Sandro Magister, the Vatican reporter for L’Espresso, has published a purported letter from 13 cardinals to Pope Francis expressing serious concerns about the current synod of bishops.
After expressing concerns about the synod’s working document and procedures and the composition of the committee that will draft the synod’s final document, the signatories of the October 5 letter reportedly wrote:
In turn, these things have created a concern that the new procedures are not true to the traditional spirit and purpose of a synod. It is unclear why these procedural changes are necessary. A number of fathers feel the new process seems designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions.
Finally and perhaps most urgently, various fathers have expressed concern that a synod designed to address a vital pastoral matter – reinforcing the dignity of marriage and family – may become dominated by the theological/doctrinal issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. If so, this will inevitably raise even more fundamental issues about how the Church, going forward, should interpret and apply the Word of God, her doctrines and her disciplines to changes in culture. The collapse of liberal Protestant churches in the modern era, accelerated by their abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation, warrants great caution in our own synodal discussions.
The letter’s 13 signatories, according to Magister, are Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Thomas Collins, Timothy Dolan, Willem E?k, Péter Erdo, Gerhard Müller, Wilfrid Napier, George Pell, Mauro Piacenza, Robert Sarah, Angelo Scola, Jorge Urosa Savino, and André Vingt-Trois.
Cardinal Erdo is the synod’s relator general, while Cardinals Napier and Vingt-Trois are among the synod’s four presidents-delegate. Cardinals Müller, Pell, and Piacenza head curial discasteries.
The Holy See Press Office suspended Magister’s credentials in June after he published a draft ofLaudato Si’.