Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa follows up on his story of the letter of the 13 Cardinals:
ROME, October 14, 2015 – Two days ago, the article posted on www.chiesa in the early morning burst like a bomb inside and outside the enclosure of the synod on the family:
Over the next few hours, four of the thirteen cardinals indicated in the article as signatories of the letter denied that they had endorsed it. In order: cardinals Angelo Scola, André Vingt-Trois, Mauro Piacenza, and Péter Erdõ.
But in the afternoon two high-ranking cardinals, both present on the list from www.chiesa, said that they had in fact signed a letter to Pope Francis.
The first was Australian cardinal George Pell, prefect in the Vatican of the secretariat for the economy, indicated as the one who had personally delivered the letter to the pope. And he did so with a statement to the “National Catholic Register”:
> A spokesperson for Cardinal Pell…
In the statement, Pell says that “it seems that there are errors in both the content and the list of signatories.”
But he doubles back to insist on two of the “concerns” brought to the pope’s attention in the letter published by www.chiesa.
The first with regard to those at the synod – a “minority” – who “want to change the Church’s teachings on the proper dispositions necessary for the reception of Communion,” when instead “there is no possibility of change on this doctrine.”
The second concerning “the composition of the drafting committee of the final ‘relatio’ and about the process by which it will be presented to the Synod fathers and voted upon.”
Again in his statements in the assembly in the late afternoon of Monday, October 5, Pell expressed these and other “concerns” that are presented in the letter, in particular on the “Instrumentum laboris” set up as the basis of discussion and on the nature of the “Relatio finalis.”
And the following morning, on Tuesday, October 6, both Francis and Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the synod, spoke at the reopening of work in the assembly precisely to reply point by point – essentially in the negative – to the questions that the letter had raised.
After Pell, on the morning of Monday, October 12, the other cardinal who confirmed that he had signed a letter to the pope was the archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Wilfrid Fox Napier, one of the four presidents delegate of the synod, in an interview with John Allen, Michael O’Loughlin, and Inés San Martín for “Crux,” the Church information portal of the “Boston Globe”:
Napier said that the letter he signed was “different” from the one published, and specifically concerned the ten-member commission appointed by the pope for the elaboration of the final relation.
But in the rest of the interview he made his own, with starling frankness, the very same “concerns” of many synod fathers that are expressed in the letter posted on www.chiesa.
Here is how “Crux” reported the cardinal’s words, including a correction that he added afterward, shown in all caps:
Napier believes some of the complaints have merit.
Among other things, he objects to the composition of the 10-member drafting committee for the final report.
“I really would share” concerns about “the choice of the people that are writing up the final document,” Napier said, adding that he would actually NOT challenge “Pope Francis’ right to choose that.”
“If we’re going to get a fair expression of what the synod is about, [such as] what the Church in Africa really would like to see happening,” he said, then different people should be chosen.
“We wouldn’t like to see the same kind of people on that committee who were there the last time, who caused us the grief that we had,” he said, referring to a controversial interim report in 2014 synod that seemed to embrace a progressive line on some debated questions.
Napier also said he’s worried that the preparatory document for the synod, known as the “Instrumentum laboris”, will have too much influence on the final result rather than the actual content of the synod’s discussions.
“It’s almost like the ‘Instrumentum laboris’ is the base text, not what’s come out of the group’s discussions as concerns that need to be put forward as proposals for the final document to take to the pope,” he said.
Napier said an avalanche of queries from the media about the synod process reflects real concerns inside the hall.
“The uncertainty is quite generalized, otherwise you wouldn’t all have the same questions,” he said.
Napier said it’s not yet clear even to synod participants how the final document of the synod will be shaped, and what Francis plans to do with it, which he said makes concerns about the result legitimate.
“That kind of uncertainty worries me, because what are you actually working toward if you don’t know what the goal is?” he said.
On the question of whether he’s worried that the final result has already been determined, Napier would say only that “at this stage, it’s hard to tell.”So this is how matters stood on the evening of Monday, October 12.
But when it was almost midnight in Rome, a second sensational “scoop” exploded in New York, this time on the website of the prestigious magazine of the Jesuits in the Big Apple, “America,” a noble voice of progressive American Catholicism in the fields of theology, culture, and politics:
The author of the article is Gerard O’Connell, the magazine’s vaticanista and Rome correspondent, a renowned journalist himself as well as the husband of Argentine journalist Elisabetta Piqué, friend and authorized biographer of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
With calm assuredness, after having “learned from informed sources,” the New York Jesuits confirm right from the title that the letter delivered to the pope on the opening day of the synod was in fact signed by thirteen cardinals, all of them synod fathers, two of them from the United States, the archbishops of New York and Houston.
And in the body of the article they provide the complete list of the thirteen cardinals, which compared to the one published two days earlier by www.chiesa has four new names, in place of the four who had denied that they had signed it.
The four new names are those of the American Daniel N. Di Nardo, the Kenyan John Njue, the Mexican Norberto Rivera Carrera, and the Italian Elio Sgreccia.
But the following day one of these, Rivera Carrera, would also say that he had not signed the letter.
As a result, the provisory list of signers is now the following, in partial correction of the one initially given by www.chiesa, partly erroneous through the author’s unjustifiable inaccuracy in verifying it before publication.
In alphabetical order:
– Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, theologian, formerly the first president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family;
– Thomas C. Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada;
– Daniel N. Di Nardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and vice-president of the episcopal conference of the United States;
– Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, United States;
– Willem J. Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Holland;
– Gerhard L. Müller, former bishop of Regensburg, Germany, since 2012 prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith;
– Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa, president delegate of the synod underway as also at the previous session of the synod of October 2014;
– John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya;
– George Pell, archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia, since 2014 prefect in the Vatican of the secretariat for the economy;
– Robert Sarah, former archbishop of Conakry, Guinea, since 2014 prefect of the congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments;
– Elio Sgreccia, Italy, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life;
– Jorge L. Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela;
As for the contents of the letter, “America” presents numerous citations. And all of them correspond perfectly to the text published by www.chiesa.
The text of which was confirmed as “authentic,” a few hours after the “scoop” on the website of “America,” by the Buenos Aires newspaper “La Nación,” with the byline of Elisabetta Piqué, according to what has been “learned from good sources at the Vatican”:
Go here to read the rest. This is an important development as it underlines unrest about the course of the Synod and that Cardinals are willing to stand up and say what many Catholics believe: that the Synod is being rigged. We are in for the most “interesting” times for the Church since the Reformation, and may God help us.