POPE FRANCIS - A HERETIC? ON THE PUNISHMENT OF HERETICS AND ESPECIALLY OF THE POPE WHO HAS BECOME A HERETIC WILLIAM OF OCKHAM Dial. 6.1-15 CHP. XII
French President François Hollande & Pope Francis
Student: What you have stated about the universal church (i.e. whether the supreme pontiff is subject to it) is sufficient. Now, if you please, explain the views of the learned about the general council, viz., whether it holds jurisdiction or power over a pope slandered of heresy.
Master: There are a few who say that a general council has no jurisdiction whatsoever over a pope slandered of heresy, which they attempt to show by multiple arguments. And the first argument is this. The universal church does not have jurisdiction over a pope defamed of heresy, a point they attempt to show by reasons presented earlier [1 Dial. 6.10]. Therefore all the more compellingly does the general council not have jurisdiction over a pope defamed of heresy. Secondly thus: there is no case where a special congregation possesses jurisdiction over the pope, since whatever congregation is particular must be deemed inferior to the pope in any case. But the general council is a certain special or particular congregation because it does not include all Christians. Therefore the general council does not have jurisdiction over the pope. Thirdly thus: that congregation which can err against the faith does not have jurisdiction over a pope falsely accused of heresy. But the general council can err against the faith, as a number [of scholars] attempt to prove by many arguments [1 Dial. 5.25]. Therefore etc. Fourthly thus: that congregation which is inferior to the pope in a case of heresy even if he himself is defamed of heresy, is not superior to the pope in the very same case. But the entire general council minus the pope is inferior to the pope in a case of heresy, because if the entire general council minus the pope (even one falsely slandered of heresy) were to err against the faith, the pope would have the lawful duty of punishing them all. Therefore in a case of heresy the pope is superior to the general council.
Student: The entire general council minus the pope cannot err against the faith, for God, who promised that the catholic faith would last until the end of time, would not allow it.
Master: This answer they impugn. To begin with, because even if the entire general council minus the pope were to fall into error, the Christian faith would by no means disappear, since it would remain in the pope and in many others. Indeed the faith may be saved in the pope alone, just as it remained in a single woman at the time of Christ's passion. Further: a single person may attract to his position the whole of the general council, and a single person may contradict the entire remainder of the general council, which is noted in di. 31 c. Nicena[col. 114]. Therefore all the more potently can the pope (who is the head and mainstay of the general council) contradict the entire remainder thereof, and consequently he is not subject to this remainder. The fifth argument is this. That congregation which has no authority except from the pope, and which cannot come together to meet without the pope, has no jurisdiction over the pope unless the latter spontaneously submits himself to its judgment. But the general council has no jurisdiction or power or authority save from the pope, nor can it in any way be celebrated without his permission. Therefore the Pope is not subjected to the judgment of the general council unless he freely submits to it.
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