POPE FRANCIS - A HERETIC? ON THE PUNISHMENT OF HERETICS AND ESPECIALLY OF THE POPE WHO HAS BECOME A HERETIC WILLIAM OF OCKHAM Dial. 6.1-15 CHP. XVI
Student: I have heard the reasons by which one shows that catholics have power to inquire about a pope defamed of the crime of heresy. I now would want to investigate specifically, in connection with these reasons, whether catholics have power to inquire about the supreme pontiff because some of them have issued an appeal against him alleging heresy. Indeed, since such an appeal slanders the pope, it would appear, if prelates have the power to inquire about a pope defamed of the crime of heresy, that they also obtain the same power because of such an appeal. Therefore be so good as to indicate what the learned think about this.
Master: There are contrary assertions on the issue. Some say that under no circumstance must one defer to an appeal against the supreme pontiff, nor must anything be done on its account. Others claim that prelates must defer to an appeal alleging heresy issued against the supreme pontiff, and that the nature of the cause requires them to legally acknowledge the appeal.
Student: Present the arguments for the first assertion.
Master: Authorities and reasons, it seems, can prove the first assertion. The first authority is that of Pope Gelasius (and it is expressed in 9 q. 3 c. Ipsi) [col. 611] who states: "these are the canons which willed the referral of appeals from the entire church to the scrutiny of this see, while decreeing that at no time was it ever allowed to appeal therefrom". The second authority is of the same pope (expressed in the next chapter) [col. 611] who states: "the entire church throughout the world knew that the sacrosanct Roman church has the right to judge all matters, and that no one is allowed to legally question its judgement. For one must appeal to it from any part of the world, while no one is permitted to appeal from it". One gathers from these words that in no case is it allowed to appeal from the pope. Because the aforementioned canons affirm absolutely, without any distinction, that it is not permitted to appeal from the Roman church, therefore we also cannot make any distinction.
Student: Present reasons in favour of the same assertion.
Master: The first reason is this. One is not allowed to appeal from him who has no superior on earth (2 q. 6 c. Anteriorum) [col.474] . But the pope has no superior on earth since he is the head and the judge of all Christians. Therefore one is not allowed to appeal from the pope. The second reason is this. He who appeals legitimately for cause of heresy from someone is totally exempt from that someone's jurisdiction, because every appellant is exempt from the jurisdiction of the one from whom he appeals with respect to the issue concerning which he is appealing (Extra, De appellationibus, Cum teneamur [col. 415] , and c. Proposuit) [col. 417] . But he who appeals for cause of heresy appeals from the entire jurisdiction of him from whom he appeals, because if the latter is a heretic then he possesses no jurisdiction at all. Therefore he who appeals from someone for cause of heresy is completely exempt from that someone's jurisdiction. But no Christian is totally exempt from the jurisdiction of the pope. Therefore no one is allowed to appeal from him. The third reason is this. An appeal from someone from whose obedience one cannot withdraw is not allowed, because the appellant withdraws obedience from the one from whom he appeals. But no Christian is allowed to withdraw obedience from the pope (dis. 12 c. Preceptis) [col. 27] . Therefore no Christian is allowed to appeal from the supreme pontiff. Fourthly thus: it is not permitted to appeal from someone to whom all must appeal should they be oppressed, because it is not allowed to appeal both to and from someone in the same case. But in a case of heresy every Christian, if oppressed, may appeal to the pope (2 q. 6 c. Si quis [col. 467, 468, 472] , and c. Omnis [col. 467] , and c. Ad Romanam [col. 467] , and c. Ad Romanam 2) [col. 468] . Therefore no Christian is allowed to appeal from the pope in a case of heresy. Fifthly thus: just as the emperor possesses primacy in temporal affairs, so is the pope known to possess primacy in spiritual affairs. But according to the laws no one is permitted to appeal from the emperor for some temporal cause. Therefore no one may appeal from the pope in a spiritual cause, and consequently one must not appeal from the supreme pontiff for cause of heresy. Sixthly thus: one must not appeal in a case of faith from someone to whom all such cases are to be directed. But all cases of faith must be deferred to the supreme pontiff (24 q. 1 c. Quotiens [col. 970] , and Extra, De baptismo et eius effectu, Maiores, [col. 644] and dis. 17 Multis) [cols. 51-52] . Therefore one must not appeal from the supreme pontiff in a case of faith. From which the conclusion is that if someone were to recklessly appeal against the pope, such an appeal ought not to be received, and there would be no obligation on its account to inquire about the pope in any way or to make any other changes in the existing state of affairs.