Francis’ New Doctrine Czar Warns Bishops Against Judging ‘Doctrine of the Holy Father’

The incoming prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has warned that bishops — both “progressive” and those from “traditionalist groups” — who think they have a “special gift of the Holy Spirit to judge the doctrine of the Holy Father” are on a road to “heresy” and “schism.”

Speaking in response to a question on accepting Pope Francis’ magisterium, Cardinal-designate Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández told Register senior correspondent Edward Pentin in an exclusive Sept. 8 email interview that the Pope not only has a duty to guard and preserve the “static” deposit of faith, but also a second, unique charism, only given to Peter and his successors, which is “a living and active gift.”

“I do not have this charism, nor do you, nor does Cardinal [Raymond] Burke. Today only Pope Francis has it,” said Archbishop Fernández who takes over from outgoing Spanish prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer this week and will be elevated to cardinal at a consistory on Sept. 30. Cardinal Burke recently wrote the preface of a book that was sharply critical of the upcoming Synod on Synodality and has often expressed concerns about some teaching of this pontificate.

“Now, if you tell me that some bishops have a special gift of the Holy Spirit to judge the doctrine of the Holy Father, we will enter into a vicious circle (where anyone can claim to have the true doctrine) and that would be heresy and schism,” he said.

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