SIXTUS IV 1471-1484
Errors of Peter de Rivo (concerning the Truth of Future Contingencies) *
[Condemned in the Bull "Ad Christi vicarii,'' Jan. 3, 1474]
719 (1) When Elizabeth spoke to the Blessed Virgin Mary saying: "Blessed art thou that hast believed because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord" [Luke 1:45], she seemed to intimate that those propositions, namely: "Thou shalt bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name Jesus: He shall be great, etc." [Luke 1:31],do not yet contain truth.
720 (2) Likewise, when Christ after His resurrection said: "All things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me" [ Luke 24:44] seems to have implied that such propositions were devoid of truth.
721 (3) Likewise, when the Apostle said: "For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of things [ Heb. 10:1], he seems to imply that the propositions of the Old Law which concerned the future, did not yet contain the prescribed truth.
722 (4) Likewise, that it does not suffice for the truth of the proposition concerning the future, that the thing will be, but there is required that it will be without impediment.
723 (5) Likewise, it is necessary to say one of two things, either that in the articles of faith concerning the future actual truth is not present, or that what is signified in them through divine power could not have been hindered.
They were condemnedas "scandalous and deviating from the path of Catholic faith";they were revoked by the written word of Peter himself.
Indulgence for the Dead
[From the Bull in favor of the Church of St. Peter
of Xancto, Aug. 3, 1476] *
723a In order that the salvation of souls may be procured rather at that time when they need the prayers of others more, and when they can be of benefit to themselves less, by Apostolic authority from the treasure of the Church wishing to come to the aid of the souls who departed from the life united with Christ through charity, and who, while they lived, merited that they be favored by such indulgence; desiring this with paternal selection, in so far as with God's help we can, confident in the mercy of God and in the plenitude of His power, we both concede and grant that, if any parents, friends, or other faithful of Christ, moved in behalf of these souls who are exposed to purgatorial fire for the expiation of punishments due them according to divine justice, during the aforementioned ten year period give a certain sum of money for the repair of the church of Xancto, or a value according to an arrangement with the dean or overseer of said church, or our collector by visiting said church or send it during said ten year period through messengers delegated by the same, we grant as a suffrage a plenary remission to assist and intercede for the souls in purgatory, in whose behalf they paid the said sum of money or the value, as mentioned above, for the remission of punishments. Errors of Peter de Osma (the Sacrament of Penance)
[Condemned in the Bull "Licet ea," August 9, 1479]
724 (1) That the confession of sins in species will be found really in a statute of the universal Church, not in divine law;
725 (2) that mortal sins with respect to blame and punishment of the other world are abolished without confession, by contrition of heart only;
726 (3) moreover, bad thoughts are forgiven by displeasure only;
727 (4) that it is not demanded of necessity that confession be secret; *
728 (5) that those who confess should not be absolved, if penance has not been done;
729 (6) that the Roman Pontiff cannot remit the punishment of purgatory;*
731 (7) cannot dispense with respect to what the universal Church has established;
also that the sacrament of penance, as far as concerns the accumulation of grace, is of nature, but not of the institution of the New or Old Testament.
733 On these propositions we read in the Bull, Sect. 6: . . We declare each and all the above mentioned propositions to be false, contrary to the holy Catholic faith, erroneous, and scandalous, and entirely at variance with the truth of the Gospels, also contrary to the decrees of the holy Fathers and other apostolic constitutions and to contain manifest heresy.
The Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. *
[From the Constitution "Cum praeexcelsa," Feb. 28, 1476]
734 While in an examination of devout deliberation we are thoroughly investigating the distinguished marks of merit, by which the Queen of Heaven, the glorious Virgin Mother of God, is preferred to all in the heavenly courts; just as among the stars the morning star foretells the dawn, we consider it just, even a duty, that all the faithful of Christ for the miraculous conception of this immaculate Virgin, give praise and thanks to Almighty God (whose providence beholding from all eternity the humility of this same Virgin, to reconcile with its author human nature exposed to eternal death because of the fall of the first man, by the preparation of the Holy Spirit constituted her the habitation of His Only-begotten Son, from whom He took on the flesh of our mortality for the redemption of His people, and the Virgin remained immaculate even after childbirth), and therefore that they say Masses and other divine offices instituted in the Church of God, and that they attend them to ask by indulgences and by the remission of sins to become more worthy of divine grace by the merits of and by the intercession of this same Virgin.
[From the Constitution "Grave nimis," Sept. 4, 1483]
735 Although the Holy Roman Church solemnly celebrates the public feast of the conception of the immaculate Mary ever Virgin, and has ordained a special and proper office for this feast, some preachers of different orders, as we have heard, in their sermons to the people in public throughout different cities and lands have not been ashamed to affirm up to this time, and daily cease not to affirm, that all those who hold orassert that the same glorious and immaculate mother of God was conceived without the stain of original sin, sin mortally, or that they are heretical' who celebrate the office of this same immaculate conception, and that those who listen to the sermons of those who affirm that she was conceived without this sin, sin grievously. . . .
We reprove and condemn assertions of this kind as false and erroneous and far removed from the truth, and also by apostolic authority and the tenor of these present [letters] we condemn and disapprove on this point published books which contain it . . . [but these also we reprehend] who have dared to assert that those holding the contrary opinion, namely, that the glorious Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin are guilty of the crime of heresy and of mortal sin, since up to this time there has been no decision made by the Roman Church and the Apostolic See.1411 724 (1) Confessionem peccatorum in specie, ex universalis Ecclesiae realiter statuto, non divino iure compertam fore (Complut. 2.: Quod conf. de pecc. in specie fuerit ex aliquo statuto universalis Ecclesiae, non de iure divino).
1412 725 (2) Peccata mortalia quoad culpam et poenam alterius saeculi absque confessione, sola cordis contritione (supplendum ex (3): deleri) (Complut. 1: ... alterius saeculi delentur per solam cordis contritionem sine ordine ad claves),
1413 726 (3) pravas vero cogitationes sola displicentia deleri (3: Quod pravae cogit. confiteri non debent, sed sola displ. delentur sine ordine ad claves).
1414 727 (4) Quod confessio secreta sit, necessario non exigi (4: Confessio debet esse secreta, i. e. de peccatis secretis, non de manifestis).
1415 728 (5) Non peracta paenitentia, confitentes absolvi non debere (5: Non sunt absolvendi paenitentes, nisi peracta prius paenitentia eis iniuncta).
1416 729 (6) Romanum Pontificem purgatorii poenam remittere (suppl. ex (7): non posse) (6: Papa non potest indulgere alicui vivo poenam purgatorii),
1417 731 (7) et super his, quae universalis Ecclesia statuit, dispensare non posse (=8).
1418 732 ( Sacramentum quoque paenitentiae, quantum ad collationem gratiae, naturae, non autem institutionis Novi vel Veteris Testamenti exsistere (9: ... qu. ad coll. gratiae, sacramentum naturae est, non alicuius institutionis Vet. vel N. T.).
1419 733 (Censura in Bulla 6) Pro potioris cautelae suffragio, omnes et singulas propositiones praedictas falsas, sanctae catholicae fidei contrarias, erroneas et scandalosas et ab evangelica veritate penitus alienas, sanctorum quoque Patrum decretis et aliis Apostolicis constitutionibus contrarias fore ac manifestam haeresim continere... declaramus.
Of course, this condemnation is true. The Church of Rome cannot officially teach error or as such fall into error. I could not find the 730 referred to, but it does exist. It does not mean that the Roman clergy could not fall into heresy, or that a pope could become an heretic. All theologians hold the latter opinion, and Cum ex apostolato
and Canon 188, par. 3
of the CIC 1917 all hold this view.
Heretical clergymen would no longer speak for the Church of Rome as such, and not be able to represent her. Dignitatis humanae
cannot be heretical (in the sense of extremely erroneous and contradicting Divine Revelation), if it is, then Paul VI was not a pope. Because the Church of Rome does not die or live with the Cardinals, but its head and essence is our Holy Father the Pope.
Some other opinion is that the pope could privately err (held by Pope Adrian VI, a Dutch pope, as opinion), and this opinion is not condemned.
But the Church of Rome with licit clergy, with a validly elected pope who is not an heretic, cannot fall into error ever. That does not mean a pope could not loose his office through heresy. But an heretic ex-pope would no longer validly teach as bishop of the diocese of Rome and thus not make the Church of Rome "defect" formally.
Of course stating that teachings and disciplines of a licit Roman pontiff and Roman Church decision are "erroneous", is erroneous itself and heretical.
From the context of quotation by Fr. Fenton, a fine theologian, from 1950, it however follows that this is about the infallibility
of the Church of Rome - i.e. about its teaching authority, and that it cannot defect in its extraordinary and ordinary-universal magisterium. It does not say that popes could not privately err, or in the authentic magisterium spread errors, or in discipline make erroneous or harmful decisions. They can, probably.
The SSPX cannot maintain Dignitatis humanae is heretical
or the New Mass heretical
, and yet
claim Paul VI was a valid pope. Likewise with later encyclical teachings. If these are heretical, the given popes were not legitimate popes and in fact non-popes. So either these teachings are orthodox, or they are not binding teachings for Roman Catholics at all. But the SSPX practical opposition is justified by the context and the fact that ambiguity clothes the modern Vatican's speak and encyclicals, open to more than one interpretation - and the latter being never given definitely after the "great" Vatican II. But the SSPX can say the pope sinned mortally by kissing the Quran, or that the pope privately taught error (heresy in public would be a more difficult matter in fact), or publicly sinned. Of course they can say so. But they cannot state that the 1983 Canon Law is heretical and the Vatican II decrees are (partially) heretical (erroneous) and yet hold Paul VI until incl. Benedict XVI to have been legitimate (canonically valid) popes. Heretics cannot be popes after all. And the conciliar popes did sign and praise the modern encyclicals and Vatican II decrees. Sadly.
I have not been able to find DB 730, it seems to be included.
And the SSPX does not deny this, which follows the paragraph on error DB 730 of Peter de Osma (the later Saint Peter de Osma):
Since it is true that the local Church of Rome is infallible in its faith, and that the Holy Father is the only authoritative teacher of the local Church of Rome, it follows that he teaches infallibly when he definitely settles a question about faith or morals so as to fix or determine the belief of that local Church. Since the local Church of Rome is an effective standard for all the other local Churches, and for the universal kingdom of God on earth, in matters of belief, the Holy Father must be considered as addressing the entire Church militant, at least indirectly, when he speaks directly and definitively to the local congregation of the Eternal City. Thus it is perfectly possible to have a definition of the type described in the Vatican Council's Constitution Pastor aeternus, one in which the Holy Father speaks ex cathedra, "exercising his function as the pastor and the teacher of all Christians" and so "according to his supreme apostolic authority defines a doctrine about faith or morals to be held by the universal Church," precisely when he speaks to determine the faith of the local Church of Rome.
It seems to be that the Roman Church cannot have matters of faith which contradict dogma of the universal Catholic Church. This was probably meant by Fr. Joseph Fenton.
Is Fr. Joseph Fenton a brother or relative of Fr. Francis E. Fenton, by the way? Fr. Francis Fenton founded the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, one of the first sedevacantist priestly movements.