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Forged Filial Correction Signature Raises Questions of Fraud, Attempt to Discredit Effort

Image: Screengrab of the Facebook page of CNA Executive Director Alejandro Bermudez

In a brief statement today, Alejandro Bermudez, executive director of the Catholic News Agency and ACI Prensa, indicated that his signature was added to the Filial Correction without his knowledge or consent. “I was surprised to see that my name has been added to the list of signatories on the so-called Correctio Filialis De Haeresibus Propagatis,” the statement reads. “I never signed this letter, nor do I intend to ever sign it. As a journalist, I was surprised at how easily the name of a person could be added to the list without any verification.”

In the Spanish version of his statement, Bermudez took the matter further, saying that in an e-mail exchange with Dr. Joseph Shaw, spokesman for the Filial Correction, he wrote that the appearance of his name without his permission “speaks volumes about the lack of seriousness of this initiative. Please remove my name immediately.”

Bermudez has been openly critical of the Filial Correction, sharing a post today on his Facebook page in which he linked to the most recent episode of his Spanish-language podcast “Punto de Vista”, which he dedicated to discussion of this topic.

This morning, Bermudez’ name could still be viewed among the list of signatories, but as of this writing, it has been removed from the list.

On, one of the largest websites dedicated to hosting petitions and open letters, the user policy forbids the impersonation of others. “Don’t sign petitions for other people,” the policy states, “use anyone else’s email address, or impersonate people, including public figures or organizations.” The submission form on does not mention such a policy, but those who wish to sign must enter their name, email, and title. A response to the submitted form says, “Thank you! Your name will be considered for a ‘moderated’ list of scholars, academics and pastors.”

The appearance of Bermudez’ signature on the Filial Correction raises questions of unlawful forgery, and the lengths to which opponents of the Correction will go in order to discredit the effort and its authors. According to legal information website, forgery is defined as including “a false document” or “signature” that is “used with the intent to deceive another.” “Those who commit forgery,” the site reads, “are often charged with the crime of fraud.” The site describes identity theft as “a crime wherein the perpetrator wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception”. The question of whether criminal activity was perpetrated in this situation remains open, though the submission of a faked signature was clearly unethical.

If the purpose in such an action was to call into question the integrity of the list of signatories, Bermudez’ reaction appears to have validated the perpetrator’s intent. The indignation expressed in his statement was notably not directed at whoever was responsible for his unauthorized impersonation, but rather at the authors of the Correction itself, and their alleged “lack of seriousness” — a claim that only serves to bolster his own ongoing criticisms of the effort. An update to Bermudez statement was made this afternoon indicating the removal of his name.

Since the Filial Appeal was first published on Saturday, defenders of Amoris Laetitia have pressed the attack against both the signatories and authors of the document, resorting to ad hominem invective while refusing to offer a substantive theological critique. With news of fake signatories being added to the document in an effort to cast doubt on its trustworthiness, some wonder what desperate measures opponents will not resort to in order to keep the discussion away from the “heresies” the authors have accused the pope of “propagating” through his “words, deeds and omissions”.

In a statement to 1P5, Dr. Joseph Shaw said that “The organisers have become aware of attempts to cause embarrassment both to them and to certain Catholic figures by impersonating the latter to add their names to the petition. Although a very small number of names is affected, the organisers take this fraudulent activity very seriously and have taken steps to remove these names from the list and to prevent this happening again. Those responsible for this fraud should be aware of of moral and legal seriousness of their actions.”

Shaw’s statement that “a very small number of names” has been affected indicates that other signatures have likely also been faked, though no additional names have been made public at this time.

76 thoughts on “Forged Filial Correction Signature Raises Questions of Fraud, Attempt to Discredit Effort”

  1. Did you ask Change to verify the email address?
    Because I got a verification of signature in my Inbox.
    Could it be someone with the same name?

    • The problem is that the site asks for credentials as well and an email address. Now, someone could easily set up an account to handle the false signature/credentials. I am waiting for an official explanation from the Dr. Shaw or someone else officially involved to disclose whether or not false confirmations were given for the signatures from bogus email accounts.

  2. I originally posted this elsewhere on this site but this thread has since appeared and it’s more appropriate here.

    This is the statement from CNA’s Alejandro Bermudez:

    “I was surprised to see that my name has been added to the list of signatories on the so-called Correctio Filialis De Haeresibus Propagatis.

    I never signed this letter, nor do I intend to ever sign it. As a journalist, I was surprised at how easily the name of a person could be added to the list without any verification.”

    Notice that it is unnecessarily belittling? With the phrases of ‘so-called‘ and ‘nor do I intend to ever sign it.‘ It’s easy to see his bias against it. Now, if my name were added to a list with out my permission I would be a disturbed by that but he shows more than being disturbed he shows contempt.

    Also, as Steve points to, Mr. Bermudez doesn’t appear to be upset with the one who forged his name…that’s weird don’t you think? If it were me, I would be very upset with whomever did this and I would definitely say so and I would be upset that I was not properly informed before my name was added to the list.
    As usual shenanigans are afoot…

    • Maybe he put his own name on it and is responsible for his own “fraud”. It would then be convenient at the time of exposure to add his 2 cents worth of opinion on the letter, whilst “forgetting” that someone has forged his signature.

      • Unfortunately, this is a real possibility or something like it. If he didn’t show complete contempt for the Filial Correction and at the same time no righteous indignation against the ‘presumed’ forger of his signature then I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

        But his response raises legitimate questions.

        • Exactly! Sign it, Claim Forgery, Distract everyone from substance, and down the rabbit holes we go. CNA is anything but “Catholic”..Closer to “Communist” but not Catholic except in name only.

      • Maybe but he could have just had one of his pravda buddies sign it and then claim a story “see, look how easy it is to forge someone’s name.”

    • It seems to me that we almost always underestimate the lengths to
      which people will go to manipulate a situation to their own ends or the ends
      of you know who.
      Frighteningly, Saul Alinsky seems to have trained a lot of our brethren.
      The father of lies continues to work overtime.

    • He’s a “journalist”. I thought he was supposed to be Catholic no? Don’t want to generalize but I”m sure I could read two or three of Alejandro’s pieces and within 30 seconds determine that Alejandro has liberation theology leanings. I wouldn’t be surprised also if he added his name or had someone do it so he would have a way to write a critical piece on the document.

  3. Hmmm
    Malicious intent or honest error?
    I suppose there could be two people in Catholic circles with the same name.
    It could also be that the devil is pulling out all the stops and using people to lie and help him in his (losing) battle.
    I wonder which is more likely??

    • Well, the problem with the honest error theory is that their would have to be two executive directors of CNA with the same name…as the website ask for the credentials of the person as well.
      So, second theory remains most likely. No surprise there.

  4. From a(n) (English common law) legal standpoint, the hoaxsters have positioned themselves carefully. Bermudez has been wronged (if he in fact has been impersonated). But if he chooses not to hunt down and prosecute the impersonator, what’s left? These actions clearly hurt the “cause” of filial correction but it isn’t clear that any of the individuals associated with it have had their reputations legally harmed. If Bermudez was to claim that Shaw et al. were purposely behind mis-listing his name, then the matter becomes different. Somehow I suspect Bermudez won’t do that. The damage has been done with little option for legal recourse at this point.

  5. This looks to me like a transparent attempt to discredit. Who did it? I doubt we’ll ever know. While all this was going on, in Canada another aspect of the Bergoglio saga was playing out. We read in the news today this:

    Cardinal Ouellet says ‘alarmist’ reading of Amoris Laetitia is wrong (Crux)
    Speaking to the Canadian Catholic bishops’ conference, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops said that a “permissive interpretation” of the papal document, suggesting that it constitutes a break from Church teaching, is “unfaithful to the text and to the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.”

    Cardinal Ouellet is a very smart man and, as far as I can tell, wholly orthodox, unlike some other men who reside at the Vatican. Therefore I am sure he can figure out that one man, and one man only, could instantly put this entire “interpretation” debate to rest, viz. Jorge Bergoglio. But this man refuses to do so, in fact adamantly refuses to do so. One needn’t really be as intelligent or as well-educated as Card. Ouellet to understand just why that is.

    • Well, I guess the Canadian Bishops will not sign on to any Fraternal Correction if Cardinal Ouellet is any indication. Totally disappointed in them. The Filial Correction provides ample examples of the pope actions ….that show his intentions. …and I would suggest that the Cardinal respectfully ask the Pope to respond to the Dubia at the very least.

    • You are very charitable to Cardinal Ouellet. I believe he is the senior Cardinal from Canada, and though he has worked in Rome for many years we in Canada still feel sort of proud that he’s Canadian. That said, what the heck influence does he have among his brothers? None. What influence does he have at the Bishops’ Conferences? None. Canada has gone into the dark side. Our Catholic Faith is eroded daily, especially lead by those faithless dupes at the Conference

      Damp squib.

      • I had the pleasure of speaking to Card. Ouellet in person when he was at Notre Dame de Quebec (it was the home parish for our summer condo there). Others who knew him even better than I told me tales of his academic prowess. His intellect is of the highest order, so what I said about him here probably falls short of the mark. He has been replaced by Gérald Lacroix, a man who hails from my home in the US. Bishop Gérald, I’m sorry to say, does not appear to rise in stature even to Ouellet’s knee caps. His recent actions vis-a-vis suicides tell us all we really need to know, I think. As for Canada, you are on target. It’s so appalling there, in fact, that I’ve decided to sell our condo. The atmosphere, at least in Quebec, is so far left, so filled with irrational hatred for reason and for the Church, that one has the sensation of suffocating. It’s very sad to see once-great country go to Hell.

  6. Those who would legitimize adultery would see this sort of nefarious enterprise –providing fraudulent additional signatures – as child’s play and a morally neutral means to undermine any
    threat to their enterprise.
    Why would those who have placed themselves in the cross-hairs of ecclesiastical vendetta undermine their scholarly intervention with such an action? Such a course would be entirely counterproductive, not to say irrational.
    Clearly the irrational actors in this engagement are those defending the Bergoglian “magisterium.” One need only read “Correctio Filialis” and compare it to the nature of the responses it has
    received from the apologists of “Amoris Laetitia” to judge the nature of the actors in this dispute.
    Priests who would deny the reality and nature of mortal sin are, without hyperbole, capable of anything. None of us should ever forget that.
    God alone knows with whom on the world stage they are in connivance, some with and some without knowledge.
    This is the viper’s tangle.

    • The cover is a legitimacy of adultery. The fact is in regard to “fornication, adultery, and sodomy”. He moves to legitimatize all forms of irregular relationships. So when AB Gomez of LA trots up two gay guys with a son for family day along with families from other minorities, then you know the drill.—–Francis has a whole lot (sounds like Jerry Springer) of secret supporters, then you know where the intended confusion comes from. It is all about irregular relationships. In point of act, Mary and Joseph were in an irregular relationship. Joseph was going to send her away until he was enlightened in a dream. —- Joseph was quite a guy.

      • Yours is unintelligible to me.
        Your final perspective on the relationship between the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph is strange. There was nothing irregular about their relationship at all. That they confronted a deep mystery in responding to God’s invitation to cooperate in His plan for the redemption of humanity in a singular way — a unique Grace. No irregularity. Rather deep conformity to the Will of God.

  7. This is part of the response I received in an email exchange with a bishop whom I had asked to publicly support the correction of the Pope:
    Your crowd is so easily willing to condemn, That is why you are wrong and why you make the Gospel so unattractive. You do not trust that God can inspire people in ways other than your ways. May God help you!

    His previous response to this was:
    I do not have time for this foolishness, Please do not continue to write to me to try to get me to do your will. I will make my own decisions and I do not need you to pester me about doing what you want me to do.

    So please stop writing. Thank you.

    This was in answer to what I had sent him:

    Your Grace,
    If we can’t depend on faithful orthodox bishops, such as yourself, than who can we depend on.
    You are I believe only one of of handful of American bishops who have set up guidelines related to Amoris Laetitia in conformity with Church teaching with regards to communion for the civilly divorced and remarried. In my country of Canada only 4 Western bishops have done the same as yourself.

    Some bishops like the archbishop of Chicago have supported the erroneous teaching of AL and left things up to people’s discernment and consciences, similar to some Bishops in Canada, the Argentinian Bishops and most definitely the Maltese and German Bishops. None have been corrected by this Pope or his spokespeople, who instead, have gone on a frontal attack, almost daily, slandering those who hold to church teaching as Pharisees and doctors of the law totally lacking in compassion.

    I don’t know how one cannot see what a horrible situation has been created, leading to confusion, scandal and worse of the potential loss of souls.
    Does this situation not merit a correction?

    Any advice on what I should do

        • The Church like any organization today operates or responds to power, money, influence. They don’t respond usually (if you raise a concern) unless you have one of the three.

          • So true.

            And thus they have no, or very little, fear of the Lord.

            Someday they’ll wish to God they had had such fear.

            Raghn Corvinus

      • He is not my bishop. I have written many times to my bishop but have never received a response. This is a bishop with whom corresponded often on many things and whom I thought was orthodox so I am just beyond shocked with his response.

          • I know how you feel Eugene, after receiving a gobsmakingly cold and hostile letter from my (conservative) Archbishop when I raised serious issues about a Catholic Education matter in our diocese. I was actually shaking and in tears. I had tried so hard to be respectful and balanced and it felt like a slap in the face. It still hurts. Be very careful you don’t let your hurt become resentment and anger or hatred. Satan will try to cause this. I know the hard way. The only thing that worked for me was to pray for my Archbishop and picture us standing together, side by side at the foot of the Cross looking upon Jesus whom we BOTH crucified by our sins. I’d say don’t write to your bishop again, be powerful in silence and prayer. Offer up your pain, your hurt and bewilderment to Jesus for His Church. Avoid discouragement – even avoiding these Catholic blogs with all its bad news if necessary! I heard an exorcist say the demons have a motto – ‘Anything but God’. Satan loves to stir us up. While we’re reading and writing and lamenting the state of the world and the Church we are relinquishing our own (or rather God’s) power that comes from our union with God in prayer. Peace to you – please pray for me!

          • thank you for your very thoughtful reply…you have given me much spiritual food for thought.
            I pray that God bless guide and protect you always!

          • I hear you.

            Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter. For those who will not sign, it should be plenty obvious where their loyalty lies.

            Sorry for your correspondence with him.

          • Well, I can say that the deceased Cardinal of Century City still has his tentacles everywhere. He put together quite a web of
            bishops. And we wonder why all this is happening.
            It’s because of this:
            Here’s a blog post which references Randy Engel’s
            (Trad Catholic writer) “Rite of Sodomy”. You might need
            a bucket if you know what I mean. Don’t read on a full stomach!


        • Ditto, I too have written to my archbishop on several occasions and have never received a response.

          Following the Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage”, his public statement was that Church teaching hasn’t changed and we must continue to dialogue with those we disagree with. Since that day, I have not heard or read a single word from him on the subject. Sometimes Dialogue = Silence.

          I won’t identify him either, but I will say that he was a protege of the Cardinal of Century City…

        • I imagine that he is afraid to sign and your letter probably made him feel ashamed. Not liking to feel ashamed, he probably got mad at you. You took one for the team though and you never know, despite the harsh rebuff you may have planted a seed.

    • Sigh…this is the fruit of bad example. The disrespectful and contemptuous manner in which Catholics are being addressed is downright awful. What does this Ordinary mean by “Your crowd”? It is just shocking and very sad. I can’t ever recall being exposed to such rudeness from clergy and bishops about Catholics they disagree with. Not even lay people really. May the Lord come to our aid soon for the good of all.

      • I responded to his response about pestering him saying it left me speechless and his response was the one about “my crowd”.. I have gone from speechless to stunned, and this is a shepherd who I respected and have defended publicly and to whom I have written many letters in the past. My feelings of abandonment and feeling spiritually orphaned by the shepherds of my church have grown in leaps and bounds. My only hope is Jesus

        • I know my dear. It is not the first time however, we read of these things in the early Fathers, the historty etc. I guess it won’t be the last time we see this. Lol….appalling…But we know how this happened. Stories of infiltration and poor formation in the last 50 years. So courage!

        • Is it possible someone answered thusly on his behalf? Chanceries are tricky places, and while your respect for him is probably well-deserved, perhaps a staff member interposed himself in the conversation.

    • Tell him you are not sending any money and are telling others to do the same and tell him to get a job. Ask him if he cleans his own bathroom, vacuums his floors, and prepares his own meals.

      • Doubt he would care unless Eugene is part of the 20% that gives him 80% of his money. A lot of their funds come from the federal government having the diocese aiding migrants and illegals.

      • I have to respect confidentiality folks. This Bishop allowed me to message him directly via his personal email, for the most part it was a good conversation on many topics for more than 5 years. So why did I share this here; was to get sympathy probably at first because I was completely stunned and maybe to get some helpful advice but ultimately I am hoping you all pray for him, because I just know that in his heart he is a good man and may be under a tremendous amount of pressure. Anyway, I have given this to God in prayer and my initial anger, and hurt has turned into prayerful compassion for him to change his heart on the issue of the correction of PF.

        • Yes Eugene. You are doing the right thing at this point. Daily rosary to Our Lady is what is most important. Our Lord loves His Mother so much, that He wants her to be the answer and cure to this confusion, and so that is her role and we should be laying our needs at her feet and praying our rosary daily. We already have the victory even though it is all a blur right now. Pax Christi brother in Christ.

  8. This whole thing is patently absurd.

    This appears to be a clear attempt to destroy the credibility of the correctio by defenders of the heresies it condemns.

    It is ridiculous to imagine a forged signature being sent in and surviving any length of time at all. ANYONE who did not sign would reject it immediately. Anyone can see how stupid it would be to attempt to pass off such a thing.

    The only logical explanation is the thugs and sodomites who seek to destroy the Church are behind it.

  9. What is the next tactic? Claims that key Vatican officials are receiving threats and intimidation? Or a new slogan: if the conservatives are complaining then Francis must be doing something right?

  10. I was particularly surprised upon reading his name among the signatories – if for no other reason than compromising his journalist status.

  11. I wouldn’t be surprised if he added his name himself in order to find out what kind of vetting process was in place. It would be nice if those operating the site could track down the IP of the offending party.

  12. This is not good, this kind of situation reflect lack of seriousness and damage the purpose of the letter,and give the chance to the media to criticize badly the good intention of the correction.
    About Alejandro Bermudez, he is a modernist “enchufado” means plug-in. He really doesn’t care about the thruth, he always make excuses for the inexcusable.

  13. Just as Cardinal Burke was so easily discredited in the Knights of Malta scandal, so too has this document now been discredited. People are given license to dismiss these critiques.

  14. This was predictable . . . which is why it was a BIG FAIL to have decided to open up the Correctio to additional signers in the first place.

    Also, it shows that the authors were more interested in the Correctio as a publicity stunt than as a true “filial” act of concern for the Church. Don’t expect any answers from Rome in this century, guys!

  15. Why would Bermudez become upset? He could have just said that there was a mistake made and then move on. Instead, he engaged in histrionics. This is telling in and of itself. He represents EWTN and I have been picking up vibes that he is a ‘misinformation specialist” who has been planted to undermine the opposition to what is obviously demonic in tone from Francis himself.—There is an agenda in place which will not be stopped by politics and only by the intervention of Christ Himself. That is what is alluded to in leaks regarding the Third Secret of Fa-ti’ma.


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