Fourth post - not even halfway! Sorry, too much work!
His position hinges on two points
1. “The Church has a right to separate
itself from a heretical Pope in virtue of Divine Right, and, as a result can take all the means for such a separation”. (XIX)
2. The Pope draws his power immediately from Christ. Only Christ can strip him from that power authoritatively.
We more or less agree with you sedevacantists on (1), but total separation is not enough for you. As long as this separation is made, souls are safe, the Faith is safe, and the rest is a point of theological “finasserie”.
John of St. Thomas adds something to the necessity of separation
from heretics; the fact that by his heresy, a Pope is disposed to be deposed ministerially
, while we await him to be removed from office authoritatively
by Christ. He is actually impounded
, incapable to exercise his office to prevent him from causing further damage. “He is necessarily rendered impotent from being the head of the Church because he is a member to be avoided by her, and as a consequence cannot have influence on her
” (XXIV). Note the different angle: an ipso facto consequence takes place, at the moment heresy is proferred pertinaciously.
Sedevacantists always assume that if we recognize a Pope we must obey him, or we will follow his heresies, unlike St. Paul who resisted St. Peter, and St. Peter who resisted Caiphas. There is an immediate consequence of the fact of heresy: Avoidance
They also fail to notice that non sedevacantists believe that a heretical Pope loses his office down the line, nay, is set to lose it like a train is set on his rails, but such happy event does not occur before he is declared heretic by the Church in due process
; while the duty to separate from him is immediate
as soon as one knows him to be a heretic. “That (separation
) can remain without a superior
power formally above the power of the Pope” (XXIII).
John of St. Thomas gives this other quote of Gratian, different from the “nisi a Fide devius” one: “Eiectionem summorum sacerdotum sibi Dominus reservavit, licet electionem eorum bonis sacerdotibus et spiritualibus populis concessisset” “The Lord has reserved to Himself the deposition of the Sovereign Pontiffs despite conceding their elections to good priest and spiritual people”. (I, Dist 40, D 79, C.11)
On the question of the separation
of a heretic
from the Church, because heretics are not members of the Church, John of St. Thomas makes a vital distinction, Per Se/Quoad Nos
, which you refuse to consider:
- Per se
: in itself
, yes the Pope is separate, alien to the Church, hence, not its head, like any other heretic.
: “As far as we are concerned
such a separation is not understood to take place without such declaration
(…..). For us he is not yet declared infidel or heretic, no matter how much he may be manifest according to private judgment
. He is still a member of the Church for us [QuoadNos], and consequently its head. Therefore the judgment of the Church is required by which he is declared as a non Christian and ceases to be a Pope to us”. (XXVI). It is there that he explains the quote of St Jerome “which does not exclude a judgment
of the Church, especially in such a serious matter as the deposition of a Pope. He refers instead to the nature of the crime, which is such per se
to cut someone off the Church, without any further censure attached to it.” ibid.
Sedevacantists are obnubilated by the reality, the physicality of the loss of office
, yet the Catholic Church is ruled by a juridical and public order, that channels and divulgates authoritatively the reality that took place per se.
Billuart will elaborate from this, but I hope that you realize, dear Father, that John of St. Thomas is a whole arsenal against your proposed automatic and immediate loss of office of the Pope without declaratory sentence.
* AZORIUS sj. (1535-1603), quoted by John of St. Thomas says “no heretic Bishop, no matter how visible his heresy may be
, and in spite of him incurring excommunication, loses jurisdiction and Episcopal power, until he is declared
such by the Church and deposed.[…] Only the ‘non tolerated’ and ‘vitandi’, i.e. those who have been nominally excommunicated or have assaulted a cleric, fall under this case”. (the exact reference escapes me but I trust the honesty of John of St Thomas).
* SOTO op. (1494-1560) “Though some masters of our time sustain that the Pope cannot be a heretic in any way, the common opinion is however the opposite one. For though he might not be able to err as Pope, that is, he could not define an error as an article of faith, because the Holy Spirit will not permit it, nevertheless as a private person he can err in the faith, in the same way he can commit other sins, because he is not impeccable
.” (IV Sent, D 22, Q 2, art. 2).
* CANO op. (1509-1560 attacks Pighius who exaggerates the impeccability of the Pope, saying “One cannot deny that the Holy Father can become a heretic
, since there are probably two examples at least.” (quoted in DTC VII,1714-1717). He also says that the case must be proven externally
(De Locis L.4, ch.2)
* SUAREZ sj. (1548-1617) is not of your liking. It does not bode well for sedevacantists to demean such a widely acclaimed theologian.
First he wisely disagrees with Azorius who says that the Church is superior to the Pope in case of heresy. “Therefore on deposing
a heretical Pope, the Church would not act as superior to him, but juridically and by the consent of Christ, she would declare him a heretic
and therefore unworthy of Pontifical honors; he would be then
ipso facto & immediately deposed by Christ” (de Fide, D 10, S 6, N 10).
“If he were a heretic and incorrigible, the Pope would cease to be the Pope only when a sentence has been passed against him for his crime by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church
. This is the common opinion among the Doctors, and can be concluded from the first Epistle of pope St Clement I, in which one reads that St Peter taught that the heretic Pope should be deposed. The reason is the following: it would be extremely harmful
to the Church to have such a pastor and not be able to defend herself from such a grave danger; furthermore it would go against the dignity of the Church to oblige her to remain subject to a heretic pontiff
without being able to expel him from herself; for such are the prince and the priest, so the people are accustomed to be […] heresy spreads like cancer, which is why heretics should be avoided
as much as possible. This is therefore, all the more so with regards to a heretical pastor; but how can such a danger be avoided unless he ceases
to be a true pastor.” (id., D 10, S 6, N 3 – 10)...
“If the external but occult heretic can still remain the true Pope, with equal right he can continue to be so in the event that the offense became known, as long as a sentence were not passed on him
Suarez picks up the problem detected by Cajetan. Heresy
, because it was insufficient in its occult form to lose the papacy, is not sufficient in its known form. Like the dominicans, Suarez says “The heretical pope is not a member of the Church, if we consider the substance (the vital per se distinction)
and form that constitute the members of the Church; nevertheless, he is the head, if we consider the office and the influx he exercises
; and this is not to be wondered at, for the Pope is not the first and principal head, as if he channeled his own power into the Church, but he is something instrumental
, and a vicar of the primary head, Who is able to send a spiritual influx to the members even through a head of bronze.”
Dear Father, if this is hysterical yammering to you, why do you put Suarez in page eleven of your “T,I&TP”, right after Cajetan (who also disagree so badly with you)??
You mock us because amongst the prelates of today there are none who dare to rise, like the cowardly Burke and his three companions, and all the others who are steeped even deeper in heresy. Yet Suarez cannot conceive it otherwise: “In the first place who ought to pronounce such a sentence?
Some say it would be the Cardinals
; and the Church would be able undoubtedly to attribute them this faculty, above all if it were thus established by the consent or determination of the Supreme Pontiffs, as was done in regard to the election. But up to today we do not read in any place
that such a judgment has been confided to them. For this reason, one must affirm that, as such, it pertains to all the Bishops of the Church
, for, being the ordinary pastors and the pillars of the Church, one must consider that such a case concerns them. And since by divine law there is no greater reason to affirm that the matter is of more interest to these bishops than to those, and since by human law nothing has been established in the matter, one must necessarily sustain that the case refers to all, and even to the general
council. That is the common opinion among the doctors.” (de Fide, X, 6).
In the same place Suarez assess what would happen if everyone started to take the law in his own hands: “there would arise doubts about the degree of infamy necessary for him to lose his charge: there would rise schisms because of this
(indeed, for you we are not even Catholics), and everything would become uncertain
(look at the proliferation of home alone churches), above all if, after being known as a heretic, the Pope should have maintained himself in possession of his charge by force or by other (which is exactly what the occupiers are doing).” (Ibid). This is exactly our situation and this point is quite important: sedevacantists are diverging among themselves as to the exact moment
in which a formal and external heretic ceases to be a member of the Church. For some of you John XXIII is in, for other he is out. Neosedevacantists are emerging now, believing John Paul II was a true Pope… I doubt you shall endorse them.
.* LAYMANN sj. (1574-1632) is also specific: “It is more probable that the Supreme Pontiff, as concerns his own person, could fall into heresy, even a notorious one, by reason of which he would deserve to be deposed by the Church, or rather declared separated from her. […] but it was the persuasion (of the Fathers) that it could happen that they fall into heresy and that […] it should pertain to the other bishops to examine and give a judgment on the matter; as one can see in the Sixth Synod, Act XIII; the Seventh Synod, last Act; the Eight Synod, Act VII, in the Epistle of Pope Hadrian and in the Fifth Roman Council under Pope Symmachus: “By many of those who came before us it was declared and ratified in Synod, that the sheep should not reprehend their pastor unless they presume they have departed from the faith.” Then he quotes the Canon “Si Papa” and St Robert Bellarmine quoting Pope Hadrian, stating that indeed a Pope can be judged for heresy an only for heresy..Observe however that though we affirm that “the Supreme Pontiff, as a private person, might be able to become a heretic and therefore cease to be a true member of the Church, still while he was tolerated by the Church and publicly recognized as the universal pastor, he would really enjoy the pontifical power, in such a way that all his decrees would have no less force and authority than they would if he were truly faithful. The reason is because it is conducive to the governing of the Church, even as, in any other well constituted commonwealth, that the acts of a public magistrate are in force as long as he remains in office and is publicly tolerated” TheologiaMoralis, II, 2, ch7, p.153..
* THE CARMELITES OF SALAMANCA (XVI-XVII Cent.) refuse the idea that a heretical, and even pertinaciously heretical Pope loses office automatically, but by the Church; and they cite both Cajetan (de Auct. Papae 20-26) and Cano (de LocisTheologicis, l. VI, c. 8 ).”But this depositive power is not vain in the Church, and cannot be brought to act unless the Pope errs in the Faith
: hence this error cannot be found in the Pope as a private person.”
Indeed sedevacantists insist that the Vatican II popes’ magisterium makes them non popes. Not so, reply the Carmelites. If the Pope errs, that will be always as a private person. (de Fide, disp. 4, dubium 1, n.7).
* ST FRANCIS DE SALES (1567-1622) “St Peter has had successors, has them in these days and will have them even to the end of ages
”. (Catholic Controversy, part II, art.6, ch. 9).
The former quote concerns the permanence of the actual succession, yet this passage is more crucial: “We do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Thus when he is an explicit heretic, he falls ipso facto out of the Church and the Church must either deprive him
(Cajetan), as some say, or declare him deprived of his apostolic see
(Bellarmine), and say as St Peter did: let another receive his episcopate...” Controversy, tan, p.305.
St Francis briefly mentions the Jesuit and Dominican position, both make no difference to him it seems. You fail to note that after
he falls ipso facto
out of the Church vi haeresi
, it is the Church that either deprives him or declare
him deprived, not Almighty God from Above, automatically, in virtue of Divine Law. St Francis’ explanation, despite its brevity fits both Suarez and Bellarmine seamlessly… and even understands the Dominican different position as well. Your only escape is a pair of scissors after the word “Church”. At the end of the quote he nails it further, saying that it is, again the Church that says
“let him be deprived etc.” The subject of the verb “say” is not Peter, but the Church.
* SAINT ALPHONSUS OF LIGUORI cssr. (1696-1787) teaches that a General Council
has a certain superiority over the Pope if he were “manifestly and exteriorly heretical
(not just secretly and mentally). Yet, other [theologians] hold with greater exactness that in this case the Pope cannot be deprived of his authority by the Council as if it were superior to him, but that he would be deprived immediately by Jesus-Christ, as soon as the condition of this deposition [the declaration
of the Council] is accomplished in the required way” (Dissertatio de R.P. Auctoritate, ed. 1869, p. 665). So, No automatic loss of office, even from public heresy, nor from being a non-member of the Church, without a public authoritative declaration of the crime.
Same idea in his book “Verita della Fede”, Art. 1, preliminary, 2#, and in his 1768 book against the errors of Febronius, (cap. VIII, ad 6): the Church has to declare
him such, then he falls from office.
St Alphonsus is very clear on the notion of Universal Acceptance: “It does not matter, if in past centuries some pontiff may have been elected illegitimately
or may have taken possession of the pontificate fraudulently: It suffices that he may have been accepted later as Pope by the whole Church, because by that very fact he becomes the true Pontiff
. But if for a certain time, he was not accepted universally and truly by the Church, during that time then, the pontifical see would be vacant, as it is vacant at the death of a Pope.” “Verita della Fede”, vol. VIII, p. 720.
* BILLUART op. (1685-1757) is very clear in his own de Fide
: “Nowhere is it said that Christ continues to give jurisdiction to a manifestly heretical pontiff, because this can be known by the Church and she can avail herself of another pastor. Nevertheless, the common sentence holds that Christ
, by a special disposition, for the common good and the tranquility of the Church, continues to give jurisdiction to a pontiff, even manifestly heretic, until he gets declared to be a manifest heretic by the Church
.” (diss. IV, a. III, #3, obj.2).
And in his de Fide et de Regulis Fidei
, Billuart pulls the carpet under the mantra of sedevacantism of ipso facto loss of office of a non-member of the Catholic Church: “It is because in the case of heresy
, and not in other cases, he loses the pontificate by the very fact of heresy: how could he stay a member of the Church if he is not a member? [ I think you would not refuse to quote this part of the sentence, it sounds like you, reverend Father, but bear with us and pay attention to the rest, to what you always carefully omit: ]
That is why he is submitted to the judgment of the Church
, not to be deposed, because he has already deposed himself through heresy and has rejected the pontificate, but to be declared heretical
, and thus it may be known by the Church that he is no longer pontiff: before such declaration it is not allowed to deny him obedience
, because he keeps until then jurisdiction, not as a right, as if he were still pontiff, but as a fact
, God willing it thus for the common good of the Church.” (diss. IV, a. VIII, #2, obj. 2&6).
* BALLERINI sj. (1805-1881): first he goes at length about the admonitions
the Pope would receive from all corners, should he fall into heresy
, then states that his pertinacity
establishes the loss of office. Then he states “Therefore the Pontiff who after such a solemn and public warning
by the Cardinals, by the Roman Clergy, or even by the Synod, would remain himself hardened in heresy and openly turn himself away from the Church, would have to be avoided, according to the precept of St Paul [Tit III,10]. So that he might not cause damage to the rest, he would have to have his heresy and contumacy publicly proclaimed, so that all might be able to be equally on guard in relation to him
. Thus the sentence which he had pronounced against himself would be made known to all the Church
, making clear that by his own will departed, making known to be severed from the body of the Church and in some manner to have abdicated the Pontificate, which no one holds or can hold who is not in the church. One sees in the case of heresy to which a pontiff adhered in a private manner an efficacious remedy without the convocation of a general Synod; in which hypothesis whatever would be done against him before the declaration of his contumacy and heresy
, in order to call him to reason, would constitute an obligation of Charity, not of jurisdiction. But afterwards, his departure from the church having been manifested,if a sentence were to be pronounced against him
by a Council, it would be pronounced on him who would be no longer the pontiff, nor the superior of the council.“ and he says like Billot, this is still pure hypothesis
, no pope has fallen in the past. (de Potestate Ecclesiastica VI,2). If you still deny any insistence is made on external pertinacity, read the text again, and again, and again.
“Pedro de Luna, if one believes him to have been a true pontiff, by his own will ipso facto abdicated the primacy and the pontificate, and rightly and legitimately was able to be deposed by the Council
as schismatic and heretic. By this means Divine Providence employed the Synod of Constance
to end the most tenacious schism, so that the Synod did not need to exercise any power of jurisdiction by its authority to depose any true, albeit unknown, actual pontiff.”(ibid.) Again, the injudicability or immunity does not exclude the necessity of an external declaration
C- CLOSER ERA (1789-1962)
* BOUIX sj. (1808-1870) deals extensively with our precise issue in his well argumented “Tractatus de Papa
”(1869). I think his opinion is misrepresented, because for him the possibility that Rome would lose the faith is a pure hypothesis
, unimaginable in the life of the Church, and the main opinions of the Dominicans and Jesuits are both erroneous for the almost the same reason, since they do not determine what degree of heresy is sufficient to trigger the declarative or non declarative loss office
. Fr Calderon sspx. points out the same, ie, that to declare a Pope has lost the pontificate through formal external heresy, a judgement on his heresy
and its formality takes place.
Like most theologians, Bouix holds that, although it is highly improbable
, it is not impossible that the Pope as a private doctor
can spew heresies, and indeed it was the opinion of the whole Middle Ages, like in the Fifth Synod under Pope Symmachus.
Hence three opinions on the subject:
1. He becomes deposed, a council judges an ex-Pope; “Depositus fit, Concilium iudicat ex-papam”.
2. He is to be deposed; “Deponendus fit”.
3. Neither “Neuter”.
On 1.,he takes apart directly the opinion of Bellarmine. You may not like it, you may disagree with it, but it shows that long after his passing, the opposition to the Fifth Opinion remained strong:
If a Pope were to be deposed ipso facto
, that would be either by divine law, or by human law. “Atqui neutrum”: neither says anything on the subject. “now, because the punishment of deposition is most grave, as to be incurred by divine law, it would have to be expressed in the Divine Law. No such disposition of divine law is found
that states anything either generally about heretics, or specifically about bishops, or most specifically about Popes. Neither is there any certain tradition about this. Neither can the Pope incur ipso facto deposition via human law.
Such law would be passed either by a Council or by a predecessing Pope. If by a Council, the law would be invalid
, because it would be laid by an inferior
to a superior. If by the latter, it would still be invalid
, since it would be laid by an equal
to another equal.#2
It would be most pernicious
to the Church if a Pope were deposed ipso facto
[…] for public and notorious heresy, there would be a doubt on how much notoriety and infamy would do to consider a Pontiff to have fallen. There would be schisms, everything would become doubtful,
especially if, notwithstanding the alleged notoriety, the Pope would retain the see by force or in any other way, and would exercise his various functions. And it would be worse for the external and occult heresy [like the many grievous heresies of Benedict XVI] […]#3
Faith is not necessary for man to be capable of spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction
, and exercise true acts requiring such jurisdiction. In extreme necessity, a heretical priest can absolve, everybody teaches that, which absolution requires and supposes a jurisdiction. If the power of order, which is greater, can stand without faith or with heresy, so can ecclesiastical jurisdiction
Faith is lost by internal heresy
, and there is not a single one doctor
that teaches the Roman Pontiff can be deprived of his jurisdiction for mere internal heresy; hence jurisdiction can stand without Faith
The texts of the Fathers [like the quote of St Jerome, and others stating that heretics have no jurisdiction], refer to the correct or licit exercise of jurisdiction, or mean that heretics deserve
to be deprived.#6
On the “neither a member, neither a head” argument, Suarez does it best: “A heretical Pope is not a member of the Church “quoad substantiam”, (by mode of substance
), and by the form through which the members of the Church are constituted. Nevertheless he remains the head with respect to his office and influence
. This is not something unusual because he is not the first and principal head sending an influx by its power, but his action is instrumental and vicarious
of the first head, which has the power to communicate spiritual influx to the members, as through a head of brass. In a proportional way, [the first head] sometime baptizes, sometimes absolves through heretics.” (de Fide X,6,5) Thus, one can answer that a heretical Pope is not a member of the Church with respect to the supernatural life
that begins with Faith and is perfected by Charity; by which supernatural life all the members of the Church gather in one body, living supernaturally, concedo. But I deny him not to be a member and head according to the power of ruling proper to his office
. It is not unfit that Christ wills a Pope (or diocesan bishop), who, while not part of a living supernatural body because of heresy, to retain still the power to rule the Church, as if the head had not lost that supernatural life.
Indeed Christ did not will to deprive a heretical priest or bishop of his power of order, even if he defected to be a member of the Church by heresy. Hence it is not unconceivable that jurisdiction should remain in an internally or externally heretical bishop or Pope
.”(Tractatus de Papa, vol. II, pp. 658 to 662).
I leave it to you to see how he takes apart the Dominican line of argumentation; but what is interesting is that when he is finished with the Dominicans he says no more. That is very wise. If you don’t know how such an intricate question is solved, better say nothing more and let Christ deal with his Vicar in due time. It is not fair to say that Bouix adhere to the third opinion; no, he states no own opinion on a question he considers totally hypothetic and extremely hard to resolve
* CARDINAL CAMILO MAZZELLA sj. (1833-1900): “It is one thing if the Roman Pontiff cannot teach a heresy when speaking ex cathedra (what the council of Vatican defined); and it is another thing that he cannot fall into heresy, that is, become a heretic as a private person
. On this last question the Council said nothing
, and the theologians and canonists are not in the agreement among themselves
in regard to this.” de Religione et Ecclesia, p817,n.1045.
* BISHOP GASSER (1809-1879) was the Official Relator of the Schema on Infallibility during Council Vatican I; hence his teaching on this matter is crucial. Here is his Address or “Relatio”
to the Council of Vatican I: “In no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute
, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, Who is the first and essential truth, and Who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions
under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions.” The Gift of Infallibility, p.49. The exaggeration of the prerogative of infallibility of the Pope is the common disease of both the novusordo and the sedevacantists.
* BP. PURCELL (1800-1883) is a favorite sede quote, yet, he also says “The Church must declare the fact officially
in order to fill the vacancy and protect the faithful from the heretical wolf.” [Note that we are not using opponents to the Dogma of Infallibility against sedevacantism; I am wondering from where you got this idea.]
* BERRY, “The Church of Christ”, p.196, “The primacy with all its powers and privileges is transmitted to the successors of St Peter, who form an unbroken line of supreme pastors
to rule the Church in its continued existence. […] The Church must ever have a custodian, a supreme law-giver and judge, if she is to continue as Christ founded her.” For you the line is broken, yet this is inconceivable. Hence the conclavist sedevacantists are emerging again, clearly setting up schismatic churches.
* WERNZ-VIDAL : While you argue in “Sedevacantism refuted?” that “it is by violating the divine law through the sin
of heresy that a heretical pope loses his authority”, say the opposite
: “The General Council declares the fact of the crime
by which the heretical pope has separated himself from the Church and deprived himself of his dignity.”( Ius Canonicum, II, p.518).
Like all others, he admits that a declaratory sentence
for the Pope is not excluded even if it is not that which makes him lose his office: “A declaratory sentence of the crime
, however, is not excluded, as long as it is merely declaratory. This does not bring about the judgment of a heretical Pope, but rather shows that he has been judged.” Ius Canonicum, II, p.453. Let us glue back what your scissors cut.
* COX “The visibility of the Church
follows of necessity
if there exists an obligation to enter the Church. God could not command me to hear a Church that could not be known, nor to enter a Church that cannot be found.” (The Pillar and the Ground of Truth, 1900, p.36.) The visiblility
of the Church is no small matter, being no other than the four marks we sing in the Creed. My confrere Fr Picot tells me that sedes by taking away its visibility, take away from the Church the last thing the novus ordo was unable to destroy.
* CORONATA omc. “It cannot be proven that the Roman Pontiff, as a private teacher, cannot become a heretic
, if, for example, he would contumaciously deny a previously defined dogma. Such impeccability was never promised by God. Indeed, Pope Innocent III expressly admits such a case is possible.” (Inst. Iur. Can., I, p.316).
“A Pontiff lapsed into heresy can most justly be deposed
[…] far be it that the Church should hear a pontiff lapsed into heresy. She who is rather bound to stop her own ears against his violent speech, lest she be infected by the venom of his doctrine; rather his casting out and new election ought to be urged by the assembly of the Sacred Cardinals.”( Tractatus Posthumus Iuris Publici, I, XXI, 2).
* THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (1907-1912) “Apostolicity, or Apostolic succession, means that the mission conferred by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles must pass from them to their legitimate successors in an unbroken line, until the end of the world.
” (vol I, p.648).
* CARDINAL BILLOT sj. wrote the famed “de Ecclesia” and is at once the clearest, among many, to expose how your theory of sedeprivationnism does not makes sense
. Billot formulated the following thesis: “The peaceful and universal adhesion of the Church was always the infallible sign of the legitimacy of the person of the Roman Pontiff
and the existence of all the conditions that are required for the legitimacy itself.” The proof is extensive (p.623). he states before that “From the moment in which the Pope [like Paul VI at least] is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts
about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required condition.” de Ecclesia, I, p.612. “…God cannot however permit that the whole Church accept as Pontiff who is not so truly and legitimately
(this is precisely what you contend, from John XXIII to 1975 at least). […] this adhesion of the Church heals in the root
all vice of the election and shows infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.”
If I mention his refutation of your sedeprivationnism first, it is because Billot uses the universal adhesion of the Church to solve the mystery of the heretical Pope: “Whatever one thinks on the above sentences
(Cajetan versus Bellarmine), the adhesion of the Universal Church shall be always of itself alone the infallible sign of the legitimacy of the person of the Pontiff
, and the existence of all the conditions required of the legitimacy itself” #3, p.634.
Moreover, on the question of loss of Faith in Rome, if Billot follows Bellarmine’s fifth opinion, (like Naz and the other manuals you quote,) he considers it a pure hypothesis that cannot happen because the tribulations of the Church would be unbearable: “Being verified the hypothesis that a Pontiff became notoriously heretic, the Church would fall into so many and such torments
, that it is credible a priori that God would never permit this to be.” P.632.
He goes as far as even deny the possibility of even internal heresy in the Pope, while most theologian, like the DTC, deny such impeccability in the Faith : “… if, considering God’s Providence, he Pontiff cannot fall into occult or purely internal heresy, much less can he fall into external and notorious heresy. The order established by God demands that, as a private person, the Sovereign Pontiff cannot be heretical, including in the sole internal forum.” de Eccl. Hence despite his great clarity on other topics, Billot is confused on the question of the Heretical Pope. If you use him on this question, you have either to endorse his specific weakness on this question (belief in the Impeccability of the Pope), or to accept the solution he proposes to the conundrum: Universal and Peaceful Acceptance.
* HERVE (1881-1958) : “Given that, as a private person, the Pontiff could indeed become a public, notorious, and obstinate heretic… only a Council would have the right to declare his see vacant
so that the usual electors could safely proceed to an election.” (Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae, I, p.501).
* SMITH : “Question: Is a Pope who falls into heresy
deprived ipso iure of the Pontificate? Answer: There are two opinions: one holds that he is by virtue of divine appointment divested ipso facto of the Pontificate; the other is that he is, iure divino, only removable
. Both opinions
agree that he must at least be declared guilty of heresy
by the Church, ie, y an ecumenical council or the College of Cardinals.”( Elements of Ecclesiastical Law, p.210).
* VAN NOORT: “It is a fact beyond question that the Church can never fail to have a successor to Peter
. […] Since Christ decreed that Peter should have a never ending line of successors in the primacy, there must always have been and there must still be someone in the Church who wields this primacy
.” (“Christ's Church”, 1961, p.153).
“The visible form of the Church
[…] must not be confused with what is strictly its knowability. It is one thing to ask whether the Church which Christ founded is a public society, and quite another to ask whether that society can be recognized as the true Church of Christ by certain distinguishing marks.[...] All the promises which Christ made to His Church refer to a visible Church
” (ibid. pp.12,13).
“The present question has to do with the perpetuity
of that Church which alone was founded by Christ, the visible Church. Any society can fail in either of two ways: it can cease to be, or it can become unfit for the carrying out of its avowed aim through substantial corruption. The Church cannot fail in either way
.” (ibid. p.30).
* MAC KENZIE (1932)“The external enforcement of law against heretics as heretics always involves some juridical process. This process may have various stages marked by the judicial sentences imposed: a declaratory sentence that excommunication has been incurred by the delict of heresy
; a sentence of judicial infamy, deprivation of offices, benefices, etc.; deposition and degradation. The issuance of any of these sentences, (save the declaratory sentence), requires canonical warnings and trials, with full observance of the criminal code in all details of the process.” (The Delict of Heresy, p.98). Note the title, note your sleight of hand on all due process
* ZAPELENA sj (1932), and all “de Ecclesia” authors, unanimously insist on the visibility and immutability of the Church
. The Church is the “prepared Mountain” of Isaias 2,2; it is placed on the candle stand, because for it to be necessary for salvation, its joining must be possible, something that any lack of universal visibility would exclude. The immutability
of the Church is the immutability of a kingdom that shall never be dissipated (Dan 2,44), against whom the gates of Hell (or heresies) shall never prevail (Mt 16,18).Billot
confirms: the proposition “The Catholic Church is essentially visible
” is necessary as such (de Eccl. 106). Visiblility is inseparable with the Four Marks
(128), something showed by the study of each mark separately. For instance, Unity is unity of Faith, but also of rule and communion, which is what is lacking in the schismatic orthodox, whose warring “communions” followed all political vicissitudes (173). [Sedevacantism is a different rule and communion with the rest of Catholics all too often]. Moreover, by Communion, one means union of wills
, “Ut sint consummati in unum”(Io XVII). In France, I just learned that the last two sedevacantist priests, Fr Guepin and Belmont, just split; while, as the Capuchins of Morgon are about to join, there is already almost fifty united resistance priests in that country. It is also worrying to see so many sedevacantists argue that the Church needs to go underground, cease to appear to the world, prepare as a for a strong hypothesis, for the end of the world or connive with semi-millenarism (only a miracle can save us now, and it is a direct intervention of Christ).
* CARDINAL JOURNET (1891-1975) is interesting, because he pairs Bellarmine and Suarez
together (which shows you don’t know what you are talking about when you demean Suarez), and prefers the solution of Cajetan and John of St Thomas (which is totally exclusive of sedevacantism): “Some, such as Bellarmine and Suarez
, considered that such a Pope, withdrawing himself from the Church, was ipso facto deposed, papa haereticus est depositus (…) Others, such
Then further, page 625 and following, he is worth quoting in full: “Then comes the very debated case of the heretical Pope. For many theologians, the pomised help by Jesus to the successors of Peter will hinder them not only to teach publicly heresy but also to fall, as private persons, into heresy. Then there is no reason to introduce a debate on the possible deposition of a heretical pope. The question is settled in advance. Saint Bellarmine, de Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. XXX, held this thesis as probable and easy to defend. Yet this thesis was less spread out in his times than today. It gained ground because, for a great part, of the progress of historical studies, which showed that what was imputed to certain popes like Vigilius, Liberius and Honorius, as private lapses of heresy, were no more than a lack of zeal and courage to proclaim, and especially to precise, in certain difficult moments, the true doctrine.
Nevertheless, many and good theologians of the XVIth and XVIIth century have admitted that it was possible that a pope could fall, as a private person, into the sin of heresy, not only occult, but also manifest. The ones, like Bellarmine and Suarez, have then thought that the pope, by cutting himself off from the Church, was “ipso facto” deposed; Papa haereticus est depositus. It appears that heresy is seen by these theologians as a sort of “moral suicide” suppressing the subject itself of the papacy. We return thus easily to the first way we said the Pontificate is lost.
The others, as Cajetan and John of St Thomas
, whose analysis seems to me more penetrating
, have considered that even after a manifest sin of heresy, the Pope is not yet deposed, but should be deposed by the Church; Papa haereticus non est depositus sed deponendus. Nevertheless they added the Church is not on that account above the Pope. They had recourse to the same explanation we used in the excursus IV1. They remarked that on the one hand, by divine right, the Church must be united to the Pope as a body to its head; and on the other hand, that, by divine right, he who is a manifest heretic must be avoided
after one or two monitions (Tit III, 10). There is thus an absolute antinomy between the fact of being a Pope and persevering into heresy after one or two warnings. The action of the Church is simply declarative; it manifests that there is an incorrigible sin of heresy; then the Power of Authority of God exercises itself to disjoin the papacy from a subject who, persisting into heresy after admonition, becomes, by divine right, incapable to hold it any longer. In virtue of Scripture, the Church designates and God deposes. God works with the Church, says John of St Thomas, a little like a Pope would decide to attach indulgences to certain pilgrimage places, but would leave to a minister the care to specify the places, II-II, Q.1 disp.2, a.3, n.29, t.VII, p.264. The explanation of Cajetan and John of St Thomas – which is not the explanation of the case of a doubtful pope that illuminated the Council of Constance – leads us, in its turn, to the case of a subject who, from a certain moment, begins to become, by Divine Right, incapable to hold the privilege of the Papacy. It is reductible to the loss of pontificate by loss of subject. It is indeed the fundamental case, of which others will only be variants. ” Then he illustrates the argument with the case of Savonarola, whom, I think, is very pertinent to the problem of sedevacantism as we shall see later. (L’Eglise du Verbe Incarne, vol. I, p.625)
* The DTC (VII,1717) concludes the following on the fact that a Pope can err: It is probabilior
that the pope can’t err as a private person, yet “none of the proof invoked in favor of Pontifical Infallibility demonstrate such privilege
”. Yet, one cannot say either that this privilege is inadmissible. Such a privilege is more conform to the providential order. None
of your arguments based on infallibility demonstrates a Pope can’t err as a private
person. Hence you have to resort, against the facts, to say that the Council and its reforms are official sanctions and promulgations
. Like bishop Fellay you see all the trappings of a legitimate stamp on the Council and its reforms.
This being a theological, yet erroneous argument, let’s have a look at what the DTC says on the official and publicly sanctioned decrees of popes in general:“The doctrinal decrees of the Roman Congregations, even stamped with the common approval of the Pope, as long as they remain such and published as such, do not enjoy the priviledge of infallibility [… an anterior decision would become an ex Cathedra decision] only if the Pope manifested sufficiently his intention, his will to lay down a definitive, absolute sentence on the question
.” You argue erroneously, like bishop Fellay, that, as long as something emanates officially from Rome, it has to
be infallible, hence you say Rome is not Rome, while bishop Fellay recognizes the pestilential contents. This is not what Theology states on infallibility. There has to be that specific, definite, absolute sentence
, while Vatican I taught that the “Holy Ghost has not
been promised to Peter and his successors to teach novelties
”. For infallibility is a guarantee given by God only if it refers to the deposit as we shall see later at the core of this thesis.
The instruction Donum Veritatis
, of the CDF presided by Cardinal Ratzinger, on 24th
May 1990, #24, clearly shows that, for conciliar popes, magisterial decrees are temporary
if something better comes later. That is pure modernism
, and impounds in the root any possibility of the modernists to teach any definitive, absolute sentence.
We can go further and further on the conclusions the DTC gives on further items of Pontifical Magisterium, in the middle of their Article on Papal Infallibility, if this one is not enough. They can all be placed in front of this constant refusal of conciliar popes to issue a definitive, absolute sentence on a truth of faith or morals.
The object of Vatican II style magisterium is not the truth, but the way the human conscience perceives the truth; it is utterly antinomic with what the DTC and all other good catholic treaties explain about Papal infallibility. Whom do we choose; you or them?
* GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE op. (in this passage you may say, talks only about private heretics, which I concede, yet he) explains how one can be cut off from the body of the Christ and remain its head secundum quid
. It is very interesting because the key argument of sedevacantism is that Francis is not the Pope, by divine right (so they say), because he is not a member of the Church (de Christo Salvatore, 1946, p.232):
“…a secretely heretical Pope would not remain a member of the Church in act[…] but he would keep the jurisdiction by which he has influence over the Church by governing it
. Thus he would keep the reason [or nature] of being the head towards the Church, on which he would have an influence, but he would cease to be a member of Christ, because he would not receive the vital influx of the faith of Christ, the invisible and first head. Thus, in a most abnormal fashion, he would be the head of the Church by jurisdiction, but he would not be a member.This would be impossible if it would be about a physical head, but this is not contradictory if we talk about a secondary moral head
: The reason being whereas a physical head cannot exercise influence on the members without receiving the vital influx of the soul; a moral head, as the roman pontiff is
, can exercise a jurisdiction on the Church even if he receives no influence of internal faith and charity from the soul of the Church.
So, as Billuart says, the pope is constituted a member of the Church by his personal faith, that he can lose, and the head of the visible Church by jurisdiction and the power that can coexist with internal heresy
. The Church will always appear visible
, as the reunion of members placed under a visible head, that is the roman pontiff, even if those who appear as members of the Church remain interior heretics. One must conclude that internal heretics are only apparent members of the Church which they exteriorly and visibly profess as true”.
WHAT ABOUT THE CLASSIC SEDE QUOTES OF WERNZ-VIDAL, BESTE, REGATILLO, Etc.? 1) Wernz-Vidal especially, but the others as well are way too brief on this topic, says the DTC (unlike the thorough studies of Cajetan, Bellarmine, John of St Thomas and Bouix for instance) and they are not detailed enough on the relation between heresy and membership of the Church, which is the question that torments you most. 2) Otherwise these good authors in the above list still contradict tenets sedevacantism, all you need to do is to quote them in full. 3) The authors you are citing are all referring to the per se loss of office, which non sedes like us, especially the Dominicans, don’t exclude either. 4) And as Bellarmine maintains in de Rom. Pont. II,30, quoted above, they all suppose pertinacity, contumeliousness, notoriety of the crime in the legal sense
, which never come about without a trial, or at least an admonition or warning, 5) These authors are canonists
, considering the problem in the canonical point of view, something you emphatically refuse to do. Hence it is difficult to understand why you stretch (all too brief extracts of) Canon Law manuals to uphold something that, in your opinion, did not take place by the force of Canon Law itself.
VERY IMPORTANT ALSO: GARRIGOU, VAN NOORT, OTTAVIANI and plenty other authoritative theologians were alive
during the pontificate of John XXIII
, yet it never
ever crossed their minds that he was not the Pope. How can you say then that your theory is obvious, or worse, that it causes a grave obligation on the simple faithful, when even the most renowned theologians of our time never discerned the issue with John Paul II, and even Paul VI? PADRE PIO
never raised the question of the validity of conciliar popes, while being very aware of their errors, and perhaps even their appurtenance to freemasonry; telling Fr Villa to expose the connivance and involvement of all guilty prelates. Fr Villa never became sedevacantist.
Sedevacantists have made of their opinion such a super-dogma
, that I have to apologize to my other guests for this gross pyramid of crude authorities. They could bypass the whole pile to save their appetite on the other courses, as long as they understand the utter absence of a universal consent of theologians on the matter of the loss of office of a publicly heretical pontiff.
PART TWO: deuxièmeentrée/ soupe/ première salade
CANONSThe code of Canon Law says absolutely nothing directly on the loss of office, procedural or automatic, of a hereticizing Sovereign Pontiff
. In this debate the canonical position of the sedevacantists is so weak as to depend on fixing the eyes of the interlocutor on just one canon, the now famous canon 188.4, in the hope that the interlocutor knows nothing on how the Church proceeds with heretics. That is why it is not rare to see sedevacantists give up the fight on the terrain of canon law itself... except, those like you, who have recourse to some
manuals of canon law.
Besides, the Pope is under the Law
, canon Law, not as whatever member, but as a head
. An entire “Titulus” of the Code concerns him. Because of his immunity (can.1556), the equivalent of a procedure of impeachment is not mentioned in the Code, but only took place in History, in various ways, and was more mentioned by theologians than canonists. But this does not mean that there should be no analogy between the loss of office of a subaltern and the loss of office of a head: by contending that the Pope is not under any law but Divine Law, you claim to strip the papal suspect of all the guarantees the law provides for ordinary suspects of heresy. By your system, the Pope is treated worse than the least of us: we can just lynch him on the first branch, of course, because Divine Law is on our side. Can we at least make you understand why we are not sedevacantists.
The next problem is that the first witness of Divine Law is the Pope
, not you or I (Matthew XVIII, 16). Divine Law says so. If not we protestantize, since the next faithful in the pew will say “divine law says this” and the other “divine law says that”; “Galatians I means this”, “Galatians I means that”. When, God willing, a good Pope gets reinstated in Rome, if a faithful, or a group of faithful come to think that the Pope is a heretic, it will mean that not anly they can, but they must say “he is not the Pope” and not “We think he is a suspect of heresy for xyz reasons”.
Moreover, the loss of office of a cleric is a canonical event
, at least in its canonical consequences
. Fr Calderon states in his conferences, “… given that the Church is a visible society, the acts of its official and public life [and nothing is more public and official than the loss of office of a Pontiff], are not lawfully consummated unless they are notoriously promoted.” Our argument is not about such loss of office in itself; since for the both of us, heresy is incompatible in itself with the retention of office; but on the way
it is or shall be lost. You want to evacuate all way of due process, notifications, admonitions and warnings and make the loss emanate directly from God. We include a human (quoad nos) element, because the Church is both divine and human. The Church is a public society of men, divinely instituted and guaranteed, but run by human and visible instruments.
, wether you like it or not, is a canonical crime
. It is a sin, but it is also a crime. Crime is a sin plus an added public gravity. Hence what conciliar Popes are perpetrating are crimes. “They are criminals of the faith”, said Archbishop Lefebvre. “Sono tutti banditi”, said Dom Putti famously. Are the crimes of Francis also canonical? Yes, because they are public, and terribly so; affecting the public life of the Church. Hence they call for a public response that should be juridically organized, depending on the means at our disposal. The response of St Paul to St Peter on the question of the heresy of judeizers, was public in the canonical sense. He went straight to the suspect and laid down the matter at hand ON THE PUBLIC FORUM of the Church: thankfully there was no pertinacity on the part of Peter, but the precedent was laid. One can also imagine that St Paul would not have backed down if St Peter had remained obdurate, he would have called the other Apostles.
But for starters, sedevacantists do not know how to use this famed canon 188.4 in the first place, its extension and its interpretation:
* VERMEERSCH is spot on: “One defects from the Faith who denies its foundation pertinaciously, or who by some precise fact
(“facto factove”) destroys all bound with the Catholic religion
, for instance, by adhering to a heretical or schismatic sect. The delict is public , when it is notorious to the greater part of the community or can soon be known” Epitome Iuris Canonici, I, p.190. Here in the Philippines, the delict is far from public, and for all our efforts, Francis is in good standing as the “Santo Padre”. We do not know how soon he will be known as such, in spite of our efforts.
* Fr BRIAN HARRISON says, “188.4 states that among the actions which automatically (ipso facto) cause any cleric to lose his office, even without any declaration on the part of a superior, is that of “defecting publicly from the faith”. However, to 'defect publicly' from the faith, in this context, clearly means something a lot more drastic than making heretical (or allegedly heretical) statements in the course of public speeches and documents. This particular cause of losing office is found in that section of the Code dealing with the resignation of such an office (cc. 184-191), and is part of a canon which lists eight sorts of actions which the law treats as 'tacit resignations'. In other words, they are the sort of actions which can safely be taken as evidence that the cleric does not even want to continue in the office he held
up till that time, even though he may never have bothered to put his resignation or abdication in writing.” Living Tradition, May 2000.
* Fr ALVARO CALDERON says that “In effect there are acts which voluntary realization implies in the holder of office who executes them the intent to resign and which of the opportunity, by the same right, to accept the resignation.” A tacit resignation is an intent to resign. It implies a will to resign
. (…) “one must have recourse to understand 188.4 to a)
similar parts in the Code if there are any, (and you are very careful to avoid that) b)
the goal and circumstance of the law and c) the intent of the legislator (can. 18).” What would be a tacit resignation in the case of a Pope? “The papal office would be vacant if the Pope was negligent in assuming his charge and did not present himself to his congregation; or, once enthroned, abandoned his residence without giving a reasonable motive and no one knew where he was; or if he presented himself in front of a civil tribunal to enter into marriage and fixed his residence in a determined place; or the chronicles of the newspapers announced that he had enlisted in the secular army and was on the front; in the same way, without declaration, ipso facto
, by tacit renunciation, the see of the Roman Pontiff would become vacant if a fide catholica publice defecerit
by adhering publicly to a non-catholic or schismatic sect, breaking all links with the catholic religion or completely abandoning the Christian faith.”
Canonists integrate 2314
and other canons to 184.4
, like Fr Ayrinhac
: “If they have been formally affiliated with a non-Catholic sect, or publicly adhere to it, they incur ipso facto the note of infamy. Clerics lose all ecclesiastical office they might hold (Canon 188.4), and after a fruitless warning they should be deposed
.” (Penal legislation, p.193, 1920). A cleric, should he even join the Adventists publicly
, which is the correct meaning of ‘defecting publicly from the Faith’, is entitled to be warned before being deposed. So far Francis has not done so, but only multiplied heretical statements.
How many more references would you like to have? We could go on forever on what all say about 188.4.
Sedevacantists totally miss the meaning of 188 as a whole, for if one analyses the other dots, .1, .2, .3, .5, .6, .7, the Church requires canonical monitions
Hence, in the other instances of loss of office:
=> Canon 2388
mentions the loss of office of priests attempting marriage after warnings
are made. It is just to underline that the office is lost in this special way, but never without warnings. And naturally, what follows an unheeded warning is a declaration that 188 has taken effect.
=> Same for 188.7:
Clerics who do not wear the ecclesiastical habit, get warning first, by virtue of Canon 2379, then lose their office. How many more references and examples do you want?
=> In 2314
, the expression “with due regard for the prescription of Canon 188” occurs, meaning the loss of office for heresy is not impeded by monitions, but part of the process.
To conclude, 188.4 is not like some canons that are derived directly from Divine Law, like the canons that stat the properties of Marriage. It bears all the marks of a human positive law, unfolding the different ways of what is called a tacit resignation.
A POPE BY DIVINE RIGHT WITH NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER
Moreover, when your canonical options run out, all of you want to have it too easily by saying “The See of Rome is judged by no one.” (can. 1556) if the following canons show the privileges and the procedure and the precautions the Church exhibits towards ordinary heretics, how much more precautions
will be required when its highest official is accused, dethroned? That is why we have always seen hereticizing popes been brought to bay only by Councils or by the roman Cardinals
, and get their case examined (cf. part VI). The pope is not under canon law as an inferior member, concedo, but he certainly is as a superior member
, just like our heads get oxygen and nutrients, protection and locomotion from the lower members and are expected to return service and direction. As a head, the Papacy is under Law, and it is a whole “Titulus” in Canon Law.
“Qui potest maius potest minus”: if a Pope can lose his office at once, “vi haeresi”, immediately and by divine law; why such a fact should not take place on his inferiors as well? (Some of you follow that path and depose all the Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots and parish Pastors of the world.) Bear with us and contemplate the precautions the Church takes with ordinary quidam, lay or clerical: how much more cautious
would she be if the suspect turned out to be the one sitting on the Chair of Peter? The expeditive procedure you are recommending for a pope simply does not take place for inferior members
* Canon 160
, against sedeprivationnism. “The election of a Sovereign Pontiff is guided solely by “Vacante Sede Apostolica
” of Pope Pius X”, which constitution, on #29 not only exclude canonical or juridical censures, but also any reason whatsoever
to bar a Cardinal from active or passive voice in a Conclave. More on this later.
Pertinacity: “After the reception of Baptism, anyone retaining the name of Christian, pertinaciously denies
or doubts something to be believed from the truth of divine and Catholic faith is a heretic.”
“Prima Sedes a nemine iudicatur”, the First See is judged by no one, except declaratively: “Potest pontifex ab hominibus iudicatus ostendi
, si videlicet evanescat in haeresim, quoniam qui non credit iam iudicatus est.” “The Pontiff can be shown
by men of having been already judged
, if he indeed falls into heresy, because he who does not believe is already judged.” Innocent III, serm IV in Consecr. Pont. We keep on saying we are not judging, you say we judge. Listen to Innocent.
Yet, immunity works both ways, that is, while you claim you are not judging the Pope, you make a judgement, nay, you compell others to submit to the judgement you have come up. The invocation of the Divine Law does not change anything, since the invocation of Divine law on a case is a judgement
, and any judgement on the loss of office of a cleric, because of its gravity, normally invokes Divine Law, alongside Canon law.
“The contrary custom being reprobated and being revoked any other privilege, […] causes which regard delicts leading to deposition are reserved to a tribunal of five judges
.” Nothing automatic and sentenceless
in the deposition of a cleric, even a lower one. If you say God does it, then leave it to God, otherwise there is a rule of law amongst us.
is about non notorious delicts, but it stresses that an already incurred penalty or censure calls for a declaratory sentence
. A fortiori, how much more nefarious heresy needs canonical exposure?
(By opposition to the delicts that violate also the law of the State,)“A delict that violates only a law of the Church can, by its nature, be pursued only by ecclesiastical authority
.” Such is the case of heresy
it can and was only pursued by the Holy Office or the Sacred Inquisition, the Index, etc, not by armchair theologians.
Whilst there is no deposition, the heretic and excommunicated enjoys a valid jurisdiction
, precariously, even though he cannot exercise it lawfully.
: Public good requires declaratory sentence
of already incurred sentence (latae sententiae). Were we to concede that the penalty of heresy (and especially the loss of office for clerics) falls without declaration, the accused can call for it, “to impugn the justice or legitimacy of his excommunication” (can. 1654) or to say that he is guilty of nothing since no declaration nor monition has been made. “If you call me a murderer, show me the monition, the sentence, the minutes of the trial, etc.” You may not like it, but this is how human polity works.
It runs as follows: “Generally the declaring of an automatic penalty is committed to the prudence of the Superior
; but a declaratory sentence must be given
either at the request of an interested party or when so required by the common good
And how can you maintain that the common good of the Church does not requires that man in Rome to be issued a sentence
for all the crimes he is doing against the Faith? The people who are supposed to issue it may fail to issue it, by their own heresy or cowardice (like Cardinal Burke, Siri, etc.), but they will answer God for not issuing it, because they failed to give what the common good requires. Their lamentable failure does not remove the necessity of this declaratory sentence by competent prelates, for the common good, since that failure leaves millions and millions in the ignorance, even according to their private opinion, that Francis is a heretic.
“... if an automatic or formal penalty is inflicted in the manner of a particular precept, it ordinarily should be declared or imposed