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  #16  
Old Jun 15, '12, 11:48 pm
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
Here's a case of a Pope being deposed by an Emperor. This was a scandalous time for the Church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_XII
But the Catholic Church does not recognize the disposition of Pope John-12 by the Emperor as valid. As evil as John-12 was, he was (and is) still considered by the Catholic Church to be the lawful Pope until his death.

The emperor can think whatever he wishes. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned (both then and now), John-12 was never deposed, and Leo-8 (at least in his first term) was an anti-Pope.
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Last edited by DavidFilmer; Jun 16, '12 at 12:08 am.
  #17  
Old Jun 15, '12, 11:58 pm
Trebor135 Trebor135 is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Here's a case of a Pope being deposed by an Emperor. This was a scandalous time for the Church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_XII
But in that particular case, the secular realm was intruding into the spiritual domain. First-millennium canon law would not have permitted such meddling. So, this episode cannot be taken as illustrating that in the Early Church the bishop of Rome could be deposed by use of a certain ecclesiastical mechanism, because such a process--if one was available at the time--was not followed here.
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  #18  
Old Jun 16, '12, 12:00 am
TS Aquinas TS Aquinas is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Well, he can definitely proclaim what he believes to be ex cathedra. Granted that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't in reality become ex cathedra because he would have lost his papal privileges via the heresy. But how are we to know? As far as we know, he is Pope who is teaching something he says to be a dogma. And according to Vatican I, no one can contradict him.
Unless existing law says otherwise (and whether that law is de fide or a changeable doctrine,) then it falls on to question what he believes was heresy at all if indeed he spoke from the chair.

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And that is the thing, according to Vatican I he is above and beyond any earthly law and power. So if he is in error, who can say otherwise?
He would be still subject to Divine Law. If, say, he denied that sins can be forgiven, which is undeniable in the New Law, then he would a heretic of the worse kind. On this, I'm going to have to ask a canon lawyer friend what would or could happen.

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It wouldn't be farfetched, we've had antipopes in the past. Granted that those popes in the past were more interested in temporal authority than spreading lies, in this day and age where the moral standards of the world is being challenged, if an antipope were able to work his way to the seat of Peter he would definitely strike a serious blow to the faith.
That's the thing too isn't it? We had three terrible popes in the past but they never got around to making infallible declarations of heresy since they were... preoccupied. Interesting, no?
  #19  
Old Jun 16, '12, 12:12 am
Trebor135 Trebor135 is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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That's the thing too isn't it? We had three terrible popes in the past but they never got around to making infallible declarations of heresy since they were... preoccupied. Interesting, no?
But were the fires raging of any widespread, egregious heresies when those three popes were in office?

Western Christian groups in general face a serious threat from the worldly culture infecting their laity and clergy. A minority in the Catholic Church for the past few decades--exemplified by such figures as Hans Küng--has been advocating the alteration and reversal of official doctrine. As improbable as the scenario seems now, I shudder to imagine a cardinal not on board with strict Catholic morals being elected pope and giving homilies that condone the use of contraception in marriage or, worse still, advocate the "right" of a woman to "choose" abortion in certain circumstances.
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  #20  
Old Jun 16, '12, 12:17 am
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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I'm not going beyond that doctrine. I am stipulating that Papal Infallibility is true in that scenario. A heretic Pope can claim to exercise it. And as I have said, it will take another Pope in the future to go back and clarify that this Pope was a heretic. But by then, the damage would have already been done.
But I created this thread to discuss what would happen if a reigning Pope PRIVATELY accepted a teaching that had ALREADY been infallibly declared as heresy (no future clarification required). This hypothetical Pope absolutely recognizes that the Church has explicitly condemned his privately-held idea, but he yet professes his personal (dis)belief. He does not in any way whatsoever attempt to enroll his personal belief into the Doctrine of the Church, and admits that the Doctrine of the Church opposes his personal opinion.

If you want to discuss other possible scenarios, please open your own thread. Please do not hijack my thread with off-topic replies and comments.
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Popes are designated "the Great" by popular acclaim. Please join me in always referring to Pope Blessed John Paul-2 as "Blessed John Paul the Great."

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  #21  
Old Jun 16, '12, 5:07 am
Chuck Finley Chuck Finley is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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There was another thread I was reading that was discussing this. There seems to be a paradox that happens. If the Pope is a heretic, then by being a heretic he has deposed himself off Peter's seat and no longer is Pope. But the problem is, unless its an obvious heresy that has been anathemized in the past, say Arianism, how are we to know that the Pope is a heretic?
Precisely why we Protestants keep trying to explain to you why the Bible is so important for determining truth when it comes to doctrine.

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The Pope has placed himself above a council, the Pope submits to no one on earth. Not even a Church council, not even an Ecumenical Council. Nothing can depose a Pope. So who proclaims the Pope heretic? As long as he is seated, he can defeat any council that tries to overthrow him.
So much for "submit yourselves one to another", huh?
  #22  
Old Jun 16, '12, 5:28 am
Credo ergo sum Credo ergo sum is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Precisely why we Protestants keep trying to explain to you why the Bible is so important for determining truth when it comes to doctrine.
How ironic that protestantism errs so much
  #23  
Old Jun 16, '12, 9:56 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Originally Posted by DavidFilmer View Post
But I created this thread to discuss what would happen if a reigning Pope PRIVATELY accepted a teaching that had ALREADY been infallibly declared as heresy (no future clarification required). This hypothetical Pope absolutely recognizes that the Church has explicitly condemned his privately-held idea, but he yet professes his personal (dis)belief. He does not in any way whatsoever attempt to enroll his personal belief into the Doctrine of the Church, and admits that the Doctrine of the Church opposes his personal opinion.

If you want to discuss other possible scenarios, please open your own thread. Please do not hijack my thread with off-topic replies and comments.
I guess the bishops can rise and point this out and depose the Pope, because at this point he is no longer the Pope.

But then again, going back to my argument, the Pope can override a previous decision. What if a heretical Pope today declared the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council as heretics and overturned the anathema on Ariansim? Then the Pope isn't a heretic today, then what can other bishops do?

I think ultimately, privately or publicly, if a Pope is a heretic then the only way to fix the problem is pray and wait. Wait for his death and pray for a faithful Pope who will correct the errors.
  #24  
Old Jun 16, '12, 9:59 am
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Default Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

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Precisely why we Protestants keep trying to explain to you why the Bible is so important for determining truth when it comes to doctrine.
We don't deny that. But your argument is equally flawed. I guess this discussion shows that it is not correct to rely on one thing. The Bible cannot explain itself. If one Protestant pastor interprets the Bible one way, and another interprets it another, who is right? Who is wrong?

The Church teaches that faith has three pillars, Scripture (the Bible), Tradition and Magisterium (the teaching authority of bishops, not just the Pope). One cannot contradict the other.

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So much for "submit yourselves one to another", huh?
Well, many Protestant ministers are Popes of their little congregations. So I don't know why you are being condescending on the Pope.
  #25  
Old Jun 16, '12, 8:23 pm
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Lightbulb Re: What if a reigning Pope professed a personal belief that was heretical?

The n-Cs are irrelevant to this discussion anyway. They're essentially each their own fallible little pocket popes. How does that work? It doesn't.

I did however find an answer to this up in the Ask An Apologist forum so here's the link.
Can a Pope legally be ousted from the papacy?
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  #26  
Old Jun 16, '12, 8:27 pm
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