This two-part series of videos follow the incident that divided the Catholic church from within the Vatican. An international group of 62 Catholics delivered a challenge to Pope Francis, charging him with propagating heresies in his 2016 suggestion that divorced and remarried Catholics could receive Communion, a sacrament from which they are currently barred.
After they had received no satisfactory response from the pope, they released their “Filial Correction” to the public in September. Since then, the number of signatories has grown to 235.
The incident — Catholics challenging the pope, even accusing him of heresy — no doubt seems shocking. But challenges to papal authority are nothing new in the Catholic Church. Laypeople, theologians and priests have claimed the right to define the nature of Catholicism throughout its 2,000-year history.
Many of the signatories of the Filial Correction are Americans, and they are part of a long history of American laypeople challenging priests, and American laypeople and clergy challenging the pope, over matters of doctrine, governance and culture. What is notable about this document, though, is that it accuses the pope of “modernism.” This is not a rejection or condemnation of modern life, however. Instead, “modernism” refers to a particular set of beliefs formally condemned by church doctrine as heretical, including the belief that church dogma can change over time, which the authors argue the pope has advanced with his directions on the pastoral care of Catholics who are divorced or remarried.
This is PART 1.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Interlude song by: Last Days