By Le Figaro with AFP
Published 2 hours ago, Updated 47 minutes ago
Five conservative cardinals had publicly asked the pope to reaffirm Catholic doctrine on homosexual couples and the possible ordination of women, two days before the opening of the synod.
Five conservative cardinals publicly asked Pope Francis to reaffirm Catholic doctrine on same-sex couples and the possible ordination of women, and the Vatican published the pope’s response, two days before the opening of a major meeting at the Vatican on the future of the Church.
Questioned by these cardinals, the Vatican referred, this Monday, October 2, to the pope’s response, dated September 25, to the concerns expressed by these five conservative cardinals. In this response, published on the website of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith this Monday, Pope Francis states in particular that “same-sex unions» can be the subject of blessings, as long as these do not resemble the sacrament of marriage.
“(…) Pastoral prudence must adequately discern whether there are forms of blessing, requested by one or more people, which do not refer to an erroneous conception of marriage. When a blessing is requested, it expresses a cry to God for help, a supplication to live better, a trust in a Father who can help us live better.writes the Pope.
“Duty to inform” in the face of “the seriousness of the matter”
This response to the cardinals’ “dubia” (“doubts”) comes just hours after they revealed the content of their questions sent to the Vatican in July, and only two days before the opening of the synod on synodality, whose debates are due to begin this Wednesday, October 4.
In a letter to the Catholic faithful, published this Tuesday, October 2 by these blogs, the cardinals explained that they had, “in front of the gravity of matter», the «duty to inform” the faithful “so that (they) are not subject to confusion, error and discouragement».
These five cardinals, appointed by Benedict XVI and John Paul II and known for their conservative positions, are the German cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the American Raymond Burke, the Mexican Sandoval Íñiguez, the Guinean Robert Sarah and Cardinal Joseph Zen, former bishop of Hong Kong. None has any function in the government of the Holy See.
Already in 2016, Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller had published “dubia” – an exercise permitted by canon law – with two other cardinals who have since died, asking the Pope for clarification about the apostolic exhortation The joy of loveabout the access of divorced and then remarried people to communion.
This Ordinary General Assembly, which has a consultative role, will be followed by a second session in October 2024, following which the Pope could possibly take into account the conclusions of this work in an official document. Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has repeatedly aroused the ire of conservatives, notably by restricting the use of the traditional Latin mass in 2021.
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