Why Marcel Lefebvre Was Never A Priest Or Bishop
(Thomistic Principles Invalidate SSPX "Orders" From Layman Lefebvre)
"Strong Reason Conquers Weak Emotion"
“[T]he episcopal power depends on the priestly power, since no one can receive the episcopal power unless he
have previously the priestly power. Therefore the episcopate is not an Order.” (Summa, Supp. 40, 5)
Invalidity Proven By Summa:
a) "Sacrament of Order." In this sense, Aquinas distinguishes that he means "...as a sacrament... every Order is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Wherefore since the bishop has not a higher power than the priest, in this respect the episcopate is not an Order." The episcopal elevation does not place any indelible character upon the soul. Thus, the candidate for the episcopacy must already have been validly ordained. This is the point that the SSPX tried to obfuscate in their 1988 Angelus article they released attempting to defend against the exposure of Liénart's Freemasonry and his 1947 attempt to elevate Lefebvre. They attributed Lefebvre's validity as having come - not from Liénart - but from the episcopal power of the two valid co-consecrators present with Achilles Liénart in 1947.
SSPX argued hypothetically that even if Lefebvre had never been validly ordained in 1929 by Liénart because Liénart was a Freemason prior to his 1928 episcopal elevation, and therefore Liénart was never a valid bishop, nevertheless, the episcopal elevation ceremony of 1947 would have automatically made Lefebvre a priest. How? Because, they said, that part of Q. 37 says the previously never-received lesser powers of Orders are automatically provided by reception of the higher power of Order (ordination). The SSPX author then extended (erroneously) this Q. 37 principle Lefebvre's elevation, thus declaring Lefebvre a valid bishop, even if he had never been a validly ordained priest from 1929 to 1947. But I argue that the SSPX had to deliberately withhold the teaching of Summa Suppl Q. 40 Art. 5 Reply to Obj. 2 which clearly states that the episcopal elevation does not place a character on the soul - it merely provides more grace to assist the bishop in his responsibilities - and that the episcopal candidate must have a previous valid ordination. And so to counter that fact, the SSPX two years later came up with another article in the Angelus now arguing that one has to accept the elevation of Liénart in 1928 as being valid - even though they do not deny he was a Freemason - on the belief that since no one could know his mind at the time and that he had a proper episcopal elevation ceremony, then we must assume he had the minimal proper intent. Mr. Donald Sanborn in Brooksville, Florida, makes this same argument today. In response, I argue that the continued high-ranking membership of Liénart in the Freemasonic Religion - including his gleeful, deathbed statement in 1973 (that the "...Catholic Church is dead.") - is itself a manifestation of his intent, as a Freemason, i.e., to destroy the Catholic religion, a well documented primary goal of Freemasonry.
b) "Sacrament of Order" In Q. 40 Art 5, Aquinas states: "In another way Order may be considered as an office in relation to certain sacred actions... has in relation to the mystical body a higher power than the priest, the episcopate is an Order.) The body of Aquinas' reply in Q. 40 Art. 5: " I answer that, Order may be understood in two ways. In one way as a sacrament, and thus as already stated (Q. 37, AA. 2, 4), every Order is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Wherefore since the bishop has not a higher power than the priest, in this respect the episcopate is not an Order. In another way Order may be considered as an office in relation to certain sacred actions : and thus since in hierarchical actions a bishop has in relation to the mystical body a higher power than the priest, the episcopate is an Order. It is in this sense that the authorities quoted speak. (The authorities to whom Aquinas was referring above in Objection 1 to this Fifth Article in Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite (Eccl. Hier. v.)
"Reply Obj. 2. Order considered as a sacrament which imprints a character is specially directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Christ Himself is contained, because by a character we are made like unto Christ Himself. Hence, although at his promotion a bishop receives a spiritual power in respect of certain sacraments, this power nevertheless had not the nature of a character. For this reason the episcopate is not an Order, in the sense in which an Order is a sacrament. "Reply Obj. 3. The episcopal power is one not only of jurisdiction but also of Order, as stated above, taking Order in the sense in which it is generally understood. (i.e., it is a Sacrament of Order as an Office "in relation to certain sacred action...in relation to the mystical body", not a character-imprinting Sacrament of Order.)
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