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Hilary White Nov 14
If a law by its nature is totally unenforceable, is it a law?
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Br. Martin of Our Mother of Consolation, SSA Nov 14
St. Thomas says no.
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Bill Howard Nov 14
I’m simply trying to deal with an issue that I’ve yet to see anyone deal with.
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Hilary White Nov 14
Thing is, a law that can only be enforced by the person who violates it is kind of a non-issue.
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Bill Howard Nov 14
If a Pope decrees that if I do X I am automatically excommunicated and I do X, am I excommunicated?
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Hilary White Nov 14
But it's not the same. In this case, the pope who promulgated the law is dead. So it's not a pope saying it; it's a law on the books, but since this law is ONLY about a pope, and ONLY a pope can determine if it has been violated, it logically negates itself. You can't break...
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Bill Howard Nov 14
I’m out of my depth on the canon law aspect to this. The decree, by its nature, was to apply to conclaves following St JP2’s passing, including its excommunication provisions.
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Hilary White Nov 14
It's not about canon law. It's just logic. The law applies to only one person. But that person has the power to ignore or even declare it null. If the law can only be interpreted or enforced by the only person capable of violating it, it's anti-rational, unenforceable.
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Bill Howard Nov 14
One difficulty I’m having with your last observation is that it overlooks the issue of the election’s validity. Yes, Francis can ignore UDG. But that does not validate the conclave’s election. UDG’s intent is to ensure the Holy Spirit guided the election, not politicking
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Hilary White Nov 14
The validity of a papal election rests on more than one thing, the most important of which is his acceptance by the Church in the person of the bishops. Even C. Burke, an elector and canon lawyer, has said nothing about UDG affecting validity. Its the reason the question...
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Hilary White
is unanswerable. Only a pope can determine if a person has violated UDG and only a pope can violate UDG. If these are the same person, what have we got? Only a pope can say that a previous pope had been an antipope. So, maybe the answer to your question will simply have to wait.
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Steven Wiberg Nov 18
This is true in normal circumstances, but obviously cannot be true when there isn't a Pope, especially so when the pope would be a heretic.
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Mary Parks Nov 17
Not true. Presciently, JPII said in UDG that no statement of invalidity was necessary. What a gift.
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