That it is heresy to say that the Papal Primacy can be separated from the Bishopric of Rome

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Heresy is a denial of revealed truth.

So, the title of this article, since it runs contrary to opinions cited by Dr. Mazza in his recent discussions with Dr. Taylor Marshall and Anne Barnhardt/Mark Docherty, I will lay it out in simple form, without a discussion, to allow you to look directly at the argument in strict logical form.

  1. Heresy is a denial of revealed truth.
  2. Revealed truth contains Scripture and Tradition. (Cf. Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2, cited here below)
  3. Tradition contains Divine and Apostolic Tradition. (cf. Vatican I, profession of Faith, n. 2, cited here below)
  4. Apostolic Tradition contains both the teaching and the judgements of the Apostles, written and unwritten (Cf. Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2, cited here below. Cf. also Mt. 19:28, where the judgements of the Apostles are declared by God Himself to be authoritative over the whole Church. This declaration is a divine ordinance.)
  5. The Roman Pontiff is servant of the Deposit of the Faith, not its lord. (Cf. Vatican I, Session 4, chapter 4, n. 6, here below)
    1. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.
    2. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to Divine or Apostolic Tradition.
    3. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to Apostolic Tradition.
  6. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to the judgements of the Apostles.
  7. It was a judgement of Saint Peter to die at Rome and entrust his office to the Church of Rome. (Cf. here below, Vatican I, Session 4, in chapter 3, n. 2, where the unity of the Primacy and the Church of Rome is called by divine ordinance, which is a technical term for the Divine Approval of the judgements of the Apostles, who were chosen by the Lord and appointed to their offices and empowered to found the Church)
  8. Therefore, the Successors of Saint Peter cannot legitimately separate the Papal Primacy from the Roman See.
  9. Therefore, those who say that the Successor of Saint Peter can legitimately separate the Papal Primacy from the Roman See speak heresy.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

See my responses to questions posed, in the comment section here below.

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I cite Vatican I, from this source:

Vatican I, Profession of Faith, sworn by all the Council Fathers:

Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same church I most firmly accept and embrace.

This true catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, is what I shall steadfastly maintain and confess, by the help of God, in all its completeness and purity until my dying breath, and I shall do my best to ensure [2] that all others do the same. This is what I, the same Pius, promise, vow and swear. So help me God and these holy gospels of God.

Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2:

n. 5 Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal church, as declared by the sacred council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the Apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the Apostles by the dictation of the holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us [16].

Vatican I, Session 4, held on July 18, 1870, in Chapter 2 teaches infallibly:

n. 5 Therefore, 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.

Session 4, chapter 3,

n. 2 Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

n. 3 In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd [50] .

n. 4 This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

Session 4, chapter 4,

n. 6 For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60]

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17 thoughts on “That it is heresy to say that the Papal Primacy can be separated from the Bishopric of Rome”

  1. Br Alexis, can you explain please how this relates to your post on the Barnhardt-Docherty-Mazza podcast?

    Do you mean to say: if BXVI thought he could split the papacy from the bishopric of Rome, he is a heretic? Does not one have to be obstinate in error to be in heresy?
    Or that is is heretical to hold this as a possible interpretation of his words?
    Or that BXVI may have thought it but if so he was in error. And if he did think it he is a heretic? If so is the seat now vacant? Surely not.

    1. No, I am saying, that since it is heresy to say that the Pope can separate them, then it impugns the catholicity of Pope Benedict XVI to say he intended to do such a thing, when rather, it is clear, that from his action he gave the appearance of a resignation, to prevent Bergoglio from holding the primacy. To feign a resignation under great necessity is not a heresy, it is an act. If it has the appearance to theologians of the German school as an act which serves their progressive agenda and is licit, that matters not, other than that it successfully fools them. Therefore, if anyone would assert that Benedict holds that they can be separated and did what he did to separate them, then he is alleging a most grave charge against him without moral necessity, because, as I demonstrated in my article, How Benedict has defeated Francis, there is a better explanation, but it requires that you dump your presumption of hate or mistrust of the Roman Pontiff, which you are gravely obliged not to have on account of the duty to be subject to him (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam).

      1. “ Whoever is against the Pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church.”

        “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost; It Is Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, that Holy Mother Church exists.

        “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.” –
        Jorge Bergoglio, prior to his election as pope, denying the Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament Of Holy Matrimony, and thus denying that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (Filioque) Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, while denying that sin done in private is sin.

        From The Catechism Of The Catholic Church:
        “1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121

        1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125
        1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.”
        It is a sin to accomodate an occasion of sin, and thus cooperate with evils .“
        To be anti Filioque is to be anti Pope.

        Who can we trust to move our Holy Father to a safe haven until all the members of the counterfeit church are removed from the Vatican?

      2. Peter walked freely from prison “in front of God and everyone,” as my Mother would say. We can depend on God while working and praying for PPBXVI’s release from captivity IF, as Frank Walker of Canon 212 says, “He is still alive”.

      3. Thank you for your reply here, Brother – and your reference to your former article, “How Benedict has defeated Francis.” I just went back and found it!

  2. To be clear, I do not agree with Dr. Mazza. Mark Docherty errs too when he reasons St Peter was not Bishop of Rome at Pentecost so the see of Rome is not bound to the papacy. This denies apostolic tradition as it maintains all revelation ended at Pentecost, not at the death of the last Apostle.
    Maybe Dr Mazza and you can arrange a discussion?

    1. At Pentecost, Peter was not Bishop of Rome, materially, but since Peter is the Vicar of Christ, that which the Bishopric of Rome represents today on account of the Petrine Succession is the same as that which Peter held at Pentecost. For this reason the Dictatus of Pope St. Gregory VII says that the Roman Church was founded by the Lord alone.

  3. Maybe this will help. According to Ven. Mary of Agreda (The Mystical City of God: The Coronation p. 221), St. Peter said, “I, ,my Lord, offer myself to suffer and die in imitation of my Lord and Redeemer, preaching the faith at present to Jerusalem, and afterwards in Pontus, Galatia, Bythinia and Cappadocia, provinces of Asia; and I shall take up my residence at first in Antioch and afterwards in Rome, where I will establish my seat and found the Cathedra of Christ our Redeemer and Master, and where the head of the Church shall have his residence.” She continues, “These words of saint Peter were spoken in obedience to a positive command of the Lord, pointing out the Roman Church as the centre and capital of the universal Church. Without such a command of the Lord, saint Peter would not have decided this difficult and important matter.”

    St. Peter did not go to Rome, preach in Rome, or die in Rome without God willing it. This is and will be the seat of the pope until the end of time. It is most correct to call the Catholic Church the Roman Catholic Church because without the pope and his See, we would be protestant.

  4. Brother, you have committed the Fallacy of the Four Terms (Quaternio Terminorum)! This is because the verb “is” cannot be said to be identical to the verb “contains”. More fundamentally, you violate the laws of the Aristotelian Sorites requiring that 1) every premise but the first be universal and that 2) every premise but the last be affirmative. But your last proposition is negative in quality. Ergo. Finally, your insertion of Premises numbers 5-9 into the sorites breaks any consequentia that can be flow from Premises numbers 1-4. You need to reformulate.

    1. I never intended an argumentation in strict syllogistic form. But I could reform it thus, though what follows is still in need to tweeking.

      N.`1 to n. 4, demonstrate that Heresy is the denial of Apostolic Judgements.
      N. 7, The decision of St. Peter to leave and attach his office to the Church of Rome is an Apostolic Judgement.

      First Conclusion: Ergo, It is a heresy to deny that St Peter left and attached his office to the Roman Church.

      n. 5 The Pope cannot legitimately make any decision against the deposit of the faith, because to do so would to be to act as a lord.
      n.1-4, The Deposit of the Faith includes Apostolic Judgements.

      2nd Conclusion n. 8, Therefore, the Pope cannot legitimately make any decisions against an Apostolic Judgement.

      But N. 7, The decision of St. Peter to attach the Primacy to the Church of Rome is an Apostolic Judgement.

      2nd Corrollary Ergo, The pope cannot legitimately make a decision to separate the Primacy from the Roman Church.

      But, since the Pope is not the lord of the Deposit of the Faith, only its servant, to affirm that he is its lord, is heretical, being a denial of Vatican I, which says he cannot teach novelities but must remain faithful to the Deposit.

      3rd Conclusion: It is heresy to say that the pope can legitimately separate the Primacy from the Church of Rome,.

      So you can see the argument contains two syllogisms each of which are part of a syllogism which contains them both, with one as the major and the other as the minor premise of the third syllogism.

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