21 December 2016

If a pope were to "formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope"

Let that sink in.

A cardinal of the Catholic Church has now said publicly, as a fact, what has been written about, speculated about, reasoned about, by theologians and saints for hundreds of years.

The end of the proposed adultery and communion game in Amoris Laetitia will end before it begins.

By definition. 

There will be a recantation, orthodox "clarification", or this:

If a pope were to "formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope".


Anonymous said...

Burke stressed that he is "not saying that Pope
Francis is in heresy."

"I have never said that," he told CWR.
"Neither have I stated that he is close to
being in heresy."

I am just quoting

Bernie Gui

thetimman said...


Read the entirety of his answers and the questions that prompt them. Of course Francis has not yet answered the dubia or suffered correction. This is a series of if/thens. The fact that Burke can very matter of factly address the possibility of papal deposition is stunning.

DJR said...

What about other bishops who follow the pope in his error? Would they not also be deposed? I wonder what happens in that event.

Jeannie Holler said...

I listened to Cardinal Burke and everything he stated was spoken with love and deep concern.
We all should be deeply concerned.
I am Catholic and I will defend the teachings of Jesus Christ.
That is what Cardinal Burke spoke.
We are not conversative Catholics
We are Catholics who will defend the TRUTH
NO Matter what !
Pray daily for Cardinal Burke and the others.

Lynne said...

It's a chess match and Cardinal Burke is playing 3-dimensional chess (I hope!).

Excellent interview.

thetimman said...


The consecration of a bishop has a charism, it leaves an indelible mark, it is the fullness of the priesthood and cannot be lost or revoked. That is why the SSPX bishops have troubled the post-v2 popes so much.

The papacy is an office; it can be resigned, as we have seen. It can be lost.

Sam said...

Here's another scenario. Out of charity, Pope Francis continues to ignore the increasingly shrill machinations of Cardinal Burke and his tiny band of dissidents. Or if he keeps it up and refuses to submit to the successor of Peter, Cardinal Burke will have to give up his scarlet cappa magna. That would be the ultimate punishment for him.

chantgirl said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but the Pope can also be corrected for failure to uphold the teaching of the Church, not just actively teaching against it. My understanding is that Honorius was condemned, not for teaching heresy, but for failing to defend orthodoxy.

Frankly, there are numerous statements attributed to the Pope Francis (the annihilation of souls comment in the Scalfari interview which was never disputed) which may be condemned at some point in the future. However, Amoris seems to be the most blatant attempt to teach novelty, and is probably the most urgent risk to the Church.

In the message of Our Lady of Good Success, she says "He who should speak seasonably will remain silent." I can't help but wonder if she means Pope Benedict, or perhaps all of the Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and perhaps laity, who do not speak out to defend the truth at this time. How very many should be "speaking seasonably" right now! We need to understand that we are not speaking against the Pope, but rather speaking for Christ. If we don't speak, well, I wouldn't be surprised if the stones themselves began to speak.

Catechist Kev said...

What Jeanne Holler said!

I have met Cdl. Burke. He is, indeed, a kindly and humble man of God who loves the Church.

Catechist Kev

thetimman said...

Sam, you really don't know Cardinal Burke if you believe so. If the Pope were to uphold the teaching of Christ in response to his actions, even if he lost his hat (and I daresay much more) that red hat would even now be in the mail to you courtesy of Cardinal Burke.

Shrill? Right. The truth might sound shrill to a room of liars, but it is the sweetest thing there can be.

Hrodgar said...

There is, I think, a third possibility. Namely, that the Pope simply refuses to clarify one way or the other. I'm not sure how much pressure can be brought to bear on him if he simply keeps doing what he's doing.

DJR said...

"DJR, The papacy is an office; it can be resigned, as we have seen. It can be lost."

Agreed re episcopal consecrations. Once a man attains the fullness of the priesthood, that indelible mark remains.

But the papacy is consonant with the bishopric of Rome.

If a pope loses the papacy because of heresy, that means he loses his bishopric.

He cannot lose the papacy but somehow remain Bishop of Rome. They are one and the same.

If heresy causes the Bishop of Rome to lose his bishopric, why would that not apply to all bishops who hold the exact same heresy?

thetimman said...

I'm sorry, I misunderstood. The bishopric-- the appointment-- would be lost to a heretic pope, though he remains ontologically a bishop. As for the other bishops who may be found to embrace heresy and schism, they would normally be replaced by the pope. So, as this is a unique situation, we may be best to wait and see.

I'm still praying for a Christmas miracle that Francis' heart will be softened and that he will accede to the truth.

chantgirl said...

Catechist Kev- Agreed. Cardinal Burke is one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever met. Let's just say he's not the type to go around looking to pick a fight.

Hrodgar- I think the Pope can still be condemned, probably by a later council or Pope, for failing to uphold orthodoxy. So even remaining silent is not a safe option for him.