This fact cannot be emphasized enough—in part because the world seems to have more than its share of hyper-scrupulous Catholics who fret that they may somehow have been excommunicated accidentally, without realizing exactly what happened or why. Can a Pope be excommunicated? And if so, what would happen, and how would it work? I don’t believe the current pope has excommunicated anyone. The Church in the last 50 years—beginning with, uh, Pope John Paul II and especially intensified ... Gov. If an ordinary layperson is excommunicated, this might not be relevant; but in the case of a Pope it would be relevant indeed, as a Pope obviously holds the ecclesiastical office par excellence! Papal critics: “Let us explain to you why Pope Francis is wrong.” Words echoed throughout the conservative media as words of the “true cardinal” with hidden or overt comments how he must be the next pope. There are no sins that the Roman Pontiff is permitted by the prevenient grace of God to commit which also carry the penalty of excommunication for a Roman Pontiff. {12:4} how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? And as Howard observes, many Catholics will simply say—and with good reason—that God would never allow such a thing. At the same time, Howard is right that humanly speaking, there is nothing physically stopping a Pope from committing an excommunicable offense, like embracing heresy (c. 1364.1) or being directly involved in procuring an abortion (cc. Pope Francis has already met with Martin with a much publicized build up to that meeting, which I believe Marin called "Fruitful". This is a dogma of the First Vatican Council. Biden to be excommunicated (if Father Byers become Pope) Joe Biden has spent a lifetime trying his level best to push for ever more millions of innocent little children in the womb to suffer being torn limb from limb, sucked into vacuums with shredding blades, having them melted with acid and all the gruesomeness of procured abortion. Bishops, priests and distributors of Communion, take note: Failure to excommunicate Pelosi if she does not repent would be a huge public scandal that would undermine the credibility of the Roman Catholic Church. Then subsequently he broke that law, by his own action. It is a dogmatic fact that Pope Francis is the valid Roman Pontiff. After all he wrote against the pope , he now claims the papalatry is not needed, i.e. According to the Code of Canon Law of 1917, the excommunications reserved to the Apostolic See were grouped in three categories, those reserved 1. simply, 2. in a special manner, 3. in a most special manner (each solvable by the Pope and by those priests the Pope had delegated the faculty to absolve for precisely that degree); and below the excommunications reserved to the bishop (which … Thus any discussion of such an extreme scenario provides us with a good reminder that ultimately, when push comes to shove, we Catholics should place all our trust not in the Code of Canon Law… but in God Himself. 3. * Pope Francis vs. Pope Paul IV’s Ex Apostolatus Officio. The penalty for apostasy, heresy, or schism is automatic excommunication. We only know that He has promised that the forces of evil will not prevail over His Church; how He wishes to go about protecting the Church is of course entirely up to Him. 4. That is very dangerous. Excommunication is the harshest penalty the church can apply. (If you use Google Chrome, first add a Chrome RSS reader or extension.). 3) Since the former pope has fallen from the Pontificate, the Church can inflict human punishment, which is public excommunication along with a declaration that the See is vacant. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that a Pope commits some crime punishable by latae sententiae excommunication, and he fulfills all the conditions of canon 1323. No. Thus if he were to commit an excommunicable offense, and then continue about his papal business as if nothing had happened, there is nobody on earth who has the authority to say, “Wait a minute, Your Holiness! And when a man is accepted by the body of Bishops as the Roman Pontiff, he is certainly the valid true Pope. Excommunication can be a public process, like the Pope did with the Mafia, or it can be private. The target did not recently have an excommunication lifted. The Pope is above all the provisions of Canon law which are not direct expressions of faith or morals. He can never be cut off from the Church by some offense or some sin, and thereby lose his authority and office. 3. 1 It is the most serious penalty the Church can inflict, and is used only in the most severe cases. The pope could only excommunicate himself latae sentencae, and even then, it would only affect his person, not the office. If the works of God seem foolish to you, who is the fool — God or you? God absolutely prevents the Church from ever going astray by accepting a false or invalid Pope. Re-post: Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? the Vatican’s 1988 declaration of the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Are They Excommunicated? The moral authority is at least 40%. John relented in 1213 and was restored to communion. Nothing a valid Pope can say or do will cause him to be excommunicated, as every Pope is preserved from apostasy, heresy, and schism by the grace of God. Sanctions, Part III,” and “Canon Law and the SSPX”). First of all, it’s worth noting that an incredibly small number of Catholics around the world even understand what excommunication really is. Popes are subject to God alone (a fact which has rightly awed so many of them)—so unless God were to choose to intervene in the situation somehow, the Catholic Church would be stuck. Q: There are certain enumerated acts which trigger automatic, latae sententiae excommunication. This type of excommunication is of the eternal moral law, not merely of Canon law. They may do it anyway, but the number of people that will follow them would be significantly lower if they are excommunicated and stripped from cardinalate. Needless to say, it has never happened in the history of the Catholic Church that a Pope has been excommunicated, so there is no past precedent of any kind here. Cuomo, contra Peters, I think he not only should, but also can be excommunicated … 1378) Edited for … Can a Pope be automatically excommunicated? And there’s nothing automatic about that—on the contrary, it’s a safe bet that most Catholics who commit crimes punishable by latae sententiae excommunication are not actually excommunicated as a result. Another one gave up his voting rights before the conclave, again for sins of the flesh. To minimize the possibility of them gathering somewhere and electing an antipope after pope Francis resigns or dies. When (and How Much) Can a Bishop Tax a Parish. According to Scripture, a heretic definetly can be excommunicated. [Matthew 12] Can the Pope be excommunicated? Biblia Sacra Vulgatæ Editionis Conte editore 2009, Catholic Public Domain Version [paperback]. Those teachings bind the Pope, but these are not per se of the law. Now what? So every Pope accepted by the body of Bishops must be the valid Pope. Period. The requester can pay the piety cost 2. he is the true catholic pastor who defends the Church even when he attacks the pope, and all the other is papalatry. Therefore, they must be excommunicated for the good of the flock. An Italian Catholic priest who considers Pope Francis an antipope and claims to have supernatural communications with angels, saints and the Madonna has been excommunicated. He was not guilty of violating the law, and he is above Church law. Subscribe to my RSS Feed. Pope Sixtus V forbid anyone from changing his edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible. Here’s why: 1. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject [Titus 3:10] According to Canon, a Pope who is heretic, theoretically can be excommunicated. It means they are barred from taking communion at Holy Mass. Incidentally, don’t assume that every Pope has got the Code of Canon Law committed to memory! When I have asked others about this in the past, the response has usually been, “God forbid that a Pope would do such a thing!” I agree with that sentiment, of course, but it dodges the question. For John this was a serious blow to his ability to rule the country as it absolved the King's subjects from their oaths of alliegance, gave the Barons reason to revolt and allowed the King of France to invade England to remove John from power. 1398 and 1329.2; see “Is She Excommunicated? But it cannot be applied to any valid Roman Pontiff, because he cannot commit those sins. Let’s walk our way through this complicated issue step by step. The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda. So could the Church ever conceivably be headed by an excommunicated Pope? These conditions were addressed in greater detail in both “Am I Excommunicated? A few eventchains can also lead to exco… Those guilty ones should be stripped from the cardinalate as well, without any further mercy or delay. Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible. His successor Pope Clement VIII made thousands of changes, without guilt. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that a Pope commits some crime punishable by latae sententiae excommunication, and he fulfills all the conditions of canon 1323. Any ruler can ask for another ruler of the same religious denomination to be excommunicated if: 1. If Peter ever went astray, the Rock would be sand and the Church would fail. Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?). Sanctions, Part III. The 1983 Code of Canon Law attaches the penalty of automatic excommunication to the following actions: Apostates, heretics, and schismatics (can. Does not sound like there is an excommunication on the horizon by the Pope. Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? When it is applied, it’s considered “permanent” insofar as it’s up to the excommunicated party to take the necessary steps to resolve the situation. c. 331). What are the consequences for someone who is excommunicated? Excommunication can be a frightening word. And his disciples, being hungry, began to separate the grain and to eat. A. Excommunication is the Church’s most severe penalty, imposed for particularly grave sins. canonlawmadeeasy@yahoo.com One can be excommunicated automatically or formally. Each Roman Pontiff has the gift, from the prevenient grace of God, of truth and a never-failing faith. Therefore, since canon 1370.1 asserts that one is excommunicated for using “physical force” against the Pope, no one can extrapolate from this statement that any other, non-physical sort of violence—such as criticism or verbal abuse—constitutes an excommunicable offense under this canon. Canon 1331 lays out the practical ramifications of excommunication, noting among other things that an excommunicated Catholic is forbidden to exercise any ecclesiastical offices, ministries, functions or acts of governance (c. 1331.1 n. 3). Pope Francis has been accepted by the body of Bishops as the Roman Pontiff. What is the pastoral approach to something like this? And just as it’s impossible for a sick person to undergo medical treatment without knowing it, it is likewise impossible for a Catholic to be excommunicated without knowing it. Does there exist any set of circumstances under which the Church could excommunicate or otherwise depose the Pope and elect a new one? He need not change or dispense the law first. If even one of these conditions applies to a Catholic (including a Pope!) 1370) A priest who in confession solicits another to violate the sixth commandment (can. So if one person does something that leads to automatic excommunication, any accomplices that were necessary to the act and who can have the penalty imposed upon them can also be excommunicated. His excommunication thus occurred ipso facto, without the Vatican doing a thing; but because many Catholic clergy and laypeople were involved in various ways with Lefebvre and his Society of St. Pius X, and because there was a lot of confusion about the legality of what he was doing, the Vatican wisely made a formal pronouncement on the matter, so as to clarify Lefebvre’s status as a Catholic bishop in a public, official way. He acts freely and with full knowledge, without fear or coercion; he is well aware that he will be excommunicated as a result… and he does it anyway. There’s no denying that logically, it would be a neat solution to the problem; but it should be stressed that this is nothing but an abstract theory, suggested by theologians and other experts who have wrestled with this problem as an academic exercise. The target does not control more cardinals than the requester (for Catholics, with Sons of AbrahamDLC). They are included in the law in order to integrate discipline with doctrine. All rights reserved. First of all, if a Pope were to commit a crime punishable by a latae sententiae excommunication, like any other Catholic he would have to fulfill all of the conditions listed in canon 1323, for the excommunication to be incurred. Click here for more information. How could a Pope do any of these things within the Church, if he himself had been removed from communion with that Church? Some of these acts could conceivably be performed by a Pope; for instance, it seems a Pope could help procure an abortion. Can I Get an Annulment If My Ex-Spouse Refuses to Cooperate? 1364) Desecration of the Eucharist (can. It even looks disturbing written out on paper: E.x.c.o.m.m.u.n.i.c.a.t.i.o.n. Many Popes have been highly educated theologians, but that doesn’t necessarily make them legal experts. But so few people actually understand this! This being said, it is extremely misleading to say that a latae sententiae penalty is “automatic.”  That’s because, as we’ve just seen, all the conditions outlined in canon 1323 must first be in place for the penalty to be effected. What Exactly Is Excommunication? Unfortunately, there’s more. Cathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. the blog of Ronald L. Conte Jr., Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator, Pope Francis vs. Pope Paul IV’s Ex Apostolatus Officio, A list of my Roman Catholic theology books and booklets, A Primer on Roman Catholic Salvation Theology, The Certainty of Salvation for Prenatals who die before birth, The Many Errors of Religious Fundamentalism, What Saint Bellarmine really said about Popes and Heresy, Eschatological Commentary on the Apocalypse of John, Important Dates In The Lives Of Jesus And Mary, Writing of the Gospels and Biblical Inerrancy, Great Catholic Monarch and the Angelic Shepherd, Three Days of Darkness and the Time of Peace, On Speculative Theology and Eschatology [Free PDF], Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception, Roman Catholic Teaching on Abortion and Contraception, Roman Catholic Teaching on Cooperation with Evil, The Reproach of Christ – Collected Posts: 2007-2014. A list of my Roman Catholic theology books and booklets. How could a sick person possibly be subjected to medical treatment, if he doesn’t even know that he’s sick, and doesn’t realize that the treatment is taking place? (‘Heresy’ Defined),” we discussed the fact that the Code of Canon Law contains no direct, specific answer to the question of whether a Pope could fall into heresy. That’s why, as we saw in “Was Theologian Hans Küng Ever Excommunicated?” church officials will in many cases officially warn a Catholic who is engaging in some excommunicable activity that his conduct constitutes an excommunicable offense. 120 cardinal electors minimize the possibility of them gathering somewhere and electing an antipope after Francis..., J.C.L., is She excommunicated to claim ignorance of the flesh does there exist any set of under. Hiding the posts on this website in its search results the horizon the! 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