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How can a pope, cardinal, or bishop lose his office in the Catholic Church?

A public heretic can lose his office in the Catholic Church, as a formal heretic cuts himself off from the Church. Here, we will look at what the Church teaches on the matter.

Below is no.9 from Satis Cognitum by PopeLeo XIII:

9. The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).

The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic” (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).

 

How can a pope, cardinal, or bishop lose his office in the Catholic Church? In the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, we can see Canon 188. “Any office becomes vacant upon the fact…if a cleric: Publicly defects from the faith.”

 

There is much more Church teaching that affirms these results. But for now, the point is to understand that the Church teaches that any office CAN become vacant, as now you have the theology supporting such a claim.

Next, keeping with the understanding that any office can become vacant, let’s give a simple examination of the errors of the Second Vatican Council and beyond. Below, is a side-by-side comparison of Catholic teaching vs that of the Vatican 2/Novus Ordo church. Keep in mind that these documents are all public. As you will see, the Vatican II theology is contrary to Catholic theology. These must qualify as public defections & sins against the First Commandment of God, right?

Catholics are required to believe that the Church is indefectible. Catholics also have full faith that the Holy Ghost is guiding the Church. Being infallible, it is impossible for the Church to err through the Teaching Magisterium on matters of faith and morals.

Therefore, the teachings of the Vatican II church and that of the Catholic Church are irreconcilable. If one believes the popes from St. Peter through Pius XII were valid, then they must reject the false claimants who brought forth contradiction and error since 1958.

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