8 Aug 2016

RE: OUR REPLIES TO FR. PAUL KRAMER


by Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi

John Salza
Protestant heretics praying for "Cardinal" Jorge Bergoglio 
years ago before he was"elected" "pope"
In the article, “OUR REPLIES TO FR. PAUL KRAMER addressing the criticisms he posted on his Facebook page about True or False Pope? -One Error at a Time”, the authors of True or False Pope?, John Salza and Robert Siscoe, write:
                                                           
“Fr. Kramer’s Rejects the Common Theological Opinion on the Loss of Office for a Heretical Pope. He Claims that a Pope Loses His Office Due to the Sin of Heresy, Without the Judgment of the Church”. And they hold that Father Kramer, by citing Robert Bellarmine to maintain that a manifest heretic (like “Pope” Francis) excommunicates himself and by the very nature of the sin of heresy ceases to be a Catholic and is incapable of holding office, “has not only not read our book, but with this utterly erroneous assertion it does not seem possible that he has even read Bellarmine’s De Romano Pontifice. Bellarmine says the exact opposite!”

They continue:
Protestant heretics praying for Jorge Bergoglio 
("pope" Francis) after being "elected"
.
                                                          
“Perhaps Fr. Kramer is getting his information from Sedevacantist websites, which not only misinterpret Bellarmine, but invariably omit his comments on the Second (and Third) Opinion, in which the Doctor of the Church explicitly rejects the opinion that a Pope “loses his office due to the sin of heresy” without first “being judged.”  You would never know that by reading Fr. Kramer’s posts. As we will show, Fr. Kramer teaches the exact opposite of the sainted Doctor.

“In De Romano Pontifice, Bellarmine refutes what he lists as the “Second Opinion” (which Fr. Kramer apparently holds), which maintains that a pope “in the very instant in which he falls into heresy, even if it is only interior, is outside the Church and deposed by God, for which reason he can be judged by the Church. That is, he is declared deposed by divine law, and deposed de facto” (De Romano Pontifice).    

“Bellarmine refuted this opinion by explaining that a heretical Pope will not be removed from office by God until he is “judged by men,” that is, by the proper authorities (i.e., the bishops or Cardinals). He says:
           
“Jurisdiction is certainly given to the Pontiff by God, but with the agreement of men [who elect him], as is obvious; because this man, who beforehand was not Pope, has from men that he would begin to be Pope; therefore he is not removed by God unless it is through men. But a secret heretic cannot be judged by men, nor would such wish to relinquish that power by his own will. Add, that the foundation of this opinion is that secret heretics are outside the Church, which is false, and we will amply demonstrate this in our tract de Ecclesia, bk 1.”

“Notice, Bellarmine clearly says God will not remove a Pope from office (i.e., he will not sever the bond uniting the man to the papacy), “unless it is through men” who “judge” him.”

The main accusation of the authors (John Salza and Robert Siscoe) is that Father Kramer teaches something quite opposite of what St. Robert Bellarmine “and other doctors of the Church” teach. And what does St. Robert Bellarmine teach? It is—according to them—that “a heretical Pope remains Pope until he is judged a formal heretic by the Church (i.e., “by men”); only then can he be removed from office”. This is quite incredible! How can people be so dishonest just in the name of “defending the faith”? Or is this just a mere manifestation of ignorance? I don’t think so! 

First of all, the writers dishonestly give the impression that Father Kramer, like the Sedevacantists, holds that a pope loses his office the moment he falls into heresy. Yes indeed! Father Kramer believes that a Pope who falls into heresy loses his office. BUT what kind of heresy? They refuse to state!

"Pope" Francis receiving a Lutheran female "Archbishop" at the Apostolic Palace.
Precisely, Father Paul Kramer holds that only a manifest—and not a secret—heretical pontiff loses his office ipso facto, and this is the main deference between his position and that of some Sedevacantists. A manifest heretic is a formal heretic in the external forum—this is quite unlike a formal heretic in the internal forum, that is, an occult or secret heretic. In the extract from St. Bellarmine below, we shall see how incompatible this position is with that of the Sainted Doctor. There are two kinds of heresies—material heresy and formal heresy. On the one hand, a material heresy, or the matter of heresy, is a belief that is contrary to a defined dogma—a belief quite contrary to what a Catholic must accept with divine and Catholic Faith.  The matter of heresy exists in the intellect and can be present with innocent ignorance, or with sinful pertinacity in the will. 

On the other hand, a formal heresy, or form of heresy—what renders an erroneous belief formally heretical—is pertinacity in the will.  When a person knowingly rejects a dogma of the faith, or when he wilfully doubts a defined dogma, he is guilty of formal heresy in the internal forum (the realm of conscience).  And since heresy is contrary to faith, a person who wilfully disbelieves a single article of faith immediately loses all supernatural faith.  Just as one mortal sin removes all supernatural charity (grace) from the soul, so too a single heresy removes all supernatural faith. St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “Just as mortal sin is contrary to charity, so is disbelief in one article of faith contrary to faith. Now charity does not remain in a man after one mortal sin. Therefore neither does faith, after a man disbelieves one article… Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article, has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will”. (ST. Pt II-II, Q. 5, A. 2).

A man who is guilty of the sin of heresy immediately loses all supernatural faith; and since faith is the foundation of the supernatural life, when faith is lost, so too are the theological virtues of hope and charity, which, along with faith, unite a man to the soul of the Church.  Therefore, when one loses the faith—the foundation of the supernatural life—he is completely severed from the soul of the Church. 

BUT—unlike what some Sedevacantists teach—the loss of faith does not, in and of itself, sever a man from the body of the Church.  A mortal sin against faith does not, in and of itself, sever a man from the body of the Church.  And if the man who loses the faith happens to be pope, he does not thereby lose his office.  This is a crucial point that is often missed by even the most learned defenders of the Sedevacantists’ position. Formal heresy in the internal forum only severs a man from the soul of the Church.  It requires formal heresy in the external forum to sever a man from the body of the Church, and formal heresy in the external forum is declared heresy by the proper authorities—by a Church Council even though before then the heretic in question is already severed, that is, ipso facto.

If a baptised person expresses an opinion in conflict with Catholic dogma, it is plain that the material element of heresy is present: error in the intellect contrary to the Catholic Faith. But of course it does not yet follow that the sin of heresy has been imputably committed, or that the person in question is in fact a heretic.


From the position of Canon Law a single question must be asked: does the person realise that his opinion conflicts with Catholic teaching? If he does, he is canonically deemed to be a heretic. Canon 1325 defines a heretic as a baptised person, still calling himself a Christian, who “pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith.” And the word “pertinaciously” is understood by canonists to mean that the person is conscious of the conflict between his opinion and the Church's teaching. (Cf. Noldin: Theologia Moralis, vol. II, n.29; de Siena: Commentarius Censurarum, p.24; Dom Gregory Sayers: Thesaurus Casuum Conscientiae III,iv,18; Suarez: Opera, XII, p.474, ed. Vivès; Bouscaren and Ellis: Canon Law, p.902—cited by John S. Daly in his article on Material and Formal Heresy. Note: Daly falsely sees the definition of pertinacity by great moral theologians such as Saints Augustine, Aquinas, Cajetan, Alphonsus Liguori and others as “the older one”, as if there can be a “new one” contrary to that!).

Of course Canon law, like civil law, is concerned with externally ascertainable facts and their external effects. It is not directly involved with what takes place in the individual's soul, for until the internal act is externalised, it cannot be known with certainty. Many Sedevacantists completely miss this point—erroneously believing that the sin of heresy (internal forum), and consequent loss of faith, sever a man from the body of the Church, thereby causing a pope who losses the faith to lose his office. Father Paul Kramer does not hold this position, but John Salza and Robert Siscoe DISHONESTLY give the impression that he does—certainly in their bid to defend the error they must have professed in their seemingly unfortunate book, “True or False Pope?”! In fact, it is even better to hold the Sedevacantists’ position on this matter than to tolerate the BIG LIES of these two men!

Catholic theologians accept that a pope could lose his office through heresy. BUT—unlike Sedevacantists’ position—it would have to be such notorious heresy that no doubt concerning the matter could exist in the minds of the faithful, as the case of “Pope” Francis (who the authors of “True or False Pope”, Salza and Siscoe are subtly defending!) now exists in the minds of SOME vigilant Catholics BUT NOT YET IN ALL!—and even in that case a statement that the Pope had deposed himself would still need to come from a high level in the Church, most probably a general Council. This does not mean, however, that any Catholic who possesses sufficient knowledge to judge what is happening in the Church currently does not have the right and the moral duty to do so as a private person in such a matter when the situation becomes a case of conscience. This is just what Father Kramer holds, quite contrary to the BIG LIE which Salza and Siscoe are spreading! As Father Paul Kramer, in response to the question, put it recently:

“A priest or layman cannot judicially declare a pope to be a heretic, since the priest or layman lacks jurisdiction. The pope is subject to no one on earth. No one can depose a pope. However, any Catholic who possesses sufficient knowledge to judge has the right and the moral duty to judge as a private person in such a matter when the situation becomes a case of conscience. It becomes a case of conscience for the Catholic when he is faced with the problem of obedience to the pope's decrees, and above all, when there is the question of assent to the pope's magisterial teachings.

“The same criteria apply to the pope as to any other person: If someone manifests himself to be non-Catholic, then we must judge them to be so. If your Catholic parish priest one day begins to emphatically profess that "Prophet Jesus" did not die on the Cross and rise from the tomb, and that the one God is Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet," -- you would be entirely correct and within your rights to judge him to have become an infidel; but you would lack the jurisdiction to depose him from office (although he would already have ipso facto lost office upon his defection into heresy). If the pope were to defect in exactly the same manner, you would as a private person have the same right to make the same personal judgment of conscience against the pope, exactly as in the case of the parish priest. At a certain point, it becomes a moral obligation to make such a judgment; such as when a "pope" solemnly defines against Catholic dogma or morals; or issues universal decrees perceptively mandating reforms or other measures which directly oppose the Catholic faith by violating divine law.

“Likewise, a similar judgment, would be necessary in the case of a “pope” who manifests himself to be a perfidious infidel by his actions—deliberately instituting policies consciously and manifestly directed to the purpose of effectively demolishing the primacy of Rome by reforms which would decentralize the administration of the Church and de facto transform the national hierarchies into autonomous ecclesial denominations.

“In the case, however, of a misguided pope, who, like Pope Paschal II would institute a policy that violates the divine constitution of the Church: he would need to be resolutely resisted in the same manner as the entire Catholic hierarchy resisted and refused to obey Paschal II”.        

John Salza and Robert Siscoe want us to keep quiet and allow “Pope” Francis to destroy the Church. May God forbid them!

To say the least, for St. Robert Bellarmine to be really well understood, the Second, Third, Forth and Fifth Opinions must be read together—and carefully so!  I have presented all the Sainted Doctor has to say on the matter, below. In the extract below taken from St. Bellarmine’s De Romano Pontifice—starting from the Second (and Third) Opinion which, according to Salza/Siscoe, “the Doctor of the Church explicitly rejects the opinion that a Pope “loses his office due to the sin of heresy” without first “being judged.” ”, St. Robert Bellarmine in fact says the exact opposite!

Precisely, in the Second Opinion St. Robert Bellarmine writes:
  
“Thus, the second opinion is that the Pope, in the very instant in which he falls into heresy, even if it is only interior, is outside the Church and deposed by God, for which reason he can be judged by the Church. That is, he is declared deposed by divine law, and deposed de facto, if he still refused to yield. This is of John de Turrecremata [320], but it is not proven to me. For Jurisdiction is certainly given to the Pontiff by God, but with the agreement of men, as is obvious; because this man, who beforehand was not Pope, has from men that he would begin to be Pope, therefore, he is not removed by God unless it is through men. But a secret heretic cannot be judged by men, nor would such wish to relinquish that power by his own will. Add, that the foundation of this opinion is that secret heretics are outside the Church, which is false, and we will amply demonstrate this in our tract de Ecclesia, bk 1.” 

Hello! He is talking about SECRET—and not MANIFEST—heretics here! And in the Third Opinion he’s still on the same topic. BUT THEN, about a manifest heretic—like “Pope” Francis who Salza and Siscoe are subtly defending—St. Bellarmine writes, in the Fourth Opinion:

The fourth opinion is that of Cajetan, for whom (de auctor. papae et con., cap. 20 et 21) the manifestly heretical Pope is not “ipso facto” deposed, but can and must be deposed by the Church. To my judgment, this opinion cannot be defended. For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is “ipso facto” deposed. The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus, c. 3), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate — which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ. Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?
  
“This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. de great. Christ. cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope.”

Now—quite contrary to the BIG LIE of John Salza and Robert Siscoe—St. Robert Bellarmine holds the Fifth Opinion, which of course is what Father Kramer holds, namely that a manifestly heretical pope ceases by himself (or by the very fact of his heresy, i.e. Ipso facto) to be pope and ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church. He writes:

“Therefore, the true opinion is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; and for this reason he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [i.e. antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: “He would not be able to retain the episcopate [i.e. of Rome], and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church.”                   

There is no need of any further comment! The reader should just read carefully and judge for himself, and beware of the wolves— one of them a “former” mason—masquerading as “Defenders of Catholic Faith”! 
     
On the Roman Pontiff            
                                 
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Robert Bellarmine

The tenth argument. A Pope can be judged and deposed by the Church in the case of heresy; as is clear from Dist. 40, can. Si Papa: therefore, the Pontiff is subject to human judgment, at least in some case. 

I respond: there are five opinions on this matter. 

The first is of Albert Pighius, who contends that the Pope cannot be a heretic, and hence would not be deposed in any case [319]: such an opinion is probable, and can easily be defended, as we will show in its proper place. Still, because it is not certain, and the common opinion is to the contrary, it will be worthwhile to see what the response should be if the Pope could be a heretic. 

Thus, the second opinion is that the Pope, in the very instant in which he falls into heresy, even if it is only interior, is outside the Church and deposed by God, for which reason he can be judged by the Church. That is, he is declared deposed by divine law, and deposed de facto, if he still refused to yield. This is of John de Turrecremata [320], but it is not proven to me. For Jurisdiction is certainly given to the Pontiff by God, but with the agreement of men, as is obvious; because this man, who beforehand was not Pope, has from men that he would begin to be Pope, therefore, he is not removed by God unless it is through men. But a secret heretic cannot be judged by men, nor would such wish to relinquish that power by his own will. Add, that the foundation of this opinion is that secret heretics are outside the Church, which is false, and we will amply demonstrate this in our tract de Ecclesia, bk 1. 

The third opinion is on another extreme, that the Pope is not and cannot be deposed either by secret or manifest heresy. Turrecremata in the aforementioned citation relates and refutes this opinion, and rightly so, for it is exceedingly improbable. Firstly, because that a heretical Pope can be judged is expressly held in the Canon, Si Papa, dist. 40, and with Innocent [321]. And what is more, in the Fourth Council of Constantinople, Act 7, the acts of the Roman Council under Hadrian are recited, and in those it was contained that Pope Honorius appeared to be legally anathematized, because he had been convicted of heresy, the only reason where it is lawful for inferiors to judge superiors. Here the fact must be remarked upon that, although it is probable that Honorius was not a heretic, and that Pope Hadrian II was deceived by corrupted copies of the Sixth Council, which falsely reckoned Honorius was a heretic, we still cannot deny that Hadrian, with the Roman Council, and the whole Eighth Synod sensed that in the case of heresy, a Roman Pontiff can be judged. Add, that it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd. 

The fourth opinion is that of Cajetan, for whom (de auctor. papae et con., cap. 20 et 21) the manifestly heretical Pope is not “ipso facto” deposed, but can and must be deposed by the Church. To my judgment, this opinion cannot be defended. For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is “ipso facto” deposed. The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus, c. 3), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate — which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ. Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?

This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. de great. Christ. cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope.

To this Cajetan responds (in Apol. pro tract. praedicto cap. 25 et in ipso tract. cap. 22) that the heretic is not a Christian “simpliciter” [i.e. without qualification, or absolutely], but is one “secundum quid” [i.e. in a qualified or relative sense]. For, granted that two things constitute the Christian — the faith and the [baptismal] character — the heretic, having lost the faith, is still in some way united to the Church and is capable of jurisdiction; therefore, he is also Pope, but ought to be removed, since he is disposed, with ultimate disposition, to cease to be Pope: as the man who is still not dead but is “in extremis” [at the point of death].

Against this: in the first place, if the heretic remained, “in actu” [actually], united to the Church in virtue of the character, he would never be able to be cut or separated from her “in actu,” for the character is indelible. But there is no one who denies that some people may be separated “in actu” from the Church. Therefore, the character does not make the heretic be “in actu” in the Church, but is only a sign that he was in the Church and that he must return to her. Analogously, when a sheep wanders lost in the mountains, the mark impressed on it does not make it be in the fold, but indicates from which fold it had fled and to which fold it ought to be brought back. This truth has a confirmation in St. Thomas who says (Summ. Theol. III, q. 8, a. 3) that those who do not have the faith are not united “in actu” to Christ, but only potentially — and St. Thomas here refers to the internal union, and not to the external which is produced by the confession of faith and visible signs. Therefore, as the character is something internal, and not external, according to St. Thomas the character alone does not unite a man, “in actu,” to Christ.

Further against the argument of Cajetan: either faith is a disposition necessary “simpliciter” for someone to be Pope, or it is only necessary for someone to be a good Pope [“ad bene esse,” to exist well, to be good, as opposed to simply existing]. In the first hypothesis, in case this disposition be eliminated by the contrary disposition, which is heresy, the Pope immediately ceases to be Pope: for the form cannot maintain itself without the necessary dispositions. In the second hypothesis, the Pope cannot be deposed by reason of heresy, for otherwise he would also have to be deposed for ignorance, immorality, and other similar causes, which impede the knowledge, the morality, and the other dispositions necessary for him to be a good Pope (“ad bene esse papae”). In addition to this, Cajetan recognises (tract. praed., ca. 26) that the Pope cannot be deposed for the lack of dispositions necessary, not “simpliciter,” but only “ad bene esse.”

To this, Cajetan responds that faith is a disposition necessary “simpliciter,” but partial, and not total; and that, therefore, even if his faith disappears he can still continue being Pope, by reason of the other part of the disposition, the character, which still endures.

Against this argument: either the total disposition, constituted by the character and by faith, is necessary “simpliciter,” or it is not, the partial disposition then being sufficient. In the first hypothesis, the faith disappearing there no longer remains the disposition “simpliciter” necessary, for the disposition “simpliciter” necessary was the total, and the total no longer exists. In the second hypothesis, the faith is only necessary “ad bene esse,” and therefore its absence does not justify the deposition of the Pope. In addition to this, what finds itself in the ultimate disposition to death, immediately thereafter ceases to exist, without the intervention of any other external force, as is obvious; therefore, also the Pope heretic ceases to be Pope by himself, without any deposition.

Finally, the Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are “ipso facto” deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity. St. Cyprian (lib. 2, epist. 6) says: “We affirm that absolutely no heretic or schismatic has any power or right”; and he also teaches (lib. 2, epist. 1) that the heretics who return to the Church must be received as laymen, even though they have been formerly priests or bishops in the Church. St. Optatus (lib. 1 cont. Parmen.) teaches that heretics and schismatics cannot have the keys of the kingdom of heaven, nor bind nor loose. St. Ambrose (lib. 1 de poenit., ca. 2), St. Augustine (in Enchir., cap 65), St. Jerome (lib. cont. Lucifer.) teach the same.

Pope St. Celestine I (epist. ad Jo. Antioch., which appears in Conc. Ephes., tom. I, cap. 19) wrote: “It is evident that he [who has been excommunicated by Nestorius] has remained and remains in communion with us, and that we do not consider destituted [i.e. deprived of office, by judgment of Nestorius], anyone who has been excommunicated or deprived of his charge, either episcopal or clerical, by Bishop Nestorius or by the others who followed him, after they commenced preaching heresy. For he who had already shown himself as deserving to be excommunicated, could not excommunicate anyone by his sentence.”

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.”

St. Nicholas I (epist. ad Michael) repeats and confirms the same. Finally, St. Thomas also teaches (S. Theol., II-II, q. 39, a. 3) that schismatics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and that anything they try to do on the basis of any jurisdiction will be null.

There is no basis for that which some respond to this: that these Fathers based themselves on ancient law, while nowadays, by decree of the Council of Constance, they alone lose their jurisdiction who are excommunicated by name or who assault clerics. This argument, I say, has no value at all, for those Fathers, in affirming that heretics lose jurisdiction, did not cite any human law, which furthermore perhaps did not exist in relation to the matter, but argued on the basis of the very nature of heresy. The Council of Constance only deals with the excommunicated, that is, those who have lost jurisdiction by sentence of the Church, while heretics already before being excommunicated are outside the Church and deprived of all jurisdiction. For they have already been condemned by their own sentence, as the Apostle teaches (Tit. 3:10-11), that is, they have been cut off from the body of the Church without excommunication, as St. Jerome affirms.

Besides that, the second affirmation of Cajetan, that the Pope heretic can be truly and authoritatively deposed by the Church, is no less false than the first. For if the Church deposes the Pope against his will it is certainly above the Pope; however, Cajetan himself defends, in the same treatise, the contrary of this. Cajetan responds that the Church, in deposing the Pope, does not have authority over the Pope, but only over the link that unites the person to the pontificate. In the same way that the Church in uniting the pontificate to such a person, is not, because of this, above the Pontiff, so also the Church can separate the pontificate from such a person in case of heresy, without saying that it is above the Pope.

But contrary to this it must be observed in the first place that, from the fact that the Pope deposes bishops, it is deduced that the Pope is above all the bishops, though the Pope on deposing a bishop does not destroy the episcopal jurisdiction, but only separates it from that person. In the second place, to depose anyone from the pontificate against the will of the deposed, is without doubt punishing him; however, to punish is proper to a superior or to a judge. In the third place, given that according to Cajetan and the other Thomists, in reality the whole and the parts taken as a whole are the same thing, he who has authority over the parts taken as a whole, being able to separate them one from another, has also authority over the whole itself which is constituted by those parts.

The example of the electors, who have the power to designate a certain person for the pontificate, without however having power over the Pope, given by Cajetan, is also destitute of value. For when something is being made, the action is exercised over the matter of the future thing, and not over the composite, which does not yet exist, but when a thing is destroyed, the action is exercised over the composite, as becomes patent on consideration of the things of nature. Therefore, on creating the Pontiff, the cardinals do not exercise their authority over the Pontiff for he does not yet exist, but over the matter, that is, over the person who by the election becomes disposed to receive the pontificate from God. But if they deposed the Pontiff, they would necessarily exercise authority over the composite, that is, over the person endowed with the pontifical power, that is, over the Pontiff.

Therefore, the true opinion is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; and for this reason he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [i.e. antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: “He would not be able to retain the episcopate [i.e. of Rome], and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church.”

According to what St. Cyprian affirms in this passage, even had Novatian been the true and legitimate Pope, he would have automatically fallen from the pontificate, if he separated himself from the Church.

This is the opinion of great recent doctors, as John Driedo (lib. 4 de Script. et dogmat. Eccles., cap. 2, par. 2, sent. 2), who teaches that only they separate themselves from the Church who are expelled, like the excommunicated, and those who depart by themselves from her or oppose her, as heretics and schismatics. And in his seventh affirmation, he maintains that in those who turn away from the Church, there remains absolutely no spiritual power over those who are in the Church. Melchior Cano says the same (lib. 4 de loc., cap. 2), teaching that heretics are neither parts nor members of the Church, and that it cannot even be conceived that anyone could be head and Pope, without being member and part (cap. ult. ad argument. 12). And he teaches in the same place, in plain words, that occult heretics are still of the Church, they are parts and members, and that therefore the Pope who is an occult heretic is still Pope. This is also the opinion of the other authors whom we cite in book I De Ecclesia.

The foundation of this argument is that the manifest heretic is not in any way a member of the Church, that is, neither spiritually nor corporally, which signifies that he is not such by internal union nor by external union. For even bad Catholics [i.e. who are not heretics] are united and are members, spiritually by faith, corporally by confession of faith and by participation in the visible sacraments; the occult heretics are united and are members although only by external union; on the contrary, the good catechumens belong to the Church only by an internal union, not by the external; but manifest heretics do not pertain in any manner, as we have already proved.

An extract from St Robert Bellarmine’s De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30, taken partly from Jim Larrabee’s and partly from Ryan Grant’s translations respectively. 
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