Below is my response to Jimmy Akin’s latest published by the National Catholic Register on the subject of the Open Letter to the Bishops by now 51 theologians and clergyman against Pope Francis.
And so what if it could have been shown that Pelagius technically avoided the narrowly defined “canonical crime of heresy”? I wonder if the author of this article would have been just as motivated to intervene on behalf of the Sabellians to defend them from the “rash” accusation of “canonical heresy” because they did not technically deny any known dogma of their time. Or how about Marcion ? With all due respect, would the author, Jimmy Akin, have been as quick to jump in and defend Marcion from the charge of “heresy” as defined by modern Canon Law, since the full Canon of Scripture was not yet infallibly defined as a dogma, nor was it clearly manifested, in his lifetime, that the world-wide episcopate specifically condemned his views, per the ordinary and universal Magisterium ? Never mind the fact that all these men were branded with the name “heretic” from the inception of their errors. Men of good common Christian sense just knew they could use the term, such as St. Irenaeus. Somehow, men of old were just missing out on one of the greatest super-dogmas of our time, namely, that it is extremely hard to really be a heretic anymore. We have learned good reasons to have refined the definition of “heretic” since it makes it much harder to actually be one. This, surely, has really helped us out!
Jimmy Akin describes the “Open Letter to the Bishops” as sloppy, embarrassing, reckless, irresponsible, and incompetent. This is a strong choice of words, and he is free to use them. But here’s the problem that will not go away, no matter how many times well-meaning apologists such as Akin continue to go public with astrophysical-like and esoteric defenses of this Papacy: However much the authors of this Open Letter may be unaware of how well “nuanced” Amoris Laetitia really is, so as to just dodge their accusations, it is extremely unfitting for said apologists, who have themselves failed to adequately confront the problems that *really do exist* in the Catholic Church, to continue going vociferously on the record with this sort of finger pointing at traditional Catholics. One can rightly say that Akin has done his counting of mint, dil, and cumin when it comes to lawyering the technicalities of dogma, heresy, and sufficient grounds for accusation, but only while, at the same time, reminding everyone that he is only straining a gnat while the whole Catholic world continues to be confused by the modernists running the Church. In the case this message reaches whoever might influence Catholic Answers, I have plenty of issues they can begin to address pronto!