Fr. Kramer: Reply to Pseudo Traditionalist's Salza & Siscoe
Fr. Kramer defends his position that Bergoglio is a manifest heretic.
From Fr. Kramer's Facebook 8/5/16
"Os autem impiorum iniquitatem operit" (Prov. 10:6)
A Reply to John Salza's Reply to Fr. Paul Kramer
Salza/Siscoe make the errant claim that it is "Fr. Kramer’s scholarship that is lacking, especially in regard to the theology concerning a heretical Pope." Everything I have written on the topic of a heretical pope has been taken from approved theological works, some of which are eminent authorities; whereas the Salza/Siscoe doctrine grossly distorts Catholic teaching and rests on heretical premises. Their doctrine, which they mendaciously claim is the teaching of the Church, is not the teaching of the Church, but is their own, which they prefer over the teaching of the Church - "Os autem impiorum iniquitatem operit".
What I say, however, is simply an application of the clearly set forth doctrine of the popes, Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Salza/Siscoe reject their teaching by distorting it to mean the opposite of what it says; while guilefully claiming to adhere to it: "Os autem impiorum iniquitatem operit".
Here is the opinion I expressed on a heretical pope, which Salza/Siscoe perversely judge to be unorthodox:
"I absolutely do not fear in any way the opinions of those who argue against reason. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, whose works were declared free of doctrinal error by Pope Gregory XVI, taught that a pope who falls into heresy immediately falls from the pontificate. St. Robert Bellarmine, basing himself on the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, explains why that is so.
Salza's gross misinterpretation of Bellarmine's teaching collapses when one understands how he legalistically attempts to force the strict canonical meaning of "manifest heretic" to fit into a context that plainly does not intend to use the word in that canonical sense, but in the meaning of the term as it is commonly understood. If interpreted in that arbitrarily imposed canonical sense, Bellarmine's teaching becomes logically incoherent and unintelligible. His text cannot be understood that way -- it is out of context. The main thrust of Bellarmines argument is that a pope who in FACT becomes a manifest heretic, ceases to be a pope, a Christian, and member of the Church. It is precisely due the FACT of loss of office that he may be judged and punished by the Church. For so long as he holds office, a pope may not be judged by anyone.
This is exactly what Innocent III taught: the pope may be judged by no one -- except if "he withers away into heresy" -- then he can "be judged by men, or rather", "he may be shown to be already judged" because "the unbeliever is already judged [by God]".
Bellarmine EXPLICITLY rejects the argument that the pope holds office even as a heretic, until the Church pronounces judgment. If he still holds office as a heretic, then he may not be judged by anyone on earth. How can Salza possibly believe that Bellarmine proposes a position that he expressly rejects?
Furthermore, the legalistic argument is against reason and natural law; since, one cannot ever be morally or canonically bound to withhold assent to a truth that is known with certitude. When a person rejects the dogmas of faith in such a crass and obstinate manner that constitutes manifest heresy, it is a fact that is immediately evident with certitude. One cannot be bound by any law in heaven or earth to believe a falsehood, or withhold assent to a known truth, BECAUSE THAT IS AGAINST NATURAL LAW.
If it is KNOWN with certitude that a "pope" is a manifest heretic, then he is KNOWN CERTAINLY to not be the visible head, nor even a member of the Church. It is an utterly perverse opinion to say that one can be bound morally to profess a falsehood -- that a manifest infidel is a valid pope."
Now, let us see where this doctrine comes from:
“If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at
once fall from the pontificate.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori, Opera Omnia.
Pope Innocent III in Sermo 4:
"The Roman Pontiff has no superior but God. Who, therefore, (should a pope ‘lose his savour’) could cast him out or trample him under foot — since of the pope it is said ‘gather thy flock into thy fold’? Truly, he should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honour and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God.
Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged. In such a case it should be said of him: “If salt should lose its savour, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.”
St. Robert Bellarmine:
“A Pope who is a manifest heretic automatically ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Where fore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.” – St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II.30.
In this passage Bellarmine expresses the same doctrine as St. Alphonsus Liguori, that a pope who becomes a heretic immediately loses office and all jurisdiction; and having lost the papal office and jurisdiction, he may be judged and punished by the Church.
Now, let us consider the Salza/Siscoe doctrine, which has already been adequately refuted by another author (Steven Speray), who, (unlike myself) has endured the somewhat penitential work of reading through the entire 700 page book. I have read enough excerpts to gain an adequate understanding of the errant Salza/Siscoe arguments. One does not need to jump into a refuse bin and asphixiate on the putrid fumes to recognize its contents -- a couple of sniffs suffice for the olfactory apparatus to make its determination. Likewise, it is not necessary for one to read through an entire work to recognize by the stink of their errors that the authors of the work are theologically incompetent, as are Salza and Siscoe.
Speray quotes Salza/Siscoe directly:
"The sin of heresy alone, which has not been judged and declared by the Church, does not result in the loss of ecclesiastical office for a cleric. The loss of office for a cleric is a vindictive penalty, and there is a process in Church law which must precede vindictive penalties….
This also means that the loss of office for a cleric must be imposed (ferendae sententiae) by Church authority  which makes the loss of office a “vindictive penalty.” Footnote 70 – In the old 1917 Code, there was an exception to this rule for the more severe vindictive penalty (canon 188, §4). This topic will be discussed at the end of this chapter. (True or False Pope – Refuting Sedevacantism and other Modern Errors, p. 260, emphasis mine.)"
Speray presents a more than adequate refutation of this nonsensical Salza/Siscoe argument which contains multiple errors, conflicts with the explicit teaching of Pope St. Celestine I, the two greatest post-Tridentine Doctors of the Church, as well as the learned and unanimous opinions of expert canonists -- and is based on unstated heretical premises. Speray's entire refutation can be read here: (https:/stevensperay.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/canon-188-4-and-defection-of-faith-why-john-salza-and-robert-siscoe-get-it-wrong-part-iii/ )
First off, Speray makes a very telling observation: "Salza/Siscoe’s main argument hinges on how the loss of office occurs. Canon law defines it. Not once in 700 pages did Salza/Siscoe present an expert’s commentary on canon 188.4 because no canonist supports them. Salza/Siscoe use their private judgment on how the canons are to be interpreted."
Speray presents lengthy quotations from eminent authorities which refute the Salza/Siscoe grotesquely absurd interpretation of Canon Law: Loss of office is not a penalty, but is the direct result of the act of publicly defecting from the Catholic faith into heresy or apostasy.
That the loss of office is the direct consequence of the defecting into heresy is demonstrated by Fr. Geeald McDevitt: " And in a letter to the clergy of Constantinople, Pope St. Celestine I says: The authority of Our Apostolic See has determined that the bishop, cleric, or simple Christian who had been deposed or excommunicated by Nestorius or his followers, after the latter began to preach heresy shall not be considered deposed or excommunicated. For he who had defected from the faith with such preachings, cannot depose or remove anyone whatsoever."
In order to justify their error, Salza/Siscoe propose yet another error which would distinguish between the crime and the sin of heresy; and only the crime after having been declared by the Church results in loss of office.
Speray mentions that Salza/Siscoe simply repeat an older Salza error on this point: " “The sin of heresy alone does NOT ‘sever the person from the Body of the Church’ because sin is a matter of the internal forum "; and, " Again, Pope Pius XII is referring to the “offense” or CRIME (not SIN) of heresy, which severs one from the Body of the Church, after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church. After the crime has been established, the heretic is automatically severed from the BODY (not SOUL) of the Church without further declaration (although most theologians maintain that the Church must also issue a declaration of deprivation)."
The quotation Salza refers to is: "Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June 29, 1943" : “For not every offense, although it may be a grave evil, is such as by its very own nature [suapte natura] to sever a man from the Body of the Church [ab Ecclesiae Corpore],as does schism or heresy or apostasy.” "
Salza nearly gnostic interpretation of Pius XII's teaching resorts to an esoteric understanding of a plainly expressed and universally taught doctrine, that the act of heresy by its very nature separates one from the Church. He does this by uncritically and falsely interpreting the word "admissum" to strictly to mean "crime" as opposed to "sin". Both the proper understanding of the word "admissum" and the Catholic doctrine on heresy refute this bogus distinction as formulated by Salza.
We consider first the moral theological definition of the sin of heresy: "Hæresis est error intellectus, et pertinax contra Fidem, in eo qui Fidem sucepit. ... Unde patet, ad Hæresim, ut et Apostasiam, duo requiri, 1. Judicium erroneum, quod est ejus quasi materiale. 2. Pertinaciam; quae est quasi formale. Porro pertinaciter errare non est hic acriter, et mordicus suum errorem tueri; sed est eum retinere, postquam contrarium est sufficienter propositum: sive quando scit contrarium teneri a reliqua universali Christi in terris Ecclesia, cui suum iudicium præferat” – St. Alphonsus M. De Liguori, Lib. II. Tract. I. De præcepto Fidei. Dubium III. Now the canonical crime of heresy (and apostasy): "Can. 751 — Dicitur haeresis, pertinax, post receptum baptismum, alicuius veritatis divina et catholica credendae denegatio, aut de eadem pertinax dubitatio; apostasia, fidei christianae ex toto repudiatio". They are exactly the same; only St. Alphonsus also explains the distinction between the matter and the form of heresy.
The key phrase of Mystici Corporis which Salza interprets against the mind of the Church is: “Siquidem non omne admissum”. Salza claims that the word "admissum" means "crime" as opposed to "sin". Lewis & Short do not limit the word to mean "crime", but define it as, "a voluntary fault, a trespass, a crime". Speray points out that most translations, including the Vatican's own website translate the word as "sin"; but Salza says it does not mean sin but "crime". This is either extreme incompetence or extreme dishonesty on the part of John Salza.
(to be continued)
REPLY TO JOHN SALZA Part II
Nescierunt, neque intellexerunt, in tenebris ambulant" - (Ps. 81:5)
As I quoted earlier, Salza claims, "Again, Pope Pius XII is referring to the 'offense' or CRIME (not SIN) of heresy, which severs one from the Body of the Church, after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church. After the crime has been established, the heretic is automatically severed from the BODY (not SOUL) of the Church without further declaration (although most theologians maintain that the Church must also issue a declaration of deprivation)."
The sin of heresy can be distinguished from the crime solely according to the circumstance of whether or not the sin was committed internally, i.e. in thought, or by an external act. The internal sin severs one from the soul of the Church, because it is by the internal act of faith that one is united to the soul of the Church; but the internal act of infidelity does not separate one from the body of the Church. The internal sin of heresy, therefore, constitutes a grave sin against faith, but is not properly an act of heresy which separates one visibly from communion with the Church. Like the sin of murder, one is not actually a murderer guilty of murder unless one commits the external act of killing; and one is not properly called a heretic, until the act of severing communion by an external act has been committed.
The external act can be occult or public, and even the occult act incurs the latæ sententiæ excommunication, since the act itself incurs the latæ sententiæ excommunication: "Can. 1364 — § 1. Apostata a fide, haereticus vel schismaticus in excommunicationem latae sententiae incurrit . . ."
By the act itelf, the heretic, apostate or schismatic self inflicts the penalty of excommunication upon himself. This has always been the case, and remains so under the 1983 Code of Canon Law. In the Canon Law Society of America commentary, we read: "The anomaly about the severe consequences is that some of the most serious of them are 'automatic or self imposed' (ipso iure, ipso facto, latæ sententiæ) - (James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel; THE CODE OF CANON LAW, A Text and Commentary, Commissioned by THE CANON
LAW SOCI ETY OF AMERICA, p. 915) The Canon explicitly states that the heretic, schismatic or apostate INCURS the excommunication LATÆ SENTENTIÆ -- thus, the heretic excommunicates himself, exactly as Pope St. Celestine I explained in the heresy judgment against Nestorius. While excommunication per se does not entail the loss of office, the crime of heresy effects the consequence of both the immediate excommunucation and loss of office by the heretic. This is clearly not a mere canonical provision pertaining to "merely ecclesiastical law" (Can. 11 "legibus mere ecclesiasticis"), but pertains to the divine constitution of the Church. Since, as Bellarmine in the earlier quoted passage stated it was the unanimous teaching of the ancient Fathers that heretics lose office, it would therefore appear to be heretical to say that one who commits the public act of heresy does not lose office until the crime is declared by ecclesiastical authority.
Salza's explanations on excommunication reveal a profound ignorance of the subject matter. There is not a canonist in the entire world who agrees with his eccentric interpretations of Canon Law on excommunication. During the years I spent in Rome, I read many works of diverse authors on Canon Law and spoke with a good number of professors of Canon Law. They all knew perfectly well what excommunicatio latæ sententiæ means -- only Salza and Siscoe do not.
The Catholic Encyclopedia explanation on excommunication is in total agreement with every canonist I have ever heard or read. Here are the most salient points:
"A jure and ab homine
Excommunication is either a jure (by law) or ab homine (by judicial act of man, i.e. by a judge). The first is provided by the law itself, which declares that whosoever shall have been guilty of a definite crime will incur the penalty of excommunication. The second is inflicted by an ecclesiastical prelate, either when he issues a serious order under pain of excommunication or imposes this penalty by judicial sentence and after a criminal trial.
"Latæ and Ferendæ Sententiæ
Excommunication, especially a jure, is either latæ or ferendæ sententiæ. The first is incurred as soon as the offence is committed and by reason of the offence itself (eo ipso) without intervention of any ecclesiastical judge; it is recognized in the terms used by the legislator, for instance: "the culprit will be excommunicated at once, by the fact itself [statim, ipso facto]". The second is indeed foreseen by the law as a penalty, but is inflicted on the culprit only by a judicial sentence; in other words, the delinquent is rather threatened than visited with the penalty, and incurs it only when the judge has summoned him before his tribunal, declared him guilty, and punished him according to the terms of the law.
"Public and occult
Excommunication ferendæ sententiæ can be public only, as it must be the object of a declaratory sentence pronounced by a judge; but excommunication latæ sententiæ may be either public or occult. It is public through the publicity of the law when it is imposed and published by ecclesiastical authority; it is public through notoriety of fact when the offence that has incurred it is known to the majority in the locality, as in the case of those who have publicly done violence to clerics, or of the purchasers of church property. On the contrary, excommunication is occult when the offence entailing it is known to no one or almost no one. The first is valid in the forum externum and consequently in the forum internum; the second is valid in the forum internum only. The practical difference is very important. He who has incurred occult excommunication should treat himself as excommunicated and be absolved as soon as possible, submitting to whatever conditions will be imposed upon him, but this only in the tribunal of conscience; he is not obliged to denounce himself to a judge nor to abstain from external acts connected with the exercise of jurisdiction, and he may ask absolution without making himself known either in confession or to the Sacred Penitentiaria. According to the teaching of Benedict XIV (De synodo, X, i, 5), "a sentence declaratory of the offence is always necessary in the forum externum, since in this tribunal no one is presumed to be excommunicated unless convicted of a crime that entails such a penalty". Public excommunication, on the other hand, is removed only by a public absolution; when it is question of simple publicity of fact (see above), the absolution, while not judicial, is nevertheless public, inasmuch as it is given to a known person and appears as an act of the forum externum."
The excommunication for heresy is a jure, and is latæ sententiæ. The key passage in the above cited quote is: "Excommunication, especially a jure, is either latæ or ferendæ sententiæ. The first is incurred as soon as the offence is committed and by reason of the offence itself (eo ipso) without intervention of any ecclesiastical judge; it is recognized in the terms used by the legislator, for instance: "the culprit will be excommunicated at once, by the fact itself [statim, ipso facto]". Thus, the heretic is excommunicated by the commission of the act itself, incurred ipso facto without any declaration by a judge, and not "after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church", as Salza maintains.
For a public crime, no declaratory sentence is required: The teaching of Benedict XIV quoted by the Encyclopedia refers exclusively to excommunication for occult crimes. The excommunucation is public either by declaration by a judge, OR BY THE NOTORIETY OF THE FACT OF THE CRIME: "It is public through the publicity of the law when it is imposed and published by ecclesiastical authority; it is public through notoriety of fact when the offence that has incurred it is known to the majority in the locality, as in the case of those who have publicly done violence to clerics, or of the purchasers of church property."
Thus, a public heretic ceases to be in communion with the Church by the very fact of his crime; ceases to be a member of the Church and ipso facto loses all ecclesiastical office.
According to Salza's crackpot theory, the doctrine which I have presented on the topic of a heretical pope self excommunicating himself and ipso facto losing office is heterodox; yet it is taught by Doctors of the Church, and is still acknowledged today as "an accepted opinion": “Communion becomes a real issue when it is threatened or even lost. This occurs especially through heresy, apostasy and schism. Classical canonists discussed the question whether a pope, in his private or personal opinions, could go into heresy, apostasy or schism.” The foot note refers to S. Sipos, Enchiridion Iuris
Canonici, 7th ed. (Rome: Herder, 1960) “cites Bellarmine and Wernz in support of his position; this view, however, is termed ‘antiquated’ by F. Cappello,
Summa Iuris Canonici (Rome: Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, 1961), 297.”
The Commentary continues, “If he were to do so in a notoriously and widely publicised manner, he would break communion and, according to an accepted opinion, lose his office ipso facto (c. 194 par. 1, n. 2). Since no one can judge the pope (c. 1404) no one could depose a pope for such crimes, and the authors are divided as to how his loss of office would be declared in such a way that a vacancy could then be filled by a new election.” – James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel; Ibid., p. 272
(to be continued)