FOUR CARDINALS WRITE POPE FRANCIS: ‘Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia’.
Over the last six months, scores of you have written to me with questions about Amoris Laetitia, hundreds more have posted queries and doubts on Facebook and even greater numbers have appealed to their pastors and bishops for clarifications of the content of this April document by Pope Francis. This Apostolic Exhortation came after the two synods on the family, those of October 2014 and October 2015.
One of the important sections of the document – that on communion for the divorced and remarried – has been interpreted in radically different, usually polar opposite ways by the faithful in the pew, by their pastors and bishops and by experts in theology, canon law and the Magisterium (the teaching body) of the Catholic Church.
How badly I wanted to be able to guide you to the truth in this matter when you wrote to me but I was just as confused as you, my correspondents were, as the priests and bishops and experts were.
I remember a priest telling me (and he was not the only one with this problems) that when people came to confession and asked about this issue, he would answer by first explaining the actual teaching of the Church in the matter. His dilemma came, Father told me, when the penitent would reply, “But that’s not what Pope Francis says.”
What is one to do?!
Well, four cardinals asked the same question and did something: they actually wrote a letter to Pope Francis, asking for clarification and submitting five dubia (doubts, questions) to which they said they needed only a Yes or No answer. (photo: Lifesite news)
After a wait of almost two months – and no answer from the Holy Father – they decided to make public their letter, the five queries and their reasons for asking those questions of the Pope.
A copy of the very same letter and questions was sent to Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Following is a link to a piece by National Catholic Register correspondent Edward Pentin who summarizes the Letter by the cardinals and then presents their actual Letter to Pope Francis, the 5 dubia and their explanation of why, after a waiting period and no papal answer, they decided to publish their Letter. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/full-text-and-explanatory-notes-of-cardinals-questions-on-amoris-laetitia