Thursday, December 08, 2016

Letter from Catholic Academics and Pastors in support of the Dubia


This press release speaks for itself; I am a signatory.

I have given a statement to Lifesitenews:

While many prominent prelates and academics feel obliged to remain silent during this time of crisis, it has fallen to the four Cardinals to seek paternal guidance from the Holy Father, asking him to exercise the central charism of the Papacy, and 'confirm the brethren' in the faith (Luke 22:32).

I and the other signatories wish to support that request. The Holy Father alone has the power to resolve the current confusion, and must urgently do so for the good of souls.

The message from some of those who claim to support Pope Francis' position, appears to be the Catholics should simultaneously believe that the teaching of Pope St John Paul II--and all his predecessors--remains correct, and also that it is no longer applicable in concrete situations. To demand that people undertake this doublethink is not the action of a good father; it is an abuse of ordinary Catholics and of the truth. To reject this kind of defence of Amoris laetitia is required not only by the Faith but by our sanity.


Statement of Support for the Four Cardinals’ Dubia

As Catholic scholars and pastors of souls, we wish to express our profound gratitude and full support for the courageous initiative of four members of the College of Cardinals, Their Eminences Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Leo Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner. As has been widely publicized, these cardinals have formally submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, asking him to clarify five fundamental points of Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline, the treatment of which in Chapter 8 of the recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) appears to conflict with Scripture and/or Tradition and the teaching of previous papal documents – notably Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical Veritatis Splendor and his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. Pope Francis has so far declined to answer the four cardinals; but since they are in effect asking him whether the above weighty magisterial documents still require our full assent, we think that the Holy Father’s continued silence may open him to the charge of negligence in the exercise of the Petrine duty of confirming his brethren in the faith.

Several prominent prelates have been sharply critical of the four cardinals’ submission, but without shedding any light on their pertinent and searching questions. We have read attempts to interpret the apostolic exhortation within a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ by Christoph Cardinal Schӧnborn and Professor Rocco Buttiglione; but we find that they fail to demonstrate their central claim that the novel elements found in AL do not endanger divine law, but merely envisage legitimate changes in pastoral practice and ecclesiastical discipline.

Indeed, a number of commentators, notably Professor Claudio Pierantoni in an extensive new historical-theological study, have argued that as a result of the widespread confusion and disunity following the promulgation of AL, the universal Church is now entering a gravely critical moment in her history that shows alarming similarities with the great Arian crisis of the fourth century. During that catastrophic conflict the great majority of bishops, including even the Successor of Peter, vacillated over the very divinity of Christ. Many did not fully lapse into heresy; however, disarmed by confusion or weakened by timidity, they sought convenient compromise formulae in the interests of “peace” and “unity”. Today we are witnessing a similar metastasizing crisis, this time over fundamental aspects of Christian living. Continued lip service is given to the indissolubility of marriage, the grave objective sinfulness of fornication, adultery and sodomy, the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, and the terrible reality of mortal sin. But in practice, increasing numbers of highly placed prelates and theologians are undermining or effectively denying these dogmas – and indeed, the very existence of exceptionless negative prohibitions in the divine law governing sexual conduct – by virtue of their exaggerated or one-sided emphasis on “mercy”, “pastoral accompaniment”, and “mitigating circumstances”.

With the reigning Pontiff now sounding a very uncertain trumpet in this battle against the ‘principalities and powers’ of the Enemy, the barque of Peter is drifting perilously like a ship without a rudder, and indeed, shows symptoms of incipient disintegration. In such a situation, we believe that all Successors of the Apostles have a grave and pressing duty to speak out clearly and strongly in confirmation of the moral teachings clearly expounded in the magisterial teachings of previous popes and the Council of Trent. Several bishops and another cardinal have already said they find the five dubia opportune and appropriate. We ardently hope, and fervently pray, that many more of them will now endorse publicly not only the four cardinals’ respectful request that Peter’s Successor confirm his brethren in these five points of the faith “delivered once and for all to the saints” (Jude 3), but also Cardinal Burke’s recommendation that if the Holy Father fails to do so, the cardinals then collectively approach him with some form of fraternal correction, in the spirit of Paul’s admonition to his fellow apostle Peter at Antioch (cf. Gal. 2:11).

We entrust this grave problem to the care and heavenly intercession of Mary Immaculate, Mother of the Church and Vanquisher of all heresies.

December 8, 2016, Feast of the Immaculate Conception


Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, STD, JD
Chaplain and Faculty Member of the Roman Forum

Rev. Claude Barthe,

Dr. Robert Beddard, MA (Oxon et Cantab), D.Phil (Oxon)
Fellow emeritus and former Vice Provost of Oriel College Oxford.

Carlos A. Casanova Guerra
Doctor of Philosophy, Full Professor,
Universidad Santo Tomás, Santiago de Chile

Salvatore J. Ciresi MA
Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild

Prof. Cyrille Dounot JCL,
Ecclesiastical lawyer and Professor of Legal History, Université d'Auvergne

Luke Gormally, PhL
Director Emeritus, The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (1981-2000)
Sometime Research Professor, Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2001-2007)
Ordinary Member, The Pontifical Academy for Life

Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris, STD
General Manager, The Catholic Response

Rev. Brian W. Harrison OS, MA, STD
Associate Professor of Theology (retired), Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Scholar-in-Residence, Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Rev. John Hunwicke, MA (Oxon.)
Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford; Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham; Member, Roman Forum

Peter A. Kwasniewski PhD (Philosophy)
Professor, Wyoming Catholic College

Rev. Dr. Stephen Morgan DPhil (Oxon)
Academies Conversion Project Leader & Oeconomus
Diocese of Portsmouth

Don Alfredo Morselli STL
Parish priest of the Archdiocese of Bologna

Rev. Richard A. Munkelt PhD (Philosophy)
Chaplain and Faculty Member, Roman Forum

Rev. John Osman MA, STL
Parish priest in the archdiocese of Birmingham,
former Catholic chaplain to the University of Cambridge

Dr Paolo Pasqualucci
Professor of Philosophy (retired),
University of Perugia

Dr Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile
Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Member of the International Association of Patristic Studies

Dr John C. Rao D.Phil (Oxon.)
Associate Professor of History, St. John's University (NYC)
Chairman, Roman Forum
Dr Nicholas Richardson. MA, DPhil (Oxon.)
Fellow emeritus and Sub-Warden of Merton College, Oxford
and former Warden of Greyfriars, Oxford.

Fr John Saward MA (Oxon)
Priest in Charge, SS Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford.

Dr Joseph Shaw MA, DPhil (Oxon.) FRSA
Senior Research Fellow (Philosophy) at St Benet's Hall,
Oxford University

Dr Anna M. Silvas FAHA,
Adjunct research fellow, University of New England,
Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Michael G. Sirilla PhD
Director of Graduate Theology,
Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

Professor Dr Thomas Stark
Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz
Rev. Glen Tattersall
Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, Archdiocese of Melbourne
Rector, St Aloysius' Church, Melbourne

Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, PhD, STD
Publisher, Newman House Press

Editor & Publisher, The Catholic Response

Rev. Dr David Watt STL, PhD (Cantab.)
Priest of the Archdiocese of Perth
Chaplain, St Philomena’s chapel, Malaga

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  1. Having been a signatory of the original letter I would also like to add my signature here.

  2. Thank you for your kind diligence and courage. Please be assured of my prayers for you and indeed for His Holiness.

  3. Thank you. God bless you and yours and his work at your hands and may you all have a Blessed Christmas season.
    Cf. Bishops: Be Brave before Pope Francis as Paul before Peter | Online Petitions -

  4. Congratulations. After a great deal of thought I have come to the conclusion that what is said in Amoris Laetitiae about communion for the divorced and remarried is not ambiguous but quite clearly advocating such and that is heresy.

  5. Thank you so much for having the courage to do this and I pray for you and all the men who signed. I pray for the Pope but I'm afraid he will stay silent on this too. May God have mercy.

  6. As I continue to follow this issue, I can't help but think of Article 7 From There He Will Come Again to Judge the Living and the Dead of the Catechism of the Catholic Church linked below, particularly sections 671, 672, 675 and 677 as well as 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and numerous other passages in Sacred Scripture that I believe discuss this time we are in.

  7. I believe everyone or ten (irrespective of their status) are subject to their opinios but have no obligations to make them the official teaching of the church: True this is in line with ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ and not salvation continuity. We have set up human structures to enclose the whole mystery of God's salvation. If God were to judege us by all we did, I believe non of us would be fitting to receive the communion- even by solely holding such a condemning attitude expressed in lines like "by virtue of their exaggerated or one-sided emphasis on “mercy”, “pastoral accompaniment”, and “mitigating circumstances”.
    May be the Lord tells us now to go and learn: Mercy I desire not sacrifice: Hosea 6:6! That he wants all people to be saved and to come to the truth 1Timothy 2:4
    May be some are comfortably sure that they know the limiteness of God's mercy! That they know the truth!
    Let us pray more intensely and before we think of signing more and more- Let us pray.
    Let God's will be done not our confort be maintained.
    Let us seek God in the academics not define God by academics.
    Pastor Aloysius

  8. Dear Pastor Aloysius,

    The words of God in the Ten Commandments and in the passages from the New Testament below are absolute. Now, of course we all know the three conditions for mortal sin, and since we cannot possibly know the heart and mind of another, we cannot say whether or not a particular person is in a state of mortal sin. However, upon finding out that a particular person is in an objective state of grave sin, it is the duty and obligation of the priest, not to forgive that sin when there is a lack of understanding or repentence, but instead to help form that person's conscience regarding the gravity of their sin. At that point it becomes mortal, and if they repent and show the fruit of their repentence by removing themselves from the objective state of grave sin, then and only then should they be admitted to the Sacraments. To do otherwise, as suggested or at least implied in Amoris Laetitia is not true Mercy. Instead, it endangers the immortal souls of both the priest and the person in the objective state of grave sin who came to them.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral,* nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,* †
    10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. †

    Ephesians 5:5-6

    5 Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
    6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

    Revelation 21:8

    8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."* †

    Revelation 22:14-15

    14 Blessed are those who wash their robes,that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. †
    15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.

    1. Thank you very much! This is a perfectly studied theological basis, and today Francis is telling you and me! Look beyond, God is Love, God is mercy! It is an error, practical error to contest a a door of grace being opened for everyone as if anybody has ever been righteous! A priest (sacer-dos) We are not building walls! Indeed well put, how do you judge from outside the state of a soul? Important is, let no pastor fail his duty. We are supposed to accompany especially the weakest of the sheep. And if at any moment they repent and need the bread of life, why should I stand in God's way? All words of God are absolutes-and it is all one word. My interpretation or point of preference or conviction should never be forced at all costs. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). Throughout His ministry, Jesus bestowed the marvelous and surprising forgiveness of God. Zacchaeus (Luke 19), the sinful woman in Simon’s house (Luke 7), the paralytic in Galilee (Luke 5)—all of them were forgiven by the Lord. It didn’t matter what they had done; God was able to forgive. “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom” (Matthew 21:31).
      A pastor stands in for God, but is not God! He can interven as far as God and his humanity can help! Some souls are condemned for good! Some have no way out! Some are living in that state out of ignorance! Some were forced by circumstances we don't know yet. Some are living in those relationships as the last resort and all they need is the Lord to be with them. Amoris invites pastors to closely accompany the souls in question and make judgement! At no point did the pope make it general acceptance for all! I think we need to live with the souls before we live with documents alone! The shephered came to look for the lost. And he says, come to me all who are burdened! And for us we say, please, the Lord is too clean to receive you!! One who has great love and makes a point to return to God, should be helped not closed out.And in helping...let the possibility of receiving communion be considered! Romans 5:20).
      And lastly: We have all sinned! Let us not capitalize some people's sins and not look at the log in our eyes!

  9. It's very sad that the four Cardinals and others have fallen into serious error and fundamental misunderstanding regarding the Church's mission.

    1. What exactly would that error be?

    2. Limiting God's mercy and love in what they are convinced of!

    3. Hm, that doesn't correspond exactly with any doctrine of the Church I can see in the Catechism, can you be more specific?

    4. Catechism of the Catholic Church
      Part 3: Life in Christ


      2012 "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him . . . For those whom he fore knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."64

      2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity."65 All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."66

      In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.67
      2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - "the holy mysteries" - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.

      2015 The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.68 Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:

      He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.69
      2016 The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus.70 Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the "blessed hope" of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the "holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."71

  10. The Baptist asked for a first step from the publicans, and then he baptized them
    The Pope noted, though, that with the people he was understanding: of the publicans – who were known as public sinners because they exploited the people – he said, “Do not ask for more than what is just.” “He began with small things. Then we’ll see. And he baptized them,” Francis continued. “First this step. Then we see.” He asked the soldiers, the police, not to threaten or denounce anyone and to be content with their pay. “This means not entering into the world of tangents,” Pope Francis explained. “When a policeman stops you, he tests you for alcohol, there is a little more: ‘Eh, no, but… how much? Come on!’ No. This no.” John baptized all these sinners, “but with this minimal step forward, because he knew that with this step, the Lord would do the rest.” And they converted. “It is a pastor,” the Pope continued, “who understood the situation of the people and helped them to go forward with the Lord.” John was then the only prophet to whom the grace of pointing out Jesus was given.
    Even John the Baptist, according to Pope Francis, had his doubts; the great can afford to doubt
    Although John was great, strong, secure in his vocation, “he still had dark moments,” he had his doubts,” said Francis. In fact, John began to doubt in prison, even though he had baptized Jesus, “because he was a Saviour that was not as he had imagined him.” And so he sent two of his disciples to ask Him if He was the Messiah. And Jesus corrects the vision of John with a clear response. In fact, He tells them to report to John that “the blind see,” “the deaf hear,” “the dead rise.” “The great can afford to doubt, because they are great,” the Pope said.
    The great can afford to doubt, and this is beautiful. They are certain of their vocation but each time the Lord makes them see a new street of the journey, they enter into doubt. ‘But this is not orthodox, this is heretical, this is not the Messiah I expected.’ The devil does this work, and some friend also helps, no? This is the greatness of John, a great one, the last of that band of believers that began with Abraham, that one that preaches conversion, that one that does not use half-words to condemn the proud, that one that at the end of his life is allowed to doubt. And this is a good program of Christian life.”
    Helping people take the first step; and God will do the rest
    Pope Francis than summarized the main points of his homily: saying the truth and accepting from the people what they are able to give, a first step:
    Let us ask from John the grace of apostolic courage to always say things with truth, from pastoral love, to receive the people with the little that they can give, the first step. God will do the rest. And also the grace of doubting. Often times, maybe at the end of life, one can ask, “But is all that I believed true or are they fantasies?” the temptation against the faith, against the Lord. May the great John, who is the least in the kingdom of Heaven, and for this reason is great, help us along this path in the footsteps of the Lord.



  12. Where do I sign? Seriously.

    1. What do you sign seriously?

    2. Luigi, are you really that ignorant?? It would nice for the lay faithful to be able to add our signatures to the

      Statement of Support for the Four Cardinals’ Dubia

      Patrick Tomeny, Jr., MD, Florida, USA

  13. YO también apoyo a los 4 cardenales Valiente