Firstly, I have made out, I think, a proper case for Papal Elections at Orthopapism.
Therefore, I will touch on that matter but briefly. What I will touch on are three points that Hess makes. These are:
I reject all three positions.
Are We Obliged? : I say, if it were a valid election, then yes. The number of people who participated in the election, even their sex or relationship to the electee are ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT.
Quoting The Rival Claims Against Each Other: is absurd. It is certainly possible that given the papal vacancy, some group has validly supplied the pope, by electing one validly. Thus an indiscriminate rejection of all claimants is absurd. The claimants must be examined on the merits of their case.
It is, perhaps, not so difficult a task. We can classify all the claimants according to categories.
There are the obviously non-Catholic imposters: John-Paul 2, John-Gregory 17, etc., the ‘MYSTICALLY-ORDERED’ claimants, whom also we can dismiss without a thought, and finally the elected claimants.
These last are three plus unknowns: David Bawden or Pope Michael, Victor von Pentz or Pope Linus 2 and Lucian Pulvermacker or Pope Pius 13; the UNKNOWNS are Pope Leo 14, Pope Emmanuel 1, Pope Peter 2 Athanasius, Canada, Pope Peter 2 or Julius Tischler, Germany, and Pope Peter 2 or Aime Baudet, Brussels, Belgium. If these are elected, we are bound to consider their claims.
Now in considering the claims of the so-called elected claimants, we must, logically start with the first, in chronological order, and proceed by a process of elimination, till we end up with either the true pope, or find that none of these claimants were validly elected. This is the process I have undertaken, and I have already been through the claims of ‘Pope Michael’ and have eliminated his claim.
Hess’ Willingness to Accept a ‘Mystically-Ordered’ Claimant as True Pope: After spending a lot of time in rejecting the so-called ‘Mystically-Ordained’ claimants, Hess contradicts himself in expressing his willingness to accept a future ‘Mystically-Ordained’ claimant. This is sad. It is evident that Hess does not know his faith. Catholicism absolutely rules out such Mystically ordained claimants. That is because, in order to accept such a claim, all men must necessarily credit the purported Apparition, Vision, or Prophecy. That is, this would become universally binding, putting it on par with Public Revelation, as generally necessary unto Salvation. But Public Revelation cannot be added to, subtracted from or otherwise amended, and any that attempts to do so, separates himself from the faith, as does all who accept his new amended religion. Therefore, as Catholics, one must absolutely and unquestioningly reject any such purported claimant.
Prakash John Mascarenhas, Bombay, India.