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Offline RomanTheo

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In an open letter to the hierarchy, prominent clergy, theologians and scholars have accuse Francis of seven heresies and called for the bishops to take measures to bring about his removal from office.  At the end of the 20 page document the authors discuss how the loss of office occurs, and in so doing explicitly reject the sedevacantist' position.  They state that the automatic loss of office theory, as it is expounded by the sedevacantists and by Fr. Kramer, is incompatible “with Catholic tradition and theology.”  The explanation the clergy and theologians provide for how the loss of office occurs is identical to what Robert Siscoe and John Salza defend in True or False Pope?, as those who have followed the debate over the years will readily see.   Here are the pertinent pages.


Canon law and Catholic theology concerning the situation of a heretical pope


The situation of a pope falling into heresy has long been a subject of discussion by Catholic theologians. This situation was brought into prominence after the ecumenical Third Council of Constantinople anathematized the Monothelite heresy in 681, and posthumously anathematized Pope Honorius for his support of this heresy; this condemnation of Honorius as a heretic was repeated by Pope St. Leo II when he ratified the acts of that Council. Since that time, Catholic theologians and canonists have reached a consensus on several essential points concerning the implications of a pope falling into public heresy. We will briefly present these points here.

It is agreed that no pope can uphold heresy when teaching in a way that satisfies the conditions for an infallible magisterial statement. This restriction does not mean that a pope cannot be guilty of heresy, since popes can and do make many public statements that are not infallible; many popes indeed never issue an infallible definition.

It is agreed that the Church does not have jurisdiction over the pope, and hence that the Church cannot remove a pope from office by an exercise of superior authority, even for the crime of heresy.

It is agreed that the evil of a heretical pope is so great that it should not be tolerated for the sake of some allegedly greater good. Suarez expresses this consensus as follows: '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 as are the prince and the priest, so the people are accustomed to be.' St Robert Bellarmine states: 'Wretched would be the Church’s condition if she were forced to take as her pastor one who manifestly conducts himself as a wolf' (Controversies, 3rd controversy, Bk. 2, cap. 30).

It is agreed that ecclesiastical authorities have a responsibility to act to remedy the evil of a heretical pope. Most theologians hold that the bishops of the Church are the authorities that have an absolute duty to act in concert to remedy this evil.

It is agreed that a pope who is guilty of heresy and remains obstinate in his heretical views cannot continue as pope.[1]Theologians and canonists discuss this question as part of the subject of the loss of papal office. The causes of the loss of papal office that they list always include death, resignation, and heresy. This consensus corresponds to the position of untutored common sense, which says that in order to be pope one must be a Catholic. This position is based on patristic tradition and on fundamental theological principles concerning ecclesiastical office, heresy, and membership of the Church.[2]The Fathers of the Church denied that a heretic could possess ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any kind. Later doctors of the Church understood this teaching as referring to public heresy that is subject to ecclesiastical sanctions, and held that it was based on divine law rather than ecclesiastical positive law. They asserted that a heretic of this kind could not exercise jurisdiction because their heresy separated them from the Church, and no-one expelled from the Church could exercise authority in it.[3]

The canon law of the Church supports this theological consensus. The first canon to give explicit consideration to the possibility of papal heresy is found in the Decretum of Gratian. Distinctio XL, canon 6 of the Decretum states that the pope can be judged by no-one, unless he is found to have deviated from the faith:

Cunctos ipse iudicaturus a nemine est iudicandus, nisi deprehendatur a fide devius (‘he, the one who is to judge all, is to be judged by none, unless he be found straying from the faith.’)

The wording of this statement seems to have been influenced by Cardinal Humbert's De sancta Romana ecclesia (1053), which stated that the pope is immune from judgment by anyone except in questions of faith: ‘a nemine est iudicandus nisi forte deprehendatur a fide devius.’ The claim made in the canon is a development of Pope Gregory the Great’s statement that evil prelates must be tolerated by their subjects if this can be done while saving the faith (Moralia XXV c. 16: ‘Subditi praelatos etiam malos tolerant, si salva fide possint …’).

The canonical assertion that the pope can be judged for heresy came into being as an explication of the canonical principle that the pope is judged by no-one. The statement in this canon is an enunciation of a privilege; its object is to assert that the pope has the widest possible exemption from judgement by others.

This canon was included, along with the rest of the Decretum of Gratian, in the Corpus iuris canonici, which formed the basis of canon law in the Latin Church until 1917. Its authority is supported by papal authority itself, since the canon law of the Church is upheld by papal authority. It was taught by Pope Innocent III, who asserted in his sermon on the consecration of the Supreme Pontiff that "God was his sole judge for other sins, and that he could be judged by the Church only for sins committed against the faith" [“In tantum enim fides mihi necessaria est, ut cum de caeteris peccatis solum Deum iudicium habeam, propter solum peccatum quod in fide committitur possem ab Ecclesia judicari.”]

Rejection of the canon in the Decretum would undermine the canonical foundation for papal primacy itself, since this canon forms part of the legal basis for the principle that the Pope is judged by no-one.

The canon was universally accepted by the Church after the compilation and publication of the Decretum. The heresy referred to in this canon is understood by virtually all authors to mean externally manifested heresy (the thesis that a pope loses his office for purely internal heresy was advanced by Juan de Torquemada O.P., but it has been conclusively refuted and has been rejected by all canonists and theologians ever since.) Neither the 1917 Code of Canon Law nor the 1983 Code of Canon Law abrogate the principle that a heretical pope loses the papal office. This is agreed by all commentators on these codes, who state that this principle is correct.[4]

The early canonical tradition generally requires that in the specific case of papal heresy, the pope must be admonished several times before being treated as a heretic. The Summa of Rufinus, the Summa antiquitate et tempore (after 1170), and the Summa of Johannes Faventius (after 1171) all assert that the pope must be warned a second and third time to desist from heresy before he can be judged to be a heretic. The Summa of Huguccio states that before the pope can be judged a heretic, he must be admonished to abandon heresy and must contumaciously defend his error in response to such admonition.

Sedevacantist authors have argued that a pope automatically loses the papal office as the result of public heresy, with no intervention by the Church being required or permissible. This opinion is not compatible with Catholic tradition and theology, and is to be rejected. Its acceptance would throw the Church into chaos in the event of a pope embracing heresy, as many theologians have observed. It would leave each individual Catholic to decide whether and when the pope could be said to be a heretic and to have lost his office. It should instead be accepted that the pope cannot fall from office without action by the bishops of the Church.[5]Such action must include adjuring the pope more than once to reject any heresies that he has embraced, and declaring to the faithful that he has become guilty of heresy if he refuses to renounce these heresies. The incompatibility between heresy and membership of the Church is what leads to the loss of the papal office by a heretical pope. The Church's determining that a pope is a heretic, and the announcement of his heresy by the bishops of the Church, is what makes the pope's heresy a juridical fact, a fact from which his loss of office ensues.

There are some lesser differences of opinion between Catholic theologians concerning the measures that the Church must take in dealing with a heretical pope. The school of Cajetan and John of St. Thomas asserts that in order for the papal office to be lost, the Church, after ascertaining and pronouncing that the pope is a heretic, must also command the faithful to avoid him for his heresy. The school of St. Robert Bellarmine does not reject the step of commanding the faithful to avoid the pope as a heretic, but it does not consider it a necessary precondition for the pope's losing office for heresy. Both these schools have adherents, up to and including the present day. We do not take a position on these disputed questions, whose resolution is a matter for the bishops of the Church. Full document here.


[1]See e.g. Thomas de Vio Cajetan, De Comparatione auctoritatis papae et concilii cum Apologia eiusdem tractatus (Rome: Angelicum, 1936); Melchior Cano, De Locis theologicis, book 6, chapter 8; Bañez, In IIaIIae q. 1 a. 10; John of St. Thomas, Cursus theologici II-II, De auctoritate Summi Pontificis, d. 8, ad. 3, De depositione papae; Suarez, De fide, disp. 10; St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, book 2 ; Billuart, Cursus theologiae, Pars II-II ; St. Alphonsus Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema Pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium; Cardinal Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, vol. 1: l'hiérarchie apostolique (Éditions Saint-Augustin, 1998), pp. 980-83
[2]See e.g. St. Augustine, Sermon 181; Pope Pius IX, Bull 'Ineffabilis' defining the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
[3]This principle is applied to the loss of the papal office for heresy by St Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book 2, Chapter 30.  Later authors have qualified this assertion by accepting that heretical clerics can exercise jurisdiction in certain extraordinary circumstances, because it is supplied to them by the Church. None of these authors have however accepted that a pope whose heresy is manifest and established can possess or exercise papal jurisdiction. The Church cannot grant papal jurisdiction, and a heretical pope cannot grant this jurisdiction to himself.
[4]See e.g. Jus Canonicum ad Codicis Normam Exactum, Franciscus Wernz and Petrus Vidal (Gregorianum, 1924-1949), II (1928), n. 453; Introductio in Codicem, 3rd ed., Udalricus Beste, (Collegeville: St John’s Abbey Press, 1946), Canon 221; New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, and Thomas J. Green eds. (New York: Paulist, 2000), p. 1618.
[5]We do not reject the possibility that a pope who publicly rejected the Catholic faith and publicly converted to a non Catholic religion could thereby lose the papal office; but this hypothetical case does not resemble the current situation.


Offline SeanJohnson

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Not sure how "prominent" the list of "theologians" is, and the irony of conciliarists calling for a declarartion of deposition of the arch-conciliarist is rich.

Has any of them written a De Ecclesia manual or commentary?

A couple newspaper editors, a few doctors of philosophy, a smattering of conciliar priests, and a couple unknown professors and conciliar canon lawyers does not strike me as particularly prominent.

I think a study emanating from the 4 Resistance bishops, the Avrille Dominicans, and a few other Resistance clergy and laymen would exhibit much greater prominence.

The problem with initiatives like this one, emanating from conciliar environs (as did the Correctio Filialis), is that conservative conciliarism takes on the appearance of orthodoxy, somewhat like opposing the principles of the French Revolution by supporting the Girhondists (who were more conservative or "traditional" in appearance in comparison to the Jacobins, but in reality, infected with the same revolutionary principles, and therefore no solution).

Part of me thinks it is better to have a Francis in Rome, than a Pope Burke or Pope Mueller, who would emanate a false "traditionalism" (by comparison).  Francis's blatant and overt heretical pontificate threatens to burn down the conciliar house, so they wan him out.

But a Burke or Mueller could do lots more damage over the long haul by pretending to reject error even as they promote it much more stealthily.
Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

-I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


Offline RomanTheo

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I think a study emanating from the 4 Resistance bishops, the Avrille Dominicans, and a few other Resistance clergy and laymen would exhibit much greater prominence.

The Dominican of Avrille have done their homework on papal heresy and produced some fine material. 

Quote
Part of me thinks it is better to have a Francis in Rome, than a Pope Burke or Pope Mueller, who would emanate a false "traditionalism" (by comparison).  Francis's blatant and overt heretical pontificate threatens to burn down the conciliar house, so they wan him out.

Indeed.  Pope Francis is the worst thing that ever happened to the mainstream "conservatives" movement.  He's not only the Pope the Church deserves, he's also the Pope that the Church needed.  

Offline forlorn

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The Dominican of Avrille have done their homework on papal heresy and produced some fine material.

Indeed.  Pope Francis is the worst thing that ever happened to the mainstream "conservatives" movement.  He's not only the Pope the Church deserves, he's also the Pope that the Church needed.  
I thought you were a theologian in Rome. Are you not NO?

Offline SeanJohnson

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I thought you were a theologian in Rome. Are you not NO?

He is a conciliar priest, though a better one than most.

I gather he would oppose the "abuses" of Vatican II, but not Vatican II itself (though I do not want to put words in his mouth).
Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

-I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


Online Ladislaus

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Who exactly are these "theologians"?

Online Ladislaus

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The problem with initiatives like this one, emanating from conciliar environs (as did the Correctio Filialis), is that conservative conciliarism takes on the appearance of orthodoxy, somewhat like opposing the principles of the French Revolution by supporting the Girhondists (who were more conservative or "traditional" in appearance in comparison to the Jacobins, but in reality, infected with the same revolutionary principles, and therefore no solution).

It's not often that I agree with you, but very well put!

Offline homeschoolmom

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My first thought was maybe this is a way of destroying the Church even more. If a bunch of bishops get together to depose the Pope (can they do that?), then the Church becomes more of a democracy and we will have 3 possible Popes running around, with factions all having their reasons why they prefer one over the other. What a nightmare.


Offline SeanJohnson

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It's not often that I agree with you, but very well put!
:cheers:
Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

-I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

Offline Mr G

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http://radtradthomist.chojnowski.me/2019/05/francis-drives-neo-traditionalists-and.html#comments

 See comment below;


Dr. Chojnowski: This is an admonishment of the admonishers of Francis. The First See can be judged by no one. If you accuse a pope of falling into public heresy -- which you admit is done with his full knowledge and assent and pertinaciously --- you have created a new Church, which these signatories have done already by setting up the "bishops of the Catholic Church" ---- even in their minority, as judges of the orthodoxy of the man they freely and clearly claim to be pope. This is not Catholic, but rather Gallican, and differs not from the outlook of the Eastern Orthodox which would make the pope one subject to a collegial assembly of bishops. THIS IS HERESY AND YOU NOW RECEIVE MY SECOND ADMONITION, THE FIRST ONE BEING MADE IN JUNE OF LAST YEAR. I of course am only fooling here, I am not given any authority to judge a true pope BUT NEITHER ARE ANY OF THE SIGNATORIES OF THIS PUBLIC LETTER NOR ANY OF THE BISHOPS THEY APPEAL TO, NEITHER INDIVIDUALLY NOR COLLECTIVELY. Their only function, and this would be really for cardinals, would be to declare that the man occupying the papacy has deposed himself through heresy or apostasy and has ceased to hold office thereby. In this case they would just be engaging in a canonical process, not of deposing a Vicar of Christ but of declaring that no such Vicar lawfully exists and preceding to licitly and validly elect someone who would then occupy the office truly and legitimately. Let us just admit it. Francis has moved many many people away from the Catholic Faith. Many have spent years claiming to "save the Church" in such a way that they are actually destroying the fundamental moorings of the Church itself as a monarchical society. 

[color=rgba(33, 33, 33, 0.54)]May 2, 2019 at 4:48 AM[/font][/size][/color]
Deposing Francis? What a bunch of hypocrites. Why didn't they try to depose John Paul II when he had his heretical Assisi prayer meetings with pagans whom he told to worship and pray to their own gods instead of preaching the Gospel to them? Why didn't they try to depose Paul VI for being a homosexual and promoting homosexuality in the Catholic seminaries, and John Paul II for not doing a darn thing about it, except excusing it? All of a sudden with Francis they have drawn their line in the sand, which is too little, too late. If they had resisted Paul VI and John Paul II with as much vigor then they wouldn't have a pope like Francis to deal with. Robert Sungenis

Offline forlorn

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The above post is nonsense. Most theologians, including St. Bellarmine agree that the Pope can fall into error. Church Canon Law confirms a heretic can be elected Pope(in the sense that an election historically occurred, not in the sense that it'd have been a valid election). St. Bellarmine further teaches that a heretical Pope would automatically lose the form of his office, but that it'd be up to the Church to remove the matter. That's what these priests are proposing here. They're stating they believe he's a heretic who's refused correction and that he has therefore lost his form, and they're asking the Bishops to investigate and begin the process of revoking the matter. 


Online Ladislaus

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The above post is nonsense. Most theologians, including St. Bellarmine agree that the Pope can fall into error. Church Canon Law confirms a heretic can be elected Pope(in the sense that an election historically occurred, not in the sense that it'd have been a valid election). St. Bellarmine further teaches that a heretical Pope would automatically lose the form of his office, but that it'd be up to the Church to remove the matter. That's what these priests are proposing here. They're stating they believe he's a heretic who's refused correction and that he has therefore lost his form, and they're asking the Bishops to investigate and begin the process of revoking the matter.

I agree.  Their letter makes clear their submission to the teaching that the Pope can be judged by no one.  They're requesting the formal admonitions which are typically required to give clarity to the pertinacity of the heresy.  We have to be careful not to conflate different senses of the word "judgment".  Popes cannot be judged by the Church juridically speaking, but the Church must judge the FACT of heresy and ascertain that deposition has taken place.  Much confusion comes from the equivocal use of the word "judge".  Chojnowski misfires in labeling them Gallicans.

And the notions of sedeprivationism (the matter vs. form distinction) are also key.  You correctly refer to the fact that this entails a removal of the matter (which the Church determines has been left without form).

Offline RomanTheo

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http://radtradthomist.chojnowski.me/2019/05/francis-drives-neo-traditionalists-and.html#comments

 See comment below;


Dr. Chojnowski: This is an admonishment of the admonishers of Francis. The First See can be judged by no one. If you accuse a pope of falling into public heresy -- which you admit is done with his full knowledge and assent and pertinaciously --- you have created a new Church...


Dr. Chojnowski is a very confused individual who has apparently never studied theology.    I've been following his blog posts for some time, and have been struck not only by his ignorance of the subject matter about which he pontificates and his inability to properly interpret the material he quotes (such as the quotation from St. Thomas that he commented on last week), but also by the certitude with which he promotes his errors.   Something has clearly gone awry with him over the past few years.  

The error he professed above was formally condemned by Pope Alexander VII in 1665.
 
Pope Alexander VII: “Although it is evidently established by you that Peter is a heretic, you are not bound to denounce him if you cannot prove it.” – CONDEMNED (Denz. 1105).

According to the decree of Pope Alexander VII, a Catholic is bound to denounce the pope as a heretic if they are sufficiently certain of the fact, whereas Dr. Chojnowski rashly professes that such an action would result in the creation of a new Church.   Dr. Chojnowski should leave theology to the theologians and stick to promoting his conspiracy theories, and pointing out discrepancies in doctored pictures showing Sr. Lucy at an event with Paul VI - even though there is video evidence of the two standing together at the event!  

Perhaps there's something I'm missing here, but if no one, including Dr. Chojnowski, denies that Sister Lucy (II) was on the stage at the event with Paul VI, what exactly is the grand conspiracy that the doctor picture is intended to promote?   A picture that is altered by a magazine for the purpose of providing a visual image of something actually took place, is not fraud.  The intention is not to deceive, but simply to provide the reader with a visual image that corresponds to what they are reading.  That is a common practice that magazines have used for as many decades, and there is nothing morally wrong with it as long as the image accurately represents the reality it intends to portray; and the doctored picture of Sr. Lucy with Paul VI certainly represents what actually took place, as the video of the event proves.  Yet Dr. Chojnowski spends months rashly accused the magazine, unnamed high ranking prelates, the Vatican, the Church itself of intentional fraud for supposedly engaging in the the grand conspiracy of doctoring the picture.  

As I said above, something has gone awry with Dr. Chojnowksi over the past several years, which has not only affected his judgment, but produced a bitter spirit that is manifesting itself in a continuous stream of imprudent and slanderous rash judgments - the more recent one clearly being aimed, directly or indirectly, against the Church - not the wolves within the Church, but the Church herself.  If. Dr. Chojnowski does not detect and correct the cause of this evil soon, the end is not difficult to predict.

Online Ladislaus

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A picture that is altered by a magazine for the purpose of providing a visual image of something actually took place, is not fraud.  The intention is not to deceive, but simply to provide the reader with a visual image that corresponds to what they are reading.  That is a common practice that magazines have used for as many decades, and there is nothing morally wrong with it as long as the image accurately represents the reality it intends to portray; and the doctored picture of Sr. Lucy with Paul VI certainly represents what actually took place, as the video of the event proves.  Yet Dr. Chojnowski spends months rashly accused the magazine, unnamed high ranking prelates, the Vatican, the Church itself of intentional fraud for supposedly engaging in the the grand conspiracy of doctoring the picture.

Agreed.  I couldn't figure that one out myself.  It was clearly a deliberate "composite" for cover art and was not to my knowledge represented as being an actual single photo.

Online Ladislaus

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The error he professed above was formally condemned by Pope Alexander VII in 1665.

Yes, how else do you get to recognition that heresy has taken place without someone first making the accusation?

They built an extremely solid case against Bergoglio in their letter ... thoroughly documenting everything.

 

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