POPE FRANCIS - A HERETIC? ON THE PUNISHMENT OF HERETICS AND ESPECIALLY OF THE POPE WHO HAS BECOME A HERETIC WILLIAM OF OCKHAM Dial. 6 CHP. XXIX
Student: Both the reasons by which one shows that it is not necessary to appeal from the judgement of a pope who definitively proclaims the Christian faith to be false, and the reasons advanced in favour of the contrary assertion, seem apparent to me. Therefore I ask you to outline how both sets of arguments are to be answered. But respond first of all to the reasons proving that it is not necessary to appeal.
Master: To the first of these the reply is that it is not necessary to appeal from a sentence rendered against human laws and canons because this is provided for in law. But it is not provided in the law that it is not necessary to appeal from the sentence of a pope proclaiming the Christian law to be false. To the second the reply is that one finds two different types of judgements that cannot become legally conclusive. One is such that if the person against whom the sentence is rendered does not appeal from it he would be thought by the very fact of his inaction to have obediently accepted it. A sentence rendered against the faith is of this type, and therefore it is necessary to appeal from this judgement lest the one against whom it is rendered be considered an aider and abettor of heretical wickedness. Another type of sentence that cannot become legally conclusive is the one that the person against whom it is rendered is not thought to be obeying even if he does not appeal. From such a sentence it is not necessary to appeal, and that is the type of sentence which is discussed in the canon law at 2 q. 6 # Diffinitiva. [col. 481] A similar reply is given to the third reason. It is not necessary to appeal in a cause against which prescription cannot run if the person against whom sentence is rendered is not thought to obey the sentence even if he does not appeal from it. But such is not the cause of faith. Therefore if an unjust sentence is rendered against the faith it is necessary to appeal lest the person who does not appeal be judged to favour heresy. The answer to the fourth reason is that the cause of faith is more privileged than the cause of matrimony, because anyone must defend with all his strength the cause of faith when a legal decision has been rendered against him in this connection, therefore he is bound to appeal for the defense of the faith. Anyone is not bound to defend in like manner the cause of matrimony, and therefore it is not always necessary to appeal in the case of the latter. And by reference to this the reply to the fifth reason is evident.