CONTINUED (someone e-mailed me recently about his concerns on this topic, so I felt obliged to move up my time table and respond to the rest of brother Isa's posts)
I would presume that your supreme pontiff's promulgation of his code of canon law surpasses the exercise of "magisterium" in a general audience, he dictating in the former that:
Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.
I'm not sure how you perceive this Canon "surpasses the exercise of the magisterium in a general audience." This canon comes straight out of the Decrees of the first Vatican COUNCIL.
Can. 333 §1. [/i]By virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff not only possesses power over the universal Church but also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular churches and groups of them.[/i]
§3. No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.
I assume you intend for this excerpt from the Canons to prove the Pope has ABSOLUTE, UNILATERAL authority? So you intentionally excise §2 of this Canon to prove your point? Are you trying to purposefully demonstrate to the readers here that the Absolutist Petrine perspective depends on taking snippets out of our magisterial texts devoid of even their immediate context
Here is §2 of Canon 333 that you purposefully neglected to include:
"In fulfilling the office of supreme pastor of the Church, the Roman Pontiff is ALWAYS joined in communion with the other bishops and with the universal Church. He nevertheless has the right, according to the needs of the Church, to determine the manner, whether personal or collegial, of exercising this office.
So, taken in FULL context, the Canon positively asserts that the primacy of ordinary power can ONLY be exercised while the Pope is in communion with the other bishops and with the universal Church, and that it can only be exercised according to the needs of the Church. Nothing here about the Pope being able to unilaterally impose laws and decrees on the Church at his mere discretion apart from or separated from his brother bishops. As expressed several times, and which you have amply demonsrated, the canards against the Catholic teaching are based on myopic excisions of selective texts to create a monstrous caricature of the Catholic faith.
There is also another very important point about the texts you have quoted that is the source of much misunderstanding. As asserted (and proven, perhaps inadvertantly, by you), the Absolutist Petrine distortion of Catholic teaching depends on myopic snippets being taken out of their context. A particular portion of the texts is often bandied about - wrenched out not only from the immediate context of the Canons, but also from the general teaching of the Catholic Church - that has given rise to a tremendously huge misunderstanding. Namely, it is the expression "primacy of ordinary power
When I was not yet in the Catholic communion, I always understood the term "ordinary" when applied to a bishop to mean that he is the usual and normative authority in the local Church. After all, that is what "ordinary" means in common parlance. But I discovered that in Catholic canonical language, that is not case. "Ordinary," in Catholic canonical usage, only means "inherent." To a non-Catholic, the phrase "primacy of ordinary power" will mean that the Pope is the usual and normative ruler of any single diocese. But that is NOT what it means
. Rather, it literally only means that the Pope has a primacy of "inherent" power. It is called "ordinary" because if and when it needs
to be used, the power is inherently that person's to use, and he needs no one else's permission to use it. The jurisdiction of every
<head bishop> (be he metropolitan, patriarch, or Pope) in any particular diocese within his plenary territorial jurisdiction is regarded as "ordinary" in Catholic ecclesiology. But no
<head bishop> (be he metropolitan, patriarch, or Pope) has the authority to impede the ordinary authority of any local <bishop> in that bishop's own diocese. In practical terms, the <head bishop> can ONLY use his ordinary power for a local diocese not his own if the bishop of that local diocese (1) appeals to him or (2) has been impeded in his duties for his diocese (e.g., by heresy, absence, imprisonment by the secular power, etc.). In these extenuating circumstances, and ONLY in these extenuating circumstnaces, it is the inherent (i.e., "ordinary") power of the <head bishop> to care for the local diocese, and he does not need anyone's permission to perform that responsibility. So, to repeat, the expression "primacy of ordinary power" does not
mean the Pope has the authority to daily and/or normatively intervene in the affairs of a local diocese (in effect replacing the local bishop), contrary to the pretensions of Absolutist Petrine advocates, and the misapprehensions of "non-"Catholics.
It should be noted that there IS a term used in Catholic Canonical language to denote what non-Catholics would mean when non-Catholics use the term "ordinary" -- namely, it is the term "PROPER
." Any non-Catholic who will bother to investigate the Canons of the Catholic Church will notice that while the jurisdiction of the Pope and any other head bishop is regarded as "ordinary" for every local diocese within their respective plenary jurisdictions, just like the jurisdiction of a local bishop for his diocese, it is ONLY the local bishop that has what is called PROPER jurisdiction in his local diocese.
So yes, your supreme pontiff issues a disclaimer
A disclaimer that holds true to its intent and the intent of the Canons.
Archbishop Scherr, of Munich, was a personal friend of Dr. Dollinger, and was at first one of the opponents of the dogma of infallibility...
I'm not sure what the point is about Archbishop Scherr. If you were just citing that portion to provide a greater context for the portions you highlighted, that's fine, and no need to explain.
On a subsequent occasion, I asked Dr. DOllinger if he thought the Bishop of Rottenourg (Dr. Hefele) would end by accepting the dogma. The case was in one way a crucial one. As an authority on the historical bearings of the question, Hefele was the best equipped man at the Council. His masterly "History of the Councils " is accepted as the standard authority on all hands. Not only did he oppose the dogma at the Vatican Council, but during the sitting of the Council he published, through the Neapolitan press, a pamphlet against it, basing his opposition on the example of Honorius as a test case. Perrone, the great theologian of the Roman College, and a strong Infallibilist, has laid it down in his standard work on "Dogmatic Theology," that if only one pope can be proved to have given, ex cathedrd, a heterodox decision on faith or morals, the whole doctrine collapses. Hefele accordingly took the case of Honorius, and proved that this pope had been condemned as a heretic by popes and oecumenical councils. Pennachi, professor of church history in Rome, replied to Hefele, and Hefele returned to the charge in a rejoinder so powerful that he was left master of the field. If therefore Hefele, so honest as well as so able and learned, accepted the dogma, it was not likely that any other bishop of the minority would hold out.
Is this the kind of information you have read that causes you to believe you know enough about the context of the background debates at the Council? If so, these sources of information are rather jaundiced, and actually misleading.
First of all, note that while the article indicates that Hefele accepted the challenge of demonstrating that the Pope had given a heterodox decision ex cathedra
, he actually did no such thing. What Hefele did at the Council was present evidence that the Pope was condemned as a heretic, but he did nothing to prove that Pope Honorius had given an ex cathedra
decision on the matter.
Secondly, my own sources reveal that Bishop Hefele gave indications during the debates what it would take for him to accept the Decrees, and that most of his conditions were in fact met. Naturally, one has to wonder why bishop Hefele and other bishops held out so long after the promulgation of the Decrees. One can only speculate. On the very important issue of introducing a clause into the dogma that all the bishops must be consulted for an ex cathedra
decree to be regarded infallible, Hefele conceded that such a condition was a practical impossibility. Hefele's primary concern was that the dogma on infallibility as it was made it seem as if the Pope's infalllibility and its exercise thereof was independant of or separated from the Church. The Fathers of the CommitteeDe Fide
added the historic Proem
to Pastor Aeternus
to meet this concern (which was, of course, an issue not just with Hefele, but many other bishops, both from the Minority and Majority Parties). Many bishops saw this as a sufficient safeguard, but others did not, and would have preferred that the Tradition expressed in the historic Proem was contained in the dogma itself. There was also, and most importantly, the addition of the clause "not from the consent of the Church
" into the dogma itself. This clause was in fact added to the text in the same round of discussions as when the historic Proem was added to the text. I have no doubt that this simultaneous addition is what caused certain bishops (such as Hefele) to feel that the historic Proem could not achieve its intended purpose. But the reason
for adding the historic Proem was very different from the reason
for adding the clause "not from the consent of the Church." Those respective reasons were not diametrically opposed, so the addition of the controversial clause did not invalidate the addition of the historic Proem. That is why you need a good knowledge of the background discussions/debates to properly assess the text of Pastor Aeternus
. My impression is that your own sources have not provided you with such knowledge, which would explain why our respective positions are different. If you want to continue this particular line of the discussion, please do so in the thread I started on the historic Proem. I think a discussion on infallibility is not within the scope of this thread, which is a discussion on the Primacy.
Thirdly, it should be pointed out that despite the complaints by detractors of V1 that the procedural process was stacked in favor of papal control by the Majority Party, it was actually Hefele who had provided the procedure (Hefele was one of the main coordinators of the Council). It was simply practical, in Hefele's consideration, that such a council - the largest one in history so far - would need a single, coordinating authority to settle procedural matters.
You made a comment earlier about the "revisionism" of Hefele by Catholics. It is actually your sources that are guilty of this, mostly by leaving out important details of Hefele's role, involvement, and statements at the Council.
"He must yield," said Dr. Dollinger to me, three months after the prorogation of the Vatican Council, "or resign his see. His quinquennial faculties have expired and the pope refuses to renew them until Hefele accepts the decree. At this moment there are nineteen couples of rank in his diocese who cannot get married because they are within the forbidden degrees, and Hefele cannot grant them dispensations." "But since he denies the pope's infallibility," I asked, "why does he not himself grant the necessary dispensations?" "My friend," replied Dollinger, "you forget that the members of the Church of Rome have been brought up in the belief that a dispensation is not valid without these papal faculties, and a marriage under any other dispensation would not be acknowledged in society." The event proved that DSllinger was right. The quinquennial faculties are a tremendous power in the hands of the pope. They are, in fact, papal licenses, renewed every five years, which enable the bishops to exercise extraordinary episcopal functions that ordinarily belong to the pope, such as the power of absolving from heresy, schism, apostasy, secret crime (except murder), from vows, obligations of fasting, prohibition of marriage within the prohibited degrees, and also the power to permit the reading of prohibited books. It is obvious that the extinction of the quinquennial faculties in a diocese means the paralysis in a short time of its ordinary administration. It amounts to a sort of modified interdict. And so Dr. Hefele soon discovered. The dogma was proclaimed in the Vatican Council on the iSth of July, 1870, and on the 10th of the following April Hefele submitted. But he was too honest to let it be inferred that his submission was due to any change of conviction. He deemed it his duty to submit in spite of his convictions, because "the peace and unity of the Church is so great a good that great and heavy personal sacrifices may be made for it." Bishop Strossmayer held out longest of all; but he yielded at last, so far as to allow the dogma to be published in the official gazette of his diocese during his absence in Rome. Nevertheless, he remained to the last on the most friendly terms with Dr. Dollinger, and it was to a letter from Dr. Dollinger that I was indebted for a most interesting visit to Bishop Strossmayer in Croatia in 1876.
So, what faculties does a bishop have that he does not receive from your supreme pontiff? What rights does the local bishop have that your supreme pontiff cannot impede at any moment, with no recourse left to the bishop?
Well, first of all, it must be stressed that Bishop Hefele did not accept the Decrees in order to receive the quinquennial faculties.
Secondly, Bishop Hefele, while initially disagreeing with the dogma of "papal infallibility," in fact had little problem with the dogma on the Primacy.
Thirdly, the whole conversation recorded in the quote demonstrates a lack of understanding of Catholic theology. The quinquennial faculties having nothing to do with doctrine, but are canonical/disciplinary prerogatives. They have nothing to do with "papal infallibility." Dollinger's friend was utterly incorrect to assume that just because Hefele did not believe in infallibility, then Hefele should go ahead and grant the dispensations. Dollinger, despite his status, was utterly incorrect to respond that the granting of quinquennial faculties has anything to do with the validity of sacraments. Likewise, the author of that excerpt was utterly incorrect to say that the quinquennial faculties allows the bishop to absolve from the sins he enumerated. What the quinquennial faculties do is not
to grant the power to absolve from those sins (which is already the inherent right of every bishop), but to allow a bishop to grant dispensations from the normal canonical penalties attached to those particular sins.
Fourthly, your question "what faculties does a bishop have" would demonstrate a like misunderstanding of the quinquennial faculties. As mentioned in an earlier post, the sanctifying power is equal among bishops, and it is greater than the power of jurisdiction. The Pope has no authority to take away the sanctifying power of a bishop (which would, in fact, include many, and the most important, of a bishop's functions).
Here is an assessment from a book regarding faculties of bishops and priests:
"However, the significance of this distorted pyramidal ecclesiology
[due to the granting of quinquennial faculties] should not be exaggerated. Even under the 1917 Code, the bishop had many powers in law and by holy orders that did not need to be delegated by the Holy See. In fact, most faculties granted to priests on the diocesan pagellae of the time were not received from the Holy See and then subdelegated by the bishop. Instead, they were episcopal faculties, ones that the bishop could grant on his own authority
." (John Huels, Empowerment for Ministry
Fifthly, AFAIK, the granting of quinquennial faculties appear under the canonical law of the Latin Church, and have never applied to non-Latin Churches. (Contrary to popular opinion, the 1917 Code only applied to the Latin Church, not the Eastern or Oriental Catholic Churches; there were some parts of the Code that regulated the relationship between Latin and non-Latin Christians, but its provisions were for non-Latins within the Latin territories, not the Eastern or Oriental traditional jurisdictions. It is possible, of course, that bishops within Metropolitan sui juris Churches that were created in the traditional Latin territories were granted quinquennial faculties by default, the Churches having been created through the personal authority of the bishop of Rome. However, this would not apply to bishops within the traditional non-Latin jurisdictions.)
Sixthly, most of the prerogatives that were given with the quinquennial faculties were in fact restored to the Latin bishops (or bishops under the canonical jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome) at V2.
You have to understand that perhaps 98% of my studies in the process of my decision to join the Catholic communion came not from Catholic theologians, but from Catholic Magisterial sources. Most Catholic theological material comes from Latin Catholics, many with an Absolutist Petrine perspective. But my knowledge, as stated, was informed by Catholic Magisterial sources, not popular lay apologetic and theological sources.
Oh? And what sources bearing the imprimatur and nihil obstat of your "magisterium" taught you the distinctions between "Absolute," "High," and "Low" "Petrine views"?
, the official Relatio
of Vatican 1, The Vatican Council 1869-1870
(Dom Cuthbert Butler, Newman Press), the old Catholic Encyclopedia.
For example (among many), my knowledge of "Purgatory" came from Magisterial sources such as the Councils of Trent and Florence, not popular theological sources, so I've never imbibed the popular Latin theologoumena regarding "Purgatory" (e.g., purgatorial fire, purgatorial punishment, accounting of time, etc., etc.) as part of my Catholic consciousness.
Fr. Ambrose has answered you on this. For me to do so here would send us perhaps on a tangent, when already the debate is prolix. I will say, I've never found the concept of "theologoumena" in scholastic theology.
I don't recall Fr. Ambrose demonstrating that I, as an Oriental, am bound to accept scholastic theology. I don't recall Fr. Ambrose presenting any evidence from magisterial sources that I, as an Oriental, must believe any of those Latin theologoumena.
And, as your Vatican II re-iterated, the "college of bishops" never acts-or even exist-without its head (according to Lumen Gentium), your supreme pontiff. So even if they didn't share "Pio Nono'"s "Absolutist Petrine tendencies," they were, under the dogmatic constitutions of your ecclesiastical community, powerless to oppose them.
Even before I joined the Catholic communion, I was already suspecting the utter inconsistency of this argument. The ancient Apostolic Canon 34 states that the body of bishops CANNOT act without their head involving matters that fall outside the immediate, proper jurisdiction of any single bishop. As pointed out earlier, even the Church historian Eusebius seems to have recognized that this Canon applies to the bishop of Rome in relation to all the Churches. Please explain your objection to the Vatican Council repeating the contents of this ancient Apostolic Canon in its decrees? Please explain why you believe Catholics should not adhere to this ancient Apostolic Canon?
Can you please point out exactly where Pastor Aeternus states that the Pope can
(1) act alone
I 2-4 II 1, 3It was to Simon alone, to whom he had already said You shall be called Cephas, that the Lord, after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God, spoke these words:Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
And it was to Peter alone that Jesus, after his resurrection, confided the jurisdiction of Supreme Pastor and ruler of his whole fold...
To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time...Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received
Where does it say here that the Pope can act alone? All it says is that St. Peter alone was given particular prerogatives (related to the Primacy), and that these prereogatives were passed on to his Successor in the primacy, the bishop of Rome. There's nothing there that states he can exercise these prerogatives unilaterally, separated from the Apostles (or his brother bishops), nor at his mere discretion. That's eisegesis, brother.
II 2, 4-5no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See...For this reason it has always been necessary for every Church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman Church because of its more effective leadership...Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema
All it says here is that St. Peter has a perpetual successor. Where does it say that the Pope can act any time he chooses at his mere discretion? That's eisegesis, brother.
(3) without collaboration
I 4-5To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction. The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on blessed Peter himself, but rather on the Church, and that it was through the Church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister.
All it says here is that (1) St. Peter alone was given the primacy, and (2) this primacy was not given by the Church, but by Christ directly through the succession of primacy. There's nothing here that states that St. Peter or the Pope can exercise the primacy without collaboration from the Apostles or the rest of the Church, respectively. That's eisegesis, brother.
III 2 IV 9Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world...
One needs to take this in the context of the rest of the Church's Tradition. This authority that requires submission can ONLY be used in response to the needs of the Church, and ALWAYS in communion with his brother bishops. So it is by no means exercised at the mere and sole discretion of the Pope.
such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable[/i].
I won't express
at this, because it is in fact perhaps the single greatest cause of confusion in the Decree. Please read the following explanation I gave from CAF: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=709591
If you have any other questions upon reading that, please present them in the Historic Proem thread, since this issue of "consent" involves the matter of the infallibility, rather than the Primacy.
III 8The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff
Please show us a single canon from the early Church that indicates that after appeal to the bishop of Rome, there was another higher authority to which someone could appeal. Until you provide such a canon, I'll maintain my incredulity at why an Orthodox would reject this statement from Pastor Aeternus
. I will make a further comment on the final clause of this excerpt. The excerpt, contrary to the misconception of Absolutist Petrine advocates, does not say that no appeal to an Ecumenical Council can be made -- only that one cannot appeal to it as IF it were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff. We know that Ecumenical Councils were called in the early Church when papal authority alone was not enough to settle the issue (e.g., the Fourth Ecum). But the ancient Apostolic Canon 34 dictates that such an action cannot be done without the consent of him who is recognized by the bishops to be their head. So it is indeed possible to appeal to an Ecumenical Council from a decision of the Pope, but since the Ecumenical Council would need to have the consent of the Pope, it cannot be considered to be an authority higher than the Pope. It's certainly imminently possible that within the context of an Ecumenical Council, the Pope can be convinced to change his decision (e.g., the Fifth Ecum). The main point is that the Ecumenical Council (as with any Council) as a body cannot be considered to have an authority that is above him who is regarded as the head of that body, since the decisions of that body requires, according to the most ancient Tradition of the Church, the consent of that head. The authority of the body and head are EQUAL, neither one intended by Christ or the Church to "lord it over" the other. It is, btw, another Absolutist Petrine distortion to claim that Pastor Aeternus
states anywhere that the Pope is ABOVE an Ecumenical Council.
I admit that Pastor Aeternus explicitly states that the Pope can act anywhere in the Church universal (though that does not in the least mean he can do whatever he wants).
who could stop him?
That's a good question. I'll explain more below as I cover the events of Avignon and that general time period.
Pope Honorius of Rome being subject to Holy Tradition didn't work for his papacy.
That's an indefensible statement. Pope Honorius never taught monothelitism as the public Faith of the Church to anyone. This is proven by the facts of history. First of all, monothelitism was a heresy that affected only the Eastern portion of the Church, never the West. Secondly, there was no knowledge by any of the Fathers at the SIxth Ecum that any bishop in the Western Church believed, much less taught, monothelism. The only reason Pope Honorius' name even came into the picture was because Sergius brought forth the PRIVATE letter given to him by Pope Honorius.
When I think of "answerable," I mean being answerable to Sacred Tradition. which is the true judge in all matters.
In the operation of things, it judges nothing. It provides the standard by which things are judged.
That's a good way of putting exactly what I stated.
Things and persons are answerable to Holy Tradition, in that it consists of the life of Holy Spirit in the Church, and rejects what does not live in Him. The concept of a "Petrine office", however, sets itself up against such Receptionist concepts.
I think what you mean by "answerable" is being anwerable to a personal authority. In the Catholic Church, the authority of Sacred Tradition exhibits itself in what is known as "latae sententiae" excommunication - i.e., an excommunication by virtue of the law itself, not by a personal authority. Even the Pope is subject to this...he can indeed lose his status by virtue of latae sententiae excommunication.
Cite your authority for that.
"A similar exceptional situation might arise were a pope to become a public heretic, i.e., were he publicly and officially to teach some doctrine clearly opposed to what has been defined as de fide catholicâ. But in this case many theologians hold that no formal sentence of deposition would be required, as, by becoming a public heretic, the pope would ipso facto cease to be pope.
" I hope you understand that the old Catholic Encyclopedia has the nihil obstat
Because Pope Greogory VII's "Dictatus Papae" says otherwise:
That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope.
interesting. And to prove that this has actually been the Tradition of the Catholic Church, then it must be the case that every Pope down to this day holds the title of Saint. Does the hagiographic Tradition of the Catholic Church - even the Latin Catholic Church - support or refute your claim? The fact that not every Pope has been considered a Saint even by the Latin Catholic Church demonstrates how silly it is to even attempt to claim that this extreme pov is actually Catholic teaching.
Bishops, including the Pope, are servants of Sacred Tradition, and they cannot act apart from or in contradiction to it.
Yeah, and Octavian restored the Roman Republic. At least his propaganda claimed so.
Please explain what the relevance of this for our discussion?
Pope Benedict VIII acted apart from and in contradiction to Holy Tradition when he, at the command of the German Emperor Henry II, inserted the filioque into the Creed of the rite of Rome, contradicting the silver placque that Pope Leo II hung on the Cathedral door upholding the Holy Tradition of the Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils.
Hardly. First of all, the very great majority of Churches in the West for a few centuries were already using filioque
in their Creeds, even while in communion with their Eastern brethren.
Secondly, St. Maximos already affirmed the orthodoxy of filioque
, so for those who understood that it was the Faith that mattered, and not the mere text, there was nothing contrary to Tradition about the insertion of filioque
Thirdly, Pope Leo's action was meant specifically and only to counter Charlemagne's political ambitions over the Easterns, not to make any sort of canonical rule over the matter. Charlemagne wanted to extend his policial hegemony into the East, and wanted to use the Pope to further his ambitions. Consequently, he made a fuss about the fact that at the Seventh Ecum, the Creed professed by Patriarch St. Tarasius only used the clause "THROUGH the Son" instead of "AND the Son." He hoped to have an excuse to extend his control into Constantinople by accusing its Patriarch of heresy. As part of his plot, he asked the Pope to officially insert filioque
(i.e., AND the Son) into the Creed. But the Pope saw through his scheme, and as a response to Charlemagne, he commissioned the plaques to be made.
Your "High Petrine" views does not hold that your supreme pontiff is impeccable, does it? So even in theory the possibility (not to mention the history) of a pope going astray must be entertained: what do you do then? Ultramontanism hasn't countenanced an answer to that.
Interesting comment. History has shown that Popes can be corrected, or even resign due to popular (laity + clerical) pressure. That would be the way it would be done. It's not contained in the canons, but it can be done. That's part of the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Your impression seems to be based on the misconception that when Pastor Aeternus
speaks of no recourse to a decision by the Pope, that means the Pope can do anything he wants, when he wants, where he wants and no one can do anything about it. As demonstrated, that misconception resulted from the statements being wrenched out context regarding the Pope's role as JUDGE. There is absolutely nothing in Pastor Aeternus
that states that the Pope cannot be corrected, or that it is wrong to resist a Pope who is most evidently tearing down the Church:
Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will. It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior.
(St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice
There is a canonical way to get a Pope out of office, but it is not based on his actions; it would rather be based on a question of the legitimacy of his election. This was the canonical way Popes were removed from office from the 10th century onwards, AFAIK. If there was an especially evil Pope, one could question how he ever got into office in the first place. There could have been coercion involved, for example, which would illegitimize the election. I wonder if a case could be made on the basis of deception. I mean, the decision of the electors is based on their information and perception of the papabile. If their information and perception as to the character of a Pope was based on false information or deception, then it cannot have been a legitimately free decision (thus invalidating the election). Secular contractual law recognizes this distinction; I wonder if ecclesiastical law would recognize it. Interesting to ponder.
Though there is no canonical means to depose a Pope
Then you cite a canon for it from the early Church. Btw, to be more concise, I meant "no canonical means to depose a Pope based on his actions." There is a canonical means, as already mentioned, based on a question of the legitimacy of his election. Popes can also resign due to popular pressure.
This occurred during the "babylonian captivity" of the Avignon papacy period. What occurred was that the College of Cardinals elected a new Pope, who called an Ecumenical Council, which then made a sentence based on the sacred canonical Tradition of the Church. The College itself did not have the canonical authority to judge the Pope, so that was the way it was done.
Uh, no. The council of Constance deposed Pope John XXIII (the original).
The next Pope had to confirm the matter for it to be completely valid.
It did make sentences based on the canonical tradition of the patriarchate of the West, but after the council of Basel, Ferrara and Florence, your supreme pontiffs repudiated them.
What did they repudiate? The canons? Please clarify.
I've read even in such a traditional Catholic source as the old Catholic Encyclopedia that the events that occurred during the Avignon period was not an aberration, but a legitimate exercise of conciliar authority in an extreme case.
"...for the purpose of putting an end to the Great Western Schism and securing a certainly legitimate pope, the Council deposed John XXIII, whose election was considered doubtful, the other probably legitimate claimant, Gregory XII, having resigned. This was what might be described as an extra-constitutional crisis; and, as the Church has a right in such circumstances to remove reasonable doubt and provide a pope whose claims would be indisputable, even an acephalous council, supported by the body of bishops throughout the world, was competent to meet this altogether exceptional emergency without thereby setting up a precedent that could be erected into a regular constitutional rule, as the Gallicans wrongly imagined.
If a head bishop was "a necessary reality of the Church universal," the Book of Acts would emphasize his "reality" from beginning to end as St. Luke chronicled the Church's spread to the ends of the universe. But no head bishop as you-or, more importantly, your Pastor Aeternus-describes him, rears his head.
Well, the Apostles were not bishops, but the Apostles had a coryphaeus, which was St. Peter. The body of bishops down through the centuries simply inherited/inherits its ontological make-up from the Apostles, which was established by Christ Himself, by virtue of Apostolic Succession.
which being one, all bishops inherit from St. Peter and all the Apostles.
Scripture records that there was one among all the Apostles (who were together as one the authority for the Church universal) who held a position of primacy. So yes, according to your admission that what St. Peter and the other Apostles had was inherited by the bishops, there must be one who likewise holds this position of primacy among all the bishops.
St. Peter acted as coryphaeus, but when the Church ventured out of Jerusalem, he did not go of his own accord, but was sent (along with St. John) by the Apostles.
A sending that was made by agreement, not by imposition of authority.