Sunday, September 24, 2017

BREAKING: 62 scholars correct Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’

We will be hearing about this for a while:

BREAKING: 62 scholars correct Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’

ROME, September 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Expressing “profound grief” and “filial devotion,” Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world have issued what they are calling a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.”

The Filial Correction, in the form of a 25-page letter, bears the signatures of sixty-two Catholic academics, researchers, and scholars in various fields from twenty countries. They assert that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.

The letter was dated July 16 of this year, and “delivered to the Pope at his Santa Marta residence on August 11, 2017”. (It seems to me they could have just emailed him, it would have been quicker).

Unlike the “Dubia” last year, a formal document issued by four Cardinals last year simply asking for clarity on particular questions, this document has no formal standing. In fact, it is already being dismissed as simply “conservative theologians” who are “failing” to exercise “prudence” and “discernment”.

The traditionalist (and yet not having broken communion with the pope, as opposed to, say, the SSPX) Rorate Caeli begins its dramatic coverage of this item with the phrase, “And So It Begins: ‘FILIAL CORRECTION OF POPE FRANCIS For the Propagation of Heresies’.”

On the other hand, officially, nothing has really begun. They are still just throwing insults at each other, for all practical purposes.

There are three possible outcomes to this, and just as with a forward pass, the conservatives will say, “two of them are not good”:

1. “Pope Francis” will repent, and the conservatives will all start chattering about how the gates of hell didn’t prevail, etc. I don't think that’s going to happen.

2. This can just fester – he will say nothing, as he has said nothing regarding the Dubia. He will be able to continue naming Cardinals and making his personnel changes in the Vatican.

3. Bergoglio can double down, either in his own speeches and activities, as well as the amping-up of the rhetoric by some of his like-minded colleagues. In this event, I think, the conservatives will be marginalized, and the Bergoglio party will wind up owning the “official” Catholic Church.

It seems like both 2 and 3 are happening, both bad for the conservatives. He already has swapped out the entire staffs of two papal academies (so far), and he also has senior clerics like Cardinal Christopher Schönborn of Vienna, who are claiming that this is all “development” in process.

It should be noted that “Francis hasn’t responded to either initiative”. It seems to me that he’s not going to respond, either.

As well, Schönborn is already carrying water on this one, having “rejected a criticism levelled at him by Cardinal Müller who described the Archbishop of Vienna’s intervention in the debate over the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia as ‘simply not convincing’.”

Cardinal Schönborn chided the dubia cardinals, criticising their manner of raising their concerns and their flouting of procedure.

“That cardinals, who should be the closest collaborators of the pope, are trying to force him and put pressure on him to give a public response to their publicised letter is absolutely inconvenient behaviour,” he said.

“If they want to have an audience with the pope, then they ask for an audience but they do not publish that they have asked for an audience,” he added.

In the eyes of Schönborn, and also a large number of Cardinals and bishops (in union with the pope), these charges against “Pope Francis” are simply “conservative theologians” who are failing to exercise prudence and discernment.

Answering questions from the press ahead of addressing the conference ‘Let’s Talk Family: Let’s Be Family’ in Limerick, Ireland, Cardinal Schönborn said that the “answer to the dubia is very simple”.

He said the teaching of the Church was that a valid marriage is indissoluble. “Pope Francis never questioned the principles because these are the principles of the Bible and of the Gospel and Jesus’ teaching.”

“But giving this answer is not an answer to all the single cases and situations that we have to deal with in everyday life.”

He said the Pope had clearly said that, in practical matters, we have to exercise discernment. “We have to exercise the virtue of prudence and that means looking clearly at the reality.”

It should be interesting to watch.


  1. Bergoglio needn't respond because, thanks to Vatican II and its aftermath, the papists have been prepped for such a pontificate as Bergoglio's. His behavior comes as no surprise to those of us who have watched once-solid church bodies slip from Christianity to Liberalism.

    1. It is kind of a straight line from Vatican II to Bergoglio. The question will be, "what comes next?"

    2. I think the real question is what would be better for the kingdom of God. I honestly don't know.

      Will the traditionalist come to their senses and realize the Reformation was correct? Or will they just defend today's liberalism tomorrow?

      Will it make nominal Catholics harder to reach if their church goes completely liberal?

    3. @geoff: if the lessons of the Lib churches is any indication, a liberalized Rome will hemorrhage membership to the Roman knock-offs, Orthodox (who are having problems with Liberalism as well), non-Chalcedonian churches, "nones" who call Rome's bluff, and (DV) us.

  2. I'm not familiar with the ins and out of Catholic doctrines of marriage and the Eucharist. But why aren't they complaining about the church's embrace of evolution, higher critical views of the Bible, religious pluralism, etc?

    1. Because they drank the kool aid. It's like listening to Episcopalians protesting the ordination of a gay bishop: they've already allowed gays in full membership, ordain women, etc, so what's one more abomination?

    2. Steve, this marriage question that has arisen because of Amoris Laetitia deals not only with marriage, but with the nature of sacraments themselves, and ultimately, with what they might think of as "the integrity" of "the Eucharist", which is the heart and soul of their sacerdotal system. According to Catholic doctrine, the primary way (and before Vatican II, the only way) that God does business in the world, the only way that he dispenses grace, is through the proper administration of the Roman Catholic sacraments. Everything is connected in Roman doctrine; if you mess with one thing, you mess with a lot of things. And this touches on the heart and soul of their raison d'etre.

  3. John, I understand that, but it just shows the narrow focus of even many conservative catholics. Remember when JP2 kissed the Koran? Where was the outrage by the Catholic Answers crowd, for example?

    1. I'm not sure this is exactly an analagous situation however. It is one thing for the Episcopalians to slide down a slippery slope; however, for JPII to kiss a Koran is not a doctrinal thing at all. They separate doctrinal things from non-doctrinal. And if JPII wants to kiss a Koran, it may be unseemly, but it doesn't mess with what they consider to be an ancient doctrine of the church, part of the "faith once given". The conservatives thought that they were all buttoned-down doctrinally under 35 years or so of JPII and BXVI. There was no such slippery slope in their minds. At this point they have a pope who is (while relying on "interpretations" of previous documents) taking a completely different doctrinal tack than they would have been expecting. So for the most part, in your original question, the same thing applies: "evolution, higher critical views of the Bible, religious pluralism, etc" are not part of that doctrinal core that they thought would be protected against the gates of hell. Now all of a sudden, the gates of hell are on the papal throne!

    2. John, please consider the following: JPII's kissing the Koran was indeed a doctrinal matter, as the Umma would quite rightly recognize the gesture as a token and icon of submission. The lib doctrines mentioned by Steve Jackson helped to boil the papistical frog by blurring what was once clear and accepted.

    3. Kirk -- I understand. But what we're getting into the meaning of the "Living Tradition" (along with "development"). Consider this phrase from the CCC 841: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

      That is a citation taken from Lumen Gentium (the Vatican II conciliar document that would have the controlling "authority" for such a statement in the CCC). The language is even more clear in Nostra Aetate, another Vatican II document, somewhat less "authoritative", but more explanatory:

      The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

      Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

      So from their point of view, in the light of these documents (doctrines) from Vatican II, the kissing the Koran is not something that would have been seen as a step down a slippery slope.

      People -- Episcopalians even -- will rightly see the slippery slope that led to the homosexual bishop as a slippery slope. But for Rome, when you factor in the various meanings of "development" (and the sort-of greater level of understanding that goes along with that), "kissing the Koran" is not a doctrinal thing ... it is actually a more sophisticated thing, a "developmental" thing to do.

      And so back to Steve's question ... evolution seems like greater understanding. Higher criticism isn't even on the radar screen of most Catholics because they still don't read the Bible. But that's also something they'd see as "greater understanding". And "pluralism" as in the explanation given at Vatican II, etc.

    4. The CCC (839) probably makes it even clearer: "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways." -- being "related to the People of God" actually makes them sort of an incomplete (see Augustine on the nature of sin) component of "the Catholic Church", in the same way that the "separated brethren" are a part of it -- the notion that they are in "imperfect communion" with "the Catholic Church". The pope kissing a Koran could and would probably even be seen (from their perspective) as a magnanimous gesture, designed to help bring Muslims into a "more complete" union.

      The real thing that needs to be challenged (in order to really impress a conservative Roman Catholic) is the notion of "development" itself. That's a fairly tall order, because not only did it go through various evolutions (as they say) "From Bossuet to Newman", but then again from Newman to Vatican II, the notion of what "development" means has changed. It is by no means an easy thing either to track or further, to make an argument showing how Roman Catholic "developments" are really corruptions (of an already corrupt system).

    5. The Orthodox and non-Chalcedonians seem to be seeing through the "development" smokescreen; have the rad-trads and sedes written on the topic? From my understanding Newman published his thesis thereupon towards the end of his stay in Canterbury because he knew Rome would never buy it - back then. This was stated plainly in a lecture I heard while perusing Ancient Faith Radio(wish I could remember when so I could send you a link).

    6. The notion of "development" has developed even more since Newman's day. Guys like Rahner and Schillebeeckx and Congar have all chimed in. I don't think anyone in Rome really knows what that's all about.

  4. It's like one of those TV shows where there is an uncomfortably awkward moment where someone is about to get caught in a very embarrassing situation and you don't want to watch but you do anyway.

    The hand wringing and wiggling that has to take place to differentiate between "formally teaching heresy" (ex cathedra) and "simply saying something sort of wrong" (still teaching but not ex cathedra) is really uncomfortable to watch.

    I feel sorry for Joe Average Catholic who doesn't understand the difference between things like latria, dulia, and hyper-dulia, and when the pope is teaching ex cathedra or not.

    They don't know the differences and they are actually being lead into formal heresy (both belief and practice) even when the pope isn't teaching ex cathedra per their own definition!

    As a former Catholic, it's really hard for me to watch. Their devotion to protecting the dogmas (papal infallibility especially) reminds me of this verse:

    Matthew 23:13-15 (ESV) (13) But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. (15) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

    It's truly sad.

    1. Jeff -- I agree with you and feel sorry for "Joe Average Catholics" who are getting caught up in this. I DO NOT feel sorry, for either side of the hierarchy (whose only goal seems to be to protect "the Church"), and nor do I feel sorry for those Roman Catholic apologists (especially the converts) who think they know better than anyone else.

      Jesus's comments about the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23 were very meaningful to me when I was leaving Rome.

  5. I don't see the church changing anytime soon on divorce, homosexuality, women priests, etc. anytime soon. I think the hierarchy has drawn the line on these issues.

  6. Obama drew his lines, too. We'll all have to wait to see if you are right, as any further loss of priests is already an issue to feminists who tout priestesses.