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Is a Pope Who Falls Into Heresy Deprived of the Pontificate?

Is a Pope Who Falls Into Heresy Deprived of the Pontificate?

466. Q. Is a Pope who falls into heresy deprived, ipso jure, of the Pontificate?

A. - 1. There are two opinions: one holds that he is, by virtue of divine appointment, divested, ipso facto, of the Pontificate; the other, that he is, jure divino, only removable. Both opinions agree70 that he must at least be declared guilty of heresy by the Church - i.e., by an oecumenical council or the College of Cardinals. 2. The question is hypothetical rather than practical.71 For although, according to the more probable opinion, the Pope may fall into heresy and err in matters of faith, as a private person,72 yet it is also universally admitted that no Pope ever did fall into heresy,73 even as a private doctor.

70 Craiss., n. 682.
71 Phillips, Kirchenr., vol. i., pp. 277, 274.
72 lb., p. 277.
73 Ferraris, 1. c., n. 62-66. Genuae, 1768.


ELEMENTS OF ECCLESIASTICAL LAW
COMPILED WITH REFERENCE TO
THE SYLLABUS, THE "CONST. APOSTOLICAE SEDIS" OF POPE PIUS IX.
THE COUNCIL OF THE VATICAN AND
THE LATEST DECISIONS OF THE ROMAN CONGREGATIONS.
BY REV. S. B. SMITH. D.D.,
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF CANON LAW, AUTHOR OF "NOTES," etc., etc.
FOURTH EDITION, REVISED ACCORDING TO THE ANIMADVERSIONS OF
THE ROMAN CONSULTORS APPOINTED BY
THE CARDINAL PREFECT OF THE PROPAGANDA.
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, ST. LOUIS, AND EINSIEDELN:
BENZIGER BROTHERS,
PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE.
1881
Nihil Obstat: Rev. S. G. MESSMER, S.T.P., Censor Deputatus.
Imprimatur: JOANNES CARD. McCLOSKEY, Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis.
Datum Neo-Eboraci, Die 25 Martii, 1877.
Copyrighted, 1877, by Benziger Brothers.
p. 210

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