Wednesday 21st February 2024

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Leaven In The World… Two Academics Enter the Lists Against The Filial Correction

October 16, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK, M.A.

The battle is joined and the duel of the academics over the fate of the Filial Correction is heating up. On one side of the ring we have Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., and Dawn Eden Goldstein, STD. On the other side we have, as of this writing, 235 signatories of the Correction.
Many of these are also members of the academic world, and, like Fastiggi and Goldstein, also have a Ph.D. or STD after their names.
Some signers listed, although not currently breathing the rarefied air of academia, possess STLs and certainly academic degrees of some kind. A smaller number of the signatories are listed simply as pastors or religious.
Fastiggi and Goldstein, in “Critics of Amoris Laetitia ignore Ratzinger’s rules for faithful theological discourse” published by LaStampa.it, have entered the fray to take a swing at the Correction by arguing that those who composed it and those who support it are violating a teaching of Benedict XVI. They argue that, for this and other reasons, therefore, “it seems that the case for the Amoris Laetitia critics’ self-proclaimed ‘Filial Correction’ of Pope Francis is weakening.”
They claim that Joseph Shaw, in making the case that the Pope has demonstrated an intent to allow the marriage document to be used to support heterodox teachings weakens the case for the Correction because the statements the Pope has made in this regard are not “magisterial statements.”
De Mattei, in his Corrispondenza Romana of September 27, translated by Rorate Caeli, makes the opposite case, that of a strengthening effect of the Correction as support grows worldwide:
“The ‘filial correction’ addressed to Pope Francis by more than 60 priests and scholars of the Church, has had an extraordinary impact all over the world. There was no lack of those who tried to minimize the initiative, declaring the number of signatories ‘to be limited and marginal.’ Yet if the initiative is irrelevant, why have its repercussions been so widespread in all the media outlets of the five continents, including countries like Russia and China?”
He cites additional statistics to make the case for the widespread reaction to the Correction: “Steve Skojec on OnePeterFive reports that research on Google News resulted in more than 5,000 news articles, while there were 100,000 visits on the site www.correctiofilialis.org in a space of 48 hours.”
The alphabet soup of letters following their names no doubt implies a rarefied atmosphere around the thoughts expressed as opposed to the mere “entry-level” status of those with an M.A. conferred by a humble U.S. seminary, which group includes most priests today. Some have dismissed the Correction as a mere letter with 60 signatures.
Some folks ooze condescension these days in reaction to anyone who breathes a word in support of theological and sacramental facts available to anyone who cares to read them in black and white on the pages of the Catechism or the Code of Canon Law.
We would not presume to distract the exalted gaze of our betters. Those more likely to merit the honor of dialogue with Goldstein and Fastiggi are to be found among the many signatories who also inhabit the same world as they do.
All of the preceding notwithstanding, I will commit the presumption of commenting on their move against the Correction.
The controversy over Amoris Laetitia, which is at the heart of the matter treated in the Correctio Filialis for those readers who are unaware, reminds me of another moment in the life of the Church when it was instead the Pope who was opposed when he spoke out to defend marriage and the capacity for the gift of new life at the heart of the relationship it sanctifies. Then it was academics who ganged up against Paul VI and did their best to discourage any positive reception of what was and is undoubtedly a hard teaching for many, perhaps most, Catholics.
Dr. William E. May was one of those academics among an infamous group at the Catholic University of America who sided in 1968 with the many in opposing Humanae Vitae. That encyclical affirmed that any intention to frustrate the giving and receiving of life in the marital act, including that always present with the use of contraception, is a moral evil and thus to be absolutely proscribed.
Twenty-five years later, when I hosted a Humanae Vitae 25th Anniversary Conference in honor of Cardinal O’Boyle at a parish in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Dr. May honored us by speaking at the event. He told us that at the time of the dissent he sided with the other professors at Catholic University only for the reason that he sought to be included in the club of his peers.
Although counting heads in support of or against a theological matter does not determine the truth or error of it, certainly the evidence of resonance among a peer group of theologians, bishops, and others who treat of theology on an intense and continuing basis can count a great deal.
Numbers pro and con aside, Goldstein and Fastiggi hang their thesis of a “weak” Correction partly on the fact that Shaw made a comment about the Pope’s intentions:
“Dr. Joseph Shaw, one of the signers of the Correctio Filialis, recently wrote: ‘It is not that we’re saying that the text of Amoris cannot be bent into some kind of orthodoxy. What we are saying is that it has become clear that orthodoxy is not what Pope Francis wants us to find there’.”
They make the case that Shaw’s claim that Pope Francis doesn’t want orthodoxy, however, is based on subjective impressions derived from mostly non-authoritative statements of the Pope. This does not seem to be a very strong foundation for accusing the Roman Pontiff of promoting false teachings and heresies, they say. One should in this matter consider only his words contained in official teaching documents and disregard the rest.
This contention flies in the face of common sense. The Pope himself has made clear that he intends to teach magisterially even outside the bounds of certain documents.
Goldstein and Fastiggi continue their case thus:
“The supporters of the Correctio and other critics of Amoris Laetitia often try to contrast what Pope Francis says in this exhortation to teachings of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is interesting, therefore, to note that many of these same critics fail to follow the guidelines for theologians published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1990 when John Paul II was pope and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, was prefect of the CDF. These guidelines are contained in the instruction, Donum Veritatis (Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian) (3) — a document that traditionalist opponents of Amoris Laetitia, such as Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, ironically claim to hold in high esteem.”
“Donum Veritatis was issued to explain the need for Catholic theologians to maintain communion with the Magisterium of the Church. Building upon Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium §37 and Canon 212§3 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Donum Veritatis does recognize that theologians might have problems with certain magisterial teachings. If these problems persist, ‘the theologian has the duty to make known to the Magisterial authorities the problems raised by the teaching in itself, in the arguments proposed to justify it, or even in the manner in which it is presented.’ The theologian, however, ‘should do this in an evangelical spirit and with a profound desire to resolve the difficulties’.”
There’s just one catch to this thesis of Goldstein and Fastiggi: The framers and signatories of the Correction don’t have a problem with any magisterial teachings. It is rather the vague formulations that undermine magisterial teaching and the omissions of relevant magisterial teaching in Amoris Laetitia that has moved them to act and so many others to support them.
No, as De Mattei wrote so well, “The main enemy of truth is not error, but ambiguity.”

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Irreverent funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for trans activist sparks outcry

A raucous funeral liturgy for a high-profile trans activist and sex-worker advocate was held Thursday in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, sparking an outcry on social media that the iconic church was misused to advance an ideological agenda at odds with Catholic teaching. The Manhattan cathedral hosted the Feb. 15 funeral service for Cecilia Gentili, an activist who helped to decriminalize sex work in New York, lobbied for “gender identity” to be added as…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz demands DC preserve bodies of five late-term aborted babies for investigation

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that the remains of five late-term aborted babies in Washington, D.C., not be discarded before an autopsy is done to determine whether federal law was violated by the abortionist responsible for their deaths. “To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future,” Cruz said in his Feb. 8 letter,…Continue Reading

Vatican doctrine office releases note on discerning the validity of the sacraments

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a note on Saturday on discerning the validity of the sacraments. The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández is titled “Gestis Verbisque,” or “Deeds and Words.”  Fernández wrote in his introduction to the text that the note on the sacraments was written “to help bishops in their task as promoters and custodians of the liturgical life of the particular Churches…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland Tapped as CPAC Keynote Speaker

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former Roman Catholic bishop in Texas who was removed by Pope Francis for his traditional teachings, will be a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC gala dinner next month in Washington, D.C. Strickland, who has risen to national prominence in the wake of his firing by the pope, is set to speak at CPAC’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner on Feb. 23. CPAC host Matt Schlapp told Newsmax that the bishop has…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland champions ‘sanctity of life’ at 2024 March for Life

(LifeSiteNews) –– LifeSiteNews caught up with the beloved former bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, at the 2024 March for Life in Washington, D.C. this Friday. In an impromptu video recorded by LifeSite’s Louis Knuffke, Strickland praised the large turnout at this year’s march despite the cold and snowy weather, remarking that “the sanctity of life is in all weather and at all times.”

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)