Catholic Family News

Appeal to the Cardinals by International Clergy and Academics

Appeal to the Cardinals

In response to the confusion created by Pope Francis’ attempt to alter the Catechism of the Catholic Church to include doctrine contrary to Scripture and Tradition, an international group of clergy and academics, including CFN Editor-in-Chief Brian McCall, have appealed to the College of Cardinals to intervene.

According to the press release announcing the delivery of the letter, it is the legal right of Catholics to appeal to their pastors in such circumstances: “According to the Church’s own law, competent Catholics ‘have the right and even at times the duty to manifest […] their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful’ (Code of Canon Law, Canon 212). St Thomas Aquinas, considered a model for Catholic theologians, likewise held that “if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 33, art. 4, ad. 2).

Below is a copy of the letter delivered to the Dean of the College of Cardinals today, August 15, 2018.  Let us pray that the Cardinals will have the fortitude to respond to the grace of state of their office and to give witness to the truth.


To their Most Reverend Eminences, the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church,

Since it is a truth contained in the word of God, and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Catholic Church, that criminals may lawfully be put to death by the civil power when this is necessary to preserve just order in civil society, and since the present Roman pontiff has now more than once publicly manifested his refusal to teach this doctrine, and has rather brought great confusion upon the Church by seeming to contradict it, and by inserting into the Catechism of the Catholic Church a paragraph which will cause and is already causing many people, both believers and non-believers, to suppose that the Church considers, contrary to the word of God, that capital punishment is intrinsically evil, we hereby call upon Your Eminences to advise His Holiness that it is his duty to put an end to this scandal, to withdraw this paragraph from the Catechism, and to teach the word of God unadulterated; and we venture to state our conviction that this is a duty seriously binding upon yourselves, before God and before the Church.

Dr. Hadley Arkes, Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions emeritus at Amherst College; founder and director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding, Washington D.C.

Fr. Claude Barthe, Diocesan Priest

Dame Colleen Bayer, DSG, Founder, Family Life International NZ

Dr Joseph Bessette, Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics, Claremont McKenna College

James Bogle Esq., TD MA Dip Law, barrister (trial attorney), former President FIUV, former Chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain

Fr. John Boyle, JCL

Dr. Patrick Brennan, Professor of Law and John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University

Judie Brown, President, American Life League

Dr. J. Budziszewski, Professor of Government and Philosophy, University of Texas

Dr. Isobel Camp, Professor of Philosophy, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy

Fr. Michael Gilmary Cermak MMA

Fr. Richard Cipolla

Dr. Eric Claeys, AB, JD, Scalia School of Law, George Mason University

Fr. Linus F Clovis, Ph.D, JCL, M.SC., STB

Dr. Travis Cook, Associate Professor of Government and Political Philosophy, Belmont Abbey College

Dr. S. A. Cortright, Professor of Philosophy, Saint Mary’s College of California
Hon. Donald J. Devine, Senior Scholar, The Fund for American Studies

Dr. Cyrille Dounot, Professor of Legal History, Université Clermont Auvergne; ecclesiastical lawyer, ecclesiastical court of Lyon

Dr. Patrick Downey, Professor of Philosophy, Saint Mary’s College of California

Dr. Eduardo Echeverria, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary Dr Edward Feser, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Pasadena City College

Dr. Alan Fimister, Assistant Professor of Theology at St John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver

Dr. Luca Gili, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Université du Québec à Montréal

Dr. Maria Guarini, editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio

Fr. Brian Harrison, OS, STD, Associate Professor of Theology (retired), Pontifical University of Puerto Rico

John D. Hartigan, retired attorney and past member, Public Policy Committee of the New York State Catholic Conference

Dr. L. Joseph Hebert, Professor of Political Science and Leadership Studies; Director, Pre-Law Studies, St. Ambrose University, Davenport

Dr. Maike Hickson, journalist

Dr. Robert Hickson, Retired Professor of Literature and Strategic-Cultural Studies

Dr. Rafael Huntelmann, Publisher, Editiones Scholasticae

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

Fr. Albert Kallio, OP, Professor of Philosophy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, New Mexico

Dr. Robert C. Koons, Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Peter Koritansky, Professor of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, independent scholar and author

Dr. John Lamont STL, DPhil. (Oxon.)

Fr. Serafino M. Lanzetta STD

Dr. Robert Lazu, Independent Scholar and Writer

Dr. James P. Lucier, Former Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Dr. Pietro De Marco, former professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Florence.

Dr. Joseph Martin, Associate Professor of Communication, Montreat College

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

Dr. Brian McCall, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Director of the Law Center, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law, University of Oklahoma

Fr. Paul McDonald, parish priest of Chippawa, Ontario

Dr. Stéphane Mercier, former lecturer in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium)

Robert T. Miller, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law

Fr. Alfredo Morselli, SSL, parish priest in the diocese of Bologna

Maureen Mullarkey, Senior Contributor, The Federalist

Fr. Gerald Murray, JCD, Pastor, Church of the Holy Family, New York, NY

Fr. Reto Nay

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

Giorgio Nicolini, Writer, Director of Tele Maria

Dr. Lukas Novak, Lecturer in Philosophy, Faculty of Theology, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice

Dr. Thomas Osborne, Professor of Philosophy, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas

Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Professor of Ethics, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America

Dr. Paolo Pasqualucci, retired Professor of Philosophy, University of Perugia, Italy

Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile

Dr. Thomas Pink, Professor of Philosophy, King’s College London

Rev. Andrew Pinsent, DPhil, PhD, Research Director, Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford

Dr. Alyssa Pitstick

Dr. Donald S. Prudlo, Professor of Ancient and Medieval History, Jacksonville State University

Prof. Enrico Maria Radaelli, Philosopher

Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California

Richard M. Reinsch II, Editor, Law and Liberty

Fr George W. Rutler, STD, MSt. (Oxon.), LLD. Pastor, Church of Saint Michael the Archangel, New York City

Matthew Schmitz, Senior Editor, First Things    

Dr. Josef Seifert, Founding Rector of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein

Dr. Joseph Shaw, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University

Dr. Anna Silvas, Adjunct senior research fellow, University of New England; Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Dr. Michael Sirilla, Professor of Dogmatic and Systematic Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

R. J. Stove, writer and editor

Fr. Alberto Strumia, retired professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Bari, Italy

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

Dr. Joseph G. Trabbic, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Ave Maria University, Florida

Dr. Giovanni Turco, Associate Professor of Philosophy of Public Law at the University of Udine; Corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Dr. Michael Uhlmann, Professor in the Division of Politics & Economics, Claremont Graduate University

Dr. Thomas Ward, Founder of the National Association of Catholic Families and former Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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Brian McCall

With degrees from Yale University, the University of London, and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. McCall is a member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Mr. McCall became Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News in 2018. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law, politics, and Catholic Social Teaching and has made frequent speaking appearances at academic and Catholic conferences on these topics. He and his wife are the parents of six children.

Brian McCall

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With degrees from Yale University, the University of London, and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. McCall is a member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Mr. McCall became Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News in 2018. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law, politics, and Catholic Social Teaching and has made frequent speaking appearances at academic and Catholic conferences on these topics. He and his wife are the parents of six children.