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Full Version: Paris Conference Explores Question of Deposing the Pope (Church Militant)
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This is huge.

"The scholarly gathering will examine canonical issues surrounding heretical pontiffs

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - An upcoming gathering of canon lawyers, theologians and scholars will explore the extraordinary question of the mechanisms for deposing a pope. Titled "Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenges," the conference is inspired by the recently published book by Laurent Fonbaustier, "The Deposition of the Heretical Pope.""

More here:

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/artic...osing-pope
Things are heating up.  Pray for the Church.

"Gaude Maria virgo cunctas haereses sola interemisti.  Quae Gabrielis Archangeli dictis credidisti. Dum Virgo Deum et hominem genuisti: et post partum Virgo inviolata permansisti.  Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis."

"Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies. Thou believed the word of the Archangel Gabriel. A virgin still, thou brought forth the God-man; thou bore a child, O Virgin, and remained a virgin still. Mother of God, intercede for us. "
Maybe this is why God allowed Pope Francis to be elected. Whether anything comes from this gathering or not, at least people are talking about the problems in the Church, and it isn't just the traditionalists. Nothing like the dubia would ever have been submitted to John Paul II or Benedict XVI, so to see cardinals standing up to the Pope is good.
Interesting--this is one of those questions that has never really been answered definitively, but it seems to me the most commonly accepted answer is that if the Pope has publicly defected from the Church through heresy or apostasy (the heresy or apostasy has to be public--ie recognizable), he would automatically cease to hold his office. A declaration may be issued, but this loss of office is not conditioned on such a declaration.  The only wrinkle to this, however, is that the 1983 code does appear to condition the enforcement of a deprivation on such a declaration (canon 194 §2), but I'm not sure how that would apply to the case of a Pope.

One other interesting detail I find compelling is in the opinion of some of the medieval canonists the heresy couldn't be a "new heresy"--ie for the Pope to be liable for it and be deprived of his office, the Church would have had to have already passed a formal judgment against it. This is why later writers sometimes use the phrase "refusing the infallible teaching authority" as a necessary element for defection from the Church. Arguing one's proposition is consonant with the faith while another argues it is heretical is different from rejecting the Church's definitive judgment on that very proposition.

Given the above and other truths we know, here is my take:

It is part of the divine constitution of the Church that it have a primatial bishop, a visible head.  It is also a dogmatic truth that this is accomplished by a perpetual succession bishops in that office.  Given these two things, the Church has to be able recognize when it is headless and have the means to restore its head.  This is the case, whether the former head died, resigned, or defected from the Church.  We take it for granted in the first two cases, but I don't see why the same means and process wouldn't apply in the third either.  In that case, it is not a matter of a juridical judgment against the person or a deposition happening, but merely a recognition of headlessness (just like the Pope's resignation was not "accepted," but it still had to be recognized so that the Church could proceed to elect another). Why would it be any different?

It also follows that there must be divine assistance involved in this recognition, since if the Church could fail to recognize her headlessness, she could proceed as headless in perpetuity  (and even possibly submit to the teaching and governance of someone other than her head), which is impossible given the above and the other divine promises made to the Church regarding her indefectibility and infallibility. .