NEWS:  August 2, 2017
donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
A BIASED ‘FILIAL CORRECTION’ –  The end of September was marked by the widespread promotion by the media of a Filial Correction sent to Pope Francis by 62 scholars. This group of ecclesiastic theologians and laymen asked him to retract from the “propagation of heresy” made in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and “other works, deeds and omissions.”

The authors of the document opened a website on which we can download the 25-page original PDF document in English. The Filial Correction is composed of three parts:
  • The text of a letter to Pope Francis (pp. 1-9), written in a polite but strong language accusing him of propagating seven heresies. Although the text is quite bold, the heresies are written in Latin, which makes them accessible only to a small Catholic elite able to read this language.

  • A second part called Elucidation (pp. 10-16), in which the authors lay out presuppositions to show that Francis is basically favoring Modernism and Protestantism, two condemned heresies.

  • A third part of endnotes (pp. 16-25), which lists a large number of sources to back the statements of the two first parts. Interestingly, the authors quote Vatican Council II and the conciliar Popes – especially John Paul II – as if they are in full agreement with the previous Magisterium of the Church.
The general lines of the Filial Correction as well as its division into parts make it appear quite similar to the Dubia of four Cardinals sent to Pope Francis last year, which also addresses Amoris Laetitia. Thus, the similarities in form and content led me inevitably to think that both efforts sprung from the same conservative wing, that is, those men who inspired the four Cardinals or those who were inspired by them.

photo montage showing Conciliar Popes with Protestants

Francis support of Protestantism follows the example of the other conciliar Popes

A first analysis of the three parts shows that:
  • The letter to Pope Francis having a bold accusatory language in its text and, then, camouflaging in Latin the core of the heresies it accuses him of promoting is clearly contradictory. These two conflicting procedures give the impression of a document lacking unity of intention: Some of its authors want to make the accusation public; others are afraid of overtly exposing those errors and want them to be clear only to a few intellectuals.

  • The second part – Elucidation – is somewhat puzzling and misleading because the authors’ approach implies that for a long time the Church has not had problems of the resurgence of Modernism and Protestantism; it is only appearing now under Francis. The consequences of this approach is that the Filial Correction:
    a. exonerates from blame both Vatican II and the five other conciliar Popes who should be included in the same accusation directed against Francis;
    b. implicitly presents the signers as the discoverers – like new Christopher Columbuses – of heresies, which in reality are more than 50 years old.

  • The third part, the endnotes quoting Vatican II documents and those of the conciliar Popes as if they enjoyed the same level of credibility as the quotations of the previous Catholic Magisterium, reinforce the same impressions caused by part two. That is, it induces the reader to believe that Vatican II and these Popes are completely uninfected by any of the “heresies, words, deeds and omissions” launched by Francis.
I am quite sure that Francis deserves the accusations made by the 62 scholars. So, in this regard, I agree with them. What I doubt is that these signers really want to stop the crisis in the Church and destroy the dominance of Progressivism over almost all the Prelates of the Church, including the last five Popes. It looks very much as if they are trying to divert attention to a scapegoat – Francis – in order to save all the victories Progressivism accomplished in the Council and in the post-conciliar period.

To make my point, let me address in a quick list what the concilar Popes have done to promote Progressivism – which was not mentioned by the 62 signers, who simplistically identify this current as Modernism – and to favor Protestantism.

Papal initiatives promoting Progressivism
John PaUl II greets nude native women

Pope Wojtyla greeting native topless women

Papal initiatives favoring Protestantism: After checking this only partial list of “works and deeds” of the conciliar Popes who preceded Pope Francis, it becomes very difficult to comprehend why the intellectuals who sent Francis their accusation that he was a propagator of heresies did not also include the previous Pontiffs in their denunciation.

The only explanation I can think of is that they are trying to create a scapegoat in order to save the other Popes and the Council.