1. All men have free will.
2. The individual elected to the papacy is a man and remains a man even after ascending to his office.
3. Therefore the pope has free will.
4. Heresy is an act of the will.
5. Therefore the pope can choose to be a heretic.
6. To claim that “God would not allow” a pope to fall into heresy would mean that a pope no longer has free will.
1. All human persons are subject to prevenient grace, which no human person can resist. (If you’ve never heard of prevenient grace, you aren’t qualified to discuss this theological question on Popes and heresy.)
2. The Pope is a human person, so he is subject to prevenient grace, even after his election to the papacy.
3. Therefore, the Pope’s free will is NOT the only consideration in whether or not the Pope can commit certain types of sins.
4. A papal heresy would be contrary to the indefectibility of the Church; therefore, the prevenient grace of God does not permit it.
5. The Magisterium also teaches that each Pope has a never-failing faith;
6. Since heresy is a failure of faith, which in the Pope would gravely harm the indefectibility of the Church, no Pope is permitted by prevenient grace to teach or commit heresy.
7. Prevenient grace keeps the holy souls in Purgatory from sinning at all, so the same type of grace can certainly keep the Pope from sins that contradict the indefectibility of the Church. The Pope can still sin gravely in personal matters, but not the grave sins of apostasy, heresy, or schism.