What if Pope Francis said something like, “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen,” or “if Christ has not risen, then your faith is in vain,” or “if the dead do not rise again, then neither has Christ risen again.” ?? I’m sure he’d be accused of heresy and all manner of negative rhetoric would be heaped upon his head. But those quotes are from 1 Corinthians 15, in Sacred Scripture. People are too quick to give Pope Francis’ words an uncharitable interpretation.
Heresy is obstinate doubt or obstinate denial after baptism of a truth to be believed with divine and catholic faith. A passing remark to the press, an off-the-cuff assertion to someone meeting with the Pope simply cannot be obstinate and so it cannot be heresy.
In addition, it is a teaching of the Magisterium that the faith of the Pope can never fail.
Pope St Agatho “For Peter himself received from the Redeemer of all, by three commendations, the duty of feeding the spiritual sheep of the Church. Under his protecting shield, this Apostolic Church of his has never turned away from the path of truth in any direction of error.” [Letter to the 6th Ecumenical Council]
Pope St. Leo IX “As the hinge while remaining immovable opens and closes the door, so Peter and his successors have free judgment over all the Church, since no one should remove their status because ‘the highest See is judged by no one.'” Denzinger 353
Pope St. Leo IX [From the epistle “In terra pax hominibus” Sept 2, 1053] “By passing a preceding judgment on the great See, concerning which it is not permitted any man to pass judgment, you have received anathema from all the Fathers of all the venerable Councils….” Denzinger 352
Pope St. Nicholas I, Epistle “Proposueramus quidem” (AD 865) “Neither by Augustus [i.e. the emperor], nor by all the clergy, nor by religious, nor by the people will the judge be judged…. The First See will not be judged by anyone.” Denzinger 330
Pope St. Nicholas I “If anyone condemns dogmas, mandates, interdicts, sanctions, or decrees, promulgated by the one presiding in the Apostolic See, for the Catholic faith, for the correction of the faithful, for the emendation of criminals…let him be anathema.” Denzinger 326
Vatican I: “This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all….”