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An Academic Denounces the Cardinals’s “Frightening Silence”

The Catholic philosopher who teaches at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, “has said that he sees a ‘terrible danger of complete collapse of the Catholic Church in many countries,’ unless the cardinals speak up about a ‘tremendous crisis’ within the Church, one he says is possibly the greatest she has ever faced.”

Josef Seifert exhorts all cardinals, bishops and leaders in the Church to defend the truth of Catholic teaching in the face of the relativism and morality of the present situation. He denounces the “frightening silence of the majority cardinals and bishops on this unique crisis from the top of the Church down.”

The Exhortation Amoris lætitia

With regard to the Apostolic Exhortation on the family, Amoris Lætitia (March 19, 2016), he does not hesitate to write that the pope himself “has begun to cast doubt, even to deny, the essential content of Scripture and the teaching of the Church.” “I don’t understand how, to all appearances, all the cardinals, except the four Dubia cardinals, have not spoken clearly against such errors and against the obscuration of Catholic teaching.”

[In November 2016, with Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, both deceased in 2017, Cardinals Raymond Burke, Prefect Emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, and Walter Brandmüller, former President of the Pontiff Committee of historical sciences, had published their questions – dubia – about the pope’s exhortation on the family. They received no reply. Editor’s note].

“This is why,” the Austrian academic says, “in the face of the Arian crisis – when a bishop, St. Athanasius, and many lay people have rushed to defend the truth – it is necessary today that even us miseri laici [miserable laity] rise to defend the truth.”

The Abu Dhabi Interfaith Declaration

Professor Seifert also strongly targets the Abu Dhabi Interfaith Declaration (4 February 2019). Addressing the cardinals, he said, “You don’t seem to understand why many Catholics can criticize Pope Francis because he is ‘the Pope.’ For my part, I do not understand how, apparently, all the cardinals, with the exception of the four Dubia cardinals, can remain silent and not ask critical questions of the Pope.”

“For there is much that Pope Francis says and does that should elicit not only critical questions, but also loving criticism [for the sake of the Church and the Pope]. Let us remember the Declaration on the Fraternity of All People, signed by Pope Francis with the Grand Imam Ahmed Mohammed Al-Tayeb, which states: ‘The pluralism and diversity of religions, color, sex, ethnicity and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”

“Wouldn’t it be a heresy and a terrible confusion to claim that God — just as he willed the difference of the two sexes – i.e., with his positive will – also directly willed the difference of religions and therefore all idolatry and heresy? Yes, isn’t the Abu Dhabi Declaration far worse than a heresy, namely apostasy?”

“How can God, with His positive creative will, have wanted religions that reject Jesus’ divinity, deny the Most Holy Trinity, reject baptism and all sacraments and the priesthood? Or how could He even have wanted polytheism or the cult of the idol Baal or Pachamama? Doesn’t this totally contradict the message of the prophet Elijah and all other prophets and the words of Jesus?”

Therefore, the Catholic philosopher asks, “Shouldn’t all of you cardinals and bishops speak  your firm ‘non possumus’ when Francis demands that this ‘document’ be the basis for the formation of priests in all seminaries and theological faculties?”

“God cannot have ever directly and positively willed or approved even heretical Christian confessions, rather than merely allowing them [as he allows evil, without ever wanting it], since these deny pillars of the biblical and Catholic faith such as the biblical teaching that our eternal salvation is not wrought by God’s grace alone, but requires our free cooperation and good works.”

“How then can He, with His direct and positive will, want religions that reject the whole foundation of the Christian faith and Christ Himself?”

Civil Unions Between Homosexuals

On the subject of civil unions between homosexuals [approved by Francis, especially in the documentary “Francesco,” October 2020], Josef Seifert recalls that Francis’s “statement that one should promote civil alliances/civil unions of homosexuals, directly contradicts the clear statements of the Church’s Magisterium (cf. the considerations on the drafts of a legal recognition of cohabitation between homosexual persons of 3 June 2003, published under the pontificate of John Paul II), but above all the Holy Scripture and the entire Church tradition! Shouldn’t all of you Cardinals, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider did wonderfully, perform a true act of love for the Pope and express this publicly and as clearly as he did, with all due clarity?”

He warned: “Is it not clear that a next Pope must condemn as apostate this Abu Dhabi teaching that Francis sends to all seminaries of priests and Catholic faculties? How can the Church justify anathematizing Pope Honorius for an infinitely lesser deviation from the Faith and condemning him if she does not condemn such outrageous statements? Wouldn’t all the cardinals have to write to the Pope like one man and ask him to withdraw this apostatic declaration? Should not all cardinals write to the pope as one man and ask him to withdraw this apostate statement?”

“Must you cardinals not tremble before the moment when Christ will ask you how you could fulfil Jesus’ solemn missionary mandate, if you did not protest against the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which says the diametrical opposite of the Jesus’ words?”

Be Ready to Shed Blood for the True Faith

In conclusion, the Austrian scholar insists: “Should not all the Cardinals have agreed with Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and the other three Dubia Cardinals and demanded this clarification, thereby helping the Pope to proclaim the truth? Should not all the cardinals have stood up like one man and supported the fraterna correctio that Cardinal Burke announced but never carried out?”

“Is it not incumbent on you, cardinals who should be ready to give their blood for the true faith, to raise your voice against the heresies of which critics of the Pope have proved that Pope Francis has committed a number of them or at least suggested them? Instead of a prohibition against criticizing statements of the Pope, is there not rather a commandment of fraternal or filial rebuke?”

“I ask you, however, to raise your voice for the unvarnished truth and also to move other cardinals to speak the truth opportune-importune, even if this might reveal the terrible crisis and schism in the Church in the midst of which we find ourselves and even if some pusillae animae might mistakenly see in it a scandalum.”

For, according to Professor Seifert: “This is not a cultural issue of a Latin American Pope. It is not a question of taste, style or temperament. No, it is the yes or no to Christ who told us to preach the Gospel to all people and nations; whoever believes in Him will be saved, but whoever does not believe in Him will be condemned [cf. Mk 16:16]? Can the Pope de facto abrogate this missionary mandate through the Abu Dhabi Declaration?”

It is therefore a matter of imploring the pope “to find the sure compass of his doctrine only in the truth of the Holy Scripture and the unchanging dogmas of the Church, and to not allow himself to change even one iota of them, let alone the substance of the faith.”

For this, a supernatural force is necessary for cardinals whose red robe indicates that they must be ready for martyrdom: “Fight courageously and without reserve for the truth, for Christ and the Church, and for the souls, including that of Pope Francis, and for the unity of all Christians, which is only possible in the truth!”

On May 30, 2023, Vatican scholar Edward Pentin published an open letter from Professor Josef Seifert addressed to the cardinals of the Catholic Church on April 30, on the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, who, according to the Austrian academic, “she uniquely combined the most intimate reverence for the Pope as Vicar of Christ on earth with an unsparing criticism of two very different Popes.”


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