URGENT PRAYER ALERT! The Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia ask an AUDIENCE

4 cardinals 5 dubiaFrom Edward Pentin at the faithful National Catholic Register (not to be confused with faithless Fishwrap):

Full Text of Dubia Cardinals’ [The Four Cardinals who submitted the Five Dubia] Letter Asking Pope for an Audience
The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Edward Pentin

Here below is the full text of the letter, signed by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on behalf of the four dubia cardinals, asking Pope Francis for an audience to discuss deep concerns over the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The Holy Father has yet to acknowledge the cardinals’ written request. […]

“Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.  [An Audience Sheet…]

Most Holy Father,

A year has now gone by since the publication of Amoris Laetitia. During this time, interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from, but contrary to, the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. Not only access to the Holy Eucharist for those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin, and intend to remain in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on. One is reminded of the bitter observation of B. Pascal: “Justice on this side of the Pyrenees, injustice on the other; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent lay faithful, who are deeply in love with the Church and staunchly loyal to the Apostolic See, have turned to their Pastors and to Your Holiness in order to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine concerning the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist. And in these very days, in Rome, six lay faithful, from every Continent, have presented a very well-attended study seminar with the meaningful title: “Bringing clarity.

Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an Audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in Your prayers, as we pledge to remember You in ours. And we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra

Rome, April 25, 2017

Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist



1. Request for clarification of the five points indicated by the dubia; reasons for this request.

2. Situation of confusion and disorientation, especially among pastors of souls, in primis parish priests.”

In primis, parish priests.

Pray, friends, pray.

PRAY.  Offer fasts and mortifications.  PRAY.


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  1. JonathanTX says:

    “We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus.”

    Is this standard boilerplate? Or is it just a sign of the times we live in that they feel they really have to show they are faithful to the Successor of Peter?

  2. Kerry says:

    Jonathan, nothing so gentle and sincere would plate a boiler.

  3. Traductora says:

    This was written in late April and presumably reached the Pope by early May. I would suspect that it caused a flurry of “okay, gang, what do we do now?”meetings, since I think they believed that the cardinals had given up and weren’t going to follow through. It’s probably also one of the reasons for the recent order that the cardinals residing in Rome (that is, the Curial cardinals, such as these) keep the Pope advised of their movements, the meetings they attend elsewhere, etc. He realizes that they slipped by him somehow.

    That said, I thought it was interesting that it would be Cdl Caffara, who comes across as the most mild-mannered of the four, who would be the one to request the meeting. He certainly wrote a deferential and impeccably respectful letter, and I found it interesting that they would have to renounce sedevacantism and any suspicion that they thought that BXVI was still the legitimate Pope; clearly, that is what they are going to be charged with by Francis’ supporters. I don’t think he’s going to be able to remain silent forever, so he and his coterie may go on the attack now, using the all-powerful bureaucracy. I think this may end up very much like the hearings on the phony Trump-Russian interference claims, and result in a sort of show trial of people doing something legitimate so that the powerful but basically illegitimate opposition can cover up or at least distract attention from their own sins and errors (think Hillary). But maybe I’m an alarmist.

  4. LarryW2LJ says:

    I just don’t understand this. The Church is in turmoil. The Bishops from Poland say “No!” emphatically! The Bishops from Malta say “Yes” definitely. The Bishop from San Diego agrees with the Bishops of Malta, while the Bishop from Philadelphia agrees with the Bishops from Poland.

    Whatever happened to One, Universal Catholic Church?

    God, please have Mercy on my soul; but if the CEO of a large American corporation were to allow this kind of thing, he’s be ridden out of town on a rail by the Board of Directors. Maybe it’s my OCD kicking in, but I can’t ever imagine allowing such (I’m going to invent a word, here) un-uniformity to fester, much less creep in.

    Dear Holy Spirit, please come and calm my troubled mind and soul.

  5. rwj says:

    Good thing it was hand delivered. The Baldisseri mail service has a special ‘dead letter’ room for parcels from these senders.

    God bless these Cardinals, and God help us all if they actually receive a ‘clear’ answer. What’s the next step when/if the pope clarifies that he has broken with permanent Magisterium of the Church – for either ‘party’?

    Personally I don’t anticipate a response, even to the private audience request. These machinations go very well in the gray zone– not so much when people have to make a choice.

  6. Thomistica says:

    This is a great development, in that it signals an ongoing commitment by the four Cardinals. But it is necessary now for them to act decisively.

    They have to create a raucous. Lest, at the conclusion of the next conclave, we see the likes of another Pope of the current ilk introduced to the world.

    Imagine someone of Cardinal Cupich’s ilk and theological shallowness elected to the papacy. At that point, the church would become indistinguishable from the theologically left Anglican church.

  7. Mary Jane says:

    God bless the cardinals and the Holy Father. Holy Spirit, enlighten and strengthen them. Our Lady of Fatima, pray before us!

  8. Mary Jane says:

    Pray for* us, is what I meant of course.

  9. Joy65 says:

    God please help our One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. Holy Spirit PLEASE give Pope Francis clarity in this matter and the humility to meet with these Cardinals and to CLEARLY state what our priests, bishops and faithful Catholics should do. We can not continue to be divided on this and many other issues. Blessed Mother guide your son, our Pope, to do what your Son, Jesus, would want for His Church. Amen!

  10. TNCath says:

    Prayers for a change of heart from the Holy Father. As Archbishop Chaput once said, “Chaos is of the Devil. These days, the smoke of Satan has never been thicker.

  11. Dave H says:

    The 4 Cardinals might be moving slowly, carefully toward Titus 3:10. Need to give the Holy Father every benefit of the doubt and honor him as per 4th Commandment. A “fraternal correction” would serve to show the Holy Father his error. A second correction (Heaven help us) could occur if Holy Father remains in obstinate denial of the truth. Scary to think about, but the publication of the letter shows the Cardinals’ resolve to push toward truth.

  12. iamlucky13 says:

    @ JonathanTX
    “Is this standard boilerplate? Or is it just a sign of the times we live in that they feel they really have to show they are faithful to the Successor of Peter?”

    It seems to be a necessary response to the times. I have encountered several accusations against them directly to the contrary elsewhere. Burke derangement syndrome is a real thing.

    That Catholics and Pope Francis himself will trust in the good intentions of these four Cardinals is one of the things we should pray for.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Prayers for the Four Cardinals.

  14. albizzi says:

    Is remaining scornfully silent for several months in front of many respectuous requests for clarification about an ambiguous magisterial document, while chaos is spreading everywhere in the Church, is remaining silent a paternal and loving attitude worthy of a true Pope who should be full of sollicitude for the salvation of the souls Christ entrusted him ?

  15. The Masked Chicken says:

    This whole mess is reminiscent of the Challenger disaster, with upper management ignoring the engineers. I think Richard Feynman’s final remarks might be prophetic for the Church:

    “In any event this has had very unfortunate consequences, the most
    serious of which is to encourage ordinary citizens to fly in such a
    dangerous machine, as if it had attained the safety of an ordinary
    airliner. The astronauts, like test pilots, should know their risks,
    and we honor them for their courage. Who can doubt that McAuliffe was
    equally a person of great courage, who was closer to an awareness of
    the true risk than NASA management would have us believe?

    Let us make recommendations to ensure that NASA officials deal in a
    world of reality in understanding technological weaknesses and
    imperfections well enough to be actively trying to eliminate
    them. They must live in reality in comparing the costs and utility of
    the Shuttle to other methods of entering space. And they must be
    realistic in making contracts, in estimating costs, and the difficulty
    of the projects. Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed,
    schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met. If in this way
    the government would not support them, then so be it. NASA owes it to
    the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and
    informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for
    the use of their limited resources.

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
    public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

    …and neither can the Holy Spirit.

    The Chicken

  16. albizzi says:

    Unquestionably our Holy Father is a meek and humble “man of dialogue”.

  17. spock says:

    Kudos to the Chicken. Doc Feynman is one of my secular heroes.

    In my experience, so many people speak in such “affirmational” language that it is sometimes difficult to get answers to questions that have objectively definite, clear, unambiguous answers. Whether it be about human relations or marriage, drunkeness, etc. But we mustn’t risk offending anybody. Tough. If you don’t like it, then leave and take your precious dollars with you. We don’t need them. And if that means we end up having Masses in people’s basements because that’s the only place we can go, then so be it. The Ukrainians survived under Communism and so can we.

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