Sunday, 19 January 2020

POPE FRANCIS: Pope or Antipope? Schismatic and Heretic?

Contrary to fantastical proclamations by neo-protestants claiming to be Catholics, Pope Francis remains the Pope. I say neo-protestants, for these uneducated and very dangerous people are taking upon themselves Authority they do NOT have. The Catholic Church, whether these neo-protestants like it or not, is a Monarchy. Jesus Christ is the King and Head of His Church. He decided to institute a Hierarchy, and for this same Hierarchy to transmit Spiritual Authority. He also placed a visible head, His Vicar at the head of His Hierarchy. In an age of "democracy", "liberty", "freedom", "individualism", this is a hard concept to grasp, but it must be, if one wishes to remain Catholic.

I have warned readers several times over the past few years that the temptation to schismatic dissent will intensify as the crisis in Rome grows darker. However, I for one, will not wonder off to some Synagogue of Satan. Nor do I intend to leave the Church secretly, in my heart, yet play the lie that I am still Catholic before my friends and associates. I recall speaking with a friend a few months ago whom I had not spoken with for several years. He informed me that though the Pope was not the Pope, he attended a parish that was in union with "Antipope" Francis. When I asked him why he attended a parish that was in union with an "Antipope", and received Holy Communion at a Mass offered for this same "Antipope" he had no answer, other than "Jesus permits it", and going on about a so-called "private revelation" he had heard about. Absolute rubbish and damnable heresy! 

The Church is visible, is She not? 

The Church is hierarchical, is She not? 

We have a Pope, do we not? 

Ah, the Pope is a "heretic" our neo-protestant self-declared theologians proclaim (now there is a sure sign of the protestant spirit!). It is "manifest", "obvious".  

Manifest to whom? Obvious to whom? 

Who will judge what is "manifest" and "obvious"? 

From where will these self-appointed judges receive their Authority?

No these people are just trying to excuse their grave sin of schism (which always leads straight to heresy) by breaking Catholic Unity. 

Let us refer once again to the writings of the Abbe de Nantes, who reviewed the various theses as to the possibility of an heretical Pope: 

" Papa hæreticus depositus est… A heretical Pope is deposed. ” This is the solution advocated by Robert Bellarmine in the heyday of the Counter-Reformation. “ Heresy being a form of spiritual death, a withdrawal from the Church, any Pope who should fall into heresy, would find himself ipso facto cut off from the Church. He is, by this very fact, deposed. He ceases to occupy the Apostolic See of his own accord. ” This theory was well adapted to an epoch when everyone clearly distinguished the Catholic Faith from error.
 What neither Suarez nor Bellarmine could have foreseen, is that a time would come when evolutionism and subjectivism would spread such darkness in people’s minds that it would be impossible for them to immediately identify heresy, particularly in the private doctrines of a pope. Given the current confusion, in which Protestant private judgement is further complicated by Modernist immanentism, if we were to accept this solution, anyone might declare the Pope a heretic according to his own private whim and conclude that, as far as his own direction was concerned, there was no longer any pope. ” (CRC no. 30, March 1970, p. 7) Thus, the theologian of the Catholic Counter-Reformation was of the opinion that this solution would be impracticable as it would have no effect other than to cause confusion and lead to contesting any Pope whoever he might be.
“ Papa haereticus deponendus est, a heretical Pope must be deposed. ” This is the solution proposed by Cardinal Cajetan and other theologians. It implies two important consequences. “ If it so happens that a Pope is a heretic, he must be deposed for him to cease being the Pope. Furthermore, the person who accuses the Pope of heresy must not leave it at that, but must ask for the legal process for his deposition to be undertaken, since he cannot make a universally and immediately executory decision of his personal judgement. ” (CRC no. 69, June 1973, p. 10)
This is a wise solution, yet it raises further questions, in particular, who will judge the Pope  ? Cajetan’s answer is unsatisfactory. He maintains that in undertaking such a process of deposition of a heretical Pope, the Church is not in fact passing a verdict on the offender, but is merely bringing him to the attention of the Sovereign Judge Who is God Himself. “ It is hard to see just what Cajetan had in mind, ” Fr. de Nantes comments. “ He is in an obvious dilemma. We are left only with the idea that any ecclesiastical tribunal in such a trial would be competent merely to institute proceedings, but not to pass sentence. "

Will you stay loyal to Jesus,
or will you leave His Church like Judas? 

We are left with the solution that the Pope short of defecting from the Catholic Faith, by declaring his intent to leave the Church, remains Pope. It remains to a future Pope and Council the question of a previous Pope's heresy and/or being an Antipope. 

Whatever Francis may or may not have done can in no way be compared to iniquity of the High Priest Caiaphas, who orchestrated the greatest crime in human history, the crime of Deicide, who committed the gravest in of Blasphemy denying the Divinity of Our Lord. Did Jesus depose Caiaphas? No, He allowed Himself to condemned by the "Pope" of the Jewish Church, to be Crucified in obedience to His Father. When on the Cross did He succumb to the jeers of the Jews to come down from the Cross? No, He remained faithful even when it was most painful to do so. 

We too must imitate Christ. Anything less is to re-crucify Him ourselves. 

Father forgive them for they know not what they do, He prayed. 

Can we do any less? 

When are we going to start praying for the Pope, instead of cursing him?


John Haggerty said...

*When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him face to face, because he stood condemned.*
Galatians 2:11

The history of the papacy is the proper study of church historians, and we are grateful to those scholars for their histories and *papal encyclopedias* etc.

Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) forbade Jews from holding public office, regrettable and offensive in my eyes, in the light of Christian antisemitism which led Luther to say such murderous things about Jews.

But more pertinent to your argument, Innocent III brought about a hardening of attitude among those who, like you, take a high view of the papacy.

*The successor of St. Peter is the Vicar of Christ; he has been established as mediator between God and man, below God but beyond man; less than God but more than man; who shall judge all and be judged by no one.*

If these were the words of Jesus Christ, in delegating power to his future popes, there would be no controversy.
But they are the words of Innocent III himself; and I am quoting from a Catholic blog - *Pope Innocent and the marks of a great papacy* by Brother Lawrence Mary M.I.C.M., TERT ( A fascinating essay, incidentally.

In stating that the Catholic Church is not a democracy, you dodge the real moral issue, which is one of accountability and transparency, Barona.

If the Catholic laity had been able to hold their bishops to account, they could have stopped more children being raped by priests.
Would Jesus Christ have founded a church in which bishops are not accountable or would he have put the moral welfare of children first?
Yes or No?

The failure of the bishops to act morally resulted in criminal neglect, which has led to the collapse of trust in Ireland; and now complete apostasy. Yet not one bishop has gone to jail for his criminal neglect, in Ireland or elsewhere.

Popes like bishops can be held to account, and Catholics have the right to expect transparency. Without it, evils proliferate, since popes and bishops are SINNERS, just like the rest of us.

Can the pope be held to account for contradicting Scripture?
Or do you take the position of Catherine of Siena, who said that if the pope leads the church to hell, then the church must follow him?

Sola Scriptura is supported by the God's holy word, the Bible - 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Corinthians 2:13; Romans 3:2 and other verses.

Scripture is *God-breathed*.
Can the Pope stand against the breath of God in denying the divinity of Jesus Christ, in denying the virgin birth, in denying the physical resurrection?
Can the pope set himself up as the JUDGE of Scripture?

And is the Catholic laity commanded by Christ to remain silent and submissive when evils are being done in Christ's holy name?

It was Paul who opposed (stood up to) Peter and the Judaizers. In fact, Paul nearly came to blows with them. Paul was proven right and Peter was wrong.

*When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, because he stood CONDEMNED.*

James Joseph said...

A father remains a father even should he abandon his children. This is the same a husband to his wife. A king may not dissolve his kingdom. In his stead a steward might stand but his authority remains even if rightly stripped of the exercise.

There is currently an interesting case of a prince suing his dead grandfather. His kingdom converted to a republic. His argument is s kingdom is a greater family; a kinship of peoples.

Another example, the Ottoman empire, retained the King of Rome of the East, and year or so ago, the president of Turkey acknowledged this; that they are stewards. Modern men seem to not understand the layers of authority descending from Jesus Christ the King of the Jews. Instead they protest like the same and end up crucifying Him.

Bad Popes are still Popes.

Barona said...


My post is not about denouncing evils or defending papal positions. etc. I personally think that Francis is out of his Catholic mind and a bad Pope. But he still is the Pope: that is my point. That is my only point.

The Abbe de Nantes himself issued a book of heresy against Paul VI and John Paul II. But he NEVER countenanced schism or heresy. This is my point. Paul withstood Peter to the face: who was Paul? A layman? Sacred Scripture is not "God breathed" in the sense of sola scriptura. That is heresy.

What I am trying to tell Catholic is: that barring the Pope resigning from the Papacy, we have to wait for a future Pope and Council to declare on him. My post is not about him being a good or bad Pope. My post is is simply: is he the Pope or not?

Let us look at an analogy (perhaps not perfect) that may be useful. A bridge has been built and a civilian who has no training in engineering (outside of reading a few articles in popular magazines) warns me that I should not use it as it will collapse. I then consult a number of engineers, all experts in the field, one considered to be the the greatest living engineer. They all tell me the bridge is safe to cross. Are they infallible? No. But their opinion is far, far, far more valuable and weighty than that of an untrained civilian who knows nothing about engineering. So I will cross that bridge and listen to Engineers Burke, Schneider, Sarah, Vigano and others.

Transparency and accountability in no way excuse schism. I have long advocated that parents telephone police and not go to the chancery. I have long supported and defended the late, great Fr. John O'Connor who was suspended from the Dominicans, then expelled from the Order for exposing and denouncing the homosexual infiltrators. I have long supported and defended the theological and Catholic social teaching positions of Bishop Richard Williamson (especially Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII and Pius X), when he was thrown under the bus by the SSPX. Bishop Williamson himself (no fan of the Pope) himself has spoken publicly on a number of occasions about authority in the Church. This is one reason why he refuses to set up a "society". He has said publicly he has no authority to do so. The Pope is the Pope. When it comes to sacramental disciple the Pope always comes out the initial winner (at least during his life) until such time as a future Pope decides on the issue of schism and heresy.

John, I am glad you mention, for there is an excellent article on the website, from which I have referred to in the past, that outlines why the Pope is the Pope, and that for the laity or individual priest and or bishops to declare the Pope a schismatic, deposed, an Antipope and so on to itself being an act of schism and heresy.

Barona said...

The following article may also be of help to Catholics who are struggling with their Faith, in danger of being poisoned with the spirit of schism and heresy (all in the name of fighting schism and heresy!). There is laughter in Hell when Catholics can be induced into schism thinking they are defending the Church. One evil does not justify another evil. It is a biblical teaching that one cannot do evil that good may come of it. Leaving the Catholic Church because of a bad Pope - how sad and pathetic is that? But that is what many Catholics are doing. Even if it is only in their heart - they have already left, though they may still physically frequent a parish in communion with Francis.

John Haggerty said...

Dear James Joseph:

I am not being confrontational with you or Barona, in your belief in the papacy.

From my own reading, the early and later fathers believed that the bishop of Rome was the Vicar of Christ on earth. Saint Augustine stated this view quite clearly. Peter's name occurs more frequently in Scripture than any other apostle; even after his Resurrection Jesus says *Tell Peter ...*

Reformed theologians cite the number of times in the New Testament where Jesus is quite clearly the Rock and cornerstone of the church. In glorifying the papacy, they argue, Christ's glory is diminished.

This gets us into all the translation difficulties, in Greek and Aramaic, of the name of Cephas, which Jesus gave to Simon, and the distinction between *petrus* and *petra*, small pebble and large rock.

The first bishops of Rome were nearly all martyred. Protestants who have some knowledge of the early church pay homage to these bishops. Pope Gregory the Great is also admired by Protestants.

The real disagreement, as far as I can tell, is in the changing face of the papacy in the medieval period, and the tendency to papal worship in Catholic piety. Catholics ought to read John Calvin's *Institutes of the Christian Religion* just as Protestants ought to read Thomas Aquinas.

The human mind is a factory that produces idols. The Jews understood this tendency in all of us. I fear traditional Catholics can create an idol in the way they see the church, and in her powerful cardinals and bishops.
Barona asks: Who will judge the pope?

Jesus Christ judges the pope as he judges us all.
The whole world is under his judgment at this very moment.

We crucify the Lord again when we sin, and when we whore after false gods and idols. But we also grieve the Holy Spirit when we do NOT speak out about the abuses of cardinals, bishops and priests. Barona has spoken out about such abuses and so do Michael Voris and Michael J Matt.

My view is that Catholics and Protestants can learn much from talking together. I often tell Scottish Protestants that they misunderstand much of Catholic teaching, and know less than they should about our great missionary saints, Patrick, Kentigern, Columba, Ninian, Cuthbert and Aidan etc.

Secular people in the 21st Century run away from the very idea of *conversion* and I understand their fears. They only trust science.

But the sciences cannot help us with our search for meaning, or with the need we have for an inner life, or with the problem of evil and death. Every society that we know about had a religious identity as Bishop Robert Barron says.

The church built Western Civilization as Sir Kenneth Clark stated in his BBC series *Civilization* available on DVD and selectively on YouTube.

As Barona said on a recent blog, the failure of the European Community was that it had no place in its grand scheme for Jesus Christ.

Europe is a wilderness.
Even the beautiful churches in London, which any civilization would be proud of, stand empty.

Christoph Rebner said...

When someone speaks Truth that person needs not be a self-proclaimed theologian. A society-proclaimed theologian may be a Rahner.

Barona said...

They may speak the Truth, but they have no authority to officially declare it so. For example, I may well speak the truth about a given individual's actions pertaining to a crime, however, I have no authority to pass judgment, nor convict that person. This applies even more so to the Church. The Church also has juridical authority and structure. I am not free to depose the Pope, even if he is a bad Pope. The Church has always taught this. The without appeal to judgment deposition of the Pope is a protestant idea.

John Haggerty said...

Dear Barona:

I did not know that the Abbe of Nantes issued a book of heresy against two popes, while refusing to countenance schism. I see the wisdom there.

Knowing Christian history makes one Catholic as Newman said.

Years ago I had a conversation with an ex-Catholic who had turned hard-line Protestant; he described Newman as *a tragic figure who only became Catholic because he was hooked on Romish ritual.* A travesty of the truth. Newman's conversion made him a pariah in Protestant England.

When I pointed out that Newman loved the Church of England, and only left because he believed the Catholic Church was in possession of the full truth, this man cut short our conversation, shook my hand, and with a salesman's smile said: *Very nice to meet you.* So much for the Protestant love of truth!

The Catholic Church stands on three pillars of truth, as I understand: The Sacred Deposit of Scripture, tradition, and the teaching of the church councils. We wouldn't have the canonical books of the New Testament if not for the church.

My appreciation of Newman is too great for me to challenge those pillars. Currently I am reading a study of Newman and Manning, *The Convert Cardinals* by David Newsome.

The three pillars of truth only confirm 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
*All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.*

The question is whether the ordinary Catholic has the right to *rebuke* the professional theologian, citing Scripture. There is an Italian lay theologian who supports the homosexual rights agenda, and argues that those who oppose the agenda, are in the camp of *post truth*.

Praise God that you can cross a sound theological bridge and stand under the informed theology of *Burke, Schneider, Sarah, and Vigano*.

But what would happen if those four voices of dissent were silenced by excommunication or death? If schism is ruled out, prayer and peaceful protest remain surely?

Last night on YouTube I watched young German Catholics praying and protesting outside the official residence of Cardinal Marx. John-Henry Weston was filming them.

It is when I see such things, or when I read your blog, or those of Michael Voris, Michael Matt and John-Henry, that I think of what I have lost outside the Catholic communion.

The angelus bell calls the faithful to prayer, but remains forever outside.

That was how a late 19th Century pope described the high Anglican dean in England who could not take that final step of Newman's.

Vox Cantoris said...

We have elevated the papacy beyond anything reasonable. Vatican I narrowly defined it. We have set him up a god.

Is this man Pope?

Sorry Barona, the jury is out.

John Haggerty said...

In closing my comments for this post may I recommend three YouTube films by a man I heard lecture at university in 1970?

* BBC Kenneth Clark's Civilization 01: The Skin of Our Teeth.
* Kenneth Clark's Civilization 02: The Great Thaw.
* Kenneth Clark. A Stick in the Mud.

In his autobiography, he said he had an overwhelming experience of the Lord in an Italian church, while filming the BBC series.

This experience had nothing to do with the beauty of the church, he said; for as the son of an aristocrat, Kenneth Clark had been familiar with the glories of Renaissance Italy since childhood.

He knew he had to change something in his personal life; and though this experience of the Holy Spirit lasted some weeks, he was unwilling to make the change.

In a biography of Sir Kenneth we learn that he was having an affair with the wife of a colleague.
His experience of God was a moral experience, as all true divine experiences are; and repentance was not an option but a necessity.

How haunting to think that this experience of Christ's transfigured glory left him, because he was unwilling to repent of sin!

Anonymous said...

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Barona said...

I would love there to be a "jury", that would mean the Pope has submitted himself to a trial for heresy. Canonically he would not be bound by its decision, but if found "guilty" he would have to defect from the Church. His defection would then be formally promulgated by a future Pope. The Church the would have peace. Sadly, Francis refuses to submit to a trial, he engages in obfuscation.