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An Open Letter to Archbishop Lefebvre by Bishop George Musey November 1983

An Open Letter to Archbishop Lefebvre by Bishop George Musey November 1983

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Published by David Bawden
Bishop George Musey writes to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvfre to explain why we need to elect a Pope to fill the vacancy in Rome.
Bishop George Musey writes to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvfre to explain why we need to elect a Pope to fill the vacancy in Rome.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: David Bawden on Jan 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/28/2014

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OPEN LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP LEFEBVRE
Sacred Heart Newsletter, November 1983, Official Publication of the WESTERNCATHOLIC DIOCESE of the U.S.A. under Bishop George Musey, pages 4 and 5:Your Grace,Four years ago, November 8, 1979, in an article entitles “The New Mass and ThePope”, you went on record as opposed to those who contend that we have no true Pope onthe Throne of St. Peter those who have since come to be stigmatized as“Sedevacantists”. Because of the prominence you enjoy among Traditional Catholic – even though you have lately resigned your position as head of the Society of St. Pius Xand largely retired from the public scene – most of these, including priests, have takeyour authority for this and parroted your reasoning. Today they are loathe to recognizethe Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Ngo-Dihn-Thuc, who hold with him that thePopes of and since Vatican II are illegitimate.“A good number of theologians,” you wrote, “teach that the Pope can be hereticalas a private doctor or theologian, but not as a teacher of the Universal Church.”Reasoning that unless a Pope “willed to engage infallibility,” any doctrinal error he mightmake would not be made in his capacity as a teacher of the Universal Church.Do you mean to say that a Pope does not speak as Pope unless he speaks exCathedra (“willing to engage infallibility”)? If so, then we must hold that papal Bulls,Constitutions, Encyclicals, and other such lesser pronouncements are not really “papaldocuments, as they are commonly called, after all.And why do you arbitrarily limit the field of discussion to whether a Pope can become heretical, saying that he cannot be heretical as a teacher of the Universal Church?What of one who is found to have been heretical before his election? If perhaps a Popecannot become formally heretical, can a heretic be validly elected Pope? Why do youtake no account of the Constitution Cum Ex Apostolatu of Paul IV, which solemnlydeclares invalid the elevation or election to office of even a (supposed) Pope who isfound to “have deviated (sic) from the Catholic faith” before-hand? You blithely ignorethe main authority for the stand of the Thuc Bishops.You say that Paul VI “acted much more the Liberal than as a man attached toheresyand that “equivocations is the very mark of a Liberal”. But in matters of orthodoxy is not ambiguity or equivocation equivalent to doubt? If so, what of themaxim, Dubius in Fide haereticus? (Cf. Canon 1325). Are not Liberal Catholics at leastsuspicious of heresy? Is not a Liberal Pope, on that score along, at best a doubtful Pope?“The visibility of the Church,” you say, “is too necessary to its existence for it to be possible that God would allow that visibility to disappear for decades”. Is your implicit allowance for it disappearing at all tantamount to doubting the indefectibility of the Catholic Church? If her existence as a visible society depends entirely on the Pope,then how does it not follow that during the interregnum between the death and election of a Pope the Church ceases to be visible? What matters the length of time?“The reasoning of those who deny that we have a Pope,” you wrote, “puts theChurch in an inextricable situation. Who will tell us who the future Pope is to be? How,as there are no (valid) Cardinals, is he to be chosen.”1

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