SSPX – Is Pope Francis A Heretic?

SSPX – Is Pope Francis A Heretic?

Discussing the question of Pope Francis’ possible heresy in the context of Amoris Laetitia, Fr Gleize, SSPX, writes…

To use the words of Saint Pius X himself from the encyclical Pascendi, the proponents of the new moral theology proceed with such refined skill that they easily take advantage of unwary minds. They promote heresy while giving the appearance of remaining Catholic.

“Promoting heresy”: this corresponds to the theological note that Archbishop Lefebvre believed he had to use in order to characterize the harmfulness of the Novus Ordo Missae .

“This rite in itself does not profess the Catholic Faith as clearly as the old Ordo Missae and consequently it may promote heresy….What is astonishing is that an Ordo Missae that smacks of Protestantism and therefore favens haeresim [is promoting heresy] could be promulgated by the Roman Curia.” (Mgr Lefebvre et le Saint-Office”, Itinéraires 233 – May 1979, p. 146-1-47).

Without prejudice to any better opinion, we willingly had recourse to it in order to describe the major problem posed today for the conscience of Catholics by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.

Editor’s note

Fr. Gleize’s precise distinction will surprise more than one. In short, it seems that Pope Francis cannot be considered heretical, since none of the ambiguous statements in Amoris laetitia constitute “a rejection or contradiction of a truth that is not only revealed but also proposed as such by an infallible act of the ecclesiastical Magisterium.”

However, in the popular use of the word “heretical,” one who acts and talks in such a way that he encourages evil and favors heresy is considered heretical. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck!” The popular expression is not a precise theological judgment; it is rather a common way of designating persons or ideas at odds with the deposit of faith.

The theological expression which can be properly applied to Pope Francis instead of “heretical” is favens haeresim or “promoting heresy.”

That does not change that the fact that the Holy Father is ambiguous in his declarations, refusing to clarify them, and – far from correcting evil- promotes it by practical disposition. It is what Fr. Gleize calls “the scandal of praxis.” Click here to read entire article


There’s really nothing new in the above article, nothing that we haven’t already discussed and concluded on this blog in past discussions, but since repetition is the mother of education, and with continued questioning of the status of Pope Francis, I thought it might be worthwhile revising the key points. Which part of the article do you find most useful – the commentary on the dubia? The definitions? The conclusion? What then? 

Comments (67)

  • JohnR

    Once again it seems as if I am the first cab off the ramp. I agree that Pope Freancis has not actually spoken heresy in his preaching but his whole attitude and actions certainly have, and do, promote heresy. I pray for him to leave the Papacy, as is said in Latin “quam celerime”. The bit that now worries me is that he has put in place a whole coterie of like minded bishops and cardinals and his departure may well be even worse than his presence. That thought really scares me! God certainly is going to have to show that He is in charge, and that will have to be something quite surprising.

    March 9, 2017 at 11:11 am
  • Elizabeth

    I suppose that what I find most hard to understand is the silence from the vast majority of the hierarchy on these matters concerning Pope Francis. The majority of the cardinals at least are old men who would have grown up, one assumes, with a proper catechesis and seminary formation. No doubt some will have been infected by personal ambition but surely not all. Why do they Not seem to see what many ordinary lay people can see, and why do they not, with few exceptions, find the courage to speak out?

    Is this apparent apathy all to be the result of Vat 2 one wonders or is it down to a kind of spiritual indifference? Clearly Satan is work here but what resistance has he met from those whose very purpose should be to protect and proclaim the truth.

    I notice that there seems to be a weariness among the bloggers. Maybe people are tired of going over old ground but I sense, maybe wrongly, that there is a sadness more than optimism that in the end truth will prevail as Our Lady promised.

    March 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    • Laura


      I think we are all weary of going over the same ground but that is going to have to be the case until the end of this crisis, which I believe (and i think we all believe on this blog) will only come about when the consecration of Russia takes place in the manner asked for by Our Lady.

      I’m the same as you with regards to the silence from the majority of the hierarchy. I just don’t understand how they can remain silent or go along with this pope. .

      March 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm
  • Laura

    This is a very interesting report in the Spectator – apparently at least seven cardinals want the Pope to step down.

    March 9, 2017 at 3:28 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      I wasn’t impressed with the author of that article at all. Damian Thompson writes like a Protestant about the Church, but thinks he is a Catholic, LOL!

      He says there are about seven “moderate” cardinals who want Pope Francis to step down, but the same “moderates” want a close ally of the Pope to take his place (Cardinal Parolin) because he would be less likely to give unprepared statements etc.

      So it would be “out of the frying pan into the fire” – not much improvement!

      March 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm
  • RCA Victor

    I think the whole point of the dubia is that, until AL appeared, Pope Francis had found ways to express heresy without technically being heretical – that is, with statements characterized by slippery vagueness. All in all a clever disguise. We could even call it the “praxis of polysemia.” (I had to look that one up, Editor!).

    However, AL drops the cloak of ambiguous sophistry to embrace overt heresy, even though it’s in a footnote (a typically devious and dishonest modernist strategy, which was revealed in the press soon after the publication of AL).

    The problem with this issue is that there is a huge disconnect between calling Pope Francis a heretic as individuals/laymen, vs. the Church finding him guilty of that crime. Only a Council can try a pope for heresy and find him guilty (once again, I refer readers to the chapter on deposing a pope in True or False Pope?)

    To put it in the framework of “popular expressions,” it seems to me that anyone whose Catholic IQ is larger than his shoe size can see that this pope is a heretic – or worse. However, though we may think that, we have to suspend judgment until the Church speaks. And unfortunately, at the moment, the Church is on the beach at Guam….and we and our thoughts are in limbo…

    March 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      ” …at the moment, the Church is on the beach at Guam…”

      Brilliant! Love it!

      March 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm
    • Steven Calovich (@Rushintuit)

      It seems to me, that there is a trend among people that wear shoes much bigger than mine, to declare Pope Francis an anti-Pope. Are these folks mistaking Internet access with infused knowledge? The sign for an ordinary Catholic remains, Pope Francis was elected by the Cardinals and has been universally accepted as the Pope.

      March 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Yes, I agree, these people who keep calling the pope the anti-Christ are an irritant, IMHO. They could do with reading the SSPX article on the subject. I found it very clear.

        March 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm
      • RCA Victor


        I think it would be more apt to label that trend “infused rumor, gossip, and jumping to conclusions”!

        As for Francis being universally accepted as the Pope, there are some thoughts on that in True or False Pope? as well, pointing out that this is not quite true because of the background that was revealed after his election. However, at the moment of his election, who objected? No one. There was certainly a feeling of dread among some traditionalist writers, and in particular one journalist from Argentina whose analysis was published on the Rorate Caeli blog, but not an objection.

        The question should be turned on its head, I think, as follows: are those Catholics who do not accept that Francis’ election was valid acting like Protestants?

        (In other words, he said wryly, are these objectors acting like Pope Francis himself, for whom all dogma and doctrine is subservient to private “discernment”?)

        March 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm
  • marysong

    How can one who “promotes heresy” or expresses it in ambiguous terms, be not diagnosed as a heretic? Modernism, the language of the devil, is at play here! The Council must try the Pope, of course, but until then must we the people swallow the poison and have it become part of us as we wither and die a spiritual death? That’s not fair! Better yet, it is not ‘Merciful’ !!

    March 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm
    • editor

      No, Marysong, we must NOT swallow the poison and have it become a part of us…

      We must fight it all the way – that’s if, as RCA Victor so eloquently put it, our “Catholic IQ is larger than [our] shoe size…”

      He does have a way with words, does RCA Victor. 😀

      March 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm
      • marysong

        Yes, he does.

        March 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    To answer the question, I found the section on the dubia the most informative. That was really helpful to have the “doubt” explained and commented on. Most of the rest of the article I’d already known, discussed here a lot, but that was good to have the “doubts” clearly explained.

    March 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Though he may escape by the skin of his teeth as far as the specific question of Amorous Laity is concerned, the Pope has uttered many other things which are overtly heretical, so Glaize’s article hardly exonerates him.

    A cover-up from an SSPX theologian just as an agreement is to be signed? The cynical might suppose so.

    March 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm
  • Therese

    I agree with Louis Verrecchio’s analysis of Fr Gleize’s opinions.

    March 10, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    • JohnR

      Thank you for the link Therese. I too find the analysis of Fr. Gleize’s opinions most informative and compelling. I see that Cardinal Nichols has sent a letter to Pope Francis congratulating him on his defence of the Church!!! He also supports those bishops of Malta in their directives about Communion for those living in adultery. What au utter disgrace he is!!!!

      March 11, 2017 at 9:12 am
      • Benedict Carter

        “I see that Cardinal Nichols has sent a letter to Pope Francis congratulating him on his defence of the (Faith)” …

        Who said that Catholic jokes were no longer in vogue? This is the best I’ve heard in ages.

        March 11, 2017 at 10:22 am
      • JohnR

        The details are in the current “Catholic Herald”

        March 11, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    • Athanasius


      I’m not so sure that I do agree with Louis Verrecchio’s analysis. Granted, the case he puts is persuasive in that he demonstrates quite clearly the erroneous statements of Pope Francis and does not hesitate to call them “heretical”.

      The problem is that if we declare without benefit of doubt that Pope Francis is a heretic, as Louis Verracchio does, then we are faced with the question: Is he then no longer Pope? This plays right into the hands of the sedevacantists and risks, by imprudence, splitting genuine Traditional Catholic resistance to Modernism and its proponents.

      Fr. Gleize in my opinion takes the more favourable, more restrained, path. Like the four Cardinals who addressed a five-point dubia to Pope Francis, Fr. Gleize reists the urge to declare with his emotions that Francis is a heretic. Instead, he chooses to say that Pope Francis’ writings favour heresy, which is already proven by what is now occurring in Malta.

      The other thing I would say in this regard is that there is no precedence in the history of the Church whereby subordinates of the Pope publicly declared him to be a heretic. Though there have been bad Popes, it was left to their successors to declare on their heresy and culpability. In the case of Liberius and Honorius I, the two most prominent cases for us today, they were judged not to have been heretics in fact but rather to have favoured heresy by their weakness (cowardice).

      And here is another thought on the subject.

      St. Pius X rightly declared Modernism to be “the synthesis of all heresies”. This means that by default the architects and proponents of Modernism at least favour heresy. The reason I mention this is that all the Popes since Vatican II have been Modernists and have therefore favoured heresy. Francis is unique amongst them in that his Modernist ideas are now infiltrating into the Church’s moral teaching and we are all rightly appalled by the harm its causing. But let us not forget that Francis immediate Modernist predecessors, while upholding the Traditional moral teaching handed down, nevertheless did serious damage to the Faith in their own way.

      Faith and morals, like body and soul, are the two divine pillars upon with our holy religion rests. It shocks me a little, therefore, that many today consider Francis’ dangerous innovations in the field of morals to be somehow worse than the scandalous innovations of his predecessors in the field of Faith. Both have favoured heresy yet Francis is the only one to be considered worthy of a formal public judgment of heresy. So not only is this an unprecedented situation, it is also unequal. If Francis is to be declared a heretic then his predecessors since Vatican II, certainly from Paul VI onward, must also be declared heretics. That’s when things get dangerous for souls and the unity of the Catholics is at risk of being torn assunder.

      The best approach is the less emotional, more charitable, one of declaring the Vatican II Popes, Francis included, of having favoured heresy, even if, in our own mind, we are convinced that their culpability before God may be greater. That’s how the four Cardinals have addressed the matter, it’s how the SSPX addresses it and it’s how we should address it.

      Louis Verracchio is a man of genuine good will, a Catholic writer worthy of respect, but I disagree with his assertion that we should simply declare Pope Francis to be a heretic, a Pope who has anathematised himself in respect to the the five-point dubia. It may well be the case that he will be found to be guilty as charged, but that is for the Church to weigh and declare formally in due course. Our part as subordinates is to publicly highlight the errors of the Pope as favouring heresy and to resist them, nothing more or less.

      March 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm
      • Laura


        Thank you for that clear post which is extremely helpful.

        In fact, I heard somewhere that Louis Verracchio is a sedevacantist, but that may not be the case. I did hear or read that, but I can’t remember where. I’ve never been a fan of his – I can’t really explain why but his articles have always jarred with me. It certainly makes sense to wait for the Church to pronounce of any pope who is thought to be a heretic, not for the faithful to decide and pronounce, otherwise, we’d lose the unity of the Church, as you say.

        March 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm
      • Therese


        You may well be right. My opinion is that Pope Francis has spoken heresy, that he wishes it to be taught, that he is doing his best to ensure that it is taught, and that Amoris Laetitia is just one of the tools he is using to do so. I make no judgement as to his personal culpability – he may be mad, for all I know, (which would be a saving grace in his case), and I hope and pray for his conversion and redemption.

        As to Louis Verrecchio, I also believe that he is a man of genuine goodwill and one who is worthy of respect, and although I agree with him that Pope Francis is doing and saying everything that a heretic Pope would do and say, I don’t think it is within the scope of the laity to try to formally “unseat” him; that is for God to do, if it is His Will. Our job is to keep our eyes and ears open, to fight for the truth, and to fearlessly defend the Truths of the Catholic Faith, insofar as we are able.

        I also think that Fr Gleize is bending over backwards to try to minimise the disgrace and the utmost danger that Amoris Laetitia is to the Faith – and that doesn’t wash with me.

        God bless.

        March 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm
      • Athanasius


        Fr. Gleize has to weigh the good of the Church and the future of the SSPX when he presents his assessments in public. There is nothing to be gained by his declaring the Pope a heretic other than to bring a sharp and sudden end to any hope of reconciliation with Rome. He has to be wiser than that, and he is.

        It is not dishonest or harmful to the Church to refrain from declaring the Pope a heretic. Saying that he favours heresy is powerful enough and it stops short of scuppering any hope of the SSPX being able to help the Church in a more beneficial way through a personal prelature.

        Our Lord said to His Apostles that they must be “as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves”. This is wisdom that the sedevacantists and “Resistance” crowds would do well to learn from.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm
      • Therese


        If that is the case,perhaps it would have been better if Fr Gleize had remained silent on the matter. Least said….

        March 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm
      • RCA Victor


        I stopped reading LV’s blog about a year ago, because of his excessively pedantic style, but more importantly, because he is much too fast on the draw with terms like “heretic.”

        He seems to have forgotten his place as a layman, namely, that he has no authority to declare Pope Francis a heretic, and he is therefore not qualified to make that judgment. He, along with the rest of us, can well suspect him of heresy – and with ample reason – but we cannot try and convict him. Only the Church, as you point out, can do that. Heresy is a criminal charge in the Catholic Church, and, as in the secular world, criminal charges are tried and decided in court, not in newspapers and blogs.

        Ironically, I believe Louie has fallen victim to the very Novus Ordo disease he regularly denounces: the democratization of the Church and the heightened role of the laity as “People of God.” In other words, the Protestantization of the Church. In declaring Francis a heretic, he is acting like a Protestant.

        March 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        I have to confess that I don’t know that much about LV or his blog, except that he, like the rest of us, is trying to make sense of it all. I agree with your assessment, however, that he is a bit too keen to cry heretic against the Pope, even if there are good grounds for all of us to suspect as much.

        The problem for Tradition right now is that it cannot move forward because of armchair theologians stirring people up with claims and demands that the more wise and learned in the Church (the four Cardinals, the SSPX, etc.,) refrain from making. The latter hesitate when it comes to this kind of emotionalism for a very good reason, which is that once the heretic/anti-Pope genie is out of the bottle there’s no way to put it back in again. For evermore Popes will be subject to the scrutiny and judgment of their subordinates, which, as you rightly say, is a form of democracy within the Church. We are called to be vigilant in this present crisis, not vigilante!

        I think it is perfectly sufficient for us to know and admit that Francis’ Pontificate is a bad one for the Church, a Pontificate that favours heresy. I don’t see any point in going beyond that observation to declare him personally to be a heretic.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:02 pm
      • Therese

        RCA Victor/Athanasius

        So, we are allowed to criticise, but not come to a conclusion? Is that what you’re saying?

        March 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm
      • Athanasius


        No, that’s not what we’re saying. What we are saying is that we may both criticise and conclude within prudent limits.

        I think Fr. Gleize concluded within the limits and I think Louis Verrecchio concluded outwith the limits. We are not always free to say publicly what we may truly suspect. Mitigating our private conclusions about the Pope when speaking or writing in public also mitigates any responsibility we may have for leading others into extreme positions.

        To say that the Pope is favouring heresy rather than to state that the Pope is a heretic seems a more charitable, less harmful conclusion, and it doesn’t run the risk of leading people into a sedevacantist/schismatic situation. Can you see what I’m getting at?

        March 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm
      • Therese


        Yes, pet, I can see what you’re getting at. Just to be crystal clear, my position would not, and could not, ever, be sedevacantist. BUT, I do think that there is a time for the laity to publicly protest at spoken and open heresy, and if this isn’t the time, then God help us for what’s to come.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm
      • Athanasius


        No, I don’t see you as a sedevacantist. You’ll need to be careful not to turn into a “Resistance” wummin, though!

        March 11, 2017 at 10:15 pm
      • Therese


        NOW you’ve done it. Better wear a hard hat and a bullet-proof vest in May, bonnie lad. Resistance wummin indeed!

        March 12, 2017 at 10:00 am
      • editor


        “Yes, pet…”

        Brings back lovely memories of my years living in the north-east of England! Thank you for that!

        As for the rest – I see we can expect fireworks at our May Conference! Roll on!

        March 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm
      • RCA Victor


        Protest, yes; serve as judge and jury in the Church’s court, no.

        March 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm
      • Steven Calovich (@Rushintuit)

        RCA Victor and Athanasius

        What you both say makes perfect sense. If I as an ordinary Catholic, insist on calling the Pope a heretic or worse, it changes nothing. Nothing, except that I put my own soul in danger of judgement.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:24 pm
      • Therese


        If the Pope sounds like a heretic, talks like a heretic, and thinks like a heretic, who are you to judge, eh?

        March 11, 2017 at 7:34 pm
      • Athanasius


        St. Robert Bellarmine writes: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the soul or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, Opera omnia, Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871, vol. 1, p. 418.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm
      • Therese


        I’m not sure why you’ve quoted St Robert Bellarmine in this context to me. I have not expressed any desire to judge, punish or depose the Pope.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm
      • Athanasius


        Perhaps it was not the best example but I was trying to point to the line between resisting the Pope’s errors and judging him a heretic.

        March 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        I know some people who have recently gone over to sedevacantism because they have judged this pope to be a heretic. I don’t think that’s right and I’m sure you don’t either.

        It really isn’t up to us to judge because then we would have to allow for those who judge differently and there would only be disunity. Since one of the four marks of the Church is its unity, that rules out private judgment for us, whether it is interpreting the bible or deciding if a pope is a heretic or not.

        As far as I understand the situation, the Pope has not officially spoken heresy.Until he does that and wants us all to accept that false teaching, he is not a formal heretic, as I understand things. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary

        You raise a very good point. Once we get into the realm of judging the Pope a heretic we then have the further controversy arise of whether his heresy is formal or material. Best to stick to the more charitable observation that the Pope is favouring heresy. It says all that needs saying without pushing others into extremes.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm
      • Therese

        Margaret Mary

        Please see my reply to Athanasius above, which I hope will reassure you that I I am not a sedevacantist.

        As to Pope Francis and heresy, if his own words and actions don’t convince you that he speaks, writes and advocates heresy, then nothing I can say will be to any purpose.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm
      • editor


        Don’t you mean “duck”? 😀

        Couldn’t resist!

        March 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm
      • Athanasius


        Is “duck” not a Liverpudlian expression, hen?

        March 11, 2017 at 11:08 pm
      • Athanasius

        Steven Calovich

        You make the point precisely. Nothing changes by calling the Pope a heretic in public, except perhaps that we could by such a rash statement lead some into extreme positions. Best to stick with the Pope favouring heresy, which makes the situation perfectly clear to confused Catholics without leading them into sedevacantism.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:48 pm
      • RCA Victor


        A few weeks ago I came across a “point-counterpoint” exchange between Louie and John Salza, of True or False Pope? fame, on this very subject. I don’t have time to go looking for it right now, but I wonder if some of that might be a fruitful topic for our discussions…

        March 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        I wasn’t aware of that exchange between Louis and John. If you can find it and link to it that would be great. I would like to follow that one.

        March 12, 2017 at 11:55 pm
      • RCA Victor


        Here’s #1: (you can comment on Louie’s blog as well)

        March 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        St. Catherine of Siena was a laywoman. Should she have stayed silent?

        March 11, 2017 at 7:54 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        As I understand it, St Catherine was urging popes to return to Rome from Avignon and to use their authority to discipline bad priests. I didn’t know she ever called a pope a heretic. Did she? I genuinely don’t know.

        March 11, 2017 at 7:56 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        See her letters, all available online.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm
      • editor


        To the best of my knowledge, although it’s some time since I read her letters, you are correct – St Catherine of Siena was concerned with the badly conducted governance of the Church, the pope’s poor prudential decisions, and she was not slow to correct the popes of her time on this. I’ve no memory of her calling ANY pope a heretic. If anyone can quote chapter and verse, so be it, but I doubt it.

        March 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm
      • Athanasius

        Bendict Carter

        No one is advocating silence, only prudence.

        March 11, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      That’s really interesting about Fr Dollinger but some of the comments below are concerning, especially the one that thinks the Fatima Third Secret probably refers to a future Mass and Council! I couldn’t go through this again! LOL!

      March 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm
    • Benedict Carter

      Therese, thanks for that link. It’s clear from that and much other evidence that Rome has been lying to the faithful about Fatima for years. A disgrace of course.

      As to Athanasius’ statement that ” … there is no precedence in the history of the Church whereby subordinates of the Pope publicly declared him to be a heretic”, he has obviously forgotten the public remonstrations made by Cardinals and theologians to John XXII.

      While not ascribing to it, I do not fully share the fear of sedevacantism seen here and elsewhere. It may be a temptation to some, but their number is very small. I would much rather remind us all of the fact that “The truth shall set us free”; that it should never be feared nor hidden under a rock euphemistically called “prudence”. Surely the times are far too evil for that.

      No-one except Our Lord can judge a man’s heart. I have no idea what is in Pope Francis’ heart. But the words that come out of his mouth? We all know that objectively-speaking he is a heretic.

      March 11, 2017 at 8:46 pm
      • Athanasius

        Benedict Carter

        What you omit to mention is that John XXII did not teach anything contrary to defined dogma. The doctrinal error he held, both before and after his election as Pope, was at that time a speculative theological matter not yet infallibly settled. He was challenged on his personal view by a number of theologians (note that they were not of the armchair variety) and this led him to commission a Papal enquiry into the subject of when the departed enjoy the beatific vision. Once he became aware of the truth of the matter, not long before his death, he recanted his error and affirmed that his personal interpretation had been wrong. It was an entirely different scenario to the one we face today, so by no means a precedent for subordinates to feel that they are free to declare the Pope a heretic.

        Prudence in this case is not a let off from telling the truth, as you suggest. Rather, it is the difference between Fr. Gleize saying that the Pope promotes heresy and Louis Verracchio saying that the Pope is a heretic. The former fixes the argument on doctrine. The latter fixes the argument on the person of the Pope. Which of the two propositions is more likely to help the Church at this time?

        As far as I can tell the heretic Pope argument has only ever succeeded in splitting Traditional Catholic opinion and isolating moderates within the Church who consider the declaration extreme. No, much more can be achieved by sticking to the real subject, which is that Pope Francis, by his words and deeds, is favouring heresy.

        March 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        “The latter fixes the argument on the person of the Pope.”

        That’s a serious misreading of Verrachio’s article.

        March 12, 2017 at 1:38 am
      • editor


        Well you should fear sedevacantism. You should fear ANYTHING that is taking souls away form the one ark of salvation, Christ’s Church.

        I really don’t get this “liberal” mentality at all in matters spiritual – especially from people who actually believe they are “traditionalists”. Either the Fathers of the Church got it right when they said that anyone who either refuses to enter or TO REMAIN in the Catholic Church, cannot be saved, or the game’s a bogey. .

        Where Peter is, there is the Church. Not where SAINT Peter is, but where the holder of the Petrine Office is, there is the Church. Until the Church pronounces otherwise on Pope Francis, HE is the holder of the keys of Peter.

        Get over it!

        March 11, 2017 at 11:06 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Get over what?

        Okay, I am more than willing to sign up to the editorial line if you can *patiently* and adequately persuade me why I am wrong to think the following. Here’s why I am “liberal” (!!!) with my lack of condemnation of the sedevacantist position (though I willingly admit that their online presence is often – not always – pretty noxious): I do find it difficult to accept the thesis that they are outside the Church when their position – that there is no Pope – is not a rejection of the authority of the Pope per se but a mistaken belief that there isn’t one at the moment.

        Rather than insult me (I have been fighting for Tradition for a decade at some cost to myself I might add), I would be grateful (truly!) to learn why I am wrong.

        March 12, 2017 at 1:46 am
      • Athanasius

        Benedict Carter

        You are wrong in that you seem to consider a condemnation of sedevacantism as a form of liberalism, which it is not. Condemning sedevacantism is the same as condemning liberalism because both are extremes that place immoratl souls in danger.

        You are wrong also in your assessment that the sedevacantist rejection of the Modernist Popes is not the same as a rejection of Papal authority. That’s a crazy “thesis” and you must know it.

        If they reject the validity of the Pope then they likewise reject his authority. Bottom line is that they reject the Pope’s authority under the pretext that he has sacrificed the office due to his heresy. Our Lord is not going to pull a new Pope out of the hat for these people. That means they will either have to put up with the present Pontiff’s human failings, like the rest of us, or declare that the Gates of Hell have prevailed and that there is now no Pope and no Cardinals to elect one. Think about the madness of the proposition, Benedict. How can any rational Catholic accept such an idea?

        March 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        “You are wrong in that you seem to consider a condemnation of sedevacantism as a form of liberalism …”

        I do not. But Editor does. Read her comment to me again and then direct your correction to the correct address.

        Thanks Athanasius, but Editor is the one who I would like to hear the explanation from.

        March 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm
      • editor


        Here we goeth again!

        Listen, when I referred to the sympathetic (or ‘liberal’) attitude towards sedevacantism, which I detect in your posts, I meant I cannot understand the idea that it’s really not that bad, that they’re really good Catholics who just see more clearly than the rest of us, and more clearly than the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, for good measure! In that sense, do I see your tacit (at least) support of sedevacantism as a form of “liberalism” – I repeat, in the sense that you don’t really see it as all that serious.

        Whereas, as Athanasius has pointed out, it is extremely serious, very dangerous to souls.

        Let’s consider a real-life recent example.

        A few short months ago, I met a young mother who had decided to home-school her children, in order to secure a solid Catholic education for them. No sooner had she organised the programme, withdrawn them from school etc. than she’d fallen in with a couple of sedevacantists who have convinced her that we don’t have a true pope and so she is now taking her children out of the Church. They are now going to grow up receiving a “Catholic” education minus the rock of Peter. And they’ll have an occasional Mass in England I believe (I think 3 times a year tops was mentioned), so right off these children are denied the graces of the Sacraments, and they will be taught that the Church has not had a pope since the death of Pius XII, with no prospect of a true pope being elected now. What sort of Catholicism is that? What sort of parents would so recklessly risk their own children’s salvation?

        So, it was a tad disconcerting to see your lack of concern, your lack of “fear” of sedevacantism, partly because, you said, they are small in number. Well, they are also small in person – and those beautiful children whom I was delighted to meet during their mother’s investigations into home-schooling, are now not only going to be denied a thoroughly Catholic education, but any semblance of a true Catholic education.

        As for what did I mean by “Get over it” – and this is addressed to all and any sedevacantists reading this – I mean we have a pope; a very bad pope. He IS the pope, though, just a very bad pope. Get over it!

        March 12, 2017 at 8:34 pm
    • Steven Calovich (@Rushintuit)


      Thank you for the link.

      March 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm
  • Athanasius

    Margaret Mary

    I agree with you, it’s all speculation abou who said what, when. I don’t think we’ll get to the truth of it. For my part, I know that the text of the Third Secret was not revealed. We got the vision with a Vatican commentary, not the accompanying words spoken by Our Lady.

    March 11, 2017 at 8:09 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    The Fatima Centre’s Rapid Response Team are in Rome ahead of the up and coming Anglican service to be held in St Peter’s Basilica on March 13th 2017.

    March 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    • editor

      Theresa Rose,

      Thank you for that alert. I’ve also just received an email on the same subject, so I have now posted a thread dedicated to the subject of this latest, very serious ecumenical scandal, right at the heart of the Church. Click here to read and comment

      March 12, 2017 at 7:36 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Eponymous Flower is reporting that, according to the Chilean Bishops who recently visited Rome, that Pope Francis appears to have answered the dubia (if indirectly) with clear Catholic doctrine. So clear, apparently, “it was as if Cardinal Burke had spoken”.

    Some extracts from the report:

    (Rome) As it appears, Pope Francis has no longer any “doubts”, according to the reports of the Chilean bishops who recently made their ad limina visit to Rome. The papal statements reported by them are a radical turn-around.

    Now, the leaders of the Chilean Episcopal Conference reported that Pope Francis had explained the doctrine of the Church with “clear words”.

    The Chilean daily El Mercurio conducted a joint interview with the President and Secretary General of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference. One focus was the ad limina visit to Rome and the question of the remarried and divorced. Both confirmed that Pope Francis instilled to them a clear “no to the Communion for remarried divorced persons and for politicians who pronounce for abortion.”

    On the question of the Communion for remarried and divorced, Francis had rejected a “situational ethic” and told an anecdote from his family to clarify the matter.

    The journalist conducting the interview goes on to speculate what may be behind this, saying what the Chileans have been told is starkly different to what Amoris Laetitia says and what the “cretins on Malta” and others (Argentinians / Germans) have said.

    He mentions that Francis’ popularity among “those who count” has declined sharply and wonders if Francis has not realised “he is wrong”.

    The news report from Chile also says that Francis rejected any plan to abolish clerical celibacy.

    It will be interesting to see if these reports from the Chilean Bishops are confirmed, or if this is just the latest contradictory news to emerge under this chaotic Pontificate.

    I suspect it may Francis trying to be all things to all men, and simply telling each Bishops conference what it wants to hear.

    If the reports are accurate, then it is not enough for Francis to speak clearly in private – he must also publicly address the damage caused in places like Malta, Argentina and Germany.

    March 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

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