- Jul 9, 2003
- Reaction score
There are precedents for the deposition of a pope. The last time it happened was at the Council of Constance, which ended the Great Western Schism early in the 15th century. The council deposed or secured the resignations of all three papal claimants and elected a new pope, Martin V. Clearly this was an extraordinary measure taken to resolve an extraordinary situation. It would take a whole lot more than a pope kissing the Koran to trigger such a reaction today. Presumably in the event of an insane or obstinately heretical pope the college of cardinals could declare that an emergency exists and take steps to resolve the situation. Failing that, a council of all bishops might have to be summoned. After all, it was a division in the college of cardinals that precipitated and prolonged the Western Schism in the first place, and it took two councils before it was resolved.Linus7 said:You're probably right; they were probably thinking in terms of a pope too ill or incapacitated to carry out his duties.
But it depends on how one defines a complete impediment.