Election Update #n

Christ The King Library. Staff: David Allen Bawden & Mrs. Teresa Stanfill-Benns. Date:

Rights Of The Universal Church To Vote

Text Source

We have covered all of the basics in connection with the qualification of electors, either by class or individually in this special 'Update'. Now we come to some of the unanswered questions.

By devolution the election of a Pope has fallen to the Universal Church. Who then, is the Universal Church and which members of her can vote?

Basic Law

According to Canon 162 three months from the date the vacancy becomes known to the voters they must proceed to an election. On January 25th the possibility of an'' election became obtainable. According to Canon 9, law which is published becomes effective three months from the date of publication. In our case that date is April 25th, so the election must be completed by July 25th. On July 26th our class of voters would become disqualified. However, our disqualification as the last possible voters would be impossible, so the election will take place on or before July 25th, 1990, as Canon 162 is bound also in heaven.

The immediate question which comes to mind concerns the disqualification of all preceding classes of voters. The Cardinals are certainly disqualified, (as are the Canons of St. John Lateran and the Bishops), because they are presumed to know the true facts and yet failed to act. The clergy are also disqualified as a class, because the laity waited for them to act as they normally would. The structure of the Church is such that the laity expect the ecclesiastical goods, especially the necessary means of salvation to be supplied by the clergy. This expectation of the laity places an obligation on the clergy. which constitutes a dominative power of the laity over the clergy. The clergy who remained in the Church not only knew of the vacancy, but were morally certain of it and should have' know of the necessity of a Papal Election. Some of these clerics knew of the possibility of a Papal Election over a decade ago, before the sede vacante theory was known among the laity at all. The clergy had the ability to know these things and were obliged to find the truth for themselves and for the laity. Although barred from ecclesiastical function, the clergy still has a duty in charity to the laity to provide us with the truth, as they have far easier access to it than we do and are trained to use these tools. Until January 25th of this year there was not available an adequate dissertation on the problems in the Church, including the sede vacante and a road map to a absolution. As such, then, it was not possible for the majority of the laity to know of the alarming proportions of the the problem and the fact that there is a solution much less a detailed prescription of how to proceed. Therefore the laity did not know of the necessity of the election until this year and could not be disqualified, as the Canonists hold that ignorance of the vacancy and the necessity of election excuse.

  1. Only the laity remain qualified as a class to elect a Pope under the principle of devolution and presumption of law. THEREFORE anyone who qualifies as an elector must qualify as a layman.

Qualification Of Laymen To Vote

Having narrowed the voters to the laymen, we now know that we, the laity, are obliged to proceed with a Papal Election. Those members of the laity present on July 18th and qualified to vote will be the electors of the next Pope. In addition to the qualifications enumerated above, we must consider several other qualifications. To do this we must review the various proofs of our rights as laymen.

Is Election A Jurisdictional Act?

In Will The Catholic Church Survive The 20th. Century we presented proofs of the laity's right to vote breed on the assumption that election is an act of jurisdiction. These proofs hold true whether election is an exercise of dominative power or an exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. However, certain members of the laity may not be allwoed to exercise jurisdiction. although they certainly possess their dominative power unimpaired. We shall examine this question syllogistically
  1. Election is the filling of a vacant office by those INFERIOR to the office holder.

  2. But jurisdiction cannot be exercised over a superior.
THEREFORE, election is not a jurisdictional act.

Offices are filled by the superior through appointment, and by inferiors through election. Normally elections consist of several people. although if only one elector remains, he still elects his superior. In both cases the jurisdiction connected with the office does NOT come from the electors but from God through the office holder's superiors. Papal jurisdiction comes from God to the one the Church designates. Although we may elect the Pope we cannot exercise any power over him, or bind him in any way as the Pope has no superior on earth.

CONCLUSION: Election is an act of dominative power. Our dominitive power gives us an unlimited right to Divine truth which comes from the Pope.

THEREFORE, we not only can but must elect a Pope, who can give us the words of salvation.

Is Election a Privilege

We have already proven that it is our privilege in these dire circumstances, a privilege extended by Nicolaus II to us to elect a Pope. Although this privilege extends to the clergy and people. the clergy have resigned their privilege to the laity by their actions, leaving the laity, as the only possessors of thin privilege. This privilege. overrides the ecclesiastical laws barring laymen from electing and barring women from any voice in ecclesiastical affairs. This privilege is possessed by ALL who are qualified by Natural and Divine law to vote. This includes all Catholics over the age of 14 with the exception of formal heretics and apostates. Those doubtfully baptized are not qualified, nor are those incapable of a human act or insane.

Can Clerics Qualify as Laymen?

Those who are clerics are held to a higher standard as proven above. This higher standard provides that AS A CLASS clerics are disqualified. However. they are yet members of the Universal Church. Provided they can prove their ignorance in accordance with their state of life they are permitted to join with the laity and vote, although they are deprived of their rights as clerics, because of the crimes of the clergy in general. This should include their right to 'wear ecclesiastical garb, which right has been abandoned by the majority of Traditionalist clergy. (The 'clerical shirt' is not clerical garb in accordance with law and custom in the United States and other English speaking countries.) The clergy should wear the clerical shirt WITHOUT COLLAR, suit coat and black pants. If they have abandoned clerical garb completely, they should not take it up now but wait until the Pope can decide what shall be done.

Changes In Election Procedure

Since our right, as laymen, to elect has been proven to be a privilege, this necessarily changes our election procedure.

The procedure outlined in Will The Catholic Church Survive The 20th. Century was based on the presumption that the .electors would elect as replacements of the Cardinals and not based on their privilege to act as electors IN THEIR OWN RIGHT in this extreme case. Therefore... the presumption must yield to truth. We shall new outline the changes in election procedure based on the privilege of the laity to elect, when all other classes have failed.

Amendment of Election Procedure

To begin with, the electors shall wear lay dress, since they are acting as laymen exercising a privilege granted them by Nicolaus II. Even the clergy, who may per chance qualify, can only qualify as laymen, since they have already disqualified themselves as a class. Although Canon Law directs them, ordinarily to wear the proper ecclesiastical dress, the clergy has abandoned this dress and their abandonment shall be carried on into the election, if they are qualified to vote. It is most likely that no cleric can qualify; and even if he could he is disqualified because his class of electors is barred from electing by their disqualification for failure to elect.

Secondly, the election procedure must be amended to have all electors sit outside the Communion rail as they would have done in people and clergy elections before Nicolaus 11. Therefore, the sanctuary will be small to provide for an altar to lend the appearance of a church, although we cannot licitly erect a church per se. The tellers shall sit at a table directly outside the communion rail and the electors shall sit in pews or stand as the laity are want to do in churches throughout the world.

Thirdly, officers of the election shall be selected solely by date of Baptism, (or date of Profession of Faith for validly baptized on-Catholics later received into the Church). The sacristan shall recite the Veni Creator and prayer according to the rubrics standing before the attar outside the communion rail. Only men shall serve in official capacity as officers of the election according to the tradition of the Church and the spirit of Canon Law.

Fourthly, women shall be qualified to vote, as the privilege is extended to the PEOPLE, that is, men and women without distinction. Canon 68 dealing with the interpretation of privileges states, privileges which grant an exemption from the law in favor of private individuals must be strictly interpreted: in no case should the interpretation be so rigorous that the privilege confers no benefit for some benefit must accrue from the privilege. A STRICT interpretation would mandate the INCLUSION of woman voters. Women shall have the right of vote along with men, subject to the same qualifications as men. Of course women cannot validly receive a vote or be elected, as Divine law prohibits this. The women shall have their heads covered and remain silent in the election with the exception of the recitation of the prayer immediately preceding their vote and the joining in the prayer before each ballot according to the rubrics. Women possess dominative power-and privilege in this election, and any denigration of this noble state of women shall not be tolerated.

Fifthly, our privilege was granted prior to the establishment of the conclave and the circumstances. of permitting women to vote require that the conclave method be abandoned in favor of an open election. The law establishing the conclave as the ONLY method to be used for papal election did not exist until the thirteenth century. The privilege again, must be interpreted STRICTLY; and Pope Leo the Great's law legislated for an OPEN election, so the privilege allowing us to vote calls also for a return to this method. It is obvious that the ecclesiastical law of conclave binds only clerics and possibly only Cardinals, and our privilege being an exception in an extraordinary case requires us to abide by the implicit presumption of open election existing when the privilege was granted.

Catholics including children, (although not qualified to vote), are nevertheless permitted to be present at the election as .they were in previous elections where people voted. Of course, non-Catholics, heretics, apostates and notorious excommunicates are barred from the place of election altogether.


The Staff

EDITOR: David Bawden.

STAFF WRITER: Teresa Stanfill Benns

Is David Bawden A Non-Catholic?

Text Source

Many have complained about my statements on page 354 (Will The Catholic Church Survive The 20th. Century), where I admit that under the most strict interpretation of the law I am a baptized non-Catholic. This objection and answer were intended to get people's attention and point out the seriousness of the situation as well as the necessity of the Papacy. However, it has worked an evil since many merely say I am crazy and refuse to study the point. So please allow me to clarify the situation.

True; under the strict interpretation I would be considered a baptized non-Catholic, just as priests ordained after January 1, 1959 are only probably called to the priesthood and therefore suspended until a Papal decision can be rendered, (page 162). This is the reason for including the objection and answer in the first place. However, the situation of priests and laymen is different, as we are studying in this issue. Priests are suspended for the good of the Church in doubtful cases, and Canon 21 obliges observance of the suspension. Laymen are excommunicated for non-Catholic baptism for their own good, when they have publicly adhered to the non-Catholic sect, the non-Catholicity of the minister was known and there was no necessity to proceed with the Baptism.

Personally I believe the Pope will not hold the strict interpretation in either case mentioned above. I believe all priests ordained between 1958 and March 1963, when the heretical 'encyclical' Pacem in Terris was issued, will be given the benefit of the doubt and reinstated, provided there is no other censure involved and they submit themselves to the Pope. I believe even further latitude will be advanced to the laity. However, since I am NOT the Pope, I haven't the jurisdiction to make an AUTHORITATIVE statement of this kind; may only venture an opinion based on Canon Law and the Ecclesiastical Norms. As such my opinion is not binding nor normative.

Let us look at my case in more detail. Having been baptized about a year after Roncalli's election, the invalidity of this act was totally unknown and there was no reason (in the United States especially) to suspect his 'election'. Therefore we can outline the following:
  1. De facto I was Baptized by a material schismatic, whose crime was unknown as the crime of Roncalli, invalidating his election, was unknown to Catholics. although the Cardinals should have been aware of it and are NOT excused.

  2. My parents and grandparents intended to have me baptized into the Catholic Church.

  3. The Catholic Rite was employed, and to all outward appearances I was baptized in a Catholic Church by the newly appointed pastor.
THEREFORE: under Canon 209 in this case jurisdiction was supplied and I was baptized a Catholic.

What If I Am Wrong?

One of my reasons for promoting a Papal Election is to have my situation regularized and an authoritative decision on the above reasoning issued, as is my right. Either the Pope will approve my reasoning or grant me the required absolution under Canon 2314. Therefore, I cannot use my reasoning to allow me to receive the Sacraments under the same principle that states innocent heretics are not allowed to receive the Sacraments.

Extraordinary Reception of Converts

On page 368 and in the following paragraphs we describe the method we believe the spirit of Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Norms would require. Allow us to outline it. On the part of the Convert:
  1. Learn the Faith. This I have done, as the book and my. other writings should prove beyond doubt.

  2. Abjuration of Heresy. The book suffices here, as a defense of Catholic Doctrine and condemnation of the heresies I once innocently supported. (This I have continued to do in 'Election Update'.)

  3. Profession of Faith. Since I compiled that section of the book, this should suffice to exonerate me, since the book is a PUBLIC act, as required by Canon Law. (Of course this is not the ordinary method prescribed.)
On the part of the Church:
  1. The Local Ordinary or his delegate receives the abjuration and Profession, and makes certain the one censured has issued public retraction and repaired all scandal caused by his actions, providing these actions were notorious.

  2. Then he administers the absolution. (Of course he cannot absolve if the person still holds to some heresy, even if in good faith).

Extraordinary Form Of Absolution

As for Confession and Absolution from censures, the Church has always sanctioned an extraordinary form in case of necessity:
  1. Canon 882 and 2252 allow any priest (under certain restrictions on the part of the Faithful), to validly absolve anyone in danger of death. We presume such absolution suffices for Extreme Unction and Holy Viaticum, although if the person recovers he must seek juridical absolution under penalty of return of censure, if a censure was absolved, (pages 240-242).

  2. Medieval Canonists and Theologians held that laymen could hear Confession but not grant absolution to those in danger of death, because the Confession fulfills the penitent's part, showing his good faith, even though the absolution was unavailable. They held this as more certain than the Perfect Act of Contrition, which also sufficed in necessity. They also held that a layman could ABSOLVE from censures in danger of death, although the absolution did not fit one for reception of the Sacraments, as only juridical absolution suffices in this case.
I have Professed my Faith and spent my entire life learning and defending our holy Faith against ALL heretics, both conciliar and traditionalist. This to my own detriment and at great loss of 'friends', and even monetary losses. Also my name has been slandered and is being slandered by these heretics, and I consider this will surely continue. Therefore it is my opinion that I have done all in my power to become a Catholic! I rest my case.

Can Material Schismatics Vote?

The precedents of Pisa and Constance where ONLY material schismatics were available prove that material schismatics may vote, so long as they have removed themselves from obedience to an anti-Pope. We proved (405 to 408) that ALL three claimants to the Apostolic See were invalid under the principle 'Papa dubius, papa nullus'. Therefore ALL Catholics would have been considered material schismatics for following anti-Popes, although there is no question of them being formal schismatics since they zealously held to the necessity of the Papacy and necessity oŁ obedience to the true Pope, (although they accidentally found themselves following anti-Popes.) In our case the innocent material heretics, who followed Vatican II for awhile, then Traditionalism, will elect the next Pope, since none are more qualified.

Also Constance vindicated the acts of material Schismatics by not reversing them, even acts of schismatic anti-Popes! This would not be extended to material heretics, as 'Cum ex' forbids any such appeal and closes this door firmly. (Note 'Cum ex' followed Constance, and therefore was possibly a strengthening and change of the law in existence at the time of Constance.) There is a big difference between material schism and material heresy, as pure schism can be had without a rejection of the Faith or of ecclesiastical discipline. In fact, the Popes have extended jurisdiction for Confession to the good faith members of the Orthodox, but not Old Catholics, so that they need not make a general confession upon their entrance into the true Church, although the abjuration and absolution are required. (Such privilege may NOT in any way be extended to the Traditionalists, who are not in good faith nor close to being Catholic. Even if the next Pope would extend it to good faith members, they could only use it while they were in good faith, and not one moment after they recognized the true Church.) Also this privilege does not extend to us, so we would not receive absolution validly from an Orthodox priest. We certainly know he lacks the requisite jurisdiction as well as being a non-Catholic, and communication with him is forbidden us under Divine Law.

Can a Material Schismatic Be Elected?

Martin V, like the rest of his electors was a material schismatic. Because of his bad life before election, he would also have been under latae sententiae censure for failure to receive Episcopal consecration after being appointed as an Ordinary. However, he was validly elected Pope, apparently setting aside any censure. Therefore a material schismatic and an excommunicate CAN be elected, provided they have receded from their obstinance.

Can a Non-Catholic Be Elected Pope?

Although to our knowledge this has never happened, it may theoretically be possible for a catechumen to be elected Pope. However, he could not accept until after his Baptism, as a non-Baptized person cannot receive ecclesiastical jurisdiction. St. Ambrose was a catechumen when elected Bishop; therefore it is at least theoretically possible, although we consider it not probable.

Has A Non-Catholic Ever Been Elected Pope?

It is certain that ALL were material schismatics who lived during the Western Schism, which lasted from April 9, 1378 to November 11, 1417. Therefore; we conclude in the strict view that ALL who were baptized are strictly speaking baptized non-Catholics. No less than four Popes were baptized during the Western Schism and no mention of absolution is made in any of their cases: Nicolas V, Calixtus III, Pius II and Sixtus IV. We conclude that material schismatics may be lawfully elected without prior absolution, provided that there is no question of their lack of culpability.

Election Update #n. Christ The King Library. Staff: David Allen Bawden & Mrs. Teresa Stanfill-Benns. Date:

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