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With Vatican on the Defensive, Now is the Time for Formal Correction

“The Great Firewall of China,” says Wikipedia, “is the combination of legislative actions and technologies enforced by the People’s Republic of China to regulate the Internet domestically. Its role in the Internet censorship in China is to block access to selected foreign websites and to slow down cross-border internet traffic.”

Information is power, and in a totalitarian communist regime like China’s, one must be very careful about allowing the proletariat a chance to have too much to think. Among the common websites blocked by China’s nationwide internet filter are Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Among the websites not blocked by the Great Firewall is — the website erected by the authors of the Filial Correction to provide access to their documentation and provide an opportunity for others to sign on.

And yet that same website has already been blocked by the Vatican. According to Italian news website,

The Secretariat for the Holy See’s communication has blocked access to the web page … to the initiative accusing the Pope of seven heresies, linked to what he writes in “Amoris laetitia “.

You can no longer access the page in the Vatican computers in any language. Outside the Vatican, however, the page is reachable.

“Access to the webpage you are trying to visit has been blocked in accordance with institutional security policies,” is the warning that appears. No Vatican computer, therefore, could join the petition.

While the Vatican has chosen to ignore the correction in the hopes it will go away,, the usual papal defenders in the media have closed ranks, issuing haughty and dismissive criticisms of those who issued the correction, not its substance.

Fr. James Martin lamented how “some of the same people who said under John Paul II and Benedict that any disagreement with a pope was dissent, disagree with Francis.” (One would be hard pressed not to take note of the irony here.)

Massimo Faggioli, a progressive theologian and historian at Villanova, went after the Filial Correction in a series of Tweets. “This ‘correction’ to Francis,” he wrote, “is actually very useful because it shows … the very limited number and marginality of this [sic] theologians…”  In a followup article at the National Catholic Reporter, Faggioli pointed out that the list of signatories includes “no cardinal and no bishop, in a Catholic Church that has more than 200 cardinals and more than 5000 bishops.” He discounted the presence of Bishop Fellay — characterized as “schismatic” — and apparently did not know that the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Henry Gracida, has also signed on. (Nor did he seem to realize that a correction from bishops would be “fraternal” and not “filial”, which is likely the reason they were not asked to sign.)

Austen Ivereigh, the papal biographer, took a stab at a class warfare attack: “Like the petitions contra Humanae Vitae or pro women priests, this will be ignored. The magisterium doesn’t bow to middle-class lobbies.”

Stephen Walford — the papacy’s newest useful sycophant — also made a cameo in the NCR piece, claiming that the correctio “is based around claims the Holy Father has never made — lies essentially — and a massive dose of hypocrisy.” As in his other recent essays attacking those asking for theological clarity from the pope, Walford completely avoids addressing the specific and documented claims made in the correction, which cite chapter and verse from papal writings and actions and those portions of Scripture and Magisterial teaching they contradict. Instead, he contents himself with disparaging the authors, saying: “their own judging of what is acceptable for a pope to teach is nothing short of Protestantism”.

Get that? A document that asks a pope to adhere to Divinely-revealed truth and decries the clear influence of Martin Luther on his thought and work is Protestantism. 

Meanwhile, coverage of the Filial Correction continues to spread around the globe, with stories not just in the Catholic media, but the mainstream as well. A Google News search this morning pulled over 5,000 results for “filial correction”. Here is just a sampling of the headlines from major outlets:

“Catholic Clergy and Scholars Publish ‘Filial Correction’ of Pope Francis for ‘Seven Heresies’” (Breitbart)

“Group accuses Pope Francis of heresy” (USA Today)

“Pope Francis accused of ‘upholding heresies’ about marriage & moral life” (RT)

“Conservative Theologians Accuse Pope of Spreading Heresy” (New York Times/AP)

The Associated Press picked up by the New York Times showed up elsewhere as well. The copy that appeared in the Chicago Tribune quickly became one of Facebook’s top trending stories on Saturday.

After publishing our own report on the Filial Correction, we received a number of requests from individuals asking how they could sign. Since the original intent of the correction was that it be a work of pastors and qualified Catholic scholars, there wasn’t really an option for the average pewsitter to attach their name. On Saturday evening, I drafted a petition in support of the Filial Correction with language I thought might make it work as an “unofficial” show of support for the formal effort. I stuck it on my Facebook page in a non-public post asking for feedback. I considered it a draft.

When I got back from Mass on Sunday, however, I was astonished to see that it had been shared. In less than 24 hours, and without any real attempt at promotion, it had garnered over 1600 signatures. After putting the word out, even more began pouring in. The petition now has 4300 signatures and counting. (You can sign it here.) It seems that something Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium is now manifesting itself in an unexpected way: 

“In all the baptized, from first to last, the sanctifying power of the Spirit is at work, impelling us to evangelization. The people of God is holy thanks to this anointing, which makes it infallible in credendo. This means that it does not err in faith, even though it may not find words to explain that faith. The Spirit guides it in truth and leads it to salvation.[96] As part of his mysterious love for humanity, God furnishes the totality of the faithful with an instinct of faith – sensus fidei – which helps them to discern what is truly of God. The presence of the Spirit gives Christians a certain connaturality with divine realities, and a wisdom which enables them to grasp those realities intuitively, even when they lack the wherewithal to give them precise expression.”

In an essay published by 1P5 this morning, William Briggs made a critical examination of those who are complaining most loudly about the Filial Correction:

If the naysayers thought the supernatural element the most important, and not politics, there would have been immediate and lively discussion of the seven points of the Correction. Are they really heresies? All of them? Why? Why not? “Let’s dig into this most important matter,” they would have said. “The salvation of souls is paramount, and heresy cannot be countenanced. Here is where we agree, and here where we disagree on the theological points.”

Only after we figure out, really investigate, and agree on each the points are the motives of the writers and signers of the Correction up for grabs. To focus on personalities first is an inversion—and very telling.

It is very telling, and what it tells us is that they are squarely on the defensive. After ten months of weathering scrutiny over the dubia, the changes made at various Vatican congregations, academies, and institutes, the sordid behavior of clergy in Vatican-owned apartments, and more, the Filial Correction appears to have touched a nerve that is driving the point home: things are very much not as they should be in Rome.

If the remaining dubia Cardinals — and those other members of the curia and the episcopacy who have the courage to support them — have been waiting for the right tactical time to make their move, this is it.

The world is watching – and waiting.

322 thoughts on “With Vatican on the Defensive, Now is the Time for Formal Correction”

  1. Sooner than October 13th is necessary for a formal correction to take place by prelates, in my opinion.

    The Truth knows no ” good time”.
    The Truth is the present, and should not wait for anyone or anything.

    Perhaps I am too simple here, for I do not know what goes on in the workings of the Vatican, etc. and forces of evil that are upon our holy prelates. But, I do know this: God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.
    And…….He needs to see it………soon, I would think.
    Let us not mock the graces the good Lord has given at this moment.

      • Correct, Alex. Even the popes who were doing abominable things that, barring repentance, would have led to their eternal damnation, almost none of them taught heresy. Even Borgia (Alexander VI) didn’t propagate heresy.

        I don’t advocate sedevacantism and I do think Francis is a valid pope. But given the fact that he does nothing but sow confusion, claims that he never speaks ex-cathedra and has made only one absolute written change to Church doctrine (the recent amendment to Canon Law), we can safely ignore him and cling to the truths as always passed on by his predecessors. To quote St. Robert Bellarmine:

        “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist
        the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.”

      • Are Evangelii gaudium, Laudato si, and Amoris laetitia magisterial documents?
        “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error.” (First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus 4)

        • Does Amoris laetitia exercise the solemn magisterium of the Church? No. Is it consistent with the universal magisterium which has preceded it? No.

          Then we can turn to Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, pg 10:

          “With regard to the doctrinal teaching of the Church it must be well noted that not all the assertions of the Teaching Authority of the Church on questions of Faith and morals are infallible and consequently irrevocable. Only those are infallible which emanate from General Councils representing the whole episcopate and the Papal Decisions Ex Cathedra (cf D 1839). The ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible. Further, the decisions of the Roman Congregations (Holy Office, Bible Commission) are not infallible.

          Nevertheless normally they are to be accepted with an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See (assensus internus supernaturalis, assensus religiosus). The so-called “silentium obsequiosum,” that is “reverent silence,” does not generally suffice. By way of exception, the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error.”

          In this case, numerous theologians are sounding alarm bells. Any honest reader can see that Amoris latetitia is riddled with grave error, far worse than the errors espoused by Pope John XXII on the beatific vision. His error, however grave, would not have overturned the entire moral teaching of the Church!

          • That’s been corrected. Long comments sometimes get automatically blocked by the Disqus filter and may take some time for us to identify and clear up. Once we see it, it’s a very easy fix.

        • The Holy Father disavows magisterial intent in the Paragraph 3 of Amoris Laetitia:

          “We wish to confirm that not all doctrinal, moral, or pastoral disputations must be resolved through declarations of the Magisterium.”

          From Fr. Hunwicke’s blog this morning, though many others have made the same point.

          • This means that Francis intends to ‘resolve’ moral issues through underhanded means – we see it every day. He gives a sermon every single morning during ‘mass’ and says just what he thinks – that is the way it’s done when what you propose will NOT meet the criteria for truth.

            I would also ask him, “just what are these doctrinal, moral, or pastural disputations” are you referring to? Can you have differences between dogma and heterodoxy? If his opinions are now passing as ‘truth’ we truly have lost all logic, Faith, and common sense.

        • That statement needs to be understood in the greater context of Pastor Aeternus from which it comes. There are quite a few caveats and conditions placed on the pope’s infallibility.

        • benedict didn’t resign, he shared the papacy which is impossible, in fact the filial correction calls it out, “pope francis” is an antipope. if pope benedict actually resigns or dies of course we will have to elect a new pope.

    • “Tradition is the democracy of the dead. It means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes: our ancestors.” – G. K. Chesterton.

      There 265 Popes before Pope Francis. I believe their vote counts.

    • It may put your mind at ease to learn that the authors of the filial correction are not asking anyone to follow them. They are simply pointing out that certain things Pope Francis has said, wrote, and condoned are at clear variance with Catholic teaching, and are asking him to repudiate these errors.

      It’s possible, of course, that they’re mistaken. But then the course of action would be to identify and rebut their errors, rather than throwing up a smokescreen of irrelevancies and personal attacks.

  2. Speaking of October 13, the good Cardinal Raymond Burke will be celebrating Holy Mass and speaking at a Fatima Conference in the U.K. at Buckfast Abbey Devon, on October 12 and 13 for those this side of the pond who are interested. Should be good looking at the some of faithful Catholic heavyweights that will be speaking including some of the signatories of the Filial Correction. This conference is hugely significant due to the date.

    • I am talking out of turn here, but a formal correction by Cardinal Burke, should done on its own singular platform, unless this is the purpose for the breakfast. My opinion

      • Hello CS, I wasn’t implying that Cardinal Burke was going to make any public statements regarding the Dubia at this conference, this would only be speculation. This conference is on the significant day of October 13, so who knows what will happen.

  3. Dear Steve and other USA-based brothers,

    apart from the newspapers, how the USA TV news broadcasting is covering the fact? In Italy, as far as I can see up to now, either the event has not been covered in TV, or it has been dismissed as a minor initiative by “ultra-catholics” from the “extreme right” – I mean, up to the point that most people won’t understand what’s happening. Most mainstream newspapers also attacked the signers, but in a lesser extent, and anyway with more useful information.

    Thanks for the info.

    • TV news in the States isn’t covering it at all. Instead, it is wal-to-wall, end-to-end coverage of NFL players disrespecting the anthem and flag somehow in opposition to President Trump, while the fans boo the players.

      I haven’t seen a single mention of this on TV anywhere here. If you want to find it online, there are news sites covering it, but the media here doesn’t care.

      • Another sign of the coming civil war – which will be the punishment in the US for the millions of dead babies. The US is certainly not alone in this horror – but with riots in the streets as a starting point, a generational, sexual, moral civil war will come.

    • I’ve heard a comment from a German Catholic that “if conservative Catholics are harassing the pope, then he must be doing something right.”


      • I’m beginning to be convinced by recent events that the term “German Catholic” is, for the vast majority of cases, an oxymoron. Of course, the same probably could be said of most “N.O. Catholics” in Western Europe and the Americas, if the word “Catholic” is understood to mean someone who actually believes and professes “all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.” (I took that from the RCIA Profession of Faith, at 491 of the Rite, if anyone is curious.)

        • Verily, I know what you mean. It’s the attitude all over. A Hungarian Jesuit sadly told me “We’ve lost the authority (to tell people how to behave in their moral life) and we’ll never get it back.”

          I resisted the temptation to say, “Ya think?” But that’s the “Protestantization” of Catholicism that’s been going on since Vat2. Now we’re in the topsy-turvy position of having a Pope whom we have to resist because he, too, is teaching Protestantism.


          Raghn Corvinescatholiccorner

    • According to them, we’re just a microcosm of the far-right lumpenproletariat. American media is more concerned with our civic religion: revolutionary politics, e.g. left & right.

  4. One of the very easily refuted rhetorical questions regarding why it’s okay to question Francis but it wasn’t okay to question popes JPII or BXVI is because, while they undoubtedly propagated some bad ideas (ecumenism comes to mind), they weren’t threatening the entirety of Church morality and moral teaching.

    I’m sure that nearly all of the people who signed the Filial Correction along with those who support it certainly had moments of extreme “face palmitis” during the papacies of JPII and BXVI. But, again, those two men were not trying to destroy the Church or turn it into a protestant sect. Yes, the drifted right along the VII river without doing much to swim against the current but they took the Commandments and Christ’s teaching seriously and upheld those truths.

    When Jim Martin questioned those popes, it was because he doesn’t like what the Bible has to say about his friends. The man laments people clinging to an outdated document like Humanae Vitae; imagine what he thinks about the Bible if HV is old and dated!

    • Minus intention, the actions of JPII directly affect the Dogma of no salvation outside the Church. This in turn affects ecessiology itself. This is no minor manner. The very foundation of true evangelization, to convert people to Catholicism because it is necessary and the sacraments are necessary, was shaken. The result is devastation: seminarians, priests, deacons, professors, bishops, lay people – the majority think people can be saved outside the Church. These errors no doubt helped fuel the emptying of churches and lowered conversation rates, because if people can be saved without sacraments, if the Church Herself is not taken seriously for salvation, *everything* else if affected.

      This is quite serious and demands it’s own response and correction. But JPII can no longer face his errors like Francis.

      In this instance, intention does not matter. Damage is damage, their Papacies, along with Paul Vi should be called out. There is enormous parallel between JPII’s actions and writings with regards to non-Catholics and Francis with regards to morality.

      “But, then why is there a correction of Francis and not JPII?”

      Because, as you say, it is attacking morality. Most Catholics who would ever think to issue corrections were all united under the moral banner – not so much with doctrine, discipline, or how doctrine was worded or pastorally practiced.

      • Right: dogmas and doctrine are obviously of great importance to the Church and both are subject to organic, ongoing development. However, the clear and unambiguous Commandments given to Moses by God and Christ’s affirmation of the Commandments along with His further expositions on the commandments are not subject to reinterpretation or development.

        As you say, JPII created issues. That’s hard for some to hear or read. But as I stated above, we live hear and now. Tu quoque logic doesn’t work: we’re not going to drift along with PF and his friends based on the logic that JPII and BXVI failed in certain areas, too.

        Perhaps PF has come along at an inopportune time as perhaps all those who have done nothing but comprised and given ground are now finding themselves against the wall with no choice but to fight back. That’s how things are with liberals, though, is it not? We just want this “victim” group to have this right–it won’t lead to anything more. Given the right, they immediately demand more. And on-and-on it goes until there’s no room to give. Sometimes people wake up and resist; sometimes they do not. Hopefully this will be an awakening in the Church.

        • I would say that calling out certain tendencies of the past 50+ years is necessary because it is all linked together. If a Pope looks like he supports a doctrinal change or shift (e.g. salvation outside the Church) then it sets a precedent for future Popes to follow with regards to anything – like say morality. It also sets the tone for lay people to accept the change. This is why, even though confronting Francis is good, one has to go back and confront the other Popes in order to stop the mentality of the evolution of doctrine and morality in a style similar to Modernism.

      • I love JPII but you raise an excellent point re: salvation outside the CC. Go farther back to V2, Nostra Aetate with its allusion to other religions containing a ‘ray of the Truth’.

  5. Yeah, my worry is that this correction was issued because the authors believe that the dubia cardinals have punted and won’t be pursuing the issue much further. IOW, somebody had better do something.

    I mean, he’s had over a year to answer the dubia. What are they waiting for?

    OK, maybe we shouldn’t rush things, let’s wait another couple of years…….no let’s no be hasty, let’s wait 5 years. I mean….pull the trigger already!!

    • It’s a process.
      These theologians sent a letter to the Cardinals asking them to correct Amoris Laetitia. All but four ignored it
      Those four sent Dubia, so far it’s been ignored
      The theologians and scholars sent this to the Pope, he ignored it.
      Their next step was to take it to the ecclecia, us. That is done.
      Now the Cardinals send their response to the Pope. If it is not answered, then it also is to the ecclecia.
      The Vatican moves like Molasses in January. It always has. We in the modern age are spoiled but The Church moves as The Church always has. It’s slow but their getting it done.

      • There were also other things, like the filial appeal, a letter from the folks over at Remnant IIRC, etc. All of those were ignored.

        • It doesn’t matter if the Pope ignores all of this.
          Eventually, it’s brought to the ecclesia (The Church).
          He or the Magisterium eventually correct it.
          It may not even be in our lifetime, but rather in God’s time.

    • I do believe that Cardinal Burke and maybe even and especially Brandmueller are so terrified of being the catalyst to cause a schism, that they would rather wait and PRAY that Bergoglio comes around to Catholic thought. Do they not realize that we are in effect, even if informally in a schism situation now??!! There’s not a whole lot of real Catholicism being promulgated by Bergoglio and cohorts now, nor has there been for 4 1/2 years now, so???? The sheep and the goats have been separating for several years.

    • What in the world could they be waiting for?? And what would it take to make them ‘step up to the plate’? It is already bad enough!

  6. Pope Francis has had the filial correction since August 11. Since he has ignored it, he surely knew the authors would eventually go public. So, despite having over a month and a half to prepare a substantive and PR-effective response, we only see ad hominem attacks from all the usual suspects. 1P5 is correct. This is the time for a fraternal correction from the cardinals. The emperor has no clothes.

  7. Why is Francis allowed to be constantly criticized, but other post-conciliar popes are usually above criticism? They’ve all caused plenty of scandal.

    • Have you ever read any other articles? Those popes are criticized but they were not pushing various and sundry heretical positions. Those popes did not sow this kind of confusion.

      And tu quoque logic is illogical: trying to defend PF by arguing about what other popes have done is pointless. If he cannot be defended on the merits of what he’s teaching and fidelity to Christ then there’s no defending him.

    • Anyone remember Pope St. John Paul II’s foray into syncretism and indifferentism at the 1986 “Assisi Conference” of the world’s religions?

      Anyone remember Pope St. John Paul II kissing a copy of the Koran and, in a 2000 address, asking the intercession of St. John the Baptist to “protect” Islam?

      Anyone remember Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 speeches in which he maintained that the heresiarch, Martin Luther, was totally correct in his doctrine of sola fide?

      Anyone remember Pope Bl. Paul VI calling the Anglicans a “sister church . . . or, him having given his own archiepiscopal ring from Milan to Archbishop Michael Ramsey of Canterbury (imitating the transmission of a Bishop’s insignia from the Rite of Episcopal Consecration) . . . or, Pope St. John Paul II giving a stole to Rev. Henry Chadwick, an Anglican minister, for his use during his (invalid) celebration of the Holy Eucharist?

      Etc. . . . etc. . . . etc.

      No dubia . . . no “corrections” . . . no letters from a mass of theologians. But, of course, Bergoglio is the devil for some people who kept very quiet before.

      • Correct. John Paul II also released that ecumenical directory in 1993, drank pagan ritual potions, permitted altar girls, and defined hell as “Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God.”

          • Okay, if that’s your position then so be it. That being said, what is the point of continuing then, to complain about Paul XI, JPII and BXVI? As regards the former two, do you want them declared anathema? Dug up and given formal canonical censure?

            We cannot retroactively fight Paul XI, JPII and BXVI. We can actively fight Francis here and now.

        • Seriously? Of course hell can’t be a place because place signifies space. Hell is not in space save from the commonly heard dictum that this world is like hell.

          • If Hell is not a space, then it will have to be when the Resurrected Bodies are re-attached to their souls that are in Hell. Bodies need space. (And the Resurrection Body – in perfect shape with superior senses – will make Hell all the more horrible to the Damned.) Heaven, too, is a place with space, because Christ the King is there in His Resurrected Body, as described in Revelation (& as are Elijah & Enoch, the father of Methuselah, according to the OT). At the General Resurrection, when all the bodies of the Saved are reunited with their souls, Heaven is going to need a lot of space.

            …Or so one prays.

            Raghn Corvinus

          • I think the recapitulated creation will be quite different to the world as we know it. Time and space pertain to the temporal realm. Then, we will be in eternity which is a different ballgame altogether.

          • You and Peter Santos both make good points. But of course we speculate. I had heard before, don’t recall where, that both Hell and Purgatory are a “state” rather than a place, because as of now, at least, they contain only disembodied souls and demonic spirits. But perhaps after the General Resurrection that changes…or perhaps God has a way to confine physical bodies outside of His created “space.” Very interesting question!

          • A description of a state of being consumed by pain.

            Fr Barron has a very good take on this but I found out recently that it is not originally his.

            Heaven and hell are two opposite sides of reality – God. For those who hate God he is experienced as hell, for those who love God, he is experienced as bliss – beatific vision.

          • Eh, that’s venturing into some sketchy, not entirely orthodox areas…

            I heard Bishop Barron say that and it got my sensus fidei all miffed… I don’t have the theological precision necessary to address the problem, but something seems wrong…

          • Someone other Church Father actually said that but I can’t remember who. I was surprised because I thought this was an original insight by Fr Barron.

            When you come to think of it, it is actually the only explanation that makes sense of revelation and reason.

            Scripture says that God is a consuming fire. We also know that He is Omnipresent hence there is no place where He is not. If hell is a place then God is there too.

          • I’ll check my Catechism of the Council of Trent and see what it says about hell. I know the new catechism says it’s a state of being of complete separation from “God and his Saints” but I just wanna double check to see if that’s been the continual understanding.

          • The Church’s teaching on hell is indeed eternal separation from God. But I think this is from the vantage point of the one damned. Since God is love, He does not stop loving them regardless of their eternal denial of Him. This is why I think this separation is not so much spatial as spiritual.

          • If you are in a state of Hell you can’t get out if Hell. Once you are in Hell you are there for eternity.

      • Again, tu quoque logic is not logic at all. Is this the best defense that you can come up with? It’s on the basis of what other popes did and who did or did not react to them?

        Any bar association would disbar an attorney who tried to defend a murderer using this type of logic. “Yeah, my client killed 10 people but at least he didn’t chop them up and eat them like Jeffrey Dahmer. Am I right? Huh? Yeah–that juror gets it!”.

        And as has been pointed out, Francis is threatening to tear down–in direct contravention to God and Christ–the moral teachings of the Church. There’s no defense of that.

      • Actually, lots of people have questioned or criticized JPII for Assisi etc. I might agree with you that those statement you cite might well have deserved more forceful resistance, but to say that none was offered at all is ridiculous.

        A case in point might be the existence of the SSPX whose founder had all sorts of problems with previous papally-supported notions and which led him to found the organization!

        THAT is far more than what has been done to date with Francis.

        • Yes, don’t forget the vast increase in social media just since John Paul II’s time Many, many spoke out but their voices were muted. Not any more!

          I know poor old Al Gore thinks he invented the internet, but it was really The Holy Ghost. ;}

      • Sigh! If you are going to post something, you really should read the background to ascertain the veracity of it.
        What exactly did Pope Benedict say regarding Sola Fide?
        Here it is: Luther’s expression sola fide is true IF faith is not opposed to charity, to love”
        Notice the word IF?
        Sadly Luther did seem to think that they are in opposition or at least that love is not necessary hence one must sin boldly.

        Next, get to the bottom of things before you post.

        • Granted, Pope Benedict XVI as Pope should be given the benefit of the doubt that he was not, in fact, denying the doctrine on Justification from the Council of Trent.

          Nevertheless, his comments sparked the following headline from the CBN (an Evangelical Christian news site): Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Luther Was Right’ (

          The Catholic Church’s consensus for the last 500 years has been exactly the opposite: Luther’s doctrine of sola fide is totally wrong.

          Let’s also recall that the Pope’s comments were made in St. Peter’s Square, before (what one must assume according to current sociological realities in the Church) was a theologically-unprepared gathering — not to the Curia; not to a Faculty of Theology. Immensely imprudent, in my humble opinion. Pope Benedict XVI seems to have always had some inclination towards Luther and his teachings. (N. B. his personal intervention on the statement on Justification with the Lutheran federation.) But, his ideas should have been confined to his academic musings — not a general address to thousands of Catholic pilgrims.

          Even such stalwarts as the apologists at Catholic Answers had to aver that his statements were “startling”:

          But, then, they go about placing the Pope’s comments within the ambit of Orthodoxy.

  8. “Heresy” is a very severe word to use . . . and, inappropriately chosen in my humble opinion.

    Heresy has to be pertinacious and intentional. It also has to be clearly denying something defined to be held de fide divina et catholica. His Holiness the Pope has made some imprudent statements . . . some silly statements . . . some theologically incorrect statements. But, to jump off the ledge and accuse him of heresy just shows with what contempt some persons hold him.

    I agree: “Personality-wise,” I do not find Pope Francis I to be the most likable of characters. But, one should be very careful about talking about “heresy,” when really the message is: “I don’t like him.”

    • The Word of God, Jesus Christ:

      19 When Jesus had finished talking, He went from the country of Galilee. He came to the part of the country of Judea which is on the other side of the Jordan River. 2 Many people followed Him and He healed them there.

      3 The proud religious law-keepers came to Jesus. They tried to trap Him by saying, “Does the Law say a man can divorce his wife for any reason?” 4 He said to them, “Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? 5 It says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ 6 So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.”

      7 The
      proud religious law-keepers said to Jesus, “Then why did the Law of Moses allow a man to divorce his wife if he put it down in writing and gave it to her?” 8 Jesus said to them, “Because of your hard hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. It was not like that from the beginning. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sex sins, and marries another, is guilty of sex sins in marriage. Whoever marries her that is divorced is guilty of sex sins in marriage.”

      • . . . and, here are the words of James, (possibly) the Brother of the Lord (ch. 4):

        “11 Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?”

        • Oh…Matthew, Matthew, Matthew. Nobody is judging souls but judging actions and sins. And judging actions and sins is absolutely vital unless you want to,explain how we teach our kids morals, how we correct each other, how we enforce laws based on the 10 commandments.

          • . . . none of which is your calling.

            You’ve been given a vocation in life by God . . . and, I don’t think it’s to spout off on blogs for any and all to see your thoughts about whether the Pope is a heretic.

          • Call it what you will. I just don’t suffer fools gladly. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about, and you’re badgering those who clearly do.

            A little self awareness goes a long way.

          • If I’m a dumbo, then that’s certainly an opinion to which you’re entitled.

            But, I do sense a little bit of Bergoglian heavyhandedness which does not at all lose its sense of irony.

          • I’m not saying it’s my opinion, only that it isn’t necessarily a logical fallacy if someone reaches that conclusion and discounts your arguments with it.

            As for Bergoglian, please! I’m engaging with you. If I were like him, I’d just ignore you and besmirch your character obliquely through my next available sermon or address.

          • You told me above to “lay off” or you would “pull [my] microphone.” Of course, it’s your show and you don’t have to answer to anybody . . . much like what Pope Francis told Card. Mueller, I think.

            Besmirch? I think, intimating that I’m a “fool” and stupid comes close. Pope Francis certainly likes to takes shots at people’s character.

            So, the Bergoglio connection exists. As I’ve said elsewhere, authoritarian personalities cannot handle people who disagree with them . . . so, they insult them or shut them down.

          • First off, I never said the pope is a heretic. Second—and most importantly–it absolutely my calling to judge sin when I see it. It is every Catholics calling to so. If you see sin and fail to correct your brother, you have to answer for it when you face your judgment.

            “5. You shall not hate your brother in your heart: You shall in any case rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. (Lev 19:17) The text instructs us that to refuse to correct a sinning neighbor is a form of hatred. Instead we are instructed to love our neighbors by not wanting sin to overtake them.”


          • And one other thing, Matthew: people here are predominantly worried about souls. That is why you don’t see commentary that judges motivations (that is getting into God’s territory). For instance, people may say that something is heresy or that so and so is a heretic. They do not add on commentary about why so-and-so is a heretic, for example, “…because he is evil” or “…but of course she would say that, she is a rotten person”.

            However, one often finds visitors to this site doing the opposite. For instance, instead of giving proof of the Pope’s fidelity or making logical arguments as to why the Pope is teaching sound theology, they just say people hate the pope or that people are hateful.

            Think about that for a minute.

          • Oh, I don’t think one has to search far and wide around this place to find hateful comments towards Pope Francis. At the very least, the innuendo that he is a bad, unholy man is palpable.

            When someone posts that Pope Francis wants to destroy the Church, that is a judgment of motivation. So, yes, that does happen here, too.

          • No, that is not judging motivation. Judging motivation would be to ascribe a reason why he wants to. He could have good intentions, think he’s doing something good. St. Joseph was going to silently and unostentatiously leave the Blessed Mother because he thought it was right.

            So, no, that is not hateful.


            Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

            §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

            §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

            And assuming you are familiar with the novus ordo readings, you might want to meditate on those of the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A. Where the potential for grave evil exists and where so many are in jeopardy of being led astray, it hardly seems charitable to sit back and say nothing. Indeed, we have a duty to speak out.

          • Yes, . . . I’ve already averred to this canon in another place to another person. There are so many comments, though, that I understand if you might not have seen it.

            So, you are right . . . but, also forgetting can. 221 that follows about damaging with a legitimate cause the good reputation of another. Is Pope Francis I really “propagating” heresy by words, deeds, and omissions? That is saying MORE than just a simply statement or two or three is/are heretical.

            You are also right to not sit back and allow grave evil to have its day. State your case, proclaim the truth. But, do it as St. Peter counsels: Be sympathetic, be be loving towards others, be compassionate, be humble (cf. I Pt. 3:8). And, if you do need to explain to someone, do it gently and reverently (v. 16).

        • Your first sentence put my sensus Fidei on red alert.

          The First Lateran Council in 649 AD infallibly defined the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady ante partu, in partu et post partu, as we sang yesterday in the Tone 7 Theotokion:

          O all-praised treasury of our resurrection, we hope in you; bring us up from the pit and depth of sins, for you have saved those subject to sin by giving birth to our Salvation, O Virgin before childbirth, and Virgin in childbirth, and still a Virgin after the childbirth.

          Full disclosure: I’m Ukrainian Greek Catholic. Same pope, different liturgy.

          • Slava Isusu Khrystu!

            Jesus had relatives. One of them was James, who was the first overseer of the Church in Jerusalem. He MIGHT have written the Epistle. (Most New Testament scholars say so.)

            But, then, there was James, the son of Alphaeus, who was an Apostle. Older scholars say it was he.

            Thank God your parish still sings the Theotokion. Alas, it seems to be little used.

            Remember, though, we follow our Patriarch, Sviatoslav, who is in communion with Francis of Rome.

          • So when you wrote:

            “. . . and, here are the words of James, (possibly) the Brother of the Lord (ch. 4):”

            you were not implying that Jesus may have had an actual brother named James, i.e., another son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thanks for clearing that up, you had a few of us worried for a moment.

          • Slava na viki!

            According to St. Jerome, St. James the Less, the son of Alphaeus and cousin of of Our Lord, was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. You gave 2 names for the same Apostle.

            Also, in Holy Scripture, there is no word for cousin, so the word “brother” is used instead.

            In today’s Gospel (John 19: 25-27; 21: 24-25) for the Feast of the Passing of St. John the Evangelist (when public Revelation and the Deposit of Faith closed), we find the following:

            [25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

            [26] When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. [27] After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

            In verse 25, it says “…his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas…”.

            We know that the Theotokos was an only child, so Mary of Cleophas was a relative of Our Lady.

            In verse 27, Our Lord gives His Ever-Virgin Mother into the care of St. John, one of the sons of Zebedee. Our Lord was an only Child, so He had to provide for Her. St. John was one of His three closest disciples (St. Peter and St. James the Greater being the other two). So the Ever-Virgin was given into the care of the virgin Apostle.

          • Some thoughts:

            According to St. Jerome, St. James the Less, the son of Alphaeus and cousin of of Our Lord, was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. You gave 2 names for the same Apostle

            The Gospels mention three “Jameses” which concern us:
            (1) James, the son of Zebedee, an Apostle (see Mk. 3:17) ;
            (2) James, the son of Alphaeus, an Apostle and (possibly) the author of the Epistle (see Mk. 3:18 // Mt. 10:3 // Lk. 6:15); and,
            (3) James, the “Brother of the Lord” (cf. Mk. 6:3 etc. and Gal. 1:19) and (probably, according to most New Testament scholars, the best candidate as) the author of the Epistle.

            Also, in Holy Scripture, there is no word for cousin, so the word “brother” is used instead.

            No, that’s not correct: Greek has the word, anepsios, “cousin” (cf. Col. 4:10).

            You are right, though, if you mean that neither Hebrew nor Aramaic (the latter of which was most likely Jesus’ language) has a specific term for “cousin.” Instead, the word, “brother” (ach) was commonly used: cf. e. g. I Chron. 23:21-22.

            In today’s Gospel (John 19: 25-27; 21: 24-25) for the Feast of the Passing of St. John the Evangelist (when public Revelation and the Deposit of Faith closed), we find the following:
            [25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.
            [26] When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. [27] After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
            In verse 25, it says “…his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas…”.
            We know that the Theotokos was an only child, so Mary of Cleophas was a relative of Our Lady.
            In verse 27, Our Lord gives His Ever-Virgin Mother into the care of St. John, one of the sons of Zebedee. Our Lord was an only Child, so He had to provide for Her. St. John was one of His three closest disciples (St. Peter and St. James the Greater being the other two). So the Ever-Virgin was given into the care of the virgin Apostle.

            Regarding the pre-history of the Holy and Immaculate Ever-virgin Mary . . . regarding the variety of Jesus’ familial relationships . . . we just don’t know. We DO know from God’s revelation and the witness of the Church, that She was a virgin in Her conception of Christ and remained so throughout the rest of Her life.

            Yes, . . . I know . . . we in the East have a whole boatload of legends about Mary’s Birth, Her childhood, Her growing up, etc. and so forth. Some of those stories have even made their way into the liturgical practices of the East. But, as far as I can tell, they are just stories — not histories. So, be careful with them! They may be true, in whole or in part, but our salvation does not count on them.

          • Three of the Twelve Great Feasts – the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8), Her Entrance into the Temple (Nov. 21), and the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15) are not directly mentioned in Holy Scripture, as well as the Conception of St. Anna (I.e. the Feast of the Immaculate Conception).

            All Her Feasts either precede or are consequent and intimately connected with Her great dignity of the Divine Maternity. We wouldn’t have these feasts if She was not Theotokos.

            Her Immaculate Conception and Dormition (Assumption) into Heaven are to be believed de fide Divina et Catholica (I.e. with Divine and Catholic Faith) under pain of anathema. C.f. Ineffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus:



            Our salvation depends on believing these and the other infallibly defined dogmas with Divine and Catholic Faith. To deny any of these infallibly defined dogmas incurs excommunication latae sentiae.

          • Slava Isusu Khrystu!

            You are, in my humble opinion, confusing legendary tales, like the Holy Virgin’s entrance into the Jerusalem Temple, with articles of faith, like Her conception by St. Anne without the stain of Original Sin. The latter is dogma; the former is not.

            Frankly, I see no “intimate connection” between Mary’s “great dignity of the Divine Maternity” and the story of Her having (supposedly) been received into and residing at the Jerusalem Temple when She was a little girl. May have happened . . . may not. It’s a nice little theological tale, though.

            By the way, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was kept by the Roman Church on Nov. 21st. (Interestingly, though, Pope St. Pius V ELIMINATED the feast from the Roman Church’s calendar during the revision of the Roman Calendar after Trent! A later Pope had to restore it.)

    • The correctio begins as follows :

      “Most Holy Father,
      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.!”

      And you say this “just shows with what contempt some persons hold him”?

      Have you even bothered to read the correctio?

        • Yes, at least certainly of supporting heresy and issuing writings that do, along with acting out in support of heresy.

          Because he very clearly has.

          But they have been clear to state they are not accusing him of formal heresy. That they have stated in detail they are not competent to do.

          • . . . a classic “distinction without a difference.”

            By the way, how would you accuse the Roman Pontiff of the crime of Heresy, since:

            “The First See is judged by no one” (CIC #1404).

            Your thoughts?

          • Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap. in A canonical primer on popes and heresy says:

            Setting aside a few who, relying on half-baked notions like “popes are not bound by canon law”, throw up their hands in despair at the prospect of a heretical pope and predict the End-of-the-World-as-We-Know-It, others, more reasonably, point to Canon 1404, which states “The First See is judged by no one”, and conclude that the only remedies in the face of a genuinely heretical pope are prayers and fasting. May I suggest, though, that canon law has somewhat more to offer than that.

            Read the rest at

            John F Salza, in Pope Francis Refuses to Answer the Dubia – What Happens Next? says:

            Ecclesiastical warnings are issued by the Cardinals (who are the next highest authorities in the Church), which accuse the suspect of heresy and require him to respond with a correction of his errors within six months. This is what Cardinal Burke was referring to in his interview with the National Catholic Register when he said: “There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.” If the Pope would fail to respond to these warnings, the Church would presume that the Pope is incorrigible and hardened in his heresy.

          • That’s a pretty thin list: a blog and a newspaper.

            If you submitted that to my Canon Law professor as the bibliography for a paper, it would have been returned with a suggestion to not waste his time.

          • You list is empty.

            What do you call current teaching that denies previous Church teaching?

            Please fill a blue book and provide a complete bibliography with full citations.

          • John Salza IS a lawyer. His articles (as well as those by Robert Siscoe and their book which I mentioned) are extremely well-written and extensively footnoted.

          • The pope can judge himself by persisting in heresy. One who does not hold the true faith is not part of the church. One who is not part of the church cannot be the head of the church. As for how to work that out… well that’s above my pay-grade.

          • I highly recommend True or False Pope? Refuting Sedevacantism and Other Errors by John Salza and Robert Siscoe. Btw: Your question is answered in the book. ????

          • Thank you. That’s certainly something I could look into.

            The point is, though, that there really is no canonical process for dealing with — let alone even “correcting” — an errant Pope. We’re in murky waters here.

          • The murky waters bit is indeed something we can agree on. History is being made… I wonder if perhaps we all wish we lived in different times.

          • You’re welcome. Re the canonical process: A sizeable group of Cardinals and/or bishops could definitively declare that the Pope has severed himself from the Church and that the faithful are absolved from all allegiance to him. (This is in TOFP also, btw.)

            If that happens, then you get into a situation like the one in First Corinthians (c.f.. Epistle for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost). I think that’s why Cardinals Burke and Brandenmuller have (so far) not signed the filial correction.

    • From the filial correction:

      The above descriptions of the personal sin of heresy and of the canonical crime of heresy are given solely in order to be able to exclude them from the subject of our protest. We are only concerned with heretical propositions propagated by the words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness. We do not have the competence or the intention to address the canonical issue of heresy.

      • . . . and, please, Sir or Madam, show me where in the Code of Canon Law the matter of charging a Pope with heresy would be addressed. (I’ll give you a year to find it. Then, get back to me, please.)

        • Don’t ask for something you know doesn’t exist. A correction isn’t covered by Canon Law. But it happened with Pope St. Marcellinus, after which he was re-elected to the papacy (yeah, he lost it) and died a martyr. So, stop being a sophist.

          Btw, being a sophist is against the comment policy. No really.

          8. Trolling/arguing/being a sophist in the comment box without contributing in a meaningful way to the discussion will not be tolerated.

          You’ve already been warned about your microphone going by Steve. You’re on your last leg.

          • Finally Jafin. Thank you. An entire group of folks have been patient beyond measure with this individual. I was/ am ready to ask who is he posting on behalf of? Where does his ISP address come from? Is he out of the Vatican Communication’s Office? Seriously.

          • The Vatican Communications Office would just attack the character of the signatories… this is just someone confused and blinded by post-conciliar papolatrous teaching…

    • No, hang on. You’re oversimplifying.

      The Church distinguishes between material and formal heresy. Material heresy is the simple belief in or or expression of a heretical viewpoint. There is no requirement for pertinacity or intentionality. A great many faithful Catholics (possibly myself included) hold materially heretical beliefs, simply because they are ignorant, mistaken or misled. A materially heretical person is not necessarily culpable, depending on their circumstances.

      You are talking about formal heresy, which is the obstinate and pertinacious persistence in a heretical view, despite being informed of the error. Arius and Martin Luther are two obvious examples.

      The authors of the correctio have not accused Pope Francis of formal heresy. They have merely pointed to several instances where his words are incompatible with Catholic teaching (i.e. heretical) and asked him to repudiate his errors. If he persists in these errors after being informed of them, he may be judged a formal heretic, though not by us laypeople.

      • All academic, given that the authors of Correctio never distinguish between either formal or material heresy. So, I guess, they’ve “oversimplified,” too . . . don’t you think?

        • I take it you acknowledge your original misdefinition, since you have now moved on to other avenues.

          Once again, the signatories have identified seven heretical propositions issuing from Amoris Laetitia and “by other words, deeds, and omissions” of the pope. This is a simple black and white matter, so there’s no need to personalize it or freight it with other emotional baggage. Does a proposition contradict a divinely revealed truth that is included in the Catholic faith? If yes, then it is heretical, end of story.

          The signatories have neither the competence or the authority to declare whether Pope Francis is guilty of the personal sin of heresy or the canonical crime of heresy. They simply identify heretical propositions. Here’s what they have to say on the matter:

          14. A heretical proposition is a proposition that contradicts a divinely revealed truth that is included in the Catholic faith.

          15. The sin of heresy is committed by a person who possesses the theological virtue of faith, but then freely and knowingly chooses to disbelieve or doubt a truth of the Catholic faith. Such a person sins mortally and loses eternal life. The judgement of the Church upon the personal sin of heresy is exercised only by a priest in the sacrament of penance.

          16. The canonical crime of heresy is committed when a Catholic a) publicly doubts or denies one or more truths of the Catholic faith, or publicly refuses to give assent to one or more truths of the Catholic faith, but does not doubt or deny all these truths or deny the existence of Christian revelation, and b) is pertinacious in this denial. Pertinacity consists in the person in question continuing to publicly doubt or deny one or more truths of the Catholic faith after having been warned by competent ecclesiastical authority that his doubt or denial is a rejection of a truth of the faith, and that this doubt or denial must be renounced and the truth in question must be publicly affirmed as divinely revealed by the person being warned.

          (The above descriptions of the personal sin of heresy and of the canonical crime of heresy are given solely in order to be able to exclude them from the subject of our protest. We are only concerned with heretical propositions propagated by the words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness. We do not have the competence or the intention to address the canonical issue of heresy.)

          In other words, for someone to be judged a formal heretic by the appropriate authorities (whoever this might be in the case of a heretical pope), they must first be corrected and warned by a competent ecclesial authority. Since this step has not been taken to date, it is premature to speak of formal heresy.

          • No, I don’t think I am. When someone has to resort to the ad hominem, it tells me that that person is running on fumes (metaphorically speaking) and is coming up on empty.

            And, to practice the scripture (cf. Rom. 12:14): May God bless you!

          • Sorry to be picky, but . . . if I were doing that, then it’s not “stupidity,” rather something else.

            Yet, since you insult rather than persuade, I think your word choice is expositive,

          • No, you are appearing stupid. That is an objective fact. Your reasons for appearing stupid are another matter.

            My characterization is not an insult. It is simply a matter of observation and apt description.

          • Then, the “observation” should be kept to yourself. We teach that to little children.

            You can’t deal with the argument, so you attack the person.

          • I bet you know exactly what you are doing here.

            What makes you look stupid is simple.

            Fronting ideas and goals and actions that are in conflict with past Church teaching is something.

            What is that something?

            Well, for all Christian history the term “heresy” has been used to describe it. That the word has degrees is hardly surprising. Lots of words do. That one can front an heretical idea without themselves being committed to it is not impossible.

            For you to continue to insist that the word “heresy” shouldn’t be used when describing ideas that defy or go against Church teaching is laughable…and thus makes you look stupid.

            If heresy is not the word to describe what the correctio is about, what is?

          • The ad hominem fallacy is characterized by attacking “the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument” rather than the argument itself.

            But you’re not really making an argument. And if in fact you are stupid, it would certainly call your arguments into question. You see, while ad hominem is classed among the logical fallacies, it is also an important component of jurisprudence. Determining the competence of the witness — as well as their character — has a great deal to do with discerning whether their testimony can be truste.d

          • Whether I’ve made an “argument” or not can be readily judged from other comments above and below. I think, I’ve been pretty clear and consistent, especially when responding to multiple interlocutors with varying ideas and claims.

            But, whether I’ve made an argument or not is not, I believe, the standard set for us by simple Christian charity, which is patient and kind, which is not rude or quicktempered (cf. I Cor 13). Yet, as you’ve said, you do not suffer fools gladly. That’s your moral choice. For both of us, however, Doomsday will yet come, so I choose to.

          • You choose to what?

            Please, I’ve asked you over and over.

            Square up what Pope Francis has written in AL w/ the clear words of Christ, Pope St John Paul II and the rest of the Magesterium.

            You are playing games at words, avoiding the issues at stake, and pretending to be charitable.

            In reality, you are running away from the issue.

            There is no virtue in cowardice.

          • “There is no virtue in cowardice.”

            Ah, but there is. The simple Darwinian one of survival.

            Supporters of El Bergo want him and his cronies to survive, live to fight another day. St. Pius X of Blessed Memory tried to hammer the Modernists into oblivion but like various denizens of the order of Blattodea, they survived to fight another day. In fact, to take over the Church herself.

            There’s a long game being played here, RodH.

            And Bergo and Co. are not about to let go. I fully expect them to force a formal Schism. (I mean, an “informal” one has existed since Humanae Vitae, so what is to stop ’em going whole hog?)

            Raghn Corvinus

          • Of course they will ‘let’ the ‘schism’ ‘happen’. Because they think they are standing on the safe (read right) place.
            Now, to explain what I mean with ‘let’, ‘schism’ and ‘happen’
            ‘let’ – means, they are the real cause, and no other side, where are the faithful ones
            ‘schism’ – we cannot call their secession of the truly Church just a ‘schism’. There must be other kind of better words for it. Especially in this case. Maybe a ‘counterchurch’!
            ‘happen’ – Nothing just ‘happens’ from nothingness. They are doing it.

          • Yes, we lay folk must be patient in this trial. HOWEVER, it is the JOB of bishops, priests, theologians, philosophers and others educated in theology and Church law to speak. They have done so. To say these men and women are not ‘first tier’ is an ad hominem attack and completely foolish.

            That’s why we should not ask to be included in the list of signers. When I have a degree, and the permission to teach theology or philosophy, as a Catholic, I have the duty to speak out.

          • Well, . . . actually . . . no, the 1983 Code of Canon Law gives you the right to express your opinions to the hierarchy:

            Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
            §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
            §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

            So, you don’t need a “degree” to do this: just be baptized!

            Who has said that any of the Correctio‘s signers is not “first tier”? I know, I haven’t.

            To call people stupid or a fool is the work, rather, of an authoritarian mindset which cannot brook any sort of contrary opinion to his or her own. It plagues the Pope, I fear; and it also plagues some people who moderate and post to this blog.

          • Now you are totally back-pedalling, for how in the world does a Catholic do what we are given the right to do in Canon 212 without writing in private and public about the affairs of the Church that need addressing?

            In addition, much of what gets posted here that you might be uncomfortable with takes the form of a warning to those who are not familiar with either Church teaching or current events, or both. Because when you cannot trust a Pope or the prelates to spit the truth out straight up and you love people who are being tricked by it…charity calls you to step in and clarify.

            As for calling you stupid, I sincerely do not mean to as an insult, but rather to imply a possibility, because your arguments are obtuse and up till now you seem to have been incapable of digesting simple facts. Now they just appear to be evasive of the actual issues, which thereby leads me at least to wonder if you are a priest or some other who has a dog in the fight to support the heterodox “teaching” we are getting from the purveyors of heterodoxy.

            You make all sorts of statements about “heresy” and how nasty a word it is and imply that there is nothing wrong in the writings of the Pope or possibly that no one can know or make a sensible comment on observable fact involving his statements and writings, all the while dodging the main point which absolutely is not the meaning of the word “heresy” at all, but rather, the question of the orthodoxy of the passages quoted in the correctio and/or others.

            Take those passages and you do your best to present them here in a fashion that is in agreement with the quoted writings of St JPII and other documents…including the words of Jesus Himself.

            Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

            There is a breed of “Catholic” you appear to represent. That is the breed that cannot grasp what is actually happening around them, proclaiming all the while that it isn’t. For 50 years the teachings of the Catholic faith have been molested, minced and mushed by prelate after priest after layman and all the while supposed “conservatives” have stood around pretending that the very thing they are witnessing can’t happen because “the gates of hell shall not prevail” or some other fallback line.

            Admit the truth. And the truth right now is that we have writings from a guy that are NOT in agreement with past teaching, and what makes that really important is that the “guy” happens to be a Pope.

          • Scientist, (piously) “Correlation does not equal causation, my good Sir.”
            Lawyer, (deadpan) “But in the Law, Sir, it can get you hung.”

    • The writers go to considerable lengths to avoid this fatuous charge. As anyone who actually read the document would discover. They lay out how the words of AL and the words and actions of the Pope can be construed as contrary to the already defined magisterium of the Church — the simplest definition of heresy. They do not accuse the Pope of deliberately embracing or endorsing heresy. Instead, they ask him to do his job and reaffirm the teaching of the Church in the instances in which there is apparent contradiction.

      • In the opening PARAGRAPH the authors accuse the Pope of “propagating” HERESIES — not even just one! They accuse him of doing this officially in his Encyclical and unofficially through his words, actions, and deeds of omission. It is a sweeping charge.

        Sorry for the all-caps in bold, but your statement is really beyond the pale of accuracy.

        All I can say is: Please, read the Correctio.

        • I have read it three times. Distressingly, you appear not to understand words.

          Propagate means to “breed, promote, or encourage.” The term does not necessarily imply that the Pope is a formal heretic, simply that his actions (wittingly or unwittingly) have had the effect of fostering heresy. Material heresy is a far lesser charge.

          The writers are extremely fastidious and intellectually proficient. They have parsed their words with caution and accuracy. You ought to afford them a similar measure of mental precision.

          • I have nowhere stated that the authors of the Correctio declare the Pope to be either a formal or a material heretic. On the contrary, I’ve pointed out that the authors nowhere even discuss that distinction about which so many here seem to be focused. Rather, they accuse the Pope of propagating heretical teachings — period.

            Moreover, I have nowhere criticized the acumen or style of the authors. I have only said that using the word, “heresy,” is perhaps inappropriate.

          • Now you are sort of backpedalling.

            The use of the word heresy is, in the circumstances, grave and I’d agree with you 100% one that should be rigorously avoided if possible.

            But…sort of “by definition” to use the phrase, the promotion of ideas that are in conflict with past Church teaching is, for lack of a better word…heretical.


          • Actually, I think that word is not used enough. We have become afraid to use it.

            Also, we do not need to talk like Canon lawyers to be clear and rational.

          • You seem gradually to be climbing down from your blanket condemnation, on mature reflection. That is positive.

            Heresy is the only appropriate word, deliberately chosen to focus the Pope on the right exercise of his responsibilities.

            Each of the seven propositions contracts a settled teaching of the Church, outlined in the universal magisterium and affirmed even by egregiously morally deficient Popes. (The current pontiff, mercifully, is not a Renaissance degenerate).

            However, it is the Pope’s primary task to defend the deposit of faith and to exclude and condemn departures from the deposit of faith. These departures are properly called “heresies.”

            It would be pointless to use some less pointed vague term (mistakes? inaccuracies? mispeakings?) when the job at hand is to define and condemn heresy and reiterate orthodox truth.

          • I think so, too.

            I think he is viscerally opposed to the use of the term heretic in relation to a Pope, and for that he deserves to be commended. It is a terrible conundrum, to be sure.

            But the facts are the facts, and as he reflects on what the Pope has supported, I think he is finding his vocabulary to be very thin when searching for a descriptor of what the current Pope is promoting.

            If it’s not heresy, what is it?


          • “It would be pointless to use some less pointed vague term (mistakes? inaccuracies? mispeakings?)”

            How about BooBoo’s?

          • Oh, I would say that it is at least implied that the pope is a material heretic. Note the prelude to the correctio:

            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…

            You see, if they were asserting that he were a formal heretic, that’s exactly what they would seek to judge. But they do say he is promoting heresy, which must mean that he is either a material heretic, or in favor of promoting material heresy (which, I’m still fairly certain, would make him a material heretic, too.)

            But heresy is absolutely the right term. For it is divinely-revealed truths that he both contradicts and denies.

          • The authors of the dubia, Theologians and Canon Lawyers, each in his own right, however, chose NOT to even come close to an accusation of heresy.

          • You know why they didn’t accuse him of heresy before? Because all of that was 10 months to more than a year ago. The dubia are just questions, so why would you ask questions and, while doing so, blurt “Heretic!” As for the Censures from 45 Theologians last summer (many of whom have signed on to this correction), that was to condemn certain heretical interpretations of AL… and then Pope Francis promoted at least some of those propositions, so the logical next step, after all the preceding, is to make an accusation of heresy. If this were issued a year ago, then an accusation of heresy would indeed probably be too much and going a little far. But it’s not 2016 anymore. Time has passed.

            Furthermore, this filial correction is not without precedent. It was done with John XXII and ended with a good result. What’s your issue here?

          • Back during the time of Pope John XXII, we had the University of Paris. We don’t have such structures anymore. The list of signers of the Correctio is disparate — certainly, not anything like a unified front.

            Instead, it would be more meaningful for a group of Bishops to stir up the courage to say: “Look, Your Holiness, enough is enough. You need to clarify and affirm certain things. Silence is no longer an option for you.” Then, let the chips fall where they may.

            But, I really don’t think that that’s going to happen. A little history tells us that our Bishops our generally not courageous men. They’ll make speeches, give interviews, etc. — but, to throw down the gauntlet publicly or in camera caritatis before the Pope . . . ?

            By the way — and, I know this will make some people groan — but, the Bishops should really read Bernard Haering’s treatment of peccatum taciturnitatis in both, The Law of Christ and Free and Faithful in Christ.

          • I agree with your first 2 paragraphs, though I think the Correctio is useful for what it is.

            As for whether or not any bishops will do anything… I very much think they will… the Cardinals aren’t out of this fight yet… I’m looking to Oct. 13… there are rumors and I have good reason to believe them.

    • You haven’t read either AL or the correction I suppose.

      But heresy takes a couple forms in the teaching of the Church.

      I suppose you haven’t read those relevant documents, either…

      • Well, then, I guess you can enlightenment me. Please, provide me with a list of “relevant documents” from the Church and/or Catholic Theology and/or Canon Law on heresy.

        And, I mean YOU (since you seem to claim expertise) and nobody else chiming in with his or her own list.

        • Sure.

          First, take a look at this document from the Catholic Encyclopedia. It will give you much food for thought of itself, but more importantly, links {click on the blue text} other topics with their relevant links to dogmatic and other Church documents.

          But seriously, you are asking me to produce a tome of many pages.

          What you are tripping over is the use of the word “heresy”. OK. so forget it for a moment.

          Now, try to square what Pope Francis has written with past Church teaching. That is, I don’t think {maybe I haven’t read all your posts} that you have tried to make the case that what Pope Francis has written, spoken and done is in concert with Church teaching.

          and that would make sense, because if you did you would fail miserably.

          Go ahead, try.

          You can use the present correctio as a start, or go one to other documents if you like.

    • A particular idea or statement can be heresy by virtue of simply being untrue (and of course related to faith.) Now for a person to be guilty of heresy, either the sin or canonical crime, you are right. But heretical statements can be made while not being personally guilty of heresy in the latter two senses. What the document is addressing is the former: heretical statements, or ideas. Specifically, there are 7 heretical propositions identified. And it is specifically stated in the document that they do not intend to make a statement as regards His Holiness culpability as regards the sin or crime since that is not within their competence.

      • Exactly. The technical terms of material and formal heresy do serve to clear up the confusion.

        Time will tell if Bergoglio is a formal heretic.

        Admittedly, the only thing at this point that he lacks in that regard is a tuxedo, but possibly he will change his course of action and come out in full throated support of “all that the Catholic Church teaches”.

        • As of right now, he is definitively NOT a formal heretic as I understand it. If I understand it correctly, one is not a formal heretic until the competent ecclesiastical authority proves pertinacity. This is because a formal heretic is guilty of the canonical crime, which requires some sort of judicial ruling. I think… I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m not.

          • He can’t be.

            “No one can judge a Pope”.

            But then we get into the theological speculation of whether one can lose the Seat due to heresy, blah blah, blah.

            Above my pay grade.

            What is at my pay grade is to know the faith of our fathers, and what this man is supporting and promoting is not the faith of our fathers.

          • On this we can agree…

            Although… I do have a bit of fun (not sure that’s the right word but it’ll do) speculating about such things.

          • A future orthodox Pope would have all the cause he wants to declare El Bergo an Anti-Pope, but if the next pope is a Modernist, and the current pontiff is making sure that’ll happen (not to mention all the machinations of his supporters, and the remnant of the St Galen Mafia, etc., all of whom have been assiduously working like fevered imps to bring all this about), then where will we be?

            They’d exile us to Pluto, if they could.

            Raghn Corvinus

          • While I’m not the biggest fan of Ratzinger (some works are very good and started my path to tradition, others a bit meh,) he talked in 1969 about a smaller, purer church arising from the dust of the post-conciliar church (I highly doubt he saw the Council as part of the problem though.) Unless we have a miraculous turn-around from Pope Francis where he recants his errors, and perhaps even if this does come to pass, I think that smaller church is where we’re heading. Here’s part of the quote and a link to the rest:

            …From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship. …


          • Jafin:

            What sets my head spinning about Pope Benedict is the same thing that sets my head spinning about Pope Paul VI, for in Paul VI’s later days he was VERY critical of the collapse of the Church…a collapse he helped instigate!

            Both of these guys were in it up to their necks during and after V2, championing so very much that has turned out to be a disaster for the Church.

            Then they criticize what happened as if it was inevitable or somebody else did it. Without taking responsibility for it.

            Who knows, maybe it was inevitable?

            I’ve read the quote you posted before, and sense a yearning in it.

            Maybe it’s just me, but I really do get the feeling these guys were just tired, really exhausted with the Catholic faith and wanted something different.

          • . . . So glad to know that you believe that you have either the knowledge or the right to make this judgment . . . on anyone.

            The first sin was Pride.

          • Good grief, man, forget he’s the Pope for a moment.

            READ his writings.

            Then compare them to those of the perennial Magesterium of the Church.

            As an ex-Lutheran I know a Lutheran when I see one doing Lutheran things and I know what one sounds like. If I wasn’t aware of the title or name of the writer, I’d have been totally accepting a description of the man Bergoglio’s writings as Lutheran.

            Why? Because they are Lutheran.

            To deny any of this is to express one’s lack of knowledge of both Lutheran and Catholic doctrine.

            Nobody is “calling the Pope a heretic” in the absense of his own words and actions.

            And the correctio writers didn’t even mention his blasphemous replacement of God with Man in misquoting Jesus in paragraph 161 of Evangellii Gaudium.

            If you don’t like the term heresy, well, that’s OK.

            But what you cannot do because the facts stand as proof against you is to proclaim that the writings of Pope Francis ARE CATHOLIC.

            Because they aren’t.

          • If you really believe all of this — though, I fear for where your future might lead, given that you are now in the position of being under the authority of an heretical Pope — then, you should: (1) pray; (2) bring your concerns to the Church’s shepherds; and, then, (3) go pray more.

            The “perennial Mag[i]sterium of the Church” . . . hmm, I wonder what you mean by that? That’s a pretty broad set of knowledge for even the deepest of scholars, let alone any one person. I don’t think either one of us could claim to be the arbiter of it.

            But, that’s the problem: Everyone is now judge of everyone else — and, that is problematic. Please, see my quotation from James 4:11f.

            And, “heresy” is till a strong word. Not even the authors of the dubia claimed that.

          • Go ahead.

            Take the 7 issues at play here and explain to us how the Pope’s writings are in line with past Church teaching {including the words of Christ}.

            Go ahead.

            Make my day.

      • A particular idea or statement can be heresy by virtue of simply being untrue (and of course related to faith.)

        This is certainly NOT the definition of “Heresy” found in the Code of Canon Law (see can. 751).

        You seem to be expressing your own (uninformed?) ideas about what constitutes heresy. The Church, however, has a very specific meaning and usage. I would recommend hesitation at making any more statements about heresy until you do a little more research into it.

        • You continue to confuse heretical propositions with the personal sin or canonical crime of heresy. They are quite different. Jafin is quite correct: if a person makes a heretical statement (perhaps out of ignorance or non-culpable error), they are not thereby a heretic.

          • In addition, tho I think it is obvious the Pope support the heretical positions he has offered up in his writings, he has every opportunity to clarify every statement made against him by simply…answering the dubia and responding directly to the correctio.

            We are playing games with words and speaking of sin, where does CCC 1697 come into play?

            Is clarity in teaching of no value to a Pope?

            Or rather, has he been CRYSTAL CLEAR for over 3 years?

          • Please, then, take a look at the Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon’s, Modern Catholic Dictionary. Then, let’s talk.

          • From Fr Hardon’s dictionary:

            HERESY. Commonly refers to a doctrinal belief held in opposition to the recognized standards of an established system of thought. Theologically it means an opinion at variance with the authorized teachings of any church, notably the Christian, and especially when this promotes separation from the main body of faithful believers.

            In the Roman Catholic Church, heresy has a very specific meaning. Anyone who, after receiving baptism, while remaining nominally a Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith is considered a heretic. Accordingly four elements must be verified to constitute formal heresy; previous valid baptism, which need not have been in the Catholic Church; external profession of still being a Christian, otherwise a person becomes an apostate; outright denial or positive doubt regarding a truth that the Catholic Church has actually proposed as revealed by God; and the disbelief must be morally culpable, where a nominal Christian refuses to accept what he knows is a doctrinal imperative.

            Objectively, therefore, to become a heretic in the strict canonical sense and be excommunicated from the faithful, one must deny or question a truth that is taught not merely on the authority of the Church but on the word of God revealed in the Scriptures or sacred tradition. Subjectively a person must recognize his obligation to believe. If he acts in good faith, as with most persons brought up in non-Catholic surroundings, the heresy is only material and implies neither guilt nor sin against faith. (Etym. Latin haeresis, from the Greek hairesis, a taking, choice, sect, heresy.)

            Well, you sure got me. Citing a source that backs up everything I’ve written in this discussion. Thanks!

            The signatories to the correctio are, correctly and self-evidently, concerned with what Fr Hardon describes as the theological definition of heresy: “an opinion at variance with the authorized teachings of [the] church.” They explicitly disavow any intention to enter into judgement on the personal sin or canonical crime of heresy, since it is outside their authority and competence to decide.

            Once again, the signatories are not calling Pope Francis a heretic. They accuse him of expressing and condoning heretical propositions (that is, of expressing or condoning opinions at variance with the authorised teachings of the Catholic Church, per Fr Hardon). I’m not sure why this is so hard for you to grasp, especially since they helpfully define their terms in the passage I quoted above.

            In the end, it seems that your objection is one of tone. Well, what can you do? I get it: you think it would have been nicer if they’d avoided using the nasty H-word, so redolent of the Black Legend and old Monty Python skits. But if a prominent churchman expresses opinions that cannot reasonably be reconciled with Catholic teaching, I’m afraid there really is only one word to describe such a thing, regardless of how you feel about it.

          • On the contrary, you have shown how the theological and canonical definitions of “Heresy” coalesce. Therefore, no one here can continue to dismiss my argument by appealing to some fabricated distinction between “juridical” heresy and “doctrinal (?)” heresy.

            The charge of heresy is . . . heresy . . . and, it has a very specific meaning to it as well as very specific aspects which must be present for its construal.

            You can’t just throw the word around like a bull in a China shop against someone who says something which YOU THINK is against the “perennial teaching of the Magisterium.”

          • A charge of heresy against a person is one thing. A charge of heresy against a statement or idea is another. The correction levels the charge of heresy against the “words, deeds, and omissions” of our Holy Father. That obviously comes with the implication that there is a problem of material heresy or cooperation with material heresy of the person who is propagating the error, but lays no charges. There is a difference in that. What is so hard about this?

          • There is no “fabricated distinction”. It’s quite clear, and your confusion is so pertinacious that I’m beginning to think it’s deliberate.

            Consider the following heretical propositions:
            – Jesus was a created being, subordinate to the Father.
            – The Eucharist is a mere symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, not his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
            – Non-Catholic religious bodies are, in and of themselves, channels of sanctifying grace.

            Do you believe these are heretical statements? That is, that they are opinions at variance with the teachings of the Catholic Church?

        • You have a limited understanding of this issue. The juridical use of the term does not preclude other uses.

          This is not a matter of law, but of logic.

          • Much of my knowledge is “limited.”

            I don’t know what you’re getting at by “logic.” Is the definition in Canon Law not “logical”? Is it somehow different from the definition which one would find in the old Manuals, e. g. Pruemmer . . . Woywod? . . . McHugh & Callan?

            And — not for nuttin’, but — Canon Law is a branch of Moral Theology. So, you’re making a “distinction without a difference.” Can 751 merely codifies the theological concept of heresy.

          • Too many straw men in one post. I did not criticize Canon Law. I criticized your logic.

            You have been told already that no one has said the Pope is guilty of formal heresy.

            The Pope has said things that are allowing others to think heresy is now Church teaching.

          • The Pope has said things that are allowing others to think heresy is now Church teaching.

            That is a very serious claim to make. Who are these “others”? If you can’t specify, then you’re just offering a generality which may or may not be the case.

            Clarification is a good thing. I think, Pope Francis I could use some more theological discipline in how he formulates his ideas. Therefore, for me, the Cardinals’ dubia was a more meaningful act . . . though, no fruit has come from it on either side. So, both side have allowed matters to fester.
            And, so, we get things like the Correctio.

            (By the way, I don’t think that most people either listen to or read much of what the Pope says on anything. So, your concern about “What will the Children think” might be a little bit unrealistic.)

    • Have you read the correction? It is very carefully worded. Did you not see?

      “several passages of Amoris laetitia, in conjunction with acts, words, and omissions of Your Holiness, serve to propagate seven heretical propositions … We respectfully ask for Your Holiness’s apostolic blessing, with the assurance of our filial devotion in our Lord and of our prayer for the welfare of the Church”

    • Everything Papa Bergo has done has been “pertinacious and intentional”, don’t you see that? To him and his followers, that’s “a feature, not a bug”!

      After 60 years of building up to this point we’re at now, that is painfully obvious.

      Raghn Corvinus

    • From :

      While the homepage was not blocked, reports claimed, attempts to access the sign-up form redirected to a page that read: “Access to the webpage you are trying to visit has been blocked in accord with institutional security policies.”

      The Vatican has denied the claims, saying that some of the computers available for journalists and authorized personnel in the Vatican press office have filters that regulate navigation. “On some computers in the press room, as in any company, there are filters that are automatically triggered for various online content, from pornography to malware to advertising,” Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, explained.

      One of these filters, Burke explained, blocks pages “that request personal information, in order to avoid unwanted operations.”

      This is why, on some of the computers in the press office, one can visit the homepage and navigate within it, but not sign the correction, because “the form requires personal information.”

    • From Cardinal Müller Suggests Pope Francis Appoint Group of Cardinals to Debate His Critics:

      Despite their best efforts to ignore it, the Vatican was nevertheless forced to respond obliquely to the correction on Sept. 25, after reports circulated that the Vatican may have blocked access to the filial correction website on its staff computers. It turned out the site itself was accessible, but not one of its pages where people can sign on to the initiative.

      The Vatican ascribed this to a firewall that is automatically triggered to prevent access to immoral websites or view certain kinds of advertising. Holy See Press Office director Greg Burke said “only when it tries taking you to another page, a ‘parked domain’ does the filter kick in. Normal filters at work, like any company has on its computers.”

      “You can’t really imagine we would do this [block the website] for a letter with 60 names,” he joked to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

  9. CNN online Breaking News right now: “Pope accused of spreading heresy” is the banner. When you click, headline is “Conservatives Accuse the Pope of Spreading Heresy.” (I haven’t read it yet; my stomach is already upset today.)
    But the online MSM behemoth has taken notice.

  10. Now for reality. If there are 1 billion Catholics in the world and you get 1 million to sign the doc, that is less than 1%. The dubia will not be answered and neither will this. What is occurring in the Church today has been inching along for the past 50 years and beyond. The popes of and since Vatican II, in some degree, have been modernists. They have all contributed to where we are today. Think about what each one did to change Tradition or to allow the modernization of the previous pope to remain in place. We are a very small minority in the Church, we Traditionalists. There are no bishops or cardinals or anyone of great influence to fight for us. All we can do is pass on the great Tradition of the Church to our children so that it remains alive. We still need to be as loud a voice as we can be but we are it. Without bishops to really, maybe even literally, fight for the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church, we will only be that lone voice. And when I say fight, I mean getting in other “holy” mens’ face and letting them have it! This will get worse for us before it gets better. Perhaps saying the Sorrowful Mysteries once a day will help, especially the fourth, as we contemplate patient suffering throughout trials and tribulations.

    • What you are I think in effect also saying is that the Church for all the world to see is exactly what the Pope and the Luthero-Catholics affirm it to be.

      There are small minorities of those who affirm consistent teaching in line with past teaching, but it would be a bit too harsh to outright condemn a man for looking at the Catholic Church today and calling it in honesty and without malice an organization that has far more in common with liberal Lutheranism and Episcopalianism than it has with what it clearly was just a few decades ago.

      I have signed Steve’s petition and l also sent my name in to Shaw’s correction. Short of a miracle, I see little change on the horizon, but alas, I believe in miracles!

      • I think we’re on the same page, Rod. Where did all this “new ecumenicism” come from? I read an article “Remembering 1917: The war on religion” by Paul Kengor. He refers to a book written by a protestant pastor who was tortured with other religious people in Rumania. It was the communists desire to wipe out all belief in God. They attacked all religions which believed in God. This occurred throughout the 1930s-1950s. Now I wonder, what did these people who survived these prisons, especially Catholic priests, think of the Church being the only way to salvation? I put forth this question: A devout Catholic, a devout Baptist, a devout Jew, a devout Muslim are all placed in a prison together where they are all tortured due to their belief in God. All will not refuse to stop believing in God and all are killed for their belief in God. All believe that their specific religion is the one, true religion of God and the others are not. Do they all go to heaven? I believe this scenario was played out throughout Europe during the early to mid 20th Century and witnessed by Catholic priests who one day would be bishops, cardinals and popes. I wonder if what they saw and heard about changed their minds regarding the dogmas of the Catholic Church.

        • Woody:

          What you refer to is exactly what I have stated many times about Wojtila, Ratzinger, et al vis a vis their experiences in WW2. I attribute the lion’s share of the mass rejection of EENS today to the very notions you highlight. “Ecumenism” is of course NOT what it once was; the means to reaching out to save souls and convert the lost. Ecumenism is a direct denial of EENS, a dogma of the faith. At least it functions as such. I do not think my father, a Methodist minister, was EVER called to repentance and conversion to the true faith by any Catholic priest in all his many years of “ecumenical activity”. Ratzinger in his 1958 lecture states clearly that past understanding of EENS is rejected based on our “humanity”. He also goes on to call Catholics “pagans” and surely his experience with or knowledge of vast numbers of “Catholics” not acting like Catholics during WW2 must have influenced him.

          I believe we still live under the moral cloud of theological ambiguity spawned by the great wars of the 20th Century. The intense evil seen and experienced by these men surely took a toll on their personal understandings of the faith. I think that is patently obvious. Look at JPII’s virtual denial of past teaching on capital punishment for example.

          I really do not know how an organization can change any more than the Catholic Church has without somebody in power simply saying the “teaching has changed”.

          In fact, that is what this Pope has essentially done.

          The prelature appears to be sick and tired of past Catholic doctrine. “Hate” might be an exstrme word, but certainly disdain appears to be an accurate descriptor.

          I would add that just because most Catholics and even the prelature and even a Pope don’t believe what the Catholic Church taught with clarity and force for 2000 years doesn’t mean what she taught is wrong and they are right.

          I also do not believe we have anything like a grasp on the anger of a jealous God.

          • The mystery of iniquity. If in God’s infinite grace and love I somehow am admitted to the beatific vision, I look forward–with fear–at seeing how Adam cast a stone that caused ripples and how the stones we have cast have caused ripples….and how we end up at a title wave of sin engulfing all of us.

            Most people don’t have the awareness of the reverberating and mulitplicative effect of sin. Of those who have even some inkling, it takes an earnest effort to even tie in surface level ripples to other issues. I enjoyed reading this string of comments. I think there exists the material for a book–albeit a very lengthy and erudite book–which expounds upon the impact of the world wars on the Church.

            Ultimately, it makes me sad to think that men would lose some sense of Catholic truths because of witnessing others refusing to deny God: an earnest believe does not imply a correct belief. (Father Schall has had published today at TCT an excellent article about that very fact!). These men should have known that.

            We see where the fruits of this have led: Pope Francis saying that atheists go to heaven, that belief in God is not necessary for salvation. It was one thing to consider that perhaps our fellow monotheists rooted in the Abrahamic tradition might obtain heaven outside the Church. That we have now gotten to a pope proclaiming that belief and service to God is not necessary for salvation is….well….almost fantastical (and I do not mean fantastic in the modern usage).

            The mysteries of iniquity.

          • To borrow and mangle a line from General MacArthur, wars don’t end, they fade away.

            And so we yet still live under the pall of World War One…and layered upon it, Two, and then there are the ceaseless regional conflicts that so ravaged the lives and thoughts of many world wide…and dare I say it, in cumulative effect, have so damaged Mother Church!

            And yet the answer, we can see today in high relief, is NOT effeminate pacifism for that itself is a capitulation to forces of evil.

            And so I wonder endlessly…Why didn’t our leaders simply cling to the constant teaching of the Church, modified by nothing, and hold fast to the doctrines in all their palliative…and painful…truth?

            For as you see, what was once just a little divergence is now a wholly new track.

            When my children were young I took them to the top of the mountain, for we live in mountains and spend our lives here, hiking, riding, skiing, hunting. At the top of a peak, I showed them how the first steps in the journey home are the most important, for one step from the peak going in the wrong direction will lead one far, far away from home, where a misplaced foot near the end is easier to overcome to get back on track. So I taught them; when you are young, make every effort to do what is right, lest you spend the rest of your life struggling to find your way home again.

            And so we see Adam, taking that first wrong step, a step we have all been forced to make up for in each and every life. and then…compounding the confusion with the misplaced steps of our own! And that compounded by our guides who seem not to have any interest in getting home at all!

            My heart especially breaks for those, especially some Protestants, who are earnestly looking at the Catholic faith and cannot see Her teachings for the overgrown trail that this modernist Beroglioism so obfuscates! And some are family members I and many others love so much!

            It is maddening.

            The mysteries of iniquity, indeed.

          • There is a terrific little book I’ve just begun to re-read called “Why Must I Suffer” by Rev. F.J. Remler, C.M. Lepanto Publications puts it out.

            Aside from the evils visited on mankind by Adam’s sin – the loss of all the good things he and Eve had, ALL wars, famines, pestilences, mass apostasies and other public ills are caused by our public, corporate and political sins – God allows all of this. We don’t often think about how we as individuals ’caused’ the ills of society today. We are all responsible in some way either through neglect of our children’s proper education, our neglect of civic duty in NOT voting for evil, or our cowardice in not confronting evil in our Church when it first reared it’s ugly, Vatican-let head.

            It’s not a mystery why God has permitted all of us to suffer, the innocent along with the obviously guilty. If we think just of sodomy and abortion alone, what must be our well-deserved punishment for this? Our Lady has told us time and again that God will visit punishments on us – well it’s here.

            Our quest for personal holiness and fostering this quest for holiness through our example and teaching is the only way to turn the tide. But it’s going to be ugly in the meantime. Let’s not let a drop of this horrible suffering go unappreciated. It’s our piling up of these treasures in Heaven that will be our salvation.

            Get this book: “Why Must I Suffer”. It explains in a really Catholic way why God has allowed the evils of Francis and ALL his cohort (for hundreds of years) to chip away at The Faith.

          • Very good points.

            And dare I say it, I had great hopes for Laudato Si. For even the creations groans as the Scriptures tell us!!

            I so hoped it would be a teaching of repentance and a true call to conversion, and yet what we got was Gaia’s “Sister Mother Earth” and “Turn off the air conditioner while I jet set around the world”…

  11. If we monitor news websites of various dioceses around the country to see the comments of folks as they read about the correction, I have a hunch we will see that your average NOVUS ordo Catholic does not have a clue as to what is going on. I have seen this in a diocesan site I have been monitoring today. If there is a formal schism over the refusal of Francis to respond to a formal correction, it is going to hit everyone like an earthquake. However, it is the very earthquake that has been needed for so long~~~~~. My prayer is: “let it begin~”
    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  12. I URGE everyone to read the document if they haven’t already. It is quite readable and although 25 pages, it is a true page-turner! The language used leaves no doubt as to the consternation that compelled the writers to take action.

    As a matter of fact, I will posit a proposition here. I don’t think for one minute that the authors expect a response from Pope Francis. Rather, due to the level of confusion in the lay population, I believe this document was written for THEM as a way to clearly lay out what the problem is with AL and what the TRUE Church teaching is. The fact that they went to the trouble of laying out the heresies of Modernism and Martin Luther and how Pope Francis’ positions line up with them only reinforces my belief that this is a document meant to educate the masses.

    And, I believe that the document serves to give the remaining Dubia Cardinals the encouragement to move forward with a formal correction. After all, the five questions they asked Pope Francis pale in comparison to the 7 heresies mentioned in the filial correction.

    • The document itself signifies as much. It’s almost spelled out actually in the paragraph where they say that this correction is “not as a superior” but that it is for the Catholic faithful to know the truth and for non-catholics for whom the “key of knowledge” not be removed. So, yes, I think you are right… the correction isn’t for Pope Francis as it is for us. The document corrects the heresies being propagated by Pope Francis. If it was a correction of the pope himself, it would have to have some sort of teeth to it, which this really doesn’t. The teeth will have to wait for the Fraternal Correction from the Cardinals.

    • This is one of the best summations and analysis I’ve yet to see in any combox anywhere. Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful post. I think you’ve hit it spot on. The Filial Correction just may be enough to neuter Bergoglio’s trustworthiness, at least to some extent among Catholics that feel they ‘must adhere’ to a Pope’s every word. (or/and those that pay not much attention to Papal news) I’m also thinking that this may be enough to more or less ‘brand’ him as promoting heresy informally but powerfully.

    • I agree except that the 5 questions of the dubia do not pale. Far from merely investigating the possibility that the Pope is a heretic, they have the potential to expose the Pope as an apostate.

  13. I think that’s the first statement from Fr. James Martin that I agree with, though not as he intended it. Many of the people who defended Catholic truth under John Paul II and Benedict XVI using “because the pope said so” as a defense now no longer have that. That shouldn’t be a good enough defense- that’s too easy. We do not defend the truth because the Pope said so. We defend it simply because it is the truth.

    • You are absolutely correct. The days of when we used to say, “I believe X because Pope N. says it is true” are long gone and it was ONLY safe because what the pope said was always a reiteration of timeless Truth. We are now witnessing a resurgence of ultramontanism amongst some of the faithful because of this conditioning, but the problem is that the pope ISN’T reiterating timeless Truth, but manipulating it and taking advantage of the blind trust and loyalty of unaware Catholics.

      • All the more important is active and continuing formation among adult Catholics. We should be able to say, “I believe it because …” and, thereby, “[a]lways be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.”
        (1 Peter 3:15-16)

        • True Faith is to believed because HE, God Himself, has revealed His truth to us, either in Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, or the Magisterium – the real Magisterium.

          That’s why we believe. If we don’t have this belief as a foundation for our ‘faith structure’ we will believe anything – check out your neighbours in Church and in your neighbourhood. They have lost this Faith and they DO believe just about anything.

          • This is true, Barbara. However, if we are speaking to a non-Christian, or to one who does not believe at all in Divine Revelation as taught by the Catholic Church or any other source, just saying “because God said so” isn’t going to be convincing.

            For example, someone may ask me, “Why do you ‘worship’ Mary?” I first ask them if they believe that Jesus is God and that Mary is the mother of Jesus. From those core beliefs, one can use human reason to understand (as far as is possible) the mysteries of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth of Jesus, Mary as the “Mother of God,” and her Perpetual Virginity and Assumption into heaven.

            Then, I add that we don’t “worship” a creature but that we “highly venerate” Mary because we believe in all these primary truths about her.

            Some don’t want to believe, for any number of reasons, but this is what we must be able to do to “give a reason for our hope.” This requires knowing the Faith beyond “because the Church says so.”

      • The FrancisPosse aren’t really Ultramontanists. They don’t believe any of this stuff. All they want is to destroy the Church and they are having a good crack at it. Unless they convert and amend their lives, they will go to Hell.

    • We are obligated to defend the truth, we Catholics more than anyone else, because the truth is given to us. We should be those who lives in the truth and dies in the truth and for the truth.
      Our main job, the whole meaning of our existence is living the truth, preaching the truth and defending the truth – whenever and wherever needed. Not for the sake of the truth, but for our own sake and the sake of others who are in danger to be deceived by the Liar and his slaves, who with their lies lead them into eternal condamnation.

  14. On what evidence are we to believe that all Vatican institutions access the internet through the same service provider, and that this provider blocked the above-mentioned website?

  15. Actually – 2 bishops signed it. The retired bishop of Corpus Christi, and Bishop Fellay who is still a catholic bishop, not in schism and with a valid ordination. You’re on the wrong side of history if you oppose the correction.

  16. Truth will win; it always wins. Pope Francis will go down in history as the Great Destroyer. His Pontificate will fail and fall. I pray he converts. failing that, I pray that this nightmare Pontificate ends soon.

    • Please ; pray also for him and his coborts…regardless of his actions, he and those he surrounds himself with (where applicable) are still priests and as such, Christ’s own. Fallen and imperfect, maybe, but still marked at ordination as His, and we are instructed to pray for them.

      How great a victory would be the salvation of the soul of the Pontiff who would otherwise be lost?

    • …laughable and ludicrous given the smallness of the Vatican State. Will the swiss guards be ordered to seek in the italian visitor’s pockets whether there is any concealed USB key that would possibly contain the filial correction ? And what inside the Vatican itself ?
      I am almost certain that a lot of porn websites are accessible from the Vatican computers, but that of the correction is not. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      • Aww.

        Just wait till they lock the Vatican Gates…to keep the Vaticanistas IN.

        Wouldn’t want them influenced by the goodness that exists beyond the High Walls…

    • The imposition of the Great Vatican Firewall is in effect saying to all those inside the City: “You can’t handle the TRUTH!”

      But the supreme irony, of course, is that it’s the current Vatican regime and its apologists for whom The Truth is an alien concept.

    • From Cardinal Müller Suggests Pope Francis Appoint Group of Cardinals to Debate His Critics (NCRegister) 26 Sept. 2017:

      Despite their best efforts to ignore it, the Vatican was nevertheless forced to respond obliquely to the correction on Sept. 25, after reports circulated that the Vatican may have blocked access to the filial correction website on its staff computers. It turned out the site itself was accessible, but not one of its pages where people can sign on to the initiative.

      The Vatican ascribed this to a firewall that is automatically triggered to prevent access to immoral websites or view certain kinds of advertising. Holy See Press Office director Greg Burke said “only when it tries taking you to another page, a ‘parked domain’ does the filter kick in. Normal filters at work, like any company has on its computers.”

      “You can’t really imagine we would do this [block the website] for a letter with 60 names,” he joked to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

        • No, he doesn’t think we’re all stupid. However, he certainly thinks we’re not paying attention–and he’s right. Given that more Catholics could name off the last five alleged lovers of Prince Harry but don’t know of the purpose, existence or affiliation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he’s right.

          If you gathered all the members of my NO parish in the parish hall and asked them to right down the names of the cardinals they know, I would be shocked if more than 10% could name even one (probably Dolan). If you asked them about the scandal involving Cappozi, 2% might have vaguely skimmed something about it. If you asked about the Dubia, they’d assume you’re talking about a local doo wop group.

          And of course they set up the faithful for this. VII wasn’t about the people or the laity. It was about how to turn us into mushrooms: feed us **** and keep us in the dark!

      • Ughh…from Robert Royal, an unfortunate truth contained within the article:

        “Many Catholics on several continents don’t have the slightest knowledge or understanding of the basics of the faith,” said Royal. “The Church has a huge evangelical task ahead that will not be bridged by speaking of mercy and dialogue alone.”

        “For most people,” Royal added, “I’m afraid this controversy will fly over their heads, other than to confirm their impression that there’s nothing really solid and uncontroversial in Catholic teaching anyway.”

        • WELL SAID.


          I’ve been accused of being a “Protestant” for saying this very same thing.

          The Catholic Church as a group of people is almost totally devoid of substantive and unifying doctrine.

          “Nobody cares” seems to be the only true commonality.

          • Yes, look, I think we all know that Apostasy is the main problem “in” the Church. At least, those of us who have been Catholics for 40+ years have noticed this and let me tell you, it’s been very difficult to live it, but do please stop confusing the state of the Church at the moment with “The Catholic Church”. Maybe read a bit more Church history.

          • “The Church” can be used in a number of ways. It can be burdensome to describe just how it is being used each and every times it is used so the context is often relied upon. Pope Benedict himself used “the Church” in a variety of ways at different times in his speech. There isn’t just one way to use the term.

            I agree that the term can be confusing and dangerous, actually, especially if it is used in a way that lumps the Catholic faith in with every other supposedly “Christian” organization, as in a “denomination” or worse yet, if it is used as a descriptor of those within her fold who seek to destroy her.

          • That’s right, Rod. We’d solve the shortage crisis in short order if they started teaching the faith: we’d have parishes closing down all over the place. We’d end up with excess priests!

            When I look at my parish with perhaps 1500-2000 souls on the books and what I consider faithful, I can tell you the following:
            1. .05% attend reconciliation. I receive the sacrament at irregular intervals: sometimes as frequently as every other week, sometimes every third week but never more than every four weeks (so I’m not on a set schedule but I do receive the sacrament at least monthly). There is one other person I’ve ever seen more than once. The most people I’ve ever attended with were 10. Normally there are two or three.
            2. I have refrained from receiving the Eucharist at least four times in the last year. I’m busy praying, not keeping count, but there are no other regular attendees who I have ever seen refraining.

            One time I attended a Spanish language mass in my wife’s hometown (we were visiting her parents, arrived at 3 AM and the only mass available when I awoke was the 12:10 PM Spanish language mass). The mass was well attended. And–I mean this–there were 400 people there and I might have one of three over the age of 12 who received the Eucharist. Being dumbfounded, I asked the priest–a wonderful and faithful man (he married my wife and I)–and he explained that they will refrain if they are arguing with their spouse; if their minds wandered at some point prior to the consecration; if they spoke to harshly to their children….I mean, I couldn’t believe it!

            3. There are probably 120 who attend mass on holy days of obligation. So less than 10%.

            4. I have seen some stunning things happen. I explained my experience with confession and a bizarre sermon two weeks ago. About three years ago our parish priest was gone and the priest filling in for him was late so the nun who was the parish administrator stood up at 11:10 and asked if we would have an issue with her starting mass. I mean…I didn’t know it at the time but she should never, never have done that. She also used to give homilies but the bishop stepped in shut that down.

            I have to wonder how many of these people would stop coming if the cold, hard truths were preached. If the Church started affirming gospel truths and stopped affirming feelings we might still have “1.2 billion” Catholics but the regular mass attendance level would drop from 9-10% to .5%-1%. And that would be better for everybody. Truly, when we face judgement I think it would be better for one to be able to plead ignorance than to admit to rejecting the truths.

          • A very powerful account you have given here.

            You describe what I see in the parishes my kids attend and what I see in the local parish I bypass on my way to my FSSP parish.

            And yes, there are parishes that are preaching and living the whole word, the Sacraments and both the joys AND demands of the Gospel. My parish is one such.

            We have a crisis of sorts in that confession lines are so long they wrap around the halls and down the aisles and confessions go on into the Mass! What to do? We have extended new confession times and people are trying to heed that. You notice those who refrain. We have them, too!

            I laugh and tell my NO friends that the folks in my parish must be FAR WORSE sinners than those in their parishes. How do we know? Well, just look at how many sinners there are in need of absolution, jamming up the confession lines!!

            I LITERALLY was at the local NO parish one day when I and my son-in-law went to confession and afterwards the priest walked into the back of the nave and yelled at the congregation saying “I know there are sinners among you. I am here for confession so you know who you are and better come back before Mass!”

            One little old lady got fidgety and then stood up and went back to confess. No ONE ELSE did!

            As a convert THIS FSSP parish is simply what I thought Catholicism was!

            We hear the truths of the Bible taught, and…our people give up their sons to our Blessed Lord for service in the priesthood! I am told the parish has produced more vocations than the entire diocese since it was inaugurated about 10 years ago!

            And more and more people are coming, many selling their homes and moving in from out of state.

            There is nothing more novel here than the truth and many are coming to know the true freedom that truth offers us.

            I thank God every day for my priests and for the FSSP and their willingness to serve our Lord Jesus!

          • My Spanish isn’t good enough to understand the homilies, but when I “have to” attend the local Spanish (NO) Mass for scheduling reasons, I see the same phenomenon- many don’t receive Holy Communion. I must admit to feeling overwhelmed with love for these fellow sinners, whether I’m receiving or not. I hope they pray for me the way I pray for them during those Masses!

          • Seriously, besides the really wonderful spirit of the parents and children, that sight alone is worth somebody attending a Spanish language mass.

          • Oh…and I forgot to add: I don’t speak nor comprehend Spanish. But I know the cadences well enough that I could quietly say the profession, the Our Father and respond to the prayers. Ultimately, I just prayed a lot.

          • Brian,

            Point 2 in your post with some of the reasons the priest mentioned for people not receiving Holy Communion caused me some consternation. “If their minds wandered at some point prior to the Consecration…”!!

            There can hardly be a more sensitive subject for a Catholic than whether or not to receive Holy Communion so I’ll just offer the following:

            St. Alphonsus teaches that a person who doubts whether he or she has sinned mortally or not may lawfully go to Communion without previous Confession. Antoni remarks that this doctrine must be taught to the people if it be desired that the faithful should go forward with frequent Communion. ‘An experience’, he adds ‘of missions during 30 years and more, has convinced me that it is the fear of being in mortal sin and hence of making a sacrilegious Communion, which causes so many people who live habitually in a state of grace to omit Communion.’ He also makes this useful comment: It is a clear mistake to teach souls that unless their consciences are calm and peaceful, they may not receive Communion daily. How many souls most dear to God there are that never experience such perfect peace! The proper thing is to tell them without scruple: ‘Receive every day provided you are not sure of having sinned mortally.’ ” – Lintelo.

            Pope St.Pius X said that the writings which most faithfully represented his mind on Frequent Communion were those of Père Lintelo, S.J. (Report of the Eucharistic Congress of Metz, 1907)

          • I can assure you that it is not the priest who instructs them thus. It neen’t be said that I think their faith is much more spiritual than people in North America and Europe.

            However, I appreciate the commentary and exegesis and follow it to a point (I would not approach in a state of mortal sin no matter what).


    There, that’ll get ’em…

  18. What do normal Novus Ordo folks think about Pope Francis, his heresies, his Liberal orientation and his antipathy towards traditional Catholics? Since I go to a Novus Ordo parish, like most all Catholics, I feel permitted to render an opinion. And that opinion is that nearly everything ever written on One Peter 5 about Pope Francis would be a revelation to those folks. Never do we hear anything about Pope Francis, hardly even the fact that he is the Pope. He is simply irrelevant in our parish community. Perhaps most folks don’t even know he is the Pope, which, in a Barnhardt sort of way, may truly be the case. We should all be happy about this and agree that not hearing about Pope Francis is a cause for celebration.

    • I suspect for most Novus Ordoites the Franciscan madness goes completely over their heads. In my parish there are not too many divorced and remarried adulterers strolling up to Holy Communion because most of the paltry congregation is comprised of elderly ladies.
      But then I do live in the wasteland which is Germany so most of the damage has already been done.

      • Attend N.O., most of our local parishes support a more liberal theology so comments about the Pope are note examined closely. A deacon gave the homily not too long ago which was geared heavily toward loving all as Christ would (specifically mentioning gays, muslims, sinners). The priest nodded in approval. Zero mention of repentance and redemption. Just lovey-dovey love.

    • I think you are 100% correct.

      Occasionally…rarely…the topic comes up in my little world and I choke back my words, not wanting to let them in on what they clearly do not know. They hear vague stuff in the news media but mostly slough it off as I don’t think most people respect the news media on the one hand and don’t care much about “Vatican stuff” on the other..

      But then I don’t think many I know would be too upset to know what he and his henchmen are saying and doing. That is, I have a hunch most folks would be glad to know that “Church teaching has finally caught up with the times”.

      Whatever that means, as many simply do what they want anyhow.

      Why would ‘t they?

      The local deacon gives homilies vaguely supporting homosexuals, the local “orthodox” Priest communes notorious Freemasons.

      What’s the big deal?

      ETA: There are many in the parishes I’m familiar with tho who are holding on to what they were taught many years ago and who wonder what is going on. But again, few seem to be really all that interested in what the Pope does. They just know he’s there, and that seems to be enough. Just my observation.

      • Yes, “what’s the big deal”. Vatican II pretty much prepared the way for the do-it-yourself morality that most Catholics practice today. If Novus Ordo folks were clued in on Pope Francis they would surely applaud his “getting with the times”. Sad situation. Only, divine intervention will (perhaps) help. The Church is too far gone for a full recovery. We are looking at a remnant Church at best.

      • I agree Rod save one point: I do think several people if they knew would be upset with what Francis is doing. People are more juvenile and childlike then ever. And what did kids want: mom and dad to be moral, steady and unchanging.

        Kid goes off to college. Begins drinking, experimenting with drugs and engaging in promiscuous behavior. That kid does not want to come home to find that dad and mom are doing the same and want to cheer the kid on. Seriously, that sounds silly but I think even people who like to feel intelligent because they don’t agree with the Church on everything (without knowing their reasoning and certainly not the Church’s reasoning) but they don’t want the Church to adapt to them.

        I believe that. I really do.

    • I don’t go to a NO parish, I’m Eastern Rite – but my parish priest, when he mentions Pope Francis at all, it is glowingly. Just a few weeks ago, he mentioned in his homily how blessed we are to have Pope Francis, because he is a living example of how to be Christlike because he has installed Laundromats in Rome so that the homeless can wash their clothes. No kidding.

      • Yes.

        I read stuff that indicates the same.

        In all seriousness, I think that when the truth comes out many will be shocked.

        I get in conversations and I find myself, online and in person, telling people “READ the Pope!” “Don’t just listen to what some critic or fan says. READ him. Then you decide.”

        The reality is that he has NOT been confusing. He has presented his cause in a deflected way, but not a confusing way. His innuendo, implications and direct support for those who deny Church teaching is so clear, one only needs to study him and what he supports to know.

        And since most Catholics don’t, I can see a tremendous shock coming in the event of a papal crisis of authority.

        MANY will be stunned to find out what he has been “teaching” .

        • Rod, You have probably heard the saying that goes along the lines of: “it is easier to con someone than it is to convince them that they have been conned.” That saying might be what we see unfold for those who have been heretofore unaware — as the truth comes out.

          I suspect most of the folks here have come to an understanding of what is happening over a period of time. The awakening or enlightenment was gradual, not all at once as a sudden epiphany. It has meant reading and research and processing information (and feelings too).

          So apply Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of acceptance and I think that is what will happen. Yes, they will be stunned/ shocked (and in massive denial) and then begins the hard work from denial, sadness, grief, anger, bargaining — round and round — until acceptance.

          It will not be a pretty picture, that is certain.

          • I’m actually grateful to the Pope: without him I would never have discovered the Baltimore Catechism which has just led to more and more learning. As several can attest, I have a loooong way to go. But I’m learning.

          • I think lots of us would be worse off without the Pope, in all honesty. His divergences from the faith ave forced lots of folks to really dive into the Scriptures and the Tradition, possibly something unintended!!

        • I call it “gaslighting.” The priest gushes and glows with obvious respect and reverence for a man (Francis) whom I know to be speaking multiple 180 degree contradictions to the truth of the Catholic faith. It was very painful. Thankfully, all of that is in the past with my driving adventure to a small chapel where I now attend mass.

          • You may be correct, but gaslighting implies the guy is smart enough to think that cunning of a way.

            More likely he is a soft headed liberal that knows the so called social Gospel only.

    • Consider this. In a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, only 42% of American Catholics could name Genesis as the first book of the Bible. Only 33% could name the 4 Gospels. Let that sink in for a minute, and then consider how knowledgeable or sophisticated the “average” Catholic might be concerning the Amoris Laetitia controversy. It is not even on their radar. At best, they know that Francis is Pope, and they may have read that he is for being more “merciful” than past popes and that he is opposed by a few old-guard conservatives. That’s it. And who could be against that? Right?

      • Check out the Charter for Priestly Formation issued by the Bishops of England and Wales in 2015. The document explains the need for a preparatory year for candidates before they start formation at the major seminary.

        Seminary staff found that many of their students lacked confidence and/or knowledge of the basics of their faith. And some suffered from a faulty spirituality or had little sense of a spiritual life.

        Hence the need for a long catechism course and a basic training in prayer before entering seminary proper.

        As my foul mouthed former colleague would have said: What the **** are these people doing in a seminary? ?

        If that is the state of our pitiful handful of seminarians, how religiously clueless are our ordinary parishioners? How many know or care anything about AL?

      • One glimmer of hope. Check this out:

        A very large percentage of Catholics polled DID understand the necessity of faith AND works for salvation, but get this:

        OVER HALF the Protestants polled did, too!

        Does that mean ANYTHING to our leadership?

        WAKE UP, Bishops!!

        There are many out there who just might be interested in the doctrines of the faith if they would just spit them out.

        Instead, we get ambiguity, dodginess and doubletalk!!

    • Yes, I think that is a masterful defense, too.

      “So some folks have a beef with the Pope. Oh, well, some folks always have a beef with the Pope. Turn the page, nothing abnormal in that” seems to be what I am reading coming from the supporters of heresy.

      I think it’ll work to diffuse the situation unless we see Bishops and Cardinals also resits the Pope.

      And that seems to be a distant hope.

  19. A correction from a small group of traditionalist / conservative academics will not work. It is too easy to ignore and to portray as coming from an insignificant cadre of right wingers. There are only two forms of correction that will have the necessary impact. A correction from a significant number of cardinals (say 25, at least) or bishops (say 200, at least) might work. But, it is clear now that such a correction is never going to happen. So we are really only left with one option: it must come from Pope Emeritus Benedict. He must be careful to say that he writes not as Peter but as a humble bishop, but he must firmly and clearly say that what Pope Francis has tried to do is impossible.

    • Hmmm… an interesting proposition…

      Benedict won’t say anything though… sadly. Even if he had the desire and will, he’s really quite frail now… and we know his thoughts of his own frailty 4.5 years ago. No, a correction must come from the Cardinals and whether it is from 2 or 120 it doesn’t really matter. The truth is the truth and it is to the truth we must be joined. Even if we lose everything in the world, we have the true faith and that is worth everything.

    • I mostly agree but won’t say never.

      This might be a small crack in the dike that might lead to the flood.

      We’ll see, but I’d be surprised to find out no bishops are talking amongst themselves and wondering how much more of this heresy the Church can stand before they must do something about it.

  20. I’ve been wondering if the formal correction has been given to the Pope privately. This filial correction was given privately to Pope Francis on Aug. 11, now made public because he has not answered. The dubia were given privately before being made public because he did not answer. Perhaps the formal correction has already been sent to him, waiting for him to answer……

  21. I find it interesting that those opposed to the substance of the filial correction ignore the substance itself. Instead they make claims of tactical errors, insufficient authority, hypocrisy. Stories that dominate the public sphere are those with waves of dispute. If there is good argument to muster, it can be stretched out over considerable periods of time to influence opinion. If eternal truth IS eternal truth, these are the only arguments to proclaim. Assume then, that a filial correction is coming from those “with authority.” Wouldn’t this precursor due nicely to set the battle lines? Allowing one to fully gauge the response and approaches. We know the common apologists. We know their general arguments. Why not, then, give them the opportunity to weary themselves upon the first tide; all the while knowing a second coming is much stronger. There is either eternal truth or not. Stay at the side of Jesus, who fulfills the law.

    • Eden and Fastiggi exemplify the “generous response” of paragraph 303 to refer to the case of a civilly married adulterous couple having sex who decide to stop having sex and try to get an annulment of the previous marriage, Then the state of “civil marriage” is the “generous response.”
      But this is a straw man, since this is clearly not what Bergoglio means when he refers to the case of a woman who continues sex with the adulterous husband in order that the kids do not suffer.

      Here is where Dawn Eden goes wrong:
      “God is asking for a generous response, indeed an oblationem, or offering, that moves in the right direction even though it does not completely rectify the objective irregularity of the situation.”

      But what God asks is for them to STOP SINNING, not to simply “move in the right direction”.

      • Goodness gracious, we have the Sixth Commandment and the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew. It cannot be said enough: the words are UNAMBIGUOUS. There is no need for doctrinal development or interpretation. The words are CLEAR, CLEAR, CLEAR.

    • If it were one translation in 50 years of documents, perhaps. When it’s every document, interview and comment, common sense addresses it. :-))

  22. We, the common faithful don’t need to hold degrees in theology to know from our solid catechesis that the current vicar of Christ is not being a faithful guardian and promoter of Catholic doctrine.

    • We don’t even really need a solid catechesis – in the same way you don’t need 20/20 vision to spot a raging inferno. Even a blind person feels the heat and smells the smoke ……..

  23. When old HenryVIII broke with Rome, just one bishop in the entire kingdom publicly opposed him. Everybody knows that. But I think that many do not delve very deeply into the reasons why. I suppose we tend to credit the whole thing up to fear and weak faith. I am sure that both of those played a role, but I think we discount the disgust that the bishops had for Wolsey. He was a moral reprobate whom the king had gotten Rome to appoint as Cardinal Legate to England, thus giving him almost the same powers as the pope withing England. Even when he sat down to have a meal with other bishops, he insisted that his table – at which he ate alone – was elevated above their tables. He so insulted the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was Primate of England, that the poor man went into a kind of seclusion. He threw his weight around – of which there was much to throw, we are told – and made sure that they all knew how much more important he was than they were. He was pompous, arrogant, and DISMISSIVE. The bishops of England were happy when he fell from power, and may have seen Henry’s break with Rome the assurance that there would never be another Cardinal Legate around to treat them like dirt.

    Several years ago I was eating lunch in Rome with an American priest who was working in one of the Vatican offices. I made a little joke about how we should all bow to him before we sat down at table. He laughed and replied – “Whatever self-esteem I may have had gor beaten out of me the very first week I started my job in the Vatican. The people there are very conscientious in showing people like me just how unimportant we are”.

    I have noticed the same kind of attitude whenever I have been involved with Vatican officials. They seem to me to be hugely self-important and absolutely dismissive. There is a very brief canon in the Code of Can Law – “The Holy See is judged by no one”. I think that even the lowest minutante in the office of handing out relics is sure that that applies to him just as surely as it applies to the Pope.

    Leo X was quite dismissive of Luther – until it was too late. He was convinced that some little unimportant monk in Germany posed no threat to Rome. That attitude that “we are so important that we simply do not have to pay any attention to you, much less answer your silly questions” is a very Roman, and a very dangerous thing. It infects both liberals and conservatives. I have dealt with both over the years. In fact, I have often heard people say that they were shocked that Cardinal Ratzinger was such a gentleman and so willing to listen and take them seriously in Rome when he headed the CDF because that was so different from what they had experienced in their meetings with other Vatican officials. The fact that the 4 Cardinals were ignored, and that the filial correction has been ignored should be no surprise to anyone.


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