What the Cardinals really did say

No disputing what Cardinals said in new book prepared in time for the Ordinary Synod

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SAN FRANCISCO – Thirteen Cardinals may or may not have written to Pope Francis to express their concerns about the direction of the Ordinary Synod on the Family. But one fact is clear, four of the Cardinals who allegedly signed the now infamous private letter did contribute essays to the recently published ELEVEN CARDINALS SPEAK ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY, one of the most important books released addressing the issues before the Synod.

Cardinals Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna; Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht; and Jorge L. Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, allegedly signed an October 5th private letter to Pope Francis addressing concerns about problematic elements to the “Instrumentum Laboris” as well as the potential dominance of the theological/doctrinal issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. While these concerns may be at question in this private letter, these same four Cardinals clearly spell out their concerns in their own essays that make up a portion of the controversial book released just before the beginning of the Synod.

For example, Savino acutely spells out his position on divorced and remarried persons.

“Indirect challenges to the greatness and importance of marriage, such as those implied by the theory that divorced and remarried persons could, under certain circumstances, be admitted to sacramental Communion, do nothing at all to help strengthen the situation of marriage or, therefore, the Christian family,” Savino says in ELEVEN CARDINALS SPEAK ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY.

This critical book addresses some of the most critical issues at hand in the Synod:

  • the challenge of providing adequate marriage preparation in a secularized world;
  • the need for evangelization and conversion;
  • the relationship between charity and truth;
  • the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics; and
  • the demands of authentic pastoral care.

Other contributing Cardinals to ELEVEN CARDINALS SPEAK ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY include Baselios Cleemis, Paul Josef Cordes, Dominik Duka, Joachim Meisner, Camillo Ruini, Antonio María Rouco Varela, and John Onaiyekan.


For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview to discuss the Cardinals’ positions with Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, or Fr. Joseph Fessio, editor and founder of Ignatius Press, which published ELEVEN CARDINALS SPEAK ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY:


Kevin Wandra

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