From the "Clear as the Summer Sun" File, Fr. Kramer presents the Catholic theology which Maintains the Catholic Church as the Pure Mystical Bride of Christ Rather than A Heretical and Heretically Led Whore of Babylon. Yes. It Matters.
Dr. Chojnowski: Here are some more critical quotations from Fr. Kramer's necessary book, Heretic Pope? How long are we going to be hair-splitting in order to avoid the obvious doctrinal and theological truths?
Here are some more important citations from the new book:
As can be seen from the above quoted text of St. Pius V's Catechism, heretics withdraw (descisco, desciscere, descivi, 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 external act of manifest formal heresy, the heretic, by that act of heresy suapte natura, 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 after 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 religious sect or denomination, but the act of desertion itself intrinsic to formal heresy, suapte natura, separates 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 from 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 condition for reconciliation with the Church.
If Salza's interpretation of Mystici Corporis were correct, 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, 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 from 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 legitimate 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 severs 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 indistinguishable in nature from any other crime....
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 perpetual 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 teaches 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 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.”
St. Robert Bellarmine teaches most explicitly (De Romano Pontifice, II xxx) that it 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; rather, 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 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, St. Robert Bellarmine proves that it is the teaching of scripture, interpreted 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 it 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 united 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 autem 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....
Applying this doctrine to the hypothetical case of a manifestly heretical pope, Bellarmine explains in what manner faith is simpliciter a necessary disposition for one to be pope; and faith being removed, by its contrary disposition, which is heresy, the pope would straightaway cease to be pope, with the necessary disposition for the form of the papacy not being able to be preserved. (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 Pedro De Luna (Benedict XIII), if ever he was pope, would have already “fallen” (decaduto) from the papal throne for having attacked the dogma “unam sanctam”.
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 Xavier Wernz S.J. and Pedro Vidal S.J. in, Jus 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. Pontifex si in illam incidat, ipso facto etiam ante omnem sententiam declaratoriam Ecclesiae sua potestate iurisdictionis privatus existit)