John Salza, Call Your Office: Fr. Kramer Releases His Text Showing that Heresy Automatically Separates one from the Catholic Church WITHOUT declaration.
Dr, Chojnowski: Here are the first 19 pages of a 222 page document explaining the Catholic doctrine on Leaving the Church and Falling from Office due to Heresy, Schism, or Apostasy. The rest of the UNFINISHED document will be published shortly. I am sorry for the jagged presentation of the text in some places. The blog format caused the text to be interrupted by the copious footnotes. I will try to organize it in a better way, as I publish the whole 220 pages of a work STILL IN PROGRESS.
from the Faith & the Church - Faith, Heresy, and Loss of Office - An Exposé of the Heresy of John Salza & Robert Siscoe Part I
Fr. Paul Kramer B.Ph., S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L. (Cand.)
FAITH, HERESY & LOSS OF OFFICE
The sin of Heresy per se, like apostasy and schism, has the intrinsic effect of separating the heretic from the Church by itself, without any ecclesiastical censure or judgment; and is distinguished from other sins which do not by their very nature, separate the sinn er from the body of the Church; and who, therefore, for grave offenses can only be separated from the Church by a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is the infallible teaching of the universal mag isterium of the Church which must be believed de fide divina et Catholica under pain of heresy, as is proven and demonstrated below.
St. Pius V teaches in the Roman Catechism: "Heretics and schismatics are excluded from the Church, because they have d efected (desciverunt) from her and belong to her only as deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted."; whereas those who have not left the Church by defecting, but are excluded from the Church by excommunication, are "cut off by her sentenc e from the number of her children and belong not to her communion until they repent.” 1
1 Catechismus Romanus, Cap. 10,9: "Ex quo fit ut tria tantummodo hominum genera ab ea excludantur: primo infideles, deinde haeretici et schismatici, postremo excommunicati. Ethnici quidem, quod in Ecclesia numquam fuerunt, neque eam umquam cognoverunt, nec ullius sacramenti participes in populi ch ristiani societate facti sunt. Haeretici vero atque schismatici, quia ab Ecclesia desciverunt, neque enim illi magis ad Ecclesiam spectant quam transfugae ad exercitum pertineant a quo defecerunt; non negandum tamen quin in Ecclesiae potestate sint, ut qui ab ea in iudicium vocentur, puniantur et anathemate damnentur. Postremo etiam excommunicati, quod Ecclesiae iudicio ab ea exclusi ad illius communionem non pertineant donec resipiscant."
Pope Clement XIII declared the Roman Catechism to be far removed fro m all danger of error, and that it sets forth the common doctrine of the Church error: "Nam et illuc eam doctrinam contulerunt, quae communis est in Ecclesia, et procul abest ab omni periculo erroris; et hanc palam populo tradendam disertissimis verbis p roposuerunt" -- thus, in matters of faith and morals it presents the teaching of the universal magisterium, promulgated with the authority equivalent to the authority of a dogmatic encyclical.
Doctor John Hagan, [Vice Rector & Rector of the Irish College in Rome, 1904 - 1930) writes thus: "The Roman Catechism is a work of exceptional authority. At the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic Encyclical, -- it is an authoritative e xposition of Catholic doctrine given forth, and guaranteed to be orthodox by the Catholic Church and her supreme head on earth. (cf. AUTHORITY AND EXCELLENCE OF THE ROMAN CATECHISM, http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/romancat.html)
In order to understand how it is that heretics leave the Church by themselves -- i.e., that heresy per se, by the very nature of the transgression, separates the here tic from the body of the Church as a consequence intrinsic to the nature of the sin, (as Pius XII teaches, " suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet "); and that by the fully deliberate and obstinate act of heresy, the heretics have left the Churc h and separated themselves from union with the body of the Church: "a Corporis compage semetipsos misere separarunt", (as distinguished from those who for reason of a most grave fault have been cut off by the legitimate ecclesiastical authority -- "ob grav issima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt" [either a jure, i.e. latæ sententiæ , or ab homine , i.e. sententia ferenda ] ); it is necessary first to understand how one enters the Church as a faithful member; since it is by faith that one becomes a C hristian and a member of the Church, and therefore it is by defecting from the faith into heresy or apostasy that one departs from the Church and ceases by the very nature of the sin to be a member.
It is first and foremost by faith that one is a Chri stian, without which, (as St. Thomas teaches), no one can be said to be a Christian: "Primum quod est necessarium Christiano, est fides, sine qua nullus dicitur fidelis Christianus." 2 By faith, even before baptism (Acts 10:47), one can becomes united to th e soul of the Church, and becomes a member not "in re" but "in voto" (as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches 3 ). This is, as St. Thomas explains, in virtue of the effects of faith: 1) It is by faith that the soul is first united to God: "Primum est quod per fidem anima coniungitur Deo: nam per fidem anima Christiana facit quasi quoddam matrimonium cum Deo"; and for that reason it is that one who is baptised must first profess the faith: "Et inde est quod quando homo baptizatur, primo confitetur fidem, cum dicit ur ei, credis in Deum?". And thus it is that Baptism is first a sacrament of faith: "Quia Baptismus est primum sacramentum fidei ." -- and for this reason Baptism is said to be "the door", the vitæ spiritualis ianua and the door to the other sacraments 4 ; for it is by this sacrament of faith that one enters the Church, and without faith the sacrament is of no benefit: "Baptismus enim sine fide non prodest." From there it becomes clear that in order to be a member of the Church, it is necessary, (as St. Pius X teaches), to be baptised, and to believe and profess the doctrine of Jesus Christ ("Per esser membro della Chiesa è necessario esser battezzato, credere e professare la dottrina di Gesù Cristo") 5 ; since the Church is "the congregation of all baptize d persons united in the same true faith, the same sacraments, and the same sacrifice, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him" -- and therefore, "To remain a real member of the Church after Baptism a person must p rofess the one true
2 Sancti Thomae de Aquin o; Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum, PROOEMIUM
3 De Ecclesia Militante, Lib. III, Cap. 3 - "there are those who belong to the soul and not the body, as catechumens or the excommunicated, if indeed they have charity, which can happen." – and, "Catechumens however if not in re at least in voto are in the Church and are therefore able to be saved."
4 "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), [Council Of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spirit ualis ianua], and the door which gives access to the other sacraments." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213.
5 San Pio X, Catechismo Maggiore
faith and must not withdraw from the unity of the body of the Church in schism or heresy or be excommunicated by legitimate author ity because of serious sins." 6
Thus, the heretic, schismatic, and apostate withdraw from unity and le ave the Church, and thereby cease to be members, as St. Pius X teaches (in Question 200), Whoever would not believe in the solemn definitions of faith or would doubt them, would sin against faith; and remaining obstinate in unbelief, would no longer be a C atholic, but a heretic. ("Chi non credesse alle definizioni solenni del Papa, o anche solo ne dubitasse, peccherebbe contro la fede, e se rimanesse ostinato in questa incredulità, non sarebbe più cattolico, ma eretico.) Heretics are not only those who stub bornly doubt or deny any solemn definitions; but the same Pontiff teaches that they are heretics who refuse to believe any truth revealed by God which the Catholic Church teaches as "de fide": "Gli eretici sono i battezzati che ricusano con pertinacia di c redere qualche verità rivelata da Dio e insegnata come di fede dalla Chiesa cattolica" (Q. 228).
The doctrine that not only the solemn definitions, but all that has been taught by the universal and ordinary magisterium of the Church as divinely reveale d must be believed with divine and Catholic faith was set forth with precision in the Dogmatic Constitution
by the First Vatican Council: "Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the writt en word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be bel ieved as divinely revealed." 7 Thus it follows that heresy consists not only in the denia l or refusal to believe solemnly defined dogmas, but any revealed truth taught by the universal magisterium that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith: "Can. 751 — Dicitur haeresis, pertinax, post receptum baptismum, alicuius veritatis divina et catholica credendae denegatio, aut de eadem pertinax dubitatio; apostasia, fidei christianae ex toto repudiatio". (Codex Iuris Canonici)
It is to be noted that in both extraordinary and ordinary Magisterium, the doctrine must either be proclaimed with a “definitive act” (extraordinary) or it is agreed that it is “to be held as defininive.” The teaching of both the extraordinary and the universal and ordinary Magisterium are defined doctrines. Any doctrine that is not defined does not pertain to the inf allible Magisterium of the Church.
Francisco Marin - Sola O.P. explains:
"The Church’s doctrinal authority or magisterium has for its proper and specific purpose the conservation and exposition of the revealed deposit. To determine or to fix infallibly the true meaning of the divine deposit is called a definition of faith by the Church ...
6 Baltimore Catechism No. 3, 1949, Official Revised Edition, p. 78; annotated by Rev. Francis J. Connell C.ss.R., S.T.D.
7 "Porro fide divina et catholica ea omnia credenda sunt, quae in verbo Dei scripto vel tradito continentur, et ab Ecclesia sive solemni iudicio sive ordinario et universali magisterio tamquam divinitus revelata credenda proponuntur."
These two ways of exercising the magisterium on the content and the meaning of the revealed deposit are of equal dogmatic value, and both are true definitions of faith. Between them there exists only an accidental difference, to wit, that the magisterium exercised by the Ecumenical Council or by the Pope speaking ex cathedra is done with a greater solemnity and show of formulae and is easily discernible by all; on the oth er hand, the ordinary magisterium is exercised through the universal teaching of the Church without any special display or set formulae, and at times it is not so easy to determine its scope and signification." 8
A precise and official formulation on M agisterium and that which must be believed de fide is to be found in Canons 749 and 750 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law: Can 749 §1. “The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher o f all the faithful ... he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”
§2. “The college of bishops also possesses infallible teaching authority when the bishops exercise their teaching office gathered together in an ecumenical council when, as teachers and judges of faith and morals, they declare that for the universal Church a doctrine of faith or morals must be definitively held; they also exercise it scattered throughout the world but united in a bond of com munion among themselves and with the Successor of Peter when together with that same Roman Pontiff in their capacity as authentic teachers of faith and morals they agree on an opinion to be held as definitive.”
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 ever y 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 doc trine of the Catholic Church. 9
8 Fra ncisco Marin - Sola, O.P., The Homogeneous Evolution of Catholic Dogma, Manila, 1988, p. 288.
9 Can. 749 — § 1. Infallibiitate in magisterio, vi muneris sui gaudet Summus Pontifex quando ut supremus omnium christifidelium Pastor et Doctor, cuius est fratres suos in fide confirmare, doctrinam de fide vel de moribus tenendam definitivo actus proclamat.
§ 2. Infallibiitate in magisterio pollet quoque Collegium Episcoporum quando magisterium exercent Episcopi in Concilio Oecumenico coadunati, qui, ut fidei et mo rum doctores et iudices, pro universa Ecclesia doctrinam de fide vel de moribus definitive tenendam declarant aut quando per orbem dispersi, communionis nexum inter se et cum Petri successore servantes, una cum eodem Romano Pontifice authentice res fidei v el morum docentes, in unam sententiam tamquam definitive tenendam conveniunt.
The truths of faith taught by the Magisterium must be understood according to the mind of the Church with the same unchanging meaning: "For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed ... has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the spouse of Ch rist, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specio us name of a deeper understanding.
Therefore ... let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be so lely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and the same understanding (St. Vincen t of Lérins)." (Dei Filius) 10
St. Vincent of Lérins in his Commonitory lays down the rules that must be observed in order to safeguard the sacred doctrine so that its authentic meaning can be perpetually retained: "Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the stricte st sense Catholic which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, wh ich the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to th e consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors."
The universality, antiquity an d consensus on points of doctrine which distinguish them as being of divine origin are pre - eminently to be found whe r e there is the unanimous consensus of the Fathers on a point of doctrine. In matters of faith and morals the true sense of sacred scripture is to be understood as the Church, which has the authority to interpret and judge, has understood and understands it; and no one may interpret them contrary to this sense; and it is permitted to no one to interpret the scriptures contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers: "Nos, . . . , hanc illius mentem esse declaramus, ut in rebus fidei et morum, ad aedifica tionem doctrinae Christianae pertinentium, is pro
Can. 750 — § 1. Fide divina et catholica ea omnia credenda sunt quae verbo Dei scripto vel tradito, uno scilicet fidei deposito Ecclesiae commisso, continentur, et insimul ut di vinitus revelata proponuntur sive ab Ecclesiae magisterio sollemni, sive ab eius magisterio ordinario et universali, quod quidem communi adhaesione christifidelium sub ductu sacri magisterii manifestatur; tenentur igitur omnes quascumque devitare doctrinas iisdem contrarias.
§ 2. Firmiter etiam amplectenda ac retinenda sunt omnia et singula quae circa doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab Ecclesiae magisterio definitive proponuntur, scilicet quae ad idem fidei depositum sancte custodiendum et fideliter exponend um requiruntur; ideoque doctrinae Ecclesiae catholicae adversatur qui easdem propositiones definitive tenendas recusat.
10 Neque enim fidei doctrina, quam Deus revelavit, velut philosophicum inventum proposita est humanis ingeniis perficienda, sed tamquam d ivinum depositum Christi Sponsae tradita, fideliter custodienda et infallibiliter declaranda. Hinc sacrorum quoque dogmatum is sensus perpetuo est retinendus, quem semel declaravit Sancta Mater Ecclesia, nec umquam ab eo sensu, altior intelligentiae specie et nomine, recedendum. Crescat igitur et multum vehementerque proficiat, tam singulorum, quam omnium, tam unius hominis, quam totius Ecclesiae, aetatum ac saeculorum gradibus, intelligentia, scientia, sapientia; sed in suo dumtaxat genere, in eodem scilic et dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia (Vinc . Lir. Common, n. 28).
vero sensu sacrae Scripturae habendus sit, quem tenuit ac tenet Sancta Mater Ecclesia, cuius est iudicare de vero sensu et interpretatione Scripturarum sanctarum; atque ideo nemini licere contra hunc sensum , aut etiam contra unanimem consensum Patrum ipsam Scripturam sacram interpretari." [ Dei Filius ]
Steve Ray, in « Unanimous Consent of the Fathers » , (written for the Catholic Dictionary of Apologetics and Evangelism by Ignatius Press), says, on the auth ority of ecclesiastical writers, "Where the Fathers speak in harmony, with one mind overall - not necessarily each and every one agreeing on every detail but by consensus and general agreement - we have 'unanimous consent'."
Unanimous consent in interpreting scripture cannot be intelligibly understood in the fundamentalistic sense of unanimous interpretation of many Fathers of individual scriptural texts and verses, (which is rare), but is understood by the Church to deno te a moral unanimity of the Fathers agreeing or consenting on points of doctrine that are derived from various texts of scripture.
Thus, (Cardinal) Yves Congar writes, "In fact, a complete consensus is unnecessary: quite often, that which is appealed to as sufficient for dogmatic points does not go beyond what is encountered in the in te r pretation of many texts." 11 On the consensus of the Fathers, Fr. Bernard Schid writes, "“[T]he unanimity of the Fathers (Consensus Patrum), in matters of faith and moral s, begets complete certainty and commands assent, because they, as a body, bear witness to the teaching and belief of the infallible Church, representing the Church herself. So the authority of the Fathers is binding only when they all agree upon a questio n of faith and morals. The consensus, however, need not be absolute; a moral agreement suffices, as, for instance, when some of the greatest Fathers testify to a doctrine of the Church, and the rest, though quite aware of it, do not positively oppose it.” 12 On this point Congar states, "As a matter of fact, a few testimonies sufficed, even that of one single man if his particular situation or the consideration accorded him by the Church were such as to give to what he said the value of coming from a quasi - pe rsonification of the whole Church at that time."  On this point of what constitutes “consensus” or “moral unanimity”, there is no disagreement among theologians. Benedict Lemeer O.P., who had been Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Unive rsity of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome for many years explained it this way in his lectures, as did Fr. De Simone, professor of Patristics in his Angelicum lectures. I mention this here, because John Salza continues with his repeated ad hominem ridicule again st me for having quoted Yves Congar and Steve Ray – but never once expressing disagreement with their opinion in this matter.
The Catholic belief on heresy is stated in scripture, interpreted unanimously by the Fathers, explicated by the Doctors and t heologians, defined by the universal and ordinary Magisterium of the Church, and taught by the Supreme Pontiffs to the whole Church in their ordinary magisterium.
The doctrine that, « The sin of Heresy per se, like apostasy and schism, has the intrinsi c effect of separating the heretic from the Church by itself, without any ecclesiastical censures or judgment; and is
11 Yves Congar on the “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers” in, Tradition and Traditions; McMilla n Company, New York, 1966.
12 Manual of Patrology, by Rev. Bernard Schid, O.S. B, Herder Bo ok Co., 1917, p. 31.
distinguished from other sins which do not by their very nature, separate the sinner from the body of the Church; and who, therefore, for grave offenses can only be separated from the Church by a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legitimate ecclesiastical authority » , is taught plainly and explicitly in Mystici Corporis:
"In Ecclesiae autem membris reapse ii soli annumerand i sunt, qui regenerationis lavacrum receperunt veramque fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt, vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt." and, "Siquidem non omne admissum, etsi grave scelus, eiusmod i est ut — sicut schisma, vel haeresis, vel apostasia faciunt — suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet."
The common and general meaning of the word "admissum" is defined by Lewis & Short as a "voluntary fault", and only in certain specific instances can it be understood to mean "crime", when the particular context in which it is used supports that interpretation. Salza & Siscoe gratuitously interpret the term as used in Mystici Corporis to mean "offense" as in"crime" -- a canonical delict o r transgression of ecclesiastical positive law which, in the case of heresy by ecclesiastical authority incurs the penalty of excommunication latæ sententiæ . It is quite impossible, and in fact, contra rationem , for the word "admiss um" to be understood as meaning only the canonical delict of heresy, schism, or apostasy suapte natura separates a man from the Church, but not the external sin, in the context that it is used in this passage of Mystici Corpori s, because that would render the meaning of the passage unintelligible and entirely irrational.
Salza & Siscoe go to great lengths to insist that the words "admissa" and "admissum" mean, "crime(s)", and not "sin(s)"; but when you examine the syntax of text very carefully, it makes no differe nce how you translate the terms. Read the Latin text very carefully – it says: "And thus not every offense (sin, fault, crime), even a grave crime, does such – as schism, heresy, and apostasy do – by their very nature separate a man from unity of the body the Church." There it is: Others are separated from the Church "by the legitimate authority of the Church"; as opposed to those who "miserably separate thems elves from union with the body " of the Church by heresy, schism, or apostasy, which separate them n ot by the authority of the Church, but suapte natura . It pertains to the nature of a crime that it separates one from the Church by the penalty of excommunication, incurred or inflicted by the authority of the Church. Heresy, schism and apostasy are declar ed by Pius XII, (in conformity with the constant teaching of the universal magisterium), to be the sole exceptions, because heretics, schismatics, or apostates are declared not to be separated from the body of the Church “by legitimate authority”, but by t he very nature of the sinful act, by which they “miserably separated themselves from the unity of the Body” of the Church (a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt) . Salza & Siscoe interpret this papal magisterial text by conflating it with the pri vate opinion of John of St. Thomas, in order to support their heretical belief that the sinful act of manifest formal heresy by itself does not suapte natura separate a man from the C hurch unless there is pronounced a judgment of the Church for the “crime” of heresy , but "without an additional censure " – (according to them), there must be some judgment, condemnation or penal censure, but not the additional censure. i.e. a vitandus declaration. A ccording to them, it must be a can onical delict – a penal offen se judged by the Church for heresy to separate a man from the Church “suapte natura”! However, if there is any judgment or censure at all ,
then the heretics are separated by the "legitimate authority of the Church" , and therefore not by heresy suapte natura , by which they "miserably separated themselves from the unity of the body" of the Church. One is either separated from the body of the Church by excommunication, i.e. “by legitimate authority ” , or by one’s own sinful act of desertion, which accordin g to its very nature nature separates one from the body of the Church, as St. Pius V and St. Pius X teach in their catechisms. There exists no third way out of the Church, by which one is separated from the body of the Church by some judgment, before being excommunicated or declared vitandus . Thus, their interpretation of the passage of Mystiici Corporis would render it entirely irrational.
As can be seen from the above quoted text of St. Pius V's Catechism, heretics withdraw (descisco, desciscere, des civi, descitum - withdraw, leave, revolt from, desert defect), they leave the Church on their own , as opposed to the excommunicati , who are expelled by act of authority . By the act of heresy, i.e., by the sin of defecting from the Catholic faith by an exte rnal act of manifest formal heresy, the heretic, by that act of heresy suapte natura 13 , i.e., by the effect that is intrinsic to the nature of the act of formal heresy, leaves the Church and ceases to be a member. It is not by the force of law in virtue of a latæ sententiæ excommunication, or in any manner by means of , or aft er any ecclesiastical judgment , that the heretic ceases to be a member of the Church by having been expelled from the Church by the authority of ecclesiastical law (ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt), nor is it necessary for a heretic to formally declare his separation from the Church or join another religios sect or denomination, but the act of desertion itself intrinsic to formal heresy , suapte natura , separate s the heretic from the body of the Church, so that any judgment or censure does not in any manner separate the heretic from the Church or dispose the heretic to be separated f rom the Church; but only gives juridical recognition and adds force of law to the fact of separation accomplished suapte natura by heresy, and therefore per se by the heretic entirely by himself ; and therefore the censure merely gives juridical recognition to the fact and imposes the obligation of absolution from the censure as a cond ition for reconciliation with the Church.
If Salza's interpretation of Mys tici Corporis were correct, 14 i.e., that only the canonical delict of heresy suapte natura , but not the sin of heresy suapte natura severs the heretic from the body of the Church,
13 The term "suapte natura" simply means "by or of its own nature". The meaning in law is identical: "Lat. In its own nature. Suapte natura sterilis, barren in its own nature and quality; intrinsically barren." - Black's Law Dictionary (online) The act of desertion from the Church is intrinsic to the nature of the sin of heresy, apostasy or schism, committed as an external act; whereas the act of separating oneself from the Church is not intrinsic to the nature other crimes, but the sep aration takes place by the authority of the Church.
14 The Salza/Siscoe interpreration of Mystici Corporis is not shared by any academically qualified theologian in the world. Mons. Van Noort wrote:
"b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not m embers of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors — baptism, profession of the same faith, union w ith the hierarchy — pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. 'For not every sin, however gr ave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy'." (
Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ’s Church, p. 241 - 242.)
then the distinction between those who depart from the Church by their own act of desertion, and those who are expelled from the Church by legitimate authority would not exist, since all sinners separated fro m the Church for being guilty of a delict , including heretics, would then be separated from the Church by legitimate authority -- by a judgment of guilt, or a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legi timate ecclesiastical authority; and not by the very nature of the act of desertion. It is also quite absurd to say that the crime of heresy only, but not the sin, (which is identical in essence to the sin, and defined in both Canon Law and Moral Theology in identical terms), suapte natura sever s the perpetrator from the Church in some manner other than by which other crimes separate the offender from the Church, since under both aspects the crime and the sin are identical in nature except for the censure that would make the sin a crime indisting uishable in nature from any other crime.
It is patent, however, that Pius XII in the same Mystici Corporis speaks of heresy schism and apostasy suapte natura considered in themselves, and not as a canonical delict, when he says it is a matter, not of h uman law, but of divine law ( iubente Domino ) that those who refuse to hear the Church are cut off: “ Sicut igitur in vero christifidelium coetu unum tantummodo habetur Corpus, unus Spiritus, unus Dominus et unum Baptisma, sic haberi non potest nisi una fide s ; 18 atque adeo qui Ecclesiam audire renuerit, iubente Domino habendus est ut ethnicus et publicanus. 19 Quamobrem qui fide vel regimine invicem dividuntur, in uno eiusmodi Corpore atque uno eius divino Spiritu vivere nequeunt. ” And thus he says in the following parag raph, that hence, literally, siquidem , i.e., “accordingly” not all sins as do schism, heresy, or apostasy separate a man from the body of the Church: “ 20 Siquidem non omne admissum, etsi grave scelus, eiusmodi est ut — sicut schisma, vel hae resis, vel apostasia faciunt — suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet. ”
Finally, if Salza's opinion that only the canonical crime of heresy (but not the public sin by its very nature), severs the heretic from the Church, then the perpetua l teaching of the Church, namely, that heresy per se , and not heresy considered as a canonical delict, severs the heretic from the Church, would be an error. St. Robert Bellarmine quotes St. Jerome (d. 420 AD), one of the four major Latin Fathers, who teac hes with the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, "Jerome comments on the same place, saying that other sinners, through a judgment of excommunication are excluded from the Church ; heretics, however, leave by themselves and are cut from the body of Christ ". Bellarmine states explicitly that the heretic is cut off from the body of the Church before any sentence of excommunication comes into effect: “Yet heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they ar e condemned by their own judgment, as the Apostle teaches to Titus; that is, they are cut from the body of the Church without excommunication, as Jerome expresses it.”
St. Robert Bellarmine teaches most explicitly ( De Romano Pontifice, II xxx ) that i t is heresy by its very nature , ( ex natura haeresis ), which severs the heretic from the Church , and causes the immediate loss of ecclesiastical office : “Thenceforth, the Holy Fathers teach in unison, that not only are heretics outside the Church, but they even lack all Ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity ipso facto .” Salza desperately attempts to interpret the Fathers as teaching that the heretic’s severing himself from the Church and the subsequent loss of office result from an ecclesiastical censure or judgment. Bellarmine, in his refutation of the Fourth Opinion utterly destroys that argument: “Nor does the response which some make avail, that these Fathers speak according to ancient laws, but now since the decree of the
Council of Constance they do not lose jurisdiction, unless excommunicated by name, or if they strike clerics. I say this avails to nothing. For those Fathers, when they say that heretics lose jurisdiction, do not allege any human laws which maybe did not exist then on this matter; rat her, they argued from the nature of heresy . Moreover, the Council of Constance does not speak except on the excommunicates, that is, on these who lose jurisdiction through a judgment of the Church. Yet heretics are outside the Church, even before excommuni cation, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment , as the Apostle teaches to Titus; that is, they are cut from the body of the Church without excommunication, as Jerome expresses it. ” (Neque valet, quod quidam responden t, istos Patres loqui secundum antiqua jura, nunc autem ex decreto Concilii Constantiensis non amittere jurisdictionem, nisi nominatim excommunicatos, & percussores clericorum; hoc, inquam, nihil valet. Nam Patres illi cum dicunt haereticos amittere jurisd ictionem, non allegant ulla jura humana, quae etiam forte tunc nulla extabant de hac re: sed argumentantur ex natura haeresis . Concilium autem Constantiense, non loquitur nisi de excommunicatis , id est, de his, qui per sententiam Ecclesiae amiserunt jurisd ictionem. Haeretici autem etiam ante excummunicationem sunt extra Ecclesiam, & privati omni jurisdictione: sunt enim proprio judicio condemnati, ut docet Apostolus ad Titum3. V. II. Hoc est: praecisi a corpore Ecclesiae, sine excommunication, ut Hieronymus exponit.) Thus, St. Robert Bellarmine proves that it is the teaching of scripture, interpre ted unanimously by the Fathers, that heretics are outside the Church and lose all jurisdiction by themselves before any judgment is made by the Church.
It is also shown by reason – by the very meaning of the words schism, heresy, apostasy suapte natura in Mystici Corporis, and and ex natura haeresis in De Romano Pontifice, that what is being spoken of is heresy in itself, in its very own nature, and not heresy considered as a violation of ecclesiastical law; because a thing considered in its nature, is considered formally as a principium motus in eo quod est . St. Thomas takes this definition straight from the Physics of Aristotle (Aristotle, Physics, III, I, 201 a 10 s.); and says, “Naturalia enim sunt quorum principium motus in ipsis est." ( Sancti Thomae de Aquino, De motu cordis ad magistrum Philippum de Castro Caeli) Thus to speak of heresy suapte natura , or of heresy ex natura haeresis , refers to i t as a principle of motion that is intrinsic to itself, and by which it separates the heretic from the Church, and not by any extrinsic principle such as the force of a human positive law.
Thus, as explained above, it is by faith that one is first un ited to God; and by the external profession of faith, and the sacrament of faith, that one enters the Church, because it pertains properly to the nature of faith that it unites one to God and to his Church; and it is by the contrary disposition of the sin of infidelity – of heresy or apostasy, by which one, with an external act, rejects faith, and leaves the Church. Such is the motion proper to each nature, as St. Thomas explains, that the natural motion of fire is upward, and of earth downward ([M]otus aut em naturalis ad unam partem est, ut ignis sursum, et terrae deorsum); so likewise the motion of faith brings one into the Church, and heresy suapte natura takes one out.
Bellarmine explains that even bad Catholics are united to the Church and are mem bers, they are united by the soul through faith, and by the body through the confession of faith and the visible participation of the sacraments. ( Nam Catholici enim mali sunt uniti, & sunt membra; animo, per fidem;
corpore per confessionem fidei, & visibi lium Sacramentorum participationem ); and secret heretics are united and are members only by external union, but a manifest heretic is not a member of the Church in any manner, by neither soul nor body, neither by internal nor external union. ( haereticus m anifestus, nullo modo est membrum Ecclesiae, id est, neque animo, neque corpore, sive neque unione interna, neque externa )
Applying this doctrine to the hypothetical case of a manifestly heretical pope, Bellarmine explains in what manner faith i s simpliciter a necessary disposition for one to be pope; and faith being removed, by its contrary disposition, which is heresy, the pope would straigh taway cease to be pope, with the necessary disposition for the form of the papacy not being able to be pr eserved. ( ista dispositione sublata per contrariam quae est haeresis, mox papa desinit esse; neque enim potest forma conservari sine necessariis dispositionibus. ) It is therefore on this theological foundation that Bellarmine judges the fifth opinion to be the “true opinion”, and according to it that Bellarmine’s explication of it must be interpreted. Thus, when Bellarmine affirms that a manifestly heretical pope can be “deposed”, it is clearly his meaning that he refers not to a pope while still in office, but one who has already ceased to be pope by himself, or; as Pope Gregory XVI expressed it of the claimant P edro De Luna (Benedict X III), if ever he was pope, would have already “fallen” (decaduto) from the papal throne for having attacke d the dogma “unam sanctam”. 15
The correct understanding of the doctrine of St Robert Bellarmine, which exposes the absurdity of the Salza & Siscoe interpretation of Bellarmine’s doctrine on the question of a heretic pope, is explained by the Jesuit canonists Franz Xav ier Wernz S.J. and Pedro Vidal S.J. in, J us Canonicum (1938) Chapter VII:
“453. By heresy which is notorious and openly made known. The Roman Pontiff should he fall into it is by that very fact even before any declaratory sentence of the Church deprived of his power of jurisdiction . ( Per haeresim notoriam et palam divulgatam R. Pontif ex si in illam incidat, ipso facto etiam ante omnem sententiam declaratoriam Ecclesiae sua potestate iurisdictionis privatus existit ) Concerning this matter there are five Opin ions of which the first denies the hypothesis upon which the entire question is based, namely that a Pope even as a private doctor can fall into heresy. This opinion
15 “ Ora quali molestie non riceveva ella la Chiesa da Benedett o, che pertinacemente col fatto impugnava l’articolo unam, sancatm? Fulminava questi I più terribili anatemi contro il Concilio, e contro gli aderenti agli altri Pontefici, e praticava tutti I più precipitosi attentati onde conservarsi sul trono illegitim mante occupato; pretendendo che la Chiesa di Gesù Cristo perita in tutte le altre parti del mondo, si trovasse ristretta nella sola Paniscola, come rispose ai legati del Concolio: Ibi non est Ecclesia, sed in Paniscola est vera, inquam, Ecclesia, . . hic e st arca Noe (1). Ond’è che poteasi, come osserva il Ballerini, considerarlo quale pubblico scismatico e eretico, ed in conseguenza per se decaduto dal pontificato, se anche ad esso fosse stato validamente inalzato. ” (Il trionfo della santa sede e della chi esa contro gli assatti dei novatori, p. 47) Translation: “ Now such harassment she, the Church received from Benedict, who obstinately with the fact attacked the article unam, sancatm? He fulminated these most terrible anathemas against the Council, and aga inst adherents to other Pontiffs, and made the more precipitous attacks in order to keep himself on the illegitimately occupied throne; claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ to have perished in all other parts of the world, and that it was restricted on ly in Paniscola, as he said to the legates of the Council: ‘That is not a Church, but in Paniscola, I say, is the true Church,. . This is Noah's Ark’. So then be could be considered, as noted by Ballerini, to have been a public schismatic and heretic, and consequently to have fallen from papacy, even if he had been validly elevated to it.”
although pious and probable cannot be said to be certain and common. For this reason the h ypothesis is to be accepted and the question resolved.
“A second opinion holds that the Roman Pontiff forfeits his power automatically even on account of occult heresy. This opinion is rightly said by Bellarmine to be based upon a false supposition, n amely that even occult heretics are completely separated from the body of the Church... The third opinion thinks that the Roman Pontiff does not automatically forfeit his power and cannot be deprived of it by deposition even for manifest heresy. This asser tion is very rightly said by Bellarmine to be ‘extremely improbable’.
“The fourth opinion, with Suarez, Cajetan and others, contends that a Pope is not automatically deposed even for manifest heresy, but that he can and must be deposed by at least a d ecl aratory sentence of the crime. ‘ Which opinion in my judgment is indefensible’, as Bellarmine teaches.
“Finally, there is the fifth opinion - that of Bellarmine himself - which was expressed initially and is rightly defended by Tanner and others as the best proven and the most common. For he who is no longer a member of the body of the Church, i.e. the Church as a visible society, cannot be the head of the Universal Church. But a Pope who fell into public heresy would cease by that very fact to be a member of the Church. Therefore he would also cease by that very fact to be the head of the Church .
“ Indeed, a publicly heretical Pope, who, by the commandment of Christ and the Apostle must even be avoided because of the danger to the Church, must be deprived of his power as almost all admit. But he cannot be deprived by a merely declaratory sentence... Wherefore, it must be firmly stated that a heretical Roman Pontiff would by that very fact forfeit his power . Although a declaratory sentence of the crime which is not to be rejected in so far as it is merely declaratory would be such that the heretical po pe would not be judged, but would rather be shown to have been judged. ”
Thus, the great Jesuit canonists of the Gregorian University explain that Opinion No. 5 of St. Robert Bellarmine is based on the doctrine of Pope Innocent III, who said in Sermo II: "In tantum enim fides mihi necessaria est ut cum de caeteris peccatis solum Deum judicem habeam, propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judicari. Nam qui non credit, iam iudicatus est . (Joh.3 18)." , and “I say the less that h e can be judged by men, but rather be shown to be already judged .” 16 Thus it is not an exception to the principle, Apostolica Sedes a nemine iudicatur , as many had taught before the solemn definition of the universal papal primacy of jurisdiction by the Fir st Vatican Council made such an interpretation impossible, but rather, as Paul Hinschius explained in hi s monumental work on Canon Law 17 , a series of Catholic writers , and already Innocent III and St. Robert Bellarmine , see no exception to that rule , because a pope who falls into heresy would already leave the Church and forfeit the Pontificate , so that a council could no longer dep ose him (in the proper sense of a juridical deposition of a reigning Pontiff ) , but could only declare that the loss of of fice had taken place : « Eine Reihe katholischer Schriftsteller wollen aber darin keine Ausnahme von der gedachten Regel finden, weil der
16 «Minus dico; quia potest ab hominibus judicari, vel potius judicatus ostendi » – Sermo IV De Diversis
17 System des katholischen Kirchenrechts mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Deutschland, Erster Band, Berlin , 1869, p. 307.
in Ketzerei verfallene Papst sich dadurch s elbst von der Kirche ausscheide , damit weiter den Pontifikat verwirke und al so das Konzil keine Deposition mehr verhängen könne, sondern nur die Thatsache des erfolgten Verlustes der Päpstlichen Würde zu konstatiren habe.  (Dieser Gedanke tritt schon bei Innocenz III. auf (im Sermo IV. In consecrat. pontiff. opp. Colon. 1575. 1 . 197): « Potest (pontifex) ab hominibus iudicari vel potius iudicatus ostendi, si videlicet evanescat in haeresim, quoniam qui non credit, iam iudicatus est » ) Vgl. ferner Bellarmin, christ. Fidei controv. gen. III. De Romano pontifice II. 30. (ed. Ingolst adt. 1605. 1083): « Est ergo opinio quinta vera, pa pam haereticum manifestum per se desinere esse [ papam et caput, sicut per se desinit esse ] christianus et membrum corporis Ecclesiae; quare ab ecclesia posse eum iudicari et puniri. Haec est sententia omni um veterum patrum qui docent haereticos manifestos mox amittere omnem jurisdictionem » ; Fagnan. comm. Ad c. 4. X. de elect. I. 6. n. 70 ff; Fragosi, regimen reipubl. Christianae lib. II. c. I. §. 2. n. 21 (Lugduni. 1648. 2, 11); Kober, Deposition. S. 585. » (see translation in Part II)
With an arrogant stupidity that nearly defies belief, Salza and Siscoe say that it is I who have not understood the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine correctly, in spite of the fact that all the great scholars, canonists, jurists and theologians of recent centuries have unanimously understood Bellarmine ’ s doctrine in the manner that I have explained it; yet it is on the basis of their own grotesquely inverted interpretation of Bellarmine and of Mystici Corporis that they o bstinately justify their heretical doctrine, that heresy by itself does not separate the heretic from the Church without an ecclesiastical censure or judgment – whereas it is plainly set forth and proven by Bellarmine that it is the unanimous teaching of t he Fathers interpreting scripture that heresy in its very nature severs one from the Church, and directly brings about the loss of ecclesiastical office before and even without any judgment of the Church; and being the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, it must be believed de fide .
Salza and Siscoe still adamantly maintain, that, « As we explain in great detail in our book, Bellarmine and Suarez teach that the Pope will lose his office, ipso facto, once he is judged by the Church to be a heretic, with out the additional juridical act of vitandus declaration. » Wernz and Vidal have explained that the opinion of Suarez is not that of Bellarmine, who says Opinon No. 5 is the “true opinion”, but that Suarez subscribed to Opinion No. 4. Thus, Salza and Sisco e quote Suarez to justify their errant doctrine, claiming that those who follow Bellarmine in saying that the loss of office ta kes place before any judgment, « have erred is by interpreting the ipso facto loss of office to be similar to an “ipso facto” lata e sententiæ excommunication, which occurs automatically (or ipso facto), when one commits an offense that carries the penalty, without requiring an antecedent judgment by the Church. But this is not at all what Bellarmine and Suarez meant by the ipso facto loss of office. What they meant is that the ipso facto loss of office occurs after the Church judges the Pope to be a heretic and before any additional juridical sentence or excommunication (which differs from Cajetan’s opinion). In other words, af ter the Church establishes “the fact” that the Pope is a manifest heretic, he, according to this opinion, is deemed to lose his office ipso facto (“by the fact”). This is clear from the following quotation from Suarez who wrote:
‘Therefore, others [e.g., Azorius] affirm the Church is superior to the Pope in the case of heresy, but this is difficult to say. For Christ the Lord constituted the Pope as supreme judge absolutely; even the canons indifferently and generally affirm this; and at length the Church does not validly exercise any act
of jurisdiction against the Pope; nor is the power conferred to him by election, rather [the Church] merely designates a person upon whom Christ confers the power by himself; Therefore on deposing a heretical Pope, the Church would not act as superior to him, but juridically and by the consent of Christ she would declare him a heretic and therefore unworthy of Pontifical honors; he would THEN ipso facto and immediately be deposed by Ch rist…’ »
Incredibly, Salza and Siscoe have interpreted Bellarmine by quoting Suarez (and John of St. Thomas) ! In order to arrive at Bellarmine's meaning, it is necessary to make a critical examination of Bellarmine's own words; but Salza and Siscoe attempt to determine Bellarmine's meaning by quoting Suarez and John of St. Thomas — and these are the men who say, Fr. Kramer is an amateur! I will provide a critical commentary on St. Robert Bellarmine's teaching on this question in a later segment of this work . Since it may be necessar y to devote entire articles to each of the five opinions, I will only comment on them briefly here; since Salza and Sicoe have expounded on this topic so ig norantly, that a full refutatio n of their errors needs to be done.
In their insolent ignorance , these mere dilettantes (Salza and Siscoe), who have no formal education in Sacred Theology or in Canon Law, and who cannot read theological works in Latin (the language of Sacred Theology), nor in Italian or German, have even gone so far as to say that t he above mentioned eminent canonists of the Pontifical Gregorian University have wrongly interpreted Suarez and Bellarmine , saying that they equate the opinion of Suarez with Cajetan; whereas in reality they did no such thing. What they did say is that Sua rez and Cajetan were both of Opinion No. 4. Each had his own variation of the Fourth Opinion, but both of them opined that a manifest heretic pope would not lose office until judged by the Church – according to Cajetan by deposition, and according to Suare z, the logically incoherent opinion that the heretic pope would lose office ipso facto for heresy, but only after having been judged juridically by the Church, which amounts to a form of deposition. Wernz and Vidal correctly explain Bellarmine’s Opinion No . 5 , which holds that “ a Pope who fell into public heresy would cease by that very fact to be a member of the Church […] he cannot be deprived by a merely declaratory sentence... Wherefore, it must be firmly stated that a heretical Roman Pontiff would by that very fact [of falling into heresy] forfeit his power . ” This is exactly what Bellarmine says, to wit, that a manifest heretic pope ceases to be pope, a Christian, and a member of the Church by himself ( per se ), having left the Church and the pontificate by his own judgment , and not after the judgment of others: “ the true opinion is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the bo dy of the Church ” 18 ; and, “ heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment” 19 . Salza & Siscoe simplistically equate the fourth opinion exclusively with the opinion o f Cajetan, obvlivious of the fact that many variations of the fourth opinion had already been formulated by medieval canonists centuries before Cajetan. That opinion had achieved its classical formulation from Cajetan in the 16 th Century, so in refuting Op inion No. 4, Bellarmine zeroed in on Cajetan’s formulation of it.
De Romano Pontifice II xxx, on the fifth opinion
De Romano Pontifice II xxx, on the fourth opinion
Opinion No. 2 differs essentially from Opinion No. 5 in that in the case of a secret heretic, the heretic has not pronounced judgment against himself, thereby ceasing by his own judgme nt against himself to be pope, as does the manifest heretic ; and does not cease to be a visible member of the Church as does the manifest heretic . Although he would remain united to the Church by external union only; so , as a practical hypothesis, he would not cease being pope for the sin of occult heresy, because no judgment of men can be pronounced against him, nor does he resign voluntarily – and, since the heretic pope was made pope with the cooperation of men, so he will not be removed except through m en. Bellarmine states explicitly, “ Nam iurisdictio datur quidem Pontifici a Deo, sed hominum opera concurrente, ut patet; quia ab hominibus habet iste homo, qui ante non erat Papa, ut incipiat esse Papa; igitur non aufertur a Deo nisi per hominem, at haere ticus occultus non potest ab homine iudicari; nec ipse sponte eam potestatem vult relinquere .” The reason why God cannot secretly depose a heretic pope is that it is impossible for the visible head of the Church on earth to be invisibly removed, and theref ore if he is to be removed, he must be removed by men in a visible manner. In his explanation of Opinion No.No. 5 and his refutation of Opinion No. 4, Bellarmine explained how a heretic pope would be visibly removed from the Pontificate: the manifest heret ic pope would cease to be pope “by himself” ( per se ) , i.e., by his own judgment against himself and not by others , and then, having already fallen from the pontificate directly by his own actions, he could then be judged and punished by men ; and he explains at some length why a pope while still in office cannot be judged and deposed by his subjects . Bellarmine’s refutation of Opinion No. 2 must be understood according to the unequivocal doctrine he sets forh in his explanation of Opinion No. 5, namel y, that the manifest heretic pope would cease “by himself” to be pope, a Christian, and a member of the Church; and “for which reason” ( quare ) having ceased to be pope, “he may be judged and punished by the Church.” Thus, the judgment he speaks of in order to bring about the removal of the heretic from the papal throne is quite obviously a post factum declaration of the ipso facto loss of office, i.e. a declaratory sentence that the man who was pope has lost office , and not a judicial or juridical se ntence , i.e. a judicial or juridical verdict of guilt on the pope while still in office, which as a dispositive cause brings about the ipso facto loss of office ; because such a judgment requires the jurisdiction of a superior, and therefore is impossible to be ma de by non - superiors who lack jurisdiction . Since the solemn definition of the papal primacy, it is no longer permissible to hold the latter opinion , and can be seen to be heretical, that a pope while still in office can be judged by anyone on earth for any reason, because papal immunity pertains to the very essence of the judicial supremacy of the primacy as solemnly defined by the First Vatican Council , and it has been repeatedly taught by the popes that the pope cannot be judged by anyone. Nevertheless, Salza an d Siscoe stubbornly hold to their heretical opinion that a heretic pope would not lose office unless judged juridically by the public judgment of the Church; an opinion which directly opposes the doctrine of the injudicability of the pope, which p ertains to the essence of the dogma of the universal primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.
As I pointed out above, the observation of Hinschius that many Catholic authors had already avoided the conflict between the problematic doctrine that a pope , by way of exception, can be judged by the Church and deposed for heresy, and the principle opposed to it, namely, Apostolica Sedes a nemine iudicatur ; by advancing the opinion that the manifest heretic pope falls from office by himse lf before any judgment is made against him by the Church, so that a Council would not be able to depose him, but
would only declare the fact that the pope had fallen from the pontificate; and he quotes Innocent III and Belarmine as holding this opinion. I t remains here only to be said, that Pope Gregory XVI (quoted above) was also of this same opinion as Bellarmine, and he based his opinion on the doctrine of Ballerini, who explained it with great erudition in his work, De Potestate Ecclesiastica . Pope Gre gory had said of papal claimant Benedict XIII, “So then he could be considered, as noted by Ballerini, to have been a public schismatic and heretic, and consequently to have fallen from papacy, even if he had been validly elevated to it.” Ballerini wrote o f this same case saying, “For this double reason of schism and heresy Benedict XIII (if one believes him to have been a true Pontiff), by his own will ipso facto abdicated the primacy and the pontificate, [and] rightly and legitimately was able to be depos ed by the Council as a schismatic and heretic, which was not the case with John XXIII, which in the sentence passed against him was not stated . One sees by what means the divine providence employed the synod of Constance to end the most tenacious schism, s o that that synod did not need to exercise any power of jurisdiction by its authority to depose any true, albeit unknown, actual Pontiff.” 20 Ballerini says here that if Benedict XIII had been a valid pope; by his heresy and schism he would have ipso facto of his own volition ( sua voluntate ) “abdicated the primacy and the pontificate” (primatu et pontificatu exauctoratus” ; and for that reason the Council could rightly and correctly depose him. However, this self - deposition having taken place before any judgment or canonical warnings , ( t he warnings were not canonical admonitions, but were made only in charity ) by the Council, the Council in its judgment decl ared that he had shown himself to be a schismatic and heretic, therefore, Ballerini explains, the C ouncil did not declare that it had “deposed” him, but simply that he was deposed ( depositum d eclaruit potius quam deposuit ). Hence, the Council did not depose him but declared him deposed “ as a precautionary measure ” ( “ad omnem cautelam” ) , and that he had been automatically cast out by God , and deprived of all office and ecclesiastical dignity ipso jure due to obstinate heresy and schism. Thus the council's judgment ( Session 37) did not depose or in any way cause him to lose office, but merely declared it post factum : “ For, how greatly he has sinned against God's church and the entire christian people, fostering, and continuing the schism and division of God's church How ardent and frequent have been the devout and humble prayers, exhortations and requests of kings, princes and prelates with which he has been warned in charity, in accordance with the teaching of the gospel, to bring peace to the church, to heal its wounds and to reconstitute its divided parts into one structure and one body, as he had sworn to do, and as for a long time it was within his power to do ! He was unwilling, however, to listen to their charitable admonitions. How many were the persons afterwards sent to attest to him! Because he did not listen at all even to these, it has been nece ssary, in accordance with the aforesaid evangelical teaching of Christ, to say to the church, since he has not listened even to her, that he should be treated as a heathen and a publican. All these things have been clearly proved by the articles coming fro m the inquiry into faith and the schism held before this present synod, regarding the above and other matters brought against him, as well as by their truth and notoriety. The proceedings have been correct and canonical, all the acts
20 «Hac itaque duplici schismate & haeresis causa Benedictus XIII. , (si verum Pontificem fuisse exis times) ipso facto sua voluntate primatu & pontificatu exauctoratus, rite ac legitime deponi potuit a Concilio tamquam schismaticus & haereticus; quod non congrueret Joanni XXIII, in sententia contra hunc edita declaratum non legitur. 18 Vides interim, quib us modis divina providentia usa est ad abolendum per Constantiensem synudum pertinacissimam schisma, ut ne opus esset eamdem synodum quiquam juris exercere ad deponendum sua auctoritate quempiam verum, licet ignotum, actual em Pontificem. » (p. 138)
have been correctly an d carefully examined and there has been mature deliberation. Therefore this same holy general synod, representing the universal church and sitting as a tribunal in the aforesaid inquiry, pronounces, decrees and declares by this definitive sentence written here, that the same Peter de Luna, called Benedict XIII as has been said, has been and is a perjurer, a cause of scandal to the universal church, a promoter and breeder of the ancient schism, that long established fission and division in God's holy church, an obstructer of the peace and unity of the said church, a schismatic disturber and a heretic, a deviator from the faith, a persistent violator of the article of the faith One holy catholic church, incorrigible, notorious and manifest in his scandal to Go d's church, and that he has rendered himself unworthy of every title, rank, honour and dignity, rejected and cut off by God, deprived by the law itself of every right in any way belonging to him in the papacy or pertaining to the Roman pontiff and the Roma n church, and cut off from the catholic church like a withered member. This same holy synod, moreover, as a precautionary measure, since according to himself he actually holds the papacy, deprives, deposes and casts out the said Peter from the papacy and f rom being the supreme pontiff of the Roman church and from every title, rank, honour, dignity, benefice and office whatsoever. It forbids him to act henceforth as the pope or as the supreme and Roman pontiff. It absolves and declares to be absolved all Chr ist's faithful from obedience to him, and from every duty of obedience to him and from oaths and obligations in any way made to him. It forbids each and every one of Christ's faithful to obey, respond to or attend to, as if he were pope, the said Peter de Luna, who is a notorious, declared and deposed schismatic and incorrigible heretic, or to sustain or harbour him in any way contrary to the aforesaid, or to offer him help, advice or good will.” 21
21 « Qui quantum in ecclesiam dei et universum populum christianum peccaverit schisma et divisionem ecclesiae dei fovens nutriens atque continuans: quantis quam que frequentibus devotis et humilibus regum principum et praelatorum precibus exhortationibus et requisi tionibus charitative iuxta doctrinam evangelicam admonitus fuerit ut pacem daret ecclesiae et illius sanaret vulnera et eius partes divisas in unam compaginem et corpus unum reficeret quemadmodum ipse iuraverat erat que et diu fuit in sua potestate: quos t amen charitative corripientes nullatenus voluit exaudire quot sint postmodum testes adhibiti quibus etiam minime exauditis necesse fuit secundum praedictam christi evangelicam doctrinam dicere ecclesiae quam quia etiam non audivit habendus sit tamquam ethn icus et publicanus: capitula in causa inquisitionis fidei et schismatis coram praesenti sancta synodo generali super praemissis et aliis contra eum edita ac illorum veritas et notorietas declaravit manifeste. «Super quibus rite et canonice processo ac omn ibus rite actis ac diligenter inspectis habita que super ipsis deliberatione matura eadem sancta generalis synodus universalem ecclesiam repraesentans in dicta inquisitionis causa pro tribunali sedens pronunciat decernit et declarat per hanc definitivam se ntentiam in his scriptis eumdem Petrum de Luna Benedictum XIII ut praemittitur nuncupatum fuisse et esse periurum universalis ecclesiae scandalizatorem fautorem et nutritorem inveterati schismatis inveteratae scissurae et divisionis ecclesiae sanctae dei p acis et unionis eiusdem ecclesiae impeditorem et turbatorem schismaticum et haereticum a fide devium et articuli fidei unam sanctam catholicam ecclesiam violatorem pertinacem cum scandalo ecclesiae dei incorrigibilem notorium et manifestum atque omni titul o gradu honore et dignitate se reddidisse indignum a deo eiectum et praecisum et omni iure eidem in papatu et Romano pontifici ac Romanae ecclesiae quomodolibet competente ipso iure privatum et ab ecclesia catholica tamquam membrum aridum praecisum. «Ipsu m que Petrum quatenus de facto papatum secundum se tenet eadem sancta synodus papatu et summo ecclesiae Romanae pontificio omni que titulo gradu honore dignitate beneficiis et officiis quibuscumque ad omnem cautelam privat et deponit et abiicit.
Thus, the doctrine that a hereti c pope would lose office by himself, before any sentence, judgment, or declaration, was already affirmed and applied by the Council of Constance, in the decree that cleared the way for the election of Pope Martin V. A s Hinschius observed in the above cited passage, this opinion is supported by the doctrine of Pope Innocent III, expressed in the words: «Potest (pontifex) ab hominibus iudicari vel potius iudicatus ostendi, si videlicet evanescat in haeresim, quoniam qui non credit, iam iudicatus est» – that t he pontiff can be judged or rather that he can be shown to be judged”; and thus Wernz and Vidal cited above, “Wherefore, it must be firmly stated that a heretical Roman Pontiff would by that very fact forfeit his power. Although a declaratory sentence of t he crime which is not to be rejected in so far as it is merely declaratory would be such that the heretical pope would not be judged, but would rather be shown to have been judged.”
Ballerini, However, is the most explicit in stating that the fall of a manifest heretic pope takes place without any judgment of the Church. With the Latin text of the book in front of me and the chapter on this topic before my eyes, I cite the key passage: « For any person, even a private person , the words of Saint Paul to Titus hold: “A man that is a heretic , after the first and second admonition avoid : knowing that he that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.” (Tit. 3, 10 - 11). He forsooth, who having been once or twice corrected, does not repent, but remains obstinate in a belief contrary to a manifest or defined dogma; by this his public pertinacity which for no reason can be excused, since pertinacity properly pertain s to heresy, he declares himself to be a heretic, i.e. to have withdrawn from the Catholic faith and the Church by his own will, so that no declaration or sentence from anyone would be necessary. Conspicuous in this matter is the explanation of St. Jerome on the commended words of Paul. Therefore, by himself [the heretic] is said to be condemned, because the fornicator, adulterer, murderer, and those guilty of other misdeeds are driven out from the Church by the Priests: but heretics deliver the sentence up on themselves, departing from the Church by their own will: this departure is seen to be the condemnation by their own conscience. Therefore a Pontiff, who after such a solemn and public admonition from the Cardinals, Roman Clergy, or even a synod would ma intain himself hardened in heresy, and have openly departed from the Church, according to the precept of Paul he would have to be avoided; and lest the ruin be brought to the rest, his heresy and contumacy, and thus his sentence which he brought upon himse lf, would have to be publicly pronounced, made known to the whole Church, that he by his own will departed, making known to be severed from the
«Eidem qu e inhibet ne deinceps pro papa aut Romano et summo pontifice se gerat omnes que christicolas ab eius oboedientia et omni debito oboedientiae ipsius atque iuramentis et obligationibus eidem quomodolibet praestitis absolvit et absolutos fore declarat ac omni bus et singulis christi fidelibus inhibet sub poena fautoriae schismatis et haeresis atque privationis omnium beneficiorum dignitatum et honorum ecclesiasticorum et mundanorum et aliis poenis iuris etiam si episcopalis et patriarchalis cardinalatus regalis sit dignitas ac imperialis quibus si contra hanc inhibitionem fecerint sint auctoritate huius decreti et sententiae ipso facto privati et alias iuris incurrant poenas ne eidem Petro de Luna schismatico et haeretico incorrigibili notorio declarato et depos ito tamquam papae oboediant pareant vel intendant aut eum quovis modo contra praemissa sustineant vel receptent sibi que praestent auxilium consilium vel favorem.»
body of the Church, and in some manner to have abdicated the Pontificate, which no one holds or can hold, who is not in the Church. » 22
It is ironic and quite simply incredible, (but nevertheless true), that Salza and Siscoe quote this text in support of their opinion that a manifest heretic pope does not lose office unless he is first given official warning by the Church, and then, if he remains obstinate in heresy, he would then lose office upon being judged by the Church. Firstly, Ballerini is clearly presenting this argument against those who maintain that it is necessary in order that the Church render a ju dgment, such a manifest heretic pope must be judged by an ecumenical council. In Section II of Chapter IX, he asks why not resort to a simpler solution than convoking a general synod when there is the most grave and present danger of a heretic pope : « But why is it to be believed, that the remedy is to be expected from the not so easily done convocation of a general synod, when a most present and gravest of all dangers for the faith, which, impending from a Pontiff espousing heresy even in his private judg ment, would not be able to be endured through lengthy delays ? » 23 And he says in the case of a pope falling into heresy there is a faster and easier remedy: « Remedium in casu haeresis, in quam Pontifex incideret , promtius & facilius suppetit. » He quotes S t. Paul to Titus, saying a heretic after a first and second warning is to be avoided, and that such a one is condemned by his own judgment, and this can be done by any private person, and so it could even be done by cardinals, the Roman clergy, or even a ( local) synod of bishops – and if he does not retract, but remains obstinate in his opinion either contrary to a manifest or a defined dogma, such pertinacity not being able to be excused, he declares himself openly to be a heretic, to have withdrawn from the Catholic faith by his own will, cutting himself off from the body of the Church, without any declaration or sentence being made. In support of this opinion, he quotes St. Jerome, exactly as did Bellarmine.