FIDUCIA SUPPLICANS NOT PART OF ‘AUTHENTIC MAGISTERIUM’, SAYS LEADING VATICAN THEOLOGIAN
The respected Vatican theologian Fr. Nicola Bux has said that Fiducia Supplicans (FS) “does not belong to the authentic Magisterium” and called on the document’s author, Cardinal Victor Fernandez, to resign.
Monsignor Bux, a former consultant to the Congregation (now Dicastery) of the Doctrine of Faith and friend and collaborator of the late Pope Benedict XVI, made his comments in a recent interview with Vatican journalist Edward Pentin.
Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former bishop of Tyler, Texas, shared Pentin’s interview with Bux on X, formerly Twitter, stating that “This article should be read by every Catholic who knows & loves the Church, she is the Bride of Christ & she proclaims Truth with logic & charity.”
Bux told Pentin, “For sure, Fiducia Supplicans does not belong to the ‘authentic Magisterium’ and is therefore not binding because what is affirmed in it is not contained in the written or transmitted word of God and which the Church, the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, either definitively, that is by solemn judgment, or with ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes to believe as divinely revealed.”
“One cannot even adhere to it with religious assent of will and intellect,” he added.
Bux explained that the division that was already present in the Catholic Church is now being exposed.
“Benedict XVI, in his Notes of April 11, 2019, described the origin of the debacle of Catholic morality, and thus also of divisions among Catholics, because of deeming the cohabitation of both a heterosexual and a homosexual couple as not sinful,” he stated. “The division or schism, previously submerged, has now emerged.”
Fr. Bux addressed the fact that FS is being frowned upon by other, more traditional denominations and religions.
“A Jewish friend who heard about Fiducia Supplicans [asked] me: ‘Doesn’t the Pope know the Bible?’ Not to mention the ridicule of Muslims and the distancing of the Orthodox who have now declared unity with Catholics impossible. Fiducia Supplicans and subsequent communiqués are the result of Prefect Fernandez’s ignorance,” Monsignor Bux said.
When the theologian was asked how the confusion caused by FS could be resolved, he replied:
“Explain that there’s nothing pastoral without ‘pasto’ (meal) because ‘doctrine is actually like food, the possessor of which is he who distributes it’ (St. Gregory Nazianzen). Doctrine, therefore, is pastoral, but if the shepherd does not have it, he cannot do pastoral work.”
“The drama of the Church today is the separation of the pastoral from doctrine, that is, of love from truth. And we are paying dearly for it, as John Paul II predicted.”
“Pope Francis should cancel Fiducia Supplicans and replace the prefect with a man of ‘sure, sound and pure doctrine,’ to use the Apostle’s words to Titus,” he concluded.
The esteemed theologian discussed the potential effects of FS and Pope Francis’s pontificate on the future of the Church.
“Whether it [the schism] will be formally declared at an upcoming ecclesial event, such as a synod or conclave, we shall see. Certainly, the next Pope will have to do an accounting and decide whether to deepen the division or mend it by convening a council.”
“Whoever is a candidate for pope will have to be asked in the pre-conclave congregations to answer the dubia accumulated since 2015, or else the division of the Church will deepen.”
“Surely the next Pope, if he does not want to be one only for one part of the Church, will have to ask himself the question: what is the mission of the Church? That of conforming to the world or saving it?” Fr. Bux stated.
“The unity of the Catholic Church is compromised by Fiducia Supplicans because, on such an essential moral truth, it accepts, in practice, opposing views among the Churches scattered around the world. One example: the new Bishop of Foggia said that his church will be the ‘church of Francis who blesses all.’ But is the Church not Jesus Christ’s?”
“Fernandez discredited himself by publishing a document that is the opposite of that of his predecessor, [Cardinal Luis] Ladaria, in 2021,” Bux said.
“Would this be a ‘development’ or rather a heterogenesis of doctrine? The Dicastery [of the Doctrine of the Faith] and the Holy See have humiliated themselves. Someone has already renamed the Dicastery ‘for the Destruction of the Faith.’”“Suspicion of ignorance and bad faith will weigh on Fernandez in any document he signs later. He should resign,” Bux concluded.