Possible “formal correction” of Pope Francis?

If you read the LifeSite account, you have the impression that Card. Burke may be going for the “formal correction” option.  HERE

They seemed to have based their piece on Part 2 of an interview with His Eminence which The Wanderer posted.  HERE

What does The Wanderer really say?

Q. [NB]Setting aside the question of timing, please explain how the process for the execution of a “formal correction” would proceed should a response to the five dubia not be forthcoming? How is a formal correction officially submitted, how is it addressed within the Church’s hierarchal structure, etc.?

BURKE: The process has not been frequently invoked in the Church, and not now for several centuries. There has been the correction of past Holy Fathers on significant points, but not in a doctrinal way. It seems to me that the essence of the correction is quite simple. On the one hand, one sets forth the clear teaching of the Church; on the other hand, what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff is stated. If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church. [He hasn’t said that something is going to be done.]

The question is asked, “How would this be done?” It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond. Cardinals Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and I used an ancient institution in the Church of proposing dubia to the Pope.

This was done in a very respectful way and not in any way to be aggressive, in order to give him the occasion to set forth the Church’s unchanging teaching. Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth. [He still hasn’t said anything that indicates that he will undertake a special process.] These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points. [“would” not “will”]

There have been cases, as I mentioned, of the correction of past Roman Pontiffs on non-doctrinal points where cardinals have gone to the Holy Father on one thing or the other such as, for example, matters dealing with administration of the Church.

Another question can also be raised. The Pope is the principle of unity of the bishops and all the faithful. However, the Church is being torn asunder right now by confusion and division. The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this.

So then, the next step would be a formal declaration stating the clear teachings of the Church as set forth in the dubia. Furthermore, it would be stated that these truths of the Faith are not being clearly set forth by the Roman Pontiff. In other words, instead of asking the questions as was done in the dubia, the formal correction would be stating the answers as clearly taught by the Church.

So, the Cardinal describes what we pretty much know already.  He speaks in vague terms about what “would be” done.

It seems to me that we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about this.  I don’t have the sense that something is about to take place any day now.

Meanwhile, do you know what you could do to help the overall situation?

RESIST.

We can resist cloudy, hazy, vague claims by those who want to undermine the Church’s perennial teachings.  Ask questions… well-informed questions.

Form small groups – little “base communities” – and start reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church together, and perhaps other documents such as Familiaris consortio and Veritatis splendor.

The moderation queue is ON.

 

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16 Responses to Possible “formal correction” of Pope Francis?

  1. Curley says:

    Instead of a formal correction how about Cardinals Burke, Muller travel the world proclaiming the truths of marriage. Challenge Pope Francis to correct THEM if that’s no longer what the church teaches

    [Yeah! How ’bout that? Seriously, Cardinals ought also to observe some decorum. They can’t simply do what they wish. They need also to act prudently.]

  2. dbonneville says:

    Fr. Z, can you paint this picture with a little more detail? What do these look like? Does a priest have to sponsor something like this? [Certainly NOT! People are free to read the CCC as they please. And, given some of the priests out there who need a little “resisting”, it might be better not to bother them with this.] Are these in home / a cafe, or at the parish? It’s hard to picture many priests allowing something like this at the parish level. Seems like it would have to be independent. [Anywhere. Friendly coffee shop, someone’s home, … the zoo.]

    “Form small groups – little “base communities” – and start reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church together, and perhaps other documents such as Familiaris consortio and Veritatis splendor.”

  3. Alexander says:

    No, we can’t conclude it is coming. But respectfully, why would Cardinal Burke say that the correction is coming? No tactical advantage there. Plus, speaking hypothetically

    [I am pretty sure that Card. Burke does not play games. I must add that, since I am on an airplane and I updated this with my observation, part of your comment may have been lost.]

  4. Nan says:

    What about a duel? Rosaries at dawn, at 10 paces?

    [Yeah! What about that?]

  5. TonyO says:

    Cardinal Burke gave a great talk at a local parish near me a while after the dubia were asked. He was a model of decorum. He said nothing out of line, and said a great deal worth saying.

    We should pray for him and the other cardinals that they go about this the right way. If they do it inappropriately, with pride or haste or malice – or even appear to have these – they can cause immense damage to the Church. Like St. Catherine of Sienna at Avignon, like those who resisted Liberius, it must be done in complete charity and all due obedience to the Holy Father.

    We should also pray that the Pope will not attempt to silence them. This too would present opportunity for untold damage to the Church. We could also pray that he decide to give the response the cardinals are asking for: grace moves mountains.

  6. Benedict Joseph says:

    Given the likely outcome of the next conclave, the “process of a formal correction” must take place in the current pontificate. The gravity of the move will force an examination of conscience across the Church. Were the “process of a formal correction” not to come about, license will have been given for far worse currents to erupt in the not distant future.

  7. Lavrans says:

    I wonder if His Holiness will simply remain silent on the dubia for the remainder of his pontificate, in a way similar to Blessed Paul VI, who remained silent in the face of tremendous criticism following Humanae Vitae. That would mean the controversy would be kicked down the road to the next pontificate.

  8. HighMass says:

    [Yeah! How ’bout that? Seriously, Cardinals ought also to observe some decorum. They can’t simply do what they wish. They need also to act prudently.]

    Oh yea? the liberal cardinals can do what they want, say what they want, and proclaim the “new church” post Vatican II.
    If you are a conservative Catholic you will be scolded and corrected !!!! [*sigh*… alas, that is true. I will revise: if you are a good Cardinal, who has a sense of honor and strong fidelity to his perennial role…”]

    How sad, Oh Dear Lord please send us another St. J.P.II or another Pope Benedict XVI!

  9. chantgirl says:

    With interviews like this, I think Cardinal Burke is preparing the public for the eventual correction. I may not like how slowly this process is moving, but I think Cardinal Burke is making sure that your average Catholic has plenty of time to get used to the fact that a correction is coming so that there is not a wholesale freak-out when it comes. Well, there might still be a freak-out, but no one should be surprised when it happens.

  10. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “We can resist cloudy, hazy, vague claims by those who want to undermine the Church’s perennial teachings. Ask questions… well-informed questions.”

    Fr. Benedict Groeschel (+RIP) before he died used to go many places throughout the country giving conferences battling “cloudy, hazy, vague claims by those who want to undermine the Church’s perennial teachings”. I saw/met him once. A good Church man.

    He was mostly focused on modernist interpretations of the Bible (the denial of Christ’s miracles, the innerancy of Sacred Scripture, and so forth).

    He would say, “When you encounter someone in the church that has some form of authority or another and they say something silly simply ask them ‘Well, Father So-and-so or Sr. Whats-her-name, before I go to the bishop, would you care to show me that from the Catechism? Can I get it in writing?'”

    Of course he would say it in that good ol’ Jersey brogue. He always cracked me up.

    MSM

  11. ResMiranda says:

    I personally think that there’s something to be said for St. Francis’ attempt to convert the Sultan at Damietta with a trial by fire…

    But perhaps encouraging my own “base community” read up on Church teachings and doctrines would do pretty well.

  12. Michael_Haz says:

    An organization called Flocknote offers at no charge an email program called Read The Catechism in A Year. Some 120,000 people worldwide are participating, and recieve daily email (Mon – Fri) such that the CCC is read cover to cover in one year. It’s a very useful service.

    Should one be interested, here’s a link to the sign-up page. http://flocknote.com/catechism

  13. ResMiranda says:

    Thank you Michael_Haz!

  14. Lavrans says: I wonder if His Holiness will simply remain silent on the dubia for the remainder of his pontificate, in a way similar to Blessed Paul VI, who remained silent in the face of tremendous criticism following Humanae Vitae. That would mean the controversy would be kicked down the road to the next pontificate.

    The two situations are not comparable. Humanae vitae was not controversial: it very clearly spelled out the immemorial teaching of the Church (as well as some prophecies that have now been fulfilled to the letter). The “controversy” was merely dissidents breaking cover.

  15. Mr.Cynical says:

    Liberal Cardinals, and their heterodox teachings that we are currently afflicted by, bring to my mind what St. John Eudes said: “The most evident mark of God’s anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world and, in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them.”

  16. thimas.hanson@gmail.com says:

    Almost all of this discussion about AL, Burke, the possible correction and Muller etc. must be
    unknown to the average Catholic, since the subject hasn’t been covered by mainstream media, that I
    am aware. If there is confusion now; brace yourself for the cover of Time mag, NY Times and
    many other news outlets including CNN and worldwide networks that have anti-Catholic leanings.
    It wouldn’t be surprising if these news sources try to set one pope against the other. Think of the
    ratings if there are “dueling popes” on the nightly news. I’ll bet that Benedict is aware of this possibility for scandal and he, so far, is remaining in the wings. Very soon, the low-information
    Catholic will be wondering wth is going on here?