If Pope Francis is a heretic, how is he still Pope?

The accusations against Pope Francis have risen to a new high, in response to Fratelli Tutti. The usual suspects have again accused Pope Francis of evil hidden intentions and motivations, of a plot to deliberately destroy the Church and replace it with a one world religion, and, of course, heresy upon heresy.

My view

Pope Francis is accepted as Pope by the body of Bishops; therefore, it is a dogmatic fact that he is the valid successor of Peter and Roman Pontiff. And every successor of Peter has the charism of truth and of never failing faith; therefore, no Pope can teach or commit heresy. In addition, no Pope is permitted by the grace of God to have a secret malicious plan or evil intentions toward the Church. It can never the the case the that Pope wishes to destroy the Church, and God is continually preventing him. Rather, God prevents Popes from even having such intentions or plans by His prevenient grace. So it is never possible for a valid Pope to have the intentions or plans of a freemason or some other persons/group wishing to gravely harm or destroy the true Church.

This is proven by the three-fold Commission of Peter, who is chosen by Christ because he loves the Lord “more than these others”. The Roman Pontiff is prevented by grace from violating this commission by planning or intending to harm the flock of the Lord.

The View of the Papal Accusers

Vigano writes: “In the supernatural order, God’s love for a person is proportional to his state of Grace, that is to the extent to which this soul corresponds to the Gift of God through Faith and works, deserving the eternal reward.” [LifeSiteNews.com]

While we were yet sinner, Christ died for us, out of love. God loved us prior to our conversion, and so He gives us grace to convert. God loved us prior to our prevenient justification, and so He gives us the free unmerited gift of the state of grace. God gives us prevenient actual graces, prior to any holy act on our part. Therefore, God’s love for us does not depend on our faith and works; that is pelagian to its very core. God loves us first, and subsequently, we accept and respond to that love, by grace. So that grace is before, during, and after every good work and every act of faith.

Vigano’s claims are heretical. And his theology is not only in grave error, but also incompetent. The quoted sentence above barely makes any sense, theologically. God is forever unchanging. He is Love by His very Nature. So His love is not proportional to our faith and works, but always far exceeds it.

In a number of places, both Vigano and Schneider make uncharitable assumptions about the meaning of the Pope’s words, giving them the worse possible meaning. So these are strawman arguments.

Freedom of religion was taught by Vatican II, it is taught in the catechism of social doctrine of the Church, it was taught by Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The rejection of this teaching by Vigano and Schneider shows the extent to which they reject the Magisterium. They refuse to be taught by an Ecumenical Council, and multiple Popes, including a Pope-Saint, teaching the same doctrine. They have each placed their own understanding above that of the Church.

The usual reply of the papal accusers is that this has not been taught infallibly. But the faithful are obligated to believe the non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium, especially when taught repeatedly by a Council and successive Popes and many Bishops. It could easily be argued that freedom of religion falls under the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, as it has been taught by the body of Bishops and the successive Popes since Vatican II.

Vigano: “Theorizing an alleged right to error and its diffusion is also an offense to God and a betrayal of the vicarious authority of the Sacred Pastors, which they must exercise for the purpose for which it was established, and not to spread the error and discredit the Church of Christ.”

The problem with Vigano’s position is that he is a heretic for rejecting the teachings of Vatican II, which have been taught also under the OUM. So if there is not right to follow an error, in a sincere but mistaken conscience, then he pleads for his own condemnation.

And the same can be said for the claims of Vigano and Schneider that seem to propose a path of salvation which excludes non-Christian believers. Heretics and schismatics are in the same category, so if Muslims in good conscience are not saved, then neither are Vigano and Schneider saved.

Of course, my opinion is that anyone can be saved by love of neighbor and a sincere but mistaken conscience about religions beliefs. So my view supports the possibility of salvation for the papal accusers, but their own view is one of implicit self-condemnation.

Can a heretic be Pope?

But returning to the title-subject, how can a Pope who is supposedly a heretic be still considered as Pope? You papal accusers must admit that you don’t think that Francis is a valid Pope, and admit therefore that you are schismatics. You cannot claim he is Pope and constantly accuse him, not only of heresy, but of wishing to destroy the one holy Church.


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7 Responses to If Pope Francis is a heretic, how is he still Pope?

  1. Matt says:

    Pope Francis received heavy criticism yesterday for posting the following on Twitter:

    ‘Let us dream, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.’

    The most common criticism is that we are not children to earth but children of God. Also another response is that earth is not our home, but earth is our ship, and Heaven is our ultimate home.

    I believe that Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ and that we humble ourselves to the teachings of the Church.

    • Ron Conte says:

      We are all made of dust from the earth. Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return. So our bodies are of the earth, and our souls are directly created by God.

  2. Some of the Pope critics create a false dichotomy. It is not either or, but it is both and. Of course we are children of God, but we also call this earth our “mother”. Of course we are called to Heaven as our final destination, but we also live in this earth now (the Militant Church), so we can call this earth our home. When the Pope says that we are children of the same earth, he is NOT saying that God is not our Father or that “we are not His children”. Papal accusers are like snipers looking at anything that the Pope may say in order to attack him like piranhas, to interpret his word with malice, or to interpret his words the worst possible way, not as the Catechism teaches that we should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way (CCC 2477, 2478).

  3. TomO says:

    I won’t speak of Pope Francis … but I will say that Pope Honorius I, along with Sergius I, Patriarch of Constantinople and four other bishops, were all convicted of the monothelite heresy by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Third Council of Constantinople) held from 680-681 AD.

    This was over 3 decades after Honorius’ death, so the condemnation was retroactive / after the fact.

    Be that as it may … you can’t maintain these two positions simultaneously (i.e., that a Pope can’t teach error even when not speaking ex cathedra … while maintaining also that “every teaching of every Ecumenical Council is infallible” as you did in your post Fr. Chad Ripperger accuses Saint Peter, citing Robert Bellarmine).

    A more accurate (and perhaps “nuanced”, though I recoil to use the term as it sounds so ‘Jesuitous’) understanding of Papal infallibility, as well as Ecumenical Councils, may be in order.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Popes can err in their teachings. I do not hold that Popes are always without error. Infallible papal teachings cannot err at all. Non-infallible papal teachings cannot err gravely. Teachings of Ecumenical Councils on faith and morals are infallible.

      The Sixth Ecumenical Council’s attempted condemnation of Honorius was first prevented by Pope Saint Agatho, who instructed the Council that Popes cannot lead the Church astray, and by Pope Saint Leo II, who changed the charge against Honorius to negligence in the very document approving of the Council’s teaching. Only those decisions of a Council approved by the Roman Pontiff are truly of the Council, so the Council did not condemn Honorius.

  4. James Newlin says:

    Vatican II created a new church. Francis denies hell. Francis prays with Muslims, Jews, and heretics. This is all heresy and apostasy. To say he’s the pope because a world full of apostate lukewarm people follow him is nonsense. Most of the “bishops” in the Conciliar Church support homosexual relationships and believe in universal salvation. To be a Catholic, you cannot pick and choose. St Pius X noted that Modernists were already all throughout the church in 1907. By 1960, the Catholic Church was filled with heretics. Just because someone steps into a building labeled “Catholic Church” doesn’t mean they’re in the church. Most “Catholics” don’t believe the Real Presence, which is heresy, and none of those people are in the Catholic Church due to their verbal denial of the truth.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Bellarmine: “A general Council represents the universal Church, and hence has the consensus of the universal Church; therefore, if the Church cannot err, neither can a legitimate and approved Ecumenical Council err.”

      Bellarmine: “It must be held with Catholic faith that general Councils confirmed by the Supreme Pontiff can neither err in faith nor morals.”

      Ludwig Ott, The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma: “It has been the constant teaching of the Catholic Church from the earliest times that the teachings of the General Councils are infallible.”

      Vatican II did not create a new Church, it taught the truth with greater insights than you yourself possess. Often, when the Church holds an Ecumenical Council, there are Catholics who refuse to believe and they break away from the Church. That’s you. The body of Bishops led by the Popes did not defect from the true faith; the Church is indefectible, and She is founded on the successors of Peter and the successors of the other Apostles. You are the one who has defected. You are a heretic and schismatic. And what does the pre-Vatican II Church say about heretics and schismatics? Francis did not deny Hell. There are several quotes from his preaching asserting that some persons go to Hell.

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