Two cardinals have sent letters to fellow members of the College of Cardinals, raising concerns about the working document for an upcoming synod of bishops on the pan-Amazonian region.
“Some points of the synod’s Instrumentum laboris seem not only in dissonance with respect to the authentic teaching of the Church, but even contrary to it,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller wrote to fellow cardinals in an Aug. 28 letter obtained by CNA.
“The nebulous formulations of the Instrumentum, as well as the proposed creation of new ecclesial ministries for women and, especially, the proposed priestly ordination of the so-called viri probati arouse strong suspicion that even priestly celibacy will be called into question,” the cardinal wrote.
A group of aging priests and theologians associated with Latin American “liberation theology” who are involved in the preparation for Pope Francis’ upcoming “Pan-Amazon Synod” have produced a document arguing for the overthrow of Catholic doctrine in a variety of areas, LifeSite has learned.
The document, called “Towards the Pan-Amazonian Synod: Challenges and Contributions from Latin America and the Caribbean,” was produced in April of this year as a result of a meeting in Bogota, Colombia, by theologians from two organizations promoting liberation theology: “Amerindia,” and “REPAM.” The synod’s working document refers explicitly to the Bogota meeting as part of the preparatory process for the synod. It can be found here in its original Spanish.
Cardinal Rainer Woelki, the archbishop of Cologne, describes in a new interview his recent visit to the United States, his impressions, and his many conversations with Catholics during his trip. Speaking to the local diocesan newspaper, Kirchenzeitung Köln, Woelki says that he feels “encouraged” by his visit in the U.S., but that also many people showed their concern about the developments in Germany.
“Everywhere I was confronted with concern about the current developments in Germany,” he explains. “In many encounters, the concern was palpable that the ‘synodal path’ leads us onto a German separate path [“Sonderweg”], that we, at worst, even put at risk the communion with the Universal Church and become a German national church.” “Nobody can want this,” Woelki adds, “and so we should take seriously this warning.”
Many of those with whom he spoke in the U.S. “shook their heads” when seeing “that we in Germany seem to be ready willfully to change the deposit of the Faith as it has been entrusted to us, because we demand it so loudly,” the German prelate stated.
Cardinal Woelki’s interlocutors in the U.S. spoke “openly” about the “fear that thereby, it could come to a schism within the Universal Church or even to a schism within the Church in Germany.”
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has responded to criticism of his essay on the abuse crisis, saying many negative reactions have confirmed his central thesis that apostasy and alienation from the Faith are at the heart of the crisis – by not even mentioning God in their critique of his essay.
In a brief statement in reaction to such criticism published in German magazine “Herder Korrespondenz,” the former pope pointed to a “general deficit” in the reactions to his essay, saying that many critical responses missed the very point he was making.
Published in April by Catholic News Agency, the National Catholic Register, and in the original German by CNA Deutsch as well as other media, Benedict’s essay described the impact of the sexual revolution as well as – independent from it – a collapse of moral theology in the 1960’s, before suggesting how the Church should respond by recognizing that “only obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ can point the way.”
Reactions to the essay have been particularly strong in Germany, where insiders say the former pope, a native Bavarian, has long been subject to sustained criticism from certain quarters.
A former Vatican ambassador to the United Kingdom says the fact women can’t be ordained to the priesthood is “intolerable.”
Spanish Archbishop Pablo Puente, 88, was speaking Aug. 25 during a Mass in honor of Ginés de la Jara, patron of the local fishermen brotherhood, in the Spanish coastal region of Cantabria.
“We cannot tolerate this flagrant discrimination against women by the Church,” Puente is reported to have said.
The Vatican’s decision to implement a document affirming that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God,” without correcting this statement, is tantamount to “promoting the neglect of the first Commandment” and a “betrayal of the Gospel,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said.
The spread of this document in its uncorrected form will “paralyze the Church’s mission ad gentes” and “suffocate her burning zeal to evangelize all men,” Bishop Schneider said.
He added: “Attempts at peace are destined for failure if they are not proposed in the name of Jesus Christ.”
The superior general of the Society of Jesus said Aug. 21 that the devil is a symbol, but not a person.
The devil, “exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because is not a person, is a way of acting evil. He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life,” Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa said Wednesday in an interview with Italian magazine Tempi.
“Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality,” he added.
If you ask any Catholic theologian what the most important part of Christian life is, they’ll tell you the Eucharist.
Which is why the U.S. bishops must feel like they have been double punched by new data from the Pew Research Center.
On July 23, the prestigious polling firm released a new report – “What Americans Know About Religion” – that found that half of Catholics in the United States don’t know the Catholic Church teaches the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Most of the other half thought the Church taught the Eucharist was just a symbol of Christ’s body, although 4 percent said they were unsure what the Church taught.
That was the first punch.
This week, Pew delivered the second – it reported that only one-third of Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
It doesn’t take a math degree to figure out what that means, although Pew does helpfully fill in the blanks: “One-in-five Catholics (22 percent) reject the idea of transubstantiation [the technical term for the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Christ], even though they know about the Church’s teaching.”
An exercise in raw intellectual vandalism has been underway in Rome since July 23: what was originally known as the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family has been peremptorily but systematically stripped of its most distinguished faculty, and its core courses in fundamental moral theology have been cancelled. Concurrently, academics known to be opposed to the teaching of Humanae Vitae on the appropriate means of regulating fertility and the teaching of Veritatis Splendor on intrinsically evil acts are being appointed to teach at the reconfigured Institute, which is housed at the Pontifical Lateran University – the pope’s own institution of higher learning. Sixteen hundred nine years after the first Vandal sack of Rime, they’re at it again, although this time the chief vandal wears an archbishop’s zucchetto.
Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has firmly criticized the working document of the upcoming Amazonian Synod, saying “decisive points” are “heretical” and that it constitutes an “attack on the foundations of the faith.”
In a June 27 commentary the president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences also said the document “burdens” the Synod of Bishops with a “grave breach” of the deposit of faith which he believes will either result in the Church’s “self-destruction,” or reduce her to a “secular NGO with an ecological-social-psychological mandate.”
The German cardinal began his critique, published jointly at LifeSiteNews and Kathnet, by calling it “truly astonishing” that the synod, which takes place in Rome Oct. 6-27, deals exclusively with a region whose population is “just half that of Mexico City.”
He added this leads to “suspicion concerning the true intentions” of the synod, “which are to be implemented in a clandestine fashion.” He also questioned the “understanding of religion, of Christianity, and of the Church” given the basis of the working document, called an instrumentum laboris, published June 17.