Okay, so we should all not be surprised of Pope Francis and his revolutionary off-the-cuff remarks. At least by now, practicing traditional Catholics who adhere to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church know that what Pope Francis is doing and saying is scandalizing to say the least and with all he has accomplished in just outright confusing the living daylights out of Catholics and non-Catholics alike…it can be easy to forget the importance of the Seat of Peter. It is even possible that many have decided to forsake the trust in the Seat of Peter thanks to the many horrid statements/actions of the current pope. This is why we must look to the tradition of the Church when novelty rears its ugly head. We will primarily looking at Vatican I as it is a Dogmatic council. In other words, these are pronounced and defined as reflecting objective truth and cannot be considered a matter of opinion. In fact, what was declared at this council was, is, and forever shall be unchangeable regardless of what may happen.
Vatican I is clear about the Seat of Peter (those that succeed St. Peter and his office) concerning his Apostolic, Permanence, and Power of Primacy as well as the authority to make infallible judgements. But what does this mean? Here are some vocabulary words to help!
Apostolic Primacy – Vatican I states:
…if anyone says that blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as prince of all the apostles and visible head of the whole church militant; or that it was a primacy of honour only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself: let him be anathema.
Permanence Primacy – Vatican I states:
…if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.
Power of Primacy – Vatican I states:
… if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.
It is important to know this especially if we are considering Pope Francis and his papacy. As he in October of 2015 spoke to a “special audience” at the Vatican calling for a “healthy decentralization” of power in the Roman Church which included changes in the papacy and even greater decision making authority to the bishops. Pope Francis directly offends Vatican I’s infallible teaching on the supremacy of the Seat of Peter. Reading the Power of Primacy definition, it is word for word opposed by Pope Francis’ agenda to lessen the authority of his office and distributing the literal God-given authority to “feed my (Jesus’) lambs”.
And speaking of infallible…what did Vatican I say about infallible papal judgements?
…faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith, to the glory of God our saviour, for the exaltation of the catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the sacred council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
This claim of infallibility by the pope, in other words, can only be claimed to do so by speaking EX CATHEDRA (From the Seat of Peter – by virtue of the Seat’s authority granted by Christ) which MUST reflect the deposit of the faith of which is defined and proclaimed. This means, something NEW other than what was passed down CANNOT be accepted as an infallible pronouncement.
Therefore we can know that Pope Francis was no where near infallible when, in a recent interview in Spain, gave a purposeful place to contraception for cases such as rape. The reason why we know this is simply because we already have a Magisterial pronouncement on contraception and thanks to Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae (which is the pronouncement of the ordinary magisterium – which is BINDING!) we understand that these righteous and infallible judgements CANNOT be changed!
It is difficult to say whether or not this pope even really knows just how many times he has stepped on the toes of irrevocable and unchangeable doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic religion. One cannot outright say that he means to do this as we do not know his thoughts nor do we truly understand this man and that alone is enough for us all to pray for him so that he may have true conversion to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith. However, it is also clear that day after day he is proving that he is unwilling to relent from making progressive remarks and movements that sound awfully familiar to Modernism.
What is important to understand is that the Seat of Peter is to be revered highly as Christ-instituted and supreme in primacy over the whole Church but thanks to great and holy doctors of the faith such as St. Bellarmine, we know that resisting a pope that causes harm to the Church is a duty,
Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.
Keep in mind, by resisting a pope that can harm the soul is not judging him! It is no different if a loved one asked you to jump off a cliff with them. Just because they wish to do something harmful to not only themselves but you as well does not mean you do them evil if you refuse to jump with them. Pope Francis is quite literally leading others down a road that traditional Catholicism cannot follow.