The Fathers Unanimously Teach Us that Heresy In Itself Separates the Heretic from the Church

“…..according to Bellarmine, if it be possible for a valid pope to become a manifest heretic, he would automatically cease to be pope ipso facto by the act of formal heresy; because, according to the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, the sin of heresy is per se an act of separation by which heretics separate themselves from the body of the Church, and therefore lose office automatically, i.e. ipso facto.”

“St. Robert Bellarmine explains and demonstrates that it is unanimously taught by the Fathers that heretics lose all jurisdiction entirely by themselves, ipso facto, and not by the force of any human law, but ex natura hæresis. Thus, the fall from office takes place independently of the jurisdiction of the Church; and, as Suárez proves, papal loss of office cannot take place by the force of any human law. Therefore, the administrative laws of the Church merely recognize the nature of the ipso facto loss of office as being ex natura hæresis, and accordingly statutes that such a loss of office takes place ipso jure.”

“In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, and in the revised Code of 1983, loss of office for heresy is strictly a measure pertaining to administrative law, and not to penal law; and it is founded on the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, the doctrine of St. Robert Bellarmine, Don Pietro Ballerini, Bartolomeo Cappellari (Pope Gregory XVI), and St. Thomas Aquinas – none of whom teach that such loss of office is a penalty for a crime, but who all teach that the loss of office for heresy takes place as a direct and natural consequence of heresy, because heresy is a sin which per se severs one from the body of the Church.”

“The automatic loss of office prescribed in Canon 188. 4° [of the 1917 Code] is founded on the doctrine that heretics defect from the Church when they publicly defect from the faith into heresy; and therefore, they lose office as a direct and immediate consequence of their own actions. Not only was this proven by Bellarmine to be the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, but it was theologically proven by St. Thomas; and in Mystici Corporis, Pius XII taught the universal Church that defection from the faith and the Church is already fully accomplished suapte natura by the sin of manifest heresy.”

“The Catholic doctrine on heresy as an act of defection is stated in scripture, interpreted unanimously by the Fathers, explicated by the Doctors and theologians, defined by the universal and ordinary Magisterium of the Church, and taught by the Supreme Pontiffs to the whole Church in their ordinary magisterium. The basis of the doctrine, as St. Thomas explains, is that heresy is essentially schismatic in its nature; and schism is per se by its very nature an act of separation – of severing (scissio), by which one separates himself from the body of the Church.”

“St. Robert Bellarmine, commenting on the fourth opinion in De Romano Pontifice liber ii cap. xxx, quotes St. Jerome (d. 420 AD), one of the four major Latin Fathers, who teaches with the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, ‘Jerome comments on the same place, saying that other sinners, through a judgment of excommunication are excluded from the Church; heretics, however, leave by themselves and are cut from the body of Christ‘. Bellarmine states explicitly that the heretic is cut off from the body of the Church before any sentence of excommunication comes into effect: ‘Yet heretics are outside the Church, even before excommunication, and deprived of all jurisdiction, for they are condemned by their own judgment, as the Apostle teaches to Titus; that is, they are cut from the body of the Church without excommunication, as Jerome expresses it.'”

“St. Robert Bellarmine teaches most explicitly (De Romano Pontifice, lib. ii. cap. xxx) that it is heresy by its very nature, (ex natura haeresis), which severs the heretic from the Church, and causes the immediate loss of ecclesiastical office: ‘Thenceforth, the Holy Fathers teach in unison, that not only are heretics outside the Church, but they even lack all Ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity ipso facto.’ In De Ecclesia Militante Bellarmine says it is demonstrated by the testimony of the Fathers who teach with a common consensus that those who are outside the Church have no authority or jurisdiction in the Church; and quoting St. Augustine, Bellarmine declares that all heretics and all schismatics have departed from the Church…..Thus, St. Robert Bellarmine proves that it is the teaching of scripture, interpreted unanimously by the Fathers, that heretics are outside the Church and lose all jurisdiction entirely by themselves – straightaway (mox perdere omnem jurisdictionem).”

“… is plainly set forth and proven by Bellarmine that it is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers interpreting scripture that heresy in its very nature severs one from the Church, and directly brings about the loss of ecclesiastical office before and even without any judgment of the Church; and being the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, it must be believed de fide.”

All the above quotes are taken from:

Kramer, Paul. To deceive the elect: The catholic doctrine on the question of a heretical Pope . Kindle Edition. [Emphases in original]

The unanimous teaching of the Fathers flies in the face of those who hold that one is separated from the Church for heresy only when the Church makes that judgement and not beforehand.  The unanimous teaching of the Fathers must be held with Divine and Catholic Faith.  Therefore, to oppose their teaching is heretical!

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