Written by Father Celatus
By now much of the world is aware that four Cardinals of the Church have presented Pope Francis with five dubia regarding the papal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Among these Cardinals—the only one not retired (yet)—is Cardinal Burke, who provided this helpful description of dubia in an interview:
“Dubia is the plural form of the Latin word dubium which means a question or a doubt. When, in the Church, an important question or doubt arises about the faith itself or its practice, it is customary for bishops or priests or the faithful themselves to articulate formally the question or doubt and to present it to the Roman Pontiff and his office which is competent to deal with it. The formulation of an individual question or doubt is a dubium. If more than one question or doubt is articulated, they are called dubia.”
As the Cardinal notes in his elaboration, the faithful themselves can present dubia to the papal office. Already several years ago—back in the Tridentine indult days—some traditional Catholics exercised this right and submitted dubia to gain concessions from the Vatican that Catholics may in good conscience fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending Masses at SSPX chapels and could make financial offerings at those Masses, so long as they did not intend any schism. Of course, the SSPX has never been in schism.
So what shall we say about the five dubia presented by the four Cardinals to Francis of Rome? It is a good start, though long overdue and with a limited scope. Perhaps we can assist the Cardinals of the Church by offering for their consideration additional dubia that could be presented to errant Francis:
1. Whether in light of the traditional association of the Foot Washing at the Last Supper with the priestly office of the Apostles and their successors that you intended to teach, by your personal example of the inclusion of women in the Mandatum of the Sacred Liturgy of Holy Thursday, that women may be admitted to Holy Orders and the ministerial office of the priesthood?
2. Whether in light of the traditional association of the Foot Washing at the Last Supper with Christian baptism that you intended to teach, by your personal example of the inclusion of infidels in the Mandatum of the Sacred Liturgy of Holy Thursday, that non-believers share in the supernatural grace of baptism or are equal in divine favor and supernatural standing before God?
3. Whether in your comments upon a Gospel text—which follow—that you intended to teach that the Immaculate Blessed Mother sinned against God by accusing the Lord of “lies” and deception? “The Gospel tells us nothing: if she said a word or not … She was quiet, but in her heart – how much she said to the Lord! ‘You told me then – that’s what we have read – that He will be great. You told me that You would give him the throne of his father David, that he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And now I see Him there!’ The Blessed Mother was human! And perhaps she would have wanted to say, ‘lies! I have been cheated!’”
4. Whether you intended to teach that there exists no Purgatory or eternity of Hell and that souls which do not achieve a state of beatitude will be annihilated when you—allegedly—said the following in an interview? “There is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the beatitude of living in the presence of the Father. The souls that are annihilated will not take part in that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is finished.”
5. Whether you intended to teach by your own pastoral example in the course of a phone call to a Catholic who was in an adulterous relationship that Catholics in an objective state of mortal sin can worthily receive Holy Communion and should present themselves for Holy Communion?
6. Whether by your letter to the Argentinian bishops affirming their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia you affirm that Catholics in an objective state of mortal sin can be admitted to Holy Communion?
7. Whether your liturgical practice of failing to genuflect in the presence of the Most Holy Eucharist is a willful disregard of liturgical rubrics and longstanding practice and reflects your personal doubt or disregard for the Real Substantial Presence of Christ, as defined by Sacred Tradition?
8. Whether you had knowledge of or conspired with or cooperated in any manner with any Cardinals of the 2013 papal election consistory to advance or secure your own election as pope?
9. Whether you had knowledge of or conspired with or cooperated in any manner with anyone within the Vatican or elsewhere to occasion the abdication of Pope Benedict by force or fear?
10. Whether by your question “Who am I to judge?” you intended to teach that you as Pope or the Church in general lacks the authority to objectively judge homosexual activity as mortally sinful?
11. Whether by your statement, “And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian”, you intended to deny the right of a government to regulate its borders for the protection and common good of its own citizens?
12. Whether in your papal prayer video in which you state, “In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all, we are all children of God”, you intend to teach that there is ontological equality between the baptized children of God and the non-baptized?
13. Whether in the same papal prayer video in which an image of the Christ Child is presented among symbols of false religions you intend to teach that false religions of themselves can be salvific?
14. Whether your public praise of dissident theologian Bernard Haring and your support for a moral theology of “discernment” is intended as a rejection of the immutable character of natural law?
15. Whether your refusal to respond to the five dubia of four Cardinals regarding Amoris Laetitia is because you adhere to the serious errors in doctrine and practice for which they ask clarifications?
Imagine that! With a little effort and no embellishment, we were able to triple the number of dubia arising from this pontificate. The fact is this pontificate is one dubium after another on a nearly daily basis and the pontificate itself is one BIG dubium. How about a new name for Francis: Pope Dubius Maximus?