Formal Correction of “Pope” Francis
— Not going to happen?
The perpetual Vatican soap opera about the blasphemous-heretical “Apostolic Exhortation” Amoris Laetitia released last April by “Pope” Francis appears to be going into the next round.
On November 15, 2016, “Cardinal” Raymond Burke said in an interview with the National Catholic Register that there would be a “formal act of correction” of Francis if he should refuse to answer the dubia (doubts, questions) that had been submitted to him regarding certain points of doctrine contained in the exhortation:
There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.
(“Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia Dubia: ‘Tremendous Division’ Warrants Action”, National Catholic Register, Nov. 15, 2016)
Of course there is no tradition in the Church of “correcting” the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, but we’ll let that slide. The big story today is that it appears that this “formal correction” of Francis, which a lot of people in the Novus Ordo Sect had staked their hopes on, isn’t going to happen.
Thus reports a Novus Ordo cleric in Rome who goes by the pseudonym Fra. Cristoforo (“Bro. Christopher”), at his blog Anonimi Della Croce:
My source tells me that the four Cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffara and Meisner that placed the dubia before the Argentine Jesuit in order to clarify the Amoris Laetitia, NO LONGER INTEND TO MAKE THE PUBLIC CORRECTION THEY HAD PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED.
In fact, meeting together about twenty days ago, in Rome, they opted for this choice. It seems that the motive is the fact that they have not felt supported by other Cardinals, at the official level, and have decided to throw in the towel.
(Fra. Cristoforo, “Spifferi parte XX: Appello ai 4 Cardinali dei dubia”, Anonimi della Croce, Mar. 15, 2017; all caps in original. Translation taken from Louie Verrecchio, “BREAKING: No ‘formal correction’ of Francis to come?”, AKA Catholic, Mar. 15, 2017.)
It’s not really surprising to see this. In an interview published on Dec. 19, 2016, “Cardinal” Burke had announced that the correction would probably come some time after January 6. When still nothing had happened by the beginning of Lent (Mar. 1), it was pretty clear that this correction probably wasn’t going to be forthcoming.
Well, what does Holy Scripture say? “Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 145:2-3).
Catholic principle matters, folks. This whole “resistance” thing is flawed in principle. It is a farce that can never work and is at odds with Catholic teaching anyway:
Look at how pitiful this is: These “conservative” prelates of the Vatican II Church do not even have enough fortitude to rebuke a garrulous fool who has the audacity to publish a document so blatantly heretical and blasphemous that it claims that in some cases God desires that adultery be committed! Here is what the text says verbatim:
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.
(Antipope Francis, Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 303; underlining added.)
This is how bad it is!
Actually, though, as we explained before, the situation is even worse: Not only does Francis effectively endorse adultery in his exhortation, he revolutionizes the entire moral order by redefining “sin” from being a voluntary transgression of God’s law to being simply an imperfect participation in an objective ideal. Thus the Ten Commandments become the Ten Ideal Suggestions, vice becomes imperfect virtue, and just a tad bit of holiness is found even in the foulest sins! Our podcast TRADCAST 013 has more on this dangerous and blasphemous pseudo-papal document.
So, the “conservative” prelates in the New Church cannot even mount a resistance to someone as wicked as Francis. “Bishop” Athanasius Schneider of Kzakhstan at least upped the ante rhetorically when he publicly accused Francis of promoting “the joy of adultery” and of pretending to dispense people from the Sixth Commandment. At the same time, Schneider appears to have no problem with a church law, introduced in 1983 by “Saint” John Paul II, that officially permits Eastern Orthodox and Protestants to be given “Holy Communion” under certain conditions (Canon 844 nn. 3-4)! This is even worse than giving the sacrament to public “Catholic” adulterers! Where has been the outrage?
But suppose for a minute that Francis were a true Pope and the Novus Ordo Sect the Catholic Church. Suppose that four cardinals had indeed gone through with a “formal correction” of the Pope. Then what? To whom would a Catholic then be supposed to adhere? To the Pope or to the four correcting/protesting cardinals? Catholic doctrine has a clear answer to that, but it’s not an answer that resistance traditionalists like to hear:
To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.
(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua)
It is understandable that confused but good-willed sheep have an instinctive desire to attach themselves to a person, to a leader. However, therein lies a danger: Unless that leader be the true shepherd of the flock (i.e. a real Pope), they will be led astray:
Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers…. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me.
The “popes” of the Novus Ordo Sect (i.e. those claiming to be Popes in the Vatican since 1958) have been hirelings, not true shepherds, and that is why the Church today is a devastated vineyard. “An enemy hath done this” (Mt 13:28).
But, where is the true shepherd today? Where is the real Pope? At this time, there simply isn’t one: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones” (Zac 13:7). Our Lord warned us: “You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed” (Mk 14:27); “And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me” (Mt 11:6).
Yes, this is a difficult truth to hear, but the truth does not cease to be the truth simply because it is undesirable. As Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly wrote back in the 19th century:
The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfil His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.
(Fr. Edmund J. O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society, trans. by Matthew Russell [London: John Hodges, 1892], pp. 287-288; underlining added, original italics removed.)
There are currently a lot of bloggers and commentators out there pontificating on what God would and wouldn’t permit, but the fact is that they are really not informed about Catholic teaching on the matter.
For more information answering the question, “But how could this be?”, please see “The Papacy and the Passion of the Church”. For more information on the position of Sedevacantism, please see our topical page here with a plethora of links. Finally, if you are wondering what to do now in these circumstances, we have some helpful advice here.
Stop putting your faith or your trust in the false resistance, in some individual you’ve personally chosen to hang all your hopes on. There is no substitute for a genuine Pope.
Image sources: Wikimedia Commons (cropped) / own creation, spoof of I can’t believe it’s not butter
Licenses: CC BY-SA 2.5 / fair use