In the recent excitement over the Pope's recently reported comments on the plane, nobody has noted a perhaps more interesting but less practical point, which is that, if Fr. Lombardi is correct, a historical event has tilted a scholastic debate.
I am taking the formulation from the Collegium Salmanticensis, C.T., De Fide, Dips. 4, dub. 1, nn. 5-7 (Palme, vol. 11, pp. 250-252).
The question: An Pontifex ut Doctor particularis gaudeat eadem indefectibilitate circa res Fidei, et an possit absolute errare circa objecta secunda generis, quae supra descripsimus?
Albertus Pighius was thought to be the first to hold this position, although others such as Bellarmine and Suarez responded negatively as well, at least with respect to errors concerning things of faith, and "cum contumacia."
The Carmelites and Banez (as well as the preceding tradition?) hold that Summus Pontifex ut doctor particularis potest errare non solum circa objecta secundi generis, sed etiam circa res fidei, et non solum errore inculpabili proveniente ex ignorantia, aut negligentia, sed etiam cum contumacia, ita ut sit haereticus.
With respect to the kinds of objects, "Pontifex ad duo objectorum genera comparari valet: ad res fidei, ad bonos Ecclesiae mores, aliaque hujusmodi, quae pertinent ad commune ovium sibi creditarum salutem." The others concern the faith in some other way.
The plane conference was ut doctor particularis. If Fr. Lombardi is correct, it also involved matters belonging to the first category (grave matter). Consequently, the second opinion would be proved up to the point "non solum circa objecta secondi generis," but NOT from "et non solum errore . . ." Could this be right?
2/29/2016 Response to Comment
It is clear to me that the position that Fr. Lombardi attributes to the Pope would qualify with respect to its content, but it is perhaps uncertain to me that the Pope really said it, or, if he did, whether he holds it cum contumacia. As was discussed previously, according to Banez et al., a Pope would not cease being Pope simply by being a heretic. The legal membership of a Pope or indeed any bishop continues even after they separate themselves through heresy. There needs to be a trial. In the case of the Pope, what group could determine this and who would call it. The old exceptions to the Pope's authority in calling a Council (found in anti-Conciliarist discussions) apply when the Pope is guilty of heresy (or apostasy) or schism. Examples are Constance and the group in Rome that deposed Pope Marcellinus (whether it happened or not, people thought that it did). Practically speaking, I don't know how anything like that could work after 1917, but I know nothing of canon law. With respect to the matter under discussion, I don't see how a watertight case could be made that the conditions exist. Moreover, I doubt that there is a cadre of good bishops out there ready to defend Catholic teaching against much of the Catholic establishment, including their fellow bishops. They just aren't there and ready to be controversial. It is how they have been selected, maybe at least in part for good reason. It seems clear to me that the teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraceptive acts is necessary for salvation. But the only ones defending it publicly and loudly have been lay people and priests (Smith, Brugger, National Catholic Bioethics Center). Moreover, I haven't heard any episcopal comments on the errors of some of the new non-magisterial documents and statements. As the recent Synod discussions indicated, there is widespread error concerning "quae pertinent ad commune ovium sibi creditarum salutem." It is like living in the fourth century.