“Filial correction” of Pope Francis issued by 62 Catholic scholars

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Voice of the Family welcomes the “filial correction“, which has been made public today by 62 Catholic scholars “on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis. This “filial correction”, originally signed by 40 Catholic priests and lay scholars, was delivered to Pope Francis on 11th August but, as the pope did not respond or issue a clarification of his teaching, the signatories have decided to make the document public.

Prominent signatories include writer Martin Mosebach, psychiatrist Gerard van den Aardweg, and well-known academics such as professors Msgr Antonio Livi, Roberto de Mattei and Thomas Stark.​ The scholars were also pleased to accept the recent addition of the signature of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St Pius X.

(Click here for the full list of signatories)

The signatories, while acknowledging that they “do not have the right to issue… that form of correction by which a superior coerces those subject to him” assert their right to issue a correction of the heresies propagated by Pope Francis on the grounds of the natural law, the law of Christ and the law of the Church:

  • by natural law subjects have “a duty to obey their superiors in all lawful things” and “so they have a right to be governed according to law, and therefore to insist, where need be, that their superiors so govern.”
  • by the law of Christ, as St Thomas taught, “if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly”, as St Paul corrected St Peter “on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith” (ST II:II q. 33 a.4)
  • by the law of the Church, as stated in Canon 212 of the Code of the Canon Law which states that “Christ’s faithful” have “the right, and at times the duty… to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”

The correction clearly outlines both the extent and the limits of the papal infallibility and teaching authority and identifies the disastrous consequences of heresies found in Pope Francis’s teaching going unanswered. The scholars are issuing the correction in order to:

“protect our fellow Catholics – and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away (cf Lk. 11:52) – 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 proceed to specify the passages of Amoris Laetitia, and other words and actions of Pope Francis, which provide grounds for correction. They then identify seven heretical propositions that are propagated by the aforesaid words and actions. The signatories “do not venture to judge the degree of awareness with which Pope Francis has propagated these heresies” but they do “respectfully insist that he condemn these heresies, which he has directly or indirectly upheld.”

The text of the correction gives these heretical propositions only in Latin, in order to assure the greatest possible clarity and avoid confusion regarding translations. An English translation, provided by the signatories, is as follows:

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 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 document concludes with an elucidation of the influence of the heresies of Modernism and Lutheranism on the words and actions of Pope Francis, demonstrating the profound contradiction that exists, on certain specific occasions, between his teaching and that of the Catholic Church.

The full text of the document can be found here.

Voice of the Family hopes that this correction, by 62 respected figures, will assist many more men and women of good will to recognise the gravity of the crisis now afflicting the Church, and the See of Peter, and will move us to strive more ardently for the defence of the Catholic faith and to pray more insistently to Our Lady for the hastening of the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.