15 September 2022



I return to the urgent question of investigating canonically the teaching of prima facie heretical popes ... as suggested by Fr Aidan Nichols, still, I think, resident in Jamaica.

May I refine the suggestion? 

Suppose the question were to be put in this way;

Did Honorius, Bishop of Rome, fail to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic Tradition; or did he, by profane treachery, permit its purity to be polluted?

The advantage of this phraseology would be that it would rest upon Tradition and Precedent, because it would utilise the terms employed by an earlier Bishop of Rome when anathematising, in accordance with an Ecumenical Council, an earlier pope.


So the German episcopate appears to be moving inexorably towards Women 'Priests'. Memories arise of the time when we in the Provinces of Canterbury and York were facing a similar problem. I never thought that etc. etc.. Not even Cardinal Kasper's learned intervention could dissuade the Anglican bishops from confecting Women 'bishops'; perhaps the German bishops will also reject his advice.

If orthodox Catholics were to reject communion with German heterodox bishops who had gone down this path, and if, with whatever slippery jesuit ambiguities, PF were himself to remain in communion with such heresiarchs, we would face this problem: 

Canon 751 says "... Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with members of the Church subject to him."

What are the guidelines when it comes to mediate communion with such people? I bet there was a very messy lot of mediate communion going on during the Arian Crisis.

If we need to return to the drawing board, I wonder if the trustees of Gordon Square would allow us to use their cellars ... as they did last time ...


Anita Moore said...

Don't we already have swathes of the hierarchy, right up to the top in de facto schism? Suarez, I think, said that a Pope could enter into schism by trying to excommunicate the whole Church. Isn't the attempt to exterminate tradition effectively an attempt to excommunicate the whole Church, all over the world and all throughout history?

However, there does not seem to be anything we can do during the reign of a Pope in schism, up to and including declaring him to be in schism. And even if we could do that much, what then? There seems to be nothing we can do in the here and now beyond not following his errors and appealing to God to resolve the situation. And that is troublesome to our pride, because we always want to be doing something to fix things.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. That Cardinilate Train has left The Waterloo Station before taking action.

What the Church is facing is a resurrected Gnosticism that rejects reality and truth.

As Cardinal Siri observed during V2 is crucial to remember - or learn for those whohave never read it:


1. Opinions Replace Truth .

In this world the first and fundamental doctrine of power consists of an affirmation that there is no truth. Saint Augustine said that the difference between the city of this world and the city of God consists of the former having a
thousand opinions, while the latter has only one truth. The basic difference between both cities, therefore, is not based on the content, but on the very existence of truth. It suffices to remember the dramatic dialogue between Jesus
and Pilate.

What is most grave is that there is a technique to replace truth by opinions. This technique exists and is very useful. It suffices to look at present religious,
literary, and philosophical productions. Opinions can be so cautiously expressed that it is impossible to get to know what the author’s thesis is, or even more
paradoxical, doctrines that are mutually contradictory are juxtaposed as if they were consistent.

Let us look at the words, “God is dead.’ 1 If the slogan were denial , everybody would be able to understand. However, here we have a subtly idea through which “theologians” want to convey the deceitful impression they are preserving the most assayed and chemically pure idea of
God . . . through its “identification” with the most profound reality of man.

Even the ambiguous terms “conservative” and “progressive” conceal the relativistic technique, which leads every doctrinal issue in the direction of right wing and left wing. Thus everything becomes relative; everything becomes a matter of opinions and an instrument of power. Relativity of truth and doctrine is the actual goal of these arbitrary developments of the Church’s present problems.

Is not this measure, proclaimed even by bishops and cardinals among us, absurd and most unjust, as if it were an ideal to place us halfway between truth and error?

Let it be remembered that Gnosis, with its appeal to science and higher speculation, with its eagerness to understand mystery and to naturalize the Faith, was, during the second century, perhaps the worst danger in all the history of the Church. I believe that the complex of errors circulating today can be called Gnosis , systematically speaking. But ... do many people know what they are talking about? This is terrible, but they do not!

One does not act on rational grounds, but on one’s excessive desire to adapt oneself to the world. Worldly power, however, has its own philosophy, and fashionable theologians translate fashionable opinions into theological language, not because they accept a doctrine as such, but because they accept these doctrines that flatter the powers of this world.

The present times are grave, not because it is no longer a question of opposition or contrast between truth and error, but between truth and non-truth, between the order of truth and the dictatorship of public opinion. People believe
they are free because this appears in juridical texts; as a matter of fact, this deceiving belief is evidence of their servitude.

Is the Church also under the despotism of public opinion? Perhaps not the Church, but certainly many people within the Church are. The Church could not be deprived of its freedom without the Holy Spirit’s provoking powerful
reactions. . . .


The Bishop of Rome, at a minimum, desires to accompany those living in or teaching error and all of this is owing to Ecumenism, the Universal Solvent of Tradition.

Either the Church stops the Ecumenical impulse or it will have a "union" with those who reject her doctrines all living under a Pope who refuses to Rule or Teach.

That is where we are headed because that is THE end game of Ecumenism.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Your readersmay profit from reading Eric Vogelin on Gnosticism


Albertus said...

Of the subjects being discussed by the German synod in the context of the 'synod on synodality', the only ones which touch upon the Dogmas of Faith are the questions of womens ordination to the priesthood (and episcopacy), and, worse yet, a Church without ordained priests whatsoever. Both propositions are heretical, and cannot be compared to any of the other issues being discussed. The seriousness of the antisacerdotal heresy and of the female priestly ordination heresy cannot be overestimated. If the German Synod officially approves of these heresies, and should Bergoglio openly or tacitly accept such synodal heresies, then orthodox catholics must clearly refuse ecclesiastical "communion" with the German clergy in manifest heresy as well as with the current occupant of the petrine see, and continue to pray for Heaven to grant Christs Church a truly orthodox pope.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

He's not long for this world, so no need to get one's knickers in a knot. Besides, if this is true, things are going to change rapidly, and it's all over for the liberal world order: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-mH8AGQOYU


From Fr. Khouri said...

While "conciliarism" has been condemned, Father you mention ecumenical councils that condemned as heretics previous popes.

Conciliarism is not any like the German "psuedo synodal" way. Yet, the leaders, many bishops, and lay delegates of the GSW seem to have placed themselves about the Church and the pope too.

Since the "first See is judged by no one" what would happen if a pope fell into heresy?

Didn't Martin V state that conciliarism is a heresy and forbade what the Council of Constance did? There were three claimants to the Chair. Which "pope" was the real pope and who decided?

Of course, V1 put the nails in the coffin with Pastor Aeternus.

So in the case of a heretical pope, to whom shall we go?

Stephen said...

Let it also be said that the confiscation of workers' earnings by the German government for re-distribution to the Roman Catholic dioceses in Germany (one can choose to have the tax on your earnings go either to the RC or Lutheran church in Germany) contributes mightily to the corruption of the clerical class there. No matter that the nobody shows up for public worship, just keep the money flowing in. I note that there's not much of a resurgence of monasticism or other signs of ascetic renewal in Germany (or anywhere in Europe); perhaps a little more self-denial might make these churchmen more credible.

Prayerful said...

Dear Fr Hunwicke. There is no prior example of an heretical Pope, suitably judged in a correct forum by authority (although what that is, isn't clear according to the experts and Popes, for a Pope cannot be judged), nor is it evident which bishop could judge the matter. It's a massive catch 22. And even at V2, the company man outlook had taken hold.

Pope St Leo II condemned Honorius for his ambiguity (in forbidding discussion of Monothelitism, the unconfused humanity of our Saviour in His earthly mission was no longer clearly supported), not for any sort of heresy as contended by the prior Council of Constantinople, and this Fr Ott noted in his seminal work 'Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma' that 'there is no doubt' Honorius had not fallen into heresy (Ott, Baronius ed. p. 162). It would seem to be clear that our dear Holy Father Pope Francis long ago departed the Ambiguity station and long ago arrived at Error bringing along his baggage from his right-Peronist days (no shortage of conservative sounding phrases at times, but what PF means by them is not always clear). Perhaps afterwards, when PF has departed for Judgement (may the pain he evidently suffers be eased) some responsible bishops (from where?) could assess and proclaim that PF fell into heresy. The German Church (I call it that deliberately) has long ago succumbed to the values of the world (where what is heretical is a matter of indifference or just a minor paperwork thing) and uses its inestimable wealth to try push them, including in Rome.

Perhaps sadly there is nothing useful to do with Pope Francis except to wait out his term of office (all these public representations were a bust), and ever pray that God will effect a change in the hearts of his advisors, and / or him.

Thank you Fr for your great number of thought provoking posts.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Fr K, there is a world of difference between a dispositive judgment (contrary to "the first see is judged by no-one") - presumably followed by deposition, and a mere declaration that a given pope is/was a heretic.