Rorate Caeli

In prepared text for #SumPont2014 Pilgrimage Mass, Cardinal Pell says no 'doctrinal backflips' at 2015 Synod

The Catholic News Service (CNS) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was there at the FSSP-administered Parish church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rome, for the Mass that was supposed to have been celebrated by Cardinal Mass. He was unable to go, as we reported yesterday, due to illness, but sent his right-hand man, Fr. Withoos, who delivered his prepared remarks for the occasion:

Main excerpt below:

Cardinal Pell promises ‘no doctrinal backflips’ at next family synod

By Robert Duncan

ROME (CNS) – Referring to the Synod of Bishops on the Family that will convene in 2015, Cardinal George Pell wrote that the task for Catholics “over the next 12 months” is to explain “the necessity of conversion, the nature of the Mass,” and “the purity of heart the Scriptures require of us to receive holy Communion.” “We will be counterproductive if we have anger or hate in our hearts, if we lapse into sterile polemics against a surprisingly small number of Catholic opponents,” the cardinal wrote.

Cardinal Pell’s remarks appeared in a homily he prepared for his celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form October 24 for the 2014 Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome. The cardinal was unable to celebrate the Mass on account of bronchitis. In an additional prepared text, he assured those present that his sickness was the only reason he was unable to attend.

In the cardinal’s absence, his personal secretary Father Mark Withoos celebrated the Mass and read the homily.

The “college of bishops and all synods work by consensus,” Cardinal Pell wrote. Before next October, Catholics have to work to build a consensus “out of the present divisions,” he wrote “Pastoral practice and teachings can only be changed by consensus,” he wrote.

“Doctrine does develop, we understand truth more deeply, but there are no doctrinal backflips in Catholic history,” the cardinal wrote. “The apostolic tradition announced first by Christ and founded in the Scriptures is the touchstone for truth and genuine pastoral practice.” [Source]