I have a controversial question

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Dave Roberts:
Well, it’s not really a controversial question. The Pope cannot be a heretic-- personal or otherwise-- and remain Pope. Period.
do you actually believe that? :rolleyes:
Some sedevacantists quote the bull issued by Pope Paul IV († 1559) at the time of the protestant apostasy, called Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, which legislated that an heretic could not be elected pope. That bull was merely disciplinary, not doctrinal. It also contained legislation that heretics could occupy no social offices either, which was promulgated in just the same way as its legislation regarding the papal office. The formal language with which it ended, about the “wrath of Sts. Peter and Paul” for anyone who would go contrary to the bull, is of no significance and was the standard language used even for disciplinary measures during the period; the Roman Rite was said to be forever unchangeable by Pope St. Pius V († 1572) in the bull Quo Primum with just the same formal language but we know that a revised Roman Missal was issued by Pope Clement VIII († 1605) and by several other popes before John XXIII. As a disciplinary bull, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio was not unchangeable as a dogmatic definition is. And indeed, the bull is archaic; more recent legislation has been in force. The Church has judged that it would be better for her to be validly governed by an heretic than to be invalidly governed by the same, with all of his acts void and giving no power.
The law governing papal elections which was in force for the elections of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI was that of Pope Pius XII († 1958) who legislated, on 8 December 1945, as follows:
None of the Cardinals may, by pretext or reason of , suspension, or interdict whatsoever, or of any other ecclesiastical impediment, be excluded from the active and passive election of the Supreme Pontiff
. We hereby suspend such censures solely for the purposes of the said election; at other times they are to remain in vigour.

{Apostolic Constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis}

. . .

Now, to participate in an election “actively” means to vote in the election and to participate “passively” means to be elected to the office, to be the “passive” (acted upon) object of the election. Thus, no cardinal subjected to “any excommunication” was “excluded from the active and passive election of the Supreme Pontiff” and any of them could have become pope.

Hence, even if John XXIII and Paul VI had been subject to excommunications for any reasons whatsoever, due to heresy or Masonic membership or whatever, they would still have been validly elected to the papacy.

. . .

It was quite necessary that this be so and the Church acted prudently in so legislating. It must be remembered that even a secret pertinacious heretical act known only to the perpetrator automatically effects an excommunication from the Church; so if the excommunicated were barred from office, the electors would have no guarantee that the candidate had been validly elected, and the Church could be left without any valid source of jurisdiction without knowing it. The invalidity would then destructively spread through the Church unknown:
Fr. Brian W. Harrison OS: Thus, if the Church’s law required that a Cardinal be free from all ecclesiastical censure in order to be eligible for the papacy, the voters in general would have no guarantee that any given candidate was not in fact ineligible because of some secret crime by which he had incurred excommunication. They might unwittingly carry out an invalid election, in which case the “Pope” they elected would not be true Pope. The invalidity of his acts would then be a kind of spiritual cancer, quietly destroying the Church’s vital structures from within: the Bishops appointed by him would have no true right to govern their respective dioceses; no laws he passed would be binding on the Church; and in particular, the Cardinals named by him would not be valid electors of a future Pope. How, then, could a true Pope be restored, if at all? Who would be competent to decide? When the fact of this hidden excommunication finally came to light, the resulting chaos would be unimaginable. Nobody would know with certainty who, if anyone, still had any real authority in the Church, and schism - perhaps a series of schisms - would seem almost inevitable. The Church’s law therefore foresees and avoids the possibility of this catastrophic situation by allowing that even a secret heretic or apostate, if elected as Pope, would ascend the Chair of Peter with full juridical rights over the universal Church on earth.
(“A Heretical Pope Would Govern The Church Illicitly But Validly,” in, Living Tradition, May 2000).

Hence though it may at first seem shocking, to those without a knowledge of the Church’s law on this matter, that even an heretic excommunicated from the Church can be elected to the papacy, upon reflection one can see that it is eminently sensible and prudent for the common good of the Church.
The above was from the link I posted earlier: “Sedevacantism Refuted". There really can be no question. The Church’s law on this is pretty clear and straightforward, much more so than it was when the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia was written.

The article goes on to document the fact that a Pope can only cease to be Pope if he explicitly abdicates the Catholic faith and leaves the Church.

Otherwise, the Pope can be a private or even a public heretic, but his charism of infallibility would inhibit him from binding the Church to heresy.

Before more is said on this topic, I suggest you all consult the link.

Though I warn you, its from a schismatic Feenyite who thinks John Paul II is a heretic.
Can a pope be a personal heretic and still be pope?
Simple answer:

Is the pope Catholic?

The Pope can most definitely be a heretic. A brief look at church history shows that in fact there have been a number of Popes who have been heretics. They were elected Pope for political reasons, often by supporters of a particular heresy (consider the brief reign of a few Arian Popes). However, one thing always remained true. No Pope, whether personally Arian or otherwise ever taught heresy as the successor of St. Peter. The Pope can himself be a heretic, but the Holy Spirit will not allow him to officially teach heresy. It seems like a pretty good proof that God guides the church when you look at all the unholy and even heretical Popes and yet no Pope has ever taught anything but the true faith. Only God could do that!
It seems like a pretty good proof that God guides the church when you look at all the unholy and even heretical Popes and yet no Pope has ever taught anything but the true faith. Only God could do that!
If God is guiding the Church, then what the heck is going on.

I have just found this forum and have been reading everything everybody has to say and just through observing - something is definately amiss here. I find it hard to believe that the church is being guided in a thousand different directions because that is what seems to be going on. Where is the ONE, the HOLY, the CATHOCLIC and the APOSTOLIC Church???
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