Comments on the “Material Pope Thesis”
(The article begins in the “Comments on the Material Pope Thesis. First Part.”)
I can’t speak for others, but personally I have not found in the sources available to me the Church’s teaching on the election of a public heretic (who incurred excommunication ipso facto) to an office of the “material pope”.
Also, I have not been able to find a “rite of transformation” of a heretical "material pope" into a "formal pope" after many years of his “reign” as a "material pope".
Also, I have not been able to find the Catholic teaching that a heretical "material pope" has the power to appoint cardinals.
Therefore, the "material pope" thesis is nothing more than a meditation about solving a theological problem by means of a questionable method.
I think that the most correct explanation of the Vatican II “material popes'” status was given by Fr. Anthony Cekada - Dead on Arrival
Rev. Anthony Cekada also wrote in his article this: Bergoglio's got hothing to lose
“When it comes to the specific question of electing a man to be pope, theologians apply the principle this way: someone who is severed from the Church through public heresy cannot hold authority within the Church, still less, be its head on earth.
Moreover, canonists state that the invalidating prohibition against electing a heretic is a matter divine law. When treating the requirements for election to the papal office, numerous pre-Vatican II commentaries on the Code of Canon Law lay down just this principle. Thus:
MAROTO: “The Person Elected: … A) The validity of the election, as regards the person elected, depends only upon divine law — in other words, no other impediments except those laid down by divine law, render the election of a Roman Pontiff invalid… Therefore, for the valid election of a Roman Pontiff now it is required and suffices that the person elected be: … c) A member of the Church, for he who does not belong to the Church is considered incapable of possessing jurisdiction, especially ordinary jurisdiction, and cannot actually be the head of that Church. For this reason, infidels and the unbaptized can in no way be validly elected. So too, the divine law itself bars heretics and schismatics from the supreme Pontificate. For although divine law does not regard them as incapable of a type of participation in the Church’s jurisdiction (# 576, A [on supplied jurisdiction]), they must certainly be regarded as excluded from occupying the throne of the Apostolic See, which is the infallible teacher of the truth of the faith and the center of ecclesiastical unity.” (Institutiones I.C., 2:784)
WERNZ-VIDAL: “Those capable of being validly elected are all who are not prohibited by divine law or by an invalidating ecclesiastical law… Those who are barred as incapable of being validly elected are all women, children who have not reached the age of reason; also, those afflicted with habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics, schismatics…” (Jus Canonicum 1:415)”
CORONATA: “III. Appointment of the office of the Primacy. 1. What is required by divine law for this appointment: … Also required for validity is that the appointment be of a member of the Church. Heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are therefore excluded.” (Institutiones 1:312).”
To summarize briefly, one could say that:
- Since Divine Law prevents a public heretic from being validly elected, the “Material Pope Thesis” is therefore false (and useless – added on January 11th 2021);
- Catholics have no obligation to try to change things that do not depend on them; however Catholics are ever obliged to do things that depend on them:
- To lead a good Christian life in accordance with ones state of life;
- To pray constantly, to do penance, and to receive Holy Sacraments, if they have access to them;
- If it is not possible to receive Holy Sacraments, then prayers and daily perfect contrition is usual Catholic practice for such a case;
- Daily Spiritual Communion is great consolation as well;
- Evil must not be done that good may come of it. This is the teaching of Holy Scripture and of the Catholic Church.
Also, His Excellency, Bp. Daniel Dolan says:
"Jesus is our Thesis. To know Him is to adhere to Him, but this is the gift of His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Ask Mary, Spouse of the same Spirit, Mother of the Son, to intercede for you without ceasing, that you may then love Him, which is everything. My God and my All!"
2:19 PM, Jan 9, 2021, Twitter for iPad