12 March 2019

Cassiciacum? (2)

A "Scholastic" approach to theology might progress from apparently given fixed principles through apparently syllogistic logic to apparently obvious conclusions. Thus:-

"Popes do not Teach heresy;
Honorius taught heresy;
Therefore Honorius was not pope"

or:-

"Antipopes have no legitimate jurisdiction;
Honorius was an antipope;
Therefore Honorius had no jurisdiction."

and so on; thus the canonical framework Honorius imposed upon the Anglo-Saxon Church was of no effect. Et cetera; et cetera.

You could put a group of such thinkers on to a Desert Island, and by pure logic they could come up with a complete history of the Church, perfect in every respect, possibly even armoured by every protection of immaculate logic ... except that it bore no relationship to what actually did happen in the real History of the real Church.

Thus, although Pope Honorius was condemned by his successors and anathematised by an Ecumenical Council, nobody ever did claim that he at any point ceased to be pope; or that his acts of papal jurisdiction were "invalid", in England or anywhere else. Certainly, when S Bede the Venerable wrote his account of the Honorius years, there is no hint in the Saint's words that Honorius was an antipope or that his acts of jurisdiction were null. Nor did later popes or Ecumenical Councils decree this to be so.

More later ... perhaps after, tomorrow, I have lauded that faultless pontiff Prospero Lambertini..

23 comments:

Banshee said...

I think what you are describing is the difference between a descriptive discipline and a prescriptive one.

Properly speaking, theology has to rely on description first: God is the subject, and the evidence is the various sorts of divine revelation and Church doctrine. Any logical conclusions have to follow from the evidence, and a theologian has to remain in touch with God and know Him well (through the Mass, the Office, various devotions, personal prayer life,etc.). It is more like biography than it is like a logic course.

Bruvver Eccles said...

The syllogism is impeccable, so the question is, which statement is false?
(1) Popes do not teach heresy;
(2) Honorius taught heresy.

J Hanna said...

The papal accoutrements do not lift the Pope from his human nature. He still must have free will and thus the ability to sin, to be in error. Popes go to confession. There is that need. Peter and Judas had their failings, as did the others. In a fallen world there are no islands of perfection, and certainly not behind the Vatican walls. To err is human. The Pope is human, ergo... Yes? Humans work in time. God works through time. The gates of hell will not ultimately prevail, but they can swing about quite violently in the meantime.

Tony V said...

Of course, Honorius didn't think he was infallible...unlike some popes I could mention.

Robert Snell said...

The claim that Pope Honorius I taught heresy to the whole church is refuted in the book:

The Church of Christ (1955) by
Father E. Sylvester Berry (author, 1879 to 1954)
ISBN 978–1–60608–802–9
and also by

Tumultuous Times (2004)
by Francisco and Dominic Radecki
ISBN 0–9715061–0–8
and also by

Papal Error?: A Defense of Popes Said to Have Erred in Faith (2015)
by St. Robert Bellarmine S.J. (Author), Ryan Grant (Translator)
ISBN 978-0692565995

And also, if my memory serves me correctly, in this book (which I lent to a seminarian who did not give it back to me.):
Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers to Modern Critics (1992)
by William G. Most (Author)
ISBN 978-0895553058

And yet again in
The Teaching of the Catholic Church (1952)
by Canon George D Smith
published by Burns,Oates and Washbourne Ltd (out of print)

In each case the index will guide you to the relevant pages, and in each case the other pages are well worth reading.

Robert Snell said...

The claim that Pope Honorius I taught heresy to the whole church is refuted in the book:

The Church of Christ (1955) by
Father E. Sylvester Berry (author, 1879 to 1954)
ISBN 978–1–60608–802–9
and also by

Tumultuous Times (2004)
by Francisco and Dominic Radecki
ISBN 0–9715061–0–8
and also by

Papal Error?: A Defense of Popes Said to Have Erred in Faith (2015)
by St. Robert Bellarmine S.J. (Author), Ryan Grant (Translator)
ISBN 978-0692565995

And also, if my memory serves me correctly, in this book (which I lent to a seminarian who did not give it back to me.):
Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers to Modern Critics (1992)
by William G. Most (Author)
ISBN 978-0895553058

And yet again in
The Teaching of the Catholic Church (1952)
by Canon George D Smith
published by Burns,Oates and Washbourne Ltd (out of print)

In each case the index will guide you to the relevant pages, and in each case the other pages are well worth reading.

Robert Snell said...

The claim that Pope Honorius I taught heresy to the whole church is refuted in the book:

The Church of Christ (1955) by
Father E. Sylvester Berry (author, 1879 to 1954)
ISBN 978–1–60608–802–9
and also by

Tumultuous Times (2004)
by Francisco and Dominic Radecki
ISBN 0–9715061–0–8
and also by

Papal Error?: A Defense of Popes Said to Have Erred in Faith (2015)
by St. Robert Bellarmine S.J. (Author), Ryan Grant (Translator)
ISBN 978-0692565995

And also, if my memory serves me correctly, in this book (which I lent to a seminarian who did not give it back to me.):
Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers to Modern Critics (1992)
by William G. Most (Author)
ISBN 978-0895553058

And yet again in
The Teaching of the Catholic Church (1952)
by Canon George D Smith
published by Burns,Oates and Washbourne Ltd (out of print)

In each case the index will guide you to the relevant pages, and in each case the other pages are well worth reading.

Vae Victis said...

Dear Mr. Hunwicke, the second premise of the first syllogism is false, and you’d know that if you have read St. Robert Bellarmine.

William Tighe said...

Bruvver Eccles wrote:

"The syllogism is impeccable, so the question is, which statement is false?
(1) Popes do not teach heresy;
(2) Honorius taught heresy."

Any Catholic who accepts, as one must, the ecumenicity of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III, 680-1) and the ratification of its acts and decrees by Pope St. Leo III, will necessarily have to admit that Pope Honorius was condemned, canonically and legitimately, for teaching heresy. Whether he did so intentionally or inadvertently, deliberately or merely to try to wave away a Christological dispute, is beside the point. And therefore the answer to the two questions is, #1, false, and #2, true.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Milton Freeman famously (infamously) said, We are all Keynesians now in reference to the fact that then more and more governments were adopting John Maynard Keynes basic ideas about government involvement in the economy.

In reference to the inflation of sedevacantism blogs and the eruption of more and more Catholic counterfeiting private judgment declarations of I-am-more-Catholic-than-both-you-and-the-pope Blogs which identify the putative substantial error (Canon 188) of Benedict's resignation which means, it is averred with great gravity and self-asserted authority, he is Pope and Francis isn't, we may as well just say We are all protestants now

Oncet, there was an old axiom of Catholicism that Whoever eats of the Pope dies like a beast but those days are long, long gone and free Francis Ain't Pope Buffets are open 27/7/365.

What's a faithful Catholic to do?

ABS was learnt long ago to Wait on The Lord , Keep the Faith once delivered, and wait for the Church to decide.

There are answers to those laymen whose private judgement rhetoric is as ridiculously resplendent as a Protestant in Fiddlebacks.

http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/p/concerningthe-churchs-treatment-of.html

Banshee said...

It would seem that Honorius did not teach heresy, because what he was talking about was not what the Monothelites were talking about. Indeed, he is most!y criticized for failure to teach in a timely manner, thus putting out the fires of heresy.

But it would also seem that many of the Monothelites were not talking about what they were said to be talking about, and may not have been heretics.

Nothing like long distance theology in four different languages!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

(1) I thought I made it abundantly clear that I did not regard the 'syllogisms' I devised as sound. I included the word "apparently" THREE TIMES. How many times does one have to say something ... I often wish that people would read what I write ...

(2) Whether Honorius was a heretic is a secondary matter. The fact is that the Catholic Church in an Ecumenical Council anathematised him; this anathema was ratified by popes; and popes condemned Honorius in their own words by saying that he failed to preserve the purity of the Church of Rome. The fact that Popes and a Council condemned a Pope for heresy is more significant, from the point of view of thinking about the Magsterium, than the actual matter of H's mental confusions.

A Pope CAN be a heretic because the Church .... Council and popes ... have said that this DID happen in the case of Honorius.

William Tighe said...

Robert Snell (despite his seeming use of the argument "if I tell you something three times it is true) and Vae Victis (and maybe Banshee) seem to think (or assume) that the decrees of an ecumenical council, explicitly ratified and endorsed by a pope (St. Leo II, not, as I inadvertently wrote, III) can be magicked away. I don't think so.

Pope Honorius may nor have been a Christological Monothelite. What was at issue in his lifetime (he died in 638) was not, strictly speaking, monothelitism, but its precursor, the earlier and vaguer "monoenergism," the idea (emerging in the 620s) that there was one "energy" or "operation" in the Incarnate Christ: one divine-human (theandric) energy. However, in his reply of 635 to a letter of Patriarch Sergius of C'ple advocating monoenergism on the basis that, absent such a belief, Christ might be viewed as having two conflicting wills, Honorius responded that Christ had one will, without division or conflict. Delighted by the reply, Sergius composed, and the Emperor Heraclius promulgated the Ecthesis proclaiming Monothelitism to be the official doctrine of the Church. By this point Honorius was dead. So while he may not have been theologically a monothelite he may nevertheless have played a role in the genesis of that heresy.

Fr PJM said...

Catholic dogma asserts that the pope
CAN NOT
IMPOSE definitively heresy
on the Universal Church.
He can think it, say it, and even propose it.

Justina said...

1. Why is it "private judgment" to assert that Ratzinger is still the pope, but not to assert that Bergoglio is? Your argument assumes what it sets out to prove.

2. No one ever said Honorius wasn't the pope in the first place. Bergoglio would have to be, for any of this to apply.

Canon law, not any of us (ABS included) is conclusive in this regard, and must be applied.

Tony V said...

Perhaps when a pope teaches heresy, he stops being pope just for that moment, then quickly become pope again a few minutes later. Kind of like a mini Roman holiday.

Rubricarius said...

On my wall is a copy of a page from a Roman Breviary printed in Venice in 1500 (British Library Cat. No. IB24625). In the mattins lessons appointed for the feast of St. Leo II Honorius is in the same list as the others condemned for the same heresy: Cyrus, Sergius, Honorius, Pyrrus, Paul, Peter, Macarios and Stephen.

Anyone interested in the subject would do better consulting early printed and MSS Breviaries rather than nineteenth and twentieth century Ultramontanist glosses. Examination of the liturgical editions reveals the careful excision of the name of Honorius through the first half of the sixteenth century, largely under Franciscan influence. Notwithstanding the editing of the texts for nearly a millennium the Roman liturgy contained the condemnation of Honorius for heresy which would have been chanted, or read, by countless deacons, priests, bishops and popes.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Justina. It is not private judgment to acknowledge that Pope Francis is Pope but Catholic Tradition. It is private judgment to claim that the Church failed, that the gates of Hell have prevailed, that The Church is invisible, and that Francis is not Pope for those are the consequences of claiming that Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger is Pope.


ABS could summarise the Tradition about an elected Pope that is denied by the sedevacanatists who, like the private judgment protestants, reject the truth of a visible hierarchal church, but the first two chapters of an excellent book should extinguish the doubts of any rational faithful Catholic that Pope Francis is Pope.

http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/p/true-or-false-pope-chapters-1-and-2.html

Jonathan Dandridge said...

Justina, because the Church has declared Bergoglio to be pope.

Seems to me if we were to call into question any papal election where various groups got together to lobby for a particular candidate, one would have to invalidate many of the papal elections of the last 1000 years. The actions of the St. Gallen Mafia can't have been any worse than that of the Borgias.

thomas tucker said...

@TonyV: then what's the frigging point?

Nicholas Zawaski said...

"Even in the erudite Dominican study of Melchior Cano, De locis theologicis, ed. J. Plans (Madrid: 2006), bk. 6, the author was forced to resort to denying that John XXII taught magisterially, rather only as “a matter of preparatory study.” In the case of Pope Honorius I, Cano makes a distinction between the pope as “a private heretic” and one who “confirms the brethren.” Prior to Vatican I, there was no decisive criterion, agreeable to all theologians, for this distinction. In what way, for example, is a papal letter (quasi-decretal due to its official and determinate nature) “private”? In this case the pope is confirming “one of the brethren” in Monotheletism. Vatican I dogmatically specifies that “the brethren” include every Christian (taken as the Mystical Body of Christ) under the jurisdiction of Rome. From the optic of post-Vatican I, Honorius’ letter may be harmonized with Pastor Aeternus (cf. DZ 3056-75). Contrariwise, from Florence until Vatican I, the classification of a formal letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople in response to a doctrinal question was plausibly taken as public act (though the addressee is individual patriarch)".
-Fr. Christiaan Kappes, from his 2014 essay, “Orthodoxy in Contrast to Rome [Talk 1 of 2] Historical and Present differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy in Palamism”

thomas tucker said...

One could reasonably think that the Catholic religion is ridiculous because it can’t even figure out what it believes.

Duane said...

It is my understanding that Pope St. Leo II refused to confirm the decree condemning Honorius for heresy of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Does not that make that particular decree null?