Pope is accused of heresy (1 Viewer)

Grandadmiral

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I will definitely be paying close attention to this. I actually feel that Francis has done his best to bring individuals back to the faith and feel, like stated in the article, that this is a cry from a very vocal minority from the conservative side of the Church. I frankly wish they'd put more effort in stopping the continual burden of the sex abuse scandal than go after a man whose message has been one of acceptance. That's what all faiths truly need right now.

A conservative group of Catholic priests and theologians called for Pope Francis to be declared a heretic because they believed he has softened the Catholic Church's stance on major moral issues.

There were 19 signatories to a letter urging the College of Bishops to denounce the pontiff and even consider stripping him of the papacy if he does not show “true repentance.”

The letter, backed by a Change.org petition, alleged the Pope had “denied truths of the faith” and had not been outspoken enough on key aspects of dogma such as abortion and homosexuality and seems too accepting of other faiths. He was even accused of once using a satanic symbol.

The focal point of the 20-page missive is the Pope’s 2016 document about family life, titled Amoris Laetitia, which has been interpreted by some as suggesting the Pope has softened the church's views on key issues, including whether divorced people can receive communion.

The letter stated: "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."

It also took issue that the Pope had "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."
 

Saint_Ward

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You should care because of the context, and the fact that the content of the letter is largely true, even if the letter is canonically dubious. There's a running list of statements that if taken at face value would equate to heresy. It's really an unprecedented situation, at least in modern times. The Vigano accusations, the unanswered dubia, the Abu Dhabi letter, are all very serious concerns that have the capability of causing a schism.

Amoris Laetitia has certain passages that if taken at face value would threaten to undermine the entire Catholic philosophy of moral agency. Every Catholic should know and care about what's happening. The historical and spiritual importance cannot be overstated. We need to be vigilant, educated, and dedicated to our own continued conversion. That is our responsibility.
Looks like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI answered it somewhat recently, albeit indirectly.

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/05/11/the-dubia-were-answered/

 

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And I'll add. The dubia is one thing and a fair comment that Francis didn't answer it directly.

But this letter seems to stray quite far from those specific questions.
 

DaveXA

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I'm certainly not an expert here, but I appreciate the discussion. It's a topic I haven't explored before. Thanks for outlining some of the key issues.
 

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Heresy, as defined in the catechism...


So it's not heresy in itself to accuse someone of heresy.

Heresy is the denial of a truth of the faith. For example, if I believed that Jesus was just a nice guy and not divine in nature, I'd hold a heretical belief.
Thank you.
 

Brennan77

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Looks like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI answered it somewhat recently, albeit indirectly.

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/05/11/the-dubia-were-answered/

While this is a good commentary on the state of things, it does not answer the dubia because Benedict has no authority to do so. It wasn't addressed to him. He did not author AL. And he is not the pope. Only Francis can answer the questions. It's a bit frustrating because the optics of having a 'retired' pope is super weird.

The thing is, we know what the answers to those questions should be. It's not a mystery for any orthodox Catholic. The question is whether the pope is attempting to contradict existing tradition and belief and on what grounds.

And I'll add. The dubia is one thing and a fair comment that Francis didn't answer it directly.

But this letter seems to stray quite far from those specific questions.
That's true. There's a lot going on there so I wouldn't expect to be able to address it in one thread in an afternoon. But I can tell you I've been following most of this for a couple of years and it's worth your attention. We're in a very interesting period of history.
 
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Grandadmiral

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While this is a good commentary on the state of things, it does not answer the dubia because Benedict has no authority to do so. It wasn't addressed to him. He did not author AL. And he is not the pope. Only Francis can answer the questions. It's a bit frustrating because the optics of having a 'retired' pope is super weird.

The thing is, we know what the answers to those questions should be. It's not a mystery for any orthodox Catholic. The question is whether the pope is attempting to contradict existing tradition and belief and on what grounds.
So let me ask you this...

Not saying this is happening or is going to happen, but what if the Magisterium re-interprets that realigns more to what concerns you with AL? I'm sure there will be chaos as it will change generations of Catholic teaching (several that I disagree with). But what would your reaction be if the Spirit moves the Church to look at things in a different light?
 

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While this is a good commentary on the state of things, it does not answer the dubia because Benedict has no authority to do so. It wasn't addressed to him. He did not author AL. And he is not the pope. Only Francis can answer the questions. It's a bit frustrating because the optics of having a 'retired' pope is super weird.

The thing is, we know what the answers to those questions should be. It's not a mystery for any orthodox Catholic. The question is whether the pope is attempting to contradict existing tradition and belief and on what grounds.



That's true. There's a lot going on there so I wouldn't expect to be able to address it in one thread in an afternoon. But I can tell you I've been following most of this for a couple of years and it's worth your attention. We're in a very interesting period of history.
Wouldn't that answer be no?

"“It cannot be considered a vademecum [manual] on different issues. If the Exhortation is not read in its entirety and in the order it is written, it will either not be understood or it will be distorted,” the pope wrote. "

"A letter from Pope Francis on Amoris laetitia has been published in which the pope says the 2016 apostolic exhortation is “always in continuity” with the traditional teaching of the Church, and must be read and understood “in its entirety and from the beginning.” "
 

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Any man willing to climb the Tower and be declared THE voice for God is bound to have done a few heretical things to get there. With that in mind, I'm not sorry to be surprised.
 

Brennan77

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Wouldn't that answer be no?

"“It cannot be considered a vademecum [manual] on different issues. If the Exhortation is not read in its entirety and in the order it is written, it will either not be understood or it will be distorted,” the pope wrote. "

"A letter from Pope Francis on Amoris laetitia has been published in which the pope says the 2016 apostolic exhortation is “always in continuity” with the traditional teaching of the Church, and must be read and understood “in its entirety and from the beginning.” "
Therein lies the exasperation with this pope. He says it should be read always in continuity. But he also a year earlier seemingly contradicted this. In a letter to Argentine bishops (which was also published on the Vatican website), he praised their guidelines for divorced and remarried Catholics. “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.” The problem was of course that the Argentine guidelines appeared to very much break with the tradition of the Church, opening the possibility for couples living in an objectively adulterous state to receive Reconciliation and Eucharist without a commitment to continence. Additionally, Francis promoted and features people like Cardinal Farrell and Cardinal Cupich, both with conspicuous connections to Theodore McCarrick, who most certainly interpret Amoris Laetitia in this way.

What are the faithful to believe and understand?

This state of ambiguity is completely unnecessary. If he had answered the dubia a year earlier there would be no question. Yet here we are three years later. People are able to believe whatever they want to believe and I think that's by design. Some suggest that Francis is at heart a Peronist, a politician who has no trouble contradicting himself for the sake of pleasing the person directly in front of him. We need a pastor, not a politician. We need someone who plainly speaks truth and leads to salvation in Christ. I'm just not seeing it right now. I see confusion and weaponized ambiguity. It's disconcerting.
 
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Therein lies the exasperation with this pope. He says it should be read always in continuity. But he also a year earlier seemingly contradicted this. In a letter to Argentine bishops (which was also published on the Vatican website), he praised their guidelines for divorced and remarried Catholics. “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.” The problem was of course that the Argentine guidelines appeared to very much break with the tradition of the Church, opening the possibility for couples living in an objectively adulterous state to receive Reconciliation and Eucharist without a commitment to continence. Additionally, Francis promoted and features people like Cardinal Farrell and Cardinal Cupich, both with conspicuous connections to Theodore McCarrick, who most certainly interpret Amoris Laetitia in this way.

What are the faithful to believe and understand?

This state of ambiguity is completely unnecessary. If he had answered the dubia a year earlier there would be no question. Yet here we are three years later. People are able to believe whatever they want to believe and I think that's by design. Some suggest that Francis is at heart a Peronist, a politician who has no trouble contradicting himself for the sake of pleasing the person directly in front of him. We need a pastor, not a politician. We need someone who plainly speaks truth and leads to salvation in Christ. I'm just not seeing it right now. I see confusion and weaponized ambiguity. It's disconcerting.
Seems to me you just have a spiritual issue with this Pope, much like I had with Benedict and, in many ways, with John Paul II (and I met him when visited New Orleans). On that we'll have to agree to disagree.

However, your expectation the Francis be not a politician is a fallacy. As a head of state, the Pope has to be both, just as his predecessors.
 

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Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to figure out your beef Brennan.

Like, you have an issue that you're not exactly saying. You can't be that worked up about what some people consider ambiguity. I don't see it as that ambiguous, or even if so, that it's somewhat by design. The point being that not every situation has a cut and dry answer, and to allow the parish/diocese to make some judgement, rooted in the catechism.
 

Brennan77

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Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to figure out your beef Brennan.

Like, you have an issue that you're not exactly saying. You can't be that worked up about what some people consider ambiguity. I don't see it as that ambiguous, or even if so, that it's somewhat by design. The point being that not every situation has a cut and dry answer, and to allow the parish/diocese to make some judgement, rooted in the catechism.
Some things are cut and dry. I honestly don't know how I can be any more clear. I will quote again Josef Siefer in regard to the questionable passages of AL.

The assertion of AL I wish to investigate here, however, does not invoke subjective conscience at all, but claims a totally objective divine will for us to commit, in certain situations, acts that are intrinsically wrong, and have always been considered such by the Church. Since God can certainly not have a lack of ethical knowledge, an “erring conscience,” or a weakness of free will, this text does not “defend the rights of human subjectivity,” as Buttiglione claims, but appears to affirm clearly that these intrinsically disordered and objectively gravely sinful acts, as Buttiglione admits, can be permitted, or can even objectively be commanded, by God. If this is truly what AL affirms, all alarm over AL’s direct affirmations, regarding matters of changes of sacramental discipline (admitting, after due discernment, adulterers, active homosexuals, and other couples in similar situations to the sacraments of confession and eucharist, and, logically, also of baptism, confirmation, and matrimony, without their willingness to change their lives and to live in total sexual abstinence, which Pope John Paul II demanded in Familiaris Consortio from couples in such “irregular situations”), refer only to the peak of an iceberg, to the weak beginning of an avalanche, or to the first few buildings destroyed by a moral theological atomic bomb that threatens to tear down the whole moral edifice of the 10 commandments and of Catholic Moral Teaching.
If AL is allowed to be understood and pastorally enacted in the way that the Argentine bishops, Cardinal Cupich, or Cardinal Farrell would like, it would undermine the foundational principles of Catholic moral teaching by suggesting that there are no intrinsically sinful situations that could not be overridden by conscience or even willed by God according to context. At best, it represents moral relativism and is antithetical to Christianity. Such a break with the tradition of the faith cannot be understated, much less found to be 'rooted in the catechism'. This is why Cupich calls the document 'revolutionary' and it's why the unanswered dubia loom so large.

The function of the magisterium is as the teaching authority of Christ's Church. "He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10. 16) The Church is the "pillar and foundation of truth". Ambiguity for the sake of giving intellectual and moral license is a failure of duty for the magisterium and the papacy. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. "

Now we haven't even begun to discuss anything outside of Amoris Laetitia, and I suppose that could be for the best. This is a big enough issue as it is. But I can't stress enough that this isn't some personal 'beef' that I have. The concerns are not trivial and they certainly are not on the fringe.
 

DaveXA

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Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to figure out your beef Brennan.

Like, you have an issue that you're not exactly saying. You can't be that worked up about what some people consider ambiguity. I don't see it as that ambiguous, or even if so, that it's somewhat by design. The point being that not every situation has a cut and dry answer, and to allow the parish/diocese to make some judgement, rooted in the catechism.
It's been a lot of years since I last took a catechism class, but from what I remember, there was very little room for ambiguity there. That was over 30 years ago, but I can't imagine that's changed much.
 

Brennan77

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Seems to me you just have a spiritual issue with this Pope, much like I had with Benedict and, in many ways, with John Paul II (and I met him when visited New Orleans). On that we'll have to agree to disagree.

However, your expectation the Francis be not a politician is a fallacy. As a head of state, the Pope has to be both, just as his predecessors.
I don't really understand what you mean by spiritual. I feel I have clearly defined several concerns that are quite 'material' in nature.

Political power is fleeting. Benedict XVI had a vision of a future Church that was much smaller and less culturally/politically powerful. Yet it would be much more spiritually healthy. We will see.
 
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I don't really understand what you mean by spiritual. I feel I have clearly defined several concerns that are quite 'material' in nature.

Political power is fleeting. Benedict XVI had a vision of a future Church that was much smaller and less culturally/politically powerful. Yet it would be much more spiritually healthy. We will see.
As you said in another post, you don't have a personal beef. So your issue most be from a standpoint that Francis' papacy conflicts with spiritual teachings you're used to.

And also as you've mentioned, Benedict is no longer Pope. What he envisions no longer matters.
 

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