For Catholics around the world, the wait continues for the two remaining” Dubia Cardinals” to issue the promised “formal correction” to Pope Francis as regards Amoris Laetitia. Today, however, in what is being described as an “epoch-making act” unlike any taken “since the Middle Ages,” a group of Catholic clergy and lay scholars have taken a similar measure of their own, making public a “Filial Correction” that was first delivered to the pope on August 11th. The occasion of the publication of this document is today’s Feast of Our Lady of Ransom and of Our Lady of Walsingham. Versions of this correctioare now available in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, along with supporting documents and a list of signatories, on a new website created to support this effort: correctiofilialis.org
Anticipating the objection of those who will claim that simple clergy and laymen have no place in correcting a pope, the authors make their purpose clear:
As subjects, we do not have the right to issue to Your Holiness that form of correction by which a superior coerces those subject to him with the threat or administration of punishment (cf. Summa Theologiae 2a 2ae, 33, 4). We issue this correction, rather, to protect our fellow Catholics – and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away (cf. Lk. 11:52) – hoping to prevent the further spread of doctrines which tend of themselves to the profaning of all the sacraments and the subversion of the Law of God.
The letter also takes an unprecedented step, using the word “heresy” in reference not just to possible interpretations of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, but also to other recent “words, deeds and omissions” of the pope.
“Most Holy Father,” the letter begins, “With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.” [emphasis added]
The 25-page document, which was delivered with 40 signatures, has continued to garner support while its existence was kept secret from the public, having grown to include 62 members of the clergy and lay scholars from 20 countries around the world. The list of signatories includes well-known names of Catholic leaders, theologians, and authors such as Fr. Linus Clovis, Deacon Nick Donnelly, Christopher Ferrara, Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Martin Mosebach, Prof. Roberto de Mattei, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and many more. The authors stress that they will be welcoming additional signatures through a form on their website.
A summary of the document says that these 62 “also represent others lacking the necessary freedom of speech”, calling to mind the recent abrupt dismissal of renowned Austrian philosopher Josef Seifert from his position as the Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair at the International Academy of Philosophy in Granada, Spain after he publicized some respectful questions about Amoris Laetitia. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of only a few outspoken champions of Catholic teaching amongst the global episcopacy, described Seifert’s firing as “not only unjust, but … ultimately an escape from truth”. For his part, Seifert has had to take both canonical and civil legal action to fight his summary dismissal without cause – actions which signatories of the correctio could also be forced to take in the event they face similar disciplinary action in retaliation for their involvement.
The full title of the document is Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, which is translated as “A filial correction concerning the propagation of heresies.” It states, according to the authors, “that the pope has, by his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, and by other, related, words, deeds and omissions, effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”
This correction is comprised of three parts:
First, there an explanation from the signatories as to why they have “the right and duty” to “issue such a correction to the supreme pontiff.” They emphasize that this correction does not come into conflict with the dogma of papal infallibility, because the pope “has not declared these heretical positions to be definitive teachings of the Church, or stated that Catholics must believe them with the assent of faith.”
Second, there is the “correction” itself. In this section, the passages of Amoris Laetitia are listed “in which heretical positions are insinuated or encouraged”; also listed are “words, deeds, and omissions of Pope Francis which make it clear beyond reasonable doubt that he wishes Catholics to interpret these passages in a way that is, in fact, heretical.”
Third, there is the “elucidation,” which examines more deeply the roots of the present situation. “One cause,” write the authors, “is ‘Modernism’. Theologically speaking, Modernism is the belief that God has not delivered definite truths to the Church, which she must continue to teach in exactly the same sense until the end of time.” The authors insist that because of the great confusion that follows from Modernism’s presence in the Church, the signatories are obliged to “describe the true meaning of ‘faith’, ‘heresy’, ‘revelation’, and ‘magisterium’.” The authors go on in the “elucidation” of the correctio to focus in a particular way on the influence of the thought of the arch-heretic Martin Luther on the pontificate of Pope Francis.
The passages from Amoris Laetitia giving rise to the greatest harm are listed, along with several other “words, deeds, and omissions” of the pope which “in conjunction with these passages of Amoris laetitia are serving to propagate heresies within the Church”. These include:
- The refusal of the pope to answer the dubia
- The intervention of Pope Francis in the Relatio post disceptationem for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to include proposals for Holy Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics “despite the fact that they did not receive the two-thirds majority required by the Synod rules for a proposal to be included in the Relatio.”
- The papal interview of April 2016, in which a journalist asked if there were any new “concrete possibilities for the divorced and remarried” as a result of Amoris Laetitia, and to which the pope responded, “I can say yes. Period.” [Readers can view our translated video of that exchange here.] Also mentioned here were related statements of Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn, who was given the unofficial role of interpreting Amoris Laetitia by the pope, and who affirmed that in “certain cases” the pope intended “the help of the sacraments” for people in these situations.
- The letter of Pope Francis affirming the guidelines of the Bishops of the Buenos Aires’ region, which “offers the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist” in “a specific case” “when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained” and “there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability”. Of these guidelines, the pope wrote, “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”
Several other examples of papal actions that support these same interpretations of Amoris Laetitia, allowing communion for those living in an objectively adulterous situation, were also listed.
The authors then turn to the seven “false and heretical propositions” that have been promoted within the Church. They insist that they, and the signatories who have joined them, “do not not venture to judge the degree of awareness with which Pope Francis has propagated the 7 heresies which they list.” It is the purpose of their correction, however, to “respectfully insist that he condemn these heresies, which he has directly or indirectly upheld.”
The seven propositions of the correctio itself, though issued in Latin, have also been translated by the authors as follows:
By these words, deeds, and omissions, and by the above-mentioned passages of the document Amoris laetitia, Your Holiness has upheld, directly or indirectly, and, with what degree of awareness we do not seek to judge, both by public office and by private act propagated in the Church the following false and heretical propositions:
1). ‘A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.’
2). ‘Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.’
3). ‘A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.’
4). ‘A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.’
5). ‘Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.’
6). ‘Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.’
7). ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.’
For each of these propositions, citations are given from both Scripture and the Church’s magisterium documenting where they come into conflict with Catholic teaching. “These propositions” the authors write, “all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith.”
The authors conclude the correctio as true sons of the Church:
At this critical hour, therefore, we turn to the cathedra veritatis, the Roman Church, which has by divine law pre-eminence over all the churches, and of which we are and intend always to remain loyal children, and we respectfully insist that Your Holiness publicly reject these propositions, thus accomplishing the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ given to St Peter and through him to all his successors until the end of the world: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”
It is difficult to predict what, if any, impact this correctio will have on a papacy that has steadfastly ignored a previous filial appeal with nearly 800,000 signatures, the circulation of a theological censures document authored by 45 theologians and scholars amongst the entire college of cardinals, and the five dubia presented by four cardinals who have, as yet, not been able to even obtain a papal audience over a year after their initial intervention and in the wake of the deaths of two of their number.
Nevertheless, the language used in this latest document advances the case further than anything that came before it, and some speculate that it may help establish that the pope is guilty of public and notorious material heresy. If so, his failure to respond could be an important step in determining that the pope is “incorrigible and pertinacious” in the promotion of heresy, and possibly trigger additional remedial actions further down the road.
62 LEADERS SIGN FILIAL CORRECTION TO POPE FRANCIS
No similar action has been taken since the Middle Ages
The letter was originally delivered to Pope Francis on August 11, but since no response has been forthcoming, the signatories have agreed to make their letter public.
“No similar action has been taken since the Middle Ages,” the release states. “Then, Pope John XXII was admonished in 1333 for errors which he later recanted on his deathbed. In the present case, the spiritual sons and daughters of Pope Francis accuse him of propagating heresies contrary to the Catholic faith.”
The letter itself has three main parts. As the summary explains:
In the first part, the signatories explain why, as believing and practicing Catholics, they have the right and duty to issue such a correction to the supreme pontiff. Church law itself requires that competent persons not remain silent when the pastors of the Church are misleading the flock. This involves no conflict with the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility, since the Church teaches that a pope must meet strict criteria before his utterances can be considered infallible. Pope Francis has not met these criteria. He has not declared these heretical positions to be definitive teachings of the Church, or stated that Catholics must believe them with the assent of faith. The Church teaches no pope can claim that God has revealed some new truth to him, which it would be obligatory for Catholics to believe.
The second part of the letter is the essential one, since it contains the “Correction” properly speaking. It lists the passages of Amoris laetitia in which heretical positions are insinuated or encouraged, and then it lists words, deeds, and omissions of Pope Francis which make it clear beyond reasonable doubt that he wishes Catholics to interpret these passages in a way that is, in fact, heretical. In particular, the pope has directly or indirectly countenanced the beliefs that obedience to God’s Law can be impossible or undesirable, and that the Church should sometimes accept adultery as compatible with being a practising Catholic.
The final part, called “Elucidation,” discusses two causes of this unique crisis. One cause is “Modernism.” Theologically speaking, Modernism is the belief that God has not delivered definite truths to the Church, which she must continue to teach in exactly the same sense until the end of time. Modernists hold that God communicates to mankind only experiences, which human beings can reflect on, so as to make various statements about God, life and religion; but such statements are only provisional, never fixed dogmas. Modernism was condemned by Pope St. Pius X at the start of the 20th century, but it revived in the middle of the century. The great and continuing confusion caused in the Catholic Church by Modernism obliges the signatories to describe the true meaning of “faith,” “heresy,” “revelation,” and “magisterium.”
Signatories include Dr. Joseph Shaw, Tutor in Moral philosophy at University of Oxford, Prof. Roberto de Mattei Former Professor of the History of Christianity, European University of Rome, and Fr. Linus Clovis, Director of the Secretariat for Family and Life in the Archdiocese of Castries, among others.
The filial correction is open to further signatures, and can be read in full here.
BREAKING: 62 scholars correct Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’
By Pete Baklinski, September 23,2017
ROME, September 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Expressing “profound grief” and “filial devotion,” Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world have issued what they are calling a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.”
The Filial Correction, in the form of a 25-page letter, bears the signatures of sixty-two Catholic academics, researchers, and scholars in various fields from twenty countries. They assert that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.
The correction was delivered to the Pope at his Santa Marta residence on August 11, 2017. No similar action has taken place within the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages, when Pope John XXII was admonished for errors which he later recanted on his deathbed.
“With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness,” the signers write in the letter.
“As subjects, we do not have the right to issue to Your Holiness that form of correction by which a superior coerces those subject to him with the threat or administration of punishment,” they state.
“We issue this correction, rather, to protect our fellow Catholics — and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away — hoping to prevent the further spread of doctrines which tend of themselves to the profaning of all the sacraments and the subversion of the Law of God,” they add.
The signers respectfully insist that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has “directly or indirectly upheld,” and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.
They say that they make “no judgment” about the Pope’s culpability in propagating the seven heresies they list. They add that it is not their task to “judge whether the sin of heresy has been committed” whereby a person “departs from the faith by doubting or denying some revealed truth with a full choice of the will.”
The letter was made public today, six weeks after the signers received no response from the Pope.
Duty to correct
The 62 clergy and lay scholars explain that, as believing and practicing Catholics, they have the right and duty to issue such a correction to the Pope “by natural law, by the law of Christ, and by the law of the Church” and that the correction in no way undermines Catholic teaching on papal infallibility.
The Catholic Church teaches that the Pope is infallible (incapable of error by a special gift of the Holy Spirit) when certain conditions are met. He teaches infallibly in his ordinary capacity when a doctrine is consistent, constant, and universal in relation to what the Church and other popes have always taught. Or in an extraordinary capacity, he teaches infallibly when he speaks “ex cathedra,” that is, when he speaks in the capacity of his office as Apostolic pastor and teacher for the purpose of defining a “doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” The Pope is not infallible in other matters, such as when he gives an off-the-cuff interview or presents his personal reflection on a given topic.
“We adhere wholeheartedly to the doctrine of papal infallibility,” the signers state, adding that in their opinion “neither Amoris Laetitia nor any of the statements which have served to propagate the heresies which this exhortation insinuates are protected by that divine guarantee of truth.” The signers’ opinion that the exhortation is not infallible magisterial teaching is backed by leading churchmen, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke.
The signers list a dozen passages from Amoris Laetitia that they say “serve to propagate seven heretical propositions.”
Included in the list is the “smoking” footnote 351 where the Pope writes that those living in an objective situation of sin can receive the “help of the sacraments” to grow in the life of grace and charity. Many have interpreted this to mean that civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion, and the Pope has endorsed guidelines allowing this. Also included in the list is the text pertaining to couples living in adultery who, the Pope writes, see their situation as “what God himself is asking” of them, despite falling short of the “objective ideal.”
The scholars say that these passages along with a number of “words, deeds and omissions” of the Pope are “serving to propagate heresies within the Church.”
According to the signers, the “words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis that promote heresy include:
- Refusing to answer the dubia (five yes-or-no questions) submitted by the four cardinals (two of whom are now deceased) asking him to confirm that Amoris Laetitia does not abolish five teachings of the Catholic faith.
- Forcibly intervening at the 2015 Synod of the Family where he insisted on inserting into a midterm report a proposal (that did not receive sufficient votes) to allow communion for adulterers and a proposal that pastors should emphasize the “positive aspects” of lifestyles the Church considers gravely sinful, including civil remarriage after divorce and premarital cohabitation.
- Endorsing an interpretation of the exhortation by Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn that allows for Holy Communion to be given to adulterers.
- Affirming the statement of the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that allowed Communion to be given to adulterers, stating that “there are no other interpretations.”
- Appointing to positions of influence within the Church men who publicly dissent from Catholic teaching on the sacraments, including Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
- Allowing guidelines for the diocese of Rome to be issued under his authority that permit adulterers to receive communion under certain circumstances.
- Leaving uncorrected the publication in L’Osservatore Romano, the official journal of the Holy See, the Maltese bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitiathat allows communion for adulterers.
The Catholic clergy and lay scholars go on to list seven “false and heretical propositions” which they say Pope Francis “directly or indirectly” upholds through his “words, deeds, and omissions.” These seven propositions, listed below, are summaries of the positions which they attribute to Pope Francis and deem to be heretical.
- A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.
- Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.
- A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.
- A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.
- Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.
- Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.
The clergy and scholars state that these “propositions all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith.”
They add that it is “necessary” that such heresies be “condemned by the authority of the Church,” on account of the “great and imminent danger” they cause to souls.
As one of the signers explained to LifeSiteNews, St. Thomas Aquinas taught that faithful Catholics have a duty to correct an erring prelate. He quoted the following passage from the saint’s famous theological work Summa Theologiae:
If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11, Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.
The signers conclude the letter, writing: “At this critical hour, therefore, we turn to the cathedra veritatis [seat of truth], the Roman Church, which has by divine law pre-eminence over all the churches, and of which we are and intend always to remain loyal children, and we respectfully insist that Your Holiness publicly reject these propositions, thus accomplishing the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ given to St Peter and through him to all his successors until the end of the world: ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.’”
One significant name in the list of signers is that of Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). He signed the letter after it had already been submitted to the Pope. It remains to be seen how Fellay’s agreement with the content of the filial correction will affect Pope Francis’ recent efforts to integrate the SSPX legally into the Catholic Church.
Signs of the times
The filial correction comes after more than a year of the Pope not dialoguing or engaging with faithful Catholics who have approached him directly with serious concerns about how he is steering the Barque of Peter, the Church. The Pope has been sent letters, petitions, video messages, and official questions (the dubia), but all to no avail. Significant dates of attempts to dialogue with the Pope include:
- September 29, 2015 – 791,000 Catholics (including 8 cardinals, over 200 bishops, and numerous priests, religious, and lay faithful representing 62 pro-family organizations) petition Pope Francis to end the “widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery… and would virtually even accept homosexual unions.”
- July 13, 2016 – 16 international life-and-family advocates plead with the Popeto “unambiguously speak the truth of the Catholic faith, to end doctrinal confusion, to restore clarity, and to be the Holy Father that Catholics need.”
- July 11, 2016 – 45 Catholic scholars submit a letter to the cardinals and Eastern patriarchs of the Church asking them to petition the Pope to “repudiate a list of erroneous propositions” that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.
- September 19, 2016 – Four cardinals (two of whom are now deceased) submit to the Pope five yes-or-no questions (dubia) asking if the exhortation conforms to perennial Catholic teaching on the moral life. The questions were never answered.
- January 18, 2017 – Three Eastern European bishops launch a “spiritual crusade” urging the Pope to “revoke in an unequivocal manner” pastoral guidelines stemming from Amoris Laetitia that allow adulterers to receive Holy Communion.
- April 25, 2017 – The four dubia cardinals unsuccessfully ask the Pope for a private audience to discuss “confusion and disorientation” within the Church after the publication of Amoris Laetitia.
The filial correction comes as a “formal correction” of the Pope from cardinals may be imminent.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the dubia Cardinals, told The Wanderer last month that this “formal correction” would involve a clear presentation of the Church’s teaching on the points at issue, alongside what the Pope is actually saying on those points. “If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” he said.
“It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond,” he said.
Burke said he and the other three cardinals – Walter Brandmuller, Joachim Meisner, and Carlo Caffarra (the latter two now deceased) – issued the dubia “in order to give [Pope Francis] the occasion to set forth the Church’s unchanging teaching.”
“Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth,” he explained. “These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points.”
In an interview this week with Australia’s Catholic Outlook, Burke said the need for a response to the dubia is urgent because of the “harm done to souls by the confusion and error.”
“The urgency weighs very heavily on my heart,” he said.
The Filial Correction and its signatories, along with a summary statement and press release, can be viewed at www.correctiofilialis.org.
Editor’s note: Diane Montagna contributed to this report.
Signatories of the Filial Correction
Note: The letter delivered to Pope Francis on August 11 contained 40 names. 22 more names have been added since that date.
Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg
European editor, Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior
Prof. Jean Barbey
Historian and Jurist, former Professor at the University of Maine
Fr Claude Barthe
Philip M. Beattie BA (Leeds), MBA (Glasgow), MSc (Warwick), Dip.Stats (Dublin)
Associate Lecturer, University of Malta (Malta)
Fr Jehan de Belleville
Dr. Philip Blosser
Professor of Philosophy, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit
Fr Robert Brucciani
District superior of the SSPX in Great Britain
Prof. Mario Caponnetto
University Professor, Mar de la Plata (Argentina)
Mr Robert F. Cassidy STL
Fr Isio Cecchini
Parish Priest in Tuscany
Salvatore J. Ciresi M.A.
Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild, Lecturer at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
Fr. Linus F Clovis Ph.D., JCL, M.Sc., STB, Dip. Ed
Director of the Secretariat for Family and Life in the Archdiocese of Castries
Fr Paul Cocard
Fr Thomas Crean OP STD
Prof. Matteo D’Amico
Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of Ancona
Dr. Chiara Dolce PhD
Research doctor in Moral Philosophy at the University of Cagliari
Deacon Nick Donnelly MA
Head of Department for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought at the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
Professor of philosophy at Saints Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
H.E. Mgr Bernard Fellay
Superior General of the SSPX
Christopher Ferrara Esq.
Founding President of the American Catholic Lawyers’ Association
Prof. Michele Gaslin
Professor of Public Law at the University of Udine
Prof. Corrado Gnerre
Professor at the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose of Benevento, Pontifical Theological University of Southern Italy
Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi
Former President of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), Professor of Ethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan
Dr. Maria Guarini STB
Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio
Prof. Robert Hickson PhD
Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies
Fr John Hunwicke
Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford
Fr Jozef Hutta
Prof. Isebaert Lambert
Full Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, and at the Flemish Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Dr. John Lamont STL DPhil (Oxon.)
Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta STD
Lecturer in Dogmatic Theology, Theological Faculty of Lugano, Switzerland; Priest in charge of St Mary’s, Gosport, in the diocese of Portsmouth
Prof. Massimo de Leonardis
Professor and Director of the Department of Political Sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan
Msgr. Prof. Antonio Livi
Academic of the Holy See
Dean emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University
Vice-rector of the church of Sant’Andrea del Vignola, Rome
Dr. Carlo Manetti
Professor in Private Universities in Italy
Prof. Pietro De Marco
Former Professor at the University of Florence
Prof. Roberto de Mattei
Former Professor of the History of Christianity, European University of Rome
Former Vice President of the National Research Council (CNR)
Fr Cor Mennen
Lecturer in Canon Law at the Major Seminary of the Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)
Canon of the cathedral chapter of the diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Prof. Stéphane Mercier
Lecturer in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain
Don Alfredo Morselli STL
Parish priest of the archdiocese of Bologna
Writer and essayist
Dr. Claude E. Newbury M.B., B.Ch., D.T.M&H., D.O.H., M.F.G.P., D.C.H., D.P.H., D.A., M. Med;
Former Director of Human Life International in Africa south of the Sahara
Former Member of the Human Services Commission of the Catholic Bishops of South Africa
Prof. Lukas Novak
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Charles University, Prague
Fr Guy Pagès
Prof. Paolo Pasqualucci
Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia
Prof. Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile
Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Father Anthony Pillari J.C.L., M.C.L
Prof. Enrico Maria Radaelli
Philosopher, editor of the works of Romano Amerio
Dr. John Rao
Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University, NYC; Chairman, Roman Forum
Dr. Carlo Regazzoni
Licentiate in Philosophy at University of Freiburg
Dr. Giuseppe Reguzzoni
External Researcher at the Catholic University of Milan and former editorial assistant of Communio, International Catholic Review (Italian edition)
Prof. Arkadiusz Robaczewski
Former Professor at the Catholic University of Lublin
Fr Settimio M. Sancioni STD
Licence in Biblical Science
Prof. Andrea Sandri
Research Associate, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan
Dr. Joseph Shaw
Tutor in Moral philosophy, St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford
Fr Paolo M. Siano HED (Historiae Ecclesiasticae Doctor)
Dr. Cristina Siccardi
Historian of the Church
Dr Anna Silvas
Adjunct research fellow, University of New England, NSW, Australia
Prof. Dr Thomas Stark
Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz
Rev. Glen Tattersall
Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, archdiocese of Melbourne; Rector, St Aloysius’ Church
Prof. Giovanni Turco
Associate Professor of Philosophy of Public Law at the University of Udine
Member Correspondent of the Pontificia Accademia San Tommaso d’Aquino
Prof. Piero Vassallo
Former editor of Cardinal Siri’s theological review Renovatio
Prof. Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira
Former Professor at the Pontifical University of São Paulo, Brazil
Mons. José Luiz Villac
Former Rector of the Seminary of Jacarezinho
Clergy and Lay Scholars Issue Filial Correction of Pope Francis
By Edward Pentin, September 23,2017
A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.
Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.
The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).
The letter begins by saying that with “profound grief but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself” the signatories feel “compelled” to take this action “on account of the propagation of heresies.”
They cite in particular Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, and “other words, deeds and omissions.”
They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”
The clergy and scholars “respectfully insist” that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has directly or indirectly upheld, and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.
The filial correction, the first to be made of a reigning Pontiff since Pope John XXII was admonished in 1333, is divided into three main parts.
In the first, the signatories say they have the “right and duty” to issue such a correction. They make clear the doctrine of papal infallibility has not been contradicted as the Pope has not promulgated heretical opinions as dogmatic teachings of the Church, but they maintain that Francis has “upheld and propagated heretical opinions by various direct and indirect means.”
The second part deals with the correction itself. Written in Latin, it lists the passages of Amoris Laetitia in which, they argue, the Pope insinuates or encourages heretical positions. They mention those who claim these texts can be interpreted in an orthodox way, but the correction lists examples of when it is clear “beyond reasonable doubt” that the Pope “wishes Catholics to interpret these passages in a way that is, in fact, heretical.” In particular, they say the Pope has advocated the belief that obedience to God’s moral law can be impossible or undesirable, and that Catholics should sometimes accept adultery as compatible with being a follower of Christ.
In the third part, the signatories highlight two causes of this crisis: modernism and the influence of Martin Luther. They argue that the embrace of modernism, which they define as the belief that God has not delivered definite truths to the Church which she must continue to teach in exactly the same sense until the end of time, means that faith and morals become “provisional and subject to revision.” Such thinking, they point out, was condemned by Pope St Pius X. Regarding Martin Luther, they show how some of the Pope’s ideas on marriage, divorce, forgiveness, and divine law correspond to those of the German Reformation monk, and draw attention to the “explicit and unprecedented praise” the Pope has given the 16th century heresiarch.
No accusation of formal heresy
The signatories stress they are not accusing the Pope of formal heresy (when a person departs from the faith by doubting or denying some revealed truth with a full choice of the will), and are making “no judgment about Pope Francis’s culpability in propagating the seven heresies” as it is “not their task to judge about whether the sin of heresy has been committed.”
But they also note that some faithful who have spoken up in defense of the Catholic faith have been subject to reprisals within the Church and Church institutions. They therefore say the signatories “speak for a large number of clergy and lay faithful who lack freedom of speech.”
The addition of Bishop Fellay, as well as the SSPX’s district superior in Britain, Father Robert Brucciani, are notable for the fact that the Society continues to be in talks about returning to full communion with Rome. Pope Francis has been open to reconciliation with the Society, which has had differences with Rome over some teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
This is the sixth major initiative in which both clergy and laity have expressed concerns about the Pope’s teaching, particularly emanating from Amoris Laetitia. Despite the repeated pleas and warnings of chaos and confusion, Francis has refused to respond or acknowledge the initiatives which are as follows, in chronological order:
- In September 2015, just ahead of the second Synod on the Family, a petition of nearly 800,000 signatures from individuals and associations around the world including 202 prelates was presented to Pope Francis, calling on him to issue words of clarity on the Church’s teaching on marriage and family. The signatories, from 178 countries, expressed concern about “widespread confusion” arising from the possibility that “a breach” had been opened within the Church at the previous synod.
- In July 2016, a group of 45 Catholic scholars, prelates and clergy sent an appeal to the College of Cardinals asking that they petition Pope Francis to “repudiate” what they saw as “erroneous propositions” contained in Amoris Laetitia. They said the apostolic exhortation contains “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals.”
- On Sept. 19, 2016, four cardinals — Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, and Joachim Meisner — presented the Pope with dubia, five questions on disputed passages of Amoris Laetitia with the aim of obtaining clarification and resolving confusion over diverse interpretations of the controversial passages among various bishops and episcopal conferences. The Pope did not acknowledge the dubia, nor did he respond to the cardinals’ request for an audience in May.
- In February this year, confraternities representing thousands of priests worldwide issued a statement saying a clarification of Amoris Laetitia was “clearly needed” in the wake of “widespread” differing interpretations of the apostolic exhortation. They also thanked the four cardinals for submitting the dubia.
- In April this year, six lay scholars from different parts of the world held a conference in Rome in which they drew attention to the same controversial passages of Amoris Laetitia, showing the extent of concern and unease among the laity over the papal document and its interpretation. – Read the source: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/group-of-clergy-and-laity-issue-filial-correction-of-pope-francis
More than 60 Roman Catholic theologians, priests and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy after the pontiff opened the door last year to allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.
In a 25-page letter delivered to Francis last month and provided Saturday to The Associated Press, the 62 signatories issued a “filial correction” to the pope — a measure they said hadn’t been employed since the 14th century.
The letter accused Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document “The Joy of Love” and subsequent “acts, words and omissions.”
The initiative follows another formal act by four tradition-minded cardinals who wrote Francis last year asking him to clarify a series of questions, or “dubbia,” they had about his 2016 text.
Francis hasn’t responded to either initiative. The Vatican spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Saturday.
None of the signatories of the new letter is a cardinal, and the highest-ranking churchman listed is actually someone whose organization has no legal standing in the Catholic Church: Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. Several other signatories are well-known admirers of the old Latin Mass which Fellay’s followers celebrate.
But organizers said the initiative was nevertheless significant and a sign of the concern among a certain contingent of academics and pastors over Francis’ positions, which they said posed a danger to the faithful.
“There is a role for theologians and philosophers to explain to people the church’s teaching, to correct misunderstandings,” said Joseph Shaw, a spokesman for the initiative, signatory of the correction and senior research fellow in moral philosophy at Oxford University.
When it was released in April 2016, “The Joy of Love” immediately sparked controversy. Church teaching holds that unless divorced and civilly remarried Catholics obtain an annulment — a church decree that their first marriage was invalid — they cannot receive the sacraments, since they are seen as committing adultery.
“The Joy of Love” didn’t create a church-wide pass for these Catholics, but suggested — in vague terms and strategically placed footnotes — that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis after accompanying them on a spiritual journey of discernment. Subsequent comments and writings have made clear he intended such wiggle room, part of his belief that God’s mercy extends in particular to sinners and that the Eucharist isn’t a prize for the perfect but nourishment for the weak.
Shaw said none of the four cardinals involved in the initial “dubbia” letter, nor any other cardinal, was involved in the “filial correction.”
Organizers said the last time such a correction was issued was to Pope John XXII in 1333 for errors which he later recanted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. – Read the source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/09/23/conservative-catholics-accuse-pope-spreading-heresy.html
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