Author Topic: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church  (Read 5190 times)

Offline INPEFESS

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2013, 08:40:30 PM »
I'm somewhat inclined to hold the stricter opinion, viz. occult heretics are not members of the Church.  If they commit formal heresy, even without joining a false sect (and thus breaking unity of government along with unity of faith), they would incur automatic (by the very fact) excommunication, no?  Fr. Lawlor makes a convincing argument that the jurisdical and pneumatic aspects of the Church cannot be completely separated (based upon Pius XII, and even earlier, Leo XIII).

"The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. . . .  In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? - without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching?" (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 9.2, 9.5).

What do the both of you think concerning this disputed teaching?

I am in no way a theologian, but, if it means anything, I am of the same opinion.

The Church's divine mark of unity is such that it can not admit of a single exception: we can not admit on the one hand that the spotless Bride of Christ is truly "one" in Faith and, on the other, admit the possibility that one may pertinaciously doubt or deny any article of Faith (even if privately) and remain united to this Church without sullying her claim of inviolability.

While I acknowledge that, in the absence of certain knowledge to the contrary, an occult heretic may be legally treated as a Catholic in the external forum, I do not see how it can be admitted that such an occult heretic (at least as it pertains to a formal heretic) is truly united to the Church without violating the Church's divine mark of unity.

It seems to me that it would make more sense to claim that an external Catholic could be, in reality, not internally part of the Church than to claim that an internal non-Catholic could be internally part of the Church.
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Offline Patriarch

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 09:14:59 PM »
Glad to have to great posters here (i.e. INPEFESS and Southpawlink)!  :toth:
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Offline INPEFESS

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2013, 07:24:58 AM »

Glad to have to great posters here (i.e. INPEFESS and Southpawlink)!  :toth:

Why, thank you, sir!

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>))))))º> "Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time" (II Peter 1:10). <º((((((<

 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 06:53:03 PM »
I'm somewhat inclined to hold the stricter opinion, viz. occult heretics are not members of the Church.  If they commit formal heresy, even without joining a false sect (and thus breaking unity of government along with unity of faith), they would incur automatic (by the very fact) excommunication, no?  Fr. Lawlor makes a convincing argument that the jurisdical and pneumatic aspects of the Church cannot be completely separated (based upon Pius XII, and even earlier, Leo XIII).

"The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. . . .  In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? - without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching?" (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 9.2, 9.5).

What do the both of you think concerning this disputed teaching?

I am in no way a theologian, but, if it means anything, I am of the same opinion.

The Church's divine mark of unity is such that it can not admit of a single exception: we can not admit on the one hand that the spotless Bride of Christ is truly "one" in Faith and, on the other, admit the possibility that one may pertinaciously doubt or deny any article of Faith (even if privately) and remain united to this Church without sullying her claim of inviolability.

While I acknowledge that, in the absence of certain knowledge to the contrary, an occult heretic may be legally treated as a Catholic in the external forum, I do not see how it can be admitted that such an occult heretic (at least as it pertains to a formal heretic) is truly united to the Church without violating the Church's divine mark of unity.

It seems to me that it would make more sense to claim that an external Catholic could be, in reality, not internally part of the Church than to claim that an internal non-Catholic could be internally part of the Church.

I understand and have always been inclined to agree with this.  But I am still puzzled as to how the papacy of Pope Pius XII could be a dogmatic fact when it is possible (however remotely) that he was an occult heretic and thereby (by the theory being defended) not a Catholic.  It doesn't matter what external facts (or missing facts) there are, since occult heresy can go with all the external facts pointing in the opposite direction.

You say "in the absence of certain knowledge to the contrary, an occult heretic may be legally treated as a Catholic in the external forum"  What does this mean for a Pope?  Does it mean a man, although he must be treated in every external way as a Pope, and must be assumed to be Pope (there are no contrary external facts), may in fact not be a Catholic?  And how many Popes in the past may really have been non-Catholic occult heretics?

On the theory that an occult heretic is still a Catholic by external ties, any Pope without external facts showing heresy is  assuredly a Catholic and true Pope and his subjects can safely know this as a dogmatic fact. 

I am not addressing your reasoning, just presenting a difficulty.

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Offline ExiteDeIlla

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2018, 02:17:25 PM »
I'm somewhat inclined to hold the stricter opinion, viz. occult heretics are not members of the Church.  If they commit formal heresy, even without joining a false sect (and thus breaking unity of government along with unity of faith), they would incur automatic (by the very fact) excommunication, no?  Fr. Lawlor makes a convincing argument that the jurisdical and pneumatic aspects of the Church cannot be completely separated (based upon Pius XII, and even earlier, Leo XIII).

"The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. . . .  In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? - without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching?" (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 9.2, 9.5).

What do the both of you think concerning this disputed teaching?

I am in no way a theologian, but, if it means anything, I am of the same opinion.

The Church's divine mark of unity is such that it can not admit of a single exception: we can not admit on the one hand that the spotless Bride of Christ is truly "one" in Faith and, on the other, admit the possibility that one may pertinaciously doubt or deny any article of Faith (even if privately) and remain united to this Church without sullying her claim of inviolability.

While I acknowledge that, in the absence of certain knowledge to the contrary, an occult heretic may be legally treated as a Catholic in the external forum, I do not see how it can be admitted that such an occult heretic (at least as it pertains to a formal heretic) is truly united to the Church without violating the Church's divine mark of unity.

It seems to me that it would make more sense to claim that an external Catholic could be, in reality, not internally part of the Church than to claim that an internal non-Catholic could be internally part of the Church.

Inpefess,

I haven't posted to the forum in awhile, and have only stopped by to read sporadically. But in researching this question in light of our current, ah, difficulties regarding the papacy, this link came up. Glad it did.

This issue has implications for the idea that a true pope could not teach error in his teaching office when teaching to the whole church. Obviously, a "true pope," to be a legitimate, true pope, must have certain traits, the one germane here is possession of the Catholic faith.

Suppose an occult heretic bent on destroying the Church - and by "destroying" I do not mean extinguishing or completely wiping out, but by making the Church into something other, substantially changing it so that it is no longer the same substance or entity that it was, the prior substance or entity gone (essentially or substantially destroyed), while the new entity retained the name and the externals, the appearance, of the prior entity (Bishop Sanborn has a good series of sermons on Vatican II addressing this) - were elected pope, and then went about doing (or trying to do) what he intended, i.e. destroying the Church. He would do so by introducing heresies that substantially changed its belief, its worship and its rule. How could one "destroy" the church (i.e., substantially change it) except by heresy?

If one were not a true pope, i.e. did not possess the Catholic faith and lacked that spiritual union with Christ to go with the bodily, exterior and juridical and apparent union (through baptism and apparent sharing of the same faith and sacraments and subjection to the pope), how could the charism and protection from teaching error to the whole church be bestowed by the Holy Ghost when the necessary foundational, internal and spiritual union (faith) with Christ was lacking?

Thus, we would have the situation of an apparently duly elected pontiff teaching error to the whole church without the problem of a contradiction with the promised protection (indefectibility) of Christ via the Holy Ghost.

The perpetuity issue of the successors to Peter is a separate issue that is not my concern here.

It is an allowable opinion - held by Suarez, Franzelin, Journet, Billuart and others - that a formal occult heretic is outside the Church and not a member of Her.

Thus, if Roncalli and Montini, for example, were formal occult heretics prior to elevation, they would have ceased to be members of the Church when elevated, and we could prescind from the difficult question of whether their heresy was public, manifest or notorious prior to election as not necessary. 

I think a good case could be made that Roncalli and Montini were occult heretics bent on destroying the Church (in the sense of destroying used above), and this would explain the subsequent public and manifest and notorious heresies regarding religious liberty, ecumenism, the New Mass, etc. without creating a problem regarding the promises of Christ that a true man with the Catholic faith elevated to the papacy would be protected in his teaching office and prevented from doing so.

I think this important to because it addresses the problem of indefectibility considered in conjunction with the never-failing faith of a truly elected pope (is not the pope and his office the source of indefectibilty of the Church) without having to deal with the difficult issue of whether the "heresies" of Montini for example were public, manifest or notorious prior to election.

Obviously, I hope to hear your (and anyone's) thoughts.



For, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth. Indeed, all the venerable fathers have embraced their apostolic doctrine, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed it, knowing full well that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” [Luke 22:32].

So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.

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Offline Jayne

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Re: Occult Heresy and Membership in the Church
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2018, 02:48:22 PM »
INPEFESS was last active on this forum in April, so this is not a good place to post comments for a response from him.

ExiteDeIlla has, however, posted a copy of the same message to another forum that INPEFESS reads regularly, so it should all work out.

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