Imagining a Heretical President, by John Horvat II

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*Image: St. Augustine Dispels the Heretics by Giovanni Lanfranco, early 17th century [Chiesa di San Agostino, Rome, Italy]

By John Horvat II,  The Catholic Thing, March 18, 2023

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order. He serves as vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.


Bishop Thomas Paprocki recently pointed to a crisis in the Church with his article “Imagining a Heretical Cardinal.”  The learned canon lawyer masterfully laid out his case by quoting the positions of a “hypothetical” cardinal (taken from an article written by San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy, without mentioning his name). It does not take much imagination to apply the same principles the bishop identifies to other figures, starting with imagining a “heretical” American president.

Of course, this application should be used judiciously lest it becomes a witch hunt accusing everyone of heresy. But the bishop of Springfield, Ill., carefully showed how – on specific questions – the Cardinal’s heterodox stands about sexual matters and the Holy Eucharist put him outside the communion of the Church, among the “separated brethren,” i.e., this made him a heretic. ….