Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate
(08-24-2011, 04:21 PM)City Smurf Wrote: But who decides when a pope is a heretic?  No authority on earth can judge the pope, he's the Supreme Pontiff, the highest temporal authority.  A council cannot judge a pope, but they can judge someone who was once pope but fallen into heresy, then who judges when the pope-who-is-not-a-pope is a heretic?

That all simply doesn't make any sense to me.  Either a Council is the equal to the Bishop of Rome, or the pope is the pope even when he falls into heresy.

According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, one does not have to be authoritatively declared outside the Church in order to be so, even the pope. In many situations, the average lay people around the world would not be aware of the heresy of a pope (unless it were a notorious fact), so the only way anyone would know that Pope x espoused heresy y is if the Church declared so. Nevertheless, the Church has taught us (directly from the principles laid down in Scripture) that we are to recognize heresy as it has been defined by the Church, consider these persons heretics, and have no fellowship with them. The Catholic faithful and laity are taught by the Apostles themselves that though they (the Apostles, even collectively), or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel besides that which they (the Apostles, even collectively) had already preached, let him be anathema (Gal. 1:8-12), and to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11). The Apostles themselves recognized that none of them were protected from deviating from the Faith, and that in the event that they did (using the teachings of the Apostles passed down through the Catholic Church as the standard by which other gospels are to be judged), they were to be contradicted.

Teaching from this principle, the Church has since authoritatively declared that this is no different than what is required of us to do in the case of any prelate today who seems to deviate from the Faith, even the pope himself (cf. Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV, nos. 1, 6]):
Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, no. 1 Wrote:1.In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith. ...

This same magisterial text goes on to further declare that this would be so in spite of a (presumably) valid election, the belief of the college of cardinals, and even the recognition as pope by the Universal Church:
Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, no. 6 Wrote:6. In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

    (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;

    (ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;

    (iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way;

    (iv) to any so promoted to be Bishops, or Archbishops, or Patriarchs, or Primates or elevated as Cardinals, or as Roman Pontiff, no authority shall have been granted, nor shall it be considered to have been so granted either in the spiritual or the temporal domain;

    (v) each and all of their words, deeds, actions and enactments, howsoever made, and anything whatsoever to which these may give rise, shall be without force and shall grant no stability whatsoever nor any right to anyone;

    (vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power.

[emphasis added]

'But,' it is often said, 'Christ offered a prayer that the faith of the Apostles would never fail.' But we must remember that Christ prayed specifically for Peter that his faith would fail not, because this was needed that Peter, "being once converted," would "confirm [his] brethren." Christ did not guarantee that the faith of the subsequent popes would not fail:
Luke 22:31-32 Wrote:And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you [plural], that he may sift you [plural] as wheat: But I have prayed for thee [singular], that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.

Luke 22:31-32 Wrote:ait autem Dominus Simon Simon ecce Satanas expetivit vos [plural] ut cribraret sicut triticum ego autem rogavi pro te [singular] ut non deficiat fides tua et tu aliquando conversus confirma fratres tuos

If someone is notoriously guilty of manifest heresy, they cannot be said to be professing the inviolable Catholic Faith. According to the Catholic Church, to exercise authority over the Church one must externally be a member of the Church. To be a visible member of the Church one must profess the Catholic Faith. Public abandonment of the Faith severs one from the Church and causes one to lose any position of authority one may have had. For this reason, theologians of all time have held and taught, and Canon Law confirms in Canon 1325, no. 2, that anyone who publicly and notoriously defects from the Faith by obstinately denying or doubting any article of Divine and Catholic Faith is a heretic. According to Canon Law, such a person is ipso facto (automatically, as a consequence of the fact of denial) latae sententiae excommunicated from the Catholic Church without requiring a formal ferendae sententiae excommunication. It is evident that such a person could not possibly rule the faithful, for by analogy to a physical body, it would be impossible to be the head of a body of which one is not even a member.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia says:
Cardinal Wrote:No canonical provisions exist regulating the authority of the College of Cardinals sede Romanâ impeditâ, i.e. in case the pope became insane, or personally a heretic; in such cases it would be necessary to consult the dictates of right reason and the teachings of history.

Sägmüller, Johannes Baptist. "Cardinal." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908.

One does not have to judge the state of a person's soul to recognize heresy when it is spoken, taught, promoted, sanctioned, or espoused. For, teaching from the dictates of "right reason" and the "teachings of history", St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, taught:
De Romano Pontifice Wrote:"Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic" (De Romano Pontifice, St. Robert Bellarmine, no. 15).

Even the Catholic Encyclopedia states:
Heresy Wrote:Additional penalties to be decreed by judicial sentences: Apostates and heretics are irregular, that is, debarred from receiving clerical orders or exercising lawfully the duties and rights annexed to them; they are infamous, that is, publicly noted as guilty and dishonoured. This note of infamy clings to the children and grandchildren of unrepented heretics. Heretical clerics and all who receive, defend, or favour them are ipso facto deprived of their benefices, offices, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The pope himself, if notoriously guilty of heresy, would cease to be pope because he would cease to be a member of the Church. Baptism received without necessity by an adult at the hands of a declared heretic renders the recipient irregular. Heresy constitutes an impedient impediment to marriage with a Catholic (mixta religio) from which the pope dispenses or gives the bishops power to dispense (see IMPEDIMENTS). Communicatio in sacris, i.e. active participation in non-Catholic religious functions, is on the whole unlawful, but it is not so intrinsically evil that, under given circumstances, it may not be excused. Thus friends and relatives may for good reasons accompany a funeral, be present at a marriage or a baptism, without causing scandal or lending support, to the non-Catholic rites, provided no active part be taken in them: their motive is friendship, or maybe courtesy, but it nowise implies approval of the rites. Non-Catholics are admitted to all Catholic services but not to the sacraments. link

Wilhelm, Joseph. "Heresy." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.

I hope this helps you understand that, at the very least, it is not as simple as declaring whether he must or must not be the pope absolutely, as though we have the authority to bind the consciences of the faithful in this matter. We don't have to presume to judge someone's objective Catholicity and attachment to the Church (known only to God based upon the personal degree of culpability [pertinacity]) to consider whether or not someone is externally a visible member of the Catholic Church in the practical order. We have a responsibility to follow our consciences and to save our own souls, too, and that means being wary "lest false prophets or others, even if they have only secular jurisdiction, should wretchedly ensnare the souls of the simple, and drag with them into perdition, destruction and damnation countless peoples committed to their care and rule, either in spiritual or in temporal matters..." (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV, no. 1).

I would like it to be known that I am not trying to make a declaration of a present state of sedevacantism. I am only presenting what the Church has taught on this matter and why St. Robert Bellarmine, Francisco Suarez*, et al., guided by the sanction of Holy Mother Church, found it necessary to instruct the faithful on this matter for the safety of the whole flock.

For, as Paul IV taught so protectively, "We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place. In view of this, Our desire has been to fulfil our Pastoral duty, insofar as, with the help of God, We are able, so as to arrest the foxes who are occupying themselves in the destruction of the vineyard of the Lord and to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be dumb watchdogs that cannot bark and lest We perish with the wicked husbandman and be compared with the hireling" (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV, no.1).

So what we find here is that the Church, Herself, has acknowledged the possibility that the pope, himself, could become a heretic; and the Church, Herself, has acknowledged, through those She has appointed to speak on Her behalf, that when 'we see that someone is a heretic by his external works, we judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.'

* Francisco Suarez, recognized by the Church as one of the greatest scholastic theologians after St. Thomas Aquinas, taught that if a pope were to attempt to change all of the rites of all of the sacraments, he would ipso facto become a schismatic. His teachings received the approbation of the Church and were taught to seminarians all across the world. This at least confirms that Holy Mother Church has recognized this as a valid theological opinion (NOTE: not an article of faith) that is in accordance with the Roman Catholic Faith and against which there is no censure.


Messages In This Thread
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by salus - 08-23-2011, 11:36 PM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by joe17 - 08-24-2011, 12:49 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by joe17 - 08-24-2011, 01:25 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by ggreg - 08-24-2011, 01:30 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Justin - 08-24-2011, 06:02 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Cindy - 08-24-2011, 10:40 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by FHM310 - 08-24-2011, 11:07 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Justin - 08-24-2011, 08:47 PM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Justin - 08-24-2011, 08:56 PM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Justin - 08-24-2011, 08:58 PM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by Cindy - 08-25-2011, 12:17 AM
Re: Vatican Offers SSPX Ordinariate - by INPEFESS - 08-25-2011, 12:33 AM

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