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. XXXVII
Student: These are sufficient arguments in support of the aforementioned assertion. Therefore attempt to argue in favour of the contrary assertion.
Master: It appears that one may prove by many reasons that all opponents of a heretic pope, appropriate circumstances taken into account, must be defended by catholics even if they do not issue an appeal. And the first reason is this. Those who pursue the cause of all the faithful religiously, properly, and legally, must be defended by all the faithful. Indeed he who usefully performs another's business deserves his assistance and support, otherwise the latter would be a thankless and worthless person who does not reward a good deed with its like. But opponents of a heretic pope pursue the cause of all believers, because the cause of faith is the cause of all catholics. Therefore these opponents must be defended by all catholics.
Here is the second reason. Catholics and believers are more obligated to defend those who pursue the cause of faith, which is the cause of everyone, than a pope is obligated to defend those who pursue their personal causes. But a pope is bound to defend those who pursue their personal causes, witness Pope Zephyrinus who states in 2 q. 6 c. Ad Romanam: "all people and most of all those who are oppressed must appeal to the Roman church, and fly to it as to a mother so as to be nourished by her breasts, defended by her authority, and relieved of their oppression". [col. 468] Therefore all the more must the opponents of a heretic pope be defended by whichever orthodox persons they have resorted to for this assistance.
The third reason is this. In order not to suffer as a result of this opposition, the opponents of heretical wickedness must be defended by catholics to a greater extent than partners must defend one another. But a partner must defend a partner, witness Ambrose who state in the book 'On offices' as we read in 23 q. 3 c. Non inferenda: "for he who does not, if he can, prevent a partner from being harmed is just as guilty as the one who commits the misdeed". [col. 898] We gather from these words that a partner must defend a partner against someone doing him wrong. Therefore all the more must catholics defend opponents of heretical wickedness lest they suffer harm due to such opposition.
Here is the fourth reason. Catholics are not less bound to defend opponents of heretical wickedness than the church is obligated to defend criminals and immoralists that flee to it for safety, since the good are more to be defended than the bad. But the church is obligated to defend the criminals who flee to it for security (17 q. 4 c. Frater et coepiscopus noster, [col. 817] and c. Sicut), [col. 816] and we find the same point in many other decrees of the holy fathers. Therefore all the more must catholics defend the opponents of heretical wickedness.
Student: The fact that the church defends criminals who flee to it for security is due to a special privilege, which is not enjoyed by the opponents of heretical wickedness.
Master: This response is rejected, because where the reason is the same the law must be the same. And the reason why the church defends criminals who flee to it for security is so that the honour of the church might be preserved (17 q. 4 c. Reum). [col. 817] But the honour of the church and in general the honour of all catholics, and that of God also, is better preserved by a defense of the opponents of heretical wickedness than by a defense of criminals no matter how many flee to the church for security. Therefore these opponents must be defended more than the aforestated criminals.
Student: Present other reasons.
Master: The same assertion may be proved as follows by a fifth reason. The catholic faith must be defended more than one's country. But every single person must defend his country in accordance with the sentiment of a wise thinker [proclaiming]:"fight for your country". [W.J. Chase, ed., The Distichs of Cato, Madison, Wisc., 1922, p. 12, no. 23 (collectio distichorum vulgaris)] Ambrose agrees with this in book 1 of 'On offices', and states what we read in 23 q. 3 c. Fortitudo: "full of justice is the courage to make war on barbarians for the country's protection, to defend the helpless at home, or partners from bandits". [col. 897] Therefore all the more must the catholic faith be defended by all catholics. But the faith is not defended unless the opponents of heretical wickedness are defended. Therefore all catholics, when time and circumstance are appropriate, must defend the opponents of heretical wickedness.
Here is the sixth reason. A catholic owes to the opponents of a heretic pope that without which the love of God and of one's neighbour cannot be realized. But there can be no love of God and of one's neighbour without a defense of the opponents of a heretic pope. It is evident that there can be no love of God, because what is not done to those who oppose a heretic pope for God's sake is not done to God Himself, according to the words of Christ in Matthew 25: "inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me". [Matthew 25:45] Christ obviously asserts here that works of mercy, which are not done to his faithful, are understood as not done to him; and that non-performance of these works will send the impious to eternal torments. Therefore a defense not provided to the opponents of a heretic pope is understood as not provided to God. But one who does not provide the defense owed to the divine honour does not love God. Therefore one who does not defend the opponents of heretical wickedness lacks the love of God. And the love of one's neighbour is also missing if the opponents of heretical wickedness are not defended, because he who does not assist his neighbour in his necessity does not show love towards his neighbour. But the opponents of a heretic pope require to be defended in the highest degree. Therefore those who neglect to defend them have no love towards them at all.
Here is the seventh argument. Not to defend Christ and not to defend the disciples of Christ who announce catholic truth pertains to the same category of crime as does the spurning of Christ and the spurning of his disciples. But spurning Christ and spurning the disciples of Christ involves an identical sin, Christ himself attesting to this in Luke 10, where he said to his disciples: "he that despiseth you despiseth me". [Luke 10:16] Indeed this is evident, because not to defend another is a certain specific mode of despising that person. For he who does not defend, despises. And not to defend when one can, proceeds from contempt, just as to defend proceeds from love. But all catholics have the duty to defend Christ when they can, as Augustine attests who states that the crowd sinned gravely because it did not defend Christ when the latter was being led to his death. Here are his words as recorded in 23 q. 3, last chapter: "the prophet demonstrates that they also were not exempt from crime who allowed their leaders (who feared for the security of the populace) to kill Christ, and who might have liberated these leaders from responsibility for the misdeed, and themselves from consenting to it". [c. Ostendit col. 898] Therefore they also who do not defend the disciples of Christ announcing catholic truth must not be considered as being exempt from crime. But those who oppose a heretic pope and profess the catholic truth are such disciples of Christ. Therefore they must be defended by all catholics.
Here is the eighth reason. He who feels compassion towards another's wretchedness comes to his assistance and defends him when he can. But a healthy and true member of Christ's mystical body feels compassion for another member when the latter is in danger, since we see, according to the Apostle, that "whether one member" of a natural body "suffer, all the members suffer with it" (1 Cor. 12). [1 Corinthians 12:26] Therefore if some suffer because of an attack on catholic truth, all healthy members of Christ's mystical body suffer along with them, and consequently come to their assistance and defend them if they can.
Here is the ninth reason. Works of mercy must be afforded to all people. Therefore defense also, since it is a work of mercy, must be afforded to everyone, and consequently defense must be made available to the opponents of a heretic pope.