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Doubtful Schneider vs. St. Bellarmine & Bp. Gracida: "A Doubtful Pope is no Pope"

Bishop Athanasius Schneider's opinion on "doubtful matters":

"[T]he Magisterium of the Church, since Popes Pius X and Benedict XV, has seemed to reject such an opinion, as the formulation of the spurious decree of Gratian was eliminated in the Code of Canon Law 1917. The canons that address the automatic loss of an ecclesiastical office for heresy in the 1917 Code of Canon Law (canon 188 §4) and in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (canon 194 §2) are not applicable to the pope, because the Church deliberately eliminated from the Code of Canon Law the following formulation taken from the previous Corpus Iuris Canonici: “unless the pope is caught deviating from the faith (nisi deprehendatur a fide devius).” By this act, the Church manifested her understanding, the mens ecclesiae, regarding this crucial issue. Even if one does not agree with this conclusion, the matter remains at least doubtful. In doubtful matters, however, one cannot proceed to concrete acts with fundamental implications for the life of the Church, such as, e.g., not to name an allegedly heretical or an allegedly invalidly elected pope in the Canon of the Mas or preparing for a new papal election."
[https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/bishop-schneider-releases-essay-on-the-question-of-the-true-pope]

Schneider is right:

"In doubtful matters, however, one cannot proceed to concrete acts with fundamental implications for the life of the Church."

Bishop Rene Gracida summed the situation we are in with the doubtfulness of the Pope Benedict XVI resignation:

"[I]f the [Pope Benedict XVI] Renunciation is doubtful, then in virtue of canon 332 §2, it is invalid for lack of due manifestation"
[https://abyssum.org/ ]

Moreover, it appears that if someone has definite solid reasons from canon law to doubt the validity of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation one can it appears possibly commit a sin if he doesn't resolve that doubt before claiming Francis is definitely pope.

The important theological book "Rodriguez and the Confession of Doubtful Mortal Sins" in page 225 says:

"If one does not resolve the doubt and deliberately does the action anyhow, it means that he is willing to offend God gravely, and therefore he commits a mortal sin."
(Google: Theological Studies -cdn- 1 PDF by U. Adelman - Cited by 1 Related articles)

Moreover, Dogmatic theology scholar Fr. Elwood Sylvester Berry (1879-1954), who was professor at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland, in his apologetic and dogmatic treatise which according to his introduction "was originally written in Latin" stated that according to Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine: "a doubtful pope is no pope... 'if a papal election is doubtful for any reason'" therefore a imperfect council of bishops is needed:

"Hence the saying of Bellarmine: a doubtful pope is no pope. 'Therefore,' continues the Cardinal, 'if a papal election is really doubtful for any reason, the elected should resign, so that a new election may be held. But if he refuses to resign, it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter, for although the bishops without the pope cannot define dogma nor make laws for the universal Church, they can and ought to decide, when occasion demands, who is the legitimate pope; and if the matter be doubtful, they should provide for the Church by having a legitimate and undoubted pastor elected. That is what the Council of Constance rightly did.'" 8
(The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise, By Rev. E. Sylvester Berry,  Page 229, Note 8: Bellarmine, "De Concilio, ii, 19)

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as for the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Comments

afjg said…
If one is going to reference "The important theological book"..."Rodriguez and the Confession of Doubtful Mortal Sins" then I believe they should also reference that some of this theological work by Rodriguez has been deemed "severe" in it's treatment of "doubt".
Although the objections seem to lie mainly in the realm of personal doubt in regard to confession of doubtful mortal sin, I think some of the same principles may apply.

If things were as obvious or "cut and dried" as seems stated here in this blog, I can't see why there is so much reluctance on the part of so many to consider convening the council purported to be necessary by Bishop Gracida (with whom I tend to agree on most things).

It is a difficult situation, with many good men coming to different valid conclusions (and many men with dubious motives consistently muddying the waters).

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