Fr. David Hewko Indirectly Denies that the Public Sin of Manifest Formal Heresy Separates the Heretic from the Church

In a post titled “Fr. David Hewko Gives Us Little Hope on What Can Be Done with a Heretical Pope“, I wrote about a conference that Father gave in which I stated that it was Father’s position that “if ‘Pope’ Francis were to admit in front of a panel of inquisitors that he knows he teaches heresy, then the most that can be done is for the inquisitors to ask him to step down from the ‘papacy'”.  What I failed to explicitly point out in that post is that Fr. Hewko’s position indirectly denies that the public sin of manifest formal heresy per se separates the heretic from the Church, which must be believed with Divine and Catholic Faith, because Francis, according to Fr. Hewko, would still be pope despite his own admission that he was a heretic.  Note that I emphasized “indirectly”.  Therefore, Father’s position as stated is not strictly heretical.

Pope Pius XII teaches in Mystici Corporis the following:

“For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”
(Paragraph 23) [Emphases mine]

Heresy (along with schism and apostasy) of its own nature severs a man from the Church.  Therefore, Francis, in the hypothetical situation presented above, would sever himself from the Church and consequently lose the papacy.  However, according to Fr. Hewko, Francis would remain pope despite his own admission of heresy.  In other words, the severing from the Church would not take place because of his heresy.  Fr. Hewko’s position, then, indirectly denies the teaching of Pope Pius XII (see this page for more information on the subject of the public sin of manifest formal heresy).  Now if Fr. Hewko would try to defend himself by stating (I don’t believe he would actually state this) that a man can still be pope despite being severed from the Church, then he would be admitting that the papal office can exist severed from the Church.  This would be absurd; it has no foundation in magisterial teaching.

Let us pray that Fr. Hewko comes to recognize his error and turns away from it.

2 thoughts on “Fr. David Hewko Indirectly Denies that the Public Sin of Manifest Formal Heresy Separates the Heretic from the Church”

  1. Catholic koan:

    If the pope was alone with a large, broadcasted and recorded crowd in the forest, and he taught something so obviously a heretical a four year old could notice it, and if no cardinal dared mention it, would he still be the pope?


Leave a Comment