Katholisch Leben!

Den katholischen Glauben kennen, leben, lieben & verteidigen!

We Accuse Pope Francis

Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church

EasterWeek, 2019

Your Eminence, Your Beatitude, Your Excellency, 

We are addressing this letter to you for two reasons: first, to accuse Pope Francis of the canonical delict of heresy, and second, to request that you take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation of a heretical pope.
We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis's words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church. We are accusing Pope Francis of the canonical delict of heresy. For the canonical delict of heresy to be committed, two things must occur: the person in question must doubt or deny, by public words and/or actions, some divinely revealed truth of the Catholic faith that must be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith; and this doubt or denial must be pertinacious, that is, it must be made with the knowledge that the truth being doubted or denied has been taught by the Catholic Church as a divinely revealed truth which must be believed with the assent of faith, and the doubt or denial must be persistent.
While accusing a pope of heresy is, of course, an extraordinary step that must be based on solid evidence, both these conditions have been demonstrably fulfilled by Pope Francis. We do not accuse him of having committed the delict of heresy on every occasion upon which he has seemed to publicly contradict a truth of the faith. We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied. We do not claim that he has denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching. We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit. We deny that this could even appear to be the case to any reasonable person, since Pope Francis has never made a pronouncement that satisfies the conditions for infallibility. We accuse Pope Francis of having, through his words and actions, publicly and pertinaciously demonstrated his belief in the following propositions that contradict divinely revealed truth (for each proposition we provide a selection of Scriptural and magisterial teachings that condemn them as contrary to divine revelation; these references are conclusive but are not intended to be exhaustive.)

I. 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. [Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18: “If anyone says that the commandments of God are impossibleto observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace, let him be anathema” (DH 1568).See also: Gen. 4:7; Deut. 30:11-19; Ecclesiasticus 15: 11-22; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17;Zosimus, 15th(or 16th) Synod of Carthage, canon 3 on grace, DH 225; Felix III, 2ndSynod of Orange, DH 397; Council of Trent, Session 5, canon 5; Session 6, canons 18-20, 22, 27 and 29; Pius V, Bull Ex omnibus afflictionibus, On the errors of Michael du Bay, 54, DH 1954; Innocent X, Constitution Cum occasione, On the errors of Cornelius Jansen, 1, DH 2001; Clement XI, Constitution
2Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89, DH 4964-67.

II. 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.[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20: “If anyone says that a justified man, however perfect he may be,is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church but is bound only to believe, as ifthe Gospel were merely anabsolute promise of eternal life without the condition that the commandments be observed, let him be anathema” (DH 1570).See also: Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Council of Trent, session 6, canons 19 and 27;Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II,Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor, 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89, DH 4964-67.]

III. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.[Ps. 18:8: “The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls.”See also: Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598 (DH 3248); John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 40: AAS 85 (1993): 1165 (DH 4953).]

IV. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons whohave 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.[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 21: “If anyone says thatJesus Christ was given by God to men as aredeemer in whom they are to trust but not also as a lawgiver whom they are bound to obey, let him beanathema”, DH 1571.Council of Trent, session 24, canon 2: “If anyone says that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not forbidden by any divine law, let him be anathema”, DH 1802.Council of Trent, session 24, canon 5: “If anyone says that the marriage bond can be dissolved because of heresy or difficulties in cohabitation or because of the wilful absence of one of the spouses, let him be anathema”, DH 1805.
Council of Trent, session 24, canon 7: “If anyone says that the Church is in error for having taught and for still teaching that in accordance with the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, the marriage bond cannot be dissolved because of adultery on the part of one of the spouses and that neither of the two, not even the innocent one who has given no cause for infidelity, can contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other, and that the husband who dismisses an adulterous wife and marries again and the wife who dismisses an adulterous husband and marries again are both guilty of adultery, let him be anathema”, DH 1807.See also: Ps. 5:5; Ps. 18:8-9; Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Heb. 10:26-29; Jas. 1:13; 1 Jn. 3:7; Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 62-63, DH 2162-63; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, 
On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, encyclical letter Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598, DH 3248; Pius XII, Decree of the Holy Office on situation ethics, DH 3918; 2 nd Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 16; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 54: AAS 85 (1993): 1177; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1786-87.]

V. It is false that the only sexual acts that are good of their kind and morally licit are acts between husband and wife.[I Corinthians 6:9-10; "Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, norliers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God."Jude 1:7; "As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire."See also: Romans 1:26-32; Ephesians 5:3-5; Galatians 5;19-21; Pius IX, Casti connubii, 10, 19-21, 73; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 11-14; John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, 13-14.]

VI. 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.[John Paul II, Veritatis splendor 115: “Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with the reaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts”, DH 4971.See also: Rom. 3:8; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10; Gal. 5: 19-21; Apoc. 22:15; 4thLateran Council, chapter 22, DH 815; Council of Constance, Bull Inter cunctas, 14, DH 1254; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 14: AAS 60 (1968) 490-91; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 83: AAS 85 (1993): 1199, DH 4970.]

VII. God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian.[John 14:6; "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me."Acts 4:11-12; "This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved."See also Exodus 22:20; Exodus 23:24; 2 Chronicles 34:25; Psalm 95:5; Jeremiah 10:11; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Gregory XVI, Mirari vos, 13-14; Pius XI, Qui pluribus, 15; Singulari quidem, 3-5; First Vatican Council, Profession of Faith: Leo XIII, Immortale dei, 31; Satis cognitum, 3-9; Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1-2, 6].These heresies are interconnected. The basis of Catholic sexual morality consists in the claim that sexual activity exists for the sake of procreation within marriage and is morally wrong if knowingly
engaged in outside of this sphere. The claim that forms part of (IV) above, that persons who are civilly divorced from their spouse can licitly engage in sexual activity with another who is not their spouse, repudiates this basis. Consequently, to assert (IV) is to permit the legitimation of many kinds of sexual activity outside of marriage, not just sexual intercourse between the civilly married. Pope Francis has protected and promoted homosexually active clerics and clerical apologists for homosexual activity. This indicates that he believes that homosexual activity is not gravely sinful. These beliefs fall under the broader claim made in (V), to the effect that not all sexual acts between persons who are not married are morally wrong. The claim that a Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, and not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action, depends on Pope Francis's endorsement of Luther’s claim that justification does not demand observance of the divine law. Taken together, all these positions amount to a comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, Catholic teaching on the nature of the moral law, and Catholic teaching on grace and justification. 

Evidence for Pope Francis's being guilty of the delict of heresy

This evidence is twofold: Pope Francis’s public statements, and his public actions (the statements quoted below from Amoris laetitia should not be read as isolated utterances, but in their true meaning in the context of the whole of chapter VIII of that document.)These two forms of evidence are related. His public actions serve to establish that the public statements listed below were meant by him to be understood in a heretical sense.

1(A) Pope Francis's public statements contradicting truths of the faith

1. Amoris laetitia 295: ‘Saint John Paul II proposed the so-called “law of gradualness” in the knowledge that the human being “knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by different stages of growth”. This is not a “gradualness of law” but rather a gradualness in the prudential exercise of free acts on the part of subjects who are not in a position to understand, appreciate, or fully carry out the objective demands of the law.’ (I, II, IV)

2. Amoris laetitia298: ‘The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self-giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate [footnote 329: In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers”.] There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of 1We indicate the heresy or heresies supported by each statement or act, by providing in brackets the Roman numeral of the heresy in the list above.
5“those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid”. Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family. It must remain clear that this is not the idealwhich the Gospel proposes for marriage and the family. The Synod Fathers stated that the discernment of pastors must always take place “by adequately distinguishing”, with an approach which “carefully discerns situations”. We know that no “easy recipes” exist.’ (III, IV)

3. Amoris laetitia299: ‘I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible, while avoiding any occasion of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, a care which would allow them not only to realize that they belong to the Church as the body of Christ, but also to know that they can have a joyful and fruitful experience in it. They are baptized; they are brothers and sisters; the Holy Spirit pours into their hearts gifts and talents for the good of all. ... Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel.”’ (II, IV)

4. Amoris laetitia301: ‘It is [sic] can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.”’ (II, III, IV)

5. Amoris laetitia303: ‘Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what Godhimself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.’ (II, IV, V)

6. Amoris laetitia304: ‘I earnestly ask that we always recall a teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas and learn to incorporate it in our pastoral discernment: “Although there is necessity in the general principles, the more we descend to matters of detail, the more frequently we encounter defects... In matters of action, truth or practical rectitude is not the same for all, as to matters of detail, but only as to the general principles; and where there is the same rectitude in matters of detail, it is not equally known to all... The principle will be found to fail, according as we descend further into detail”. It is true that general rules set forth a good which can never be disregarded or neglected, but in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations.’ (VI)

7. On Sept 5th, 2016 the bishops of the Buenos Aires region issued a statement on the application of Amoris laetitia, in which they stated:
6) En otras circunstancias más complejas, y cuando no se pudo obtener una declaración de nulidad, la opción mencionada puede no ser de hecho factible. No obstante, igualmente es posible un camino de discernimiento. Si se llega a reconocer que, en un caso concreto, hay limitaciones
6que atenúan la responsabilidad y la culpabilidad (cf. 301-302), particularmente cuando una persona considere que caería en una ulterior falta dañando a los hijos de la nuevaunión, Amoris laetitia abre la posibilidad del acceso a los sacramentos de la Reconciliación y la Eucaristía (cf. notas 336 y 351). Estos a su vez disponen a la persona a seguir madurando y creciendo con la fuerza de la gracia. ...
9) Puede ser conveniente que un eventual acceso a los sacramentos se realice de manera reservada, sobre todo cuando se prevean situaciones conflictivas. Pero al mismo tiempo no hay que dejar de acompañar a la comunidad para que crezca en un espíritu de comprensión y de acogida, sin que ello implique crear confusiones en la enseñanza de la Iglesia acerca del matrimonio indisoluble. La comunidad es instrumento de la misericordia que es «inmerecida, incondicional y gratuita» (297).
10)El discernimiento no se cierra, porque «es dinámico y debe permanecer siempre abierto a nuevas etapas de crecimiento y a nuevas decisiones que permitan realizar el ideal de manera más plena» (303), según la «ley de gradualidad» (295) y confiando en la ayuda de la gracia....
6) In other, more complex cases, and when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained, the above mentioned option may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, a path of discernment is still possible. If it comes to be recognized that, in a specific case,there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes they would incur a subsequent wrong by harming the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitiaoffers the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351). These sacraments, in turn, dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the power of grace. ...
9) It may be right for eventual access to sacraments to take place privately, especially where situations of conflict might arise. But at the same time, we have to accompany our communities in their growing understanding and welcome, without this implying creating confusion about the teaching of the Church on the indissoluble marriage. The community is an instrument of mercy, which is “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” (297).
10) Discernment is not closed, because it “is dynamic; it must remain ever open to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized” (303), according to the “law of gradualness” (295) and with confidence in the help of grace.]
This asserts that according to Amoris laetitia, although the indissolubility of marriage is not denied, the divorced and remarried can receive the sacraments, and that persisting in this state is compatible with receiving the help of grace. Pope Francis wrote an official letter dated the same day to Bishop Sergio Alfredo Fenoy of San Miguel, a delegate of the Argentina bishops’ Buenos Aires Region, stating that the bishops of the Buenos Aires region had given the only possible interpretation of Amoris laetitia:Querido hermano:Recibí el escrito de la Región Pastoral Buenos Aires «Criterios básicos para la aplicación del capítulo VIII de Amoris laetitia». Muchas gracias por habérmelo enviado; y los felicito por el trabajo que se han tomado: un verdadero ejemplo de acompañamiento a los sacerdotes... y todos sabemos cuánto es necesaria esta cercanía del obíspo con su clero y del clero con el obispo . El prójimo «más prójimo» del obispo es el sacerdote, y el mandamiento de amar al prójimo como a sí mismo comienza para nosotros obispos precisamente con nuestros curas.
El escrito es muy bueno y explícita cabalmente el sentido del capitulo VIII de Amoris Laetitia. No hay otras interpretaciones.

7[Beloved brother,I received the document from the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region, “Basic Criteria for the Application of Chapter Eight of Amoris laetitia.” Thank you very much for sending it to me. I thank youfor the work they have done on this: a true example of accompaniment for the priests ... and we all know how necessary is this closeness of the bishop with his clergy and the clergy with the bishop. The neighbor ‘closest’ to the bishop is the priest, and the commandment to love one’s neighbor as one’s self begins for us, the bishops, precisely with our priests. The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia. There are no other interpretations.]

This letterto the Bishops of Buenos Aires was then published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedisof October 2016, with a note saying that Pope Francis had ordered their publication as an act of the authentic magisterium. This note does not assert that the statements of Amoris laetitiaor of the Buenos Aires bishops themselves constitute part of the authentic magisterium; it states with magisterial authority that the Buenos Aires bishops' understanding of what Pope Francis meant to say in Amoris laetitiais correct. It must be noted that the denial of Communion to divorced and invalidly remarried or cohabiting couples is, in itself, a doctrine based on Sacred Scripture and founded upon the divine law.

2To assert the possibility of giving Holy Communion to divorced and invalidly remarried couples implies, by a necessary inference, the belief in heresies II, IV,andV, or else a denial ofthe dogma of the indissolubility of marriage.38. On June 16th, 2016, at a Pastoral Congress for the diocese of Rome, Pope Francis stated that many ‘co-habiting’ couples have the grace of matrimony. (II, IV, V)

9. In a press conference on June 26th, 2016, Pope Francis stated: I think that the intentions of Martin Luther were not mistaken. He was a reformer. Perhaps some methods were not correct. ... And today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err. (I)

10. In a homily in the Lutheran Cathedral in Lund, Sweden, on Oct 31st, 2016, Pope Francis stated:2Cf.Familiaris consortio84. See also: Dichiarazione del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi:Circa l’ammissibilità alla Santa Comunione dei divorziati risposati(L’Osservatore Romano, 7thJuly, 2000, p. 1;Communicationes, 32 [2000]).3Cf. Card. G. Müller, in: Riccardo Cascioli, “Vogliono far tacereBenedetto perché dice la verità”,
La Nuova Bussola quotidiana:http://www.lanuovabq.it/it/vogliono-far-tacere-benedetto-xvi-perche-dice-la-verita: “An emeritus bishop, when he celebrates Mass, shouldn't he tell the truth in the homily? Should he not talk about the indissolubility of marriage just because other active bishops have introduced new rules that are not in harmony with divine law? Rather, it is the active bishops who do not have the power to change divine law in the Church.They have no right to tell a priest that he must give communion to a person who is not in full communion with the Catholic Church. No-one can change this divine law; if anyone does so, he is a heretic, a schismatic.”Cf. http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2019/04/17/between-the-two-popes-there-is-%E2%80%9Cfracture-%E2%80%9D-the-silence-of-francis-against-benedict/

8The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing. “How can I get a propitious God?” This is the question that haunted Luther. In effect, the question of a just relationship with God is the decisive question for our lives. As we know, Luther encountered that propitious God in the Good News of Jesus, incarnate, dead and risen. With the concept “by grace alone”, he reminds us that God always takes the initiative, prior to any human response, even as he seeks to awaken that response. The doctrine of justification thus expresses the essence of human existence before God. 

(I)11. On 31stOctober, 2016 Pope Francis signed the Joint Statement on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation, which included the assertion: “We are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation.” 

(I)12. On February 4th, 2019, Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, publicly signed and issued a statement entitled 'Document on Human Fraternity'. In it, they made the following assertions: Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives.4(VII)

(B) Pope Francis’s public actions that indicate a rejection of truths of the faithUnderstood in their most obvious sense, the statements listed above are heretical. This was pointed out, in regard to many of them, in the Filial Correctionsent to Pope Francis and in the theological censures of Amoris laetitiathat were sent to the college of cardinals by 45 Catholic scholars. They have been understood in a heretical sense by a large part of the church, which has taken them to legitimize belief and actions that conform to them. Pope Francis has not corrected anyone who has publicly interpreted these statements in a heretical sense, even when the persons upholding these heretical understandings have been bishops or cardinals. These statements are not however the only evidence for Pope Francis’s public adherence to heresy. It is possible to demonstrate belief in a proposition by actions as well as by words. Canon law has always admitted non-verbal actions as evidence for heresy; forexample, refusing to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament has been considered to furnish evidence for disbelief in the doctrine of the Real Presence. Non-verbal actions on their own can indicate belief in a heresy, or they can do so in conjunction with verbal and written statements. In the latter case, they provide a context that makes clear that the verbal and written statements in question are to be understood in a heretical sense. A large number of Pope Francis’s public actions have manifested his belief in the heresies listed above, in one 

4Pope Francis has offered some informal explanations of this statement, but none of these explanations offers an unambiguous interpretation that is compatible with the Catholic faith. Any such interpretation would have to specify that God positively wills the existence only of the Christian religion. Since the statementis a joint statement with the Grand Imam, it cannot be interpreted in a sense that the Grand Imam would reject. Since the Grand Imam rejects theposition that God positively wills only the existence of the Christian religion, it is not possible to give anorthodox interpretation to the statement. We therefore understand this statement in its natural sense as a denial of a truth of the Catholic faith.

or the other of these two ways. We provide a summary list of such actions below. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Nor does it need to be exhaustive; when taken in conjunction with the statements of Pope Francis given above, the number and gravity of the actions listed below are sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Pope Francis has publicly manifested his belief in the heresies we accuse him of holding.Pope Francis’s actions manifest his beliefin the heresies listed above in several ways. Such actions include protecting, promoting, and praising clerics and laymen who have manifested their beliefs in these heresies, or who have consistently acted in ways that defy the truths which these heresiescontradict. Canon law has traditionally considered that protecting, promoting and helping heretics can itself be evidence of heresy. By praising clerics and laity who advance these heresies, or by naming them to influential posts, or by protecting clericsof this kind from punishment or demotion when they have committed gravely immoral and criminal acts, he assists them to spread their heretical beliefs. By choosing heretical prelates for the most important posts in the Roman Curia, he manifests an intention to impose these heresies upon the whole Church. By protecting clerics who are guilty of immoral and criminal sexual acts even when this protection causes grave scandal to the Church and threatens to lead to calamitous action by the civil authorities, hemanifests disbelief in Catholic teaching on sexual morality, and shows that support of heretical and criminal clerics is more important to him than the well-being of the Church. By publicly praising individuals who have dedicated their careers to opposingthe teaching of the Church and the Catholic faith, and to promoting and committing crimes condemned by divine revelation and natural law, he communicates the message that the beliefs and actions of these individuals are legitimate and praiseworthy.
It isnoteworthy that his public approval and endorsement are not indiscriminate; he does not often extend his praise to Catholics who are known for being entirely faithful to the teaching of the faith, or hold up the behaviour of individual Catholics of this kind as examples to follow. And it is also to be observed how he has demoted or sidelined those of faithful and orthodox stamp.

The following is a list of actions that indicate belief in the heresies above. 

Cardinal Domenico Calcagno

Cardinal Calcagno was known to have protected Nello Giraudo, a priest whohadabused asame-sex minor,before Pope Francis's election. Pope Francis retained him in office as president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See until he reached retirement age in 2017. (II, V)

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio

Cardinal Coccopalmerio publicly stated in 2014 that Catholic leaders must emphasise the positive elements in homosexual relationships, and that in certain circumstances it would be wrong to deny communion to persons living in adulterous relationships or to require them to dissolve their relationship. He has shown other indications of approval of homosexual activity. Pope Francis has appointed him to a number of important posts including a working group tasked with speeding up the process for assessing the nullity of marriage, and to the board of review within the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal Blase Cupich

At the 2015 Synod on the Family Cardinal Cupich supported the proposals that persons living in adulterous relationships and sexually active homosexuals could receive the Eucharist in good conscience under certain circumstances. Pope Francis appointed him as Archbishop of Chicago in 2014, named him a Cardinal in 2016, and named him a member of the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Catholic Education. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal Godfried Danneels

Cardinal Danneels was requested in 1997 and 1998 to take action on the catechism textbook Roeach, which was used in Belgium under his authority. This textbook corrupted minors with a sexual education contrary to Catholic principles, teaching them to seek whatever sexual lust theylike, solitary, heterosexual, or homosexual. It presented standard propaganda claims used for legitimizing the sexual abuse of pre-pubescent children. He defended the textbook and refused to have it altered or removed, even when Belgian parents objected that it encouraged pedophilia.He acted to protect the pedophile Bishop Roger Vangheluwe after it became known that Vangheluwe sexually abused his own nephew, beginning when the nephew was fiveyearsold. When the nephew, then an adult, asked Danneels to take some action against Vangheluwe, Danneels refused, told the nephew to keep quiet about the abuse, and told the nephew that he should acknowledge his own guilt. All these actions were public knowledge in 2010. Cardinal Danneels stood at the side of Pope Francis on the balcony of St.Peter's when the Pope made his first public appearance after his election. Pope Francis named him as a special delegate to the 2015 Synod on the Family. At his death in 2019, Pope Francis praised him as a 'zealous pastor' who 'served the Church with dedication'. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal John Dew

Cardinal Dew argued for the admission of adulterous couples to the Eucharist at the synod on the Eucharist in 2005. Pope Francis named him a cardinal in 2015 and named him as a special delegate to the 2015 Synod on the Family. (II, IV, V)Cardinal Kevin Farrell Cardinal Farrell has expressed support for the proposal that the divorced and remarried should receive communion. Pope Francis has named him prefect of the newly established Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, promoted him to the rank of cardinal, and made him cardinal camerlengo.(II, IV, V)

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

Cardinal Gracias has publicly expressed the opinion that homosexuality may be an orientation given to people by God. Pope Francis appointedhim as one of the organisers of the Vatican summit on sexual abuse in February 2019. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal Jozef de Kesel

In 2014 Cardinal de Kesel, then bishop of Bruges, appointed Father Tom Flamez as a pastor after he had been convicted of sexual abuse. He did not remove Fr. Antoon Stragier from ministry until 2015, although Stragier’s crimes were known to the diocese in 2004. Pope Francis chose Bishop de Kesel as Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels in November 2015 and named him a Cardinal in November 2016. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga

In an address to the University of Dallas in 2013, Cardinal Maradiaga stated that the Second Vatican Council ‘meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council’, and claimed that ‘modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person’. He stated that ‘within the people, there is not a dual classification of Christians –laity and clergy,
essentially different’, and that ‘to speak correctly, we should not speak of clergy and laity, but instead of community and ministry’. He asserted: ‘Christ himself did not proclaim or preach Himself, but the Kingdom. The Church, as His disciple and His servant, ought to do the same.’ Cardinal Maradiaga failed to act on accusations of sexual misbehaviour with seminarians and peculation by Jose Juan Pineda Fasquelle, auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa. These accusations were the subject of an apostolic visit carried out by Bishop Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto, who presented a report to Pope Francis in May 2017. Bishop Fasquelle resigned his office in July 2018 at the age of 57. Maradiaga refused to investigate complaints made by 48 out of 180 seminarians about homosexual misbehaviour at the Honduras seminary, and attacked the complainants. Pope Francis named Maradiaga as a member and coordinator of the council of nine cardinals that he set up in 2013 to advise him in the government of the universal church. (II, IV, V)

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

According to numerous credible accusers, former Cardinal McCarrick pressured seminarians to engage in homosexual relations with him. These charges were known to the Holy See as early as 2002. Between 2005 and 2007, the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark paid financial settlements to two priests who had accused McCarrick of abuse. Pope Francis was personally informed of this behaviour in 2013, and was told that Pope Benedict had placed restrictions upon him. Pope Francis brought McCarrick out of retirement and used him for many important tasks, including trips as a representative of the Holy See to Israel, Armenia, China, Iran and Cuba. He accompanied Pope Francis on his trips to Israel and Cuba. When Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganòasserted in August 2018 that Pope Francis had known from 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator, the pope refused to answer this claim. In February 2019, the former cardinal was returned to the lay state.Despite the example of the former cardinal’s behavior, the subject of the homosexual abuse of adults, and in particular of seminarians, was excluded from discussion at the summit on sexual abuse that took place in Rome in the same month. (II, IV, V)

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Cardinal Wuerl allowed Fr. George Zirwas to continue in ministry after learning that he had committed numerous crimes of sexual abuse. Wuerl resigned as Archbishop of Washington after his actions in this and other cases of sexual abuse were criticised by a Pennsylvania grand jury report. When Wuerl resigned as a result of these failures, Pope Francis praised him for his nobility, kept him in charge of the Archdiocese of Washington as apostolic administrator, and retained him as a member of the Congregation for Bishops. (II, IV, V)

Archbishop Mario Enrico Delpini

As vicar general of the archdiocese of Milan, Delpinimoved Fr. Mauro Galli to a new parish after being informed that Galli had sexually abused a young man. Delpini admitted this in a court deposition in 2014. The Holy See was made aware of this. Pope Francis named him as Archbishop of Milan in 2017. (II, IV, V)Bishop Juan Barros MadridBarros covered up the grave sexual crimes of Fr. Fernando Karadima, who was convicted of sexual abuse by a Church tribunal in 2011. Pope Francis appointed Barros bishop of Osorno in 2015 despite strong protests from the faithful and described his critics as calumniators. Bishop Barros accepted responsibility and resigned in 2018 after Pope Francis admitted he had made “serious mistakes” in dealing with his case. (II, IV, V)

Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone

Maccarone was bishop of Santiago de Estero in Argentina and dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of Buenos Aires. In 2005, a video of Maccarone being sodomized by a taxi driver was made public. He subsequently retired as bishop. After this incident, Archbishop Bergoglio signed a declaration of solidarity with Maccarone issued by the Argentine Bishops’ conference, of which he was then the head. (II, IV, V)

Bishop José Tolentino Mendonça

In 2013 Mendonça praised the theology of Sr. Teresa Forcades, who defends the morality of homosexual acts and claims that abortion is a right, and who stated that ‘Jesus of Nazareth did not codify, nor did he establish rules’. Pope Francis made him an archbishop and head of the Vatican Secret Archives in 2018. He also chose him to preach the Lenten retreat to the pope and high curial officials in 2018. (II, IV, V, VI)

Bishop Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta

Zanchetta had been named by Pope Francis as bishop of Oran in Argentina in 2013. Zanchetta engaged in homosexual misconduct,including the sexual harassment of seminarians. Photographic evidence of this was submitted to the Holy See in 2015. In December 2017 Pope Francis named Zanchetta as assessor of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. (II, IV, V)

Mgr. Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca

Battista Ricca was engaged in grave homosexual misbehaviour while employed in the papal nunciature in Uruguay. This included getting trapped in an elevator with a male prostitute and having to be rescued by the fire department. After these scandals had become public, Pope Francis put him in charge of his residence, the Casa Santa Marta, and named him as prelate of the Istituto delle Opere di Religione. (II, IV, V)

Fr. Julio Grassi

Grassi was convicted in 2009 of sexually abusing a teenage boy. The Argentine Bishops’ Conference under the chairmanship of Cardinal Bergoglio made great efforts to prevent Grassi’s conviction. The Bishops’ Conference commissioned a four-volume work for this purpose that slandered Grassi’s victims. Grassi stated that all through his legal process, Archbishop Bergoglio had ‘held his hand’. (II, IV, V)

Fr. Mauro Inzoli

Fr. Inzoli was condemned for sexual abuse to minors to reduction to the lay state by the CDF in2012in the first instance, but the enforcement of that sentence was suspended after he appealed, and in2014Pope Francis changed it into the much milder prescription to a retired life. In 2016 he was arrested and condemned by an Italian court. Only after he fell under the civil judgement did Pope Francis finally reduce him to the lay state. (II, IV, V)

Fr. James Martin S.J.

Martin is a well-known advocate forthe legitimising of homosexual relationships and homosexual activity. In 2017 Pope Francis appointed him as a consultant to the Secretariat of Communications of the Holy See. (II, IV, V)

Father Timothy Radcliffe O.P.

In 2013 Radcliffe stated that homosexual activity can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift. Pope Francis appointed him as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in May 2015. (II, IV, V)

Emma Bonino

Emma Bonino is the foremost political activist on behalf of abortion and euthanasia in Italy, and has boasted of personally performing many abortions. In 2015 Pope Francis received her at the Vatican, and in 2016 he praised her as one of Italy's ‘forgottengreats.’(II, IV, V, VI)

Pontifical Academy for Life

In 2016 Pope Francis dismissed all 132 members of the Pontifical Academy for Life. He removed the requirement that members of the Academy swear to uphold Catholic teachings on human life and not perform destructive research on the embryo or fetus, elective abortion, or euthanasia. The 45 new members of the Academy whom he appointed include several persons who reject Catholic moral teaching. Fr. Maurizio Chiodi has argued for euthanasia through denial of food and water, and has rejected Catholic teaching on the morality of contraception. Fr. Alain Thomasset has rejected the idea of intrinsically evil actions and has stated that some homosexual relationships can be paths of holiness. Fr. Humberto Miguel Yanez holds that artificial contraception can be licit under some circumstances. Professor Marie-Jo Thiel rejects the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil and her teaching that contraception is morally wrong. Prof. Nigel Biggar holds that abortion up to 18 weeks of pregnancy can be licit, and accepts that euthanasia can in some cases be justified. (II, IV, V, VI)

Promoting reception of the Eucharist by divorced and remarried persons

Pope Francis has persistently promoted the reception of the Eucharist under certain circumstances by persons who have civilly divorced their spouse and are living in a sexual relationship with someone else. His letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires cited above explicitly endorsed this practice. He intervened in the composition of the Relatio post disceptationem
for the 2014 Synod on the Family. His addition to the Relatioproposed allowing Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics on a “case-by-case basis”, and said pastors should emphasize the “positive aspects” of lifestyles the Church considers gravely sinful, including civil remarriage after divorce and premaritalcohabitation. These proposals were included in the Relatioat his personal insistence, despite the fact that they did not receive the two-thirds majority required by the Synod rules for a proposal to be included in the Relatio. He issued guidelines for the diocese of Rome permitting the reception of the Eucharist under certain circumstances by civilly divorced and remarried Catholics living more uxoriowith their civil partner. These teachings and actions are themselves an offence against the faith, since the teaching that Catholics with a living spouse who are openly cohabiting with someone else may not receive the Eucharist is at least a truth belonging to the secondary object of the infallibility of the Church. It is at least a truth whose acceptance is necessary in order that the deposit of faith can be effectively defended or proposed with sufficient authority. We do not deny that it is part of divinely revealed Sacred Tradition. Its denial has not been listed as a heresy espoused by Pope Francis because some Catholic theologians worthy of respect have maintained that it does not form part of the divinely revealed deposit of faith. Denial of this truth gives support to heresies (IV) and (V) listed above.

Other indications

On June 9, 2014, Pope Francis received the leaders of the militantly pro-homosexual Tupac Amaru organisation from Argentina at the Vatican, and blessed their coca leaves for use in their pagan religious rituals, which involve recognition of the coca plant as sacred. (II, IV, V, VII)

Pope Francis has failed to speak a word in support of popular campaigns to preserve Catholic countries from abortion and homosexuality, for example, before the referendum to introduce abortion into Ireland in May 2018. (II, IV, V, VI)

At the opening mass of the Synod on Youth in 2018, Pope Francis carried a staff in the form of a ‘stang’, an object used in satanic rituals. (VI, VII)

During the Synod on Youth in 2018, Pope Francis wore a distorted rainbow-coloured cross, the rainbow being a popularly promoted symbol of the homosexual movement. (II, IV, V)

Pope Francis has concluded an agreement with China that permits the Chinese government to choose Catholic bishops in that country, and has ordered a number of faithful Catholic bishops to yield their dioceses to bishops appointed by the state. China is an atheist state that persecutes Christians, and enforces an immoral population policy that includes promotion of contraception, and coerced abortionon a massive scale. This population policy is a high priority for the Chinese government and has caused incalculable harm. Control of the Church by the Chinese government will ensure that the Church in China can offer no resistance to this policy. (II, VI)

Pope Francis has refused to deny that Amoris laetitiateaches heresies (IV), (V) and (VI) listed above, when requested to do so in the dubiasubmitted to him by Cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner in September 2016. These dubiaspecifically mentioned grave disorientation and great confusion of many faithful concerning matters of faith and morals resulting from Amoris laetitia. The submission of dubiaby bishops and the provision of an answer to them is an entirely traditional and normal procedure, so the refusal to answer these dubiais adeliberate choice on the part of Pope Francis.

(C) Pope Francis's pertinacity in adhering to heretical propositions

Pope Francis completed the theological studies necessary for ordination, obtained a licentiate in philosophy and a licentiate in theology, and became a university professor in theology at the Facultades de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel, a Jesuit university and seminary in Argentina. He subsequently became the Rector of these faculties. The apostolic exhortation Familiaris consortio and the encyclical Veritatis splendor,which condemn many of the heresies listed above, were issued while he was a priest and a bishop respectively. He has cited Familiaris consortioin his writings, and took part in a theological conference on Veritatis splendorin 2004 in which he made a contribution to the conference asserting the doctrine denied in heresy (VI) given above. The dubiamentioned above, which were sent to Pope Francis privately in September 2016 and made public in November of the same year, recall the passages in Veritatis splendorand Familiaris consortio. He can therefore be presumed to be well informed enough on Catholic doctrine to know that the heresies he is professing are contrary to Catholic doctrine. Their heretical nature was also documented and pointed out to him in a filial correction addressed to him by a number of Catholic scholars in August 2017,and made public in September of the same year.5
The request we make to you as bishopsWe therefore request that your Lordships urgently address the situation of Pope Francis's public adherence to heresy. We recognise with gratitude that some among youhave re-affirmed the truths contrary to the heresies which we have listed, or else have warned of serious dangers threatening the Church in this pontificate. We recall, for example, that His Eminence Cardinal Burke already stated in October 2014 that the Church appears like a rudderless ship, and along with His Eminence Cardinal Pujats, the late Cardinal Caffarra, and several other bishops, signed a Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s unchangeable teaching on marriage in September 2016. We recall also the statement of His Eminence Cardinal Eijk in May last year that the present failure to transmit doctrine faithfully, on the part of the bishops in union with the successor of St Peter, evokes the great deception foretold for the last days;and somewhat similar remarks made more recently by His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Müller in his Manifesto of Faith. For these and other such interventions by cardinals and bishops, which have gone some way to reassure the faithful, we give thanks to God.
Yet in so graveand unprecedented an emergency we believe that it will no longer suffice to teach the truth as it were abstractly, or even to deprecate ‘confusion’ in the Church in rather general terms. For Catholics will hardly believe that the pope is attacking the faith unless this be said expressly; and hence, merely abstract denunciations risk providing a cover for Pope Francis to advance and to achieve his goal.Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognise that it does not belong to usto declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics. We therefore appeal to you as our spiritual fathers, vicars of Christ within your own jurisdictions and not vicars of the Roman pontiff, publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed. Even prescinding from the question of his personal adherence to these heretical beliefs, the Pope's behaviour in regard to the seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth, mentioned at the beginning of this Letter, justifies the accusation of the delict of heresy. It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation.Since Pope Francishas manifested heresy by his actions as well as by his words, any abjuration must involve repudiating and reversing these actions, including his nomination of bishops and cardinals who have supported these heresies by their words or actions. Such an admonition is a duty of fraternal charity to the Pope, as well as a duty to the Church. If -which God forbid! -Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime.These actions do not need to be taken by all the bishops of the Catholic Church, or even by a majority of them. A substantial and representative part of the faithful bishops of the Church would have 

(5 See http://www.correctiofilialis.org  Aselected bibliography to support the case made in the Open Letter concerning the heresies of Pope Francis has also been made available by its organizers.)

the power to take these actions. Given the open, comprehensive and devastating nature of the heresy of Pope Francis, willingness publicly to admonish Pope Francis for heresy appears now to be a necessary condition for being a faithful bishop of the Catholic Church.
This course of action is supported and required by canon law and the tradition of the Church. We provide below a brief account of the canonical and theological basis for it. We ask the Holy Trinity to enlighten Pope Francis toreject every heresy opposed to sound doctrine, and we pray that the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the Church, may gain for your Lordships the light and strength to defend the faith of Christ. Permit us to say with all boldness that in acting thus, you will not have to face that reproach of the Lord: 'You have not gone up to face the enemy, nor have you set up a wall for the house of Israel, to stand in battle in the day of the Lord' (Ezekiel 13:5). We humbly request your blessing, and assure you of our prayers for your ministry and for the Church.

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Québec-Vie, member of the John-Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family
Robert Cassidy STLFr Thomas Crean OPMatteo d’Amico, Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of AnconaDeacon Nick Donnelly MA
Maria Guarini STB, Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio
Prof. Robert HicksonPhD, Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies
Fr John Hunwicke, former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford
Peter Kwasniewski PhDJohn Lamont DPhil (Oxon.)
Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law; Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News
Fr Cor MennenJCL, diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), canon of the cathedral Chapter.
lecturer at de diocesan Seminary of ‘s-HertogenboschStéphane Mercier, STB, PhD, Former Lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain
Fr Aidan Nichols OP
Paolo Pasqualucci, Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia
Dr Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, University of Chile; former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Professor John Rist
Dr Anna Silvas, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, University of New England
Prof. dr. W.J. Witteman, physicist, emeritus professor, University of Twente

Canon law and Catholic theology concerning the situation of a heretical pope

The situation of a pope falling into heresy has long been a subject of discussion by Catholic theologians. This situation was brought into prominence after the ecumenical Third Council of Constantinople anathematized the Monothelite heresy in 681, and posthumously anathematized Pope Honorius for his support of this heresy; this condemnation of Honorius as a heretic was repeated by Pope St. Leo II when he ratified the acts of that Council.Since that time, Catholic theologians and canonists have reached a consensus on several essential points concerning the implications of a pope falling into public heresy. We will briefly present these points here.It is agreed that no pope can uphold heresy when teaching in a way that satisfies the conditions for an infallible magisterial statement. This restriction does not mean that a pope cannot be guilty of heresy, since popes can and do make many public statements that are not infallible; many popes indeed never issue an infallible definition.It is agreed that the Church does not have jurisdiction over the pope, and hence that the Church cannot remove a pope from office by an exercise of superior authority, even for the crime of heresy.It is agreed that the evil of a heretical pope is so great that it should not be tolerated for the sake of some allegedly greater good. Suarez expresses this consensus as follows: 'It would be extremely harmful to the Church to have such a pastor and not be able to defend herself from such a grave danger; furthermore it would go against the dignity of the Church to oblige her to remain subject to a heretic Pontiff without being able to expel him from herself; for such as are the prince and the priest, so the people are accustomed to be.' St Robert Bellarmine states: 'Wretched would be the Church’s condition if she were forced to take as her pastor one who manifestly conducts himself as a wolf' (Controversies, 3rd controversy, Bk. 2, cap. 30).
It is agreed that ecclesiastical authorities have a responsibility to act to remedy the evil of a heretical pope. Most theologians hold that the bishops of the Church are the authorities that have an absolute duty to act in concert to remedy this evil.It is agreed that a pope who is guilty of heresy and remains obstinate in his heretical views cannot continue as pope.6
Theologians and canonists discuss this question as part of the subject of the loss of papal office. The causes of the loss of papal office that they list always include death, resignation, and heresy. This consensus corresponds to the position of untutored common sense, which says that in order to be pope one must be a Catholic. This position is based on patristic tradition and on fundamental theological principles concerning ecclesiastical office, heresy, and membership of the Church.7
The Fathers of the Church denied that a heretic could possess ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any kind. Later doctors of the Church understood this teaching as referring to public heresy that is subject to ecclesiastical sanctions, and held that it was based on divine law rather than ecclesiastical positive law. They asserted that a heretic of this kind could not exercise jurisdiction because their heresy separated them from theChurch, and no-one expelled from the Church could exercise authority in it.8
The canon law of the Church supports this theological consensus. The first canon to give explicit consideration to the possibility of papal heresy is found in the DecretumofGratian. DistinctioXL, canon 6 of the Decretumstates that the pope can be judged by no-one, unless he is found to have deviated from the faith:Cunctos ipse iudicaturus a nemine est iudicandus, nisi deprehendatur a fide devius(‘he, the one who is to judge all, is to be judged by none, unless he be found straying from the faith.’)
The wording of this statement seems to have been influenced by Cardinal Humbert's De sancta Romana ecclesia(1053), which stated that the pope is immune from judgment by anyone except in questions of faith: ‘a nemine est iudicandus nisi forte deprehendatur a fide devius.’ The claim made in the canon is a development of Pope Gregory the Great’s statement that evil prelates must be tolerated by their subjects if this can be done while saving the faith (MoraliaXXV c. 16: ‘Subditi praelatos etiam malos tolerant, si salva fide possint ...’).The canonical assertion that the pope can be judged for heresy came into being as an explication of the canonical principle that the pope is judged by no-one. The statement in this canon is an enunciation of a privilege; its object is to assert that the pope has the widest possible exemption from judgement by others.This canon was included, along with the rest of the Decretumof Gratian, in the Corpus iuris canonici, which formed the basis of canon law in the Latin Church until 1917. Its authority is supported by papal authority itself, since the canon law of the Church is upheld by papal authority. It was taught 

6See e.g. Thomas de Vio Cajetan, De Comparatione auctoritatis papae et concilii cum Apologia eiusdem tractatus (Rome: Angelicum, 1936); Melchior Cano, De Locis theologicis, book 6, chapter 8; Bañez, In IIaIIae q. 1 a. 10;John of St. Thomas, Cursus theologiciII-II, De auctoritate Summi Pontificis,d. 8, ad. 3, De depositione papae; Suarez, De fide, disp. 10; St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, book 2; Billuart, Cursus theologiae, Pars II-II; St. Alphonsus Liguori, Vindiciae pro suprema Pontificis potestate adversus Iustinum Febronium; Cardinal Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, vol. 1: l'hiérarchie apostolique (Éditions Saint-Augustin, 1998), pp. 980-837See e.g. St. Augustine, Sermon 181; Pope Pius IX, Bull 'Ineffabilis' defining the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception8This principle is applied to the loss of the papal office for heresy by St Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice,Book 2, Chapter 30. Later authors have qualified this assertion by accepting that heretical clerics can exercise jurisdiction in certain extraordinary circumstances, because it is supplied to them by the Church. None of these authors have however accepted that a pope whose heresy is manifest and established can possess or exercise papal jurisdiction. The Church cannot grant papal jurisdiction, and a heretical pope cannot grant this jurisdiction to himself.

by Pope Innocent III, who asserted in his sermon on the consecration of the Supreme Pontiff that "God was his sole judge for other sins, and that he could be judged by the Church only for sins committed against the faith" [“In tantum enim fides mihinecessaria est, ut cum de caeteris peccatis solum Deum iudicium habeam, propter solum peccatum quod in fide committitur possem ab Ecclesia judicari.”] Rejection of the canon in the Decretumwould undermine the canonical foundation for papal primacy itself, since this canon forms part of the legal basis for the principle that the Pope is judged by no-one.The canon was universally accepted by the Church after the compilation and publication of the Decretum. The heresy referred to in this canon is understood by virtually all authors to mean externally manifested heresy (the thesis that a pope loses his office for purely internal heresy was advanced by Juan de Torquemada O.P., but it has been conclusively refuted and has been rejected by all canonists and theologians ever since.) Neither the 1917 Code of Canon Law nor the 1983 Code of Canon Law abrogate the principle that a heretical pope loses the papal office. This is agreed by all commentators on these codes, who state that this principle is correct.9Theearly canonical tradition generally requires that in the specific case of papal heresy, the pope must be admonished several times before being treated as a heretic. The Summaof Rufinus, the Summa antiquitate et tempore(after 1170), and the Summaof Johannes Faventius (after 1171) all assert that the pope must be warned a second and third time to desist from heresy before he can be judged to be a heretic. The Summaof Huguccio states that before the pope can be judged a heretic, he must be admonished to abandon heresy and must contumaciously defend his error in response to such admonition.Sedevacantist authors have argued that a pope automatically loses the papal office as the result of public heresy, with no intervention by the Church being required orpermissible. This opinion is not compatible with Catholic tradition and theology, and is to be rejected. Its acceptance would throw the Church into chaos in the event of a pope embracing heresy, as many theologians have observed. It would leave each individual Catholic to decide whether and when the pope could be said to be a heretic and to have lost his office. It should instead be accepted that the pope cannot fall from office without action by the bishops of the Church.10Such action must include adjuring the pope more than once to reject any heresies that he has embraced, and declaring to the faithful that he has become guilty of heresy if he refuses to renounce these heresies. The incompatibility between heresy and membership of the Church is what leadsto the loss of the papal office by a heretical pope. The Church's determining that a pope is a heretic, and the announcement of his heresy by the bishops of the Church, is what makes the pope's heresy a juridical fact, a fact from which his loss of officeensues.There are some lesser differences of opinion between Catholic theologians concerning the measures that the Church must take in dealing with a heretical pope. The school of Cajetan and John of St. Thomas asserts that in order for the papal officeto be lost, the Church, after ascertaining and pronouncing that the pope is a heretic, must also command the faithful to avoid him for his heresy. The school of St. Robert Bellarmine does not reject the step of commanding the faithful to avoid the pope 

9See e.g. Jus Canonicum ad Codicis Normam Exactum, Franciscus Wernz and Petrus Vidal (Gregorianum, 1924-1949), II (1928), n. 453; Introductio in Codicem, 3rd ed., Udalricus Beste,(Collegeville: St John’s Abbey Press, 1946), Canon 221; New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, and Thomas J. Green eds. (New York: Paulist, 2000), p. 1618.10We do not reject the possibility that a pope who publicly rejected the Catholic faith and publicly converted to a non-Catholic religion could thereby lose the papal office; but this hypothetical case does not resemble the current situation.

as a heretic, but it does not consider it a necessary precondition for the pope's losing office for heresy. Both these schools have adherents, up to and including the present day. We do not take a position on these disputed questions, whose resolution is a matter for the bishops of the Church.

Dear Pope Francis,

If talk is cheap, then this summit on sexual abuse is worth even less. After three days of talking, the official spokesmen for the summit went to great lengths to claim that homosexuality was not a concern while they deliberately dodged questions from reporters.

Cardinal Cupich said the day before the summit began that while most of the problem is a result of “male on male” sex abuse, “homosexuality itself is not a cause.” He says it can be explained as a matter of “opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of the people.”

Archbishop Scicluna said, “homosexuality and heterosexuality are “human conditions that we recognize, and that exist, but they aren’t something that really predisposes to sin.”

And Cardinal Tagle went on a vapid rant about smelling like the sheep, touching the wounds of the victims and seeking healing.

But all of this talk about the sexual abuse of children is NOT going to do a single thing to resolve the problem, especially as you continue to deny what is at the very heart of it. The problem is rampant sexual immorality … especially homosexuality … in the clergy. Period!

Your Holiness, if you wish to reestablish the faith, trust and love of the laity, you are going to have to take strong actions to root out the problem. We faithful Catholics want a clear and unambiguous decree that enacts strict penalties … including excommunication and laicization … for any cleric, whether deacon, priest, bishop, archbishop or cardinal, who sexually abuses any other person regardless of age, sex or circumstance, or who is found guilty of engaging in any unnatural sexual behavior.

We want all clerics either practicing or promoting homosexuality to be removed from their positions. We want all of the prelates who enable homosexuals, whether lay or clergy, to be removed from their positions. That means removing individuals like Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Schönborn, Cardinal Danneels, Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal Farrell, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop Scicluna , Bishop McElroy, Bp. Gregory, Bp. Wester, Bp. Malone, Fr. Daniel Horan, Fr. Thomas Reese, Fr. Thomas Rosica, and Fr. James Martin. And that’s just for starters. These men have flouted Church teaching on sexual morality for far too long, and no amount of talking is going to fix the problem of sexual immorality in the church while they remain in their positions. If you truly seek healing for victims and for the Church, you can start there. But if you keep talking this issue to death while sitting on your hands, then rest assured that while we will continue to pray and sacrifice for you, we will not pay you and we will simply wait for you to pass into eternity and judgement so Our Lady and Our Lord can resolve the matter through our patience and our prayers.


The Faithful

(Source: https://www.lepantoinstitute.org/sign-the-open-letter-to-pope-francis/)


"Euer Herz lasse sich nicht verwirren!" (Joh 14,1)

Angesichts sich ausbreitender Verwirrung in der Lehre des Glaubens, haben viele Bischöfe, Priester, Ordensleute und Laien der katholischen Kirche mich um ein öffentliches Zeugnis für die Wahrheit der Offenbarung gebeten. Es ist die ureigene Aufgabe der Hirten, die ihnen Anvertrauten auf den Weg des Heils zu führen. Dies kann nur gelingen, wenn dieser Weg bekannt ist und sie ihn selber vorangehen. Dabei gilt das Wort des Apostels: "Denn vor allem habe ich euch überliefert, was auch ich empfangen habe" (1 Kor 15,3). Heute sind vielen Christen selbst die grundlegenden Lehren des Glaubens nicht mehr bekannt, so dass die Gefahr wächst, den Weg zum Ewigen Leben zu verfehlen. Es bleibt aber die ureigene Aufgabe der Kirche, die Menschen zu Jesus Christus, dem Licht der Völker, zu führen (vgl. LG 1). In dieser Lage stellt sich die Frage nach Orientierung. Nach Johannes Paul II. stellt der Katechismus der Katholischen Kirche eine "sichere Norm für die Lehre des Glaubens" (Fidei Depositum IV) dar. Er wurde mit dem Ziel verfasst, die Brüder und Schwestern im Glauben zu stärken, deren Glaube durch die "Diktatur des Relativismus" massiv in Frage gestellt wird.[1]

1. Der eine und dreifaltige Gott, offenbart in Jesus Christus

Der Inbegriff des Glaubens aller Christen findet sich im Bekenntnis zur Allerheiligsten Dreifaltigkeit. Wir sind durch die Taufe auf den Namen des Vaters und des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes Jünger Jesu, Kinder und Freunde Gottes geworden. Die Verschiedenheit der drei Personen in der göttlichen Einheit (254) markiert im Hinblick auf andere Religionen einen fundamentalen Unterschied im Gottesglauben und im Menschenbild. Am Bekenntnis zu Jesus dem Christus scheiden sich die Geister. Er ist wahrer Gott und wahrer Mensch, empfangen vom Heiligen Geist und geboren aus der Jungfrau Maria. Das Fleisch gewordene Wort, der Sohn Gottes, ist der einzige Erlöser der Welt (679) und der einzige Mittler zwischen Gott und den Menschen (846). Daher bezeichnet der erste Johannesbrief denjenigen als Antichrist, der seine Gottheit leugnet (1 Joh 2,22), da Jesus Christus, der Sohn Gottes von Ewigkeit her eines Wesens ist mit Gott, Seinem Vater (663). Mit klarer Entschiedenheit ist dem Rückfall in alte Häresien entgegenzutreten, die in Jesus Christus nur einen guten Menschen, Bruder und Freund, einen Propheten und Moralisten sahen. Er ist zu allererst das Wort, das bei Gott war und Gott ist, der Sohn des Vaters, der unsere menschliche Natur angenommen hat, um uns zu erlösen und der kommen wird zu richten die Lebenden und die Toten. Ihn allein beten wir in der Einheit mit dem Vater und dem Heiligen Geist als den einzigen und wahren Gott an (691).

2. Die Kirche

Jesus Christus hat die Kirche als sichtbares Zeichen und Werkzeug des Heils gegründet, die in der katholischen Kirche verwirklicht ist (816). Er gab seiner Kirche, die "aus der Seite des am Kreuz entschlafenen Christus" hervorgegangen ist (766), eine sakramentale Verfassung, die bis zur Vollendung bleibt (765). Christus, das Haupt, und die Gläubigen als Glieder des Leibes sind eine mystische Person (795), weshalb die Kirche heilig ist, denn der einzige Mittler hat ihr sichtbares Gefüge verfasst und erhält sie unablässig (771). Durch sie wird das Erlösungswerk Christi in Zeit und Raum gegenwärtig in der Feier der heiligen Sakramente, vor allem im eucharistischen Opfer, der heiligen Messe (1330). Die Kirche vermittelt mit der Autorität Christi die göttliche Offenbarung, die sich auf alle Elemente der Lehre erstreckt, "einschließlich der Sittenlehre, ohne welche die Heilswahrheiten des Glaubens nicht bewahrt, dargelegt und beobachtet werden können" (2035).

3. Sakramentale Ordnung

Die Kirche ist in Jesus Christus das allumfassende Sakrament des Heils (776). Sie reflektiert nicht sich selbst, sondern das Licht Christi, das auf ihrem Antlitz widerscheint. Dies geschieht nur dann, wenn weder eine Mehrheit, noch der Zeitgeist, sondern die in Jesus Christus geoffenbarte Wahrheit zum Bezugspunkt wird, denn Christus hat der katholischen Kirche die Gnaden- und Wahrheitsfülle anvertraut (819): Er selbst ist in den Sakramenten der Kirche gegenwärtig.

Die Kirche ist kein von Menschen gegründeter Verein, über dessen Struktur seine Mitglieder nach Belieben abstimmen. Sie ist göttlichen Ursprungs. "Christus selbst ist der Urheber des Amtes in der Kirche. Er hat es eingesetzt, ihm Vollmacht und Sendung, Ausrichtung und Zielsetzung gegeben" (874). Die Mahnung des Apostels gilt bis heute, dass verflucht sei, wer ein anderes Evangelium verkündet, "auch wenn wir selbst es wären oder ein Engel vom Himmel" (Gal 1,8). Die Vermittlung des Glaubens ist unlösbar mit der menschlichen Glaubwürdigkeit seiner Boten verbunden, die in einigen Fällen die ihnen Anvertrauten im Stich gelassen, sie verunsichert und ihren Glauben schwer geschädigt haben. Hier trifft das Wort der Schrift diejenigen, die der Wahrheit kein Gehör schenken und sich nach eigenen Wünschen richten, die den Ohren schmeicheln, weil sie die gesunde Lehre nicht ertragen (vgl. 2 Tim 4,3-4).

Aufgabe des Lehramtes der Kirche ist es, das "Volk vor Verirrungen und Glaubensschwäche zu schützen", um "den ursprünglichen Glauben irrtumsfrei zu bekennen" (890). Dies gilt besonders im Hinblick auf alle sieben Sakramente. Die hl. Eucharistie ist "Quelle und Höhepunkt des ganzen christlichen Lebens" (1324). Das eucharistische Opfer, in dem uns Christus in sein Kreuzesopfer einbezieht, zielt auf die innigste Vereinigung mit Christus (1382). Daher mahnt die Heilige Schrift im Hinblick auf den Empfang der hl. Kommunion: "Wer also unwürdig von dem Brot isst und aus dem Kelch des Herrn trinkt, macht sich schuldig am Leib und am Blut des Herrn" (1 Kor 11,27). "Wer sich einer schweren Sünde bewusst ist, muss das Sakrament der Buße empfangen, bevor er die Kommunion empfängt" (1385). Von der inneren Logik des Sakramentes versteht sich, dass standesamtlich wiederverheiratet Geschiedene, deren sakramentale Ehe vor Gott besteht, nicht voll mit dem katholischen Glauben und der Kirche verbundene Christen, wie alle, die nicht entsprechend disponiert sind, die heilige Eucharistie nicht fruchtbar empfangen (1457), weil sie ihnen nicht zum Heil gereicht. Darauf hinzuweisen entspricht den geistigen Werken der Barmherzigkeit.

Das Bekenntnis der Sünden in der heiligen Beichte wenigstens einmal im Jahr gehört zu den Kirchengeboten (2042). Wenn die Gläubigen ihre Sünden nicht mehr bekennen und die Lossprechung von ihren Sünden erfahren, dann läuft die Erlösung ins Leere, schließlich ist Jesus Christus Mensch geworden, um uns von unseren Sünden zu erlösen. Auch für die schweren und lässlichen Sünden, die wir nach der Taufe begehen, gilt die Vollmacht der Vergebung, die der auferstandene Herr den Aposteln und ihren Nachfolger im Bischofs- und Priesteramt übertragen hat. Die aktuelle Beichtpraxis lässt deutlich werden, dass das Gewissen der Gläubigen nicht ausreichend geformt ist. Gottes Barmherzigkeit ist uns geschenkt, dass wir seine Gebote erfüllen, um dadurch eins zu werden mit seinem heiligen Willen und nicht, damit wir der Forderung zur Umkehr ausweichen (1458).

"Der Priester setzt auf Erden das Erlösungswerk fort" (1589). Die Priesterweihe "verleiht ihm eine heilige Vollmacht" (1592), die unersetzbar ist, denn durch sie wird Jesus Christus in seinem Heilshandeln sakramental gegenwärtig. Daher entscheiden sich Priester freiwillig für den Zölibat als "Zeichen des neuen Lebens" (1579). Es geht um die Selbsthingabe im Dienst Christi und Seines kommenden Reiches. Im Hinblick auf den Empfang der Weihe in den drei Stufen dieses Amtes weiß sich die Kirche "durch [die] Wahl, die der Herr selbst getroffen hat, gebunden. Darum ist es nicht möglich, Frauen zu weihen" (1577). Hier eine Diskriminierung der Frau zu unterstellen, zeigt nur das Unverständnis für dieses Sakrament, bei dem es nicht um irdische Macht geht, sondern um die Repräsentation Christi, des Bräutigams der Kirche.

4. Das sittliche Gesetz

Glaube und Leben gehören untrennbar zusammen, denn Glaube ohne Werke, die im Herrn getan werden, ist tot (1815). Das sittliche Gesetz ist Werk der göttlichen Weisheit und führt den Menschen zur verheißenen Seligkeit (1950). Demzufolge ist die Kenntnis des göttlichen und natürlichen Sittengesetzes notwendig, "um das Gute zu tun und sein Ziel zu erreichen" (1955). Seine Beachtung ist für alle Menschen guten Willens heilsnotwendig. Denn wer in Todsünde stirbt, ohne bereut zu haben, wird für immer von Gott getrennt sein (1033). Dies führt zu praktischen Konsequenzen im Leben der Christen, von denen viele heute verdunkelt sind (vgl. 2270-2283; 2350-2381). Das sittliche Gesetz ist nicht eine Last, sondern Teil jener befreienden Wahrheit (vgl. Joh 8,32), durch die der Christ den Weg des Heils geht und die nicht relativiert werden darf.

5. Das Ewige Leben

Viele fragen sich heute, wofür die Kirche eigentlich noch da ist, wenn sich auch Bischöfe lieber in der Rolle als Politiker gefallen, denn als Lehrer des Glaubens das Evangelium verkünden. Der Blick darf nicht durch Nebensächlichkeiten verwässert, sondern das Proprium der Kirche muss thematisiert werden. Jeder Mensch hat eine unsterbliche Seele, die im Tod vom Leib getrennt wird, indem er auf die Auferstehung der Toten hofft (366). Der Tod lässt die Entscheidung des Menschen für oder gegen Gott definitiv werden. Jeder muss sich unmittelbar nach dem Tod dem besonderen Gericht stellen (1021). Entweder ist noch eine Läuterung notwendig oder der Mensch gelangt unmittelbar in die himmlische Seligkeit und darf Gott von Angesicht zu Angesicht schauen. Es gibt auch die schreckliche Möglichkeit, dass ein Mensch bis zuletzt im Widerspruch zu Gott verharrt und indem er sich Seiner Liebe definitiv verweigert, "sich selbst sogleich und für immer verdammt" (1022). "Gott hat uns erschaffen ohne uns, er wollte uns aber nicht retten ohne uns" (1847). Die Ewigkeit der Höllenstrafe ist eine furchtbare Wirklichkeit, die – nach dem Zeugnis der Heiligen Schrift – sich alle zuziehen die "im Stand der Todsünde sterben" (1035). Der Christ geht durch das enge Tor, denn "weit ist das Tor und breit der Weg, der ins Verderben führt, und es sind viele, die auf ihm gehen" (Mt 7,13).

Diese und andere Glaubenswahrheiten zu verschweigen und die Menschen entsprechend zu lehren ist der schlimmste Betrug, vor dem der Katechismus mit Nachdruck warnt. Er stellt die letzte Prüfung der Kirche dar und führt den Menschen zu einem religiösen Lügenwahn, um "den Preis ihres Abfalls von der Wahrheit" (675); es ist der Betrug des Antichrists. "Er wird jene, die verloren gehen, mit allen Mitteln der Ungerechtigkeit täuschen; denn sie haben sich der Liebe zur Wahrheit verschlossen, durch die sie gerettet werden sollten" (2 Thess 2,10).


Als Arbeiter im Weinberg des Herrn haben wir alle die Verantwortung, diese grundlegenden Wahrheiten in Erinnerung zu rufen, indem wir an dem festhalten, was wir selber empfangen haben. Wir wollen Mut machen, den Weg Jesu Christi mit Entschiedenheit zu gehen, um durch die Befolgung Seiner Gebote das ewige Leben zu erlangen (2075).

Bitten wir den Herrn, Er möge uns erkennen lassen, wie groß das Geschenk des katholischen Glaubens ist, durch den sich die Tür zum Ewigen Leben öffnet. "Denn wer sich vor dieser treulosen und sündigen Generation meiner und meiner Worte schämt, dessen wird sich auch der Menschensohn schämen, wenn er mit den heiligen Engeln in der Hoheit seines Vaters kommt" (Mk 8,38). Daher setzen wir uns ein für die Stärkung des Glaubens, indem wir die Wahrheit bekennen, die Jesus Christus selber ist.

Gerade wir Bischöfe und Priester sind angesprochen, wenn Paulus, der Apostel Jesu Christi, seinem Mitstreiter und Nachfolger Timotheus diese Mahnung mit auf den Weg gibt: "Ich beschwöre dich bei Gott und bei Jesus Christus, dem kommenden Richter der Lebenden und Toten, bei seinem Erscheinen und seinem Reich: Verkünde das Wort, tritt auf, ob gelegen oder ungelegen, überführe, weise zurecht, ermahne in aller Geduld und Belehrung. Denn es wird eine Zeit kommen, in der man die gesunde Lehre nicht erträgt, sondern sich nach eigenen Begierden Lehrer sucht, um sich die Ohren zu kitzeln; und man wird von der Wahrheit das Ohr abwenden, sich dagegen Fabeleien zuwenden. Du aber sei in allem nüchtern, ertrage das Leiden, verrichte dein Werk als Verkünder des Evangeliums, erfülle deinen Dienst!" (2 Tim 4,1-5).

Möge Maria, die Mutter Gottes, uns die Gnade erflehen, am Bekenntnis zur Wahrheit Jesu Christi ohne Wanken festzuhalten.

Im Glauben und Gebet verbunden

Gerhard Cardinal Müller

Präfekt der Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre von 2012-2017

[1] Die Nummern im Text beziehen sich auf den Katechismus der Katholischen Kirche.

"Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

Scio Cui credidi
(2 Tim 1:12)

Before starting my writing, I would first of all like to give thanks and glory to God the Father for every situation and trial that He has prepared and will prepare for me during my life. As a priest and bishop of the holy Church, spouse of Christ, I am called like every baptized person to bear witness to the truth. By the gift of the Spirit who sustains me with joy on the path that I am called to travel, I intend to do so until the end of my days. Our only Lord has addressed also to me the invitation, “Follow me!”, and I intend to follow him with the help of his grace until the end of my days.

“As long as I have life, I will sing to the Lord,
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my song be pleasing to him;
For I rejoice in the Lord.”
(Psalm 103:33-34)


It has been a month since I offered my testimony, solely for the good of the Church, regarding what occurred at the audience with Pope Francis on June 23, 2013 and regarding certain matters I was given to know in the assignments entrusted to me at the Secretariat of State and in Washington, in relation to those who bear responsibility for covering up the crimes committed by the former archbishop of that capital.

My decision to reveal those grave facts was for me the most painful and serious decision that I have ever made in my life. I made it after long reflection and prayer, during months of profound suffering and anguish, during a crescendo of continual news of terrible events, with thousands of innocent victims destroyed and the vocations and lives of young priests and religious disturbed. The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church. Well aware of the enormous consequences that my testimony could have, because what I was about to reveal involved the successor of Peter himself, I nonetheless chose to speak in order to protect the Church, and I declare with a clear conscience before God that my testimony is true. Christ died for the Church, and Peter, Servus servorum Dei, is the first one called to serve the spouse of Christ.

Certainly, some of the facts that I was to reveal were covered by the pontifical secret that I had promised to observe and that I had faithfully observed from the beginning of my service to the Holy See. But the purpose of any secret, including the pontifical secret, is to protect the Church from her enemies, not to cover up and become complicit in crimes committed by some of her members. I was a witness, not by my choice, of shocking facts and, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (par. 2491), the seal of secrecy is not binding when very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Only the seal of confession could have justified my silence.

Neither the pope, nor any of the cardinals in Rome have denied the facts I asserted in my testimony. “Qui tacet consentit” surely applies here, for if they deny my testimony, they have only to say so, and provide documentation to support that denial. How can one avoid concluding that the reason they do not provide the documentation is that they know it confirms my testimony?

The center of my testimony was that since at least June 23, 2013, the pope knew from me how perverse and evil McCarrick was in his intentions and actions, and instead of taking the measures that every good pastor would have taken, the pope made McCarrick one of his principal agents in governing the Church, in regard to the United States, the Curia, and even China, as we are seeing these days with great concern and anxiety for that martyr Church.

Now, the pope’s reply to my testimony was: “I will not say a word!” But then, contradicting himself, he has compared his silence to that of Jesus in Nazareth and before Pilate, and compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church — though without ever uttering my name. If he had said: “Viganò lied,” he would have challenged my credibility while trying to affirm his own. In so doing he would have intensified the demand of the people of God and the world for the documentation needed to determine who has told the truth. Instead, he put in place a subtle slander against me — slander being an offense he has often compared to the gravity of murder. Indeed, he did it repeatedly, in the context of the celebration of the most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist, where he runs no risk of being challenged by journalists. When he did speak to journalists, he asked them to exercise their professional maturity and draw their own conclusions. But how can journalists discover and know the truth if those directly involved with a matter refuse to answer any questions or to release any documents? The pope’s unwillingness to respond to my charges and his deafness to the appeals by the faithful for accountability are hardly consistent with his calls for transparency and bridge building.

Moreover, the pope’s cover-up of McCarrick was clearly not an isolated mistake. Many more instances have recently been documented in the press, showing that Pope Francis has defended homosexual clergy who committed serious sexual abuses against minors or adults. These include his role in the case of Fr. Julio Grassi in Buenos Aires, his reinstatement of Fr. Mauro Inzoli after Pope Benedict had removed him from ministry (until he went to prison, at which point Pope Francis laicized him), and his halting of the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.

In the meantime, a delegation of the USCCB, headed by its president Cardinal DiNardo, went to Rome asking for a Vatican investigation into McCarrick. Cardinal DiNardo and the other prelates should tell the Church in America and in the world: did the pope refuse to carry out a Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s crimes and of those responsible for covering them up? The faithful deserve to know.

I would like to make a special appeal to Cardinal Ouellet, because as nuncio I always worked in great harmony with him, and I have always had great esteem and affection towards him. He will remember when, at the end of my mission in Washington, he received me at his apartment in Rome in the evening for a long conversation. At the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate, he had maintained his dignity, as he had shown with courage when he was Archbishop of Québec. Later, however, when his work as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops was being undermined because recommendations for episcopal appointments were being passed directly to Pope Francis by two homosexual “friends” of his dicastery, bypassing the Cardinal, he gave up. His long article in L’Osservatore Romano, in which he came out in favor of the more controversial aspects of Amoris Laetitia, represents his surrender. Your Eminence, before I left for Washington, you were the one who told me of Pope Benedict’s sanctions on McCarrick. You have at your complete disposal key documents incriminating McCarrick and many in the curia for their cover-ups. Your Eminence, I urge you to bear witness to the truth.


Finally, I wish to encourage you, dear faithful, my brothers and sisters in Christ: never be despondent! Make your own the act of faith and complete confidence in Christ Jesus, our Savior, of Saint Paul in his second Letter to Timothy, Scio cui credidi, which I choose as my episcopal motto. This is a time of repentance, of conversion, of prayers, of grace, to prepare the Church, the bride of the Lamb, ready to fight and win with Mary the battle against the old dragon.

“Scio Cui credidi” (2 Tim 1:12)
In you, Jesus, my only Lord, I place all my trust.
“Diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum” (Rom 8:28).

To commemorate my episcopal ordination on April 26, 1992, conferred on me by St. John Paul II, I chose this image taken from a mosaic of the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. It represents the miracle of the calming of the storm. I was struck by the fact that in the boat of Peter, tossed by the water, the figure of Jesus is portrayed twice. Jesus is sound asleep in the bow, while Peter tries to wake him up: “Master, do you not care that we are about to die?” Meanwhile the apostles, terrified, look each in a different direction and do not realize that Jesus is standing behind them, blessing them and assuredly in command of the boat: “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still,’ … then he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mk 4:38-40).

The scene is very timely in portraying the tremendous storm the Church is passing through in this moment, but with a substantial difference: the successor of Peter not only fails to see the Lord in full control of the boat, it seems he does not even intend to awaken Jesus asleep in the bow.

Has Christ perhaps become invisible to his vicar? Perhaps is he being tempted to try to act as a substitute of our only Master and Lord?

The Lord is in full control of the boat!

May Christ, the Truth, always be the light on our way!

+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

September 29th, 2018
Feast of St. Michael, Archangel"

(Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-vigano-releases-new-testimony-responding-to-popes-silence-on-mccar)

Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Men

NOTE: This letter reflects the personal initiative of the individual Catholic men signing it. Professional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. This letter is not sponsored by any group or organization.

September 5, 2018

Dear Holy Father and Bishops of the United States:

As Catholic laymen, we are faithful husbands, fathers, business leaders, lawyers, tradesmen, medical doctors, professors, teachers, artists, and leaders of Catholic lay apostolates. But most fundamentally, we are men in love with Christ and His Church, and it is for this reason that we beseech you to purge the corruption which has so grotesquely disfigured the face of Christ’s Bride. The present scandals have placed our wives, sisters, brothers, and children in danger. Therefore, echoing the words St. Catherine of Siena addressed to Pope Gregory XI, we beseech you to “sleep no longer, and raise the standard [of Christ] courageously.” The Church needs purification, and by virtue of your offices as our shepherds, no one is more qualified to bring about this purification than yourselves. We beg you to do so without a moment’s delay.

Taking courage from St. Paul, and knowing that “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rm 5:20), we are appalled by the recent abuses. We have read of the allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick; the grand jury report regarding the Church in Pennsylvania; the horrific abuse in Honduras and Chile; and the rampant reports of clerical homosexual activity, pedophilia, and ephebophilia throughout the global presbytery. Most recently, we have read Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony alleging that bishops in senior leadership positions within both the Holy See and the United States have covered up sexual abuse, evidencing widespread and systemic corruption throughout the Church’s hierarchy.

Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them. Specifically, we request that you answer the questions posed by our sisters in their letter to you, issued on August 30, 2018.

Moreover, regardless of the veracity of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations, our concerns about corruption remain. Your Holiness, Your Eminences, and Your Excellencies: Amidst widespread global abuse, coverups, and hierarchical failure, what are you doing and what will you do to protect the people of God? We urge you to answer this simple question because the cost of the episcopal corruption is catastrophic. At present, many families are reluctant to send their sons to seminary. Efforts at evangelization have been crippled. And distrust from donors jeopardizes the Church’s ability to serve the poor, promote environmental stewardship, and carry out works of mercy. One Catholic mother has said that this crisis will either reinvigorate the Church or cause an exodus. We beg you to encourage reinvigoration through radical purification, realizing that you are at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of millions of Catholics.

Holy Father, we are personally committed to our own purity and the purification of the Church. We are reminded of the words of our Lord in John 8:7: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” All sin, including our own, weakens the Church. As men, we must all have the strength to seek the Lord’s healing. For this reason, we will begin with ourselves, examining our own consciences and renewing our own commitment to chastity. We will work to build up our own families, especially our sons, and our own communities. Further, the signers of this letter commit to serious and difficult fasting for the next seventeen Fridays, beginning this Friday, September 7 through the end of the calendar year. We will not relent. We will embrace suffering as penance for our own sins and the sins of the Church. We desire nothing more than to become saints amidst scandal.

Holy Father and Bishops of the United States, we plead for justice for the victims of abuse. We add our voices to those of the bishops who have called for an investigation of the Church hierarchy, both in our own country and in the Vatican. This investigation should be carried out by faithful lay men and women. Further, we encourage other groups to make their voices heard by writing more letters of this nature.

Finally, we praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His abundant mercy founded the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We affirm our hope for the future of the Church. We ask you to be courageous and not afraid. We affirm our affection and gratitude for the holy priests and bishops who have served us faithfully as stewards of the mysteries of Christ. The Church’s history has seen many seasons. Nevertheless, after the dark season of winter comes spring, and we pray that the difficulties of the present time will be surpassed by the victories to come. Trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have full confidence that the light of the Holy Trinity will break through this present darkness revealing the full beauty of our beloved Church.

We promise our lives, our talents, and our resources for the purification and renewal of the Catholic Church. Relying on the intercession of the Blessed Mother, we will fight for this cause to the very end.

Your sons and brothers in Christ,

(Source: https://catholicmenunited.org/)

Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women

15200 signatures

NOTE: This letter reflects the personal initiative of the individual Catholic women signing this letter, and is not sponsored by any group or organization.

August 30, 2018

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Vatican City

Your Holiness:

You have said that you seek “a more incisive female presence in the Church,” and that “women are capable of seeing things with a different angle from [men], with a different eye. Women are able to pose questions that we men are not able to understand.”

We write to you, Holy Father, to pose questions that need answers.

We are Catholic women deeply committed to our faith and profoundly grateful for Church teachings, the Sacraments, and the many good bishops and priests who have blessed our lives.

Our hearts are broken, our faith tested, by the escalating crisis engulfing our beloved Church. We are angry, betrayed and disillusioned. The pain and suffering of the victims never ends, as each news cycle brings more horrific revelations of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, cover-ups, and deceit—even at the Church’s highest levels.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s recent statement impels us to reach out to you directly for answers. His testimony accuses you, Holy Father, and highly placed cardinals of turning a blind eye to former Cardinal McCarrick’s egregious behavior, and promoting this predator as a global spokesman and spiritual leader. Is this true?

These are devastating allegations. As USCCB President Cardinal Daniel D. DiNardo recently stated, “The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.” We agree.

Several crucial questions raised by Archbishop Viganò’s statement, however, require neither lengthy investigations nor physical evidence. They require only your direct response, Holy Father. When reporters questioned you recently about Archbishop Viganò’s charges, you replied, “I will not say a single word on this.” You told reporters to “read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.”

To your hurting flock, Pope Francis, your words are inadequate. They sting, reminiscent of the clericalism you so recently condemned. We need leadership, truth, and transparency. We, your flock, deserve your answers now.

Specifically, we humbly implore you to answer the following questions, as the answers are surely known to you. Archbishop Viganò says that in June 2013 he conveyed to you this message (in essence) about then-Cardinal McCarrick:

“He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.”

Is this true? What did Archbishop Viganò convey to you in June 2013 about then-Cardinal McCarrick?
When did you learn of any allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct with adults by then-Cardinal McCarrick?
When did you learn of Pope Benedict’s restrictions on then-Cardinal McCarrick? And did you release then-Cardinal McCarrick from any of Pope Benedict’s restrictions?

Holy Father, in your letter to the People of God on the scandals, you wrote: “An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.” That’s why we expect you, our Holy Father, to be honest with us.

Please do not turn from us. You’ve committed yourself to changing clerical ways in the Church. That a cardinal would prey on seminarians is abhorrent. We need to know we can trust you to be honest with us about what happened. The victims who have suffered so greatly need to know they can trust you. Families, who will be the source of the Church’s renewal, need to know we can trust you, and thus trust the Church.

Please do not keep us at arm’s length on these questions. We are faithful daughters of the Church who need the truth so we can help rebuild. We are not second-class Catholics to be brushed off while bishops and cardinals handle matters privately. We have a right to know. We have a right to your answers.

We are wives, mothers, single women, consecrated women, and religious sisters.

We are the mothers and sisters of your priests, seminarians, future priests and religious. We are the Church’s lay leaders, and the mothers of the next generation.

We are professors in your seminaries, and leaders in Catholic chanceries and institutions.

We are theologians, evangelists, missionaries and founders of Catholic apostolates.

We are the people who sacrifice to fund the Church’s good work.

We are the backbone of Catholic parishes, schools, and dioceses.

We are the hands, the feet, and the heart of the Church.

In short, we are the Church, every bit as much as the cardinals and bishops around you.

Holy Father, we are the “incisive presence” the Church needs, and we need your answers.

With love for Christ and the Church,

(Source: https://catholicwomensforum.org/letter-to-pope-francis/)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Accuses Pope of McCarrick Cover-up, Calls on Francis to Resign

Written by Michael Matt | Editor

Remnant Editor's Note: This could well mark the beginning of the end of the disastrous pontificate of Pope Francis. The former apostolic nuncio to the United States has accused Francis of repealing sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI on then-Cardinal McCarrick for sexual abuse. This is a charge most serious, perhaps without precedent in modern times. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's 11-page statement, released to the National Catholic Register, accuses Pope Francis of covering for McCarrick, ignoring the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on McCarrick, and also of making McCarrick a trusted counselor who was instrumental in the Pope's decision to elevate far-Left bishops such as Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark to the College of Cardinals. So serious is the cover-up that for the good of the Church and protection of the faithful, Archbishop Vigano has called on Pope Francis to resign. But before Francis resigns, we the Catholic faithful demand that he also remove from the College of Cardinals those who conspired even before the 2013 conclave to make Jorge Mario Bergoglio pope, come hell or high water. He and the St. Gallen Group know exactly who they are. As this is an unprecedented moment in papal history, perhaps the unprecedented step of recalling Pope Benedict XVI to the Chair of St. Peter should also be considered sooner rather than later, before this crisis gets any more out-of-control than it already is. May God save His Church MJM


by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

In this tragic moment for the Church in various parts of the world — the United States, Chile, Honduras, Australia, etc. — bishops have a very grave responsibility. I am thinking in particular of the United States of America, where I was sent as Apostolic Nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2011, the memorial feast of the First North American Martyrs. The Bishops of the United States are called, and I with them, to follow the example of these first martyrs who brought the Gospel to the lands of America, to be credible witnesses of the immeasurable love of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.

To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark ... shall be proclaimed from the housetops” (Lk. 12:3).

I had always believed and hoped that the hierarchy of the Church could find within itself the spiritual resources and strength to tell the whole truth, to amend and to renew itself. That is why, even though I had repeatedly been asked to do so, I always avoided making statements to the media, even when it would have been my right to do so, in order to defend myself against the calumnies published about me, even by high-ranking prelates of the Roman Curia. But now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, which I came to know in the course of the duties entrusted to me by St. John Paul II, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, from 1998 to 2009, and by Pope Benedict XVI, as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, from October 19, 2011 until end of May 2016.

As Delegate for Pontifical Representations in the Secretariat of State, my responsibilities were not limited to the Apostolic Nunciatures, but also included the staff of the Roman Curia (hires, promotions, informational processes on candidates to the episcopate, etc.) and the examination of delicate cases, including those regarding cardinals and bishops, that were entrusted to the Delegate by the Cardinal Secretary of State or by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State.

To dispel suspicions insinuated in several recent articles, I will immediately say that the Apostolic Nuncios in the United States, Gabriel Montalvo and Pietro Sambi, both prematurely deceased, did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests. Indeed, according to what Nuncio Pietro Sambi wrote, Father Boniface Ramsey, O.P.’s letter, dated November 22, 2000, was written at the request of the late Nuncio Montalvo. In the letter, Father Ramsey, who had been a professor at the diocesan seminary in Newark from the end of the ’80s until 1996, affirms that there was a recurring rumor in the seminary that the Archbishop “shared his bed with seminarians,” inviting five at a time to spend the weekend with him at his beach house. And he added that he knew a certain number of seminarians, some of whom were later ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark, who had been invited to this beach house and had shared a bed with the Archbishop.

The office that I held at the time was not informed of any measure taken by the Holy See after those charges were brought by Nuncio Montalvo at the end of 2000, when Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State.

Likewise, Nuncio Sambi transmitted to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, an Indictment Memorandum against McCarrick by the priest Gregory Littleton of the diocese of Charlotte, who was reduced to the lay state for a violation of minors, together with two documents from the same Littleton, in which he recounted his tragic story of sexual abuse by the then-Archbishop of Newark and several other priests and seminarians. The Nuncio added that Littleton had already forwarded his Memorandum to about twenty people, including civil and ecclesiastical judicial authorities, police and lawyers, in June 2006, and that it was therefore very likely that the news would soon be made public. He therefore called for a prompt intervention by the Holy See.

In writing up a memo[1] on these documents that were entrusted to me, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, on December 6, 2006, I wrote to my superiors, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, that the facts attributed to McCarrick by Littleton were of such gravity and vileness as to provoke bewilderment, a sense of disgust, deep sorrow and bitterness in the reader, and that they constituted the crimes of seducing, requesting depraved acts of seminarians and priests, repeatedly and simultaneously with several people, derision of a young seminarian who tried to resist the Archbishop’s seductions in the presence of two other priests, absolution of the accomplices in these depraved acts, sacrilegious celebration of the Eucharist with the same priests after committing such acts.

In my memo, which I delivered on that same December 6, 2006 to my direct superior, the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, I proposed the following considerations and course of action to my superiors:

- Given that it seemed a new scandal of particular gravity, as it regarded a cardinal, was going to be added to the many scandals for the Church in the United States,
- and that, since this matter had to do with a cardinal, and according to can. 1405 § 1, No. 2˚, “ipsius Romani Pontificis dumtaxat ius est iudicandi”;
- I proposed that an exemplary measure be taken against the Cardinal that could have a medicinal function, to prevent future abuses against innocent victims and alleviate the very serious scandal for the faithful, who despite everything continued to love and believe in the Church.

I added that it would be salutary if, for once, ecclesiastical authority would intervene before the civil authorities and, if possible, before the scandal had broken out in the press. This could have restored some dignity to a Church so sorely tried and humiliated by so many abominable acts on the part of some pastors. If this were done, the civil authority would no longer have to judge a cardinal, but a pastor with whom the Church had already taken appropriate measures to prevent the cardinal from abusing his authority and continuing to destroy innocent victims.

My memo of December 6, 2006 was kept by my superiors, and was never returned to me with any actual decision by the superiors on this matter.

Subsequently, around April 21-23, 2008, the Statement for Pope Benedict XVI about the pattern of sexual abuse crisis in the United States, by Richard Sipe, was published on the internet, at richardsipe.com. On April 24, it was passed on by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, to the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. It was delivered to me one month later, on May 24, 2008.

The following day, I delivered a new memo to the new Substitute, Fernando Filoni, which included my previous one of December 6, 2006. In it, I summarized Richard Sipe’s document, which ended with this respectful and heartfelt appeal to Pope Benedict XVI: “I approach Your Holiness with due reverence, but with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before your predecessor, Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome. If Your Holiness requests, I will personally submit to you documentation of that about which I have spoken.”

I ended my memo by repeating to my superiors that I thought it was necessary to intervene as soon as possible by removing the cardinal’s hat from Cardinal McCarrick and that he should be subjected to the sanctions established by the Code of Canon Law, which also provide for reduction to the lay state.

This second memo of mine was also never returned to the Personnel Office, and I was greatly dismayed at my superiors for the inconceivable absence of any measure against the Cardinal, and for the continuing lack of any communication with me since my first memo in December 2006.

But finally I learned with certainty, through Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, that Richard Sipe’s courageous and meritorious Statement had had the desired result. Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.

I do not know when Pope Benedict took these measures against McCarrick, whether in 2009 or 2010, because in the meantime I had been transferred to the Governorate of Vatican City State, just as I do not know who was responsible for this incredible delay. I certainly do not believe it was Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal had repeatedly denounced the corruption present in the Church, and in the first months of his pontificate had already taken a firm stand against the admission into seminary of young men with deep homosexual tendencies. I believe it was due to the Pope’s first collaborator at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who notoriously favored promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility, and was accustomed to managing the information he thought appropriate to convey to the Pope.

In any case, what is certain is that Pope Benedict imposed the above canonical sanctions on McCarrick and that they were communicated to him by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Pietro Sambi. Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, then first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, told me when I arrived in Washington — and he is ready to testify to it— about a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour, that Nuncio Sambi had with Cardinal McCarrick whom he had summoned to the Nunciature. Monsignor Lantheaume told me that “the Nuncio’s voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor.”

Pope Benedict’s same dispositions were then also communicated to me by the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, in November 2011, in a conversation before my departure for Washington, and were included among the instructions of the same Congregation to the new Nuncio.

In turn, I repeated them to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the Nunciature. The Cardinal, muttering in a barely comprehensible way, admitted that he had perhaps made the mistake of sleeping in the same bed with some seminarians at his beach house, but he said this as if it had no importance.

The faithful insistently wonder how it was possible for him to be appointed to Washington, and as Cardinal, and they have every right to know who knew, and who covered up his grave misdeeds. It is therefore my duty to reveal what I know about this, beginning with the Roman Curia.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State until September 2006: all information was communicated to him. In November 2000, Nunzio Montalvo sent him his report, passing on to him the aforementioned letter from Father Boniface Ramsey in which he denounced the serious abuses committed by McCarrick.

It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the end. He even removed the Nuncio in Mexico City, Justo Mullor, who refused to be an accomplice in his scheme to cover Maciel, and in his place appointed Sandri, then-Nuncio to Venezuela, who was willing to collaborate in the cover-up. Sodano even went so far as to issue a statement to the Vatican press office in which a falsehood was affirmed, that is, that Pope Benedict had decided that the Maciel case should be considered closed. Benedict reacted, despite Sodano’s strenuous defense, and Maciel was found guilty and irrevocably condemned.

Was McCarrick’s appointment to Washington and as Cardinal the work of Sodano, when John Paul II was already very ill? We are not given to know. However, it is legitimate to think so, but I do not think he was the only one responsible for this. McCarrick frequently went to Rome and made friends everywhere, at all levels of the Curia. If Sodano had protected Maciel, as seems certain, there is no reason why he wouldn’t have done so for McCarrick, who according to many had the financial means to influence decisions. His nomination to Washington was opposed by then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. At the Nunciature in Washington there is a note, written in his hand, in which Cardinal Re disassociates himself from the appointment and states that McCarrick was 14th on the list for Washington.

Nuncio Sambi’s report, with all the attachments, was sent to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as Secretary of State. My two above-mentioned memos of December 6, 2006 and May 25, 2008, were also presumably handed over to him by the Substitute. As already mentioned, the Cardinal had no difficulty in insistently presenting for the episcopate candidates known to be active homosexuals — I cite only the well-known case of Vincenzo de Mauro, who was appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Vigevano and later removed because he was undermining his seminarians — and in filtering and manipulating the information he conveyed to Pope Benedict.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Secretary of State, was also complicit in covering up the misdeeds of McCarrick who had, after the election of Pope Francis, boasted openly of his travels and missions to various continents. In April 2014, the Washington Times had a front page report on McCarrick’s trip to the Central African Republic, and on behalf of the State Department no less. As Nuncio to Washington, I wrote to Cardinal Parolin asking him if the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid. Ça va sans dire that my letter never received any reply!

The same can be said for Cardinal William Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Cardinals Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Lorenzo Baldisseri, former Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops, and Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari, current Secretary of the same Congregation. They were all aware by reason of their office of the sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict on McCarrick.

Cardinals Leonardo Sandri, Fernando Filoni and Angelo Becciu, as Substitutes of the Secretariat of State, knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick.

Nor could Cardinals Giovanni Lajolo and Dominique Mamberti have failed to know. As Secretaries for Relations with States, they participated several times a week in collegial meetings with the Secretary of State.

As far as the Roman Curia is concerned, for the moment I will stop here, even if the names of other prelates in the Vatican are well known, even some very close to Pope Francis, such as Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, a current already denounced in 1986 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino also belong to the same current, albeit with a different ideology. Others belonging to this current even reside at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Now to the United States. Obviously, the first to have been informed of the measures taken by Pope Benedict was McCarrick’s successor in Washington See, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, whose situation is now completely compromised by the recent revelations regarding his behavior as Bishop of Pittsburgh.

It is absolutely unthinkable that Nunzio Sambi, who was an extremely responsible person, loyal, direct and explicit in his way of being (a true son of Romagna) did not speak to him about it. In any case, I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions, and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it. I also remember in particular the fact that I had to draw his attention to it, because I realized that in an archdiocesan publication, on the back cover in color, there was an announcement inviting young men who thought they had a vocation to the priesthood to a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick. I immediately phoned Cardinal Wuerl, who expressed his surprise to me, telling me that he knew nothing about that announcement and that he would cancel it. If, as he now continues to state, he knew nothing of the abuses committed by McCarrick and the measures taken by Pope Benedict, how can his answer be explained?

His recent statements that he knew nothing about it, even though at first he cunningly referred to compensation for the two victims, are absolutely laughable. The Cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his Chancellor, Monsignor Antonicelli, to lie as well.

Cardinal Wuerl also clearly lied on another occasion. Following a morally unacceptable event authorized by the academic authorities of Georgetown University, I brought it to the attention of its President, Dr. John DeGioia, sending him two subsequent letters. Before forwarding them to the addressee, so as to handle things properly, I personally gave a copy of them to the Cardinal with an accompanying letter I had written. The Cardinal told me that he knew nothing about it. However, he failed to acknowledge receipt of my two letters, contrary to what he customarily did. I subsequently learned that the event at Georgetown had taken place for seven years. But the Cardinal knew nothing about it!

Cardinal Wuerl, well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, transgressing the Pope’s order, also allowed him to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C. In doing so, he put other seminarians at risk.

Bishop Paul Bootkoski, emeritus of Metuchen, and Archbishop John Myers, emeritus of Newark, covered up the abuses committed by McCarrick in their respective dioceses and compensated two of his victims. They cannot deny it and they must be interrogated in order to reveal every circumstance and all responsibility regarding this matter.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who was recently interviewed by the media, also said that he didn’t have the slightest idea about the abuses committed by McCarrick. Given his tenure in Washington, Dallas and now Rome, I think no one can honestly believe him. I don’t know if he was ever asked if he knew about Maciel’s crimes. If he were to deny this, would anybody believe him given that he occupied positions of responsibility as a member of the Legionaries of Christ?

Regarding Cardinal Sean O’Malley, I would simply say that his latest statements on the McCarrick case are disconcerting, and have totally obscured his transparency and credibility.

* * *

My conscience requires me also to reveal facts that I have experienced personally, concerning Pope Francis, that have a dramatic significance, which as Bishop, sharing the collegial responsibility of all the bishops for the universal Church, do not allow me to remain silent, and that I state here, ready to reaffirm them under oath by calling on God as my witness.

In the last months of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI had convened a meeting of all the apostolic nuncios in Rome, as Paul VI and St. John Paul II had done on several occasions. The date set for the audience with the Pope was Friday, June 21, 2013. Pope Francis kept this commitment made by his predecessor. Of course I also came to Rome from Washington. It was my first meeting with the new Pope elected only three months prior, after the resignation of Pope Benedict.

On the morning of Thursday, June 20, 2013, I went to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, to join my colleagues who were staying there. As soon as I entered the hall I met Cardinal McCarrick, who wore the red-trimmed cassock. I greeted him respectfully as I had always done. He immediately said to me, in a tone somewhere between ambiguous and triumphant: “The Pope received me yesterday, tomorrow I am going to China.”

At the time I knew nothing of his long friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio and of the important part he had played in his recent election, as McCarrick himself would later reveal in a lecture at Villanova University and in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter. Nor had I ever thought of the fact that he had participated in the preliminary meetings of the recent conclave, and of the role he had been able to have as a cardinal elector in the 2005 conclave. Therefore I did not immediately grasp the meaning of the encrypted message that McCarrick had communicated to me, but that would become clear to me in the days immediately following.

The next day the audience with Pope Francis took place. After his address, which was partly read and partly delivered off the cuff, the Pope wished to greet all the nuncios one by one. In single file, I remember that I was among the last. When it was my turn, I just had time to say to him, “I am the Nuncio to the United States.” He immediately assailed me with a tone of reproach, using these words: “The Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized! They must be shepherds!”Of course I was not in a position to ask for explanations about the meaning of his words and the aggressive way in which he had upbraided me. I had in my hand a book in Portuguese that Cardinal O’Malley had sent me for the Pope a few days earlier, telling me “so he could go over his Portuguese before going to Rio for World Youth Day.” I handed it to him immediately, and so freed myself from that extremely disconcerting and embarrassing situation.

At the end of the audience the Pope announced: “Those of you who are still in Rome next Sunday are invited to concelebrate with me at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.” I naturally thought of staying on to clarify as soon as possible what the Pope intended to tell me.

On Sunday June 23, before the concelebration with the Pope, I asked Monsignor Ricca, who as the person in charge of the house helped us put on the vestments, if he could ask the Pope if he could receive me sometime in the following week. How could I have returned to Washington without having clarified what the Pope wanted of me? At the end of Mass, while the Pope was greeting the few lay people present, Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio, his Argentine secretary, came to me and said: “The Pope told me to ask if you are free now!” Naturally, I replied that I was at the Pope’s disposal and that I thanked him for receiving me immediately. The Pope took me to the first floor in his apartment and said: “We have 40 minutes before the Angelus.”

I began the conversation, asking the Pope what he intended to say to me with the words he had addressed to me when I greeted him the previous Friday. And the Pope, in a very different, friendly, almost affectionate tone, said to me: “Yes, the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia, (the Pope did not give me the name of the Archbishop) they must be shepherds; and they must not be left-wing — and he added, raising both arms — and when I say left-wing I mean homosexual.” Of course, the logic of the correlation between being left-wing and being homosexual escaped me, but I added nothing else.

Immediately after, the Pope asked me in a deceitful way: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” I answered him with complete frankness and, if you want, with great naiveté: “Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject. But then, what was the Pope’s purpose in asking me that question: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” He clearly wanted to find out if I was an ally of McCarrick or not.

Back in Washington everything became very clear to me, thanks also to a new event that occurred only a few days after my meeting with Pope Francis. When the new Bishop Mark Seitz took possession of the Diocese of El Paso on July 9, 2013, I sent the first Counsellor, Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, while I went to Dallas that same day for an international meeting on Bioethics. When he got back, Monsignor Lantheaume told me that in El Paso he had met Cardinal McCarrick who, taking him aside, told him almost the same words that the Pope had said to me in Rome: “the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing, they must be shepherds….” I was astounded! It was therefore clear that the words of reproach that Pope Francis had addressed to me on June 21, 2013 had been put into his mouth the day before by Cardinal McCarrick. Also the Pope’s mention “not like the Archbishop of Philadelphia” could be traced to McCarrick, because there had been a strong disagreement between the two of them about the admission to Communion of pro-abortion politicians. In his communication to the bishops, McCarrick had manipulated a letter of then-Cardinal Ratzinger who prohibited giving them Communion. Indeed, I also knew how certain Cardinals such as Mahony, Levada and Wuerl, were closely linked to McCarrick; they had opposed the most recent appointments made by Pope Benedict, for important posts such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and San Francisco.

Not happy with the trap he had set for me on June 23, 2013, when he asked me about McCarrick, only a few months later, in the audience he granted me on October 10, 2013, Pope Francis set a second one for me, this time concerning a second of his protégés, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He asked me: “What is Cardinal Wuerl like, is he good or bad?” I replied, “Holy Father, I will not tell you if he is good or bad, but I will tell you two facts.” They are the ones I have already mentioned above, which concern Wuerl’s pastoral carelessness regarding the aberrant deviations at Georgetown University and the invitation by the Archdiocese of Washington to young aspirants to the priesthood to a meeting with McCarrick! Once again the Pope did not show any reaction.

It was also clear that, from the time of Pope Francis’s election, McCarrick, now free from all constraints, had felt free to travel continuously, to give lectures and interviews. In a team effort with Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, he had become the kingmaker for appointments in the Curia and the United States, and the most listened to advisor in the Vatican for relations with the Obama administration. This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal. With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops. In addition, he appointed the Brazilian Ilson de Jesus Montanari — the great friend of his private Argentine secretary Fabian Pedacchio — as Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops and Secretary of the College of Cardinals, promoting him in one single leap from a simple official of that department to Archbishop Secretary. Something unprecedented for such an important position!

The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.

Regarding Cupich, one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims.

During the speech he gave when he took possession of the Chicago See, at which I was present as a representative of the Pope, Cupich quipped that one certainly should not expect the new Archbishop to walk on water. Perhaps it would be enough for him to be able to remain with his feet on the ground and not try to turn reality upside-down, blinded by his pro-gay ideology, as he stated in a recent interview with America Magazine. Extolling his particular expertise in the matter, having been President of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People of the USCCB, he asserted that the main problem in the crisis of sexual abuse by clergy is not homosexuality, and that affirming this is only a way of diverting attention from the real problem which is clericalism. In support of this thesis, Cupich “oddly” made reference to the results of research carried out at the height of the sexual abuse of minors crisis in the early 2000s, while he “candidly” ignored that the results of that investigation were totally denied by the subsequent Independent Reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 and 2011, which concluded that, in cases of sexual abuse, 81% of the victims were male. In fact, Father Hans Zollner, S.J., Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, President of the Centre for Child Protection, and Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, recently told the newspaper La Stampa that “in most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”

The appointment of McElroy in San Diego was also orchestrated from above, with an encrypted peremptory order to me as Nuncio, by Cardinal Parolin: “Reserve the See of San Diego for McElroy.” McElroy was also well aware of McCarrick’s abuses, as can be seen from a letter sent to him by Richard Sipe on July 28, 2016.

These characters are closely associated with individuals belonging in particular to the deviated wing of the Society of Jesus, unfortunately today a majority, which had already been a cause of serious concern to Paul VI and subsequent pontiffs. We need only consider Father Robert Drinan, S.J., who was elected four times to the House of Representatives, and was a staunch supporter of abortion; or Father Vincent O’Keefe, S.J., one of the principal promoters of The Land O’Lakes Statement of 1967, which seriously compromised the Catholic identity of universities and colleges in the United States. It should be noted that McCarrick, then President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, also participated in that inauspicious undertaking which was so harmful to the formation of the consciences of American youth, closely associated as it was with the deviated wing of the Jesuits.

Father James Martin, S.J., acclaimed by the people mentioned above, in particular Cupich, Tobin, Farrell and McElroy, appointed Consultor of the Secretariat for Communications, well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, chosen to corrupt the young people who will soon gather in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, is nothing but a sad recent example of that deviated wing of the Society of Jesus.

Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church and for bishops and faithful to act with parrhesia. The faithful throughout the world also demand this of him in an exemplary manner. He must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests.

In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor along with Maradiaga.

The latter [Maradiaga] is so confident of the Pope’s protection that he can dismiss as “gossip” the heartfelt appeals of dozens of his seminarians, who found the courage to write to him after one of them tried to commit suicide over homosexual abuse in the seminary.

By now the faithful have well understood Maradiaga’s strategy: insult the victims to save himself, lie to the bitter end to cover up a chasm of abuses of power, of mismanagement in the administration of Church property, and of financial disasters even against close friends, as in the case of the Ambassador of Honduras Alejandro Valladares, former Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Holy See.

In the case of the former Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda, after the article published in the [Italian] weekly L’Espresso last February, Maradiaga stated in the newspaper Avvenire: “It was my auxiliary bishop Pineda who asked for the visitation, so as to ‘clear’ his name after being subjected to much slander.” Now, regarding Pineda the only thing that has been made public is that his resignation has simply been accepted, thus making any possible responsibility of his and Maradiaga vanish into nowhere.

In the name of the transparency so hailed by the Pope, the report that the Visitator, Argentine bishop Alcides Casaretto, delivered more than a year ago only and directly to the Pope, must be made public.

Finally, the recent appointment as Substitute of Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra is also connected with Honduras, that is, with Maradiaga. From 2003 to 2007 Peña Parra worked as Counsellor at the Tegucigalpa Nunciature. As Delegate for Pontifical Representations I received worrisome information about him.

In Honduras, a scandal as huge as the one in Chile is about to be repeated. The Pope defends his man, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, to the bitter end, as he had done in Chile with Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros, whom he himself had appointed Bishop of Osorno against the advice of the Chilean Bishops. First he insulted the abuse victims. Then, only when he was forced by the media, and a revolt by the Chilean victims and faithful, did he recognize his error and apologize, while stating that he had been misinformed, causing a disastrous situation for the Church in Chile, but continuing to protect the two Chilean Cardinals Errazuriz and Ezzati.

Even in the tragic affair of McCarrick, Pope Francis’s behavior was no different. He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end; indeed, he made McCarrick’s advice his own, which was certainly not inspired by sound intentions and for love of the Church. It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action [regarding McCarrick] to save his image in the media.

Now in the United States a chorus of voices is rising especially from the lay faithful, and has recently been joined by several bishops and priests, asking that all those who, by their silence, covered up McCarrick’s criminal behavior, or who used him to advance their career or promote their intentions, ambitions and power in the Church, should resign.

But this will not be enough to heal the situation of extremely grave immoral behavior by the clergy: bishops and priests. A time of conversion and penance must be proclaimed. The virtue of chastity must be recovered in the clergy and in seminaries. Corruption in the misuse of the Church’s resources and of the offerings of the faithful must be fought against. The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced. The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated, as Janet Smith, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, recently wrote. “The problem of clergy abuse,” she wrote, “cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated.” These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.

I implore everyone, especially Bishops, to speak up in order to defeat this conspiracy of silence that is so widespread, and to report the cases of abuse they know about to the media and civil authorities.

Let us heed the most powerful message that St. John Paul II left us as an inheritance:Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid!

In his 2008 homily on the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict reminded us that the Father’s plan of salvation had been fully revealed and realized in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, but it needs to be welcomed in human history, which is always a history of fidelity on God’s part and unfortunately also of infidelity on the part of us men. The Church, the depositary of the blessing of the New Covenant, signed in the blood of the Lamb, is holy but made up of sinners, as Saint Ambrose wrote: the Church is “immaculata ex maculatis,” she is holy and spotless even though, in her earthly journey, she is made up of men stained with sin.

I want to recall this indefectible truth of the Church’s holiness to the many people who have been so deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis and by the conspiracy of silence of so many pastors, and who are tempted to abandon the Church, disfigured by so many ignominies. At the Angelus on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Pope Francis said these words: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do ... If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.” If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!

Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.

In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.

Even in dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening, let us not lose hope! We well know that the great majority of our pastors live their priestly vocation with fidelity and dedication.

It is in moments of great trial that the Lord’s grace is revealed in abundance and makes His limitless mercy available to all; but it is granted only to those who are truly repentant and sincerely propose to amend their lives. This is a favorable time for the Church to confess her sins, to convert, and to do penance.

Let us all pray for the Church and for the Pope, let us remember how many times he has asked us to pray for him!

Let us all renew faith in the Church our Mother: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church!”

Christ will never abandon His Church! He generated her in His Blood and continually revives her with His Spirit!

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Mary, Virgin and Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!

Rome, August 22, 2018
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin

(source: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4049-former-apostolic-nuncio-to-the-united-states-accuses-pope-of-mccarrick-cover-up-calls-on-francis-to-resign)

An Open Appeal to the Cardinals of the Catholic Church

By Various

Pope Francis has revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church to read, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” This statement has been understood by many, both inside and outside the Church, to teach that capital punishment is intrinsically immoral and thus is always illicit, even in principle.

Though no Catholic is obliged to support the use of the death penalty in practice (and not all of the undersigned do support its use), to teach that capital punishment is always and intrinsically evil would contradict Scripture. That the death penalty can be a legitimate means of securing retributive justice is affirmed in Genesis 9:6 and many other biblical texts, and the Church holds that Scripture cannot teach moral error. The legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is also the consistent teaching of the magisterium for two millennia. To contradict Scripture and tradition on this point would cast doubt on the credibility of the magisterium in general.

Concerned by this gravely scandalous situation, we wish to exercise the right affirmed by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which at Canon 212 states:

The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

We are guided also by the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, who states:

If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.” (Summa Theologiae, Part II-II, Question 33, Article 4, ad 2)

Hence we, the undersigned, issue the following appeal:

To their Most Reverend Eminences, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,

Since it is a truth contained in the Word of God, and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Catholic Church, that criminals may lawfully be put to death by the civil power when this is necessary to preserve just order in civil society, and since the present Roman pontiff has now more than once publicly manifested his refusal to teach this doctrine, and has rather brought great confusion upon the Church by seeming to contradict it, and by inserting into the Catechism of the Catholic Church a paragraph which will cause and is already causing many people, both believers and non-believers, to suppose that the Church considers, contrary to the Word of God, that capital punishment is intrinsically evil, we hereby call upon Your Eminences to advise His Holiness that it is his duty to put an end to this scandal, to withdraw this paragraph from the Catechism, and to teach the word of God unadulterated; and we venture to state our conviction that this is a duty seriously binding upon yourselves, before God and before the Church.


Hadley Arkes
Edward N. Ney Professor in American Institutions Emeritus
Amherst College

Joseph Bessette
Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics
Claremont McKenna College

Patrick Brennan
John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies
Villanova University

J. Budziszewski
Professor of Government and Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin

Isobel Camp
Professor of Philosophy
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas

Richard Cipolla
Diocese of Bridgeport

Eric Claeys
Professor of Law
Mason University

Travis Cook
Associate Professor of Government
Belmont Abbey College

S. A. Cortright
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Mary’s College

Cyrille Dounot
Professor of Legal History
Université Clermont Auvergne

Patrick Downey
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Mary’s College

Eduardo Echeverria
Professor of Philosophy and Theology
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Edward Feser
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Pasadena City College

Alan Fimister
Assistant Professor of Theology
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary

Luca Gili
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Université du Québec à Montréal

Brian Harrison
Scholar in Residence
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center

L. Joseph Hebert
Professor of Political Science
St. Ambrose University

Rafael Hüntelmann
Lecturer in Philosophy
International Seminary of St. Peter

Fr. John Hunwicke
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Robert C. Koons
Professor of Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin

Peter Koritansky
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Prince Edward Island

Peter Kwasniewski
Independent Scholar
Wausau, Wisconsin

John Lamont
Fellow of Theology and Philosophy
Australian Catholic University

Roberto de Mattei
The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story

Robert T. Miller
Professor of Law
University of Iowa

Gerald Murray
Archdiocese of New York

Lukas Novak
Lecturer in Philosophy
University of South Bohemia

Thomas Osborne
Professor of Philosophy
University of St. Thomas

Michael Pakaluk
Professor of Ethics
Catholic University of America

Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy
University of Chile

Thomas Pink
Professor of Philosophy
King’s College London

Andrew Pinsent
Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre
University of Oxford

Alyssa Pitstick
Independent Scholar

Donald S. Prudlo
Professor of Ancient and Medieval History
Jacksonville State University

Anselm Ramelow
Chair of the Department of Philosophy
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

George W. Rutler
Archdiocese of New York

Matthew Schmitz
Senior Editor
First Things

Josef Seifert
Founding Rector
International Academy of Philosophy

Joseph Shaw
Fellow of St Benet’s Hall
University of Oxford

Anna Silvas
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
University of New England

Michael Sirilla
Professor of Dogmatic and Systematic Theology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Joseph G. Trabbic
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ave Maria University

Giovanni Turco
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Udine

Michael Uhlmann
Professor of Politics & Government
Claremont Graduate University

John Zuhlsdorf
Diocese of Velletri-Segni

Additional signatories:

Dame Colleen Bayer DSG, Founder, Family Life International NZ

James Bogle Esq., TD MA Dip Law, barrister (trial attorney), former President FIUV, former Chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain

Fr. John Boyle JCL

Judie Brown, President, American Life League

Fr. Michael Gilmary Cermak MMA

Fr. Linus F Clovis, Ph.D, JCL, M.SC., STB

Hon. Donald J. Devine, Senior Scholar, The Fund for American Studies

Dr. Maria Guarini, editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio

John D. Hartigan, retired attorney and past member, Public Policy Committee of the New York State Catholic Conference

Dr. Maike Hickson, journalist

Dr. Robert Hickson, Retired Professor of Literature and Strategic-Cultural Studies

Fr. Albert Kallio, Professor of Philosophy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, New Mexico

Fr. Serafino M. Lanzetta STD

Dr. Robert Lazu, Independent Scholar and Writer

Dr. James P. Lucier, Former Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Dr. Pietro De Marco, former professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Florence

Dr. Joseph Martin, Associate Professor of Communication, Montreat College

Dr. Brian McCall, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Director of the Law Center, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law, University of Oklahoma

Fr. Paul McDonald, parish priest of Chippawa, Ontario

Dr. Stéphane Mercier, former lecturer in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium)

Fr. Alfredo Morselli, SSL, parish priest in the diocese of Bologna

Maureen Mullarkey, Senior Contributor, The Federalist

Fr. Reto Nay

Dr. Claude E. Newbury M.B., B.Ch., D.T.M&H., D.O.H., M.F.G.P., D.C.H., D.P.H., D.A., M. Med; Former Director of Human Life International in Africa south of the Sahara

Giorgio Nicolini, Writer, Director of Tele Maria

Dr. Paolo Pasqualucci, retired Professor of Philosophy, University of Perugia, Italy

Prof. Enrico Maria Radaelli, Philosopher

Richard M. Reinsch II, Editor, Law and Liberty

R. J. Stove, Writer and Editor

Fr. Glen Tattersall, Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, archdiocese of Melbourne; Rector, St Aloysius’ Church

Dr. Thomas Ward, Founder of the National Association of Catholic Families and former Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life

New Signatories:

On August 15, 2018

Fr. Claude Barthe, Diocesan priest

Donna F. Bethell, J.D. Washington, DC

Prof. Michele Gaslini, Professor of Public Law at the University of Udine

Brother Andre Marie, M.I.C.M., MA (Dogmatic Theology), Prior of Saint Benedict Center, New Hampshire

Fr. John Osman, diocese of Birmingham, England

Fr. Alberto Strumia, retired professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Bari, Italy

Guillaume de Thieulloy, PhD in political science, editor of the French Blog Le Salon Beige

Marco Tosatti, Journalist, Vatican observer

Christine Vollmer, former member of the Pontifical Council for Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life

(Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/open-appeal-to-cardinals-urge-pope-to-restore-catechism-to-truth-on-death-p)

Anatomy of a Cover Up: An Open Letter to Pope Francis
Written by Elizabeth Yore

“It is the Argentine attitude: Suppress and ignore”—V.S. Naipaul

'I was part of the problem,' Pope Francis was quoted telling the Chile abuse victims.

Your Holiness,

No. You weren’t part of the problem, you are the entire problem. You appointed and elevated a predator protector. For three years, you steadfastly protected him despite overwhelming evidence that he should be removed as Bishop and from priestly ministry.

You suppressed and ignored a tsunami of requests, pleas and evidence about Bishop Juan Barros’ complicity and involvement with predator priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Karadima was removed of his priestly duties and banished to a life of penitence after a guilty finding at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Defense of the Faith.

You made a mockery of your self proclaimed, “zero tolerance policy.”

Your arrogance and clericalism blinded you to the obvious and sustained pleas of the abuse victims of Karadima and Barros.

You dismissively scorned all the protestations from Chile, like the clever dictator pope that you are. You believed that threatening and deriding victims would silence them. After all, your Bergoglian strong arm tactics worked so well throughout your years in Buenos Aires as Bishop and Cardinal. As you told your buddy, Rabbi Skorka in the book On Heaven and Earth, "In my diocese it (clergy sex abuse allegations) never happened to me.”

Nothing there, says Bergoglio.

Yet, the Argentine media was replete with dozens of clergy sex abuse cases during the years that Bergoglio was Bishop and Cardinal in Buenos Aires.

So you employed your cover up tactics, employing well worn denials and name calling with the Barros scandal.

And you almost got away with it.

Except for a photograph…..

You foolishly misjudged these Karadima/Barros victims. Clergy sex abuse victims are some of the most broken and traumatized of sex abuse victims. They seldom possess the perseverance and strength to challenge Church bureaucracy, especially the Vatican hierarchy, and the Pope himself.

You arrogantly thought that if you lashed out at them, calling them ‘slanderers’, and haughtily dismissed their protests, that they would fade away, like most clergy sex abuse victims. It worked in the past for you as Cardinal of Buenos Aires. Better yet, now, you are the powerful Pope, the Vicar of Christ.

Yet, you misjudged these Karadima survivors. These men are damaged, but unbowed. They were not intimidated by your notorious temper and scurrilous scorn. These men had survived the worst imaginable abuse and they were not going to be silenced by your repeated empty threats and vicious verbal assaults.

You never expected that the Karadima/Barros victims would outsmart you. Despite the vicious abuse they suffered, these men are smart, persistent, and wily. They possessed power; it’s called the Truth.

They knew that they needed demonstrable proof that you, Pope Francis were aware of the specific allegations of horrendous abuse by Fr. Karadima while Bishop Barros watched and did nothing. Imagine, the anger and shock felt by these victims toward a priest who watched their abuse and did nothing. Nothing. Imagine their fury when they learned that you honored and elevated Barros, as Bishop of Osorno?

You were cornered when the world saw the photograph of the envelope detailing the abuse suffered at the hands of Fr. Karadima by Juan Carlos Cruz. The photographic evidence and documentation handed to Cardinal Sean O’Malley by Marie Collins in April 2015. Gotcha.

You were cornered when Cardinal O’Malley told the victims that Juan Carlos Cruz’s letter was given to Pope Francis.

It would be nearly 3 more years when that photograph would finally surface for all the world to see that you were given evidence, the sordid evidence of Barros' utter unsuitability for any clerical role.

Below is the timeline of your coverup. It establishes uncontrovertibly that you possessed knowledge about the reprehensible conduct and unsuitability of Juan Barros. You waged a personal, very public, media campaign to destroy any critics of Bishop Barros. You personally defended Barros and excoriated the Barros victims. Your own Congregation for the Defense of the Faith (the CDF) investigated this case had reams of files and documents about the Karadima case and Bishop Barros. You refused to listen to anyone who possessed the facts and the truth.

This is the case against Pope Francis for ignoring and failing to adhere to his own zero tolerance guidelines:

Jan. 31, 2015 Letter from the Chilean Bishop Conference to the Vatican protesting the appointment of Bishop Barros- Ignored and Suppressed

Feb. 2015-A month later, over 1300 Catholics in Osorno, along with 30 diocesan priests, and several members of the Chilean Parliament sent a letter to Pope Francis urging him to rescind the appointment of Bishop Barros which was scheduled for March 21, 2015. The letter was given to Pope Francis, yet the appointment was not rescinded by Francis. As the Osorno Catholics would soon learn, Church internal politics trumps the will of the people in the pews.

Ignored and Suppressed.

Feb. 3, 2015-Juan Carlos Cruz delivers a letter to Vatican Ambassador objecting to the appointment of Bishop Barros, detailing Barros’ protection of Fr. Karadima. Ignored and Suppressed.

Mar. 21, 2015- Barros Installation Mass Protest-Global Media carried footage of the massive protest by Chilean Catholics over the appointment of Barros. Ignored and Suppressed

March 31, 2015-Francis’ Vatican publicly defends Bishop Barros saying it “carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.” Ignored and Suppressed.

April 2015-Members of the Pope’s Commission for the Protection of minors relate that in April 2015, they sent a delegation to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the Pope about Barros. Marie Collins gave the letter to Cardinal O’Malley and click the photo was taken and O’Malley conceded that he gave the letter to Francis. Suppressed and Ignored.

May 2015 A video surfaces of Chileans in St. Peter’s Square personally plead with Pope Francis to rescind the appointment of Barros: On video, Pope Francis angrily calls them ‘stupid.’ Suppressed and Ignored.

May 2015-Chilean Supreme Court issues a subpoena to the Vatican for information regarding Bishop Barros. Suppressed and Ignored

January 2018-Papal Chilean Trip. Pope Francis again defends Barros appointment in an airplane press conference.

Pope Francis says that “The day that they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will speak. There is not a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander. Is that clear?” He also said: “no one has come forward, they haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.” In the Barros’ case, it was studied, and it was restudied. And there is no evidence…I don’t have any evidence to convict.” Suppressed and Ignored.

January 2018 Papal return trip to Vatican on plane…confronted by an AP reporter, the pope said: “You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.” Suppressed and Ignored.

This author has investigated many clergy sex abuse cases. I witnessed the lies, threats, and hard ball tactics of episcopal cover ups. This is nothing new or particularly complex. The intimidation tactics of Pope Francis demonstrate the classic insidious cover up by a Bishop….the Bishop of Rome.

Francis was forced to relent and concede defeat because of photo of an envelope, full of sordid and violent allegations of a notorious predator who preyed on minors. Pope Francis was handed “the evidence and the proof” by his very own Cardinal, head of the Commission for the Protection of Children. Pope Francis was handed “the evidence and the proof” in April of 2015.

When the photo emerged in February 2018, the papal cover up gig was up.

Francis could stonewall no more.

He thought he could deny, suppress, and ignore the baleful pleas of wounded victims, like he did so many times in Argentina.

Francis, and only Francis, is personally and authoritatively responsible for this contemptible coverup.

Using the power and prestige of the Holy Office of the Papacy, Francis has repeatedly denied allegations, covered up the evidence and when he is caught in his web of lies, what does he do?

Francis now blames and scapegoats the 34 Chilean Bishops of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, a number of whom had originally protested the appointment of Juan Barros.

Zero Tolerance is an empty trope, unless Pope Francis resigns in shame and spends his remaining years in penitence for his failure to protect Chilean children and respond to the pleas of faithful Chilean Catholics, clergy abuse victims and countless Chilean priests.

How much more could the victims and Chilean Catholics have done to bring this matter to the Pope’s attention? They used every means humanly possible to stop this dangerous appointment. In response, Francis derided them, scoffed at them and insulted them repeatedly. Some Holy Father. So much for the Pope of Mercy.

The College of Cardinals should immediately convene and remove Francis, the Bishop of Rome for his gross and grave negligence and personal complicity in the systematic flouting and abuse of his own zero tolerance policy causing a scandal of epic proportions brought upon the global Catholic Church and the Chilean Catholic Church. In Francis’ new Motu Proprio Guidelines on Bishop Removal the standard for removal is “In the case of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults it is enough that the lack of diligence be grave.” § 3. Three years of papal stonewalling and coverup is the definition of grave.

It is easily arguable that the Francis coverup timeline demonstrates overwhelming evidence of a pernicious and wanton breach of ecclesiastic duty to ensure the protection of children and the moral integrity of the episcopacy. For once, will the Princes of the Church protect the little children? Or will they continue to quake in their mitres in the face of the dictator Pope?

Next installment: The coverup continues…

Elizabeth Yore is an international child advocate attorney who has investigated clergy sex abuse cases.

(Source: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/3909-anatomy-of-a-cover-up-an-open-letter-to-pope-francis)
May 25,2018

Hintergrundinformationen zum pastoralen Aufruf für Priester und andere Interessierte

Was wir von Priestern verlangen:

Bitte entschließen Sie sich, den Aufruf zu unterschreiben und eine Kopie an Ihren Bischof zu senden (siehe www.curapastoralis.org). Aufgrund seiner Natur als Akt der Seelsorge und des priesterlichen Zeugnisses für Christus und sein Evangelium ruft der Appell zu persönlichem Engagement und nicht zu Anonymität auf. Darüber hinaus können wir nicht anonym bleiben, während wir die Bischöfe auffordern, die Herausforderungen des öffentlichen Handelns

Die Priester, die unterschreiben, engagieren sich in einer pastoralen Initiative, nicht in einem politischen Unterfangen. Sie handeln in ihrem eigenen Namen, nicht als Mitglieder einer Gruppe oder einer Bewegung innerhalb der Kirche. Wir bitten darum, dass sie bei der Diskussion des Aufrufs klarstellen, dass sie für sich selbst sprechen, nicht aber für die anderen, die unterschrieben haben.

Wir sind uns bewusst, dass es Priester geben können, die mit den Grundanliegen und den Bekräftigungen des Evangeliums übereinstimmen, die im Aufruf zum Ausdruck gebracht werden, sich jedoch aus legitimen Gründen der Klugheit dafür entscheiden, nicht zu unterschreiben. Wir bitten in diesem Fall um ihre Gebete.


Der Aufruf beruht auf zwei beobachteten Tatsachen und einem daraus resultierenden pastoralen Urteil. Die Fakten sind diese:

1. das ernste pastorale Problem und der Schaden, der durch das Wiederaufleben eines schädlichen und lange abgelehnten Zugangs zur christlichen Moral verursacht wird.

2. die Unzulänglichkeit vergangener und gegenwärtiger kirchlicher Bemühungen, diesen falschen Ansatz zu beenden.

Das pastorale Urteil lautet: In Anbetracht dieser Geschichte brauchen wir jetzt eine formelle Korrektur dieser Irrtümer und eine erneute Bekräftigung der Lehren des Evangeliums, die mit der vollen Autorität des apostolischen Amtes zum Ausdruck gebracht wird. Andernfalls wird sich die ohnehin schon nachteilige Situation erheblich verschlechtern.

Es ist wichtig zu beachten, dass dieser schädliche Ansatz nicht neu ist, und dass seine Grundsätze von der Kirche wiederholt und präzise korrigiert wurden. Daher würde die pastorale Unterstützung, die wir im Aufruf fordern, keine tiefere Untersuchung seitens eines Bischofs erfordern, sondern allein, dass er seine volle apostolische Autorität dazu verwenden möge, die Lehren Christi und die Korrektur gegenläufiger Irrtümer durch die Kirche zu bekräftigen. Diese Form des apostolischen Zeugnisses für Christus und sein Evangelium hat eine einzigartige Wirksamkeit zur Überwindung des Schadens, der vom Irrtum angerichtet wurde, denn das Zeugnis ist ein göttlich feststehendes und vorgeschriebenes Mittel, um seine Gnade und Wahrheit der Menschheit zu bringen und diese in den Glauben und das Leben der Kirche einzugliedern (vgl. Lk 10,16; Mt 28,18-20; Apg 2,42; 1 Thess 2,13).


Als Priester, die auf den Schaden reagieren, den der falsche Ansatz in der Moraltheologie mit sich
bringt, wünschen wir:

1. öffentlich Zeugnis für Christus und seine Lehren zu geben und damit denjenigen, die zweifeln oder irregeführt werden, mit Rat beizustehen, Solidarität denjenigen auszudrücken, die unter schwierigen Umständen dem Evangelium treu bleiben, und Ermutigung unseren Mitbrüdern, den Priestern zu schenken, damit diese mit Mitgefühl, Ausdauer und dem authentischen Evangelium wirken, statt Ungeduld, Passivität oder absichtlicher Mehrdeutigkeit nachzugeben.

2. auf die jahrzehntelangen pastoralen Bemühungen der Kirche aufmerksam zu machen, die sich mühte, durch die Korrektur dieser Fehler den Schaden zu heilen.

3. in Anbetracht der Unzulänglichkeit dieser vergangenen Bemühungen zu verlangen, dass jeder Bischof seine volle apostolische Autorität in Anspruch nimmt, um das Evangelium zu bekräftigen und die Irrtümer zu widerlegen.

4. unsere pastoralen Anliegen darzulegen und auf brüderliche und kindliche Weise an unsere Bischöfe zu appellieren.

Stil und Umfang:

Die Sprache ist pastoral und religiös, während der Gebrauch von Fachterminologie aus
Theologie und kanonischem Recht minimiert wird.

Dies spiegelt am ehesten den Kern unserer Sorge wider, die, obwohl sie sich auf Angelegenheiten der Lehre bezieht, vor allem darauf gerichtet ist, denjenigen, die durch die erwähnte gefährliche
Zugangsweise zum christlichen Leben verletzt werden, zeitnah und effektiv zu helfen.

Wir glauben, dass dieser Stil auch der brüderlichen und kindlichen Natur des Aufrufs entspricht.
Die zehn Bekräftigungen der Lehren des Evangeliums, die im Aufruf enthalten sind, sind positive
Äußerungen des katholischen Glaubens, die einigen der grundsätzlichen Fragen, die durch die irrige Herangehensweise aufgeworfen wurden, begegnen sollen. Sie dienen nicht dazu, eine umfassende Analyse oder Widerlegung dieser falschen Ansichten zu geben.

Text und Übersetzungen:

Den offiziellen Text in englischer Sprache und weitere autorisierte Übersetzungen finden Sie unter

Full text of Kazakhstan Catholic Bishops statement on Amoris Laetitia

Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage

After the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (2016) various bishops issued at local, regional, and national levels applicable norms regarding the sacramental discipline of those faithful, called “divorced and remarried,” who having still a living spouse to whom they are united with a valid sacramental matrimonial bond, have nevertheless begun a stable cohabitation more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse.

The aforementioned rules provide inter alia that in individual cases the persons, called “divorced and remarried,” may receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, while continuing to live habitually and intentionally more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. These pastoral norms have received approval from various hierarchical authorities. Some of these norms have received approval even from the supreme authority of the Church.

The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy, a confusion that touches the central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental marriage with the family, the domestic church, and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.

According to the doctrine of the Church, only the sacramental matrimonial bond constitutes a domestic church (see Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 11). The admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.

The mentioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the “plague of divorce” (an expression used by the Second Vatican Council, see Gaudium et spes, 47). It is a matter of spreading the “plague of divorce” even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.

Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God’s express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.

The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (eodem sensu eademque sententia), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.

Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. “The sacraments not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 59). “Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125).

The Catholic faith by its nature excludes a formal contradiction between the faith professed on the one hand and the life and practice of the sacraments on the other. In this sense we can also understand the following affirmation of the Magisterium: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 43) and “Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

In view of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies: “The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth” (Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2). Saint Thomas Aquinas transmits to us the same perennial principle of the life of the Church: “There is one and the same faith of the ancients and the moderns, otherwise there would not be one and the same Church” (Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 14, a. 12c).

The following warning from Pope John Paul II remains current and valid: “The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it” (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitenia, 18).

The meaning of the following statements of the Magisterium of the Church is fully applicable to the doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning the indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage:

• “For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient doctrines faithfully and wisely, which the faith of the Fathers has transmitted. She strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus — that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning” (Pius IX, Dogmatic Bull Ineffabilis Deus)

• “With regard to the very substance of truth, the Church has before God and men the sacred duty to announce it, to teach it without any attenuation, as Christ revealed it, and there is no condition of time that can reduce the rigor of this obligation. It binds in conscience every priest who is entrusted with the care of teaching, admonishing, and guiding the faithful” (Pius XII, Discourse to parish priests and Lenten preachers, March 23, 1949).

• “The Church does not historicize, does not relativize to the metamorphoses of profane culture the nature of the Church that is always equal and faithful to itself, as Christ wanted it and authentic tradition perfected it” (Paul VI, Homily from October 28, 1965).

• “Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 29).

• “Any conjugal difficulties are resolved without ever falsifying and compromising the truth” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

• “The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm [of the Divine moral law]. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

• “The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34).

• “The Church’s firmness in defending the universal and unchanging moral norms is not demeaning at all. Its only purpose is to serve man’s true freedom. Because there can be no freedom apart from or in opposition to the truth” (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).

• “When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the ‘poorest of the poor’ on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality, we are all absolutely equal” (emphasis in original) (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).

• “The obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, as it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord” (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration on the admissibility to the Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried, 24 June 2000, n. 5).

As Catholic bishops, who — according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council — must defend the unity of faith and the common discipline of the Church, and take care that the light of the full truth should arise for all men (see Lumen Gentium, 23 ) we are forced in conscience to profess in the face of the current rampant confusion the unchanging truth and the equally immutable sacramental discipline regarding the indissolubility of marriage according to the bi-millennial and unaltered teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. In this spirit we reiterate:

• Sexual relationships between people who are not in the bond to one another of a valid marriage — which occurs in the case of the so-called “divorced and remarried” — are always contrary to God’s will and constitute a grave offense against God.

• No circumstance or finality, not even a possible imputability or diminished guilt, can make such sexual relations a positive moral reality and pleasing to God. The same applies to the other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Since “there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17).

• The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a member of the faithful (see Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The non-admission to Holy Communion of the so-called “divorced and remarried” does not therefore mean a judgment on their state of grace before God, but a judgment on the visible, public, and objective character of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church herself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding visible and objective situation of the faithful.

• It is not morally licit to engage in sexual relations with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse supposedly to avoid another sin. Since the Word of God teaches us, it is not lawful “to do evil so that good may come” (Romans 3, 8).

• The admission of such persons to Holy Communion may be permitted only when they with the help of God’s grace and a patient and individual pastoral accompaniment make a sincere intention to cease from now on the habit of such sexual relations and to avoid scandal. It is in this way that true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment were always expressed in the Church.

• People who have habitual non-marital sexual relations violate their indissoluble sacramental nuptial bond with their life style in relation to their legitimate spouse. For this reason they are not able to participate “in Spirit and in Truth” (see John 4, 23) at the Eucharistic wedding supper of Christ, also taking into account the words of the rite of Holy Communion: “Blessed are the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19, 9).

• The fulfillment of God’s will, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, constitutes the true spiritual good of the people here on earth and will lead them to the true joy of love in the salvation of eternal life.

Being bishops in the pastoral office, who promote the Catholic and Apostolic faith (“cultores catholicae et apostolicae fidei,” see Missale Romanum, Canon Romanus), we are aware of this grave responsibility and our duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage. For this reason we are not allowed to be silent.

We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:

It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.

31 December 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

+ Tomash Peta, Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop of Karaganda

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana


The full text of Father Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis

July 31, 2017
Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office. You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church. All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth. The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate. The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions. This fosters within the faithful a growing unease. It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace. Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia. I need not share my own concerns about its content. Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that. The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching. In Amoris Laetitia, your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching. As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means. To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it. Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul. Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism. This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry. Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions. Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by ad hominemarguments.

Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine. Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life. Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology. But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel. Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth. What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.

Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them. What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice. This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being. As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the sensus fidelium, are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.

Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity. But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite. Encouraging a form of “synodality” that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion. Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.

Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern. You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church. You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think. But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent? Why is this? Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it. Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises. Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?” The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops. Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness. In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.

Ehemalige Muslime, die katholisch geworden sind, und deren Freunde, an Seine Heiligkeit Papst Franziskus, über seine Haltung gegenüber dem Islam

Hier ist der Text eines offenen Briefes an Papst Franziskus, den Sie unterschreiben können, wenn Sie es wünschen. Wir werden ihn dem Papst zusenden, sobald er eine signifikante Anzahl von Unterzeichnern erreicht hat. Ich wäre Ihnen dankbar, wenn Sie ihn weiter verbreiten könnten. Für alle praktischen Zwecke erinnern wir: „Entsprechend ihrem Wissen, ihrer Zuständigkeit und ihrer hervorragenden Stellung haben sie (die Gläubigen) das Recht und bisweilen sogar die Pflicht, ihre Meinung in dem, was das Wohl der Kirche angeht, den geistlichen Hirten mitzuteilen und sie unter Wahrung der Unversehrtheit des Glaubens und der Sitten und der Ehrfurcht gegenüber den Hirten und unter Beachtung des allgemeinen Nutzens und der Würde der Personen den übrigen Gläubigen kundzutun.“ (Can. 212 § 3):

Heiliger Vater,

Viele von uns haben wiederholt und seit mehreren Jahren versucht, Sie zu kontaktieren, ohne das wir je eine Empfangsbestätigung unserer Briefe oder Bitten um ein Treffen erhalten haben. Sie mögen keine weltlichen Floskeln, und wir auch nicht, so erlauben wir uns Ihnen offen zu sagen, dass wir Ihre Lehre über den Islam nicht verstehen, so wie wir sie in den Paragraphen 252 und 253 von Evangelium gaudium lesen, weil sie nicht in Betracht zieht, dass der Islam NACH Christus entstanden ist, und so nichts anderes sein kann als ein Antichrist (Vgl. 1 Joh 2.22) und einer der gefährlichsten von allen weil es sich als die Erfüllung der Offenbarung darstellt (von der Jesus nur ein Prophet gewesen sein soll). Wenn der Islam an sich eine gute Religion ist, wie Sie zu lehren scheinen, warum sind wir dann katholisch geworden? Stellen Ihre Worte nicht unsere gut begründete Wahl in Frage … die wir auf die Gefahr unseres Lebens getroffen haben? Der Islam schreibt die Tötung von Abtrünnigen vor (Koran 4.89, 8.7-11). Wissen Sie das nicht? Wie ist es möglich, islamische Gewalt mit so genannter christlicher Gewalt zu vergleichen? „Wie steht Christus im Einklang mit Belial? Was haben Licht und Finsternis gemeinsam? Oder welche Anteil hat der Gläubige gemeinsam mit den Ungläubigen?“ (2 Kor 6,14-15). In Übereinstimmung mit Seiner Lehre (Lk 14,26) bevorzugten wir Ihn, Christus, unserem eigenen Leben. Sind wir nicht in der richtigen Lage, um mit Ihnen über den Islam zu sprechen?
In der Tat, solange der Islam will, dass wir sein Feind sind, sind wir es, und alle unsere Freundschaftsbeteuerungen können nichts daran ändern. Im guten Stil des Antichristen besteht der Islam nur darin, der Feind aller zu sein: „Zwischen uns und euch gibt es nur Feindschaft und Hass für immer, bis ihr ausschließlich an Allah glaubt!“ (Koran 60,4) Für den Koran, sind die Christen „nichts anders als Unreinheit“ (Koran 9,28), „die Übelsten der Schöpfung“ (Koran 98,6), sie sind alle zur Hölle verurteilt (Koran 4,48), so muss Allah sie vernichten (Koran 9.30). Man darf sich nicht von den als tolerant bezeichneten Koranversen täuschen lassen, denn sie sind alle durch die Sure des Schwertes aufgehoben worden (Koran 9,5). Während das Evangelium die gute Nachricht Jesu verkündet, der gestorben und auferstanden ist für das Heil aller, als die Erfüllung des mit dem hebräischen Volk eingegangen Bundes, hat Allah nichts anderes zu bieten als den Krieg und das Töten von „Ungläubigen“ in Gegenleistung seines Paradieses: „Sie kämpfen auf Allahs Weg, sie töten und werden getötet“ (Koran 9.111). Wir vermischen nicht den Islam mit den Muslimen, aber wenn für Sie der „Dialog“ der Weg des Friedens ist, ist er für den Islam ein anderer Weg, um Krieg zu führen. So wie es angesichts des Nazismus und Kommunismus war, ist Blauäugigkeit gegenüber dem Islam selbstmörderisch und sehr gefährlich. Wie kann man von Frieden sprechen und den Islam unterstützen, wie Sie es zu tun scheinen: „Wir müssen die Krankheit, die unser Leben vergiftet, aus unseren Herzen ausmerzen (…) Diejenigen, die Christen sind, sollen es mit der Bibel tun und die, die Muslime sind, sollen es mit der Koran tun“ (Rom, 20. Januar 2014)? Dass der Papst den Koran als einen Weg der des Heils vorzuschlagen scheint, ist das nicht beunruhigend? Sollten wir zum Islam zurückkehren?
Wir bitten Sie, im Islam keinen Verbündeten zu suchen für den Kampf, den Sie gegen die Mächte führen, die die Welt zu beherrschen und zu versklaven suchen, weil sie alle tatsächlich die gleiche totalitäre Logik üben, die sich auf die Verweigerung des Königtums Christi stützen (Lk 4,7). Wir wissen, dass das Tier der Apokalypse, das versucht, die Frau und ihr Kind zu verschlingen, viele Köpfe hat … Allah verbietet auch solche Bündnisse (Koran 5,51)! Und vor allem haben die Propheten Israel immer getadelt für sein Willen, Bündnisse mit fremden Mächten einzugehen, auf Kosten des absoluten Vertrauens, das man in Gott haben muss. Sicher, stark ist die Versuchung zu glauben, dass eine islamophile Haltung den Christen in muslimischen Ländern zusätzliches Leiden ersparen werde, doch Jesus hat uns nie auf einen anderen Weg hingewiesen als den des Kreuzes, so dass wir auf diesen unsere Freude finden werden, und ihn nicht zu fliehen mit allen Verdammten, wir haben keinen Zweifel, dass nur die Verkündigung der Wahrheit uns mit dem Heil die Freiheit bringen wird (Joh 8,32). Unsere Pflicht ist es, Zeugnis zu geben für die Wahrheit „mit und gegen die Zeit“ (2 Tim 4,2) und unsere Ehre ist es, mit den hl. Paulus zu sagen: „Denn ich hatte mir vorgenommen nichts anderes unter euch zu wissen als Jesus Christus, und Jesus Christus als Gekreuzigten“ (1 Kor. 2.2).
Im Zusammenhang mit der Ansprache Eurer Heiligkeit über den Islam, und selbst dann als Präsident Erdogan, unter anderen, seine Mitbürger aufforderte, sich nicht in ihre Gastländer zu integrieren, Saudi-Arabien und alle Petro-Monarchien keinen einzigen Flüchtling aufnehmen, sind dies Ausdrücke unter anderen des Projekts der Eroberung und Islamisierung Europas, das seit Jahrzehnten offiziell von der OIC (Organisation für Islamische Zusammenarbeit) und anderen islamischen Organisationen ausgerufen wurden. Heiligster Vater, Sie predigen die Aufnahme von Migranten ohne darauf zu achten, dass sie Muslime sind, während das apostolische Gebot dies verbietet: „Wenn einer zu euch kommt und diese Lehre nicht bringt, den nehmt nicht auf in das Haus und sagt ihm auch nicht den Gruß; wer ihm den Gruß entbietet, macht sich teilhaftig seiner bösen Werke“ (2 Joh 1,10-11); „Wenn jemand euch ein anderes Evangelium verkündet, als ihr empfangen habt, so sei er verflucht!“ (Gal 1,9).
Jesus hat nie gesagt: „Ich war ein Eindringling und ihr habt mich aufgenommen.“ Oder gar: „Ich war ein Fremder und ihr habt mich aufgenommen.“ Genau wie „Ich war hungrig und ihr habt mir kein Essen gegeben“ (Mt 25,35), kann nicht bedeuten, dass Jesus gerne ein Parasit gewesen wäre, auch „Ich war ein Fremder und ihr habt mich nicht willkommen geheißen“, kann nicht bedeuten „Ich war ein Eindringling und du hast mich nicht willkommen geheißen“. Aber „Ich brauchte deine Gastfreundschaft für eine Weile, und ihr habt sie mir gegeben“. Das Wort ξένος (Xenos) im Neuen Testament bezieht sich nicht nur auf die Bedeutung des Fremden, sondern auf die des Wirtes (Röm 16,23, 1 Kor 16,5-6, Kol 4,10, 3 Joh 1,5). Und wenn YHWH im Alten Testament befiehlt, Ausländer gut zu behandeln, weil die Hebräer selbst Ausländer in Ägypten waren, so ist es unter der Bedingung, dass sich der Ausländer so gut in das auserwählte Volk integriert, indem er seine Religion und die Kultausübungen übernimmt … Nie geht es um die Tatsache, einen Fremden aufzunehmen, der seine Religion und seine Sitten beibehält! Wir verstehen auch nicht, dass Sie die Muslime auffordern, ihre Religion in Europa auszuüben. Die Interpretation der Heiligen Schrift darf nicht den Befürwortern der Globalisierung überlassen werden, sondern aus der Treue zur Tradition hervorgehen. Der Gute Hirte verjagt den Wolf, er führt ihn nicht in die Schafherde ein.
Die pro-islamische Ansprache Eurer Heiligkeit führt uns dazu, die Tatsache zu bedauern, dass Muslime nicht eingeladen werden, den Islam zu verlassen, dass viele Ex-Muslime, wie Magdi Allam, die Kirche verlassen, angewidert von Feigheit, verwundet von zweideutigen Gesten, verwirrt durch den Mangel an Evangelisierung, empört über das Lob, das dem Islam gegeben wird… So werden unwissende Seelen irregeführt, und die Christen werden nicht vorbereitet auf die Konfrontation mit dem Islam, zu dem der hl. Johannes Paul II. Aufgerufen hatte (Ecclesia in Europa, Nr. 57). Wir haben den Eindruck, dass Ihr Mitbruder Bischof Nona Amel, ein aus Mosul verbannter chaldäischer Erzbischof, in der Wüste ruft: „Unsere gegenwärtigen Leiden sind der Auftakt für diejenigen, die ihr, Europäer und westliche Christen, in naher Zukunft erleiden werdet. Ich habe meine Diözese verloren. Der Sitz meiner Erzdiözese und mein Apostolat wurde von radikalen Islamisten besetzt, die wollen, dass wir konvertieren oder sterben. (…) Sie nehmen in ihrem Land immer mehr Muslime auf. Sie sind auch in Gefahr. Sie müssen starke und mutige Entscheidungen treffen (…). Sie denken, dass alle Menschen gleich sind, aber der Islam sagt nicht, dass alle Menschen gleich sind. (…) Wenn sie das nicht sehr schnell verstehen, werden sie zu den Opfern des Feindes, den sie in ihrem Haus aufgenommen haben“ (9. August 2014). Es geht um Leben und Tod, und jede Selbstgefälligkeit gegenüber dem Islam ist Verrat. Wir wollen nicht, dass der Westen sich weiter islamisiert und dass Ihre Handlungen dazu beitragen. Wohin sollten wir gehen, um erneut Zuflucht zu suchen?
Erlauben Sie uns, Eure Heiligkeit zu bitten, schnell eine Synode über die Gefahren des Islam einzuberufen. Was ist von der Kirche übriggeblieben, wo sich der Islam niedergelassen hat? Wenn ihr noch Stadtrecht gewährt wird, dann ist es in Dhimmitude (als Schutzbefohlene), vorausgesetzt, dass sie nicht evangelisiert, dass sie sich deshalb selbst verleugnen muss… Im Interesse von Gerechtigkeit und Wahrheit muss die Kirche offen zeigen, warum die Argumente des Islam, den christlichen Glauben zu lästern, falsch sind. Wenn die Kirche den Mut dazu hat, bezweifeln wir nicht, dass Millionen, Muslime und andere Männer und Frauen, die den wahren Gott suchen, sich bekehren werden. Wie Sie in Erinnerung gebracht haben: „Wer nicht zu Christus betet, betet zum Teufel“ (14.03.13). Wenn die Menschen wüssten, dass sie zur Hölle gehen würden, würden sie ihr Leben Christus geben (vgl. Koran 3.55).
Mit der tiefsten Liebe zu Christus, der durch Sie seine Kirche führt, bitten wir, Katholiken aus dem Islam konvertiert und unterstützt von vielen unserer Glaubensbrüder, besonders den Christen des Ostens, und von unseren Freunden, Eure Heiligkeit, unsere Bekehrung zu Jesus Christus, wahrer Gott und wahrer Mensch, einziger Erlöser, durch eine offene und rechte Ansprache über den Islam zu bestätigen. Wir versichern Ihnen unsere Gebete im Herzen der Unbefleckten, und erbitten Euren Apostolischen Segen.
Liste der Unterzeichner und entsprechende E-Mail-Adressen (Wahrscheinlich werden nicht alle ehemaligen Muslime diesen Brief unterschreiben aus Angst vor möglichen Repressalien…).


"Denn so wie die Untergebenen der Natur gemäß die Pflicht haben, ihren Vorgesetzen in allen vom Gesetz vorgesehenen Dingen zu gehorchen, so haben sie das Recht, dass ihre Vorgesetzten danach regieren. Durch das Gesetz Christi:
Denn Sein Geist hat den Apostel Paulus inspiriert, Petrus öffentlich zurechtzuweisen, als dieser nicht gemäß der Wahrheit des Evangeliums handelte (Gal 2). Der heilige Thomas von Aquin stellt fest, daß diese öffentliche Zurechtweisung eines Untergebenen gegenüber seinem
Vorgesetzten legitim war aufgrund der unmittelbar drohenden Gefahr eines Ärgernisses für den Glauben (Summa Theologiae IIa IIae, 33, 4 ad 2), und die “Glosse des heiligen Augustinus” fügt hinzu, dass bei dieser Gelegenheit “Petrus selbst den Oberen das Beispiel gab, sich nicht darüber zu empören, von den Untergebenen zurechtgewiesen zu werden, wenn sie vom rechten Weg
abweichen sollten“ (ibid). Auch das Gesetz der Kirche zwingt uns dazu, da es besagt, dass die „Gläubigen [...] entsprechend ihrem Wissen, ihrer Zuständigkeit und ihrer hervorragenden Stellung das Recht (haben) und bisweilen sogar die Pflicht, ihre Meinung in dem, was das Wohl der Kirche angeht, den geistlichen Hirten mitzuteilen“ (Codex Iuris Canonici, Can. 212, § 2 und 3; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, Can. 15, § 3)."
Correctio filialis

Zurechtweisung wegen der Verbreitung von Häresien

„Durch diese Worte, Taten und Unterlassungen und durch die oben genannten Stellen im Dokument Amoris laetitia hat Eure Heiligkeit auf direkte oder indirekte Weise (mit welchem und wieviel Bewusstsein wissen wir nicht noch wollen wir das beurteilen) folgende falschen und häretischen Thesen unterstützt, die in der Kirche sowohl mit dem offiziellen Amt als auch durch private Handlungen propagiert werden:

1.) Eine gerechtfertigte Person hat nicht die Kraft mit der Gnade Gottes die objektiven Gebote des Göttlichen Gesetzes zu halten, so als wären einige der Gebote unmöglich zu halten für jene, die gerechtfertigt sind; oder als würde die Gnade Gottes, indem sie ein Individuum rechtfertigt, nicht unveränderlich und durch ihre Natur die Bekehrung von jeder schweren Sünde bewirken; oder daß sie nicht ausreichend wäre für die Bekehrung von jeder schweren Sünde.

2.) Die Christen, die zivilrechtlich die Scheidung vom Ehegatten erhalten haben, mit dem sie gültig verheiratet sind, und standesamtlich eine neue Ehe mit einer anderen Person eingegangen sind (während ihr Ehegatte noch lebt), die also more uxorio mit ihrem standesamtlichen Partner zusammenleben und entschieden haben, in vollem Bewusstsein der Natur ihrer Handlung und mit voller Zustimmung des Willens in diesem Status zu verbleiben, befinden sich nicht unbedingt im Stand der Todsünde, können die heiligmachende Gnade empfangen und in der Liebe wachsen.

3.) Ein Christ kann die volle Kenntnis eines Göttlichen Gesetzes haben und willentlich entscheiden, es in einer schwerwiegenden Sache zu verletzten, und dennoch nicht als Folge dieser Handlung im Stand der Todsünde sein.

4.) Während sie dem Göttlichen Gesetz gehorcht, kann eine Person kraft desselben Gehorsams gegen Gott sündigen.

5.) Das Gewissen kann wirklich und richtig beurteilen, dass sexuelle Handlungen zwischen Personen, die eine standesamtliche Ehe eingegangen sind, obwohl eine oder beide sakramental mit einer anderen Person verheiratet sind, manchmal moralisch gut, erforderlich oder von Gott geboten sind.

6.) Die moralischen Grundsätze und Wahrheiten, die in der Göttlichen Offenbarung und im Naturrecht enthalten sind, enthalten keine negativen Verbote, die bestimmte Arten von Handlungen, die aufgrund ihres Objekts immer auf schwere Weise unzulässig sind, absolut verbieten.

7.) Unser Herr Jesus Christus will, dass die Kirche ihre immerwährende Disziplin aufgibt, den wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen die Eucharistie zu verweigern und den wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen, die keine Reue wegen ihres Lebensstandes zeigen und keinen festen Vorsatz sich zu ändern, die Absolution zu verweigern.

Alle diese Thesen widersprechen von Gott offenbarten Wahrheiten, die Katholiken durch Zustimmung zum Göttlichen Glauben zu glauben haben. Sie wurden bereits in der Petition zu Amoris laetitia als Häresien identifiziert, die von 45 katholischen Gelehrten den Kardinälen und den Patriarchen der Ostkirchen übermittelt wurde. Für das Wohl der Seelen ist es nötig, dass sie erneut von der kirchlichen Autorität verurteilt werden. Mit der Auflistung dieser sieben Thesen wollen wir keine vollständige Liste aller Häresien und Irrtümer vorlegen, die der Leser bei einer objektiven Lektüre von Amoris laetitia, gemäß seinem natürlichen und offensichtlichen Sinn, feststellen würde, da sie durch das Dokument behauptet, nahegelegt oder in begünstigt werden. Vielmehr beziehen wir uns auf jene sieben Thesen, die Eure Heiligkeit durch Worte, Taten und Unterlassungen – wie bereits dargelegt – effektiv unterstützt und verbreitet, und dadurch einen große und unmittelbare Gefahr für die Seelen verursacht hat.

Deshalb wenden wir uns in dieser kritischen Stunde an die cathedra veritatis, die Römische Kirche, die durch das Göttliche Gesetz Vorrang vor allen Kirchen hat und deren loyale Söhne wir sind und immer sein wollen. Respektvoll beharren wir darauf, dass Eure Heiligkeit öffentlich diese Thesen zurückweist und so den Auftrag erfüllt, den Unser Herr Jesus Christus dem Petrus und durch ihn allen seinen Nachfolgern übertragen hat bis zum Ende der Welt: ‚Ich aber habe für dich gebetet, dass dein Glaube nicht erlischt. Und wenn du dich wieder bekehrt hast, dann stärke deine Brüder‘ (Lk 22,32).

Respektvoll bitten wir um Euren Apostolischen Segen und versichern Sie unserer kindlichen Ergebenheit in Unserem Herrn und unseres Gebets für das Wohl der Kirche.“

Nähere Informationen: www.correctiofilialis.org
Deutsch: www.katholisch-bleiben.de

„Unser Gewissen drängt uns …“

Heiliger Vater,

mit einer gewissen Beklemmung wende ich mich an Eure Heiligkeit während dieser Tage der Osterzeit. Ich tue dies im Namen der Kardinäle Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Joachim Meisner und in meinem eigenen.

Es ist unser Wunsch, vor allem unsere absolute Hingabe und unsere bedingungslose Liebe zum Stuhl Petri und für Eure Person zu erneuern, in der wir den Nachfolger des Petrus und den Stellvertreter Jesu anerkennen: den „süßen Christus auf Erden“ wie die hl. Katharina von Siena zu sagen liebte. Uns ist nicht im Geringsten die Position jener zu eigen, die den Stuhl des Petrus für vakant erachten noch jene, die auch anderen die unteilbare Verantwortung des Petrinischen „Munus“ zuschreiben wollen. Uns drängt allein durch das Bewußtsein einer großen Verantwortung getrieben, die vom „Munus“ der Kardinäle herrührt: Berater des Nachfolgers Petri in seinem souveränen Amt zu sein. Und des Sakraments des Episkopats: „Gebt Acht auf euch und auf die ganze Herde, in der euch der Heilige Geist zu Bischöfen bestellt hat, damit ihr als Hirten für die Kirche Gottes sorgt, die er sich durch das Blut seines eigenen Sohnes erworben hat“ (Ap 20,28).

Am 19. September 2016 haben wir Eurer Heiligkeit und der Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre fünf „Dubia“ übergeben und Euch gebeten, Unsicherheiten zu zerstreuen und Klarheit zu einigen Punkten des nachsynodalen Apostolischen Schreibens Amoris laetitia zu schaffen.

Da wir keinerlei Antwort von Eurer Heiligkeit erhalten haben, sind wir zum Entschluß gekommen, Euch respektvoll und demütig um Audienz zu bitten, wenn es Eurer Heiligkeit gefallen sollte. Wir fügen, wie es üblich ist, ein Audienzgesuch bei, auf dem wir die beiden Punkte nennen, über die wir mit Euch sprechen möchten.

Heiliger Vater,

inzwischen ist ein Jahr seit der Veröffentlichung von Amoris laetitia vergangen. In dieser Zeit wurden öffentlich Interpretationen zu einigen objektiv zweideutigen Stellen des nachsynodalen Schreibens gegeben, die vom beständigen Lehramt der Kirche nicht nur abweichen, sondern diesem widersprechen. Obwohl der Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation mehrfach erklärte, daß sich die Lehre der Kirche nicht geändert hat, sind zahlreiche Erklärungen von einzelnen Bischöfen , Kardinälen, ja sogar von Bischofskonferenzen erfolgt, die gutheißen, was das Lehramt der Kirche nie gutgeheißen hat. Nicht nur der Zugang zur Heiligen Eucharistie von jenen, die objektiv und öffentlich in einem Zustand der schweren Sünde leben und darin bleiben wollen, sondern auch ein Verständnis des moralischen Gewissens, das der Tradition der Kirche widerspricht. Dadurch geschieht – wie schmerzvoll ist es, das festzustellen! –, daß das, was in Polen Sünde ist, in Deutschland gut ist, was im Erzbistum Philadelphia verboten ist, auf Malta erlaubt ist, und so weiter. Es kommt einem die bittere Feststellung von Blaise Pascal in den Sinn: „Diesseits der Pyrenäen Wahrheit, jenseits Irrtum; Gerechtigkeit am linken Flußufer, Ungerechtigkeit am rechten Flußufer.“

Zahlreiche kompetente Laien, die die Kirche auf das Innigste lieben und loyal zum Apostolischen Stuhl stehen, haben sich an ihre Hirten und an Eure Heiligkeit gewandt, um in der Heiligen Glaubenslehre zu den drei Sakramenten der Ehe, der Buße und der Eucharistie bestärkt zu werden. Gerade in diesen Tagen haben in Rom sechs Laien aus allen Kontinenten eine sehr gut besuchte Studientagung abgehalten mit dem aussagekräftigen Titel „Klarheit schaffen“.

Angesichts dieser schwerwiegenden Situation, in der sich viele christliche Gemeinschaften spalten, spüren wir die Last unserer Verantwortung und unser Gewissen drängt uns, Sie demütig und respektvoll um Audienz zu bitten.

Mögen Eure Heiligkeit unser im Gebet gedenken, so wie wir Euch versichern, es in unseren zu tun. Wir bitten zudem um das Geschenk Eures Apostolischen Segens.

Carlo Kardinal Caffarra

Rom, 25. April 2017
Fest des heiligen Evangelisten Markus

Einleitung/Übersetzung: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: MiL/Vatican.va (Montage)


With Burning Concern - We Accuse Pope Francis

September 19, 2016
Feast of Saint Januarius in the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Your Holiness:
The following narrative, written in our desperation as lowly members of the laity, is what we must call an accusation concerning your pontificate, which has been a calamity for the Church in proportion to which it delights the powers of this world. The culminating event that impelled us to take this step was the revelation of your “confidential” letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires authorizing them, solely on the basis of your own views as expressed in Amoris Laetitia, to admit certain public adulterers in “second marriages” to the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion without any firm purpose of amending their lives by ceasing their adulterous sexual relations.

You have thus defied the very words of Our Lord Himself condemning divorce and “remarriage” as adultery per se without exception, the admonition of Saint Paul on the divine penalty for unworthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament, the teaching of your two immediate predecessors in line with the bimillenial moral doctrine and Eucharistic discipline of the Church rooted in divine revelation, the Code of Canon Law and all of Tradition.

You have already provoked a fracturing of the Church’s universal discipline, with some bishops maintaining it despite Amoris Laetitia while others, including those in Buenos Aires, are announcing a change based solely on the authority of your scandalous “apostolic exhortation.” Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of the Church.

Yet, almost without exception, the conservative members of the hierarchy observe a politic silence while the liberals exult publicly over their triumph thanks to you. Almost no one in the hierarchy stands in opposition to your reckless disregard of sound doctrine and practice, even though many murmur privately against your depredations. Thus, as it was during the Arian crisis, it falls to the laity to defend the Faith in the midst of a near-universal defection from duty on the part of the hierarchs.

Of course we are nothing in the scheme of things, and yet as baptized lay members of the Mystical Body we are endowed with the God-given right and the correlative duty, enshrined in Church law (cf. CIC can. 212), to communicate with you and with our fellow Catholics concerning the acute crisis your governance of the Church has provoked amidst an already chronic state of ecclesial crisis following the Second Vatican Council.

Private entreaties having proven utterly useless, as we note below, we have published this document to discharge our burden of conscience in the face of the grave harm you have inflicted, and threaten to inflict, upon souls and the ecclesial commonwealth, and to exhort our fellow Catholics to stand in principled opposition to your continuing abuse of the papal office, particularly where it concerns the Church’s infallible teaching against adultery and profanation of the Holy Eucharist.

In making the decision to publish this document we were guided by the teaching of the Angelic Doctor on a matter of natural justice in the Church:

It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.” [Summa Theologiae, II-II, Q. 33, Art 4]

We have been guided as well by the teaching of Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, regarding licit resistance to a wayward Roman Pontiff:

Therefore, just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so it is lawful to resist him invading souls or disturbing a state, and much more if he should endeavor to destroy the Church. I say, it is lawful to resist him, by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will… [De Controversiis on the Roman Pontiff, Bk. 2, Ch. 29].

Catholics the world over, and not just “traditionalists,” are convinced that the situation Bellarmine envisioned hypothetically is today a reality. That conviction is the motive for this document.

May God be the judge of the rectitude of our intentions.

Christopher A. Ferrara
Lead Columnist, The Remnant

Michael J. Matt
Editor, The Remnant

John Vennari
Editor, Catholic Family News


By the grace of God and the law of the Church, a complaint against Francis, Roman Pontiff, on account of danger to the Faith and grave harm to souls and the common good of the Holy Catholic Church.

What Sort of Humility Is This?

On the night of your election, speaking from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, you declared: “the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome.” Even though the crowd before you consisted of people from around the world, members of the Church universal, you expressed thanks only “for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.” You also expressed the hope that “this journey of the Church that we begin today” would be “fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.” You asked the faithful present in the Saint Peter’s Square to pray, not for the Pope, but “for their Bishop” and you said that the next day you would “go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.”

Your strange remarks on that historic occasion began with the banal exclamation “Brothers and sisters, good evening” and ended with an equally banal intention: “Good night and sleep well!” Not once during the first address did you refer to yourself as Pope or make any reference to the supreme dignity of the office to which you had been elected: that of the Vicar of Christ, whose divine commission is to teach, govern and sanctify the Church universal and lead her mission to make disciples of all nations.

Almost from the moment of your election there began a kind of endless public relations campaign whose theme is your singular humility among the Popes, a simple “Bishop of Rome” in contrast to the supposed monarchical pretensions of your predecessors and their elaborate vestments and red shoes, which you shunned. You gave early indications of a radical decentralization of papal authority in favor of a “synodal Church” taking its example from the Orthodox view of “the meaning of episcopal collegiality and their experience of synodality.” The exultant mass media immediately hailed “the Francis revolution.”

Yet this ostentatious display of humility has been accompanied by an abuse of the power of the papal office without precedent in the history of the Church. Over the past three-and-a-half years you have incessantly promoted your own opinions and desires without the least regard for the teaching of your predecessors, the bimillenial traditions of the Church, or the immense scandals you have caused. On innumerable occasions you have shocked and confused the faithful and delighted the Church’s enemies with heterodox and even nonsensical statements, while heaping insult after insult upon observant Catholics, whom you continually deride as latter-day Pharisees and “rigorists.” Your personal comportment has often descended to acts of crowd-pleasing buffoonery.

You have consistently ignored the salutary admonition of your immediate predecessor, who resigned the papacy under mysterious circumstances eight years after having asked the bishops assembled before him at the beginning of his pontificate to “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.” To quote your predecessor in his first homily as Pope:

The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.

A Selective Meddling in Politics, Always Politically Correct

Throughout your tenure as “Bishop of Rome” you have shown scant regard for the limitations of papal authority and competence. You have meddled in political affairs such as immigration policy, penal law, the environment, restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba (while ignoring the plight of Catholics under the Castro dictatorship) and even opposing the Scottish independence movement. Yet you refuse to oppose secularist governments when they defy the divine and natural law by such measures as legalizing “homosexual unions,” a matter of divine and natural law on which a Pope can and must intervene.

In fact, your many condemnations of social evils—all of them politically safe targets—are continually belied by your own actions, which compromise the Church’s witness against the manifold errors of modernity:

Contrary to the constant teaching of the Church based on Revelation, you demand worldwide total abolition of the death penalty, no matter how grave the crime, and even the abolition of life sentences, yet you have never called for the abolition of legalized abortion, which the Church has constantly condemned as the mass murder of innocents.

You declare that the simple faithful are sinning gravely if they fail to recycle their household waste and turn off unnecessary lighting, even as you expend millions of dollars on vulgar mass events surrounding your person in various countries, to which you travel with large entourages in charter jets that emit vast quantities of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

You demand open borders for Muslim “refugees” in Europe, who are predominantly military-age males, while you live behind the walls of a Vatican city-state that strictly excludes non-residents—walls built by Leo IV to prevent a second Muslim sack of Rome.

You speak incessantly of the poor and the “peripheries” of society but you ally yourself with the wealthy and corrupt German hierarchy and pro-abortion, pro-contraception, pro-homosexual celebrities and potentates of globalism.

You deride greedy corporate profit-seeking and “the economy that kills” while you honor with private audiences and receive lavish donations from the world’s wealthiest technocrats and corporate heads, even allowing Porsche to rent the Sistine Chapel for a “magnificent concert… arranged exclusively for the participants,” who paid some $6,000 each for a Roman tour—the first time a Pope has allowed this sacred space to be used for a corporate event.

You demand an end to “inequality” as you embrace communist and socialist dictators who live in luxury while the masses suffer under their yokes.

You condemn an American candidate for the presidency as “not Christian” because he seeks to prevent illegal immigration, but you say nothing against the atheist dictators you embrace, who have committed mass murder, persecute the Church and imprison Christians in police states.

In promoting your personal opinions on politics and public policy as if they were Catholic doctrine, you have not hesitated to abuse even the dignity of a papal encyclical by employing it to endorse debatable and even demonstrably fraudulent scientific claims regarding “climate change,” the “carbon cycle,” “carbon dioxide pollution” and “acidification of the oceans.” The same document also demands that the faithful respond to a supposed “ecological crisis” by supporting secular programs of environmentalism, such as the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which you have praised even though they call for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health,” meaning contraception and abortion.

A Rampant Indifferentism

While hardly a pioneer respecting the destructive post-conciliar novelties of “ecumenism” and “interreligious dialogue,” you have promoted to a degree not seen even during the worst years of the post-conciliar crisis a specific religious indifferentism that practically dispenses with the mission of the Church as the ark of salvation.

Respecting the Protestants, you declare that they are all members of the same “Church of Christ” as Catholics, regardless of what they believe, and that doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants are comparatively trivial matters to be worked out by agreement of theologians. You simply ignore the theological and moral decrepitude of the Vatican’s Protestant “partners” in “ecumenical dialogue”—so-called churches that reject fundamental dogmas of the one true religion established by Christ in the Catholic Church, including the primacy of Peter, a sacrificial priesthood limited to men, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the existence of seven sacraments. These same man-made religions have totally collapsed morally, approving divorce, contraception, abortion and even the abomination of “homosexual unions” founded on the habitual practice of sodomy. It is a mockery of the Gospel, and contrary to reason itself, to declare that those who profess these grievous errors belong to the same Church as faithful Catholics.

Given that opinion, you have actively discouraged Protestant conversions, including one “Bishop” Tony Palmer, who belonged to a breakaway Anglican sect that purports to ordain women. As Palmer recounted, when he mentioned “coming home to the Catholic Church” you gave this appalling reply: “No one is coming home. You are journeying towards us and we are journeying towards you and we will meet in the middle.” The middle of what? Palmer died in a motorcycle accident shortly thereafter. At your insistence, however, the man whose conversion you deliberately impeded was buried as a Catholic bishop—a mockery that was contrary to the infallible teaching of your predecessor that “ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.” [Leo XIII, Apostolicae curae (1896), DZ 3315]

As to other religions in general, you have adopted as a virtual program the very error condemned by Pope Pius XI only 34 years before Vatican II: “that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.” You have been utterly heedless of Pius XI’s admonition “that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.” In that regard, you have suggested that even atheists can be saved merely by doing good, thus eliciting delighted praise from the media.

It seems that in your view Rahner’s heretical thesis of the “anonymous Christian,” embracing virtually all of humanity and implying universal salvation, has definitively replaced the teaching of Our Lord to the contrary: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; and he that disbelieves shall be condemned (Mk 16:16).”

An Absurd Whitewash of Islam

Assuming the role of a Koranic exegete in order to exculpate Mohammed’s cult from its unbroken historic connection to the conquest and brutal persecution of Christians, you declare: “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” [Evangelii gaudium, 253]
You ignore the entire history of Islam’s war against Christianity, continuing to this day, as well as the present-day barbaric legal codes and persecution of Christians in the world’s Islamic republics, including Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. These are regimes of oppression intrinsic to Sharia law, which Muslims believe Allah has ordained for the whole world, and which they attempt to establish wherever they become a significant percentage of the population. As you would have it, however, Muslim republics all lack an “authentic” understanding of the Koran!

You even attempt to minimize outright Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, Africa and the very heart of Europe by daring to posit a moral equivalence between Muslim fanatics waging jihad—as they have since Islam first emerged—and imaginary “fundamentalism” on the part of the observant Catholics you never cease publicly condemning and insulting. During one of the rambling in-flight press conferences in which you have so often embarrassed the Church and undermined Catholic doctrine, you uttered this infamous opinion, typical of your absurd insistence that the religion founded by God Incarnate and the perennially violent cult founded by the degenerate Mohammed are on equal moral footing:

I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy … this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law … and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence ... I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them. When fundamentalism comes to kill, it can kill with the language—the Apostle James says this, not me—and even with a knife, no? I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence.

It defies belief that a Roman Pontiff would declare that random crimes of violence committed by Catholics, and their mere words, are morally equivalent to radical Islam’s worldwide campaign of terrorist acts, mass murder, torture, enslavement and rape in the name of Allah. It seems you are quicker to defend Mohammed’s ridiculous and deadly cult against just opposition than you are the one true Church against her innumerable false accusers. Far from your mind is the Church’s perennial view of Islam expressed by Pope Pius XI in his Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart: “Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God.”

A Reformist “Dream,” Backed by an Iron Fist

All in all, you appear to be afflicted by a reformist mania that knows no bounds beyond your “dream” of the way the Church should be. As you declared in your unprecedented personal papal manifesto, Evangelii gaudium (nn. 27, 49):

I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation….

More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mk 6:37).

Incredibly enough, you profess that the immemorial “structures” and “rules” of the Holy Catholic Church were cruelly inflicting spiritual starvation and death before your arrival from Buenos Aires, and that now you wish to change literally everything in the Church in order to make her merciful. How are the faithful to see this as anything but the sign of a frightening megalomania? You even declare that evangelization, as you understand it, must not be limited by fear over the Church’s “self-preservation”—as if the two things were somehow opposed!

Your gauzy dream of reforming everything is accompanied by an iron fist that smashes any attempt to restore the vineyard already devastated by a half-century of reckless “reforms.” For as you revealed in your manifesto (Evangelii gaudium, 94), you are filled with contempt for tradition-minded Catholics, whom you rashly accuse of “self-absorbed Promethean neopelagianism” and of “feel[ing] superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.”

You even ridicule a “supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline” because, according to you, it “leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others…” But it is you who are constantly classifying and analyzing others with an endless stream of pejoratives, caricatures, insults and condemnations of observant Catholics you deem insufficiently responsive to the “God of surprises” you introduced during the Synod.

Hence your brutal destruction of the thriving Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate on account of a “definitely traditionalist drift.” This was followed by your decree that henceforth any attempt to erect a new diocesan institute for consecrated life (for example, to accommodate displaced members of the Friars) will be null and void absent prior “consultation” with the Holy See (i.e., de facto permission that can and will be withheld indefinitely). You thus dramatically diminish the perennial autonomy of bishops in their own dioceses even as you preach a new age of “collegiality” and “synodality.”

Targeting cloistered convents, you have further decreed measures to compel the surrender of their local autonomy to federations governed by ecclesial bureaucrats, the routine breaking of the cloister for external “formation,” the mandated intrusion of laity into the cloister for Eucharistic adoration, the outrageous disqualification of conventual voting majorities if they are “elderly,” and a universal requirement of nine years of “formation” before final vows, which is certain to stifle new vocations and ensure the extinction of many of the remaining cloisters.

God help us!

A Relentless Drive to Accommodate Sexual Immorality in the Church

But nothing exceeds the arrogance and audacity with which you have relentlessly pursued the imposition upon the Church universal of the same evil practice you authorized as Archbishop of Buenos Aires: the sacrilegious administration of the Blessed Sacrament to people living in adulterous “second marriages” or cohabiting without even the benefit of a civil ceremony.

From almost the moment of your election you have promoted the “Kasper proposal”—rejected repeatedly by the Vatican under John Paul II. Cardinal Walter Kasper, an arch-liberal even among the liberal German hierarchy, had long argued for the admission of divorced and “remarried” persons to Holy Communion in “certain cases” according to a bogus “penitential path” that would admit them to the Sacrament while they continue their adulterous sexual relations. Kasper belonged to the “St. Gallen group” that lobbied for your election, and thereafter you royally rewarded his persistence in error, with the press happily dubbing him “the Pope’s theologian.”

You began preparing the way for your destructive innovation by a resort to what can only be called demagogic sloganeering. As your manifesto (Evangelii gaudium, 47) declared in November of 2013: “The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators.”

This blatant appeal to emotion caricatures the worthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament in a state of grace as “a prize for the perfect” while seditiously insinuating that the Church has for too long deprived “the weak” of Eucharistic “nourishment.” Hence your equally demagogic accusation that the Church’s sacred ministers have acted cruelly as “arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators” by denying Holy Communion to “the weak” as opposed to “the perfect,” and that you must remedy this injustice with “boldness.”

But, of course, the Holy Eucharist is not “nourishment” or “medicine” for the obviation of mortal sin. Quite to the contrary, its knowing reception in that state is a profanation deadly to the soul and thus cause for damnation: “Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:27-29).”

As any properly catechized child knows, Confession is the medicine by which mortal sin is remedied, whereas the Eucharist (aided by regular recourse to Confession) is spiritual nourishment for maintaining and increasing the state of grace following absolution so that one does not fall into mortal sin again but rather grows in communion with God. But it appears that the very concept of mortal sin is absent from the corpus of your formal documents, addresses, remarks and pronouncements.

Leaving no doubt of your plan, only a few months later, at the “extraordinary consistory on the family,” you arranged events so that none other than Cardinal Kasper was the only formal speaker. During his two-hour address on February 20, 2014—which you wished to be kept secret but was leaked to the Italian press as a “secret” and “exclusive” document—Kasper presented his insane proposal to admit certain public adulterers to Holy Communion while alluding directly to your slogan: “the sacraments are not a prize for those who behave well or for an elite, excluding those who are most in need [EG 47].” You have not since wavered in your determination to institutionalize in the Church the grave abuse of the Eucharist you permitted in Buenos Aires.

In this regard it seems you have little regard for sacramental marriage as an objective fact as opposed to what people subjectively feel about the status of immoral relationships the Church can never recognize as matrimony. In remarks which alone will discredit your bizarre pontificate until the end of time, you declared that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” whereas certain people cohabiting without marriage can have “a true marriage” because of their “fidelity.” Are these remarks perhaps a reflection of your divorced and “remarried” sister and cohabiting nephew?

This opinion, which a renowned canonist rightly called “preposterous”, provoked worldwide protest on the part of the faithful. In an effort to minimize the scandal, the Vatican’s “official transcript” altered your words from “great majority of our sacramental marriages” to “a part of our sacramental marriages” but left intact your disgraceful approbation of immoral cohabitation as “true marriage.”

Nor do you seem concerned about the sacrilege involved in public adulterers and cohabiters receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As you told the woman in Argentina to whom you gave “permission” on the telephone to receive Communion while living in adultery with a divorced man: “A little bread and wine does no harm.” You have never denied the woman’s account, and it would only be consistent with your refusal to kneel at the Consecration or before the exposed Blessed Sacrament even though you have no difficulty kneeling to kiss the feet of Muslims during your grotesque parody of the traditional Holy Thursday mandatum, which you have abandoned. It would also comport with your remarks to a Lutheran woman, in the Lutheran church you attended on a Sunday, that the dogma of transubstantiation is a mere “interpretation,” that “life is bigger than explanations and interpretations," and that she should “talk to the Lord” about whether to receive Communion in a Catholic Church—which she later did following your evident encouragement.

In line with your scant regard for sacramental marriage is your precipitous and secretive “reform” of the annulment process, which you foisted upon the Church without consulting any of the competent Vatican dicasteries. Your Motu Proprio Mitis IudexDominus Iesuserects the framework for a veritable worldwide annulment mill with a “fast-track” procedure and nebulous new grounds for expedited annulment proceedings. As the head of your clandestinely contrived reform later explained, your express intention is to promote among the bishops “a ‘conversion’, a change of mentality which convinces and sustains them in following the invitation of Christ, present in their brother, the Bishop of Rome, to pass from the restricted number of a few thousand annulments to that immeasurable [number] of unfortunates who might have a declaration of nullity…”

Thus does “the Bishop of Rome” demand from his fellow bishops a vast increase in the number of annulments! A distinguished Catholic journalist later reported on the emergence of a seven-page dossier in which curial officials “juridically ‘picked apart’ the Pope’s motu proprio… accuse the Holy Father of giving up an important dogma, and assert that he has introduced de facto ‘Catholic divorce.’” These officials deplored what this journalist describes as “an ecclesialized ‘Führerprinzip,’ ruling from the top down, by decree and without any consultation or any checks.” The same officials fear that “the motu proprio will lead to a flood of annulments and that from now on, couples would be able to simply exit their Catholic marriage without a problem.” They are “‘beside themselves’ and feel obligated to ‘speak up’…”

But you are nothing if not consistent in pursuing your aims. Early in your pontificate, during one of the in-flight press conferences at which you have first revealed your plans, you stated: “The Orthodox follow the theology of economy, as they call it, and they give a second chance of marriage [sic], they allow it. I believe that this problem must be studied.” For you, the lack of any “second chance of marriage” in the Catholic Church is a problem to be studied. You have clearly spent the past three-and-a-half years contriving to impose on the Church something approximating the Orthodox practice.

A distinguished canonist who is a consultant to the Apostolic Signatura has warned that as result of your reckless disregard of the reality of sacramental marriage:

a crisis (in the Greek sense of that word) over marriage is unfolding in the Church, and it is a crisis that will, I suggest, come to a head over matrimonial discipline and law…. I think the marriage crisis that he [Francis] is occasioning is going to come down to whether Church teaching on marriage, which everyone professes to honor, will be concretely and effectively protected in Church law, or, whether the canonical categories treating marriage doctrine become so distorted (or simply disregarded) as essentially to abandon marriage and married life to the realm of personal opinion and individual conscience.

Amoris Laetitia: The Real Motive for the Sham Synod

That crisis reached its peak following the conclusion of your disastrous “Synod on the Family.” Although you manipulated this event from beginning to end to obtain the result you desired—Holy Communion for public adulterers in “certain cases”—it fell short of your expectations because of opposition from the conservative Synod Fathers you demagogically denounced as having “closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.”

In a brutal abuse of rhetoric, you likened your orthodox episcopal opponents to the Pharisees, who practiced divorce and “remarriage” according to the Mosaic dispensation. These were the very bishops who defended the teaching of Christ against the Pharisees—and your own designs! Indeed, you seem intent on reviving a Pharisaical acceptance of divorce by way of a “neo-Mosaic practice.” A renowned Catholic journalist known for his moderate approach to analysis of Church affairs protested your reprehensible behavior: “For a pope to criticize those who remain faithful to that tradition, and characterize them as somehow unmerciful and as aligning themselves with hard-hearted Pharisees against the merciful Jesus is bizarre.”

In the end, the “synodal journey” you extolled was revealed as nothing but a sham concealing the foregone conclusion of your appalling “Apostolic Exhortation,” Amoris Laetitia. Therein your ghostwriters, principally in Chapter Eight, employ artful ambiguity to open wide the door to Holy Communion for public adulterers by reducing the natural law forbidding adultery to a “general rule” to which there can be exceptions for people who “have great difficulty in understanding ‘its inherent values’” or are living “in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently… (¶¶ 2, 301, 304)” Amoris is a transparent attempt to smuggle a mitigated form of situation ethics into matters of sexual morality, as if the error could be thus confined.

Your evident obsession with legitimating Holy Communion for public adulterers has led you to defy the constant moral teaching and intrinsically related sacramental discipline of the Church, affirmed by both of your immediate predecessors. That discipline is based on the teaching of Our Lord Himself on the indissolubility of marriage as well as the teaching of Saint Paul on the divine punishment due to the unworthy reception of Holy Communion. To quote John Paul II in this regard:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” [Familiaris consortio, n. 84]

You have ignored the worldwide pleas of priests, theologians and moral philosophers, Catholic associations and journalists, and even a few courageous prelates among an otherwise silent hierarchy, to retract or “clarify” the tendentious ambiguities and outright errors of Amoris, particularly in Chapter Eight.

A Grave Moral Error Now Explicitly Approved

And now, moving beyond a devious use of ambiguity, you have authorized explicitly behind the scenes what you have condoned ambiguously in public. The scheme was brought to light with the leaking of your “confidential” letter to the bishops of the pastoral region of Buenos Aires—where, as Archbishop, you had already authorized mass sacrilege in the villas (slums).

In this letter you praise the bishops’ document on “Basic Criteria for the Application of Chapter Eight of Amoris Laetitia”—as if there were some duty to “apply” the document so as to produce a change in the Church’s bimillennial sacramental discipline. You write: “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.” Is it a coincidence that this document comes from the very archdiocese where, as Archbishop, you had long since authorized the admission of public adulterers and cohabiters to Holy Communion?

What was only clearly implied before is now made explicit, and those who insisted Amoris changes nothing have been made to look like fools. The document you now praise as the only correct interpretation of Amoris radically undermines the doctrine and practice of the Church your predecessors defended. In the first place, it reduces to an “option” the moral imperative that divorced and “remarried” couples “live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” According to the bishops of Buenos Aires—with your approval—it is merely “possible to propose that they make the effort of living in continence. Amoris Laetitia does not ignore the difficulties of this option.”

As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared definitively only 18 years ago during the reign of the very Pope you canonized: “if the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible. The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception.” This is the constant teaching of the Catholic Church for two millennia.

Moreover, no parish priest or even a bishop has the power to honor in the so-called “internal forum” the claim of one living in adultery that his “conscience” tells him that his sacramental marriage was really invalid because, as the CDF further admonished, “marriage has a fundamental public ecclesial character and the axiom applies that nemo iudex in propria causa (no one is judge in his own case), marital cases must be resolved in the external forum. If divorced and remarried members of the faithful believe that their prior marriage was invalid, they are thereby obligated to appeal to the competent marriage tribunal so that the question will be examined objectively and under all available juridical possibilities.”

Having reduced an exceptionless moral norm rooted in divine revelation to an option, the bishops of Buenos Aires, citing Amoris as their only authority in 2,000 years of Church teaching, next declare: “In other, more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity, the aforementioned option may not, in fact, be feasible.” A universal moral norm is thus relegated to the category of a mere guideline to be disregarded if a local priest deems it “unfeasible” in certain undefined “complex circumstances.” What exactly are these “complex circumstances” and what does “complexity” have to do with exceptionless moral norms founded on revelation?

Finally, the bishops reach the disastrous conclusion you have contrived to impose upon the Church from the beginning of the “synodal journey”:

Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment. If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351). These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace.

With your praise and approbation, the bishops of Buenos Aires declare for the first time in Church history that an ill-defined class of people living in adultery may be absolved and receive Holy Communion while remaining in that state. The consequences are catastrophic.

A “Pastoral Practice” at War with Doctrine

You have approved as the only correct interpretation of Amoris a moral calculus that would in practice undermine the whole moral order, not just the norms of sexual morality you obviously seek to subvert. For the application of virtually any moral norm can be deemed “unfeasible” by a talismanic invocation of “complex circumstances” to be “discerned” by a priest or bishop in “pastoral practice” while the norm is piously defended as unchanged and unchangeable as a “general rule.”

The nebulous criterion of “limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability” could be applied to all manner of habitual mortal sin, including cohabitation—which you have already likened to “true marriage”—“homosexual unions”—whose legalization you have refused to oppose—and contraception, which, incredibly, you have declared is morally permissible in order to prevent the transmission of disease, which the Vatican later confirmed is in fact your view.

Thus the Church would “in certain cases” contradict in practice what she teaches in principle regarding morality, meaning that the moral principle is practically overthrown. In the midst of the synodal sham, but without mentioning you, Cardinal Robert Sarah rightly condemned such a specious disjunction between moral precepts and their “pastoral application”: “The idea that would consist in placing the Magisterium in a nice box by detaching it from pastoral practice—which could evolve according to the circumstances, fads, and passions—is a form of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology.”

Yet, as you would have it, based on “discernment” by local priests or ordinaries, certain people living in an objective condition of adultery can be deemed subjectively inculpable and admitted to Holy Communion without any commitment to an amendment of life even though they know the Church teaches that their relationship is adulterous. In a recent interview the renowned Austrian philosopher Josef Seifert, a friend of Pope John Paul II and one of the many critics of Amoris whose private entreaties for correction or retraction of the document you have ignored, has publicly noted the moral and pastoral absurdity of what you now explicitly approve:

How should that be applied? Should the priest say to one adulterer: “You are a good adulterer. You are in the state of grace. You are a very pious person, so you get my absolution without changing your life and you can go to Holy Communion.” And in comes another, and he [the priest] says: “Oh, you are a real adulterer. You must first confess. You must revoke your life. You must change your life and then you can go to Communion.”

I mean, how should that work?.... How can a priest be a judge of the soul [and] say that one is a real sinner and the other is only an innocent, good man? I mean that seems completely impossible. Only a priest who would have a kind of Padre Pio vision of souls could possibly say that, and he [Padre Pio] wouldn’t say that….

With your praise and approval, the bishops of Buenos Aires even suggest that children will be harmed if their divorced and “remarried” parents are not permitted to continue engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage while they profane the Blessed Sacrament. One casuitical defender of your departure from sound teaching surmises that this means adultery is only a venial sin if one partner in adultery is under “duress” to continue engaging in adulterous sexual relations because the other partner threatens to leave the children unless he is given sexual satisfaction. According to that moral logic, any mortal sin, including abortion, would be rendered venial merely by one party’s threat to end an adulterous relationship if the sin is not committed.

Even worse, it that were possible, the bishops of Buenos Aires, relying solely on your novelties, dare to suggest that people who continue habitually to engage in adulterous sexual relations will grow in grace while sacrilegiously receiving Holy Communion.

You have thus contrived no mere “change of discipline” but rather a radical change of underlying moral doctrine that would effectively institutionalize a form of situation ethics in the Church, reducing universally binding, objective moral precepts to mere general rules from which there would be innumerable subjective “exceptions” based on “complex circumstances” and “limitations” that would supposedly reduce habitual mortal sins to venial sins or even mere faults posing no impediment to Holy Communion.

But God Incarnate admitted of no such “exceptions” when He decreed by His divine authority: “Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery (Lk 16:18).” Every one.

Moreover, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II declared in rejecting the “Kasper proposal” that has clearly been your proposal all along: “This norm [excluding public adulterers from the sacraments] is not at all a punishment or a discrimination against the divorced and remarried, but rather expresses an objective situation that of itself renders impossible the reception of Holy Communion.”

That is, the Church can never permit those living in adultery to be treated as if their immoral unions were valid marriages, even if the partners in adultery implausibly claim subjective inculpability while knowingly living in violation of the Church’s infallible teaching. For the resulting scandal would erode and ultimately ruin the faith of the people in both the indissolubility of marriage and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. With your full approval, however, the bishops of Buenos Aires have rejected John Paul II’s admonition in Familiaris consortio that “if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

At this very moment in Church history, therefore, you are leading the faithful “into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.” Indeed, so determined are you to impose your errant will upon the Church that in Amoris (n. 303) you dared to suggest that God Himself condones the continued sexual relations of the divorced and “remarried” if they can do no better in their “complex” circumstances:

Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.

In explicitly approving Holy Communion for select public adulterers in your letter to Buenos Aires you also undermine the ability of more conservative bishops to maintain the Church’s traditional teaching. How can bishops in America, Canada and Poland, for example, continue to insist on the Church’s bimillenial discipline, intrinsically connected to revealed truth, when you have dispensed with it in Buenos Aires on the authority of your “apostolic exhortation”? On what ground will they stand against a swarm of objections now that you have removed the ground of Tradition from beneath their feet?

In sum, after years of artful ambiguity regarding the standing of public adulterers with respect to Confession and Holy Communion, you now just as artfully declare the purported overthrow of the Church’s doctrine and practice of the Church by employing a “confidential” letter you must have known would be leaked, sent in response to a document from Buenos Aires you may well have solicited as part of the process you have been guiding since the sham “Synod on the Family” was announced.

As the Catholic intellectual and author Antonio Socci has written: “It is the first time in the history of the Church that a Pope has placed his signature on an overturning of the moral law.” No previous Pope has ever perpetrated such an outrage.

“Exceptions” to the Moral Law Cannot be Confined

Curiously enough, however, your novel moral calculus does not seem to apply to the other sins you constantly condemn while carefully observing the bounds of political correctness. Nowhere, for example, do you indicate that “complex circumstances” or “limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability” would excuse the Mafiosi you have rhetorically “excommunicated” en masse and warned of Hell, the rich you condemn as “bloodsuckers” or even the observant Catholics you ludicrously accuse of “the sin of divination” and “the sin of idolatry” because they will not accept “the surprises of God”—meaning your novelties.

Your entire pontificate seems to have centered on declaring an amnesty for sins of the flesh only, the very sins that, as Our Lady of Fatima warned, send more souls to hell than any other. But what makes you think the moral genie you have let out of the bottle, which you call the “God of surprises,” can be confined only to those moral precepts you deem overly rigid in application? To create exceptions to one exceptionless moral precept is effectively to undo them all. Your novelty attacks the foundations of the Faith and threatens to topple the Church’s entire moral edifice “like a house of cards”—the very outcome you accused observant Catholics of promoting on account of their supposed “rigorism” and attachment to “small-minded rules.”

But you are heedless of such obvious consequences. When asked about your approach to opposition from “ultra-conservatives,” meaning orthodox bishops and cardinals, you repliedwith the insouciant arrogance that is a hallmark of your governance of the Church: “They do their job and I do mine. I want a Church that is open, understanding, that accompanies wounded families. They say no to everything. I go ahead, without looking over my shoulder.”

In an astonishing display of haughty contempt for the Church of which you were elected head, you have dared to say: “the Church herself sometimes follows a hard line, she falls into the temptation of following a hard line, into the temptation of stressing only the moral rules, many people are excluded.”

Never before has a Pope declared that he will personally remedy the Church’s lack of openness and understanding and her “temptation” to take a “hard line” on morality so as to “exclude” people. Such alarmingly hubristic pronouncements give rise to the distinct impression that your unexpected election represents an almost apocalyptic development.

Ignoring All Entreaties, You Forge Ahead with Your “Revolution”

As you have gone about your work of destruction, you have ignored every private entreaty addressed to you, including innumerable requests that you affirm that Amoris Laetitia does not depart from prior teaching, as well as a document prepared by a group of Catholic scholars who identified heretical and erroneous propositions in Amoris and pleaded with you to condemn and withdraw them. It is evident you have no intention of accepting fraternal correction from anyone, not even the cardinals who have requested that you “clarify” the conformity of your teaching with the infallible Magisterium.

On the contrary, the more alarmed the faithful become, the more boldly you act. Continuing your programmatic loosening in practice of the Church’s moral teaching concerning sexuality, you have authorized the Pontifical Council for the Family to publish the first classroom “sex education” program ever promulgated by the Holy See. One of the associations of lay faithful that has risen to defend the Faith in the face of the hierarchy’s general silence before your onslaught of dissolvent novelties has published asummary of this horrific curriculum, which blatantly violates the Church’s constant teaching against any form of explicit classroom “sex-education”:

• Handing the sexual formation of children over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation.

• Failing to name and condemn sexual behaviors, such as fornication, prostitution, adultery, contracepted-sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation, as objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God.

• Failing to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Hell is not mentioned once.

• Failing to distinguish between mortal and venial sin.

• Failing to speak about the 6th and 9th commandments, or any other commandment.

• Failing to teach about the sacrament of confession as a way of restoring relationship with God after committing grave sin.

• Not mentioning a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality.

• Teaching boys and girls together in the same class.

• Having boys and girls share together in class their understanding of phrases such as: “What does the word sex suggest to you?”

• Asking a mixed class to “point out where sexuality is located in boys and girls.”

• Speaking about the “process of arousal.”

• Using sexually explicit and suggestive images in activity workbooks (here, here, and here).

• Recommending various sexually explicit movies as springboards for discussion….

• Failing to speak about abortion as gravely wrong, but only that it causes “strong psychological damage.”

• Confusing youths by using phrases such as “sexual relationship” to indicate not the sexual act, but a relationship focused on the whole person.

• Speaking of “heterosexuality” as something to be “discover[ed].”

• Using [a “gay” celebrity] as an example of a gifted and famous person.

• Endorsing the “dating” paradigm as a step towards marriage.

• Not stressing celibacy as the supreme form of self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.

• Failing to mention Christ’s teaching on marriage.

The same association observes that the curriculum “violates norms previously promulgated by the very same pontifical council.” Another lay association protests that it “makes frequent use of sexually explicit and morally objectionable images, fails to clearly identify and explain Catholic doctrine from elemental sources including the Ten Commandments and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and compromises the innocence and integrity of young people under the rightful care of their parents.” Lay leaders in the Catholic family movement have rightly denounced it as “thoroughly immoral,” “entirely inappropriate,” and “quite tragic.” As one of them declared: “Parents must not be under any illusion: the pontificate of Pope Francis marks the surrender of the Vatican authorities to the worldwide sexual revolution and directly threatens their own children.”

But this radical departure from prior teaching and practice is only in keeping with the novelties of Amoris, which proclaims “the need for sex education” in “educational institutions” while completely ignoring the Church’s traditional teaching that parents, not teachers in classrooms, have the primary responsibility to provide any necessary instruction to their children in this most sensitive area, taking care not to “descend to details” but rather to “employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”

Your “revolution” is hardly confined to matters sexual, however. You have also recently convened a commission, including six women, to “study” the matter of women “deacons,” which was already studied by a Vatican commission in 2002. That commission concluded that the diaconate belongs to the ordained clerical state along with the priesthood and the episcopacy and that so-called “deaconesses” in the early Church were not ordained ministers but only ecclesial helpers with no more authority than nuns, who performed limited services for women, but certainly not baptisms or marriages. The “deaconettes” you seem to contemplate would thus be nothing more than women masquerading in clerical garb, as women cannot possibly receive any degree of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

As you continue to undermine respect for the utter seriousness and supernatural character of sacramental marriage it seems you are preparing to undermine further an already drastically diminished respect for the male priesthood. What is next? Perhaps a “relaxation” of the apostolic tradition of clerical celibacy, which you have already declared is “on my agenda.”

And now, as your “revolution” continues to accelerate, you prepare to depart for Sweden in October, where you will participate in a joint “prayer service” with a married Lutheran “bishop,” head of the pro-abortion, pro-“gay marriage” Lutheran World Federation, to “commemorate” the so-called Reformation launched by Martin Luther.

It is inconceivable that a Roman Pontiff would dignify the memory of this maniac, the most destructive heretic in the history of the Church, who shattered the unity of Christendom and opened the way to endless violence and bloodshed and the collapse of morals throughout Europe. As Luther infamously declared: “If I succeed in doing away with the Mass, then I shall believe I have completely conquered the Pope. If the sacrilegious and cursed custom of the Mass is overthrown, then the whole will fall.” It is supremely ironic that the arch-heretic you intend to honor with your presence uttered those words in a letter to Henry VIII, who led all of England into schism because the Pope would not accommodate his desire for divorce and “remarriage,” including access to the sacraments.

We Must Oppose You

At this point in your tumultuous tenure as “Bishop of Rome” it is beyond reasonable dispute that your presence on the Chair of Peter represents a clear and present danger to the Church. In view of that danger, we must ask:

Are you not in the least troubled by the scandal and confusion your words and deeds have caused concerning the salvific mission of the Church and her teaching on faith and morals, particularly in the area of marriage, family and sexuality?

Does it never occur to you that the world’s endless applause for “the Francis revolution” is precisely the ill omen of which Our Lord gave warning?: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets (Lk 6:26).”

Have you no sense of alarm about the divisions you have provoked within the Church, with some bishops departing from the teaching of your predecessors on the divorced and “remarried,” solely on your purported authority, while others attempt to maintain the bimillenial doctrine and practice you have labored without ceasing to overthrow?

Do you think nothing of the numberless sacrilegious communions that will result from your authorization of Holy Communion for objective public adulterers and others in “irregular situations,” which you had already permitted en masse as Archbishop of Buenos Aires?

Do you even recognize that reception of Holy Communion by people living in adultery is a profanation, a direct offense against “the Body of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:29)” worthy of damnation as well as a public scandal that threatens the faith of others, as both Benedict XVI and John Paul II insisted in line with all their predecessors?

Do you really think you have the power to decree “merciful” exceptions in “certain cases” to divinely revealed moral precepts in order to suit your personal notion of “inclusion,” your evidently benign view of divorce and cohabitation and your false notion of what you call “pastoral charity” in your letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires? As if it were uncharitable to require adulterers and fornicators to cease their immoral sexual relations before partaking of the Blessed Sacrament!

Have you no respect for the contrary teaching of all the Popes who preceded you?

Finally, have you no fear of the Lord and His judgment, which you constantly minimize or deny in your sermons and spontaneous remarks, even declaring—exactly contrary to the Creed—that “the Good Shepherd… seeks not to judge but to love”?

We must agree with the assessment of the aforementioned Catholic journalist concerning your insane pursuit of Holy Communion for people in immoral sexual relationships: “This whole affair is bizarre. No other word will do.” Beyond this, however, your entire bizarre pontificate has given rise to a situation the Church has never seen before: an occupant of the Chair of Peter whose remarks, pronouncements and decisions are blows to the Church’s integrity against which the faithful must constantly guard themselves. As the same writer concludes: “I say this in sorrow, but I’m afraid that the rest of this papacy is now going to be rent by bands of dissenters, charges of papal heresy, threats of – and perhaps outright –schism. Lord, have mercy.”

Yet almost the entire hierarchy either suffers in silence or exultantly celebrates this debacle. But so it was during the great Arian crisis of the 4th century, when, as Cardinal Newman famously observed:

[T]he body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism; [and] at one time the Pope, at other times the patriarchal, metropolitan, and other great sees, at other times general councils, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth; while, on the other hand, it was the Christian people who, under Providence, were the ecclesiastical strength of Athanasius, Hilary, Eusebius of Vercellae, and other great solitary confessors, who would have failed without them.

If we are to be faithful to our baptism and our Confirmation oath, we members of the laity, unworthy sinners though we are, cannot remain silent or passive in the face of your depredations. We are compelled by the dictates of conscience to accuse you publicly before our fellow Catholics as demanded by revealed truth, the divine and natural law, and the ecclesial common good. To recall the teaching of Saint Thomas cited above, there is no exception for the Pope to the principle of natural justice that subjects may rebuke their superior, even publicly, when there is “imminent danger of scandal concerning faith.” Quite the contrary, reason itself demonstrates that, more than any other prelate, the Pope must be corrected, even by his subjects, should he “stray from the straight path.”

We know that the Church is no mere human institution and that its indefectibility is assured by the promises of Christ. Popes come and go, and the Church will survive even this pontificate. But we also know that God deigns to work through human instruments and that, over and above the essentials of prayer and penance, He expects from the members of the Church Militant, both clergy and laity, a militant defense of faith and morals against threats from any source—be it even a Pope, as Church history has demonstrated more than once.

For the love of God and the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, whom you profess to revere, we call upon you to recant your errors and undo the immense harm you have caused to the Church, to souls, and to the cause of the Gospel lest you follow the example of Pope Honorius, an aider and abettor of heresy anathematized by an ecumenical council and his own successor, and thus bring down upon yourself “the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

But if you will not relent in the pursuit of your vainglorious “vision” of a more “merciful” and evangelical Church than the one founded by Christ, whose doctrine and discipline you seek to bend to your will, let the cardinals who regret the mistake of electing you honor their blood oaths and at least issue a public demand that you change course or relinquish the office they so improvidently entrusted to you.

Meanwhile, we are duty bound to oppose your errors according to our own station in the Church and to exhort our fellow Catholics to join in that opposition, using every legitimate means at our disposal to mitigate the harm you seem determined to inflict upon the Mystical Body of Christ. All other recourses having failed, no other way is open to us.

May God have mercy on us, His Holy Church, and on you as its earthly head.

Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for Us!

Please Pray for the Holy Father

This Statement of Accusation is being posted/published simultaneously in The Remnant and Catholic Family News all this week. It will appear in toto in the next print/E-edition of The Remnant -- a double issue to hit the stands over the weekend.

(Source: http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php)

Full text of 4 cardinals’ letter to Pope Francis with explanatory notes and 5 questions

November 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Four Cardinals have released an historic September 19, 2016 letter to Pope Francis in which they pleaded with him for clarity regarding his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The letter asked the pope 5 short questions which call for ‘yes or no’ answers which would immediately clarify the meaning of the confusion-plagued document. See LifeSite introductory article.

Following is the full text of the letter and accompanying explanatory notes and the 5 questions:

Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in "Amoris Laetitia"

1. A Necessary Foreword

2. The Letter of the Four Cardinals to the Pope

3. The “Dubia”

4. Explanatory Note of the Four Cardinals



Doubt number 1:
Doubt number 2:
Doubt number 3:
Doubt number 4:
Doubt number 5:
1. A Necessary Foreword
The sending of the letter to His Holiness Pope Francis by four cardinals has its origin in a deep pastoral concern.

We have noted a grave disorientation and great confusion of many faithful regarding extremely important matters for the life of the Church. We have noted that even within the episcopal college there are contrasting interpretations of Chapter 8 of "Amoris Laetitia".

The great Tradition of the Church teaches us that the way out of situations like this is recourse to the Holy Father, asking the Apostolic See to resolve those doubts which are the cause of disorientation and confusion.

Ours is therefore an act of justice and charity.

Of justice: with our initiative we profess that the Petrine ministry is the ministry of unity, and that to Peter, to the Pope, belongs the service of confirming in the faith.

Of charity: we want to help the Pope to prevent divisions and conflicts in the Church, asking him to dispel all ambiguity.

We have also carried out a specific duty. According to the Code of Canon Law (cc. 349) the cardinals, even taken individually, are entrusted with the task of helping the Pope to care for the universal Church.

The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect.

And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.

We hope that no one will choose to interpret the matter according to a “progressive/conservative" paradigm. That would be completely off the mark. We are deeply concerned about the true good of souls, the supreme law of the Church, and not about promoting any form of politics in the Church.

We hope that no one will judge us, unjustly, as adversaries of the Holy Father and people devoid of mercy. What we have done and are doing has its origin in the deep collegial affection that unites us to the Pope, and from an impassioned concern for the good of the faithful.

Card. Walter Brandmüller

Card. Raymond L. Burke

Card. Carlo Caffarra

Card. Joachim Meisner

2. The Letter of the Four Cardinals to the Pope
To His Holiness Pope Francis

and for the attention of His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller

Most Holy Father,

Following the publication of your Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia", theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting, above all in regard to Chapter VIII. Moreover, the media have emphasized this dispute, thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful.

Because of this, we the undersigned, but also many Bishops and Priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation.

Now, compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility and desiring to implement ever more that synodality to which Your Holiness urges us, we, with profound respect, permit ourselves to ask you, Holy Father, as Supreme Teacher of the Faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity, benevolently giving a response to the "Dubia" that we attach to the present letter.

May Your Holiness wish to bless us, as we promise constantly to remember you in prayer.

Card. Walter Brandmüller

Card. Raymond L. Burke

Card. Carlo Caffarra

Card. Joachim Meisner

Rome, September 19, 2016

3. The “Dubia”

1. It is asked whether, following the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person "more uxorio" (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by "Familiaris Consortio" n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by "Reconciliatio et Paenitentia" n. 34 and "Sacramentum Caritatis" n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live "more uxorio"?

2. After the publication of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3. After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

4. After the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5. After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

4. Explanatory Note of the Four Cardinals

"Dubia" (from the Latin: “doubts”) are formal questions brought before the Pope and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for clarifications on particular issues concerning doctrine or practice.

What is peculiar about these inquiries is that they are worded in a way that requires a “yes” or “no” answer, without theological argumentation. This way of addressing the Apostolic See is not an invention of our own; it is an age-old practice.

Let’s get to what is concretely at stake.

Upon the publication of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" on love in the family, a debate has arisen particularly around its eighth chapter. Here, specifically paragraphs 300-305, have been the object of divergent interpretations.

For many - bishops, priests, faithful - these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union, while others, admitting the lack of clarity or even the ambiguity of the passages in question, nonetheless argue that these same pages can be read in continuity with the previous magisterium and do not contain a modification in the Church’s practice and teaching.

Motivated by a pastoral concern for the faithful, four cardinals have sent a letter to the Holy Father under the form of "Dubia", hoping to receive clarity, given that doubt and uncertainty are always highly detrimental to pastoral care.

The fact that interpreters come to different conclusions is also due to divergent ways of understanding the Christian moral life. In this sense, what is at stake in "Amoris Laetitia" is not only the question of whether or not the divorced who have entered into a new union can - under certain circumstances - be readmitted to the sacraments.

Rather, the interpretation of the document also implies different, contrasting approaches to the Christian way of life.

Thus, while the first question of the "Dubia" concerns a practical question regarding the divorced and civilly remarried, the other four questions touch on fundamental issues of the Christian life.


Doubt number 1:

It is asked whether, following the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person "more uxorio" (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by "Familiaris Consortio" n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by "Reconciliatio et Paenitentia" n. 34 and "Sacramentum Caritatis" n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live "more uxorio"?

Question 1 makes particular reference to "Amoris Laetitia" n. 305 and to footnote 351. While note 351 specifically speaks of the sacraments of penance and communion, it does not mention the divorced and civilly remarried in this context, nor does the main text.

Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation "Familiaris Consortio", n. 84, already contemplated the possibility of admitting the divorced and civilly remarried to the sacraments. It mentions three conditions:

- The persons concerned cannot separate without committing new injustices (for instance, they may be responsible for the upbringing of their children);

- They take upon themselves the commitment to live according to the truth of their situation, that is, to cease living together as if they were husband and wife ("more uxorio"), abstaining from those acts that are proper to spouses;

- They avoid giving scandal (that is, they avoid giving the appearance of sin so as to avoid the danger of leading others into sin).

The conditions mentioned by "Familiaris Consortio" n. 84 and by the subsequent documents recalled will immediately appear reasonable once we remember that the marital union is not just based on mutual affection and that sexual acts are not just one activity among others that couples engage in.

Sexual relations are for marital love. They are something so important, so good and so precious, that they require a particular context, the context of marital love. Hence, not only the divorced living in a new union need to abstain, but also everyone who is not married. For the Church, the sixth commandment “Do not commit adultery” has always covered any exercise of human sexuality that is not marital, i.e., any kind of sexual acts other than those engaged in with one’s rightful spouse.

It would seem that admitting to communion those of the faithful who are separated or divorced from their rightful spouse and who have entered a new union in which they live with someone else as if they were husband and wife would mean for the Church to teach by her practice one of the following affirmations about marriage, human sexuality, and the nature of the sacraments:

- A divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond, and the partners to the new union are not married. However, people who are not married can under certain circumstances legitimately engage in acts of sexual intimacy.

- A divorce dissolves the marriage bond. People who are not married cannot legitimately engage in sexual acts. The divorced and remarried are legitimate spouses and their sexual acts are lawful marital acts.

- A divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond, and the partners to the new union are not married. People who are not married cannot legitimately engage in sexual acts, so that the divorced and civilly remarried live in a situation of habitual, public, objective and grave sin. However, admitting persons to the Eucharist does not mean for the Church to approve their public state of life; the faithful can approach the Eucharistic table even with consciousness of grave sin, and receiving absolution in the sacrament of penance does not always require the purpose of amending one’s life. The sacraments, therefore, are detached from life: Christian rites and worship are in a completely different sphere than the Christian moral life.


Doubt number 2:

After the publication of the Post-synodal Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

The second question regards the existence of so-called intrinsically evil acts. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" 79 claims that one can “qualify as morally evil according to its species … the deliberate choice of certain kinds of behavior or specific acts, apart from a consideration of the intention for which the choice is made or the totality of the foreseeable consequences of that act for all persons concerned.”

Thus, the encyclical teaches that there are acts that are always evil, which are forbidden by moral norms that bind without exception (“moral absolutes”). These moral absolutes are always negative, that is, they tell us what we should not do. “Do not kill.” “Do not commit adultery.” Only negative norms can bind without exception.

According to "Veritatis Splendor", with intrinsically evil acts no discernment of circumstances or intentions is necessary. Uniting oneself to a woman who is married to another is and remains an act of adultery that as such is never to be done, even if by doing so an agent could possibly extract precious secrets from a villain’s wife so as to save the kingdom (what sounds like an example from a James Bond movie has already been contemplated by St. Thomas Aquinas, "De Malo", q. 15, a. 1). John Paul II argues that the intention (say, “saving the kingdom”) does not change the species of the act (here: “committing adultery”), and that it is enough to know the species of the act (“adultery”) to know that one must not do it.


Doubt number 3:

After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

In paragraph 301 "Amoris Laetitia" recalls that: “The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations.” And it concludes that “hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace.”

In its Declaration of June 24, 2000, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts seeks to clarify Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” The Pontifical Council’s Declaration argues that this canon is applicable also to faithful who are divorced and civilly remarried. It spells out that “grave sin” has to be understood objectively, given that the minister of the Eucharist has no means of judging another person’s subjective imputability.

Thus, for the Declaration, the question of the admission to the sacraments is about judging a person’s objective life situation and not about judging that this person is in a state of mortal sin. Indeed subjectively he or she may not be fully imputable or not be imputable at all.

Along the same lines, in his encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia", n. 37, Saint John Paul II recalls that “the judgment of one’s state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one’s conscience.” Hence, the distinction referred to by "Amoris Laetitia" between the subjective situation of mortal sin and the objective situation of grave sin is indeed well established in the Church’s teaching.

John Paul II however continues by insisting that “in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved.” He then reiterates the teaching of Canon 915 mentioned above.

Question 3 of the "Dubia" hence would like to clarify whether, even after "Amoris Laetitia", it is still possible to say that persons who habitually live in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, such as the commandment against adultery, theft, murder, or perjury, live in objective situations of grave habitual sin, even if, for whatever reasons, it is not certain that they are subjectively imputable for their habitual transgressions.


Doubt number 4:

After the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

In paragraph 302, "Amoris Laetitia" stresses that on account of mitigating circumstances “a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved.” The "Dubia" point to the Church’s teaching as expressed in John Paul II’s "Veritatis Splendor" according to which circumstances or good intentions can never turn an intrinsically evil act into one that is excusable or even good.

The question arises whether "Amoris Laetitia", too, is agreed that any act that transgresses against God’s commandments, such as adultery, murder, theft, or perjury, can never, on account of circumstances that mitigate personal responsibility, become excusable or even good.

Do these acts, which the Church’s Tradition has called bad in themselves and grave sins, continue to be destructive and harmful for anyone committing them in whatever subjective state of moral responsibility he may be?

Or could these acts, depending on a person’s subjective state and depending on the circumstances and intentions, cease to be injurious and become commendable or at least excusable?


Doubt number 5:

After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

"Amoris Laetitia" n. 303 states that “conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God.” The "Dubia" ask for a clarification of these affirmations, given that they are susceptible to divergent interpretations.

For those proposing the creative idea of conscience, the precepts of God’s law and the norm of the individual conscience can be in tension or even in opposition, while the final word should always go to conscience that ultimately decides about good and evil. According to "Veritatis Splendor" n. 56, “on this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.”

In this perspective, it will never be enough for moral conscience to know “this is adultery,” or “this is murder,” in order to know that this is something one cannot and must not do.

Rather, one would also need to look at the circumstances or the intentions to know if this act could not, after all be excusable or even obligatory (cf. question 4 of the "Dubia"). For these theories, conscience could indeed rightfully decide that in a given case, God’s will for me consists in an act by which I transgress one of his commandments. “Do not commit adultery” is seen as just a general norm. In the here and now, and given my good intentions, committing adultery is what God really requires of me. Under these terms, cases of virtuous adultery, lawful murder and obligatory perjury are at least conceivable.

This would mean to conceive of conscience as a faculty for autonomously deciding about good and evil and to conceive of God’s law as a burden that is arbitrarily imposed and that could at times be opposed to our true happiness.

However, conscience does not decide about good and evil. The whole idea of a “decision of conscience” is misleading. The proper act of conscience is to judge and not to decide. It says, “This is good,” “This is bad.” This goodness or badness does not depend on it. It acknowledges and recognizes the goodness or badness of an action, and for doing so, that is, for judging, conscience needs criteria; it is inherently dependent on truth.

God’s commandments are a most welcome help for conscience to get to know the truth and hence to judge verily. God’s commandments are the expression of the truth about our good, about our very being, disclosing something crucial about how to live life well. Pope Francis, too, expresses himself in these terms when in Amoris Laetitia 295: “The law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception.”

(Translation by Matthew Sherry)

Dear Pope Francis,
they keep on saying you want a Church for the poor. Don't we all. The problem with that: this Church does not exist. Here in Germany, the dioceses are multi-billion Euro companies (!) which are a far cry away from being a Church of the poor. From what I hear the Vatican itself has not laid open its wealth so far either (not to mention giving it away), so nobody really knows how much belongings you have. What you are saying sounds nice - like everything you say and do - but the local bishops don't seem to mind much. Besides, the Bible does not only talk of the "materially poor", but most of all the poor in Spirit. For this reason a healthy catechises might be best to begin with. Few Catholics know what the Church really teaches and why. From what I get to hear from you and the cardinals and bishops, I am not really surprised though. For decades instruction in the faith has been neglected. Liberal theology has gained ground. Now we have a pick-and-choose cafeteria Catholicism where almost everything goes. And it gets worth. You as the Bishop of Rome and the Pope are in charge right now and responsible for the Church. As such I ask you to step down to prevent further damage for the Body of Christ. The Catholic Church is in its worst shape at the moment and much of it has been caused by you. Hugging kids in front of cameras is nice, but it certainly is not enough to lead 1,2 billion Catholics.