A Filial Correction Issued by 40 Prominent Catholics to Pope Francis

A group of Catholic clergy, theologians, and other scholars publicly issued a “filial correction” of Pope Francis on Saturday, accusing the Supreme Pontiff of “propagating heresy” in the apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Seven heretical propositions are highlighted in the main part, the actual “correction,” of the twenty-five page document. The signatories are not accusing the pope of the sin of heresy, or of the canonical crime of heresy, but are accusing him of “propagating” the seven heresies by his “words, deeds, and omissions.”

Steve Skojec of 1Peter5 gives an admirable summary here, from which I take a few excerpts:

For Catholics around the world, the wait continues for the two remaining ”Dubia Cardinals” to issue the promised “formal correction” to Pope Francis as regards Amoris Laetitia. Today, however, in what is being described as an “epoch-making act” unlike any taken “since the Middle Ages,” a group of Catholic clergy and lay scholars have taken a similar measure of their own, making public a “Filial Correction” that was first delivered to the pope on August 11th. The occasion of the publication of this document is today’s Feast of Our Lady of Ransom and of Our Lady of Walsingham. Versions of this correctio are now available in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, along with supporting documents and a list of signatories, on a new website created to support this effort: correctiofilialis.org 


The seven propositions of the correctio itself, though issued in Latin, have also been translated by the authors as follows:

By these words, deeds, and omissions, and by the above-mentioned passages of the document Amoris laetitia, Your Holiness has upheld, directly or indirectly, and, with what degree of awareness we do not seek to judge, both by public office and by private act propagated in the Church the following false and heretical propositions:

1). ‘A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.’

2). ‘Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.’

3). ‘A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.’

4). ‘A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.’

5). ‘Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.’

6). ‘Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.’

7). ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.’

For each of these propositions, citations are given from both Scripture and the Church’s magisterium documenting where they come into conflict with Catholic teaching. “These propositions” the authors write, “all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith.”

Again, the twenty-five page document is here, and the website for this effort is here.