The Filial Correction: Reactions Begin to Emerge from the Eternal City

Source: FSSPX News

Cardinal Müller distances himself; irony from the director of the Holy See Press Office; additional explanations from Cardinal Burke: FSSPX.News draws up a list of the first reactions to the Correctio Filialis published on September 24, 2017.

Update: Since this story was published, an interview was given with a short response from Pope Francis on the FIlial Correction.  See: "The Holy Father Has Reacted to the Filial Correction"


"The Successor of St. Peter deserves full respect for his person and divine mandate, and on the other hand his honest critics deserve a convincing answer.” Such was the reaction of the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the National Catholic Register, although he did not directly allude to the Filial Correction addressed to the Holy Father on August 11, 2017, and published on September 24. 

More Dialogue? 

For Cardinal Müller, the Church needs “more dialogue and reciprocal confidence” rather than “polarization and polemics”: one solution to this controversy, in the prelate’s opinion, could be for the Holy Father to appoint a group of cardinals that would begin a “theological disputation” with those voicing the most serious objections to Amoris Laetitia.

The prefect emeritus believes there is an urgent need to

...avoid a new schism and separations from the one Catholic Church, whose permanent principle and foundation of its unity and communion in Jesus Christ is the current pope, Francis, and all bishops in full communion with him.

May we take the liberty of regretting that the cardinal failed to mention here that the mission Christ entrusted to the successor of Peter is inseparably bound to the transmission of the Gospel of the Divine Founder in all its doctrinal purity and integrity?

No Official Response Expected from Rome 

The Register believes that the Holy See will not respond to the Filial Correction for at least two reasons: first of all because the address was “signed by only a relatively small number,” and secondly because

one of them is Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), whom they view as a renegade in charge of a priestly fraternity not in full communion with Rome.

Yet the Superior General of the SSPX did go out of his way to say in his interview with FSSPX.News on September 26 that “it is less the number of signatures than the objective value of the arguments that counts.”

The Filial Correction was nonetheless heard in the Vatican: Greg Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office, alluded to it when on Monday, September 25, a rumor spread that the Vatican had blocked access to the web page of the Filial Correction on its territory: “You can’t really imagine we would do this for a letter with 60 names?” he wrote ironically in the columns of the newspaper Il Giornale. Would we be over-reading his reaction if we saw it as a proof that the text did indeed meet its target?

The Correction and the Dubia 

Cardinal Burke wrote in the columns of the Register:

The Filial Correction is an initiative independent of the one the late cardinals Caffara and Meisner and Cardinal Brandmüller and myself took with the Dubia.

Professor Joseph Shaw who is the spokesman for the Filial Correction explained to the same newspaper that they deliberately avoided involving the authors of the Dubia in this address to the pope, in order to preserve its independent nature.

Robert Royal, President of the Faith and Reason Institute, summed up the situation in his own way:

It is not for me to advise the Vatican, but showing respect and listening to those who have adhered for so many years to the teaching of the Church would be a good sign for reestablishing the famous dialogue everyone is always talking about everywhere else.