MOST Holy Father,

In presenting the Holy Church, which has Jesus as her Spouse and King, with this new and universal Catechism in your Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, on October 11 last, You set down its doctrinal value in particularly impressive terms. Allow me to recall them here, for neither my conscience nor my reason allows me to give them my inward or outward consent.

“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25 last and the publication of which ”, You say, “ I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom ! ”

Is it possible to hesitate, is it permitted to question an instruction like this, when it is based on such categorical affirmations and attestations of your Apostolic Authority – concerning “ the surety and legitimacy of the teaching of Catholic doctrine ” – as are given in this book ? It certainly is, since I, who am the least of the servants of the Church and who formulate today this reasoned accusation of heresy, schism and scandal against its author, am shocked by the great number of obvious contradictions that exist between the Scriptures, Tradition, and the irrefutable teaching of the Catholic Magisterium on the one hand and the six hundred pages of this supposed Catechism on the other hand. This Catechism is replete with errors, deceptions, insults against God, His Son Jesus Christ and Their Holy Spirit, and numerous manifest absurdities and incongruities. The whole work has been much too much governed and executed “ in the light of the Second Vatican Council ”, Most Holy Father, and for that very reason has been drawn up, not in accord with “ the whole of the Church’s Tradition ” (CCC 11), but in contradiction with it. It is my well-founded conviction, therefore, that its author is either deceived or is deceiving us. To escape from this appalling situation, it is necessary for Your Holiness to deign to admit that an instruction given by his Apostolic Authority can be rejected on account of vices and errors which are judged to be unacceptable to the conscience of a part of the Church, however slender that part may be, and also for Your Holiness to agree to use your supreme Magisterium to make a sovereign decision on these matters or, to be more precise, to make them the object of an ex cathedra infallible judgement.

Most Holy Father, it can be done, and it must be done. Your Holiness assures us in the present Apostolic Constitution – which certainly comes under your authentic Magisterium but not your infallibility – that this Catechism is in conformity with Catholic faith and moral teaching. The fact that you make such a statement – a statement that is far from being infallible, indefectible or impeccable – does not suffice to elevate these six hundred pages to the heights of certainty attained by an act of the infallible, and therefore indisputable, Magisterium of the hierarchic Church. That is plain. And yet, it is You, Most Holy Father, who suggest, who insinuate and who ultimately impose the opposite view. Namely, that this Catechism, given to the whole Church as the expression of her ordinary Magisterium and fervently received by the whole people of God – except for us, who count for nothing, to be sure ! – must be regarded as infallible. That, according to us, is its first factual error, automatically proving its own errancy by erring like this and so undermining its own proofs and claims. It is this, therefore, that I shall demonstrate, before any other criticism, to be the first of the heresies of this postconciliar Catechism. On the result of this first demonstration will depend my right to criticise, to contradict, and ultimately to place this Book of Accusation in your hands, Most Holy Father.

This demonstration I shall attempt before you, Most Holy Father, for, if I may say so, I cannot bring myself, despite all the given facts of this enigma, to think or believe that Your Holiness is the author and guarantor of this Book. My complaint, therefore is “ against X ”, and that gives me the necessary assurance of heart in this agony, in which I seem to have set myself up as the accuser of my brothers, and even of our Father, persuaded that in so doing I am serving God, the Church and the salvation of souls. With this introduction, here then is my complaint, twelve times repeated and reasoned, against the author of this Catechism, before your apostolic Tribunal, Most Holy Father !