Michael Lofton responds to Fr. Altman’s accusation that Pope Francis is not the pope

 Editor’s Note: Lofton is wrong on the nature of excommunications leveled ipso facto by Ecumenical Council, when he says they do not apply to a Pope. He is obviously totally ignorant of juridical principles and procedures. And he falls into the same error as Fr. Altman, speaking about something he does not know about. This is a common fault of theologians, who are ignorant of the penal code. Because a Catholic is judged as a heretic as a private person not as a holder of the office. — The real reason it does not apply is because the Code of 1917 obrogated that canon.

I have already refuted Fr. Altman on his canonical argument, here. But here I will point out that Lofton’s defense of Pope Francis is theologically faulty, because if a man in a document says that those in public mortal sin can receive the sacraments, and then later says, “We know that those in mortal cannot receive the sacraments”, is not a retraction, since it is not a personal confession of faith, but a statement about what others believe; also, it does not directly withdraw the error against Apostolic Tradition of excluding public sinners. Therefore, Altman though he does exaggerate, does build a strong argument that Bergoglio should be suspect of heresy and should be asked in Council what he means, in cross examination.

As for Lofton’s assertions about the “Conclave” of 2013, he holds a ridiculous position, which has long since been ably refuted by many. — I have publicly challenged anyone in the Church, Cardinal, Bishop. Priest, Theologian, Layman or Canonist on that, and no one dared take up the challenge.

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