Just a quick note to say this column may be a bit “lite” for the rest of the day as I have been busy at the press office attending today’s synod briefing, among other things, and also preparing to join Mary Shovlain tonight at 7 pm on the set of EWTN’s live nightly news program on the synod. I always like to be well prepared, having researched stories and verified news and names and events, etc.
I must also mention, for those of you who might not know, that each week on Mondays and Thursdays at 2 pm, ET, I bring news from Rome to EWTN’s very popualr “At Home with Jim and Joy.” See you then!
And now, here’s an update from VIS on a story that has, unfortunately, been dominating the synod news.
PAPAL SPOKESMAN ON “LETTER TO THE POPE FROM 13 CARDINALS”
(VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., has given the following clarification regarding the publication yesterday of a “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”.
As we are aware, at least four of the Synod Fathers who were included in the list of signatories have denied their involvement (Cardinals Angelo Scola, Andre Vingt-Trois, Mauro Piacenza and Peter Erdo).
Cardinal Pell has declared that a letter sent to the Pope was confidential and should have remained as such, and that neither the text published nor the signatories correspond to what was sent to the Pope.
I would add that, in terms of content, the difficulties included in the letter were mentioned on Monday evening in the Synod Hall, as I have previously said, although not covered extensively or in detail.
As we know, the General Secretary and the Pope responded clearly the following morning. Therefore, to provide this text and this list of signatories some days later constitutes a disruption that was not intended by the signatories (at least by the most authoritative). Therefore it would be inappropriate to allow it to have any influence.
That observations can be made regarding the methodology of the Synod is neither new nor surprising. However, once agreed upon, a commitment is made to put it into practice in the best way possible.
This is what is taking place. There is very extensive collaboration in the task of allowing the Synod to make good progress on its path. It may be observed that some of the “signatories” are elected Moderators of the Circuli Minori, and have been working intensively. The overall climate of the Assembly is without doubt positive.
Cardinal Napier has expressly asked me to clarify the comments published in an interview with “Crux”, which do not correspond to his opinion. With regard to the composition of the “Commission of the 10” for the final text, it was incorrectly written that “… Napier said, adding that he would actually challenge ‘Pope Francis’ right to choose that’”. Cardinal Napier has requested that this be corrected, affirming the exact opposite: “… no-one challenges Pope Francis’ right to choose that”.
I have no further observations to make.