During Q&A with Colombian Jesuits…

Correctio Filialis: Francis weighs in (a little bit)!

The Vatican II Church has descended into a frenzy over the recently-released “Filial Correction” sent to Francis by 62 mostly obscure clerics and lay individuals. While we are still preparing a post with an assortment of various initial reactions to the Correctio Filialis, we interrupt our efforts here to share some breaking news with you: While on his “Apostolic Journey” to Colombia earlier this month (Sep. 6-10, 2017), Francis sat down with a number of the nation’s Jesuits for a spontaneous question-and-answer session in which he talked about many things, including existentialist ecclesiology claptrap and… criticism of his infernal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”!

Today, Sep. 28, the apostate Jesuit rag La Civiltà Cattolica published a report on and transcript of Francis’ meeting with his fellow-Jesuits in Cartagena, Colombia:

Francis’ Q&A with the Colombian Jesuits took place on Sep. 10 — the same day, incidentally, when he picked up a black eye as he hit his head on the “Popemobile”.

Interestingly enough, as the transcript shows, Francis wasn’t asked about Amoris Laetitia — he brought it up on his own. Although the Filial Correction was not made public until Sep. 23, it had been sent to Francis on Aug. 11. For this reason, it is clear that when Francis spoke of criticism of his exhortation, he most certainly had this most recent challenge in mind.

Here is the relevant portion of the transcript (repeating the entire answer for proper context):

Fr. Vicente Durán Casas stands to ask another question: “Holy Father, again thank you for your visit. I teach philosophy and I would like to know, and I speak for my teaching colleagues in theology too, what do you expect from philosophical and theological reflection in a country such as ours and in the Church generally?”

[Francis:] To start, I’d say let’s not have laboratory reflection. We’ve seen what damage occurred when the great and brilliant Thomist scholastics deteriorated, falling down, down, down to a manualistic scholasticism without life, mere ideas that transformed into a casuistic pastoral approach. At least, in our day we were formed that way… I’d say it was quite ridiculous how, to explain metaphysical continuity, the philosopher Losada spoke of puncta inflata… To demonstrate some ideas, things got ridiculous. He was a good philosopher, but decadent, he didn’t become famous…

So, philosophy not in a laboratory, but in life, in dialogue with reality. In dialogue with reality, philosophers will find the three transcendentals that constitute unity, but they will have a real name. Recall the words of our great writer Dostoyevsky. Like him we must reflect on which beauty will save us, on goodness, on truth. Benedict XVI spoke of truth as an encounter, that is to say no longer a classification, but a road. Always in dialogue with reality, for you cannot do philosophy with a logarithmic table. Besides, nobody uses them anymore.

The same is true for theology, but this does not mean to corrupt theology, depriving it of its purity. Quite the opposite. The theology of Jesus was the most real thing of all; it began with reality and rose up to the Father. It began with a seed, a parable, a fact… and explained them. Jesus wanted to make a deep theology and the great reality is the Lord. I like to repeat that to be a good theologian, together with study you have to be dedicated, awake and seize hold of reality; and you need to reflect on all of this on your knees.

A man who does not pray, a woman who does not pray, cannot be a theologian. They might be a living form of Denzinger, they might know every possible existing doctrine, but they’ll not be doing theology. They’ll be a compendium or a manual containing everything. But today it is a matter of how you express God, how you tell who God is, how you show the Spirit, the wounds of Christ, the mystery of Christ, starting with the Letter to the Philippians 2:7… How you explain these mysteries and keep explaining them, and how you are teaching the encounter that is grace. As when you read Paul in the Letter to the Romans where there’s the entire mystery of grace and you want to explain it.

I’ll use this question to say something else that I believe should be said out of justice, and also out of charity. In fact I hear many comments – they are respectable for they come from children of God, but wrong – concerning the post-synod apostolic exhortation. To understand Amoris Laetitia you need to read it from the start to the end. Beginning with the first chapter, and to continue to the second and then on … and reflect. And read what was said in the Synod.

A second thing: some maintain that there is no Catholic morality underlying Amoris Laetitia, or at least, no sure morality. I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist, the morality of the great Thomas. You can speak of it with a great theologian, one of the best today and one of the most mature, Cardinal Schönborn.

I want to say this so that you can help those who believe that morality is purely casuistic. Help them understand that the great Thomas possesses the greatest richness, which is still able to inspire us today. But on your knees, always on your knees…

(Antonio Spadaro, “Grace is not an Ideology: Pope Francis’ private conversation with some Colombian Jesuits”, La Civiltà Cattolica, Sep. 2017; italics given; underlining added.)

Before he gets to Amoris Laetitia, Francis uses the opportunity once again to knock one of his favorite targets: those “decadent Thomist manualists”! His remarks are seething with that arrogance and contempt towards Scholasticism once identified and condemned as a hallmark of Modernism by the great Pope St. Pius X:

It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance by which they consider themselves and pose as the rule for all. It is pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption, “We are not as the rest of men,” and which, lest they should seem as other men, leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind.

Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method…. They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority.

(Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, nn. 40, 42)

Perhaps a little background on those “decadent scholastic manualists” is in order.

At the turn of the 19th century, and in the first half of the 20th century, textbooks were utilized by seminaries throughout the world for the education and instruction of candidates studying for the Catholic priesthood. These textbooks were manuals which contained the common teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, and to this extent and in this sense, they belonged to the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. This is explained very well in the following essay:

Not surprisingly, the theological manuals used Scholasticism as their method of presentation. The scholastic method is a highly refined process whose main element is that it seeks to derive theological conclusions from the articles of Faith by means of demonstrative syllogisms. Oftentimes, these doctrinal conclusions or theses contained within the theological manuals are themselves dogmas of the Faith.

The aim of the manuals was to show, in a scientific fashion, how the conclusions or theses were actually contained within the body of Divine Revelation. The Scholasticism found on the pages of the theological manuals of the 19th and 20th centuries displayed logic that was crystalline and precise, something that “Pope” Francis has repeatedly said he abhors. Benedict XVI, too, is on record rejecting it: “…I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to me to be too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made” (Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 [San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1998], p. 44).

Francis loves to reject “decadent Scholasticism” in favor of a conveniently undefined and formless “reality” — a most anti-theological concept. This supposed “reality” is a slippery slope that allows him to introduce whatever he likes into the sacred science, and was roundly condemned by Pope Pius XII:

For more information that refutes Francis’ claptrap concerning Scholasticism and vindicates the traditional Catholic position, see this post:

As far as his “defense” of Amoris Laetitia goes, it is, of course, entirely devoid of substance and quite laughable. He had made the claim before that the teaching of the document is “Thomistic”; in fact, he insinuates as much in the infernal exhortation itself (see n. 304). But this is patently absurd, as even a Novus Ordo theologian has pointed out:

It is simply shameless to suggest that St. Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine provides the basis to making adultery morally acceptable in certain “concrete situations”. Regarding the Ten Commandments, the Angelic Doctor teaches:

Now the precepts of the decalogue [=Ten Commandments] contain the very intention of the lawgiver, who is God. For the precepts of the first table, which direct us to God, contain the very order to the common and final good, which is God; while the precepts of the second table contain the order of justice to be observed among men, that nothing undue be done to anyone, and that each one be given his due; for it is in this sense that we are to take the precepts of the decalogue. Consequently the precepts of the decalogue admit of no dispensation whatever.

(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa TheologicaI-II, q. 100, a. 8)

In another place, Aquinas is even more direct: “…a man ought not to commit adultery for any expediency…” (On Evil, q. 15, a. 1, ad 5), for the simple reason that the Sixth Commandment is a negative precept (“Thou shalt not…”), and “negative precepts bind always and for all times” (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 33, a. 2). This, in turn, means that sins against the Sixth Commandment (or any other negative precept) “cannot become good, no matter how, or when, or where, they are done, because of their very nature they are connected with an evil end” (ibid.). In short: We are not allowed to do what is intrinsically evil so that good may come, something St. Paul the Apostle already pointed out 2,000 years ago (see Rom 3:8). For more on the “concrete situations” argument, please see our post:

Francis has referred people to the demonic “Cardinal” Christoph Schonborn on more than one occasion. (In fact, Francis himself reportedly once asked Schonborn whether Amoris Laetitia was even orthodox.) It was Schonborn who gave the theological presentation and answered journalists’ questions (beginning at 1:25:20 mark) during the press conference for the release of Amoris Laetitia — and never gave them a straight answer, either, regarding the reception of the Novus Ordo sacraments by unrepentant public adulterers.

Lastly, a quick word about the accusation of “casuistry”, which Francis juxtaposes with his existentialist “reality”-based approach to morality.

Casuistry — in its proper sense — is actually a most important part of moral theology and was most famously championed by St. Alphonsus Liguori, the 18th-century Doctor of the Church. The 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia defines “casuistry” as follows:

The application of general principles of morality to definite and concrete cases of human activity, for the purpose, primarily, of determining what one ought to do, or ought not to do, or what one may do or leave undone as one pleases; and for the purpose, secondarily, of deciding whether and to what extent guilt or immunity from guilt follows on an action already posited.

(Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Casuistry”)

In other words, casuistry is a really important discipline in the Catholic Church. As the same entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to explain:

The necessity of casuistry and its importance are obvious. From the nature of the case, the general principles of any science in their concrete application give rise to problems which trained and expert minds only can solve. This is especially true regarding the application of moral principles and precepts to individual conduct. For, although those principles and precepts are in themselves generally evident, their application calls for the consideration of many complex factors, both objective and subjective. Only those who unite scientific knowledgeof morality with practice in its application may be trusted to solve promptly and safely problems of conscience.


Francis, of course, has his own way of “solving” problems of conscience: He waves his magic wands of accompaniment, discernment, and mercy, and, voilà, the sin is no longer a sin in your particular case — problem solved!

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24 Responses to “Correctio Filialis: Francis weighs in (a little bit)!”

  1. Nicholas

    I don’t understand how some people recognize Francis as pope but either totally ignore him or bash him daily on their various platforms. If Francis is the pope, his encyclicals, motu proprios, and synodal exhortations are binding. When he explains Laudato si and says that people need to go to confession for not recycling and not turning off unnecessary lights, it can’t be ignored.

    • Sonia

      An apposite quote from Fr Despósito’s twitter: “A time is coming when men will go mad, & when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You r mad, you r not like us’.”

      As for the ‘time’, I think we are already there, as pointed out by Dr Droleskey regarding the signatories of the ‘Correction’: “Trying to oppose heresy by using the work of heretics (Montini, Wojtyla) is insanity, but that is what the authors of the “Correction” have done as their cheerleaders applaud them for what they believe to be an exercise in “courage” that is in direct violation of Catholic teaching concerning the obedience that is due a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.” http://www.christorchaos.com/?q=content/correction-need-correction-part-two-series

  2. Geremia16

    How about “debauched schismatic Modernists” or what St. Jerome called Pelagius: “the hulking brute stuffed with his Scots’ porridge” One thing Bergoglio has perfected is the art of ad hominem.

  3. bartmaeus

    “To understand Amoris Laetitia you need to read it from the start to the end. Beginning with the first chapter, and to continue to the second and then on … and reflect. And read what was said in the Synod.
    [ . . . ]

    look into my kindly dreamy eyes……………………………………………………………………….

    count to a hundred and eleven…………………………………………………….

    . . . you’re feeeling sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…………………………………….


    there is no heresy………………………………….. no heresy…………………………………

    there is only hermeneutic of continuity……………………………………………………………………………….

    and accccompanyingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg…………

    and we will have mmmmmmmmmmmore migrants………………………………………………………………….

    mmmmmmilllllllions of migrants……………………… mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………..

    must have tolerance………………………………………………………..

    out with Denzingerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


    woof woof woof woof woof woof……………………………………………………………………….”

    • Susan Lauren

      Cute. Don’t you mean snarl and growl? The wolf is at the door and he is demanding admittance to your home and to your family and to your church.

      • bartmaeus

        Maybe, as in the nursery rhyme, the wolf is in Granny’s bed, wrapped up in an old shawl, with roundy glass spectacles on its big snout, and a simpering smile on its slavering mouth, from which slippery syllables, such as “sensitivity”, or “such nice place for a migrant army bridgehead is Lesbia – I must go there and bless them”, are endlessly warbling out, as it anticipates administering the coup de grace on the nice little Christian child that bears the lovely, if a little wilted, fleur-de-lis.

  4. Susan Lauren

    What has been unfolding in the Modernist Catholic Church has been so vile, evil and offensive that there have been times I have considered writing to the priest at the church I used to attend (and am registered at) and 1st explaining why I am not in union, communion and/or fellowship with the Catholic Church AND 2nd stating that I wish to be officially excommunicated.

    For example, I am not in communion with …..

    Lies, I was deceived.
    Jesus likes it when you sin.
    Jesus became the devil.
    Proselytism is a grave sin and solemn nonsense.
    Have fun at Pride, guys.
    We look to Jesus Christ and say, “This is your sin and I will sin again.”
    Francis tenderly assures us that a little bread and wine do no harm.

    Then add hundreds more heretical statements along these same lines.

    Then it occurs to me that I would be writing and asking men who are more likely than not NOT ordained as priest and bishops. If that is the case (and I believe it to be so), then they have no right or authority or legitimacy to do anything. Asking the bishop or pope for anything Catholic would be akin to asking my atheist neighbor. They are basically Protestant clergy with the vestments/ trappings of “Catholic.”

    • BurningEagle

      Very rarely do they even use traditional Roman vestments. Usually, they use the formless burlap draperies, or the shiny polyester “Gothic” vestments condemned in 1863 and 1925 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

      I would suggest refraining from using the word “Catholic” in any description of them.

      But I must agree, that if I had a document of excommunication from them, I would have it framed, and prominently displayed in my home.

      • Novus Ordo Watch

        Please excuse me chiming in for a moment. To my knowledge, the Vatican rescinded the prohibition against Gothic-style vestments in 1957 in the declaration “Circa Dubium” of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (see AAS 49, p. 762).

          • BurningEagle

            At least from 1863 and certainly from 1925 the until 1957, the use of the “Gothic” vestment was prohibited. But these prohibitions were widely disobeyed, especially in the “liturgical movement” circles. In 1957 (thanks to your reference), the SCR left the matter up to the local ordinaries who had been ignoring previous laws and customs for nearly a century.

          • Timotheos

            I dissent from Novus Ordo Watch slightly here. I believe Pius XII left the Church and ceased to be Pope in 1953 when he sought to lend papal confirmation to the scandalous ‘excommunication’ of Fr Leonard Feeney. So in my book his post-1953 activities had no validity.

  5. bartmaeus

    “I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist, the morality of the great Thomas . . .[Cranmer]”

    All clear to me now.

  6. Herman_U_Tick

    Instructions for installation of replacement Pope.

    Obtain new Pope using Canon Law approved procedure.

    Install new Pope as per figure 3 observing correct protocols.

    The 7 Tradition/Orthodoxy LEDs should now illuminate.

    If this fails to occur then this Pope is faulty and must be rejected.
    The claimant must be dismounted and a genuine verified replacement acquired from the Manufacturer.
    For convenience of the consumer, a Pope does NOT contain any USER-SERVICEABLE PARTS.
    An attempt to tamper with or repair a counterfeit unit (sometimes called ‘filial correction’ or ‘recognise and resist’) will result in damage to the entire Church.

  7. Not That Guy

    I was a seminarian for two years in the Novus Ordo and in moral theology class, the “Msgr.” who taught it was incessantly mocking manualists.

    To his mind, James Keenan, S.J. of Boston College was one of the shining stars of our era in Catholic thought.

  8. BurningEagle

    I thought the spot where Jorge mentions the Denzinger to be damning. “They might be a living form of Denzinger, they might know every possible existing doctrine, but they’ll not be doing theology…” It shows his utter contempt for the consistent, continuous, harmonious, and holy teaching of the Catholic Church. Doctrine is not important to him. He does not believe it should be important to anyone. (BTW, I don’t know how one can “be doing theology.”)

    He hates the Magisterium of the Church. He hates the idea that the Church must always be one and the same thing throughout all time. He hates the idea of a compendium of doctrines and condemnations which define what the Catholic Faith is, and what it certainly is not. For him, there is no deposit of divine revelation, no deposit of the faith, to which we must adhere, and which must be guarded and defended.

    He is a flaming Modernist. There is not a Catholic God for him, because for him it is impossible to know God with any certitude at all. For Jorge, all folks who believe in some kind of deity are in the same predicament. We are all groping around like blind mice trying to be naturally “good” and loving. For him, it is our common humanity that must be celebrated and protected, and certainly not the rigid, medieval, formal, Thomistic, fully developed theology, as can be learned from the Denzinger.

    This guy knows what the Catholic Faith is. But it is odious to him. Like his predecessors, Roncalli, Montini, Luciani, Wojtyla, and Ratzinger, his main job is to eradicate Catholicism from the face of the earth, and replace it with something else.

  9. Susan Lauren

    It seems many are trying to figure out how to respond to what is becoming an increasing crisis in the Catholic Church. I do believe people are doing the best they know how to do in the midst of utter chaos and confusion.

    With that said (and having recently awakened myself), it seems to me there are a number of long term Catholics who understood what was happening and made the decision to “recognize & resist” rather than to “come out from among them”.

    The sedevacantists were literally the equivalent of Joshua and Caleb or Lot and his family who stood against the tide. The vast majority accepted the popes and rejected VII. Very few had the foresight to see BOTH as mustard seeds of poison.

    We are where we are — 50 plus years later. I am angry at those in the church who created this evil. That is the sin of commission. I am angry at those who have remained silent. That is the sin of omission. God alone will judge and judge justly.

    In a sense, the “correction” is “wrong” too. The correction is based upon Vatican II principles, but Vatican II is how and why we came to this crisis in the first place. The solution cannot be the problem. The “correction” is the wrong solution.

    The real solution is “denounce and separate” — come out from among them, have nothing to do with this evil thing. The Lord says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. For 50 plus years, the Catholic Church has been a house divided.

    The article here, “Anything but Sedevacantism,” hits the nail squarely on the head. What will it take for these folks to reject both Francis and VII? I don’t know. Even if they claim Benedict is still pope, they still have the VII noose around their necks.

    Francis had a history. He did not emerge in a vacuum. Part of that history is VII, and my belief is that the R&R folks are the other side of the coin to those who love/ accept Francis and VII. The true solution I think is to come apart from the evil.

    • BurningEagle

      Basically, it is too inconvenient for most folks to agree with the obvious fact that the enemies of the church usurped the papacy and major offices in the hierarchy. They just cannot handle that.
      Let’s face it, most Catholics were only nominally Catholic when Roncalli and Montini were elected. They went to their Catholic Church because it was their cultural tradition. They really did not believe the Catholic Church was the one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Others were minimalist Catholics. Few were pious Catholics who studied their faith and were serious about practicing virtue, avoiding occasions of sin, and cutting oneself away from the world as much as their state in life would permit.
      For most, they loved getting rid of the ember days of fasting. They loved permission to eat meat on Friday, they loved the Mass in English, they loved the new music. They loved their YMCA memberships. They loved sending their kids to public schools. They loved all their social events with non-Catholics, because when you get right down to it, it really didn’t matter to most what religion you belonged to, just so long as you were a “good” person.
      There was a lot of groundwork laid by the Modernists, in parishes, schools and seminaries, and clubs, even before the election of Roncalli.
      By the grace of God we now see what has happened. It is now up to us to live a pious, studious Catholic life, cut off from the world and the worldlings, as much as possible, despite the difficulties which are all around us due to the great apostacy.
      Thank God for the few Catholic priests and bishops who remain. Thank God for the grace of discernment.

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