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15 Responses to Four dubia cardinals publish text of letter to Pope

  1. Teresa Coles says:

    We need to pray to our Blessed Mother that Pope Francis will give an immediate answer to the Cardinal’s letter soon. The Catholic world is in state of confusion at the moment and this is a very important issue that needs addressing.

    • Jack Retter says:

      I wonder if the answer lies in the 100+ other cardinals who have not signed the letter and indeed who don’t feel it necessary to write a counter one ?

      Confusion within the Church has been around since ‘Adam was in nappies’; confusion and pain can be signs of growth.

      My mind also goes back to the confusion surrounding John XXIII calling a second Vatican Council and Paul VI writing of Humane Vitae.

      Without doubt, and despite his best efforts, the Pontificate of Benedict XVI was riddled with confusion.

      I get a very clear steer from Pope Francis’ dignified non-response; not being drawn into a further public spat. I get a similar indication of his thoughts on the matter by the profile of cardinals he is appointing to the College.

      On this occasion, perhaps Pope Francis is using silence to teach.

      • Teresa Coles says:

        Jack I still feel Pope Francis needs to respond to the Cardinals….We look to our Holy Father for answers on Faith and Morals.His silence is not going to teach anyone.

        • Jack Retter says:

          Yes of course we look to the Holy Father for answers and if I might suggest, he’s given them, indeed he’s teaching us many things in Amoris Laetitia.

          Rather than a black and white answer, spoon-feeding us, Pope Francis is giving us a framework to work with and giving Bishops’ Conferences a much greater role to play in their particular pastoral circumstance.

          If my memory serves me correctly, the Archbishop of Wellington John Dew actually went to the Synod on the Family and was one of the first to advocate for a pastoral solution.

          Some time later Pope Francis made Archbishop Dew a Cardinal.

          His elevation is unlikely to have happend had Pope Francis not supported his call for a pastoral solution.

          Let’s face it, these four cardinals are on the outer, they don’t particularly like Francis’ approach and I’m inclined to see them as being deliberately disruptive.

      • Toni Vercillo says:

        216 non signing Cardinals, to be exact, which is a glaring manifestation of the defiant challenge to the teaching authority of the Vicar of Christ by Burke+3.

  2. Teresa Coles says:

    Jack I still feel Pope Francis needs to respond to the Cardinals….We look to our Pope for answers on matters of Faith and Morals ,so he should respond no matter what.

  3. Maria says:

    I am not sure why numbers of Cardinals lining up one way or another have anything to do with the dubia questions themselves. Afterall questions are often asked by individuals and not groups enmasse. The questions themselves presume no particular answer but rather ask for a clarification. The fact on the ground is that now one can be validly admitted to the sacraments while objectively in a state of adultery in Malta and not admitted in Poland etc etc

    Isn’t a clarification needed then?

    It really comes down to which moral theology the Church attaches itself to.

    It really is a very profound issue for the Church and changes pretty much everything depending on what is carried forward and what is dispensed with.

    • Teresa Coles says:

      Well put Maria, a clarification certainly is needed from Pope Francis, all his flock are waiting for him to respond…Saint John Paul 11 reaffirmed the churches position on this in 1981 disallowing Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried out of the church without repenting first…..He said this would lead the church into error and confusion….

      • Maria says:

        Thanks Teresa. At the moment it is clear there is ambiguity. Yes a simple clarification which must be as Cardinal Mueller says in line with the received Tradition of the Church…there is no other possible interpretation without changing the nature of the Church. Some may wish to do that? However, that must in turn effect our understanding of Christ?

      • Jack Retter says:

        Teresa, I’m a little uncertain what repentance means in the context of being divorced and remarried?

        How does repentance show itself in the context of being divorced and remarried?

        How do people know both parties have repented?

        What is the visible sign of repentance?

        My recollection of Pope John Paul II’s reaffirmation of the Church’s position was divorced people can remarry and receive holy communion as long as they live together as brother and sister.

        I’m similarly uncertain how being married and living as brother and sister fits in a marriage context; I doubt it’s the pastoral solution many representatives at the Synod on the Family were looking for.

        • Maria says:

          John Paul II never said that divorced people can remarry and receive holy communion as long as they live together as brother and sister.

          Living as brother and sister in an attempted remarriage does not represent a marriage and that is the point and as long as there is no scandal. This might be the best that can be done apart from separation in order to care for children. This is for those who have attempted a remarriage invalidly, cannot separate in charity to their children, and now desire to receive the Eucharist in fidelity to Christ.

          You need to read Familiaris Consortio 84 and John Paul II Homily at the conclusion of the 1980 Synod of the Family. It is hard to find but helpful.

          Divorced persons who have had their marriage annulled by the Church can marry validly in the Church because they are free to do so and if there are no impediments.

          I have an ex husband who is now ‘married’ to his fourth wife. I think the Church, as Christ’s witness is protecting many from what is apparently the case in the West of serial polygamy. Yes, there is a line in the sand. It seems to me the Church as indeed Christ does, protects women and children by calling all spouses to absolute fidelity…which has the strange result of improving the life of men.

          • Jack Retter says:

            This issue is very dear to me too and I agree that living as brother and sister in an attempted marriage does not represent marriage.

            It is a big burden and it is why I’m grateful for Archbishop Dew’s efforts to call for a pastoral solution to this traditional view.

            Quoting from Familiaris Consortio:

            “Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

            “This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” No 84.

            This is my understanding of traditional Catholic doctrine and to my knowledge is elsewhere referred to as living as brother and sister.

          • Maria says:

            Brilliant…thanks for quoting the reference.

            The ‘first’ (only objectively so) marriage is the moral object here…and the truth of it is ordered to Christ. This can’t have a pastoral solution which sublimates that reality to any interior subjective judgement of spouses or their spiritual advisors.

            I understand the difficulty of it…I once baled up my parish priest and asked if he thought my marriage was floating somewhere about Stewart Island as I certainly held it to be, and felt it to be at an end! Nor does the fact that I had truly found for want of a better word ‘my soulmate’. That I felt this does not change the reality of my inconvenient ‘first’ marriage at all. In light of that challenge conversion opportunities begin in right relationship to Christ and the Church…with the proviso that
            if spouses can determine subjectively that which is objective according to their own lights then the Church has no absolute moral authority and no pastoral solutions are actually necessary…we will work it out for ourselves? If that’s the case I’ll follow the happy crowd and find a Church with better music and at least not suffer on Sunday.

            What is then left to the Faith – Christian spirituality?

            The Catholic faith is a moral and intellectual conversion…subjective experience and feelings are there but they can’t be the object or determine the reality of things.

            What is needed is radical trust in the Lord and his deep love for us whatever the cost despite the mess on the ground.

            For what its worth any pastoral solution which doesn’t cohere with Familiaris Consortio and sharpens its pencil on ‘particular cases’ is still swimming along the river of pre-Vatican II manualist methodology and rationalists paradigms…except it will have ejected the moral object and in turn intrinsic evil and natural law, This is serious business and not a development of doctrine but a demolition of doctrine. The only answer is deeper conversion to Christ…we change not him.

          • Jack Retter says:

            Gosh.

            This might be helpful to some Maria, however all these distinctions…. I’m not sure how I fit in, objective, subjective, deeper conversion to Christ.

            It all seems a bit too Jesuitical to me.

            I don’t know where I fit it and even if I did I’m not sure it would answer my life circumstance.

            I must do some more research on my understanding on the importance of my conscience.

          • Maria says:

            Yes, I agree it covers a lot of ground. I am not so sure it is Jesuitical but no doubt a few Jesuits in there somewhere.

            Where do you fit? In the Church and no where else. We are fortunate to have the Marriage Tribunal in NZ. Sometimes there aren’t answers that make everything as we would like it to be…but we still can do the good in relation to Our Lord and those in our care. I hope all goes well for you for the future.

            Conscience is good personal research. You could try ‘On Conscience’ by Joseph Ratzinger. The first part is excellent. If you just google ‘conscience Ratzinger’ you might find some good articles.

            If you want a more comprehensive life guide …try Dietrich Von Hildebrand ‘Transformation in Christ’. Its brilliant.