Response to the Protest against Idolatry part 1

The name of the document is Contra Recentia Sacrilegia (Protest against Pope Francis’s sacrilegious acts). The accusation is essentially idolatry, not merely or only the lesser but still grave offense of sacrilege. This article responds to the claims.

A. Dogmatic Proof to the Contrary

It is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, confirmed by the First Vatican Council and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, as proven here: The Roman Pontiff: Immunity from Error and Never-failing Faith that each valid Roman Pontiff has the gifts of truth (immunity from grave error) and a never-failing faith. That is dogma. If you don’t believe dogma, then you are a heretic.

Vatican I dogma: “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, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine.”

It is a required belief of the Catholic faith that each Pope has the gift of truth (which in other magisterial documents is described as immunity from error and similar expressions) and the gift of a never-failing faith. Therefore, no Pope can commit idolatry, or apostasy, or heresy, nor any other substantial failures of faith. And according to Vatican I, this is because Christ founded the Church on Peter as on a Rock (Mt 16:18), and because Jesus prayed for Peter and his successors that their faith would never fail (Lk 22:32). This is the dogmatic interpretation of divine revelation of the Vatican Council, and is required belief under pain of heresy.

Vatican I dogma: “Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false…. Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth.”

So it is not a “fact” that Francis committed any act of idolatry or apostasy or heresy. Assuming that your claims are facts is circular reasoning. Neither is it a fact that past Popes failed in faith in any substantial way. Such alleged facts are contrary to dogma, just as certain claims of scientific and historical fact are contrary to dogma, Scripture, and magisterial teaching. We cannot accept as alleged fact, anything contrary to dogma.

Therefore, we faithful Catholics are absolutely bound by the theological virtue of faith and the dogma of Vatican I to DEFEND Pope Francis as innocent of idolatry, apostasy, and heresy, as well as any grave errors on doctrine and discipline, and to believe that he could never be guilty, as the prevenient grace of God absolutely protects the Church by preventing Popes from failing in faith and from making grave errors. All claimed historical or present-day facts to the contrary only “wear the deceptive appearance of truth”.

1. “We the undersigned Catholic clergy and lay scholars…”

The original 95 signatories include 21 priests, 2 deacons, and the other 72 are lay persons. Many of the lay signatories are not scholars of religion. The signers include scholars with degrees in unrelated subjects, physicians, journalists, psychologists, persons with degrees in secular law, two co-founders of a website (including one calling herself a “consecrated laywoman”), politicians, and “Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis, Regensburg, Germany” (literally, a princess).

Some of the signatories have credentials that are unclear. Some signatories have “Dr” before their name without any indication that they have a medical degree or a doctorate. Three signatories edit or founded a website. One is the headmaster of a Catholic K-12 school. Others are book authors or editors of magazines.

Very few of the lay signatories have a doctorate in Catholic theology. A few have lesser degrees in theology. The vast majority are especially unqualified to judge whether a Roman Pontiff has committed any grave offense against religion as they have no formal training in theology at all.

As for the priests and deacons, they are each and all violating their vow of obedience by standing in judgment over the Roman Pontiff. A priest or deacon who accused his own Bishop of sacrilege or idolatry would be suspended and perhaps eventually laicized. To accuse the Pope of such a grave sin far exceeds the role given to priests and deacons.

Bishops and Cardinals are absent from the list of original signatories. Archbishop Vigano added his name the next day. Bishop Robert Mutsaerts, auxiliary bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, added his name on the 13th of November.

The expression “lay scholars” is dishonest, as most of the lay signatories are not scholars of theology, and therefore not fit to judge whether an external act is a grave sin. Moreover, as Canon law states:

Canon Law 1404: “The First See is judged by no one”

Yet these mostly unqualified signatories have judged the first see, that is, the Pope. They have judged and condemned, without the basic qualifications needed to judge even a general or hypothetical case. And this is shown also by the absence of any reference to Catholic teaching, other than a reference to the First Commandment. They do not evaluate the acts in question based on the three fonts of morality, which is the teaching of the Church. They do not consider whether the acts are intrinsically evil. And they do not offer a theological argument, but only state their judgment as if it were obvious, when it is not (as will be explained below).

They are unqualified persons judging with incompetence and without authority and contrary to canon law.

2. “…protest against and condemn the sacrilegious and superstitious acts committed by Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, in connection with the recent Amazon Synod held in Rome.”

They call Pope Francis “the Successor of Peter”, indicating that they believe him to be a valid Roman Pontiff. This claim is problematic. As the protest document continues, we find out that Pope Francis is actually accused of idolatry, not mere sacrilege or superstition. And idolatry implies heresy and in most cases apostasy. Worshipping an idol implies a rejection of Christianity, and of course it implies acceptance of grave doctrinal error to the extent of heresy. So if the protest’s accusations were true, the Pope would be automatically excommunicated and no longer Pope. So the protest contradicts itself by accusing him of canonical crimes which carry the penalty of automatic excommunication, while acknowledging him as Pope.

In addition, the dogma of Vatican I — utterly rejected by all the papal accusers, thereby proving they are heretics — is that every Pope has the gift of truth (called immunity from error in other magisterial documents) and a never-failing faith. So by accusing the Pope of this grave failure of faith, they imply that this dogma is false. No Successor of Peter can fail in faith, because Christ guarantees their faith by the prevenient grace of God.

{22:32} But I have prayed for you, so that your faith may not fail, and so that you, once converted, may confirm your brothers.”

3. “These sacrilegious acts are the following: On October 4, Pope Francis attended an act of idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess Pachamama.”

The act described is not mere sacrilege, but is allegedly an act of idolatry, of the worship of a false god. And idolatry is a very substantial, even total failure of faith. This claim is itself heretical, as it contradicts the dogma of Vatican I. None of the papal accusers even address this point, because their claims against the Pope are devoid of theological argument and fundamentally not based on Catholic teaching. Instead, the accusations are based on baseless opinion, the majority view of conservatives (including many who reject Vatican II and other Popes aside from Francis), and mere appearances.

The claim that Pope Francis engaged in an act of worship is unsubstantiated. It is stated as if fact, without evidence or explanation.

Read the description of the event by Catholic News Service here: 10.4.2019 10:42 AM ET. Pope Francis attended what was said to be a tree planting ceremony. Now from other sources, it appears that some of the Amazonian participants acted as if it were a pagan ceremony. But this was clearly a surprise to the Pope.

“Instead of the brief prepared remarks he was scheduled to deliver after the tree was planted, however, he simply prayed the Our Father and left in a car. The ceremony ended abruptly without the planned closing prayer and song.”

He seemed disturbed by events as they actually unfolded. He cast aside his prepared remarks, said an Our Father, as one does in the face of evil, and then quickly left. It is readily apparent that he was misinformed about the nature of the event. He subsequently condemned idolatry in no uncertain terms.

Subsequent to the tree planting ceremony of Oct 4 and the use of Amazonian cultural symbols in a church on Oct 7, both events were criticized by the conservative Catholic subculture. Pope Francis replied in the course of a number of addresses or homilies subsequently, speaking repeatedly against idolatry.

“During the Assembly, the discourses of Peter and James — “pillars” of the Mother Church — are decisive (cf. Acts 15:7-21; Gal 2:9). They exhort not imposing circumcision on the Gentiles but, instead, asking them only to reject idolatry and all its expressions.” [23 Oct 2019]

Here [Paul] the Apostle’s “spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16). However rather than avoid this “collision” with paganism it spurs him to create a bridge to converse with that culture…. [Paul] proclaims Jesus Christ to the idol worshippers, and he does not do so by attacking them, but by making himself “a Pope, a builder of bridges” [6 Nov 2019]

Pope Francis also spoke against idolatry many times in his Pontificate: Google Search of

Read this early talk from the holy Pontiff against idolatry:

Pope Francis asked the faithful to seek out “the idols hidden in the many recesses in our personality” and to “chase away the idol of worldliness that makes us enemies of God”, in his homily at Mass on Thursday morning, 6 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Pope Francis considers it is the spirit of the world that cunningly entices us to idolatry. “I am sure”, he said, that “none of us stands before a tree to worship it as an idol”, that “none of us keeps statues to adore at home”. But “idolatry is subtle; we have our hidden idols and the road through life to arrive at the kingdom of God, to be near it, entails unearthing hidden idols”. How can we unmask these idols? The Pope said they are those that make us do the opposite of what the commandment says. “The road of love for God… is a road of love, a road of faithfulness”. [6 June 2013]

Notice that Pope Francis has condemned idolizing trees (implying a rejection of the idolatry of anything in nature or nature itself) and idolizing statues. Yet we know that Christianity uses the Christmas tree, taken from paganism, and many statues, not only of Saints, but of the animals and shepherds present at the Nativity, for example. Clearly, he did not worship any type of tree or pachamama statue, but saw these as only symbols of nature and of Amazonian culture. For Christianity has incorporated many elements of pagan worship into the true Catholic Christian faith. But we do not adore those elements, but only use them with faith in God alone.

Pope Francis began: “The Lord has told us that the first commandment is to adore God, to love God. The second is to love our neighbour as ourselves. The liturgy today speaks to us about two vices that oppose them … idolatry and hypocrisy”. [15 October 2013]

Pope Francis is not an idolater, as is clear from his own long-standing teachings.

Pope Francis: “We have heard the first commandment of the Decalogue: “You shall have no other Gods before me” (Ex 20:3). It is good to pause on the theme of idolatry which is significant and timely.

The commandment bans us from setting up idols[1] or images[2] of any kind of reality[3]. Indeed, everything can be used as an idol. We are speaking about a human tendency that involves both believers and atheists. For example, we Christians can ask ourselves: who is truly my God? Is it the One and Triune Love or is it my image, my personal success, perhaps even within the Church? “Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2113).” [1 Aug 2018]

What are the popular idols of secular society? Money, fame, power, sex, elements of vanity, etc. But there are also idols which tempt Catholics and which seem to be within the Church. We must not divinize and idolize our true holy religion. Worship only God. We must not idolize traditionalism, or the Latin Mass, or one’s preferred elements of liturgical form, or a particular Saint or devotion, or our own understanding of the faith, or the conservative Catholic subculture. Many of the papal critics, ironically, idolize these things. And then they accuse the Vicar of Christ, falsely, of idolatry.

4. “He allowed this worship to take place in the Vatican Gardens, thus desecrating the vicinity of the graves of the martyrs and of the church of the Apostle Peter. He participated in this act of idolatrous worship by blessing a wooden image of Pachamama. On October 7, the idol of Pachamama was placed in front of the main altar at St. Peter’s and then carried in procession to the Synod Hall. Pope Francis said prayers in a ceremony involving this image and then joined in this procession.”

The Protest document has not proven any of these accusations, but merely states them as if fact. Also, again see that the real accusation is of false worship (idolatry), not merely sacrilege or superstition, as the Protest claims in its title.

Pope Francis did not “allow” this worship. He was obviously there to attend a tree planting ceremony. There are photos of him using a shovel to help plant the tree. So he cannot be faulted for the actions of others, especially since his behavior (leaving without making prepared remarks, and without the closing prayer and song) indicate his rejection of those actions.

There’s no such thing as desecrating a vicinity. If you do something across the street from a church, you have no desecrated the church (even if you sinned in some way).

And his blessing of a figurine was not a participation in idolatrous worship. Popes, Bishops, and priests bless many things. Priests sometimes bless pets, motorcycles, Halloween costumes, and other objects, not only holy objects. The Blessed Virgin Mary asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, and a consecration is greater than a blessing. Yet Russia at the time was Communist. So a pachamama figure can be blessed without it being idolatry. The Pope even stated publicly he had no idolatrous intentions with regard to this figure.

The use of objects and symbols at Mass is not unusual. It does not imply that such objects are being worshipped.

This accusation against the Pope violates Christian charity by giving the most extreme wicked interpretation of everything the Pope says and does. This indicates that the accusers lack Christian charity. The accusation also violates the dogma of Vatican I, showing that the accusers lack faith.

5. “When wooden images of this pagan deity were removed from the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, where they had been sacrilegiously placed, and thrown into the Tiber by Catholics outraged by this profanation of the church, Pope Francis, on October 25, apologized for their removal and another wooden image of Pachamama was returned to the church. Thus, a new profanation was initiated. On October 27, in the closing Mass for the synod, he accepted a bowl used in the idolatrous worship of Pachamama and placed it on the altar.”

The reply here is the same as above.

And it is circular reasoning. They assert the accusation and assume it is true. It becomes its own justification. “Look, he did it again!” No proof that these acts are idolatrous, and no review of magisterial teaching as in this article: The Roman Pontiff: Immunity from Error and Never-failing Faith.

Placing an object on an altar does not indicate worship. Many objects are placed on an altar during Mass. None of these are worshipped except the Eucharist, which is Christ.

Recall the song on Good Friday used when approaching the Cross for veneration (not adoration). “Behold, behold, the wood of the cross, on which is hung our Salvation; O come, let us adore.” But we do not adore the wood of the cross, but the Person who is our Salvation on the Cross. Thus the cross is an object of veneration, not worship. Many objects are used at Mass, with various symbolic value, greater or lesser. That is not worship.

6. “Pope Francis himself confirmed that these wooden images were pagan idols. In his apology for the removal of these idols from a Catholic church, he specifically called them Pachamama, a name for a false goddess of mother earth according to pagan religious belief in South America.”

No, he did not. All he did was use the term Pachamama, and state clearly that there was no idolatrous intention. So that is not a confirmation, but a refutation. He did not say “these are pagan idols”, nor did he say “worship them”. Rather, he clearly stated this was not the false worship of idolatry. And he many times spoke against idolatry, as proven above.

Churches have many statues and figures and images in them. Before and after Christmas, there will be a nativity scene with not only Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, but also shepherds and figurines of animals. That is also not worship. The mere presence in a church of a figure of a pachamama, which many persons see only as a symbol of “mother earth” and not a goddess, does not indicate idolatry.

Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Saint Francis of Assisi all referred to “mother earth”. Were they guilty of idolatry too?

7. “Different features of these proceedings have been condemned as idolatrous or sacrilegious by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop José Luis Azcona Hermoso, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, and Bishop Marian Eleganti. Lastly, Card. Raymond Burke has given the same assessment of this cult in an interview.”

The aforementioned Cardinals and Bishops have ZERO authority to judge the words and deeds of the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, the Rock on which the Church is founded. The Church is not founded on the many grains of sand who cry out against any ideas which offend against their inner worship of themselves and against their outer worship of the conservative Catholic subculture. The Church is founded on Peter and his successors, each one of them, as on successive unbreakable Rocks.

8. The claims about “Human Fraternity” will be addressed in a later article, as this subject is also lengthy.

9. “The rendering of worship to anyone or anything other than the one true God, the Blessed Trinity, is a violation of the First Commandment. Absolutely all participation in any form of the veneration of idols is condemned by this Commandment and is an objectively grave sin, independently of the subjective culpability, that only God can judge.”

It is a violation of the First Commandment, but you signatories are the ones committing that sin, not the Roman Pontiff. The prevenient grace of God protects each and every Successor of Peter — which you all admit Francis is — from failures of faith, just as Vatican I taught. And the body of Bishops is also so protected, though only as a body, as Jesus taught in the last part of Lk 22:32. The Pope confirms his brother Bishops in the faith. But the prevenient grace of God does not protect individual Cardinals and Bishops, such as are listed above. Since the body of Bishops has supported Pope Francis, and has refused to accuse him of any failure of faith and has ever accepted Francis as the one true valid Roman Pontiff, he cannot be guilty and he cannot be an invalid or no longer valid Pope. For the Church is indefectible. Neither the body, nor the head, nor both together can defect by idolatry, apostasy, heresy, schism, nor by the body accepting an invalid or no longer valid Pope.

Also, no valid Pope can lose his validity, since his faith cannot fail.

To Be Continued…

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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8 Responses to Response to the Protest against Idolatry part 1

  1. Alex says:

    to the usual arguments about idolatry and the different “gods” of the Bible time, we should add the new scientific and archaeological research presented well in the History Channel serials Ancient Aliens. Megalithic structures of the past that cannot appear in the time and place where they are, if they were built by local civilizations (in Latin America, Giza Egypt, and many others). Ancient books from different peoples could be reviewed today as speaking of extraterrestrial footprint rather than “gods”. Today’s Jewish scholars who cannot be accused of idolatry, do not reject anymore the Sumer books rather accept them as historic knowledge. One could easily find online that topics like Planet X are no more a taboo for the orthodox rabbis who rather try to decode the same knowledge within the codes of the Bible.

    Saying that, the current accusations of idolatry are not only untrue and aimed at hurting the personality of the pope-reformer, but also they are very, illiterate. And because the leaders of the new ultraconservative cult are not stupid people, that means those false accusations are used intentionally for waging an attack that couldn’t be successful on its target (the pope) except for shaping the already deluded mind of their own illiterate followers (ref. burning of books in middle ages). And maybe preparing the stage of a separate conclave because they would never win a canonical one.

    I’d like to hear the accusers’ views on, let say, Thor the Viking hero who became a popular film star in the last years. Was Thor a non-existent imaginary personage from the sagas? Was he “god” and worthy of demonization? Did Thor say anything against Jesus,according to the sagas? Or was he a human historical personage with great achievements among the Vikings? Or was he extraterrestrial as the film industry today shows him? Questions that cannot be just skipped with the usual demonization of everything beyond earth that is not explicitly God or Angel. And we have quite much said in the Bible about the Angels, starting with Ezekiel 1, that puts more questions than answers. The answers for the angels that we have from the books that are not dogmas are irreversibly outdated. I don’t remember any dogma about that. The jewish scholars already openly question the existence of wings of angels. Something that the holy pope Benedict also said in his book, weeks before he resigned. His resignation shocked the catholics so much that they completely forgot to talk about his book. Maybe its timing was carefully chosen. The angels do not have wings, he said. Therefore, how did they fly? And that opens a wide range of questions that frankly I wonder why there aren’t whole institutes to answer them by now. Pope Benedict said many other things, much more “heretical” than the words of pope Francis…for whoever has ears to hear.

    In that view, pachamama is just hilarious story to divert the deluded minds as farther away into fanaticism as possible.

  2. sircliges says:

    I think you flew into ultra-montanism. You say that Pope cannot err by Vat I dogma. I think this is a misinterpretation of Vat I. Let me quote a book about relation of bishop Gasser, who was the secretary of the Council:

    «Before completing his general relatio and turning to the suggested corrections to the Draft, Gasser considers one last charge of those opposed to the Draft, viz., that it is simply “canonizing” the most extreme pro-papal opinions of one school of theology, that of Albert Pighius. Albert Pighius (Pigge) was a Dutch theologian (c.1490-1542) and a strong defender of papal infallibility in a sometimes exaggerated form. He is generally understood to have defended the thesis that the Pope, even as a private person, was incapable of falling into heresy. Using Robert Bellarmine as a source, Gasser maintains that this is a probable and pious opinion, but it is not this opinion that the Draft proposes to define since Gasser has been at pains to stress that the Draft is treating the Pope in his role as public person, supreme teacher of the Church, when he defines doctrine of faith or morals for the entire Church, a position Bellarmine held as “common and certain”.»


    «Note well. It is asked in what sense the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is absolute. I reply and openly admit: in no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, Who is the first and essential truth and Who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions. What those conditions may be should be deduced not a priori but from the very promise or manifestation of the will of Christ. Now what follows from the promise of Christ, made to Peter and his successors, as far as these conditions are concerned? He promised Peter the gift of inerrancy in Peter’s relation to the Universal Church: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep” (see Jn 21:13-17). Peter, placed outside this relation to the universal Church, does not enjoy in his successors this charism of truth which comes from that certain promise of Christ. Therefore, in reality, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is restricted by reason of the subject, that is when the Pope, constituted in the chair of Peter, the center of the Church, speaks as universal teacher and supreme judge: it is restricted by reason of the object, i.e., when treating of matters of faith and morals; and by reason of the act itself, i.e., when the Pope defines what must be believed or rejected by all the faithful.27 Nevertheless, some of the most reverend Fathers, not content with these conditions, go farther and even want to put into this constitution conditions which are found in different ways in different theological treatises and which concern the good faith and diligence of the Pontiff in searching out and enunciating the truth. However, these things, since they concern the conscience of the Pontiff rather than his relation [to the Church], must be considered as touching on the moral order rather than the dogmatic order. For with great care Our Lord Jesus Christ willed that the charism of truth depend not on the conscience of the Pontiff, which is private—even most private—to each person, and known to God alone, but rather on the public relation of the Pontiff to the universal Church. If it were otherwise, this gift of infallibility would not be an effective means for preserving and repairing the unity of the Church. But in no way, therefore, should it be feared that the universal Church could be led into error about faith through the bad faith and negligence of the Pontiff. For the protection of Christ and the divine assistance promised to the successors of Peter is a cause so efficacious that the judgment of the Supreme Pontiff would be impeded if it were to be erroneous and destructive of the Church; or, if in fact the Pontiff really arrives at a definition, it will truly stand infallibly.»

    Please, publish this comment. Don’t ban me.

    • Ron Conte says:

      You cannot negate the definitive teaching of an Ecumenical Council with the claims of a single Bishop, regardless of his role. What Vatican I taught is what the Church teaches, and the meaning is clear from past teachings on the same subject here:
      As I said before, I’m not going to continue letting you post this repeated attacks on the Papacy. See Mt 16:18 and Lk 22:32.

    • sircliges says:

      Please let me tell that I don’t want attack the Papacy. Not at all. I think that the true meaning of the dogma is different from your interpretation. Gasser is a reliable source.

    • Ron Conte says:

      We cannot place Gasser above the First Vatican Council, just as we cannot put Bishop Athanasius Schneider or Cardinal Burke above the Pope.

    • sircliges says:

      But Gasser is more accredited than you for interpretation of Vat 1.

      I do not place Gasser above Vat 1.
      I do place Gasser’s interpretation of Vat 1 above yours interpretation of Vat 1.

      Can you explain us what is the difference between your thinking and Pigge’s ultra-montanism?

    • Ron Conte says:

      It is as if you are saying that no one can understand the dogmas of any Council, so we are left only with interpretations which are opinion. Dogmas then are as if unreachable to reason. That is a serious error. Believe what Vatican I taught. Period.

      The Relatio of Vatican I says this:
      “As far as the doctrine set forth in the Draft goes, the Deputation is unjustly accused of wanting to raise an extreme opinion, viz., that of Albert Pighius, to the dignity of a dogma. For the opinion of Albert Pighius, which Bellarmine indeed calls pious and probable, was that the Pope, as an individual person or a private teacher, was able to err from a type of ignorance but was never able to fall into heresy or teach heresy. To say nothing of the other points, let me say that this is clear from the very words of Bellarmine, both in the citation made by the reverend speaker and also from Bellarmine himself who, in book 4, chapter VI, pronounces on the opinion of Pighius in the following words: “It can be believed probably and piously that the supreme Pontiff is not only not able to err as Pontiff but that even as a particular person he is not able to be heretical, by pertinaciously believing something contrary to the faith.” From this, it appears that the doctrine in the proposed chapter is not that of Albert Pighius or the extreme opinion of any school, but rather that it is one and the same which Bellarmine teaches in the place cited by the reverend speaker and which Bellarmine adduces in the fourth place and calls most certain and assured, or rather, correcting himself, the most common and certain opinion.”

      See that the opinion of Pighius was on this point the same as Bellarmine, and that the Council intended to raise it “to the dignity of a dogma”, namely, “that the supreme Pontiff is not only not able to err as Pontiff but that even as a particular person he is not able to be heretical, by pertinaciously believing something contrary to the faith.” So that is not one of the more extreme opinions of Pighius (or Pigghe) but one of the points where he and Bellarmine agreed.

  3. Alex says:

    I think many true believers have serious problem with basic level of science, and also with basic logical thinking, and therefore they cannot discern something obvious. They do not have to be Einsteins, but at least they should listen to comprehensive authority, be it religious, scientific, or political. (and I do not want to enter into what disaster that brings into the political arena).

    Pachamama wooden statue cannot speak and does not posses any supernatural characteristics, despite some tribes to believe otherwise. It is a logical rational thinking. It is a matter of FACT. However many of the most devote people just don’t get it, because they don’t have that kind of thinking and basic knowledge. And on top of that, they put themselves in an open war with the pope and thus reject his every word, be it about pachamama, about the climate change, about the social justice, or the death penalty. Everything. It is theoretically impossible pope Francis to be so much wrong, exactly because he is human prone to human errors (not as in position of papal authority), The way everyone is wrong for something, the same way everyone is right for something else. Not the pope though, according to the ultraconservatives. They also wage the war on personal level against everyone who dares to say the earth is round, and unfortunately I personally experienced their ire.

    Earth is round? Not for them! Flat earth theory is not new (actually once official theory). What is surprising is today’s CNN gives a large report on flat earthers and their conferences.
    One in six americans doesn’t believe the earth is round. You guess who they are! In a forum of ultraconservative catholics they fiercely defended the flat earth theory, using all kind of “theology arguments” and only the mod intervention stopped that absurdity. I guess their arguments would be welcome in the process against Galileo.

    I say that to explain it is very hard for some people to grasp the reality they are living in, and not to discover devils in every corner and especially in the people who think different than their very, very limited frames of mind.

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