Can a Pope be impeached?


#1

Suppose the new Pope decided to make all sorts of new rules like no coffee or donuts can be served at church - and no meat or fish on Friday but only peanut butter & jelly sandwiches - and all Catholic School children must wear hot pink uniforms. Ok, sort of wacky I know, but I suppose what I’m wanting to know is if he decided to change all sorts of stuff (not doctrine - just the tradition stuff) that was really off the wall could he be impeached or would we all just need to go along?


#2

[quote=carol marie]Suppose the new Pope decided to make all sorts of new rules like no coffee or donuts can be served at church - and no meat or fish on Friday but only peanut butter & jelly sandwiches - and all Catholic School children must wear hot pink uniforms. Ok, sort of wacky I know, but I suppose what I’m wanting to know is if he decided to change all sorts of stuff (not doctrine - just the tradition stuff) that was really off the wall could he be impeached or would we all just need to go along?
[/quote]

Are you anticipaation that the conclave is going to elect Daffy Duck as the new Pope?


#3

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Are you anticipaation that the conclave is going to elect Daffy Duck as the new Pope?
[/quote]

No of course not. But just suppose that the person they elected had odd ideas of his own that didn’t come to light until after he was elected. Then what? People aren’t always who they appear to be, or they change. Suppose that happens. Is there a method for removing him or are we stuck?


#4

[quote=carol marie]No of course not. But just suppose that the person they elected had odd ideas of his own that didn’t come to light until after he was elected. Then what? People aren’t always who they appear to be, or they change. Suppose that happens. Is there a method for removing him or are we stuck?
[/quote]

Once a pope is installed, he is there for life.


#5

Ok, I’m being totally serious here. There was a Priest at my church who was a great guy… very knowledgeable & gave great homilies. Well one day he was just gone & when I asked about him my friend said he left because he wanted to join some fringe group of Catholics that had really off the wall ideas. So if could happen to him, maybe it could happen to the Pope? And if it did and he wanted to institute all sorts of strange new rules would we just have to go along?


#6

Actually, I wouldn’t have a problem with any of your examples. I don’t like coffee OR donuts personally (OK, I’m weird), and I can live without the “coffee hour”–it’s an EXTRA and in a lot of cases a distraction from liturgy AND from service and community as well.

I eat PB& J sandwiches on all Fridays, Lenten or not, already, so again, no prob.

While my uniform was black watch plaid, I could even go for the hot pink. Men used to wear plenty of pink–even ol’ George Washington had some pretty colorful shirts and breeches. . .and, hey, why not have people wearing a nice liturgical rose color symbolizing joy?

You see, the examples you gave aren’t strange ideas. The Church never had “coffee-and-donuts-to-be-served-post-mass” encyclicals or doctrine, the Church has traditionally emphasized Friday penance via abstinence, and the Church has a long history of distinctive dress (habits for clergy and uniforms for students).

Now, if you said that the newly elected Pope decided to have all Christians burn their Bibles because he wanted us to forget it, he was going to have us learn a new concept of Jesus instead via music videos. . .THAT would be a real new idea.

Not to worry though–the Holy Spirit will defend the Church from any doctrinal errors being taught.


#7

I know what you are getting at and their are procedures for ‘infallible’ teaching and in the case of a pope that becomes mentally incapable of doing his duties then there is a procedure cardinals go through…it’s in church law, but i’m not sure the details…

besides, It is pretty difficult to hide your ‘true feelings’ your entire life in the church…it would be detected probably long beofre the candidate gets to the college of cardinals…


#8

The Pope cannot be impeached:

Canon 1404 The First See is judged by no one.


#9

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Are you anticipaation that the conclave is going to elect Daffy Duck as the new Pope?
[/quote]

:rotfl: smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_12_6.gif


#10

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Once a pope is installed, he is there for life.
[/quote]

There have been cases of assassination but I guess with 2,000 years under your belt, you can find just about anything (except solemnly defined doctrinal errors). :wink:


#11

I guess what I’m having a hard time understanding is in every other position of authority (at least in the USA) there is a system of checks and balances. But since no one but God himself is over the Pope - do we just abide by whatever he (the Pope) decrees and hope that if he goes off the deep end, God takes care of it? This is so contrary to my deep Protestant roots whereby if a Pastor starts teaching stuff that’s off the wall, the elders can have him removed. That’s why I’m asking - I truly serious, although by my examples I can see why you’d think I was being silly.


#12

He is not to be removed, but there is a heirarchy of approval (I’m using this term loosely) when it comes to his teachings.

Maybe this is a question for the apologists…


#13

Well, I guess a successful assassination attempt would end the Pope’s pontificate, no? Hard to be pope when your dead. Don’t mean to trample the dignity of the office, just stating the facts. :smiley:


#14

Well, I look at it this way. . .we talk about the “Kingdom of God”, right? On top is the King, with absolute power, assisted by his ministers and his subjects, (and with a powerful and loving queen mother). Or to represent on earth now the Pope, with the absolute final say on faith and morals (spiritual power), assisted by his cardinals, bishops and priests, and the laity, (and with a powerful and loving queen mother).

We don’t talk about the “Republic of God” (the U.S. is NOT a democracy, it’s a republic). God is not the President, with his congress to provide checks and balances.

The Papacy is a much better representation of the Kingdom than our secular system. IMO, it’s a better representation than the Protestant systems, or indeed any other current societal or religious system (including constitutional monarchies). But I can see that to a person steeped in a 200-300 year history of democratic-republic or “congregational” tradition, it might seem “odd”.


#15

No, he cannot be impeached. He reigns as Pope for life.

Under the Code of Canons, there are only 2 instances when the office of Roman=Supreme Pontiff (Pope) is relinquished or becomes vacant:

(1) his death; or
(2) resignation.

On #2, he cannot be forced (publicly) to resign by any body, not even by the College of Cardinals nor by an Ecumenical Council for that matter!

The only requirement for his resignation is that:

Canon 332, Section 2.–Should it happen that the Roman Ponitff resigns from office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.


#16

I guess what I’m having a hard time understanding is in every other position of authority (at least in the USA) there is a system of checks and balances. But since no one but God himself is over the Pope - do we just abide by whatever he (the Pope) decrees and hope that if he goes off the deep end, God takes care of it? This is so contrary to my deep Protestant roots whereby if a Pastor starts teaching stuff that’s off the wall, the elders can have him removed. That’s why I’m asking - I truly serious, although by my examples I can see why you’d think I was being silly.

No one else has authority to remove him, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t remove himself by openly professing a heretical belief that would declare him outside the church (which would cause him to cease to be Pope). Nor does it mean that one is obliged to obey commands contrary to natural law or church dogma, which are beyond even the power of the Pope to enact. It’s the same situation as a soldier who is given an unlawful order by a commanding officer. The soldier does not have to obey the unlawful order, but he had better be right, because he will certainly be judged for his refusal. If it’s simply a matter of quirky notions of penance and the like that aren’t entirely irrational and don’t rise to the level of actually contradicting divine law, then that’s simply something one has to suffer with patience.


#17

he can’t be removed by sources other than his own, but in addition his infallible teachings are only relevant to matters of morals and faith and are done in UNION with the bishops…I don’t believe he acts alone in infallible teachings


#18

The Church is infallible having been built by Our Lord, Jesus Christ, himself!

However, we Catholics believe that there are 3 organs through which the Church expresses such infallibility:

(1) through an Ecumenical Council presided by the Pope or by his legate;

(2) through the body of bishops in union with the Pope; and

(3) through the Pope alone when he speaks ex cathedra as defined by Vatican I.


#19

Thanks for your replies. My question was answered in the Ask an Apologetetics forum. I’d post that link if I knew how :slight_smile: God Bless, CM


#20

Suppose the new Pope decided to make all sorts of new rules like no coffee or donuts can be served at church

Great.

  • and no meat …] on Friday

Yeah, the way it was before.


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