Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Heretical Pope Fallacy

Below is an extract from my latest article on La Stampa:

One of the most prevalent themes currently being circulated in some extreme quarters of Catholicism revolves around the manner in which a heretical pope could be removed from the papacy. This discussion has mostly stemmed from the belief that either Pope Francis has already committed heresy at various points throughout the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, or that he has been openly promoting an heretical interpretation of this document, and thus needs to be formally “corrected”. One area which has been greatly neglected in this debate is whether or not a pope actually can fall into formal heresy or teach false doctrines by way of the authentic papal Magisterium. As we shall see, according to the Fathers of the First Vatican Council, the idea of an heretical pope was definitively ruled out through the formal dogmatization of St. Robert Bellarmine’s ideas on the indefectibility of the Church.

During the post-Tridentine period, the topic of an heretical pope was widely discussed by some of the greatest minds in the Church, including the Church Doctor St. Robert Bellarmine, Suárez, St. John of Thomas, among various others. In light of the concerns about the papacy which had arisen during the Reformation, the attempt to address such apocalyptic fears seemed all too urgent. The idea of a future novelty arising in a formally heretical pope had coalesced from the papal antichrist theories handed down from the legacy of the Joachite movement. According to certain strains of Joachite thought, the sea-beast and land-beast of the Apocalypse foretold the arrival of two separate contemporary antichrist figures referred to as the antichristus magnus (the Great Antichrist) and the antichristus mysticus (the mystical Antichrist). In this view, the antichristus magnus would be a tyrannical temporal ruler, while the antichristus mysticus or False Prophet would be a pseudo-pope who would lead the Church into open heresy.

The Joachite dual-antichrist theory was immensely popular during the Middle Ages, and the anxieties that were raised over the possibility of a pope being equated with the False Prophet of the Apocalypse proved to be an extremely difficult concept to dispel, and ultimately culminated in the papal antichrist theories disseminated by the Protestant Reformers. In an attempt to address these fears, various scenarios were mooted by Catholic theologians during the Counter Reformation concerning the possibility of a Roman Pontiff falling into formal heresy. Given that such a nefarious figure would essentially fulfill the role of the False Prophet/antichristus mysticus expected in Joachite prophecy, the specter of an heretical pope has become deeply embedded in the subconscious of popular Catholic piety. A type of papaphobia which occasionally resurfaces in times of perceived crisis within the Church, and tends to instinctively lurch its proponents towards schism...

(See here for the full article)


Thomas said...

I suspected as much. After falling into sedevacantism I read quite a lot concerning the faith. Eventually it dawned upon that the popular opinion that any true pope could fall into heresy is an error, if not a heresy. And because the Church is both visible and indefectible sedevacantism is impossible. Then it must mean that if it appears that the pope is a heretic, Satan is trying to tempt you into spiritual pride, making you believe that the only way to be faithful is to reject those he sent. This worked with Tertullian, Protestants, etc.. Christ cannot deceive. Upon this rock (the papacy) His Church shall be built and never fail.

Jason R. said...

Wow! Congratulations on having your writing published in La Stampa, even in the comments of the Vatican Insider section, it's usually extremely high profile Vatican affairs analysts who comment, and your analysis is the third most read writing in all of Vatican Insider... very well-deserved Emmett!

Anonymous said...

What this fails to take into account is the very real possibility, especially with the evidence in "The Dictator Pope" that Francis was not validly elected. An invalidly elected Pope would not have the protection of the Charism of the Papacy, and thus could teach heresy. This is, more and more, becoming the prevailing opinion. I'm surprised, Emmet, that you are still holding, contrary to all the evidence, that Francis has not taught heresy. It's right there in black and white.

Anonymous 2 said...

But, my anonymous friend, where is the true pontiff and true Church? Is it lacking it’s formal visibility? It cannot. Does Christ expect us to read Benedict’s true mind when he publically pledges obedience to his successor? Have the bishops recognised a false head as to the true Church? It is easy enough to believe these things when you do not know what the Church has taught regarding these matters. But if the Church when it teaches that something is impossible is wrong, then the Catholic Church is a false church.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks guys!

Anon, according to Cardinal Ratzinger in his theological commentary on the Confessio Fidei, the legitimacy of a papal election is a secondary element of infallibility, so it can't be called into question without one departing from the Faith:

"With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations."

Emmett O'Regan said...

Concerning the refusal to consent to such secondary elements of infallibility, Cardinal Ratzinger states:

"Every believer, therefore, is required to give firm and definitive assent to these truths, based on faith in the Holy Spirit's assistance to the Church's Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters. Whoever denies these truths would be in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church."

So it's best not to tow that particular line concerning the invalidity of a papal election, anon, since it would place you outside full communion with the Church.

Emmett O'Regan said...

As Anon 2 quite rightly states, the Church with its head must always remain visible if it is to maintain its status as a perfect society, which is another dogma of the Faith. If we are presided over by an heretical pseudo-pope, the entire Church has fallen into error and become invisible, and it is no longer a perfect society, and therefore cannot fulfil Christ's Great Commission.

JMC said...

Invalid Popes have existed in the past, but it is important to note that whenever it did happen, everyone also knew the identity of both men claiming the Papacy. Thus, even though there was probably a good bit of confusion over which one was valid, the Church always remained visible.
We currently have a retired Pope, still alive at the same time as another is on the Seat of Peter. But Father Benedict, as he prefers to be called now, has publicly declared obedience to Pope Francis, and remains withdrawn from the public eye. So we do not have a visible alternative to Pope Francis. That simple fact alone should tell us something.

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve said...

Certainly Francis is the valid pope and he's not teaching formal heresy.
But that's a low bar: all is not well with this pontificate, by any means!
Disorders abound. Catholic teaching on marriage is being called into question by various bishops and the pope does not correct them.
I read the Dictator Pope. Most of it is not new and has been well documented elsewhere. It shows a pattern of problems that plague this papacy. We all need to pray for the pope and not pretend that everything is just great. It's not. Today the problem I see as more prevalent is a kind of papolotry that would elevate anything the pope says to infallible dogma.

JMC said...

Yes, I've seen a lot of papolatry out there myself; I think that's always been around in one form or another. But the pretense that all is well is not good, either; all has not been well with the papacy for a very long time. Our Lady of Fatima warned us of that ("The pope will have much to suffer"), and specifically told us to pray for him.
When I see problems of this nature, I also recall the story of Pope St. John Paul II, who once told a visitor, "My power ends at that door," meaning the door to his office. I also recall his 1984 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart, surrounded by cardinals who, as the late Fr. Amorth told us, were there specifically to prevent him from speaking the word "Russia" in any context that day. That tells me things are about as far from well as it gets, short of someone actually murdering the Pope. There's also a conspiracy theory out there that Pope John Paul I *was* murdered because he wouldn't toe the Modernist line. I don't know if that's true; I take most conspiracy theories with a grain of salt (and mental visions of some nutjob with a tin-foil hat ;p), but the very fact that this one exists at all is troubling.

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve said...

What about the case of Pope Honorius? I found this info about him.

Honorius I was the only pope to have been formally condemned for heresy. In the early decades of the 7th century, in the context of the controversy over the two wills of Christ. Honorius upheld the doctrine of the one will in Christ, or “monothelitism”, which was however later declared to be in contrast with the dogma of the two natures, divine and human, a doctrine solidly founded on biblical revelation and solemnly decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Here is the text with which, in 681, after his death, the third ecumenical Council of Constantinople, the sixth ecumenical council, condemned him together with Patriarch Sergius:

“Having examined the dogmatic letters written by Sergius, in his time the patriarch of this imperial city. . . and the letter with which Honorius responded to Sergius, and having seen that they are not in keeping with the apostolic teachings and with the definitions of the holy councils and of all the illustrious holy Fathers, and that on the contrary they follow the false doctrines of the heretics, we reject them and execrate them as corruptive.”

It seems pretty clear that Honorius did teach heresy in some way. Did Bellarmine say anything about that case?

Anonymous said...

@ Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve

I'm not sure, but I think Pope Honorius didn't formally teach heresy. It was his personal opinion. But I'm not theologian, or Church historian...


P.S. Also, this is my first post. Hello everyone :)

Emmett O'Regan said...

Yes Sr. Lorraine, Pope Honorius is a favourite for Protestants to undermine the dogma of papal infallibility. If we have ever had a pope who defected from the Faith, then obviously Christ's prayer for the never-failing faith of Peter and his Successors was futile. If a pope could ever defect from the faith, then papal infallibility would obviously be completely illogical. Pope Honorius never held to formal heresy in a public capacity though, and his case simply falls into the category of ignorance before a teaching is fully defined by the Church. Remember that St. Thomas Aquinas did not believe in the Immaculate Conception. Should he be considered to be an heretic as well as Honorius? Bellarmine devotes the whole of Book 4 of De Controversiis to show that no pope has ever fell into formal heresy, which is a gift presented to the Apostolic See alone. Pastor Aeternus completely and definitively rules out the idea of an heretical pope. If we believe that a pope can fall into formal heresy, then we deny the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church.

RC said...

Pope Honorius I († 638) was not merely “accused of heresy” or “anathematized by the Eastern Churches”: he was anathematized as a heretic by the ecumenical Council of III Constantinople, whose Acts were confirmed by Pope Leo II († 683).
“We foresaw that, together with them, also Honorius, before Pope of Old Rome, is cast out of the Holy Catholic Church of God and anathematized, for we have found by his writings sent to [the heretic] Sergius, that he followed the thinking of the latter in everything, and continued his impious principles. […] To Sergius, the heretic, anathema! To Cyrus, the heretic, anathema! To Honorius, the heretic, anathema!”

RC said...

The theologian Tommaso Cardinal de Vio Gaetani Cajetan O.P. († 1534) declared: “It is imperative to resist a pope who is openly destroying the Church.” (De Comparata Auctoritate Papae et Concilio). Such a pope must be resisted, his policies opposed and prevented and true Catholic Faith and practice maintained. Resistance must be established and advanced.

RC said...

The theologian, Francisco Suarez S.J. († 1617), said likewise:
“If the pope gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defense.” (De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16)

RC said...

The Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. († 1621), wrote a treatise on the Papacy which was used as a basis for the definition of the limits of papal infallibility which was made at Vatican I. He wrote as follows:

“Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.” (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Ch. 29)

RC said...

“But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

The Doctor Saint Thomas Aquinas O.P († 1274) used this incident as an indication that all superiors are to be disobeyed should their commands be against the Will of God.
“It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5)

Thy shalt not commit adultery
Thy shalt not covet thy neighbours wife

And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery. Jesus Christ's words

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."[180] Pope St John Paul II

Emmett O'Regan said...

Although they speculated on the idea, both St. Bellarmine and Suarez ultimately concluded that God would never allow a pope to fall into formal heresy, and their views were dogmatized by Vatican I. It simply cannot be proven that Pope Honorius was a formal heretic. If he was, indefectibility would never have been raised to dogma at Vatican I alongside infallibility. If you believe that Pope Honorius was a formal heretic, you deny the dogma of indefectibility and are no longer in full communion with the Church. Which is more important, your belief that a pope can be a heretic? Or a dogma of the Faith?

"For although God is able to prevent a heretical Pope from harming the Church, nevertheless it is more agreeable to the way of divine providence that—since God has promised that the Pope would never err in his definitions—He would insure that there would never be such a heretical Pope. And since up till now there has never been one in the Church, it should consequently be thought that, by the ordination and providence of God, there cannot be one." Francisco Suarez De Fide, disp. 10, sect. 6, no. 10: Opera Omina, Vivès ed. Vol. XII, 319.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.
§2. Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firmly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Emmett O'Regan said...

"So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: "The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor." Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 2

Emmett O'Regan said...

"To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received." Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 3

Emmett O'Regan said...

It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the Churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing. Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 4

Emmett O'Regan said...

For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 6

Emmett O'Regan said...

"This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell." Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 7

Emmett O'Regan said...

After Pastor Aeternus, all discussion of heretical popes completely ceased, because the matter was definitively decided by way of dogma. The idea has only been recently resurrected by traditionalists who have read a lot of sedevacantist material, and has been widely disseminated in light of the pontificate of Pope Francis. If you uphold the idea that a pope could fall into formal heresy or extend heresy for the whole Church to believe, then you deny that St. Peter and his successors were conferred with the gift of never-failing faith, won through the prayer of Christ to His Eternal Father.

Emmett O'Regan said...

"an edifice indeed founded on a man who of himself is weak but who was miraculously transformed by Christ into solid rock, that is, endowed with marvelous and everlasting indefectibility: “It is upon this rock that I will build my church.” Ecclesiam Suam Pope Bl. Paul VI

Anonymous said...

Emmett, is there some red line that you personally have drawn about Pope Francis where you will say, okay that's it, your statements are too far out to defend? I pray for him on my rosary daily, but the time is long past where I even pay attention to anything he says. My kids now ask me, "Pope Francis says we have to change the words to the Our Father. Pope Francis says hell is not eternal. Pope Francis says it's okay to be gay." I read this blog not so much for your long treatises on end times but to read what other people think. I feel terrible that you have let a little chance at fame go to your head, but since you put your name out there I guess you have to toe the party line or you may find yourself in trouble. You probably won't answer this Emmett, but the plan to accept varying Mass translations from Diocese to Diocese must have you troubled-- if not, then I no longer have any interest in your blog or who contributes to it.

RC said...

"I no longer have any interest in your blog or who contributes to it."

Are you referring to people who post here? Slighty harsh if so, we don't all toe the la prava sycophant insider propoganda line on here. Like yourself I also was extremely dissapointed to learn Emmett was now in the pay of such a rag but hey ho thats his choice,man has to make a living and I will say this,given that this is his house so to speak I do find him at least accomodating in allowing diverging opinion i.e people who vehemently oppose this bishop of rome and who have extreme problems with his la republica/aeroplane "magesterium". I understand your frustration many times i find Emmett completely ignores the nonsense emanating from Bergolios mouth, the soul annihilation nonsense,the nonsense that no one can be condemned forever, the constant attacks on faithful Catholics,the disgrace that is amoral Latetia,the complete destruction of the 6th and 9th commandments,the wilful ignorance of perennial catholic teaching on adultery summed up in his blatant attack on familaris consortio,manipulation of the synods good Lord the charge sheet is endless against him but then again the silence of the francis cheeleaders is propably more to do with the fact that how do you defend the indefensible? I prefer the Gospel of Christ myself and the inerrant word of scripture,many prefer the gospel of kasper and the satanic notion that you are too weak to obey God,go on do it don't worry about repentance,sin boldly God is only mercy not justice. The attack dogs have labelled the minority as schismatics, lunacy! How can one be schismatic for holding to authentic moral teachings?? Yet we don't seem to see the ad hominem attacks on the vast majority of actual schismatic catholics, dont conform on abortion,contraception,adultery,mortal sin,even the denial of Christ present body blood soul and divinity in the eucharist! No! The false twisted logic welcomes these dissidents while condemning faithful Catholics as schismatic and outside the church! The church will never fail that is promised indeed by Christ,however who is to say that church will not be the remnant faithful? The church has already split notably the orthodox and the protestants but survived, I fully expect the remant faithful to continue to thrive despite the disaster of these past 4-5 years, the vatican II church is dying, modernism has failed,pews are emptying worldwide and the only people attracting vocations are the stigmatised 'traditionalists' go figure? Novus ordo Catholics like myself are starving for authentic teaching,for fidelity to the commandments and the Word, alas we get a famine instead,all the while loving our faith,but we are unmerciful,rigid,pharisees in the new diminshed responsibilty morality of the bergolians. Emmett I appreciate the platform so far you have allowed for Catholics like myself even though we be polemically opposed regarding this man and his teachings. I will continue to read even though I suspect I maybe due a ban on posting given my opinion of Bergolio. Should you beleive that anything I have written here in the past or present is schismatic I have no issue in you contacting my Bishop diocese of Brighton and Arundel to censure me, I will gladly provide details.Keep up the good work on the prophecy angle and i look forward to an in depth analysis of Emmerich on the two popes.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about my comment. I hope my kids stay Catholic. If my kids fall away, I will be so sad.

RC said...

I hope so too my friend,I don't pray for material and worldly sucess for my children,my great prayer for my kids is holding fast to the authentic truth of Catholicism, a gift no amount of money could buy. I feel your fear as a parent I really do.

Jason R. said...

RC, you've crossed an unfortunate line by implying Emmett has other motivations than just searching for the truth. Please let's not get into that kind of ad hominem as ultimately all it does is lower the level of discourse in general and hurt people.

Though I vehemently disagree with your viewpoint on this subject, I would never presume to judge your motivations, or your heart, so let's give Emmett, and everyone else, that same respect please.

Emmett O'Regan said...

RC, I have not made a penny from La Stampa. Don't let don't let unapproved private revelations dictate your faith. The cause for Bl. Emmerich discovered evidence that her writings may have been embellished by Clemens Brentato. So while some of them are genuine to Bl. Emmerich, there are some which may belong to Brentato. Any private prophecies which brings disrupte to the papacy must be utterly rejected. Your hatred for the pope does Ian Paisley proud. The legitimacy of papal elections are infallible, as is the sensus fidelium. When he was elected, the whole of the faithful accepted Francis as pope, which means this universal consent is infallible as well as the election itself.
Do you truly believe that espousing such hatred in public is the way of Christ and the saints? Is this saintly behaviour on your part? Did Christ not tell us to love our enemies? Are you the judge of the pope? Did Christ not say that we are not to judge? Canon Law says that the Holy See is judged by no-one. I would suggest that you keep your private judgements to yourself, as spewing such hatred about anyone, let alone the pope, doesn't not give the impression of any true heroic virtue on your part. If you can't find anything positive to say, please keep it to yourself. I am growing increasingly despaired for the amount of scorn and abuse being directed against the pope - such action is not from Christ.

RC said...

In replying to anonymous Jason i believe I was actually trying to be fair to Emmett and to somewhat defend him,obviously I failed in that.My motivation and my heart is believe or not love of the faith and actual concern for souls but again if this doesn't come across then that is a fault on my part, I've said before I have the utmost respect for Emmett and his work on prophecy and again as I said in my post,his tolerance of diverging opinion.

RC said...

Firstly Emmett obviously I have offended you greatly when i was actually trying to be fair to you when i replied to anonymous,my apologies,I'm not privvy to the workings of journalism it was actually more a turn of phrase being in the pay of but I don't have the desire to offend you especially in your own 'house'.

The Emmerich thing was a genuine request on my part nothing more because again I think your work in that arena is excellent,and for people like me who are not in any way educated in it,it is a great help to learn from someone studied in the area,so i assure you there was genuine intent on my part there.Apologies if you read anything into that which i didn't intend.

The Ian paisley comment to be honest I feel was a bit below the belt,if you wanted to sting then yes I have felt it.

As far as the bishop of rome,obviously I have many issues,I don't hate the man as hard as that is to believe, anything I have commented on is things he has said himself,erroneous things so like I said before to Bridget I believe I go and read both sides of the arguement in the forlorn hope it seems that someone will refute these things but no one ever does! Please please give me your thoughts on the things he has said and done because I'd love to hear them I really would.i have laid out the things that have smacked my own sensus fidelium on more than one occasion but it more and more feels like a voice crying in the wilderness. I don't believe I have ever said he wasn't validly elected?? To my mind he is thats why it hurts so much these past four years!! My scorn as you say is not directed at the man its his actions that make me despair,his teachings, I pray for him like I do for the church. I won't lie and say he isn't breaking my heart,I don't hate him and you are quite right Christ will judge me as well as every single one of us,Christ said a lotof things Emmett which the current pontificate seems to be at odds with. I believe I have a right based on what I have read,what I have discerned and prayed on and what the Holy Bible says in not giving my assent to AL,I quoted opionions from saints and theologians and from scripture itself that I am lawfully entitled to resist,you believe I must assent to AL,fair enough,I very much value your input as your are an extremely learned individual.So to reiterate it is not the man I hate,it is not his office,it is the problematic things he has said and done,his words and actions Emmett,I don't presume to know everything but I do have an opinion and I wish to God someone could put me right.

If I have caused you and others offence then sorry,mea culpa,mea culpa mea maxima culpa. I don't hate the man I despair of the confusion,I despair of the words and actions,my passion obviously offends and causes scandal,I despair of the hurt going on in the church I have loved my whole life,Im sorry if I have attacked his person i never intended to offend. I dont wish to be an occasion for sin for anyone my soul is in a filthy,wretched state as it is. I will take the censure, I will keep my opinions on his actions and words to myself and will continue to pray that the deposit of faith is guarded and confirmed by Peter.

May I take this opportunity to wish you Emmett,and the many fine people on here a very Happy and Holy Christmas. God bless and keep up the good work on the prophecy angle.

RC said...

P.s Jason, I have a small gift for you although I have no idea how I'd get it to you, a small thank you for your prayers during a very difficult time. Perhaps Emmett as blog administrator has some way of privately providing an email address?

Emmett O'Regan said...

pologies accepted RC. I just don't want this place to become a cesspool of bile and venom. Social media presents too much of an occasion of sin in this respect. Don't allow yourself to be sucked into that kind of overly negative mentality. It's not good for the soul.

Have a Happy Christmas yourself! And to everyone else out there!

Jason R. said...

RC, I'm sorry as well if my comment came across as too harsh, sometimes that can get lost in translation. I love the discussions that get brought up here, and I firmly believe that each and everyone of us ultimately are just searching out the truth. I believe no matter what side of this particular fence one is on, everyone's intentions are pure and true even though we may disagree.

I learned a great lesson when I was a young boy, in an attempt to shiw off I guess I made a nasty comment about a politician I know my dad didn't agree with. He sat me down and explained to me that we can vehemently disagree with what a person does or represents, but we should never get personal and attack someone's character... kind of like if you will a similar lesson to, "hate the sin, love the sinner". So that's all I meant to get across, that should we disagree with each other's ideas/beliefs that we should keep that distinguished from disagreeing with who someone is as a person. I still love you as a broth we in Christ (of course!), and hope the brevity of my last post didn't hurt your feelings as that wasn't my intention.

And that us so kind of you to think of me, but praying to Our Lady if Sorrows for your intention was such a gift to me itself as it engendered a new devotion in my life to her! But I'll see if I'm able to "direct message" you somehow to give you my email address as well.

God bless and a very merry Christmas to you RC, and also to you Emmett and to anyone else who might read this... Pax Christi to all, and to our world through the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts. ♡

RC said...

Good morning Jason,or possibly evening in your part of the world? I've actually spent an hour or two in Canada in a place called Gander i think?? The ice cream was fantastic!!

You have absolutely no need to apologise at all,your post actually made me examine as to why my post could be interpreted as an attack on Emmett, I had genuinely intended to offer a defense of him but my phraseology was suspect to say the least. I was mortified to think that it may have seemed that Emmett had been bought off by writing for that publication. It's actually really difficult to explain what I intended,I supposed that Emmett had been approached by la stampa to write an article, when I said the mans got to make a living I literally meant exactly that,Emmett like us all has a duty to provide for oneself and indeed one's family and I presumed a newspaper would pay a writer for a piece,an honest days pay for an honest days work so to speak, even if they had paid him I would have absolutely no issue as that seems reasonable,I certainly didn't mean to suggest he had been bribed or bought off,Emmett is after all an author and an author wants their work widely read. I guess if I'm honest because I respect his work so much it was a personal disappointment on my part to solely related to the publication itself, I used to be a great and avid reader of vatican insider but I love reading differing perspectives and viewpoints and vatican insider has gradually to my mind become so subjective as to render it ineffective in my own search for the truth of the current situation, if that makes sense?? Emmett is an extremely capable writer, I think he would be a fine combatant for the more conservative forums so I'd love to see his work more widely spread,it just feels like writing in la stampa is like preaching to the converted? I love to read in order that i can understand. I most certainly never intended to assassinate his character. I repeat i admire his tolerance on this blog,which is after all his baby! I love the cut and thrust of debate and this blog is one of the few that I have found is open to diverging opinion and kudos for that! I read ncr,crux,the tablet but il balance that with the herald,rorate,1p5 etc and believe me there is extreme internicence conflict on them all,very vitriolic stuff and it is disheartening watching Catholics tear each other apart. I like it here and have to learn to channel my passion and concern into reasoned civilised debate. If i didn't care i wouldn't comment at all.

I don't think I hate anyone,I honestly am extremely worried about some of the things said and done and it pains me to think like that so I search and probe hoping somewhere that someone can show some of this teachings and actions in an orthodox rather than hetrodox manner. It's extremely disconcerting to think the rock is crumbling and I hate feeling like that and thinking it. I haven't slept properly since September when it all seemed to explode with the correction. Ironically I think the pope could end it all just by answering the dubia one way or the other, I'm tired of all the conflict my friend,I caused my father great upset when discussing the church him rock solid in it's indefectibility and the office of the pope,me railing against the 'strange teachings and actions' of francis. Father against son,brother against brother eh? I think I need to start directing most if not all of my prayers to the Holy Spirit for the church and an abandonment totally to God's will,to foxus more on my own personal wretched soul and work on developing more charity and humility and to grow in virtue not vice.

Thank you brother, I accept your own correction of my post as an act of charity on your part with my best intentions in your heart. God bless and keep you Jason and may Our Lady of Sorrows always remain by your side.

Emmett O'Regan said...

RC, I am so very glad to have you commenting here, as I think it provides a balance to other views, which can so often be lacking in social media. I think you know that I try not to moderate comments here so heavy-handed here as other outlets, since I want to know what is happening on the ground. We are both Belfast men, so I think we know how important it is to see past the propaganda of various outlets that have their own agenda. I very much respect your views, and consider you a friend, which is why I treated you so harshly. Please forgive me for doing so. I was upset by the suggestion that I was making money somehow from La Stampa. The opposite is true. I offered my service for the defence of the Holy Father alone, and my credibility as an author has absolutely collapsed, as I knew it would. If it is any consolation to those who hate Pope Francis and my support of him, then I publically announce here that my book sales have absolutely collapsed since September, when the Correctio was issued. Not that I was making a living out of it anyway, since a paltry sum of no more than £100 a month at peak was much anyway, which happened for about two months. The rest of time in the six years since my first book was published, I was making about £50 a month. This has been reduced to practically zero as a result of my publications on La Stampa, which were offered up for free. Unlike certain other sites, I have never requested donations, and there is no such donation button lurking on this blog, and I don't beg. There is no advertising either, apart from my book which has never sold very well anyway, because of the lack of faithful Catholics. Also, I have published very long tracts here for nothing throughout my blogging "career", from which I profit virtually nothing. It is all an act of charity on my behalf, which I hope has been done for the good of the Church. I go out and graft as a manual labourer for a living, in the example of St. Paul.

RC said...

Morning Emmett,
Absolutely no doubt about it,this blog is a cracker,an absolute diamond in the somewhat rough of Catholic blogosphere and it is an absolute testimony to your patience and charity how tolerant you are to many many posters including myself. Like i said to Jason,you have absolutely no need to apologise to me whatsoever,you have been extremely tolerant of my ever increasing fire! I sometimes feel like im playing a role of devils advocate! Not literally i hope!. The fiery Irish temper is never far from bubbling over!

I am extremely sorry to hear that Emmett about the reception of the book in particular since you put yourself out there in defense of the pope,it's an admirable thing,I have seen first hand the vitriol among some of the more conservative sites/forums and its not pleasant. A crying shame as your work on prophecy is first class it really is,and totally deserves widespread distribution. I must say though Emmett I think it seems really unfair that la stampa haven't offered a recompense to you,Id say you spent many many hours on the article and I think Jason said it was the third most read piece on the site? Hopefully soon a pick up in sales results from the exposure at least.

Emmett I don't know how one goes about selling or promoting the book so these might seem extremly silly suggestions but again I think your work deserves a much wider audience. Small steps I know but have you thought about approaching some of the Holy shops to sell? Castle lane? Maybe even queens bookshop? As bob hoskins says every little helps? When I lived in London I often visited the shop right beside Westminster cathedral, i think it was called st pauls shop, they stocked a huge range of books, they might be worth a shot. I appreciate you are a busy man but have you ever thought of a podcast? Get a few podcasts in the can and get them on youtube,anytjing related to prophecy on there tends to draw large amounts of views and could lead to a large increase in exposure for the book? Maybe the odd podcast on happenings in the church with a bit of debate between advocates of certain positions? I think now you have had the exposure in la stampa you could probably attract some prominent people? I don't know if people like de mattei speak english but he always seems up for debate! Maybe people like skojec from 1p5 and im sure Stephen Walford would certainly be open to an appearance! I do lament the fact your work isn't drawing the attention it deserves so hopefully it can start getting out there,not merely for any monetary reward but more to expose the quality of it!!

RC said...

Approach the Irish news with an opinion piece, approach the Catholic Herald,the tablet,get it out there!! Damien Thompson does a podcast for the spectator maybe pitch an appearance to discuss the relevance of Catholic prophecy to the current situation in the church? Dispel some of the inaccuracies or misconceptions people often read into these prophecies, a good example being the two popes of Emmerich, i had literally no idea they might have been embellished until you pointed it out! There are people labouring under misconceptions like that. Approach people like Michael Matt and take them on! People like voris they all do podcasts so pitch to them! They should have nothing to fear from debate and being educated by someone expert in the field like yourself!!

Jason R. said...

It's a crying shame that "Unveiling the Apocalypse" isn't on the book shelf if every Catholic family in the world. It is probably little consultation, but thank you so much Emmett; it was your book that brought me back to the Faith (and which I belatedly shared with my little ones, so made me an infinitely better father as well), so very likely may have saved my eternal soul. I have recommended your book to many others, but I feel as though most people are more contented in keeping their heads buried, ostrich-like, because of a misplaced fear of biblical prophecies coming true in our times, rather than jubilation that the end of the birthing pangs of a new world are possibly within sight, though possibly still distant. I've always tried to be one who would rather know the truth, even if some of that truth may be disturbing to the idea that how it is now will always be.

Even if it didn't translate into book sakes, I've shared with friends and family, those who I knew would be open to it, the broad strokes of your incredible work, so if events of prophecy come to pass in their lifetimes I believe they won't be caught flat-footed and unawares. Again, I wish your book was a best-seller, but remember that many of the greatest works of writing, particularly literature and poetry, didn't reach a wider audience until after the author's passing on (e.g. Moby Dick)... I know that diesnt help pay the bills, but I have a sense your work will someday be widely appreciated and anything but obscure when events begin to prove the veracity of your interpretations. And if I had my eternal life set on a much better path than where it was headed, I doubt very much that I was the only one... and isn't that the best achievement possible regarding prophecy and its interpretation, just as in ancient times, to bring the lost sheep back to Our Lord. In a very real way I owe you my life, and to me your work was and is as indispensable as it can get. So, Again, my most sincerest thanks I owe to you, and I hope that is something. ♡

Jason R. said...

P.s. Sorry for alk the typos, the combination of tremours in my hand and my constant battle with auto-correct!

RC said...

Very well said sir! An excellent testimony to the quality both intellectually and spiritually to Emmetts work! Now lets badger him incessantly until he does a podcast :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas to Emmett, Jason R, RC, Sister Bridget, "Thomas". Mark W and to the rest of us - God bless.
Peter from Oz

Emmett O'Regan said...

It means so much to me to hear you say that Jason! I hope you are keeping well over the festive period and getting to spend plenty of time with your family and friends.

You too RC! I really appreciate that mate! You won't be finding me doing podcasts though, because I'm not a gifted preacher, and it's not really my style to be "preachy" to others, because I have so many faults myself. You know what it was like being brought up in Belfast during the Troubles, a lot of all that tends to stay with you. I'm just a regular west Belfast bloke brought up in hard times, and a bit of a mill-man, so I don't think that would come across very well in a preaching environment. I know my limitations, and writing is the only game that I'm truly any good at. Besides could you picture someone with a lingo like ours preaching on the end-times? The Americans would think I was talking a load of mumbo jumbo like Charlie Brown's teacher and daft as a brick, and I'd get heckled in the streets here for being a complete loon.

RC said...

Hahaha our accents are as smooth as silk so they are,so it is! You could always put on the oul malone road airs and graces :)

Yes indeed some of them do indeed come across preachy but the very best podcasts are extremely informative and the conversation flows where the listener feels like they are sat around a fire,jameson in hand listening to old friends put the world to rights.At least think about offering articles to more publications Emmett, the quality of the work needs spreading!

RC said...

A very Happy and Holy Christmas to to you also Peter

Emmett O'Regan said...

Yes, Merry Christmas to you as well Peter all the way over there in Oz and to everyone one else here. Hopefully the troubling of the people of God right now in this time where confusion reigns will pass in the New Year to come. It will just take the average Catholic in the pews to quickly get up to speed on the finer aspects of dogmatic theology, scholastic philosophy and metaphysics, to see that the Magisterium actually isn't heretical, and has actually not contradicted the previous Magisterium, but is the product of a development of doctrine which has been happening for the past century, and marriage is actually still indissoluble, and we have to grapple with all sorts of complex situations to realise that some people's first unions weren't valid because God doesn't accept empty promises made by a few individuals in a culture which doesn't believe in marriage. That's obviously why it was never considered a good idea to do this in the past, since it is way beyond most folks. But there you go. It is what it is and we have to deal with it now and move on and read and fully understand the Summa Theologica or trust in God's Mercy and the dogma of indefectibility.

Thomas said...

Merry Christmas, guys! As a convert from a non-Christian religion, I eagerly await the day when the whole world will celebrates Christmas.

D. M. Drew said...

There are a number of problems with your reply to Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve on December 20.

Firstly, no Church father or doctor or magisterial document has ever claimed that each individual pope possessed a "never-failing faith." St. Thomas and Rev. Haydock do not even address the question. Rev. Cornelius a Lapide in his great Commentary specifically addresses this question and says that the "never-failing faith" was a personal grace granted to St. Peter alone. The promise to his successors was that they would never engage the Church's attribute of infallibility to teach error. Pope Honorius was declared a heretic by at the Sixth Ecumenical Council that was approved by the Pope Leo II. It matters not whether his heresy was formal or only material except to Honorius himself. If the pope is taken as the rule of faith, then he must be preserved from even material heresy because for the faithful following his example it would make no difference.

Furthermore, there is not logical contradiction between Infallibility and a pope being a heretic and more than the heretic, Caiaphas being the high priest, who was a Sadducee and denied the doctrine of the resurrection, prophesized being the High Priest, that Christ should die for the nation. Even Balaam's Ass can be used by God to teach the truth.

St. Thomas' denying the Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with this argument. St. Robert Bellarmine may or may be correct that a pope has never fallen into formal heresy but the point is moot. Again, it makes no difference whatsoever, except to the pope himself, whether or not the heresy is formal or merely material.

Pasto Aeternus does not rule out the possibility of a heretical pope. The claim is absurd since we known that Pope Honorius was a heretic. It is the rather the contrary. The narrative in defending the dogmatic declaration specifically references the scriptural passage regarding the never-failing faith, but the dogmatic definition limits this grace to specific conditions when the pope can and does engage the attribute of infallibility Christ endowed His Church. Outside of these specific conditions, the pope, teaching by his grace of state can and has taught error.

Lastly, your understanding of the indefectibility of the Church is nothing more than a common theological opinion which does not hold up under close examination. St. Pius X in Pascendi says that the Church has three functions: to govern, to teach, and to offer worship (to sanctify). These three actions correspond to the three attributes of the Church: Authority, Infallibility, and Indefectibility. The attributes of the Church are only secondarily and accidentally attributes of any individual pope. The attribute of Indefectibility relates primarily to worship and the sacraments to sanctify the faithful. A pope falling into heresy would not overturn the indefectibility of the Church unless all faithful followed him in his heresy. The proof of the indefectibility of the Church is not that Honorius was not a "formal" heretic. It is that the all the faithful of the Church did not follow him in his heresy.

Scripture and Tradition are the remote rule of faith. The proximate rule of faith is DOGMA. The pope is not the rule of faith. The pope is only the efficient and accidental cause of DOGMA. God is the formal and final cause of DOGMA. DOGMA is the formal object of divine and Catholic faith. When a pope departs from DOGMA those that make him their rule of faith will follow him into heresy. But by the Indefectibility of the Church, God will prevent him from being followed by all the faithful of the Church in his heresy. And by the Infallibility of the Church, God will not permit the pope to engage the Extra-ordinary or the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church to teach his heresy.


Emmett O'Regan said...

Drew, the Church Doctor St. Robert Bellarmine clearly shows in De Controversiis Book 4 Chap III that the tradition that each pope has a never-failing faith is very ancient indeed, and is part of the ordinary and universal Magisterium, which is again quite clearly stipulated in Pastor Aeternus. It simply cannot be proven that Pope Honorius was a formal heretic (no matter how much sedes and Protestants insist), and indeed the indefectibility of the Church excludes this possibility. If a pope was able to defect from the Faith, then the Apostolic See is not indefectible. If you insist that Pope Honorius was an heretic (or Pope Francis, for that matter), then you are denying a dogma of the Faith, since the indefectibility of the Church was given to the office of St. Peter alone, and not to the Church as a whole.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Again, I reiterate, there can be no other interpretation of Pastor Aeternus than that the gift of never-failing faith was conferred on the Successors of St. Peter. This teaching is crystal clear:

"This gift of truth and *never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See* so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell." Pastor Aeternus Chap IV par. 7

D. M. Drew said...

You a repeating yourself without offering evidence. What you claim is false and may lead other into grave error.

St. Robert Bellarmine, in book 2, chapter 30 of De Controversiis, says the opinion of Albert Pighius "who contends that the Pope cannot be a heretic, and hence would not be deposed in any case: such an opinion is probable, and can easily be defended, as we will show in its proper place. Still, because it is not certain, and the common opinion is to the contrary, it will be worthwhile to see what the response should be if the Pope could be a heretic."

St. Robert says that the pope personally possess a "never-failing faith" is merely a "probable" opinion and the "common opinion is to the contrary." Now you claim it's a doctrine of the "ordinary and universal Magisterium" which makes it infallible.

"Wherefore, by divine and catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition and which are proposed by the church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium."
Vatican I, On Faith

You are making a minority theological "opinion" of St. Robert into an infallible doctrine of divine and Catholic faith. This is absurd. If what you are affirming were true, it would be a heresy even to speculate on a heretical pope and/or how such a heretical pope could be removed from office both of which St. Robert does.

You then corrupt the dogmatic teaching of Pastor Aeternus turning it upside-down. You use the fallible narrative to corrupt the dogma rather than using the infallible dogma to understand the narrative. This is only possible if you ignore the dogma, or if you do not understand the nature of dogma.

"We teach and define that it is a divinely-revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex Cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. [22]
But if anyone -- God forbid -- should presume to contradict this Our definition; let him be anathema."

The narrative introduction for this dogmatic definition says:

"This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell."

Therefore, the "gift of truth and never-failing faith" means what the dogma declares. Nothing more. There is nothing in the dogma saying that individual popes possess a personal "never-failing faith." The dogma specifically defines under what conditions the pope engages the attribute of infallibility that Jesus Christ endowed His Church to teach without the possibility of error. It is the dogma that explains what "never-failing faith" of the pope actually means.


D. M. Drew said...

Furthermore, if the rule of faith for Catholics were the personal "never-failing faith" of each pope, then it would necessarily have to include all heresy, both formal and material, because if the purpose of a "never-failing faith" is so "that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine" (Pastor Aeternus), then it must include even material heresy as well. Don't you see this? Can't you understand why this would necessarily have to be true? Pope Honorius we know infallibly to have been a heretic. That is a historical fact and speculation regarding the whether the heresy is formal or merely material makes no difference whatsoever.

What you have done is make the pope your rule of faith. That is a grave error. The faith is the primary cause and sign of unity in the Church. The pope is so only secondarily and accidentally. If any pope recedes from the faith, even if only materially, he cannot be followed. You deny this. The attributes of the Church are: Infallibility, Indefectibility, and Authority. They belong to the Church by its nature and not as you claim simply as attributes of the papal office alone. The fact of Pope Honorius was a heretic, even if only material, proves that you are in error on this question.

If you take dogma as dogma, as the irreformable formal object of divine and Catholic faith, as your rule of faith you would avoid these grave mistakes you are making.


D. M. Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emmett O'Regan said...

Drew, Pighius' view that the pope cannot be in any way an heretic was St. Bellarmine's "third opinion" (which he call pious and probable), while the "common opinion" he asserts was none other than his "fourth opinion" outlined in De Controversiis Book 4 Chap II ff. Bellarmine states that this "fourth opinion": "is very certain and must be asserted and we will state a few propositions so that it can be understood and confirmed more easily.” The Relatio explicitly states that it was this "fourth opinion" that was being dogmatized. It was in not way a "minority" opinion, but the most popular. Indeed, besides Pighius' view presented in the "third opinion", the "fourth opinion" was the most viable option, after Gallicanism was condemned in the late 17th century (which was Bellarmine's "second opinion"). After Gallicanism was condemned, all the speculation on heretical popes effectively ceased, which was finally brought to a close with Vatican I. So while Bellarmine speculated on the possibility of an heretical pope, it was only really as a straw man argument which he completely smashed down throughout book 4 of De Controversiis. This theoretical scenario was also was finally ruled out by the Church in 1691 with the papal bull Inter multiplices pastoralis officii.

Anyone can google on Pope Honorius and find that he was never condemned by any of his successors. You are simply arguing against the indefectibility here, which was conferred upon the Apostolic See alone.

Indefectibility is a dogma, and St. Bellarmine shows in De Controversiis Book 4 Chap III that it was an infallible teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

D. M. Drew said...

The opinion that you are defending is that every singular pope cannot be a heretic because he has the gift of “never-failing faith.” Your evidence for this assertion is that, “St. Robert Bellarmine clearly shows in De Controversiis Book 4 Chap III that the tradition that each pope has a never-failing faith is very ancient indeed, and is part of the ordinary and universal Magisterium.” And your claim that “Pastor Aeternus completely and definitively rules out the idea of a heretical pope.” Both these affirmations are false.

Teachings of the “ordinary and universal magisterium” are infallible objects divine and Catholic faith. St. Robert agreed with the opinion of Albert Pighius that a pope could never be a heretic that he holds as “probable” but acknowledges that it is not the “common opinion.” Whatever, it is not a teaching of the “ordinary and universal magisterium.” It is just as grave an error to deny a dogma as to invent one.

You are corrupting the teaching of Vatican I. The “never-failing faith” can only be understood in light of the dogmatic definition. It is because the pope has a “never-failing faith” that when he “speaks ex Cathedra…. in the discharge of the office…. defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed….” It is absurd to claim that this decree is affirming that a pope cannot be a heretic. It is only stipulating the conditions when a pope personally possess and actively employs the attribute of “infallibility with the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed.”

Your rule of faith is whatever the pope says or does. It has lead to your belief that pope possesses two magisteriums. One is unfailingly infallible-infallible magisterium and the other is unfailingly infallible-fallible magisterium. The first is from the pope’s personal infallibility and the second is from the pope’s personal indefectibility which are primarily his attributes and not the Church’s. If you held dogma as your proximate rule of faith this absurdity would be avoided.

Lastly, your claim that “Anyone can Google on Pope Honorius and find that he was never condemned by any of his successors” is another error. I invite your readers to take your challenge. An excerpt from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia which contains a direct quote from the Council document:

In the thirteenth session, 28 March, the two letters of Sergius were condemned, and the council added: "Those whose impious dogmas we execrate, we judge that their names also shall be cast out of the holy Church of God", that is, Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Peter, Paul, Theodore, all which names were mentioned by the holy Pope Agatho in his letter to the pious and great emperor, "and were cast out by him, as holding views contrary to our orthodox faith; and these we define to be subject to anathema. And in addition to these we decide that Honorius also, who was pope of elder Rome, be with them cast out of the holy Church of God, and be anathematized with them, because we have found by his letter to Sergius that he followed his opinion in all things, and confirmed his wicked dogmas.”

The article goes on to say the specific writings of Pope Honorius were burned because of heresy. The findings of the Council were confirmed by Pope Leo II.


Thomas said...


The gift of indefectibility plainly does not guarantee each several part of the Church against heresy or apostasy. The promise is made to the corporate body. Individual Churches may become corrupt in morals, may fall into heresy, may even apostatize. Thus at the time of the Mohammedan conquests, whole populations renounced their faith; and the Church suffered similar losses in the sixteenth century. But the defection of isolated branches does not alter the character of the main stem. The society of Jesus Christ remains endowed with all the prerogatives bestowed on it by its Founder. Only to One particular Church is indefectibility assured, viz. to the See of Rome. To Peter, and in him to all his successors in the chief pastorate, Christ committed the task of confirming his brethren in the Faith (Luke 22:32); and thus, to the Roman Church, as Cyprian says, "faithlessness cannot gain access" (Epistle 54).

Emmett O'Regan said...

Drew, the same article in New Advent goes on to demonstrate that your position on Pope Honorius is the same as that of the Gallicans, which was condemned. So you are espousing neo-Gallicanism:

The condemnation of Pope Honorius was retained in the lessons of the Breviary for 28 June (St. Leo II) until the eighteenth century. Difficulties made themselves felt when, after the Great Western Schism, papal infallibility began to be doubted. Protestantism and Gallicanism made vigorous attacks on the unfortunate pope, and at the time of the Vatican Council Honorius figured in every pamphlet and every speech on ecclesiastical subjects. The question has not only been debated in numerous monographs, but is treated by the historians and the theologians, as well as by the professed controversialists. Only a few typical views need here be mentioned.
Bellarmine and Baronius followed Pighius in denying that Honorius was condemned at all. Baronius argued that the Acts of the Council were falsified by Theodore, a Patriarch of Constantinople, who had been deposed by the emperor, but was restored at a later date; we are to presume that the council condemned him, but that he substituted "Honorius" for "Theodorus" in the Acts. This theory has frequently been shown to be untenable.
The more famous Gallicans, such as Bossuet, Dupin, Richer, and later ones as Cardinal de la Luzerne and (at the time of the Vatican Council) Maret, Gratry, and many others, usually held with all Protestant writers that Honorius had formally defined heresy, and was condemned for so doing.

Emmett O'Regan said...

On the other hand the chief advocates of papal infallibility, for instance, such great men as Melchior Canus in the sixteenth century, Thomassinus in the seventeenth, Pietro Ballerini in the eighteenth, Cardinal Perrone in the nineteenth, have been careful to point out that Honorius did not define anything ex cathedra. But they were not content with this amply sufficient defence. Some followed Baronius, but most, if not all, showed themselves anxious to prove that the letters of Honorius were entirely orthodox. There was indeed no difficulty in showing that Honorius was probably not a Monothelite. It would have been only just to extend the same kindly interpretation to the words of Sergius. The learned Jesuit Garnier saw clearly, however, that it was not as a Monothelite that Honorius was condemned. He was coupled with Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, the Ecthesis, and the Type. It is by no means clear that Sergius, Pyrrhus, and the Ecthesis are to be accounted as Monothelite, since they forbade the mention of "one operation"; it is quite certain that Paul and the Type were anti-Monothelite, for they prohibited "one Will" also. Garnier pointed out that the council condemned Honorius for approving Sergius and for "fomenting" the dogmas of Pyrrhus and Paul. This view was followed by many great writers, including Pagi.
A theory put forward by Pennacchi at the time of the Vatican Council attracted an unnecessary amount of attention. He agreed with the Protestants and Gallicans in proclaiming that the letter of Honorius was a definition ex cathedra; that the pope was anathematized by the council as a heretic in the strict sense; but the council, not being infallible apart from papal confirmation, fell in this case into error about a dogmatic fact (in this point Pennacchi was preceded by Turrecremata, Bellarmine, Assemani, and many others), since the letter of Honorius was not worthy of censure. Leo II, in confirming the council, expressly abrogated the censure, according to this view, and substituted a condemnation for negligence only (so also Grisar--see above). There is evidently no ground whatever for any of these assertions.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Bishop Hefele before 1870 took the view that Honorius's letter was not strictly heretical but was gravely incorrect, and that its condemnation by an ecumenical council was a serious difficulty against the "personal" infallibility of the popes. After his hesitating acceptance of the Vatican decrees he modified his view; he now taught that Honorius's letter was a definition ex cathedra, that it was incorrectly worded, but that the thought of the writer was orthodox (true enough; but, in a definition of faith, surely the words are of primary importance); the council judged Honorius by his words, and condemned him simply as a Monothelite; Leo II accepted and confirmed the condemnation by the council, but, in doing so, he carefully defined in what sense the condemnation was to be understood. These views of Hefele's, which he put forth with edifying modesty and submission as the best explanation he could give of what had previously seemed to him a formidable difficulty, have had a surprisingly wide influence, and have been adopted by many Catholic writers, save only his mistaken notion that a letter like that of Honorius can be supposed to fulfil the conditions laid down by the Vatican Council for an ex cathedra judgment (so Jungmann and many controversialists).

D. M. Drew said...

Your post is just one continued big begging of the question. Your posts are interesting but do not help your case. If fact, your digging a bigger whole.

The proper method to address Gallicanism is not re-write or erase historical facts from the record. It is a fact that the documents of the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned Pope Honorius as a heretic and the documents of this Council, whether altered by the Greeks or not, were approved by Pope Leo II. The decrees of the Council approved by Pope Leo II regarding doctrinal truths are infallible.

Again, it makes no difference whatsoever, except to Honorius himself, whether or not his heresy was formal or merely material.

Isn’t bizarre that you argued In your previous post that if Pope Honorius was a heretic that would overturn the Church’s Indefectibility and yet, you do not see the problem with Indefectibility by overturning the decrees of the Sixth Ecumenical Council approved by Pope Leo II.

Removing this history for the liturgical hours doesn’t change the historical fact. This example only indicates that the pope thought it easier to beg the question rather than address it. Another example, the Church dropped the story from th liturgical hours of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusians, which included the damnation of a major canon of the Cathedral of Paris by name. It does not mean that it is not true.

In you effort to oppose Gallicanism you have embraced an even uglier error: you think the pope is God.


Emmett O'Regan said...

Drew, I find that unfounded allegation that I think the "pope is God" for following St. Bellarmine's position on Honorius which were adopted by Vatican I to be particularly offensive. If you intend to post any more nasty comments like that here anymore, you are not welcome, and I will delete your comments. The only people who use the "Honorius was an heretic" trope are Protestants, Gallicans, sedevacantists or various other heretics, who desired to undermine papal authority and infallibility, who you now number yourself among. You have shown yourself up with that ugly comment. For anyone else who might be misled into adapting this error, the following article presents an up-to-date orthodox view of Pope Honorius:

Thomas said...

Do we think Mary is God because God gave her the prevenient grace to be sinless? Why can't God have given true popes the grace never to lose the virtue of faith (while still permitting free will)? Previous teaching seems to point this way too. Vatican I plainly says it, unless God is willing to withdraw His grace from popes. But then the head of the Church could no longer be the foundation stone, but the Church could judge the pope--which we know is impossible. The Church commands us to obey the pope--but not tell us what to do if he's a heretic. We shouldn't just assume that we must think up what do. Perhaps the implicit assumption is that the pope can't become a heretic, which is why there is no legitimate or legal provision for it (judging the pope) after 2000 years--even after "heretics" like Honorius.

D. M. Drew said...

The comment was not intended to be “nasty.” But what about your reply? Because I have recognized the historical fact that the Sixth Ecumenical Council declared Pope Honorius a heretic and the findings of this Council were approved by Pope Leo II, I am classified with Protestantism, Gallicanism, Sedevacantism or “various other heretics who desire to undermine papal authority and infalliblity.” The problem with Honorius’ heresy does not present any problem whatsoever, for a faithful Catholic with a Catholic understanding of the Church’s attributes of infallibility and indefectibility from easily defending the faith against any Protestant, Gallican, Sedevacantist, or “various other heretics who desire to undermine papal authority and infallibility.”

This does not however blind me to papal limitations. A pope’s duty is to preserve what he has received and faithfully hand it on. He cannot invent new doctrine, change morality, invent new sacraments, corrupt the virtue of Religion, or overturn any Catholic dogma either directly or indirectly. The pope is just as much a subject of the truths of our faith as every other Catholic.

There is a real problem when you make the attributes of the Church primarily the personal powers of the pope making him infallible in all that he says and does. That is the upshot of regarding him as personal possessor of positive infallibility and a negative indefectibility. You end with the pope as your rule of faith and therefore everything he says and does is what you will say and what you will do. You recognize no theoretical or practical limitations on the papal power and authority. This in effect applies attributes of God to the person of the pope.

The pope is not the “rule of faith.” The remote rule of faith is the revelation of God itself found in Scripture and Tradition. The proximate rule of faith is the dogmatic declarations promulgated by the Extra-ordinary or the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church which only the authentic personal magisterium of the pope can engage. This means that dogma is the proximate rule of faith to which every single Catholic is required to submit. The pope can fail in his personal faith and he can and has failed in his personal magisterium based upon his grace of state.

It is not a Catholic doctrine that every individual pope possesses a personal never-failing faith. It is a theological opinion that cannot be supported by historical evidence. Even St. Peter, who we know was granted the personal grace of never-failing faith, still required the correction of St. Paul when by “dissimulation” St. Peter consented to the heresy of the Judaizing Catholics and “walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel” Gal 2:14. That is, he fell into material heresy. But even then, with a never-failing faith, he was not considered the rule of faith. The rule was the truth of gospel by which St. Paul corrected him.

I will close by saying what I have already shown and you have not refuted that the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine that a pope could never be a heretic was not “adopted by Vatican I” as you repeatedly affirm. The “never-failing faith” of the pope means that whenever he teaches the universal Church from the extra-ordinary magisterium, therefore engaging the attribute of infallibility which Jesus Christ endowed His Church, when teaching on subjects of faith or morals with the intention of binding the Universal Church, he teaches without the possibility of error. It means nothing more, nothing less.


Emmett O'Regan said...

If Pope Honorius was a formal heretic, then the Protestants and Gallicans are right, and the pope is not infallible, because Peter is capable of defecting from the Faith. Papal infallibility depends on indefectibility to work, as both Bellarmine, Suarez and the official Relatio on Vatican I taught. If it were possible that the Successors of St. Peter could defect from the Faith, then papal infallibility simply wouldn't be possible. You obviously don't understand anything about how infallibility works within the scope of dogmatic theology. Why do you think the Protestants and Gallicans were so intent on focusing on the example of Pope Honorius? By insisting that Honorius was a formal heretic, you are only serving to undermine infallible Catholic dogmas, which places you outside the Catholic faith, I'm afraid. Catholics don't just adhere to Scripture and Tradition, but also to the Magisterium. It is a trifecta. The Magisterium is a living entity. It did not die at some point in the past leaving only Scripture and Tradition.

The Holy Spirit can certainly prevent less than 300 men from falling into formal heresy to ensure the purity of Catholic doctrine throughout the ages, without making them "gods". Indefectibility isn't the same as infallibility - it doesn't make the pope infallible in every statement he makes. It just prevents him from falling into formal heresy or from binding the universal Church to heresy. Attempting to limit the "never-failing faith" gifted to the Successors of St. Peter to the extraordinary magisterium or the ordinary universal magisterium is a complete anachronism, since these concepts were not devised until the 19th century. Before this, it was just a single Magisterium.

The Relatio of Vatican I explicitly stated that St. Bellarmine's position was being raised to dogma, and we can find this quite clearly in Pastor Aeternus itself, which stipulates that the gift of never-failing faith (was is the dogma of indefectibility) was conferred upon the Apostolic See. My evidence is rock-solid, and you haven't refuted any of it. The only "evidence" you have offered is the old Protestant/Gallicanism trope that "Pope Honorius was a heretic" - which has been vigorously rejected by all Catholics since even before Vatican I.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Just for good measure, here is a quote from the Catholic Encyclopaedia on papal infallibility and the condemnation of Honorius, which was for negligence, not heresy:

Finally, in reference to the condemnation of Honorius as a heretic, it is to be remembered that there is no ecumenical sentence affirming the fact either that Honorius's letters to Sergius contain heresy, or that they were intended to define the question with which they deal. The sentence passed by the fathers of the council has ecumenical value only in so far as it was approved by Leo II; but, in approving the condemnation of Honorius, his successor adds the very important qualification that he is condemned, not for the doctrinal reason that he taught heresy, but on the moral ground that he was wanting in the vigilance expected from him in his Apostolic office and thereby allowed a heresy to make headway which he should have crushed in its beginnings."

D. M. Drew said...

In reply to your last post:

The Letter appended to the Council text by Pope Leo II excused Pope Honorius of formal heresy attributing his error to moral weakness, but Pope Leo II did not alter the council documents that condemned Honorius for heresy which he approved as written.

Even if Pope Honorius' heresy was only material because of moral weakness it would make his case analogous to St. Peter, our first pope, who out moral weakness, "did not walk uprightly in the truth of the gospel" and compromised the Catholic faith by accommodation with the Judaizers. As I have said before, the distinction between formal and material heresy in a pope does not make any difference at all, except to the pope himself, if the pope is the rule of faith. The problem for you is that you make the pope the rule of faith when he is not. The remote rule of faith is divine revelation contained in Scripture and Tradition. The proximate rule of faith is Dogma which is divine revelation formally and infallibly defined by the Church Magisterium either in its extra-ordinary or ordinary and universal mode of operation.


D. M. Drew said...

In reply to your previous post:

You post is just a further exposition drawn from erroneous first principles. I have been criticizing you first principles and you just ignore the objections push on. All you are doing is begging the question. You have turned the Catholic faith on its head by making the pope your rule of faith. You have taken the attributes of the Church and made them the personal property of the pope. From these errors the rest follows.
The attributes of the Church are: Authority, Infallibility and Indefectibility. These are powers that Jesus Christ endowed His Church to fulfill its obligations. St. Pius X says in Pascendi that the duties of the Church are: to govern, to teach, and to worship God and sanctify the faithful. These three functions correspond to specific attributes of the Church and although they overlap they have distinct areas and modes of operation.

The pope is only infallible when he engages the attribute of infallibility Christ endowed His Church. The criteria for engaging this power are dogmatically defined from Vatican Council I. Whether or not the pope is a personal heretic has nothing to do with the Church's attribute of infallibility. Even a heretic can employ the extra-ordinary magisterium of the Church to teach infallible truth. I specifically addressed this in a previous post that you ignored. Caiaphas was a heretic yet he occupied the position of high priest, sat in 'chair of Moses', and prophesized truthfully that Christ should die for the nation. God can get the truth out of Balaam's Ass.

Regarding the Church's attribute of Indefectibility there are no like dogmatic declarations defining its nature and limitations as we have with infallibility but you pretend that there is. There are many Catholic doctrines that have not been well defined such as the Communion of Saints. Fr. Fenton in AER has an excellent article on the various theological understandings of this Catholic doctrine that is a good example of my point. The same theological liberty Catholics with regard to Indefectibility. I maintain that it pertains primarily to the worship of God and the sanctification of the faithful. The proof of the Indefectibility of the Church is not Pope Honorius was free from material heresy. It was that the faithful were prevented from following him in his error. You have effectively turned the Indefectibility of the Church into the pope's personal power making him infallible in his ordinary personal magisterium teaching by his grace of state.

And for the record, I never once said the Pope Honorius was a "formal heretic." But for those who believe the pope is the rule of faith, Honorius cannot even be a material heretic because with pope as your rule of faith, whatever he says or does becomes what you have to say and do. The absurdity of this claim is seen in Catholic morality. Remember every human act has a moral dimension, and both morals and doctrine are the two subject matters Vatican I addressed regarding infallibility. If your pope as your rule of faith cannot possibly fail in doctrine then the same standard must be applied to morals.

It is well that you brought up the fact the before the 19th century "it was just a single Magisterium." There still is just one infallible Magisterium. It follows from the Church's attribute of infallibility and it always teaches without the possibility of error. We now know from Vatican I how it can be engaged in two distinct modes of operation. All the other terms of magisterium refer to the personal teaching of churchmen by virtue of their grace of state. The difference between the them is one of kind and not one of degree.

Continued in next post

D. M. Drew said...

Continuation of previous post:

Your objection that "to limit the 'never-failing faith' gifted to the Successors of St. Peter to the extraordinary magisterium or the ordinary universal magisterium is a complete anachronism, since these concepts were not devised until the 19th century," is entirely out of place. The "limit" is not placed by me. It is placed by the dogmatic declaration of Vatican I in Pastor Aeternus. The dogma defines what the pope's "never-failing faith" means. You ignore the dogma itself and apply your own definition to "never-failing faith." That is only possible if you disregard dogma as divine revelation that is the formal object of divine and Catholic faith.

You do the same thing again in your last paragraph. You ignore the dogma itself and appeal to the Relatio and the "dogma of indefectibility." Indefectibility has never been formally dogmatized and notwithstanding the great merits of the narrative preceding the dogmatic declaration in Pastor Aeternus, only the dogma itself is infallible. It is from the dogma that clarifies narrative. If you really want to know what "this gift, then, of truth and never-failing faith" means, the narrative explains that it is a "prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God found worthy to join with the supreme pastoral office." The dogma itself then states exactly what this is.

"This gift, then, of truth and never-failing faith was conferred by heaven upon Peter and his successors in this Chair, that they might perform their high office for the salvation of all; that the whole flock of Christ, kept away from the poisonous food of error by them, might be nourished with the pasture of heavenly doctrine; that the occasion of schism being removed, the whole Church might be kept one, and, resting on its foundation, might stand firm against the gates of Hell.

"But since, in this very age in which the salutary efficacy of the Apostolic office is most of all required, not a few are found who take away from its authority, We judge it altogether necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God found worthy to join with the supreme pastoral office.

"Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God Our Savior, the exaltation of the Catholic Religion, and the salvation of Christian people, the Sacred Council approving, We teach and define that it is a divinely-revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex Cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church."
Pastor Aeternus, Vatican I, Dogma on Papal infallibility

The remote rule of faith is divine is divine revelation found in Scripture and tradition. The proximate rule of faith is the divine revelation of Catholic dogma. From the infallible truth of dogma other truths can be necessarily deduced. Lastly, the primary sign and cause of unity in the Church is the Faith. The pope is secondarily and accidentally the sign and cause of unity in the Church.


Emmett O'Regan said...

The possibility of a pope holding to material heresy does not impact indefectibility in any way, as St. Bellarmine taught. Your main problem is that you reject the Magisterium of the Church, which is as integral to the Catholic Faith as Scripture and Tradition. The Magisterium is the rule of Faith. You only accept Scripture and Tradition and your own private magisterium, like the Protestants do. I take it you are a sedevacantist?

Indefectibility wasn't formally defined, but it didn't need to be. Teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium can be raised to dogma in a non-defining act in the ordinary magisterium, as Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in the Professio Fidei. The fact that it wasn't solemnly defined at Vatican I only leaves a slight uncertainty as to whether it is a credenda or tenenda dogma. At the very least, it is tenenda, and to reject it places you outside full communion with the Catholic Church. Most likely it is credenda though, since infallibility is directly based on it. Hopefully it will be solemnly defined in the future. "Never failing faith" is what indefectibility means in the original Latin of Pastor Aeternus, based on Luke 22:32, it is not to do with infallibility. To try to confine indefectibility to the extraordinary magisterium is a ridiculous anachronism, and conflates it with infallibility itself. How can you have an indefectible infallible extraordinary magisterium? Indefectibility is passive, not active. It doesn't belong to the extraordinary magisterium, which is for actively defining. Also, indefectibility does prevent a pope from falling into formal heresy, as the Catholic Encyclopaedia states:

"The gift of indefectibility plainly does not guarantee each several part of the Church against heresy or apostasy. The promise is made to the corporate body. Individual Churches may become corrupt in morals, may fall into heresy, may even apostatize. Thus at the time of the Mohammedan conquests, whole populations renounced their faith; and the Church suffered similar losses in the sixteenth century. But the defection of isolated branches does not alter the character of the main stem. The society of Jesus Christ remains endowed with all the prerogatives bestowed on it by its Founder. Only to One particular Church is indefectibility assured, viz. to the See of Rome. To Peter, and in him to all his successors in the chief pastorate, Christ committed the task of confirming his brethren in the Faith (Luke 22:32); and thus, to the Roman Church, as Cyprian says, "faithlessness cannot gain access" (Epistle 54)."

D. M. Drew said...

I have already said that the pope holding to material heresy does not impact Indefectibility. Is also does not impact Infallibility either. What's the point. It is calumny to assert that I "reject the Magisterium of the Church." That would be rejecting dogma which I have already explained to you is the "proximate rule of faith." I am not a sedevacantist either, a charge that you offer without a shred of evidence. Your problem is that have so corrupted the idea of papal authority that anyone who does not agree with your holding the pope as the rule of faith must necessarily be a heretic. You should reflect upon this: the attributes of the Church, authority, indefectibility and infallibility are attributes of God. They are only attributes of the Church because the Church is a divine institution. It is the Mystical Body of Christ (or would you prefer to say "subsist in"?). You have made the attributes of the Church the personal attributes of the pope. You have made the pope God which a grave distortion of the papacy. The attributes belong to the Church and the pope by virtue of his office can under specific conditions engage these powers.

Indefectibility has not been dogmatized. That is, this doctrine has not been made a formal object of divine and Catholic faith. It nevertheless is a revealed doctrine of faith, a formal object of divine faith. Still, since it has not been formally defined there remains a wide latitude of opinions regarding its exact nature. If you recall, I drew an analogy between this doctrine and the doctrine of the Communion of Saints and an article on this question be Fr. Fenton in the AER. You erred in you previous post by calling Indefectibility a dogma which I am glad you have corrected. But your claim that it does not need to be dogmatized is a mistake. It needs to be dogmatized for the same reason that infallibility did to prevent the distorted attributions of these divine powers. You have made Indefectibility an attribute of the pope and that is a grave error.

Your definition of Indefectibility as "never-failing faith" as a personal attribute of the pope is bizarre. The attribute of Indefectibility is an attribute of the Church. The attributes are divine powers that God has endowed His Church. The power of Authority relates primarily to the duty of government, the power of Infallibility relates primarily to the duty to teach without error, and the power of Indefectibility relates primarily to the duty to worship God and sanctify the faithful. These are the three duties specifically enumerated by St. Pius X in Pascendi. Furthermore, powers are not "passive" as you claim which should be a clue that you have something wrong. Even you reference from the Catholic Encyclopedia affirms that Indefectibility is an attribute of the Church saying, "The gift of indefectibility plainly does not guarantee each several part of the Church against heresy or apostasy. The promise is made to the corporate body."

Lastly, you keep drawing a distinction between formal and material heresy of a pope. It bears repeating, it makes no difference whatsoever (except to the pope himself). When you make the attributes of the Church the personal attributes of the pope, he becomes the rule of faith and if he is rule of faith material heresy will be just as damaging to the faithful as formal heresy.


Lepanto said...

What about St. Paul's correction of St. Peter?

If it were truly impossible for a validly elected Pope to teach heresy, then that is the proof that Francis is not validly elected. Certainly the rules put in place by Pope JPII appear to have been ignored with regard to canvassing before the conclave.

CCR said...

Excellent article, Emmett.

Nellynette Torres Ramirez said...

Blind and leader of the blind.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. O'Regan,

Can you please clarify what you mean when you say a pope cannot fall into formal heresy? Do you mean a pope is unable to lose the virtue of faith by pertinaciously denying a dogma?