Exclusive: RadTrad Thomist has Gotten Access to the Foreward to Fr. Paul Kramer's Soon to be Released "Heretic Pope?" Salza and Siscoe, Fr. Chazal and, yes, even Bishop Williamson Thou Art Refuted! Public Heresy and the Papacy and Even Membership in the Church Cannot Go Together.
FOREWORD TO VOLUME ONE
The importance of the question of papal heresy is of far greater importance than one might first think; especially because since Pastor Aeternus, it has been most commonly held by theologians that a pope cannot fall into formal heresy. If a man who is generally believed to hold the papal office were to manifest himself to be an obstinate heretic; the question would arise as to whether he could simply be declared to have already fallen from office ipso jure by the Catholic hierarchy, who would then elect a new pope; or would he need to be juridically convicted in a penal process and deposed. If he were to lose office automatically (ipso jure) upon manifesting pertinacity in heresy; then Catholics would have the right to refuse him recognition as pope, as well as refusing to be subject to his governance. The cardinals would only need to declare his forfeiture of office to have taken place by his defection from the Catholic faith, and then elect a new pope. Among theologians who admit at least the hypothetical possibility that a pope could fall into formal heresy, that has actually been the common opinion for more than a century. In the latter case, however, if the heretic pope would need to be juridically deposed in order to bring about his fall from office; then the heretic’s removal from office would depend first of all on the question of whether or not he could be deposed at all; and if yes, it would have to be determined by what juridical procedure he could be validly deprived of office.
The reason why it has been the most commonly held opinion of theologians that a true pope cannot fall into formal heresy and be judged a heretic, and that the latter of the two opinions has been abandoned, is that the text of that above mentioned dogmatic constitution (Pastor Aeternus), in defining the dogma of papal infallibility, premised that extraordinary charism on the promise of the divine Saviour Jesus Christ made to Peter and his successors, that their faith would not fail. It is self-evident that if the pope’s faith cannot fail, then he cannot become a formal heretic, because one only becomes a formal heretic when one’s faith fails. However, before the dogmatic definition was pronounced in 1870, it was not so clear in the minds of all theologians what exactly was meant by the unfailing faith of Peter and his successors as the prerequisite disposition for exercising the charism of infallibility. In the Middle Ages there was not even a clear understanding of the doctrine of papal infallibility in the minds of most theologians; but infallibility was commonly understood to be exercised in the solemn professions and definitions of the whole Church represented in a general council. So it comes as no surprise, that the infallible “faith of Peter” was understood to be the faith of the whole Church represented by the successor of Peter; and therefore, the unfailing faith of Peter was thought to be that of the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops in an ecumenical council, manifested in the solemn pronouncements of a council. While the notion can be shown to be logically incoherent (as I demonstrate in the main body of this volume), and was already thoroughly refuted by St. Robert Bellarmine in Caput iii Liber iv of De Romano Pontifice, it was on the basis of such a conception as this, that the theory eventually became prevalent, according to which, in matters of faith, the authority of a council would be greater than that of a pope teaching as an individual; and consequently, the next step in the development of the theory was that that a council, even without the pope, would have the juridical authority to judge the case of a heretic pope. The Fifth Lateran Council destroyed the foundation of this theory when it solemnly defined the absolute authority of the pope over a council, yet Counter-Reformation theologians attempted to circumvent that ruling by appealing to the spurious Canon si papa as the basis for considering the case of papal heresy as an exception to the principle of the injudicability of the pope. The pope, it was believed, could be judged, by way of exception, in the case of heresy; because, (it was claimed) that a council would not be exercising power over the pope, but only over the conjunction between the man and the office of the pontificate. The flaw in this reasoning consists in the fact that such a theory still held that a juridical judgment which would exercise power over the conjunction between the man and the office would require a judgment to be pronounced upon the pope himself, while still in office, by his inferiors in order for him to fall from office for heresy. It also failed to provide a sufficient doctrinal basis that would establish only heresy as the sole exception to the principle of the injudicability of the pope; since, if one exception is admitted, other exceptions cannot be logically excluded. Thus, the opinion can be seen to clearly oppose the solemn definition of the Fifth Lateran Council, that a pope possesses absolute authority over a council (which logically excludes any exception); and directly opposes the dogmatic definition of the First Vatican Council, which, in declaring that the pope is the supreme judge in all cases, dogmatically established the absolute injudicability of the Roman Pontiff, for which there can be no exception. Nevertheless, the theory which can be seen to have already been proximate to heresy after the pronouncement of the Fifth Lateran Council, was tolerated, and even persisted and survived until the late nineteenth century. The final nail in its coffin was hammered into the errant theory by the definition of the primacy, which solemnly pronounced that the pope is the supreme authority “in all cases that refer to ecclesiastical examination”; so that the proposition which held that a reigning pope while still in office could be judged by his inferiors, could be seen to be heretical, in that it directly opposes the doctrine set forth in the definition, whose wording logically excludes all possibility of allowing any exception to the rule, “The First See is judged by no one.”.
The theory, which holds that the pope, while still in office, can be judged and deposed for heresy; whether the deposition be considered as a proper act of juridical deposition, or as an act of removal of one who is considered jure divino removable upon having been judged guilty of the crime of heresy by competent ecclesiastical authority, and as a consequence of that judgment to have fallen from office ipso facto; has, since the time shortly after the First Vatican Council, been unanimously rejected by theologians, since it could be clearly seen, in the light of the absolute supremacy and injudicability of the pope set forth in solemn definition of the primacy, to be contrary to the faith of the Church. Likewise, the belief that a true and valid pope could even fall into formal heresy was generally abandoned after Pastor Aeternus taught that St. Peter and his successors were given the grace of unfailing faith as a requisite disposition for exercising the charism of papal infallibility. St. Robert Bellarmine had also forcefully argued this point in Caput iii Liber iv of De Romano Pontifice; but it was only after the support it received from Pastor Aeternus, that Bellarmine’s position on the question became the opinio communissima. Since then it has been the nearly unanimous opinion of theologians that a pope cannot fall into formal heresy. While in the Middle Ages it was the far more common opinion among theologians and canonists that a pope could fall into formal heresy, and that he could be judged for heresy by a council; conversely by the time of the Tridentine and post-Tridentine period, the great Counter-Reformation doctors, such as Cajetan, Bellarmine, Suarez, and John of St. Thomas, were of the opinion that a pope cannot become a formal heretic, and therefore considered the question of papal heresy as a mere hypothesis.
Today, more than a century after the opinion that a heretical pope could be judged while still holding office and deposed by the Church had been discarded and totally abandoned by theologians, since that opinion was clearly seen to oppose the dogmatic pronouncements of the magisterium; that opinion has resurfaced in some quarters, due to the doctrinal heterodoxy of the “Conciliar Popes” – i.e. the popes, beginning with John XXIII up to the present, who have all, without exception, distinguished themselves in the most dubious manner but in different degrees – having deviated from the rule of faith in their opinions and pronouncements. It is due, in no small measure, to the deceptive sophistry of the Conciliar Church propagandists, John Salza and Robert Siscoe, that this heretical opinion, which holds that a pope while still in office can be judged by his inferiors in the Church, has experienced a recrudescence; and ironically, it is in the sector of the Church where the most careful attention to doctrinal rectitude is usually found, i.e. among the traditionalists, that this errant theory, which can be seen to be heretical in the light of Pastor Aeternus, has been resurrected.
In his book, Contra Cekadam, the learned and highly respected rector of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Seminary, Fr. François Chazal, has adopted the opinion of John of St. Thomas on the question of deposition of a manifest heretic pope from office. It was the opinion of John of St. Thomas that one who is manifestly a formal heretic would not fall from the papal office ipso facto; but would remain in office as pope until convicted of heresy by a council, and then would only fall from office upon being declared vitandus by the council. This is the fourth of the five opinions outlined by St. Robert Bellarmine in Book II of his De Romano Pontifice. Bellarmine utterly demolished this opinion in his refutation of it in chapter 30, and his own opinion (the fifth opinion) that a manifest heretic pope would straightaway fall from office ipso facto, was eventually incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law (Canon 188 n. 4); and remains in force in the 1983 Code. According to Canon 188 n. 4, one who publicly defects from the faith automatically falls from whatsoever office ipso jure. In this volume I have demonstrated that this position is indeed, as Bellarmine called it, “the true opinion” beyond all shadow of doubt, and beyond any legitimate dispute. Unfortunately, since Fr. Chazal is refuting a sedevacantist in his work, he relies too heavily on the thoroughly dishonest scholarship of Salza & Siscoe in their fraudulent diatribe against Sedevacantism, True or False Pope? This unfortunate reliance, which is undoubtedly due to its being the most exhaustive exposition published on Sedevacantism to date, is plainly discernible in Bishop Richard Williamson’s comments on Fr. Chazal’s brief work.
Since it is a work against Sedevacantism, Msgr. Williamson points out that the sedevacantists’ “favourite theologian is St Robert Bellarmine who held that any Pope becoming a heretic automatically ceases to be Pope.” Indeed, according to Bellarmine, if it be possible for a valid pope to become a manifest heretic, he would automatically cease to be pope ipso facto by the act of formal heresy; because, according to the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, the sin of heresy is per se an act of separation by which heretics separate themselves from the body of the Church, and therefore lose office automatically, i.e. ipso facto. But on this point, Bishop Williamson (like Fr. Chazal) is clearly led astray by the fraudulent argumentation of Salza & Siscoe when he says, “But Fr. Chazal opens the books and finds that this opinion is by no means the common opinion of Church theologians”. As I document in this work, it is now the unanimous opinion today among theologians who admit at least the hypothetical possibility that a pope can fall into formal heresy – and has been for more than a century, that a pope who would fall into manifestly formal heresy would immediately cease to be pope. Fr. Chazal citation of the Dictionaire de Théologie Catholique is to no avail: The authors merely state their belief that “The opinion of Bellarmine is in no way [a aucun titre] guaranteed by the Church, nor adopted by the whole body of theologians.” (Tome VII, col. 1714 – 1717) The dissident opinion of this single work, does not diminish in the least the moral unanimity of theologians, and especially of canonists, who rightly understand that Bellarmine’s opinion on this point is guaranteed by the Church’s supreme and ordinary magisterium, expressed in Canon 188 n. 4, which is an expression of the magisterial doctrine of the Church. The canons of the 1917 Code are not merely a collection of statutes; but they set forth with precision the canonical doctrine of the Church on its most important points. This is a feature that is notably absent from the 1983 Code, which is based on the canonical doctrinal tradition enshrined in the 1917 Code, and which did not need to be repeated in the revised Code of 1983. Canonical doctrine pertains to Canon Law as a theological discipline in its own right; and thus, is a legitimate branch of theology, as Canon Law professor, Fr. Rafael Moya O.P. explained in his Canon Law lectures at the Angelicum. The canonical doctrine that all ecclesiastical offices without exception are lost by public defection from the faith automatically, and without any declaration, is plainly stated in Canon 188 n. 4. The theological foundation of this doctrine is that manifest heretics separate themselves from the Church by themselves, and as a direct consequence of that separation, lose office, as I explain in this work.
The bishop then elaborates:
For indeed, as many other famous theologians argue, the Pope is not just an individual who can lose the faith personally, but he is also head of a worldwide society which cannot function without a head. Nor does the personal loss of faith necessarily impede his headship of the Church. Therefore they argue, for the sake of the Church as a whole, God preserves the Pope's headship until the highest competent Church authorities can make a public declaration of his heresy (to prevent public chaos in the Church), and then and only then does God depose him.
The argument is an old argument, thoroughly refuted by St. Robert Bellarmine, and generally discarded after Pastor Aeternus dogmatically pronounced the absolute injudicability of the Roman Pontiff in its solemn definition of the primacy. It is an abandoned opinion. Bishop Williamson continues:
Sedevacantists also love Canon 188.4 which states that public defection from the faith on the part of a cleric means automatic loss of his office. But many other Canons and the other sections of Canon 188 clearly show that this “public defection” must include the cleric's intent to resign by such acts as, for instance, attempting marriage or joining a sect, and also there must be a warning and official monitions before the cleric loses his office.
This is a spurious argument coming straight out of the Salza & Siscoe screed, which I thoroughly refute in this work. The argument is founded on the false premise that loss of ecclesiastical office due to heresy takes place because heresy is a crime against the unity of the Church; and because it is a crime, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Church; and therefore loss of office cannot occur before the heretic has been juridically judged by the Church. For this reason, they argue, the heretic does not lose office without a public judgment pronounced by Church authority. Loss of ecclesiastical office, according to their argument, is a penalty inflicted by the authority of the Church for the crime of heresy. It does not pertain to the nature of a crime as such that the act itself, by its nature, separates one from the Church or causes the loss of office; but for the commission of a crime, one is severed from the body of the Church and is deprived of ecclesiastical office by means of a canonical penalty. Hence, Salza & Siscoe consider loss of office to be essentially a matter pertaining to ecclesiastical penal law – i.e., it is a penalty, “a severe vindictive penalty” for the delict or crime of heresy. I provide the verbatim texts of the most authoritative commentaries on Canon Law which explain that loss of office for heresy is not a penalty for a crime; but on the contrary, the fact of public defection into heresy brings about the automatic loss of office without any regard to penal provisions of law; and therefore, without warnings; without any declaration by ecclesiastical authority, and without any intent on the part of the heretic to resign his office. The reason why this is so is that public heresy in its very nature is a sin opposed to faith, and therefore against the unity of the Church; which therefore, as a necessary consequence and by its very nature, visibly severs one from the body of the Church and directly brings about the loss of ecclesiastical office.
Indeed, it is explained by the expert commentators on Canon Law that the law presumes tacit resignation and statutes the loss of office solely on the basis of the public fact of the officeholder’s defection from the faith into heresy by obstinately denying or doubting an article of faith – without joining any other sect, without explicitly rejecting the ecclesiastical magisterium as the rule of faith, without any explicit admission of heresy, and without canonical warnings. The fact of public defection into formal heresy suffices by itself for the loss of office to occur, and therefore, there is no need whatever for ecclesiastical authority to “establish the crime” for loss of office to take place; or for that fact to be established in conformity with all the specifications of penal law as a crime notorious by fact. The forfeiture of ecclesiastical office for heresy has nothing to do whatever with the penal laws of the Church, but takes place as a direct consequence of public heresy itself as an act of visible separation from the Church.
The subterfuge of Salza & Siscoe in their book was to studiously ignore the expert comments on the actual canon in question on loss of office for heresy, and instead, they interpret Canon 188 n.4 according to the comments on the penal canons in the penal section of the Code, which regulate penal deprivation of office, and are separate from, and not concerned with, and in fact, explicitly uphold the non-penal canons on tacit resignation from office. Such is the devious trickery of John Salza and Robert Siscoe, who falsely state in their book that loss of office is a “severe vindictive penalty” for the “crime of heresy”. Loss of office, simply stated, is not a penal censure for a crime. In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, and in the revised Code of 1983, loss of office for heresy is strictly a measure pertaining to administrative law, and not to penal law; and it is founded on the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, the doctrine of St. Robert Bellarmine, don Pietro Ballerini, Bartolomeo Cappellari (Pope Gregory XVI), and St. Thomas Aquinas – none of whom teach that such loss of office is a penalty for a crime, but who all teach that the loss of office for heresy takes place as a direct consequence of heresy, because heresy is a sin which per se severs one from the body of the Church. Heresy, whether public or secret, whether internal or external, in its very nature is a sin, because it directly opposes the theological virtue of faith. Heresy, because it is a sin against faith, is a schismatic act against the unity of the Church. That the heretic is severed from the body of the Church “by the very nature of heresy”, and not “by legitimate authority”, i.e. as the penalty for a crime, is taught explicitly by Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, in unison with the universal and ordinary magisterium of the Church. Hence, the loss of ecclesiastical office for heresy takes place not as a penal sanction for a delict against any ecclesiastical law, but, in Bellarmine’s words, “ex natura haeresis”, as the direct consequence of the heretic’s having visibly severed himself from the body of the Church. This is what Bellarmine teaches De Romano Pontifice, lib ii caput xxx; and he states explicitly, “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.” I provide an in depth exposition on defection from the faith and the Church, and on loss of office for heresy in this volume.
The problem with Fr. Chazal and Bishop Williamson is that they have relied too much on the skewed and sometimes even fraudulently altered data provided by Salza & Siscoe; which presents only opinions of theologians from the Middle Ages up to just before Vatican I; and deliberately twists or entirely leaves out all mention of the post-Vatican teaching. Vatican I dogmatically defined that the pope is the supreme judge in all cases that refer to ecclesiastical examination. Since then (1870) the unanimous teaching of theologians is that the pope is injudicable; and the Church teaches this in her canonical doctrine and in the canons themselves; and thus, it is taught unanimously in the approved commentaries on the Codes of Canon Law, in accordance with the constant teaching of the popes, that the pope, while in office, is absolutely immune from the judgment of anyone, and therefore simply cannot be judged. Canon 188 n. 4 also states explicitly that those who publicly defect from the faith lose any office whatsoever (quaelibet officia), automatically (ipso facto and ipso jure), and therefore, “without any declaration” (sine ulla declaratione) from the Church. The most authoritative commentaries on Canon Law explain that the loss of office (including the papal office) depends exclusively on the fact of public defection into formal heresy; and hence, independently of the opinions and judgments of anyone. The vacancy occurs ipso jure; and the competent authority merely declares it juridically after the fact. Thus, the question of how one, (including the pope if that were possible), who falls into manifestly formal heresy would lose ecclesiastical office, is no longer a matter of opinion. Since the publication of the 1917 Code of Canon Law the question is closed. Fr. Chazal's opinion was still permissible before Vatican I and the codification of canon law; but now, his opinion is contrary to the magisterium of the Church, as I have proven in Part I of the first volume of this work.
In spite its major flaws, Msgr. Williamson points out the one partially redeeming merit to Fr. Chazal’s critique of Sedevacantism in his comment:
Fr Cekada argues as though sedevacantism is not merely one opinion in a difficult and highly disputed question. He presents it as a dogmatic certainty, to refuse which means that one is not Catholic. Fr Chazal has a measure of sympathy for sedevacantists (he prefers them to liberals), and he shows charity towards Fr Cekada, but the great merit of “Contra Cekadam” is that he proves to any reasonable reader that, at the very least, no Catholic is obliged to accept the sedevacantist position. Fr Cekada writes as though he is a master of theology and of Canon Law, but Fr Chazal has looked up the theologians and the Canons in question and he proves that they are far from proving that the See of Rome has been vacant at any time since Vatican II.
This consideration, although important, can hardly justify Bishop Williamson’s comment on Fr. Chazal’s study: “Fr Cekada's arguments and opinions have acted like the grain of sand inside an oyster, which by the irritation which it produces makes the oyster produce a pearl.” Unfortunately, the “pearl” is severely flawed, and in places fatally flawed. The main flaw is that Fr. Chazal attempts to refute Fr. Cekada’s opinion by attacking his foundational premise, which is that public heretics automatically lose office. The premise in question, is correct. However, rather than accepting the correct premise, and exposing the logical incoherence of Fr. Cekada’s application of that principle to arrive at his conclusion – a non sequitur conclusion, Fr. Chazal argues against the correct premise by attacking it with his own misapplication of provisions of penal law to a non-penal canon in a different section of the Code; and hence, fails to refute Fr.Cekada’s opinion on the nature of loss of office. The correct refutation of the Sedevacantist argument is made by pointing out their misapplication of a prescription of penal law to the administrative provisions of Canon 188 n. 4. Sedevacantists presume on the basis of Canon 2200 §2, that the Conciliar Popes are manifest heretics who have defected from the Catholic faith, and therefore lose office if ever they were validly elected. The canon reads, “When an external violation of the law has been committed, malice is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proven.” The expert commentary of Fr. Eric MacKenzie explains, “The very commission of any act which signifies heresy, e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity… Excusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.” What is set forth in the canon is a provision of penal law. The accused is presumed guilty of the crime on the basis of the fact of his having committed a criminal act, and therefore he bears the onus to prove his innocence – “In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.” A penal sentence of guilt is arrived at on the basis of a presumption of guilt. For the administrative provisions of Canon 188 n. 4, a presumption of guilt does not suffice, because the canon statutes the loss of office not on the basis of a presumption of guilt, but either on the evidence of the manifest and patent fact of one openly leaving the Church, or, if the heretic still maintains the pretence of being a Catholic, the evidence of the manifestly patent public fact of the pertinacity; i.e., the dolus or culpa of formal heresy. For the guilt of formal heresy to be manifest, the condition stated in Canon 2197 3º must be fulfilled, that the act be committed under such circumstances that by no subterfuge can the guilt be hidden, nor can there be any excuse for it extracted from the law : “et in talibus adiunctis commissum, ut nulla tergiversatione celari nulloque iuris suffragio excusari possit”. The act must also be public, as public is defined in Canon 2197 1º, that it either be already divulged, or that it have been committed under such circumstance that it can be prudently judged that it soon will be divulged. (Publicum, si iam divulgatum est aut talibus contigit seu versatur in adiunctis ut prudenter iudicari possit et debeat facile divulgatum iri) It is only if these conditions have been fulfilled, that it can be seen to be morally certain that defection from the faith has occurred, and that the guilty individual has therefore lost office.
Regarding the interpretation of Canon 188 n. 4 on Tacit Resignation of Office due to public defection from the Catholic faith, Fr. Chazal cites the opinion of Vermeersch as his authority for adding restrictive qualifications to what is stated in an unqualified manner in the text of the canon. The cited passage reads, “One defects from the faith who denies its foundation pertinaciously, or who by some precise fact (facto factove) destroys all bond with the Catholic religion, for instance, by adhering to a heretical or a schismatic sect.” (Epitome Iuris Canonici, I, p. 190) Vermeersch wrongly defined defection from the faith as a pertinacious denial of the foundation of the faith, or the destruction of all bond with the Catholic religion. Now, as is fully explained if the first part of this volume, the formal cause of the virtue of faith is the authority of the revealing God ( Pius XI, Mortalium Animos); and therefore, St. Thomas teaches that “the formal object of faith is the First Truth, as manifested in Holy Writ and the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth. Consequently whoever does not adhere, as to an infallible and Divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth manifested in Holy Writ, has not the habit of faith, but holds that which is of faith otherwise than by faith.” (II – II, Q. 5, a. 3) For this reason he says in the same article, “Neither living nor lifeless faith remains in a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith.” Thus, defection from the Catholic faith already takes place in a simple act of formal heresy by obstinately denying even one article of faith, because heresy directly and per se opposes faith (IIª-IIae q. 39 a. 1); and for this reason, Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis that heresy by its very nature separates one from the body of the Church; and thus, heretics “have miserably severed themselves” from membership in the Church. Since public heretics place themselves outside the Church entirely by their own actions, they necessarily forfeit any office they held inside the Church by their own actions. Bellarmine proves that such a forfeiture for heresy is taught unanimously by the Fathers. Accordingly, therefore, Canon 188 n. 4 statutes an automatic loss of office without any declaration.
It is therefore patent that the opinion, that only pertinacious denial of the foundation of the faith constitutes a defection from the faith, and not pertinacious heresy per se, is indefensible, and is a grave error against the doctrine of the universal magisterium. One can only wonder how he would have argued the point to arrive at this gratuitously stated conclusion. The automatic loss of office prescribed in Canon 188 n. 4 is founded on the doctrine that heretics defect from the Church when they publicly defect from the faith into heresy; and therefore, they lose office as a direct and immediate consequence of their own actions. Not only was this proven by Bellarmine to be the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, but it was theologically proven by St. Thomas; and in Mystici Corporis, Pius XII taught the universal Church that defection from the faith and the Church is already fully accomplished suapte natura by the sin of manifest heresy. Perhaps Fr. Vermeersch could be excused for having taught his errant doctrine before the promulgation of Mystici Corporis in 1943, but today, there exists no possible excuse to adhere to such a grave doctrinal error.
In the continuation of the passage, Vermeersch says, “The delict is public, when it is notorious to the greater part of the community or can soon be known”. From this it seems likely that Vermeersch, who explicitly refers to the act of defection as a delict, made the mistake of interpreting a canon in the administrative section of the Code according to the prescriptions of canons in the penal section, i.e. Canon 2314. It is easy enough to understand why Vermeersch would fall into this error in his day, so soon after the promulgation of the 1917 Code; since in the pre-1917 legislation, a form of penal deprivation of office had been prescribed for such a defection. The canonical innovation of Canon 188 n. 4 was to bring the law of the Church in line with the Patristic doctrine on automatic loss of office for defection from the faith into heresy or schism, which Bellarmine explained takes place not by any human law, but ex natura haeresis. The penal process prescribed in Canon 2314 begins with attempts to correct the suspected offender with admonitions, and ends with punishments for the crimes if the warnings go pertinaciously unheeded, such as the added censure of infamy and deposition; and for joining other sects, ipso facto infamy, and finally degradation if the warnings go unheeded. The penal process prescribed in Canon 2314 ends with the punishment of the defector. The administrative measures of Canon 188 n. 4 begin with an already completed public defection; and for this reason, there are no warnings, and no attempts at correction, but the canon simply statutes an ipso facto loss of office on the basis of the already accomplished fact of the public defection.
Fr. Chazal erroneously argues that, «Canonists integrate 2314 and other canons to 188.4 like Fr. Ayrinhac: “If they have formally affiliated with a non-Catholic sect, or publicly adhere to it, they incur ipso facto the note of infamy. Clerics lose all ecclesiastical office they might hold (Canon 188.4), and after a fruitless warning they should be deposed.” (Penal Legislation, p. 193, 1920) » Actually, the canonists do exactly the opposite: they do not integrate penal procedures prescribed in penal canons to the administrative process prescribed in canon 188 n. 4 (which is impossible); because they are two different processes which follow their own prescribed procedures. Rather, what the canonists do is they harmonize the distinctly different procedures prescribed in penal law with those prescribed in the administrative section. Thus, Fr. Aryinhac explains that by affiliating themselves with a non-Catholic sect, clerics not only lose office ipso facto by tacit resignation (can. 188), but they also incur the penal censure of infamy; and after fruitless warnings, they are to be meted out the vindictive penalty of deposition (can. 2314). If they heed the warnings and repent, the clerics can be allowed to retain the offices which they had lost by undeclared tacit resignation; but if they do not repent, then they must be deposed according to the penal prescription. If the superiors perceive that the defection has been perpetrated and completed in such an egregious manner that all warnings and admonitions would be seen to be a pointless exercise in futility; then, an administrative declaration of the clerics tacit resignation would juridically suffice to effect his removal, without having to resort to penal measures.
There is no reason that would necessitate an exhaustive point by point correction of all the errors in Fr. Chazal’s short work; since their correction is already contained in principle in the main arguments I elaborate in this volume. Hence, I will limit myself here to only one more example. In the section on Universal Peaceful Acceptance, Fr. Chazal cites the Constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis of Pius XII, and two canons of the 1917 Code of Canon Law on acceptance of the papal election in a sense that is contrary to the letter of their obvious meaning. Fr. Chazal erroneously construes the acceptance referred to in these texts as the pope’s acceptance by the cardinals and by the universal Church; whereas the text of the Constitution speaks explicitly of the “consensus electi” – the consent of the pope-elect to become pope. The Constitution prescribes that in the presence of the cardinal electors, the Cardinal Deacon must ask the pope-elect, “Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam in Summum Pontificem?” (Do you accept your election canonically made as supreme Pontiff?) The Constitution then continues, “Hoc consensu praestito intra terminum, quatenus opus sit, prudenti arbitrio Cardinalium per maiorem votorum numerum determinandum, illico electus est verus Papa, atque actu plenam absolutamque iurisdictionem supra totum orbem acquirit et exercere potest .” What this simply states, is that once his consent is given (within the time limit determined if need be by a majority vote of the cardinals) from that instant he is constituted as the true pope with full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole world. It is precisely in this sense that the passage is expertly translated by the Canon Law Faculty of Salamanca in their commentary on page 880: “Si el elegido presta su consentimiento, desde aquel mismo instante queda constituído verdadero Papa con plena y absoluta jurisdicción sobre todo el orbe”. Thus, the document does not say, as Fr. Chazal claims, «that as soon as the consent of the cardinals is given “the elect is immediately a true pope, and acquire by the very fact and exercise a full and absolute jurisdiction on the whole world (canon 219)”. Once elected, he must be accepted …» Rather, the Constitution says exactly the opposite, and speaks explicitly of the consent of the pope- elect, upon which he receives full power and jurisdiction; and not the other way around, as if there were any further need for the consent the cardinals who already expressed their consent by electing him. Likewise, the canons he mentions (109 and 219) do not refer a need for general acceptance of the pope's election by the faithful for him to validly assume the papal office; nor do they refer to an acceptance by the electing cardinals to ratify the election after the pope's own acceptance of it; but canon 109 explicitly rules out the need for any external acceptance by the faithful or anyone else to ratify the election (non ex populi vel potestatis saecularis consensu aut vocatione adleguntur). What these canons statute is that once the cardinals elect the candidate, he validly becomes pope when he accepts his election to the papacy. Canon 219 states that he immediately receives his full jurisdiction by divine law upon his election and his acceptance of his own election; since he also has the right to refuse his election to the supreme pontificate. It is explicitly stated in canon 109 that clerics in general validly assume office jure divino, 1) in virtue of the sacrament of orders; and, 2) either by their canonical mission; or for the pope, who, unlike other clerics, (who receive their canonical mission from their superiors), the pope validly assumes his office upon his being elected, and upon his acceptance of his election to the office. This is plainly explained in the 1952 commentary of the Pontifical Canon Law Faculty of Salamanca in its comment of the section “On Election”, and specifically on Canon 160, “Romani Pontificis electio …”, in which it distinguishes between elections which need to be confirmed by a superior, or an election which is completed by the elected one’s acceptance (completándose la provisión por la acceptación del elegido).
The pope-elect is not a valid pope until he accepts the munus; which the canons say is validly received jure divino without the consent of anyone else. How Fr. Chazal gets the idea that these canons prescribe a necessity ad validitatam of a post-election acceptance by the faithful or by the cardinals can only be the result of an inattentive reading of canon 109 which explicitly rules out the need for any such post-election general acceptance. Likewise, canon 219 quite obviously refers only to the pope-elect's own acceptance of his election in order to validly become pope by divine law, since only his own consent and no one else's is required ad validitatem after the election has taken place. The mere fact alone that the cardinals have elected a man to be pope manifests their acceptance of his election to the papacy. Once he accepts his own election, the canon says he immediately receives full papal jurisdiction jure divino (statim ab acceptata electione obtinet, iure divino, plenam supremae iurisdictionis potestatem); and therefore, because he immediately receives his power directly from God, he validly assumes the papacy without any need for further ratification by the cardinals or any other of his subjects.
At the opposite extreme to the error that a pope can be judged by his subjects, is the opinion that any man who is uncritically accepted by the general public as pope, is therefore to be considered a valid pope who is incapable of falling into formal heresy. This is an accurate description of the opinion of Emmett O’Regan, who believes that Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio is the valid occupant of the Chair of Peter, and being the pope of Rome, is incapable of being a heretic. In his article, The Heretical Pope Fallacy, he manifests his bias in the opening sentence, saying, “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.” So, for Mr. O’Regan, anyone who would even think of removing a Modernist heretical intruder from the throne of Peter is to be considered an extremist. O’Regan attributes the interest in the question to “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”. He then offers the observation that, “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.”
I demonstrate in this volume that the proposition, that “a pope actually can fall into formal heresy”, is proximate to heresy, but it is not de fide; and the first Vatican Council, as the Gasser Relation states quite unequivocally, did not intend to define on this point. On the other hand, the proposition that a pope can “teach false doctrines by way of the authentic papal Magisterium”, has always been generally accepted by theologians, even by Don Pietro Ballerini; and even after the definition on papal infallibility by the First Vatican Council, not only theologians, but even documents of the supreme magisterium admit that pronouncements of the authentic papal magisterium are not infallible, such as Lumen Gentium 25, which distinguishes between ex cathedra pronouncements which are infallible, and “the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra” – which is not infallible. With this consideration in mind, we can already dismiss as erroneous Mr. O’Regan’s somewhat imprecisely formulated statement that, “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.” The First Vatican Council did no such thing: It did not formally dogmatize Bellarmine’s “ideas on the indefectibility of the Church” – but only dogmatized his fourth opinion: «Quarta sententia est quodammodo in medio. Pontificem, sive haereticus esse possit, sive non, non posse ullo modo definire aliquid haereticum a tota Ecclesia credendum: haec est communissima opinio fere omnium Catholicorum». According to this opinion, the pope, regardless of whether or not he can be a heretic, cannot in any manner define something heretical for the whole Church to believe – and this opinion, says the Holy Doctor, is the most common opinion among all Catholics. This proposition concerns only the solemn ex cathedra definitions of the papal extraordinary magisterium, but does not extend to the pronouncements of the authentic papal magisterium, which is non-infallible. The pope’s pronouncements made when exercising his authentic magisterium in the sense that this term is used in canon 752, can contain errors, and therefore do not require an absolute assent. This point is discussed in Part III of this volume, in my exposition on Bellarmine’s refutation of the second opinion on the deposition of a heretical pope.
O’Regan’s observation, “According to the Official Relatio of Vatican I, which was issued in an address to the Council Fathers by Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser on 11th July, 1870 … the debate concerning the possibility of an heretical pope was about to be definitively settled through the proposed dogmatization of St. Robert Bellarmine’s incisive exposition of the doctrine of the indefectibility of the Church,” is entirely erroneous. It was precisely this point which the council deliberately avoided. I have given ample treatment to this point in this volume. O’Regan goes on to say that “St. Bellarmine then goes on to list a total of four propositions outlining why the fourth opinion outlined above should be considered certain and positively asserted.” The first proposition says, “The pope can never err when he teaches to the whole Church (by way of the authentic Magisterium) in matters pertaining to faith.” Note that it is Emmett O’Regan, and not Robert Bellarmine, who characterizes this proposition as referring to the pope’s authentic magisterium. Bellarmine is not referring to the pope’s authentic magisterium in the cited passage. His language is almost maddeningly imprecise when considered according the standards of usage four centuries after his death – after two more ecumenical councils taught with precision on infallible and ordinary magisterium. Nevertheless, his meaning can be gleaned from his usage. In this proposition under consideration, he is speaking expressly on papal infallibility: “Statuitur prima propositio de infallibili judicio summi Pontificis”; and then states the first proposition: “Summus Pontifex cum totam Ecclesiam docet, in his quæ ad Fidem pertinent nullo casu errare potest. Hæc est contra primam et secundam opinionem pro quarta; et probatur …” He says this proposition, (which says nothing explicit about definitions), favours the fourth proposition, which speaks expressly of definitions. In treating on the second opinion, which is that of Adrian VI, he specifically interprets it to refer to definitions (Pontificem ut Pontificem, posse esse haereticum, & docere haeresim, si absque generali Concilio definiat) – but the actual text of Adrian VI, while clearly intending the sense of definitive magisterial pronouncements, does not explicitly refer to definitions: “Ad secundum principale de facto Gregorii, dico primo quod si per Ecclesiam Romanam intelligatur caput ejus, puta Pontifex, Certum est quod possit errare, etiam in his, quae tangent fidem, haeresim per suam determinationem aut Decretalem asserendo” – yet Bellarmine clearly understands this to be Adrian’s meaning; and likewise, in his above cited prima propositio, he does not employ the term “definition”, but his intention to properly denote definitions in the expression, “Summus Pontifex cum totam Ecclesiam docet”, is plain enough according to the usage of his day, so that the proposition can be clearly understood to refer to ex cathedra definitions, and not the less solemn pronouncements of the authentic magisterium. However, in the last analysis, since Pastor Aeternus dogmatized Bellarmine’s quarta sententia (which speaks explicitly of definitions) using its own formula, and not that of Bellarmine; and since it did not dogmatize Bellarmine’s prima propositio which makes no explicit mention of definitions; it is utterly futile that Mr. O’Regan attempts to extend the infallibility of the definitions of the extraordinary papal magisterium to the pronouncements of the authentic papal magisterium; and to even attempt to extend the dogma of infallibility to exclude that the pope can personally be a formal heretic. Like Mr. O’Regan, I also am in agreement with St. Robert Bellarmine that the Roman Pontiff cannot be a formal heretic. In his day, Bellarmine could only go so far as to say that his opinion on that point was “probable”, and that it can easily be proven. I have argued in Part III, proving that Bellarmine’s opinion on the question, since Vatican I, is more than just probable, but in fact is proxima fidei. However, from this conclusion of speculative theology, one cannot legitimately leap to the conclusion that O’Regan has fallaciously drawn from this premise; namely, that “concern over whether or not Pope Francis is forcing Catholics to submit their will and intellect to an heretical teaching, or has himself lapsed into heresy by extending this teaching to the level of authentic Magisterium, is somewhat misplaced, and potentially extremely harmful to the Faith”; because regardless of whether or not “some of the key issues concerning the nature of the papacy that we can see presently rising to the fore were already definitively settled during the First Vatican Council”, the fact still remains that Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio has introduced heresy into The teaching of his (supposed) authentic magisterium, and has clearly and most certainly demonstrated himself to be a manifest formal heretic; and needless to say, contra hoc factum non potest esse argumentum. At least, it cannot be legitimately disputed. A manifest heretic cannot be pope; and therefore, the fact that Francis is a manifest heretic proves that he is not a valid pope. Furthermore, even if Bergoglio were a valid pope, the pronouncements made by a pope exercising his authentic magisterium are not infallible; and, as I demonstrate in this volume, quoting the commonly held teaching set forth in approved works of Moral Theology: the obligation to give an obsequium religosium to pronouncements of the pope’s authentic magisterium is not absolutely binding.
While Emmett O’Regan’s presumably honest opinions on papal heresy are merely the result of logically defective reasoning; the same cannot be said of John Salza and Robert Siscoe; whose idolatrous worship of falsehood has rendered them blind to the truth. Indeed, the words with which St. Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, pronounced the sentence of blindness on Elymas the magician would most aptly apply to either of them: «O full of all guile, and of all deceit, child of the devil, enemy of all justice, thou ceasest not to pervert the right ways of the Lord. And now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind» (Acts 13: 10 – 11) Salza & Siscoe are blindly entrenched in heresy, and in their blindness, seek to turn others against the faith: By deceptive sophistry, fraudulent doctoring of texts to distort, falsify, or invert their meaning; and even outright fabrication of bogus quotations, they heretically defend the thesis that a manifest heretic pope would, even as a manifest heretic remain a member of the Church, and remain in office until judged guilty by the Church (and they fraudulently argue that such a heretic pope would not actually be a manifest heretic until so judged by a public judgment of the Church, or unless he were to formally renounce the magisterial authority of the Church or explicitly admit his adherence to heresy); and they heretically maintain that the Church possesses the authority to juridically pass judgment on such a reigning Pontiff for the delict of heresy. They attempt to prove “infallibly” that the manifestly heretical, Jorge Mario “Francis” Bergoglio, who publicly rejects some of the most basic and universally known dogmas of the Catholic faith, was nevertheless validly elected to the supreme pontificate; and that Bergoglio is and remains the true pope of the Catholic Church, and will remain in office as the true pope of the Catholic Church, no matter how explicitly he contradicts, expressly denies, and openly rejects the foundational principles and beliefs of Catholicism, unless and until he will have openly rejected the Church as such, or been judged guilty of heresy by the authority of the Church, and then perhaps he would be effectively deposed; since, according to Salza & Siscoe, it is only heresy that is canonically notorious by fact (according to their own very bizarre understanding of the term), in virtue of an explicit renunciation of the Church as the rule of faith, an explicit admission of heresy, or a formal defection from the Church, that a pope would automatically be separated from the body of the Church by his heresy without first being judged guilty for the crime of heresy by the competent ecclesiastical authority. However, even then, it is still not entirely clear if, according to Salza & Siscoe, that would suffice to effect an ipso jure loss of office, because they equivocate on this point by maintaining that the juridical bond remains until a sentence or a declaration of deprivation is pronounced, so that even a public heretic would remain in office as pope until a public judgment is pronounced by the Church, no matter how public or notorious by fact his heresy might be. It is by means of this kind of contradictory equivocation that Salza & Siscoe “qualify” their statements – seemingly holding at times to two mutually opposed opinions; so that whenever someone points out the error of their opinion, they scream that they have qualified their statements, and have been misrepresented and calumniated in the refutation of their position. This is exactly the modus operandi they employed in their Formal Reply to me. When they accused Dr. Peter Chojnowski of misrepresenting their position, Dr. Chojnowski asked them to plainly state their position, but this they refused to do. Dr. Chojnowski, (who holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy), being thoroughly exasperated by their evasive tactics wrote to me saying, “I have failed utterly in my attempt to have Salza and Siscoe clarify exactly what they mean with regard to their innumerable distinctions or how these distinctions apply to the real world. […] I feel like I have stepped into the quicksand of Sophistry. […] I however believe that I have correctly summarized their argument on my blog.” On his blogsite, Dr. Chojnowski wrote: «Sorry dear readers I have been absolutely unable to get Salza and Siscoe to clarify their position and indicate how it is exactly applicable to the current situation in the Church. When I asked Atty. Salza to answer a few basic questions with a simple yes or no answer --- using their own terminology --- all that I received back were further questions DIRECTED TOWARDS ME!»
Indeed, on innumerable occasions when Salza & Siscoe have been pressed to give a straight answer, they invariably resort to the evasive reply, “Read our book.” However, when one reads their book, it becomes clear to the discerning reader that in their book, Salza & Siscoe have constructed a maze of irresolvable contradictions which does not theologically elaborated an unequivocal and logically coherent position of their own on the questions of defection from the faith and loss of office for heresy; except that according to them, even a manifest heretic pope does not lose office without the public judgment of the Church. Their position is further obfuscated by their formulation of an unclear and self-contradictory notion of what constitutes a public judgment of the Church. Ultimately, what they say on exclusion from the Church and loss of office for heresy in their big 700 page volume is so self-contradictory that it evaporates into mere vapours of nothingness; and can only be likened to a large hall filled with smoke and mirrors in which there is nothing of substance to be found. Indeed, what conclusion can be drawn from their book, in which they say on the one hand (p. 260), that “The loss of office for a cleric is a vindictive penalty, and there is a process in Church law which must precede vindictive penalties”, and in their Formal Reply they quote Benedict XIV, “a sentence declaratory of the offence is always necessary in the external forum”; and on the other hand they say, “a reigning Pope will not lose his office before the Church has established the crime, and most probably not before the Church issues a declaratory sentence. However, we do concede that if a Pope were to openly and publicly leave the Church of his own will, as opposed to simply professing heresy, a case could be made that God would sever the bond that united the man to the pontificate at the moment his public defection was acknowledged by the Church, even without a declaratory sentence of the crime (for example, if the Pope publicly declared he was no longer Catholic and then joined and became a pastor of the Lutheran sect).” (pp. 280 – 281) So, Salza & Siscoe “do concede … that if a Pope were to openly and publicly leave the Church of his own will, as opposed to simply professing heresy, a case could be made that God would sever the bond that united the man to the pontificate at the moment his public defection was acknowledged by the Church, even without a declaratory sentence of the crime” – but, as I have pointed out, the canonical doctrine of the Church teaches categorically that the loss of “whatsoever offices” takes place, not only by formal defection from the Church, but by public defection from the faith, i.e. by simply professing manifestly formal heresy, “without any declaration”. St. Robert Bellarmine formulated in theological terms the doctrine on which this canonical provision is based, explaining why it is impossible for a non-Catholic to be pope: “A non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan affirms in the same book, and the reason is because he cannot be the head of that which he is not a member, and he is not a member of the Church who is not a Christian. But a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as St. Cyprian and many other Fathers clearly teach. Therefore, a manifest heretic cannot be Pope.” (De Romano Pontifice lib. ii cap. xxx)
In one of his replies to an earlier preliminary draft of this book, Salza wrote to me, “Keep the comedy hour going, Kramer, please… [Salza (incredibly) thinks my writings on this topic are comically silly!] … you repeatedly falsify our position in the face of countless corrections. For example, you continue to accuse us of holding that only the crime of heresy severs one from the Body, but in our book we QUALIFY that statement over and over again …” I have more than adequately documented in this volume that Salza & Siscoe state repeatedly, and in a categorical and unqualified manner, that “only the crime of heresy” separates one from the body of the Church; and that external heresy is a crime in its very nature, and that the crime of heresy must be public and notorious for that separation to take place without a judgment by Church authority – and then they contradict themselves elsewhere (for example, stating that even material heretics who are not subjectively guilty of a crime, but who inculpably separate themselves from the Church, sever the juridical bond by themselves); and then they flip-flop again, insisting that a penal sentence of excommunication must be pronounced in order to sever the juridical bond; and that a declaration of deprivation or at least some form of public judgment of the Church would be necessary for loss of office to occur, which they falsely assert to be a vindictive penalty. In his article, John Salza Responds to Another Sedevacantist, Salza states categorically that, «Canon Law requires the heresy to be public and notorious, and the determination must be made by the Church.” After stating that the determination must be made by the Church, Salza then contradicts himself, saying, «heresy includes everything from the internal sin alone, to the public crime of notorious heresy - and only the latter automatically severs a person from external union with the Church “without a declaration.” » After stating flatly that only the crime of heresy “automatically severs a person from external union with the Church”, Salza then inveighs against me: «you continue to accuse us of holding that only the crime of heresy severs one from the Body [of the Church] » Salza then reverses himself and writes to me, «In our book and articles, we also explicitly say that public (notorious) heresy severs one from the Body WITHOUT regard to "law or precept." » Public heresy considered without regard to law or precept is heresy considered formally as a sin, and not as a crime. Salza fails to see the contradiction in his own position saying on the one hand, that only the crime of heresy notorious by fact automatically severs one from the body of the Church, and then says that public and notorious heresy automatically «severs one from the Body without regard to “law or precept.” » Indeed, if heresy severs one from the body of the Church without regard to law or precept, then it does so by its very nature as a sin, and not because it is a crime; since there is no crime in ecclesiastical law without the violation of a law or precept to which is added a penal sanction. Salza & Siscoe then resort to the patently absurd claim that heresy is intrinsically a crime in its very nature; and on this basis they claim, «We never said it was based on "penal law" and always said it was the nature of the act. » … «AND THAT MEANS SUCH HERESY DOESN'T NEED TO BE LISTED AS A CRIME IN CANON LAW TO SEVER ONE FROM THE BODY OF THE CHURCH (although it is listed as a crime). And yet that is what you falsely accuse us of holding. » Salza & Siscoe fail to grasp, that if it is not "listed as a crime", and is therefore not enumerated in ecclesiastical law as "an external violation of a law or precept to which is added a penal sanction"; then it is simply not a crime, but only a sin. Yet it is Salza’s contention that «Again, Pope Pius XII is referring to the “offense” or CRIME (not SIN) of heresy, which severs one from the Body of the Church, after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church. After the crime has been established, the heretic is automatically severed from the BODY (not SOUL) of the Church without further declaration (although most theologians maintain that the Church must also issue a declaration of deprivation) ». The clueless Salza also fails to grasp the inherent contradiction in a notion of crime notorious by fact which professes that a public crime, obvious to the mind and sight, is not to be considered notorious until the determination of notoriety is made by the official judgment of the Church – a self-contradictory notion, since then, the notorious crime would then not be notorious by fact, but would de jure notorious! It is by their fanatical and fundamentalistic legalism that Salza & Siscoe have fallen into a strange form of nominalism which denies that public formal heresy in an individual can be known unless that individual be convicted of the penal delict heresy by a competent tribunal, or at least be publicly judged by the Church in some other manner which they seem to be unable or unwilling to clearly specifiy. I have demonstrated with copious documentation in this volume, that for one to be visibly and juridically separated from the body of the Church due to formal heresy, the Church teaches that the fact of public defection into heresy alone causes that separation ipso jure; and that a penal judgment or declaratory sentence is not necessary for the juridical bond to be severed. Similarly, I have amply demonstrated in this volume that it is the unequivocal position of ecclesiastical law and Church doctrine, that manifest heresy can be seen and recognized without a penal judgment or declaratory sentence; and therefore, it is not a matter of penal law, but the administrative statutes in the non-penal section of the Code of Canon Law require only that there be the recognizable public fact of defection from the faith into heresy, apart from all considerations of penal law, for the actual ipso facto loss of ecclesiastical office to occur ipso jure, without any declaration by ecclesiastical authority. With full knowledge and obstinate and deliberation, Salza and Siscoe sweep aside the expositions of the most authoritative commentaries of the expert canonists on the question of loss of office, by passing over them in silence; and then they fraudulently explain loss of office by quoting the same commentaries expositions on the canons of the penal section of the Code on penal deprivation of office, in order to deceive their readers into thinking that loss of office is a “severe vindictive penalty” – i.e., a vindictive penalty, which is a punishment for a penal offense that cannot take place without a declaration of deprivation made by competent authority. The supreme magisterium of the universal Church teaches exactly the opposite: public defection from the faith into heresy effects the automatic loss of office “without any declaration”.
Another error Salza & Siscoe make is their belief that “only notorious heretics are excluded from the body of the Church”; and hence, a pope’s heresy would need to be public and notorious; and therefore, it would need to actually be widely known throughout the Church, for a pope to cease to be a member of the Church. In their article, RESPONSE TO FR. KRAMER’S ERROR ON “NOTORIOUS BY FACT”, they quote a passage of Fr. Dominique Boulet of the SSPX out of context: “For the criminality of a Pope’s heresy to be legally recognized, such that his heresy would be canonically Notorious, not only would a knowledge of his heresy [the material aspect] have to have spread widely through the Church, as we have seen above, but it would also have to have been widely recognized as a morally imputable crime [the formal aspect].” For a pope’s heresy to be legally recognized as a public and notorious, i.e. notorious by fact, it would indeed need to have been spread widely through the Church – but it would not need to be widely diffused for his heresy to be considered public according to ecclesiastical law. Such an opinion is based on an antiquated notion of public delict that was held by some canonists before the codification of Canon Law in the 1917 Code made it obsolete. The highly authoritative 1952 canon law commentary of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical University of Salamanca (which I quote on numerous occasions in this volume), explains on page 785, that in the legislation previous to the 1917 Code, there was not yet the clear and uniform concept of public crime. From what is set forth in the text of the canon and in the expert commentary, it is clear that according to the specifications of the canon in question that for the crime to be considered public, knowledge of the heresy would not have to have actually be publicly known, but there would only need to be the proximate danger of becoming known; and the proximate likelihood that it would be divulged, would not have to be the danger of a divulgation that would be diffused widely throughout the greater portion of the whole Church in order for it to be considered “public”. As I demonstrate irrefutably in this volume, quoting the verbatim text of the canons, and the most authoritative commentaries on the canons; that for a crime to be public, it suffices that the knowledge of the crime be public or likely to soon become public (canon 2197 n. 1, “Delictum est publicum, si iam divulgatum est aut talibus contigit aut versatur in adiunctis ut prudenter iudicari possit et debeat facile divulgatum iri”; and a crime is notorious by fact (canon 2197 n. 3) if the knowledge of the fact of the crime and its imputability be, 1) public (si publice notum sit) , and, 2) that the crime be committed under such circumstances that it cannot be concealed by any subterfuge, nor excused by any excuse admitted in laws (in talibus adiunctis commissum, ut nulla tergiversatione celari nulloque iuris suffragio excusari possit). Similarly, for the imputability to be notorious, I prove in this volume that Salza & Siscoe go far beyond the letter of the law, and what is explained in the authoritative commentaries, specifying gratuitously and arbitrarily their own highly restrictive conditions, which according to them, must be verified for the fact of the crime of heresy and its imputability to be qualified as notorious by fact. For an ecclesiastical officeholder to be severed from the body of the Church and to lose office, it suffices that the fact of defection from the faith be public, and thus it suffices that the publicity of the act conforms to the same conditions specified for a public delict in canon 2197 n. 1.
Salza & Siscoe err further when they heretically assert, against the universal and ordinary magisterium of the Church, that “How a heretical bishop or Pope loses his office, and how heresy separates a Catholic from the Church, are two separates questions, and each question has different distinctions that apply”. Simply stated, according to Salza & Siscoe the crime of notorious heresy (i.e. “notorious” gratuitously defined according to severe and arbitrarily formulated qualifying restrictions) severs one from the body of the Church ipso facto; but loss of office (according to them) is a vindictive penalty which must be canonically imposed by the Church. In their Gloria TV interview, they bluntly assert,“heresy does not directly cause a Pope to fall from the pontificate.” On their website and in their book they declare, «The sin of heresy alone, which has not been judged and declared by the Church, does not result in the loss of ecclesiastical office for a cleric. The loss of office for a cleric is a vindictive penalty, and there is a process in Church law which must precede vindictive penalties … The sin of heresy alone, which has not been judged and declared by the Church, does not result in the loss of ecclesiastical office for a cleric. The loss of office for a cleric is a vindictive penalty, and there is a process in Church law which must precede vindictive penalties… This also means that the loss of office for a cleric must be imposed (ferendae sententiae) by Church authority which makes the loss of office a “vindictive penalty.” » Refuting all of those who held that loss of office takes place as a penalty for having violated ecclesiastical laws, St Robert Bellarmine in Book II Chapter XXX of De Romano Pontifice cites Aquinas, saying, “St. Thomas teaches that schismatics straightaway loose all jurisdiction”; and cites the unanimous teaching of the Fathers: “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; rather, they argued from the nature of heresy … Yet heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment, as the Apostle teaches to Titus; that is, they are cut from the body of the Church without excommunication, as Jerome expresses it.” Thus it is patent that the opinion of Salza & Siscoe on loss of office for heresy is itself heretical, as it directly opposes the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, and the canonical doctrine on loss of office expressed and set forth by the supreme magisterium exercised by Benedict XV and John Paul II respectively in their promulgation of the 1917 and 1983 Code of Canon Law – which besides containing mere legislation, is also an important organ of the ordinary magisterium regarding the canonical doctrine of the Church.
As I mentioned in the Introduction to this work, I have included an entire chapter that exposes the sophistry and outright fraud in the writings of John Salza and Robert Siscoe. I have corresponded with them; I have sent them copies of my articles on the question of papal heresy, loss of office, and defection from the faith. They remain entrenched in heresy as enthusiastic partisans of the operation of error, and hardened in their blind adherence to false doctrine to the extent that their fanatical devotion to falsehood has distinguished them quintessentially as The People of the Lie. Yet, though they are blind, they claim to see – so their sin remains (John 9:41) – and because their sin remains, with a fanatical zeal they apply themselves to the accursed and futile work of their infernal masters, of “the principalities and powers”, of “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12) – which is: TO DECEIVE THE ELECT. (Matthew 24:24) Therefore, in addition to this volume, two more volumes – a total of three volumes is necessary to uphold and defend the Catholic faithful against the “the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian”.
Vol. 1 – Provides the doctrinal basis for the Church to resolve the two-pope crisis by declaring Bergoglio to be a heretic who is therefore incapable of being validly elected, of validly assuming the papal munus or holding the papal office; and hence, to not validly hold the Petrine office. The opinion that the Church must presume Bergoglio to validly hold the Petrine office, and first judge him in a general council before removing him is a practical and doctrinal impossibility. It is doctrinally impossible because a pope possesses absolute authority over a council; and therefore, an ecumenical council, a Roman synod, or the College of Cardinals has no jurisdiction whatsoever to judge a pope. It is also practically impossible, because a hierarchy thoroughly infected with the heresy of Modernism can hardly be expected to gather in council to condemn a Modernist pope. Thus, the idea that a council could resolve the issue of a heretic pope is utterly untenable and unworkable – and would have the only foreseeable result of leaving the heretic on the papal throne, and thereby leaving the Church in what St. Robert Bellarmine describes as a most miserable condition in his comment: “that it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd.” (De Romano Pontifice liber ii cap. xxx) The Church’s solution is much more easily carried out, and it is based on the doctrine that a manifest heretic is simply not the pope. This doctrine is fully elaborated in this volume.
Vol. 2 – Provides the canonical basis for judging the election of Bergoglio to the papacy to have been null and void ab initio. Firstly, because Benedict XVI did not validly resign the papal office, and therefore remains in office as the only valid successor of St. Peter. All arguments in favour of a valid election of Bergoglio suffer from fatal logical defects. The Salza/Siscoe argument, that Pope Benedict validly resigned, assumes a valid resignation as a premise. Their argument that a peaceful and universal acceptance of Bergoglio as pope infallibly proves that he validly occupies the throne of Peter, suffers multiple fatal flaws. It will be explained in Volume Two how Salza & Siscoe, in a crude and logically incoherent manner, misapply the doctrine of universal and peaceful acceptance to the invalid election of Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio. The valid application of the principle of universal and peaceful acceptance as proof of a valid pontificate is premised on the necessary conditions that there be a vacant see and valid matter to fill the vacancy. If the papal chair is, 1) truly vacant; and, 2) a man who is valid matter, i.e. a man capable of validly holding the office is elected pope; then, if, 3) he enjoys the exclusive universal and peaceful acceptance of the whole Church, it can be judged with certitude that he is indeed the valid holder of the papal office. The universal and peaceful acceptance must consist in a general acceptance of a Catholic pope by the Catholic faithful and hierarchy. The general acceptance of a manifest heretic or apostate during a time of general apostasy by a vast majority of clergy and laity who are ‘Catholic in name only’, but who follow the heretic into heresy or apostasy, and defect from the Catholic Church together with him, does not constitute the universal and peaceful acceptance by Catholics, which theologians explain would prove a man to certainly be the valid pope of the Catholic Church. Volume Two will demonstrate that Bergoglio’s election does not meet the necessary criteria for the valid application of the principle of universal and peaceful acceptance as a proof of validity of his demonstrably invalid pontificate. Thus, the solution for resolving the crisis: 1) Pope Benedict must appoint the electors who will elevate his successor to the papal throne; or, if he dies before that can be done, the much less satisfactory but sufficient solution would be that the orthodox, non-heretic cardinals would elect Pope Benedict’s successor. Francis must be juridically declared to have been invalidly elected and incapable of holding ecclesiastical office. Volume Two will prove that this is the only legitimate solution to the present crisis occasioned by the “two-pope” situation in the Church.
Vol. 3 – Will explain and prove that the Bergoglian Reformation is already giving birth to the Masonic inspired Gnostic counter-church which already exists in gigantic fetal form as the Conciliar Church, as an intruder within the material space belonging properly to the true Catholic Church, and which is the apocalyptic counterfeit church, Catholic in name only; and which, by the operation of error (2 Thess. 2:10) would deceive if possible even the elect. (Matthew 24:24) The Gnostic Antichurch – the consummation of the “mystery of iniquity”(2 Thess. 2:7) , which 1) had its roots already in the first heresy of the Apostolic Period, and the heresies of the succeeding centuries; 2) was institutionalized by the Protestant Reformation; and, 3) will culminate and gain universality by means of the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21; Apoc. 7:14) which is comprised of, 1) the great apostasy (1 Tim. 4: 1-3; 2 Thess. 2:3); 2) violent global persecution of the true Church (Matthew 24; Apoc. 13:1-8; and, 3) the reign of Antichrist (Apocalypse 13).