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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heretics within the Church

Heretics within the Church change Christian liberty into unrestrained license.  The Epistle of St. Jude is a warning to them.

The above is from an introduction to the Epistle of St. Jude in a 1941 Douay-Rheims New Testament from the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. 

This short but timely epistle is about judgment, sin, punishment, infiltrators, sensual men, ungodly sinners, reproof, and being without sin and spotless.  Nothing here about recognizing "elements of sanctification" in sinful lifestyles.

“. . . in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses.” v. 18.  

The Epistle of St. Jude.

[1] Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James: to them that are beloved in God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. [2] Mercy unto you, and peace, and charity be fulfilled. [3] Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.

[4] For certain men are secretly entered in, (who were written of long ago unto this judgment,) ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness, and denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [5] I will therefore admonish you, though ye once knew all things, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, did afterwards destroy them that believed not: [6] And the angels who kept not their principality, but forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day.

[7] As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. [8] In like manner these men also defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty. [9] When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee. [10] But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted.

                                              Last Judgment - Pieter Bruegel the Elder

[11] Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core. [12] These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, [13] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever.

[14] Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God. [16] These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires, and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons for gain' s sake.

[17] But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, [18] Who told you, that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. [19] These are they, who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit. [20] But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, [21] Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting.

[22] And some indeed reprove, being judged: [23] But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment which is carnal. [24] Now to him who is able to preserve you without sin, and to present you spotless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, [25] To the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and magnificence, empire and power, before all ages, and now, and for all ages of ages. Amen.

Online Douay-Rheims Bible: