“We do not … consider the Chair of Peter to be vacant“!

The Dubia Saga continues: Sandro Magister publishes “Cardinal” Caffarra’s Letter to Francis requesting Audience

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[UPDATE 20-JUN-17 00:22 UTC: Edward Pentin reports that this letter was delivered to Francis on May 6 of this year.]

[UPDATE 20-JUN-17 12:54 UTC: Sandro Magister publishes commentary.]

Today the veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister published a bombshell on his blog, Settimo Cielo.

It had been mentioned before in the press that the four “dubia cardinals” — Carlo Caffarra, Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmuller, and Joachim Meisner — had requested an audience with “Pope” Francis to discuss with him the concerns they had voiced in their dubia” (doubts or questions) concerning the “papal” exhortation Amoris Laetitia. This request came by means of a letter sent to the “Pope” by “Cardinal” Caffarra on April 25 of this year.

On his blog, Vaticanist Sandro Magister has now published the full text of the letter:

It is not clear why the text posted by Magister is written in Portuguese, since Caffarra is Italian and Francis is Argentinian. Regardless, we have put together an English translation:

Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain amount of trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness during these days of Easter time. I do so on behalf of Their Eminences Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish first of all to renew our absolute devotion and unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth”, as St. Catherine of Siena used to say. We do not at all hold the position of those who consider the Chair of Peter to be vacant, nor of those who assign to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine “munus” [gift, i.e. ministry]. We are moved only by the grave responsibility of conscience that comes from the cardinalatial “munus”: to be advisors to the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry; and of the sacrament of the episcopate, which “constituted us as bishops to nourish the Church, acquired by Him with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016, we delivered to you and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five “dubia”, asking you to settle [some] uncertainties and clarify some points in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

Having received no response from Your Holiness, we decided to respectfully and humbly ask You for a joint audience, if it so pleases You. We have [attached], as is the common practice, an audience sheet in which we lay out the two points that we would like to discuss with Your Holiness.

Most Holy Father,

It has already been a year since the publication of “Amoris Laetitia”. During this time interpretations of some objectively ambiguous steps [sic] of the Post-Synodal Exhortation were given in public that not only diverge from but contradict the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Although the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Gerhard Muller] has declared more than once that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, there have been numerous statements by bishops, cardinals, and even episcopal conferences approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. It is not only access to the Holy Eucharist by those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin and intend to continue in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, what is forbidden in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is lawful in Malta, and so on. The bitter realization of B[laise] Pascal comes to mind: “Justice on the Pyrenees side, injustice on the other side; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent laymen who deeply love the Church and are firmly loyal to the Apostolic See, addressed their pastors and Your Holiness to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine in regard to the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession and the Eucharist. In fact, in these past few days, in Rome, six laymen coming from all continents held a study seminar that was well-attended and that bore the significant title of: “Bringing Clarity”.

Faced with such a grave situation, about which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the burden of our responsibility, and our conscience compels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in your prayers, as we assure you that we will do in ours; and we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra

Rome, April 25, 2017
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

Assuming that Francis received this letter shortly after it was written, this means that he’s been sitting on it for almost two months without lifting a finger. Surely it requires no great gift of prophecy to predict that this audience isn’t going to happen, except perhaps for Francis to tell his four “dubia cardinals” to their faces that they can turn in their red hats on their way out.

Precisely how this über-deferential request for an audience relates to the much-touted “formal correction” that “Cardinal” Burke threatens on occassion, remains to be seen.

It is certainly curious that Fr. Caffarra saw the need to explain to Francis that he and the other “cardinals” are not sedevacantists, nor do they agree with those who believe Benedict XVI is the real Pope (we call such people “Resignationists”). This is essentially what he meant when he said: “We do not at all hold the position of those who consider the Chair of Peter to be vacant, nor of those who assign to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine ‘munus’.” Considering that they’re addressing Francis as the “Holy Father” and petitioning him for an audience, it should have been rather obvious that they believe the Argentinian apostate is the Pope. Perhaps they should also have clarified that they do not read Novus Ordo Watch?

In any case, we can be grateful to Mr. Magister for publishing this text. It is not the request for this audience itself that is the big story here but rather the publication of the text, because now it is out in the open, and this puts tremendous pressure on Francis. Just like with the dubia, which originally were private only, so too the request for this audience became public only weeks after it remained unanswered. If the past is any indication, we can rest assured that Francis will blow a fuse when he finds out that this text is now on the internet.

Readers may recall that Sandro Magister is the man who, back in 2015, got in trouble with the “Holy See” after publishing the text of Francis’ ecology encyclical Laudato Si’ two days ahead of official release. As a consequence, Magister’s accreditation privileges for the Vatican Press Office were revoked, only to be restored, however, by the end of the same year.

All in all, it looks like the dubia saga is far from over. However, the longer the four “cardinals” wait to act, the more facts are being created, so to speak, throughout the dioceses of those “bishops” who decide to admit unrepentant adulterers to Novus Ordo communion. And this is something that will work entirely in Francis’ favor. Time is on his side.

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16 Responses to ““Cardinal” Caffarra’s Letter to Francis requesting Audience to resolve Dubia”

  1. Rand Miller

    I would like to affirm that because of my devotion and love for the Petrine office and my love for the Catholic faith that I absolutely reject Francis as Pope of the Catholic Church. I don’t need to present any dubia to Francis to resolve the question. His blatant heresy and obvious hatred for the Faith are all the evidence I need.

  2. Mike

    This period of history will be an astonishing era for students in a thousand years from now, if the world goes on that long.

  3. Dum Spiro Spero

    1) The letter is written

    2) Francis pretends the letter does not exist

    3) The letter is published in all media

    4) Nothing will happen.

    Conclusion: it is a ritual for the two postures to be well.

    But there is also a message for Francisco. We are not sedevacantistas, but you know: some begin to consider this possibility. The cardinals use Magister to make the letter known.

  4. Dum Spiro Spero

    However, they note that Francis does not receive them for two months.
    That’s laughing at him in public.

  5. CumExApostolatus

    The enemies of Jesus Christ have nothing BUT time —and money—on their side.

    Are the 4 ‘cardinals’ trying to build a case against Mr. Bergoglio in the (vain) hope of having him declared an apostate/heretic by the the college of ‘cardinals’, etc.?

    Because, you know, the words “forever” and “in perpetuity” in the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul IV, “Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio” don’t actually mean forever, and in perpetuity, ever since the Second Vatican-Judea,Inc. Council took place. So, we can all disregard Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.

    After all, we were told we can’t be sure of the meaning of the word, “is” ever since President Clinton was impeached. How can we be sure of the meanings of the words, “forever” and “in perpetuity”? Our Judea, Inc., Frankfurt School-Freudian overlords have made it plain that all is “relative” and when it comes to the “tribe,” that is indisputable. So, if the “tribe” tells you it is so, you can take it to the bank.

  6. I am not Spartacus

    I see not one thing wrong with these requests nor in the respectful way the Pope is addressed.

    The Pope, as Fr. Hunwicke has observed, is not even a material heretic, to say nothing of a formal heretic, and there is not one single thing the Pope has done, or could do, that would make me sever even one of the bonds on Unity (Worship, Doctrine, Authority) that Tradition says must exist if one is to be considered Catholic.

    How does severing connection with the Church Jesus established be considered in any way a useful or prudent act?

    Jesus established His Church for two purposes:


    and He is, has always been, and will always be, the head of His Church.

    Saint Vincent of Lerins teaches that what we wee Catholic are now facing is to be considered a test by God to see whether or not we love Him and one can not claim that the answer to the test is to abandon His Church rather than to keep the Faith once delivered for all and suffer in His Church if (as it seems to be the case) that be His will.

    • Pascendi

      He is a heretic by any reasonable examination of his words and actions: “On the question of justification he (Luther) did not err.” -Jorge Bergoglio aka Francis
      This is an indisputable contradiction to the dogma proclaimed by the sacred Council of Trent. It’s just one example. Countless others could be cited.
      So you see, the bond of Unity with doctrine has already been severed by him. You have already abandoned the Catholic Church so long as you remain in the Novus Ordo church.

      • I am not Spartacus

        The words you quoted is just his personal opinion not a teaching.

        Franciscus has not only not changed doctrine it is impossible for him to do so.

        Objectively, you are calling Jesus a lair for He said His Church would not fail but you say it has.

        It is also an infallible teaching of Vatican 1 that the Holy See will never fail.

        • Pascendi

          You’ve misunderstood the words of Our Lord and the Vatican Council. The Church does not fail because one man or even many men manifest heresy or apostasy.
          It is true that the Holy See can never fail, but undeniable heresy does not cease to be heresy simply because the man who utters it appears to be the pope. If in fact he does manifest a heresy then the logical conclusion is that despite appearances he is not the Vicar of Christ.
          It is also irrelevant whether he attempts to formally teach it or whether he’s merely stating a personal opinion. Simply stating it automatically separates him from the Church by Divine law. Nevertheless as has been pointed out at this website, Bergoglio himself has said that all of his public statements are magisterial.

          • I am not Spartacus

            No, there is no such law re personal opinions.

            Bergolio can claim that he is the Grand High Exalted Head Potentate of the Ahab Bektash Temple but that does not make him that.

            Those who claim there has been no legit Pope since the death of Pius XII are arguing in favor of an invisible church – a protestant idea.

            Is there a time (say, 100 years from now) when the sedes will just have to clam-up because their claims are so insane?

            Can the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church go without a Pope for over 100 years?

            200 years?

            300 years?

            400 years?

            500 years?

            Seriously what is the limit of a Church without a Pope?

          • Novus Ordo Watch

            The questions you raise are fair. But they have been answered. My question to you is: Are you sincerely willing to look at the answers, or are you dead-set in your view and won’t let any evidence to the contrary change it?

          • I am not Spartacus

            Yes. IANS is here because he -off and on – has read this blog for years

          • Pascendi

            Yes there is such a law. Read Mistici Corpori by Pope Pius XII. Read the letter by Pope Innocent III. Read De Romano Pontificus by St. Robert Bellermine.

  7. J meng

    Why would he read it? He is not a priest or bishop or the Pope nor does he act like one.
    He rejected the Papal Throne. He did not address the crowd after his “election” as a Pope. He for “humility” shuns Universal Authority of a Pope. He refused to wear the Pope’s “Red Cape” the mozzetta. He will not be crowned as a Pope. He refuses to sit on Papal Throne Chair or on an elevated platform. He does not live in the Papal quarters but in a guest apartment. He rejects Vatican State credentials and uses an Argentinian Passport. He declines the use of the Vatican State vehicles. He sees himself as a local Bishop and says he is the “Bishop of Rome.” He is the lay leader of a new entity. He told Adolfo Nicholas not to address him as “Your Holiness” or “Holy Father.” It is not address to him or is it his concern because he is not the Pope.
    They addressed it to the wrong person. “What’s the big deal?”

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