Conservative Cardinals openly challenge Pope on marriage, gays

Conservative Cardinals have gone public with a letter they wrote to the Pope in September, because he hasn’t answered it.

The letter asked him to clarify Church teaching about love and the family.

The Cardinals are Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner.

The “dubia” (matters they say need specific yes/no answers from the Pope) have all emerged from Amoris Laetitia.

This document (in English, The Joy of Love) was released in April.

The Cardinals’ concerns centre on having definite rules for doctrines like Communion for divorced and remarried couples.

They say Amoris Laetitia is “eroding the church’s doctrinal absolute”.

In their view, teachings about Communion and the moral law, which Amoris Laetitia discusses ambiguously, are still valid.

These included the doctrine that the divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless living as brother and sister, and the doctrine that some acts are intrinsically wrong.

The other four ask about fundamental issues of Christian life, and reference Pope John Paul II‘s encyclical Veritatis splendor

Burke, who is leading the four Cardinals’ campaign, is known for his conservative views.

In his opinion the Church under Francis’s leadership is like a “ship without a rudder” and people are becoming “seasick”.

The Pope sees Amoris Laetitia differently.

He is critical of the Cardinals’ demand for a firm, legal response from him.

Rather than offer their dubia a yes/no answer, he spoke publicly, saying we’re called to “discern” what is right.

In this Francis says he’s following the model set out by the Second Vatican Council.

Vatican II as it is commonly known, sought to reform the Church and bring it closer to people.



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