To sign the correctio filialis or not…(making everyone mad at you)

lightning vatican holy see st peter

It is said in summary of text of the correctio filialis:

It states that the pope has, by his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, and by other, related, words, deeds and omissions, effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.

The words “effectively upheld” constitute a new level of teaching, I guess, below an ex-Cathedra statement, I guess, but effectively, I guess, on par, I guess, with the Ordinary and therefore also infallible Magisterium of the Church… I guess.

Too much guesswork for me. That’s too exhausting. Here’s the deal: all this time, for years now, it seems to me that I’m the only one in the world who happens to notice that in the first paragraphs of Amoris laetitia that what the Holy Father has proffered is merely a volley in dialogue. Period. Nothing more. He actually uses the word. And while that dialogue is not nothing in itself, it actually doesn’t amount to something. Clear? No? And so, therefore, what does it all mean? Well, it all just means nothing. So, whatever.

Am I not upset that ambiguity taken up by bullies, say, in Malta, or Argentina, or Chicago is destroying the salvation of souls? Yes, I’m upset.

But I also think it’s even hurtful effectively to say that the Holy Father has effectively propagated heresies, effectively on the level of the ordinary Magisterium of the Church. That kind of language effectively leads to a mistaken ecclesiology which effectively is itself heretical.

Again, does that mean that I think that the Holy Father effectively backing rubbish in Malta and Argentina, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. [and I could go on…], isn’t hurtful? No, it doesn’t mean that. I do in fact think it’s extremely damaging to souls and to the very person of the Successor of Saint Peter. I grieve.

But we have to take great care in the ecclesiological language we use. Right? So, I will not sign. Meanwhile, another priest, for whom I have a great deal of respect, and who has given his life in the “priesthood exclusively for the salvation of souls,” the great Father Pinsent has this interview with LifeSiteNews. Here’s a snippet:

“The contradictions now being introduced deny reason, which is contrary to the heart of Catholic theology, the examples of great saint scholars like St. Thomas Aquinas, and the consistent teaching of our two most recent popes. Such divisions of faith and reason are catastrophic for the Church’s mission of the salvation to souls.”

I agree with all that wholeheartedly. And I entirely understand where the framers and signers are coming from. It’s just that “effectively upholds” and “propagates” seems effectively to say that this is all effectively part of the Ordinary Magisterium, when instead a dialogue is not that at all. One must be exact in these things, you know, to be filial about it, and so as not to cancel the very correctio that one attempts to make.

8 Comments

Filed under Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis

8 responses to “To sign the correctio filialis or not…(making everyone mad at you)

  1. pelerin

    Everything seems so confusing now. Having looked at the list of signatories a few days ago and spotted the name of a controversial priest who has been criticised for putting lots of anti-Islamic videos on his blog, if I had been an intellectual asked to sign this would have worried me and I would have refused. Now having found out Fr Pinsent has put his name to it I could well have changed my mind. But having read your explanation and reason for not signing then I would have refrained. I would certainly have been in two minds as to whether to sign or not.

    Happily I am neither an intellectual nor a member of the clergy so do not have to decide as I understand that those are the signatures required. But it is confusing when priests one respects and trusts differ in this way.

  2. pelerin

    Oh dear – I now see that some of the signatories have proved to be fake so we can’t believe what we see.

  3. pelerin

    Fr Ray Blake has just written a moving post on his blog entitled ‘To sign or not to sign.’ It does seem so sad that priests who may wish to sign will not do so through fear of their superiors.

  4. sanfelipe007

    First, let me say, that if I were a priest, I would not sign. I could not publicly side against the Holy Father any more than I could publicly side against my own earthly father; Honor thy mother and thy father. I fear God too much.

    Sure, there are many things to consider; things that the Saints that corrected past Pontiffs had to consider. I am not seeing any Saints among the signatories. But what do I know? I’m just a child who loves his father, warts and all.

  5. LO'B

    saneflipeoo7
    You don’t have to be a saint to correct the Pope. You simply need to be correct in your correction. It is not possible for you to judge whether the people who have signed are saints or not. That only God can do. Neither do you fear God nor honour your father and mother in standing by silently claiming false filial love as your father abuses your mother in public. How is that love at all? Thats not saying of course that every priest ought to have signed. It is neither necessary nor. in some cases, would it be prudent to do so.

    Those people did a great service in contributing to the dialogue that the Pope says he desires. The big problem of course is that it is hard to have a dialogue when the Pope himself takes the wrong side in questions that the Church has already decided and should never be up for discussion in the first place. Please God we will get a little clarity soon.

  6. Father George David Byers

    So, ok, but that didn’t answer my objection….

  7. sanfelipe007

    ” Neither do you fear God nor honour your father and mother in standing by silently claiming false filial love as your father abuses your mother in public. How is that love at all? ”

    This is a straw man argument. No one has advocated this course of action. It also fails as a metaphor since nothing that has happened rises to abuse.

  8. sanfelipe007

    Please forgive me if I seem to be picking on you, Lo’B
    “You don’t have to be a saint to correct the Pope.”
    I believe you misunderstood me. I was not judging the signatories souls, rather, I was judging their chances of “correcting” (i.e., persuading) the Holy Father. The Saints that were successful in persuading their Popes to correct a situation, no doubt, had the help of the Holy Spirit (one thing to consider).
    I agree with you that ” You simply need to be correct in your correction.” It is my opinion, informed by Father George’s arguments in this post, that they are not correct. What persuades you that they are correct?

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