Today, 7 April, the much-expected conference on “Catholic Church, where are you going?” took place in Rome. The conference was inspired by the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra – one of the four dubia cardinals – who died last September. At the end of the conference, a Final Declaration was issued in the name of the participants, both clergy and laymen alike, reaffirming the Church’s infallible doctrine concerning moral issues such as marriage and intrinsically evil acts, thus answering the original five dubia which, 18 months after they were first submitted to him, have never have been answered by Pope Francis.
The importance of the Final Declaration lies in the fact that it has been publicized in the supportive presence of the four main remaining prelates who have raised their strong voices of Catholic resistance against the confusion and error as spread by Pope Francis, namely: Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Joseph Zen, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. A brief video message of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra was also presented. Within the next days, we will publish a longer report on the substance of the whole conference. For today, we will limit ourselves to presenting to our readers this historic Final Declaration called “Therefore we testify and confess…”, which is marked by its succinctness and clarity.
The Final Declaration starts out with reference to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its confusing effect upon the faithful. It points out that neither the Filial Appeal of nearly one million signatories, the Filial Correction of 250 scholars, nor the dubia of the four cardinals have received a response from Pope Francis. Thus, the authors say, “we baptized and confirmed members of the People of God are called to reaffirm our Catholic faith.” They also point out “the importance of the laity bearing witness to the faith.” In the following, the authors restate, in six points, the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, adultery, the question of a defective subjective conscience, absolute moral norms, the need of a firm intention to change one’s way of life in order to receive a valid sacramental absolution; and the fact that “remarried” divorcees who do not intend to live in continence may not receive Holy Communion.
Below, please read the full text of the declaration:
“Therefore we testify and confess…”
Final declaration of the conference “Catholic Church, where are you going?”
Rome, April 7, 2018
Due to contradictory interpretations of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia,” discontent and confusion are spreading among the faithful throughout the world.
The urgent request for a clarification submitted to the Holy Father by approximately one million faithful, more than 250 scholars and several cardinals, has received no response.
Amidst the grave danger to the faith and unity of the Church that has arisen, we baptized and confirmed members of the People of God are called to reaffirm our Catholic faith.
The Second Vatican Council authorizes us and encourages us to do so, stating in “Lumen Gentium,” n. 33: “Thus every layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal’ (Eph. 4:7).”
Blessed John Henry Newman also encourages us to do so. In his prophetic essay “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine” (1859), he spoke of the importance of the laity bearing witness to the faith.
Therefore, in accordance with the authentic tradition of the Church, we testify and confess that:
1) A ratified and consummated marriage between two baptized persons can be dissolved only by death.
2) Therefore, Christians united by a valid marriage who join themselves to another person while their spouse is still alive commit the grave sin of adultery.
3) We are convinced that this is an absolute moral commandment which obliges always and without exception.
4) We are also convinced that no subjective judgment of conscience can make an intrinsically evil act good and licit.
5) We are convinced that judgment about the possibility of administering sacramental absolution is not based on the imputability of the sin committed, but on the penitent’s intention to abandon a way of life that is contrary to the divine commandments.
6) We are convinced that persons who are divorced and civilly remarried, and who are unwilling to live in continence, are living in a situation that is objectively contrary to the law of God, and therefore cannot receive Eucharistic Communion.
Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8: 31-32).
With this confidence we confess our faith before the supreme pastor and teacher of the Church together with the bishops, and we ask them to confirm us in the faith.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.