It’s very well done, and far ranging. The “Elucidation” at the end, calling out Modernism and Lutheranism, is very much appreciated. They also did a great job at PR, very professional, with a coordinated release in multiple languages, and several mainstream outlets picking it up.
On the downside, there is plenty of genuflecting to Vatican II, although perhaps that was a strategic move deemed necessary to promote acceptance.
You really do need to read the whole thing, not just the media summaries HERE.
I’m pressed for time, but there is one quick point I want to make for today. The paragraph I’ve seen written about the most is this:
Those Catholics, however, who do not clearly grasp the limits of papal infallibility are liable to be led by the words and actions of Your Holiness into one of two disastrous errors: either they will come to embrace the heresies which are now being propagated, or, aware that these doctrines are contrary to the word of God, they will doubt or deny the prerogatives of the popes. Others again of the faithful are led to put in doubt the validity of the renunciation of the papacy by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Thus, the Petrine office, bestowed upon the Church by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sake of unity and faith, is so used that a way is opened for heresy and for schism. Further, noting that practices now encouraged by Your Holiness’s words and actions are contrary not only to the perennial faith and discipline of the Church but also to the magisterial statements of Your predecessors, the faithful reflect that Your Holiness’s own statements can enjoy no greater authority than that of former popes; and thus the authentic papal magisterium suffers a wound of which it may not soon be healed.
The fact that the authors felt the need to include the bolded sentence is quite interesting, especially given the July 16th date of the letter. Also, in the sentence that precedes it, what exactly are they referring to when they use the word “popes”? But I think there are bigger implications if you read the paragraph that immediately proceeds:
We, however, believe that Your Holiness possesses the charism of infallibility, and the right of universal jurisdiction over Christ’s faithful, in the sense defined by the Church. In our protest against Amoris laetitia and against other deeds, words and omissions related to it, we do not deny the existence of this papal charism or Your Holiness’s possession of it, since neither Amoris laetitia nor any of the statements which have served to propagate the heresies which this exhortation insinuates are protected by that divine guarantee of truth. Our correction is indeed required by fidelity to infallible papal teachings which are incompatible with certain of Your Holiness’s statements.
So after taking great pains to claim that AL was not infallibly promulgated because no precise formulations were used in its language (I did not quote from those passages), now we get to the part where previously doctrines promulgated infallibly are in conflict with the teaching of Bergoglio.
I’ve read this paragraph several times. Read the two paragraphs again, in sequence. It’s very carefully worded. Maybe it’s bias, but it seems to me what it is saying is this: “Listen here, pal. We are already doing you a HUGE favor by giving you the benefit of the doubt, for now, that you really are the pope. But party time is over, and it’s time for you to prove it. If you really did receive the charism of infallibility because you were validly elected, then you need to profess teaching on these matters that is in communion with perennial Church teaching. Or else…”
Now think about the stunning poll over at Saint Louis Catholic, where 72% of respondents confessed to believing Benedict is pope. The authors and signatories of the Correctio could not have had any idea about the enormity of support behind this thesis. Also, not one of us in the Benedict camp could have signed on to the Correctio, due to the insertion of the second quoted paragraph, giving it almost a double effect. It’s something along the lines of this paragraph being strategic, whether the authors intended it or not at the time, because it offers the opportunity to open war on a second front.
I need to spend a little more time with it.