RESPONSE TO FR. KRAMER’S ERROR ON “NOTORIOUS BY FACT”



Kramer: “You, Robert Siscoe, are confusing notoriety of law with notoriety of fact. The fact of the shooting of Lee Oswald by Jack Ruby [material act - RS] was a notorious fact from the moment the whole natiom saw it on live TV and the identity of the shooter was announced by the police on the day of the murder. It did not become nototious only after the Judge pronounced Ruby guilty.”

Reply: No, I am not confusing notorious by fact with notorious by law.  We have an entire section in “True or False Pope?” in which the distinction between the two is defined and discussed. 

It is you who are confusing a material act that is widely known with a notorious crime.

For a crime to be notorious, it does not suffice for the material aspect be publicly known.  The formal aspect (culpability) must also be widely known, and it must be committed under such circumstances “that no clever evasion is possible and no legal excuse could excuse” (1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 2197, º3).  For example, if Francis publicly admitted that he knowingly denies a dogma that he knows that Church has defined, and it became widely known, he would be notorious with a notoriety of fact.  Simply making a heretical statement (the material aspect) does not suffice.

In his commentary on the old Code, Stanislaus Woywod explains:

“An offense is Notorious by notoriety of fact, if it is [1] publicly known and [2] committed under such circumstances that it cannot be concealed by any subterfuge, nor excused by any excuse admitted in law, i.e., both the fact of the offense [material aspect] and the imputability or criminal liability [formal aspect] must be publicly known. 
Applying this to the case of Papal heresy, Fr. Boulet wrote:

“For the criminality of a Pope’s heresy to be legally recognized, such that his heresy would be canonically Notorious, not only would a knowledge of his heresy [the material aspect] have to have spread widely through the Church, as we have seen above, but it would also have to have been widely recognized as a morally imputable crime [the formal aspect].
With Pope Francis (as well as his recent predecessors) perhaps the material fact is widely known, but not the imputability or criminal liability.  If the latter were widely known in the case of Francis, the Cardinals would not be asking him to clarify his position.  Even Burke has said publicly that he is not accusing Francis of heresy, which would not be the case if his heresy was notorious with a notoriety of fact.

And if you believe the public nature of the material act alone suffices for notoriety of fact, please explain why Ratzinger is not a notorious heretic, since he has been on record for the past 50 years denying the physical resurrection of the Body.  Here is what he wrote in Introduction to Christianity, which was first published in the late 1960’s, and brought back into print in the year 2000 (with new Foreword written by Cardinal Ratzinger, in which he retracted nothing)

“One thing at any rate may be fairly clear: both John (6:63) and Paul (1 Cor. 15:50) state with all possible emphasis that ‘resurrection of the flesh,’ and the ‘resurrection of the body,’ is not a ‘resurrection of physical bodies.’ Thus, from the point of view of modern thought, the Pauline sketch is far less naïve than later theological erudition with its subtle ways of construing how there can be eternal physical bodies. To recapitulate, Paul teaches, not the resurrection of physical bodies, but the resurrection of persons, and this not in the return of the ‘fleshly body,’ that is, the biological structure, an idea he expressly describes as impossible…” (Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco, California: Ignatius Press, 2004) with a new Foreword by Cardinal Ratzinger dated April 2000, pp. 357-358).

If you consider Francis to be a notorious heretic with a notoriety fact, then explain why Ratzinger is not.  You have no authority to declare who is and who is not "notorious by fact," based on your private judgment, and then publicly declare that the person has lost his ecclesiastical office due to the alleged fact. This is exactly what the Sedevacantists do.  The only difference is who it is that has been judged by private judgment and is declared to a heretic by a "notorious by fact”.

No comments: