The Capital Charge

ADMITTEDLY, there have been many edifying discourses during these ten years of your Pontificate and a number of cases in which your decisions served to further the glory of God and the welfare of souls. If we say little about these, that is not because we are unaware of them. It was these words and acts which influenced us to view in the best, the most Catholic, light much that at first sight appeared suspect.

Nevertheless, a careful study leaves us in no doubt that it is change and novelty rather than Tradition which is given pride of place and that both your words and your acts witness to a spirit that is incompatible with the truly Catholic spirit of the Church. This is evident primarily in the general pattern that underlies your doings, and appears on the practical, empirical, rather than on the theoretical or doctrinal level. It is this general guideline which I make bold enough to refer to as “ heteropraxy ”. But even assuming that in your own mind this pattern has remained nothing more than a practical guide line and has never been translated into terms of doctrine, it has nevertheless provoked a change in doctrinal thinking in the Church. And as you too have referred to it in terms of a change in thinking on matters connected with the Faith, we are obliged to characterise it as indeed a “ heterodoxy ”.

For a Pontiff cannot go on acting in a manner different from his thinking without coming eventually to think in the way he acts.