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Unambiguously Pope Francis Materially Professes Death Penalty Heresy: Cd. Burke: "If a Pope would Formally Profess Heresy he would Cease, by that Act, to be the Pope. It’s Automatic"

Unambiguously, Cardinal Burke said that if a Pope "formally profess heresy...  he would be the Pope"

"If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen."

Unambiguously, Pope Francis just materially professed heresy (Note: Yesterday, I inadvertently wrote "formally" when I meant "materially here, in the piece and in the headline." Mea maxima culpa.) in changing the Catechism of the Catholic Church to say "the death penalty is inadmissible":

From Crux:

"According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the death penalty now is no longer admissible under any circumstances."

"The Vatican announced on Thursday Pope Francis approved changes to the compendium of Catholic teaching published under Pope John Paul II."

"'The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,' is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church now says on the death penalty, adding that the Church 'works with determination for its abolition worldwide.'”

LifeSiteNews is already absurdly saying the words "the death penalty is inadmissible" are ambiguous and doesn't mean the death penalty is: unallowable, unacceptable, impermissible, disallowed, forbidden, prohibited and use any dictionary you want.

Almost laughably LifeSiteNews' Alan Fimister, today, said it really really is ambiguous and means "that the death penalty, while legitimate in principle, is inadmissible in the concrete circumstances of 2018."

If this is true then LifeSiteNews needs to close down because when applying this principle to the dogma of being against abortion then it means that being against abortion, while "legitimate in principle," can now change so you can be a pro-abortion Catholic now because totally anti-abortion Catholics are "inadmissible in the concrete circumstances of 2018."

In a nutshell, if the "irreformable dogma" of the permissibility of the death penalty can change then the "irreformable dogmas" of the inadmissibility of abortion, adultery, sodomy, rape, sex abuse, murder and the Ten Commandments can change.

Concrete circumstances in 2018 can't make abortion or any "irreformable dogma" admissible nor the death penalty inadmissible.

Getting away from absurdity, today, a "trustworthy theologian" who is a expert on "Magisterial authority and its limits" whose identity had to be protected for fear of reprisal said:

"The traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on the intrinsic morality of the death penalty is irreformable dogma. To deny this or assert the contrary is formally heretical. Catholics remain obliged to believe and accept this doctrine regardless of any changes to the Catechism."

"...  Formal versus material heretic. This is a distinction pertaining to the subjective culpability of persons. A heretic is a person who believes or teaches heresy. A material heretic is a person who believes or teaches something which is objectively a heresy; a formal heretic is one who continues to do so obstinately after having been duly corrected."

"So in the case of the dogma of the intrinsic morality of the death penalty, the denial of this dogma is formally heretical, since it contradicts a doctrine which is contained in divine revelation and which has been proposed as such by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church. The person who denies this dogma is a material heretic simply in virtue of his denial; but he is not formally a heretic unless he persists in his denial after having been duly corrected."[]

Professor Edward Feser, probably the greatest Thomist philosopher alive today, said that if Francis is denying the Church teaching on capital punishment, then he is “implicitly saying that every previous pope and scripture itself were wrong.”

“This would completely undermine the authority of the Church, and of Pope Francis himself. For if the Church could be that wrong for that long about something that serious, why trust anything else she says? And if all previous popes have been so badly mistaken, why should we think Pope Francis is right?”

Feser said that Francis is contradicting "Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and even divinely inspired Scripture" and "'he would be attempting to 'make known some new doctrine,' which the First Vatican Council expressly forbids a pope from doing":

"For another thing, if the Pope is saying that capital punishment is always and intrinsically immoral, then he would be effectively saying – whether consciously or unconsciously – that previous popes, Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and even divinely inspired Scripture are in error. If this is what he is saying, then he would be attempting to 'make known some new doctrine,' which the First Vatican Council expressly forbids a pope from doing. He would, contrary to the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, be 'proclaim[ing] his own ideas” rather than “bind[ing] himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word.' He would be joining that very small company of popes who have flirted with doctrinal error."

This was written before Francis formally professed "the death penalty is admissible." The Pope is no longer flirting with doctrinal heresy.

Francis is, unambiguously, a material heretic!

Professor Feser said that Prof. Robert Fastiggi and others who defend Francis's death penalty heresy are "manifestly absurd" in their so-called arguments which means their arguments are unmistakably illogical, wildly unreasonable and ridiculous:

"Here is how Fastiggi responds:"

'Professor Feser, in his book co-authored with Prof. Bessette, states that St. John Paul II’s position [according to which capital punishment should be applied very rarely at most] “is a mistake, and a serious one” (p. 197). This, though, means that since 1995 the magisterium has been habitually mistaken on a prudential judgment (and it’s really much more than prudential). Feser, therefore, contradicts the very passage from the CDF’s 1990 instruction, Donum Veritatis, that he cites… To suggest that the magisterium has been habitually mistaken for 23 years on the death penalty seems very problematical.  Does not Feser believe that the Church’s magisterium has enjoyed divine assistance in the last 23 years with regard to capital punishment?'

"End quote.  So, according to Fastiggi, it “seems very problematical” to suppose that the magisterium could have gotten a prudential judgment wrong for 23 years, but not problematical to suppose that the magisterium could have gotten a matter of basic moral principle and scriptural interpretation wrong for two millennia.  What can one say about such a manifestly absurd position other than that it is manifestly absurd?  I am sorry if that sounds unkind to Prof. Fastiggi, but the offended reader should worry less about whether this judgment sounds unkind, and more about whether it is true.  And if the reader thinks it is not true, I challenge him to explain exactly how this particular view of Prof. Fastiggi’s can be defended against the charge of absurdity."

"Furthermore, I am also puzzled that someone with Prof. Fastiggi’s knowledge of Church history would think 23 years is a long time for the magisterium to have gotten a prudential judgment wrong.  By the standards of Church history, 23 years is a mere blip.  Moreover, there are many examples of bad prudential judgments that have stood for comparable lengths of time." 

"Take, for example, the notorious Cadaver Synod and its aftermath, which not only involved the bizarre spectacle of Pope Stephen VI putting the corpse of his predecessor Pope Formosus on trial and then desecrating it, but also Stephen’s nullifying all of Formosus’ official acts and declaring his ordinations invalid.  Two later popes and two synods reversed Stephen’s decision, but then a yet later pope, Sergius III, and a synod he called, reversed that decision and reaffirmed Stephen’s judgments.  Sergius also had his predecessor murdered and backed up his reaffirmation of Stephen’s decrees with threats of violence.  The whole sorry spectacle was initiated by a scandalous and indeed insane public act by one pope, reinforced by gravely immoral acts by another, involved contradictory judgments made by several popes and synods, and lasted for about 15 years.  As The Oxford Dictionary of Popes notes, given that the sacraments and much of the life of the Church depend on the validity of ordinations and the reliability of official papal acts, “the resulting confusion was indescribable” (p. 119). "

"Or consider the Great Western Schism, which lasted for forty years.  It was a consequence of mistakes made by Pope Urban VI, whom the Catholic Encyclopedia describes as 'obstinate and intractable' and 'inconstant and quarrelsome,' with 'his whole reign [being] a series of misadventures.'  It was perpetuated by further decisions made by other members of the hierarchy.  At the lowest point of the schism there were three men claiming to be the true pope, and theologians, and indeed even figures who would later be recognized as saints, were divided on the issue.  As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, 'to contemporaries this problem [seemed]… almost insoluble.'”

"Further examples could easily be given, but these suffice to show that it is possible for grave prudential errors to persist for years.  In comparison with the Cadaver Synod and the Great Western Schism, the hypothesis that recent popes have been mistaken in their prudential judgment that capital punishment is no longer necessary for the protection of society is actually pretty modest."

"Now, if a mistake that persists even for decades wouldn’t count as “habitual” in the sense ruled out by Donum Veritatis, then what would count as “habitual” prudential error?  For exactly how many years would the mistake have to persist?  That’s a good question, but we needn’t give a precise answer for present purposes.  We need only note that, since the Church is 2000 years old, we can be certain that a mistake that persists for 2000 years would count as “habitual” in the relevant sense.  But that is precisely the kind of mistake that Prof. Fastiggi (not me!) thinks might be attributable to the Church.  Indeed, he thinks the Church might have been wrong for that long about matters of moral principle and scriptural interpretation, and not merely about a prudential judgment.  So, how Fastiggi can maintain a straight face while suggesting that he is somehow more loyal to the teaching of Donum Veritatis than I am, I have no idea.  But I would certainly think twice before playing poker against him." 

"Then there is Prof. Fastiggi’s assertion – and sheer assertion is all that it is – that Pope St. John Paul II’s teaching on capital punishment was “much more than prudential.”  Now, Joe Bessette and I devote over fifty pages of our book (pp. 144-196) to a careful analysis of the statements made on the subject of capital punishment by popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.  We address in detail all the arguments made by theologians who claim that the teaching of these popes counts as either a reversal or development of doctrine, and we show that those arguments fail.  We do so in a sober and scholarly manner, in no way heaping any abuse on those who disagree with us.  We claim to establish that the teaching of these popes is indeed nothing more than a prudential judgment that is not binding on Catholics." 

"Not one of the critics of our book who appeals to Pope St. John Paul II’s teaching has addressed these arguments.  Hart and Griffiths assert that we are wrong, but do absolutely nothing to back up this assertion other than to fling insults.  Brugger and Fastiggi, to their credit, do not resort to insult, but they too simply make undefended assertions, without answering the arguments in the relevant section of By Man.  Since they offer no actual criticisms of those arguments, they really give me nothing to respond to.  Suffice it to say that their silence speaks volumes."

Again, as the above shows, Francis is, unarguably and unambiguously, a material heretic!

Again, unambiguously, Cardinal Burke said that if a Pope "formally profess heresy...  he would be the Pope"

"If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen."

Cardinal Burke said only members of the College of Cardinals are competent to declare Pope Francis to be in heresy.

If Francis ceased to be Pope because he formally professed heresy and was declared a heretic by the Cardinals then the same discipline or rules that happened when Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy would be followed according to Burke.

Dr. John R. T. Lamont, philosopher and theologian, explains how Francis could cease to be Pope:  

"Some... argue that the dubia and other criticisms of Amoris Laetitia that have been made already suffice as warnings to Pope Francis, and hence that he can now be judged to be guilty of the canonical crime of heresy..."

But for juridical purposes – especially for the very serious purpose of judging a Pope to be a heretic – they do not suffice. The evidence needed for a juridical judgment of such gravity has to take a form that is entirely clear and beyond dispute. A formal warning from a number of members of the College of Cardinals that is then disregarded by the Pope would constitute such evidence."

"The possibility of a Pope being canonically guilty of heresy has long been admitted in the Church. It is acknowledged in the Decretals of Gratian There is no dispute among Catholic theologians on this point – even among theologians like Bellarmine who do not think that a Pope is in fact capable of being a heretic..."

"It is to be hoped that the correction of Pope Francis does not have to proceed this far, and that he will either reject the heresies he has announced or resign his office..."

"Removing him from office against his will would require the election of a new Pope, and would probably leave the Church with Francis as an anti-Pope contesting the authority of the new Pope. If Francis refuses to renounce either his heresy or his office, however, this situation will just have to be faced."

To read the whole article click below:


Pray a Our Father now that the Dubia Cardinals or other Cardinals issue the correction and then declare Francis to be in heresy.


M. Prodigal said…
He has not shown the papal charism from the beginning but who will depose him?
Kathleen1031 said…
This simply must happen. If it does not happen, then the Church we are following is clearly a new church, and we must question our own communion with it.

If Bergolio has the authority to just change dogma on his own, by referring to himself, then as a nation without borders is not a sovereign nation, so a church with a head who can change things at his whim is not a church, it is a cult.
Andrew Nelson said…
You are correct Kathleen, and you make an excellent point on our church becoming a cult if nothing is done to confront Bergoglio.
john said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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