Papal Primacy and the Heresy of Conciliarlism

bell-book-and-candle

By: Fr. Paul Kramer

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In the following essay, as the number of endnotes alone suggests, Fr. Kramer has left few stones unturned in examining the nature of papal primacy and the prospect of a pope who has fallen into heresy. Like the recent article by Robert Siscoe and John Salza, it will take considerable effort to read, but I can assure you that it is well worth your time as you will come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the way in which Christ constituted His Church. So, please, persevere! – LV]

It is claimed by some that a true and certain pope can be judged for heresy, but cases of heresy, since they are concerned with matters of faith can only be settled with finality by an infallible papal judgment. Only the pope, because he succeeds Peter not merely as an apostle in the manner that other bishops are successors of the Apostles, but because he succeeds Peter as Cephas in his function as the infallible Rock foundation of the Church, and as head of the Church over all the bishops, possesses the singular power to judge infallibly, which even all the bishops together without the pope do not possess; for which reason judgments in matters of faith are ultimately reserved to him alone, and his definitive judgment is final.

An imperfect council is incapable of judging on a matter of faith infallibly, and therefore cannot definitively judge with finality whether a pope’s opinion is heresy, and from there determine that the pope is indeed a contumacious heretic. The definitive and final settling of cases involving matters of faith and morals are reserved to the pope’s infallible judgment; and before such final judgment is made, the case remains without a definitive judgment.

If an “imperfect council” presumes to judge a true and validly reigning pope guilty of heresy, the pope as supreme judge possesses the right and the power to overrule the council and judge the matter with infallibility and finality. No council can arrogate the power to itself to nullify or suppress the pope’s right of primacy to judge the case as the supreme, final, and infallible judge, and then presume to arrogate to itself the supreme power to judge the pope’s opinion heretical with finality, and command the pope with coercive juridical force to submit to the judgment of the Council. For so long as an “imperfect council” does not receive a grant of jurisdiction from the Supreme Pontiff, it has no ecclesiastical jurisdiction — no power to judge or decide anything — and any judgment it would make would not be final, but would be subject to the pope’s supreme power to judge with finality.

Without a grant of jurisdiction from the pope, the Council’s judgments would be nothing but a collective private judgment of the aggregation of individuals that comprise the gathering. Even the totality of the bishops of the Church cannot judge against a true and valid pope because he is the supreme and final judge in virtue of the “full and supreme jurisdiction” of his Primacy over the universal Church. The totality of bishops do not possess the power to judge a pope, or juridically condemn his opinion as heretical.

The reason for this is that the authority of bishops is the ordinary episcopal power first received, not immediately from Christ, but indirectly from God through the Apostles — a power which, after the death of the Apostles, is juridically derived from the pope’s supreme power, and is granted to bishops in hierarchical subordination to the supreme power, and which is common to all diocesan ordinaries as successors of the Apostles.

The apostolic power was extraordinary, and not passed on by the Apostles to their successors, but the Apostles conferred episcopal jurisdiction on their successors, which is a power exercised by the bishops only over their own subjects. The Petrine authority, which is an ordinary and singular power conferred directly by Christ on Peter alone, is a distinct power from the apostolic authority that was extraordinary, and was common to all the Apostles. The Petrine authority is the power of a full and supreme Primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church, which Peter exercised over all the other Apostles and bishops. Unlike the extraordinary apostolic power common to all the Apostles which was not passed on to the bishops, the Primacy St. Peter received from Christ was ordinary, and is passed on to Peter’s successors who receive it directly from Christ, whereas the episcopal jurisdiction which is not conferred immediately by Christ on the bishops, but is  received mediately, and in hierarchical subordination to the pope, and is juridically derived from and dependant on the pope’s full and supreme jurisdiction.

The case of Pope John XXII’s heretical opinion on the question of the beatific vision of departed souls proves that a dispute between a true and certain pope who materially errs against faith and even the most eminent theologians who oppose him cannot be resolved by a decision made by anyone other than the pope, because, as St. Alphonsus wrote,

«We repeat here that memorable judgment of Cyprian : For neither from anywhere else have heresies arisen, or have schisms been born, than from there that the Priest of God is not obeyed, and besides one is considered in the Church at the same time priest and judge in the place of Christ. Lib. 1. ep. ad Corn. papam.Note , one priest the judge in the place of Christ. »[1]

Even a point that has already been solemnly defined can be misinterpreted in such a manner that it would necessarily require an additional exercise of the supreme magisterium to resolve it — and until then it would be argued back and forth with one side saying that the new interpretation is heretical and the other claiming it is not — and such a dispute could only be judged with finality by that one priest who is the judge in the place of Christ.

Now that one priest is the pope, and if he is the one whose personal opinion offends against the rule of faith, there will be no other judge in the whole Church who can judge the dispute other than himself, because opinions are definitively and finally judged to be heresies only when they are infallibly condemned by the pope. St. Alphonsus explains, “It is so true; for, if the infallibility in matters of faith are removed from the supreme pontiff, no other means suffices (as we will see below) to convict heretics.”[2] Only the pope possesses the power to judge infallibly in matters of faith, and no other means suffices to convict heretics.

Those who argue that a true pope can fall into heresy as a private person but not as pope, and that he while still pope can be judged by a council, destroy their own argument; because as pope he cannot err in his judgment, and it pertains to his authority to pronounce that infallible judgment with finality. If a validly reigning pontiff could be judged by a council for heresy, the divinely instituted supreme authority of the ecclesiastical monarchy would be subverted and destroyed by being made ultimately subject to the aristocratic authority of the bishops assembled in a council — an aristocratic authority which would be the worst possible for the Church, as St. Robert Bellarmine explains:

Democracy is the absolutely worst governance: nevertheless aristocracy is seen to be more pernicious for the Church. Indeed the supreme evil for the Church is heresy: heresy is stirred up by higher-ups rather than by common men. Certainly nearly all the heresiarchs, were either bishops or priests; accordingly some heresies are as factions of the leaders, without which there would not be rebellions of peoples in the Church. But factions never arise more easily and more frequently than when the higher-ups rule, as can be established not only by experience and by the testimony of the philosophers, but even by the admission of Calvin himself in lib. 4. Institut. cap. 20. §. 8.[3]

As pope, a true and certain pope’s judgment cannot fail. The council’s judgment can fail, even if the agreement of the bishops is unanimous, but it cannot prevail in a truly ecumenical council, as Bellarmine explains:

For even if the greater part should resist the better; as happened at the Ariminese and second Ephesian councils, nevertheless it never prevails; for later the acts of such councils are nullified by him to whom it befits from his office to confirm the brethren, in such a manner as we see took place in the aforementioned Ariminese and Ephesian II councils.[4] You will say: All questions will be brought to an end by a general Council: all will acquiesce to the majority of bishops. But even in a general Council the majority can err, if there lacks the authority of the supreme Pastor, as is proven by the experience of the Ariminese and Second Ephesian Councils.[5]

In matters of faith, the judgment of an imperfect council is binding neither on the pope nor the rest of the Church, since, as Bellarmine explains: “For it is necessary, that all the faithful hold the same in matters of faith:

There is one God, one Faith, one Baptism. (Ephes. 4) But there cannot be one Faith in the Church, if there is not one supreme Judge, to whom all are bound to acquiesce.”[6]

All have the right to appeal to the pope against the sentence of bishops or any other tribunal. According to those who heretically hold that a certainly valid pope can be judged for heresy by his subordinates, it is only the pope himself who is denied this right of appeal to an infallible papal judgment, without which the final determination of the Church’s judgment cannot be reached (St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae Ia IIae q. 1 a. 10), as St. Thomas explains:

to publish a new edition of the symbol belongs to that authority which is empowered to decide matters of faith finally, so that they may be held by all with unshaken faith. Now this belongs to the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, “to whom the more important and more difficult questions that arise in the Church are referred,” as stated in the Decretals [*Dist. xvii, Can. 5]. Hence our Lord said to Peter whom he made Sovereign Pontiff (Lk. 22:32): “I have prayed for thee,” Peter, “that thy faith fail not, and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” The reason of this is that there should be but one faith of the whole Church, according to 1 Cor. 1:10: “That you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you”: and this could not be secured unless any question of faith that may arise be decided by him who presides over the whole Church, so that the whole Church may hold firmly to his decision. Consequently it belongs to the sole authority of the Sovereign Pontiff to publish a new edition of the symbol, as do all other matters which concern the whole Church, such as to convoke a general council and so forth.

There are two extreme positions on the question of papal deposition which still manage to acquire adherents even in our time. The first is the belief that if a pope would become a manifest formal heretic, he would remain in office, and could not be deposed in any manner whatever. This opinion is entirely discredited and is followed by no theologians of repute since the Dominican, Fr. Marie Dominique Bouix in the nineteenth century. This opinion contains within itself the implicit heresy of asserting that a manifest heretic, remaining as the head of the Church would therefore still be a member of the Church.

The second is the heretical belief that a true and valid pope who falls into formal heresy would continue in his office and remain in possession of the Petrine munus until he is judged by the Church to be a heretic; and only then he would either fall from office, or would have to be deposed by the authority of the Church. It is properly a heresy because it was solemnly defined at Vatican I that there exists only one total fullness of supreme power (totam plenitudinem huius supremae potestatis), which is universal — over the entire world, which consists in the Roman Pontiff’s universal primacy of jurisdiction over the entire oecumene (οἰκουμένη = the entire inhabited world); for which reason, there exists only one supreme ecumenical authority over the Church which subsists entirely in the “full and absolute jurisdiction”  (Pius XII, Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis) of the pope — which therefore in strict logic categorically excludes the possibility of any ecumenical power existing in the episcopal authority, even of the entire body of bishops gathered together in a council in opposition to the pope.

Hence, the mere notion of an “imperfect ecumenical council” exercising an ecumenical authority in opposition to the supreme and absolute ecumenical authority of the pope is per se contradictory and heretical.

The first extreme position is the erroneous opinion of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and the second is the heresy of John Salza and Robert Siscoe.

Bishop Schneider’s mistake is rooted in an imprecise and restrictive usage of the word “pope” which fails to critically distinguish adequately between a true and certain pope on the one hand, and a “doubtful pope” (papa dubius) on the other. The former must always be regarded, as a dogmatic fact, to be the holder of the primacy; while the latter’s claim, according to all the theologians, falls under the jurisdiction of the Church: Papa dubius, papa nullus.

The opinion that Bishop Schneider characterizes as form of “crypto-Conciliarism” is in fact a papal teaching of Pope Innocent III,[7] which was subsequently developed and elaborated according to its variations in the following centuries by some of the most eminent theologians and doctors — St. Robert Bellarmine, St Alphonsus de Liguori, St. Francis de Sales[8], Pietro Ballerini, Pope Gregory XVI, just to mention a few.

According to these Doctors, a heretic pope, 1) “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” [Bellarmine][9], 2) that “by his public pertinacity … he declares himself to be a heretic, i.e. to have withdrawn from the Catholic faith and the Church by his own will, so that no declaration or sentence from anyone would  be necessary,” [10] “that he by his own will departed”, and is “severed from the body of the Church, and has in some manner abdicated the Pontificate”[11] — i.e. that he “ipso facto by his own will abdicated the primacy and the pontificate”,[12] [Ballerini]; 3) “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” [St. Alphonsus de Liguori][13]; 4)   “Whence he could be considered, as Ballerini observes, as a public schismatic and heretic, and in consequence, and to have fallen by himself from the pontificate, if he had been validly elevated to it”[14], and therefore, “the deposition is not a prescription against … the current representation of the Church in the Pope recognized as such, but only against the person, who was before adorned with papal dignity.”[15] [Gregory XVI] ).

The latter passage in its context reads as follows:

“Even so that it could be for a moment, that the Church has the authority to depose the Pontiffs: what then? … In fact, by ceasing in this hypothesis the deposed Pope to be a true Pope, the deposition is not a prescription against the rights of the Primacy, and therefore against the current representation of the Church in the Pope recognized as such, but only against the person, who was before adorned with papal dignity …”[16]

Gregory XVI, in the passage just cited, explicitly cites Ballerini’s doctrine as the basis for his own position on this question; and Ballerini’s teaching is most clearly stated in the following passage:

«For any person, even a private person, the words of Saint Paul to Titus hold: “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition avoid : knowing that he that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.” (Tit. 3, 10-11). He undoubtedly, who having been once or twice corrected, does not repent, but remains obstinate in a belief contrary to a manifest or defined dogma; by this his public pertinacity which for no reason can be excused, since pertinacity properly pertains to heresy, he declares himself to be a heretic, i.e. to have withdrawn from the Catholic faith and the Church by his own will, so that no declaration or sentence from anyone would be necessary.

Conspicuous in this matter is the explanation of St. Jerome on the commended words of Paul. Therefore, by himself [the heretic] is said to be condemned, because the fornicator, adulterer, murderer, and those guilty of other misdeeds are driven out from the Church by the Priests: but heretics deliver the sentence upon themselves, departing from the Church by their own will: this departure is seen to be the condemnation by their own conscience. Therefore a Pontiff, who after such a solemn and public admonition from the Cardinals, Roman Clergy, or even a synod would maintain himself hardened in heresy, and have openly departed from the Church, according to the precept of Paul he would have to be avoided; and lest he bring ruin to the rest, his heresy and contumacy would have to be publicly pronounced, so that likewise all could keep clear of him, and thus the sentence which he brought upon himself, made known to the whole Church, that he by his own will departed, would declare him to have separated from the body of the Church, and in some manner to have abdicated the Pontificate, which no one holds or can hold, who is not in the Church. » [17]

Ballerini elaborates further on this point:

The present question can only refer to that case in which the Pope, deceived by private judgment would believe, and pertinaciously contend something contrary to any defined or evident article of faith, which is properly heresy. In this case (which, granted that it be from a definition of faith and is most foreign to our thesis, however by the protection of God I trust will never happen) not a few even of the defenders of pontifical authority (1) assert the right of a general council over a Pope deviating from the faith, but whom they propound to be a heretic; because they believe such a Pontiff by the heresy itself to be severed and cut off from the foundation of the Church which is faith, and consequently from the Church itself, and to have utterly fallen from the Pontificate, and in this hypothesis it will be the right of the general council over him, who is no longer the Pontiff, nor does he possess the primacy.[18]

Ballerini also made the very important observation that there is no intrinsic reason which would necessitate that it always be a council to resolve the issue of a heretical pope. If the Church of Rome could settle the matter adequately by setting the intruder aside, then there would be no need to prolong the dire crisis by waiting for the opportune time to convene an ecumenical council — which could even take many years with catastrophic results caused by the undue delay. On this point he wrote:

But why is it to be believed, that the remedy is to be expected from the not so easily done convocation of a general synod, when a most present and gravest of all  dangers for the faith, which, impending from a Pontiff espousing heresy even in his private judgment, would not be able to be endured through lengthy delays? In such a crisis for the faith, cannot even inferiors warn their superior by fraternal correction, resist him to the face, and subdue; and, if need be, refute and drive him to the recovery of his good sense? The Cardinals, who are there to advise him, will be able to do it; the Roman Clergy will be able to; even a Roman synod, if it is judged to be expedient, having been convened, will be able to.[19]

By the late 19th Century, Fr. Sydney Smith SJ (in 1895) testified to the fact that Ballerini’s opinion, that a manifestly heretical pope would cease automatically to be pope, and that only a declaratory sentence on the one who was no longer pope would need to be pronounced, had already become the common opinion of theologians:

“[I]t has been generally held that, given the possibility of a personally heretical Pope, he would ipso facto cease to be Pope by ceasing to be a member of the Church. The Church in that case, as represented by the Cardinals or otherwise, could on due information of the fact pass a declaratory sentence on one who being no longer Pope was no longer its superior, and then take measures to remove him from the See in which he had become an intruder.”[20]

Franz Xavier Wernz S.J., reputed by some to be the most illustrious canonist of the 20th Century, in his  Jus Canonicum, revised by Pedro Vidal, S.J., taught:

«453. By heresy which is notorious and openly made known. The Roman Pontiff should he fall into it is by that very fact even before any declaratory sentence of the Church deprived of his power of jurisdiction. (Per haeresim notoriam et palam divulgatam R. Pontifex si in illam incidat, ipso facto etiam ante omnem sententiam declaratoriam Ecclesiae sua potestate iurisdictionis privatus existit) »[21]

He goes on to explain:

«Concerning this matter there are five Opinions …» and he elaborates: «The fourth opinion, with Suarez, Cajetan and others, contends that a Pope is not automatically deposed even for manifest heresy, but that he can and must be deposed by at least a declaratory sentence of the crime. ‘Which opinion in my judgment is indefensible’, as Bellarmine teaches.» (ibid.)

And then:

«Finally, there is the fifth opinion — that of Bellarmine himself — which was expressed initially and is rightly defended by Tanner and others as the best proven and the most common. For he who is no longer a member of the body of the Church, i.e. the Church as a visible society, cannot be the head of the Universal Church. But a Pope who fell into public heresy would cease by that very fact to be a member of the Church. Therefore he would also cease by that very fact to be the head of the Church.» (ibid.)

Note especially the words, “But a Pope who fell into public heresy would cease by that very fact to be a member of the Church. Therefore he would also cease by that very fact to be the head of the Church.

Dr. Edward Peters J.C.D., in A Canon Lawyer’s Blog[22] attests to the fact that the opinion that a heretic pope would remain in office until even a merely declaratory sentence would result in his loss of office has been entirely abandoned where he says:

I know of no author coming after Wernz who disputes this analysis [of Wernz and Vidal]. (See, e.g., Ayrinhac, CONSTITUTION (1930) 33; Sipos, ENCHIRIDION (1954) 156; Regatillo, INSTITUTIONES I (1961) 299; Palazzini, DMC III (1966) 573; and Wrenn[23] (2001) above.) As for the lack of detailed canonical examination of the mechanics for assessing possible papal heresy, Cocchi, COMMENTARIUM II/2 (1931) n. 155, ascribes it to the fact that law provides for common cases and adapts for rarer; may I say again, heretical popes are about as rare as rare can be and yet still be. In sum, and while additional important points could be offered on this matter, in the view of modern canonists from Wernz to Wrenn, however remote is the possibility of a pope actually falling into heresy and however difficult it might be to determine whether a pope has so fallen, such a catastrophe, Deus vetet, would result in the loss of papal office.

Note the words, “I know of no author coming after Wernz who disputes this analysis,” and, “in the view of modern canonists from Wernz to Wrennsuch a catastrophe, Deus vetet, would result in the loss of papal office.

Salza & Siscoe (and all who unwittingly have been led into heresy by them), hold to an opinion known as Mitigated Conciliarism, which is a heresy, because it is logically reducible to the radically heretical error of Conciliarism, insofar as it professes that the Church represented by an imperfect council has the authority to judge a validly reigning pope with finality for heresy, thus effectively ascribing to a council the supreme authority to act as the final arbiter in a matter of faith against the pope, which in this case would consist in the question of the doctrinal orthodoxy of the pope’s opinion; whereas it is a solemnly defined dogma that the pope as the supreme judge is the final arbiter in absolutely ALL disputes concerning doctrine of faith or morals.

A council cannot judge a true and valid pope’s opinions, and thereby subject the pope’s beliefs to the “judgment of the Church” because it is defined de fide in Pastor Æternus that the pope as the holder of the primacy possesses the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church” (plenam et supremam potestatem iurisdictionis in universam Ecclesiam), whose primacy comprehends “the supreme power of magisterium”[24] and is therefore the “supreme judge” (docemus etiam et declaramus, eum esse iudicem supremum) — the final arbiter to whose authority it pertains to definitively determine the Church’s judgment on all questions of faith with finality. (si quae de fide subortae fuerint quaestiones, suo debent iudicio definiri).

St. Alphonsus de Liguori expounds on this point:

What’s more we have it defined by the council that the Pope has the fullness of power, or the supreme power in the Church. In the Second Council of Lyon. , where there were 500 bishops, under Gregory X. in the year 1274 against the heresy of the Greeks, that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son, in the profession of faith that was made publicly in the council by the legates of the emperor Michael Paleologus it was said: This Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and authority over the whole Catholic Church, which it recognizes in truth and humility to have received with the fullness of power from the Lord himself in St. Peter, chief of the Apostles. And just as more than the others it is bound to defend the truth of the faith, thus if there will have arisen questions of faith, by its judgment they must be defined etc.[25]

Then it explained in what the fullness of power consists:

The fullness of power consists in admitting other Churches to a share in the responsibility . . . saving always its own prerogatives established both in general councils as well as in some others. This profession of faith was then accepted by the whole council, and this was the first constitution that was made in the council, it being said by the Fathers: By the above written truth of faith, as it has been fully read, and faithfully explained, we recognize the true, holy, catholic and orthodox faith, and we receive, and by the mouth and heart confess, what the Holy Roman Church truly holds, and faithfully teaches and preaches. (ibid.)

Note the words referred to above: If there will have arisen questions of faith, by its judgment they must be defined. This was also previously said in the Nicene Council I. (between Canons 19. and 29.):

All bishops . . . are to appeal to the Apostolic See, in order that they (as it always was) be upheld, defended, and freed, to whose disposition the ancient authority of the Apostles and their successors, and the canons reserved all major Ecclesiastical cases. We add what was said in the Viennese General Council in the year 1307 under Clement V. with the contribution of about 300 bishops: It pertains only to the Apostolic See to pronounce on questions of faith. Whence St. Cyril wrote : Just as from the Father all power was given to Christ and to no other, so the supreme responsibility of the Church was committed to Peter and to his successors and to no other. Lib. Thesaur. tom. 2.[26]

It is only if the pope’s opinions, being indicia of heresy, were to qualify him as a suspect of heresy, that those opinions themselves would render doubtful the validity of his pontificate. In such a case it would fall within the jurisdiction of the Church to determine whether or not the suspect is pertinacious, and therefore disqualified by heresy from holding office as an incapable subject of the papacy, or just a valid pope who holds an honestly mistaken opinion, as was the case with Pope John XXII.

The heresy of Mitigated Conciliarism is particularly worrisome because it has spread rampantly among those faithful and clergy who constitute what is commonly referred to as the traditional movement, as I explained in Volume One of To Deceive the Elect.

The two zealots who have led so many priest, faithful, and even some bishops into this heresy, are the authors of the infamous heretical volume which explicitly promotes this heresy against which I wrote in Volume One of To Deceive the Elect. Those two authors are none other than John Salza and Robert Siscoe.

John Salza and Robert Siscoe stoutly continue to perversely propagate the heretical belief that the Church can juridically judge a certain and valid pope while he is still in office as the holder of the Petrine munus, and depose him for the crime of heresy. What they have previously written can be summed up in their own heretical words:

«After the Church establishes that the Pope is guilty of the crime of heresy, she renders a judgment of the same (and, as we will see, this is to be done during an “imperfect” ecumenical council). »[27]

In his article in The Remnant (Nov. 18, 2014), Siscoe heretically asserted:

«The Church must render a judgment before the pope loses his office. »

In view of their adamant entrenchment in a heresy which they profess and propagate with such a fanatical zeal that it has led a great number of Catholics into heresy, I will present here a concise exposition of the Church’s teaching on the Primacy and papal heresy than what I elaborated in Volume One of To Deceive the Elect. Simply stated, it is a heresy to say that a true and valid pope can ever be judged by anyone for any crime whatsoever including heresy, because Pastor Æternus defined the pope as the supreme judge in all cases that refer to ecclesiastical examination: «iudicem supremum … in omnibus causis ad examen ecclesiasticum spectantibus.» As the supreme judge, it pertains to the pope’s authority to determine the Church’s judgment with finality, as Pope Gregory XVI explained, citing St. Thomas; so it is quite impossible for there to be an authoritative judgment against the pope in matters of faith, since the final determination of the Church’s judgment in matters of faith can only be made by the pope.[28]

The passage of St. Thomas which Pope Gregory quotes reads in English:

“To his authority belongs the promulgation of the creed, to whose authority it pertains to DETERMINE WITH FINALITY the matters of faith, so that they may be held by all with unshakable faith.” (Summa Theol. IIa – IIæ q. 1 a. 10)

He who is solemnly defined to be the “supreme judge” whopossesses the “total fullness of supreme power,” cannot be judged by the Church, because it pertains to hisauthority as “the supreme judge of disputes[29] to freely confect by his definitive judgment, the final determination of the Church’s judgment in all matters pertaining to faith. This one consideration by itself amply suffices to demolish all arguments which, by way of exception, attribute a power to the pope’s inferiors to judge the reigning pontiff for the crime of heresy, since it is de fide definita that the pope possesses absolute et simpliciter a full and total authority over a council and the whole Church.

Such an absolute fullness of jurisdictional power in which the primacy essentially consists, by its nature excludes all possibility of any exception of even the slightest degree, since admitting an exception to that full and supreme power would concede to a council a supreme power directly opposed to the very nature of the total fullness of supreme power which constitutes the essence of the primacy. Indeed, the primacy itself would be negated and destroyed if a synod or council, or the College of Cardinals could ever exercise a final, and therefore a supreme authority to juridically judge a validly reigning pope, and depose him directly, or to juridically declare him a heretic and depose him indirectly, by instrumentally and dispositively causing him to fall from office by introducing a disposition that would separate him from the Church or the Church from him. If such an exception to the primacy’s  full and supreme power of jurisdiction were to exist, then the  primacy itself would not be able to exist according to its solemnly defined nature as a total fullness of supreme power.

As I explain in my second volume of To Deceive the Elect, the theories for such an indirect deposition as proposed in the writings of Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, and Suárez, are premised upon there being placed an act of jurisdiction — a juridical judgment  against the full and supreme jurisdiction of the Primacy.

Salza & Siscoe speciously claim that A pope cannot be judged with a coercive judgment while he remains pope, but he can be judged with a discretionary judgment, as Bellarmine and everyone else admits.

However, as I explain below, a discretionary judgment can have no juridical effect on a pope, and the simple act of discretion which establishes a crime in the minds of men is not a juridical act, but is a natural personal act of private persons exercising the human faculty of judgment, which, when expressed as a discretionary judgment of an arbiter, is not in the nature of a judgment of the Church. As is explained below, to be a valid judgment of the Church, the judgment must be a  juridically declared act — and to be juridically declared it must be pronounced by one who possesses the jurisdiction to issue a judgment (even if the judgment is not pronounced in the judicial forum) — and only then would such a declaration be a judgment of the Church.[30] A discretionary judgment is not a judicial act, and therefore, it is not a juridical act, as Salza & Siscoe falsely assert in their latest online tract:

A pope cannot be judged with a coercive judgment while he remains pope, but he can be judged with a discretionary judgment, as Bellarmine and everyone else admits.  A discretionary judgment is a legal judgement, but one that lacks any coercive force.   The nature of the judgment is merely to decide or determine facts, not to punish or impose penalties.  Bellarmine explains that a discretionary judgment is the form of judgment used by an Arbitrator, not a judge in the true sense of the word.  He also lists many Popes who were indeed judged in this manner, including Leo IV who willingly submitted to the judgment of the Emperor and agreed to obey whatever was decided.

Since a discretionary judgment does not include any coercive force it is not, of its nature, forbidden in the case of a Pope. This is the form of judgment the Church would exercise in the case of a Pope who was accused of heresy.  The Church would investigate charges and reach a verdict (discretionary judgment); Christ would authoritatively depose the Pope by severing the bond that unites the man to the office; then the Church would judge and punish the pope (coercive judgment).  As we will see later, this is how Bellarmine himself says the process would unfold, in quotations that you will never find on a Sedevacantist website.

Here Salza & Siscoe deceptively apply the Humpty Dumpty rule of sophistry: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean”. They say “a discretionary judgment is a legal judgment,” in the sense that the discretionary judgment would be a verdict: “The Church would investigate charges and reach a verdict (discretionary judgment)”.

Now this is absolutely false, and is directly contrary to what Bellarmine actually wrote, but they give it the appearance of truth by fraudulently interpreting Bellarmine’s uncited and unreferenced words in a manner that falsify his meaning.

A discretionary judgment is not a legal verdict of the Church, first, because, lacking jurisdiction, it is not judicial; and second, in the case of a pope, it would not be a judgment of the Church, but only of part of the Church, namely, the inferior part, with the principal part, the HEAD, being excluded.[31] Furthermore, as is explained below, if the pope as the head of the Church were to be excluded from making the FINAL DETERMINATION of the judgment, it would not be a judgment of the Church.

What Bellarmine actually says on this point is, “The Supreme Pontiff cannot commit to a council or to any man a coercive judgment over himself, but only a discretionary one.”[32]

He then expounds on the distinction between the two:  “First, in perfect judgment, there are found two elements. First, the power to examine the case, and to discern and to judge what ought to be done. Second, the power to compel the one who falls under the case to observe the sentence brought against him.”[33] “Both,” he explains, “are found in one who is properly a judge, who is the head [of government], or a magistrate (praetor) appointed by the head.”[34] – “But in arbiters, only the first is found, to whose sentence men are bound to abide out of natural law, because we are bound to keep promises, but not by force of the sentence, because arbiters cannot coerce.”[35]

Now, according to Lewis & Short, an arbiter is “he that is appointed to inquire into a cause in an actio bonae fidei (i. e. who decides acc. to equity, while the judex decides acc. to laws)”[36]

The authors also note that, “In the time of Cicero, when, acc. to the Lex Aebutia, the decisions were given in definite formulae of the praetor, the formal distinction between judex and arbiter disappeared”.

Now, when, Bellarmine says of arbiters, “to whose sentence men are bound to abide out of natural law, because we are bound to keep promises,” he is clearly using the term as it is understood according to its primary meaning in English, given by Wiktionary as, “A person appointed, or chosen, by parties to determine a controversy between them”.

Bellarmine then explains why a discretionary judgment can never be binding on a pope:

“First, because the power of the pope over all is of divine law, as is evident; and the pope cannot dispense from divine law. Second, because an inferior cannot make a judgment that is reserved to one who is higher.”[37]

He concludes the argument saying, “And the judgment in the case of a pontiff is reserved to God, as we have taught above.”[38]

Ballerini, who famously followed Bellarmine’s “Fifth Opinion”, was also unequivocal on this point:

«Undoubtedly the right of the primacy always remains in reality with a true and legitimate Pontiff, who always, being superior to the whole Church and whatever council by this right of the primacy, is removed from the jurisdiction of those others. »[39]

Salza & Siscoe then absurdly claim that the Church has actually made “discretionary judgments” on popes; but the Church has never juridically pronounced a “discretionary judgment” against any reigning pontiff or anyone else, because a judgment, according to its proper and primary meaning, is not discretionary but judicial. A judgment, in order to be a juridically valid judgment, requires the jurisdiction of a superior. That it is impossible for any kind of judgment made by the pope’s inferiors, whether coercive or discretionary, to cause the pope to fall from office either directly or dispositively becomes plainly obvious when one considers the nature of judgment.

The primary meaning of iudicium, according to Lewis & Short, is “a judgment, i. e. a judicial investigation, trial; a judicial sentence”. So, when we speak of a judgment of the Church, whether it be declaratory or penal, the term properly designates a judicial sentence. The nature of judgment is expressed in the legal adage, “Judicium est quasi juris dictum” – which means that judgment is a “a declaration of the law” (Black’s Law Dictionary, Second Edition 1910); or a “a command of the law” (Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, 1916). Such a declaration or command properly pertains to the authority of a judge.

St. Thomas teaches that the word judgment properly expresses the act of a judge acting in his capacity as a judge: “iudicium proprie nominat actum iudicis inquantum est iudex.” (IIa – IIæ Q. 60 a. 1) Therefore, Bordoni, citing the sources of jurisprudence, explains, that “every act in order to be juridical and valid essentially depends on jurisdiction.”[40] Such an act which is proper to the office of a judge is not a mere act of discretionary judgment but, as Ballerini explains, “Judgment properly so called is delivered when one pronounces a sentence based on knowledge of the cause”.[41]

The nature of discretion is different: “Judgment is objective; discretion is subjective. Forming a judgment means taking a decision; so legal rules of decision-taking apply.”[42]

In their authoritative work, A Latin Dictionary, Lewis and Short give the non-juridical meaning of judicium as:  “The power of judging, judgment, discernment”; and cite Cicero’s usage, «“studio optimojudicio minus firmo praeditus,” Cic. Or. 7, 24”. » 

In this non-juridical sense they explain that judicium refers to discretion, citing Cicero again: «“si quid mei judicii est,” if I can judge of it, Cic. Fin. 2, 12, 36: “videor id judicio facere,” i. e. with discretion, good judgment, id. Q. Fr. 3, 1, 5, § 18. »

Discretionary judgment is subjective, it is a judgment which is decided according to equity — it is not a juridical ruling. It is not judicial. It does not declare the command of the law by one who acts in the capacity of a judge who decides according to the law. In a deposition from office, the judgment cannot be merely discretionary, but to be a judgment of the Church, it must be judicial, and therefore must be a proper judicial sentence of a judge acting with the jurisdiction of a superior, or at least a judgment pronounced administratively outside of the judicial forum by a superior in possession of judicial power. A mere declaration made without judicial power is not in the nature of a juridical act — it is neither a judgment of the Church nor an official act of Church authority: It is nothing. It is tamquam non existens.

There does not exist in the divinely constituted monarchy of the Church a separation of powers such as is found in a republic, where the legislative, executive and judicial powers are located in their respective branches of government. In the papacy there exists the totality of the power of governance, which subsist in the Primacy. In Canon Smith’s The Teaching of the Catholic Church, it is explained:

“To enable the Church to carry out Christ’s commission of leading mankind to salvation she has been vested by him with a threefold power, corresponding to his own office of Prophet, Priest and King: that of teaching, her doctrinal authority; that of order, her ministerial authority; that of government, her jurisdictional authority.”[43]

The total fullness of that threefold power subsists in the pope’s “full and absolute jurisdiction”  (Pius XII, Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis), which is “ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful” (Pastor Æternus).

The bishops as ordinaries in their respective dioceses also possess that threefold power, but in hierarchical subordination to the supreme power of the Roman Pontiff. There simply does not exist any separate power in the Church outside of the hierarchical subordination to that supreme power, whereby the pontiff could be judged for heresy by the totality of the bishops in a council.[44] The Church possesses absolutely no power to judge the pope, but can only judge whether or not a pope’s election was valid. As is explained above and elaborated below, only when there exists a presumption of vacancy founded on the reasonable doubt that the man in question is a true pope, i.e., a doubt that his election is valid, does it pertain to the jurisdiction of the Church to decide the question.

Such a presumption exists when there are sufficient incidia of heresy to establish doubt of validity of a claimant’s election, since a heretic, being an incapable subject, is incapable of assuming the papacy; and once the papacy is validly assumed, the pope cannot fall into heresy, because, “the Pope by his own nature can fall into heresy, but not when we posit the singular assistance of God which Christ asked for him by his prayer. Furthermore, Christ prayed lest his faith would fail, not lest he would fall into other vices.”[45]

If it can be proven to such a degree that the suspect is demonstrably a heretic, it is thereby proven that he is no pope and was never a true pope, and consequently was invalidly elected, for which reason he can be judged and deposed. This opinion was already expressed in the thirteenth century by Bernard of Parma in the Glossa Ordinaria, with the words, «Et sic nulla exceptione potest opponi sibi nisi de haeresi, xl si papa (D. XL, c. 6) ». [46]

If he is manifestly and certainly a heretic beyond all shadow of doubt, being condemned by his own judgment, he is no pope and can be deposed without a trial in accordance with the doctrine of Bellarmine, Ballerini and Gregory XVI, since, whether or not he ever was pope, as a manifest heretic he would be no pope and therefore minor quolibet catholico.

For so long as a man is the pope, he absolutely can be judged by no one on earth. Bellarmine sets forth the doctrine: “The Supreme Pontiff is simpliciter et absolute above the universal Church, and above a general council, so that he does not recognize any judgment over him on earth.”[47]

He demonstrates this point in chapter seventeen of De Conciliorum Auctoritate[48] with such forceful arguments, that they formed the basis of Ballerini’s doctrine on the Primacy as a distinct and superior power to that of a council, which in turn was soon after affirmed as a dogma of the universal magisterium by Pius VI in Super Soliditate, and then became the theological foundation for the dogmatic definition of Pastor Æternus on the Primacy.[49] Since this point was solemnly defined de fide in the definition of the Primacy in 1870, there is no need to argue the point; but Bellarmine provided his pre-1870 argument on these lines:

“This is nearly de fide; and is proven from the two preceding points: for if the pope is the head of the whole Church congregated together, and the whole Church congregated together does not have any power by reason of its totality; it follows that the pope is over a council, and over the Church, and not the contrary.”[50]

The reason why the pope is absolutely above the Church is that ecclesiastical jurisdiction was not given by Christ to the Church, but was given immediately to St. Peter and the Apostles. Ballerini, following the doctrine of Bellarmine, set forth in chapter sixteen of De Conciliorum Auctoritate[51] (Summa potestas ecclesiastica non est in Ecclesia, vel concilio. remoto papa, aut formaliter, aut suppletive.) explains:

Ecclesiastical jurisdiction takes its origin from Christ, who immediately handed it over to St. Peter and the Apostles, when he gave to them together with the keys of the kingdom of heaven the power to bind and loose, which power is the same as jurisdiction; and for which reason these are of divine right. This power or jurisdiction was immediately handed over to St. Peter and the Apostles for the building and good of the Church; and was given before Christ ascended into heaven, and (I) before the Church was built by the same Apostles: thus it cannot be said to have been given immediately to the Church, so that Peter and the Apostles had received it from the Church, who received it from Christ himself as the words of the Gospel testify.[52]

In the footnote (I) Ballerini explains further, “(I) Thus St. Cyprian writing in Epistle 73 Ecclesia una est, & super unum qui & claves ejus accepit, Domimi voce fundata, judges Peter to have received from Christ the keys of the Church, or Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but the words of Christ themselves mean that the keys were not handed over to the Church, since after the words Ecclesiam meam he did not say to her, but TO THEE I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.[53] St. Alphonsus taught in his answer to the Febronians:

They say that Christ granted the keys also to the other apostles, saying: Amen, dico vobis, quæcumque alligaveritis super terram , erunt ligata et in coelo : et quæcumque solveritis super terram, erunt soluta et in coelo. Matth. 18. 18. But what stands in the way if this? We have already said above, the apostles received immediately from Christ a power indeed equal, and which Peter received, as the first founders of the Gospel; but all of them were subject to Peter as the head, and chief, as all the Fathers proclaim.[54]

Bellarmine explained it in such terms that in what manner Peter bore the figure of the Church he accordingly received the keys immediately from Christ:

“But we believe Peter in the prior manner bore the person of the Church: thus undoubtedly, that he truly, and principally, and immediately had received the keys, and by receiving them at the same time signified the universal Church afterward to receive [them].”[55]

So it is that Christ handed no ecclesiastical power to the Church, but to Peter was given the full power of the primacy, and to the apostles the power was given to exercise jurisdiction in hierarchical subordination to that primacy; whence the whole Church congregated together, whose jurisdiction, according to its very nature exists in hierarchical subordination to the pope’s primacy of jurisdiction, has absolutely no power whatsoever to judge or to depose a validly reigning pontiff. That the members should overrule the head or cut off the head is against nature:

“Moreover, for the head to be ruled by the members, and not rather that they be ruled by the head, is against nature, just as it is also against nature that the members cut off the head,  when perchance it would gravely be ill.”[56]

For these reasons Bellarmine explains it is only when the pope is doubtful or is no pope, that a council can judge who is the pope or provide a true shepherd for the Church.[57] And further down on the page he clarifies, “For a doubtful pope is considered no pope, and thus, to have power over him is not to have power over the pope.”[58]

CLICK HERE to purchase

CLICK image above to purchase

For this reason, Bellarmine explains in CAPUT ix. (De utilitate vel etiam necessitate celebrandorum comciliorum) of De Concilliis et Ecclesia, that one of the reasons which would necessitate the convening of a council would be “suspicion of heresy in the Roman Pontiff if it should happen”[59].

Bordoni also explains that only a true and certain pope is above a council, but doubtful popes and pertinacious heretics (because they are incapable subjects) are subject to a council: solus verus & indubitatus Papa est supra Concilium, et non alii de quibus dubitatur, ergo subijciuntur Concilio.[60] In such situations as these, according to the most eminent authorities, the apostolic see is considered vacant, and it is precisely when in such a case if the pope were to be discovered to be an obstinate heretic, the judgment [in the words of Pope Gregory XVI] would not be made not against the actually reigning pope, “but only against the person who was before adorned with the papal dignity.”[61]

Thus, for this reason that the see would be presumed vacant, Bellarmine says, “In which case a council can examine the case of the pontiff, and if it should find that the pope is really an infidel, it can declare him outside the Church, and condemn him.” [62]

St. Alphonsus explains:

«For a better understanding of what will be said here, it is useful to premise three things for certain. The first, that any ecumenical, or general council, to be legitimate must be convened by the Pope. [… p. 159] 2 . The second thing is certain that when in times of schism it is doubted who the true Pope is, in this case the council can be convened by cardinals and bishops; and at the same time each of the elected is bound to adhere to the definition of the council, because then the Apostolic See is held as vacant. And the same would be the case if the Pope fell notoriously, and pertinaciously into some heresy. Although then, as others say better, it would not be the Pope deprived of the pontificate by the council as his superior, but would be immediately stripped of it by Christ, thus becoming in fact an incapable subject and fallen from his office.”»[63]

Later in the same chapter he clarifies further:

« God has given the power to elect the Pope to the Church, that is, to the college of cardinals, or to the council in the case of a doubtful or heretical Pope, but not yet the papal power. They oppose for  6. °: but if the council can depose the heretical Pope, it can also depose him in other crimes equally pernicious to the Church; and from this they deduce that the council is above the Pope. But it is answered that the heresy alone, not the other crimes already make the Pope incapable for his office; so in case the Pope is a heretic, it is not that the council is superior to the Pope (how then can it be above the Pope, if there is no Pope?): then the council declares the Pope fallen from the pontificate, as he who cannot be anymore a doctor of the Church, holding a false doctrine.»[64]

Thus, (the Holy Doctor concludes, as quoted above): “We answer, that if ever a pope as a private person would fall into heresy, then he would immediately fall from the papacy; for since he would be outside the Church, he could no longer be the head of the Church. Whence in that case the Church would have to not in fact depose him, because no one has power over the pope, but declare him to have fallen from the pontificate.”

On the point of the authority of the Church to judge whether or not a man is a legitimate pope, Pope Gregory XVI explains:

«… it is clearly certain that Jesus Christ, wanting immutable, visible and perpetual government, founded for the safety of the faithful, must have provided the Church with all means, which are necessary in order not to be governed by an illegitimate leader. Therefore he must infallibly have conferred on it the right to the power, in the uncertainty and in the reasonable and founded doubt of the legitimacy of a Pope, to proceed to the election of another. And this, above all, if that one, whose legitimacy is reasonably suspect, did not allow it to be molested in a thousand ways, so that God should have to be accused of not having sufficiently provided for its indefectibility, if in such circumstances it did not have the appropriate faculties … [In these cases] the Church carries out its final sentence, not on the basis of its authority over the Pope, but on the well-founded assumption that such was not [the pope]: in which case the power of the Church is evidently certain … »[65]

If in the case of an obstinate public heretic, in which, according to the indicia of formal heresy established by canonical tradition and the jurisprudence of the Roman Church, the matter of the heresy would be  indisputably certain and the pertinacity likewise indisputably manifest, then the pertinacity itself would constitute absolutely certain proof that the man is not a true pope, and it would then be known with certitude that the papal see is vacant. In his answer to the question, “Whether a council can depose a pope,” (An Concilium possit deponere Papam.), Bordoni responds, saying that an pertinacious heretic is already judged by God, because He who does not believe is already judged, and is to be declared by the Council to be deposed and deprived of the papacy; for it is necessary that the judgment of God be published by the ministry of men, and this is most aptly done by a Council, which  is the supreme tribunal when the papal see is vacant.[66]

Bordoni explains that it is precisely in such a case, like that one hypothesized in this cited passage of Pope Gregory XVI, (about which Gregory said that Christ, “must infallibly have conferred the right to the power” on the Church to resolve the issue of a heretic’s claim on the papacy), that the immediate assistance of the Holy Ghost would suffice even during the sede vacante for the council to proceed infallibly in deposing a doubtful pope for reason of heresy or schism.[67] But contrary to the opinion of Bordoni, Bellarmine rightly argued that the infallibility (that would exist in such a case of deposing a heretic) does not extend to defining in matters of faith, since that pertains exclusively to the primatial power of the pontiff.[68]

St. Alphonsus explains it is certain that for an ecumenical council to be legitimate, it must be convoked by the pope; but in such cases when it is doubtful who is the true pope, the council can be convoked by the cardinals, and by the bishops; and then all the elected would be bound by the decision of the Council, because in such a case the Apostolic See would be considered vacant. [69] The Holy Doctor then continues in the next sentence, “The same would be in the case, if the pope were to fall notoriously and pertinaciously in some heresy.”

Pope Gregory XVI explains why this is so:

«In the times of the antipopes, as well as of the dead Pope, the form of the government ordained by Christ does not remain obscure, even in a case where there is founded doubt, so that it is not clear who should be venerated for Pope, yes in the case of sede vacante it happens in the Church what happens in different monarchies, in which in time of interregnum the government resides in some senate; as practiced also in the ancient Roman empire, in which the Roman senate commanded in time of interregnum; so in the mean while in those cases the government of the Church is  aristocratic. But who does not know that this cannot be its natural state? Who can recognize it from the same diligence that the Church gave to elect her head, suffering ill from remaining headless for a long time?»[70]

Jurisdiction is required for the declaration which follows upon a discretionary judgment for the judgment to be a juridical judgment of the Church; since the judgment of the Church, even if merely declaratory, is a judicial act which requires jurisdiction in order for that declaration to be juridically valid.[71]

The objection that says in deposing a heretic pope who still holds office, a council’s judgment expressed in a declaratory sentence would not exercise power of jurisdiction over the pope as a superior, is specious and fatally flawed insofar as every judgment, including one that is merely declaratory, hinges directly on the power of a true jurisdiction, without which the act cannot consist, since the basis and foundation of judgment is jurisdiction, so that a judgment lacking jurisdiction would be incurable and irreparable[72]; and, furthermore, no judgment whatsoever pronounced by a council would have any juridical effect unless it would be confirmed by the pope and promulgated by his order,[73] because it is de fide definita that the FINAL DETERMINATION of that judgment pertains exclusively to the supreme authority of the holder of the Primacy; who, in virtue of his “full and supreme jurisdiction” exercises the “total fullness of supreme power”.

Ballerini explains that judges of a lower rank are subject, by their nature, to judges of a higher rank, without thereby ceasing to be true judges; thus Bishops are subject to the Pope without ceasing to be judges in their own dioceses, as the Pope is in the whole Church.[74] Thus, they are not independent judges, but subordinate judges according to the divinely instituted hierarchical subordination (non tamen independentes, sed subordinati, ea scilicet hierarchica subordinatione):

“This subordination, while it excludes juridic equality between the inferior and the superior, since it is generally that the inferior, who is subordinate to the superior judge, cannot deliver a legitimate sentence against his judgment: then the more it is that the bishops subordinate to the supreme Pontiff, to whom Christ granted the proper authority for the purpose of guarding unity especially in faith, cannot issue definitions in disagreements concerning faith, […] without doubt that compliance of mind, which yet from the bishops themselves, even when they act as judges,  to the divine as well as supreme authority founded on the promise of Christ is to be shown in hierarchical subordination.” [75]

Thus, on the basis of the supreme authority of Christ  they must remain in hierarchical subordination even when acting in the capacity of judges —  and thus, they do not have the power to deprive the Pope of his authority to judge, nor may they impede his right to pronounce a definitive judgment, since this power is his by DIVINE RIGHT. Therefore:

«One priest or Bishop must be recognized in the Church, with whom all must be in communion, in order that schisms be impeded, and to whom all adhere together in the unity of faith, so that the entrance of heresies may be stopped; and that in him and by him the unity of the whole Catholic Church may be protected. This one priest or Bishop, cannot be any one Bishop of particular churches, who would have authority only over his own flock, but is the Roman Bishop, the one high priest, to whom the whole Church, and the unity of the whole Church is committed. »[76]

IF THE POPE IS NOT THE ONE TO ISSUE THE FINAL JUDGMENT, THE UNITY OF FAITH WILL BE DESTROYED, CAUSING THE DEFECTION OF THE CHURCH.

Cardinal Manning explained, It is de fide, or matter of faith, that the head of the Church, as such, can never be separated, either from the Ecclesia docens, or the Ecclesia discens; that is, either from the Episcopate or from the faithful.”[77]

THIS IS PRECISELY THE HERESY OF JOHN SALZA AND ROBERT SISCOE. They received this heresy directly from the writings of John of St. Thomas.

Manning then continues, “To suppose this, would be to deny the perpetual indwelling office of the Holy Ghost in the Church, by which the mystical body is knit together; the head to the Body, the Body to the head, the members to each other; and to ‘dissolve Jesus*'” [* * St. John iv. 3, “Omnis spiritus qui solvit Jesum,” &c.].

The Cardinal then concludes, “On this unity all the properties and endowments of the Church depend; indefectibility, unity, infallibility. As the Church can never be separated from its invisible Head, so never from its visible head.”[78]

This is so, Gregory XVI explains in the above cited passage:

Because he is the head and father of all Bishops even when they are congregated, as the Chalcedonian Council names him in its letter to St. Leo: Summitas tua filiis quod deest adimpleat. IV. Because he has the right to propose, establish and authorize the norm of true belief, that is, because, as St. Thomas says, ad ipsum pertinet editio symboli, and he is the only one, with whom not to gather is to be dispersed, and with whom not to agree is the same as declaring oneself a follower of the Antichrist, as is rightly expressed by Saint Jerome, who wrote to Saint Damasus: Quicumque tecum non colligit, spargit: qui tecum non est, Antichristi est.

Without the FINAL DETERMINATION of the judgment coming from the supreme judge himself, there is no judgment of the Church, since a judgment of the bishops or the cardinals pronounced on a validly reigning pontiff while still in office is not in the nature of a judgment of the Church, and therefore cannot be considered to be a judgment of the Church, since it lacks that which is essential for such a judgment to be qualified as a judgment of the Church, namely, the jurisdiction which the head exercises over the members as their superior, but which the members as inferiors cannot exercise over the head.[79]

St. Robert Bellarmine explains[80] :

When we speak of judgment of the Church, St. John Chrysostom explains and Innocent III  proves that by the word “Church” is meant the bishop, or the congregation of the faithful with their head, as is expressed in the letter of St. Cyprian, Ecclesia est plebs sacerdoti adunata, et pastori suo grex adhaerens.

Thus, on the foundation of this principle Bellarmine continues:

«Why in every bishopric the offenders are to be prosecuted before the Church and Bishop of the place, but if there is a bishop who is guilty, he could not be brought before his own Church, otherwise he would be brought before himself, since he is the head of the Church, but is to be brought before a Church that is higher, which is presided over by an archbishop or patriarch, but if the offender is the patriarch, he cannot be brought before his own Church, but to one that is greater, that is, to the Romans Church, or a general council, over which the supreme pontiff presides: but if the supreme pontiff himself is the one who is guilty, he is reserved to the judgment of God, for there is not any Church, to which he can be referred which without him there would be found a  church with a head. » From this it follows strictly that a pope cannot be judged by the Church, because the pope has no superior but God. The bishops united in a Council are true judges, but as judges they are subordinate to the pope.

Bordoni elaborates further on this point:

«Then, because no one can be deposed unless by their superior, deposition is an act of judicial jurisdiction exercised only by a superior, but there is no superior over the Pope, apart from God, and, therefore, he can be deposed by no one, for he judges all, and is judged by no one, cap.Si Papa diſt. 40. cap. Duo ſunt […] diſt. 96. Firstly, because the members do not judge the head, from whom they have influx, whence members are understood to have been destroyed by their having destroyed the head, not the reverse, l. cum in díuerſis ff. de relig. […] ſumpt. fin. And members must follow the head, not head follow the members, cap. I. diſt. 12. However, a Council is constituted of the members, whose head is the Pope as is proved in q.5. Therefore a Pope cannot be deposed by a Council. And in this there is no difficulty.»[81]

It could be argued, by citing Cajetan’s specious objection (noted by Bordoni[82]), that the papacy itself is not destroyed when the head is destroyed by deposition, but while the papacy as an institution would not be destroyed (because it would still exist potentially in a successor), the papal dignity actually existing in the person as a habit would certainly be destroyed by an act of deposition, which unlike death or renunciation, would be an act of decapitation contrary to divine law, as Bellarmine points out:

First, it is of natural law that putrid members be cut off, except the head. It is better to have a putrid head than none. But this solution is of little value; for in natural bodies the head must be excepted, because it being amputated, the whole body dies. But the body of the Church does not die with the death of the pope; whence we see in temporal republics, if the king degenerates into a tyrant, although he is the head, he is deposed by the people and another is elected. Secondly I say, in a natural body and in temporal republics members infecting the whole body can be cut off, because upon the body itself they depend and have power: but the body of the Church is not of the same nature, whose head did not receive authority from the body but from God, just as it is not licit for a family to depose the chief householder, although he be the worst, because he is not appointed by the family but by the Lord.[83]

In the cited Question 5, Bordoni, following Bellarmine, explains the Catholic doctrine revealed in scripture and taught by the magisterium[84] and by all the great theologians of the Church, on the divine constitution of the Church as a kingdom whose ruling monarch is the Pope; as a household and family over which the Pope rules and commands with the authority of the householder and father, and as a body to which the Pope is constituted by God as its head.

Before him, Bellarmine expounded the same more thoroughly in De Conciliorum Auctoritate cap. xvi, explaining that the Church is according to divine revelation a monarchy, because it is the kingdom of Christ, who is the King over the universe, as is revealed throughout scripture; and therefore, the pope is a monarch, but unlike an earthly king, he cannot be deposed by men, because earthly kings receive their the authority from God mediately through the consent of their subjects, and can therefore be deposed by them because of tyranny; but the pope receives his authority immediately from God, and therefore cannot be deposed by men. Nor, when the pope is lacking does this supreme monarchical power exist in the Church or in a council suppletively or formally, because authority in the Church as is taught in scripture, is not from the Church herself but exists totally in Christ and, to those to whom He communicated it singly, to be exercised singly, and not collegially in the Church by reason of her totality.[85]

Therefore also, the argument based on an errant appeal to natural law[86] which says a validly reigning pontiff can be deposed from office by a council because of heresy is false and heretical, because the absolute power of the primacy is received by the pope immediately from God, and does not exist in any manner in the Church, nor is it in any way derived from the Church. Therefore, a true and valid pope could only be deposed if he would already have ceased to be pope by himself by an act of tacit abdication because of public heresy, schism, or apostasy, as Bellarmine, Ballerini, Cappellari, St. Alphonsus, and several other notable theologians taught beforePastor Æternus; and as is taught with virtual unanimity after 1870 by theologians who admit at least the hypothetical possibility of a pope falling into public heresy.

St. Alphonsus in the above cited passage stated categorically that a council cannot judge the pope for heresy, but could only declare that he had fallen from the pontificate. Like Bellarmine, he brought forth several proofs in his Dissertatio de Pontificis Auctoritate S . II . De Auctoritate Pontificis supra Concilium, explaining that a council can have no power over the pope, the last reason being that the Church is a monarchy:

It is proven moreover from reason, because Monarchical Rule is the best among the others, as St. Thomas teaches in 4. contra Gentes c. 76. With these outstanding words: The optimal rulership of the multitude is that it be ruled by one, for the peace and unity of the subjects is the end of rulership, the more appropriate cause of unity is one rather than many, whence Christ Jn. 10:16 said: And there will be made one sheepfold and one shepherd. Calvin taught that Christ did not institute Monarchical Governance in the Church; but the opposite is commonly taught by Catholics with St. Cyprian; and Gerson wrote the same: One who holds the contrary is a heretic; Christ did not constitute in the Church any other polity besides Monarchy. In addition, if the rulership in the Church were not Monarchical, God would not have sufficiently provided for the good of the Church . . . [87]

Such an ipso facto fall from the pontificate followed by a deposition by a council is at least hypothetically possible because while in office, before being declared a heretic, the pope does have a Judge over him: «Before the Pope is declared a heretic, he is the Pope, therefore in this while he is still the Pope, he has a judge over him»[88]

While he is pope, the pope as the Vicar of Christ, participates in Christ’s kingship and headship over the Church, and therefore has only God over him as a Judge. For this reason, the successor of Peter in the Primacy can no more be judged by the bishops than Peter could have been judged by the other Apostles. Indeed, as Vicar of Christ, the pope, because of his participation in Christ’s own headship over the Church as the supreme Monarch and Judge, he can be no more be judged by his inferior members in the Church than Christ himself could have been judged by the apostles. Christ alone is the pope’s judge for so long as he remains validly constituted as Pontiff.

Hence, that Judge over the pope is not a Council, with jurisdiction by way of exception for heresy (as Bordoni and others believed before the definition of the Primacy in 1870 made that opinion  dogmatically inadmissible), but that Judge can only be God, as is gathered even from Bordoni’s own premise stated in the above cited passage, a pertinacious heretic is already judged by God”, from which it follows that he, “is to be declared deposed by a council”. He cannot be deposed by a council, but could only be declared by a council to already “be deposed”.

Already centuries before Bellarmine, Bordoni or Cajetan, Innocent III taught, “the Roman Pontiff has no other superior than God”; and therefore, “He who judges is the Lord (I Cor. IV)”; for which reason, “The servant, according to the Apostle, «stands or falls by his lord» (Rom. xiv).”

However, as Innocent, Bellarmine, Ballerini, St. Alphonsus, and Gregory XVI also teach: once the pope would pronounce the judgment of God upon himself by obstinately professing heresy, he would fall from office by himself and could, in the words of Pope Innocent, “be shown to be already judged”; “cast out”, “and trampled underfoot by men”. By “cast out”, Innocent means “deposed”, and by “trampled underfoot by men, “despised by the people”: (mittatur foras, id est ab officio deponatur: et conculcetur ab hominibus, id est a populo contemnatur).[89]

By openly manifesting the dolus of his crime against divine law, he confesses the crime of heresy by which he defects from the faith and departs by himself from the Church; and thus shows himself to be “already judged” and is to be simply “cast out”. Thus, Pope Innocent III teaches in Sermo IV. IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS that if a pope were to “wither away into heresy”, “he can be judged by men, or rather can be shown to be already judged” – thus it is a papal teaching that a heretic pope is in reality no pope, and is therefore simply to be rejected like “salt that has lost its savour”.

He would be “already judged” and being already no longer pope, the already accomplished fact would only need to be juridically declared by the Church, since, as Bordoni explained: “for it is necessary that the judgment of God be published by the ministry of men, and this is most aptly done by a Council, which  is the supreme tribunal when the papal see is vacant.”

The foundation of this doctrine is that God is both the Legislator of laws decreed to be observed in heaven and on earth; and the Judge over both the living and the dead, so that those who publicly transgress divine law by declaring their own defection from the faith are publicly separated from the Church and condemned by their own judgment pronounced upon themselves in accordance with that divine law. It is for this reason that the lower tribunals would possess the jurisdiction to enforce the judgment of the Supreme Judge against the manifestly heretical pope who would impenitently declare his own crime before God and men.

The opposing opinion which held that even after pronouncing the judgment of God upon himself by obstinately professing heresy, the pope would remain in office until he is deposed or judged a heretic by the authority of the Church, was universally abandoned after the definition of the Primacy and Infallibility of the pope by the First Vatican Council in 1870, because that opinion directly opposes the dogma of the Primacy in that it subtracts from the Primacy the “total fullness of supreme power” in virtue of which the pope is the supreme judge of disputes concerning matters of faith; and the “supreme judge of all cases that refer to ecclesiastical examination” (“not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world” – Pastor Æternus).

For so long as he is pope, it is solemnly defined that the final and infallible judgment of all matters of faith pertain to the pope’s authority, so that no council may ever presume to depose a validly reigning pontiff for heresy with its own non-infallible judgment. It is precisely because the pope is appointed by Christ as the supreme and final judge in matters of faith, against whose judgment there can be no appeal, that he is endowed with the power, and therefore the right to judge infallibly.

Therefore, if it were allowed by way of exception, that a pope could be judged for heresy by his inferiors while still validly holding the office of Supreme Pontiff, it would (as I explain below) irremediably destroy the very foundation of unity upon which the Church is built, since, as St. Cyprian teaches (Lib. 1. ep. ad Corn. papam.), all heresy originates out of the rejection of doctrine founded on infallible papal authority. If that infallibility would be removed from the pope, or, if the pope’s primacy would be altered, so that it would be rendered inoperable by personal heresy, as John of St. Thomas taught (see below), then the pope’s definition would not be infallible; and there would remain no infallible means to condemn heresy.[90]

But to assert this, i.e. that the pope’s definition would not be infallible, is heresy.

Against the opinion that a heretic pope must be judged by the Church before he would fall from office there was already the teaching of Pope Innocent III, who taught in Sermo III «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS», that the pope is united to the Church in a spiritual matrimony (Sic et Romanus pontifex sponsam habet Romanam ecclesiam), and for so long as the pope is conjoined to the Church in matrimony, he cannot be judged, separated or deposed: The pope has no superior but God (post Deum alium superiorem non habet) to judge him; thus, “He is not deposed. :  Thus he explains, “But the sacrament between the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Church is so firm and stable that only by death are they ever separated from each other … he does not cede, he is not deposed; for « he stands or falls by his own master » (Rom. XIV). — «He who judges is the Lord» (I Cor. IV).[91]

However, Innocent explains at some length in Sermo IV. «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS», that the matrimony can only exist between legitimate persons (solus consensus inter legitimas personas efficit matrimonium), and therefore, by the sin of infidelity, the spiritual matrimonial union between the Roman Pontiff and the Church would cease to exist; and thus the heretic, no longer a legitimate spouse, would cease to be pope, and could therefore be judged by men. Thus he explains:

For reason of fornication the Roman Church could dismiss the Roman Pontiff. I do not mean carnal fornication but spiritual; and since it is not carnal but a spiritual union, that is because of the error of infidelity; because « he who does not believe has already been judged (John iii) : » and in this article is understood what is read in the Gospel, which you have heard: «You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt should lose its savour wherewith shall it be salted? (Matth. V.) »[92]

     The reason for this, he explains in Sermo II, “Faith is so necessary for me, that while I have God alone for a judge; but for committing the sin against faith, I can be judged by the Church, because he who does not believe has already been judged (John3: 18)”[93]

Then in Sermo IV he qualifies more precisely in what manner the Roman Pontiff can be judged by the Church:

“The servant, according to the Apostle, «stands or falls by his master (Rom. xiv). » For which reason the same Apostle says; «Who art thou who judgeth the servant of another?» (lbid.) Whence the Roman Pontiff has no master but God. Who, therefore, should a pope ‘lose his savour’, could cast him out or trample him under foot — since of the pope it is said ‘gather thy case (causa) into thy fold’ [fold of the toga over the breast]? Truly, he should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honour and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. I say less, 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 savour, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under-foot by men.”[94]

By “cast out”, Innocent means “deposed”, and by “trampled underfoot by men, “despised by the people”: (mittatur foras, id est ab officio deponatur: et conculcetur ab hominibus, id est a populo contemnatur).[95] This doctrine is the basis for what St. Robert Bellarmine teaches in De Romano Pontifice lib. ii cap. xxx:

“Therefore the fifth opinion is true, a manifest heretic pope ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases by himself to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church, for which reason the he can be judged by the Church and punished. This is the view of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics straightaway lose all jurisdiction.”[96]

In this manner, the pope, who has no judge but God, can be judged by men upon having ceased to be pope: “The foundation of this argument is that the manifest heretic is not in any way a member of the Church, that is, neither in soul nor body, and neither by internal nor external union.” [97] Thus, the heretic is judged by God, but the heretic pronounces sentence of self-condemnation with his own mouth (Luke 19:22), as Bellarmine and Ballerini explain:

Bellarmine — “Yet heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment, as the Apostle teaches to Titus; that is, they are cut from the body of the Church without excommunication, as Jerome expresses it.” De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Cap. XXX.

Ballerini — “Conspicuous in this matter is the explanation of St. Jerome on the commended words of Paul. ‘Therefore, by himself [the heretic] is said to be condemned, because the fornicator, adulterer, murderer, and those guilty of other misdeeds are driven out from the Church by the Priests: but heretics deliver the sentence upon themselves, departing from the Church by their own will: this departure is seen to be the condemnation by their own conscience.’ …  and thus his sentence which he brought upon himself, would have to be publicly pronounced, made known to the whole Church, that he by his own will departed, making known to be severed from the body of the Church, and in some manner to have abdicated the Pontificate, which no one holds or can hold, who is not in the Church.”[98]

Commenting on Ballerini, Pope Gregory XVI explains:

“Even so that it could be for a moment, that the Church has the authority to depose the Pontiffs: what then? … In fact, by ceasing in this hypothesis the deposed Pope to be a true Pope, the deposition is not a prescription against the rights of the Primacy, and therefore against the current representation of the Church in the Pope recognized as such, but only against the person, who was before adorned with papal dignity.”[99]

St. Alphonsus teaches similarly, stating, “if God allowed a Pope to be notoriously heretical and contumacious, he would cease to be Pope, and he would vacate the Pontificate.”[100]

The reason why a manifest heretic would fall from office entirely by himself ipso jure is because a manifest act of contumacious public heresy is itself an act of pertinacity which constitutes according to its very nature a public confession of guilt of the crime of heresy and an admission of the fact of defection from the Catholic faith:

1) To be qualified as a manifest heretic the pope would have to manifest the dolus of crime, which in canon law is defined as the “deliberate will to violate the law” (deliberata voluntas violandi legem).

Canon 2200 §1 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law defined the term and explained, that dolus is opposed by the lack of knowledge or liberty: “Dolus heic est deliberata voluntas violandi legem, eique opponitur ex parte intellectus defectus cognitionis et ex parte voluntatis defectus libertatis.”

Therefore, since dolus cannot be simply presumed outside of a penal process, the pope cannot simply be presumed to be a heretic on the sole basis that he speaks or acts in a such manner that exhibits the indicia of suspicion. In such a case in which the pope would manifest in his actions or words the factual evidence which constitute indicia of heresy sufficient to establish the crime as probable, he would  only qualify as suspect of heresy. The matter of heresy is a proposition which asserts explicit heresy: “A heretical proposition is one which is formally and directly opposed to a proposition explicitly or implicitly revealed, and defined as such by the Church, which is therefore contradictory to the faith.”[101]

An example of such a heretical proposition asserted against an implicitly revealed proposition would be the one I cited in Volume One, of Pedro de Luna’s denial of the moral catholicity of the Church, for which he was declared a heretic in the thirty-seventh session of the Council of Constance for having denied the dogma Unam Sanctam.

2) The pope would qualify as a public formal heretic if the dolus is public and manifest: i.e., the heresy is professed in such a manner that it would be certain that he knowingly and freely asserted disbelief, with an act that explicitly, immediately, and directly opposes an article of divinely revealed truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith.

I have explained in Volume One the conditions which must be fulfilled in order for it to be verified that the indicia which constitute evidence of heresy are to be qualified as certain indicia of formal heresy. If the certain indicia of formal heresy are manifested in such a manner that qualifies the act as public, as the term public is defined in canon law, then the act would be in the nature of a public profession of disbelief, an abjuration of the Catholic faith, and a public confession of guilt for the crime of heresy.

In such an event as this, even if the man insists he is still a Catholic and not a heretic, his profession of disbelief by its very nature pleads guilty to the crime of heresy, and is an open admission of the fact of defection from the faith; and therefore, to effect his loss of office there is no need for a judge to pronounce a judgment of guilt, since, as Bellarmine says, “heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment”.[102]

Indeed, in any jurisdiction whether ecclesiastical or secular, when the accused confesses his guilt for the crime, there is no longer any need for a judgment to be deliberated upon, and then decided upon by a judge, but the court simply proceeds to the penal sentencing. Thus, in the hypothetical case of a public heretic pope, he, by his own act of disbelief, declares himself in heresy and outside the Church; and being condemned by his own judgment, he desists by himself from the papacy; and losing all jurisdiction, he falls under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical authority, and as a consequence thereof, he is excommunicated latæ sententiæ.

It is at this point that a merely declaratory sentence would be pronounced by the Church, confirming by juridical act that for having committed the crime of heresy, he has departed from the Church, forfeited his office, and incurred the penalty of excommunication. Hence, this is the teaching of Pope Innocent III: «Faith is so necessary for me that while for other sins I have only God for a judge, for only the sin committed against faith, I can be judged by the Church. For he who does not believe, already has been judged. (John 3: 18) »[103]

Hence, while he is pope, even as Vicar of Christ, he does have a Judge over him — the divine Judge; and because he has God over him as a legislator and judge, by falling into heresy he would stand before that Judge and the whole Church self-condemned by his own judgment because he who does not believe, already has been judged. (John 3: 18) Thus by manifesting his obstinate and manifestly evident disbelief in a revealed dogma of faith that he as pope was bound by divine law to teach to the Church in God’s name as Christ’s representative, he would cease to be Christ’s representative on earth by the very public fact that his contrary disposition to faith which is heresy, would manifest him to be the representative of disbelief against Christ, and thereby visibly deprive him of the form of the pontificate, which consists in the visible representation of the true faith he opposes, and thus render him manifestly opposed to the of exercise of the munus of teaching the faith he now opposes, which he was bound by the law of Christ to teach.

But if a pope were capable of remaining in office and in possession of the universal jurisdiction of the Primacy even after falling into manifest heresy, so that he would need to be judged by the Church first before falling from office, he would never be able to be deposed from office because both the supreme magisterial jurisdiction to judge the error in question would be required, and the jurisdiction of a superior over the person would be required for a juridical judgment to be made against the heretic, since a deposition from ecclesiastical office could not take place without a juridical judgment of both the doctrine and the guilty person.

Therefore a judicial act and of jurisdiction would be required to declare the pope a heretic even in order for it to act as a dispositive cause a heretical pope’s fall from office. Such a juridical act could only be accomplished by a judge; and therefore, the sine qua non requirement for such a deposition to take place, would be a judicial act which by its very nature can only be exercised by a superior over his inferior.[104]

This is plainly evident, firstly, in view of the fact that the juridicaldeclaration of heresy by its nature is a judgment, because, as Ballerini says, “Judgment properly so called is delivered when one pronounces a sentence based on knowledge of the cause”.

A declaration of heresy is not a juridical judgment if it is not a sentence made by a judge acting with jurisdiction to judge both the error in question and the guilt of the person who asserts it. It must made with jurisdiction regarding the cause (i.e., the juridically established indicia of heresy), without which it is not juridical, and not a judgment, but is nothing but a mere assertion of an opinion — a mere non-juridical conjecture, even if it would be pronounced by a self-appointed council against a pope. Such a declaration would be incapable of having any juridical effect, and would therefore not exercise any power to bring about the fall from office of a pope, by which power the Church could “induce a disposition incompatible with the pontificate” (XXVIII)[105], causing the “separation of this power [the primacy] from that person [the pope], by declaring him a heretic” (XXI)[106].

Therefore, for the declaration to be juridical, it would have to be a judicial pronouncement; which can only be made by a judge acting with the jurisdiction of a superior in every respect. Secondly, if the fall from the papacy can only take place upon an act of juridical judgment of heresy, then also for the same reason as for the declaration of heresy, the declaration of the desisting of the pope from the papacy would also require an act of a judge acting with the jurisdiction of a superior over the person. Thus, in a deposition there are enumerated three acts, 1) the declaration of heresy, 2) the desisting of the papacy in the person, and 3) penal expulsion from the Church; all of which are judicial acts, and therefore require the power of jurisdiction in whoever would provide the act.[107]

The deposition of a pope, therefore, would necessarily be a judicial act of jurisdiction, since, according to its nature, it cannot be done except by a judge; therefore, such a deposition could only be done by a superior who is over the pope as an inferior and subject, for which reason it matters little whether the power is called authoritative or ministerial, since a deposition is a judicial act by its very nature exercised by a superior over an inferior.[108]

This, as I have pointed out in Volume One of To Deceive the Elect, is the fatal flaw in all of the theories which merely posit a supposedly juridical declaration of heresy against the pope as a condition for his fall from office; or a proper deposition of the pope, which, according to the theory of Cajetan, is supposed to be brought about by means of what he speciously claimed would only be a ministerial act that exercises power not over the pope, but only over the conjunction by which the pope is joined to the papacy. Bordoni already pointed out in 1648 that “it matters little whether the power is called authoritative or ministerial, since a deposition is a judicial act by its very nature exercised by a superior over an inferior.”[109]

After all, according to Cajetan’s conjunction theory, it is the pope who is being judged for the crime of heresy, and not the conjunction — and judging a man is not judging a conjunction; and judging him guilty of a crime is not ministerial but judicial; as is also the juridical act of merely declaring him a heretic, since juridically declaring a man a heretic according to law is properly an act of judgment according to its very nature (as explained above), which can only be performed by one who possesses the power of a judge acting with jurisdiction, even when that judgment is not rendered in a judicial forum, but through the executive power of one who also possesses judicial jurisdiction.

Then Cajetan also denies that an authoritative power is exercised in the deposition of a pope, insofar as it would not be exercised over a pope regarding the papacy, but over the conjunction; and therefore, Bordoni observed, it matters little whether that power by which a pope is deposed is called ministerial or authoritative; since supposedly nothing of it is exercised over the papacy but over the conjunction.

However, even ministerial acts require jurisdiction, such as the election of a pope, and that jurisdiction is granted jure pontificio; and while the jurisdiction to elect a pope is granted by papal legislation in virtue of the pope’s full and supreme jurisdiction, no power was ever granted to the pope’s inferiors by Christ to dissolve of the conjunction between the pope and the papacy, because 1) as noted above, Christ conferred no ecclesiastical power directly on the Church, but the Church’s power is dependent on and hierarchically subordinate to the pope’s fullness of power, and; 2) while the power to bring about the not yet existing conjunction pertains to the Church, jurisdiction over the existing conjunction pertains not to the bishops or the cardinals, but to the full and absolute jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff over the whole Church. Such a separation from the head brought about by the inferior members of the Church would oppose the absolute power of the primacy, which extends even over the conjunction, and would be essentially an act of destruction of the Church as divinely constituted, resulting in her defection through decapitation.

Cajetan and John of St. Thomas attempt to circumvent this absolute necessity of jurisdiction over the person to be judged and deposed by asserting, “The power of the Church has for its object the application of the power of the pope to the person by designating him by election, and the separation of this power from the person, by declaring him a heretic and to be avoided by the faithful”.[110] The humbug in these words is exposed in the assertion that the power of the Church consists in the “application of the power of the pope to the person by designating him by election”, whereas the election applies no such power to the person, but merely designates the person to whom that power is to be applied immediately by God if the elected person consents to the election.

On the basis of the heretically asserted existence of the Church’s power over the conjunction, John of St. Thomas appeals to the authority of Cajetan saying, “that the Church is not above the pope absolutely, even in the case of heresy, whereas it is above the conjunction of the pontificate with that person by dissolving it, just as it united it at the election, and this power is ministerial”.[111]

Bellarmine already pointed out the fallacy of this proposition which asserts that the conjunction is made in the same way as it is dissolved, saying, “For while a thing is being made, the action is exerted on the matter of the thing that will be, not on the composite which as yet is not: but while a thing is being destroyed, the action is exerted over the composite”.[112]

Cajetan’s proposition is heretical in that it directly opposes the dogma of the primacy which defined the “full and supreme jurisdiction” of the primacy as a “total fullness of supreme power”. The Church has the ministerial power to designate the person who may then be joined by God to the pontificate by the not yet existing  conjunction, and thus receive immediately from God the absolute power of primacy not yet existing in the person at the time of election; but it is heresy to attribute to the Church a power over the actually existing conjunction, to dissolve it, because the exercise of the Church’s supposed power over the actual conjunction would directly oppose the absolute power of primacy actually existing in the pope, since the holder of the primacy possesses an absolute power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and therefore also over the conjunction.

Against this total fullness of power of the full and supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, there can exist no power of jurisdiction in the Church by which there can be introduced a disposition to dissolve the conjunction which remains under the pope’s supreme jurisdiction; yet this is precisely the heretical thesis of Cajetan, which can clearly be seen to be heretical in the passage of Cajetan which Don Curzio Nitoglia quotes and comments on: «The substance of Cajetan’s hypothesis can be summarized in the verse of De comparata auctoritate (Roma, Angelicum, 1936, a cura di V. Pollet, cap. XIX, p. 122, n. 269; cap. XX, p. 126, n. 276; cap. XX, p. 132, n. 207):

“When the Pope is deposed, the power of jurisdiction is not taken away from the Papacy, but from this man by means of human judgment […] The Pope neither simpliciter nor secundum quid has a superior on earth, but is under the instrumental and ministerial power of the Universal Church only as far as deposition or disjunction between the Papacy and the canonically elected person […]. The Church does not have power over the Papacy, but it has power over the conjunction between Peter and the Papacy.” That is, the power of the Church, in case of hypothetical heresy of the Pope, is authoritative (i.e. by its own virtue and as a principal cause) only on the union between the Papacy and the person canonically elected by the Conclave, while it is instrumental or ministerial (as an instrument in the hands of God) on the Papacy. »[113]

Most clearly the Church has no power from God whatsoever over the actually existing conjunction, because the Primacy, in which consists  the “total fullness of supreme power”, is given to the pope directly by God, which, being a total fullness, leaves absolutely no power for the rest of the Church to exercise over the conjunction. Furthermore, it is absurd to say that the council exercises only a ministerial power in deposing a pope by exercising jurisdiction over the conjunction, since, when the council declares the pope guilty of heresy, it is not judging the conjunction guilty of heresy but it is judging the PERSON — the PERSON who is THE POPE, whom it has not the power to judge; for which reason a council’s judgment of a validly reigning pope is  juridically null and void.

In Volume One of To Deceive the Elect I pointed out that, Cajetan’s argument does not hold together, because, as Suárez observed, it maintained that a council would not be judging the pope as pope, but as a private person. In refuting Cajetan’s opinion, Suárez explained that it is precisely the dignity of the person invested with the primacy which strictly excludes that he can be personally judged by anyone: “also because the Pope being superior insofar as he is Pope, is nothing else than that person by reason of the dignity to be exempt from all jurisdiction of another man, and to have jurisdiction in others, as is clear with whatever other dignity; and it is explained, for the pontifical dignity does not make an abstract or metaphysical superior, but really and in an individual a superior subject to none.” [114]

In vain, John of St. Thomas deceitfully attempted to refute Suárez on this point by asserting that according to Cajetan, the judgment would not be an exercise of authority over the pope as pope, but only an exercise of jurisdiction over the conjunction, and of a ministerial power; since, as has been explained, it pertains to the nature of a judgment against a person that it is an act of jurisdiction of a superior exercising judicial power over that person, and hence, it cannot be maintained that such a judgment would be a merely ministerial act made without the jurisdiction of a superior.

Thus, John of St. Thomas explained:

“Suarez also in the often cited disputation, sect. VI, num. VII, attacks Cajetan for saying that in the case of heresy the Church is over the pope as a private person, not insofar as he is pope. Which however Cajetan did not say, that the Church is not above the pope absolutely even in the case of heresy, but is over the conjunction of the pontificate with that person by dissolving it, in that manner by which she conjoined it by election, which power is ministerial, for with respect to the pope only Christ the Lord is superior simpliciter.”[115]

Cajetan’s own words expose the duplicity of John of St. Thomas, where Cajetan says, “When the Pope is deposed, the power of jurisdiction is not taken away from the Papacy, but from this man by means of human judgment,” thus, insofar as Cajetan says that by means of human judgment the power of jurisdiction is being taken away from this man, Cajetan is saying that the Church pronounces judgment on this man, the POPE, and by means of this human judgment exercised over the person of the pope, the papal jurisdiction is being taken away from him.

For that to be possible, the jurisdictional power of a council to validly judge a pope guilty of heresy and depose him would necessarily have to be a power which according to its very nature is formally superior to the jurisdictional power of the primacy which exists in the person of the pope as a habit in a subject, otherwise the council could not act juridically to judge and depose a pope unless formally its power were greater.

This is plainly evident from reason because that which acts with power over another is of a greater force and power than the other over which it acts, so that it is able to overcome the power of that over which it acts. Thus, if the Council by means of human judgment is to bring about the destruction of the habit of the pontificate in the Pontiff, its jurisdictional power to judge must be of a greater magnitude than the primatial power of the Pope.[116]

But the fullness of power of the primacy is infallibly defined to be atotal fullness” — a “full and supreme jurisdiction”, and therefore there exists no power on earth that can bring about its removal from the person of the pope by means of human judgment, whether directly or dispositively, whether authoritatively or ministerially. Therefore, to assert that such a power exists by which a disposition can be introduced to bring about the separation of the papacy from the pope by dissolving the conjunction between them is HERESY.

John of St. Thomas sums up Bellarmine’s refutation of Cajetan’s deposition theory in No. XVII, and in No. XXVIII and XXIX[117] he responds with crudely fallacious, speciously contrived arguments, which do not hold up to critical scrutiny, in that the ministerial and dispositive power to depose an actually reigning valid pope, which he asserts as pertaining to the authority of the Church, by which authority is introduced a disposition incompatible with the pontificate, simply does not exist; because the totality of ecclesiastical power exists in the primacy of the pontiff as a “total fullness of supreme power,” which would not be a total fullness of power if it were subject to limitations, such as an  alteration or mutation brought about by heresy, which would render that “full and supreme jurisdiction” in some manner inferior to a power which in its very nature is hierarchically subordinate to it, which could then introduce a disposition incompatible with the absolutely superior supreme pontificate.

Thus, the very notion of a primacy that can be mutated and somehow rendered inferior to a subordinate power and subject to its judgment is logically opposed to the nature of the primacy solemnly defined as a total fullness of supreme power, which as such is essentially different power, and is of its very nature superior to the power of the episcopacy.

Consequently, the power of the primacy, being dogmatically defined according to its very nature as total, full, supreme, and universal, is not subject to alteration, mutation, or diminution in any manner whatsoever by heresy; but heresy, being directly and per se opposed to faith, is therefore opposed per se to the nature of the pontificate which was instituted above all for the purpose of preserving and safeguarding the unity of the Church in the purity of the Catholic faith; so that heresy, as Bellarmine explains, would not alter the power of the primacy, but would be the uttermost disposition for its destruction, so that it would cease to exist by itself, without any external agent; and in this manner, “a heretic pope without any other deposition would cease by himself to be Pope.”

«Thenceforth, either Faith is simpliciter a necessary disposition for someone to be Pope, or only to be a good pope. If the first, then this disposition being removed by the contrary which is heresy, the Pope straightaway ceases to be Pope: nor can the form be conserved without the necessary dispositions … Hence, those which have the uttermost disposition to destruction thereafter cease to be, without any external power, as is evident; therefore a heretic pope without any other deposition would cease by himself to be Pope. »[118]

It was Ballerini who explained that power which exists in the episcopacy, is according to its nature an essentially different power which is hierarchically subordinate to the absolute power of the primacy. The analogy of the ministerial power to grant indulgences John of St. Thomas uses to illustrate the principle explained in these paragraphs is not valid, in that the authority to exercise a ministerial power to grant the indulgences is conceded by a superior ecclesiastical authority; whereas the power to depose a pope ministerially is not conceded to the pope’s inferiors by divine law, and cannot be conceded jure pontificio to a subordinate to be exercised against a pope, who possesses the total fullness of supreme power.

Therefore, Bordoni rightly points out that “if the Council is to bring about the destruction of the Pontiff, it must have a greater power than the Pope,” but such a power greater than the absolute power of the primacy simply does not exist on earth.

Furthermore, Bordoni points out that it is a deceitful contrivance to posit that conjunction to be brought about by the ministry of men through election in relation to the papal dignity and power, since the electors only designate the person, upon whom God thereafter confers the dignity and authority, so that the election is not the means, by which Christ bestows the papacy upon the elected, but only the condition sine qua non God confers the papacy upon someone; and therefore, the conjunction is not made by the ministry of the electors, but immediately by God, lest it be said that the electors confer the papacy together with God, and thus make a man pope according to the nature of the pope.[119]

Furthermore, because if by the ministry of men, the papacy is joined to the elected man, the pope would no longer receive the dignity of the papacy immediately from God, but also from men – against the common doctrine of all canonists and theologians, and against the above cited teaching of Pius XII in Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis. And also it would follow from there that the electors conjoin the papacy to the one they elect, which is to confer upon him the dignity, like a whitewasher conjoining whiteness to a wall, and confer whiteness upon the wall; thus, likewise by Cajetan’s conjunction the electors can be said to confer the papacy on the pope, which is false, because the electors designate the person, and God, by himself immediately confers the dignity and jurisdiction.[120]

And yet John of St. Thomas contradicts himself when he asserts on the one hand “the Church has the ministerial power of electing as far as the designating of the person, but not in the conferring of power, because this is done immediately by Christ”[121]; but at the same time he asserts the doctrine of Cajetan who says, “that the pope is truly deposed by the Church, and by authority … but that the Church is not above the pope absolutely even in the case of heresy, but that she is above the conjunction with that person by dissolving it, IN THAT MANNER BY WHICH SHE CONJOINED IT BY ELECTION, which power is ministerial”.[122]

Now to say, as John of St. Thomas explicitly asserts, that the Church conjoined the person to the papacy even ministerially is false, and to assert on the basis of this false premise that the Church is above the conjunction and therefore has the power to dissolve the conjunction is HERESY. The Church only disposes the person to be joined to the papacy by God, but once disposed, the uniting of the matter and form is accomplished immediately by God alone.  From the instant the pope-elect gives his consent to his election, he receives immediately from God the “full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole planet”;  [123] for which reason, in virtue of the “total fullness of supreme power,” (Pastor Æternus) the pope exercises absolute power of jurisdiction over the conjunction for so long as he is pope.

The conjunction, therefore, is destroyed only by death or valid resignation, as is explicitly set forth in Universi Dominici Gregis[124]; and in virtue of the “full and absolute jurisdiction” of the Primacy conferred immediately upon the pope by God, the conjunction is intrinsically incapable of being acted upon by any external dispositive agent acting ministerially, for which reason, papal loss of office is accomplished explicitly or tacitly by the pope “sine alia vi externa”[125], and therefore by himself alone.

Thus it follows strictly, as Cardinal Billot observed in Traité de l’Église du Christ, question 14, thesis 29, part 2:

The Church, or an ecclesiastical assembly, cannot perform any act upon the person of the pope, except for the election. And therefore, once the election is canonically terminated, the Church has nothing more to do until a new election takes place, which can occur only after the see becomes vacant.”

Therefore, whoever says that the pope’s inferiors, even the totality of the episcopate congregated together in a council, possess the power to dissolve the conjunction which joins the papacy to the person of the Supreme Pontiff, either directly or indirectly (by introducing a disposition to disjoin the conjunction), explicitly asserts heresy against the dogma of the Primacy, solemnly defined in Pastor Æternus, which infallibly set forth as de fide definitathe “total fullness of supreme power” of the Primacy — a fullness of power which in virtue of its totality admits no share whatsoever to the pope’s inferiors in the exercise of that supreme power by which the Roman Pontiff exercises exclusively a “full and supreme power of jurisdiction” (Pastor Æternus) —  a “full and absolute jurisdiction”  (Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis) which he exercises even over the conjunction between the papacy and himself. Thus, the doctrine of John of St. Thomas on papal deposition based on the conjunction theory of Cajetan falls under the anathema of the First Vatican Council.[126]

Moreover, it is absolutely impossible for there to be a valid declaration or judgment of heresy pronounced on a reigning pontiff by his inferiors which would result in his loss of office, because the holder of the primacy possesses the exclusive and absolute authority as supreme judge to judge in all matters of faith and morals and in all disputes over matters of faith; and because the Church as a whole has been given no suppletive authority in virtue of its totality to exercise by way of exception the supreme power (which exists only in the primacy) to judge in matters of faith instead of the pope, in a manner that would thereby effectively suspend the absolute power of the Primacy, and to judge against the supreme judge, whose supreme power of jurisdiction is total and absolute.

Juridical judgment on a person can only be pronounced by a judge or by a tribunal of judges exercising power over a person who is subject to their jurisdiction. The objection that in deposing a pope, a council, a synod, or the cardinals, would pronounce judgment on a pope without directly exercise power over that pope is plainly fallacious and absurd on its face. In his refutation of Cajetan’s theory (Bellarmine’s “fourth opinion”), Bellarmine explained that such an act of deposition requires an exercise of power over the pope: “For, if the Church deposes a Pope against his will, certainly it is over the Pope.” (Nam si Ecclesia invitum Papam deponit, certe est supra Papam.)

Cardinal Billot, in his Traité de l’Église du Christ, question 14, thesis 29, part 2, explained against Cajetan why it cannot be legitimately objected, “that the deposal could still be understood not as the direct withdrawal of the papacy”; and the reason he gives is that given by Bellarmine and Bordoni: Such a deposal, says Billot, “corresponds to an act of jurisdiction and to the exercise of a power. This is why the objection’s conclusion does not follow: just because the person of the pope can be designated by men, this does not mean that the latter have the legitimate power to dismiss the person of the pope from the papacy.”[127]

Such a power, Bellarmine explains, requires the jurisdiction of a superior: “for one to be deposed from the pontificate against his will is without a doubt a penalty; therefore, the Church deposing a Pope against his will, without a doubt punishes him; but to punish is for a superior and a judge”. This sententia is echoed by Wernz & Vidal and is unanimously taught by canonists: “For every judicial sentence of privation supposes a superior jurisdiction over him against whom the sentence is laid.[128]

Furthermore, the notion of a “judgment” or “declaration” posited in all of the theories which call for a either a juridical declaration or a judgment against the pope, without exercising jurisdiction over the pope, is a contradiction in terms, and is therefore contrary to the nature of a juridical act, and consequently is not a juridical act, but is “something else”, as Bordoni explained, “which is not holding together”: «intelligitur aliquid aliud, quod tamen consonum non est».[129]

Thus, the fallacy that underlies all of these theories (which directly contradict the dogmatic definition of the Primacy and are seen to be heretically opposed to the solemn anathema of Pastor Æternus), is their violation of the principle of the excluded middle: because they are all founded on the logically incoherent notion of a supposed juridical act which does not conform to the definition of a juridical act.

This is also the error of Suárez, who explained that the Church would depose the pope but not acting as a superior, but the deposition would be accomplished by a declaratory sentence  pronounced upon him by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church: 1)“Therefore when the Church would depose a Pope, she would not do it as a superior, but by the consent of Christ the Lord she would juridically declare him to be a heretic, and thus unworthy of the pontifical dignity; and then ipso facto he would be immediately deposed by Christ, and  being deposed he would remain inferior, and could be punished.”[130] 2) “Thirdly I say, if the Pope is heretical and incorrigible, as soon as a declaratory sentence is pronounced by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church, he ceases to be Pope.”[131]

In addition to Suárez’s self-contradictory notion of a juridical deposition pronounced by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church but not acting as a superior, there is also his self-contradictory notion of an immediate  ipso facto deposition by Christ which would take place mediately by the dispositive agency of a juridical declaration by the Church. Now it pertains to the nature of an ipso facto action that it is not effected mediately, because what takes place mediately takes place by the instrumentality of another; whereas the very words “ipso facto” mean “by the fact itself”, which logically excludes the mediation of any external agent, whether by direct causation or merely indirectly as a dispositive or instrumental cause.[132]

Therefore also, Salza’s theory that the Church can judge the pope by establishing the crime, and Siscoe’s errant notion that the pope can be judged and deposed by indirect judgment, are plainly heretical insofar as they posit the agency of dispositive and instrumental causes of a council acting with jurisdiction over the conjunction to cause the separation of the Church from her head against his will, and therefore against the absolute power of his jurisdiction over the conjunction between himself and the papacy. Both of these theories oppose the dogma of the primacy according to which the pope possesses a full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole Church, and therefore also over the  conjunction. A detailed critique of the Cajetan-John of St. Thomas theory as well as a refutation of the other errors asserted by Salza & Siscoe in their latest screed  is provided in my second volume of To Deceive the Elect.

ENDNOTES

[1] Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium, Torino, 1832,  p. 31 — «Repetamus hic memorabilem illam Cypriani sententiam : Ne que enim aliunde hæreses obortæ sunt, aut nata schismata, quam inde quod sacerdoti Dei non obtemperatur; nec unus in ecclesia ad tempus sacerdos , et ad tempus judex vice Christi cogitatur. Lib. 1. ep. ad Corn. papam. Nota , sacerdos unus judex vice Christi. »

[2] Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium, Torino, 1832, p. 13 — « Idque nimis verum est; nam, sublata infallibilitate circa res fidei a pontifice romano, nullum suppetit medium ( ut infra videbimus ) ad hæreticos convincendos.»

[3] S. Robertus Bellarminus, De Romano Pontifice, lib. i. cap. viii — « Quarto , tametsi Dimocratia est absolute pessimum regimen : tamen Ecclesiæ perniciosior esse videtur Aristocratia. Siquidem summum Ecclesiæ malum hæresis est : hæreses autem ab Optimatibus potius, quam a plebeis hominibus excitantur. Certe Hæresiarchæ fere omnes , aut Episcopi , aut Presbyteri fuerunt ; itaque sunt hæreses quædam quasi Optimatium factiones , sine quibus nullæ essent in Ecclesia populorum seditiones . Factiones autem nunquam facilius, & frequentius oriuntur , quam cum Optimates regunt , ut non solum experimento , & Philosophorum testimonio , sed etiam Calvini ipsius confessione lib. 4. Institut. cap. 20. §. 8. comprobari potest.»

[4] S. Robertus Belarminus, De Conciliorum Auctoritate, cap. ix — «Nam etiamsi major pars resislat meliori; ut factum est in concilio ariminensi et ephesino II. tamen nunquam vincit; mox enim irritantur ejusmodi conciliorum acta ab eo, cui convenit ex officio fratres confirmare, quemadmodum in praedictis conciliis ariminensi et ephesino, II. factum videmus. »

[5] Bellarminus, De Romano Pontifice, lib. i. cap. ix.— « Dices: terminabuntur quaetiones a Concilio generali : omnes enim majori parti Episcoporum acquiescent. At etiam in Concilio generali major pars potest errare, si auctoritas desit summi Pastoris , ut experimento comprobatum est Ariminensis & Ephesini 2. Concilii.»

[6] De Romano Pontifice lib. i. cap. ix — «Necesse est enim, ut omnes Fideles idem omnino sentiant in rebus Fidei : Est enim unus Deus , una Fides , unum Baptiſma, Ephes. 4. at una Fides in Ecclesia esse non potest, si non sit unus summus Judex, cui omnes acquiescere teneantur.»

[7] Cf. Ballerini, De Pot. Ecc. p. 127 footnote 1: ( 1 ) — «Favet huic sententiæ Innocentius III. sermone tertio habito die suæ conscerationis scribens; In tantum fides mihi necessaria est, ut, cum in  cæteris peccatis Deum judicem habeam, propter peccatum, quod in fìde committitur, possim ab Ecclesia judicari. Vide Sylvium in 2. 2. S. Thomæ tom. 3. q. 39. art. 3. conclus. 2. »

[8] I have quoted the relevant texts of the named authors in Volume One, with the exception of St. Francis de Sales, who wrote: “Under the ancient law the High Priest did not wear the Rational except when he was vested in the pontifical robes and was entering before the Lord. Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity out of the Church, and the Church must either deprive him, as some say, or declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See, and must say as St. Peter did: Let another take his bishopric (Acts I). When he errs in his private opinion he must be instructed, advised, convinced; as happened with John XXII, who was so far from dying obstinate or from determining anything during his life concerning his opinion, that he died whilest he was making the examination which is necessary for determining in a matter of faith, as his successor declared in the Extravagantes which begins Benedictus Deus.” [St. Francis de Sales, The Catholic Controversy, Part II, art. VI, Ch. 14  (Tan Books), p. 388] “En l’ancienne loy le grand pretre ne portait pas le rational si non quand il estoit revestu des habits pontificaux et qu’il entroit devant le Seigneur. Ainsi ne disons nous pas que le pape en ses opinions particulieres ne puisse errer comme fit Jean XXII, ou etre du tout heretique comme peut etre fut Honorius. Or quand il est heretique expres ‘ipso facto’ il tombe de son grade hors de l’Eglise et l’Eglise le doit ou priver comme disent quelques uns, ou le declarer prive de son siege apostolique et dire comme fit St. Pierre: Episcopatum eius accipiat alter. Quand il erre en sa particuliere opinion il le faut enseigner, adviser, convaincre comme on fit a Jean XXII le quel tant s’en faut qu’il mourut opiniatre ou que pendant sa vie il determina aucune chose touchant son opinion, que pendant qu’il faysoit l’inquisition requise pour determiner en matiere de foy, il mourut, au recit de son successeur en l’Extravagante qui se commence ‘Benedictus Deus.’ ”

[9] De Romano Pontifice, lib. II cap. xxx — «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»

[10] Pietro Ballerini, DE POTESTATE ECCLESIASTICA SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM ET CONCILIORUM GENERALIUM. Verona, 1768, Caput IX. §. II. p. 128 — «hac sua publica pertinacia … semetipsum palam declarat haereticum, hoc est a fide catholica, & ab Ecclesia voluntate propria recessisse, ita ut ad eum praecidendum a corpore Eccleaiae nulla cujusquam declaratio aut sententia necessaria sit»

[11] Ibid. — «ne aliis perniciem afferret, in publicum proferenda esset ejus hæresis, & contumacia, ut omnes similiter ab eo caverent, sicque sententia, quam in se ipsum tulit, toti Ecclesiæ proposita, eum sua voluntate recessisse, & ab Ecclesiæ corpore declararet avulsum, atque abdicasse quodammodo Pontificatum»

[12] Ibid. p. 138 « ipso facto sua voluntate primatu & pontificatu exauctoratus »

[13] Verità Della Fede, Opera Del Beato Alfonso Maria De Liguori, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Parte Terza – Contro i Settarj, Capo. VIII, n. 10. p. 157 —  «Del resto, si Dio permettesse che un papa fosse notoriamente eretico e contumace, egli cesserebbe d’essere papa, e vacherebbe il pontificato. »

[14] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI, Il trionfo della santa sede e della chiesa contro gli assatti dei novatori, Venezia, 1832, PRELIMINARE § LIV. p. 46 – 47 : « Ond ’ è che poteasi , come osserva il Ballerini, considerarlo quale pubblico scismatico e eretico, ed in conseguenza per se decaduto dal pontificato, se anche ad esso fosse stato validamente inalzato. »

[15] Ibid. Capo XXIII. p. 270 — «non è la deposizione una prescrizione … contro l’attuale rappresentanza della Chiesa nel Papa per tale riconosciuto, ma soltanto contro la persona, che era prima ornata di papal dignità»

[16] Ibid. pp. 269 – 270: «Tuttavolta sia pure così per un momento, ed abbia pure la Chiesa l’autorità di deporre i Pontefici: che perciò? … In fatti, cessando in questa ipotesi il Papa deposto di essere vero Papa, non è la deposizione una prescrizione contro i diritti del Primato, e quindi contro l’attuale rappresentanza della Chiesa nel Papa per tale riconosciuto, ma soltanto contro la persona, che era prima ornata di papal dignità …»

[17] Ballerini, De Pot. Ecc. Caput IX. §. II. pp. 127 – 128 : «Quemcumque vel privatum respiciunt illa Pauli ad Titum: Haereticum Hominem post unam et alteram correptionem devita, sciens quia subversus est, qui ejusmodi est, et delinquit, cum sit proprio judicio condemnatus. Qui nimirum semel & bis correctus non resipiscit, sed pertinax est in sententia dogmati manifesto aut definito contraria; hac sua publica pertinacia, cum ab haeresi proprie dicta, quae pertinaciam requirit, excusari nulla ratione potest; tum vero semetipsum palam declarat haereticum, hoc est a fide catholica, & ab Ecclesia voluntate propria recessisse, ita ut ad eum praecidendum a corpore Eccleaiae nulla cujusquam declaratio aut sententia necessaria sit. Perspicua hac in re est S. Hieronimi ratio in laudata Pauli verba, Propterea a semetipso dicitur esse damnatus, quia fornicator, adulter, homicida, et cetera vitia per sacerdotes ex Ecclesia propelluntur: haeretici autem in semetipsis sententiam ferunt, suo arbitrio de Ecclesia recedentes: quae recessio propriae conscientiae videtur esse  damnatio. Pontifex ergo, qui post solemnem & publicam Cardinalium, Romani Cleri, vel etiam synodi monitionem se se obfirmatum praeferret in haeresi, & de Ecclesia palam recessisset, iuxta praeceptum Pauli esset vitandus; & ne aliis perniciem afferret, in publicum proferenda esset ejus haeresis, & contumacia, ut omnes similiter ab eo caverent, sicque sententia, quam in se ipsum tulit, toti Ecclesiae proposita, cum sua voluntate recessisse, & ab Ecclesiae corpore declararet avulsum, atque abdicasse quodammodo Pontificatum, quo nemo fruitur, nec frui potest, qui non sit in Ecclesia. »

[18] Ballerini, Ibid. — «Ad eum itaque casum tantummodo praesens quaestio referri potest, quo Papa privato judicio deceptus crederet, & pertinaciter propugnaret aliquid contrarium cuipiam articulo fidei evidenti, aut definito, quod haeresis proprium est. Hoc autem in casu ( quem , licet a definitíone fidei & a nostro proposito alienissimum, Dei tamen praesidio numquam eventuram confido) non pauci etìam ex ipsis Pontìficiae auctoritatis vindicibus (1) jus generalis concilii in Papam a fide devium, seu haereticum asserunt; quia credunt talem Pontificem ex ipsa haeresi ab Ecclesiae fundamento, quod est fides, & consequenter ab ipsa Ecclesia sejunctum atque praecisum, a Pontificatu penitus decidisse, hacque in hypothesi jus generalis concilii fore in eum, qui Pontifex amplius non est , nec primatu fruitur. »

[19] Ibid. p. 128 «Cur vero in præsentissimo omniumque gravissimo periculo fidei, quod ex Pontifice hæresim privato licet judicio propugnante impendens, diuturniores moras non pateretur, remedium ex generalis synodi non ita facili convocatione expectandum credatur? Nonne etiam inferiores quicumque in tanto fidei discrimine superiorem suum correctione fraterna commonere queunt, in faciem eidem resistere, atque revincere; &, si opus sit, redarguere ac ad resipiscentiam urgere? Poterunt id Cardinales, qui ipsi a consiliis adstant; poterit Romanus Clerus; Romana etiam synodus, si expedire judicetur, congregata poterit. »

[20] Sydney F. Smith S.J. Catholic Truth Society, London, 1896, Dr. Littledale’s Theory of the Disappearance of the Papacy.

[21] Wernz-Vidal, Jus Canonicum (1938) Chapter VII.

[22] https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/a-canonical-primer-on-popes-and-heresy/

[23]  « Wrenn, writing in the CLSA NEW COMM (2001) at 1618 states: “Canon 1404 is not a statement of personal impeccability or inerrancy of the Holy Father. Should, indeed, the pope fall into heresy, it is understood that he would lose his office. To fall from Peter’s faith is to fall from his chair.” » An earlier edition of that same commentary says, “Communion becomes a real issue when it is threatened or even lost. This occurs especially through heresy, apostasy and schism. Classical canonists discussed the question whether a pope, in his private or personal opinions, could go into heresy, apostasy or schism.”

[24] Pastor Æternus, Caput IV — «Ipso autem Apostolico primatu, quem Romanus Pontifex tamquam Petri principis Apostolorum successor in universam Ecclesiam obtinet, supremam quoque magisterii potestatem comprehendi, haec Sancta Sedes semper tenuit, perpetuus Ecclesiae usus comprobat»

[25] I have followed the uncorrupted text in my translation: «Ipsa quoque S . Romana Ecclesia summum et plenum primatum et principatum super universam Ecclesiam catholicam obtinet , quem se ab ipso Domino in B . Petro, Apostolorum Principe, sive vertice, cujus Rom. Pontifex est Successor, cum potestatis plenitudine recepisse veraciter, et hurniliter recognoscit . Et sicut præ ceteris tenetur fidei veritatem defendere , sic et si quæ de fide subortæ fuerint quæstiones , suo debent judicio definiri etc. » [cf. Opuscula Ad Hierarchicam Ecclesiæ Constitutionem Spectantia – Venetiis 1790, p. 193]

[26] Verità Della Fede, Opera Del Beato Alfonso Maria De Liguori, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Capo IX.  pp. 171 – 172 — «11. Di più abbiamo definito da’ concilj che il Papa ha la pienezza della potestà , o sia la potestà suprema nella Chiesa . Nel Concilio Lugdunese II. , ove furono 500 vescovi , sotto Gregorio X . dell’ anno 1274 contro l’ eresia de’ Greci , che lo Spirito Santo non proceda dal Figliuolo , nella professione di fede che si fece pubblicamente nel concilio da’ legati dell’ imperator Michele Paleologo si disse : Ipsa quoque S. Romana Ecclesia summum et plenum primatum et principatum super universam Ecclesiam catholicam obtinet , quam se ab ipso Domino in B . Petro, cujus Rom. Pontifex est superior, cum potestatis plenitudine recepisse veraciter et hurniliter recognoscit. Et sicut præ ceteris tenetur fidei veritatem defendere , sic et si quæ de fide subortæ fuerint quæstiones, suo debent judicio definiri etc. Indi spiegossi in che consistesse la pienezza di potestà : Potestatis plenitudo consistit , quod Ecclesias ceteras ad sollicitudinis partem admittit . . . sua tamen observata prærogativa , et tum in generalibus conciliis , tum in aliquibus aliis semper salva. Questa professione di fede fu poi accettata da tutto il concilio, e questa fu la prima costituzione che nel concilio si fece, dicendosi da’ Padri : Suprascripta fidei veritate, prout plene lecta est, et fideliter exposita, veram, sanctam, catholicam et orthodoxam fidem cognoscimus, et acceptamus , et ore ac corde confitemur, quod vere tenet, et fideliter docet et prædicat S. Romana Ecclesia. Si notino le parole di sopra riferite : Si quæ de fide subortæ fuerint quæstiones, suo debent judicio definiri. Il che fu anche prima detto nel Concilio Niceno I. ( tra i Canoni 19. e 29.) : Omnes episcopi . . . Apostolicam appellent Sedem, ut ab ea ( sicut semper fuit ) fulciantur, defendantur, et liberentur, cujus dispositioni omnes majores Ecclesiasticas causas antiqua Apostolorum, eorumque successorum, atque canonum auctoritas reservavit. Si aggiunge quel che si disse nel Concilio generale Viennense nell’ anno 1307 sotto Clemente V. col concorso di 300 vescovi in circa : Dubia fidei declarare ad Sedem dumtaxat Apostolicam pertinere. Onde scrisse S. Cirillo : Sicut Christo a Patre omnis potestas et nulli alteri data est, sic Petro ejusque successoribus, supremam Ecclesice curam, nullique alteri commissam. Lib. Thesaur. tom. 2. »

[27] TRUE OR FALSE POPE?p. 331.

[28] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI, Il trionfo della santa sede e della chiesa contro gli assatti dei novatori, Venezia, 1832 p.Capo V, p. 123 “Ad illius ergo auctoritatem pertinet editio symboli, ad cuius auctoritatem pertinet FINALITER DETERMINARE ea, quae sunt fidei, ut ab omnibus inconcussa fide teneantur.” [Summa Theol. IIa – IIæ q. 1 a. 10]

[29] Ibid. p. 123.

[30] P. Francesco Bordoni, Sacrum Tribunal Iudicum In Causis Sanctæ Fidei Contra Hæreticos Et Hæresi Suspectos, Romæ, 1648,cap. VI, p. 154.

[31] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xviii. p. 70 – «Si accipiatur Ecclesia sine papa, falsum est illam esse totum, non enim est totum, sed pars, et quidem major, quam caput, magnitudine molis, minor autem magnitudine virtutis, sive auctoritatis, ut patet in quolibet corpore. Quod autem adversarii dicunt, auctoritatem capitis manere in Ecclesia suppletive, jam est refuta tum antea. »

[32] Cap. xviii p. 69. «Summus pontifex non potest committere, neque concilio, neque ulli homini supra se judicium coactivum, sed tantum discretivum. »

[33] Ibid. –  «Nota, in judicio perfecto duo quaedam reperiri. Primo, potestatem discutiendi caussam, et discernendi ac judicandi quid agendum sit. Secundo, potestatem cogendi eum, qui cecidit caussa, ad obtemperandum sententiae contra se latae. »

[34] Ibid. – «Utrumque invenitur in judice proprie dicto, qualis est princeps, vel praetor a principe constitutus. »

[35] Ibid. – «Primum autem solum reperitur in arbitris, quorum sententiae etiam si teneantur homines stare ex jure naturae, quia tenemur servare promissa; non tamen ex vi sententiae, quia non possunt arbitri cogere. »

[36] A Latin Dictionary — Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short, LL.D.  Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1879.

[37] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xviii p. 69 — «Primo, quia potestas papae super omnes, est de jure divino, ut patet.  At non potest papa dispensare in jure divino. Secundo, quia non potest inferior committere alicui judicium reservatum superiori. »

[38] Ibid. — «At judicium in caussa ponificis est reservatum Deo, ut supra docuimus. »

[39] De Potestate Ecclesiastica Summorum Pontificum Et Conciliorum Generalium, Auctore Petro Ballerinio Presbytero Veronensi, Augustæ Vindelicorum (Augsburg), 1770, p. 132 — « Semper nimirum jus primatus manet re ipsa vero legitimoque Pontifici, qui semper hoc primatus jure re ipsa toti Ecclesiæ, & cuivis concilio superior, a jurisdictione istorum subtrahitur. »

[40] Bordoni, Op. cit., p. 158 — «omnis actus vt sit iuridicus, & validus essentialiter dependet a iurisditione. Bald. in l. omne verbum, C. com. de legat. Alex. lib.4. confil. 52. num.30. ex Rota Roman. vol. 1. decis.45I. nu. 2. »

[41] De Potestate ecclesiastica summorum Pontificum et Conciliorum generalium, Augsburg, 1770, Cap. II p. 30 — «Judicium enim proprie dictum tunc fertur, cum quis ex causae cognitione sententiam pronuntiat»

[42] F. A. R. Bennion, Understanding Common Law Legislation, Chapter: 13 The nature of judgment, Oxford University Press, p.111.

[43] Canon George F. Smith, D.D., Ph.D.,The Teaching Of The Catholic Church, London, Second Edition, 1952, XX THE CHURCH ON EARTH, PART II, THE JURIDICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH, § VII: PRELIMINARY: THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH, p. 710.

[44] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, cap. xvi. p. 66 — «Nam Christus legitur quidem dedisse Petro claves regni coelorum, Matthaei 16. et eumdem praefecisse ovili suo, Joan. ult. Dedit etiam apostolis caeteris potestatem praedicandi, baptizandi, peccata, dimittendi, et alia quaedam faciendi, quae ad munus episcopale spectant, sed hanc potestatem Christus singulis dedit ita ut potuerit quisque eorum illa omnia exercere sine congregatione aliorum, ut notum est: At quod ipsi Ecclesiae, idest, fidelium universitati in se, idest, ratione suae totalitatis aliquid potestatis tribuerit, nusquam legitur; immo e contrario legimus, praecipi populis, ut obediant, et subjaceant pastoribus suis, Hebr. 13. et alibi. Quod si Ecclesiae universitati non est data ulla auctoritas, ergo neque concilio generali, quatenus Ecc!esiam universalem repraesentat. »

[45] St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. iv, cap. vii – «Respondeo ad primum argumentum: inde recte colligi, posse Papam ex natura sua incidere in haeresim, non tamen posita singulari Dei assistentia, quam Christus oratione sua illi impetravit: oravit autem Christus, ne deficeret Fides ejus, non autem ne incideret in alia vitia. »

[46] “The decretal [of Gregory IX] stated that no exception of invalidity could be brought against a pope who had been elected by a two-thirds majority of the college of cardinals. Bernard qualified this statement saying that an exception of heresy may be alleged. In this case, then, an exception would be an allegation that a pope’s election had been invalidated by the fact of his heresy and that consequently he had never been a true pope, or that he had ceased to be one.”—James M. Moynihan, STL, JCD; Papal Immunity and Liability in the Writings of the Medieval Canonists, Gregorian University Press, Roma 1961, p. 114.

[47] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xvii. p. 66 – «Summus pontifex simpliciter et absolute est supra Ecclesiam universam, et supra concilium generale, ita ut nullum in terris supra se judicium agnoscat. »

[48] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xvii. p. 66-67 — «Haec etiam est fere de fide; et probatur primo ex duabus praecedentibus: nam si papa est caput Ecclesiae universae etiam simul congregatae, et Ecclesia universa etiam simul congregata non habet ullam potestatem ratione suae totalitatis; sequitur papam supra concilium esse, et supra Ecclesiam, non contra. Secundo probatur ratione, in Scripturis fundata; nam omnia nomina, quae in Scripturis tribuuntur Christo, unde constat eum esse supra Ecclesiam, eadem omnia tribuuntur pontifici. Ac primnm , Christus est paterfamilias in domo sua , quae est Ecclesia, pontifex in eadem est summus oeconomus, idest, paterfamilias loco Christi . Lucae 12. Quis est fidelis dispensator, et prudens , quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam etc. Hic enim per dispensatorem, sive oeconomum, ut graece habetur, intelligunt episcopum. Ambrosius in hunc locum, et Hilarius, et Hieronymus in cap.24. Matth. ubi similis habetur sententia. Et quamvis Patres non loquantur expresse de episcopo romano, tamen sine dubio sententia Scripturae illa est; ut episcopi particulares sunt summi oeconomi in suis Ecclesiis, ita esse episcopum romanum, in Ecclesia universa. Unde Ambrosius in illud 1. Tim. 3. Ut scias quomodo te oprrteat conversari in domo Dei etc. Domus Dei. inquit, Ecclesia dicitur, cujus hodie rector est Damasus. Et Chrysostomus lib. 2. de sacerdotio circa iniitium , hunc ipsum locum: Quis est fidelis servus etc. de Petro exponit.  Quod autem oeconomus summus sit supra familiam, et ab ea judicari, ac puniri non possit, patet ex hoc eodem loco, Dominus enim ait: Quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. Et ibidem: Quod si dixerit servus ille in corde suo, moram facit Dominus meus venire et coeperit percutere servos, et ancillas, edere, et bibere, et inebriari, veniet Dominus servi illius in die, qua nom sperat, et dividet eum, partemque ejus cum infidelibus ponet. Ubi vides Dominum servare suo judicio servum illum, et non committere judicio familiae. Idem etiam docet usus omnium familiarum : nulla enim familia est, in qua liceat inferioribus famulis etiam simul congregatis punire, vel expellere oeconomum, etiamsi pessimus sit, id enim ad solum Dominum totius familiae pertinet. Alteruin momen Christi est pastor. Joannis 10. Ego sum pastor bonus etc. Idem communicat Petro, Joan. ult. Pasce oves meas. Constat autem pastorem ita praeesse ovibus, ut nullo modo ab eis judicari possit. Tertium est: Caput corporis Ecclesiae, Ephes. 4. idem communicat Petro, ut habemus in concilio chalcedonensi, act. 3. ubi legati sententiam pronunciant in Dioscorum, et in epist. concilii ad Leonem. Porro caput a membris regi, et non ea potius regere, contra naturam est. sicut etiam est contra naturam, quod membra sibi caput praecidant, cum forte graviter aegrotat. Quartum est: Vir, seu sponsus, Ephes. 5. Viri diligite uxores vestras, sicut Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et tradidit seipsum pro ea, etc. Idem convenit Petro, nam in concilio generali lugdunensi, ut habetur cap. Ubi periculum, de elect. in 6. loquens concilium de electione romami pontificis : Acceleret, inquit, utilis per necessaria totius mundi provisio, idoneo celeriter eidem Ecclesiae sponso dato.Est autem contra apostolum Ephes. 5. et contra naturae ordinem, ut sponsa praesit sponso, et non potius subsit. Probatur secundo ex verbis expressis conciliorum et pontificum. …»

[49] Indeed, the Vatican Council practically took the title of Ballerini’s work on the Primacy, De Vi Ac Ratione Primatus Romanorum Pontificum,  for chapter three of Pastor Æternus, DE VI ET RATIONE PRIMATUS ROMANI PONTIFICIS.

[50] De Conc. Auct. cap. xvii. p. 66.

[51] De Conc. Auct. cap. xvi. p. 66 — «Non habet Ecclesia hanc auctoritatem a seipsa, nec ab alio; igitur nullo modo habet. Quod a seipsa, non habeat, manifeste probat discrimen, quod est inter regnum Christi et regna caetera; non enim est Ecclesia tale regnum, qualia sunt regna hujus mundi, in quibus summa potestas est in rege, sed a populo profecta et derivata, et proinde radicaliter et suppletive eadem potestas est in regno. Nam in regno Christi summa potestas est in Christo, et non derivata ullo modo a populo. In regnis enim hoinmmum, potestas regis est a populo, quia populus facit regem, qui alioqui esset homo privatus , sicut caeteri; omnes enim homines naturaliter sunt liberi et aequales, nec posset unus caeteris imperare, nisi illi se ei subjicerent, et super se potestatem ei concederent.

At Christus est Deus et homo et quatenus Deus, est naturaliter Dominus, et rex omnium creaturarum; quatenus homo habet a Deo omnem potestatem, nec ipse ab Ecclesia factus est rex, sed ipse potius fecit Ecclesiam esse suum regnum. Apoc.5. Fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum. Hinc est, quod in Scriptura, regnum Christi, quod est Ecclesia, ne putaretur tale. qualia sunt caetera, comparatur etiam familiae, Matlh. 24. Quis est fidelis servus, et prudems, quem comstituit Domimus, super familiam suam. Et Hebr. 3. Moyses erat fidelis in tota domo Dei tamquam servus, Christus autem erat fidelis in tota domo sua tamquam Dominus. Constat enim patremfamilias non habere a familia ullam auctoritatem, sed ex se; quia non ipse a familia constituitur pater , sed ipse facit sibi familiam gignendo filios, emendo servos. Unde paterfamilias, etiamsi pessimus sit, numquam potest a familia judicari, vel expelli, sicut potest rex quando degenerat in tyrannum. Comparatur etiam ovili, Joan. 10. Item corpori et sponsae, Ephes. 4. el 5. ut in telligamus,quod sicut non accipit auctoritatem pastor ab ovibus, nec caput a corpore, nec vir ab uxore, ita neque Christus ab Ecclesia.

Ex his habemus Ecclesiam ex se nullam habere auctoritatem, sed omnem esse in Christo, et iis , quibus Christus eam communicavit. Quod autem non habeat ab alio, nimirum a Christo, probatur. Nam Christus legitur quidem dedisse Petro claves regni coelorum, Matthaei 16. et eumdem praefecisse ovili suo, Joan. ult. Dedit etiam apostolis caeteris potestatem praedicandi , baptizandi , peccata dimittendi, et alia quaedam faciendi, quae ad munus episcopale spectant, sed hanc potestatem Christus singulis dedit ita ut potuerit quisque eorum illa omnia exercere sine congregatione aliorum, ut notum est: At quod ipsi Ecclesiae, idest, fidelium universitati in se, idest, ratione suae totalitatis aliquid potestatis tribuerit, nusquam legitur; immo e contrario legimus, praecipi populis , ut obediant, et subjaceant pastoribus suis, Hebr. 13. et alibi. Quod si Ecclesiae universitati non est data ulla auctoritas, ergo neque concilio generali, quatenus Ecc!esiam universalem repraesentat. Ergo in concilio non est auctoritas summa , sive papalis, sed tantum episcopalis, seu archiepiscopalis, prout sunt personae, quae ibi conveniunt. Siquidem summa, seu papalis auctoritas non ponitur in concilio ab adversariis, nisi quatenus concilium gerit vicem Ecclesiae universae. Si ergo Ecclesia universa , secluso papa, non habet papalem auctoritatem , ergo multo minus concilium habet. »

[52] Ballerini, De Potestate Ecclesiastica, CAPUT I. § I. pp. 1 – 2. — «Jurisdictio Ecclesiastica a Christo ducit originem , qui eamdem S. Petro & Apostolis immediate tradidit, quando ipfis una cum clavibus regni cœlorum dedit potestatem ligandi atque solvendi , quas potestas idem est ac jurisdictio ; ac propterea hæc in origine est juris divini. Hæc quidem potestas , seu jurisdictio S. Petro & Apostolis immediate tradita fuit in ædificationem & bonum Ecclesiæ; at tradita antequam Christus incœlum ascenderet, & (I) antequam ab iisdem Apostolis ipsa ædificaretur Ecclesia : ac proinde dici non potest immediate collata eidem Ecclesiæ , quænondum ab illis erat ædificata , nec ita immediate tradita Ecclesiæ dici potest, ut illam Petrus & Apostoli acceperint ab Ecclesia, quos ab ipso Christo eam accepisse Evangelica verba testantur. »

[53] Ibid. p.2. — «(I) Ita sane S. Cyprianus scribens in epist. 73. Ecclesia una est, & super unum qui & claves ejus accepit, Domimi voce fundata , Petrum claves Ecclesiæ, seu jurisdictiunem Ecclesiasticam a Christo accepisse iudicat , antequam idem Christus super ipsum ædificaret Ecclesiam- Petro quidem , non autem Ecclesiæ claves a Christo traditas , ipsa Christi verba palam signifcant , cum post verba Ecclesiam meam non dixerit Ei, sed TIBI dabo claves regni cœlorum

[54] Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium, Torino, 1832, Cap. II p. 34 — «Dicunt, quod Christus etiam aliis apostolis in alio loco claves tradidit, dicens: Amen. dico vobis, quæcumque alligaveritis super terram , erunt ligata et in coelo : et quæcumque solveritis super terram, erunt soluta et in coelo. Matth. 18. 18. Sed hoc quid obstat? Jam supra diximus, apostolos immediate a Christo potestatem quidem æqualem ac Petrum recepisse, tamquam primos Evangelii fundatores; sed omnes ipsos fuisse Petro subjectos ut capiti , et principi , prout cuncti patres eum proclamant. »

[55] De Romano Pontifice lib. I cap. xii — « Nos vero priore modo Petrum Ecclesiae personam gessisse credimus : ita nimirum, ut ipse vere, & principaliter, ac (ut ipsi loquuntur) immediate claves acceperit, & simul eas accipiendo significaverit, universam Ecclesiam suo quodam modo postea accepturam.»

[56] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xvii. — « Porro caput a membris regi, et non ea potius regere, contra naturam est, sicut etiam est contra naturam, quod membra sibi caput praecidant, cum forte graviter aegrotat.»

[57] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xviii p. 71 — «Nam etsi concilium sine papa non potest definire nova dogmata fidei , potest tamen judicare tempore schismatis, quis sit verus papa, et providere Ecclesiae de vero pastore, quando is nullius, aut dubius est, et hoc est quod recte fecit concilium constantiense. »

[58] Ibid. – «Nam dubius papa habetur pro non papa, et proinde habere super illum potestatem , non est habere potestatem in papam. »

[59] De Concilliis et Ecclesia, CAPUT ix. p. 20 — «Quarta causa est suspicio haeresis in romano pontifice, si forte accideret »

[60] Bordoni, Op. cit. cap. vi. p. 149.

[61] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI,  Il trionfo della santa sede e della chiesa contro gli assatti dei novatori, Venezia, 1832,  p. 270 — «ma soltanto contro la persona, che era prima ornata della papal dignità”.

[62] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, Cap. xviii p. 69 – «in quo casu potest conicilium discutere caussam pontificis, et si inveniat, revera esse infidelem, potest declarare eum esse extra Ecclesiam, et sic damnare. »

[63] Alfonso Maria De Liguori, Verità Della Fede, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Capo IX. pp. 158 – 159: «Per maggior intelligenza di quello che qui si dirà, giova premettere tre cose per certe . La prima , che ogni concilio ecumenico, o sia generale, per esser legittimo dee esser convocato dal Papa. 2 . La seconda cosa certa si è che quando in tempo di scisma si dubita chi sia il vero Papa , in tal caso il concilio può esser convocato da’ cardinali e da’ vescovi ; ed al lora ciascuno degli eletti è tenuto di stare alla definizione del concilio , perchè allora si tiene come vacante la Sede Apostolica. E lo stesso sarebbe nel caso che il Papa cadesse notoriamente, e pertinacemente in qualche eresia. Benchè allora, come meglio dicono altri, non sarebbe il Papa privato del pon tificato dal concilio come suo superiore, ma ne sarebbe spogliato immediatamente da Cristo, divenendo allora soggetto affatto inabile e caduto dal suo officio. »

[64] Alfonso Maria De Liguori, Verità Della Fede, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Capo IX. pp. 206 – 207: «Iddio ha data la podestà di eleggere il Papa alla Chiesa , cioè al collegio de’ cardinali , o al concilio nel caso di Papa dubbio o eretico, ma non già la podestà papale. Oppongono per 6 . ° : ma se il concilio può deporre il Papa eretico, può anche deporlo negli altri delitti egualmente perniciosi alla Chiesa ; e da ciò deducono essere il concilio, sopra del Papa. Ma si risponde che la sola eresia, non già gli altri delitti rendono il Papa inabile al suo officio; onde in caso che il Papa sia eretico, non è che il concilio sia superiore al Papa ( come allora può esser sopra del Papa , se non vi è Papa ? ) : allora il concilio dichiara il Papa decaduto dal pontificato , come colui che non può esser più dottore della Chiesa , tenendo una falsa dottrina. »

[65] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI, p. 46 — «… è certo, che Gesù Cristo, volendo immutabile, visibile e perpetuo il governo da se fondato per la sicurezza dei fedeli, deve aver provveduta la Chiesa di tutti quei mezzi, che son necessarii per non lasciarsi governare da un capo illegittimo. Quindi deve infallibilmente averle conferito il diritto di potere nell’incertezza e nel dubbio ragionevole e fondato della legittimità di un Papa, procedere all’elezione di un altro. E ciò soprattutto se quello, la cui legittimità è ragionevolmente sospetta, non lasciasse di molestarla in mille guise, cosicché accusar dovrebbesi Iddio medesimo di non aver sufficientemente provveduto alla sua indefettibilità, se in tali circostanze fornita non l’avesse delle opportune facoltà  […] (In questi casi) la Chiesa esegue la sua sentenza finale, non sull’appoggio della sua autorità sopra il Papa, ma sulla fondata supposizione che tale non fosse: nel qual caso è evidentemente certa la potestà della Chiesa …»

[66]  Bordoni, Op. cit. p. 149: «Pertinax [hæreticus] vero a Deo etiam iudicatus ex illo Ioan. 3. Num. 18. Qui vero non credit, iam iudicatus est, a Concilio declaratur depositus, & privatus Papatu, nam necessarium est, quod Dei iudicium publicetur ministerio alicuius hominis, sed nullus aptius, & congruentius assignatur, quam Concilium, quod est supremum tribunal, quando vacat Papale. »

[67] Ibid. p. 163 — «Nec dicas, in eo casu Concilium esse sine Papa, ac proinde errare posse secundum Cordubam lib.4. q. 2. quia id procedit, quando Concilium congregatur irrationabiliter sine licentia Papæ non autem ex causa legitima deponendi illum ex hæresi, vel fchismate, in quo casu sufficit inmediata assistentia Spiritus Sancti. »

[68] De Conc. Auct. cap. xix p. 69 — «Non fuisse concilium constantiense , cum id asseruit hujusmodi , ut quaestiones de fide definire posset; nam inprimis non erat tunc generale concilium, cum tantum adesset tertia pars Ecclesiae, idest, ii tantum praelati, qui obediebant Joanni ; nam qui obediebant Gregorio et Benedicto, repugnabant iis, quae a synmodo fiebant. Deinde non aderat tunc certus papa in Ecclesia, sine quo dubia de fide definiri non possunt, in concilio autem nullus erat papa. Joannes enim XXIII. qui concilium inchoaverat, jam inde recesserat , cum quarta sessio haberetur. »

[69] Alfonso Maria De Liguori, Verità Della Fede, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Parte Terza. Capo IX. p. 159 — «La seconda cosa certa si è, che quando in tempo di Scisma si dubita, chi fosse il vero Papa, in tal caso il Concilio può essere convocato da’ Cardinali, e da’ Vescovi; ed allora ciascuno degli eletti è tenuto di stare alla definizione del Concilio, perchè allora si tiene come vacante la Sede Apostolica. »

[70] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI, Op. cit. p. 29 – «Nei tempi degli antipapi, come anche di Papa morto, non resta oscurata la forma del governo ordinato da Cristo, imperciocché sì nel caso in cui siavi dubbio fondato, per cui non si sappia bene chi debbasi venerare per Papa, sì nel caso di sede vacante succede nella Chiesa ciò che succede in diverse monarchie, nelle quali in tempo di interregno il governo risiede in qualche senato; come praticavasi pure nell’antico impero romano, nel quale il senato romano comandava in tempo d’interregno; quindi in quei casi il governo della Chiesa è intrattanto aristocratico. Ma chi non sa, che questo non può essere lo suo stato naturale? Chi può riconoscerlo dalle stesse premure che dessi la Chiesa per eleggersi il suo capo, mal soffrendo di starsene acefala per lungo tempo? »

[71] Bordoni, Op. cit. p. 158 – «omnis actus vt sit iuridicus, & validus essentialiter dependet a iurisditione. Bald. in l. omne verbum, C. com. de legat. Alex. lib.4. confil. 52. num.30. ex Rota Roman. vol. 1. decis.45I. nu. 2. » ;  Ibid., p. 154 –  «Numerantur autem tres actus, declarario hæresis, desitio Papatus, & eiectio extra Ecclesiam, qui omnes sunt iudiciales, ac proinde requirentes iurisdictionem in eo, qui illa tria præstare debet, »

[72] Ibid., p. 154: «Deinde per illam quandam ordinationem factam a Concilio vel intelligitur vera, & propria potestas, & iurisdictio Concilii in Papam, […] vel intelligitur aliquid aliud, quod tamen consonum non est, quia omnis actus iudicialis pendet a vera iurisdictione, sine qua nullus actus consistere potest, quia basis, & fundamentum iudici¡ reputatur iurisdictio Bald. C . ſi a compet. íud. in Rubr. Paris de confidet. q.79. num. 22 ita quod defectus iurisdictionis dicicur insanabilis, & irreparabilis, ex Staphil. Sarnen, & Vantio ex eodem Parisio num.24. »

[73] CIC 1917: «Can. 227.  Concilii decreta vim definitivam obligandi non habent, nisi a Romano Pontifice fuerint confirmata et eius iussu promulgata. »

[74] Cf. De Potestate Ecclesiastica Summorum Pontificum Et Conciliorum Generalium, Auctore Petro Ballerinio Presbytero Veronensi, Augustæ Vindelicorum (Augsburg), MDCCLXX, Cap. II. § I., pp. 26 – 32.

[75] Ballerini, Op. cit., p. 29 – «Haec autem subordinatio, dum juris aequalitatem inter inferiorem & superiorem excludit, cum generatim efficit, ut inferior, qui superiori judici est subordinatus, nequeat contra istius judicium legitimam ferre sententiam: tum multo magis efficit, ne id possint Episcopi subordinati summo Pontifici , cui cum Christus in finem custodiendae unitatis praesertim in fide idoneam auctoritatem dedit , ut in dissensionibus circa fidem definitionem ederent, […] eo nimirum mentis obsequio , quod etsi ab ipsis Episcopis, etiam cum judices agunt , divinae aeque ac summae auctoritati Christique pollicitationi nixae , hierarchica subordinatione praestandum est»

[76] Ballerini, De Vi Ac Ratione Primatus Romanorum Pontificum Et De Ipsorum Infallibilitate Iin Definiendis Controversiis Fidei,Monasterii Westphalorum 1845, c. 13. §. 3., num. 13,  p. 116 – « Agnosci igitur debet in Ecclesia unus sacerdos, vel Episcopus, cum quo omnes communicent, ut impediantur schismata, et cui in fidei unitate omnes cohaereant, ut haeresibus aditus intercipiatur; sique in illo, atque per illum tota catholicae Ecclesiae unitas vindicetur. Hic autem unus sacerdoa aut Episcopus, non quivis particularium ecclesiarum Episcopus esse potest, qui in solum suum particularem gregem jus habeat, sed unus est summus sacerdos Romanus Episcopus, cui tota Ecclesia, ac totius Ecclesiae unitas commissa est. »

[77] Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, The Vatican Council and its Definitions, Second Edition, New York & Montreal, 1871, p. 112.

[78] Ibid. pp. 112 – 113.

[79] Bordoni, Op. Cit., p. 155 – «omnis actus iudicialis semper exercetur per superiorem iudicem in inferiorem. personam , & subditam , ac non per inferiorem in superiorem, quia inferior nullam habet poestatem in superiorem»

[80] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, cap. xix. – «Respondeo: Nomine Ecclesiae, vel intelligi episcopum, ut exponit hoc loco Chrysostomus, el Innoccntius III. cap. Novit, extra, de judiciis et praxis Ecclesiae demonstrat; quotidie enim episcopo denunciantur ii, de quibus Dominus ait Dic Ecclesiae; vel certe fidelium coetum cum suo capite. Nam ut Cyprianus ait in epistola ad Florentium, quae est nona lib. 4. Ecclesia est plebs sacerdoti adunata, et pastori suo grex adhaerens. Quare in quocumque episcopatu deferendi sunt peccatores ad Ecclesiam, et episcopum ejus loci, sed si is episcopus peccet, non potest deferri ad eam Ecclesiam, nisi debeat referri ad seipsum, cum ipse sit caput ejusdem Ecclesiae, sed deferendus est ad Ecclesiam aliquam altiorem, cui praeest archiepiscopus vel patriarcha: Si vero peccet patriarcha, deferri non potest ad Ecclesiam suam, sed ad majorem, idest, ad romanam Ecclesiam, vel generale concilium, cui summus pontifex praesidet: Quod si ipse summus pontifex peccet, judicio Dei reservandus est, non enim est ulla Ecclesia, ad quam deferri possit, eum sine ipso non inveniatur Ecclesia cum capite. » –

[81] Sacrum Tribunal Iudicum In Causis Sanctæ Fidei Contra Hæreticos Et Hæresi Suspectos, Caput VI, De Sacriis Conciliis, Romæ MDCXLVIII, p. 149.

[82] Bordoni, Sacrum Tribunal, Cap. VI, p. 157 — «deposito tamen Papa, falsum , est, non destrui dignitatem Papatus, contra Caiet, dicentem, amotionem Petri a, Papatu non esse destructionem Papatus, nec Petri, sed tantum illius coniunctionis … »

[83] De Conciliorum Auctoritate, cap. xix. p. 71 — «Primo, de jure naturae esse, ut abscindantur membra putrida, sed excepto capite. Melius enim est habere caput putridum, quam nullum. Sed haec solutio parum valet; nam in corporibus naturalibus debet excipi caput, quia eo amputato, totum corpus moritur. At corpus Ecclesiae non moritur moriente papa ; unde etiam videmus in rebuspublicis temporalibus, si rex degeneret in tyrannum, licet sit caput regni, tamen a populo deponi, et eligi alium. Dico ergo secundo , in corpore naturali et rebuspublicis temporalibus posse abscindi membra inficientia totum corpus, quia ab ipso corpore pendent, et vim habent : At non eadem ratio est corporis Ecclesiae, cujus caput non a corpore, sed a Deo auctoritatem accepit, sicut etiam non licet familiae deponere summum oeconomum , licet pessimum, quia non a familia, sed a Domino institutus est. »

[84] CONSTITUTIO DOGMATICA PASTOR AETERNUS, PIUS EPISCOPUS, SERVUS SERVORUM DEI, SACRO APPROBANTE CONCILIO — «Unum enim Simonem, cui iam pridem dixerat: Tu vocaberis Cephas (Ioan. I, 42), postquam ille suam edidit confessionem inquiens Tu es Christus, Filius Dei vivi, solemnibus his verbis allocutus est Dominus: Beatus es Simon Bar-Iona; quia caro, et sanguis non revelavit tibi, sed Pater meus, qui in cöelis est: et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam: et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum»

[85] Bellarmine’s complete and exhaustive expositions on the monarchical authority and supreme power of the primacy over the Church are contained in the first, second, and fourth books of De Romano Pontifice.

[86] Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize summarizes the natural law argument of Fr. Guillaume Devillers: “Now it is clear that revelation does not teach that [the deposal of the heretical pope would be necessary according to the teaching of Scripture and Tradition]. This is why the remaining option is to turn to the natural law. It is enough to apply the principle that the supernatural order presupposes the natural order. The Church is a society. Now, in every society, natural divine law requires that in a case of tyranny the citizens proclaim the dethronement of a power that may still be legal but has become illegitimate. And on the other hand this natural divine law which applies to the case of the city [= society] of the natural order remains valid also in the case of the Church, because she is a city in the supernatural order. This is why it is not only licit but necessary to depose a heretical pope, because that pope is to the Church what a tyrant is to natural society. And in order to do this, society receives in that case delegation from God.” – The Question of Papal Heresy – Part 1

[87] Theologia Moralis, Dissertatio de Pontificis Auctoritate, § . II . De Auctoritate Pontificis supra Concilium Tomus Primus Bassani (Bassano del Grappa) 1836, pp. 94 – 95 — «Probatur demum ex ratione , quia Regimen Monarchicum inter alia est optimum , ut docet D. Thom. in 4. contra Gentes c. 76. his præstantibus verbis : Optimum Regimen multitudinis est , ut regatur per unum, pax enim, & unitas subditorum finis est Regiminis, unitatis autem congruentior causa est unus, quam multi, unde Christus. Jo . 10 . 16 . dixit : Et fiet unum ovile , & unus pastor. Calvinus docuit Christum non instituisse Gubernium Monarchicum in Ecclesia ; sed commununiter oppositum vere docent Catholici cum D . Cypriano; & idem Gerson scripsit : Hereticum esse qui contrarium tenet; nullam aliam politicam constituit in Ecclesia Christus præter Monarchicam. Adde si Regimen in Ecclesia non esset Monarchicum, non satis a Deo Ecclesiæ bono provisum esset . . . »

[88] Bordoni, Op. cit. p. 154. – «antequam autem Papa declaretur hæreticus Papa est, ergo in hoc dum adhuc est Papa, supra se habet judicem».

[89] Innocentius III — Sermo IV. IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS.

[90] Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium, Torino, 1832, p. 12 — “«Illud assero, et fidenter quidem assero, pestem eos ecclesiæ, et perniciem afferre , qui negant, romanum pontificem Petro fidei, doctrinæque auctoritate, succedere, aut certe adstruunt summum ecclesiæ pastorem, qui cumque ille sit, errare in fidei judicio posse. Utrumque scilicet hæretici faciunt: qui vero illis in utroque repugnant, hi in Ecclesia catholica habentur. » Hucusque Canus, ejusque dictis valde consonat famosa sententia s. Cypriani: Neque enim aliunde hæreses ob ortæ sunt, quam inde quod sacerdoti Dei non obtemperatur, nec unus in ecclesia sacerdos, et ad tempus judeæ vice Christi cogitatur. Epist. 3. lib. 2. ad Cornel. Pap. Idque nimis verum est; nam, sublata infallibilitate circa res fidei a pontifice romano, nullum suppetit medium ( ut infra videbimus ) ad hæreticos convincendos.”

[91] Sermo III «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS» — “Sacramentum autem inter Romanum pontificem et Romanam Ecclesiam tam firmum et stabile perseverat, ut non nisi per mortem umquam ab invicem separentur … Vir autem iste [Romanus Pontifex] alligatus uxori, [Ecclesiæ Romanæ] solutionem non quærit, non cedit, non deponitur; nam « suo domino aut stat, aut cadit » (Rom. XIV). — «Qui autem judicat, dominus est» (I Cor. IV).”

[92] Innocentius III — Sermo IV. «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS» — “Propter causam vero fornicationis Ecclesia romana posset dimmitere Romanum pontificem. Fornicationem non dico carnalem, sed spiritualem; quia non est carnale, sed spirituale conjugium, id est propter infidelitatis errorem; quoniam « qui non credit , jam judicatus est (Joan. iii) : » et in hoc articulo intelligitur, quod legitur in Evangelio, quod audistis: «Vos estis sal terræ, quod sis al evanuerit in quo salietur? (Matth. V.) »”

[93] Sermo II «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS MAXIMI» — «In tantum enim fides mihi necessaria est ut cum de caeteris peccatis solum Deum judicem habeam, propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judicari. Nam qui non credit, iam iudicatus est. (Joh.3 18).»

[94] Sermo IV «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS» — “Servus enim, secundum Apostolum, «suo domino stat aut cadit (Rom. xiv). » Propter quod idem Apostolus ait; «Tu quis es, qui judicas alienum servum?» (lbid.) Unde cum Romanus pontifex non habeat alium dominum nisi Deum, quantumlibet evanescat, quis potest eum foras mittere, aut pedibus conculcare? Cum illi dicatur:  «Collige causam tuam in sinum tuum? » Verum non frustra sibi blandiatur de potestate, neque de sublimitate vel honore temere glorietur; quia quanto minus judicatur ab homine, tanto magis judicatur a Deo. Minus dico; quia potest ab hominibus judicari, vel potius judicatus ostendi, si videlicet evanescat in haeresim; quoniam «qui non credit, jam judicatus est » (Joan. iii). In hoc siquidem casu debet intelligi de illo, quod si sal evanuerit, ad nihilum valet ultra, nisi ut mittatur foras, et conculcetur ab homninibus.”

[95] Innocentius III — Sermo IV. «IN CONSECRATIONE PONTIFICIS».

[96] «Est ergo quinta opinio vera, papam hæreticum manifestum per se desinere esse papam et caput, sicut per se desinit esse christianus et membrum corporis Ecclesiæ; quare ab Ecclesia posse eum judicari et puniri. Hæc est sententia omnium veterum Patrum, qui docent, hæreticos manifestos mox amittere omnem jurisdictionem. »

[97] «Fundamentum hujus sententiæ est quoniam hæreticus manifestus nullo modo est membrum Ecclesiæ, idest, neque animo neque corpore, sive neque unione interna, neque externa. »

[98] Pietro Ballerini, De Potestate Ecclesiastica. Summor. Pont. Et Conc. Gen., Cap. IX § II., Verona, 1765, pp. 128-9

[99] D. Mauro Cappellari ora Gregorio XVI,  Il trionfo della santa sede e della chiesa contro gli assatti dei novatori, Venezia, 1832,  p. 269 – 270.

[100] Alfonso M. De Liguori, Verità Della Fede, Tomo Secondo, Monza, 1823, Parte Terza – Contro i Settarj, Capo. VIII, n. 10. p. 157; Verità della Fede, Napoli, 1838, p. 455 – «Del resto, se Dio permettesse che un Papa fosse notoriamente eretico e contumace, egli cesserebbe d’essere Papa, e vacherebbe il Pontificato. » Before the precise distinction between public and notorious was formalized by the definitions of these terms in the 1917 Code, the terms were sometimes used interchangeably, as I have explained in Volume One.

[101] Cf. Ballerini, De vi ac ratione primatus Romanorum Pontificum, Elbert Wilhelm Westhoff, PRAEMONITUM IN NOVAM EDITIONEM, Monasterii Westphalorum, 1845, p. ix — « Propositio hæretica ea est, quæ formaliter et directe adversatur propositioni explicite revelatæ, vel implicite revelatæ et ut tali ab Ecclesia definitæ, cujus ergo contradictoria est a fide. »

[102] De Romano Pontifice, lib. ii cap. xxx.

[103] «In tantum enim fides mihi necessaria est ut cum de cæteris peccatis solum Deum judicem habeam, propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judicari. Nam qui non credit, iam iudicatus est. (Joh.3 18) » (Sermo II «IN CONSACRATIONE PONTIFICIS MAXIMI»)

[104] Bordoni.  cap. vi. p. 155.

[105] John of St. Thomas, Op cit. p. 264 — «Inducere dispositionem incompossibilem cum pontificatu»

[106] Ibid. p. 260 — «Separationem hujus potestatis a persona, declarando illum pro haeretico»

[107] Bordoni, Op. cit., p. 154  – «Numerantur autem tres actus, declarario hæresis, desitio Papatus, & eiectio extra Ecclesiam, qui omnes sunt iudiciales, ac proinde requirentes iurisdictionem in eo, qui illa tria præstare debet, »

[108] Ibid. p. 155 — «depositio Papæ: est actus iudícialis, & ¡urisdictionis, quia nonnisi per iudicem fieri potest, secundum omnes, ergo huiusmodi depositio fit per superiorem in Papam tamquam inferiorem, ac subditum»

[109] Ibid. — «parum ergo refert, quod ea potestas vocetur auctoritatiua, siue ministerialis , ſi depositio est actus iudicialis ex sua natura exercitus a superiore in inferiorem. »

[110] Cursus Theologicus II-II De Auctoritate Summi Pontificis, Disp. II, Art. III, De Depositione Papae, XX. p. 260 — «potestas Ecclesiæ habet pro objecto applicationem potestatis papæ ad personam, designando illam per electionem, et separationem hujus potestatis a persona, declarando illum pro hæretico, et evitandi a fidelibus»

[111] Ibid. — «quod Ecclesia non est supra papam absolute etiam in casu hæresis, sed quod est supra conjunctionem cum ista persona dissolvendo illam, eo modo quo illam per electionem conjunxit, quæ potestas Ecclesiæ ministerialis est»

[112] De Rom. Pont. ii. xxx. — «Nam dum res fit, actio exercetur circa materiam rei futurae, non circa compositum quod nondum est : at dum res destruitur, exercetur circa compositum »

[113] « La sostanza della ipotesi del Gaetano è riassumibile nel versetto del De comparata auctoritate (Roma, Angelicum, 1936, a cura di V. Pollet, cap. XIX, p. 122, n. 269; cap. XX, p. 126, n. 276; cap. XX, p. 132, n. 207): “Cum deponitur Papa, non aufertur potestas jurisdictionis a Papatu, sed ab hoc homine mediante judicio humano. […]. Papa nec simpliciter nec secundum quid habet superiorem in terris, sed subest potestati instrumentali et ministeriali Ecclesiae Universali quoad solam depositionem seu disjunctionem inter Papatum et personam electam canonice. […]. Ecclesia non habet potestatem supra Papatum, sed habet potestatem supra conjunctionem inter Petrum [Eugenium, Georgium] et Papatum”. Ossia il potere della Chiesa,  in caso di eresia ipotetica del Papa, è autoritativo (cioè per propria virtù e come causa principale) solo sull’unione tra il Papato e la persona eletta canonicamente dal Conclave, mentre è strumentale o  ministeriale (come uno strumento in mano a Dio) sul Papato.» — GIOVANNI DA SAN TOMMASO E LA DEPOSIZIONE DEL PAPA ERETICO di Don Curzio Nitoglia.

[114] R. P. Francisci Suarez, Op. cit. Tomus Doudecimus, Tractatus Primus, De Fide Theologica. Disputatio X. De Summo Pontifice, Sect. VI. Tertium dubium, p. 318: «At hinc oritur tertia dubitatio, quo jure possit ab illa congregatione Papa judicari, cum esset illa superior? Qua in re Cajetanus se mire vexat, ne cogatur admittere Ecclesiam vel Concilium stare supra Papam, in casu etiam heresis; tandem vero concludit supra Papam quidem stare, ut privatam personam, non ut papam; sed non satisfacit distinctio; nam eodem modo posset affirmari Ecclesiam judicare Papam valere, atque punire, non ut Papam, sed ut privatam personam; item quia Papam superiorem esse in quantum Papam, nihil est aliud quam eam personam ratione dignitatis esse exemptam ab omni jurisdictione hominis alterius, et habere jurisdictionem in alios, ut patet de quacumque alia dignitate; et explicatur, nam dignitas pontificia non facit superiorem abstracte et metaphysice, sed revera et in individuo superiorem nulli subjectum»

[115] Cursus Theologicus II-II De Auctoritate Summi Pontificis, Disp. II, Art. III, De Depositione Papae, XX, p. 260 — «Suarez quoque disputatione sæpe citata, sect. VI, num. VII Cajetanum impugnat, quod dixerit Ecclesiam in casu hæresis super papam tamquam privatam personam, non in quantum papa est. Quod tamen Cajetanus non dixit, sed quod Ecclesia non est supra papam absolute etiam in casu hæresis, sed quod est supra conjunctionem pontificatus cum ista persona dissolvendo illam, eo modo quo illam per electionem conjunxit, quæ potestas Ecclesiæ ministerialis est, nam simpliciter superior solum est Chriastus Dominus respectu papæ.»

[116] Bordoni. p. 158 — « Sed numquid hæc potestas Concilii Papam deponedi est maior Papatus? Vtique, alioquin Concilium non potest agere in depositionem Pontificis, si in hoc casu non esset maioris potestatis, id enim quod agit in alterius destructionem maioris semper est virtutis, & potentiæ, vt passum superare possit, sic Concilium si habet destruere Pontificem maiorem Papa in hoc debet habere potestatem.»

[117] «XXVIII. Respondetur, quod aliter potest pontifex in episcopum quando ipsum deponit, aliter Ecclesia in pontificem: nam pontifex privat ipsum tamquam sibi subjectum, et habenten potestatem sibi subordinatam et dependentem, quam limitare, et coarctare potest, unde licet tollat episcopatum a persona, et non destruat episcopatum, tamen hoc tollit ex suprioritate quam habet ad personam, etiam ex parte potestatis sibi subordinatæ, ratione cujus illam amovet a persona, et non solum personam personam ab ipsa. Ecclesia vero tollit pontificatum ex superioritate ad potestatem ipsam, sed ex ministeriali, et dispositive potestate qua potest inducer dispositionem incompossibilem cum pontificatu, ut dictum est. XXIX. Ad confirmationem respondetur, papam dispone invitum ministerialiter, et dispositive ab Ecclesia, auctoritative a Christo Domino, unde ab ipso, non ab Ecclesia punitur proprie loquendo. Ad ultimum dicitur, quod qui potest in conjunctionem partium, potest in totum simpliciter, non tamen si ministerialiter solum, et dispositive possit in talem conjunctionem nisi in naturalibus, in quibus physicæ dispositions habent naturalem connexionem cum ipso esse totius, quod cum communicetur ab agente producente dispositions conjuncivas partium, simpliciter producit ipsum totum: in moralibus autem disposition, quæ fit ab aliquo, cum solum habeat morale conjunctionem cum forma, et quasi ex institutione voluntaria, qui disponit non censetur facere ipsum totum simpliciter, et auctoritative, sed quasi ministerialiter: sicut si pontifex alicui concedat, ut loca quædesignaverit habeant privilegia lucrandi indulgentias, et quæ declaraverit non habere, non habeant, designanatio, vel declaration ista non habet tollere, aut concedere indulgentias auctoritative et principaliter, sed ministerialiter solum. » [p. 264]

[118] De Rom. Pont. Lib. ii cap. xxx — «Deinde. Vel Fides est dispositio necessaria simpliciter ad hoc ut aliquis ait Papa, vel tantum ad bene esse. Si primum ; ergo ista dispositione sublata per contrariam quæ est hæresis, mox Papa desinit esse : neque enim potest forma conservari sine necessariis dispositionibus … Deinde, quae habent ultimam dispositionem ad interitum, paulo post desinit esse, sine alia vi externa, ut patet; igitur et Papa haereticus sine alia depositione per se desinit esse Papa. »

[119] Bordoni, Op. cit. p. 156 — «Tum quia frustratorium est ponere eam coniunctionem ministerio hominum per illam electioncm in ordine ad dignitatem, & potestatem Pontificiam, quia electores tantum designant personam, cui Deus postea confert dignitatem, & auctoritatem, ita quod electio, non est medium, quo a Christo tribuatur Papatus electo, fed tantum conditio sine qua non confert Deus Papatum alicui, … ergo coniunctio hæc non fit ministerio electorum, fed immediate a Deo, ne dicamus electores conferre dignitatem Papatus electo simul cum Deo, & sic facere Papam in ratione Papæ.»

[120] Ibid. p. 156

[121] «Ecclesia habet ministerialem potestatem eligendi quoad designationem personæ, non quoad collationem potestatis, quia hæc fit immdiate a Christo» — p. 260.

[122] «papa ab Ecclesia deponitur vere, et ex auctoritate […] sed quod [Ecclesia] non est supra papam absolute etiam in casu hæresis, sed quod est supra conjunctionem cum ista persona dissolvendo illam, eo modo quo illam per electionem conjunxit, quæ potestas Ecclesiæ ministerialis est. » — p. 260.

[123] «Hoc consensu praestito … illico electus est verus Papa, atque actu plenam absolutamque iurisdictionem supra totum orbem acquirit et exercere potest» [Constitutio Apostolica «Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis» Pius XII, 8 December 1945.

[124] Universi Dominici Gregis explicitly states that the see becomes vacant “after the death or valid resignation of the Pope.

[125] Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice lib. ii cap. xxx.

[126] PASTOR ÆTERNUS: «Si quis itaque dixerit, Romanum Pontificem habere tantummodo officium inspectionis vel directionis, non autem plenam et supremam potestatem iurisdictionis in universam Ecclesiam, non solum in rebus, quae ad fidem et mores, sed etiam in iis, quae ad disciplinam et regimen Ecclesiae per totum orbem diffusae pertinent; aut eum habere tantum potiores partes, non vero totam plenitudinem huius supremae potestatis; aut hanc eius potestatem non esse ordinariam et immediatam sive in omnes ac singulas ecclesias, sive in omnes et singulos pastores et fideles; ANATHEMA SIT

[127] Traité de l’Église du Christ, question 14, thesis 29, part 2, pp. 605-606, nos. 940-941.

[128] Wernz-Vidal, IUS CANONICUM II (1928), n. 453.

[129] Bordoni, Sacrum Tribunal Iudicum, p. 154.

[130] R. P. Francisci Suarez, Opera Omnia, Paris 1863 (Vivés), Tomus Doudecimus, Tractatus Primus, De Fide Theologica.Disputatio X. De Summo Pontifice, Sect. VI.  p. 318: « quando ergo Ecclesia Papam hæreticum deponeret, non ipsa tanquam superior id præstaret, sed ex consensione Christi Domini juridice declararet eum hæreticum esse, atque adeo prorsus indignum Pontificis dignitate; tuncque ipso facto immediate a Christo deponeretur, depositusque maneret inferior, ac posset puniri. »

[131] Ibid.p. 317 — «Dico tertio: si Papa sit hæreticus et incorrigibilis, cum primum per legitimam Ecclesiæ jurisdictionem sententia declaratoria criminis in eum profertur, desinit esse Papa. »

[132] This point of law is explained in the commentary of the Canon Law faculty of the University of Navarra on Canon 1363: “… The c. has deliberately silenced the declaratory sentence, because it was understood that, for latae sententiae penalties, no executorial decree is given (cf. Communicationes 9 [1977] 174). However, it should be clarified that one thing is the application of the latae sententiae penalty, which occurs ipso facto upon the commission of the crime; and another, the application in the external forum, especially of those effects more properly legal, such as, for example, the invalidity of acts of jurisdiction: these effects, which are born with the declaratory sentence, and the rest, which only from said sentence can be demanded in the external forum, they must require an executorial decree so that they can take effect.” [Código De Derecho Canónico Edición Bilingüe Y Anotada, Universidad De Navarra, Facultad De Derecho Canónico, p. 849]

aka focus

Share this post on:Facebooktwitterreddit
Follow us on:Facebooktwittervimeo