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Papal Infallibility, Skojec, "Proximate to Heresy" & Subtle Distinctions

- Vatican I expert Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD, in his book "Magister Authority" shows that almost all Francis apologists be they liberal, conservative or traditionalist are "proximate to heresy":

"[T]reating ALL papal statements as if they are infallible... is proximate to heresy because it rejects the precise formulation of the conditions of infallibility as laid out in Vatican I... by essentially saying the pope is infallible regardless of conditions..."

"... Worse still, those who were to follow a pope who was in error in a non-infallible teaching which is taught contrary to something that is infallible is not, therefore, excused." (Magisterial Authority, Pages 5-14) 

- Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in "Si Papa":

"'Let no mortal being have the audacity to reprimand a Pope on account of faults, for he whose duty it is to judge all men cannot be judged by anybody, unless he should be called to the task of having deviated from the faith. (Si Papa)'"

"Pope Innocent III: 'For me the faith is so necessary that, whereas for other sins my only judge is God, for the slightest sin in the matter of the faith I could be judged by the Church.' (propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judican)"

(The Remnant, "Answering a Sedevacantist Critic," March 18, 2015)

- "The pope is not right because he says he's right, and he's not infallible simply because he has the power of infallibility (although he is and he does). Vatican I is very clear. The pope is infallible BECAUSE Christ gave the keys to Peter and his Successors, and HE guaranteed by HIS divine power that the pope would never err in his solemn teaching capacity. This is perhaps a subtle distinction, but it makes a profound difference. It means that our faith is not centered on the person of the pope, but centered on Christ just has it has always been." - Jack

At times, I have found that the comments in the Catholic Monitor comment section are better than my post. This was true of a post in which Jack wrote a deeply insightful comment that mirrored Fr. Rippinger's above explanation of Vatican I and Pope Innocent III's "in the matter of the faith I [and all popes and antipopes] could be judged by the Church.

However, prior to getting to it, I want to thank all the loyal Catholic Monitor readers and commenters for their prayers especially Praypraypray and Therese who are prayer warriors and the vast majority of CM commenters for their wisdom.

Also, I want to say, unlike Jack, I am not inclined to think that One Peter Five publisher Steve Skojec is a "double agent," but it appears to me that he does keep Catholics "confused... a whining bunch of scandalmong[ers] rather than united in any useful purpose."

Here is the great comment by Jack:

"People who imagine that Vatican I's definition of papal infallibility is circular, tautological, or otherwise redundant imagine that the dogma goes like this: "Solemn papal definitions are infallible, because the pope has the power of infallibility." Which is like saying, 'it's right because the pope says it's right.'"

"This would be to set up the pope as a kind of god, since only God is truly self-justifying like this, right simply because He is right, because He is Truth itself by His very essence."

"I think in the wake of liberalism and its undermining of all authority, Catholics rallied to the pope and after Vatican I made this kind of mistake, at least implicitly, that the pope is right because he is right. But this is just another human error, setting up a man in God's place, undermining authority in an even more subtle way."

"The pope is not right because he says he's right, and he's not infallible simply because he has the power of infallibility (although he is and he does). Vatican I is very clear. The pope is infallible BECAUSE Christ gave the keys to Peter and his Successors, and HE guaranteed by HIS divine power that the pope would never err in his solemn teaching capacity. This is perhaps a subtle distinction, but it makes a profound difference. It means that our faith is not centered on the person of the pope, but centered on Christ just has it has always been."

"So when we come across a pope who appears to be erring in doctrine, the first thing we should ask is whether he is really erring or not. And if he is erring, the next thing to ask is whether his papacy is legitimate or whether he's an antipope. But for people with a worldly mindset who are too willing to accept the world's opinions and maintain their public image, and who's faith is more centred on the person of the pope than on the person of Christ, they would rather deny Vatican I and become heretics than accuse a possible antipope (despite there having been many, many antipopes in history) and fall temporarily out of favour."

"To be honest at this point I would not be surprised if Skojec is a kind of double agent and 1p5 a false-opposition operation designed to keep potential critics of the regime confused and pigeonholed. Keep traditionalists as a whining bunch of scandalmongerers rather than united in any useful purpose."
[http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2019/09/is-skojecs-infallible-opinion-that.html?m=1]

Lastly, here is my simple post that hopefully helped inspire Jack in his exceptional comment:

It appears that One Peter Five publisher Steve Skojec's infallible opinion that the Francis papacy cannot be invalid under any circumstances is leading him towards heresy.

Yesterday on Twitter, Skojec said to @JoshuaPotryus and @MikeJon:

"The problem is that infallibility appears to be tautological at best and borders on superstition at worst."

A example of a tautology is former Vice President Dan Quayle's:

"If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure."

A possible Skojec tautology might go:

"If Francis is not a valid pope, we run the risk of Francis being a antipope" which may lead to this possible Skojec tautology:

"I believe Vatican I's papal infallibly teaching "appears... [to border] on superstition," so I accept as true that that infallible dogma "appears... [to border]" on being a unfounded belief."

It appears that Skojec's logic goes something like the following:

"Francis's papal validity is a 100% infallible belief and if anyone doubts it they are a schismatic therefore Vatican I's infallible teaching on papal infallibly "appears to be a tautological at best and borders on superstition at worst."
 
Francis Notes:

- Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)


Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
[https://archive.org/stream/SilveiraImplicationsOfNewMissaeAndHereticPopes/Silveira%20Implications%20of%20New%20Missae%20and%20Heretic%20Popes_djvu.txt]

- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html

- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html

 -  LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:

The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"

-  On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:

"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."

- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.

Election Notes:  

- Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: "212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted...Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden" [http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/intel-cryptanalyst-mathematician-on.html?m=1]

- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html

- Tucker Carlson's Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written" according to Rush: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/tucker-carlsons-conservatism-inc-biden.html?m=1
 
- A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:
http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/01/a-hour-which-will-live-in-infamy-1001pm.html?m=1
 
What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/is-dc-capital-incident-comparable-to.html?m=1 and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: "Anitfa 'Agent Provocateurs'":
http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/epoch-times-show-crossroads-on-capital.html?m=1

Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God's Will and to do it.
 
Pray an Our Father now for America.
 
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

 

Comments

Aqua said…
Ann Barnhardt expounds on her views of Papal Infallibility in a March 6 essay. She seems to be of the belief that a true Pope is infallibly right, divinely guaranteed, every time he opens his mouth.

I find it hard to believe she holds this belief based on Vatican 1 definitions, which clearly defined specific limits; common sense limits I would say since they tie the Pope as a servant of the Magisterium and not its master.

She seems to be making a grave mistake of what I call Papolatry, worship of the Pope as a god slightly below Almighty God. And if the Pope deviates from the Magisterium, then we go instantly into the realm of antipope. All one way. Or, all the other way. Always right. Or, he is an evil imposter.

Quote from V I: “…. the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church is, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that , therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, irreformable.”

New Advent definition of ex cathedra: Literally 'from the chair', a theological term which signifies authoritative teaching and is more particularly applied to the definitions given by the Roman pontiff.

A legitimate Pope, officially speaking from the Chair, as in an encyclical, is protected, but only when speaking from the Chair. Bergóglio does not have the Chair of Peter, but only the bishopric of Rome, so he does not. Perhaps that is her point. Because I do not at all believe a Pope is any more than St. Peter was and St. Peter was a man corrected and wrong more than once.
Fred Martinez said…
Aqua, It is so good to have you back. I hope all is well with you. I hadn't seen you for awhile.
Aqua said…
Thank you. Yes, all is well.

I took an extended break. I comment as a way to organize my thoughts - sometimes I overdo it. I am really trying to limit myself to a smaller number of blogs and comments. I really enjoy yours.
Aqua said…
Fr Z has a good explanation on Vatican I definition of Papal infallibility:

“Vatican I didn’t say that Popes can’t err at all. Popes can be wrong, about a lot of things. They can even say in public things that are wrong about faith and morals. While St. Robert Bellarmine personally believed that a Pope cannot publicly teach heresy (he was in the minority on this point), he also admitted that his opinion was not certain. On the other hand, Bellarmine did hold as certain that a Pope cannot define a heretical teaching that the faithful are bound to believe. That is what the Church teaches. That is what Vatican I endorsed. Vatican I didn’t endorse Bellarmine’s (minority) belief that a Pope can’t ever be wrong. Vatican I endorsed Bellarmine’s correct position that Popes cannot err when they define doctrine that must be accepted on faith and morals.”

End quote.

Ann Barnhardt makes the following claim within an extended discussion on this topic: “Papal Infallibility is an article of faith. In its simplest terms, the Pope is infallible because Jesus Christ is God, and He made the Petrine Promise.”

The Pope is human, so he is fallible. He is *IN*fallible under certain closely defined conditions.

It is very dangerous to go down that path in which the Catholic Faith depends, rises and falls, upon belief in a Pope who can never be wrong.

Popes are in error, obviously, and historically, all of the time. His error should be corrected, as St. Paul did for St. Peter, as the Church has often done over the ages for other erroneous Popes, and not be the cause of an existential crisis. Peter was fallible, therefor all Popes are fallible. And that troubles me not even a little bit. Because the truth of the Magisterium does not depend upon an individual human being, but God. A Pope is human and not even a small g god.

When a Pope declares ex cathedra, God guarantees it. And when a Pope connects his teaching to the Magisterium his power is near total because he is not speaking of himself but for God. A Pope is not over God, but God’s servant - “Servant of the servants of God”. His main duty is to protect and transmit the deposit of faith, which does not belong to him but is on loan. The Deposit of Faith is of Divine origin, and the Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on a matter of its faith and morals.
Fred Martinez said…
I am in contact by phone with praypraypray and Justina which has been a great blessing for me and the Catholic Monitor. If it is okay with you, I would like at some point to contact you outside the comment section.
Aqua said…
Okay and very good.
God bless!
Fred Martinez said…
if you google Fred Martinez catholiceducation.org you can get my email address there.

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