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On April 30th an open letter addressed to the world’s bishops was released by a group of theologians and other distinguished signatories. The letter states:
“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.”
This latest letter, which includes among its signers the respected theologian Fr. Aiden Nichols, OP and Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, is the latest in a series of public responses to the Francis papacy from orthodox Catholics.
This letter joins the 2016 dubia (by Cdls. Burke, Brandmüller, Caffarra and Meisner), the 2017 Filial Correction, the open letter to Pope Francis by respected theologian Fr. Thomas Weinandy, the serious and substantial accusations made by Archbishop Carlos Viganò last year against the Holy Father in the wake of the Theodore McCarrick scandal, a letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women (which has been signed by over 47,000 faithful to date), and a Letter from Catholic Men to Francis late last year which counted among its signatories noted theologian Dr. Scott Hahn of Franciscan University at Steubenville.
The usual suspects have spent this past week attacking (yet again) the letter’s authors, most often by dismissing the small number of signers (19) or by discounting their importance. (Update: total signers as of May 2nd has increased to 51).
This is to be expected as no one (including Francis himself) has demonstrated enough charity or sincerity to actually address the concerns of these thousands of concerned faithful. The response to this week’s letter has been the same as that given to all of the other previously released letters.
But let us not lose sight of the most important aspect of these unprecedented actions: the very letters themselves.
While the sycophants and purveyors of papalolatry run around year after year dismissing each successive letter with Saul Alinsky like tactics (think Fr. Thomas Rosica, Massimo Faggioli, and Austen Ivereigh), the most relevant point is that all of this is even happening.
And that is what we can not forget.
The unprecedented nature of these letters, from Cardinals to theologians, across continents and cultures, to average lay men and women, is THE story here.
The fact that for 4 consecutive years FAITHFUL and ORTHODOX Catholics, like Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. John Rist, Fr.s Weinandy & Nichols, and Cdl. Raymond Burke have accepted the mantle of white martyrdom in order to respectfully challenge the errors, omissions, appointments, and intentional ambiguities of this Pope, all the while espousing their fidelity to, and filial love for, the Bishop of Rome is completely unprecedented.
WE ALL KNOW what REAL dissent looks like. It is the story of the last five decades.
It’s the rejection of Humanae Vitae.
It’s the adoption of the language and radical agenda of the pro-homosexual lobby.
It’s the attack against sacramental marriage and the Holy Eucharist.
It’s the attack against anything which predates the Second Vatican Council.
In other words, true Catholic dissent is the errors and agendas which Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger battled for 30 years. And their opposition were the very men most closely associated with Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and his election to the papacy. Men like Cdl.s Kasper, McCarrick, Daneels, and Martini.
THAT is what Catholic dissent looks like. It isn’t this letter, nor the previous letters, nor the dubia, all of which seek to prevent error and dissent.
What Catholic dissent is not is a simple quest for the truth; the authentic mercy and charity only realized through clarity and grace.
When brave men and women step forward seeking only the truth, knowing that they will be attacked by wicked men who embrace confusion and error, then we know that the side of good cannot be labeled as “dissent”.
Fidelity to the perennial teachings of the Catholic faith is always in season, even if those called to pass on the tradition fail to protect what they have been entrusted with.
We must not allow the narrative to be owned by dishonest men. Look carefully at those most vociferously defending the confusion and chaos of the Francis papacy.
Look at just how slippery the slope has become in six short years.
This game plan predates the Francis papacy for it was the game plan of a self described “anti-pope”, Cdl. Carlo Maria Martini, back during the papacy of John Paul II.
The UNPRECEDENTED responses demonstrated in these letters by FAITHFUL and ORTHODOX Catholics tells the story of this historic crisis.
Enough with this nonsense that greets each of these letters.
Enough of the attacks against the signers.
Enough with the very strategic and deliberate move to separate each as an individual act, instead of acknowledging the fact that the sheer number and frequency of these letters is both unprecedented and the REAL story.
We only need look at the agenda of both sides to know the truth.
Ask yourself this: which side is seeking to defend the faith and transmit the immutable truth to the next generation, and which side is seeking to supplant supernatural truths with temporal thinking, striving (always) to introduce confusion and ambiguity where none exists?
Holy Mother Church is under attack from within and at the highest levels. Let us thank those brave men and women who have stepped forward to defend the Truth, the Blessed Sacrament, marriage and the family.
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