POPE FRANCIS - A HERETIC? ON THE PUNISHMENT OF HERETICS AND ESPECIALLY OF THE POPE WHO HAS BECOME A HERETIC WILLIAM OF OCKHAM Dial. 6 CHP. XXV
Muslim King Abdullah & Pope Francis
Student: I have a notion of the reasons why one states that it is not absolutely necessary to appeal from a judgement rendered against the faith, but I do not understand why this assertion is modified by the clause that it is not necessary to appeal by observing the form and the details which are usually observed in appeals according to human regulations. Kindly explain the reason for this modification.
Master: We must make distinctions in order to answer your question intelligently. An appeal from a sentence rendered against the faith may be verbally understood in four different ways. One way is to mean by this a document containing a formal outline of the appeal, as has been the common practice observed in other appeal situations, namely, an outline mentioning the person who is appealing, and the person against whom one is appealing, and the cause for which one is appealing or the sentence against which one is appealing, and the time frame of the appeal, and all other circumstances which are required to meet the proper formality of an appeal. Another acception of "appeal" is to mean by this the actual spoken expression, namely "I appeal", which someone openly utters in the presence of a judge. Hence the gloss to 2 q. 6 # Forma appellationum [col. 478] states: "if he appeals in the presence of a judge it suffices if he says 'I appeal'". [col. 673] A third acception of "appeal" is to mean by this an active opposition towards an iniquitous judgement rendered against the faith. In this perspective any one who actively opposed a sentence of the pope rendered against faith would be understood to be appealing from the pope, even if he did not utter the words "I appeal". Fourthly, every act whereby the actor demonstrates that he rejects and detests the pope's sentence or is horrified by it may be termed an appeal from a sentence of the pope rendered against the faith. This is the way whereby the Roman clerks who withdrew themselves from the communion of Anastasius II (the account is in dis. 19 Anastasius) [col. 64] might have been designated as appellants, because by their action they rejected this pope as a heretic.
Student: I understand the first two elements of the distinction, but the other two do not appear to have been conveniently assigned. For according to the third acception everyone who verbally opposes the sentence of some judge would be said to be appealing from him, which is quite implausible. While according to the fourth acception someone who disobeyed the sentence of a judge would be considered an appellant without having uttered a single word to that effect.
Master: It is said that in order to solve these points one must note that according to the laws there are two ways of appealing, namely, by word and by deed. You yourself concede that one can appeal verbally. And Innocent III clearly asserts that one may appeal by deed when he states in Extra, De appellationibus, c. Dilecti: "since it is indeed weightier to appeal to the Apostolic see by deeds than by word etc.", [col. 432] where the gloss says: "it is weightier to make a demonstration by deeds than to make verbal statements", [col. 947] and the gloss to 11 q. 3 c. Existimant [col. 666] says: "the deed itself is our appeal". [col. 951] It is clear from these words that the fourth element of the distinction is pertinently assigned, because it does indeed happen that one appeals by deed from a sentence of the pope rendered against the faith. But one does not appeal by deed from a sentence of the pope which was rendered against the faith unless one demonstrates by deed that such a sentence must be rejected as heretical. Therefore this fourth meaning of "appeal" is pertinently assigned. For it is of greater or at least not of lesser weight to assert clearly and continuously in speech or in writing that the sentence of the pope is heretical, than to imply that same sentence to be heretical by deed. But as has been shown, he who implies by deed that the pope's sentence is heretical is understood to appeal by deed. Therefore he likewise who continuously opposes the pope's sentence as heretical by word or script is understood to be appealing even though he neither writes nor utters the word itself.
Student: State how this is used to refute the inconveniences that I have advanced.
Master: They say two things must be noted for you to grasp the responses to these inconveniences. The first is that just as it is the concern of every Christian to detest, oppose, reject, and be horrified by a papal sentence rendered against the catholic faith, so is it permitted to any willing Christian to appeal, in the first and second acceptions of the term, from an iniquitous sentence of the pope rendered against the catholic faith, because anyone whose concern this is may appeal from an unjust sentence. The second thing to be noted, they say, is that, because the papal office is supreme within the church of God nor is there anyone who is officially superior in spiritual affairs to a true pope, therefore when a pope renders a sentence against the faith, the legal subtleties which operate with respect to inferior prelates rendering a sentence against the faith are not to be strictly observed, nor, to be sure, must the letter of the civil and canon laws be entirely followed in this case. Divine law, natural reason, the intention of the legislator, and the law, which he would have instituted had he put in place a special law about a pope rendering a sentence against the faith, must rather guide one. They reply to the first inconvenience on this basis. For not everyone who verbally opposes the sentence of some judge must be designated as an appellant, since not everyone is concerned with appealing from or even rejecting the judge's sentence, and because laws have been specifically instituted with respect to the procedure one must follow when appealing from the sentences of inferior judges. Therefore someone who does not observe these laws in the relevant circumstances is not understood to be appealing. But it is a different matter when any Christian opposes a sentence of the pope against the faith without uttering a verbal appeal. Any Christian is permitted to appeal from such a sentence, because this sentence is prejudicial to every catholic and therefore it is his concern to oppose such a sentence. Consequently he is allowed, if he wishes, to appeal from such a sentence by the utterance of a verbal appeal. But since no special laws are instituted concerning the method of appealing from a papal sentence against the faith (indeed according to established laws it is not necessary to appeal from such a sentence since it cannot be legally conclusive), therefore anyone who consistently, in speech or in writing, opposes a papal sentence rendered against the faith without uttering a verbal appeal is understood to be appealing in the third acception of the term, and his appeal has as much substantive validity as if he had uttered the verbal appeal formula. The foregoing also clarifies the second inconvenience you had mentioned. For someone who disobeys the sentence of a lesser judge without uttering a verbal appeal is not understood to be appealing by deed, because there is a provision in the law that in this particular case, in order for someone to be treated as an appellant it is required that he make an appeal in proper terms within a certain time, verbally or in writing and with appropriate formalities. But nothing is established in the law as to the method of appealing from a heretical sentence of the pope. Therefore by the very fact that someone overtly indicates that he is rejecting the papal sentence as heretical, he is understood as appealing by deed.