Restoring the Kingship of Christ in Great Britain

Dismantling the Church



We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical.


A packed St Peters Square in the 1950s

A packed St Peter’s Square in the 1950s

Pope Francis’s latest Apostolic Letter, Ad theologiam promovendam[1], was published on November 1st 2023. Its aim is to redefine the role of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The Pope explains in paragraph 2 that the Pontifical Academy was founded by Pope Clement XI in the 18th century “to place theology at the service of the Church and the world”. Francis now wants to review the Academy’s norms and “to make them more suitable for the mission that our time imposes on theology”.   As often in documents published in Pope Francis’s name, the majority of quotations in the letter come from Francis’s own speeches and writings. However, it seems very unlikely that he is the author of the text, even though of course he has approved it. It includes awful passages of academic jargon, presumably written by someone else, such as the following:  

“This relational dimension connotes and defines, from an epistemic point of view, the status of theology, which is driven not to close itself in self-referentiality, which leads to isolation and insignificance, but to perceive itself as inserted in a web of relationships, first of all with other disciplines and other knowledge. It is the approach of transdisciplinarity, that is, interdisciplinarity in the strong sense, distinct from multidisciplinarity, understood as interdisciplinarity in the weak sense.”

In contrast to all the Church’s magisterium prior to Vatican II, the Pope as usual highlights the need above all to get with the times and to put the bad old days behind us:

“To promote theology in the future, one cannot limit oneself to abstractly re-proposing formulas and schemes from the past”.

An almost empty St Peter’s Square in the 2020s

As the Catholic Church did with the Nicene Creed or the Council of Trent, for example…

Francis is here continuing his plan to dismantle the Church’s institutions, while rejecting his essential role of passing on what he received. As suggested in the quotation from Pope Pius XII at the top of this article, Pope Francis wants to substitute a vaguely fraternal community of all the believers (and unbelievers) for the real, “juridical” Church and its institutions.Ad theologiam promovendam calls for a “fundamentally contextual theology, capable of reading and interpreting the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women daily live, in the different geographical, social and cultural environments and having as an archetype the Incarnation of the Logos. From here, theology can only develop into a culture of dialogue and encounter between different traditions and different forms of knowledge, between different Christian confessions and different religions, openly confronting everyone, believers and non-believers.”

In this document Pope Francis is once again taking the doctrines developed by liberal Catholics during the 19th and 20th centuries, and unfortunately adopted by the Church at Vatican II, to their extreme and logical conclusions. But we can hope and pray that a future pope will take up the Church’s authentic magisterium once again and that documents like this will soon be just a bad memory.

[1] Only the Italian version was available at the time of writing:


read this article in Spanish : Desmantelamiento de la Iglesia 

read this article in French: Démantèlement de l’Église