Is Pope Francis holding and professing different views (even on a personal level) from any of the traditional Catholic Church doctrines?

Two of the examples that are seen in the media are:

  1. Pope Francis believes & profess that salvation is possible without faith in the God revealed in the Scriptures and faith in the Christ God sent. His public statements are said to have served in a way to give light that he has a difference in the view from that of the Traditional teaching of the Catholic church.

  2. Pope Francis believe and profess that the sexual relationship between humans other than that allowed by the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church (between man and woman under the covenant of matrimony) can be allowed and not considered a sin.

A Reformed article named Papal Paganism’s Kiss of Death states so with citations.

Could someone clarify these issues, please?

Especially looking for answers from traditional Catholics.

  • 1
    The O.P. seeks clarification as to whether or not the Pope is moving away from traditional Catholic faith views. Surely this is to be welcomed as it gives Catholics an opportunity to refute the claims made in the article? Perhaps there is verifiable evidence from Catholic sources to clarify the official Catholic position on the topics mentioned. If I could flag up this question as helpful I would.
    – Lesley
    Jul 13, 2019 at 16:56
  • 3
    Your question is quite broad ∵ "moving far away" is vague and "traditional Catholic Faith on Salvation & Sexuality" is very broad. Could you be more specific?
    – Geremia
    Jul 13, 2019 at 21:08
  • Some of the comments made in your cited article are take out of context or are not completely accurate.
    – Ken Graham
    Jul 13, 2019 at 21:33
  • @curiousdannii I had edited this question since you marked it as opinion-based. There is also a detailed relevant and precise answer by Geremia. You have also not answered Geremia's comment above on your stand. What can be done to take away the closed status of this question? I would like to give a bounty to Geremia. Thank you :-) Oct 3, 2020 at 10:14
  • I think this could be an acceptable question if you focused on a single one of these issues, presented the quotes in the question rather than just linking offsite, and also gave a quote to something from the Bible or the Catechism that seems contradictory to the Francis quote. Then this could be a how-can-these-teachings-be-reconciled type of question.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 3, 2020 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


In September 2016, four cardinals, with the support of many other clerics, questioned the orthodoxy of Francis's document on marriage and the family, Amoris Lætitia, in the form of five dubia ("doubts"):

  1. It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio ["in a marital way"]?
  2. After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 79, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?
  3. After Amoris Laetitia (301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, “Declaration,” June 24, 2000)?
  4. After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 81, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?
  5. After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 56, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

(emphases in original)

Briefly, they question if Francis supports

  1. Communion for adulterous couples?
  2. moral relativism?
  3. living in sin?
  4. there not being intrinsically evil acts?
    (e.g., homosexual acts, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, etc.)
  5. private interpretation of moral norms?

After years of Francis refusing to address these dubia, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and four bishops issued the Declaration of the Truths relating to some of the most common Errors in the Life of the Church of our Time on May 31, 2019, which reiterates Catholic teaching on the

  • Fundamentals of Faith (#1-2)
  • Creed (#3-11)
  • Law of God (#12-29)
  • Sacraments (#30-40)

in 40 brief points (cf. their accompanying explanatory note).

For example, the Declaration of the Truths says, in response to dubia number

  1. 37. By virtue of the will of Christ and the unchangeable Tradition of the Church, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may not be given to those who are in a public state of objectively grave sin, and sacramental absolution may not be given to those who express their unwillingness to conform to Divine law, even if their unwillingness pertains only to a single grave matter (see Council of Trent, sess. 14, c. 4; Pope John Paul II, Message to the Major Penitentiary Cardinal William W. Baum, on March 22, 1996).
  2. 12. A justified person has the sufficient strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the Divine law, since all of the commandments of God are possible for the justified. God’s grace, when it justifies the sinner, does of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin (see Council of Trent, sess. 6, Decree on Justification, c. 11; c. 13).
  3. 22. Anyone, husband or wife, who has obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom he or she is validly married, and has contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of his legitimate spouse, and who lives in a marital way with the civil partner, and who chooses to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of the act and with full consent of the will to that act, is in a state of mortal sin and therefore can not receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity. Therefore, these Christians, unless they are living as “brother and sister,” cannot receive Holy Communion (see John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 84).
  4. 15. “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God, which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, 62). There are moral principles and moral truths contained in Divine revelation and in the natural law which include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid certain kinds of action, inasmuch as these kinds of action are always gravely unlawful on account of their object. Hence, the opinion is wrong that says that a good intention or a good consequence is or can ever be sufficient to justify the commission of such kinds of action (see Council of Trent, sess. 6 de iustificatione, c. 15; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17; Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 80).
  5. 20. By natural and Divine law no human being may voluntarily and without sin exercise his sexual powers outside of a valid marriage. It is, therefore, contrary to Holy Scripture and Tradition to affirm that conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God, although one or both persons is sacramentally married to another person (see 1 Cor 7: 11; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 84).

(my emphases)

Since all these truths are interconnected, read the full document for a complete explanation.

  • Are these clergy long time sedevacantists, or do they include those who until Francis were supportive of the pope?
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 13, 2019 at 22:42
  • 3
    @curiousdannii None of the signatories on these documents are openly sedevacantist.
    – Geremia
    Jul 13, 2019 at 22:48
  • Thank you so much for the detailed answer @Geremia . Did Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke do this on behalf of Francis? Jul 14, 2019 at 5:50
  • 1
    @SijuGeorge Not that I know of. perhaps
    – Geremia
    Jul 17, 2019 at 3:57
  • 2
    @Geremia. The 2 PDF documents are no longer hosted at ncregister.com but I found them at onepeterfive.com: the full document and the explanatory note. Oct 7, 2020 at 11:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .