Who Would Oversee the Deposition Of The Pope? ~ Robert J. Siscoe

John of St. Thomas, Suarez, Cajetan, and others all teach that a general council alone would be the competent authority to oversee the matter of an heretical Pope. John of St. Thomas explained why. He wrote: “since the matter at hand concerns the universal Church, it must be overseen by the tribunal that represents the universal Church, which is that of a general council”. (30) He cites three historical examples to confirm the point:
"This is indeed evident from the practice of the Church, for in the case [Pope] Marcellinus, who offered incense to idols, a synod was gathered together for the purpose of discussing this case, as is recorded in Cap. Hunc c, distinct. 11. And in the case of the schism in which there were three reputed pontiffs, the Council of Constance gathered for the purpose of settling that schism. And also in the case of Pope Symmachus, a council at Rome was gathered to treat those things which were presented to it. It is known, from the resources cited above, that the pontiffs, who, being accused of various crimes and wanting to excuse themselves of charges, did so in the presence of a council." (31)
Suarez said it is “the common opinion of the doctors” that a general council would be responsible for overseeing the matter of a heretical pope. He began by saying: “I affirm: If he is a heretic and incorrigible, the Pope ceases to be Pope as soon as a declarative sentence of his crime is pronounced against him by the legitimate jurisdiction of the Church.” Then one paragraph he adds:
"In the first place, who should pronounce such a sentence? Some say that it should be the Cardinals; and the Church could undoubtedly assign them this faculty, above all if it were established with the consent and decision of the Supreme Pontiffs, as was done for the election. But to this day we do not read anywhere that such a judgment has been confided to them. For this reason, it must be affirmed that, of itself, it belongs to all the Bishops of the Church. For since they are the ordinary pastors and the pillars of the Church, one should consider that such a case concerns them. And since by divine law there is no greater reason to affirm that the matter involves some Bishops more than others, and since, according to human law, nothing has been established in the matter, it must necessarily be held that the matter should be referred to all of them, and even to a general Council. This is the common opinion of the doctors. One can read Cardinal Albano expounding upon this point at length in De Cardinalibus, (q. 35, 1584 ed., vol. 13, p. 2)." (32)

29) Cursus Theologici II-II De Auctoritate Summi Pontificis, Disp II, Art. III, De Depositione Papae. All quotations used in this article are found on pages 137-140.
30) Ibid.
31) Ibid.
32) De Fide, Disp. 10, Sect 6, n. 10, p 317-18