Over at Twitter/X, the attack on the Church’s authority continues:
In many states, someone isn’t legally dead until they have been certified as such by a doctor. Many aspects of their estate can’t be dealt with until the death is registered with the state.
Get ready for some absurdity.
Let’s see what would happen if we applied this “humble” idea of not having authority to judge here.
We’re going to give the body the benefit of the doubt until doctor comes, and assume the person is still alive.
After all, we don’t have authority or training to declare a death.
If doctor is delayed, we need to treat an increasingly decomposed corpse as if it were alive, until that moment of officialdom arrives
What if doctor never arrives?
Well then, we will assume he isn’t dead. It’s the safer option. The opposite is just pride.
Let’s say doctor finally arrives. The body has now had the first step of the process. But it hasn’t been registered with the state which things the deceased is still alive. He is held liable for taxes, holds property, etc.
Getting ahead of process is rejecting the state’s authority and judging the deceased with private judgment.
This means that calling relatives to tell them your loved one is dead is incredible presumption, pride, and again, rebellion and treason.
Further, we must also acknowledge that there are many people who, despite being buried in the ground and being skeletons, are actually legally alive. After all, many were never certified as dead, and never registered with the state.
It also means that when a pope, a king, a policmen, etc dies, he remains pope until he has been certified as such. That’s right, a dead man would be pope. Who are you to judge otherwise? The first see is judged by none.
Analogies are always risky, but this one is really, really bad and reveals again just how fallacious the sede logic is, and how errant their understanding of Catholic teaching is.
The analogy is that a man has died, but the coroner is not present to sign the death certificate.
What to do?!
The argument is that since the coroner is not present to make it legally official, nobody else could observe the fact of the death without being presumptuous, prideful, rebellious and treasoning!
It sounds like someone’s conscience got pricked.
It should be obvious on the surface why the analogy is doomed. Although the state requires a coroner’s signature (for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this post), establishing the fact of death is not solely reserved to the competency of a coroner.
A licensed and board-certified physician can determine that someone has died. This happens every day in hospitals around the world.
Even a non-professional can make a determination about the fact of death.
The state may not recognize the determination made by the non-coroner physican, or the civilian, but the fact of the death was still true, and even the civilian could relay that information to others for good cause.
Because there are people (family, for example), who have a need to the knowledge which is based in natural law, not civil law.
So what does this all have to do with the sedes? They do not understand that they do not have the rights and authorities which the King of the Universe gave only to the Church.
They believe, as all revolutionaries do, that God gave to individual people authority, and the Church/State only have authority because the people grant it to them (through consent, voting, etc).
Therefore they are free to ignore the authorities in the Church when they do not get what they want. From Luther to today there are members of the Church who say the Pope is an anti-Christ or anti-Pope and then go off to do their own thing (while strangely remaining obsessed with the Pope and Church).
Catholics, on the other hand, understand that we do not have rights before God, we have duties. We have a duty to obedience, for example, unless obedience to humans (father, pastor, sovereign), conflicts with a higher order of obedience (divine law).
So when the Church proclaims there is a Pope, Catholics are bound in conscience to accept it, even if we think it was an imprudent decision by the Conclave who chose him. When the Church proclaims a Pope has died, or has resigned, Catholics are obliged to accept it, even if we don’t like the news, or the former Pope’s successor.
Back to the dead man. Only the state has the legal right to declare the man dead. Yes, that means it is possible for someone else to operate on the mistaken belief that the man was alive when in reality he was dead, but the fact remains that the state has the authority. The family member can relay accurate information, but it is not legally binding. He’s like the man in a previous post who stands on the side of the road, snitching on his speeding neighbors; he can testify against it, but he lacks the competence to judge it.
The whole world will wait until that man is *legally* declared dead before moving on. The world, despite her many imperfections, understands authority. There will be no death benefits, no executions of a will, no death taxes until it is legally settled.
Without realizing it, the anons at WM Review scored what soccer fans call an ‘own goal’; they observed that only the state can legally declare a man dead. Just as only the Church can declare a man to be Pope, or not to be Pope. Yes, it’s theoretically possible that it would take the Church longer than one might prefer to make that statement, but the delay in the application of the law doesn’t cause the state to lose that authority to the citizen who thinks it should have acted faster.
Lots of people don’t like how the Church works. Whether on the Left or Right, have a name for them: dissenters.