Chris Ferrara, ”A Challenge to the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” The Remnant, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18: “Indeed, both the 1917 and 1983 codes of canon law provide that no one may insist that an ecclesiastical office has been lost due to heresy unless this has been established by a declaration of the competent authority.”
Answer: This is simply not true. Antipope John Paul II’s heretical and invalid 1983 Code states that such a declaration is necessary in Canon 194 § 3. But the 1917 Code doesn’t. The 1917 Code’s parallel canon to canon 194 is canon 188. Canon 188 of the 1917 Code does not contain this provision, but simply declares that a cleric who “Publicly defects from the Catholic faith” (188 § 4) loses his office by that very fact “without any declaration.”
Canon 188.4, 1917 Code of Canon Law:
“There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are… (4) if he has publicly fallen away from the faith.”
Notice that the 1917 Code doesn’t say anything about a declaration being necessary; it says just the opposite – “without any declaration”! When one compares the two canons, one sees the glaring difference.
Canon 194.1-3, 1983 Code of Canon Law: “One is removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself: ... 2- who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church… The removal from office referred to in nn. 2 and 3 can be enforced only if it is established by the declaration of a competent authority.”
This is probably why Ferrara provides no citation to the 1917 Code in his footnote; he only provides a reference to the 1983 code. Thus, we are dealing with another blatant falsehood from Ferrara.
 Chris Ferrara,”A Challenge to the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” The Remnant, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18.
 The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, translated by Dr. Edward Von Peters, p. 83.
 The Code of Canon Law (1983), A Text and Commentary, Commissioned by the Canon Law Society of America, Edited by James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1985, p. 111.
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