church of Christ, (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009, previously published by Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, 1955, pp. 288, 289, 290, originally published in 1927)
Cardinal Journet, The Church of the Word Incarnate 1955
"[T]he peaceful acceptance of the universal Church given to an elect, as to a head to whom it submits, is an act in which the Church engages herself and her fate. It is therefore an act in itself infallible and is immediately recognizable as such. (Consequently, and mediately, it will appear that all conditions prerequisite to the validity of the election have been fulfilled.)
"Acceptance by the Church operates either negatively, when the election is not at once contested; or positively, when the election is first accepted by those present and then gradually by the rest. The Church has the right to elect the Pope, and therefore the right to certain knowledge as to who is elected." (Cardinal Journet, Church of the Word Incarnate (London and New York: Sheed and Ward, 1955, pp. 481-482.)
Sylvester Hunter, S.J., Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, (1894)
“Dogmatic Facts: - But besides these speculative truths, there are certain matters of fact concerning which the Church can judge with infallibly certainty. These are called by many writers dogmatic facts [.]
“First, then, the Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain, it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith, as will be proved hereafter, communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops (n. 208); if then the uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise (St. Matt, xxviii. 20; and n. 199, II.) would be falsified, which is impossible.
“This argument is in substance the same as applies to other cases of dogmatic facts. Also, it affords an answer to a much vaunted objection to the claims of the Catholic Church, put forward by writers who think that they find proof in history that the election of a certain Pope was simoniacal and invalid, and that the successor was elected by Cardinals who owed their appointment to the simoniacal intruder; from which it is gathered that the Papacy has been vacant since that time. A volume might be occupied if we attempt to expose all the frailness of the argument which is supposed to lead to this startling conclusion; but it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined.” (Hunter, Outlines of DogmaticTheology, Volume I (New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Benzinger Brothers, 1894) ch. VI, N. 211.
W. Wilmers, A Handbook of the Christian Religion (1891):
“The difficulty is sometimes raised that it is impossible at times to know whether a pope is lawfully elected or not, and, consequently, whether he has the power to rule the Church or not. The answer is simple. If the whole Church once acknowledges any one as its lawful head, though the election may have been for some cause invalid, he thereby receives the sanction of the Church, which is equivalent to a second and valid election; whereupon he succeeds to all that power vested in the head of the Church. Hence no secret flaw can practically invalidate a papal election, and every defect in the election is removed by the ratification of the Church, so that any pope, universally acknowledged by the Church, is necessarily the true successor of St. Peter (W. Wilmers, ‘A Handbook of the Christian Religion,’ 3rd ed., Benziger Bros., New York, New York. 1891, page 95.)
Van Noort – Christ’s Church 1957
"Assertion 2: The Church’s infallibility extends to dogmatic facts. This proposition is theologically certain. A dogmatic fact is a fact not contained in the sources of revelation, [but] on the admission of which depends the knowledge or certainty of a dogma or of a revealed truth. The following questions are concerned with dogmatic facts: ‘Was the [First] Vatican Council a legitimate ecumenical council? Is the Latin Vulgate a substantially faithful translation of the original books of the Bible? Was Pius XII legitimately elected Bishop of Rome? One can readily see that on these facts hang the questions of whether the decrees of the [First] Vatican Council are infallible, whether the Vulgate is truly Sacred Scripture, whether Pius XII is to be recognized as supreme ruler of the universal Church." (Van Noort, Christ’s Church, (Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1957, p. 153.)
Van Noort – Sources of Revelation 1957
“Meantime, notice that the Church possesses infallibility not only when she is defining some matters in solemn fashion, but also when she is exercising the full weight of her authority through her ordinary and universal teaching. Consequently, we must hold with an absolute assent, which we call ‘ecclesiastical faith,’ the following theological truths: (a) those which the Magisterium has infallibly defined in solemn fashion; (b) those which the ordinary magisterium dispersed throughout the world unmistakably proposes to its members as something to be held (tenendas). So, for example, one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII is the legitimate successor of St. Peter’; similarly … one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII possesses the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church.’ For — skipping the question of how it begins to be proven infallibly for the first time that this individual was legitimately elected to take St. Peter’s place — when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church, it is clear that the ordinary and universal magisterium is giving an utterly clear-cut witness to the legitimacy of his succession.” (Van Noort, Sources of Revelation (Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1957, p. 265.)
Cardinal Billot - De Ecclesia Christ (1909)
"Finally, whatever you still think about the possibility or impossibility of the aforementioned hypothesis [of a Pope falling into heresy], at least one point must be considered absolutely incontrovertible and placed firmly above any doubt whatever: the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and the infallible providence of Christ: ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ and ‘Behold I shall be with you all days.’ For the adhesion of the Church to a false Pontiff would be the same as its adhesion to a false rule of faith, seeing that the Pope is the living rule of faith which the Church must follow and which in fact she always follows. As will become even more clear by what we shall say later, God can permit that at times a vacancy in the Apostolic See be prolonged for a long time. He can also permit that doubt arise about the legitimacy of this or that election. He cannot however permit that the whole Church accept as Pontiff him who is not so truly and legitimately.
"Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.” (De Ecclesia Christi, Quaestio XIV - De Romano Pontifice, Thesis XXIX, §3 1909.)
Hervé, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae (1952)
Herve: What good would it be to profess the infallible authority of Ecumenical Councils or Roman Pontiffs in the abstract if it were permitted to entertain doubts about the legitimacy of any given Council or Pontiff? (Hervé, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae, (Berche et Pagis, Editores, Parisiis, 1952.
A. Tanquerey – Synopsis theologiae dogmaticae fundamentalis: Ad mentem S. Thomae Aquinatis – (1896)
“All admit that the Church enjoys infallibility with regard to the legitimacy of a Holy Pontiff, and therefore that it cannot err when it unanimously recognizes that Pope as legitimate. Otherwise, the Church’s body would be separated from its head. That would be contrary to its indefectibility and unity.” (Tanquerey, Synopsis theologiae dogmaticae fundamentalis: Ad mentem S. Thomae Aquinatis, 1897, Caput II, No. 197, p. 482.; 1896, No. 195, p. 523)
Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year - 1875
“The inevitable play of human passions, interfering in the election of the Vicar of Christ, may perchance for a while [i.e., “for a certain time”] render uncertain the transmission of spiritual power. But when it is proved that the Church, still holding, or once more put in possession of her liberty, acknowledges in the person a certain Pope, until then doubtful, as the true Sovereign Pontiff, this her very recognition is a proof that, from that moment at least, the occupant of the Apostolic See is as such invested by God himself.” (Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Vol XII, 1875, pg. 188.)
St. Alphonsus Ligouri - 'Verita Della Fede' 1767
'It is of no importance that in the past centuries some Pontiff was illegitimately elected or took possession of the Pontificate by fraud; it is enough that he was accepted afterward by the whole Church as Pope, since by such acceptance he would have become the true Pontiff. But if for a certain time, he was not accepted universally and truly by the Church, during that time then, the pontifical see would be vacant, as it is vacant at the death of a Pope.” (Verita Della Fede', Part III, Ch. VIII, p. 720.)
Tanquerey - Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology (1959)
“The Church is infallible in regard to dogmatic facts. A dogmatic fact is one which is so much connected with a doctrine of the Church that knowledge of it is necessary in order to understand the doctrine and to preserve it safely.
“Dogmatic facts can be threefold: historical, doctrinal and hagiographical. Thus, dogmatic facts are the legitimacy of the Holy Pontiff, the ecumenical (universal) nature of a Council.
“That the Church is infallible in regard to dogmatic facts in certain. For if the Church could make mistake concerning the authority of the Holy Pontiff or of a Council, then there would always be grounds for doubting whether their decisions were infallible and accordingly for rejecting these decisions.” Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology, vol I, (New York; Tournai; Paris; Rome: Desclee Company, 1959), p. 146.
Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa 1B (1955)
“Dogmatic facts can be ether formally revealed, like the divine institution of the Church, the resurrection of Christ, etc., or necessarily connected with revealed truths, that is, truths which if they are not held, revelation itself cannot be protected or proposed. We are speaking only about these or about facts connected with revelation. But these are of two kinds: a) some are simply such, like the legitimacy of the Council of Trent [or of a Roman Pontiff], without which certitude about the dogmas defined by it would be called into doubt; b) but others are doctrinal like the orthodox or heterodox meaning of a human text.” (p. 261).
“In the decree of Vatican I, which had been prepared, the doctrine of the thesis was directly and explicitly defined; hence the thesis is proximate to a definition:
Vatican I draft, Canon IX: “If any one says that the infallibility of the Church I restricted only to those things which are contained in divine revelation, and does not also extend to other truths which are required necessarily in order to safeguard the whole deposit of revelation [i.e., dogmatic facts], let him be anathema.” (Mansi 51,543,552).
Canon IX. Si quis dixerit, Ecclesiae infallibilitatem ad ea tantum restringi, quae divina revelatione continentur, nec ad alias etiam veritates extendi, quae necessario requiruntur, ut revelationis depositum integrum custodiatur; anathema sit.
Vatican I, c. 9 approved, draft: “If anyone say that the Church of Christ can fail in the true faith, or certainly is not immune from error in no other matters except in those which per se are contained in the word of God, let him be anathema.” (Mansi 53,313,316. (Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa 1B, On The Church of Christ, On Holy Scripture, 3rd ed., translated by Kenneth Bakker S.J., Keep the Faith, Inc. 2015.
Hurter, S.J. Theologiae Dogmaticae Compendium (1885)
“[Dogmatic facts] include things of this sort: that the Sacred Scriptures we use are genuine; that the Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, Trent, etc. were legitimate; that Pius IX, Leo XIII, etc. were elected legitimately and consequently were legitimate successors to Peter as Bishops of Rome. Just see what would result if you would let any of these things be called into doubt. Definitions issued during Councils would not have certainty. There would be no sure way of determining the center of Catholic unity. In short, what would result is the uprooting of faith itself and the destruction of Rev- elation.
[Facta dogmatica] “ejus modi sunt, e.g., Scripturam s., qua utimur, esse genuinam; concilia nicaenum, ephesinum, tridentinum etc., fuisse legitima; Pius IX, Leonem XIII etc. Iegitime fuisse electos ac proinde legitimos Petri in episcopatu romano successores. Sane fac quidpiam horum in dubium vocetur, illico consequetur, editas definitiones in conciliis incertas, incertum esse centrum unitatis catholicae, scil. consequetur ipsius fidei excidium revelationisque pernicies. Hurter, S.J. Theologiae Dogmaticae Compendium (1885) I.338 (Thesis LV).
John of St. Thomas – Theological Courses, 1640
“The Church accepts the election and the elect as a matter of faith, because as she receives him as the infallible rule of faith, and as the supreme head to whom she is united—for the unity of the Church depends upon her union with him.
"TO THE OBJECTION that there must be someone to propose this truth to the Church as de fide, I respond that the election and the one elected are proposed by the cardinals, not in their own person, but in the person of the Church and by her power—for she it is who committed to them the power of electing the pope and of declaring him to have been elected. Wherefore they, in this respect and for this task, are the Church herself representatively. Thus the cardinals, or whoever else the Church (that is, the Pope) has legitimately designated to do the electing, represent the Church in all that concerns the election of her head, the successor of Peter.
“Just as the pope gathers the bishops together in a Council, and yet its confirmation and the ultimate sentence in matters of faith depend upon him, so the congregation of cardinals elects the pope, and declares that he has been elected, and yet it is the Church, whose ministers they are, that by its acceptance ultimately confirms as a truth of faith the fact that this man is truly the highest rule of faith and the supreme pontiff. Wherefore, if the cardinals elect him in a questionable manner, the Church can correct their election, as the Council of Constance determined in its 41st session. Hence, the proposition [i.e., that he is the legitimate Pope] is rendered de fide, as already has been explained, by the acceptance of the Church, and that alone, even before the pope himself defines anything.” (…)
"All that remains to be determined, then, is the exact moment when the acceptance of the Church becomes sufficient to render the proposition [i.e., that this man is Pope] de fide. Is it as soon as the cardinals propose the elect to the faithful who are in the immediate locality, or only when knowledge of the election has sufficiently spread through the whole world, wherever the Church is to be found?
"I REPLY that (as we have said above) the unanimous election of the cardinals and their declaration is similar to a definition given by the bishops at a Council legitimately gathered. Moreover, the acceptance of the Church is, for us, like a confirmation of this declaration. Now, the acceptance of the Church is realized both negatively, by the fact that the Church does not contradict the news of the election wherever it becomes known, and positively, by the gradual acceptance of the prelates of the Church, beginning with the place of the election, and spreading throughout the rest of the world. As soon as men see or hear that a Pope has been elected, and that the election is not contested, they are obliged to believe that that man is the Pope, and to accept him."
Sedevacantist Bishop, Donald Sanborn (2002)
“Q. Can a papal election be convalidated by the general acceptance of the Catholic people?
“A. Yes. This is generally conceded by Catholic theologians. The ultimate guarantee of a valid election is the universal acceptance of Catholics that a certain man has been elected. (Rev. Donald Sanborn, Explanation Of The Thesis Of Bishop Guérard Des Lauriers, Jan, 2002)
Arnaldo De Salveira - 1980
Silveira: In respect to a doubtful Pope, it is necessary to make it very clear here that the peaceful acceptance of a Pope by the whole Church is ‘a sign and an infallible effect of a valid election’. This is the common teaching of the authors.” (L’Ordo Missae de Paul VI: Qu’en penser?, Paris, 1980, p. 72).
Fr. Francis Connell – American Ecclesiastical Review - 1965
In the December 1965 issue of The American Ecclesiastical Review, Fr. Francis Connell provides a beautiful explanation of the doctrine and uses it to prove that Paul VI was validly baptized (condition) and validly elected pope.
Question: What certainty have we that the reigning Pontiff is actually the primate of the universal Church — that is, that he became a member of the Church through valid baptism, and that he was validly elected Pope?
Answer: Of course, we have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly elected in conclave and accepted the office of Bishop of Rome, thus becoming head of the universal Church. The unanimous consensus of a large group of Cardinals composing the electoral body gave us this assurance. And we also have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly baptized, since there is a record to that effect in the baptismal register of the church in which the sacrament was administered. We have the same type of certainty that any bishop is the true spiritual head of the particular See over which he presides. This type of certainty excludes every prudent fear of the opposite.
But in the case of the Pope we have a higher grade of certainty — a certainty that excludes not merely the prudent fear of the opposite, but even the possible fear of the opposite. In other words, we have infallible certainty that the present Sovereign Pontiff [Paul VI] has been incorporated into the Church by a valid baptism [condition] and has been validly elected head of the universal Church. For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements? This is an example of a fact that is not contained in the deposit of revelation but is so intimately connected with revelation that it must be within the scope of the Church’s magisterial authority to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and from this it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it with ecclesiastical – not divine – faith, based on the authority of the infallible Church. (American Ecclesiastical Review, vol. 153, Dec. 1965, p. 422.)
Rev. Kavanagh D.D. ., A Reply to Mr. Gladstone’s Vaticanism, 1895
“Mr. Gladstone need not be alarmed about the papal succession. Independently of all previous proceedings, the acceptance of Martin V by the Universal Church as lawful Pope proves that his election was canonical and legitimate; for the recognition of the true Pope is a dogmatic fact in which the Universal Church cannot err.” (Rev. James Kavanagh, D.D., A Reply to Mr. Gladstone’s Vaticanism, Dublin, James Guffy, 1895, p. 54)
Fr. Edmund O’Reilly – The Relations of the Church to Society (1892)
The following is Fr. O’Reilly’s reply to the same article by Mr. Gladstone:
“As to Pope Martin's right to his position, his universal acceptance by the Catholic Church settled that; and the universality of this acceptance was not appreciably affected by the obstinate persistence of Peter de Luna with a handful of adherents.” (Fr. Edmund O’Reilly, S.J., The Relations of the Church to Society (London, John Hodges, 1892) p. 308
Definition of Martin V – Council of Constance
The following question was defined by the Council to be proposed to those suspected of heresy:
“Also, whether he believes that the Pope canonically elected, who is reigning at the time (his proper name being given), is the successor of Blessed Peter, having supreme authority in the Church of God? (Inter Cunctus, Council of Florence)
Definition of Martin V Explained by John of St. Thomas 1640
The following is John of St. Thomas’ explanation of why this definition renders the peaceful and universal acceptance of a Pope de fide:
“Martin V, in the Council of Constance, in the condemnation of the errors of Wyclif, which is to be found after the fourth, fifth, and last sessions of the Council, in the interrogations that are to be made of those whose faith is suspect, to see whether they rightly believe, puts this question. Also, whether he believes that the Pope canonically elected, who is reigning at the time (his proper name being given), is the successor of Blessed Peter, having supreme authority in the Church of God? These words do not speak of the truth of that proposition understood in a general sense—namely, that whoever is lawfully elected is the Supreme Pontiff—but in the particular, concerning whoever is pope at the time, giving his proper name, for instance, Innocent X. It is of this man, whose proper name is given, that the pope is bidding the person suspect in faith to be asked, whether he believes that such a person is the successor of Peter and the Supreme Pontiff: therefore this pertains to the act of faith—not to an inference or a moral certitude; for neither of the latter two is a matter of faith.” (…)
“[W]hoever is elected by the persons that the Church designates to choose a pope in her name, by the very fact that he is accepted by the Church as legitimately elected, is in fact pope. This latter is what the definition of Martin V, related above, as well as the acceptance of the Church, is really about.”
“Therefore, we have the certainty of faith, by a revelation implicitly contained in the Creed and in the promise made to Peter, and made more explicit in the definition of Martin V, and applied and declared in act (in exercitio) by the acceptance of the Church, that this man in particular, canonically elected according to the acceptance of the Church, is pope. The certainty of faith touches this alone; and whatever is prerequisite to, or else follows upon, the fact of the election, is inferred as a theological conclusion drawn from the proposition that is de fide, and is believed mediately.”
Bull of Pope Martin explained by Ferraris, Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica. – 1764
“It is of faith that Benedict XIV [currently reigning Pope], for instance, legitimately elected and accepted as such by the Church, is the true Pope. This is proved from the Council of Constance, sess. ult. where Martin V. Const. Inter Cunctus, decrees that those who return from heresy to the faith shall be asked, among other points, ‘Whether they believe that the Pope canonically elected, for the time being, his name being expressly mentioned, is the successor of St. Peter, having supreme authority in the Church of God.’ For thereby he supposes it to be an article of faith, since those who abjure heresy are ‘interrogated only as to truths of faith.’ (…)
“Through the mere fact that the Church receives him as legitimately elected, God reveals to us the legitimacy of his election (quoque est certa, quia eo ipso quod Ecclesia ipsum recepit ut légitime electum, revelat Deus ipsius electionem esse legitimam), since Christ has promised that His Church shall never err in a matter of faith … whereas she would err in such matter of faith if the conclusion did not hold; since the Church by recognizing the elect the legitimate Pope, she acknowledges him as the infallible rule of faith (whereas if he were not the true Pope), he would be fallible. The definitions of Benedict XIV when he speaks ex cathedra are de fide; but the assent would not be de fide, if it were not de fide that Benedict is the true Pope. It is not valid [to say]: it’s not de fide that Benedict XIV is validly baptized and canonically elected, since it is not revealed; therefore, it is not de fide is that it is the true Pope. It is not valid, I say, because although it is not explicitly revealed, it is revealed implicitly through the peaceful and universal acceptance of the Church; since by this fact God has revealed that he is the legitimate Pope, he thereby implicitly revealed that all the necessary conditions for him to become Pope were met.” Ferraris, Louis, Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica Iuridica Moralis Theologica. (Romae: S. C. De Propaganda Fide, 1764) article Papa, Nos. 67 – 71, p. 53.
Bull of Pope Martin explained by Antonio Arbiol, Selectae Disputationes Scholasticae, Et Dogmaticae - 1702.
“The Bull of Martin V, in the Council of Constance, determine that heretics returning to the Church are to be asked if they believe the Pope, canonically elected, reigning for a time, his name being given, is the true successor of Bl. Peter; and if not they are to be punished as a heretic and follower of the Heresiarch John Huss; but that would not be the case, if it were not de fide; therefore, etc.”
The following his reply to the objection that the legitimacy of a pope cannot be de fide, since it is not de fide that he was canonically elected, or baptized, etc.
“… after he was peacefully and universally accepted, as we saw above, not only is the election is canonical and de fide; but also that he was baptized, as well as many other things that were not previously de fide; for since by Divine Providence will not permit the Church cannot err [by universally accepting a false pope], all these are implicitly revealed in the promise of Christ: ‘Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.” (…) Therefore, after the peaceful and universal acceptance, the proposition [that he is the true Pope] is not merely probable; it is de fide. No Catholic authors relate differently. Indeed, all teach that by the peaceful and universal acceptance of the Church all the related conditions also become de fide, which beforehand were not de fide.” (Arbiol, Antonio O.F.M., Selectae disputationes scholasticae, et dogmaticae, Caesar-Augustae: Emm. Roman Univ, 1702, Disp II, Art XII.
Explanation of the Definition of Martin V by Fr. Smith, S.J. 1895
Fr. Sydney Smith, S.J., quotes the renowned Italian canonist, Lucius Ferraris (Bibliotheca – 1764), who explains why this definition renders the legitimacy of a Pope, who has been peacefully and universally accepted, de fide:
“[The doctrine stating that a Pope who has been peacefully and universally accepted is infallibly the true Pope] is no mere theory, but the common doctrine of Catholic theologians, as will appear sufficiently from the following passage in Ferraris’ Bibliotheca , a work of the highest authority. In his article on the Pope, Ferraris says, ‘It is of faith (de fide) that Benedict XIV, for instance, legitimately elected and accepted as such by the Church, is the true Pope — (common doctrine among Catholics). This is proved from the Council of Constance (sess. Ult.) where Martin V’s Constitution, Inter Cunctos, decrees that those who return from heresy to the faith shall be asked, among other points, ‘Whether they believe that the Pope canonically elected, for the time being, his name being expressly mentioned, is the successor of St. Peter, having supreme authority in the Church of God.’ For thereby he [Fr. Ferraris] supposes it to be an article of faith, since those who abjure heresy are ‘interrogated only as to truths of faith’.”
Fr. Smith continues by quoting Farris’ explanation of what is required for one to be “canonically elected”:
“It will be said, ‘Yes, but he speaks only of a Pontiff canonically elected and as such accepted by the Church, so his authority cannot therefore be quoted for the case of one whose canonical election is called in question.’ This, however, is an objection which Ferraris himself anticipates, and he meets it thus:
‘Through the mere fact that the Church receives him as legitimately elected, God reveals to us the legitimacy of his election, since Christ has promised that His Church shall never err in a matter of faith. … Through the mere fact that the Church receives him as legitimately elected, God reveals to us the legitimacy of his election, since Christ has promised that His Church shall never err in a matter of faith … whereas she would err in such matter of faith if the conclusion did not hold[.]’” (Fr. Sydney Smith, S.J., “ Dr. Littledale’s Theory of the Disappearance of the Papacy,” Catholic Truth Society, Vol. XXVI, London, 1895.
Professor Boni - Beyond a Resignation. The Decision of Pope Benedict XVI and The Law - 2015
“Finally, Antonio Socci argues: ‘Even if the validity of the procedures followed that March 13, 2013 was expressed only a doubtful judgment, it can be assumed that the conclave must be redone because the doctrine teaches that" dubius pope habetur pro non papa "(a doubtful pope he considers himself as not a Pope), as the great doctor of the Church and Jesuit cardinal San Roberto Bellarmino writes in the treatise "De conciliis et ecclesia militante’ (pp. 7, 122).
“On the contrary, even if what has been reported had happened, the procedure followed, as demonstrated, would have been entirely "ad normam iuris" (as provided by law): the election of Pope Francis, having reached the expected majority in the fifth ballot (the first, I remember, occurred on May 12), it would be valid, there would be nothing to heal, there would be no doubt, much less "positive" and "insoluble" (as the law postulates), on its validity.
“Given the total legal groundlessness of these suppositions, even to want to give credit to the information on which it claims to take root, the bogeyman - rashly agitated - of the current assidarsi on Peter’s chair of a doubtful Pope also vanishes. However, the canonist have constantly and generally chorus that the peaceful "universalis ecclesiae adhaesio" is a sign and infallible effect of a valid election and a legitimate papacy (): and the adhesion to Pope Francis of the people of God cannot be put in any way in doubt.” (Dr. Boni, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Bologna, and Advisor of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. “Beyond a Resignation. The Decision of Pope Benedict XVI and The Law,” Bologna, 2015.)
Sedevacantist Bishop, Donald Sanborn (2004)
“III. Five Errors of Opinionism
“ERROR 1: Opinionism places the identity of the Roman Pontiff, i.e., whether Ratzinger is the Vicar of Christ or not, in the category of “theological opinion.” The very term opinion indicates that it is not certain whether he is or he is not the pope. It is impossible to hold, however, that there is a lack of certitude on this subject.
“Those who hold that he is the pope point to absolutely certain signs: (1) a legal election which was universally accepted; (2) Ratzinger’s own acceptance of the election; (3) Ratzinger’s functioning as pope; (4) the universal acceptance of Ratzinger as a legitimate pope. None of these things is uncertain. If one is using these arguments as evidence of his papacy, where is there any room for doubt? (Rev. Donald Sanborn, Opinionism, 2004)
Sedevacantist Apologist, John Lane
“The adherence of the whole Church to any given claimant is in itself a proof that all of the necessary requisites for validity are present. The reason for this is the indefectibility of the Church, which cannot adhere to a false visible head. … it is certainly a powerful argument for sedeplenism, which is perhaps why most sedevacantists never mention it. (John Lane, Sedevacantist Apologist).
Consequently, the Society of St. Pius X, its priests, brothers, sisters and oblates, cannot tolerate among its members those who refuse-to pray for the Pope or affirm that the Novus Ordo Missae is per se invalid. Certainly, we suffer from this continual incoherence which consists in praising all the Liberal orientations of Vatican II and at the same time straining to mitigate its effects. But all of this must incite us to prayer and to the firm maintenance of Tradition rather than to the affirmation that the Pope is not the Pope.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, The New Mass and the Pope, The Angelus, January 1980)
Archbishop Lefebvre – The New Mass and the Pope (1980)
“Does not the exclusion of the cardinals of over eighty years of age, and the secret meetings which preceded and prepared the last two Conclaves render them invalid? Invalid: no, that is saying too much. Doubtful at the time: perhaps. But in any case, the subsequent unanimous acceptance of the election by the Cardinals and the Roman clergy suffices to validate it. That is the teaching of the theologians.
“The visibility of the Church is too necessary to its existence for it to be possible that God would allow that visibility to disappear for decades. The reasoning of those who deny that we have a Pope puts the Church in an extricable situation. Who will tell us who the future Pope is to be? How, as there are no cardinals, is he to be chosen? This spirit is a schismatical one for at least the majority of those who attach themselves to certainly schismatical sects like Palmar de Troya, the Eglise Latine de Toulouse, and others. (…)
 See, for all, Franciscus Xav. Wernz, Petrus Vidal, "Ius canonicum", II, "De personis", apud aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Romae, 1943, pp. 520-521. On this point Ludwig Billot, "Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi", I, Editio quinta, apud aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Romae, 1927, p. 623 ss.