I signed this petition because it was written respectfully and charitably and is in the RIGHT! I hope you agree and prayerfully consider signing it. May God Bless you and Our Church!
Dear Petition Signer,
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Please accept our gratitude for your support of the “People of God Respond” petition at www.PopeFrancisPetition.com. We are happy to report that in seven days the petition has amassed over 6,000 signatures.
When we authored the petition we knew that the allegations brought forward by Archbishop Viganò would produce a terrible grief among God’s faithful. Many would be embittered and some so scandalized as to lose their faith. Our intention was that this petition would give ordinary Catholics a concrete, positive and constructive outlet to express their feelings and their anguish, and then to organize and communicate this to the Holy Father.
While, naturally, we cannot anticipate the Holy Father’s response, the petition itself is having a profound impact. What has surprised us all is the effect of the petition on the clergy. Scores of clergy have signed, along with many religious sisters and brothers. The secretary of one bishop even messaged us and expressed the bishop’s thanks for the charitable and respectful language we used. The next day this bishop issued his own public statement calling for an investigation into the claims made by Archbishop Viganò.
This is exactly the kind of effect that we hoped to bring about!
Our expectation is that as the number of signatures increase, even more bishops will find the courage to speak out and demand to know the truth of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations. As the number of bishops asking to know the truth increases, so will the scope and momentum of this movement. We have signed a petition, but have begun a movement in the Church.
Some people have asked, via social media, why the petition expressly refuses to call for the resignation of Pope Francis. The reason is simply this, we have no authority to ask the Pontiff to resign. This is the Church’s own dogmatic belief; we can find it in the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus of the first Vatican Council (July 18, 1870): “The judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment. Therefore, they stray from the straight path of truth who affirm that it is permitted to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an ecumenical Council, as to an authority higher than the Roman Pontiff.”
The Code of Canon Law has concretely enshrined this belief in Canon 1556, which says: “The First See is judged by no one.”
Thus, there is no earthly authority that can force the Roman Pontiff to do anything he does not will. He answers only to God. The freedom of Christ’s Church requires that its visible Head on earth be free to make decisions, but not be forced into one. For this reason, we chose language that would appeal to the Holy Father’s spiritual paternity. We asked him to consider the pain these allegations have caused us and to assess honestly the current crisis the Church faces, and then to do what is necessary to end both.
While the petition does make reference to the authority that the People of God possess, it is an authority of children, not of parents. Nevertheless, we are confident that this approach will be taken much more seriously by both the ecclesiastical authorities who read it, as well as by Pope Francis himself.
What more can we do?
First, we can continue to share this petition among our friends, both by email and by social media (Facebook and Twitter … links are below). You are the petition’s only advertising. Explain to those with whom you speak the reasons why you signed and ask them to sign it as well. Secondly, we can pray and do penance against the blasphemies and sacrileges which we read about daily. Even a simple Hail Mary, when added to the prayers of so many like-minded Catholics, and offered to the Father in union with the prayer of Jesus, cannot be ignored. God will see to it that his Church is cleaned of corruption!
With grateful thanks in Our Lord Jesus,
The Authors of
The People of God Respond