Dubia Cardinal: Anyone who opens Communion to adulterers ‘is a heretic and promotes schism’

Dubia Cardinal: Anyone who opens Communion to adulterers ‘is a heretic and promotes schism’

[A counter-charge of heresy and schism]

John-Henry Westen

ROME, December 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, one of the four Cardinals of the dubia has said, “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”

Cardinal Walter Brandmuller made the remark while speaking with Spiegel reporter Walter Mayr about the dubia – the as yet unanswered questions asked openly and officially by four Cardinals seeking to have the Pope clarify potentially heretical interpretations of his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

In a separate interview released today by Vatican Radio, close papal confidant Cardinal Walter Kasper says the Pope has been clear in Amoris Laetitia and that the Pope confirmed his take in his statements approving the approach of the Argentine bishops. The letter to the Argentine bishops to which Cardinal Kasper refers has Pope Francis saying that it is authentic to interpret Amoris Laetitia in a way which permits Holy Communion in limited cases to divorced and remarried couples with no possibility of annulment.

In Catholic terms, that means communion for those living in adultery as per the words of Christ Himself: (Lk 16:18) “Every man that divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and he that marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Taken together the statements demonstrate the stark difference between the approaches of various Cardinals to the dubia. While for some the openness to changing the Church on the matter means outright heresy, for others it is a necessary and Holy Spirit-driven evolution of the Church’s teaching or at least pastoral practice.

Cardinal Brandmuller told Der Spiegel that clergy have no right to alter Christ’s own teachings. “We are, according to the Apostle St. Paul, administrators of the mysteries of God, but not holders of the right of disposal,” he said.

The stark difference between the top leaders of the Catholic Church has apparently not been lost on the Pope. Der Spiegel’s Mayr reports on a rumoured saying of Pope Francis to a “very small circle” in which he said, “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”

Thanks to Dr. Maike Hickson of OnePeterFive for the translation from the German.

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24 comments on “Dubia Cardinal: Anyone who opens Communion to adulterers ‘is a heretic and promotes schism’

  1. Amen. We have arrived at the inevitable cusp, the breaking point. Will Francis destroy the Church–as if he could? Pray for these cardinals. Pray for the pope.

  2. James Larson’s take is that the dubiadon’t go far enough. AL embodies a fundamental break with our understanding of mortal sin, of the soul, and of our relationship with God, i.e., heresy. Below is a long excerpt from Part XXIV: What Really Is At Stake: The Letter of the Four Cardinals to Pope Francis Concerning Amoris Laetitia

    What has been missed in almost all of the critiques of Amoris Laetitia is that it is indeed constituted as a direct attack on the concept of Charity and Sanctifying Grace. I have explored this in my four-part series on Amoris Laetitia, but it is necessary to repeat it here.

    The relevant passage is found in paragraph 296:

    “The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for ever; it is to pour out the balm of God’s mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart… For true charity is always un-merited, unconditional and gratuitous.”

    From the context of Amoris Laetitia, it is clear that Pope Francis is here speaking of the state of a person’s soul which qualifies him or her to receive Holy Communion. As I pointed out in my articles, the supernatural gift of Charity is indeed a totally gratuitous gift of God, as is the gift by which a soul can merit such a gift. But it remains, as being absolutely central to the Catholic doctrine of Justification, that such a person must indeed freely merit this gift of charity through both faith and works. The Council of Trent defines the act of Justification in the following words:

    For, although no one can be just but he to whom the merits of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet is this done in the said justification of the impious, when by the merit of that same most holy Passion, the charity of God is poured forth by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those that are justified and is inherent therein: whence, man, through Jesus Christ, in Whom he is ingrafted, receives, in the said justification, together with the remission of sins, all these (gifts) infused at once, faith, hope, and charity.”

    Charity, as applied to the human soul, is in other words a state of being in which the soul is restored to friendship with God, and it is this state which is absolutely necessary for the reception of Holy Communion.

    Further, the Council of Trent, in the following two passages, defines what is necessary for a person to both possess and retain this gift of Charity:

    “But no one, how much soever justified ought to think himself exempt from the observance of the commandments, no one ought to make use of that rash saying, one prohibited by the Fathers under an anathema, that the observance of the commandments of God is impossible for one that is justified. For God commands not impossibilities, but, by commanding, both admonishes thee to do what thou art able, and to pray for what thou art not able (to do), and aids thee that thou mayest be able; whose commandments are not heavy, whose yoke is sweet, and whose burden light. For whoso are the sons of God love Christ; but they who love Him keep His commandments, as Himself testifies; which, assuredly, with the divine help, they can do.” (Chapter XI)

    “In opposition also to the subtle wits of certain men who, by pleasing speeches and good works, seduce the hearts of the innocent, it is to be maintained that the received grace of justification is lost not only by infidelity [loss of faith], whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin whatever, though faith be not lost; thus defending the doctrine of the divine law, which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelieving, but the faithful also (who are) fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liars with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins; from which, with the help of divine grace, they can refrain, and on account of which they are separated from the grace of Christ.” (Chapter XV).

    The possession of Charity, while being a totally gratuitous gift of God, is therefore also the most freely merited thing in a person’s life. This, of course, is why St. Paul writes:

    Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord….But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

    In other words, Pope Francis statement that “true charity is always unmerited, unconditional…” is a heresy which falsifies not only the entire Catholic understanding of Justification, but all the doctrines (as enumerated above) which are integral to this central dogma of our faith. It simply destroys the entirety of Catholic Faith.

    This grievous heresy, as I have said, is rooted in a denial –thought to be made necessary by the findings of modern reductive science – of the substantial nature of the human soul. As Joseph Ratzinger wrote in his book, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life:

    The challenge to traditional theology today lies in the negation of an autonomous, ‘substantial’ soul with a built-in immortality in favor of that positive view which regards God’s decision and activity as the real foundation of a continuing human existence.” (p.150).

    What this entails is that the soul, instead of being defined in terms of substantiality, is now to be defined entirely in terms of ongoing, evolutionary relationship:

    ‘The soul’ is our term for that in us which offers a foothold for this relation [with the eternal]. Soul is nothing other than man’s capacity for relatedness with truth, with love eternal.” (p.259).

    This statement – that “Soul is nothing other than man’s capacity for relatedness with truth, with etermal love” – can be seen as the definitive statement of that new theology (and anthropology) which is destroying the Church. It redefines man and his soul entirely in terms of evolutionary becoming. And, of course, Pope Francis’ recurring statement that “time is greater than space” is simply another way of expressing this very same heresy.

    The irony, of course, is that in negating the substantial nature of the soul, and redefining it in terms of evolutionary relationship, both Benedict and Francis have entirely falsified man’s relationship to God. Such is the subtlety of satanically inspired philosophy and theology.

    There can therefore be no “clarification” of the errors of Amoris Laetitia,and no true defense of marriage, of the Holy Eucharist, or of the entire Catholic Faith, unless open warfare be now declared against reductive modern science and its profoundly destructive effect upon human thought and belief in regard to every area of man’s existence. Only thus can human souls be freed once again to believe rightly in God. The souls of Benedict and Francis depend just as much upon this liberating war as does the soul of a young person first encountering evolutionary theory or the eviscerating effect of atomic reductionism.

  3. He is NOT favorable to the “trad” position, especially the SSPX, if I recall.

    Which in its own way, looking at his exceptionally clear writings, is all the more reason he, in fact, OUGHT to be.

    He and I, though not of late, have communicated. He’s intellectually gifted and I understand his reasoning.

    Nevertheless, as Canon Gregory Hesse said: “The SSPX is not exactly filled with idiots.” (Yet, even he was ostracized by the US branch of the SSPX in the early 2000s, despite all the works he had performed in Europe on its behalf.)

    • This is my understanding too regarding Fr. Hesse. Fr. Hesse could recommend only the SSPX for any young man considering the priesthood. He continued to hold this position even after being shunned by the US branch of the SSPX. The only hesitancy I detected in Fr. Hesse regarding the SSPX was his observation that not all men are ideally suited for community life, which is a wise observation.

    • Personally, I care not if Larson is favorable to the trad position.
      If he has any useful truths to offer, I’m interested.
      As a heads up, however, it is good to know where he stands on that matter.

      • Not “trad” but SSPX. He defends the Traditional Mass. His position re SSPX is on his site.

        SSPX supporters must understand that the Church cannot endorse +Lefebvre’s consecrations. A pope could eventually rehabilitate his name following the argument of Canon Hesse, namely, that the Abp’s perception of an emergency might be the mitigating factor. I hope to see that someday. Beyond that, I don’t see that Catholics will ever agree with what the SSPX has done.

        • May I ask where you would send a young man (not “person” as described by Cardinal Cupich) to study for the priesthood? As we all know, without the priesthood there is no Mass.

        • Hi Anthony — this isn’t about me. Larson has strong opinions about the SSPX. My point is that no one should expect that there will be a day when Catholics as a majority will look favorably on what the SSPX did. That’s just a fact.

          But, as you know from a comment I made awhile ago–not to push my opinion on AQ as I respect John G’s desire to have respect for Abp. Lefebvre–I don’t see the consecrations. As for the seminary, I’d recommend the SSPX as well as FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King. Are there others? However, I’d have words of caution regarding all of them.

        • (I’ll reply to my original to keep the column wider.)

          John G = Fearless Leader = Servitium

          AQ history: I’m a latecomer, but a lurker from the pre-AQ days. In 2004 John started AQ. It was VERY pugilistic. We are super nice these days, compared to then. John eventually laid down rules, one of them being that anyone trashing Abp. Lefebvre is gone. (BTW, another rule was the use of “Father” in reference to Malachi Martin was verboten. That caused apoplexy for some anti-AQ’ers!)

          Your point on what FSSP and ICR will require priests to profess and/or do is well taken. A candidate has to steel himself and be ready to suffer in the dungeon for the faith. On the upside, though, he’ll have the ability to appeal outside his order for redress. This is where my caveat on SSPX comes in. As they have no canonical status, the only option to resolve a conflict is to leave–an unlikely event, I’d suspect.

          There are priests doing good in the FSSP and ICR. I heard a sermon from an ICR priest condemning the use of NFP as birth control, upholding the traditional teaching on the primary end of marriage. He made the point that nothing will change until the Church reforms the teaching on marriage. Now Francis is going the other direction. It’s war.

  4. I have always thought the Abp.’s appeal was justified. Canon Hesse certainly thought so, as well, and cited the canonical and historical justification for it.

    Nowadays, since TradWorld is just as fouled up – politically – as the heretical NO regime (although there is NO trad hierarchy – period,) I don’t even care anymore around which war council fires various Catholic braves smoke their peace pipes, as long as they DO recognize the blasphemies and heresies of V2 and the total insanity which has fallen upon us in its wake.

    If you read Louie Verrecchio’s column today [see comment below], even the Four Cardinals seem to be at odds with one another on the eve of their heap big attack on the Argentine pale face.

    Ugh! Not good, Kimosabe.

    • Is there trouble in Dubialand?

      Louie December 28, 2016

      In an interview published by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli of Vatican Insider on 27 December, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller offered comments that show signs of weakness, and perhaps even a degree of disunity, among the authors of the dubia.

      With respect to Cardinal Burke’s recent statement concerning a possible timeline for issuing the “formal act of correction” that one can expect should Francis persist in “positive silence” (see his Christmas Address to Roman Curia), Tornielli reported:

      “I believe,” Brandmüller adds, “that Cardinal Burke is convinced that a fraternal correction must in the first instance be made in camera caritatis”. In other words not publicly. “I must say,” he explained, “that the cardinal has expressed his own opinion in complete independence and may of course be shared by the other cardinals too”. Brandmüller thus leads us to believe that in the interviews following the publication of the “dubia”, Burke was not speaking as a spokesman for the four cardinals who signed the document.

      This raises some questions:

      ~Does Cardinal Brandmüller really “believe” that Cardinal Burke “is convinced that a fraternal correction must in the first instance be made in camera caritatis,” or is he using the media (see previous post) to subtly suggest that his brother cardinal should be so convinced?

      ~Whatever the case may be, why doesn’t Cardinal Brandmüller know for certain what Cardinal Burke envisions with respect to the formal act of correction that the entire world now eagerly awaits? Did they not discuss this at length even prior to embarking on this journey?

      ~After all, there are only four cardinals whose names are affixed to the dubia. Are they not sufficiently on the same page that any one of them may act as a “spokesman” for the others?

      Look, as far as I’m concerned, the dubia has already served to expose Francis as a formal heretic who embodies precisely the scenario described by Cardinal Burke in his latest interview:

      “If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic.”

      Even so, what we’re witnessing in these interviews taken as a whole doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the authors of said dubia moving forward.

      Specifically, we have to wonder if they even have a “game plan” for ridding the Church of Francis should he fail to convert to the Catholic faith.

      At this point, the last thing we need is for the process set in motion by the dubia to devolve into an episode of Keystone Cops. If we’re honest, however, we must admit that it very well may. In which case, individual well-formed Catholics are going to be left to…

      Oh, well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

      At this, let’s talk about Cardinal Brandmüller’s claim that the formal act of correction “must in the first instance be made in camera caritatis.”

      This statement appears to be causing a stir given the fact that the scandal invited by Amoris Laetitia is of a public nature.

      In describing the “formal act of correction,” Cardinal Burke said:

      “It would be direct, even as the dubia are, only in this case there would no longer be raising questions, but confronting the confusing statements in Amoris Laetitia with what has been the Church’s constant teaching and practice, and thereby correcting Amoris Laetitia.”

      As I read this statement, I think it is reasonable to conclude that Burke does indeed envision that the correction will be made, in the first instance, privately, just as the dubia was initially submitted to Francis privately.

      Remember, it was only in light of Francis’ refusal to respond to the dubia that the four cardinals took the step of “informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.”

      If this is to be the model moving forward, it would seem that we can well expect that the formal act of correction will likewise be made public only after it is initially made privately; that is, if indeed Francis refuses to defend the true doctrine with which he is confronted.

      If this be the case, clearly the cardinals should then issue a formal declaration informing the entire Church of Francis’ loss of office, “so that all might be able to be equally on guard in relation to him” (cf Fr. Pietro Ballerini), and then go about making formal arrangements for a conclave to replace him.

      [Note: Once again, we will leave discussion of l’elefante nella camera – the elephant in the room who otherwise self-identifies as “Pope Emeritus” (whatever in the Hell that is) – for another day. At some point soon, however, this ridiculous situation singlehandedly spun out of Modernist cloth by Benedict XVI must be addressed.]

      The million dollar question is whether or not any of the cardinal-authors of the dubia have the wherewithal to so press forward.

      If Cardinal Brandmüller’s recent comments are any indication, it’s anyone’s guess.

      In a December 23rd interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Cardinal Brandmüller, while making a transparent reference to Francis spoke rather boldly, saying:

      “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”

      Obviously, if in light of the formal act of correction Francis still refuses to embrace the dogmatic teachings reiterated in the dubia “as based on Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church,” he would thus be declaring himself all the more loudly and clearly to be a heretic, a promoter of schism, and therefore an anti-pope.

      And yet, four days later, this same Cardinal Brandmüller told Andrea Tornielli, “The dubia seek to encourage debate in the Church, as is indeed happening.”


      The matters under discussion in the dubia allow for absolutely, positively, no “debate” whatsoever. That’s the point!

      Brandmüller went on to say:

      “We cardinals expect a response to the ’dubia’, as the lack of a response would be seen by many within the Church as a rejection of the clear and articulate adherence to the clearly defined doctrine.”

      It goes from bad to worse…

      First, there is no reason to expect Francis to offer anything more in the way of a response than he already has. Rather, all we can reasonably expect from him is more “positive silence” (i.e., snide comments offered in homilies, audiences, and media interviews).

      More disturbing, however, is the idea that the status quo, even after a formal act of correction, “would be seen by many within the Church as a rejection of the clear and articulate adherence to the clearly defined doctrine.”

      No, it wouldn’t just be seen as such; it most certainly would be a rejection of defined doctrine!

      Forgive me for repeating myself here, but Brandmüller is making the case better than I did in the previous post:

      Jousting in the media over such grave matters as those addressed in the dubia is unbecoming a churchman; it necessarily invites contradictions and mixed messages that ultimately serve as the enemy of clarity. These cardinals would do well to exercise some “positive silence” of their own until such time as they are prepared to speak formally in the name of the Church.

      If nothing else is clear, it would seem that the four cardinal-authors of the dubia, at the very least, lack coherence.

      As such, one shouldn’t put too much stock in what any one of them happens to say in any a given interview.

      That said, based on their public commentary thus far, one would be hard pressed to feel confident that the cardinals do indeed have the wherewithal to press forward as they ought.

      Needless to say, I have no idea what to expect moving forward. As much I hate to say so, however, I can well imagine the following:

      – The “formal act of correction” once made in camera caritatis will be met with yet more concrete displays of pertinacity and contumacy on the part of Francis

      – The cardinal-authors of the dubia will then make the “formal act of correction” publicly known

      – They will not do so in the context of declaring that Francis has judged himself a formal heretic and has thus sentenced himself to the loss of office, much less will they proceed with the calling of a conclave

      – They will not do so even in the context of condemning Amoris Laetitia

      – They will, however, make public the formal act of correction as if only to provide an “authentic interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia by addressing what Burke called “the confusing statements” therein (not the blasphemies and heresies); thus leaving its author, Anti-Pope Francis, free to continue his assault on the Holy Catholic Church

      – When pressed to explain, they will claim to be exercising care for the unity of the Church; avoiding a formal schism

      Forgive the gloomy forecast, folks, but seriously, does anyone really think it more likely that they will move forward with a declaration of formal heresy and the calling of a new conclave?

      I don’t, not at this point, anyway.

      May it please God for me to be proven dead wrong, and soon.

    • Have to agree 100% here, gpm.
      And this attitude is not merely a Trad form of ecumenism.
      The only unity that ALL must have is unity in the Faith, and that means infallibly defined dogmas. Everything else can be argued, more or less legitimately depending on where it falls in the hierarchy of theological certainty.
      I’d say we are even excused from “religious submission” to non-infallible statements of all the popes since Pius XII, due to their proven unreliability as teachers of the Faith, and to disciplinary actions of the Holy See, provided we can put forth a plausibly reasonable argument, based on dogmas, or even merely *previous* disciplinary norms.
      Of course, that itself is just another opinion that others can disagree with — but they can’t disagree with dogmas.
      The shepherd is struck and the sheep are scattered. The sheep are going to be OK, though, as long as they stay in the well-worn paths that the previous shepherds tracked out for them. We can’t expect that there will be no traffic jams or crashes though.

  5. Point 1 – Benedict XVI “resigned” the Papal office.
    Point 2 – The “dubia” cardinals elected Modernist-Bergoglio to the papacy.
    Point 3 – Bergoglio has made heretical statements clearly in opposition to Doctrine and Tradition.
    Point 4 – The “dubia” cardinals now say Bergoglio must now be issued a formal correction.
    Point 5 – Souls are being lost in the wake of confusion over papal documents/statements.
    Point 6 – Ratzinger refuses “to come out of retirement” and re-assert control.
    Point 7 – “Keystone cops” scenario is already evident among the cardinals.
    Point 8 – Lucifer is having a field day wreaking havoc in the church.
    Point 9 – The “dubia” cardinals have allowed Modernism to infect the church.
    Point 10 – The :dubia” cardinals ask us to believe they are saving the church.
    Point 11 – Does anyone believe they are sincere who placed the TLM in the closet for 50+ yrs?
    Point 12 – Our lady of Farima’s prophecies have come true in our time.

    • Phaley, don’t you think that some points are a bit problematical?
      Re/ 2, it seems quite likely that the dubia cardinals, though not paragons of Tradition, would never have voted for Bergoglio.
      Re/ 9, what evidence do we have that these cardinals were not doing what they could to prevent Modernism from infecting the Church? True, they didn’t come out with guns blazing up until recently, but neither was Arb. Lefebvre or any other fighter for Tradition *always* publicly pugilistic. Conversions happen, and most often gradually.
      Re/ 10, if the dubia Cardinals *have* really converted — and it’s hard to believe they haven’t, given the persecution they surely knew they’d have to face — they *are* saving the Church, or rather, helping to do so.
      IMO, of course. :o)

      • With respect to your views, allow me to say that what these cardinals are doing is closing the barn door after all the animals have been scattered. Not one of them have I heard speak out against the most incredible insult to Almighty God that His Church has ever levied – the placing of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass codified in 1570 by the great Pope St. Pius V in the closet during the most critical time in the Church and the dumbing down not only of the liturgy but of all the sacraments in the traditional rite. If that isn’t a state of emergency, then I don’t know what is. The smoke of Satan has entered the Church, and these cardinals are talking about a “formal correction” in private? I’m sorry, but my Irish is really up over this sad state of affairs. As for Bergoglio sending Burke to the periphery, I would have told him to “stuff it” in no uncertain terms.

        • phaley said:

          The smoke of Satan has entered the Church …


          • Phaley,
            All that you say is surely true.
            I’m just suggesting that it’s probably better to avoid stomping on the smoking flax. We should follow Paul VI’s example, as hilariously illustrated by Tom, but in this case as regards the smolderation started by the Four Cardinals.

        • Traditionalists Sanction Protestant Communities Over Vatican II Liturgical Hacks

          DECEMBER 29, 2016 BY EOTT ADMIN

          In a drastic move to secure traditionalist Catholics from liturgical hackers, the Burke administration on Thursday slapped a number of Protestant communities and individuals with sanctions over their alleged Vatican II hacks of the Mass.

          “These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to Protestants, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm the sanctity of the Mass in violation of established universal norms of behavior,” Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a statement.

          The move puts an end to decades of speculation over how liturgical traditionalists would respond to what it said was a widespread digital campaign orchestrated by liberal Vatican officials in an attempt to disrupt the holiness of the Mass. More recently, intelligence officials from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter have concluded that a number of high-ranking Vatican officials in the 1960’s were actually hoping to tilt the Mass in favor of Protestantism with its liturgical hacking.

          “These actions are not the sum total of our response to the Protestants’ aggressive activities,” Burke said. “We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.”

          Protestant officials have consistently denied any role in the liturgical hack of Vatican II, and earlier this week vowed to fight back against any traditionalist punishment.

          “Frankly speaking, we are tired of lies about the Protestant role in the Second Vatican Council that continues to be spread in the Church,” Baptist Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mario Bronfman said in a statement. “We were simply observing.”

  6. Point 13 – Archbishop Lefebvre acted out of a state of emergency – IMO, of course.

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