(LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic professor blasted Pope Francis, accusing the Pontiff of “destroying the foundations of faith and morals.”
Renowned philosophy professor and intimate friend of Pope John Paul II, Josef Seifert, published an open letter addressed to the cardinals of the Catholic Church, in which he called the bishops of the Church to resist Pope Francis’ his heterodox actions, like the signing of the Abu Dhabi document.
“Pope Francis – I say this with a bleeding heart – is not the ‘guarantor of the faith’, but is constantly increasingly destroying the foundations of faith and morals with this and many other statements and pronouncements,” Seifert wrote.
The Austrian professor specifically criticized the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” often referred to as the Abu Dhabi document, which Francis signed together with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. The document states that “[t]he pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.
This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:
- recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
- claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
- insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
- that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.
SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life
“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”
Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”
From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.”
SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life
The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.
However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.
In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate.
The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”
The Pontifical Academy for Life has tried & failed to explain @monspaglia's remarks. Paglia had spoken about the “accompaniment” needed for the dying, saying “in this context, it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible …” https://t.co/C3LU601aA2— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) April 24, 2023
Sorry guys, not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) April 24, 2023
Archbishop Paglia's "opinion" on the possibility of "juridical mediation" regarding euthanasia is still contrary to the Catholic faith, as has been explained already. https://t.co/qMATq0UZrL pic.twitter.com/W8s4zLvkj7
Archbishop Paglia's comments about assisted suicide being "feasible" are wrong and harmful. It's the kind of "crack in the wall" that opponents of human life will run with to promote their agenda. The teaching of the Church is clear: Euthanasia is "morally unacceptable." Period.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) April 24, 2023
SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable
It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.
Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter.
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Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews
READ: Pope Francis welcomes interfaith committee, controversial Abu Dhabi document
“Let us remember the Declaration on the Fraternity of All People signed by Pope Francis together with Grand Imam Ahmad Mohammad Al-Tayyeb,” Seifert said.
“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 thus all idolatry and heresies? Yes, isn’t the Abu Dhabi Declaration far worse than heresy, namely apostasy?”
“Shouldn’t all of you cardinals and bishops speak your firm ‘non possumus’ [we cannot] when Francis demands that this ‘document’ be the basis for the formation of priests in all seminaries and theological faculties?”
“True as it is in itself ‘that the pope is the pope and guarantor of the faith,’ this statement cannot be applied to a pope who signed the Abu Dhabi Declaration and spread it around the world, and who has said and done many other things contrary to the consistent teaching of the Church.”
“How should I answer a dear and deeply believing Lutheran friend, for whose conversion I have been praying for years, when he writes to me that with this Abu Dhabi Declaration the Catholic Church has left the soil of Christianity?” he asked.
“Wouldn’t all the cardinals have to write to the Pope as one man and ask him to withdraw this apostatic declaration?”
The philosophy professor also called out Francis’ promotion of same-sex “civil unions,” which directly contradicts Church teaching and his predecessors.
“His 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 June 3, 2003, published under the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II), but above all the Holy Scripture and the entire Church tradition!” Seifert stated.
“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?”
Seifert reminded the cardinals of the Catholic Church that they would one day have to answer for their actions (or inaction) before the judgement seat of God.
“Must you cardinals not tremble before the moment when Christ will ask you how you could fulfill Jesus’ solemn missionary mandate if you did not protest against the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which says the diametrical opposite of Jesus’ words?” the professor wrote.
Moreover, Seifert criticized Francis for contradicting Church teaching on the death penalty and changing the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
READ: Pope’s change to Catechism contradicts natural law and the deposit of Faith
He also called out the pope for saying that damned souls are destroyed instead of going to hell for eternity. The Pontiff allegedly made these remarks in one of his infamous interviews with the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari.
“Wouldn’t all cardinals have to protest in many other cases, e.g. when the Pope arbitrarily introduces a theologically and ecclesiastically wrong change into the Catholic Catechism, which contradicts the clear words of God in the Holy Scripture (already in the Book of Genesis) and many doctrinal statements of popes about the death penalty formulated in uninterrupted tradition and also historical facts,” Seifert wrote.
“[O]r when – against many forceful words of Jesus and dogmas of the Catholic Church – he talks about empty hell or even, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, claims that the souls of incurable sinners do not go to hell but are destroyed?”
The Austrian professor went on to blast Francis for appointing members who openly contradict “the core of biblical and Church moral teaching and the encyclicals Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, and Veritatis Splendor to the Pontifical Academy for Life.”
READ: New Pontifical Academy for Life appointees include the president of a pro-abortion institute
“How can you cardinals… remain silent on this and many other ‘desolations of the sanctuary’ instead of doing much more than the critical laity and theologians to do everything possible to proclaim those many truths of the faith that the Pope openly or tacitly contradicts by words and also deeds (such as the celebration of the Reformation, the erection of the statue of Luther in the Vatican, the stamp celebrating the Reformation, the Pacha Mama cult in the Vatican Gardens and St. Peter’s Basilica, etc).”
Seifert is a renowned Catholic philosophy professor who was fired from a Catholic university in Spain in 2017 for openly criticizing Pope Francis. He currently still teaches philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.
READ: Fired Catholic philosopher: Pope Francis’ teaching could ‘lead many souls…to hell’