Does the Pope possess Power to Depose Rulers and Absolve Subjects of Allegiance?
#11
Thank you, Sir, and forgive me for my over-generality.

I assume you are of Melkite background, correct?

In contradistinction to the "Paplocentric" or whatever we should call it, viewpoint of popular Western Catholicism, how do Melkites envision the Roman Pontiff and view the relations and ordering between State and Church? I imagine there is a less "centralizing" impulse in relation to the Roman Pontiff, but I don't know the subtleties of difference in the "political idea" of my Melkite brethren. For example, do you follow Eusebius in his political theology of Christian "semi-divine emperorship" and in the imperial enforcement of synodal decrees across State and Church to constitute a Christianum Imperium?

I'm sorry if I don't speak clearly. There is no rush for you to reply. I guess I am interested in the main differentia of ideological and philosophical axes or emphases between Western Catholicism and the Melkite world-view and philosophy of the world. I myself am probably "Melkite" in many ways, it appears to be, in truthfulness...
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#12
From the Eastern point of view, the Pope, and any other bishop, exercises spiritual authority, not secular.  So, as the supreme spiritual authority on earth, the pope has both the right and the responsibility to make moral judgements on secular governments.  So, for example, the Pope was well within his rights to define the Iraq War as unjust and without justification.  But were he to have done so, he would have had no authority to tell American citizens that they were no longer bound to obey their government because of it.  The Pope, and any bishop, has the authority to define what is already written on all of our hearts, that this or that action, law, etc., is either moral, immoral or neutral, either compatible, incompatible or irrelevant in regards to the Catholic faith.  He has no authority to depose secular rulers, dissolve secular governments, decide that all new territory west of this point is Spain's and east is Portugal's, etc.  He can tell people within a country that a certain law is immoral and they are under no compulsion to obey it, rather they must disobey it, but he cannot tell them they are no longer obliged to pay taxes, as if he had the authority to make such a decision arbitrarily.
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#13
The Popes power is plenary over the Church. He has power to depose Catholic rulers, and absolve Catholic subjects of their allegiances. He is always bound by the faith and morals of the Church. Outside of this, his power is limited, mostly by reality more than statute, but also by statue in the sense that Christ never gave authority over temporal powers per se. Also he is bound by the same dictates as us relating to rendering Caesar his due. The past actions of the Popes were within Catholic spheres, and of course with notable forays outside of that. I for one am for the Church leading in the temporal by example and exhortation, nor by direct rule.
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#14
This is a complicated subject that has given rise to many a quarrel in the Church. This was especially true in the High Middle Ages with the disputes between the Popes and Holy Roman Emperors.

I'm inclined to the position that states that the Pope's secular power (for instance as head of state of Vatican City) does not derive itself from Christ's mandate but from changeable historical circumstances. I don't believe the Pope can lawfully depose a head of state, the same way I don't believe any bishop or patriarch can depose the head of state of his country.
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#15
(10-01-2011, 03:38 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: I'm inclined to the position that states that the Pope's secular power (for instance as head of state of Vatican City) does not derive itself from Christ's mandate but from changeable historical circumstances. I don't believe the Pope can lawfully depose a head of state, the same way I don't believe any bishop or patriarch can depose the head of state of his country.

But would you support a Pope excommunicating a heretic queen and declaring that the subjects have no moral requirement to obey them, a la Elizabeth?
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#16
(10-01-2011, 03:53 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-01-2011, 03:38 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: I'm inclined to the position that states that the Pope's secular power (for instance as head of state of Vatican City) does not derive itself from Christ's mandate but from changeable historical circumstances. I don't believe the Pope can lawfully depose a head of state, the same way I don't believe any bishop or patriarch can depose the head of state of his country.

But would you support a Pope excommunicating a heretic queen and declaring that the subjects have no moral requirement to obey them, a la Elizabeth?

The pope, and any bishop, certainly has the right and the duty to excommunicate unbelievers from the Church. That's not the point.

Relieving subjects from lawful obedience to unchristian or heretical monarchs or governments is rather disputed, though. Personally, I don't agree that any bishop or pope can thereby "depose" a political power.
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#17
(10-01-2011, 04:09 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Relieving subjects from lawful obedience to unchristian or heretical monarchs or governments is rather disputed, though. Personally, I don't agree that any bishop or pope can thereby "depose" a political power.

Here, Sir, you are in agreement with the vast majority of Catholics in Elizabethan England including the Holy Martyr, St Edmund Campion, who went to his death protesting his loyalty to his queen in defiance of the Papal Bull.
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#18
(10-01-2011, 01:43 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: could the pope declare that the real King of the UK is in Liechtenstein,

What are you talking about?  :laughing: Every Jacobite knows that the real King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, lives in Munich! There is no such thing as the 'UK' to a Jacobite. The 'Act of Union, 1707' was passed by a bogus 'Parliament' and signed by the usurpress Anne. True, that in a generation or two the Jacobite 'claims' will pass to Haus Liechtenstein, but it hasn't happened yet. :)

Seriously, tho', even when the Holy See continued to recognise King James VII&II and the Old Pretender as King James VIII&III, Rome made no attempt at deposing the 'usurpers' or releasing their subjects from their allegiances, probably, in part, because of the catastrophic failure of St Pius' policy.
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#19
True, I forgot about that bit with the Act of Union.
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#20
(10-01-2011, 04:25 AM)Sabbathiel Wrote: According to the Dictatus Papae of Pope St. Gregory VII, yes he does. Fully and totally and unquestionably.

I was under the impression that the Dictatus Papae was spurious.
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