“To Deceive the Elect: The Catholic Doctrine on the Question of a Heretical Pope” by Fr. Paul Kramer

I have finished reading Fr. Paul Kramer’s “To Deceive the Elect: The Catholic Doctrine on the Question of a Heretical Pope”.  It is a very enlightening ex​po​sé of the Catholic teaching on heresy and membership in the Church, whether a pope can be a formal heretic, and if it were possible for a pope to be a formal heretic, what can be done about it.  This book is NOT about proving that Jorge Bergoglio was not validly elected in 2013 and that Benedict XVI is still the true pope because of it.  Fr. Kramer does write about this matter in the Introduction, but it only forms a small part overall.  Therefore, those who disparage the content by saying, “Fr. Kramer needed 700 pages to prove that Jorge Bergoglio is not the pope,” show that they don’t know what they are talking about.  It shows they approach this book with bias even before reading it.  That is not exactly intellectual honesty.

There are three major theses that I took from this book:

1. All manifestly pertinacious heretics (including popes if it were possible that they could become such) visibly separate themselves from the Church by the nature of heresy, and not by any juridical act of ecclesiastical authority; and, as a direct consequence of being visibly severed from the body of the Church, they lose ipso facto by tacit renunciation whatever ecclesiastical office they may have held, without any declaration by the ecclesiastical authority.

This must be believed with Divine and Catholic Faith.

2. There does not exist, nor can there exist, even by way of exception, a jurisdiction on earth superior to the pope’s universal primacy of jurisdiction.  Consequently, no one on earth, not even the whole of the cardinals and bishops of the world, can judge a true pope, even for heresy, and depose him from the papal office.

This must be believed with Divine and Catholic Faith.

3. A true pope cannot fall into formal heresy, public or occult.

This must be believed as proximate to Faith.

In my opinion, no Catholic library should be without this book.  I have learned a lot from it.  I encourage readers to buy the book from The Servants of Jesus and Mary.


See here for theological notes.


2 Responses to “To Deceive the Elect: The Catholic Doctrine on the Question of a Heretical Pope” by Fr. Paul Kramer

  1. I too have read Fr. Kramer’s book, and I believe that Tony’s summary is a very accurate representation of the book. I too recommend the book. The R& R Trads do not have too fear this book, it will not make them sedevacantist, but explains the defects in both the R&R position (heretics can be Catholics) and SV position (all the hierarchy are heretics and thus outside the Church).

  2. We also want to state that Father Kramer is a clear and honest priest who is teaching the faith in an objective way that is completely edifying in contrast to those “so called” teachers within the Church today who subjectively expound their personal biases and seemingly vacillate endlessly from the TRUTH or in and out of the TRUTH which results in great confusion for the faithful. Think satan’s methods to deceive Adam and Eve.

    We have noticed that many Catholics are following their preferred priest to the exclusion of the TRUTH and EVIDENCE that will lead one to the TRUTH. This choice to follow one’s personal priest, no matter what, continues to be an illogical approach because the scriptures warn against this weapon against FAITH. Think of the newSSPX, and other traditional priests and societies whom the faithful must be wary of in regard to their teachings.

    This is the same problem that Catholics fell for as they followed their preferred priest to accept the HOLY EUCHARIST in the hand, all manner of abuse of Catholic doctrines and dogmas, all modernist ideas, etc. The modernist conciliar priest and those who followed their priest may have, at the same time, risked themselves toward becoming enemies of JESUS CHRIST and therefore endangering their souls and their eternal salvation. The proof is that many faithful Catholics have lost their FAITH.

    Also, remember the greatest testament against following a priest and his mouthpieces (a.k.a. those who parrot the priest in all he says and thinks in the subjective realm and everything else). This testament against following a priest off the cliff is (Father) Martin Luther.

    This same danger of following a priest exists today; and it remains very dangerous to souls because it is opening up oneself to an emotional enslavement versus following the evidence and the objective TRUTH of the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, and APOSTOLIC CHURCH of all times.

    We must thank Father Kramer for the laborious work he has presented as the means for all those who seek to objectively sort out and soundly and logically attain to the TRUTH BASED ON EVIDENCE.

    AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM

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