Friday, 18 November 2016

Four Cardinals and a Pope


The situation with the four cardinals who sought and failed to get clarification from the pope on Amoris Laetitia is a fascinating one. For those not aware of what has been going on there is a summary here.

What interests me is what kind of canonical procedure the four plan to use for their formal correction of the pope. I don`t have any doubts about Cardinal Burke`s vast canonical expertise but all I can get as far as is canon 1404 Prima sedes a nemine judicetur ( The First See is  judged by no-one). Yet Cardinal Burke says there is a procedure for correcting a pope so I look forward to finding out what it is and how it works. Apart from St Paul challenging St Peter at Antioch all that comes to mind is the posthumous trial of Pope Formosus  (Pope Beautiful!) in 897.I wonder what precedents Cardinal Burke has in mind? Interesting times indeed.


  1. Father, you seem, as a Canon Lawyer, to doubt the ability of the four cardinals to validly question the Holy Father's opinion on this subject. I have no doubt that you are correct.

    However, the result of the Holy Father's thoughts, contained in a footnote to "Amoris Laetitia", plus his "off-the-cuff" remarks on other subjects, usually uttered on his way back to Rome from foreign trips, his "Alitalia Sermons", has been to sow utter confusion in the minds of faithful Catholics everywhere.

    Frankly, father, we could do without this. We don't ask for much, just to be able to attend Mass without constantly wondering what His Holiness is going to say next.

    I am sure the four cardinals are only acting in the best interests of loyal, faithful non-rigid Catholics.

    Terry Middleton

  2. Slightly off topic, but.....

    I have just spent a few hours watching Evensong from Westminster Abbey, and the Mass from Westminster Cathedral featuring Pope Benedict. I am now about to dry my eyes, what have we lost???

  3. It seems to make sense that there logically must be a recourse of correction for the Pope, for authority without balance can go quite wrong. I pray that Pope Francis actually answers the questions.


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