Francis's Development of "the Supraheresy" that was "Unknown even to the Heretics of Earlier Ages" vs. Benedict XVI & Vatican I on "Lawful Development" of Scripture and Tradition
It is true that St. Athanasius was condemned by Pope Liberius though he was the leader of the defenders of orthodoxy against Arianism at the time. Pope Liberius was a weak man (the first Pope after St. Peter never honored as a saint) and he was imprisoned and probably had been tortured to force him to support the Arian heresy, at the time he condemned St. Athansius. He was therefore obviously acting under duress, as St. Athanasius pointed out when he refused to accept the validity of the excommunication. Though Pope Liberius did condemn St. Athanasius under heavy pressure from his captors, he refused to sign a clearly Arian statement of faith, but did sign an equivocal statement which could be interpreted either in an orthodox or an Arian sense.
The infallibility of the papacy was therefore preserved even under Liberius' weak leadership. But Popes are not infallible when making excommunications, or any disciplinary judgment, for they are limited by the information they have on the individual or situation in question. They are only infallible in making doctrinal pronouncements ex cathedra. It is vitally important always to remember that the Pope has two kinds of authority, magisterial (when he is speaking ex cathedra, that is, in a way intended to be binding on the faithful), in which he is infallible; and administrative, as head of the Church appointed by Christ to govern it (which would include excommunications). - Catholic historian Warren Carroll [https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/has-any-pope-been-guilty-of-heresy-1118]
It appears that most Catholics don't know that Francis's latest possible attack on Traditionalist Catholics which Gloria.tv called "Francis Plans Bloodbath: Roman Rite Communities Will Be FORCED Into Novus Ordo" (https://www.gloria.tv/post/cCnpRKVZbAvb6QHZBBNYhUQu7) is apparently an attack on Vatican I and Pope Benedict XVI's teachings on the limits of the authority of the pope and "lawful development":
- For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. - First Vatican Council
- The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity.... The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition. - Pope Benedict XVI when still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2021/08/the-popes-boundenness-to-tradition-as.html]
To put this in context, Fr. John Hunwicke explained the problems that Francis has with Vatican I and "lawful development" as opposed to "the Supraheresy":
Every time the current regime has yet another doctrinal accident,
'developmemt' is invoked. The Graf von Schoenborn did it at the News
Conference after Amoris laetitia when Diane Montagna asked whether that document contradicted Familiaris consortio.
Leering down at her, he even had the condescending impertinence to
mention Blessed John Henry Newman. During the Deathgate scandal, the
same naughty little word has again been bobbing around in the troubled
What few commentators appear to have pointed out is that Newman... he was doing it as an Anglican to satisfy himself that the Catholic Church which he was on the point of joining had never changed its doctrine.
I do not recollect that during the Arian Controversy, or the Reformation disorders, either side ever justified the positions they tenaciously held by invoking Development. My impression is that each side simply bandied Scripture and Tradition cheerfully around so as to show that what they held was the truth "clearly" shown forth in Scripture and Tradition.
Bergoglianism has been encapsulated in an even more extreme form than this by the cynically blasphemous observation of the jesuit "General" that the Lord's Words were not captured on camera, and by Fr Rosica's boastfully candid admission that the Church is now entirely at the mercy of a pope to whom neither Scripture nor Tradition are prescriptive. Such exponents appear to offer a model of Christian teaching ministry unknown even to the heretics of earlier ages. Here we have not a heresy, but the supraheresy. Earlier heresiarchs may have monkeyed around with, and perverted the sense of, both Scripture and Tradition, but, I think, never before have we had the diabolical claim that a major heretical teacher is quite simply free from any control whatsoever within the Word of God whether written or orally transmitted. When I use the term 'diabolical', I mean it in the fullest possible sense. The fingerprints all over these preposterous claims are unmistakeable.
Some celebrated words in Pastor aeternus of Vatican I admirably taught that the Successor of S Peter was not promised the inspiration of the Spirit so that he could teach new doctrine, but so that by His help he could guard and faithfully set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down through the Apostles. [http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2018/08/development-and-newman.html]
This get us to Pope Benedict's idea of "lawful development" as opposed to Francis's idea of "monkey[ing] around with... both Scripture and Tradition" according to the Pray Tell Blog:
The question can be raised in light of this issue whether there is a
tension between Ratzinger’s deference toward liturgical tradition and
its relation to Petrine authority on the one hand, and his understand-
ing of the Holy See as “gardener” of the liturgy on the other hand.
What exactly constitutes the liturgical “Tradition of faith” within
the liturgy for which “the pope can only be a humble servant of its
lawful development and abiding integrity and identity”?80 The pres-
ent location of the peace predates the Gregorian reforms, and since
77 ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy, 70.
78 ratzinger, God Is Near Us, 68.
79 Of course the exchange of peace in the new liturgy could also be
suppressed; however, the Pope in Sacramentum caritatis, 9, strongly endors-
es the current form of the sign of peace as a gesture of “great value.” Such
approbation makes a future suppression of the practice unlikely.
80 ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy 66.
READING BENEDICT IN THE LIGHT OF RATzINGER
then a distinctive theology has arisen from it.8 But Ratzinger’s com-
ments on the offertory prayers and the sign of peace convey a strong
preference for the earliest meaning of these rituals. How, then, does
he understand “lawful development” and organic growth in light of
two millennia of Christian worship?
In the first place, Ratzinger was very critical of “archaeological
enthusiasm” that sought the oldest known form of the liturgy, deem-
ing this the “pure” form of the rite and all subsequent growths “the
product of misunderstandings and ignorance of the past.”8 While
he acknowledged that “[a] great deal of this was right,” he cautioned
that “liturgical reform is something different from archaeological
excavation, and not all the developments of a living thing have to
be logical in accordance with a rationalistic or historical standard.”8
This thinking harmonizes with what has been examined thus far:
Ratzinger clearly was attracted to the original meanings of specific
liturgical rituals, but he desired them within the context of careful,
organic growth in light of a genuine understanding of the liturgy as the
Church’s self-expression, and not as the forced product of a historicism
and liturgical rigorism that seeks the ancient for its own sake.
Ratzinger acknowledged this contemporary archaizing trend and
its consequent dismissal of the liturgical inheritance of the Middle
Ages as a danger latent within the liturgical movement before the
Council.8 At Fontgombault he rejected this approach in defense of
“genuinely legitimate developments” of the medieval period, and pro-
posed a “return to an exegesis rooted in the living reality of the Church,
of the Church of all ages” so that “within the limitations which are
certainly to be found in the texts of Trent, Trent remains the norm, as
re-read with our greater knowledge and deeper understanding of the
Fathers and of the New Testament, as read with the Fathers and with
the Church of all ages.”85 This return is to be done, he asserted, in
harmony with the Church and her pastors and not led by specialists,
as was the case with the reforms following the Council.86
There seems to exist a tension, then, between Ratzinger’s prefer-
ence – and now Benedict’s preference concerning the sign of peace
– for original liturgical rituals and organic development in relation
to Petrine authority. Even if a potential change in liturgical rite or
8 See michael p. foley, “A Crisis of Meaning in the Sign of Peace,”
The Latin Mass (Advent/Christmas 007) 6-9.
8 ratzinger, Preface to Reid, Organic Development, .
8 LAQL 6. Cf. ratzinger, Milestones, 57.
85 LAQL 7-8.
86 LAQL 8.6 DAVID G. BONAGuRA, JR.
potential growth harmonizes with the Church and her pastors, such
as in Benedict’s collegial consultation with the bishops on moving the
sign of peace, does the Pope have the authority to change a part of
the liturgy that existed legitimately and grew in its own right over the
course of fifteen hundred years? If so, then it seems the liturgical norm
is not Trent, or even the reform of St Gregory the Great, but rather
the first few centuries of liturgical worship; yet Ratzinger cautioned
against establishing such a rational and historical standard. On the
other hand, it is noted that Ratzinger did not advocate reintroducing
further ancient practices into the reformed liturgy; his comments on
the offertory and the peace follow from initiations made by others.
But within these two specific rituals, the question remains as to what
should be the standard for proper organic growth following their ini-
tiations, even when they stand to benefit the whole Church.87
Nevertheless, despite this difficulty, there is no tension between
liturgical epochs for the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, and now Pope
Benedict XVI, because his standard is the genuine spirit of the lit-
urgy that has permeated the Church for two millennia and found its
most recent expression in the liturgical movement and Sacrosanctum
concilium. As a theologian, Ratzinger reminded his readers that “the
Liturgy is not about us, but about God.”88 Now as Roman Pontiff,
Benedict has already implemented his reform of the spirit of the lit-
urgy through Sacramentum caritatis, Summorum pontificum, and his own
manner of celebrating the liturgy. Even moving the sign of peace is
aimed primarily at fostering this same spirit. Thus a large-scale rubri-
cal reform of the reform does not seem to be in the works; any such
initiative must wait until the “new liturgical movement” desired by
Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy and put in motion since Benedict’s
election takes hold. As he told Peter Seewald, only then can a proper
assessment of rubrics occur, an assessment that may still be decades
away. For the interim, Benedict’s concluding comment in his preface
to his “opera omnia” succinctly captures his early achievements and
future vision for liturgical reform as pope: “I would be happy if this
new edition of my liturgical writings could contribute to displaying
the great perspectives of our liturgy, and putting certain frivolous
controversies about external forms in the right place.”89
David G. Bonagura, Jr., is a graduate student at the Institute of Religious Studies
at St Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York, and an associate editor of The university Bookman. [https://www.praytellblog.com//wp-content/uploads/2010/02/13.3Bonagura1.pdf]
Finally, renowned Catholic philosopher Edward Feser explains what "lawful development" looks like in layman's language:
But development is not a matter of looking
for loopholes by which the Church “could teach” some novel doctrine you’ve come
up with. The Church either already teaches
something, at least implicitly, or she does not. If she does,
then naturally she could teach
it. But if she doesn’t, then she can’t teach it. As the First Vatican Council