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 Hergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio 
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New post Hergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio
Hello All,

This is my first post on here, so I hope it turns out alright.

I haven't gone through the whole forum to see if this issue has been addressed already, so I apologize if it has been.

I've come across some interesting comments by Joseph Hergenrother (1824-1890) concerning Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio in his 1876 book "The Catholic Church and Christian State". Hergenrother was a Church historian and canonist. He was also appointed by Leo XIII as the first Cardinal-Prefect of the Vatican Archives. According to the Cath Encyclopedia he was the foremost defender of the Vatican Council and its decrees and was appointed consultor for the preparation of the council's work in 1868. He was a very prolific and hard-working theological, canonical, and historical writer; publishing many works in defending the Church against the enemies of the Church at that time. He seems to be is a very credible and reliable source concerning Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio and infallibility. Here is a link to "The Catholic Church and the Christian State": http://books.google.com/books?pg=PR8&id=dMoOAAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=%22cum%20ex%20apostolatus%22&f=false

I should mention that I do hold the sedevacant position. I'm looking to see what other sedevacantist's takes are on the comments of Hergenrother on Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio. I have not mulled over this that much. The only thing I've concluded from this is that CEAO is not infallible. Is there more that can be concluded from this? Is there anything that should not be concluded? Does the fact that CEAO is not infallible, or any of Hergenrother's other statements, have any signifigance to our situation today?

These first set of exerpts are all in regards to Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio and taken from "The Catholic Church and the Christian State," Part II, seciton 6, "The Bull 'Cum ex apostolatus officio":

"none of the exponents of dogmatic theology have as yet discovered this character [dogmatic] in the Bull, which has been universally regarded as an emanation of the spiritual penal authority, not a decision of the doctrinal authority."

"all Catholic theologians deny it to be such [dogmatic]. In truth neither the wording of this last-named Bull, nor its contents as a whole, nor the rules universally received among theologians, allow it to be regarded as a dogmatic decision."

"If there is to be a doctrinal decree binding on all, it is requisite that a doctrine to be held or proposition to be rejected be placed before the faithful in terms implying obligation, and be prescribed by the full authority of the Church's teaching office. This is not the case with this Bull."

"it only contains penal sanctions against heresy, which unquestionably belong to disciplinary laws alone. To deduce from the introduction a doctrinal decision on the Papal authority is simply ridiculous."

"Such a statement [that CEAO is infallible] in any one who has really read the Bull leaves us little hope that he understands at all what he is speaking about. Paul IV. renews the earlier censures and penal laws, which his predecessors, acting in concert with the emperors, had issued against various heresies ; he desires that they be observed everywhere, and put in force where they have been unenforced. The point, then, is about the practical execution of previous penal laws, which by their nature are disciplinary, and proceed not from divine revelation, but from the ecclesiastical and civil penal authority."

"The Pope does not here speak as teacher (ex cathedra), but as the watchful shepherd eager to keep the wolves from the sheep"

"it certainly cannot be considered an ex-cathedra doctrinal decision. No Catholic theologian has considered it as such, or placed it in a collection of dogmatic decisions ; and to have done so would have only deserved ridicule ; for if this Bull is to be considered as a doctrinal decision, so must every ecclesiastical penal law."

Theis next statement below is from Hergenrother's notations at the end of this section.

"4 Professor Denzinger has collected all dogmatic decisions in his Enchiridion Definitionum, which has gone since 1853 through four editions, been recommended by many bishops, and been much praised by the Holy Father. No theological reviewer in all Christendom has complained of the omission of the Bull in question; all would much rather have considered a demand for its insertion ridiculous."

This next statement is from Part II, section 7, "Further Objections".

"§7 But it is said : ' This Bull is directed to the whole Church, is subscribed by the Cardinals, and thus has been published in the most solemn form, and is certainly ex cathedra.' These characteristics, however, do not suffice for a dogmatic doctrinal decision. Universally binding laws as to discipline have also been subscribed by the Cardinals, and solemnly proclaimed. Even the Bull 'Cum divina' of Alexander VII. (26th March 1661), which imposed on all ecclesiastical property in Italy certain tithes to help the Venetians in their struggle against the Turks, was subscribed by the Cardinals. And other Papal disciplinary laws have been issued ' out of the fulness of power' (de plenitudine potestatis); the word ' define' is used in other places also of judicial judgments; and laws designated as to be in force for ever (constitutio in perpetuum valitura) have been soon afterwards repealed, because they were found to be of no service to the Church. The sort of proofs our opponents bring forward in this matter show an entire ignorance of Papal Bulls. Compare, for example, another Bull of the same Pope directed against the ambitious endeavours of those who coveted the Papal dignity of this Bull has equally the agreement of the Cardinals, is published out of the plenitude of the Papal power, is declared to be for ever in force, threatens equally all spiritual and temporal dignitaries without exception, &c. And yet it is undoubtedly not in the least a dogmatic Bull. If it were, there would be scarcely any recent ecclesiastical laws (as opposed to dogmas) for canonists to discuss; while dogmatic theologians would have been all in strange ignorance of their province."

Also, concerning CEAO, there is an interesting statement in an 1870 Dublin Review. (url is at the end.)

"The most formidable-looking of all Janus's citations is Paul IV.'s Bull " Cum ex Apostolatus officio," (p. 382): nor, indeed, do we at all deny that that Bull requires very careful consideration, though on totally different grounds from those alleged by Janus. But as far as he is concerned, never was there a simpler case. There is literally no pretext for thinking that this Bull was dogmatic in any sense whatever: the only dogmatic statement which Janus quotes—that which he numbers " (1) "—so far from being defined in the Bull, comes in quite accidentally and parenthetically. The same thing may be said even more strongly of the well-known "In Coena- Domini": concerning which Janus has the effrontery to say (p. 385), that "if ever any document bore the stamp of an ex cathedra decision, it is this." http://books.google.com/books?id=-yEYAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA204&dq=cum+ex+apostolatus&hl=en&ei=f2G_TPjtEpztnQf64tyJDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=cum%20ex%20apostolatus&f=false


Last edited by Joe Cupertino on Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:23 pm
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New post Re: JHergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Offi
Yes, this is not at all controversial. The only men who ever thought it was a doctrinal decree were opponents of papal infallibility. "Janus" was the psedonymous writer (probably Dollinger) who wrote scandalous tracts opposing papal infallibility throughout the Vatican Council, in the attempt to undermine its work.

If you do a search here you'll find various comments in line with what Hergenrother says. But thank you very much for posting it - it's a great source and it's very clear.

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:19 am
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New post Re: JHergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Offi
Here you go: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=529

Same arguments that Hergenrother uses. No wonder we like him. :)

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:37 am
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New post Re: Hergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Offic
Thank you, John. The discussion you linked to was very helpful.

Do the following statements sum things up accurately?

1. That a heretic loses his office is a fact, or principle, of divine law.

2. CEAO is strictly a disciplinary law with parts that are based on the princples of divine law, though CEAO is not dogmaticly defining anything.

3. CEAO has been abrogated by the 1917 Code and the only parts of CEAO that are valid as disciplinary law would be those parts retained in the 1917 Code, particularly canon 188.

4. The principles of divine law that CEAO and canon 188 are based on will always be true, since they are of divine law.

5. CEAO is useful in understanding the mind of the Church and supports the conclusion that a heretic loses his office is a fact of divine law, as it is used by the Church to determine Her disciplinary laws.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:06 pm
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New post Re: Hergenrother - Infallibility of Cum Ex Apostolatus Offic
Yes, Joe, that's what I and many other sedes believe to be the case. Great summary.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:07 am
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