Pope Francis The Heretic – Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church…

Pope Francis The Heretic – Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church…

From LifeSiteNews…

Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Prominent clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.

The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.

“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” the authors state.  Click here to read more, including list of signatories to date


The big question now is whether this latest approach to deal with this problem pope will meet the same fate as previous attempts, notably the Filial Correction and the Dubia.  Ignored.  If this Open Letter is ignored, what next?  And what will it tell us about the response – or lack of response – of the bishops around the world.  Is it likely, she said tongue in cheek, that the Scottish hierarchy will respond helpfully to this initiative – or, indeed, the bishops of the wider UK?   Am I right/wrong to be a  tad cynical?  Without betraying anyone’s trust or sources, or anything, she said coyly, but there IS concern about Papa Francis within the hierarchy of the UK – I won’t narrow it down any further – so what would you say to any wavering priest if you could speak to him privately in order to encourage him to sign?  This is your chance! Go for it!  

Here’s my private message to any priest with a conscience who knows perfectly well the damage being inflicted on the Church by this dreadful pope:  Father  X, you MUST sign this Open Letter.  No excuses.  Do you really want to be confronted at your judgement with the blank space where your signature should have been?  Of course not.  Unpopularity, disapproval, wagging fingers from brother priests who choose to remain complicit in this scandal, all will pass.  Your responsibility before God must trump all such fears.  Email your willingness to sign to [email protected] 

Comments (60)

  • editor Reply

    Today, 2nd May, Feast of St Athanasius, let’s pray especially for the success of this Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church.

    As Athanasius defended orthodox teaching on the divinity of Christ during the 4th century crisis resulting from the spread of the heresy caused by a brother priest, Arius, so we ask for his intercession before God to bring an end to this ever-worsening crisis in the Church today with multiple heresies being presented in one way or another by none other than the Pope himself.

    St Athanasius was excommunicated – not once, but twice – for his fidelity to orthodox teaching, but is now celebrated on his Feast Day as a Bishop, Confessor [of the Faith] and Doctor of the Church. St Athanasius, pray for us!

    May 2, 2019 at 9:44 am
    • Petrus Reply


      We need a new Athanasius today! I think Archbishop Lefebvre was a modern day equivalent, but things have deteriorated since the Archbishop’s death.

      May 3, 2019 at 8:07 am
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I suppose it’s good that something is being done but there weren’t too many signatures on that Open Letter. I do hope it has some effect but I won’t be holding my breath.

    May 2, 2019 at 11:40 am
    • Laura Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      I agree, it’s a pity there are not more signatures, especially from priests. You wonder what it will take for them to actually do something.

      May 2, 2019 at 5:02 pm
    • Petrus Reply

      I agree, Margaret Mary. I wonder if any of the hierarchy of the SSPX have signed?

      May 3, 2019 at 8:08 am
  • Josephine Reply

    Catholic World Report are discussing this on their blog and I copied this comment from a priest which is really important – he doesn’t think the Pope is strictly a heretic:

    The Pontiff has been consistent in avoiding definitive heresy at least not consistently in accord with canon law standards for heresy. All indication is he’s well aware of this and is extremely careful and adept at maneuvering a public policy by suggestion. The Letter of the signatories to the bishops doesn’t as Fr Fessio SJ Mark Brumley CWR as well as Fr Petri OP believe prove the case for heresy. At least not legally. The signatories case is weak. Although morally many of us know he is in error. The argument of the signatories however appears that intent is indicated in the Pope’s direction of the Church in its acceptance of homosexuality, abortion, adultery, communion minus repentance. And the Pontiff’s unwillingness to make correction. The dilemma then is bishops will likely not respond because there is no canonical evidence of heresy defined as persistent adamant denial of a doctrine. Although Fr Fessio seems to concur that the Pontiff’s unwillingness to respond to the Dubia, Fr Weinandy, and if similar in regards to this current accusation indicates intent. I agree if I understand Fessio correctly. Perhaps at best we need to assess this dilemma in respect to Christ’s words that we know a tree by its fruit. As such Prof Kwasniewski says his signature is a matter of conscience. Such a petition as all other admonitions are a needed voice for a subdued Church constantly fed falsehood. Many of the misled may also reconsider and return to the true faith. Silence is not an option when truth is compromised. The virtue of hope however unrealistic it may seem regarding the bishops’ response shouldn’t be overlooked. Saint Catherine of Siena spent a lifetime admonishing Pontiffs with few results except for the value of her witness in the eyes of God and the faithful.
    (Fr Peter Morello)

    If it’s the case that the pope is clever in keeping himself on the right side of “heresy” so that he can’t be formally accused of it, that shows him to be a thoroughly unsavoury and dishonest character. Whatever the truth of the heresy charge, he needs to be removed from office urgently, IMHO.

    May 2, 2019 at 12:10 pm
    • Fidelis Reply


      I don’t think that priest is right. How can it not be a heresy to tell Catholics that it’s a grave sin to try to convert the Orthodox, when the teaching of the Church is that salvation is found only within the Catholic Church? If that’s not a heresy, what is?

      May 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm
      • Nicky


        I agree, and it’s only a few weeks since Francis said that God willed the diversity of religions – when he was in the middle east. If the CEO of any major commercial company said that about their competitors, they’d soon be out of business and he’d definitely be out of a job, LOL! It’s much more serious for the Pope to say that so he needs to go.

        May 2, 2019 at 3:55 pm
      • Petrus

        I think you are right, Fidelis. What he is saying is that souls can be saved by their schismatic religion. Certainly souls outside of the Catholic Church can be saved, but they are saved despite their adherence to a schismatic group, false religion etc.

        May 3, 2019 at 8:09 am
    • RCAVictor Reply


      The CEO of Ignatius Press seems to agree with Fr. Morello: “https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/watch-ignatius-press-bosses-suggest-rome-reply-to-open-letter-accusing-francis-of-heresy

      ““As I read through it, I wasn’t quite persuaded that we had formal heresy or even that the statements [cited] of the Holy Father were materially heretical… But because of the arguments in the document and the persons making the argument, I think this is something that should be taken seriously.”

      That said, I remain puzzled by the lack of coherence in Father Morello’s letter….which is a euphemism for, “he appears to be repeatedly contradicting himself.” His vacillating – which is apparently shared by the CEO – reminds me of the chapter in Iota Unum on the Modernists’ use of the word “but,” e.g. “Doctrine X is true, but ….” and then the blank is filled in which completely undermines the doctrine.

      I’m also reminded of Pontius Pilate’s vacillating as he tried, on the one hand, to rescue Our Lord from the bloodthirsty jaws of the Pharisees and their mob, but on the other hand washed his hands of the whole matter and surrendered their Victim to them for execution.

      May 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm
      • Josephine

        RCA Victor,

        I agree with you. The stuff Pope Francis has spewed out and the way he has shown contempt for the office of pope (think of the video where he’s seen pulling back his hand from pilgrims trying to kiss the papal ring) shows, IMHO, that he has a heretical heart.

        Amoris Laetitia alone should be enough to have him declared a heretic. What is it going to take? We’ve had enough of vacillating – as you say, Pontius Pilate is the clearest example, and that’s the example the bishops of the world seem to be copying, shame on them.

        May 2, 2019 at 3:47 pm
      • Nicky

        RCA Victor,

        Pontius Pilate is the exact example of how the bishops are behaving during this crisis.

        I’m really fed up hearing that he’s not a “formal” heretic, just a “material” heretic. I really don’t care about that distinction now, because he’s destroying the Church with his heresy. He needs to go. I hope the Open Letter helps speed up events.

        May 2, 2019 at 3:57 pm
      • Michaela

        RCA Victor,

        In a way it doesn’t matter if he’s a material or formal heretic, he continues to be pope. I have posted an article on sedevacantism below in answer to MyForever77, but here’s a bit from the end of it.

        The writer is referring to the teaching of Sts. Bellarmine, Francis De Sales, Alphonsus Ligouri that a heretical pope would ipso facto fall from the pontificate. He goes on to add:

        “It is true that these men thought that, it was their private opinion. They would also be the first to admit that it was their private opinion, certainly not infallible truth. It was debated during the protestant reformation and the First Vatican Council what would happen if a Pope were found to be a heretic, but the Church never settled this debate. Throughout these debates it was the “more common opinion” according to the respected theologian Billuart that, “Christ, by a particular providence, for the common good and the tranquillity of the Church, continues to give jurisdiction to an even manifestly heretical pontiff until such time as he should be declared a manifest heretic by the Church.”

        The Open Letter is OK insofar as it goes, but what I think is really needed right now is someone at the very top of the hierarchy, a top cardinal, to insist on a meeting with the Pope and Bishops – maybe short of another major Council but for the purpose of debating the problems this pope is causing – and ask the Pope for clear statements to show he adheres to key doctrines. Just drifting on as we are right now, isn’t an option. The Filial Correction and Dubia were ignored as I think this letter will be ignored. Something bigger is now necessary IMHO.

        May 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I apparently messed up that LifesiteNews link, so here it is: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/watch-ignatius-press-bosses-suggest-rome-reply-to-open-letter-accusing-francis-of-heresy

    May 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm
  • myforever77 Reply

    The sedevacantist is right all along with their position, while still pledging allegiance to the Papal Office.

    May 2, 2019 at 4:18 pm
    • Laura Reply


      Not at all, not for one second. The sedevacantist position in the protestant position – no pope! Down the centuries we’ve had many bad popes, including heretics, like Pope John XXII who only recanted his heresy on his deathbed.

      The modern sedes think we’ve not had a pope since Pius XII which means we’ll never have another one, since the popes after Pius XII have appointed all the cardinals! It’s a ludicrous position and a fundamentally protestant one.

      May 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm
    • Michaela Reply


      You are completely wrong – sedevacantism is itself a heresy. This article covers everything. Please read it and assure us that you are not going to spread this serious error. The Church has had plenty bad popes, Francis is not the first.

      May 2, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      I don’t believe there is any such thing as a “Papal Office” when there is no Pope sitting in the Chair of Peter. So to pledge allegiance to an empty Chair is the height of absurdity….you know, like the Protestants worshiping a cross without the Corpus….

      May 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor.

        Well said.

        PS In the interests of accuracy, however, I ought to point out that, while I’m not sure Protestants actually “worship” a cross, it is of interest that the Carmelite Order of Discalced Nuns have long had the custom of a plain black cross in the cell of each Sister, over the bed. Reason? Each Sister is to live her life as the figure on the cross. Beautiful, if you think about it. Anyway, thought I’d post that for the record. However, in the context of replying to MyForever77/sedevacantism, you made the point brilliantly. And so I repeat my “well said” – “absurd” to pledge allegiance to an empty chair. Hilarious.

        May 2, 2019 at 7:38 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Believe it or not I actually realized that mistake after I had posted, but I’m glad you made it explicit. There’s another analogy to this nonsense of “allegiance to the Papal Office,” though, besides the Protestant use of a Corpus-less Cross: they are practicing a Church-less version of Christianity – which is not really Christianity at all….

        Lovely Carmelite custom too…..

        May 2, 2019 at 11:17 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        So true – “Church-less” Christianity it is. Very sad.

        May 2, 2019 at 11:51 pm
    • editor Reply


      I am dismayed to return after an absence of some hours to read your comment, calculated to turn the discussion in a direction absolutely prohibited as spelt out in our House Rules. We do NOT enter into any conversation about the conclave, legitimacy of the election of Pope Francis OR the faithless assertion that Christ has abandoned His Church and too bad about “the Rock” and the Gospel recorded promise of Our Lord that He would be “with you all days, even to the end of the world.”

      Happily, the few who have replied to you have posted excellent, well sourced responses, for which many thanks to them, but this could easily have become rancorous. Please, therefore, do not comment further on the error of sedevacantism on this blog. Thank you.

      May 2, 2019 at 7:43 pm
  • Fidelis Reply

    Michael Matt from The Remnant is on video abut this Open Letter

    May 2, 2019 at 8:37 pm
    • editor Reply



      Thank you so much for posting that excellent Remnant video – absolutely brilliant. Shocking but brilliant. It is so interesting to see people like Phil Lawler writing about the Lost Shepherd (Pope Francis) when, until this pontificate, he was one of the most devoted papolatrist imaginable.

      Strongly urge all bloggers to watch the above video – it’s really a first class synopsis of why the Open Letter is so necessary.

      May 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm
  • Lionel (Paris) Reply

    Everything was triggered on the death of Pius XII following the election of the so-called “good” Pope John XXIII who, revealingly, did not hesitate to make publicly a mockery of Archbishop Lefebvre that his predecessor had appointed Apostolic Delegate for all of Francophone Africa, thus marking his trust in Archbishop Lefebvre and testifying to his deep respect…
    Pope Francis is very much in the continuity of Paul VI that he did not fear to canonize on October 14, 2018, and for bad reason!
    The cardinals have designated him knowingly. They are therefore collectively responsible and guilty of the misfortunes of the Church.
    They are the ones who should be dismissed and condemned, for, shamelessly and abusively claiming the Holy Spirit, they have repeatedly and without interruption and shamelessly been raging and have committed offenses for more than half a century.
    This is a question of justice. Pope Francis is only the docile executioner of the process of destruction set up by his predecessors in the pay of Freemasons that ultimately they love despite Leo XIII’s “Humanus Genus” that condemns them unambiguously.

    May 2, 2019 at 9:10 pm
  • Lionel (Paris) Reply

    Tout s’est déclenché à la mort de Pie XII à la suite de l’élection du prétendu “bon” pape Jean XXIII qui, fait révélateur, n’hésitait pas à se moquer publiquement de Mgr Lefebvre que son prédécesseur avait nommé Délégué Apostolique pour toute l’Afrique Francophone, marquant ainsi sa confiance en Mgr Lefebvre et lui témoignant de son profond respect…
    Le pape François se situe tout à fait dans la continuité de Paul VI qu’il n’a pas craint de canoniser le 14 octobre 2018, et pour cause!
    Les cardinaux l’ont désigné en connaissance de cause. Ils sont donc collectivement responsables et coupables des malheurs de l’Église.
    Ce sont eux qui devraient être révoqués et condamnés, car, se réclamant impudemment et abusivement de l’Esprit Saint, ils ont sévi et récidivé sans interruption et sans vergogne pendant plus d’un demi-siècle.
    Il s’agit là d’une question de justice. Le pape François n’est que l’exécutant docile du processus de destruction mis en place par ses prédécesseurs à la solde des francs-maçons qu’en définitive ils affectionnent malgré “Humanus Genus” de Léon XIII qui les condamne sans ambigüité.

    May 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm
    • editor Reply


      You are one of the few people – in my experience – to “get it”; to understand that Pope Francis didn’t appear out of nowhere, that he is merely the last (so far!) in the long line of modernist popes who between them have brought about the near destruction of the Church, in human terms.

      Don’t miss the Remnant video posted by Fidelis. It really is worth the 22 minutes required to view.

      May 2, 2019 at 9:32 pm
      • Lionel

        Thank you, Editor!

        May 2, 2019 at 9:44 pm
      • Petrus

        No, he didn’t just appear. He is the logical conclusion of many years of Modernism.

        May 3, 2019 at 8:11 am
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    I know it’s late but just my tuppence worth. No One Can Be A Catholic and a Marxist at the same time . Pope Francis is without a doubt 110 % a Marxist so where does that even put him in his Stance as a Catholic never mind Pope . We all know that he has been a Heretic for a Long Time and it was spoken about at Mass Tonight. Unfortunately this Man revels in being criticised by Good Catholics his past History proves that he will not leave he Enjoys The Power to much . And for that Carbon Footprint 👣 of his . It is now a complete joke . I know he is Pope and we haven’t an Empty Chair but the Man is most
    Certainly a Legend in his time . Just ask Time Magazine. I even think he’s the First Pope to make it into Rolling Stone Magazine. The World Loves Him .

    May 2, 2019 at 11:08 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      The problem with Francis is not only that he is a Marxist – he is a Marxist who thinks he’s Catholic. In fact, he thinks he’s a better Catholic than faithful Catholics! He is the essence of diabolical disorientation: a total disconnect from the supernatural.

      But if this dark period is, as so many priests tell us, the “Passion of the Church,” then Pope Francis seems to be playing the role of Judas – who, so I’ve read, betrayed Our Lord in order to force him to declare Himself King of Israel on earth and drive out the Romans.

      Meanwhile, this modern Judas (who is also the denying Peter) has betrayed Our Lord for the same reason: he wants his piece of an earthly kingdom, even though it is a bizarre, twisted kingdom of “sustainable development,” “climate change,” homosexual mainstreaming, abortion, borderless anarchic “societies,” rampant occultism and paganism, crime epidemics of every type…

      One has to wonder why such a perverse kingdom has any appeal to Francis, let alone to anyone else. But perhaps the answer is in socialism’s dirty little secret: the rules only apply to the peons, not to the privileged few who set those rules.

      May 2, 2019 at 11:51 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        You beat me to it – I was just about to respond to FOOF when I was momentarily distracted and then, voila! You were there in black and white before me, so to speak – and with this cracker…

        “[Francis] is the essence of diabolical disorientation: a total disconnect from the supernatural.”

        Talk about a quotable quote!

        And FOOF is spot on to point out this pope’s popularity with worldlings which speaks for itself, for, as Our Lord warned, “the world” hated Him, and so, likewise “the world” would hate His followers. To be loved by this world should worry Papa Francis to his core.

        May 2, 2019 at 11:55 pm
  • Helen Reply

    I’m appalled that Pope Francis is a heretic although I can see by the evidence that indeed, some of his utterances are heretical. Who can effectively correct a pope? What a mess! It sort of mirrors our political situation here in the Uk .. May God help us! Will He?

    May 2, 2019 at 11:41 pm
    • editor Reply


      Yes. And it’s not a case of “God will help us”, rather, God IS helping us – we know that because it is by His grace that we are able to recognise the scandal of this papacy and are enabled in various ways, such as by the sacrifice of people like Michael Matt and the bloggers here, so generous with their time, who work hard to keep us informed, to keep our minds clear about right and wrong, truth and falsehood.

      So, Helen, say: “Thank you, Lord!”

      May 2, 2019 at 11:58 pm
      • Petrus

        Well said, editor. God also helped us by sending Archbishop Lefebvre.

        May 3, 2019 at 8:12 am
      • editor


        Yes, God did send us the SSPX to help us through this time of liturgical, spiritual and moral deprivation. Thank you for that timely reminder.

        May 3, 2019 at 9:47 am
  • Fidelis Reply

    There is a challenge to the Open Letter on Catholic World Report, criticising the authors for not making the distinction between material and formal heresy – but frankly I no longer think that distinction works, not when he is spouting material heresy all the time and causing such massive confusion.

    May 3, 2019 at 11:24 am
    • Athanasius Reply


      The distinction must always be made if we who challenge the errors of our religious superiors are to remain Catholic. No subordinate in the Church can declare a superior to be a formal heretic because such a judgment requires a knowledge of the soul of the person accused, and only God has that knowledge. Hence, if a judgment of heresy is to be concluded it must be one of material heresy. In other words, we always assume the heretic to have the best intentions rather than the worst, which does not bear thinking about.

      The sedevacantists have made the leap to judging the souls of Popes and bishops, thereby entering into schism with the Church. The problem is that when pride reaches that level it’s very hard, if not impossible, to win them back to objective reason and charity.

      May 4, 2019 at 10:46 pm
  • Athanasius Reply

    These kinds of letters and like petitions always presuppose a Catholic hierarchy that is generally orthodox and suitably zealous for the faith and for souls, that’s why they never make a difference. This one will go the way of the others, it will fall on deaf ears because the shepherds are either indolent or indifferent. Much grace is needed to restore the Catholic hierarchy to something akin to its pre-Vatican II orthodoxy and holiness, and that can only come through Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. The only positive is that at least some Catholic priests and laity still have the faith and courage to resist the present trend in heresy.

    May 4, 2019 at 10:40 pm
  • gabriel syme Reply

    I’m encouraged by the letter, but we know the standard tactic of the Vatican under Francis is simply to ignore anything and anyone they dislike.

    I did like it how the authors described their text as “the next stage” of the process which has seen previous steps such as the filial correct etc. It suggests a path is being followed which gives hope.

    All this just shows how useless most Bishops are. They just want a quiet time to enjoy their easy lives.

    Francis and the corrupt, faithless men he has surrounded himself with are shameless. Between these public reproaches and the woeful attendances at Francis’ audiences etc, anyone with an ounce of decency ought to be embarrassed or doubtful of the course the Church is on. But no – what a brass neck they have!

    May 6, 2019 at 10:11 pm
    • editor Reply

      Gabriel Syme – et al,

      I’ve just received the latest on Papa Francis in my inbox – very interesting, to say the least…

      Evangelisation without doctrine – well, there’s a novelty…

      May 6, 2019 at 10:28 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I’ve been very critical of the SSPX over the past year or so, and I’ve considered just keeping my big mouth shut, but this SSPX take on the Open Letter accusing Francis of heresy is just over the top embarrassing and, to me, amounts to an act of moral cowardice:


    It is also full of contradictory (i.e. irrational) logic and false rationalizations, like “Oh, these bishops won’t do anything anyway!”. There is actually nothing “radical” or “excessive” about asking the Church’s prelates for a trial of this Pope, to determine his guilt or innocence regarding heresy. In fact, as outlined in True or False Pope, a council of prelates is the only way for the Church to determine this!

    But no, says the SSPX, we’ll just keep our heads buried in this nice warm sand and stick to our 1962 Sacraments until all the bad guys go away, and not get too radical. After all, that’s what Abp. Lefebvre would have done.


    Shame on you, SSPX, for your smug conceit and un-Catholic paralysis. If this is your version of “fighting,” then God help you.

    May 19, 2019 at 5:34 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      How disappointing. I’ve not had time to read your link but will do so shortly.

      Frankly, though, I’m not surprised at the content as outlined by your good self.

      There is a definite “leave us as we are, thank you very much” in the Society – and it’s very far indeed from what Archbishop Lefebvre hoped would happen. He understood that the longer this irregular situation prevails, the more likely there would be the setting in of a “schismatic mentality”.

      VERY disappointing. If anything, the SSPX should be publishing Open Letters – by the truck load, instead of sitting on the sidelines.

      May 19, 2019 at 5:38 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      I’ve now read the link and really, it is depressing. I highlighted this from many statements which struck me in different ways as being – how can I put it… “telling”…

      What is appearing today is no worse than Vatican II’s novelties, but it is now a more visible and more complete manifestation. Just as the Assisi meeting under John Paul II in 1986 was only the fruit of the seeds of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue deposited at the Council, likewise the present pontificate illustrates the inevitable outcomes of the Second Vatican Council.

      Well, first of all, we KNOW that, but second of all, there’s a contradiction is saying “what is appearing today is no worse than Vatican II novelties” and then adding “but it is now a more visible… manifestation” – i.e. it IS worse. DUH!

      Any attempt to pretend that what we are living through now is anything other than unique, is ridiculous, yet this SSPX author mentions in passing previous times of difficulty as being almost comparable. No way! This pontiff is different from every other, without a shadow of a doubt. Methinks the SSPX is trying to excuse its own loud silence throughout – after a strong “We have before us an outright Modernist” (Bishop Fellay at the outset of the current pontificate) we’ve heard virtually no criticism at all from the Society of this shocking Pope.

      I really don’t know what to make of the piece, except my over-riding, if perhaps very uncharitable, thought was that I detected a sort of silly pettiness. After questioning the purpose/effectiveness of the Open Letter, the writer concludes by pointing to Archbishop Lefebvre’s example as being a more prudent approach to the situation – ignoring the fact that the situation then was NOT as bad as it has become. Not remotely. Speaking, of course, on different levels, we can say that of course had there not been the Vatican II “reforms” we wouldn’t be where we are now, but we have to begin from where we are now, which means working out how to deal with getting the rest of the hierarchy to realise that we have a Pope who openly says he wants to change teachings, both faith and morals – it is unbelievable that the author of that piece could criticise the signatories of the Open Letter, and justify their criticism by questioning the formation etc of the recipients – i.e. the bishops. Some logic that – it means nobody can do anything until we have a new set of bishops, all well formed and likely to be receptive to such an approach… Exactly how that is to come about might just be the stuff of a new Jeremy Kyle Show when he gets himself back on air.

      Honestly, I can’t help but agree with your conclusion: if this is the SSPX version of ‘fighting’, then God help them.

      I would add: God help us all.

      May 19, 2019 at 8:12 pm
      • Petrus

        I agree with everything you and RCA Victor have said. It’s a shocking statement from the SSPX. I think this is an act of cowardice, or perhaps self interest. The SSPX have enjoyed a certain degree of favour under Pope Francis, so they perhaps do not feel they can criticise. I’m very, very disappointed with this.

        May 19, 2019 at 8:29 pm
      • editor

        Petrus & RCA Victor,

        “Coincidentally” – if there be such a thing as “coincidence”, I came across the following Q & A in the section 54 Answers from Bishop Fellay on the SSPX USA website:

        [Question # 21]. The Holy Father has announced the next meeting in Assisi. You reacted in your sermon at St. Nicholas Church on February 9, 2011, and decided to oppose it, just as Archbishop Lefebvre had done at the time of the first meeting, 25 years ago. Do you plan to intervene directly with the Holy Father?

        [Answer]: If the opportunity presents itself, if it can bear some fruit, why not?

        Do you see the issue? IF an opportunity comes along, the Bishop will perhaps say something about this horrendous scandal of an ecumenical meeting at Assisi which places the Pope on an equal footing with the leaders of umpteen other “world religions”. Where is the zeal? Where is the outrage?

        There are lay people who would feel on fire with the urgency of such a situation; who would feel they MUST contact the Holy Father and – note – those laity, aware of their Confirmation duty to defend the Faith – would not have the assurance that the Pope would read their concerns or meet with them, that Bishop Fellay enjoyed and probably still enjoys.

        “Disappointing” is an inadequate term; in my own case, the same outrage that I still feel about the shocking Assisi events is now directed at Bishop Fellay & Co. Yes, thanks for the Mass and Sacraments. Great.

        For zeal and inspiration, I’ll stick with the lives of the saints.

        May 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm
      • Petrus


        I endorse every word. I find that response from the SSPX quite sickening. I wonder who it came from?

        May 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm
      • editor


        It came from Bishop Fellay… Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

        May 20, 2019 at 4:40 pm
      • Petrus

        Sorry, Editor. I’ve caused this confusion. I meant the recent statement from the SSPX. I wonder who actually wrote it. I assume it was approved by Fr Pagliarani.

        May 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I wondered that myself. One could hope that it was some faceless bureaucrat trying to be inoffensive, who slipped through the cracks, but that’s probably way too optimistic.

        May 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm
      • editor


        Must have been approved by the Superior. No question about that.

        May 21, 2019 at 5:23 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Editor and Petrus,

        Here are some equivalents of the shameful reasoning contained in this SSPX letter:

        1. Editor decides to fold up the CT newsletter, and in fact the entire apostolate, because, after all, the Scottish Bishops will never stop surrendering to the world…and defending the Catholic Faith is just too radical, dontcha know.

        2. The Dubia Cardinals decide to 86 their Dubia because, after all, not only will Pope Francis never respond anyway, but he will accuse them of serving the Great Accuser.

        3. Father Gruner decides not to organize The Fatima Center to promote and advocate for the Consecration of Russia, because, after all, the Popes will sidestep their duty for decades…and reminding them of their duty is just too extreme and disrespectful.

        I hope there is a groundswell of outrage within the ranks of the SSPX over this – among both clergy and laity – but I won’t be holding my breath.

        May 21, 2019 at 3:40 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Well said – there is simply no justifiable reason for the Society to keep quiet at this grave time in the worst ever crisis to have afflicted the Church. That was a very weak response to the Open Letter and it has diminished the standing of the SSPX, in my view.

        May 21, 2019 at 5:22 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I’d be interested in what your SSPX priest thinks about that letter, if you (Option A) have a chance to bring it up, or (Option B) want to get in his face about it!

        May 22, 2019 at 12:30 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        In my experience, the SSPX priests make it clear that they are here only to distribute the sacraments – emergency provision only. Like the handful of diocesan priests who offer the TLM they restrict themselves to preaching to the already converted. Ruffling feathers, setting the heather on fire, not for them.

        May 22, 2019 at 11:08 am
      • RCAVictor


        I believe at some point in recent blog history you mentioned Mundabor’s blog favorably. He published some commentary a couple of days ago which also was critical of the SSPX’s response.

        Just in case I’m wrong, I won’t post the link, but here’s his kicker:

        “The SSPX should not criticise this letter. They should have been the ones who issued it.”

        May 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
  • Pat McKay Reply

    Anyone surprised?


    May 21, 2019 at 8:52 am
    • editor Reply


      Not surprised, as ever, but totally shocked. What a clown is Pope Francis and although I don’t like the “F” word, and I wish it wasn’t featured at the top of the video in the article, I do fully understand “where the speaker is coming from”… if you get my drift!

      May 21, 2019 at 4:03 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      Since this Pope is a leftist and a servant of the UN, the only thing at this point that would surprise me is if he consecrated Russia. In fact, “surprise” would hardly suffice to describe my reaction. I’d probably need smelling salts….

      May 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Or maybe a wee dram o the hard stuff would do, instead…?


        May 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm

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