12/3/2016 7:42:30 AM
The Pope May Not Be Infallible After All
Four cardinals have made a request to Pope Francis to clarify grave errors in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Some of the errors they cited Pope Francis as making include the following:
• No one is condemned to hell
• The divorced and civilly remarried are not in a state of serious sin, and they can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.
• A Catholic can have full knowledge of the law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin.
• A person with full knowledge of a divine law can sin by choosing to obey that law.
• One’s conscience can judge that sexual sins can sometimes be morally right or requested or commanded by God.
• Jesus wills that the Church abandon her discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition.
Cardinal Burke says if Pope Francis won't clarify these “serious errors,” the Cardinals must make a “formal act of correction.” It appears there is a plan for a formal statement against Francis for heresy or at least deviation from the Faith. The Cardinals are following the proper canonical process. As one writer noted, "The step of making a 'formal act of correction' would be the preliminary step, according to classical theology and Church discipline, of declaring someone - anyone - a formal heretic.” According to the Code of Canon Law, “the Catholic faithful have the right and at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence, and position, to make known their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”
This is an earth-shaking development! It is clear that the Cardinals' intention is to safeguard the Catholic Faith, not simply to accuse anyone of heresy. What happens if the pope does not respond and fails to give the clarification of the Church's teaching? Cardinal Burke said, "Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”
Not all Catholics uphold the dogma of papal infallibility. Some scholars and about 60,000 Catholic lay-people did not yield to its pronouncement. They withdrew from the Roman Church, and called themselves Old Catholics after they documented instances when popes had made mistakes. Several popes have even been condemned by church councils as heretics.