Saint Zosimus…

…judges Francis’ ideas on the norms of the Church

  • The Roman Church is fortified by human and divine laws

Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed such great authority to the Apostolic See that no one would dare to disagree wholly with its judgment, and it has always preserved this judgment by canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline up to this time by its laws pays the reverence which is due to the name of PETER, from whom it has itself descended . . . ; since therefore PETER the head is of such great authority and he has confirmed the subsequent endeavors of all our ancestors, so that the Roman Church is fortified . . . by human as well as by divine laws, and it does not escape you that we rule its place and also hold power of the name itself, nevertheless you know, dearest brethren, and as priests you ought to know. (Denzinger-Hünermann 221. Pope Saint Zosimus, Letter Quamvis Patrum traditio, to the African bishops, March 21, 418)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • No one can retract from any decision made by the authority of the Pope

Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed such great authority to the Apostolic See that no one would dare to disagree wholly with its judgment, and it has always preserved this judgment by canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline up to this time by its laws pays the reverence which is due to the name of Peter, from whom it has itself descended . . . ; since therefore Peter the head is of such (Treat authority and he has confirmed the subsequent endeavors of all our ancestors, so that the Roman Church is fortified . . . by human as well as by divine laws, and it does not escape you that we rule its place and also hold power of the name itself, nevertheless you know, dearest brethren, and as priests you ought to know, although we have such great authority that no one can dare to retract from our decision, yet we have done nothing which we have not voluntarily referred to your notice by letters… not because we did not know what ought to be done, or would do anything which by going against the advantage of the Church, would be displeasing. (Denzinger-Hünermann 221. Pope St. Zosimus, Council of Carthage, from the letter Quamvis Patrum traditio to the African bishops, March 21, 418)