, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’ post will be a long one and the first of two. What I will attempt to do is resolve the issue of what IS a STATE OF NECESSITY. I need to be clear here. I do not intend on defining what constitutes a STATE OF NECESSITY. What I am aiming at is to establish whether STATE OF NECESSITY, as a stand-alone object, with an immaterial form, exists in nature. In the follow-up post, I will explain how this understanding of what is STATE OF NECESSITY, can then be used to discern whether the SSPX needs jurisdiction from the local ordinary or the Roman pontiff for that matter, in order to provide sacraments to the Faithful.

The second reason behind this post is that in our post titled Francis Arrives in Havana (see here) ,I explained a noticeable CHANGE of position with respect to the “irregular situation” of the SSPX on the part of what can be termed the “hermeneutic of continuity” camp. His Eminence Cardinal Burke used the term “absolute necessity” with respect to whether the Faithful can approach the SSPX in order to obtain Sacraments.

Therefore, if we can define whether the immaterial object STATE OF NECESSITY exists in nature, I think we can resolve this $64,000 question and clear up the entire “mess” at the heart of the SSPX’s “jurisdicition” issue, by which the “full communion” issue then resolves itself.

So let’s get cracking.

First a couple of working assumptions that we defined in our He’s No True Catholic post (see here):

God’s creation is comprised of the visibilium omnium, et invisibilium, i.e. all that is seen and unseen. Going one step forward, in the “unseen” bit are all the laws that govern the “seen” bit.

Next piece of the puzzle is the part about our Catholic Faith comes from two sources, namely: as known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made” and as known through “divine revelation.”

Today we will add another “assumption” derived from the Baltimore Catechism. I stumbled upon it reviewing with my 8 year old son, who is getting ready for his First Holy Communion this year, incidentally. This assumption rests on the difference between the nature of an object that is “made” and an object that is “created”.

The distinction between these two words comes down to a simple concept, namely:

that which is made, is made from something that already exists, while that which is created is made from nothing. In other words, it is “caused to exist” or “brought into being”.

Therefore, returning to our first working assumption, we observe that God “created” visibilium omnium, et invisibilium. Therefore, since God created that which is unseen, STATE OF NECESSITY could be a part of that creation. The ramification is that IF STATE OF NECESSITY exists in nature, THEN it was already granted to man, since man is a part of God’s creation.

So let’s go by the numbers.

IF STATE OF NECESSITY exist in nature, THEN before God created man, He created STATE OF NECESSITY.

So what do we know about the nature of STATE OF NECESSITY?

First we know that it is immaterial, or it possess no matter (Having no material body or form).

For comparison purposes, we can observe other things that are immaterial.

The first is gravity. We know that gravity does not have any matter. We also know that gravity existed before God created man and I think we all will agree that man could not exist on this earth if the forces of gravity did not exist. Therefore we are certain that GRAVITY is one of the things God created and falls into the category of et invisibilium.

Next, we can also observe that there are things which are immaterial, but which were made by man. For example, take the accounting concept of “intangible assets”. We know by looking at a corporate balance sheet that there is such a thing as “good will”. We can discern that “good will” is a human construct since if there were no humans, there would be no such thing as the intangible asset known as GOOD WILL. Therefore, GOOD WILL is not something God created and therefore does not falls into the category of et invisibilium.

So the question becomes, is the nature of STATE OF NECESSITY, similar to that of GRAVITY (God given) or rather that of GOOD WILL (work of human hands)?

One test that we can easily perform to answer the above question is to examine whether STATE OF NECESSITY exists outside of the Catholic Church. By doing a quick search of the term, one finds that STATE OF NECESSITY is not only defined, but codified in International Law. Your humble blogger did a post with this information titled: Special Post: Must Watch Video (see here). In that post, we find the following:

State of necessity, now known as “necessity” and codified by Article 25 of the International Law Commission’s (ILC’s) Articles on State Responsibility (ASR), is a circumstance precluding the wrongfulness of an otherwise internationally wrongful act.

So we have evidence that STATE OF NECESSITY exists outside of the ecclesiastical domain of the Catholic Church.

We can also posit that the reason that such a thing as GOOD WILL exists, is due to the fact that man was created in God’s image, with the capacity to understand and with free will. The capacity to understand (reason) provides man with the basis upon which he can create abstract concepts, such as GOOD WILL.

However, God created other things, animate objects outside of man. That part of creation that is not INANIMATE, i.e. that is endowed with life, yet lacking consciousness,  is what is known in as the  CREATURES. Therefore, since CREATURES are lacking in consciousness and therefore the ability to reason, it is self evident that they cannot create abstract concepts such as GOOD WILL.

Which raises the question, can anything similar to STATE OF NECESSITY be observed among the CREATURES. The reason that this interests us is that since CREATURES cannot reason, they cannot create abstract concepts like GOOD WILL. Therefore, if they exhibit signs of acting under a STATE OF NECESSITY, this can only be explained as something that these CREATURES are subject to, like they are subject to GRAVITY. Which would then place the STATE OF NECESSITY, alongside GRAVITY in the et invisibilium camp.

And here, I will deploy what I have termed the Doritos test. Please view the above video before reading the below text. What we can infer from the Doritos video is that CREATURES exhibit being subject to STATE OF NECESSITY.

Allow me to explain. In the video, we see a human being who got his hand caught in a bear trap. He cannot reach the Dorito, yet he can think. Therefore, he will no doubt call out to his friends and ask them for assistance.

On the other hand, if that bear trap was placed in the forest, and a wolf would happen to get snared in it, the wolf, a part of God’s CREATION, would act instinctively. In other words, the wolf would chew off his limb in order to same himself. Or to put it another way, the wolf would act in accordance with a STATE OF NECESSITY. i.e. the wolf preemptively sacrificing a part of its body to save its life.

What the Doritos test clearly suggests is that STATE OF NECESSITY is NOT an abstract human construct, but something that exists in nature, i.e. a part of et invisibilium.

Now that we have established that in all likelihood STATE OF NECESSITY is a part of God’s creation, we must take the next step and state that since STATE OF NECESSITY is a part of God’s creation, we can discern it through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”. In other words, STATE OF NECESSITY is a part of this source of our Faith.

Taking the next step, we also must acknowledge that STATE OF NECESSITY is outside of the purview of manmade law, i.e. ecclesiastical law. It is also out of the purview of Catholic doctrine since STATE OF NECESSITY exists in natural law. If these two assertions are correct, than we can take the next logical step and claim that Francis, as the Roman pontiff has no authority over this matter. In other words, neither Francis, nor clerics, nor anyone for that matter,  CAN define what constitutes a STATE OF NECESSITY, because STATE OF NECESSITY exists in nature, i.e. et invisibilium.

In other words, since STATE OF NECESSITY is a part of God’s creation, it must exist within the Church, but can in no way be subject to the discretion of any cleric or group of clerics. Including the Roman pontiff.

Just like the Church is subject to the law of GRAVITY, the Church is subject to the “law” of STATE OF NECESSITY.

STATE OF NECESSITY exists in and of itself.

Which might be the reason behind why no one has been able to define what constitutes a STATE OF NECESSITY.

This is the case for even the most intelligent individuals who post in Fr. Z’s comment box.