HERE IS A CORRECTION TO WHAT I WROTE ON A RECENT POST ABOUT THE DEPOSING OF A MAN OCCUPYING THE CHAIR OF PETER
Dear Bishop Gracida,
Regarding the following citation in the article submitted to you that you re-posted on your web site:
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said “the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church.”
No, the exact opposite is the case:
St. Robert Bellarmine: “For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is “ipso facto” deposed.”
St Robert Bellarmine, “De Romano Pontifice”, (“On the Roman Pontiff”), liber II, caput 30:
“For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is “ipso facto” deposed. The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus, c. 3), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate – which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ. Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?
“This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. de great. Christ. cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope.
Est ergo quinta opinio vera, papam haereticum manifestum per se desinere esse papam et caput, sicut per se desinit esse christianus et membrum corporis Ecclesiae; quare ab, Ecclesia posse eum judicari et puniri. Haec est sententia omnium veterum Patrum, qui docent, haereticos manifestos mox amittere omnem jurisdictionem.
“Therefore, the true opinion is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; and for this reason he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction,
Fundamentum hujus sententiae est. quoniam haereticus manifestos nullo modo est membrum Ecclesiae, idest, neque animo neque corpore, sive neque unione interna, neque externa.“The foundation of this argument is that the manifest heretic is not in any way a member of the Church, that is, neither spiritually nor corporally, which signifies that he is not such by internal union nor by external union.
This is also reflected in:
Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 188.4:
Canon 188: “Ob tacitam renuntiationem ab ipso iure admissam quaelibet officia vacant ipso facto et sine
ulla declaratione, si clerus … (4) a fide catholica publice defecerit.“Canon 188: “There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are:
(4) if he has publicly fallen away from the Catholic faith.“
As well as:
St. Alphonsus de Liguori on the fate of a heretical pope:
“Del resto, si Dio permettesse che un papa fosse notoriamente eretico e contumace, egli cesserebbe d’essere papa, e vacherebbe il pontificato.”
–“Verita della Fede”, part 3, ch. 8, no. 10.
In: Opere dommatiche di S. Alfonso de Liguori (Torino, G. Marietti, 1848), p. 720. (Opere di S. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, v. 8) “For the rest, if God should permit that a Pope should become a notorious and contumacious heretic, he would cease to be Pope, and the pontificate would be vacant.”
Which also reflects:
Pope Innocent III (1198), Sermo 4:
“The Roman Pontiff has no superior but God. Who, therefore, could cast him out or trample him under foot – since of the pope it is said ‘gather thy flock into thy fold’? Truly, he should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God.
“Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory [Minus dico] because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged.”In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men’.”
In any case none of these apply to the six false papal claimants since 1958 as they were all formal heretics (including Ratzinger who denied in his books the physical resurrection of the body for man after the Last Judgement) BEFORE their putative elections so what would apply is the following excerpt:
Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, Apostolic Constitution of His Holiness Pope Paul IV, February 15, 1559.(ROMAN BULLARIUM VOL. IV. SEC. I, PP. 354-357)
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, without any exception in respect of those to which they may have been promoted or elevated before they deviated from the Faith, became heretics, incurred schism, or provoked or committed any or all of these.
7. Finally, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity, We] also [enact, determine, define and decree]:-
that subject persons, be they members of anysoever of the following categories:
(i) the clergy, secular and religious;
(ii) the laity;
(iii) the Cardinals, even those who shall have taken part in the election of this very Pontiff previously deviating from the Faith or heretical or schismatical, or shall otherwise have consented and vouchsafed obedience to him and shall have venerated him;
(iv) Castellans, Prefects, Captains and Officials, even of Our Beloved City and of the entire Ecclesiastical State, even if they shall be obliged and beholden to those thus promoted or elevated by homage, oath or security;
shall be permitted at any time to withdraw with impunity from obedience and devotion to those thus promoted or elevated and to avoid them as warlocks, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs (the same subject persons, nevertheless, remaining bound by the duty of fidelity and obedience to any future Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals and Roman Pontiff canonically entering).To the greater confusion, moreover, of those thus promoted or elevated, if these shall have wished to prolong their government and authority, they shall be permitted to request the assistance of the secular arm against these same individuals thus promoted or elevated; nor shall those who withdraw on this account, in the aforementioned circumstances, from fidelity and obedience to those thus promoted and elevated, be subject, as are those who tear the tunic of the Lord, to the retribution of any censures or penalties.https://web.archive.org/web/20050406081914/http://home.earthlink.net/~saintmarychapel/ceao.htm
These excerpts are all archived from my former web site. If I may be of any assistance in this controversy please let me know.
In Christ, Raymond Antonini