CDF notification re: Sr. Margaret Farley

There is an error in the CDF’s notification concerning the book ‘Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics’ by Sister Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M. It is a pretty significant error, one that you might not expect the Holy See to make. The CDF writes to Margaret Farley as if she were a member of the Catholic Church. The CDF is mistaken. She is not a Catholic Christian, nor even a Christian at all. She is an apostate from Catholicism and from Christianity.

In truth, Margaret A. Farley is not a Catholic. She does not believe that the Catholic Church has any teaching authority at all. As the CDF points out, she mostly ignores the teachings of the Magisterium. And when she does occasionally mention the Magisterium, its teachings are treated as merely one opinion among many, not as teachings and not as authoritative teachings. A person who completely rejects the Catholic Church as Teacher is not a Roman Catholic.

Is Farley then a Protestant Christian, someone who rejects the Magisterium, but at least accepts Sacred Scripture as the infallible Word of God? Not at all. Her answers to important questions on matters of morality are not based on Sacred Scripture, nor on Sacred Tradition, nor on the Magisterium. Her beliefs and teachings are essentially non-Christian, except perhaps in the most superficial way possible. She is a secular author, with secular beliefs, based on the prevalent views of sinful secular society and her own philosophy.

There are many similar authors in the world today, authors who present themselves as if they were Catholic theologians, and yet they have completely abandoned Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium as the threefold source of truth on matters of faith, morals, and salvation. Their beliefs and teachings are essentially non-Catholic and non-Christian. They are apostates from Christianity. And yet they receive holy Communion and present themselves as teachers of the faithful.

The CDF should not issue a notification about such persons. Instead, the Holy See should excommunicate all such apostates and heretics, especially those who claim to be teachers over the faithful. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, preying on the poor and weak flock of Jesus Christ.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic moral theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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3 Responses to CDF notification re: Sr. Margaret Farley

  1. Ron Conte says:

    And now her book is in the top 20 of all books sold at

    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #1 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Theology
    #1 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Gender & Sexuality

    When the CDF rebukes an author, it has the good effect of warning the faithful, and the bad effect of bringing notoriety to an otherwise obscure author.

  2. John Platts says:

    There are some teachings found in Sacred Scripture that are being rejected by some Christians today, including the following:
    – Immorality of intrinsically evil sexual acts, such as adultery, pre-marital sex, contraception, homosexual acts, and unnatural sexual acts
    – Indissolubility of marriages that are consummated and valid in the eyes of God
    – The existence of hell
    – Eternal damnation to hell of persons who die unrepentant of actual mortal sin
    – Ordination into the priesthood is reserved to baptized men only
    – The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
    – The inability of the gates of hell to prevail over the Catholic Church
    – Justification is by faith and good works, and not by faith alone
    – Morally evil acts can never be committed for the purpose of attaining its good effects (although acts that are not intrinsically evil and have only good intentions can be morally good and justifiable under the principle of double effect when the good consequences outweigh the bad consequences)

    Some of the teachings listed above are rejected by Protestants as well as some heretical Catholics. Some Christians who reject one or more of the above teachings do believe in the authoritativeness of Sacred Scripture. Sola fide (justification by faith alone), is one of the doctrines fundamental to Protestantism, but actually contradicts the teaching that justification is by both faith and good works, which is found in Chapter 2 of the Book of James.

    Sr. Margaret Farley does indeed reject some of the teachings listed above in her book. Why do you consider her to be a non-Christian as opposed to a Christian who rejects some of the teachings listed above?

    • Ron Conte says:

      Her ideas are not based on the Bible, as is the case for Protestants. She is teaching only from secular ideas and her own mind, with no real regard for the objective truths taught by Christianity. There are many nuns who have become like her, who no longer follow Christ at all. For them, Christianity has become a mask that they wear. They no longer see the Bible as the Word of God, nor do they think of the Church as a Divine institution with Divine authority. Their extreme secularization has left nothing substantial of the Christian Faith in their beliefs.

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