Large group offers “filial correction” to Pope Francis for “seven heresies”.

Pope Francis book peekUPDATE: 23 Sept:

It is important to take all thoughts about this to prayer and perhaps with fasting.


Be careful about what you ask for.

Pope Francis asked for “lío”.

He got some more public “lío”.

I had alluded to it with some warnings not to get too worked up about it.  Someone broke the embargo, which was a little low, but… now it’s out.

Download the Filial Correction or Correctio Filialis HERE

LifeSite has a good summary.

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.”  [NB: Not fraternal.]

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 correction was delivered to the Pope at his Santa Marta residence on August 11, 2017. No similar action has taken place within the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages, when Pope John XXII was admonished for errors which he later recanted on his deathbed.

“With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness,” the signers write in the letter.

“As subjects, we do not have the right to issue to Your Holiness that form of correction by which a superior coerces those subject to him with the threat or administration of punishment,” they state.

“We issue this correction, rather, to protect our fellow Catholics — and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away — hoping to prevent the further spread of doctrines which tend of themselves to the profaning of all the sacraments and the subversion of the Law of God,” they add.

The signers respectfully insist that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has “directly or indirectly upheld,” and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.  [I suspect that His Holiness of Our Lord will not openly respond to this.]

They say that they make “no judgment” about the Pope’s culpability in propagating the seven heresies they list. They add that it is not their task to “judge whether the sin of heresy has been committed” whereby a person “departs from the faith by doubting or denying some revealed truth with a full choice of the will.”

The letter was made public today, six weeks after the signers received no response from the Pope.

Duty to correct

The 62 clergy and lay scholars explain that, as believing and practicing Catholics, they have the right and duty to issue such a correction to the Pope “by natural law, by the law of Christ, and by the law of the Church” and that the correction in no way undermines Catholic teaching on papal infallibility.


“We adhere wholeheartedly to the doctrine of papal infallibility,” the signers state, adding that in their opinion “neither Amoris Laetitia nor any of the statements which have served to propagate the heresies which this exhortation insinuates are protected by that divine guarantee of truth.” The signers’ opinion that the exhortation is not infallible magisterial teaching is backed by leading churchmen, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke.

The signers list a dozen passages from Amoris Laetitia that they say “serve to propagate seven heretical propositions.

Included in the list is the “smoking” footnote 351 where the Pope writes that those living in an objective situation of sin can receive the “help of the sacraments” to grow in the life of grace and charity. Many have interpreted this to mean that civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion, and the Pope has endorsed guidelines allowing this. Also included in the list is the text pertaining to couples living in adultery who, the Pope writes, see their situation as “what God himself is asking” of them, despite falling short of the “objective ideal.”

The scholars say that these passages along with a number of “words, deeds and omissions” of the Pope are “serving to propagate heresies within the Church.”

According to the signers, the “words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis that promote heresy include:

  • Refusing to answer the dubia (five yes-or-no questions) submitted by the four cardinals (two of whom are now deceased) asking him to confirm that Amoris Laetitia does not abolish five teachings of the Catholic faith.
  • Forcibly intervening at the 2015 Synod of the Family where he insisted on inserting into a midterm report a proposal (that did not receive sufficient votes) to allow communion for adulterers and a proposal that pastors should emphasize the “positive aspects” of lifestyles the Church considers gravely sinful, including civil remarriage after divorce and premarital cohabitation.
  • Endorsing an interpretation of the exhortation by Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn that allows for Holy Communion to be given to adulterers.
  • Affirming the statement of the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that allowed Communion to be given to adulterers, stating that “there are no other interpretations.”
  • Appointing to positions of influence within the Church men who publicly dissent from Catholic teaching on the sacraments, including Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
  • Allowing guidelines for the diocese of Rome to be issued under his authority that permit adulterers to receive communion under certain circumstances.
  • Leaving uncorrected the publication in L’Osservatore Romano, the official journal of the Holy See, the Maltese bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitiathat allows communion for adulterers.

Seven heresies

The Catholic clergy and lay scholars go on to list seven “false and heretical propositions” which they say Pope Francis “directly or indirectly” upholds through his “words, deeds, and omissions.” These seven propositions, listed below, are summaries of the positions which they attribute to Pope Francis and deem to be heretical.

  1. A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.
  2. Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.
  3. A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.
  4. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.
  5. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.
  6. Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.
  7. Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.

The clergy and scholars state that these “propositions all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith.”

They add that it is “necessary” that such heresies be “condemned by the authority of the Church,” on account of the “great and imminent danger” they cause to souls.


Yes, there’s more.

Now what?

The moderation queue is ON!

I ask people to inform themselves before jumping in will all sorts of wild comment.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Just reading this summation was like being a non-responsive patient in ICU suddenly feeling the saving effects of emergency life support kicking in: air filling the lungs again, heart pumping blood at a normal rate again, mind beginning to clear and muscles starting to respond.

    Dear God, how much we needed to hear this…!

    BUT, will it just drop into the abyss to no effect as did the Dubia….?

    Our Lady did say at Quito Ecuador “When all hope is despaired of, that is the moment God has chosen for His saving intervention.”

    Well, it seems more and more all hope is despaired of, at least for some of us.

  2. MKR says:

    Having looked at the document in a manner halfway between “skimming” and “closely reading,” I’m struck by the fact that the document contains, to my finding, zero passages of the following form:

    (a) quotation from Amoris Laetitia

    (b) assertion that said quotation from Amoris Laetitia is or contains a heretical proposition.

    The closest the authors come, to my finding, is in their list of seven propositions, which they do not call heresies but say were “identified as heresies” in an earlier petition concerning Amoris Laetitia.

    The document contains a number of assertions that AL has “served to propagate” or “serves to propagate” various heresies. The hedged character of these claims is conspicuous. One very much gets the impression after reading the document that the authors wished to maintain a deliberately non-committal position concerning whether or not AL contains heresy, and that they crafted the language of the document very carefully so as to maintain that position.

  3. Justalurkingfool says:



  4. Rich says:

    The parallel, wink-and-nod, Gnostic-like magisterium which Amoris Laetitia established has brought about great division concerning what we know God has revealed to us for our salvation. It is unfortunate that in trying to reestablish unity in this regard, that these people are going to be accused of divisiveness.

  5. Spade says:

    So….how do you get to sign on?

  6. St. Louis IX says:

    Thanks be to God for these Catholic Men that presented, and signed this document.

  7. kurtmasur says:

    Judging by the kind of stuff Francis has said about conservatives and traditionalists in the past, I’m afraid that his reaction to the filial correction was probably more of the same stuff. He probably took the correction as just another “rigid” letter by a sizeable number of conservatives who are probably “hiding” something behind their rigidity….a rigidity which he needs to “dig” in to in order for him to find hidden insecurities or who knows what…

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    I have read this is the first step in a process. More to come, which may (hopefully) take the form of a canonical correction.
    For our part we are exceedingly satisfied and happy with this good start, believe it long overdue, and pray to God it does what it is intended to do. At the least, this opens the door, and Catholics and non-Catholics will be properly instructed about our situation, where the faith has not only not been taught, but outright heresy has been promoted. No more mincing, this document cannot be ignored, because this is “out there” now. Right this second, this event that will be recorded for all time and is truly historical, is making it’s way around the world.
    Oh happy, happy day. We thank God for it.

  9. GypsyMom says:

    At some point, the built-up pressure of ignoring of the valid concerns of intelligent and faithful Catholic leaders is going to cause something very ugly. Francis is playing with more than one kind of fire.

  10. Chuck Ludd says:

    It is unfortunate the drafters used the term “heresies.” I would have more respect for their otherwise thoughtful discussion if they had stuck to the less pejorative term “correction” or request for “clarification.” While there appears to be “heresy” perpetuated by people on the ground using the loosest interpretations possible of vague language in AL to justify all sorts of awfulness, I do not find any heresy in AL itself. Like much of Pope Francis’ writings (and interviews), AL is imprecise and exhibits a chaotic thinking process. There is much in AL that is regrettably vague and cries out for clarification but it is not heresy.

    Lastly, I can’t help but think that the use of the term “heresy” in this document is a deeply unfortunate turn of events for the SSPX as the head of the SSPX signed the document. This is an unnecessary accusation against the Holy Father when they are (reportedly) so close to being regularized.

  11. torch621 says:

    This has been needed, IMO.

  12. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    This is what the St. Galens Mafiosi have wrought – after bragging about spending their entire lives undermining John Paul II and Benedict XVI – they have electioneered their way to the Holy See, to wage their civil war upon the Church.

    Cowards – pretending to be faithful- until they seize total power – and then demanding our silent assent to their unfaithfulness.

    Cowards – seeing the church as a pursuit of power – not service.

  13. The Egyptian says:

    my only comment at this time is, WOW, this is going to be interesting

  14. mibethda says:

    What will be the implications for the prospect of the regularization of the status of the SSPX from the signing of this Correction by Bishop Fellay and another leader of the SSPX? How will Francis react?

  15. MrsAnchor says:

    Does anyone else have this feeling that this was the “bang” that was foretold? Given all the Celestial signs and the Jewish New Year humming about….
    I understand the Pope had been given the note last month, just interesting it’s been made public today.
    I just hope everyone comes to their senses and realizes we need voluntary mortification and a broader action in our own lives… we need to become stronger for what will be coming our way. My Husband and I just saw “Silence” and it left an unsavory taste in our mouths… May we be strong in mind come these dark days lest we turn into the Protagonist himself!
    May God give us the courage and strength we need..

  16. Austin says:

    This seems to me admirably clear and calm.

    One of the reasons I became a Catholic was that such exchanges are possible in the Church. One can argue from Scripture, Tradition, canon law, evidence, and reason and expect to be answered in the same terms. The mainline Protestants, by way of contrast, relied on emotion, fashion, and politics in constructing their revisionist arguments.

    I do, however, find it alarming that this document was not issued by large numbers of bishops. Is it not their job to guard the deposit of faith, in collegiality with the Pope. Instead, they are behaving like mid-level managers in a large corporation who fear for their jobs.

  17. Multinucleate says:

    As a layperson, I try not to form strong opinions on matters such as these.

    Only thing I can do, lest I judge falsely, is hope and pray that all may be docile to the Holy Spirit.

    But it would be nice for this issue to be finally put to rest and orthodoxy to triumph.

  18. jfk03 says:

    I don’t believe the Holy Father will respond. I hope I am wrong. The best approach to these dark days is to pursue sanctity in one’s own life. I seek solace in the writings of St. John Paul, particularly Veritatis Splendor. Let the light of God shine forth.

  19. Michael_Haz says:

    It’s almost as though we are being told: “Fine. If you want a Jesuit Pope, you’ll get a Jesuit Pope and see how that works out.”

  20. Eric says:

    I just finished reading it, and the footnotes! It is hard to take issue with any of its arguments and conclusions. It is respectful but unabashedly blunt. It is hard to believe we are at this point. I also would find it incredible that this has not been in some way coordinated, which may be too strong of a word, with the 2 Cardinals remaining and other princes hanging back for the moment. If there is no response, besides the character assasinations that we have already seen, this could well be seen as a pertinacity element. I fear harder times ahead.

  21. Andrew_81 says:

    Seems the world as we know it may just have ended on September 23, after all.

    Thins are about to get “messy”, but let’s not fall into triumphalism. The Pope and the Cardinals need our prayers and sacrifices.

    Oremus pro invicem!

  22. chantgirl says:

    What now? We pray as if our lives depend on it for all involved. We ask God to transform our anger at Francis into compassion for a man who will someday have to stand before God and answer for the many souls he is leading astray. We pray for humility and prudence for those who would correct him. We pray for the clerics and laity of the Church to find their backbones.

    We speak the truth in love.

    God won’t let this go on indefinitely.

  23. As he does not have a combox, but does read this one, I ask Professor Edward Peters to give us his analysis and canonical opinion this document. Until he does so, I think that it should just be ignored.

  24. Therese says:

    Deo gratias! To be in such company as these! I am humbled and so very grateful to be a Catholic.

  25. americangirl says:

    Please explain what this all means please. Can Pope Francis ignore this…is this worth the paper it is written upon? Will it have any effect? I sure hope so …this correction was long overdue.

  26. Pray for all of those involved.

  27. Giuseppe says:

    I see no grammatical errors in the English version of the fraternal correction.

  28. graytown says:

    Fr Z does not expect a response from the Holy Father.
    And, I doubt the signatories of this correction expect one.
    So… who is really the intended audience?

  29. Julia_Augusta says:

    Can the Pope excommunicate the people who signed the letter? What does Canon Law say?

  30. Geoffrey says:

    Rorate Caeli got everyone (myself included) all worked up via Twitter by labeling it “Vatican” news. They tried to deny this, but I saw it with my own eyes.

    I don’t know if 60 Catholics out of 1 billion plus is going to have any affect on the actions of the Holy Father.

    I think that the fact that the only bishop to sign is the head of the SSPX, and that there is another SSPX related signature or two, as well as some well-known arch-traditionalists… will not help the cause. I would have preferred to see more “orthodox” signatories, i.e. diocesan bishops, etc.

    Nevertheless, I hope this document is the “thing” that we can all gather around and point to to all who will listen. I think we needed that. It is a very well-written document, and it is very respectful, which many on both sides seem to forget to keep in mind.

    I will be keeping a copy in my Catechism of the Catholic Church for easy reference going forward.

  31. gracie says:

    Rorarte Caeli has expressed my own thoughts in the matter far better than I could:

    “There will be many Catholics, even traditionalists, whose first defeatist reaction will be to belittle this effort. But the wise, the learned in history, will understand that this is just the first part – the first piece of the puzzle – with next steps still to come in a long and extended process.”

    “This first step is an initiative of a theological nature that will likely lead, God willing, to an initiative of a canonical nature from those who have the mandate to act. And so it begins . . .”

  32. Praynfast says:

    The reality is that those 60+ committed one of the greatest acts of mercy possible. They deserve an award for this most noble act of charity. Forget KofC, the UN, or their close collaborator, the USCCB; those 60+ filial correctors are definitely at the top of the list of most charitable donors of this year.

  33. Mike says:

    I am glad this was delivered. I am not a moral theologian, but I think a sharp undergraduate could spot the contradictions in AL compared to FC. They can’t both be right, or 2 plus 2 can equal 5. Wait…

  34. padredana says:

    Fr. Z, Do you plan on adding your signature to the document? Why or why no? Do you think priests ought to sign it or stay out of it given the risk of signing it? I’m curious what your thoughts are.

  35. Adaquano says:

    I haven’t read the entirety of it yet, but have looked at many comment threads and would say not many have taken your advice father. Perhaps some voluntary mortifications should be considered.

  36. robert hightower says:

    Can someone help me understand why this is being downplayed so much? We know the truth of the faith, we know it is not being followed by the Holy Father, it is an obligation to speak out. Why maintain a politically correct silence and seek to diminish the significance of this? It’s not an end, but a beginning. I understanding wanting to respect Pope Francis but fidelity to the faith trumps a certain diplomatic silence. It’s as though we’re at dinner with Her Majesty the Queen where decorum reigns supreme. Break out, be strong men and women and support this effort, stop being so afraid of being labeled something false by the left.

  37. Mike says:

    God bless these men for providing much-needed, well-grounded support for the betrayed faithful—to say nothing of their pastors and shepherds who have been shackled by the neo-Catholic apparatus for the past two generations. Let us pray for the fortitude to endure the next phase of the battle for truth and for souls.

  38. Flash says:

    The surviving Dubia cardinals did not sign, and no bishop save Fellay. I was hoping to see more influential names on the list of signatories. Without those names, it seems more like a long op-ed; I am afraid will be treated as such.

  39. Amerikaner says:

    This is unfortunate. I think this undermines the work of the Cardinals. While the signers may be some professors/theologians/priests, they are viewed as tradionalists rather than mainstream and this will only allow the supporters of A.L. to say that those disturbed about the debate are fringe elements. If there were any Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops that had thought of supporting the last two Cardinals, I doubt they will do so now.

    [Did you read it?]

  40. JabbaPapa says:

    MKR :

    You make very good points.

    But may I suggest …

    One very much gets the impression after reading the document that the authors wished to maintain a deliberately non-committal position concerning whether or not AL contains heresy, and that they crafted the language of the document very carefully so as to maintain that position.

    This is most likely to be because they have not the necessary Authority to do so.

    They may make theological points concerning certain forms of false reception of Amoris Laetitia, whereby it is used to promote the heresies in question, and so I think that is likely to be within this limit that they have composed the document.

  41. Precentrix says:

    No cardinals (and I suspect no bishops) were asked to sign. Mgr Fellay just happened to see it and approve. This was the act of a group of scholars and theologians.

    Those with pertinent academic qualifications can add their signatures if they wish; for the rest of us there is a general petition of support. I think the details are at Rorate.

  42. AnnTherese says:

    I linked to the document, but could not find the list of 62 authors. Can you tell me where I’d find this?

    I think it’s wonderful that this group took this step to directly and respectfully challenge the Pope. I hope there will be further dialogue with all parties truly listening–with open minds and hearts to the Holy Spirit and each other.

  43. Benedict Joseph says:

    The breath and depth of the “Filial Correction” while sobering, is also consoling. We can be profoundly grateful for the piety, brilliance and fortitude exhibited by the signatories. I will be reading it, and rereading it today and throughout the week.
    Clarity of thought is truly beautiful.
    God reward them abundantly.

  44. Unwilling says:

    Chuck Ludd (above) says the right kind of thing. We conservatives/orthodox do not want to be vindicated, nor on the right side of schism. But that God’s plan for his universe be fulfilled through the Incarnation. While the emergence of such things as this, the dubia, and previous theological petitions are unsurprising, given Francis’ seeming indifference to the form of the Church’s traditions, in themselves they are tragic outcomes.

    Prudent speech is justifiable, perhaps even morally required. But neither 4 Cardinals, nor 60 theologians, nor 6 million of the People of God can fix this situation. Human efforts alone cannot prevail. Jesus said that “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mk 9:29

  45. Ed the Roman says:

    Dear MKR,
    Leaving open the possibility that AL is not heretical in itself is reasonable, particularly since almost nobody has read AL, but millions are being taught heresy by teachers who cite it.

    Which is like how we got clown mass and liturgical dance out of Sacrosanctam Concilium.

  46. rtjl says:

    “I don’t know if 60 Catholics out of 1 billion plus is going to have any affect on the actions of the Holy Father.”

    Yes, and what effect can one man posting a bunch of complaints on a public bulletin board (church door) in Winttenberg have?

  47. Having read the whole thing, I must say that it is basically an almost total disappointment. It is far far too wordy and bounces around in all different directions. What was needed (and still is) was a clear to-the-point statement about AL and the problems therein. By digressing into all of the Martin Luther stuff the writers distract away from what should be their central – and valid – point. OTOH maybe that was the point, and the AL aspect was meant as part of that process. That would make it more of a general correction than an AL one though.

    Keep in mind I read this not from the perspective of a theologian but a business and family man, but to me the tone of the document is not “filial” at all, but rather condescending and snarky. Worse yet, it appears that there are some major problems with the arguments as well, for instance they quote the pope talking about our salvation “by God’s grace alone” and then go on to equate that with Luther’s “by faith alone” and thus call it heretical when in fact it is a different thing entirely. That, more than anything, makes this correction seem as little more than the public venting of sour grapes.

  48. Kathleen10 says:

    We can all aid the effort by printing it out and sending it to our own bishops. We might want to go off topic and add a few words about what open immigration is doing to Europe and that Bishops need to get back to the business of saving souls.

  49. crjs1 says:

    I’m trying not to be despondent, but what practical difference will this document make, where are the multitude of Bishops or Cardinals signing? I can’t imagine Pope Francis will respond directly – or even worry about it.

    I also worry that having the SSPX signatures is a huge tactical error. It allows this to be written off and mischaracterised as a angry last cry from radical fundamentalists, indeed it fits fully into Francis’s critique of traditionalism.

    If anything I feel this will embolden the radical voices close to his Holiness.

    [Did you read it?]

  50. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.”

    Father, I commented on this particular issue months ago on this blog. Really I think all of the errors arise from this. Too many of the Bishops, and apparently the Pope if one takes an honest reading of AL, lack the supernatural Faith necessary to believe that God will supply the graces people need to defeat sin in their lives.

    The don’t believe in this basic central premise of Catholic Christianity.

    All of the errors are simply accommodations to this repudiation of the dogmatic statement of the Council of Trent on this topic.

  51. frjim4321 says:

    “[I suspect that His Holiness of Our Lord will not openly respond to this.]”

    I would agree with that prediction.

    That being said, the lack of a direct response is, in itself, a response.

    [Is that so? You mean: Qui tacuit consentire videtur?]

  52. un-ionized says:

    I read it. It’s a little scattered.

  53. Gerard Plourde says:

    I find it unhelpful to equate Pope Francis’ statements in AL, which admit to varying interpretations, to medieval Pope John XXII’s erroneous teaching that the faithful departed did not immediately enjoy the Beatific Vision, but were deprived of it until the resurrection of the body at the Last Judgment.

    I am also troubled that wide dissemination of this document appears to have been anticipated from the outset.

    Finally, the presence of Bishop Fellay’s signature creates an unnecessary issue. Although it is true that the SSPX is not in schism from the Church, its status is irregular due to its founder’s direct and unreconciled disobedience to a lawful papal command of Pope St. John Paul II. A group claiming the manle of tradition and orthodoxy seeking to question that of the Pope opens itself up to question by his inclusion. One also has to ask whether his presence may have dissuaded conservative members of the hierarchy from signing.

  54. Andrew1054 says:

    I honestly wonder if Francis saw this letter when it was sent in July. I wonder if he’ll even see it now that it’s public. It seems to me that the Popes live in a strange bubble that is highly controlled by other with agendas.

    Good on these scholars for expressing their concerns. Funny how liberals always advocate for the “voice of the faithful” and an active laity until that laity asks for traditional Catholicism; then they are labeled divisive etc. So sick of the games and double speak of so called progressives. This is what an engaged laity looks like!

  55. robtbrown says:

    Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    As he does not have a combox, but does read this one, I ask Professor Edward Peters to give us his analysis and canonical opinion this document. Until he does so, I think that it should just be ignored.

    Why would the juridical status of the document be important? The whole point is that is has no juridical status.

    That doesn’t mean it is without consequences for the Church. We have a group of influential Catholics faithful to Church doctrine who think the Pope is discouraging Catholics from following it.

  56. mibethda says:

    Sandro Magister has an interesting column in this morning’s L’Espresso where he, among other comments, makes the observation regarding Bishop Fellay’s having signed this Correction, that “(t)his signature of his could in reality create more difficulty for Pope Francis than has the letter, for which he has so far made a show of indifference” – it might be noted that Bishop Fellay’s signature was apparently appended subsequent to the delivery of the Correction to the Pope by the original 40 signatories. Magister goes on to observe that the Bishop’s recognition of “Francis as heretical seven times over makes difficult, in not impossible, that practical reconciliation which Francis himself has repeatedly demonstrated he wants to hasten with the Lefebvrists.” This may be the most significant practical effect of this affair.

  57. lh says:

    There should be no concern over “only 62 signatories”. Two men, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher did much for the Church. God works wonders with a few faithful.

  58. Andrew1054 says:

    I tend to agree that the inclusion of the SSPX does allow some to dismiss the document out of hand.

    I do think they should be more selective in signatories. For example, Christopher Ferrara is not a theologian. He also flirts with geo-centrism and is known for peddling Fatima conspiracy theories. Why is he considered expert enough to issue such a serious letter?

    The letter was very well written but they should reserve the signatories to theologians and clergy only.

    They should also have each person who signed clearly and consistently list their academic and ecclesiastical credentials. Some signatories say “parish priest” others say “dioscean priest”. This does not have the consistency or gravitas needed for people to take these people seriously. I fear this will fall flat, in part due to some amateurish and sloppy execution. They should have hired a proper PR firm to help them develop the roll out.

  59. mibethda says:

    The Most Reverend Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, has just added his name; the document is apparently open for additional signatories on a select basis – preference is for those with an academic or ecclesiastic background : It will be interesting to see how many will respond. It can be anticipated that the reaction to this by progressives will likely be furious.

  60. gracie says:


    LifeSite has posted the names of the signatories at the end of its article:

    Rorate Caeli has pointed out that the cardinals and bishops were not approached for their signatures. Bishop Fellay heard about the “Filial Correction” after it was submitted to Pope Francis and asked that his name be attached to the document.

  61. majuscule says:

    I am not trying to be snarky when I ask the people who say they read the document and didn’t see who signed it: Did you read the whole thing?

    The names of those who signed are at the end of the document. If they are not on the document that you read, then you may not have read the original or you may not have read to the last page.

    I heard that others are signing, too. But I don’t know where that might be accomplished. For the ones who had signed at the time it became public, see the original. Father has a reliable link in the original blog post above.

  62. Traductora says:

    Several people have commented on the emphasis on the heresies of Luther in this document, rather than an exclusive focus on AL. I have seen it rumored that Francis intends to make some dramatic gesture for what the Protestants call “Reformation Sunday.” Perhaps this is meant to put him on notice and forestall it?

    I seriously doubt that Francis will respond, particularly since he’s had the document since August 11. But now that it’s public, the response of some Vatican types is interesting: La Stampa announced that the document came from “former Vatican banker Tedeschi and 61 other people.” Strange emphasis on Tedeschi and obviously meant to belittle the writers and impugn their motives. The article goes on to ridicule them and note that nobody of any ecclesiastical importance, “not even” Bp. Schneider, has signed it. So their tack is obviously going to be one of shrugging it off as a chorus of the ant-like chirping, inaudible to human beings, of Francis’ not-very-bright, low-status conservative enemies.

  63. robtbrown says:


    You have to understand that the intellectual foundation of Amoria Laetitia is German Existentialism, which is anti-intellectual. It is intellectual in so far as it is a product of intellectual work, but it is anti-intellectual in so far as it is skeptical of the possibility of knowing Truth rather than just Ideals.

    AL does not deny Catholic doctrine ofmarriage, but rather it affirms it. Unfortunately, then it is moved into the realm of Ideals, which by definition are unreachable. This is noted in the correction.

  64. frjim4321 says:

    “[Is that so? You mean: Qui tacuit consentire videtur?]”

    More like, “Qui multa dicit, non respondeo.” [Which, in Latin, doesn’t make sense.]

  65. frmh says:

    I’m not impressed by the signatures, basically, c-list academics even in the Catholic world- where are the bishops? Where are the Americans? Where are the rectors of pontifical seminaries and colleges?

    It is always the same gang who sign these documents, basically an alliance of traditionalists… where are the mainstream Catholics? Where are the EWTN personalities?

    A bunch of nobodies criticize the Pope. This is big news? The Pope will not even deign to respond to this, but nor would I if I was in his position…..

  66. Benedict Joseph says:

    I’m a bit taken aback by the number of naysayers and skeptics “Correctio Filialis” is garnering here.
    The individuals who composed the correction and those who signed it are not by any means theological or, more broadly, intellectual lightweights. Nor are they fly-by-night naysayers. They are faithful. To invest ourselves in the pejoratives with which they are erroneously characterized is to give credence to the adversary.
    Adult Christians do not submit to erroneous ideas, even when proposed by authory. We are four years into a situation that will not be alleviated by appeasement and groveling. The years since the Second Vatican Council have been – at their best – a well-meaning attempt to preserve unity in faith and love by Popes who sought to salvage from the Council what could be reconciled with the perennial Magisterium without alienating those of a decidedly different perspective. Now that we have an ecclesiastical cohort of untraditional perspective riding the lead such deference to “difference” is not countenanced. At best it is ignored. More often demeaned or boldly ridiculed.
    Roman Catholics have been deprived of sound catechesis and authoritative teaching at the local level for decades purposefully. The only way to correct this situation is to publically bring it to the raking light. That is going to take multiple efforts from multiple fronts across a number of years.
    The wider element to which “Correctio Filialis” is being addressed would have us believe that doctrine “not received” by our contemporaries is therefore deficient – defective. They appear to forget that our Church is the Communion of Saints – constituted by all those since Adam who have submitted to the Revelation of Almighty God of Himself to humanity. All of them who have received and cherished that revelation with their faith and their works constitute the Church in time and eternity. The doctrine proposed in Divine Revelation has been received. If we don’t say so loudly, those who propose otherwise are emboldened.
    They would have us believe the Gospel has “blank pages.”
    No. Revelation ceased with the death of St. John the Evangelist.
    Perhaps it is simplistic to make the analogy, but what is transpiring here is not unlike the current situation the civilized world is facing with North Korea and radical Islam. Appeasement with such an element is surrender.
    There can be no surrender but to our Lord, Jesus Christ, His Holy Gospel, the Apostolic Tradition and the perennial Magisterium of the Church.
    Brace yourselves.

  67. mimicaterina says:

    If you would like to support the 62 signatories, please sign the above petition started by Steve Skojec.

  68. mimicaterina says:

    The above link is to the group’s website. All the information is there is several languages.

  69. Ave Crux says:

    For all those who are saying 1) having SSPX sign was a mistake and 2) of what use is such a document…..

    One needs to concede that history and the Honor of God will judge differently.

    Shame on us if we are silent any longer and let God’s Church be overrun by raving Modernists while we silently and “meekly” (in this case cowardly) wring our hands sighing “Woe, oh woe are we….!”

    When God sent a mere, young maid, Saint Joan of Arc, into battle to lead men with 5 times her strength, her battle cry was “We must do battle before God gives the victory!”

    And as for SSPX signing, the good Bishop is a Catholic and a man of honor along with all the other signatories. It’s time to stop hiding behind the trees and come out and fight for our Catholic faith!

    The document will go down in history as one of the small stones which will contribute to the eventual avalanche of repudiation of the apostasy taking place among the Church Hierarchy before our very eyes.

    God waits for the faithful to rise against the clearly intended moral and theological heterodoxy being foisted upon our Church, as a matter of honor and valor in keeping with our Confirmation mandate to be soldiers of Christ. What does that mandate pertain to if not to times such as these…?

    Thus document – even if met with silence by the Holy Father and those who agree with him in the hierarchy – was a shot in the arm and across the bow for the faithful who no longer wish to remain silent as anarchy spreads throughout the Church, and who so desperately needed this fortification for their own faith and salvation.

  70. Justalurkingfool says:

    If there is a PLACE for a NOBODY to sign this document, I would like to add my name.

    I am directly touched by this “correction” in my faithfulness to our long abandoned marriage and my twice, successfully, defending it within formal canonical inquiries, as my wife continues her behavior through public reception of communion, with her her partner in that adultery, in view of our children, in full view of completely informed canon lawyers and local ordinaries, who know of the longstanding adultery, my faithfulness and that there have been annulments denied.

    If there is anyone who reads this who knows someone in a position to consider adding another signer, PLEASE, ask them if they would consider someone who is a public witness to what is going on in the Church regarding the essence of Amoris Laetitia, in an extremely personal way, and has been for decades.


  71. Cradle Catholic says:

    Bishop Emeritus Rene Garcia has also asked that his name be appeneded to the document. See his website

  72. Ave Crux says:

    There is an article just published that addresses how such responses on the part of the faithful were a true remedy used by the Saints during the Middle Ages. Here is an excerpt, the link follows:

    The twelfth century was no stranger to heresy, and St. Bernard’s love of the Cistercian silence was never an obstacle to heeding the call of the Church to do battle with it.

    With his quicksilver intellect he engaged hard-bitten heretics like Peter Abelard and the Cathars with impressive success. The Saint of Clairvaux full well knew that right Catholic living was intimately bound to right Doctrine. Doctrine is the flesh and bones of Christ himself. Thinking it unimportant is settling for an ad hoc Christ, designed according to the whims of the self, or the passing enthusiasm of the age.

    Admiration followed Bernard everywhere. Not only did popes, bishops and kings seek his counsel, but the saints’ humility prompted him to remonstrate those very notables when he observed them failing the duties of their high office. Well did the Saint make his own the words of St. Gregory the Great in his Pastoral Guide:

    “Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men… The Lord reproach’s them through the prophet: ‘They are dumb dogs that cannot bark’… To advance against the foe involves a bold resistance to the powers of this world in defense of the flock. To stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord means to oppose the wicked enemy out of love for what is right.”

    Even though he reproved popes, no Catholic must think St. Bernard a disloyal son of the Church. Fidelity to Christ is fidelity to the unchanging Magisterial teachings that steel Roman Catholics against the gates of Hell. High office does not exempt from absolute fidelity. Never did Bernard place himself either above those sacred teachings or those anointed with those sacred offices. Paths to hell are paved with the souls of those who immodestly think themselves teachers of the Church. Listen to Bernard’s warning to Pope Eugenius III written in five noble letters that now form his celebrated treatise De Consideratione:

    “You are the bishop of bishops; the Apostles, your forbears, were instructed to lay the world at the feet of Jesus Christ. You have inherited that duty; the whole world is your legacy. Pastor of all the sheep, Pastor of all their pastors! In case of necessity, and if the fault deserves, you can bar Heaven to a bishop, depose him, cast him out to Satan. You are in very truth the Vicar of Christ. What is this your power? A burden to take up. Be not proud on Peter’s throne; it is but an observation post, a high place from which, like a sentry, you may cast your glance over the world beneath. You are not the owner of that world; you are no more than trustee. The world belongs to Christ… There is not iron or poison that I fear so much for you as I fear the pride of power.”

    In 1146 St. Bernard was called to preach the Second Crusade. Catholics were understandably hesitant to comply with this invitation, entailing as it did considerable sacrifices. A prospective Crusader had to weigh leaving family and friends; the risk of losing property and fortunes; being captured and sold into slavery, or, ultimately the likelihood of losing his life. So much for the centuries old bigotry of Crusading Catholics’ lustful appetite for the massacre of Muslims. Putting behind them all these fears, tens of thousands marched forward with heroic courage. Likely, these spirited words of St. Bernard inflamed them:

    “O ye who listen to me! Hasten to appease the anger of Heaven, but no longer implore its goodness by vain complaints. Clothe yourselves in sackcloth, but also cover yourselves with your impenetrable bucklers. The din of arms, the danger, the labors, the fatigues of war, are the penances that God now imposes upon you. Hasten then to expiate your sins by victories over the infidels, and let the deliverance of the Holy Places be the reward of your repentance. Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood.

    No ambiguity here. Only full throated Roman Catholicism unfettered by the modern addiction to sentimentality parading as compassion. Bernard was confident in the Church’s crisply stated teaching on the use of force in war. Not only is it morally permissible, but, when in the pursuit of the common good of the nation, force becomes morally obligatory. Of late, Catholics have become squeamish about such unvarnished language. But it is the language of Christ, because it is the immutable doctrine of his Church.

    Future Barcelonan holocausts will be thwarted only by applying the astringency of Catholic teaching, which simply states common sense. Muscular military might must be exercised in thoroughly destroying the enemy who wish to destroy us. Anything less is a strategy of sentimentality: An effete luxury upon which the Jihadist enemy thrives. Only one thing is a worse blow to the Catholic Church and society than heresy; that is sentimentality.

  73. originalsolitude says:

    Yikes! Had I attempted a filial correction on my Dad, he would have given me the silent treatment, and my Mum would have beaten the life out of me for my disrespect and dishonour of him.

  74. Semper Gumby says:

    A-men. Thanks Fr. Z and LifeSite.

  75. pelerin says:

    I looked down the list of signatures and was surprised to see one of them belonged to a French priest who has been severely criticised by the Bishops for his islamophobic videos which he puts out on his blog. These do nothing for ecumenical relations. I understand the Bishops asked him to stop what he was doing and put up some videos on a Catholic theme instead which he did for a short while only to revert to the islamophobic ones.

  76. Andrew1054 says: The letter was very well written but they should reserve the signatories to theologians and clergy only.

    The thing is, Christianity was never meant to be the exclusive property of experts. Not one of the Twelve Apostles had a degree in theology. On the other hand, I know people with degrees in theology that have clearly served only to educate the Catholic faith right out of them. In any case, a fancy degree is not necessary to be able to distinguish between the genuine faith and a busload of bushwah.

    It is interesting to note that some of the signatories are laity. It will now be time for the liberal clergy, who, for years, have been extolling the post-Vatican-II era as “the golden age of the laity,” to put their money where their mouth is.

  77. JohnRoss says:

    The authors of the statement against Pope Francis are on target here. I often am reminded of Protestant presuppositions about grace in many of Pope Francis’ statements.

    He never speaks about the danger of mortal sin. It’s as though he believes that Jesus’ righteousness covers our sins like snow on a dunghill ala Luther.

    As a former Lutheran like yourself, I find this disturbing from the mouth of a Pope.

  78. Tantum Ergo says:

    Sadly, this portends punitive action against those who uphold the teaching of Catholic truth in its fullness. I expect a great wave of persecution, as that has always been the consequence of seriously following Christ.

  79. MKR says:


    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that one would need some sort of special authority (that of a bishop or a cardinal, perhaps?) only to accuse the pope of *being a heretic*; one could, I thought, claim that AL contains objectively heretical assertions without accusing the pope of being a heretic. (I think you need to have some degree of willfulness and/or knowledge to count as a heretic, and the authors explicitly say in the correction that they don’t know how willful or knowledgeable the pope is about the matters they discuss.) But I’m no canon lawyer or theologian or whatever, so I could be completely wrong about that.

    Of course, it might just be that not all of the signatories believe that AL contains heresy, and that this is why the correction contains no claims that AL contains heresy. That’s perhaps the simplest explanation.

    Lastly, I find the “these signatories aren’t qualified” reply that a lot of liberal Catholics are giving to the correction really silly. First, some of the signatories do have advanced degrees in theology etc. Second, who especially cares? What matters most is the content of the correction, not the credentials (or the lack thereof) of the people who signed it. (I’ve noticed that when people without endowed chairs at fancy universities get all uppity and criticize their favored prelates, liberal Catholics lose their love of ordinary people pretty quickly.)

  80. cwillia1 says:

    There is no need to judge Pope Francis’ intentions or motives or beliefs. We can observe what Pope Francis has in fact done. He has opened the door to hetero-praxis and when others have tried to close that door he has obstructed their efforts. Those whose training makes them competent to correct the Pope can do their duty. The rest of use must not pass through the door that has been opened.

  81. Gabriel Syme says:

    Gerard Plourde,

    Although it is true that the SSPX is not in schism from the Church, its status is irregular due to its founder’s direct and unreconciled disobedience to a lawful papal command of Pope St. John Paul II.

    The Society’s lack of canonical status did not arise from ++Lefebvre’s spat with the Pope in 1988. In fact this situation arose much earlier, in 1975.

    The modernists in the French Episcopate – including Cardinals who hated ++Lefebvre – conspired and pressured the Bishop Mamie of Fribourg, where the Society was founded, to retrospectively withdraw his predecessor’s (+Charriere) approval of the SSPX.

    This action was / is illegal under canon law, because once a Bishop has approved a religious congregation, only the Pope can then suppress it.

    This is how the Society became canonically irregular. Note that this illegal hit job on the Society happened even despite a positive review of the SSPX by an Apostolic visitation in 1974. Cardinal Garonne said the report was “very favourable – except that you don’t use the new liturgy”.

    The result of the later (1988) illicit consecrations was the excommunication of the Bishops involved, penalties which Pope Benedict XVI later removed.

    Finally, the presence of Bishop Fellay’s signature creates an unnecessary issue…….. One also has to ask whether his presence may have dissuaded conservative members of the hierarchy from signing.

    I wouldn’t have thought so. Bishop Athanasius Schneider – a very fine Bishop, who enjoys high esteem worldwide – has described Bishop Fellay as “an exemplary Catholic Prelate”.

    I would think anyone who – when faced with a choice between +Fellay or Francis – chose Francis ought to reflect. It is never pleasant to have to disagree with Our Holy Father, but orthodox Catholicism without a canonical status beats canonically approved heresy any day of the week.

    I think it has since been clarified that Prelates were not approached for their signature, this seems much more academic driven. +Fellay heard about it and asked his for his name to be added. Father Robert Brucciani – a very fine priest and SSPX Superior in Great Britain – also signed the document.

  82. Gabriel Syme says:

    I commend this initiative and all who signed it.

    I think this is the latest stage in the “building of a case” against Francis. Father Z pointed out that it was a filial and not fraternal correction – I think the latter will eventually come from Prelates, if Francis continues to bury his head in the sand.

    Its interesting that I have only seen 1 minor mention of this in the mainstream media so far. If this had happened to Pope Benedict, it would have been top of the news. It is clear that Francis is the poster boy of the secular world.

    I am disappointed by how Francis has acted in the face of all this, from the filial appeal at the times of the synods, to this filial correction now. He just ignores it. I don’t see how this stacks up with the concepts of humility and dialogue he is always banging on about. It is sad to see his (in)action cast him as a hypocrite.

    At times I can’t decide if his continued silence is a sign of an arrogant and steely resolve, or a sign of cluelessness as to how to respond, like being a “rabbit in the headlights”.

    Sad to say I generally tend towards the former, but I do wonder if he and the sycophants who surround him are not genuinely surprised by the resistance they are encountering.

    Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor died recently. He was one of the St Gallen Cardinals – along with paedophile protector Daneels and the rest of them – who conspired (which is against canon law) to elect Francis. Would that he was still with us, to survey the results of his conduct and the wounds it has caused our Holy Church.

  83. Cornelius says:

    FINALLY, someone manifests the courage to address this papacy’s deep problems. Two points:

    1) A time is coming when it will be a badge of shame to NOT have one’s name on this document or in the petition of lay Catholics supporting it.

    2) What about heretical praxis, i.e., the Pope’s refusal to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament? This is either a denial of the Real Presence or unbelievable arrogance before our Lord. This scandalous behavior should be called out for what it is.

  84. Chuck Ludd says:

    majuscule: It depends on which link you click on whether the signatures show up. If you go to the news report, as I assume you did, the signatures are there. If you click on the actual document link in Fr. Z’s post, the signatures are not there. If you click on the link inside the news report then the signatures are in an obscure button. It took me a bit to find the signatures, too.

  85. sallyr says:

    Some people may not be able to see the names of those who signed because some of the websites put the signatures on a separate page – I had to click around to find the names.

    As to the content of the document, I am torn by the use of the term “heresy”, as someone else mentioned. On the one hand, it does capture one’s attention as to the seriousness of the matter. On the other hand, the argument seems a bit muddy – several times the authors say that it is the “deeds, words and omissions” that are the source of heretical teaching.

    Many have noted that the lack of clarity in AL has insulated it from a direct charge of heresy, so perhaps this odd formulation of the allegation of teaching error through “deeds” and “omissions” was thought to be necessary to capture the true scope of the problem. But this formulation also makes it less likely to be taken seriously, and perhaps less likely to demand an answer. Deeds and omissions are open to lots of interpretation, after all. When they start getting into the particular appointments of people to Vatican positions as part and parcel of their claims, they are going pretty far astray from a typical form of scholarly argument.

    The part about Luther – I just don’t understand why they included that. “We have an ax to grind with you about this item as well,” is how it read to me. In my opinion, the better path is to stick to one theme in an important document – don’t add tangents that can deflect attention and allow those you are arguing with to change the subject.

    And here is my 2 cents worth. One of the important matters that has been left out entirely from the discussion of AL is the very large number of Catholics who have tried to conform their lives to the teaching of the Church and now are perhaps wondering why they bothered. Many Catholics have stayed in very trying marriages because they knew it was not possible to have another marriage with 2 parents for the children. Others are single because they knew they should not pursue adulterous relationships after separation from a valid marriage. Others are single because they would not date divorced people and thus risk adultery and there were no other suitable partners available. Others may be married and living as brothers and sisters in order to avoid mortal sin.

    What does Pope Francis have to say to these people – any words of support? Any reason why they should continue to make these sacrifices? Or are they simply chumps and Pharisees who have suffered needlessly because of their cramped understanding of the faith? It’s as if these people simply don’t exist. What is the point of continuing to make these efforts if, in reality, a second marriage is actually part of God’s plan for a person?

  86. anj says:

    Fr. Hunwicke signed it. The letter must be good!

    Is this like one of those “” petitions, where when you get 5000 signatures, you win?

    It will be interesting to see who the follow-on signatories will be. I agree that Pope Francis will likely ignore it. If he can ignore cardinals, surely it is easier to ignore a bunch of guys he doesn’t know, regardless of their credentials.

  87. anj says:

    In my last comment, I mentioned the “” site as a joke. But I just went on Rorate’s blog, and sure enough, there is an online petition created that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can sign, correcting the Pope. Amazing.

  88. G-Veg says:

    I am working under the assumption that this correction could have been issued by bishops as bishops and that the challenge was specifically cast as a purely theological one so that His Holiness could save face.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    My thinking is that the bishops could have directly challenged the Pope but that doing so would have made it difficult for Pope Francis to come down from his position whole saving face. What I mean is that he would have to, in effecr, say “I was mistaken.”

    By saying, in effect, “we learned Catholic teachers do not understand how your teaching fits within the hat hate broader Church teaching, explain it to us,” His Holiness is left options to clarify, like he should have with the Dubia, and, so, save face.

    Father Z, am I far from thehathathehe mark here? For, if I am not, it is a most inspired tactic.

  89. Ave Crux says:

    @MKR: Maybe you should have done more than simply skim the document before commenting? For example, you say there are “zero quotations from AL” (!), whereas pages 3-5 of the “Filial Correction” quotes AL at length and with full context before proceeding to analyze and state objections in depth.

    Why is it that so many “armchair” observers of the current, unprecedented moral and theological crisis in the Church (precipitated precisely with the oversight and facilitation of the present Holy Father) find it so easy to criticize those who finally take action, when these good and loyal Catholics have done more than “jabber” and have finally said what needs to be said in an attempt to stop the spread of heresy….Yes, heresy.

    While not calling Pope Francis a heretic, they have simply observed that his actions, his words, his formal pronouncements, interventions, and omissions have given rise to clearly heretical persuasions, outcomes and pastoral practices in the Church.

    This fact absolutely cannot be disputed by any honest mind. The “Correction” makes this truth abundantly clear. It needs to be read with full attention and good will, not “skimmed” and criticized by those who have not nearly the same level of knowledge and expertise, nor the willingness to put their reputations and standing on the line by acting on their conscience in these troubled times.

  90. marcelus says:

    “I don’t know if 60 Catholics out of 1 billion plus is going to have any affect on the actions of the Holy Father.

    I think that the fact that the only bishop to sign is the head of the SSPX, and that there is another SSPX related signature or two, as well as some well-known arch-traditionalists… will not help the cause. I would have preferred to see more “orthodox” signatories, i.e. diocesan bishops, etc.”

    This will not end well for these men. I suspect Crdl Burke will distance himself from this and Traditionalist “credit” will be pretty much used up after this men are delt with.

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  92. Ave Crux says:

    @Marcellus: Please cite ONE position of so-called “arch-traditionalists” that is not “orthodox” and has not been held by Holy Mother Church for 2,000 years since Her founding, has not been supported by numerous Encyclicals of Holy Popes, defended by countless Saints and by centuries of Church Magisterium….

    Your comments support the newly coined term “Neo-Catholic”. You don’t even realize how greatly you have been disinherited and severed from two millenia of Catholicism when you don’t immediately recognize that so-called “traditionalists” are simply Catholics who hold and defend what Holy Mother Church always held and defended for 2,000 years until Vatican II.

    Your comments support the observation that Vatican II was a true rupture with the Church’s past and introduced a new religion, not true to the Faith which had been handed down, but one vitiated by a Modernism which deformed many of Her tenets and the Faithful’s “Sensus Catholicus”.

    The present state of affairs in the Church is very sad indeed.

  93. JabbaPapa says:

    Ave Crux :

    hard-bitten heretics like Peter Abelard

    That’s somewhat of an exaggeration.

    Abelard is a curious figure. Condemned twice for heresies, he nevertheless had both punishments lifted ; and some of his doctrines were adopted into the Deposit of Faith.

    He’s an ambiguous figure doctrinally, so to call him a “hard-bitten heretic” goes I think too far.

  94. JabbaPapa says:

    MKR :

    one could, I thought, claim that AL contains objectively heretical assertions without accusing the pope of being a heretic

    They spoke of “the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia” — this does NOT mean “AL contains objective heresies”.

    It means that Amoris Laetitia has been used as a vehicle and as a tool towards the propagation of the heresies in question, rather than those heresies being proposed by the exhortation itself.

    And one can only describe Amoris Laetitia as containing objective heresies under the strict condition that this were an indubitable factual statement, whereas it is clear that the heresies are being promoted on the basis of a particular interpretation of that document.

    I would remind people BTW of Pope Benedict XVI’s teaching condemning the various hermeneutics of rupture, whereby recent Church documents are falsely portrayed or understood as changing or contradicting the Deposit of Faith, and our requirement as Catholics to adopt a hermeneutic of continuity, whereby any potential ambiguity should be interpreted in the sense that is consistent with the Revelation, the Dogma, and the Tradition of the Faith.

    This does not prevent condemning the propagation of false teachings devised from such hermeneutics of rupture, but OTOH it demands great care before thinking about condemning Church documents that are capable of quite traditional interpretations.

    I’ll also add that the original Spanish of the Argentine Bishops’ comments on AL describe as “gravely scandalous” the notion that Holy Communion could be offered to those in situations of adultery, and that Cardinal Vallini, the Vicar of Rome, made it quite clear in his instructions to the priests of the Roman Diocese that abstinence is the necessary prerequisite for reception of the Sacraments by the divorced-remarried.

    False claims regarding both of these have become extremely common, to the detriment of sensible dialogue around the exhortation and the source(s) of the heresies in question.

  95. chirho3 says:

    In regard to all that surrounds Francis, it may be as simple as this; either the (alleged) Book of Truth collection of messages is the real deal or it isn’t. If it is the real deal (as described in Daniel 10:21/12:4-9) there is no other greater spiritual exercise than to read the messages, and in part become aware of what Francis is doing. Although not specifically named, he is explicitly described as the successor to Benedict – a masonic impostor elected by a mason-infiltrated College of Cardinals and many prophecies concern him.

    Before the breakout of scoff, consider that Benedict’s resignation press conference (2/11/13) happened exactly one year after the Book of Truth prediction (2/11/12) that he would be ousted from the Chair of Peter. Furthermore another prophecy states that Benedict was being plotted against within the corridors of the Vatican (has anyone heard of the boastful Cardinal Daneels and his friends in the St. Gallens group? []).

    There are other prophecies which seemingly have clearly taken place. In my opinion the (alleged) Book of Truth has with frankness outed Francis as the impostor written about in the Book of Revelation. More time is needed to be absolutely certain about it, but it is deeply fascinating to me how these messages have described his works and character and how the Church and world is to react towards him.

    Consider reading in alleged prophecy what is now happening in real time.
    (An English archive can be found here:, for archive links other that English see:

  96. tskrobola says:

    I think MKR is on to something here. The authors of the letter, like the cardinals of the Dubia, are attacking the heresy, while preserving Papal authority.

  97. Ame E. says:

    Robert Royal wrote a really good piece on this today in The Catholic Thing. Here is a link.

  98. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Gabriel Syme,

    The defiant act I was referring to was the Archbishop’s consecration of bishops in direct disobedience of Pope St. John Paul II. I would like to think that we can agree that had Archbishop Lafebvre submitted in obedience to His Holiness the Society would have voided its current irregular status.

    As to the question of orthodox Catholicism without canaonical status – I define orthodoxy as adherence to the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and submission to the Code of Canon Law as promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II. I am suspect of groups claiming orthodoxy that cannot adhere to these norms.

  99. GAK says:

    They should have delivered it to his Castelgandolfo residence, not Santa Marta. The Pope doesn’t spend August in Rome.

  100. Aquinas Gal says:

    Some people are thinking the document is of no consequence because “nobodies” signed it.
    I agree that Pope Francis will likely ignore it.
    But at some point he can’t ignore the deeper fissures that are forming. The “nobodies” are the ordinary faithful members of the Church. This document is only a sign of deeper things going on, deeper frustrations felt by plenty of “nobodies” in the Church, who in fact are the stalwarts who have been supporting it in these days of confusion and error. If Francis does ignore THAT, then he will certainly fail as a pope.

  101. Uxixu says:

    Gerard Plourde, if you review the timeline you see there were several delays over the consecration of the bishop Abp. Lefebvre wanted. He would have almost certainly submitted the names of the prospects and the Vatican likely had dossiers and balked at all of them for various reasons. Similarly, Abp. Lefebvre probably would have never trusted anyone the Vatican wanted… there were many more older bishops still alive then, so it was a huge wasted opportunity. Most of the SSPX today have never known a normal canonical situation and this is the huge danger of schism… they don’t have any fond memories of Rome and yesterday’s rebel is today’s leaderand tomorrow’s he is the patriarch and defender of the faith…

  102. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Uxixu,

    I am aware of the back and forth that occurred prior to the Archbishop’s decision to consecrate without approval. Your observation that it is unlikely that he would trusted anyone suggested by the Vatican seems to imply that he either believed that Pope St. John Paul was a rubber stamp for the Curia (something I find hard to believe especially in 1988) or the extremely troubling alternative, that Pope St. John Paul was deviating from the Catholic Faith which apparently would place the Archbishop in the camp that rejects the papal line of successors that follows the death of Pope Pius XII.

  103. Geoffrey says:

    “It is always the same gang who sign these documents, basically an alliance of traditionalists… where are the mainstream Catholics? Where are the EWTN personalities?”

    Well said!

    [This document was circulated among a restricted group. One of the reasons for that was to, I am sure, diminish leaks.
    Diminishing leaks helps to diminish the likelihood of threats and intimidation before it is released. It is necessary to be smart about these things and not simply go charging uselessly like Pickett or Cardigan to senseless annihilation.]

  104. Uxixu says:

    Gerard, unfortunately the troubling alternative is most on their minds, though to the complete extent you fear and to this day SSPX and others continually point to Assisi as an act of apostasy. They’re definitely overstating, though it can’t be admitted the optics are bad of the Pope kissing the Koran and seemingly put on the same level as pagan Buddhists, heretics, and schismatics, etc.

    Clearly the four men consecrated in 1988 had to have been on the list submitted to Rome… almost all of these have expressed varying doubts in the Pauline rites of ordination and episcopal consecration and Abp. Lefebvre himself did more than a few condition ordinations… while he refused if the priest in question was unwilling as happened once in his dispute with the sedes who left.

  105. MKR says:

    @Ave Crux

    I didn’t say that the correction contains no quotations from AL. I said it contains (to my finding) no passages in which a quotation from AL is reproduced and an assertion that this quotation is heretical is made.

  106. Imrahil says:

    When I get the time I’m going to study this text.

    In the meantime,

    1. I second what the dear MKR said. If you do such a daring thing as to accuse the Pope of a heresy, you had best do it in the form a) papal quote, b) statement “this is heresy”, c) proof of the statement, with all brevity possbile. And then maybe some other words, but with a separation easily to be seen.

    2. I remember from my reading of AL that it did contain a couple of sentences that I would call “problematic”, “erroneous” and in some cases “opposed to what hitherto had been sententiae certae“. However, even a brief look at this document has shown that they claim the Pope has taught against “what is to be held with the assent of divine faith”, the highest degree possible; and this particular claim is not so easy to make. Even if something is “obvious”. Especially if it is “obvious”. The claim that something has been taught by the Church on dogmatic level without actual dogma, on the level of “dogma for reason of common teaching of the College of Bishops” is (at least since around 1000 AD or so, with a sufficient amount of “written” dogma present) in all cases a momentous claim not easily proven.

    (This difficulty would of course not exist for where the dogma actually has been written down by a Pope or Council, in the usual way dogmas are written down. But the thing is, as far as I see all the things Pope Francis wrote, even the problematic ones, did not include any denial of them. It’s just the fact that the Church never actually has said, “whoever should say that the breakdown of a valid marriage ever can ever excuse the sleeping of the husband with another woman, of the wife with another man from mortal sin l. h. b. a.” – however “obvious” someone might think that statement.)

  107. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Imrahil,

    You’ve zeroed in on the crux of the matter. I think that a plausible case could be made that Pope Francis would allow civilly remarried couples resolving to live celibate admission to the Eucharist without requiring them to take the added step of civil divorce, and that such a solution is licit, as civil marriage makes no effort to claim to bear the makes of validity. (I have to admit that I personally find the rebuttable presumption of the validity of Protestant marriages to rest on precariously thin ice.) I think it is a bridge too far for anyone to claim that his ambiguity could ever be read as “circumstances exist that would allow a member of a broken valid marriage to licitly commit adultery.”

  108. Justalurkingfool says:

    I am still hoping to see a thorough explanation of how living with another lover, even while not having intercourse, supports the valid marriage, when there is a living spouse. Either the two are one, or they are not.


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