Rorate Caeli

The Synod: 11 Cardinals enter the field to halt the “Protestantising” of the Church (the original article)

This was the original article that revealed the publication of the upcoming book that, following in the footsteps of "Remaining in the Truth of Christ" (Cantagalli, in Italian; Ignatius, in English), will proclaim the truth in time for this year's Synod, with Cardinals from around the world

The Synod: 11 Cardinals enter the field to halt the “Protestantising” of the Church
Lorenzo Bertocchi
August 17, 2015

Although the news has been kept quite reserved, and no-one has been able to read a preview of the texts, a book which we might entitle “Remaining in the Truth of Christ No.2” will be out before the next Synod in October. According to some reports circulated in the United States, a certain number of cardinals, among whom Raymond Burke and Walter Bradmullar are mentioned, have been working to produce another text opposed to the theses of Cardinal Walter Kasper and other theologians, regarding the themes of the Synod on the Family. However, as far as we know, this is not exactly how things really are [at all].

The polemics that accompanied the publication of the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” (Cantagalli) were very heated. It was only a few days before the Synod of 2014 when, the Sienese publisher, along with the five cardinals who wrote it, were accused, more or less directly, of an “editorial action” against the Pope. Walter Kasper, himself, said openly in an interview on September 18th 2014: “The target of the polemics is not me but the Pope”. Cardinal De Paolis, one of the five cardinals who had contributed to the text, expressed his great surprise to “La Repubblica”: “There are those who actually hypothesize a deliberate action, a conspiracy. There is no conspiracy, just the desire to convey a position.”

Yet someone seemed to want to silence the discordant voices with regard to an already fixed direction, showing no respect for that ‘parresia’ the Pope himself indicated as the method for conducting the work.

According to what La Nuova Bussola has learned, the same scene could be repeated. It is true the news about the group of cardinals who have worked on a new text with the Synod in mind. It ought to be entitled “Marriage and Family”, with a subtitle which reveals something else. In fact, there is talk, of “pastoral perspectives of 11 cardinals”, a decidedly consistent group, and seeing the football number, we can say that these are entering the field with a respectable formation.

Among them, however, as the rumours from overseas indicate, we find neither Cardinal Burke nor Cardinal Brandmuller, while the cardinals involved ought to be the following: Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna; Baselios Cleemis, Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and President of the Episcopal Conference of India; Paul Josef Cordes, Presidente emeritius of the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum»; Dominik Duka, O.P., Archbishop of Prague, Primate of Bohemia; Willem Jacobus Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht; Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne; John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria); Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop emeritus of Madrid; Camillo Ruini, Vicar General emeritus of His Holiness for the Dioceses of Rome; Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.

The editor of the volume is the German Professor Winfried Aymans, expert in Canon Law at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Last June, intervening in the Osservatore Romano, Aymans had written that “at a time when civil law tends more and more to abandon the marriage-contract to the mercy of a whim which is increasing in every respect, the proclamation of the Church will have to be much clearer”.

Will all of them be accused again of obstructing the debate and even worse, of opposing the Pope? Someone might try to, attempting to incite a game of [opposing] sides that tends to create alliances and supporters, but the eleven cardinals on the field don’t seem at all disposed to being crushed on their half of the field. Neither do they seem inclined to play a tight defensive game, which is what they would like to accuse them of, making them appear banal “crystallizers” of doctrine.

As far as we know, the questions the 11 cardinals want to respond to are absolutely pastoral and touch (actually, they bend to) the lives of all of us. How can we accompany best those who have been abandoned by their spouses and remain faithful to a marriage they have been released from in such a manner? In which way can marriage preparation better face the situation of young couples who are barely catechized and are profoundly influenced by a secularized culture?

For the answers to these and other similar questions, we will have to wait for the publication of the book at the end of September. All the evidence indicates that the publisher is once again Cantagalli. We will be just a few days away from the Synod, and from among the possible pastoral answers on the themes of marriage and the family we will also have to reckon with these ones as well.

In conclusion, the latest news. Along with the book by the 11 cardinals, another text of great interest should be coming out. In this case there will also be 11, between bishops and cardinals, but they are all African; to tell us about Africa, in fact, to let the voice of Africa be heard on the Synod themes - and not only. It will be wise to pay attention and listen as rumour has it that the title is “Nova Patria Christi Africa”.

[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]