“If A Pope Would Formally Profess Heresy He Would Cease, By That Act, To Be The Pope”



Suddenly, Francis has this fellow on his plate.




Pretty strong words from Cardinal Burke in a new interview clearly meant to increase the pressure on Pope Francis to at least publicly declare he is Catholic, and avoid worse trouble. 

The words that define the interview and send the clear message to Francis are the following ones: 

If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope

Naturally, and pretty much in style, Cardinal Burke goes on reassuring us of how much he likes Pope Francis, & Co. (this always surprises me; an obviously extremely grumpy, cantankerous, nasty, boorish and permanently insulting man appears to be liked by everyone. One wonders…). But the issue here is not of peoples, but of truths.

In another interview, it was indicated that the formal correction of Amoris Laetitia could appear in January, and would remain limited to correcting the document itself, not declaring the Pope a heretic (yours truly reported).  Cardinal Burke is now sending a first message about what could happen after that correction.

It is, in fact, difficult to believe that the Cardinals would issue a formal correction of the Pope’s document as clearly heretical and, after a certain time has elapsed, would refuse to draw the conclusion that the Pope who still insists in not condemning the errors is himself a heretic.

Amoris Laetitia is, however you see his magisterial rank (the position of cardinal Burke that it hasn’t any was, of course, negated by the very act of posing the Dubia), a document Pope Francis has signed and for which he must answer. There is no way to deflect the accusations by saying that he doesn’t remember what he has written, or was drinking too much mate, or was in the bathroom when the document was released.

Every day that Francis avoids answering the Dubia, he digs a bigger hole for himself. He should swallow this bullfrog, lose face, and save what has left of his papacy, truly south-american in the scale of its failure.

What happens now is one of those multiple possibilities with the “inverted tree” diagram I cannot draw here.

The correction is issued, or not. If it is not issued the laity will keep condemning, and the Cardinals will keep shutting up. If it is issued the Pope will have two alternatives: finally answer the Dubia or further refuse to do so. If he answers the Dubia he will most certainly answer them in the proper way, and this particular matter at least will be settled. If he does not answer them the Cardinals will, once again, have the choice between shutting up and declaring him heretical and having “ceased to be Pope”. If the Pope is declared such, either nothing will happen (most bishops and cardinals simply refuse to enter the controversy and simply wait for the heretical Pope to die, as already happened for Honorius) and the not-anymore-Pope remains in office as a sort of Vatican squatter, or the “bishop against bishop” scenario sets in, and we have a number of Cardinals and a greater number of bishops willing to see this to its end. In this last scenario an imperfect, extraordinary council would be convened (say, in a place like Poland; or, more probably, Rome), at the end of which the pope would be declared a heretic in the same way as a murdered is declared a murdered when he is condemned, though in a factual sense he was a murderer the moment he committed the murder. The “inverted tree” can go on for very long, but at this point I think Francis would be told very clearly he either resigns or the cardinals and bishops kick him out with vast majority and physically remove him from office, after which a heresy trial begins.    

It is sad to say that, as I write this, the most probable hypothesis still seems to be the first one: the Cardinals do not follow through, and the matter dies here.




Posted on December 22, 2016, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. A much too negative take on Card. Burke and the other 30 or so with him presently.

    He has indicated that it is a process. And the process has started. I don’t think that Card. Burke set out on the process in order to not finish it. His salvation now is on the line, and I think he values it a bit too highly to risk it. There is now way in which he as a prince of the Church can plead “ignorance” at his judgement.

    • However, his salvation was at stake also between April and September, when he did pretty much zero.
      I want to believe the man is intentioned to do whatever it takes. But after his initial reaction to Amoris Laetitia i think he (and all others) must now prove to us that they mean business.

  2. The optimum word there is, “profess”. Has there ever been a pope who publicly professed being a heretic? I believe this scenario to be a zero possibility based upon Bergolio’s character.

    I don’t see Bergolio leaving until his death with the only exception being his health. The last thing that Bergolio wants is for all his meticulous destruction to be unwound, which is possible under a heretic scenario.

    Under a non heretic resignation, AL and the other heretical exhortations, proclamations, red hat picks, etc, remain in place.

    Too bad there are many other snakes in the garden to take up his mantle.

  3. It seems to me that two things will happen. Francis won’t answer the Dubia because he is too proud and stubborn. The four Cardinals will issue a formal correction because now Cardinal Burke has gone on record saying they would. After that, I agree, there are multiple possibilities about what would happen next. I am grateful to God for these brave Cardinals, as well as the Cardinals and Bishops who have spoken in their defense. But for this effort to be successful, their numbers have to increase. Now is the time when the other silent prelates of the Church need to choose whose side they are on. “Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” John 12:42-43

  4. (1) We have this statement from Dubia Cardinal Brandmüller (link follows): “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”
    (2) Then we have Dubia Cardinal Burke: “If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope”

    The inescapable logical conclusion is: “If a Pope would formally profess that he thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible, he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope”.

    Now, this is obviously what Amoris Laetitia states, and exactly the reading of AL that Bergoglio himself has called the only correct one. Therefore, it is certain that Bergoglio has in fact professed that “he thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible”. AL being a magisterial document, the profession of heresy is “formal”. It follows from (2) above, that, by this act, he ceases to be Pope. All that is left to do is the imperfect council.

    Unless Bergoglio publicly recants his heresy, Burke and Brandmüller have only two options left:
    (1) Eat their words like the “Jeb Bush Conservatives” I suspect them to be, or
    (2) Depose Bergoglio as a heretic who has ceased to be Pope.

    They have cut off any possible “moderate conservative” weasel-way out of this situation.

    Now, Dubia Cardinals, put up or shut up.

  5. Link: http://www.onepeterfive.com/pope-francis-reported-words-might-go-history-split-church/

    (By the way, the same link reports that Bergoglio himself said he might go down in history as the one who split the Church. He knows what he is doing and will not back down one inch.)

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