The First Opinion – Commentary by Fr. Paul Kramer

Refer to this post and this post.

1) That the pope simply cannot become a formal heretic, and therefore cannot be deposed for heresy.

“I say that No. One is the only possible true opinion because the others all are irresolvably problematic, as I have explained. Briefly, it is the infallible teaching of the Church that the pope is the supreme judge whose power of jurisdiction is absolute and universal, and cannot be judged by anyone. If the pope could fall into heresy, he would have to be judged and deposed, because it is a revealed truth of faith that all heretics are to be excluded from ecclesial communion. Therefore, if a pope were to become a heretic, then the pope who by divine law can never be judged by anyone would by divine law need to be judged by his subordinates who may never judge the pope. If a pope could become a heretic, then there would exist an unresolved contradiction in the divine positive law itself with no clear remedy being provided for a problem which by its very nature is so grave that it would absolutely need to be provided for if such an eventuality as a heretic pope would be permitted by divine providence. It is inconceivable and contrary to reason that a God of infinite wisdom would not have wisely provided a remedy for such an eventuality if such thing would actually be permitted to occur; otherwise, God could be accused of not having sufficiently provided the Church with a remedy for such a catastrophe which if unremedied would lead to the defection of the Church, by allowing a lawless destroyer and a rebel against the eternal truths to govern the Church as the supreme legislator, teacher and ruler. The fact that God, who provides all that is necessary prescribed no remedy for this maximum necessity in the deposit of revelation, by itself sufficiently proves that God will never allow such an eventuality as a heretic pope to take place.”

Kramer, Paul. On the true and the false pope: The case against Bergoglio (pp. 49-50). Gondolin Press. Kindle Edition.

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