Cdl. Müller: Pope would ‘automatically lose his office’ if he became a heretic

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Cardinal Gerhard Müller said in a recent interview that a pope loses his office if he becomes a heretic and “if the contradiction to the revelation and the dogmatic teaching of the Church is evident.” 

Müller made the remarks about a pope possibly losing his office while answering a question about papal infallibility in an interview published on the German Catholic news site kath.net. 

Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.” Rev. 2:24

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Dogmatic declarations may have the quality of infallibility if their content derives from Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Word of God, and if they are formally presented to be believed by the proper authority of the Magisterium of the Pope and the Bishops, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, as a truth revealed by God,” the German cardinal explained. 

However, “a new public revelation they [the Pope and the bishops] do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith (Lumen Gentium 25),” Müller continued. 

It is therefore erroneous to think that a council or a pope could annul an earlier dogma or stipulate, for example, that the nature of the sacrament of Holy Orders does not include the requirement of the male sex of its recipient,” the German cardinal said, adding that it would also be wrong to think that the pope or council could introduce marriage between two people of the same sex. 

In an extreme case, a pope could become a heretic as a private person and thus automatically lose his office if the contradiction to the revelation and the dogmatic teaching of the Church is evident,” Müller stated. 

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