IMPORTANT UPDATE – Dean of Rota: Pope could strip Four Cardinals of Cardinalate because of Five Dubia


This we now read at Religion Confidencial:

Religión Confidencial publicó el martes una noticia que ponía en boca de monseñor Pio Vito Pinto, decano de la Rota Romana, la afirmación de que los cuatro cardenales que han escrito al Papa “podrían perder el cardenalato”. La frase, tomada de una entrevista realizada por RC en la que monseñor Vito respondía en italiano, no es correcta. Revisada la grabación, se ha comprobado que lo que afirma es que el Papa Francisco no es un Papa de otros tiempos, en los que sí se tomaron ese tipo de medidas, y que no iba a retirarles la dignidad cardenalicia. La noticia está corregida, pero publicamos esta rectificación por si no fuera suficiente.

So now they are saying that Msgr. Pinto did NOT say that the Pope could remove the Four Cardinals from the College.  Instead under a different Pope perhaps that might happen.  HERE


Originally Published on: Nov 29, 2016 @ 11:33

Via EWTN UK, the head of one of the Church’s high tribunals, the Roman Rota, said a conference in Spain that the Four Cardinals who submitted the Five Dubia about Amoris laetitia Chapter 8 could be stripped of their Cardinalate. The Spanish story is HERE.

«Los cuatro cardenales que han escrito al Papa podrían perder su cardenalato»

(Religión Confidencial) En declaraciones a Religión Confidencial, Pio Vito ha puesto de manifiesto que estos cuatro cardenales, al igual que algunas otras personas dentro de la Iglesia que ponen en duda la reforma del Papa Francisco y su exhortación apostólica Amoris Laetitita, están cuestionando «dos sínodos de obispos sobre el matrimonio y la familia ¡no un sínodo sino dos! Un ordinario y otro extraordinario. No se puede dudar la acción del Espíritu Santo».

Los cardenales Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra y Joachim Meisner preguntaron al Santo Padre algunas dudas de la Amoris Laeitita. El papa Francisco no les respondió y los prelados hicieron pública la carta a través de los medios de comunicación.

«¿Qué Iglesia defienden estos cardenales? El Papa es fiel a la doctrina de Cristo. Lo que han hecho es un escándalo muy grave que incluso podría llevar al Santo Padre a retirarles el capelo cardenalicio como ya ha pasado en algún otro momento de la Iglesia», ha afirmado Pio Vito a este Confidencial.

El decano de la Rota romana matiza: «Lo cual no quiere decir que el Papa les retire su condición de cardenales, pero podría hacerlo».

Durante la conferencia, Pío Vito dejó claro a los asistentes que el Papa no les ha respondido directamente a estos cuatro cardenales, «pero indirectamente les ha dicho que ellos solo ven blanco o negro, cuando en la Iglesia hay matices de colores».


Of course the Roman Pontiff can take away a red hat… anytime he wants and for any reason he wants.  There would be repercussions, but the Pope is completely free when it comes to members of the College of Cardinals.  Were he to decide that Cardinal X was no longer useful to him as a Cardinal, he could remove him from the College.  Also, he can make any priest or deacon a cardinal on any day of the week.  He doesn’t really have to wait for a consistory.  Were he to do that, there would be repercussions.  But he could do it.

In my humble, such a move of removing hats would be a grave strategic error, not just a tactical error.  In the 20th century one cardinal resigned (and the desire was mutual) under Pius XI.   But to strip cardinals of their hats because they asked questions?  Bad precedent.

We all know what this theoretical suggestion is about.

From EWTN:

Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota, told a conference in Spain that Cardinal Burke and the three cardinals who submitted the dubia to Pope Francis “could lose their Cardinalate” for causing “grave scandal” by making the dubia public. The Dean of the Roman Rota went on to accuse Cardinals Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner of questioning the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto made his astounding accusations during a conference to religious in Spain.

Archbishop Pio Vito’s indictment against the four cardinals, and other people who question Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia, was that they not only questioned one synod of bishops on marriage and the family, but two synods, about which, “The action of the Holy Spirit can not be doubted.”.

The Dean of the Roman Rota went on to clarify that the Pope did not have to strip the four senior cardinals of their “cardinalate”, but that he could do it. He went on to confirm what many commentators have suspected that Pope Francis’ interview with Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops, was the Holy Father’s indirect response to the cardinals’ dubia:

During the conference, Pius Vito made clear to those present that the Pope did not respond directly to these four cardinals, “but indirectly told them that they only see white or black, when there are shades of color in the Church.”

The Dean of the Roman Rota, the highest canonical court responsible for marriage in the Catholic Church, went on to support Pope Francis’ innovation of allowing divorced and “remarried” to receive Holy Communion. In response to a question asking if it was better to grant divorced and civily remarried couples nullity of marriage so they can marry in the Church before they receive Holy Communion Archbishop Pio Vinto expressed preference for Pope Francis’s “reform”:

Pope Francis’ reform of the matrimonial process wants to reach more people. The percentage of people who ask for marriage annulment is very small. The Pope has said that communion is not only for good Catholics. Francisco says: how to reach the most excluded people? Under the Pope’s reform many people may ask for nullity, but others will not.


EWTN adds a comment, which you can read there.

I don’t think it will happen.

What sort of strategic error might such a move be?

I am reminded of…

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in One Man & One Woman, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. un-ionized says:

    I’m scandalized by the idea that they are said to have scandalized me. The dubia didn’t scandalize me, it was the lack of response that did. But scandal is the order of the day nowadays and so is accusing everybody of scandal. Let’s ignore it as best we can and go to lunch.

  2. mharden says:

    The most shocking statement from him is:

    “Under the Pope’s reform many people may ask for nullity, but others will not.”

    In other words, under Amoris laetitia, they believe that people DON’T EVEN NEED TO BOTHER TRYING TO GET AN ANNULMENT.

  3. thomas tucker says:

    Okay, maybe communion is not only for good Catholics. But can we agree that it is only for Catholics in a state of grace?

  4. msmsem says:

    That picture screams for a caption contest: “I want… that one!” Considering your post on John XXII, one might almost say that a certain someone is *hoping* Francis will strip the four cardinals of their hats so that he could get his hands on one as a reward for his zealous defense.

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    So basically, Archbishop Pinto [Msgr. Pinto.] is suggesting that the active promotion of interpretative ambiguities must be defended to the point of creating an actual Schism ?

    May I suggest that it’s perhaps time for the Pope to take the somewhat less drastic step of naming a new head of the Rota ?

    After all, reforming the Curia and expunging it of clericalism, of which this intervention is an eminent example — is that not what he was elected for ?

  6. anilwang says:

    Not only is stripping the Four Cardinals of their Cardinalate a strategic blunder, so is threatening to strip them of their Cardinalate. It sends a very bad precedent that would backfire at the next conclave.

    Even Bergolians may vote for a Pope that would not strip Cardinalates since they’d fear losing their own Cardinalate if the next Pope is Traditional. Witness what happened in the U.S. when the Democrats employed “the nuclear option” to ram through their judge appointments despite the understanding that a 2/3 majority is required. Now that the Republicans are in charge and the Democrats are a minority, it’s certain that the Republicans won’t hesitate on using “the nuclear option”.

    Similarly, if given a precedent to act or bully if questioned, a Traditional Pope could easily clean house now that the wolves have exposed themselves. All it would take is for all bishops and priests to take the “Oath Against Modernism” (renamed the “Oath Against Kasperism”) with the 5 dubia tacked on to be required if someone wished to be an active cardinal/bishop/priest. And if any cardinal/bishop/priest refuses to sign, they’d be called to the Pope “to discuss their future plans” with no further explanation.

  7. polycarped says:

    Bishop Schneider’s regular drawing of parallels between the Arian crisis, the English revolution (Sts More and Fisher) and the current state of affairs becomes increasingly apt as each day passes. We must not allow ourselves to be ‘won over’ by an imposing majority. Truth is at stake.

    (Am I allowed to swear in the commbox?!)

  8. LeeF says:

    Unless Cardinal Vito [You promoted him several levels. Is is a simple priest, a monsignor, but a priest. HERE He is also over 75 years old.] is speaking at the Holy Father’s behest, then his statements are publicly scandalous as well in stoking the flames.

    It would be nice if one or more bishops’ conferences went rogue and resubmitted the dubia, even if they did not publicize same. And the next synod on the topic of youth and vocations would be a great place for orthodox bishops to make the point that strong, faithful and unambiguous adherence to the Deposit of Faith encourages vocations.

  9. EeJay says:

    I’d be very surprised if the hats came off because of the exact same reason you chose to put up that video from Star Wars. Pope Francis will continue to ignore them and let the rest do the job. What is of great interest to me is when will the four Cardinals make the next move and what will it be.

  10. Joseph-Mary says:

    Where is the mercy if a question cannot even be asked?

  11. Toan says:

    What’s all of the fuss about “questioning the Holy Spirit”? The Holy Spirit, in contrast to certain prelates, doesn’t mind being asked questions.

  12. Pingback: Dean of Rota warns Pope could strip Cardinal Burke & others of cardinalate |

  13. moon1234 says:

    It is Gal 2:11-21 all over again. I am a simple layman. I don’t know as much about my faith as I think I should. Am I way off base here? Aren’t the four cardinals similar to Paul and Francis, Peter? The circumstances are eerily similar. Perhaps “The Four” felt compelled to publicly issue their dubia, just as Paul did?

  14. organistjason says:

    It is long past time for the one person that Francis MUST listen to………to speak up. His Holiness Benedict XVI could end this nonsense today. Take their Cardinalate away. Just do it Francis. Prepare for “the unhinged, specal headed nuttiers better known as ‘faithful catholics'”, to come out of the woodwork. You will then be held in the same regard as Felix V. Someone wake me up please! How could we have gone from St. Pope JP II and Pope Benedict…….to this? The “enemy” is in our midst. In Quo Vadis, Peter returned to Rome, to be crucified. Peter did not leave the faithful “flock” to fend for themselves. Where is Peter today?

  15. FrPJ says:

    I’ve had dealings with Pinto before. He’s the first dean of the Rota in a long time not to be made a bishop and for good reason. He’s the type of cleric who gives Ultramontanism a bad name: practically worships the office of pope whoever holds it. Francis has long played him like a fiddle but the poor man can’t see it. Others in the Rota can. Not a happy ship I believe.

  16. iamlucky13 says:

    @ un-ionized, I’d say even the lack of response is less of a scandal than Msgr Pio Vito’s words (Monsignor? EWTN refers to him as an Archbishop). I’ve heard quite a few people claim they left the Church because they were told not to ask questions. I’m truly shocked to hear a Curial dean of all people hinting that those who seek to more accurately understand a document as significant as a papal exhortation should face retribution.

    Now, specifically looking at the EWTN article, quoting Msgr Vito:
    “Pope Francis’ reform of the matrimonial process wants to reach more people…The Pope has said that communion is not only for good Catholics.”

    Publicly, the Pope has effectively said nothing major has changed, but that he’s offering guidance for “pastoral accompaniment.” He went to great lengths to make suggestions revolving around diminished culpability without saying anything concrete. A secret letter to a handful of bishops in response to a regional directive is not a reform.* Enough with shadowy interpretations! If you want to claim the Pope instituted a significant change, first you have to get him to actually and publicly and clearly say what that change is!

    That Communion is not only for good Catholics is (a) not a reform, as the Apostles themselves taught, “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God,” and (b) nor does it contradict the clearly established teachings behind Canons 915 and 916 addressing specific, grave situations, both objective and subjective.

    “The action of the Holy Spirit can not be doubted.”

    The action of the Holy Spirit also can not divide the Trinity. If an interpretation of something the pope said seems at odds with what Christ Himself said, one must first explain the apparent contradiction before we are in a position to reasonably believe the interpretation is an inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    * Especially since the Argentine directive is much less concrete and novel than some are construing it. It is mostly re-iterative of Amoris Laetitia, with similar ambiguity, but also some basic cognizance of established teachings. I can not deny some passages do not reconcile plainly with Canon 915, but at the same time, consider these excerpts from the LifeSiteNews translation of the Argentine bishops’ directive:

    (4) “This journey does not end necessarily in the sacraments”
    (7) “it is necessary to avoid understanding this possibility as an unrestricted access to the sacraments, or as though any situation might justify it.”
    (8) “When there were unresolved injustices, the access to the sacraments is particularly scandalous.”

    Returning to Archbishop Pio Vito’s statements about the community that includes his fellow bishops, I suggest he read section 9:
    “But at the same time one must not cease to accompany the community, so that it might grow in a spirit of understanding and welcoming, without creating confusion regarding the teaching of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage.

  17. mo7 says:

    The ‘don’t question our imprecision, just let it fester until it takes hold’ approach is hard to get away with in a tech connected world.
    To remove these cardinals would be to tacitly ratify their worst fears about AL. Talk about scandal! Evil always lurks in the shadows, avoiding the light.

  18. anilwang says: Similarly, if given a precedent to act or bully if questioned, a Traditional Pope could easily clean house now that the wolves have exposed themselves. All it would take is for all bishops and priests to take the “Oath Against Modernism” (renamed the “Oath Against Kasperism”) with the 5 dubia tacked on to be required if someone wished to be an active cardinal/bishop/priest. And if any cardinal/bishop/priest refuses to sign, they’d be called to the Pope “to discuss their future plans” with no further explanation.

    I’m afraid that’s not all it would take. The current state of the hierarchy seems to suggest that, back when men were obliged to take the oath against modernism before ordination, not a few began their priestly lives with an act of perjury.

    It is interesting to reflect on the modernists’ take on the hierarchy of the Church. I heard a modernist priest preach from the pulpit one Sunday that the hierarchy came into existence as the Church began to gravitate toward the accumulation of worldly fame and honors and abandon her mission to “follow Jesus.” That same priest got up at another Sunday Mass right after the latest consistory and applauded the raising to the red hat of so many liberal stalwarts like +Blaise Cupich. Are priests of this mindset now salivating at the prospect of the Four Cardinals being stripped of their hats? Do they notice the mountainous inconsistency?

  19. Ann Malley says:

    I am exhausted.

    This thundering of, “…questioning the Holy Spirit,” to me, is such an obvious ruse. (More reminiscent of, “…is that the way you answer the high priest?!”).

    God is clear that one’s yes should mean yes and one’s no should mean no. I doubt the Holy Ghost would take issue with mere mortals seeking clarity, especially when those chartered with teaching are busy stacking the room with dry ice for dramatic effects.

  20. LarryW2LJ says:

    It is my understanding that the Catholic definition of “scandal” is an attitude or behavior which will lead another soul towards sin and evil.

    How can asking someone for clarification about an ambiguity possibly be considered “scandal”? Aren’t the questions being asked for the very opposite reason? To keep souls FROM committing a sinful and evil act? Did Mark 10: 11-12 somehow disappear or get removed from the Gospel?

    I am dubious of the claim that this was “The action of the Holy Spirit” as God is not capable of deceit or being deceived. In my most humble belief, the Holy Spirit would never be this vague.

  21. Bthompson says:

    Regarding Msgr.’s comments, not the Pope:
    Scratch a leftist, get a tyrant.

  22. L. says:

    When the subject of religion and church membership comes up, I like to paraphrase Will Rogers: I don’t belong to an organized church; I’m Catholic!

  23. Thomistica says:

    I really doubt that this monsignor acted without an imprimatur or even goading from the Pope and/or his inner circle. The comment after all is breathtakingly provocative and is the sort of thing that, made without support from on high, could lead to a dismissal.

    It would indeed be unreasonable for the Pope to remove red hats in response to mere questions. It will look McCarthyite and like a witch hunt, and indeed fly in the face of the lip service this pontificate pays to “dialog”.

    With Amoris Laetitia, the Pope has painted himself into a corner. It’s very hard to see how this situation will resolve itself without tremendous damage to the unity and reputation of the Church.

    By the way, Pell (as reported in lifesitenews) had this really astute comment. From
    Pell pointed out that “those emphasising ‘the primacy of conscience’ only seemed to apply it to sexual morality and questions around the sanctity of life,” the Catholic Herald reported. “People were rarely advised to follow their conscience if it told them to be racist, or slow in helping the poor and vulnerable, the cardinal said.”

  24. Pastor Bonus says:

    Amidst the hysterical reactions of people claiming that there is something out of order about the Dubia everyone seems to have forgotten that it is a normal procedure for anyone to place such Dubia to the CDF. I remember that after the publication of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994 a Dubia was sent into the CDF asking if it was infallible teaching, and of course a response was given by the then Prefect Cardinal Ratzinger.

    It is surely one of the most fundamental roles of the Petrine Office to settle theological ambiguities, the reaction to the mere posing of serious questions I think says a lot about the current state of things.

  25. ThankyouB16 says:

    How DARE he.
    Could you imagine any official of Rome suggesting that Kasper in his dust-up-days with Ratzinger; or Mahony in his days butting heads with the orthodoxy of Mother Angelica; or Law for his notorious negligences…suggesting that these men be removed of their hats? Ratzinger respected Martini and Kasper, et. al. It NEVER seems to work the other way around, does it?

    Also: I have to share this somewehere; I’ll be brief.

    This Thanksgiving, at the family table with a cohabitating, engaged, Catholic couple–totally not practicing the faith: abortion is discussed. I was left having to address this announcement of one of the couple: “You do know now that Pope Francis says it’s forgivable. This is the time of a progressive Pope. Progress!”

    The world hears us saying: Mercy means license–it’s not so much of a big deal [now.]

  26. FXR2 says:

    Fr. Z.
    I agree I don’t think His Holiness is ready to stand up. If he were he would simply answer the questions. There is no statistical difference between 0 cardinals out of 228 and 4 cardinals out of 228. Statisticaly there is no dissent to his teaching. God willing many more Cardinals and Bishops will publically voice these dubia, and call for clarity. At some point Pope Francis will be forced to answer.

  27. robtbrown says:

    It’s fairly obvious to me that Msgr Pinto’s comments manifest a rigidity that is an attempt to cover up his insecurity.

    And his cavalier reference to the actions of the Holy Spirit sounds like a drunk wanting to fight everyone in a bar.

    Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelliugent life down here.

  28. The Astronomer says:

    If all of this were transpiring in the 1970s – mid-1990s, I can easily imagine His Holiness complaining to Father Spadaro behind closed doors at the Casa Santa Marta, a line ironically similar to that uttered by King Henry II of England, who was so frustrated by Archbishop Thomas Becket: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome INTERNET!?!?”

    Treating average Joe Catholic as mere sheeple, and preventing the faithful from asking such troublesome questions, was a LOT easier before our age of instantaneous, worldwide communications.

  29. Traductora says:

    I’d be surprised if Francis actually did this. It would make them heroes and he knows that.

    Personally, I think his attacks are aimed at trying to get them and all orthodox Catholics to withdraw from Church life so that he can then claim that they, rather than he, are in schism. But he is the one who is essentially creating a novel type of schism where the official, institutional Church abandons the Faith.

    This happened during the Arian heresy, of course, and also under Henry VIII, so I guess I shouldn’t say it’s novel. We just haven’t seen it for awhile.

  30. Gil Garza says:

    Let’s keep our hats on here.

    His Excellency Monsignor Pinto is the senior judge who hears cases involving annulments at the Vatican. He’s a recent appointee of Pope Francis and has been very involved in the study of Church laws regarding matrimony, recently.

    He’s not a Cardinal. He’s not a bishop. He’s a lawyer and expert in Church law who has been very involved in Church law matters and marriage stuff on behalf of Pope Francis.

    His opinion regarding the Pope Francis and the College of Cardinals is far outside of his sphere of expertise and competency. Despite his fancy titles, his opinion on this matter is about as interesting as the next guy’s at the bus stop.

  31. Kathleen10 says:

    Pursue the dubia, good Cardinals. Take it to the next level. He did not answer you, a scandal. Your “brother” Cardinals are throwing darts at you, pandering like little men, a scandal.
    Now they threaten you, a scandal.
    No one wants schism, but I’m ready for schism. This cannot go on. It is unbearable. Take a stand Cardinals, so the people have Catholic leadership once again. This papacy is tearing the church apart. I have no doubt they would do this to the good Cardinals if they thought they could get away with it. But can they?

  32. excalibur says:

    So now the claim is that the Holy Spirit is behind this. If His Holiness does not rebuke that thought then it is his thought too. Talk about giving scandal, they rewrite the words of Our Lord and claim it is the Holy Spirit doing so. Beware false prophets.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.


  33. un-ionized says:

    Polycarped, you are not allowed to swear but right where you are you can jump up and down and yell and throw things until you get embarrassed at yourself and stop.

  34. Grabski says:

    I thought I was ultra montane. The liberals have me beat over AL

  35. Chuck says:

    Father, not to be a PITA, but the EWTN article referred to the Dean as an archbishop. That being said…five years ago I would have thought I would live to see East and West in communion, but not this spectacle. I have been praying every night to protect the Pope from demonic interference and influence and every morning thanking the Lord for my shepherd Abp. Chaput. Tomorrow starts the St. Andrew/Christmas novena…I need to pray more.

  36. GAK says:

    We’ve entered an age when sometimes some Vatican clergy act like the Real Housewives of Somewhere or Other.

    Monsignor Pinto has got no business shooting his mouth off on this topic.

    For those who don’t know, Real Housewives are prone to stir the pot, gossip, and wildly speculate, all the while lecturing others on their supposed inappropriate behavior.

  37. Andrew says:

    But we must not be rigid! These five Cardinals should be treated with great mercy. The Church needs to go out to the periphery to accompany them and bring them back making sure that they feel that the Church is their home where they belong, that they are not excluded from the Christian community. And we must dialogue and allow ourselves to be surprised.

  38. boredoftheworld says:

    I don’t see why this Pope shouldn’t strip the cardinals of their titles since he’s spent the last couple of years stripping me of what I thought was my faith.

  39. Polycarpio says:

    I think both sides need to taper down the scare talk. Neither the threat of taking away birettas nor the talk of papal heresy is going to cajole anyone off the ledge. I thought Cardinal Pell’s talk, as reported, in London, was a cool-headed and compelling exposition of the orthodox position. By the way, nice picture of Prefect Vito.

  40. polycarped says:

    Father, do the laity have the right to submit Dubia to the CDF, or is this aomething only Bishops and Cardinals are entitled to do?

  41. Bender says:

    What is more troubling and scandalous is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, for example asserting that it is the Holy Spirit who is teaching that sin is not really, really sin, but is only kind of sin, only a legalistic sin and not even sin imputable to the individual who can engage in acts objectively sinful, with knowledge that the Church teaches them to be sinful, yet they are not sinful.

  42. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Cardinals in the Church have rights too, by Edward N. Peters JD, JDC, for the Catholic World Report:

    The rashest reaction to the “Four Cardinals’ Five Dubia” so far is that from Bp. Frangiskos Papamanolis, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Greece, whose railing against the questions posed by Cdls. Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner in regard to Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia must be read to be believed. The Greek prelate hurls epithets such as apostasy, sacrilege, heresy, schism, at four brothers in the episcopate (brothers making text-book use of their rights under Canon 212 § 3 to pose doctrinal and disciplinary questions that urgently need addressing in our day) giving little indication that he even knows what those canonical-theological terms mean. I’d like to think that even the staunchest defenders of Amoris cringed when they read Papamanolis. Perhaps I am naïve.

  43. KatieL56 says:

    Father Z:

    Not too many months ago, Cardinal Burke endorsed a 54 day Novena for Our Nation. Might this be a good time for others in our clergy to endorse asking the Faithful for another 54 day Novena? This one for The Church Herself?

  44. bombcar says:

    Taking away their little red hats may result in someone visiting them later to give them back.

  45. Quanah says:

    It is shocking that the Dean of the Roman Rota has been so sloppy. Communion isn’t only for good Catholics. As a bad Catholic, I wholeheartedly agree with him, but he has said this in such a way as to completely steamroll can. 916. Perhaps it isn’t so shocking, after all, a lot of people who should know better are doing the same thing.

  46. SenexCalvus says:

    Doesn’t this latest development make clear the direction in which Pope Bergoglio is leading the Church? As for the assertion of istius Brazilian cardinal that two hundred votes trump four (Lifesite), I can’t help but wonder when it was that mere numbers usurped the throne of Revelation and Tradition — to say nothing of reason itself! — as a locus of authority. Has the Divine Logos, Veritas Ipsa, at long last yielded to the mob? I was taught to believe that Calvary and Easter had put an end to that nightmare. Perhaps I was misled. Shall we take a vote?

  47. Benedict Joseph says:

    You scratch the skin of any kind of left-wing sympathizer and you find a fascist. They can’t help it because utopianism in all its form emerges from developmental impediments resulting in a protracted adolescence. Regard Cardinal Hummes’ remarks yesterday, which really can be boiled down to “…there is more of us, than them…,” would appear to have its genesis in “wishful thinking.” What more can be said?
    We have to do better than this.

  48. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    At the risk of being the umpteenth in the queue to note it, there is an excellent article by Dr. Peters on the subject here:

  49. Quanah says:

    Oops! I meant can. 915.

  50. kiwiinamerica says:

    That sounds a bit….um…..ya know……“rigid”!!

    I’m not feeling the “mercy” here.

  51. KateD says:

    No creo que era una acción del Espíritu Santo.

    The scandal is the confusion caused by the suggestion that the Church founded by Jesus Christ should adopt a flag of “matices de colores”. ¡Ay de mí!

  52. TWF says:

    “Unless Cardinal Vito [You promoted him several levels. Is is a simple priest, a monsignor, but a priest.”
    Its odd, then, that EWTN refers to him as “Archbishop Pinto”. But you’re right…Catholic-Hierarchy lists him as a priest, not a bishop. The previous Dean of the Rota was a bishop, but it looks like he was consecrated a bishop only after a few years on the Rota.

  53. Semper Gumby says:

    Strategic error indeed: Never get involved in a land war in TLM territory. Ad orientem priests and seminarians these days pick their teeth with barbed wire and gargle napalm.

    msmsem is on to something with a call for a caption contest.

    “You two, yes I’m pointing at you, you’re ossified and you hate Vatican II!”

    “Hey! Take off that biretta!”

    “Whaddya mean you’re not in the mood for a Tambourine and Kazoo Mass? You better get in the mood!”

    Ok, I’ll tone it down.

    “Hey! Is that a case of Birra Nursia?”

  54. FrAnt says:

    And the “Victim” card is face up on the table.
    Sound a lot like the Progressive Left of the Democratic Party.
    Next, they’ll be calling the four cardinals rigid, insecure, and immature.

  55. Dirk1973 says:

    Well well, the true colors of the liberals are showing and it isn’t pretty. I’m 43 years old and almost my entire life i’ve seen conservative popes acting with kindness and humility. In secular media and progressive catholic midst they were labeled as rigid dictators crushing all opposition. Now however we have the most progressive pope we’ve ever seen and he and his same minded clergy are publicly threatening cardinals. And for what? For asking the pontiff in the most humble way to clarify a document? In my opinion it’s an act of weakness, they know the opposition is growing (not in the least in Africa) and they react in the worst possible way: repression.

  56. Absit invidia says:

    Clarification and clarity of God’s Divine Institution has been the tradition of our Christian Heritage since time immemorial. How these people think otherwise is continually disheartening. We are not an army ruled by an iron fisted dictator, we are children of God working out our salvation. Can the Universal Church finally get with the program?

  57. Absit invidia says:

    . . . or rather GET BACK with the program

  58. Charivari Rob says:

    Wrong Vader strategic error.

    I’d suggest:

  59. AveMariaGratiaPlena says:

    There is so much confusion on this whole matter that it seems the most important thing is not to threaten those who ask questions but to clarify what was actually said and what it actually means. There’s a big difference between nuance and ambiguity.

  60. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    How is a threat to strip them of their office allowing frank discussion?
    How is this threat consistent with the Pope’s advice in Rio, “Hagan Lio”?

    If these Cardinals have come this far, why does His Holiness’ Dean of the Rota think that threatening them with loss of office will bludgeon them into “submission”?

    If these Cardinals can be threatened with loss of office for asking questions, what should logically happen to those who asked “Can the church ordain women deacons?”

    I’m reminded of a line from that (now) oft-quoted movie, A Man for All Seasons: “You threaten like a dockside bully.

    Everyone: please pray for His Holiness Pope Francis.

  61. Nan says:

    un-ionized, the only time scandal isn’t asserted is when something is scandalous.

  62. Austin says:

    This is exactly how the various collapsing Anglican churches behaved as they started to go over the rapids. First they put out mushy, revisionist theology. Then they accused those who objected to it of being hard hearted or out of date. Then they took action against them institutionally, first in threats and isolation, then in actual persecution once they were fully in the driver’s seat. It is a playbook, and the Bergoglians seem to have it memorised. Distressing for those of us who fled to the rock of Peter as a refuge of truth.

  63. gracie says:

    “The Dean of the Roman Rota went on to accuse [the Cardinals] of questioning the Holy Spirit.”

    The Dean is in effect saying that God the Holy Spirit has rejected the teachings of God the Son and the Cardinals had better do the same – or else.

  64. tzard says:

    I’m reminded of why the color of the cardinals is red. Martyrdom is more than simply physical – it’s being a witness.

    I’m sure Cardinal (or Bishop) Burke would love to have even more free time to write and give talks. I’m not sure others would like that.

    Were the Pope feel he’s a problem, it might be a better strategy for His Holiness to keep him close rather than setting him free.

  65. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Are there really people over the age of fifteen who think there’s something intellectual, or the tiniest bit meaningful, about these old wheezes about “black and white” and “shades of gray”?

  66. JonPatrick says:

    What bothers me is this idea implied that the Holy Spirit is telling the Church that it has to allow Communion for the divorced and remarried even if they do not repent of living together, and therefore the 4 cardinals are going against the Holy Spirit. If one feels that they are being moved by the Holy Spirit to do something, aren’t we supposed to look and see if this action we are being moved toward is in keeping with Church teachings, particularly if we have an actual statement of Our Lord himself (Matt 5:32) ? One wonders exactly what spirit is involved here.

  67. JARay says:

    Why am I not surprised at this comment from Mgr Vito?

  68. Unwilling says:

    The important witnessing thing the Cardinals have done is to initiate a procedure … then wait on the Holy Spirit (in whom they must have an heroic confidence). What comes to pass for their careers or for the papal PR plan will be what it will. The questions have been asked, and wait for an answer. They will one day command a page in a far off Denzinger-Quisquis.

  69. An essay of a canonist about the question if the Rota Romana is competent to judge Cardinals (in german)

  70. robtbrown says:

    BTW, whatever happened to Make A Mess?

    Maybe the good Monsignore didn’t get the message.

  71. JustaSinner says:

    Typical communist response from typical Latin American practitioner of Revolutionary Theology. Nothing to see here, move along…this is what happens when a radical takes over. Saul Alinsky anyone?

  72. Hidden One says:

    Truly, there is much that is going wrong within the Church, and much that is in need of healing and of sanctification. I cannot do much, if anything, to improve any of these big situations, but by the grace of God I can endeavour to improve the part of the Church which is me, and to benefit the people around me.

  73. Pingback: WEDNESDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit

  74. Sonshine135 says:

    This whole incident surrounding four Cardinals asking legitimate questions and being snubbed reeks of the Ottaviani Intervention. By the Pope’s inaction, he has clarified his position. It is okay for the Divorced and Remarried people to come to Communion if their Priest says it is okay. This is a break with 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Should the Pope proceed with removing the red hat from the Cardinals in question, then this would, I am afraid, create a very nasty situation. Lack of clarification and response led to the Schism of the SSPX. One could easily see something of that here. It basically says that those seeking clarification need not apply for mercy, should shut up, and should not question to receive guidance. It is all rather political if you ask me. The Pope, the head honcho of Christendom, will sit with Muslims and Protestants and celebrate the diversity, but he will not clarify the questions of the faithful.

  75. Kostadinov says:

    someone asked «BTW, whatever happened to Make A Mess? »
    that’s okay, only if you make a liberal mess, I reckon… so far nobody has bothered (or dared?) to prove the four Cardinals wrong, all Team Bergoglio provided was attacks ad hominem attacks – what a finale crescendo for the year of mercy…

  76. robtbrown says:

    Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Are there really people over the age of fifteen who think there’s something intellectual, or the tiniest bit meaningful, about these old wheezes about “black and white” and “shades of gray”?

    Within Francis’ first year I emailed a friend who was an Angelicum prof (20+ years), asking what he thought of the pope.

    The answer: He’s a 1970s Jesuit.

  77. robtbrown says:

    Fr Z says,

    We all know what this theoretical suggestion is about.

    Give me an M
    Give me an I
    Give me a T
    Give me an R
    Give me an E

    What does it spell?


  78. frmgcmma says:

    Not even God Incarnate could prevent the scandal of the Pharisees (see Summa Theologica II-II, Q 43 passim). They were particularly miffed by his rather simple and straightforward teaching (READ: “black and white”) that a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. So, why be surprised if today, his teaching still provokes the Pharisees to scandal?

    Never forget, then, that one of the reasons they crucified Jesus Christ was his teaching on marriage and adultery.

  79. The Masked Chicken says:

    One real problem in this mess is an impression in terminology. It makes no sense for a Catholic to speak of Communion for the divorced and re-married, since the word, “divorce,” does not exist in the Catholic Church. Strictly speaking, these people are not divorced; they either are married or they aren’t. To paraphrase Yoda, “Married or Married-not, there is no Divorce.” One must always refer the matter as being pertaining to civil divorce. What is being properly addressed is, Communion for the “non-annulled and re-married” and conservative Catholics had better be darn quick in changing the language to use this and ONLY this type of reference. We will lose the game if we even allow divorce language to be used.

    There are two reasons for this.

    First, there is a growing confusion, especially among young people, today, that what is legal (civilly speaking) is also moral. If divorce is legal, then, to the poorly-catechized, it must, likewise, be moral or at least bears the aura of morality. Thus, some have a hard time understanding why, if a civil judge grants a divorce, that the Church wouldn’t, likewise, see it that way, so why bother involving a second go-around with a court. By making it clear that the situation with regards to Communion is not a matter involving divorce, AT ALL, but one of sacramental integrity, it breaks the reinforcement of the false notion that civil authority is equal to ecclesial authority. This must be handled at the level of language.

    For a Protestant, divorce is, essentially, the same as an annulment, because they do not recognized the sacramentality of marriage. Divorce is a separation of persons in a marriage. If marriage is merely a civil contract, this is possible, but there is no separation of persons from a sacrament. It is no surprise, then, that this whole idiotic situation is being brought about from a largely Protestantized country (Germany).

    Let me tell you a little psychology.

    Readers may have heard about a bias in reasoning called, “confirmation bias,” which is the situation where one selectively only accepts evidence that confirms ones beliefs while ignoring contradictory evidence. What they might not know is that there is a more extended version of this that is a form of rationalizing behavior, where the person constructs a whole falsely logical system of reasoning about a topic that seems plausible to them and actually provides them with a set of connected (but illogical) beliefs that they can use as proof to argue against any evidence that contradicts their belief system. This system of coupled, biased, reasoning, that is used to provide stability to an inherently unstable belief system is called, motivated reasoning. People who are told to follow authority (as in the classic Milgram experiment,where the scientist in the white coat keeps urging them to shock the man behind the glass with ever-increasing voltage) when the authority is incoherent, can easily slip into motivated reasoning to defend their actions. I submit that it is likely that some people defending this Communion for divorce and re-marriage might be subjected to motivated reasoning (a polite term for, shall we say, brainwashing).

    Secondly, marriage is supposed to be always a public act, a public covenant. The Church used to, grudgingly, acknowledge so-called clandestine marriages, as being valid (although illicit – see the Fourth Lateran Council), but Trent, in the document, Tametsi, required two witnesses for validity, ending clandestine marriages (marriages may, still be done in secret, but with two witnesses – the Medieval clandestine marriages had no witnesses).

    Now if marriage is a public act by the presence of the witnesses, the statement that no marriage exists must, it seems to me by symmetry, must, likewise be public. One may, perhaps, in rare circumstances, arrive at a determination that no marriage existed in secret (i.e., the internal forum), but unless one can publish the result, publically, there will alway be a violation of justice to the community that. Even in confession, where the act takes place in the internal forum, the penitent has the right to say, publically, that his sins have been forgiven. If the people cannot say that no marriage existed in the public forum after an internal forum review, then, it seems to me that something is wrong. It goes to the nature of community.

    The dubia may address these issues, in part, but the pew-sitting Catholics must help by bringing their own clarity to the discussion, as well.

    The Chicken

  80. St. Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church. At the beginning of this pontificate, I started adding the Litany of St. Joseph to my pre-Sunday-Mass Rosary for the intention of asking him to defend the Church. How about joining me in this effort?

  81. Henry Edwards says:

    The best on Don Vito:

    Your red hats will sleep with the fishes

    “It’s nothing personal, Cardinal Burke…just business.”

    From the more elegant Fr. Hunwicke:

    “Go and look at him. You can see him at EWTN News (English). Captured in the act of doing it.

    “I looked at the picture and asked myself:
    ~ is this the face of someone through whom the Holy Spirit is speaking?
    ~ is this the Face of Mercy?

    “Dead scary.”

  82. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Mr. Pinto is full of beans.

  83. Imrahil says:

    The Pope can depose Cardinals according to his personal whims.

    The Pope can detect in the questions something more than mere questions, viz., questioning: actual dissent. (He would, so far, probably not be wrong.) he can choose at his pleasure to hunt those that dissent from him to the borders of the Earth – by executive measure.

    What the Pope cannot do is anything that would somehow fall in Msgr. Pinto’s province (apart from the fact that Cardinsls are exempt from Rota jurisdiction), viz., depose them as legal punishment for a canonical crime. He cannot, because there was no canonical crime.

    (I keep thinking the Cardinals should have posed the questions without going argumentative, and give their dissent afterwards going argumentative there – but even if I’m right, improvable style is no canonical crime.)

    And it is totally nonsense how he argues as if it were an undisputable fact that “two Synods have spoken” (even if the Pope accurately captures their intent) means “the Holy Spirit has spoken”. The collegial organ for which this would in a sense be true is the Ecumenical Council (if the Council decides to use its authority, but that’s a different discussion). We have Synods, described in the law as advisory bodies to the Pope (and with a non-representative selection of bishops done by the Pope, by the way), precisely so that we don’t need to call an Ecumenical Council every couple of years. As for Synods, their relation of their sayings to sayings of the Holy Spirit is just the same* as that of sayings by my own unworthy sinful person. [* “just the same”: i.e. the difference is only gradual – and a gradual difference is not so really a difference.]

    (OT, is he really no Archbishop? Deans of the Rota usually are, and Archbishops are called Msgr. in Italy.)

  84. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Father Z, I could not help but notice the book on your sidebar: “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win”. Are you implying that our next Pope should be an ex-Navy Seal who was formed by the FSSP? If so: I concur. Seals are taught about the requirement for survival of “ad intra” teamwork.

    Regarding the rest of the conversation, I cannot believe that we are even having it. I grasp that this is our current reality, but something of it is almost too much to bear with. Deus, in adiutorium meum intende.

  85. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Is it time someone establishes Annual Impaired Pneumatology Awards?

  86. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    The Pope can detect in the questions something more than mere questions, viz., questioning: actual dissent. (He would, so far, probably not be wrong.) he can choose at his pleasure to hunt those that dissent from him to the borders of the Earth – by executive measure.

    I don’t consider either questions or questioning to be dissent, but granting your comment: It might indicate dissent from policy, but it’s not dissent from Truth.

    I will say that there have been strains of voluntarism in Jesuit Theology for a long, long time.

    (OT, is he really no Archbishop? Deans of the Rota usually are, and Archbishops are called Msgr. in Italy.)

    A look at past Deans on Catholic Hierarchy indicates that they tend to become bishops toward the end of their time in office. Perhaps the Monsignore’s comments are a message to the pope: Hey, what about my episcopal consecretion?

    On the other hand, Francis seems not too crazy about a mitre or red hat as reward for a curial career.

  87. robtbrown says:

    Should be: consecration

  88. Mike says:

    The notion that the dubia should not have been raised formally, or that there is a problem with their tone, is as offensive as is much of the rubbish that passes for pastoral guidance these days from the Holy See.

    I’m struggling to think why it would be a bad idea to ignore anything whatever that flows or has flowed from this Papacy.

  89. majuscule says:

    So if the article has been corrected to say that Pinto meant that Pope Francis is not a pope of “other times” when red hats were actually removed…can any historians here point is to where it did happen?

    And for what it’s worth, the photo of the Monsignor does not go with the more merciful correction.

  90. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “Of course the Roman Pontiff can take away a red hat… anytime he wants and for any reason he wants. ” I think that overstates the case, but we can talk about it elsewhere. Anywho…

    May I add an observation from a legal tradition different from Rome’s? In common law nations, our judges, especially our highest ranking judges, do not weigh in on the political or social controversies swirling around them. The rare times wherein such personal opinions are floated by our judges (e.g., Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent carping about Donald Trump), provokes storms of controversy. Why? Because in common law nations, the appearance of judicial impartiality is perceived as being weakened by judges who express extra-judicial opinions about controversial topics, especially topics that might end up being litigated at some point. Judges have a crucial role to play in administering objective justice, and it is important that they be seen as objective in performing their duties.

    My guess is, controversy over Pinto’s ominous remarks were the most intense among Catholics coming from common law nations, where the sight of judges speaking this way is foreign to our sensibilities about judges and justice. And I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing.

  91. ghp95134 says:

    Regarding Update 1 Dec: Did Msr. Pinto actually say “under a different Pope,” or is this new statement a “wet cleanup in aisle 1” type of fix?

  92. Y2Y says:

    “Regarding Update 1 Dec: Did Msr. Pinto actually say “under a different Pope,” or is this new statement a “wet cleanup in aisle 1” type of fix?”

    One detects the pungent overtones of equine scatology.

  93. APX says:

    In another story on Church Militant TV, it says that he said he could strip the cardinals of their hats without the pope’s permission.

  94. Benedict Joseph says:

    ghp95134 got it right. Get the mop.
    This particular pontificate appears to be hypersensitive about public perception. It plays to the audience from whom it garners applause, and reacts instead of responding to valid observations which can undermine it. Unduly confident that the four Cardinals were on soft ground with the public, it allowed the dogs off the leash and when it proved otherwise they bring the pup to heal.
    In an effort to contextualize and render understanding for the current pontificate many have foolishly asked us to consider its Latin American roots. Despite this well taken point of reference it remains entirely unacceptable — even more so — far too much information. That provides a lot of understanding but no excuses whatsoever.
    Is this operation without self-awareness? It is embarrassing to observe.

  95. KatieL56 says:

    Back on November 29 I mentioned Cardinal Burke’s endorsement of the 54 day Novena for our Nation a few months ago and asked if the clergy could get an endorsement for another 54 day Novena for Our Church Herself.

    Lo and behold, once again Cardinal BURKE has stepped forward (see EWTN-UK) to ask us, on December 1 (today) to STORM HEAVEN with the rosary (Operation Storm Heaven)! I certainly shall, and I hope that others will do so as well. I still think a 54-day Novena for the Church would be a great idea, too.

  96. Unwilling says:

    On reflexion, I don’t think Msgr P was really rattling his hat rack at them. Rather he was merely mentally excited about the extremely unusual situation of cardinals confronting their boss due to the latter’s teaching (noun and participle) and foreseeing (with perhaps more glee than foreboding) all Hell break loose.

  97. Andrew says:

    Regarding Update 1 Dec:

    “Revisada la grabación, se ha comprobado que lo que afirma es que el Papa Francisco no es un Papa de otros tiempos, en los que sí se tomaron ese tipo de medidas, y que no iba a retirarles la dignidad cardenalicia.

    Having reviewed the recording, it is proven that what he (Mgr. Pio Vito) stated is that Pope Francis is not like some Pope of another age, when they used to take these kinds of measures, and that he (Pope Francis) was not about to take back their cardinal dignity.”

    Picture a group huddling around a recorder: “can you play back that part one more time? There: stop right there: go back again a bit: hit replay again …”

  98. Traductora says:

    I don’t see that this makes any difference, since it was clearly a threat. I had read the interview on a Spanish site before I read it in English and even then it came across as a threat. But, as with everything Francis, it’s underhanded and indirect.

    This can’t go on much longer. Something has got to give.

  99. mrshopey says:

    I think it is important to call the response what it really is, a threat. The second, clarification?, would be a veiled threat. There are reasons the Cardinals’ Hats are red. I will pray for the Cardinals.

  100. cl00bie says:

    Were this to happen, former Cardinal Burke would accept it with humility, and continue to work in his capacity to save souls.

Comments are closed.