What I mean by that title is that the criteria for a statement to fall under Papal Infallibility (PI) do not include an opportunity for the faithful to evaluate the statement, decide if it is true or false, material dogma or heresy, and then, only if it is decided to be true material dogma would it be accepted.
Material dogma is all the truths on faith and morals taught by Tradition and Scripture. Formal dogma is when the Magisterium in fallibly confirms material dogma. Truths that are implicit in Tradition or Scripture can also become formal dogma.
So if a statement meets all 5 criteria:
1. the Pope
2. speaking ex cathedra (narrow sense), speaking as supreme teacher of the Church
3. defines a doctrine (definitively teaches)
4. on faith or morals
5. binding on the whole Church
then the statement is a formal dogma of the papal magisterium and requires the full assent of faith; the refusal to assent is heresy, and the penalty is automatic excommunication.
The first criterion is that the teaching come from the Roman Pontiff, not merely from a dicastery of the Holy See approved by the Pope. He doesn’t have to write the document, but it has to be issued by him. If the Pope were not the valid Pope, then it would not fall under PI.
If Pope Francis uses PI in his next encyclical, claimed by an Italian Bishop to be on Human Fraternity, then his critics will not accept the teaching, as they are filled with pride and already have rejected the Magisterium as Teacher. So they will try to claim that some of the criteria are not met. But as experts weigh in and each criterion is confirmed (not that this is necessarily to PI), they will be left with nothing by the claim that Francis is not a valid Pope. And denying his validity makes them sedevacantists and excommunicates them.
The Church will become smaller and holier over the next several years. Hold fast to each Roman Pontiff and to the body of Bishops; believe whatever the Magisterium teaches, even if it is difficult or contrary to your own understanding. That is Faith. Do not follow the arrogant into Hell.
If a pope did the following:
1. compared the Holy Eucharist to a nuclear chain reaction,
2. compared the Holy Eucharist to a biological mutation,
3. said the beast of revelation is a political military power,
4. said the angels on Jesus’ birth didn’t sing songs and didn’t have wings,
5. said humans could theoretically live for several hundred years thanks to the modern medicine,
6. defended the planet earth, the ecology etc. in no less strong terms than pope Francis does,
7. promoted the idea of supranational authority under the UN to control and tax the multinational corporations and redistribute that wealth to the poor…
Will therefore the ultra conservatives accuse him of heresy?
The pope who said all of that and much more, wasn’t pope Francis but his predecessor Benedict.
Why none of the accusers of pope Francis related to “pachamama” episode does ever mention that St John Paul II praised “pachamama” as some kind of understanding of primitive nations of truths that they didn’t reach to yet? (please read his exact words that now I cannot search for). John Paul II wasn’t called heretic or idolatrous, neither during his lifetime (when he was still not canonized of course), nor now.
It seems to me that the people around Vigano apply a heavy DOUBLE STANDARD when they determine who is a heretic, solely based on their church-politics at the moment. Because if they were honest to their “deep rooted in traditions authentic catholic teaching” in the meaning they declare those positions today regarding pope Francis, they should accuse the previous two popes the same way. Sadly, because all that is not politics. That is the Church of Jesus Christ that has to continue further, after the physical death of the current ultra conservative prelates. Something that they apparently have no concern about.