Forty-One Bishops Oppose New Vatican Document

Forty-One Bishops Oppose New Vatican Document

Vatican — Opposition increases in Rome as gays celebrate, traditional Catholics fret, bishops complain, and no one seems to be able to explain exactly what the document released Monday means for the Catholic Church.

Late Monday night, experienced hands with connections to Synod fathers were saying the bishops felt blindsided by the content of the document released Monday that is supposed to inform the ongoing discussions among more than 180 bishops meeting the rest of this week at the Vatican. The document seems to break new ground on Catholic teaching on the acceptance of homosexuality, cohabitation, and communion for the divorced and the remarried.

No less than 41 bishops rose in protest of the document after it was read to them and while the document was being presented to the Vatican press corps. Noted Vatican journalist Sandro Magister reported:

Under the gunfire of aroung 41 interventions, Cardinals Pell [Secretary for the Economy], Ouellet [Prefect for Bishops], Filoni [Prefect for Propaganda Fide], Dolan [of New York], Vingt-Trois [of Paris], Burke [Prefect of Apostolic Signatura], Rylko [President of Laity], Müller [Prefect of Doctrine of the Faith], Scola [of Milan], Caffarra [of Bologna] among others spoke up, all against an opening to second marriages as proposed by Cardinal Kasper, who also intervened.

Monday afternoon, Lifesite News interviewed Cardinal Burke, who said the Synod had been “manipulated by the organizers of the General Secretariat,” and he called on Pope Francis to intervene. Burke said:

The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practice regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church.


The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called ‘revolutionary’, teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality.

As is obvious from the pointed interventions of 41 bishops Monday morning, Burke is far from alone among Synod bishops in his concern and opposition to the document. Though not in the Synod itself, the head of the Polish Episcopal Conference told Vatican Radio that the document was unacceptable.

Controversial passages have angered Bishops and laity alike. Sandro Magister points to the Italian Archbishop Forte, who was among the presenters of the document.

The document is now in the hands of “small circles,” groups of Synod Bishops grouped according to language. Their work will conclude this week, and the final document will go to the larger Synod scheduled for next October.

Below is an interview Cardinal Burke did with Raymond Arroyo:


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