Put on Your Surprise Face:
Canadian Novus Ordo Priest picked by Vatican for Conclave Reporting utters Heresy, says Pope is mere “Figurehead”, “First Among Equals”
In an interview shown on Canadian television, the Vatican’s man for English-language reporting on the upcoming conclave, “Fr.” Thomas Rosica, has unashamedly uttered heresy against the dogma of the nature of the papal primacy. The video clip is available here; the heresy is uttered at the 7:28 min mark.
Here is a transcript of the relevant part:
Fr. Rosica: “[…]The leadership of the papacy requires somebody who can connect with people somebody who has health somebody who can move around and not be afraid of long flights. Somebody who’s got energy and stamina; it’s really a respect for life what he’s done.”
[Interviewer]: “Does it also need someone that connects with this generation….that the Church has to move forward into a whole new era?”
Father Rosica: Oh sure…a leader, that figurehead[,] this first among equals in the person of the pope is absolutely essential. He is a symbol. He represents who we are. And so, for the past two papacies especially the last part of John Paul’s papacy and this papacy, we got to know an older man, an elderly person; John Paul certainly dying before our very eyes almost the last ten years and Benedict who came in elderly and who goes out now weak and that’s very important because we respect elders, in our culture we respect elders…
(“Father Thomas J. Rosica describes Pope as ‘first among equals'”, Vox Cantoris, Feb. 19, 2013; formatting modified.)
To say that the Pope is the “first among equals” is heresy. It is, in fact, the infamous phrase used by the Eastern Orthodox — “primus inter pares” — in their denial of the papal primacy. According to this heresy, the Pope is equal to the other bishops and possesses merely a primacy of honor, but not one of jurisdiction as taught dogmatically by the Church:
If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.
(Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus; Denz. 1831)
The dogmatic theologian Mgr. Gerard van Noort explicated the Catholic dogma on the papal primacy as follows:
[Papal authority] is a real binding authority which demands as its correlative effect a duty, not simply of reverence, but of obedience in the strict sense of the term. The primacy, then, is worlds apart from any mere function of a presiding officer over his associates or confreres. Such an officer is merely an equal among equals and has primacy over the others only insofar as he directs the order to be followed in debating, voting, etc. Neither is the primacy of the pope simply an office of direction, for the notion of direction connotes counsel and persuasion rather than the exercise of genuine authority.
(Mgr. Gerardus Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology II: Christ’s Church [Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1957], p. 280)
But, wouldn’t you know it, “Fr.” Rosica is by no means alone in his adherence to this damnable heresy. He simply repeated Ratzinger doctrine, as Joseph Ratzinger (“Pope Benedict XVI”) himself explicitly denies the dogma of Papal Primacy in his 1982 book Principles of Catholic Theology (a work that contains neither principles nor Catholic theology, by the way): SEE HERE.