An American Bishop and WWII Veteran Signs the Filial Correction

Source: FSSPX News

Bishop René Henry Gracida.

World War II veteran Bishop Gracida has signed the Filial Correction in which many clerics and laymen implore the Holy Father to clarify Amoris Laetitia.

Bishop René Henry Gracida is 94 years old. He served as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Miami then as bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee before becoming bishop of Corpus Christi until he retired in 1997.

Before his priestly ordination, Bishop Gracida served in the Air Force during World War II, during which he went on no less than 32 missions in the European skies to fight the German Luftwaffe.

His signature makes Nicolas Senèze’s analysis of the Filial Correction null and void. The journalist wrote a bit hastily in the columns of La Croix on September 24 that the number of signatures on the “petition” was “very limited and marginal”, with “only one bishop who does not have a post in the Church, Bishop Fellay”, and added that the signatures do not go beyond the “circle of traditionalists” and “anti-Francis bloggers”.

Not a "Rigid" Bishop

Bishop Gracida was a close friend of John Paul II and Mother Angelica, whom he encouraged to found the channel EWTN, and he certainly does not fit into the narrow profile the La Croix chronicler tried to impose on the signatories of this filial letter (and not “petition”) to the Holy Father.

On his blog – for the bishop is very up-to-date on technology despite his years – the prelate says he wrote his “congratulations and gratitude” to the organizers of the Filial Correction. 

He also told Catholic Herald that he hopes “other bishops will sign on to this lay initiative” in order to prompt the Pope to respond. 

Bishop Gracida referred to Blessed John Henry Newman’s history of the Arian crisis, which describes:

it was the overwhelming resistance of the laity to the Arian heresy which eventually persuaded the majority of bishops ‘who were either Arian or semi-Arian’ to support the efforts of St Athanasius.

The retired bishop concluded by saying:

At this critical moment in the life of the institutional Church, I do not see how it is possible for anyone who is well-informed regarding the issues that are involved in the controversies surrounding the present pontificate to remain silent.