Note from the author: This letter is signed on the 29th of June 2022, Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, as this is the date it should have been published. Media time in June 2022 and recovery time after the attack on me in August 2022 delayed publication.
(LifeSiteNews) — The following is Father Jesusmary Missigbètò’s fifth and final open letter challenging Pope Francis. His previous writings can be viewed here.
Fifth call for Pope Francis’ rectification
On the Christian faith and in conclusion of the four previous letters
Yamoussoukro (City of Peace); Ivory Coast; June 29, 2022
Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles
Dear Elders in the Catholic Faith,
A. Why a fifth open letter?
In the west of Nigeria there lived a man called Dohèmeto. During a tribal war, he was taken prisoner and taken to the neighboring country now called the Republic of Benin. Some time later, he was released and preferred to settle in the country of his captors. He chose the small town of Avrankou, near Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin. These events took place between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. To his first son, Dohèmeto gave the name “Gbénou” which means “born outside his homeland.” In the middle of the 20th century, Gbénou, my grandfather, renounced ancestral pagan practices. He threw away the family idols, was baptized and became a Catholic with the name Joseph. A polygamist, he had to choose one of his women for his church wedding. I always thought he chose my grandmother but I recently learned that he chose his first woman instead. A younger brother of Joseph Gbénou also converted to Catholicism but died some time later. For his funeral, the extended family wanted to follow the traditional Beninese funeral rites. But Joseph Gbénou objected: everything should be done according to Christian Tradition, not traditional Beninese rites. Without knowing it, he signed his death warrant. Indeed, he was poisoned by his opponents and died. My father is the last child of Joseph Gbénou. He was born in 1955 and baptized shortly afterwards with the first name Félicien, and he passed on to his children his pride in their grandfather.
The story that has just been told is intended to draw the reader’s attention to the shock of seeing the processions with the “Pachamama” (goddess of the Andes) in the Roman churches, on the occasion of the Synod on Amazonia in October 2019. There are also the various pagan rituals in the Vatican Gardens with the “Pachamama” and the sacrilegious tree that was planted. What a pity that all this is happening in Rome, the spiritual center of Christianity! Perhaps those who do not come from paganism do not realize what this means for us converts. It is hard, very hard to see that the idols we have left to turn to Jesus are being honored in the Vatican, in the presence of Pope Francis! It is a lack of respect for the faith of those who have made many sacrifices to become Catholics. Despite his sins, Joseph Gbénou had the courage to defend the Christian Tradition at the cost of his life. As the grandson of a martyr of the Christian faith, I cannot insult the memory of a person who sacrificed his life for Jesus. This is why I felt compelled to write five open letters and defend this faith threatened by the situation ethics promoted by Pope Francis. I too became a Catholic because I refuse to live in idolatry, lies and fear.
A few years ago, my father told me a story that I had forgotten and which now comes back to me clearly. Despite his and my mother’s baptism, they occasionally met a seer of the Tron-Alafia ritual. This was on Sundays, after morning Mass. They took us children with them. I still remember the diviner, the rituals he performed, the white wet powder he put on us, the animal sacrifices, what he gave us to eat, etc. One day I gave my father a huge shock. I was nine years old, finishing my First Communion catechism and I said to him: “Dad, if we are Catholic, why are we going to Tron-Alafia?” He then understood the inconsistency in which he lived. He spoke to my mother about it and, thank God, soon afterwards they got married in the Catholic Church and we never set foot in paganism again. Today this same story is repeated, in a way, with my father in the Church, Pope Francis: If we are Catholic, why the pagan rites in Rome? If we are Catholic, why the situation ethics?
B. Why did I adopt the style of filial correction for my five open letters?
Many readers have been surprised by the direct style I have adopted in my open letters. Some found it courageous, some found it incorrect. Personally, I did not write to please any of them. With my eyes fixed on Christ Jesus, I wanted to escape hypocrisy by telling Pope Francis out loud the errors with which he is seriously endangering the profession of the Christian faith in our postmodern society. I wanted to follow the example of St. Paul in Antioch: “when Kephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong… the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy… I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the Gospel” (Galatians 2:11-14). Faced with a problem with serious consequences, St. Paul had the courage to address a filial correction to St. Peter in order to help him not to lead the first Christians into error. Today, also faced with a problem with serious consequences, it is an African son of Pope Francis who has the courage to address a filial correction to him for his own good and that of the Catholic Church.
The second reason why I followed the approach of filial correction is St. Thomas Aquinas (cf. Summa Theologica II-II, q.33, a.4). Indeed, speaking of the virtue of charity, the angelic doctor asks the following question: “Are inferiors obliged by virtue of this precept to correct their superiors?” Here is the answer he gives: “The correction which is an act of justice using punishment does not belong to inferiors in relation to their superiors. But that which is an act of charity belongs to each one towards all those whom he ought to love, and in whom he sees something to correct… But as an act of virtue must be regulated with due regard to the circumstances required, so the act by which an inferior rebukes his superior must also respect certain proprieties, so that the correction is neither insolent nor harsh, but gentle and respectful… Let us note, however, that if there were any danger to the faith, superiors would have to be rebuked by inferiors, even in public. So Paul, who was subject to Peter, rebuked him for this reason. And on this subject Augustine’s Glosis explains: ‘Peter himself shows by his example to those who have the pre-eminence, if it happened to them to deviate from the right path, not to refuse to be corrected, even by their inferiors.’”
Unfortunately, in my public filial correction of Pope Francis (and in my letters to him), I have not always kept the right tone. When I saw Pope Francis insisting and persisting in his errors, I lost my patience and disrespected him by using strong expressions. Errare humanum est! To err is human! Here and now I would like to offer my sincere apologies again to Pope Francis. Let him be assured that it was not a lack of love that inspired these excesses, but on the contrary a great and deep love I have for him and a strong desire to see him rectify errors with serious consequences for his eternal salvation and that of millions of souls in the world. I can therefore reassure my readers that I have not acted out of malice or pride. Personally, I do not believe myself to be superior to Pope Francis. On the contrary, if the Lord would have it so, I would gladly accept to be Pope Francis’ daily footstool in order to facilitate his path on earth. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, “believing oneself to be better in every way than one’s superior does seem to come from presumptuous pride. But to think that one prevails on one point is not presumptuous, because in this life no one is without defects. – And it should also be noted that the person who charitably warns his superior does not consider himself better than him; but it does a service to one who ‘is in greater danger the higher his rank’, as St. Augustine says in his ‘Rule.’” Nor was it erudition that drove me to write, for I have always had a certain modesty and inner resistance to writing my open letters. I am neither erudite nor an expert, but a poor little African priest who wanted to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and Christian Tradition to write letters in defense of the Christian faith.
C. What are the causes of Pope Francis’ errors?
On reading my open letters, one realizes that the first major cause of the moral (and doctrinal) errors mentioned in them is intellectual. Before his death, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra had also made this observation and shared it with his friends. In fact, these errors reflect a lack of mastery of certain themes of Fundamental Moral Theology and Sacramental Theology, taught according to the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas. Let us not forget the important warning of Pope Leo XIII who encouraged Catholic theologians not to stray from the good source of Thomistic philosophy and theology (cf. encyclical Aeterni Patris; August 4, 1879). The second cause of error lies in the lack of a true collegiality. On the one hand, this collegiality means that Pope Francis should live in doctrinal and moral unity with his 265 predecessors (vertical collegiality), and especially with Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Any impartial reader of my open letters has seen how Pope Francis has knowingly contradicted documents issued by these last two popes. On the other hand, this collegiality means that Pope Francis should be open to the opinions of his contemporaries (horizontal collegiality). There are so many good Thomistic experts in the Catholic Church that if Pope Francis had wanted to consult them he could have avoided the various errors mentioned. In fact, the five topics addressed by my open letters are not topics that admit of a plurality of opinions or relativistic responses. Only the Thomistic answer is valid since these five topics concern absolute laws of God: the first commandment, the fifth commandment and the sixth commandment. Unfortunately, Pope Francis has opted for another answer, that of relativism, which is an open door to situation ethics. This ethic, also known as the ethic of lukewarmness or the ethic of half-truth, rejects the absolute character of divine laws and looks for situations that can serve as exceptions to not fulfilling these laws.
My first open letter is related to the sixth commandment and raises the issue of homosexuality. It is to answer the following closed question: Is it morally right for a Christian, a priest or a bishop to take the initiative to ask for homosexual cohabitation laws? My second open letter is related to the sixth commandment and raises the issue of continence. It is to answer the following closed question: Is it morally right to say that “the commitment to live in continence can be proposed” to Christians and is “an option”? My third open letter is related to the sixth commandment and raises the issue of contraception. It is to answer the following closed question: Is it morally right to perform a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) with the consent of medical experts but without a medical emergency for the health of the mother? My fourth open letter is related to the fifth commandment and raises the issue of abortion. It is to answer the following closed question: Is it morally right to give the Sacrament of the Eucharist to all publicly pro-abortion politicians who do not renounce abortion? My fifth open letter is related to the first commandment and raises the issue of worship. It is to answer the following closed question: Is it morally right for a Catholic to take part in pagan rites? In all five cases, Christian Tradition has always answered “no.” This is the one and only possible answer. Unfortunately, Pope Francis has answered “yes.”
Moreover, a very important fact should be underlined, as we have already seen in the various open letters: the answers of Pope Francis have no basis and have rather used the power of the media to impose themselves. Indeed, when was the last time a pope asked humanity to adopt homosexual cohabitation laws? Never! When was the last time a pope said that the virtue of chastity is an option? Never! When was the last time a pope accepted the removal of the uterus with the agreement of medical experts but without medical urgency for the health of the mother? Never! When was the last time a pope accepted to give the Sacrament of the Eucharist to all publicly pro-abortion politicians who do not renounce abortion? Never! When was the last time a pope participated in pagan rites in the Vatican Gardens? Never! In these five cases, the following must be stated: Of the 266 popes of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is the first and only one to make such concessions. What biblical references can he cite to support these concessions? None! What patristic references? None! What theological references? None!
D. What solution could Pope Francis bring to his errors?
As we have just seen, the five errors of Pope Francis concern absolute laws of God and admit of only one answer: that of Christian Tradition. This is why Pope Francis does not have ten thousand possible solutions, but only one: humbly admit that he is wrong and that Christian Tradition is right. As long as he seeks solutions outside the truth, he will only make his error more obvious. This was the case, for example, on September 15, 2021 in his international press conference after his trip to Slovakia. On the issue of homosexual cohabitation laws, he did not want to acknowledge his error but defended himself by saying: “Marriage is a sacrament… These are laws that try to help the situation of so many people of different sexual orientation… But if they want to bring life together –a homosexual couple– the States have civilly possibilities to support them, to give them security of inheritance, of health… The French have a law on this, not only for homosexuals, for all people who want to associate… Three widows, for example, who want to associate in a law to have the health service, to then have inheritance between them, but these things are done… The French PACS, this law… That homosexual couples can use it, they can use it, but marriage as a sacrament is man-woman” (official Vatican report). Who can fail to see that this new response conceals a nominalism that only aggravates the situation of a pope who is bogged down on a subject where he publicly contradicts Christian Tradition? Indeed, according to this Tradition, the recognition of marriage as a sacrament can never authorize a Christian, a bishop or a pope to take the initiative in asking for homosexual civil cohabitation laws. This is “a gravely immoral” act, as Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have reminded us (cf. my 1st open letter).
In his homily at the Mass that opened the Conclave that elected him Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of the dictatorship of relativism and the danger it poses for the Church and the world. Today, with the answers given by Pope Francis to the five questions mentioned above, it can be said that relativism has indeed entered the official teaching of the Catholic Church. The pontificate of Francis is a danger for the Catholic Church and many of the faithful do not yet perceive this clearly: there are sometimes contradictions in what he says; there is often an inconsistency between what he says and what he does; he has changed the doctrine of the Church orally on many occasions (cf. my 1st and 4th open letters) and at least twice in writing (cf. my 2nd and 3rd open letters). All of this is obviously unprecedented and worrying. Let us hope that Pope Francis will take the measure of the situation and bring the only possible correction: the response of the Christian Tradition. If he does not do so, sooner or later a pope will come who will. What was said in my first open letter can be repeated here: Before a synod on synodality, our Church needs a synod on truth. Some, like Pilate, have the truth before their eyes but still dare to ask: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). In reality, they are not ready to take on the full implications of the truth because the truth is demanding. It is also disturbing once one has departed from it, because the moral conscience always reminds one of the necessity of truth.
Before concluding this letter, let us remember the dogma of papal infallibility (cf. Vatican Council I, First Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus on the Church of Christ, Chapter 4, July 18, 1870). By the grace of Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 16:18), it is absolutely impossible that St. Peter and his successors teach moral and doctrinal errors to Christians. What about Pope Francis? There is no doubt that he has taught moral and doctrinal errors to Christians. There is therefore an important question that all the Catholic faithful, Cardinals and Bishops must have the courage to ask, without fear of the consequences that a negative answer may imply: Is Pope Francis a true pope of the Catholic Church?
E. Conclusion of the five open letters addressed to Pope Francis, the Cardinals and the Bishops
Salus animarum suprema lex! The salvation of souls is the supreme law! The Catholic Church exists to take souls to Heaven. It is in the name of this reality that a public rectification by Pope Francis is absolutely necessary. We have been waiting for this rectification since 2016, i.e. for many years already! On this Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, we can still remember the fraternal and filial correction that the latter addressed to the former at Antioch. Christian Tradition has praised the courage of St. Paul and the humility of St. Peter. It is this same humility that all of us Christians must ask the Lord for Pope Francis: Let us love Pope Francis very much and pray the Mass and the Rosary for him every day! May St. Peter and St. Paul obtain for him the grace of true and profound humility so that he may clearly recognize his errors and accept to correct them in order to give the Catholic Church a lasting peace in doctrine, morals, liturgy and pastoral care! Pax Christi Ecclesia!
Father Jesusmary Missigbètò