Another historic moment in the Church has come to pass. Several prominent theologians have decided that enough is enough, and have leveled the charge of heresy at Francis. After watching and reading many of his many statements over the years that contradict Catholic teaching, this course of action at least speaks the truth of traditional teaching of the Church. The group of theologians include reputable names such as Fr Thomas Crean, OP, Fr John Hunwicke, Peter Kwasniewski, PhD, and Fr Aidan Nichols, OP among others. The theologians call on the bishops to consider their claim and then take canonical action directly to Francis so that he may retract his heresies, or give up the papal chair. We will see how much traction this gets if any. How many bishops are willing to sacrifice to step and push this course of action? The seven accusations in the twenty page open letter are listed as,
We accuse Pope Francis of having, through his words and actions, publicly and pertinaciously demonstrated his belief in the following propositions that contradict divinely revealed truth (for each proposition we provide a selection of Scriptural and magisterial teachings that condemn them as contrary to divine revelation; these references are conclusive but are not intended to be exhaustive.)
I. 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.[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18: “If anyone says that the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace, let him be anathema” (DH 1568). See also: Gen. 4:7; Deut. 30:11-19; Ecclesiasticus 15: 11-22; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Zosimus, 15th (or 16th) Synod of Carthage, canon 3 on grace, DH 225; Felix III, 2nd Synod of Orange, DH 397; Council of Trent, Session 5, canon 5; Session 6, canons 18-20, 22, 27 and 29; Pius V, Bull Ex omnibus afflictionibus, On the errors of Michael du Bay, 54, DH 1954; Innocent X, Constitution Cum occasione, On the errors of Cornelius Jansen, 1, DH 2001; Clement XI, Constitution 2. Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185- 89, DH 4964-67.]
II. 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. [Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20: “If anyone says that a justified man, however perfect he may be, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church but is bound only to believe, as if the Gospel were merely an absolute promise of eternal life without the condition that the commandments be observed, let him be anathema” (DH 1570). See also: Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Council of Trent, session 6, canons 19 and 27; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor, 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89, DH 4964-67.]
III. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act ofobedience. [Ps. 18:8: “The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls.” See also: Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598 (DH 3248); John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 40: AAS 85 (1993): 1165 (DH 4953).]
IV. 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.
[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 21: “If anyone says that Jesus Christ was given by God to men as a redeemer in whom they are to trust but not also as a lawgiver whom they are bound to obey, let him be anathema”, DH 1571. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 2: “If anyone says that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not forbidden by any divine law, let him be anathema”, DH 1802. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 5: “If anyone says that the marriage bond can be dissolved because of heresy or difficulties in cohabitation or because of the wilful absence of one of the spouses, let him be anathema”, DH 1805. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 7: “If anyone says that the Church is in error for having taught and for still teaching that in accordance with the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, the marriage bond cannot be dissolved because of adultery on the part of one of the spouses and that neither of the two, not even the innocent one who has given no cause for infidelity, can contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other, and that the husband who dismisses an adulterous wife and marries again and the wife who dismisses an adulterous husband and marries again are both guilty of adultery, let him be anathema”, DH 1807.
See also: Ps. 5:5; Ps. 18:8-9; Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Heb. 10:26-29; Jas. 1:13; 1 Jn. 3:7; Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 62-63, DH 2162-63; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, 3. On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, encyclical letter Libertas raestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598, DH 3248; Pius XII, Decree of the Holy Office on situation ethics, DH 3918; 2 nd Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 16; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 54: AAS 85 (1993): 1177; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1786-87.]
V. It is false that the only sexual acts that are good of their kind and morally licit are acts between husband and wife. [I Corinthians 6:9-10; "Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God." Jude 1:7; "As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire." See also: Romans 1:26-32; Ephesians 5:3-5; Galatians 5;19-21; Pius IX, Casti connubii, 10, 19-21, 73; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 11-14; John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, 13-14.]
VI. 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. [John Paul II, Veritatis splendor 115: “Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with the reaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts”, DH 4971.See also: Rom. 3:8; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10; Gal. 5: 19-21; Apoc. 22:15; 4th Lateran Council, chapter 22, DH 815; Council of Constance, Bull Inter cunctas, 14, DH 1254; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 14: AAS 60 (1968) 490-91; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 83: AAS 85 (1993): 1199, DH 4970.]
VII. God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian. [John 14:6; "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me." Acts 4:11-12; "This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." See also Exodus 22:20; Exodus 23:24; 2 Chronicles 34:25; Psalm 95:5; Jeremiah 10:11; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Gregory XVI, Mirari vos, 13-14; Pius XI, Qui pluribus, 15; Singulari quidem, 3-5; First Vatican Council, Profession of Faith: Leo XIII, Immortale dei, 31; Satis cognitum, 3-9; Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1-2, 6].