The Wanderer’s Open Letter to Pope Francis

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Over at my old stomping grounds, The Wanderer, there is an open letter to Pope Francis.

Remember… we should all being asking our duly appointed pastors and Pope Francis himself to name St. Pope John Paul II Doctor of the Church! Moreover, he should be called Doctor Misericordiae, or perhaps Doctor Misericors.

Back to The Wanderer.

Your Holiness,

From the very first moment that you stepped forth onto the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica to greet us following your election as the Successor to Saint Peter, you have made clear to us that you as our loving father want us to share with you our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations, and also our concerns as we journey together in hope of eternal life as disciples of the Lord. It is in this spirit that we come to you now, eager to unfold our hearts before you.

It is with joy, the “joy of the Gospel,” that we have welcomed the distinctive motif that you have set for your pontificate, the theme of compassion, of mercy, which at the outset of your service in the office of Peter you described as “the Lord’s most powerful message.”1 Time and again you have challenged us to offer a welcome of charity to all, whether they be saints or sinners, stressing that the Church excludes no one from the love and mercy of God.

In your apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, you observe, “God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”2 This divine desire to offer forgiveness was made manifest in the very words with which our Lord began His preaching in His public ministry: “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15). From this we realize that in living the Gospel and in presenting it to others there will always be the need to reject whatever is contrary to the Gospel. And so it is that in your encyclical letter Lumen Fidei you tell us:

Genuine love, after the fashion of God’s love, ultimately requires truth… Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity. Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even of those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole… to subtract something from the faith is to subtract something from the veracity of communion… harming the faith means harming communion with the Lord.3

Lest we be left in any doubt as to how we are to discern what truly constitutes our faith “professed in all its purity and integrity”, you further instruct us to look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which you describe as “a fundamental aid for that unitary act with which the Church communicates the entire content of her faith: ‘all that she herself is, and all that she believes.’”


Read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Benedict Joseph says:

    Such a letter is admirable, even edifying. Faithful, orthodox Roman Catholics continue to mortify themselves in a desperate effort to be heard, sincerely listened to, to have their insights, admonitions and pleas considered, reflected upon, and acted upon. Regretfully this attempt to draw attention to critical facets of the marriage discussion, which effects every dimension of theology, is unlikely to draw little regard. There is presently a pronounced resistance to face simple plain reality amongst individuals, offices and structures. One only need review statements regarding the Council and religious life offered this past week by Pope Francis and Cardinal João Braz De Aviz. How is it that the near fifty-year belligerence of the intransigent heterodox is rewarded and the simple pleas of the orthodox are ignored? Frenzied disorientation in rose colored glasses appears in control at every level.

  2. jameeka says:

    Pointed. I notice they mentioned the Martyrs of Uganda, to whom a Fr Z responder recommended earlier ( good recommendation).

  3. Traductora says:

    I find that I’m almost avoiding reading things said by either the Pope or the borderline heterodox cardinals and bishops he has chosen and promoted lately, but I had to go find out what Cdl Braz de Aviz said, as cited above, and I was pretty stunned. Those who do not “follow the lines of Vatican II” will find themselves outside of the Church. Excuse me?

    I have noticed one thing, which is that when it is obvious that the faithful are becoming too upset, the Pope will make some generic orthodox-sounding statement, and then we all calm down again. Meanwhile, his “advisers” say things that are truly shocking but when we notice them, we soothe ourselves by saying that, after all, it wasn’t the Pope himself who said this.

    But the Pope appointed them or gathered them to him in Rome, and never contradicts them, so one can only assume he agrees. He recently appointed Cardinal Dew, who might be described as an “anti-cultural-warrior” and Anglican manqué and presides over the spectacularly dying Church in New Zealand, to not one but two dicasteries. The rest of this latest crop of appointments is similar, or are such mediocrities that they haven’t expressed much of anything and were appointed mostly for geographical reasons.

    The odd thing is this drumbeat of “Vatican II, Vatican II.” (Dew also made similar threatening comments about conservatives “opposing and blocking” Vatican II.) So I think the Wanderer’s letter is certainly polite and respectful and makes a very simple request, but I’m not optimistic about it because they would certainly be perceived as “opposing Vatican II.”

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