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Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

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Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:20 pm

Wondering on this issue. I start the discussion (if there ends up being discussion) with a quote:


Dogmatic Theology Volume II: Christ's Church, Van Noort, p. 241-242

b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. "For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy" (MCC 30; italics ours).

By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary's Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from the Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership. Theological reasoning for this opinion is quite strong: if public material heretics remained members of the Church, the visibility and unity of Christ's Church would perish. If these purely material heretics were considered members of the Catholic Church in the strict sense of the term, how would one ever locate the "Catholic Church"? How would the Church be one body? How would it profess one faith? Where would be its visibility? Where its unity? For these and other reasons we find it difficult to see any intrinsic probability to the opinion which would allow for public heretics, in good faith, remaining members of the Church.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:52 pm

John Lane's discussion of this issue:

http://sedevacantist.com/pertinacity.htm




Material and Formal - More Ambiguity

The preceding discussion leads logically to consideration of the analogous ambiguity, relevant to the same topic, which has perhaps been the source of even more serious confusion than the word “pertinacious”; namely, the distinction between material and formal heresy.

Every material object exists by virtue of the union of two elements - the stuff it is made of (matter) and the shape the stuff is made in (form). Thus a wine-glass is made out of glass - its matter; but that alone is not sufficient to make it a vessel suitable for drinking wine from; it also needs its form - the shape of a wine-glass.

Scholastic philosophy has taken the distinction of the two constituent elements of natural objects, and applied it, by extension or analogy, to other entities. Its best known theological application is to sin. Each sin is said to consist of its matter (the physical act) and its form (the disordered act of the will). And this application is very useful because it facilitates recognition of the cases in which the matter of the sin is not accompanied by its form. Thus a man who shoots his neighbour has performed the physical act proper to the sin of murder. But if he had blamelessly mistaken his neighbour for a wild animal, his intention was not disorderly. The matter of the sin was present, but not its form. We have come to say that such a man has sinned materially, but not formally. But what that really means is that he is not guilty of sin at all, for in the absence of the formal element, no entity can exist. A material sin is not really, or fully, a sin, any more than a pane of glass is a drinking vessel until it is moulded to the shape of one.

Application of these Terms to Heresy

With regard to the sin of heresy, it was said that the matter was the intellectual error involved in assenting to a heterodox proposition, while the form was the obstinate attachment of the will. And once again this distinction usefully clarified the fact that one who assents to a heterodox proposition by inadvertence, without obstinate attachment of the will, was not guilty of the sin of heresy.

What muddied the waters was the misleading linguistic development by which material heresy was said to make the person professing it a material heretic. No conclusion could seem more natural to the layman, but it does not in fact follow in logic. A retired lion-trainer is not, after all, a man who trains retired lions! And a serious problem arises when one designates as a material heretic anyone who assents, without moral guilt, to a heretical proposition. The first is that you have created a category which comprises two quite distinct sorts of member and you therefore run the risk of confusing the two. For according to that definition, a good Catholic who inadvertently holds a condemned doctrine, not realising that it is condemned is a material heretic. And so too is a Protestant if he is invincibly ignorant of the Church's status. And while it is true that there is a resemblance between the two cases (for both indeed hold in their minds unorthodox doctrine and neither is culpable in the eyes of God for doing so), nevertheless there is also a huge gulf between them. For the former is a Catholic, habitually adhering to the Catholic rule of faith, whereas the latter is a non-Catholic, with no knowledge of the correct rule of faith and tossed about on the treacherous sea of private opinion.

The inevitable consequence of this misleading assimilation of two such different sorts of person is that they will gradually come to be considered truly alike. This could happen in either of two ways. Mistaken Catholics could be regarded as no better than Protestants in good faith (and some “hard-liners” have practically taken this view, arguing that the most innocent error creates a presumption of heretical animus - a notion we have already seen to be false). More common has been the no less calamitous view that a Protestant, if invincibly ignorant of the status of the Church, is no worse off than a Catholic who inadvertently makes an incorrect doctrinal statement - as though adherence to the Catholic rule of faith, i.e. submission to the Magisterium, were irrelevant, whereas in fact it is what juridical membership of the Church depends on.

Correctly, the material element involved in being a heretic is conscious dissent from the Catholic rule of faith, while the formal element is the perverse state of the will which this entails. The distinction thus made, a Catholic who inculpably advances a heretical proposition by inadvertence may perhaps be said to have advanced a material heresy; but he cannot be called a material heretic. He is not a heretic in any sense. A heretic is one who dissents altogether from the Catholic rule of faith, and he will be called a material heretic if he is invincibly ignorant of the authority of the Church which he rejects, and a formal heretic if the Church's authority has been sufficiently proposed to him, so that his dissent from it is culpable. (This is clearly explained by Cardinal Billot: De Ecclesia Christi, ed. 4, pp. 289-290)

So according to the correct usage of the term, as outlined above, a Catholic can never become a material heretic. He is not invincibly ignorant of the Church's authority, and any conscious dissent from her teachings will therefore make him a formal heretic. Material heretics are exclusively those baptised non-Catholics who err in good faith. That is why Dr Ludwig Ott notes that “public heretics, even those who err in good faith (material heretics), do not belong to the body of the Church, that is to the legal commonwealth of the Church. (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p.311)

And in fact Dr Ott's preferred expression - “heretics who err in good faith” is the one used in the Code of Canon Law (Canon 731), which completely eschews the potentially misleading term “material heretics”
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:24 pm

Scholastic philosophy has taken the distinction of the two constituent elements of natural objects, and applied it, by extension or analogy, to other entities. Its best known theological application is to sin.

Of course another application that came immediately to mind was that of the sacramental matter and form (if either is missing the sacrament is not convected) but consider that off topic for this thread.

With regard to the sin of heresy, it was said that the matter was the intellectual error involved in assenting to a heterodox proposition, while the form was the obstinate attachment of the will. And once again this distinction usefully clarified the fact that one who assents to a heterodox proposition by inadvertence, without obstinate attachment of the will, was not guilty of the sin of heresy.

This makes a lot of sense as does the rest of the quote on first reading. That a Catholic cannot be a material heretic makes sense too. His action or word may be heretical but without the will to disobey the Church or her teaching he cannot be considered a heretic either materially or formally even though the matter may be heretical.

Are we hoping to apply this to what some perceive as Papal heresy or to what some perceive as sede vacante heresy? Or both?

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:20 pm

Columba,

Are we hoping to apply this to what some perceive as Papal heresy or to what some perceive as sede vacante heresy? Or both?

We are hoping to clarify an issue that has application to one or both. Aren't we?
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:25 pm

Well lets start with a few opening thoughts on the matter.
Sedevacantism or any other ism hasn't any direct bearing on my faith other than that which I permit it to have, but I can just as easily ignore everything sedevacantists have to say without being guilty of any neglect. In other words I do not feel obliged to take notice (that's not to say I don't) but I have no obligation. However when it comes to our Pope and what he has to say, well that's quite a different matter as in this case I have a certain duty to listen and follow.

But what happens when a Pope -either in word or deed - seems to be proposing (or at least implying) something that appears to be in contradiction to what one previously believed to be Catholic teaching?
Without passing any judgement on the person of the one who holds the high office of Pope, I have to be cautious when something he does or says (his external acts) show an apparent contradiction to traditional Catholic belief.

The first thing I try to do is to interpret these words or actions in an orthodox way and at times this can be achieved in many individual cases, but collectively the picture emerges of a trend or movement towards unorthodoxy that leaves one feeling slightly threatened or coerced into accepting the trend while knowing it to be at variance with what one traditionally held (without scruple) as being Catholic.
When the trend continues through successive Popes the unease increases to the point where one looks to see how others who have seen an heard the same things are responding. Which is the correct response? That is the big question?

To be honest, I could deal with certain (what I will term for the moment “imprudent”) actions of Popes if they will give us back the True Mass of Pope Pius V with the traditionally trained priests to offer it. I have no enthusiasm at all for the NO mass and strangely some of my Neocon friends are beginning to feel the same. This is the most serious concern of all.

These (for what they're worth) are my thoughts on the matter (for straters).
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Perhaps this could be a another thread, but that is interesting that you say that about your neo-con friends. I myself have seen that the more I go to the TLM and the Divine Liturgy (which I really consider two EQUAL liturgies) the more the N.O. seems intolerable. I do go to the N.O. during the week, but I use the meditations in my TLM missal and kind of ignore the annoying lady who insists to cantor and be the altar boy for the weekday Masses.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:37 am

I go to the NO mass and can deal with it if said devoutly and by a relative conservative parish but things occur from time to time, that throw me for a loop. Last Sunday they had blessings of the throat but they had the extraordinary ("eucharistic") minister do it. Can a layman or women do this? The same happenes when people go to communion but cross their arms for a blessing, so the layman or woman give a blessing. Now I know laypeople have a certain power in this regard but isn't there a difference in the blessing of a layperson and a priest?

About the material public heretic, I think they remain members since they don't know they are doing wrong. Otherwise St. Thomas would have been automatically excommunicated because he denied the Immaculate Conception, publicly. It is like a mortal sin is not a mortal sin, when, subjectively for the person, if they don't realize they are doing wrong or a serious matter.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:05 pm

Real the biggest issue that needs to be resolved in a future Ecumenical council is that of Church membership. Both the baptism of desire and baptism of blood issue, the issue of sedevacantism, the "partial-communion" theory, etc have to do with the question of when one becomes a Catholic and when a Catholic becomes a non-Catholic.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:03 am

cowboy wrote:
I go to the NO mass and can deal with it if said devoutly and by a relative conservative parish but things occur from time to time, that throw me for a loop. Last Sunday they had blessings of the throat but they had the extraordinary ("eucharistic") minister do it. Can a layman or women do this?

The following is a reply from the CDW to a query concerning blessings and who can administer them.

February 2009
Vol. XIV, No. 10

Congregation for Divine Worship -
On Giving Blessings During the Communion Rite

What about giving blessings to people who come forward in the Communion line but who are not receiving Communion? Should a priest, deacon or an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion give the person a blessing instead?

What if a person who is not receiving Communion presents himself with arms crossed over the chest, during the regular administration of Communion?

Two men wrote to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) asking about this practice. Their query asked if there are “particular guidelines or restrictions” concerning the practice of a minister or extraordinary minister giving the person a blessing.

The response from the CDW was in the form of a letter (Protocol No. 930/08/L), dated November 22, 2008, signed by Father Anthony Ward, SM, Under-secretary of the Congregation.

The letter said that “this matter is presently under the attentive study of the Congregation”, so “for the present, this dicastery wishes to limit itself to the following observations”:

1. The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.

2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).

3. Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands — which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here — by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.

4. The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio n. 84, “forbids any pastor, for whatever reason to pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry”. To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.

5. In a similar way, for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church’s discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing. This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin).

The Congregation’s clarification that extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (always laity), cannot give sacramental blessings within Mass is very helpful; and could be especially useful to pastors in parishes where inappropriate blessings during Communion have become common.

Although the CDW letter did not mention young children, we often see little children who have not yet received first Holy Communion accompanying their parents in the Communion line, with their arms crossed over their chests — both as a signal to the minister that they are not receiving Communion, and as an expression of the child’s reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

This reverent gesture of a young child is laudable and appropriate. But sometimes a minister (or extraordinary minister) interprets the child’s gesture as an implicit request for a special blessing as a sort of “substitute” for Communion. While the intention of blessing the child may be good, it should be made clear to all that the priest’s blessing at the conclusion of Mass includes everyone, and that there should not be separate blessings for any person during the Communion rite.


http://www.adoremus.org/0209CDW_Blessing.html
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:29 am

Here are some extracts from "Redemptionis Sacramentum" which I presented to a certain priest in the hope that he would take the instructions on board.
Of course that was wishful thinking on my part.
There are some pertinent points here; especially at the end where it puts responsibilty on the laity also to be active in stamping out abuses in the Mass.


INSTRUCTION
Redemptionis Sacramentum
On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist
March 25, 2004
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Extracts for practical use.

Preamble
[6.] For abuses "contribute to the obscuring of the Catholic faith and doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament".14 Thus, they also hinder the faithful from "re-living in a certain way the experience of the two disciples of Emmaus: 'and their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him'".15 For in the presence of God's power and divinity16 and the splendor of His goodness, made manifest especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is fitting that all the faithful should have and put into practice that power of acknowledging God's majesty that they have received through the saving Passion of the Only-Begotten Son.17

[7.] Not infrequently, abuses are rooted in a false understanding of liberty. Yet God has not granted us in Christ an illusory liberty by which we may do what we wish, but a liberty by which we may do that which is fitting and right.18 This is true not only of precepts coming directly from God, but also of laws promulgated by the Church, with appropriate regard for the nature of each norm. For this reason, all should conform to the ordinances set forth by legitimate ecclesiastical authority.
[8.] It is therefore to be noted with great sadness that "ecumenical initiatives which are well-intentioned, nevertheless indulge at times in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith". Yet the Eucharist "is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity or depreciation". It is therefore necessary that some things be corrected or more clearly delineated so that in this respect as well "the Eucharist will continue to shine forth in all its radiant mystery".19

[11.] The Mystery of the Eucharist "is too great for anyone to permit himself to treat it according to his own whim, so that its sacredness and its universal ordering would be obscured".27 On the contrary, anyone who acts thus by giving free rein to his own inclinations, even if he is a Priest, injures the substantial unity of the Roman Rite, which ought to be vigorously preserved,28 and becomes responsible for actions that are in no way consistent with the hunger and thirst for the living God that is experienced by the people today. Nor do such actions serve authentic pastoral care or proper liturgical renewal; instead, they deprive Christ's faithful of their patrimony and their heritage. For arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal,29 but are detrimental to the right of Christ's faithful to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church's life in accordance with her tradition and discipline. In the end, they introduce elements of distortion and disharmony into the very celebration of the Eucharist, which is oriented in its own lofty way and by its very nature to signifying and wondrously bringing about the communion of divine life and the unity of the People of God.30 The result is uncertainty in matters of doctrine, perplexity and scandal on the part of the People of God, and, almost as a necessary consequence, vigorous opposition, all of which greatly confuse and sadden many of Christ's faithful in this age of ours when Christian life is often particularly difficult on account of the inroads of "secularization" as well.31

[12.] On the contrary, it is the right of all of Christ's faithful that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms. Likewise, the Catholic people have the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church's Magisterium. Finally, it is the Catholic community's right that the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist should be carried out for it in such a manner that it truly stands out as a sacrament of unity, to the exclusion of all blemishes and actions that might engender divisions and factions in the Church.32

The Diocesan Bishop, High Priest of his Flock
[24.] It is the right of the Christian people themselves that their diocesan Bishop should take care to prevent the occurrence of abuses in ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the Saints. 57


The Conference of Bishops
[27.] As early as the year 1970, the Apostolic See announced the cessation of all experimentation as regards the celebration of Holy Mass62 and reiterated the same in 1988.63 Accordingly, individual Bishops and their Conferences do not have the faculty to permit experimentation with liturgical texts or the other matters that are prescribed in the liturgical books. In order to carry out experimentation of this kind in the future, the permission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is required. It must be in writing, and it is to be requested by the Conference of Bishops. In fact, it will not be granted without serious reason. As regards projects of inculturation in liturgical matters, the particular norms that have been established are strictly and comprehensively to be observed.64

The Ministries of the Lay Christian Faithful in the Celebration of Holy Mass
[46.] The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church's Magisterium recommend them. It is fitting that such a one should have received a liturgical formation in accordance with his or her age, condition, state of life, and religious culture.117 No one should be selected whose designation could cause consternation for the faithful.118

2. The Eucharistic Prayer
[51.] Only those Eucharistic Prayers are to be used which are found in the Roman Missal or are legitimately approved by the Apostolic See, and according to the manner and the terms set forth by it. "It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers"129 or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals.130
[55.] In some places there has existed an abuse by which the Priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste.

3. The Other Parts of the Mass
[57.] It is the right of the community of Christ's faithful that especially in the Sunday celebration there should customarily be true and suitable sacred music, and that there should always be an altar, vestments and sacred linens that are dignified, proper, and clean, in accordance with the norms.
[58.] All of Christ's faithful likewise have the right to a celebration of the Eucharist that has been so carefully prepared in all its parts that the Word of God is properly and efficaciously proclaimed and explained in it; that the faculty for selecting the liturgical texts and rites is carried out with care according to the norms; and that their faith is duly safeguarded and nourished by the words that are sung in the celebration of the Liturgy.

[59.] The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy.

[62.] It is also illicit to omit or to substitute the prescribed biblical readings on one's own initiative, and especially "to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God".138

[68.] The diocesan Bishop must diligently oversee the preaching of the homily,149 also publishing norms and distributing guidelines and auxiliary tools to the sacred ministers, and promoting meetings and other projects for this purpose so that they may have the opportunity to consider the nature of the homily more precisely and find help in its preparation.

[74.] If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily,156 nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account.

On the Joining of Various Rites with the Celebration of Mass
[77.] The celebration of Holy Mass is not to be inserted in any way into the setting of a common meal, nor joined with this kind of banquet. Mass is not to be celebrated without grave necessity on a dinner table159 nor in a dining room or banquet hall, nor in a room where food is present, nor in a place where the participants during the celebration itself are seated at tables. If out of grave necessity Mass must be celebrated in the same place where eating will later take place, there is to be a clear interval of time between the conclusion of Mass and the beginning of the meal, and ordinary food is not to be set before the faithful during the celebration of Mass.

The distribution of Holy Communion
[90.] "The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined", with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. "However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms".176

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,178 if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops' Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.179

[93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.180
[94.] It is not licit for the faithful "to take ... by themselves ... and, still less, to hand ... from one to another" the sacred host or the sacred chalice.181 Moreover, in this regard, the abuse is to be set aside whereby spouses administer Holy Communion to each other at a Nuptial Mass.

3. Sacred Vessels
[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.205 The Bishops' Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,206 so that honor will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.207
[Certain Forms of Worship of the Most Holy Eucharist Outside Mass 138.] Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time. It should therefore be arranged that at least some of the faithful always be present at fixed times, even if they take alternating turns.

[140.] It is highly recommended that at least in the cities and the larger towns the diocesan Bishop should designate a church building for perpetual adoration; in it, however, Holy Mass should be celebrated frequently, even daily if possible, while the Exposition should rigorously be interrupted while Mass is being celebrated.238 It is fitting that the host to be exposed for adoration should be consecrated in the Mass immediately preceding the time of adoration, and that it should be placed in the monstrance upon the altar after Communion.239

[141.] The diocesan Bishop should acknowledge and foster insofar as possible the right of the various groups of Christ's faithful to form guilds or associations for the carrying out of adoration, even almost continuous adoration. Whenever such associations assume an international character, it pertains to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to erect them and to approve their statutes.240


Chapter VII
EXTRAORDINARY FUNCTIONS OF LAY FAITHFUL
[151.] Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy. Such recourse is not intended for the sake of a fuller participation of the laity but rather, by its very nature, is supplementary and provisional.252 Furthermore, when recourse is had out of necessity to the functions of extraordinary ministers, special urgent prayers of intercession should be multiplied that the Lord may soon send a Priest for the service of the community and raise up an abundance of vocations to sacred Orders.253

The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not "special minister of Holy Communion" nor "extraordinary minister of the Eucharist" nor "special minister of the Eucharist", by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.

[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.258
[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.259 This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

Chapter VIII
REMEDIES
[169.] Whenever an abuse is committed in the celebration of the sacred Liturgy, it is to be seen as a real falsification of Catholic Liturgy. Saint Thomas wrote, "the vice of falsehood is perpetrated by anyone who offers worship to God on behalf of the Church in a manner contrary to that which is established by the Church with divine authority, and to which the Church is accustomed".278

6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters
[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favoritism.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ's faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.290 It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

[186.] Let all Christ's faithful participate in the Most Holy Eucharist as fully, consciously and actively as they can,293 honoring it lovingly by their devotion and the manner of their life. Let Bishops, Priests and Deacons, in the exercise of the sacred ministry, examine their consciences as regards the authenticity and fidelity of the actions they have performed in the name of Christ and the Church in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Let each one of the sacred ministers ask himself, even with severity, whether he has respected the rights of the lay members of Christ's faithful, who confidently entrust themselves and their children to him, relying on him to fulfill for the faithful those sacred functions that the Church intends to carry out in celebrating the sacred Liturgy at Christ's command.294 For each one should always remember that he is a servant of the Sacred Liturgy.295


The full document can be found here;
http://www.adoremus.org/RedemptionisSacramentum.html
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:24 pm

Ooops! Sorry Rasha. Gone way off topic again. Just realized the title of this thread. Embarassed

There are many relevent quotes from Saints, Doctors and Popes on the subject of heresy and how it affects offices held within the Church.

Does a public, material heretic remain within the Church?
The answer appears to be No.
I'll provide some quotes when I get the chance.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Here are some quotes from Popes, Doctors and Theologians on the subject.
The first quote deals with offices such as Cardinal,Bishops and such.
The rest concern Papal heresy.

Bull of Pope Paul IV — Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559
“Further, if ever it should appear that any bishop (even one acting as an archbishop, patriarch or primate), or a cardinal of the Roman Church, or a legate (as mentioned above), or even the Roman Pontiff (whether prior to his promotion to cardinal, or prior to his election as Roman Pontiff), has beforehand deviated from the Catholic faith or fallen into any heresy, We enact, decree, determine and define:

— “Such promotion or election in and of itself, even with the agreement and unanimous consent of all the cardinals, shall be null, legally invalid and void.

— “It shall not be possible for such a promotion or election to be deemed valid or to be valid, neither through reception of office, consecration, subsequent administration, or possession, nor even through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff himself, together with the veneration and obedience accorded him by all.

— “Such promotion or election, shall not through any lapse of tune in the foregoing situation, be considered even partially legitimate in any way . . .

— “Each and all of the words, as acts, laws, appointments of those so promoted or elected —and indeed, whatsoever flows therefrom — shall be lacking in force, and shall grant no stability and legal power to anyone whatsoever.

— “Those so promoted or elected, by that very fact and without the need to make any further declaration, shall be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power.”


Coronata — Institutions Juris Canonici, 1950
“Appointment to the Office of the Primacy.

1. What is required by divine law for this appointment . . . Also required for validity is that the one elected be a member of the Church; hence, heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are excluded. . . ”

“It cannot be proven however that the Roman Pontiff, as a private teacher, cannot become a heretic — if, for example, he would contumaciously deny a previously defined dogma. Such impeccability was never promised by God. Indeed, Pope Innocent III expressly admits such a case is possible.

“If indeed such a situation would happen, he [the Roman Pontiff] would, by divine law, fall from office without any sentence, indeed, without even a declaratory one. He who openly professes heresy places himself outside the Church, and it is not likely that Christ would preserve the Primacy of His Church in one so unworthy. Wherefore, if the Roman Pontiff were to profess heresy, before any condemnatory sentence (which would be impossible anyway) he would lose his authority.”


Billot — De Ecclesia, 1927
“Given, therefore, the hypothesis of a pope who would become notoriously heretical, one must concede without hesitation that he would by that very fact lose the pontifical power, insofar as, having become an unbeliever, he would by his own will be cast outside the body of the Church.”


St. Francis de Sales:
“Now when the Pope is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church . . . ”

St. Robert Bellarmine:
“A Pope who is a manifest heretic automatically ceases to be a Pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.

St. Alphonsus Liguori:
“If ever a Pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he should at once fall from the Pontificate. If, however, God were to permit a pope to become a notorious and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant.”

St. Antoninus:
“In the case in which the Pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that very fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off.”

Wernz-Vidal — Canon Law, 1943
“Through notorious and openly divulged heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact (ipso facto) is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgment by the Church... A Pope who falls into public heresy would cease ipso facto to be a member of the Church; therefore, he would also cease to be head of the Church.” And also: “A doubtful pope is no pope.

Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913
“The Pope himself, if notoriously guilty of heresy, would cease to be Pope because he would cease to be a member of the Church.”

Pope Innocent III:
“The Pope should not flatter himself about his power nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged, In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.’”

Matthaeus Conte a Coronata — Institutiones Iuris Canonici, 1950
“If indeed such a situation would happen, he (the Roman Pontiff) would, by divine law, fall from office without any sentence, indeed, without even a declaratory one. He who openly professes heresy places himself outside the Church, and it is not likely that Christ would preserve the Primacy of His Church in one so unworthy. Wherefore, if the Roman Pontiff were to profess heresy, before any condemnatory sentence (which would be impossible anyway) he would lose his authority.”

A. Vermeersch — Epitome Iuris Canonici, 1949
“At least according to the more common teaching; the Roman Pontiff as a private teacher can fall into manifest heresy. Then, without any declaratory sentence (for the Supreme See is judged by no one), he would automatically (ipso facto) fall from power which he who is no longer a member of the Church is unable to possess.”

Edward F. Regatillo — Institutiones Iuris Canonici, 1956
“‘The pope loses office ipso facto because of public heresy.’ This is the more common teaching, because a pope would not be a member of the Church, and hence far less could he be its head.”
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:11 pm

The first question is are any of these statements infallible?

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  columba on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:26 pm

I would asume that the Bull of Pope Paul IV — Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559 is considered infallible. It was issued during the time of the Council of Trent.

The other quotes would reveal the concensus of the Doctors and theologians on the subject.

The most interesting point is that it was never considered impossible for a Pope to lapse into heresy and contrary to what some imagine it is not "of the faith" that a Pope can't do so. The fact that Popes, Doctors and scholars have addressed the issue at all, makes it seem likely they actually suspected that this could happen.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Catholic_Truth on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:29 pm

A "material heretic" is simply a Catholic who has a misunderstanding of Church teaching, but when presented with the truth, then that Catholic would immediately accept it. A "formal heretic" is someone who has been presented with Catholic teaching and obstinantly rejects it. Therefore a "formal heretic" is no longer a Catholic.

Canon Law says that Catholics should recognize all "Notorious Public heretics" as being formal heretics because of its public notorious nature. For example,... Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Joe Biden could not be considered "Material heretics" and therefore Catholics because they obstinantly reject Catholic teaching in regards to abortion. This therefore makes these liberal politicians "formal heretics" and non-Catholic. They have ex-communicated themselves ipso facto from the Church by their heretical obstinant stance against the Church's teachings.

This ofcourse makes me wonder why the Church gave such a grand funeral in honor of Ted Kennedy. That funeral was a disgrace. I think it was either the Cardinal or Bishop who spoke at that funeral and said, "Ted Kennedy has always been a faithful Catholic throughout his life". This was an outright lie. One isn't a Catholic at all if they support and push for abortion.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  MRyan on Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:42 pm

columba wrote:I would asume that the Bull of Pope Paul IV — Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559 is considered infallible. It was issued during the time of the Council of Trent.
Then you assume wrong. And the fact that it was “issued during the time of the Council of Trent” is supposed to have some bearing on its alleged infallibility, we will leave to your own imagination, but I fail to see the connection.

The papal Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio is legislative/disciplinary in nature, and as such, its prescriptions for determining the conditions and the penalties (automatic or otherwise) imposed for certain crimes committed by ecclesiastics is subject to the interpretation, amendment, revision, or even abrogation by each successive Pontiff – the Supreme Legislator, who cannot be bound by his predecessors in matters of Church discipline and law.

And, as we know, the laws and disciplines of the Church are not, by definition, infallible.

However, the Bull does affirm the immutability of the divine law which holds that someone severed from the Body by heresy, apostasy or schism cannot rule the Body. In fact, the 1917 Code makes reference to Cum Ex (sections 3 and 6) in a footnote to Canon 188/4, which declares: “There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are: ...(4) if he has publicly defected from the Catholic faith.”  

However, the “how we know” for certain that someone is severed from the Body as a result of a public defection is left to the judgment of the Church, especially when it comes to a Pope who is presumed by certain sedevacantists to have defected from the faith (notorious in fact) prior to, or after, his election (Cum Ex addresses only the former). If you read the article by John Salza I posted earlier, you would also know that the Law stipulates that a declaratory sentence must be given when the common good requires it, and there is no greater “common good” when it comes to the visible Papacy than knowing that we have a valid successor to Peter who governs in the name of Christ as His true Vicar.

columba wrote:The other quotes would reveal the concensus of the Doctors and theologians on the subject.

The most interesting point is that it was never considered impossible for a Pope to lapse into heresy and contrary to what some imagine it is not "of the faith" that a Pope can't do so. The fact that Popes, Doctors and scholars have addressed the issue at all, makes it seem likely they actually suspected that this could happen.
No, the “fact that Popes, Doctors and scholars have addressed the issue at all” does not necessarily suggest that “they actually suspected that this could happen”; for, if you had read what else they had to say, you would know that many of those who entertained the theoretical possibility did not believe for a minute that it actually could ever happen. In other words, they entertained such a theoretical possibility only in the context of performing an academic exercise to determine the most likely consequences IF such a remote possibility ever could occur, while at the same time expressing their belief that such a possibility will never happen for “God will never let it happen”:  

And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” (Luke XXII, 31-32). 

The belief that our Lord's promise to Peter of a never-failing faith meant that “God will never let it happen” was shared by Suarez, St. Robert Bellarmine, Marie Dominique Bouix, Albert Pighi, Louis Cardinal Billot (who held it as “absolutely certain”) Augustino Matthaeucci (who held it as “de fide”) and Saint Alphonsus Liguori, the latter of whom (citing Bellarmine) stated that God would never permit a Roman Pontiff to become a public or an occult heretic, not even as a private person:

"We ought rightly to presume as Cardinal Bellarmine declares, that God will never let it happen that a Roman Pontiff, even as a private person, becomes a public heretic or an occult heretic."(Dogmatic Works of St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri {Turin, 1848}, vol. VIII, p. 720.)
Francisco de Suarez (1548-1617) said:

“God’s ‘sweet providence’ would NEVER allow the one who could not teach error to fall into error, and that was guaranteed by the promise Ego autem rogavi pro te … (Luke 22: 32).”
St. Francis De Sales taught:

“It would indeed be one of the strangest monsters that could be seen – if the head of the Church were not of the Church.” (The Catholic Controversy, Tan Books, 1989, p. 45.)
Pope Saint Agatho wrote a letter to the Synod of Rome (679ad):

The Catholic universe recognizes this Church for the mother and mistress of all others.  Her primacy came from St. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, to whom Jesus Christ intrusted the care of His whole flock, with a promise that his faith should never be found wanting.  The Synod then declared: Peter had spoken by the mouth of Agatho. (Artaud De Montor, The Lives and Times of the Popes, 1911, volume 1, page 166)

In his Dogmatic Theology: Christ’s Church, Van Noort (1957) teaches:

All theologians admit that the pope can make a mistake in matters of faith or morals when so speaking: either by proposing a false opinion in a matter not yet defined, or by innocently differing from some doctrine already defined.  Theologians disagree, however, over the question of whether the pope can become a formal heretic by stubbornly clinging to at error in a matter already defined.  The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so too He will never permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic. 
Sebastian Bach Smith in his Elements of Ecclesiastical Law (1895), states:

Q. Is a Pope who falls into heresy deprived, ipso jure, of the Pontificate? 
A. There are two opinions: one holds that he is by virtue of divine appointment, divested ipso facto, of the Pontificate; the other, that he is, jure divino, only removable.  Both opinions agree that he must at least be declared guilty of heresy by the church, i.e., by an ecumenical council or the College of Cardinals.  The question is hypothetical rather than practical.  For although, according to the more probable opinion, the Pope may fall into heresy and err in matters of faith, as a private person, yet it is also universally admitted that no Pope ever did fall into heresy, even as a private doctor. 

Finally, the First Vatican Council in 1870 infallibly declared:

And indeed all the venerable Fathers have embraced and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed their apostolic doctrine; knowing most fully that this See of Saint Peter remains ever free from all blemish of error, according to the divine promise of the LORD our SAVIOUR made to the Prince of His disciples: “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren.”  (Luke 22:32)  (DZ 1836)

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:32 pm

Nice post MRyan Very Happy

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  simple Faith on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:08 pm

Yes, good points MRyan, keep defending the Holy Father and you won't be disappointed, even though your often seem to be in the minority. Cardinals, Bishops and priests mat fall into error but with the promise of our Lord the true appointed earthly Head of the Catholic Church will never be defeated. Night is always darkest just before the dawn and so too when the Church seems to be almost extinguished it will just as quickly burst into flame. So never despair.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Catholic_Truth on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:04 pm

Pope Paul IV’s bull says a Catholic can indeed, on their own, recognize and reject the office claimant before “the Church tells us” without any declaratory pronouncement, and canon 188.4 teaches the same. That’s because it includes the same principle which is "loss of office without declaration". Therefore the sede-vacantists may not be in schism since even non-sedevacantist traditional Catholics have recognized that recent Papal claimants during and after Vatican II have given plenty of cause for Catholics to raise an eyebrow due to their support for Vatican II, their public actions and their public statements which on the face of it seem to contradict already established traditional dogmatic infallible teachings of the Catholic Church. That being said, if one doesn't adhere to canon 188.4 then that doesn't mean they are no longer Catholic. So Sede-vacantists should stop calling those persons heretics whom choose to accept Benedict XVI as the true Pope, but at the same time, those who accept Benedict XVI as Pope should stop claiming that sede-vacantists are schismatics/heretics. Both, those who accept Benedict XVI as Pope and those who reject him(i.e.-sede-vacantist) as Pope are still Catholics.

Now, if a Pope doesn't give any cause for a Catholic to doubt him, then in that case, such a person could be accused of schism by rejecting that Pope. So the question is this, "Have the recent post Vatican II Papal claimants given any reason for traditional Catholics to question these claimants beliefs and office based on the public actions and statements from these Papal claimants?" If you say no, then I challenge you to answer the questions on the thread called "questions for non-sedevacantists".
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:06 pm

Could you put your hand on the Bible and say that the chair of Peter is empty? If not, then you should not be a sedevacantist. Unam Sanctam says submission to the Pope of Rome is necessary for salvation.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Sat May 14, 2011 9:00 pm

I was hoping to get more play on this topic.

I've witnessed some good debates on heresy and the need (or not) for a declaration by a competent authority, and usually there's a discussion of whether so and so is a "formal" heretic, as if that is dispositive.

But Van Noort is saying here that the "common opinion" is that formality of the heresy is not necessary where it is public and notorious. I've heard the sedes refer to this, but I'd like to hear some defenders of the papacy address the status of this "common opinion " as described by Van Nort.

Here's the most relevant part of the quote again:

By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary's Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from the Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Sun May 15, 2011 9:58 am

Is Van Noort infallible?

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Sun May 15, 2011 10:59 am

Rasha,

You have to ask?

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Guest on Sun May 15, 2011 11:24 am

I am just making a point.

Also, did Van Noort live before or after the pronouncements of Vatican I?

This is an important point, because before Vatican I the limits and certain circumstances in which the Pope is infallible were not 100 percent clear. Theologians debating about possible Papal heresy and documents like Cum EX Apostulatus, in my opinion, were just really struggling with the issue which was resolved at Vatican I.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Sun May 15, 2011 2:51 pm

Rasha,

I am just making a point.

The point being?

As to Van Nort, I believe he lived well after VI.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Lourdes on Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:03 pm

"We ought rightly to presume as Cardinal Bellarmine declares, that God will never let it happen that a Roman Pontiff, even as a private person, becomes a public heretic or an occult heretic."(Dogmatic Works of St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri {Turin, 1848}, vol. VIII, p. 720.)

Francisco de Suarez (1548-1617) said:

“God’s ‘sweet providence’ would NEVER allow the one who could not teach error to fall into error, and that was guaranteed by the promise Ego autem rogavi pro te … (Luke 22: 32).”

St. Francis De Sales taught:

“It would indeed be one of the strangest monsters that could be seen – if the head of the Church were not of the Church.” (The Catholic Controversy, Tan Books, 1989, p. 45.)

Pope Saint Agatho wrote a letter to the Synod of Rome (679ad):

The Catholic universe recognizes this Church for the mother and mistress of all others. Her primacy came from St. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, to whom Jesus Christ intrusted the care of His whole flock, with a promise that his faith should never be found wanting. The Synod then declared: Peter had spoken by the mouth of Agatho. (Artaud De Montor, The Lives and Times of the Popes, 1911, volume 1, page 166)

In his Dogmatic Theology: Christ’s Church, Van Noort (1957) teaches:

All theologians admit that the pope can make a mistake in matters of faith or morals when so speaking: either by proposing a false opinion in a matter not yet defined, or by innocently differing from some doctrine already defined. Theologians disagree, however, over the question of whether the pope can become a formal heretic by stubbornly clinging to at error in a matter already defined. The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so too He will never permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic.

Sebastian Bach Smith in his Elements of Ecclesiastical Law (1895), states:

Q. Is a Pope who falls into heresy deprived, ipso jure, of the Pontificate?
A. There are two opinions: one holds that he is by virtue of divine appointment, divested ipso facto, of the Pontificate; the other, that he is, jure divino, only removable. Both opinions agree that he must at least be declared guilty of heresy by the church, i.e., by an ecumenical council or the College of Cardinals. The question is hypothetical rather than practical. For although, according to the more probable opinion, the Pope may fall into heresy and err in matters of faith, as a private person, yet it is also universally admitted that no Pope ever did fall into heresy, even as a private doctor.


Finally, the First Vatican Council in 1870 infallibly declared:

And indeed all the venerable Fathers have embraced and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed their apostolic doctrine; knowing most fully that this See of Saint Peter remains ever free from all blemish of error, according to the divine promise of the LORD our SAVIOUR made to the Prince of His disciples: “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32) (DZ 1836)



These quotes are helpful to a point, but the sedevacantists do not think the popes were ever popes since they defected from the faith before they were elected.

How would you address this in a discussion with a sedevacantist?

Lourdes

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:59 pm

Lourdes,

Thanks for bringing up this topic again.

I've never yet had anyone deal adequately - or even deal, really - with this "more common opinion" per Van Nort of a public, material heretic losing Church membership. If that's the case, you don't even need to reach the issue of pertinacity with regard to popes that make materially heretical comments (or engage in heretical actions) in encyclicals, public speeches, or at public events, etc. Yet everyone seems to be obsessed with the question of pertinacity, when it may not be determining (for example, I recall reading Bishop Williamson on this and that this was the reason - pertinacity and our inability to know that with regard to the pope - why he rejected sedevacantism.

And - keep your shirt on, MRyan. Wink I'm not accusing anyone, but making what I think is a pertinent point, and one for discussion.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:08 pm

How would you address this in a discussion with a sedevacantist?

You either challenge him on publicity or notoriety (very relevant as to the thought or activity of one prior to the universal stage of the papacy), on the issue of the "heretical" content of the belief, which must be identified, or you challenge him on pertinacity (assuming the factor of publicity or notoriety is not present).

The guarantee of the "never failing faith," of course, doesn't apply to one before he has been elevated. Or . . . does it? I guess one could argue that the guarantee protects even the seat so that the heretic would renounce his "heresy" prior to the elevation (a heretic can repent and be forgiven and come back to orthodoxy), so that no one who actually rises to the seat is a heretic when he does so: no one elected pope will not have his membership when he rises to the seat, since no pope's faith fails - meaning, not only while in office, but the faith of anyone who assumes the office as the pope.
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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Lourdes on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:26 pm

Tornpage,

The problem is that their argument seems, at least to me, to be more entangled than ever. Where to start? They seem to throw road blocks in at every turn and only someone proficient in theology will be able to hold a reasonable discussion with them.

Truthfully, it is more than I am capable of and I think I will just leave them to themselves.

As far as "pertinacity" goes, they say that you do not have to know their interior and can judge by their exterior words or actions.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

Post  Lourdes on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:30 pm

One more thing, I have been told that since they were heretics before their election they were, therefore, not Catholic as per that document from the 16th century. The name of it escapes me now. The encyclical that was written because the pope suspected that one of the cardinals was a protestant and they locked him up in a monastery somewhere so he had no chance of getting elected pope.

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Re: Does a Public, Material Heretic Remain in the Church?

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