Conservative cardinals challenge next month’s synod agenda

Two cardinals are challenging the working document for next month’s synod of bishops on the pan-Amazonian region.

Cardinals Walter Brandmüller and Raymond Burke have both written to fellow members of the College of Cardinals raising concerns about the document.

“Some points…seem not only in dissonance with respect to the authentic teaching of the Church, but even contrary to it,” Brandmüller, who is a German prelate wrote.

Parts of the working document are heretical, he says.

Noting what he calls the document’s “nebulous formulations” Brandmüller pointed to topics the synod will focus on.

These include a proposal to create new ecclesial ministries for women and another enabling the priestly ordination of the so-called viri probati – married men of good reputation, who could act as priests in places where there are none.

Brandmüller says these topics’ inclusion raises “strong suspicion that even priestly celibacy will be called into question,”

He also said Cardinal Claudio Hummes’s appointment as the president of the synod means he “will exercise a grave influence in a negative sense,” which presents “a well founded and realistic concern”.

He said Brazilian emeritus bishop Erwin Kräutel (who is a long-time proponent of married priests) and Franz-Josef Overbeck of Germany are of concern.

Overbeck advocates reexamining the Church’s teaching on ordination and sexual morality.

“We must face serious challenges to the integrity of the Deposit of the Faith, the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church and its Apostolic Tradition,” Brandmüller wrote.

Today’s situation “is unprecedented in church history,” he said. All cardinals must consider how they will react to “any heretical statements or decisions of the synod.”

Burke said he shares Brandmüller’s concerns.

In his letter to fellow cardinals, he said the long working document is “marked by language which is not clear in its meaning, especially in what concerns the Depositum fidei [the body of revealed truth in the Scriptures and Tradition]”.

It “contradicts the constant teaching of the Church,” he wrote.

It also “obscured, if not denied” … “the truth that God has revealed Himself fully and perfectly through the mystery of the Incarnation of the Redeemer, the Son of God.

He said he agreed with Brandmüller assessment that the document attacks the “hierarchical-sacramental structure” and “the Apostolic Tradition of the Church”.

In his view, the working document portends “an apostasy from the Catholic faith.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,