How can a Pope condemn what another Pope said?!


Mods I don’t know where this goes so please move if necessary.

I was reading about Pope Saint Agatho because I’m seeking patronage in discussing heretical ideas, and I read this article on Wikipedia (go to the fourth sentence in the fourth paragraph) and it surprised me:

Was Pope Honorius a heretic?!


no pope is impecable. Only their teaching magisterium is infallible and sealed by the Holy Spirit. As such, while a pope might be condemned for heretical thoughts or unofficial heretical teachigns, their office remains protected. It is the seat of Peter which is controlled by the Holy Spirit, not simply the flesh of the man.


No Honorius was not a heretic. His failure was not in teaching error, but more in tolerating an error and not actively teaching against it. It is not clear what his exact reason(s) was for tolerating monothelitism (teaching that Jesus had only one will). He was later condemned for his omission and not for false teaching.



I was confused how a Pope could support heresy.

Pope St. Agatho, pray for us so heresy may be defeated.


The evidence seems to point towards Honorius being at least a material heretic, however it has no bearing on papal infallibility because Honorious never bound the entire Church to his heresy.

Here’s an article that discusses Honorious’ case pretty well:

Also, I would highly recommend you check out the papal infallibility debate between Robert Sungenis and James White. The issue of Honorious is covered in-depth.


Wasn’t he condemned as a heretic by a council?


Yes the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned him as a heretic.

That sentence was affirmed by over 50 popes at their elevation into the eleventh century as recorded by the Liber Diurnus.

It was also mentioned (until it was removed in the sixteenth century) in the Roman Breviary as the third lesson on June 28 the feast day of St. Leo II.


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