Maike Hickson

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Renowned philosopher signs petition calling on bishops to investigate Pope for heresy

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May 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – World-renowned Catholic philosopher Dr. Josef Seifert has signed a petition calling on the bishops of the world to “investigate Pope Francis for heresy.”

The petition was launched by one of the signers of the April 30 Open Letter to Bishops where 19 prominent clergymen and scholars accused Pope Francis of committing heresy and asked the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to "take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation" of a pope committing this crime.

Seifert, president of the new laity-led Academy for Life and close friend of the late Pope St. John Paul II, defended signing the petition in a written statement provided to LifeSiteNews (see full statement below). 

"I sign this petition because I agree with the bulk of the letter signed by 20 distinguished Catholics and because I believe, as they do, that it is a holy duty of all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church, as successors of the Apostles, to examine carefully any serious charge of heresy committed by the Pope," he wrote. 

"If they find these accusations correct, they have the further duty as brothers in the apostolic Office to tell the Pope without any false and cowardly fear, in all frankness and filled with the same Holy Spirit in which St. Paul publicly criticized and reprimanded the first Pope Peter, whom Christ Himself had chosen, that he strayed far from God’s truth and will," he added.

The petition, titled "Appeal to the bishops to investigate Pope Francis for heresy," has been signed by 4,200 as of this writing. 

The Open Letter was originally signed by 19 clergy and scholars, but that number has now increased to nearly 80.

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Dr. Josef Seifert's full comment on why he signed petition to prelates asking them to investigate accusations that Pope Francis committed heresy

I sign this petition because I agree with the bulk of the letter signed by 20 distinguished Catholics and because I believe, as they do, that it is a holy duty of all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church, as successors of the Apostles, to examine carefully any serious charge of heresy committed by the Pope. If they find these accusations correct, they have the further duty as brothers in the apostolic Office to tell the Pope without any false and cowardly fear, in all frankness and filled with the same Holy Spirit in which St. Paul publicly criticized and reprimanded the first Pope Peter, whom Christ Himself had chosen, that he strayed far from God’s truth and will. 

The bishops and Cardinals who are called to assist the Pope in His Magisterium, ought to make it clear to Pope Francis that he has a sacred duty, following the example of his predecessor Pope John XXII, who revoked solemnly the heresies he had committed, to revoke any heretical affirmation of his, not only the seven listed in the letter.

They ought to make it perfectly clear that his duty likewise demands that he revoke any nomination of Cardinals and bishops, who committed, or protected perpetrators of, sexual abuses and who damage the faith and mission of the Holy Catholic Church. They should warn Pope Francis as well, for the sake of the Church and his own immortal soul, that, as demonstrated in this letter, any of his elevations of clergy to high offices which they fill unworthily to the detriment of the Holy Church that Christ has founded in infinite love and through the sacrifice of his own life, ought to be revoked.

They should make it clear to Pope Francis, in all humility and love of God, that such nominations put at risk his own and many other souls, such that for love of Christ and these souls Pope Francis ought to depose such persons without delay from positions in which they damage the Church and betray Christ like Judas did.

Bishops and Cardinals should understand that these are not acts of disobedience and rebellion against the Pope, to which the letter invites them, but acts of love and true obedience to Pope Francis and to Jesus Christ, his and our only master, our unus magister. Adveniat regnum tuum (Your kingdom come) – soon!

- Josef Seifert, Dr. phil.habil., Dr. h.c., Founding Rector of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality Liechtenstein

Related:

Catholic philosopher: Why I signed the open letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy

Reuters dismisses ‘extremists’ who accused Pope Francis of heresy

WATCH: Ignatius Press bosses suggest Rome reply to open letter accusing Francis of heresy

Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

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Maike Hickson

Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli, Catholicism.org, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana, Katholisches.info, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.