After a hastily written Vatican text affirming the “positive aspects” of co-habitation and “valuing” the homosexual orientation stunned bishops with its release on Monday, a significant number have stepped forward to disassociate themselves from the document.
The bishops meeting in the Vatican for a marriage summit were supposedly on board with the text, but revealed afterward that they had never seen the document prior to its being read aloud to them in the synod hall on Monday, a Vatican official told Breitbart.
The 11-page text was billed as a summary of the bishops’ discussions but some were quick to say it was nothing of the sort.
On Wednesday, Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial czar and a close advisor of Pope Francis, called the document “tendentious and incomplete.”
Pell called the report an “incomplete résumé” of the bishops’ discussions and said that it needed to be “enhanced and corrected.”
South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier had said Tuesday that the interim summary “is not what we’re saying at all.” He then added, “No matter how we try correcting that … there’s no way of retrieving it.”
While admitting that “a lot of it” reflected what was actually said, Napier still insisted that the message “is not a true message.” “Whatever we say hereafter is going to be as if we’re doing some damage control.”
The problem seems to be that isolated opinions were put forward as if they were representative of the entire body of bishops, whereas in reality they do not adequately express “the feeling of the whole synod,” Napier suggested.
Napier’s statement reflects the consternation of many bishops, many of whom have stepped forward publically in opposition to the text. While some of the liberal media have suggested that the strong reactions to the document represent a conservative backlash, in reality the large number of responses indicate that a strong majority of synod members have found the text wanting.
Earlier statements put the number of bishops criticizing the text at 41, while today Cardinal Pell raised that estimate to a full three quarters of the participants in the synod hall.
Complaints voiced by the bishops included a move away from “focusing mainly on imperfect family situations,” talking more clearly about “sin,” and avoiding confusing language that blurs the issues rather than clarifying.