The Formula of Pope Saint Hormisdas

Pope Saint Hormisdas (514-23)

Note: this teaching was adopted by the First Vatican Council, making it dogma that the Apostolic See is unblemished (or unsullied) by any [grave] error.

“The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.

“For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.

“From this hope and faith we by no means desire to be separated and, following the doctrine of the Fathers, we declare anathema all heresies, and, especially, the heretic Nestorius, former bishop of Constantinople, who was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, by Blessed Celestine, bishop of Rome, and by the venerable Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. We likewise condemn and declare to be anathema Eutyches and Dioscoros of Alexandria, who were condemned in the holy Council of Chalcedon, which we follow and endorse. This Council followed the holy Council of Nicaea and preached the apostolic faith. And we condemn the assassin Timothy, surnamed Aelurus [‘the Cat’] and also Peter [Mongos] of Alexandria, his disciple and follower in everything. We also declare anathema their helper and follower, Acacius of Constantinople, a bishop once condemned by the Apostolic See, and all those who remain in contact and company with them. Because this Acacius joined himself to their communion, he deserved to receive a judgment of condemnation similar to theirs. Furthermore, we condemn Peter [‘the Fuller’] of Antioch with all his followers together together with the followers of all those mentioned above.

“Following, as we have said before, the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions, we endorse and approve all the letters which Pope St Leo wrote concerning the Christian religion. And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries. But if I attempt even the least deviation from my profession, I admit that, according to my own declaration, I am an accomplice to those whom I have condemned. I have signed this, my profession, with my own hand, and I have directed it to you, Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of Rome.”

My Comments: This particular promise at the end of the formula —

“I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries. But if I attempt even the least deviation from my profession, I admit that, according to my own declaration, I am an accomplice to those whom I have condemned.”

— very clearly condemns those who accuse Pope Francis (and other Popes) of heresy, idolatry, and even apostasy. For they are not in agreement with the Apostolic See. They reject the teaching that the Apostolic See is unblemished or unsullied by any error (meaning grave error). And those Catholics who support the papal accusers are, just as the formula says, an accomplice to their grave sins against the faith.

RLCJ

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3 Responses to The Formula of Pope Saint Hormisdas

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Thank you, Ron, for reminding us of the importance of the Formula of Hormisdas and its adoption by Vatican I. Some Catholics seem to forget that the Holy Spirit is involved in the choice of the Pope, and the Holy Spirit protects and guides the popes. I know some Catholics appeal to a 1997 comment made by Cardinal Ratzinger in an interview (as a private theologian) that he could think of some popes not chosen by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, though, respects the freedom of the College of Cardinals in electing a Pope, and He insures that the newly elected Pontiff possesses “the charism of truth and never-failing faith” according to Vatican I. We also need to consider the words of the prayer for the Pope of the Good Friday Liturgy:

    “Let us pray for our most Holy Father Pope N. that our God and Lord, who chose him for the order of Bishops (qui elegit eum in ordine episcopatus), may keep him safe and unharmed for the Lord’s holy Church, to govern the holy People of God. Almighty and ever-living God, by whose decree all things are founded, look with favor on our prayers and in your kindness protect the Pope chosen for us (electum nobis), that under him, the Christian people, governed by you their maker, may grow in merit by reason of their faith, Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

  2. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Francisco,
    By all means, add the prayer to your fine article. It’s not my prayer, but the prayer of the Church for the Holy Father.
    God bless you,
    Robert

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