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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fr. Kramer, "On the nature of a crime"

Fr. Kramer, "On the nature of a crime"
Fr. Kramer continues to educate Salza and Siscoe....

Their latest article is very easily refuted, and it makes explicit some errors that were previously expressed less clearly. Here are the two most glaring examples:
 
 

1) "The external act of heresy is, by its nature, a crime." On the basis of this error, they state the heresy: "What separates a Catholic from external union with the Body of the Church is not the nature of the sin of heresy (again, as Kramer argues above), but rather the nature of the external act (crime[4]) of notorious heresy."

I have already quoted in my manuscript the canons that defines the term "crime" as an external violation of a law which is gravely imputable; and therefore the proposition that, "The external act of heresy is, by its nature, a crime", is patently false. The external act of heresy in its nature is only a sin, since it is not in the nature of the external act that it violates ecclesiastical law, but it is the enactment of ecclesiastical law that makes heresy (or any other sin as well) a crime. Thus, the the error is patent: "Unfortunately, someone needs to call Peter Chojnowski’s office and inform him that his cute title is entirely misleading, at best, since heresy includes everything from the internal sin alone, to the public crime of notorious heresy - and only the latter automatically severs a person from external union with the Church 'without a declaration.' "

2) Salza & Siscoe resort to the false paradigm of "spiritual separation" vs. "legal separation"; leaving out all mention of the Church's doctrine which infallibly teaches (as I demonstrated) that one ceases to be a member of the Church by the visible external separation from the body of the Church which takes place by the act of defection into heresy, apart from any violation of ecclesiastical positive law (which alone constitutes the defection as a canonical crime). Apart from penal law which makes heresy a crime, the fact of the defection by itself ipso jure severs one from membership in the Church. Hence, one does not need to be convicted of the crime of heresy to be juridically severed from membership in the Church (as is clear from the canons I quoted in my manuscript). The public sin of heresy, as defined identically in Canon Law and Moral Theology, apart from any human law, suffices to sever one from membership in the Church. This is de fide. It also suffices, apart from any human law, to effect the loss of office ex natura hæresis, as St. Robert Bellarmine proves from the unanimous teaching of the ancient Fathers.

These are the most fundamental errors in their article. There are many more.

CIC 1917, Book V Part I defines "the nature of a crime":

LIBER QUINTUS. 
DE DELICTIS ET POENIS. 
PARS PRIMA. 
DE DELICTIS. 
TITULUS I. 

De natura delicti eiusque divisione. 
Can. 2195. §1. Nomine delicti, iure ecclesiastico, intelligitur externa et moraliter imputabilis legis violatio cui addita sit sanctio canonica saltem indeterminata.

Likewise, in the 1983 Code, Canon 1321 § 1: “externa legis vel praecepti violatio”, which is “graviter imputabilis ex dolo vel ex culpa”.

Salza & Siscoe now claim:  "The external act of heresy is, by its nature, a crime." This is patently false: The nature of a crime in ecclesiastical law is of an external and morally imputable violation of a law or precept. It does not pertain to the nature of heresy that it is "an external and morally imputable violation of a law or precept"; and therefore, the proposition is false. The external act of heresy is a sin, and not a crime. The infallible de fide teaching of the Church is that the external public sin of formal heresy, suapte natura, separates the heretic from the body of the Church, and not by the authority of the Church because it is a crime, i.e. a violation of ecclesiastical law; because the nature of a crime does not pertain to the nature of the external act of heresy. Thus, Salza's and Siscoe's proposition that, «the sin of heresy disposes a person to be separated from the visible Church, but the actual separation does not take place until the Church itself renders a judgment [...] and needless to say the judgment of the public sin must proceed from the proper authorities » -- is a sententia hæretica.

Mr. Siscoe.

You obviously do not properly understand the meaning of the term "nature". Whatever pertains to the nature of a thing is intrinsic to its essence, and therefore is expressed in the definition of the thing. Heresy, like every other sin is not crime, according to its nature: crime is not intrinsic to the nature of any sin, and therefore the circumstance of the sin being a transgression of a law does not pertain to the definition of heresy or any other sinContrary to what you and Salza most stupidly assert in Part I of your latest screed, heresy is not a sin according to its nature: Absolutely no sin whatsoever is a crime according to its nature. As you yourself note, a crime is a "morally imputable transgression of a law", and the circumstance of a sin being a transgression of a law is not intrinsic to the nature of any sin, but is an element that is extrinsic to the nature of the sin, which has been added to the sin by an external agent, namely: the legislator. Hence, as I have explained, (and any sane mind can easily grasp), according to its nature, “the external act of heresy is a sin, and not a crime.” Hence, your assertion, "since heresy is a crime punishable by ecclesiastical law, it proves that it does 'pertain to the nature of heresy that it is an external and morally imputable violation of a law or precept' ", is manifestly a non sequitur, and is clearly the product of an unsound mind.

Fr. Paul Kramer

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