Monday, October 20, 2014

Theologian rebuts critics of Papal authority, defends Francis

Rev. Joseph Leo Iannuzzi is a doctoral alumnus of the Gregorian Pontifical University. He has obtained 5 post-graduate degrees, with studies in medicine, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and theology.  As he explains below, he has written this article in response to those perplexed over recent challenges to the teaching authority of the Pope:
"Still, other claimants affirm that Pope Francis may be a "wolf" in sheep’s clothing for the following reasons: He has referred to those in the Church as "wolves"; he appears to deemphasize Church teaching on homosexuality, cohabitation, contraception and liturgical reform; he seems to want to change the doctrine on the indissolulbility of marriage by inviting discussions for divorcees to receive the Sacraments; he seems to support Church leaders who are more progressive than traditional; etc."

Can a Pope Become a Heretic?

Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, STD, Ph.D.

In recent months the Roman Pontiff’s teaching authority has been openly challenged and his supreme, full and immediate authority questioned. Particular exception has been taken to his non ex cathedra pronouncements in light if modern prophecies which, according to some, has troubled not a few Catholics. As a result, many Catholics have written yours truly, perplexed over this challenge, asking for enlightment in this regard. In reponse, I am providing the faithful with the following article to help dispel any confusion surrounding the Roman Pontiff’s teaching authority, and herewith, a clear answer from Church Tradition and Magisterial documents pertaining to the type of assent required from all the faithful to the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.

My point of departure is the small movement within the Church that contends that validly elected Roman Pontiffs of the past have made heretical statements and, for this reason, are heretics. By virtue of this contention, they consider it "permissible" to question the teaching authority of our present-day Roman Pontiff Francis. Before elucidating the three major groups associated with this movement, it is noteworthy that among the adherents of this movement, many acknowledge that the Church dogmas of Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception (of Pope Pius IX) and the Assumption (of Pope Pius XII) are an exercise of the charism of papal infallibility ("ex cathedra" pronouncements), and are therefore immune from error. Nevetheless, said adherents contend that "non ex cathedra" papal statements, even on faith and morals issues, are not immune from heresy. The three main groups associated with this movement are the "sede-vacantists", "sede-privationists" and "sede-impeditists".

Sedeist movement The "sedevacantists" reject the reforms of the Second Vatican Council – in some cases this rejection extends to the validity of all post-Council papal elections, thereby professing that the papal seat (sede) empty (vacante); the "sedeprivationists" contend that the papal seat is occupied, but by a Pope whose pontificate is defective, as he has embraced the heresy of modernism and unless he returns to traditional Catholicism he will not complete the process to attain to the fullness of the papacy; the "sedeimpeditists" do not believe that the papal seat is empty (like the sedevacantists), or that the Pope is in heresy (like the sedeprivationists), but rather that the truly legitimate Pope exits but was impeded by certain forces from taking office. For purposes of brevity, throughout this article I collectively refer to the adherents of this movement as, "sedeists".

For the full article, in pdf format, please go to this link.

No comments:

Post a Comment