Catholic Bishops: Where Are They Gone?

Benns & Bawden, in their book, ‘Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century’, state that the Episcopal Ordinations of the Thuc lineage bishops are illegitimate. But in their own book, they quote Canon 2261, para 2:

"... The faithful may for ANY JUST REASON ask the sacraments and sacramentals from an excommunicate, ESPECIALLY if there is no other minister available and the excommunicate, at their request, may minister to them without any obligation to inquire the reason for their request." (page 71).

The Latin text is as follows : Can. 2261. par. 2:

"Fideles, salvo praescripto par. 3, possunt ex qualibet iusta causa ab excommunicato Sacramenta et Sacramentalia petere, maxime si alii ministri desint, et tunc excommunicatus requisitus potest eadem ministrare neque ulla tenetur obligatione causam a requirente percontandi."

Safer Path or Probable Path?

Given this fact, how is it that these Episcopal Ordinations are rejected as invalid and sinful? Is this not an extra-ordinary circumstance, and is it not a fact beyond dispute that there is no other minister available, and that it is necessary to preserve the Episcopal Order?

Some look forward to ‘Hidden Bishops’ in the Soviet Union or China, but in the last decade that which saw the end of the Soviet Union, where are these bishops? Those few who did come out, came out and joined the Antichurch led by Charles Voltiva! That is proof that the heresy had infilterated even the Church in the Iron Curtain. And must we now wait for the collapse of Chinese Communism? This is foolishness. The need to preserve the Church admits of no delays.

We are commanded to choose the safer path and not the probable path where it concerns the Sacraments. Is it the safer path or the probable path to hold that there are unquestionable Catholic bishops hidden away somewhere in Russia or China and that therefore there is no need for the Thuc bishops?

Therefore, it is rash, foolish and un-Catholic, even anti-Catholic to reject these bishops.

This statement is not to be construed to mean that I endorse any of these bishops. I merely consider them probablely, not certainly Catholic. I am aware that these bishops are a ragtag bunch of diverse views, and that some of them are mere charlattans, while others are heretics or heretical, etc.

For a list of these bishops, visit Terrence Boyle's site.

Problems with the Canon 2261.2

While the Canon 2261.2 seemingly justifies the reception of orders - both sacerdotal and Episcopal - by Catholics at the hands of such doubtful persons as Thuc, etc., there remain grievous problems with this legislation: doubts that need to be settled.

Principally, it apparently contradicts the Divine prohibition against "Communicatio in Sacris": Participation in Unlawful Assemblies and Foreign Liturgies, as those of all and every foreign body, whether merely schismatic, or heretical, apostate, pagan, etc.

Secondly, there is a question as to the exact meaning of the term EXCOMMUNICATE.

Does it mean any heretic and schismatic? Or does it mean people who are in the process of being judged by (and possibly expelled from) the Church, and who are therefore not to be considered as non-members?

On 14th February, 2002, I wrote to Frs. Daniel Sanborn & Anthony Cekada, to a member of the Institute Mater Bonii Consilii and to Bishop Oliver Oravec in Slovakia, asking for clarification (the Mind of the Church) on the interpretation of this Canon. Only Bishop Oravec replied. He confirmed the existence of the Canon, but did not provide the clarification I sought. Therefore I am still where I began.

One possible explanation of this problem is that the Canon only permits the reception of the sacraments and not participation in these forbidden liturgies. However, I would like to know the mind of the Church on the issue.
© 2000 - 2001, Prakash Mascarenhas, Bombay, India.
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