Therefore, they must be excommunicated for the good of the flock. Hunger Math – a blog about world hunger, by the numbers. Can a Pope be excommunicated? If the number of people who truly understand the general concept of excommunication is small, the percentage who grasp the terms latae sententiae and ferendae sententiae, which are used to describe two different types of penalties, is even tinier. Re-post: Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? Recently a cardinal was stripped from cardinalate for sins of the flesh. If the person persists anyway, he obviously will not be able to claim ignorance of the law later on. To cite only one of the necessary conditions, a Catholic is not liable to a penalty if he didn’t know that a penalty was attached to the action he committed (c. 1323 n. 2). Papal critics: “Let us explain to you why Pope Francis is wrong.” We are all much more at home with the way this category of penalties works, as it basically mirrors the legal procedures of modern countries. Each Roman Pontiff has the gift, from the prevenient grace of God, of truth and a never-failing faith. Now what? Excommunication can be a frightening word. This same man was re-communicated to the … Probably the biggest problem here is that these two Latin terms are simply untranslatable into English. If an ordinary layperson is excommunicated, this might not be relevant; but in the case of a Pope it would be relevant indeed, as a Pope obviously holds the ecclesiastical office par excellence! Excommunication is a sanction that deprives a Catholic of all participation in the common blessings of the society of the Church. Excommunication is the harshest penalty the church can apply. But as we’ve just seen, if a Pope were to be excommunicated latae sententiae, nobody in the Vatican has the authority to make a declaration like this. Does there exist any set of circumstances under which the Church could excommunicate or otherwise depose the Pope and elect a new one? He acts freely and with full knowledge, without fear or coercion; he is well aware that he will be excommunicated as a result… and he does it anyway. If not, Pope Benedict paved the way for her excommunication. The reality is no less grave. Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. They can cite this very biblical passage in support of their position. It can’t get much simpler than that. He need not change or dispense the law first. Likewise, if he honestly didn’t know that a certain action technically constituted an excommunicable offense, he would not incur the sanction (c. 1323 n. 2, as already noted above). A ferendae sententiae excommunication is not incurred ipso facto, by virtue of the law itself; rather, it is imposed by church authorities, much like a judge in a civil court imposing a sentence on someone convicted of a crime (cf. 1367) A person who physically attacks the pope (can. committed a grave offense that caused you to be spiritually separated from the Church and the community of the faithful But it cannot be applied to any valid Roman Pontiff, because he cannot commit those sins. What is the pastoral approach to something like this? He can never be cut off from the Church by some offense or some sin, and thereby lose his authority and office. (‘Heresy’ Defined), Is She Excommunicated? Edited for … This is a dogma of the First Vatican Council. The fact is, we don’t know what God would do. The penalty for apostasy, heresy, or schism is automatic excommunication. Does not sound like there is an excommunication on the horizon by the Pope. Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? {12:1} At that time, Jesus went out through the ripe grain on the Sabbath. [Matthew 12] –Howard. They may do it anyway, but the number of people that will follow them would be significantly lower if they are excommunicated and stripped from cardinalate. To read the Kindle versions of my books, without a Kindle device, get the free cloud reader — or — any of the free Kindle reading apps. We only know that He has promised that the forces of evil will not prevail over His Church; how He wishes to go about protecting the Church is of course entirely up to Him. It is a dogmatic fact that Pope Francis is the valid Roman Pontiff. The CPDV -- my conservative Catholic translation of the Bible, from the Latin Vulgate into English, is available at Amazon.com in Kindle format and online here. Thus excommunication is meant to be helpful—just like medicine. The indefectibility of the Church therefore guarantees that he is the true valid Pope. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that a Pope commits some crime punishable by latae sententiae excommunication, and he fulfills all the conditions of canon 1323. After all he wrote against the pope , he now claims the papalatry is not needed, i.e. This fact cannot be emphasized enough—in part because the world seems to have more than its share of hyper-scrupulous Catholics who fret that they may somehow have been excommunicated accidentally, without realizing exactly what happened or why. Perhaps the most gripping story of excommunication is that of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, who was excommunicated three times by Pope Gregory VII. Secondly, Howard rightly mentions that certain crimes are punishable by latae sententiae excommunication. {12:3} But he said to them: “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: Sanctions, Part III. Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared, Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid, Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy. My guess is that, were a Pope to abuse his free will in this way, God would short-circuit the dilemma by striking him dead before the theoretical problem became a real dilemma. Pope Francis can’t be excommunicated. Still, we saw that we can rest assured Christ will never abandon the Church to error, as He said to Peter in Matthew 16:18-19: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 5. Here’s why: 1. the blog of Ronald L. Conte Jr., Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator, Pope Francis vs. Pope Paul IV’s Ex Apostolatus Officio, A list of my Roman Catholic theology books and booklets, A Primer on Roman Catholic Salvation Theology, The Certainty of Salvation for Prenatals who die before birth, The Many Errors of Religious Fundamentalism, What Saint Bellarmine really said about Popes and Heresy, Eschatological Commentary on the Apocalypse of John, Important Dates In The Lives Of Jesus And Mary, Writing of the Gospels and Biblical Inerrancy, Great Catholic Monarch and the Angelic Shepherd, Three Days of Darkness and the Time of Peace, On Speculative Theology and Eschatology [Free PDF], Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception, Roman Catholic Teaching on Abortion and Contraception, Roman Catholic Teaching on Cooperation with Evil, The Reproach of Christ – Collected Posts: 2007-2014. He was not guilty of violating the law, and he is above Church law. How could a Pope do any of these things within the Church, if he himself had been removed from communion with that Church? canonlawmadeeasy@yahoo.com The moral authority is at least 40%. Those two, along with some others, do not show they will walk out of the Church rather they stay and destroy the flock from inside. A good example of this was the Vatican’s 1988 declaration of the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (addressed in greater detail in “Are They Excommunicated? You can’t act as Pope any more, because you’re under excommunication!”  That’s because, as canon 1404 tells us tersely, the First See is judged by no one. The Pope then served John with Excommunication. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange. Imagine a Pope who had been excommunicated latae sententiae, but was blithely ignoring that fact, continuing to select new diocesan bishops, accept episcopal resignations, create new dioceses, remove high-ranking officials from office, canonize saints, etc. The target does not control the religious head. 1398 and 1329.2; see “Is She Excommunicated? Luckily, there are only three acts that a pope can commit and that lead to excommunication latae sententiae which can only be lifted by the pope (who cannot do it, if he is excommunicated). Pope Saint John Paul II made a law that there can be no more than 120 Cardinal electors. Well, there would be an immediate procedural roadblock in such a case, because unlike every other Catholic on the planet, a Pope has no hierarchical superior on earth (cf. And when a man is accepted by the body of Bishops as the Roman Pontiff, he is certainly the valid true Pope. Supreme Head of the Church Pope Saint john Paul II made a law that can! 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