Wednesday, November 13, 2019

There's Material Heresy, and There's FORMAL Heresy

Lotsa intertube-chatter about Pp. Bergoglio.  Some Catholics are all ready to declare him "non"-Pope because he's a heretic; a number of them (e.g. here) are hounding Cdl. Burke to call some sort of Council and depose the guy formally.

Well, yah, except Francis is not estupido, so he does the Jesuitical dance.  Yes, he apparently holds heretical positions such as those reported by some antiquated newspaper publisher in Rome.

But--assuming that the publisher is absolutely accurate--Francis has never stated his 'heresies' for the record.  His confirmation of highly irregular praxis, e.g., the 'communion for adulterers' thing in Argentina is not--strictly speaking--"heresy," although it is easy to infer heresy therefrom.

IOW, the guy is very cagey.  Ergo, this excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

...The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition as proposed to our belief by the Church. The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretic accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval. The heretical tenets may be ignorance of the true creed, erroneous judgment, imperfect apprehension and comprehension of dogmas: in none of these does the will play an appreciable part, wherefore one of the necessary conditions of sinfulness--free choice--is wanting and such heresy is merely objective, or material. On the other hand the will may freely incline the intellect to adhere to tenets declared false by the Divine teaching authority of the Church. The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one's own insight; the illusions of religious zeal; the allurements of political or ecclesiastical power; the ties of material interests and personal status; and perhaps others more dishonourable. Heresy thus willed is imputable to the subject and carries with it a varying degree of guilt; it is called formal, because to the material error it adds the informative element of "freely willed". 

Pertinacity, that is, obstinate adhesion to a particular tenet is required to make heresy formal. For as long as one remains willing to submit to the Church's decision he remains a Catholic Christian at heart and his wrong beliefs are only transient errors and fleeting opinions. Considering that the human intellect can assent only to truth, real or apparent, studied pertinacity — as distinct from wanton opposition — supposes a firm subjective conviction which may be sufficient to inform the conscience and create "good faith". Such firm convictions result either from circumstances over which the heretic has no control or from intellectual delinquencies in themselves more or less voluntary and imputable. A man born and nurtured in heretical surroundings may live and die without ever having a doubt as to the truth of his creed. On the other hand a born Catholic may allow himself to drift into whirls of anti-Catholic thought from which no doctrinal authority can rescue him, and where his mind becomes incrusted with convictions, or considerations sufficiently powerful to overlay his Catholic conscience. It is not for man, but for Him who searcheth the mind and heart, to sit in judgment on the guilt which attaches to an heretical conscience....
Francis has very carefully avoided FORMAL heresy.  Oh, he may well BE a formal heretic--but you won't know it from his public statements or writings.  And as we all know, especially Cdl. Burke, Francis doesn't answer questions that he doesn't want to answer.

The Cardinal is correct:  this is unprecedented and Canon Law doesn't have a "how-to" manual for this sort of problem.


Aqua said...

The Latin don’t lie.

Pope Benedict XVI retained the Office of Pope. He resigned only the Ministerium.

Can’t have two Popes at the same time. It is Dogmatically impossible.

Yet, there they are. Christ did not ordain it. He gave us perfect. He does not allow a revolution within perfection.

The Conclave was illegal, prima faci. Their election result an antipope by definition.

Everything else that came after is just static.

Alexis Bugnolo said...

Dad29 what you say is true, but canon 1329 excommunicates those who enable any offence punished in canon 1364 (heresy, schism and apostasy). The Pachamama stuff suffices for 1364, and Bergoglio clearly was behind it. So any Cardinal, Bishop or Layman can do what Bishop Gracida already did and say the man is excommunicate for idolatry.

If a Cardinal or Bishop wont say that, then there are only 4 possibilities:

1) He has no faith himself
2) He is a coward
3) He is blackmailed because he did something sexually despicable
4) He is a willing member in the revolution

Dad29 said... I mention in the post, Bergoglio is NOT stupid. There is nothing to definitely prove that "Bergoglio was clearly behind it."

This is why Canonists like Burke--and shepherds like Schneider--are vexed. There has never been something like this.

Fred Martinez said...

Please read the post very slowly then answer the "hounding" question posed in it:

Did Cardinal Burke's 2019 statement contradict his 2016 statement?

Yes or no?

Do you honestly believe the praxis or practice of Communion for adulterers isn't hersey, but only "infers heresy"?

Can you explain?

Can you please explain why you think Pope John Paul II and the Church got this practice wrong for 2,000 years until you and and Francis came along.

I am sorry if you feel "hounded" by my asking you this questions and didn't like the quote from Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales.

Dad29 said...

OK, Fred. Show me exactly where Francis' 'Communion for adulterers' is explicitly heretical in and of itself. (Yes, I know it's wrong.)

The Cardinal deserves a lot more respect that certain "Catholics" are giving him; perhaps you have insight no one else has, but the Cardinal has not been appointed to Chief Prosecutor in the Holy Office, has he?

Similarly, Cdl. Sarah is on record with many comments which clearly contradict the (implied) beliefs of Pp. Francis; yet Sarah, like Burke, publicly maintains the pietas fitting a Cardinal.

Unlike some Catholics, Fred, I don't think I'm smarter than Cds. Burke and Sarah. This one is above my paygrade.

Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dad:

Great post! Best explanation of this matters. Keep up the good work.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Dad29 said...

Thanks, Your Honor!