I don't want to get ahead of myself, but while we are all waiting for the stallion to leave the barn, I'm starting to think more about what is meant by the Pope 'will be obligated' to respond to the formal correction.
Let's face it, as the elected Vicar of Christ, he is obligated to teach, govern and sanctify but not a day goes by that he isn't taking a bulldozer to something. And any attempt to hold his feet to the fire of this obligation has been met with toxic passive/aggressive nonsense.
We don't need a sorcerer to predict that minutes after the formal correction, he'll get busy writing 'homilies' that caricature the victims of his spiritual malpractice as inflexible sourpussed antichrists being skunks at their lawn party.
So...what comes next?
I found this article most interesting.
Both interviews, using different words, say something similar regarding the necessity of the Pope to respond. One says the formal correction would ‘oblige the Pope to respond’ while the other says “it would require the Pope to fulfill his solemn duty to teach what the Catholic Church has always taught and practiced.” It seems to me that Cardinal Burke is not speaking of a moral obligation which a Pope might ignore, but an obligation arising from an “or-else” hanging over the Pope’s head if he does not respond correctly or at all after a specified period of time and a specified number of warnings. That is, the See of Peter will be declared vacant if Pope Francis fails to comply after said warnings. Cardinal Burke seems to have suggested as much in a previous interview where he stated hypothetically: “If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen”...
For Pope Francis to refuse or fail to respond to what such a “formal correction” asks – even by silence – would suggest the Pope is being pertinacious and obstinate. Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (“who is silent seems to agree, where he ought to speak and was able to”). In such a case, it would appear that the Church could rightly interpret silence and inaction as a clear sign of the pope’s pertinacious and obstinate consent to heresy. God forbid it goes down this path, but if it does, this process may drag out over a period of six or more months after the issuance of the “formal correction,” depending on the time periods given with each warning. In sum, there is no quick end or solution to the crisis.
Sources give me the feeling this process could potentially lead to the Holy Father's derailment, but I don't have my finger on the pulse of the Canonical process.
Looking forward to reading the opinion of canonical lawyers familiar to me.
Incidentally, this is something right out of the playbook of the Boston Archdiocese.
In what universe does this not inspire employees to run home to their personal computers and read the information?