Christianity Is Not the Only Way to Heaven Presbyterian Pastor Says

God is not a Christian-I am

Leader of the second largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner has declared that Christianity is not the only way to heaven.

Kershner, 45, who leads the 5,500-member Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, expressed her belief in a podcast with the Chicago Sun-Times after she was asked the question “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?” ShannonKershner220 

“No,” Kershner replied bluntly.

“God’s not a Christian. I mean, we are … For me, the Christian tradition is the way to understand God and my relationship with the world and other humans and it’s for the way for me to move into that relationship but I’m not about to say what God can and cannot do in other ways and with other spiritual experiences,”

she explained.

The Christian Post reached out to Kershner’s office for further comment Friday but she did not respond by press time.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) preaches “the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers.”

“Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ,” the church declares. 

According to the Presbyterian Panel Survey, 2012-2014, 45 percent of PCUSA pastors strongly disagree or disagree that “only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.”

Author Robert Velarde, who is a former editor for Focus on the Family, argues that anyone who accepts the Bible as true would also accept that Jesus, who is the head of the Christian church, is the only way to heaven. 

“In the Bible, Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me’ (John 14:6, NIV). In Acts 4:12, the Apostle Peter said of Jesus, ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved,” he wrote in “Is Christ the Only Way?” for Focus on the Family.

“The question is not whether or not this is a ‘narrow-minded’ position, but whether or not the claims are true. Jesus spoke of a personal creator God who calls everyone to repentance, offering redemption to those who will receive Him. This is not an intolerant or mean-spirited position to hold. If it’s true, then sharing this message is the most natural and loving thing to do,” he added.

Before sharing her position of salvation, Kershner, who started at Fourth Presbyterian church in 2014, said she regularly doubted the existence of God at times.

For instance, in the aftermath of the deadly Las Vegas massacre, she said, “God has some explaining to do.”

“Doubt is healthy, doubt is not the opposite of faith, it’s fear,” she said.

When asked if she believed there is a Heaven, Kershner said “I believe so.”

“… I believe there is a sense that death is not the last word. I do believe there is a sense of homecoming in God, a relationship. I don’t know what that looks like. I’m trying not to think of it temporally or spatially,” she added. “I do believe that life continues in God in a way I can’t explain or understand.”

She picked Isaiah 25 and the poetry of Revelation 22 as among her favorite scriptures.

When asked what she thought about hell, she said she doesn’t think the God she knows from the Bible will be sending anyone there.

[written by  Leonardo Blair ]

Christians embrace ‘positive alternative’ to Halloween

Many Christians have previously ignored Halloween altogether, believing it to be a celebration which goes against their faith. But now churches are encouraging practices which add religious elements to the festival.

Originally published in The Telegraph 

Christians traditionally have an uneasy relationship with Halloween, but many of them are increasingly embracing the event by holding parties designed to add a religious significance to the festival. Organizers say they are increasingly also attracting non-Christian children whose parents don’t want to let them go trick-or-treating because of “stranger danger”.

Paul Stockwell, of the Scripture Union, which has been sending out its “Light Party Packs” for four years, said he believes increasing interest is partly down to non-Christian parents who are worried about the more mainstream Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating.

“They like the fact that it’s in a safe environment instead of their children wandering the streets,” he said.

When the packs were first launched four years ago the charity sent out around 4 000. Now this has doubled, and they expect to send out 8 000 this year.

The packs include ideas for light experiments, games, a service plan and Bible-based activities. In an introduction to the pack Rich Powney, of the Evanglical Alliance, said the parties were designed to ensure that “on this night, of all nights, people are attracted to the light and away from the darkness.”

Many Christians have previously ignored Halloween altogether, believing it to be a celebration which goes against their faith. But now churches are encouraging practices which add religious elements to the festival.

Christians are encouraged to carve pumpkins with “positive” symbols, like crosses and hearts, instead of the traditional scary faces.

Christian children’s charity World Vision has even created a God-friendly Halloween character, Patch the Pumpkin a pumpkin with a heart which shines out light.

Many Christians also cite the religious origin of Halloween as All Hallows Eve, the day before All Hallows Day, also known as All Saints’ Day, the day when some Christians celebrate the entire Church.

Lucy Davis, vicar of Flitwick, Bedfordshire, is running the church’s first Halloween event this year. “The reason for doing that is that Halloween has become such a big secular thing, and people feel pressured into doing something,” she said.

She expects many of those who come not to be regular churchgoers, as many local parents have “mixed feelings” about trick-or-treating because of safety concerns.

“As a society we’re quite fearful for our children. It sends mixed messages for our kids – you’re saying normally it’s not OK to knock on strangers doors, except for on this one night. Parents do feel a little bit conflicted about that,” she said.

Senior church figures have also backed the change in focus to embrace the controversial festival.

The Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, has endorsed a Christian Halloween chocolate which alongside chocolate buttons offers “a quiz, maze, word game, a call to buy Fairtrade, a prayer suggestion, a national competition with a prize, and a challenge to treat someone less well off by donating to a children’s charity”.

He said the pack, produced by the Meaningful Chocolate Company, offered “an alternative to the increasingly common Hallowe’en attempts to scare and frighten”.

Christians are being encouraged to hand it to families who come trick-or-treating.

Martyn Saunders, the vicar at St Philip & St James Church, Chatham, where demand for their alternative party has grown for the past three years, said churches wanted to offer “a positive alternative to Halloween”.

“Churches vary as to whether they are happy to take anyone in whatever costume they’re in – we are more than happy to take anyone who comes through the door.

“People who are passing by come as long as they want to, play games, drink hot chocolate, and have fun, as opposed to being out on the streets trick-or-treating,” he said.

“Demand does increase, but it increases as the reputation in the community grows that what we’re offering is fun without being too pushy,” he added.


Methodist Church Refuses to Hold Any Weddings until Same-Sex Marriage is Allowed

The denomination’s Book of Discipline, which governs the Methodist church, also says that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”  

An Austin church has voted to stop performing wedding ceremonies at the church until the Methodist church starts allowing same-sex weddings.

First United Methodist Church in Austin voted on Sept. 24 to temporarily stop wedding ceremonies. The congregation voted 93 percent in favor.

Taylor Fuerst, the church’s senior pastor, said he hopes the vote “will have a unifying effect on the congregation.”

“It communicates even more to our city that if you are in the LGBTQ community that you are not tolerated here, but embraced,” he said.

Currently, the Methodist church bans same-sex unions from being performed by pastors or taking place at Methodist churches. The denomination’s Book of Discipline, which governs the Methodist church, also says that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”   Congregations are not required to hold weddings.

“This vote demonstrates that our members are willing to sacrifice a position of privilege in order to stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against,” said Davis Covin, who was on the Austin church’s discernment team. “I think this also serves as a great example to the children and youth in our church by showing that our members strive for social justice and equality for all God’s children.”

So far, 11 United Methodist churches have agreed to temporarily stop holding wedding ceremonies until the denomination lifts the ban on same-sex weddings.

[written by Amanda Casanova]

Archbishop of Canterbury Reluctant to Call Homosexuality a Sin

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has admitted that he is reluctant to say whether or not homosexuality is a sin.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has admitted that he is reluctant to say whether or not homosexuality is a sin.

The issue of homosexuality and gay marriage has been an extremely controversial one within the Anglican Church for some time now. Welby has tried to be a peacemaker and bring unity to the Anglican Communion, but does unity come at a price?

According to The Christian Institute, in an interview with GQ magazine, Welby danced around the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage.

He even admitted to “copping out” on answering whether or not gay marriage is a sin. Instead, he stressed that, “within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”

When asked whether a homosexual relationship can be stable and loving, he responded, “I know it could be. I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition – that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman.”  The Archbishop continued, being very frank and honest: “I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with an answer for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not – that covers both sides of the argument. And I haven’t got a good answer, and I am not doing that bit of work as well as I would like.”

[written by Veronica Neffinger]

Tennessee Church Shooter Motivated by Revenge for Dylann Roof’s Massacre at Black Church

In discussing Samson’s attack, political and law enforcement officials told The New York Times on Friday that they had been worried about possible retaliation for Roof’s crimes. A former federal prosecutor said he was concerned about imitators but he never envisioned the imitator to be black.

(PHOTO: REUTERS;FACEBOOK)Dylann Roof (L) 23, Emanuel Kidega Samson (R), 25.

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, the ex-member of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, who shot eight people including one fatally at his old church, was motivated by revenge for the nine churchgoers who were killed by Dylann Roof in 2015.

Roof, a 23-year-old white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of killing nine black worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as they prayed at a Bible Study.

Police say Samson, an amateur bodybuilder who worked as a security guard, arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ at 10:55 a.m. Sunday in a blue SUV wearing a neoprene half face mask, according to News Channel 5.

Armed with a handgun, he then “fired upon the church building” with his vehicle still running in the parking lot where he shot church member Melanie Crow Smith, 39, and left her for dead. He then went on to shoot several other people inside the church building.

The Associated Press said law enforcement officials had retrieved a note from Samson’s car that references revenge for Roof’s attack. A law enforcement report said that “in sum and in no way verbatim,” the note made reference to retaliation for the actions of Dylann S. Roof.

Roof had already received nine life sentences for his crime. He is currently on death row trying to appeal his sentence. About a week before Samson’s attack, The Washington Post said a federal judge recently dismissed Roof’s bid to fire his Jewish and Indian lawyers.

Roof, according to that report, had told investigators that he was trying to start a race war when he decided to gun down six women and three men at the church.

“Well yeah, I mean, I just went to that church in Charleston and, uh, I did it,” Roof told agents who asked him to explain what happened.

He further tried to justify the murders by saying what he did was “so minuscule” compared to what black people are “doing to white people every day all the time.”

“I had to do it because somebody had to do something,” he told FBI agents. “Black people are killing white people every day on the street, and they are raping white women.”

He remains unrepentant in jail for the church attack, declaring in a jailhouse journal entry presented by prosecutors: “I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”

In discussing Samson’s attack, political and law enforcement officials told The New York Times on Friday that they had been worried about possible retaliation for Roof’s crimes. A former federal prosecutor said he was concerned about imitators but he never envisioned the imitator to be black.

“I was worried about a lot of things, and that event was so horrific that I really didn’t know what effect it was going to have on the community,” William N. Nettles, who was the United States attorney for the District of South Carolina when the attack happened, said. “But at the time, my hunch was that I needed to be worried about a white nationalist’s copycat crime.”

Nettles said he was less worried a black person would seek race-based revenge “because of the enormous grace that was shown by the congregation and the community as a whole” after the Charleston massacre.

[written by By Leonardo Blair ]

Diocese refuses to cancel pro-gay priest’s speech despite lay protests

Father Boyle said that what the Church teaches on same-sex attraction and gay “marriage” was the opposite of what God says.

GARDEN GROVE, California, October 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of California Catholics has questioned their diocese’s plan to host a dissident priest to keynote a lay ministry event.

Jesuit Father Greg Boyle is scheduled for a presentation on October 14 at the Diocese of Orange Institute for Pastoral Ministry Diocesan Ministries Celebration.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Father Boyle has publicly dissented from and mocked Church teaching on homosexual “marriage,” women “priests” and worthiness to receive Holy Communion.

The Diocese of Orange expects 1,500 people to attend the daylong “Encounter, Connect, Evangelize” event at which Father Boyle will appear. It is sponsored by the diocese’s Institute for Pastoral Ministry, which trains lay ministers.

Some Catholics decided to draft a petition after expressing their concerns to the diocese and getting insufficient response. Their hope is that Bishop Kevin Vann will reconsider inviting Father Boyle to its event for catechists. Vann has served as bishop since 2012, having been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI.

The local concerned Catholics have been told by various diocesan representatives that the issue was being dealt with, that Father Boyle’s appearance had been scheduled last year, and that his topic would not be gay “marriage” or women’s ordination.

LifeSiteNews inquired with the diocese regarding Father Boyle’s appearance and received the same statement issued to the concerned local Catholics.

In the statement, the diocese admitted that Father Boyle’s comments were “indeed disturbing,” but downplayed his remarks. It said in part:

We understand that there is concern about video footage in which he appears to contradict Church teaching on women’s ordination and same-sex marriage. While this is indeed disturbing, Rev. Boyle will not be speaking on these topics. In fact, he has frequently participated in events in Orange County to promote the good work of his ministry and to inspire others in their ministries.

Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J. is a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is in good standing. He has dedicated his life to advancing the mission of Christ in our troubled world.

Father Boyle is renowned for his work with incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. 

LifeSiteNews also contacted the Los Angeles archdiocese to confirm that Father Boyle is a priest in good standing and to inquire whether it had a response to his troubling comments on gay “marriage” and women’s ordination but did not hear back.

In a 2010 interview during the debate on California’s Proposition 8 referendum banning same-sex “marriage” he criticized the U.S. Bishops’ opposition to homosexual “marriage.” He also described opposition to gay “marriage” as “demonizing people.” Father Boyle said that what the Church teaches on same-sex attraction and gay “marriage” was the opposite of what God says.

The priest stated in the interview that the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination was “shameful, “nonsense” and not “honest.” Father Boyle said those opposed to women’s ordination were “frightened that women will be ordained.”

He also mocked Church teaching on reception of the Eucharist for individuals married outside the Church in the television interview.

One of the concerned local Catholics speaking anonymously with LifeSiteNews expressed dismay that Father Boyle’s dissent from Church teaching didn’t seem to bother the diocese.

“Why do we continue to bestow these honors, awards and these high-profile platforms to folks that ridicule Church teaching?” he asked. “Why do we give them more influence and followers?”

“Innocent Catholics go in thinking these priests are going to act like priests,” he continued. “They don’t know what they actually stand for.”

Another concerned local Catholic said that even if the diocese had to scramble to secure another speaker, “it’s better than the conflict of having this guy come in and speak.”

“It’s bringing scandal to the diocese,” Ernie Alonzo told LifeSiteNews.

Alonzo questioned why a priest would make the statements he has about Church teaching on homosexuality and women’s ordination. He also questioned the rationalization that Father Boyle’s ministry work excuses his public dissent from Church teaching.

“Is he telling them (in his ministry) it’s OK to be in same-sex relationships?” Alonzo asked. “If he’s minimizing this, he’s doing grave harm. But are you going to put that (his work with gangs) above the souls?”

“There are so many good speakers,” Elsa Salcedo queried. “Why him?”

Salcedo has been a catechist for several years and used to attend the Diocese of Orange’s Diocesan Ministries Celebration. From her perspective, it’s very concerning that Father Boyle will be presenting to the large assembly of diocesan catechists.

“When you have a keynote speaker, and especially a priest, you take for granted that the priest believes in the teaching of the Catholic Church,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“That this Father Boyle doesn’t believe the Church’s teaching (on marriage and ordination) just blows me away,” Salcedo added. “You think of the idea of a faithful priest; it’s an oxymoron. I didn’t think that was even possible.”

It also begs the question of whether he is influencing those he ministers to in gangs this way, she said.

“The charity work itself can’t lead your soul to peril, but what is he teaching them?” asked Salcedo.

There is a real danger that Father Boyle’s dissent could lead unsuspecting Catholics at the catechetical event astray, she said.

“What if I start following him or buy his book?” Salcedo asked. “What if I do that, and I either know someone who’s same-sex attracted or maybe I am myself? What if I trust what he says? What if it’s someone who’s not strong in their faith?”

“I rely on a priest who’s had Holy Orders,” she stated further. “I’m sure he’s had to say that somewhere, that you believe in the Church’s teaching. That’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The anonymous Catholic gentleman from the group said respectfully speaking up in a situation such as this is a duty for Catholics.

He recalled that Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it’s the laity’s mission to help priests be priests, bishops be bishops and religious be religious, and cited Canon Law 212, which says the faithful not only have the right but the duty to show concern in these matters.

“Sharing these concerns,” he told LifeSiteNews, “we’re doing this out of love for the Church and out of love for our bishop.”

[written by Lisa Bourne] 


Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.

The Catholic clergy and lay scholars go on to list seven “false and heretical propositions” which they say Pope Francis “directly or indirectly” upholds through his “words, deeds, and omissions”…

(Rome) — [LifeSiteNews] Expressing “profound grief” and “filial devotion,” Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world have issued what they are calling a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” (Photo Credit: John-Henry Westen /

The Filial Correction, in the form of a 25-page letter, bears the signatures of sixty-two Catholic academics, researchers, and scholars in various fields from twenty countries. They assert that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.

The correction was delivered to the Pope at his Santa Marta residence on August 11, 2017. No similar action has taken place within the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages, when Pope John XXII was admonished for errors which he later recanted on his deathbed.

“With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness,” the signers write in the letter.

“As subjects, we do not have the right to issue to Your Holiness that form of correction by which a superior coerces those subject to him with the threat or administration of punishment,” they state.

“We issue this correction, rather, to protect our fellow Catholics—and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away—hoping to prevent the further spread of doctrines which tend of themselves to the profaning of all the sacraments and the subversion of the Law of God,” they add.

The signers respectfully insist that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has “directly or indirectly upheld,” and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.

They say that they make “no judgment” about the Pope’s culpability in propagating the seven heresies they list.  

They add that it is not their task to “judge whether the sin of heresy has been committed” whereby a person “departs from the faith by doubting or denying some revealed truth with a full choice of the will.”  

“We adhere wholeheartedly to the doctrine of papal infallibility,” the signers state, adding that in their opinion “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.” The signers’ opinion that the exhortation is not infallible magisterial teaching is backed by leading churchmen, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke. 

The signers list a dozen passages from Amoris Laetitia that they say “serve to propagate seven heretical propositions.” 

Included in the list is the “smoking” footnote 351 where the Pope writes that those living in an objective situation of sin can receive the “help of the sacraments” to grow in the life of grace and charity. Many have interpreted this to mean that civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion, and the Pope has endorsed guidelines allowing this. Also included in the list is the text pertaining to couples living in adultery who, the Pope writes, see their situation as “what God himself is asking” of them, despite falling short of the “objective ideal.”

The scholars say that these passages along with a number of “words, deeds and omissions” of the Pope are “serving to propagate heresies within the Church.”

According to the signers, the “words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis that promote heresy include:  

  • Refusing to answer the dubia (five yes-or-no questions) submitted by the four cardinals (two of whom are now deceased) asking him to confirm that Amoris Laetitia does not abolish five teachings of the Catholic faith.
  • Forcibly intervening at the 2015 Synod of the Family where he insisted on inserting into a midterm report a proposal (that did not receive sufficient votes) to allow communion for adulterers and a proposal that pastors should emphasize the “positive aspects” of lifestyles the Church considers gravely sinful, including civil remarriage after divorce and premarital cohabitation.
  • Endorsing an interpretation of the exhortation by Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn that allows for Holy Communion to be given to adulterers.
  • Affirming the statement of the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that allowed Communion to be given to adulterers, stating that “there are no other interpretations.”
  • Appointing to positions of influence within the Church men who publicly dissent from Catholic teaching on the sacraments, including Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
  • Allowing guidelines for the diocese of Rome to be issued under his authority that permit adulterers to receive communion under certain circumstances.
  • Leaving uncorrected the publication in L’Osservatore Romano, the official journal of the Holy See, the Maltese bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitiathat allows communion for adulterers.

Seven heresies 

The Catholic clergy and lay scholars go on to list seven “false and heretical propositions” which they say Pope Francis “directly or indirectly” upholds through his “words, deeds, and omissions.” These seven propositions, listed below, are summaries of the positions which they attribute to Pope Francis and deem to be heretical.

  1. A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.
  2. Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.
  3. A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.
  4. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.
  5. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.
  6. Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.
  7. Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.

The clergy and scholars state that these “propositions all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith.”

They add that it is “necessary” that such heresies be “condemned by the authority of the Church,” on account of the “great and imminent danger” they cause to souls. 

As one of the signers explained to LifeSiteNews, St. Thomas Aquinas taught that faithful Catholics have a duty to correct an erring prelate. He quoted the following passage from the saint’s famous theological work Summa Theologiae

If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11, Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.

The signers conclude the letter, writing: “At this critical hour, therefore, we turn to the cathedra veritatis [seat of truth], the Roman Church, which has by divine law pre-eminence over all the churches, and of which we are and intend always to remain loyal children, and we respectfully insist that Your Holiness publicly reject these propositions, thus accomplishing the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ given to St Peter and through him to all his successors until the end of the world: ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.’”

Support the filial correction of Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’. Sign the petition!

One significant name in the list of signers is that of Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). He signed the letter after it had already been submitted to the Pope. It remains to be seen how Fellay’s agreement with the content of the filial correction will affect Pope Francis’ recent efforts to integrate the SSPX legally into the Catholic Church.

Signs of the times

The filial correction comes after more than a year of the Pope not dialoguing or engaging with faithful Catholics who have approached him directly with serious concerns about how he is steering the Barque of Peter, the Church. The Pope has been sent letters, petitions, video messages, and official questions (the dubia), but all to no avail. Significant dates of attempts to dialogue with the Pope include:

  • September 29, 2015 – 791,000 Catholics (including 8 cardinals, over 200 bishops, and numerous priests, religious, and lay faithful representing 62 pro-family organizations) petition Pope Francis to end the “widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery… and would virtually even accept homosexual unions.”
  • July 13, 2016 – 16 international life-and-family advocates plead with the Popeto “unambiguously speak the truth of the Catholic faith, to end doctrinal confusion, to restore clarity, and to be the Holy Father that Catholics need.”
  • July 11, 2016 – 45 Catholic scholars submit a letter to the cardinals and Eastern patriarchs of the Church asking them to petition the Pope to “repudiate a list of erroneous propositions” that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.
  • September 19, 2016 – Four cardinals (two of whom are now deceased) submit to the Pope five yes-or-no questions (dubia) asking if the exhortation conforms to perennial Catholic teaching on the moral life. The questions were never answered.
  • January 18, 2017 – Three Eastern European bishops launch a “spiritual crusade” urging the Pope to “revoke in an unequivocal manner” pastoral guidelines stemming from Amoris Laetitia that allow adulterers to receive Holy Communion.
  • April 25, 2017 – The four dubia cardinals unsuccessfully ask the Pope for a private audience to discuss “confusion and disorientation” within the Church after the publication of Amoris Laetitia.

The filial correction comes as a “formal correction” of the Pope from cardinals may be imminent. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the dubia Cardinals, told The Wanderer last month that this “formal correction” would involve a clear presentation of the Church’s teaching on the points at issue, alongside what the Pope is actually saying on those points. “If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” he said. 

“It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond,” he said.

Burke said he and the other three cardinals – Walter Brandmuller, Joachim Meisner, and Carlo Caffarra (the latter two now deceased) – issued the dubia “in order to give [Pope Francis] the occasion to set forth the Church’s unchanging teaching.”

“Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth,” he explained. “These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points.”

In an interview this week with Australia’s Catholic Outlook, Burke said the need for a response to the dubia is urgent because of the “harm done to souls by the confusion and error.”

“The urgency weighs very heavily on my heart,” he said. 

The Filial Correction and its signatories, along with a summary statement and press release, can be viewed at

Editor’s note: Diane Montagna contributed to this report. 

Support the filial correction of Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’. Sign the petition!


Signatories of the Filial Correction

Note: The letter delivered to Pope Francis on Aunames have been added since that date.

Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg
European editor, Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior

Prof. Jean Barbey
Historian and Jurist, former Professor at the University of Maine

Fr Claude Barthe
Diocesan Priest

Philip M. Beattie BA (Leeds), MBA (Glasgow), MSc (Warwick), Dip.Stats (Dublin)
Associate Lecturer, University of Malta (Malta)

Fr Jehan de Bellevillegust 11 contained 40 names. 22 more Religious

Dr. Philip Blosser
Professor of Philosophy, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit

Fr Robert Brucciani
District superior of the SSPX in Great Britain

Prof. Mario Caponnetto
University Professor, Mar de la Plata (Argentina)

Mr Robert F. Cassidy STL

Fr Isio Cecchini
Parish Priest in Tuscany

Salvatore J. Ciresi M.A.
Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild, Lecturer at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College

Fr. Linus F Clovis Ph.D., JCL, M.Sc., STB, Dip. Ed
Director of the Secretariat for Family and Life in the Archdiocese of Castries

Fr Paul Cocard

Fr Thomas Crean OP STD

Prof. Matteo D’Amico
Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of Ancona

Dr. Chiara Dolce PhD
Research doctor in Moral Philosophy at the University of Cagliari

Deacon Nick Donnelly MA

Petr Dvorak
Head of Department for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought at the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
Professor of philosophy at Saints Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

H.E. Mgr Bernard Fellay
Superior General of the SSPX

Christopher Ferrara Esq.
Founding President of the American Catholic Lawyers’ Association

Prof. Michele Gaslin
Professor of Public Law at the University of Udine

Prof. Corrado Gnerre
Professor at the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose of Benevento, Pontifical Theological University of Southern Italy

Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi
Former President of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), Professor of Ethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan

Dr. Maria Guarini STB
Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio

Prof. Robert Hickson PhD
Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies

Fr John Hunwicke
Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford

Fr Jozef Hutta
Diocesan Priest

Prof. Isebaert Lambert
Full Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, and at the Flemish Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Dr. John Lamont STL DPhil (Oxon.)

Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta STD
Lecturer in Dogmatic Theology, Theological Faculty of Lugano, Switzerland; Priest in charge of St Mary’s, Gosport, in the diocese of Portsmouth

Prof. Massimo de Leonardis
Professor and Director of the Department of Political Sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan

Msgr. Prof. Antonio Livi
Academic of the Holy See
Dean emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University
Vice-rector of the church of Sant’Andrea del Vignola, Rome

Dr. Carlo Manetti
Professor in Private Universities in Italy

Prof. Pietro De Marco
Former Professor at the University of Florence

Prof. Roberto de Mattei
Former Professor of the History of Christianity, European University of Rome
Former Vice President of the National Research Council (CNR)

Fr Cor Mennen
Lecturer in Canon Law at the Major Seminary of the Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)
Canon of the cathedral chapter of the diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Prof. Stéphane Mercier
Lecturer in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain

Don Alfredo Morselli STL
Parish priest of the archdiocese of Bologna

Martin Mosebach
Writer and essayist

Dr. Claude E. Newbury M.B., B.Ch., D.T.M&H., D.O.H., M.F.G.P., D.C.H., D.P.H., D.A., M. Med; 
Former Director of Human Life International in Africa south of the Sahara
Former Member of the Human Services Commission of the Catholic Bishops of South Africa

Prof. Lukas Novak
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Charles University, Prague

Fr Guy Pagès
Diocesan Priest

Prof. Paolo Pasqualucci
Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia

Prof. Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile
Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Father Anthony Pillari J.C.L., M.C.L

Prof. Enrico Maria Radaelli
Philosopher, editor of the works of Romano Amerio

Dr. John Rao
Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University, NYC; Chairman, Roman Forum

Dr. Carlo Regazzoni
Licentiate in Philosophy at University of Freiburg

Dr. Giuseppe Reguzzoni
External Researcher at the Catholic University of Milan and former editorial assistant of Communio, International Catholic Review (Italian edition)

Prof. Arkadiusz Robaczewski
Former Professor at the Catholic University of Lublin

Fr Settimio M. Sancioni STD
Licence in Biblical Science

Prof. Andrea Sandri
Research Associate, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan

Dr. Joseph Shaw
Tutor in Moral philosophy, St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford

Fr Paolo M. Siano HED (Historiae Ecclesiasticae Doctor)

Dr. Cristina Siccardi
Historian of the Church

Dr Anna Silvas
Adjunct research fellow, University of New England, NSW, Australia

Prof. Dr Thomas Stark
Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz

Rev. Glen Tattersall
Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, archdiocese of Melbourne; Rector, St Aloysius’ Church

Prof. Giovanni Turco
Associate Professor of Philosophy of Public Law at the University of Udine
Member Correspondent of the Pontificia Accademia San Tommaso d’Aquino

Prof. Piero Vassallo
Former editor of Cardinal Siri’s theological review Renovatio

Prof. Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira
Former Professor at the Pontifical University of São Paulo, Brazil

Mons. José Luiz Villac   
Former Rector of the Seminary of Jacarezinho

[written by Pete Baklinski] 


Could this be the UK’s first female Archbishop?

the electoral college will be locked inside Holy Trinity Church in Llandrindod Wells for up to three days to debate and vote on their next leader.

Voting is underway to chose the next Archbishop of Wales with speculation over whether it could be a woman.

Representatives from across Wales will meet behind locked doors today to decide who will fill the vacancy following Dr Barry Morgan’s retirement.


Joanna Penberthy was appointed Wales’ first woman bishop in January 2016.

The recently appointed Bishop of Llandaff, June Osborne, and the Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, are in the running alongside the four other serving bishops of the Church in Wales.

The other candidates are the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, John Davies, the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, and the Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain.

Although both woman are the most newly promoted bishops, the 42 electors across Wales may decide the appointment of the UK’s first female Anglican archbishop would be a welcome move after allegations of homophobia surrounded Jeffrey John’s rejection as bishop earlier this year.6 B

The six bishops make up the Bench of Bishops and represent the six dioceses of the Church in Wales

Made up of six people from each of Wales’ six diocese, plus the bishops themselves, the electoral college will be locked inside Holy Trinity Church in Llandrindod Wells for up to three days to debate and vote on their next leader. A two-thirds’ support needed for any candidate to become archbishop.

The doors of the church will only be opened once a two-thirds majority has been reached and a decision made. If after three days no one has won support from at least two-thirds of the electors, the decision falls to the bishops themselves to choose which one of them will become archbishop.

[written by Harry Farley]

Georgian Priest Guilty of Attempted Murder

Mamaladze viewed her as an obstacle to his career.

A court has found a Georgian priest guilty of trying to murder the personal secretary and adviser of Patriach, Ilia II, the head of the country’s Orthodox Church.

Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Giorgi Mamaladze was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday, according to OC Media.  Mamaladze was arrested in February as he was about to travel to Berlin. According to the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office, sodium cyanide was concealed in his luggage. Early reports suggested Ilia, who was receiving medical treatment there, was his target. However, he was charged with attempting to murder the Patriarch’s secretary-referent, Shorena Tetruasvhili.

Mamaladze was charged with ‘plotting a murder with mercenary purposes’ after a journalist, Irakli Mamaladze, told the Prosecutor’s Office that Giorgi Mamaladze had asked for his help in obtaining cyanide. Hidden camera footage showed the archpriest asking the journalist: ‘Is it possible to get cyanide?’

The trial has been controversial, with Tbilisi-based rights group the Human Rights Centre objecting to the closure of the hearing to the public. Archbishop Petre Tsaava of the Chkondidi diocese accused Tetruasvhili of being an instrument of Russian influence in the Georgian Church and of controlling high-ranking officials there, according to Democracy and Freedom Watch. She has denied the claims. Prosecutors claimed Mamaladze viewed her as an obstacle to his career.

Two Lesbian Pastors get married

Gause’s father, Mr. Gause, citing “differences in theological beliefs,” refused his daughter’s invitation.

Two black American lesbian pastors, Twanna Gause and Vanessa Brown, tied the knot on August 24th at the New Vision Full Gospel Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey.

Gause’s father, Mr. Gause, citing “differences in theological beliefs,” refused his daughter’s invitation.

“My father would not come here because he does not believe in same-sex marriage,” Ms. Gause said. “He told me the devil tricked me into this, and that if we had been married in biblical times, we would have been stoned to death.”

Ms. Brown, 46, and Ms. Gause, 45, are both pastors of Rivers of Living Water United Church of Christ.

written by Laila Ijeoma