Priests and Academics Accuse the Pope of Rome of Heresy
It has happened before. And now it has happened again.
With the sweeping changes which the first-ever Jesuit pope, Francis I, has been seeking to make to both the doctrine and practice of the Roman Catholic religion, it was inevitable that conservative Roman Catholics, firmly committed to orthodox Popish doctrine, would accuse him of being a heretic.
The latest such accusation occurred in April 2019.
19 conservative priests and Roman Catholic academics (more signed it afterwards) wrote an open letter, publicly accusing their pope of teaching heresy, and thus of being a heretic. And they went further still: they addressed the bishops of the entire Papal system, appealing to them to recognise Francis’ error, denounce him as a heretic, and what’s more – remove him from being pope of Rome.
In their own summary of their open letter, the authors write:
“The Open Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church is the third stage in a process that began in the summer of 2016.
“At that time, an ad hoc group of Catholic clergy and scholars wrote a private letter to all the cardinals and Eastern Catholic patriarchs, pointing out heresies and other serious errors that appeared to be contained in or favoured by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.
“The following year, after Pope Francis had continued by word, deed, and omission to propagate many of these same heresies, a ‘Filial Correction’ was addressed to the pope by many of the same people, as well as by other clergy and scholars. The second letter was made public in September 2017, and a petition in support of it was signed by some 14,000 people. The authors of that letter stated however that they did not seek to judge whether Pope Francis was aware that he was causing heresy to spread.
“The present Open Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church goes a stage further in claiming that Pope Francis is guilty of the crime of heresy.
“This crime is committed when a Catholic knowingly and persistently denies something which he knows that the Church teaches to be revealed by God.”
The signatories also stated: “We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’ words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church.” And: “We therefore request that your Lordships [i.e. the bishops] urgently address the situation of Pope Francis’ public adherence to heresy”, and “publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed.”
What is Francis Accused Of?
What are his heresies, according to the letter? They wrote: “We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied.” Among other things, the signatories accuse him of being too soft on divorced Roman Catholics; of not being outspoken in condemning abortion; of being too soft on, and indeed welcoming to, homosexuals; of being too accommodating to Protestants and Muslims; of supporting prelates who have disgraced the “Church” by their scandalous lives; etc.
To provide a little more detail of the things they are accusing him of:
In 2016 Francis published Amoris Laetitia, his document on marriage, divorce and remarriage. This comes in for strong criticism in the letter. Roman Catholic “Church” law does not permit divorce, and it states that divorced Roman Catholics who have remarried in civil ceremonies cannot partake of “communion” unless they abstain from sexual relations with their new partner, because their first marriage is still valid according to “Church” doctrine, unless it has been annulled. But Francis has made it possible for certain exceptions to be made to this. He has placed the final decision in the hands of a priest or bishop working together with the individual concerned. This relaxing of official Popish law was strongly criticised at the time it was published, and continued to be criticised thereafter by doctrinal conservatives within the priesthood and elsewhere.
Then, as to Rome’s relations with Lutherans: the open letter brings up the fact that Francis once said that Martin Luther’s intentions “were not mistaken”. And it criticised him for signing a joint statement with Lutherans in 2016, in which he stated that Roman Catholics were grateful for the “theological gifts” of the Reformation. According to orthodox Roman Catholic teaching, the Reformation was a disaster for Rome and something satanic, and Luther and the other Reformers were destroyers and heretics.
As for Francis’ approach to Islam, the letter criticised him for making a joint statement with a Muslim leader in February 2019, in Abu Dhabi, in which it was said that the plurality and diversity of religions was the will of God. This was a denial of orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine, which states that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic religion.
The letter’s authors also state that Francis is guilty of publicly praising, or raising to influential positions, various prelates and others despite the fact that they reject orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine and morals. And they name these men.
Are the authors of this open letter correct in their accusations of heresy levelled at Francis?
Yes, they are – always bearing in mind that by “heresy” they mean deviations from Roman Catholic doctrine – not from biblical truth. They don’t care about that. Roman Catholic theology is not the same thing as biblical doctrine. Inasmuch as Francis has departed from Roman Catholic theology, he proclaims heresy according to Roman Catholicism. He is guilty of what they accuse him of. He has departed from official Roman Catholic doctrine, and he has supported men holding positions within his false “Church” who are also heretics against Roman Catholic theology.
But why is he doing this?
The Jesuits’ Modus Operandi
Francis is a Jesuit, a fact which must never, ever be forgotten or ignored, because this explains almost everything we need to know about the man.
The Jesuit Order exists, and always has existed, for one supreme purpose: to bring the entire world into submission to the Papacy. But their fanatical belief that “the end justifies the means” to achieve their goals is the reason why, despite portraying themselves as the great defenders of Roman Catholic doctrinal orthodoxy, they have never hesitated to change Roman Catholic doctrine, ignore Roman Catholic doctrine, and even readily follow the teachings of other religions, if to do so will advance the Jesuit agenda.
G.B. Nicolini, in his History of the Jesuits, wrote in 1884: “Draw the character [of the Jesuit] as he seems in London and you will not recognise the portrait of the Jesuit in Rome. The Jesuit is the man of circumstances, despotic in Spain, constitutional in England, republican in Paraguay, bigot in Rome, idolater in India. He will assume and act out in his own person all the different features by which men are usually distinguished from each other. He will accompany the gay woman of the world to the theatre and will share in the excess of debauchee. Solemn countenance, he will take his place by the side of the religious man at church or revel in the tavern. He dresses in all garbs, speaks all languages, knows all customs, is present everywhere though nowhere recognised. And all this, it would seem – O monstrous blasphemy! – for the greater glory of God.”
In my book, The Jesuits: the Secret Army of the Papacy, I wrote: “While, in general, the Roman Catholic institution has never had any qualms about ‘re-interpreting’, or even dispensing entirely with, the commandments of God… the Jesuits, in particular, are masters at this. In this way they have often endeared themselves to the people, and in particular to the upper classes, whom they have always sought to control. By being lenient in the confessional, imposing slight penances for sins or even justifying sin whenever it suited them, they became the most popular confessors of the rich and powerful in many lands – and still are.”
Although their stated aim is to defend the Papacy and advance the Roman Catholic institution around the world, the pope of Rome is the mere figurehead as far as they are concerned. They must call the shots. They must rule the world behind the papal throne. This is why the Jesuit general is known as “the black pope” – he rules from deep within the shadows. This is why the Jesuits have raised men to the papal throne, and assassinated popes who did not do their bidding. And this is why, in 2013 at a time of global crisis for the Roman Catholic institution which they knew only they could overcome, they placed one of their own members, a Jesuit priest from Argentina named Jose Maria Bergoglio, on the papal throne.
The Jesuit Pope is a Jesuit First and Foremost
When Bergoglio became pope of Rome, taking the name of Francis I, the Jesuit Order reached the pinnacle of its power. It was now sitting astride the world. When he was elected, Francis was perceived to be a doctrinal conservative. And so he may be – as long as to be so works in the favour of Jesuitism. However, should his Jesuit Order command him to believe something different, or to alter or even jettison a particular Papist doctrine, or doctrines, “for the greater good” – he will not hesitate to do so. For a true Jesuit obeys orders from his superiors without question. And Francis is –despite being pope – a Jesuit under orders. He takes his instructions from the Jesuit general.
And the fact is that, since becoming pope, Francis has often shown a leniency, a flexibility, to particular Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, which has greatly alarmed Roman Catholic conservatives. He has taken a decidedly less than rigid approach, for example, to divorce, abortion, and sodomy. This has made him the darling of liberals worldwide, both inside and outside his religion – but alarm bells have been ringing for a long time in the ears of those who hold to traditional, conservative Roman Catholic theology. He pays lip service to doctrinal conservatism, but then says things which are very evidently opposite to it. This is typical Jesuitism. It is to speak with a forked tongue. It is to be all things to all men.
Why the Attack on Francis will Almost Certainly Not Succeed
Many, many times the Jesuits have been accused of heresy by other Romish leaders. And now some of them are accusing their pope, himself, of being a heretic – because he is a Jesuit, and is following the Jesuits methods to the letter.
For example, one of the heresies the authors of the open letter accuse Francis of committing, is expressed thus: “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.” This is pure Jesuitism! This kind of theology can be found stated over and over again in the writings of Jesuit authors. For examples of what they are prepared to tolerate and overlook, see my article, Jesuit “Moral Theology” and the Destruction of Western Morality. It will shock most people, so abysmal is the knowledge of Jesuitism today.
Many, many times, during the four and a half centuries during which the Jesuits have existed and encircled the Papacy with their tentacles, priests, bishops and leaders of various other Roman Catholic religious orders – even popes – have tried to destroy them; all without success. Yes, from time to time in their history they have been suppressed, or booted out of this country or that; but like a cancer they have always returned. This attempt, then, to accuse a Jesuit of heresy is merely the latest in a long line of such attempts by Romish priests, bishops and others, to curtail or defeat Jesuitical power. The problem for these men, however, is that this time the Jesuit they are accusing of heresy sits on the papal throne itself, and moreover is phenomenally popular throughout the Roman Catholic world, and in fact the world in general. The Jesuit Order holds the Vatican, and the worldwide “Church” of Rome, in a vice grip. Francis is their man. It will take more – much, much more – than an open letter from some disgruntled Papists to unseat him. In fact, there is every reason (humanly speaking) to believe that he will die in office before that happens.
A Warning to True Christians
Lastly, a word of warning to true Christians: be careful that in this matter, as in all matters, you are informed by the Word of God, the Bible, and not swayed by the devil’s subtlety. Yes, Francis is a heretic – but not because some Romish priests and academics say so. He is a heretic because the Word of God says so! As pope of Rome, he is the very arch-heretic itself – the present Antichrist, just as all popes before him have been the Antichrist while they reigned, and as any pope after him will be the Antichrist at that time; that Man of Sin, that Son of Perdition, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped” (2 Thess. 2:4); “whose coming is after the working of Satan” (v.9).
Yes, be very careful in this matter! First, understand that Francis I is a heretic according to the Word of God. But second (and just as importantly), understand that the Papists who oppose him and call him a heretic, are heretics themselves according to the Word of God! It would be a terrible error to think that because these men oppose Francis, they are somehow orthodox. They may be “orthodox” according to Roman Catholic theology, but not according to biblical truth. It is the pot calling the kettle black. It is a set of heretics accusing another of being a heretic.
Roman Catholicism is a vast system of antichristian doctrine. Its priests are not Christians, its people are not Christians, and it is not a Christian church. Too many Protestant preachers and authors have made this shocking error. In ignorance almost beyond comprehension, they place Roman Catholicism within the broad parameters of Christianity. They apply the word, “Church”, to it. They say it is error-filled Christianity, but Christianity nonetheless. They speak of “some Roman Catholics being Christians.” This is shocking error, and that any professing man of God holds to it is disgraceful. The harm that has been done by such unbiblical teaching!
Roman Catholicism is the most foul, antichristian, false religious system the world has ever known. It is no more Christian than Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam. It is the devil’s lie. It does not matter if its priests or people are conservative or liberal in doctrine – for conservative Roman Catholic doctrine is just as heretical as liberal Roman Catholic doctrine. Both are unscriptural! Both are doctrines of devils! And Roman Catholics, whether conservative or liberal, are on the broad way that leads to destruction.
Be warned, then, Christian! These accusations of heresy, etc., are the internal squabblings of the deceived against the deceived. Do not be deceived yourself, on this matter, in the process!
Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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. History of the Jesuits, by G.B. Nicolini. George Bell and Sons, London, 1884.
. The Jesuits: the Secret Army of the Papacy, by Shaun Willcock, pg. 13. Bible Based Ministries, 2012. Available from: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. The Jesuit Roman Pope Francis I, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2014. This article is available from: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. Jesuit “Moral Theology” and the Destruction of Western Morality, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2017. Available from: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. The Jesuits: the Secret Army of the Papacy, pgs. 20-22.