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A Third Cardinal Now Comes Forth in Defense of the Four Cardinals and their Dubia

December 17, 2016 breaking No Comments

Maike Hickson

The number of prelates publicly raising their voices in support of the Four Cardinals (Cardinals Raymond Leo Burke, Walter Brandmüller, Joachim Meisner and Carlo Caffarra) and their submitted dubia appears to be slowly increasing. Now a third cardinal – in addition to Cardinals George Pell and Paul Josef Cordes – has spoken openly in their defense.

Yesterday, the Italian website La Fede Quotidiana published a short interview with the Italian Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. When asked specifically about the dubia recently published by the Four Cardinals, Cardinal Martino responds with the words “I do not see anything bad here.” He adds: “It is legitimate in terms of doctrine to turn to the pope and express an opinion – and it is also just that he would respond.”

Cardinal Martino also reiterates the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching on marriage when he states with regard to the question of Sacramental Communion for the divorced and “remarried”: “No, the doctrine has not been changed and cannot change. The Sacrament of Matrimony is indissoluble.” Martino also adds that “the case-by-case approach mentioned in Amoris Laetitia can lend itself to dubious interpretations.” In the same interview, the Italian cardinal makes it clear that, in the eyes of the abiding teaching of the Catholic Church, both cohabitation and a second civil marriage after a divorce are the same inasmuch as they are both “irregular” relationships and not a Sacrament.

A few days ago, a former member of the Roman Curia, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, had made a similar statement. He said in an interview with the Austrian Catholic website Kath.net, as follows: “With an objective tone, the four cardinals have asked for the removal of doubts about the text [Amoris Laetitia]. They were met with a disproportionate protest. I was not able to understand this indignation; I also had doubts that these indignant persons were motivated by a desire to discover the truth.”

Cardinal George Pell recently also defended the Four Cardinals when he somewhat vaguely said, according to LifeSiteNews reporter, Claire Chretien:

Australian Cardinal George Pell called the four cardinals’ letter to Pope Francis asking for moral clarification on Amoris Laetitia “significant” in an interview suggesting he isn’t bothered by it. “How can you disagree with a question?” Pell said in reply to an inquiry about whether he agreed with the cardinals’ questions. Pell was speaking at St. Patrick’s Church in London, where he addressed the current state of Catholicism and a proper understanding of conscience. “A number of regularly worshipping Catholics” are “unnerved by the turn of events” within the Church, Pell said, like the notion that individual conscience can trump moral law.

In addition to the recent witness of these three cardinals, there have been three bishops courageously speaking up in defense of the Four Cardinals’ attempt to rescue in full and without equivocation the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage. These bishops are, by name: Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Kazakhstan); Bishop Jósef Wrobel (Poland), and Bishop Jan Watroba (Poland). A fourth bishop, Bishop Andreas Laun of Austria, has shown his solidarity with the Four Cardinals by participating in a Rome conference at which Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider spoke about the doctrinal problems regarding the papal document Amoris Laetitia.

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