Consecrating Bishops During an Interregnum, Part II:
Pivarunas’ “precedent” — a 13th century interregnum
© Copyright 2013, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes added by the author.)
(DISCLAIMER: The following article in no way denies that bishops and priests who receive certainly valid ordination or episcopal consecration receive an indelible mark that remains for life and ordinarily are able to validly consecrate the Eucharist, Confirm, etc.. whenever they act in communion with the Roman Pontiff. But if, during an interregnum, they have incurred infamy of law or have presumed to transgress that jurisdiction which belongs only to the Roman Pontiff, they are forbidden to exercise their orders, and if they attempt to exercise them, the attempt is null and void, per Pope Pius XII’s 1945 constitution, “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis”.)
The disingenuous justification for consecrating bishops without a papal mandate posted on the CMRI site by Mark Pivarunas has many Traditionalists convinced that CMRI and other Traditional sects have definitely made their case concerning the consecration of bishops without a papal mandate during an interregnum. The article purports to “present objective evidence to demonstrate the legitimacy of the consecration of traditional Catholic bishops during this time of an extended interregnum” or vacancy of the Holy See. In Part I of this set, we have seen that Traditionalists do not even pretend to follow the rules necessary for private interpretation of the Code, so have no basis whatsoever for making the claim that any sort of “case” for their operations has ever been made. And a closer examination of this attempt to justify such consecrations will prove that the sources quoted and method used to present the “evidence” also is useless in proving Pivarunas’ “case.” This is true because what Pivarunas is appealing to, since he refuses to follow the rules in Canon Law which govern private interpretation, is actually more akin to common law, not Canon Law. And since the Church is a divine society which guarantees Her laws are negatively infallible, this cannot constitute any sort of proof as required by the Church in order to construct a credible canonical provision.
At http://www.Answers.com, common law is defined as “the body of law based on custom and general principles and that, embodied in case law, serves as precedent or is applied to situations not covered by statute. Under the common-law system, when a court decides and reports its decision concerning a particular case, the case becomes part of the body of law and can be used in later cases involving similar matters. This use of precedents is known as stare decisis, a Latin phrase meaning “to stand by the decisions.” This legal doctrine under common law requires courts to rely on precedents, or previous decisions, when deciding disputes unless there is a compelling reason to reject those precedents.” Pivarunas is not even citing a law enacted by the Church, but a one-time happenstance only. In fact all subsequent laws handed down by the popes and Councils following the investiture crisis, the Western Schism and the Protestant Reformation absolutely exclude the possibility of bishops being appointed by anyone but the pope. It is not known if those consecrated during that interregnum mentioned by Pivarunas had received papal approval before the pope’s death or whether, if this law absolutely commanding such papal approval was not yet in place, the bishops themselves, perhaps, had received permission from the pope to consecrate without such approval. Bishops exercise ordinary jurisdiction which is retained during an interregnum and at that time could validly consecrate, because neither the law requiring papal mandate, “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis” or “Ad Apostolorum Principis” had yet been issued. The laws of the Church at the time are what predominate as Revs. Devivier and Sasia explain in their Work “Christian Apologetics,” Vol. II. And Pope Pius XII indicates this in his encyclical, “Ad Apostolorum Principis.” So why would Pivarunas think citing such a prior use would justify acting against the law today?
Exceptions cannot be used as precedents
Right off the bat, let us knock down Pivarunas’ historical precedent. As Monsignor Amleto Cicognani notes in his Canon Law, exceptions to what usually happens cannot be drawn into precedent as discussed in Part I. Extended interregnums are the exception to the laws made demanding the immediate convening of a conclave and speedy election of a new occupant for the papal see. Extended interregnums are rare; so also is the consecration of bishops during such periods. “Things deviating from the common law are in no respect to be drawn into precedent…Even exceptions established by the law are odious,” and Pivarunas makes no attempt to present a law here actually authorizing bishops to consecrate during an interregnum. He does argue however that the precedent of consecrating such bishops for the “spiritual necessity of the faithful” is favorable to religion, but this remains to be seen. He can cite no law to this effect save the infernal reference to epikeia, which has no place in this instance. See Part I on why epikeia cannot be used as a stand-alone principal to justify Traditionalist operations.
The principle of equity is basically used only for instances involving the internal forum regarding ecclesiastical laws (Rev. Joseph Riley), where some provision must be made because the law is silent on a certain situation or point of law, (the canonist Ramsetein; Part I). But the law is NOT silent; we have Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, Charitas and other papal decisions. Even if Traditionalists WERE lawful pastors, which they are not, Can. 83 tells us pastors cannot dispense from the general laws of the Church unless such a power is expressly conceded to them. And epikeia can never be used for invalidating and incapacitating laws, such as those which invalidate confessions heard without jurisdiction. The principle of epikeia or equity is dealt with under Can. 20, but it is only one of several conditions that Traditionalists must meet in order to create what amounts to a new law, and they ignore the rest as Part I bears out.
Let’s look at some of the conditions they ignore. They do not cite laws given in similar cases, because Pivarunus’ “precedent” was never a law, and he cites nothing else that is similar to this case. They fail to follow the general principles of law at all, as the law requires. They do not cite cases from the Roman Congregations as Can. 20 requires because these would prove they cannot act. Nor do they refer to the doctors of Canon Law, because these do not support them — whether in regard to epikeia, the use of Can. 209 OR Can. 2261 – and those following them falsely claim these doctors support their own position. They seize on the principle of equity and there they stop, without ever producing the rest of the evidence required as justification for invoking Can. 20. And that is not all.
Laws nullifying orders received during an interregnum
There is yet another reason why the mere publication of this “precedent” should not convince anyone that these bishops, (and subsequently the priests they ordain) are empowered to act. Let us examine the fate of some of those previously ordained and consecrated during an interregnum, one where the antipope in question was not even accused of teaching heresy. This is chronicled by the Third Lateran Council (http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0064/_P2.HTM#67Q; see Canon 2 and the corresponding footnotes).
“Renewing the decision taken by our predecessor of happy memory, Innocent, we decree that the ordinances made by the heresiarchs Octavian 2 and Guido 3 , and also by John of Struma 4 who followed them, and by those ordained by them, are void; and furthermore that if any have received ecclesiastical dignities or benefices through the foresaid schismatics, they are to be deprived of them. Moreover alienations or seizures of ecclesiastical property, which have been made by these schismatics or by lay persons, are to lack all validity and are to return to the church without any burden to it. If anyone presumes to act against this, let him know that he is excommunicated. We decree that those who of their own accord have taken an oath to remain in schism are suspended from sacred orders and dignities.”
2 antipope Victor IV (1159–1164)
3 antipope Paschal III (1164–1168)
4 antipope Callistus III (1168–1178)
And this is not taking into consideration Pope Paul IV’s “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio,” the old law (see Can. 6§4) governing the canons on heresy, which explicitly states that those who commit heresy are automatically deposed and that all they do henceforth is null and void. For the old law to apply, it must be duly footnoted under specific laws in the 1917 Code. “Cum ex…” is so footnoted to nearly every Canon Law treating heresy, including Canons 188§4 and 2314.
Schismatics serving antipopes were not pandered to here or treated kindly. It must be remembered that Lefebvre, Thuc and many priests exiting the Novus Ordo mess celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae (Thuc did so for years) and the Society of St. Pius X to this day even recognizes the usurpers as popes. Pivarunas cannot cite any council or even any law in his favor, no parallel passages of the Code, no decisions from the Sacred Congregations, no common opinion of the doctors, but only a one-time deviation from the norm. This “usage” was obliquely referred to by Pope Pius XII in “Ad Apostolorum Principis,” but it was neither called a custom nor a law. And Pope Pius XII specifically reproved the Chinese bishops for pretending it could still have any application under the principle of “ancient usage,” a principle appealed to by those advocating for liturgical renewal in the Novus Ordo. Indeed the laws on papal mandate as explained by this pope are crystal clear. And if any object that the laws on papal mandate do not anticipate the present situation, then Pope Pius XII is equally clear when he specifically addresses what may and may not be done during an interregnum. The following excerpt from his constitution on papal elections below goes to the very heart of the matter under discussion here. It alone is the law for our times, although it has been a carefully kept secret and was not even translated into English in its entirety until recently.
Concerning the Power of the Sacred College of Cardinals
While the Apostolic See is Vacant
- 1. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, regarding those things that pertained to the Sovereign Roman Pontiff while he lived, the Sacred College of Cardinals shall have absolutely no power or jurisdiction of rendering neither a favor nor justice or of carrying out a favor or justice rendered by the deceased Pontiff; rather, let the College be obliged to reserve all these things to the future Pontiff.1 Therefore, We declare invalid and void any power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff in his lifetime, which the assembly of Cardinals might decide to exercise (while the Church is without a Pope), except to the extent to which it be expressly permitted in this Our Constitution.2
- 2. Likewise we command that the Sacred College of Cardinals shall not have the power to make a determination in any way it pleases concerning the rights of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Church, nor attempt in any way to subtract directly or indirectly from the rights of the same on the pretext of a relaxation of attention or by the concealment of actions perpetrated against these same rights even after the death of the Pontiff or in the period of the vacancy. On the contrary, We desire that the College ought to watch over and defend these rights during the contention of all influential forces.3
- 3. The laws issued by Roman Pontiffs in no way can be corrected or changed by the assembly of Cardinals of the Roman Church while it is without a Pope, nor can anything be subtracted from them or added or dispensed in any way whatsoever with respect to said laws or any part of them. This prohibition is especially applicable in the case of Pontifical Constitutions issued to regulate the business of the election of the Roman Pontiff.4 In truth, if anything adverse to this command should by chance happen to come about or be attempted, We declare it, by Our Supreme Authority, to be null and void. (Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, 1945)
This echoes the following from Pope Pius VI’s “Charitas”:
“24. We therefore severely forbid the said Expilly and the other wickedly elected and illicitly consecrated men, under this punishment of suspension, to assume episcopal jurisdiction or any other authority for the guidance of souls since they have never received it. They must not grant dimissorial letters for ordinations. Nor must they appoint, depute, or confirm pastors, vicars, missionaries, helpers, functionaries, ministers, or others, whatever their title, for the care of souls and the administration of the Sacraments under any pretext of necessity whatsoever. Nor may they otherwise act, decree, or decide, whether separately or united as a council, on matters which relate to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. For We declare and proclaim publicly that all their dimissorial letters and deputations or confirmations, past and future, as well as all their rash proceedings and their consequences, are utterly void and without force…”
Papal decrees cannot be refuted
Pope Pius XII’s constitution and “Charitas” both are infallible and both clearly reflect the mind of the lawgiver in such circumstances. They speak directly to the situation at hand. The fact that they are infallible should suffice, but even if neither were infallible it would be enough to settle the question. According to Canon Law, signed papal documents are the only evidence considered irrefutable in ecclesiastical court. Canon 1813 §1 lists as principal ecclesiastical documents those acts of the Supreme Pontiffs, Roman Curia and Ordinaries and also in 1813 §4 records of Baptism, Confirmation, etc… that can be proven authentic. Can. 1813 §3 lists private letters, writings, wills, etc… as another source of proof. Public ecclesiastical documents are presumed genuine until the contrary is proven by evident arguments, (Can. 1814). And because they discount and distort papal documents, we will never see any viable evidence from Traditionalists. Public documents prove the facts that are directly and principally asserted. No further proof is required, and the judge must pronounce in favor of the party whose contention is proved by a public document, sustained as such by the court. “Proof to the contrary is not admitted against Letters of the Roman Pontiff bearing his signature,” (Monsignor Cicognani,” Canon Law,” p. 626, ft. note). Documents entered into the Acta Apostolic Sedis do not need to be submitted in the original or be an authenticated copy, (Can. 1819).
Because Can. 1814 PRESUMES these documents to be genuine, we have a presumption of law under Can. 1825 because the presumption is stated in the law itself. The same men, although they have prostituted these very papal documents for over two decades have nevertheless been bold enough to selectively cite certain decrees when it serves their purposes. They cannot very well ignore the laws that govern them now when it is presumed the judge would uphold them as public documents. Can. 1827 reads: “He who has a presumption of law in his favor IS FREED FROM THE BURDEN OF PROOF, WHICH IS THUS SHIFTED TO HIS OPPONENT. If the latter cannot prove that the presumption failed in the case, the judge must render sentence in favor of the one on whose side the presumption stands.” Those presenting papal and conciliar documents which clearly and irrefutably condemn a practice or command something be done under pain of anathema not only have this presumption in their favor; one believes them or is excluded from the Church.
And those exposing Pivarunas and other Traditional “clerics” have yet another presumption of law in their favor. In a doubt of fact, the law still binds (1) where there is question of the necessary means of salvation; (2) where there is question of the validity of the Sacraments and (3) where the certain right of a third person is involved. Rev. Dominic Prummer says this is the unanimous teaching of theologians, hence is infallible.
“If no serious reasons can be found to prove or directly disprove that a certain law has ceased or been abrogated, the principle to be followed is: ‘In doubt, decide for that which has the presumption.’ In this case the presumption is for the continuance of the law, since it was certainly made, and there is no probability for its non-continuance,” (St. Alphonsus Liguori as quoted by Revs. McHugh and Callan under the rules of conscience in their Moral Theology: A Complete Course). When in doubt one must stand by presumption although presumption must yield to truth. And those who are doing so have the advantage, while Traditionalists are left to prove their case in accordance with Canons 18-21.
The facts which are in primarily in doubt concern the valid ordination of Traditional clerics, something very much affecting all three of the conditions above. Traditionalists following these leaders believe that they have the means of eternal salvation from these men when they do not. They are entirely unaware or unwilling to believe that they do not have certainly valid Sacraments. And they have a right to know whether these men are lawful pastors, although Traditionalists will pretend such lawfulness is not necessary for their followers to validly receive the Sacraments and hear Mass. Traditional “clerics” behave as though they have, in the case of Holy Orders, the same presumption of validity that is claimed by the Church for the validity of marriage, to which the faithful have a right under the natural law. And yet there is no natural law right involved in the case of Holy Orders; in fact the constant teaching of the Church shows that only those possessing an office bestowed by the competent authority in harmony with the sacred canons can validly assume canonical mission, none of which is true of Traditionalists.
Irregularities and impediments
And there is another matter which should be taken into consideration. That is infamy of law and diriment impediments, which in effect is what Pope Pius XII decreed in his “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis.” As explained elsewhere, infamy of law is a special penalty accompanying heresy, communicatio in sacris and other crimes such as simulation of the Sacraments. It is a permanent prohibition to exercise any orders received under penalty of invalidity until (if) dispensation is given by the Roman Pontiff. In many respects infamy of law is not unlike diriment impediments in its effects. Donald Attwater’s “A Catholic Dictionary” states that: “Diriment impediments are obstacles arising either from natural law or the law of the Church which prohibits marriage between the persons affected and make null and void any attempted marriage between them …Impediments to ordination [include] the perpetual impediments called irregularities,” which can be dispensed from only by the pope, (C. 2314 no. 3 and 2294). Likewise, Attwater explains, “No one can dispense from diriment impediments but the pope, and those who are given the power by common law or papal indult. Impediments of the natural law can never be dispensed.”
Rev. J. Tixeront explains in his “Holy Orders and Ordination” (1928): “’’The Apparatus of Innocent IV’ (1243-1254) expounds the theory that the pope has the right to place diriment impediments not only for Matrimony, but also for the conferring of all the Sacraments, Baptism included. As Saltet remarks, this theory tells volumes about the development given to the idea of pontifical authority since the time of Gregory VII and Urban II.”
And here is another reference indicating that such impediments and suspensions were not unheard of, even in earlier times: From the“Commentary in Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils”: “The council declared absolute ordinations, that is, sine titulo, invalid. Though it used the word (null, void), it is very probable that it had in mind “void of effect” through permanent suspension,” (Pg. 96. See Mansi, VII, 901, 945.)
Many have said that no one can be certain that these irregularities are automatically incurred without a declaration but here they are mistaken. Revs. Woywod-Smith, commenting on Canons 985 and 986 state that “the irregularity is…incurred [without a declaration] though one does not join an heretical sect…Men who profess openly a non-Catholic creed are formal heretics in the external forum.” Simple enough; and all clerics who embraced the Novus Ordo for any length of time, celebrated its service and distributed its sacraments cannot escape this fact. Likewise for those attending Traditionalist services after being warned they are doubtfully valid (at least) and illicit.
Drawing the necessary conclusions from the above is required for the average Catholic to understand the extent of the problem today. Both Pope Pius VI and Pope Pius XII are saying that if Cardinals or bishops attempt to usurp papal prerogatives, then what they attempt is actually null and void, for it fails to produce the desired effect. What does this mean for Traditionalists? It means that what is presented above effectively dismisses any other arguments that Pivarunas presents. But still errors in his presentation must be addressed.
The Western Schism
Before discussing the Western Schism, Pivarunas needs to read the Catholic Encyclopedia article on this subject. There it is clearly indicated that any jurisdictional acts posited during the schism were probably ratified after the fact by Gregory XII of Pope Urban’s line and if any of these acts were lacking anything, they were validated. The author of the American Catholic Quarterly Review article wrote before the decision of Pope Pius XII on the necessity of bishops to receive jurisdiction directly from the Holy See before they may function (see “Mystici Corporis” and “Ad Sinarum Gentum”). While it could be held as a probable opinion that they could act in virtue of the powers granted them by Christ before the decision on this matter, it could never be held once the definitive teaching in both these encyclicals mandated the necessity to operate only with the permission and authorization of the Roman Pontiff. This article also precede the issuance of “Vacantis Apostolic Sedis,” which speaks specifically to our situation. Zapalena’s contention that Christ Himself would have supplied jurisdiction cannot hold water in light of Pope Pius XII’s “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis,” Zapalena being a theologian and Pius XII possessing supreme jurisdiction. If this were the case, why would Pius XII have bothered to address this issue at all? Why would he have infallibly decreed that all is to be held in abeyance until the election of a true pope if Christ indeed supplied? And he also is wrong about all existing clergy at the time of the Western Schism — they, at least had an actual, if presumptive office of some kind, a “colored title,” when Traditionalists do not even claim to possess such an office because they cannot. (For proof of this go to: /articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/refuting-the-dimonds-2009-no-jurisdiction-position-tapes/cekadas-false-justification-for-acting-without-papal-mandate/).
Doubts of law
Despite Pivarunas’ quote from Woywod-Smith concerning the fact that the colored title is no longer required, these authors were not addressing the issue of a doubt of law. And there IS a doubt of law — there is no Roman Pontiff to supply in this case. For according to Rev. Francis Miaskiewicz, (“Jurisdiction According to Canon 209”) and others, “Church” in Can. 209 means the Pope, as he alone has always supplied for such cases in the past. In the case of such well-established doubt, Can. 6§4 tells us to return to the old law and the mind of the lawgiver. The old law required the colored title or presumption of some office (at least an apparent standing of some kind in the Church). Rev. Miaskiewicz notes that: “The Code has abolished the need of a colored title. But if common error about any fact is to exist, it must, of philosophical necessity, be occasioned by some kind of title.” (Ibid.) Without such a belief in at least some kind of title or office, Miaskiewicz’ believes that jurisdiction could not be supplied, even if a true pope existed to supply it. And when our Lord binds in Heaven what the pope binds on earth, I daresay that He certainly would not supply anything in a case where these laws were being flagrantly violated as they have been for decades. This is especially true when the worthiness of episcopal and priestly candidates, never verified, is still very much in question.
Rev. Jean-Marie Herve points out in his “Sacraments,” (“Dogmatic Theology,” Vol. I) that while certain exceptions can be made in the case of the other Sacraments concerning their administration, despite the unworthiness of the recipient; and reasons can be advanced that would allow their administration for a very serious reason, this cannot be the case with Holy Orders. “In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the public good demands that the unworthy applicant even if he be secret, be repelled even though his offense cannot be juridically proved. In this case the reception of the Sacrament is considered inferior in worth to the worthy exercise of the sacred functions and the public good of the Church. According to Pesch: ‘He who trenches on a public good thereby loses his right to a private good if the public good cannot effectively be defended without injury to the latter.’” There are grave reasons why these men are not fit to be priests and bishops and cannot exercise their orders, namely heresy, apostasy and schism; a host of other circumstances also render them unfit, although these are separate, if aggravating factors. But the fact that they lack jurisdiction of any kind for any Sacrament, especially Penance, is a travesty. And those receiving Holy Communion who were never absolved commit the mortal sin of sacrilege every time they approach the altars of their “priests.” As St. Thomas Aquinas says, this is what destroys the unity of the Church. What a farce that these men pretend their motive is the “salvation of souls,” when it most likely is the attention from their followers and the lining of their collective pockets.
P. Pourrat, in his Theology of the Sacraments, stated that: “The intention of the minister is that of the church he represents.” This is an important statement because the Catholic Church has never recognized as valid the orders of any sect other than Her own where the matter and form of the rite was lacking. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the orders bestowed by the Novus Ordo mirror those confected by the Anglican Church and their Novus Ordo rite of ordination greatly resembles the Edwardine Ordinal. In fact on examination, it could be said that the ordinal is more specific in many points than the Novus Ordo rite. Certainly those conservative Catholics supporting John Paul II and others among the Traditionalists who recognize him as true head of the Church but deny his authority can rightly be reckoned as belonging to this false church, even if only nominally. Thuc was officially affiliated with the Novus Ordo right up to the time he consecrated des Lauriers, Carmona and Zamora. The intention of the Novus Ordo and its antipopes has ever been to destroy and tear down all that was ever known as the true Catholic Church. The Novus Ordo is more than just a non-Catholic sect, it is the anti-church, headed by the abomination, as Pope Paul IV envisioned in writing “Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.”
In his dissertation “The Communication of Catholics With Schismatics,” Rev. Ignatius Szal, stated in 1948 that “Because of recent developments among schismatics in general, much doubt has been cast upon the validity of the orders of certain schismatic priests, and consequently each individual case should be judged on it own merit.” Szal also cites a decision issued by the Holy Office in 1709 considering a request whether heretical and schismatical bishops could be used in Armenia because no others were available for ordaining priests in Isaphan. The Holy Office replied that in no way could this be allowed and that those who had been so ordained were irregular and suspended from the exercise of their Orders. As Szal explains from the beginning of his work, communication with schismatics in religious rites is forbidden because of accompanying dangers such as perversion of faith and scandal to others. This prohibition of the Church, found in Canon 1258, extends not only to active participation with schismatics in rites that are of their nature non-Catholic, but also excludes communication with them in rites which, though peculiarly Catholic, are exercised under the auspices of a non-Catholic sect. This would apply to Traditionalists, who do not qualify as “remnant” Catholics since they cannot pretend to comprise the Church without a visible head.
In his Appendix, Rev. Leeming refers to the opinion of one Pere Bouesse that the Sacraments must be delivered within a “vital context” that encompasses the sacramental sign and the signification of that sign, which is the grace the Sacrament confers. While Leeming notes that this opinion cannot apply to Matrimony, he agrees that the “ecclesiological and sacred setting” of the Sacrament, in its vital context, “has definite application to the case of ‘hole and corner’ ordinations by wandering bishops and deserves further pondering as to that application.” Sacraments conferred outside the will of Christ and the mind of he Church cannot retain their necessary vital context. And in the end, this is what the entire argument against Traditionalists boils down to, not whether they can sidestep the requirements of a papal mandate or not. The mind of he Church tells us that while some of these men may have been validly ordained, she reserves the right to determine this Herself and either retrain them or grant them the necessary faculties to function validly and licitly.
Pivarunas may be attempting to justify his activities by appealing to a secular understanding of the law and he may believe that as a valid bishop he can usurp the functions of the Authentic Commission of the Code and the Roman Pontiff in interpreting the law, but Pius XII voids all his attempts and Catacomb Catholics enjoy the presumption of law. What Pivarunas must do and has failed to do is prove he was undoubtedly validly and licitly ordained and consecrated and has received a true canonical mission from the hands of a validly and licitly ordained/consecrated bishop in communion with the Roman Pontiff: then he may proceed to follow the rules laid down in Canons 18-21 and truly prove his case. His arguments concerning Thuc are entirely baseless, as seen by the testimony of approved theologians above and unquestionable proofs that Thuc was a minister in the Novus Ordo church. These approved authors are the ones to be consulted as doctors under Can. 20, not modern authors never approved by the Church. Until Pivarunas can offer proofs of his valid ordination, he begs the question (a fallacy in scholastic teaching) of a papal mandate, and any other issues he expounds upon regarding priestly or episcopal function.