18 May 2017

Is the Pope a heretic? (1)

To this question there can only be one answer: NO. And NO means, as Mrs Brexiteer May might put it, NO. Pope Bergoglio has NEVER, to my knowledge, formally enunciated doctrines which are unambiguously heretical. The claim one sometimes hears, to the effect that he has formally, as if from his chair, made doctrinal assertions which the Church has formally defined as heretical, is NONSENSE. When such assertions tip over further, into the idea that he has ceased to be pope because of his alleged errors, the mistake is even more grievously EVIL because it runs the risk of detaching souls for whom Christ died from the Ark of Salvation, from the One Fold of the Redeemer.

One easy reason for being confident that the Sovereign Pontiff has not formally taught heresy is the simple fact, confirmed pretty well every time he opens his mouth, that he despises theology and holds doctrine in not-even-barely-concealed contempt. To be a heretic, or, more precisely, to be a formal heretic, it is in practical terms necessary to operate within the respectable constraints of propositional discourse. The fact that Bergoglio does not do this is proved by the fact, written large over this whole pontificate, that nobody ever quite seems to be sure what he means. The DUBIA which the four Cardinals put forward provide a good example of this. Four men of erudition (not to mention seniority) thought they needed to ask the Bishop of Rome what he meant. His tardiness, so far, in exercising the Petrine Ministry of Confirming his Brethren demonstrates his resolute determination not to be tied down by propositions. I do not believe that it is possible to convict such a man, operating such a policy, of being a formal heretic. Those who wish to do this are walking up quite the wrong garden path. And I will argue that they are guilty of a genre-error.

Further parts will follow. No comments will be enabled until they are all finished.


TLM said...

I agree, the Pope is not a 'formal' heretic. I haven't seen anywhere that he has been accused of such. Sometimes he may be 'ambiguous', but there are times that he's crystal clear in turning the Catholic faith on it's head. So far, he has been a bad Pope, not heterodox, but still a bad Pope. We have certainly had them before in the history of the Church, so this is nothing new, but the confusion he has sewn in the last four years has been unprecedented. Our job as lay faithful is to PRAY FOR HIM, which is not a choice, but an obligation.

Deacon Nicholas said...

We Orthodox would say in all charity that, while we should not judge whether the Roman Catholic Pope is personally a heretic, we have maintained since the year 1014 that he teaches heresy.

erick said...

What to say about his teaching in Amoris Laetitia which clearly gives circumstantial rationale by which it can be allowed for persons to perpetuate their "irregular" relationship and be worthy of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation and holy eucharist? Some of this rationale is based on the idea that it would be far too difficult to do what is "holy" for some. I would have thought this might go contrary to the Council of Trent's teaching that the Spirit always provides us the sufficient grace to fulfill the will of God. Grant it, Pope Francis may have believed this and merely thought that the failure to do so anyhow was not worthy of the state of mortal sin.

Also, from the link below, he seems to have made it clear that he believes it is a "sin" to try and convert the Orthodox to Catholicism. If one is familiar with the literature of the Pope's and bishops concerning the Greek and Russian schismatics (as well as the other Orientals), one would think this is a retrospective condemnation of all our of past exhortations to the East


Ranger01 said...

The bishop of Rome is a very clever priest and will not allow himself to be trapped with a formal heresy charge.
The good author is absolutely correct.

The bishop of Rome is no longer worthy of anyone's time. His deliberately muddled communications of all sorts and his denigration of those who disagree with his 'liberation theology' demonstrate he is unworthy of the office he holds.

He is a dangerous man. Leave him to his self-destruction.

john said...

Lack of clarity is not good if clarity is possible.
When this Pope meets . . . the innocent ... he seems full of joy , and so do they. Is "seeming" the truth? He seems like a good man when he meets people. He says good things in a good way. Do we have to have three Ph.D.'s to know God?