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. L
Student: After what we have just discussed, I would like to return to the question which I had earlier proposed: [1 Dial. 6.45] namely, whether those who do not know that the pope is a heretic are obligated to defend the opponents of a pope who impute heretical wickedness to him. Moreover, since I would like to discuss carefully the fundamental theses of the supreme pontiff's enemies, and one of their fundamental theses happens to be that appellants from the pope, people who enter a demurrer against him, accusers of the pope, and witnesses against the pope concerning heretical wickedness, as well as their supporters and abettors, must be defended by all catholics (even by those who do not know that the pope is a heretic), I therefore request you to show how it can be proved that those who oppose the pope by alleging that he has lapsed into heretical wickedness are to be protected by all catholics who do not conclude on the basis of legitimate examples that these opponents are involved in a criminal act. By the way, I would like to include under the designation of "opponents": appellants, those who enter demurrers, accusers, witnesses against the pope, and those who support and who provide favours, assistance and counsel to the aforementioned in their opposition activities. I would also like to use the term "defense" in the widest sense, namely for a defense provided by whatever method, by word, by deed or action, or by silence and inaction, for instance when someone who does not betray or surrender another is said to be defending him.
Master: Using the terms "opposition" and "defense" in the senses which you have suggested, one may proceed to demonstrate that all catholics are bound to defend the opponents of a pope (even of a catholic pope) to whom these opponents impute heretical wickedness, prior to it being established by legitimate examples that they acted with malice. One shows this to begin with by way of a certain reason, which was advanced earlier in chapter 44. Here it is: "he who provides the opportunity for a loss appears responsible for the loss itself" (Extra, De iniuriis et dampno dato, Si culpa). [col. 880] Therefore in the same way, he who provides the opportunity for persecution or disturbance or harm appears responsible for persecution or disturbance or harm. But he who does not defend, when he can, those who oppose the pope for cause of heretical wickedness, provides an opportunity for persecution or disturbance or harm, because if he offered defense, as he could, persecution or disturbance or harm done or to be done would be excluded. Therefore this person in failing to defend papal opponents appears or is known to have inflicted the damage described. But no one must inflict persecution or disturbance or harm on opponents of the pope who impute heretical wickedness to the latter before it shall have been established that they acted with malice. Therefore everyone who can is obligated to defend them.
Student: There are two ways in which one may provide an opportunity for loss or persecution or harm or injury, namely either in an affirmative manner by doing or saying something, or in a negative manner by omitting something. He who provides opportunity for a loss in the first way appears to have caused the loss itself, and is believed to be blameworthy. But he who provides opportunity for a loss, or for persecution, or injury or disturbance or harm by omitting something, does not appear to have caused a disturbance or a loss, nor is he to be reckoned as guilty. For otherwise, whoever would not help another, or enrich him (with the latter suffering a loss from the omission) would appear to have caused the loss and would have to be judged blameworthy, which is too harsh.
Master: This response appears to conflict with the assertions of the holy fathers, because they understand that not only he causes a loss who provides opportunity for a loss by doing or saying something, but also he who provides opportunity for a loss by omitting something, and that in consequence he is responsible at least in the eyes of God. It appears that this may be proved by many authorities. Indeed Gregory IX, as we read in Extra, De iniuriis et dampno dato, Si culpa, states: "if by your fault a loss is caused or harm is done, or perhaps if you assisted others doing harm, or if these came about as a result of your incompetence or your negligence, it is appropriate that you give legal satisfaction as to these losses. And ignorance does not excuse you, if you ought to have known that from your action a harm or a loss might possibly ensue". [col. 880] From these words one evidently gathers that not only is he understood as causing a loss who provides an opportunity for a loss by word or deed, but also he is understood to cause a loss who provides an opportunity for the loss through his negligence, in omitting something, and is consequently judged to be guilty. Again, he who provides an opportunity for death merely by omitting something is judged guilty of homicide, witness Ambrose who states (we have this in dis. 86 Pasce): "for whoever, for if you, might have saved a man by feeding him, you killed him if you did not provide nourishment." [col. 302] Similarly therefore he who provides opportunity for a loss or injury merely by not doing something appears to cause this loss or injury, and hence is to be reckoned as guilty and accountable.
Student: Although these arguments appear to have great plausibility, I nevertheless do not see that in general he who provides an opportunity for a loss by not doing something must be judged accountable, since it is possible for someone to remain faultless even when he provides opportunity for a loss by a positive action (23 q. 5 c. De occidendis). [col. 932] And thus from the fact that someone does not defend opponents of a pope who impute heretical wicked ness to the latter, one cannot infer that the person denying such defense is to be reckoned accountable, even if his denial results in a loss or injury to these opponents
Master: Some attempt to exclude this response or objection. In order to clarify the exclusion, they explain the meaning of the rule we are discussing, namely 'he who provides opportunity for loss etc.' And first they explain it in the context of someone providing opportunity for a loss merely by not doing something; secondly, in the context of someone providing opportunity for a loss by doing or saying something. As to the first, they say that if someone gives opportunity for a loss merely by not doing something, one possibility is that he was bound to do what he omitted to do, and in that event heis bound and incurs blame for such an omission. Hence one reads in Exodus [21:36], and this is recited in Extra, De iniuriis et dampno dato, c. Si bos: "if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox". [cols. 878-9] Here the gloss comments thus on the words "hath not kept him in": "add, and he killed the ox of another, and is bound on that account, because the loss was incurred through the fault or negligence of him who was obligated to demonstrate care". [col. 1852] From these words we are given to understand that the reason why the owner of the ox whom he has not kept in is bound if his ox causes a loss, is because he had the duty to demonstrate care since he knew that his ox used to push in time past. But if someone provides opportunity for a loss merely by not doing something, if he was not bound to do what he omitted to do, then whatever loss resulted from the provided opportunity, he who provided the opportunity would be exempt from fault. This is what divine law suggests in Exodus 21[:28-29] , where we read as follows: "if an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner shall also be put to death". From these words we are given to understand that if the death of a man or a woman results from the fact than an ox has not been kept in when its owner is not obligated to keep him in, then the owner who has not kept his ox in is not blamed for the accident. And thus he who provides opportunity for a loss by omitting to do something which he was not obligated to do is not judged to be accountable.
Secondly, they say that if someone provides opportunity for a loss by doing something, either he does something which is permitted, or he does something which is not permitted. If he does something which is permitted or demonstrates due care, then no ensuing loss will be blamed on him. But if he does not demonstrate due care, then a resulting loss will be blamed on him.
Student: These comments appear quite reasonable to me, but I do not see how they must be applied to the issue we are discussing.
Master: It appears to some that one may demonstrate conclusively that opponents of the pope imputing heretical wickedness to him are to be defended by catholics. But in order to show the truth of their contention more evidently, they initially prove the following conclusion: namely, that these opponents who impute heretical wickedness to the pope are to be liberated by catholics able to do this if the opponents are pursued or led to their death. And from this conclusion they infer that these opponents are to be forcefully protected from every persecution and danger.
Student: Start by proving that such are to be liberated from physical demise.
Master: This is shown by the authority of Solomon (which was earlier cited in argument), [1 Dial. 6.43] who states: "forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death etc." Augustine likewise (as we read in 23 q. 4 c. Ipsa pietas) obviously appears to assert this when he says that if two people were in a house about to collapse, we are bound to liberate both if we can, because, as he states in that context: "unless we did this, we would deserve to be judged cruel". [col. 909] Indeed if there were two people in a house about to collapse, and neither wanted to leave it, but one of them wanted to kill himself if the other was liberated, we would be obligated to rescue the latter from death. Similarly, if there were many people in a house about to collapse and all the rest threatened to kill themselves on the spot if a single one of them was liberated, we would be obligated to extract the latter. Thus everyone is bound, if he can, to liberate another from death even if the latter is reluctant and unwilling, and even if others would want to kill themselves in the event of such a liberation of this one person. Much more strongly therefore, if someone is unjustly and unwillingly being taken to his death, others who have the power to do it are obligated to liberate him from death. It follows from this that those who have the power to do this must defend people wanted for death. And thus if someone seeks to inflict death on the opponents of a pope who attribute heretical wickedness to the latter, catholics who have the power to do it must defend the opponents, either by armed resistance if this is appropriate to their persons, or by restraining from such a crime those who seek to inflict death on the opponents of the pope (doing this by verbal warnings, reproaches, or pleas, and by other methods available to them, or by hiding or not surrendering the papal opponents wanted for death).
Student: By this argument whoever saw thieves, killers, and other judicially condemned criminals being led to their death would be obligated to liberate them if possible.
Master: The answer to this point is that there exists a significant difference between individuals condemned to death by the process of judicial order, and individuals who are exposed to mortal danger without their cause having been heard in court, merely because they want to oppose a superior in support of a cause for which it is permitted to oppose a superior. Indeed the former are not to be liberated from death, because there always exists a presumption in favour of the actions of a judge and in favour of his judgement, unless it has been legitimately rebuked or suspended by an appeal or some other appropriate method. And therefore such condemned criminals must not be liberated from death unless a legitimate appeal has been issued from the sentence of the judge. In that case they must indeed be liberated by those who have the power to do so. The second category of persons, however, must be liberated by those who conveniently can. And therefore if the pope were to order that some individuals be arrested and executed because they are attempting to oppose him by imputing heretical wickedness to him, these individuals must be liberated, since in this case the presumption would be in favour of the opponents of the pope and not in favour of the pope.
Here is how one shows that presumption would be in favour of the papal opponents. Since everyone is presumed to be a good person unless the contrary is proved, so must one presume of anyone that the quality of their actions is good unless the contrary is established by legitimate examples. And therefore if someone does something that can be done well, it must be presumed that he does it well before the contrary is established, because those things that may be done either well or badly must be interpreted in the better sense. Therefore, since it is possible for someone to oppose the pope by imputing heretical wickedness to him, and to do this properly and justly and truthfully, it must be presumed of anyone who opposes the pope with an imputation of heretical wickedness that he is doing this properly and justly, before the contrary shall have been established. Therefore there must be a presumption in favour of those who oppose the pope with an imputation of heretical wickedness before it shall have been established by legitimate examples that their opposition is malicious and criminal
And here is how one proves that presumption must not be in favour of a pope who would order prior to judicial process that such opponents be slain or even thrown into jail or otherwise harshly treated. For presumption must not be in favour of someone who avoids judicial process, but must rather be against him (Extra, De presumptionibus, Nullus, [col. 254] and 11 q. 1 Christianis [col. 629] and 3 q. 9 Decernimus [col. 531] and dis. 74 Honoratus). [col. 264] But a pope who would command that such opponents of his be slain or harshly treated would be avoiding judicial process. Therefore presumption would have to be against him and not in his favour.
Student: These arguments appear to fail in two respects. Firstly, because presumption must not be in favour of someone who avoids judicial process when that someone is obligated to appear in court. But the pope is not obligated to appear in court. Therefore if he avoids judicial process, presumption must not be against him on that account. Secondly, these arguments fail because presumption must not be in favour of someone who is presumed to act out of envy and not out of love. But he who opposes the pope by imputing heretical wickedness to him must be presumed to be opposing the pope out of envy and not out of love, just as one presumes that an accusation is rather made out of envy than out of love (6 q. 1 c. Si omnia, both in the text [col. 555] and in the gloss, [col. 799] and 2 q. 6 Decreto [col. 469] in the gloss, [col. 659] and 2 q. 7 Si quis episcopus, where the canon notes that an accusation is an act not worthy of praise). [col. 500] Therefore one must in no way presume in favour of papal opponents who impute heretical wickedness to the pope, but one must presume against them as against slanderers.
Master: Some attempt to respond to the first of these instances by saying that the pope is obligated to appear in court if certain people come forward who cannot be pushed aside by way of a legitimate exception, and indicate a willingness to accuse the pope of heretical wickedness. They say that since it is clearly established that the pope may be accused of heretical wickedness, there is an obvious inference that some people exist who may accuse the pope of heresy. It evidently follows from these considerations that in such a case the pope is obligated to appear in court, and therefore if he avoids judicial process he becomes a suspect and a deserved presumption is formed against him.
The reply to the second instance is that one must not always presume that an opponent of the pope who imputes heretical wickedness to him (either by appealing from him, or by entering a demurrer against him, or by accusing him, or by testifying against him) is motivated by envy. Nor must one always presume that an accusation proceeds from envy and not from love. Indeed, unless some specific evidence of envy emerges, one must presume that the accusation is made out of love, since to accuse even a prelate, appropriate circumstances being taken into account, pertains to righteousness and to fear of God, as witnesses Gregory who states (we read this in 2 q. 7 c. Sicut): "just as it is worthy of praise and notice to demonstrate respect and honour to one's leaders, so is it a matter of righteousness and fear of god not to procrastinate or to cover up if there are things about them which need correction, lest, God forbid, disease should invade the whole body if a feebleness will not have been healed in its head". [col. 499] From these words we are given to understand that one must not immediately presume that an accusation is leveled at a prelate from envy rather than from a zeal for the common good.
Your arguments are answered by the gloss [col. 708] of 2 q. 7 c. Si quis episcopus, which states on the words "not worthy of praise": "or say that it is not worthy of praise in the opinion of the vulgar. For elsewhere one is presumed to accuse from good zeal, as in Extra, De dolo et contumacia, c. Veritatis est verbum. [col. 296] Indeed an accusation must proceed from love (Extra, De accusationibus, c. Si quis episcopus) [col. 231-2] and he who accuses publicly acts as the custodian of security, as in Codex, De famosis libellis, lege una". We gather from these words that one must not always presume that an accusation is made from envy. Indeed if the accuser was heretofore a person of good reputation, nor did it appear that he was an enemy of the accused, nor someone who went to court at the slightest pretext, nor a shallow or contemptible person, but beyond all suspicion, one would have to presume that he intended to make the accusation from good zeal. And the same must be said of opponents of the pope who impute heretical wickedness to him. For it is hardly likely that someone of good fame and reputation, someone gentle and humble, who avoided judicial conflicts, someone distinguished and provident, would want to expose himself to infinite dangers by imputing heretical wickedness to the pope, unless prompted to do so by his conscience. Therefore it must be presumed, before the contrary becomes apparent, that someone who opposes the pope for heretical wickedness, and consequently exposes himself to infinite embarrassment, indeed to many deaths and dangers of death, is motivated by zeal for orthodox belief which he in fact places ahead of his physical life. And so all opponents of the pope who impute heretical wickedness to him must be defended by catholics capable of providing this service, before it is established by legitimate examples that these opponents are motivated by evil emulation. Catholics are also obligated, out of zeal for orthodox faith, to the extent this is appropriate to everyone's status and function, to provide these opponents with advice, assistance, and favour. And similarly, should these opponents be found to have been motivated by evil emulation, either because they were convicted of falsehood or were unable to prove the matters which they imputed to the pope, they must be harshly punished, and it appear that they must be surrendered to secular justice. It is thus clear, according to these theorists, that if opponents of the pope who impute heretical wickedness to him are being pursued so as to be put to death, they must be defended by catholics. From which one infers that they must also be liberated from all persecution and danger, because it appears that the same reason justifies them being liberated from both a greater and a lesser peril.