Last fall, I was the 250th person to sign the Correctio Filialis, a statement of international scholars that respectfully and filially corrected Pope Francis on the errors of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. These errors are absolutely dangerous to the faithful and cause confusion about the Sacrament of Matrimony and morals.
This is what is on the Filial Correction website: “The signatories do not venture to judge the degree of awareness with which Pope Francis has propagated the 7 heresies which they list. But they respectfully insist that he condemn these heresies, which he has directly or indirectly upheld.”
I added my voice to theirs perhaps for a different reason: because I am a father.
Everyone knows that a father’s role is to protect his family from danger. He puts himself between his family and the threat. Errors in the Faith are grave dangers because the consequences are grave and eternal. So should not fathers take a stand against heresies, no matter where they come from, to protect their families?
For me, I took a look at my responsibility as a father and a future grandfather, and at my duty to my descendents for generations to come. I saw that, for their sake, I must protect them from the errors in Amoris Laetitia. I concluded that I must go on public record as one who filially resists the pope.
I do not want my children to think the Sacrament of Matrimony can be subjectively annulled in the “internal forum,” as Pope Francis suggests. Marriages cannot be annulled by subjective declaration. I want my children to have the mind of Christ and the Church about marriage, that it is permanent and humanly irrevocable.
The threat to my children’s happiness is real, and I could not wait for anyone or anything else to guide them along the path of the True Faith. Unwilling to abdicate my role as a father, I put name under the names of others who also carefully weighed the gravity of signing a filial correction of the supreme pontiff.
Let my signature, with my full authority as a father-protector, become a protective shield over the Wendts for generations to come. May it help them to hold fast to the Church’s Tradition about matrimony, to part ways with the errors of the holy father, and may it be an example to them of how to filially resist him to his face when necessary (Gal. 2:11) .
In just a few weeks, my oldest daughter, Maria, will be married to a young man of whom I am proud. The little girl to whom I used to read fairy tales, I will now give in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Let it not be said that they were deceived by Amoris Laetitia! May none of my children or grandchildren ever be deceived.
May it never be said that I did nothing. In the years ahead, let it never be said that I silently watched while my children were swept away by heresy.
Rather, may it be known that I signed and I waited patiently as I called upon the Lord to act.
Christopher P. Wendt is a serial entrepreneur who has founded two digital marketing agencies, one online retail website, and now a remote staffing solutions business that taps into global talent. He earned his Master of Arts degree from Gannon University’s Pontifical Center for Catechetical Studies and calls Franciscan University of Steubenville his “loving mother.” He and his wife Veronica, of 25 years, have nine children so far, and they live outside Steubenville, Ohio. He raises beef cattle on his farm, loves to hike new trails, and to run. His favorite historical non-fiction book is Revolution and Counter-Revolution. He can be reached at christopherpwendt.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.