Lets talk real world. We have a Pope Francis who may not even be a priest due to being ordained in the new rite by a new rite consecrated bishop who may not be a bishop. He is a heretic (all progressivists are heretics), acting as the pope, ruling over a hierarchy of heretics who will not call Francis or themselves heretics, and we laymen do not have the authority to declare them heretics. That is the reality.
This, I believe, is a factual error. What we laymen do not have the authority to do is to bind the consciences of others as to the status of these people claiming to be Catholic priests, bishops, and popes. On the other hand, we not only have the authority, but also the responsibility to speak the truth when we see it.
The layman, Eusebius, did not have any authority when he publicly declared that the bishop, Nestorius, had lost his office because of a single heretical declaration in his Christmas sermon. The Church never disciplined any layman who did not follow Eusebius's declaration and who remained faithful to Nestorius until he was formally deposed due to heresy. But the Church did punish anyone who adhered to the heresy of Nestorianism and the Church praised all, and most especially Eusebius, who saw through the errors of Nestorius and remained faithful to the Apostolic Catholic faith.
I know the Eusebius / Nestorius story, and agree with what you wrote, it is what I meant. So, next time I'll put:
"it is just that we laymen do not have the authority to officially
declare them heretics"
From The Litugical Year by Abbot Gueranger;
It was then that Satan produced Nestorius, crowned with a fictitious halo of sanctity and knowledge. This man, who was to give the clearest expression to the hatred of the serpent for the woman, was enthroned in the Chair of Constantinople amid the applause of the whole East, which hoped to see in him a second Chrysostom. The joy of the good was of short duration. In the very year of his exaltation, on Christmas Day 428, Nestorius, taking advantage of the immense concourse which had assembled in honour of the Virgin Mother and her Child, pronounced from the episcopal pulpit the blasphemous words: 'Mary did not bring forth God; her Son was only a man, the instrument of the Divinity.' The multitude shuddered with horror. Eusebius, a simple layman
, rose to give expression to the general indignation, and protested against this impiety. Soon a more explicit protest was drawn up and disseminated in the name of the members of this grief-stricken Church, launching an anathema against anyone who should dare to say: I The Only-begotten Son of the Father and the Son of Mary are different persons.' This generous attitude was the safeguard of Byzantium, and won the praise of Popes and Councils. When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. It is usual and regular, no doubt, for doctrine to descend from the bishops to the faithful, and those who are subject in the faith are not to judge their superiors. But in the treasure of revelation there are essential doctrines which all Christians, by the very fact of their title as such, are bound to know and defend.
The principle is the same whether it be a question of belief or conduct, dogma or morals. Treachery like that of Nestorius is rare in the Church, but it may happen that some pastors keep silence for one reason or another in circumstances when religion itself is at stake. The true children of Holy Church at such times are those who walk by the light of their baptism, not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be, delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions which are neither necessary nor desirable.