20 Responses to Open Letter to Pope Francis: Are You Planning to Redefine Church Doctrine?

  1. This is a truly outstanding article. To use a kind of adolescent expression: this article practically knocked me off my chair. The piece from The Remnant that Dr. Bowring links to in the fourth paragraph is even more overwhelming.

    Depose the pope for heresy? Some great saints and theologians and members of the clergy have considered this question at various times in the past.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    Dr Boring calls his missive an “open letter”. I call it an open lecture, and an insolent, condescending, patronizing and prolix one at that. The words ‘calumny’ and ‘hitjob’ also come to mind. It’s enough to make even Michael Voris blush. Regrettably, I have to say that much of what he writes strikes a raw nerve in me, but for a Catholic theologian of his apparent standing to think this was an appropriate thing to send to the pope, let also post on the internet, makes me question his judgement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. toadspittle says:

    Good grief, JH – we agree.
    I was simply going to say, well it’s a all bit iffy, innit?


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Not sure that “we agree”. What I object to is the tone of Bowring’s letter and his disseminating it in a public forum, even though his concerns mirror my own to some extent.
    I must also add that, despite Bowring’s poor judgement, the posting of his letter on CP&S was justifiable imo, if only as a cautionary tale for other would-be papal correspondents.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    From a Catholic World News report regarding the pope’s audience yesterday with the bishops of Latvia and Estonia:

    “Stating that “single-parent families” are “in need of a special pastoral attention” because of the increased challenges they face in raising children, the Pope added that “today marriage is often considered a form of emotional gratification that can be constituted in any way and change according to the sensibility of each one. Unfortunately this reductive conception infuses also the mentality of Christians, causing an ease in resorting to divorce or separation,” he said, as he called upon bishops and priests to offer assistance “so that the children do not become the first victims and spouses do not feel excluded from the mercy of God and the solicitude of the Church.”


    So, all is not lost and this pontificate may yet prove loyal to the faith of our fathers. But sadly, confusion has been and still is being sown. That this has happened (one hopes) unintentionally is cold comfort for Catholics who are alarmed at our captain’s seeming drift toward the lee shore for whatever reason.


  6. Tom Fisher says:

    It is not recorded if Dr. Bowring received a reply – or a ‘phone call

    Er; if you follow the links to the other articles he wrote, you can see it would be a very odd phone call indeed!

    Hi! Dr. Bowring? Pope here. I’m not actually a wolf, false prophet, or anti-Christ. Sorry to disappoint, have a nice day

    Dr. Bowring doesn’t actually seem to have anything to “pin on” the Pope, it’s all just ominous sounding questions. For example one could write:

    Dear Toad,

    Some dog owners are terrible and abusive. You are a dog owner. Do you care for your dogs Toad? Some dog owners neglect their dogs. Even in Spain there are bad dog owners. Just saying Toad, Just saying..*

    *Just parody to make a point! (No offense intended Toad 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gertrude says:

    Perhaps I had better explain that I put this article up (and was a bit naughty) to see just what kind of reaction it would get. I am not disappointed. Whilst there are many confusing aspects of the papacy it is not suprising that the confusion spreads. I hope to agree with JohnHenry in that Francis may yet prove to be loyal to ‘the faith of our fathers’. Time will tell.


  8. Brother Burrito says:

    Mr Toad, would you tell the Court when it was

    you stopped beating your dogs?


  9. JabbaPapa says:

    There are no indications that the Pope is “planning to redefine Church Doctrine” (except from the ranks of the usual suspects).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Perhaps not, JP, but are there not some well-founded reasons for fearing the influence of those usual suspects on his thinking?


  11. geoffkiernan says:

    Gertrude: Your, “I hope to agree with JH……………..” is not very convincing…. and “time will tell”?
    The time you speak of is about October 2015


  12. geoffkiernan says:

    “Except from the ranks of the usual suspects” smacks of the same that prompted the “Howsabout reminding the ‘ists’ comment from ‘the wearing of a mantilla’ days. Seems another explanation is necessary, but will we get one?


  13. kathleen says:

    I have been a bit nervous about commenting on this article… for after all, this is a strongly-worded critique of the Vicar of Christ, whether we like Pope Francis or not being irrelevant here.

    Personally, I agree that the tone of the “open letter” is “insolent, condescending”, and I would add aggressively challenging and accusative, so I doubt whether any reply would have been given by the Pope or the Vatican.

    However (and I feel compelled to say it) there is no doubt whatsoever that confusion is rife in the Church today thanks to the many tactless words and disconcerting actions of Pope Francis, and most of the questions being asked him by Dr. Kelly Bowring are ones that I would like to ask him myself*.

    Ed. *albeit, using a more deferential tone!


  14. Tom Fisher says:

    Re the letter; perhaps this is one of those situations where seeing something done badly, at least reminds us that it might be worth doing properly.


  15. johnhenrycn says:

    Then we agree, Kathleen, because most of the questions asked by Bowring are ones that I would ask if allowed to over a cup of tea or glass of wine. However, whilst sipping same, unlike this rube of a theologian, I would delicately skirt around references to wolves, heretical popes, apostasy, schisms, false prophets and the anti-christ. I figure this Bowring must be about 35, which is about the last time when one has an excuse for being a total dork.


  16. Tom Fisher says:

    Yes JH, I had exactly the same thought. It does rather smack of a young man trying to make a reputation.

    Google image search certainly didn’t dissuade me:


  17. toadspittle says:

    “…about 35, which is about the last time when one has an excuse for being a total dork.”
    That was about the age Toad ran out of excuses. Didn’t stop him dorking, though.

    Mr. Bowring* should consider a co-book deal with Mr. Dan Brown. Make a fortune – with which they can buy lots of black babies, as I was encouraged to do, when a child in the ashes.
    Remember Gertrude? Often wonder what became of my ones.

    *Etiquette from GC.

    Toad does not beat his dogs. Often considers strangling one or two.


  18. Tom Fisher says:

    Mr. Bowring

    No Toad. Dr. Bowring

    Dr Bowring Phd



  19. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad says: “Bowring should consider a co-book deal with Mr. Dan Brown.”

    “The wind is against us on this blog” blustered Kelly Bowring.
    “Yes, they’ve taken the wind out of our sails” said Dan Brown disgustedly.


  20. toadspittle says:

    “Dr. Bowring’s got it in for Pope Francis,” said Tom and JH, pontifically.

    If Toad was shopping for a haddock, and saw one on the slab that had eyes like Dr. Bowring – he’d leave it there. “But I haven’t got haddock’s eyes,” said Dr. Bowring, glassily.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s