Five cardinals have sent a document with several questions to Pope Francis regarding hot-button issues. They are concerned that the Synod could generate doctrinal “confusion” in the Church and therefore asked for the Pope's yes or no answer to these questions.
The questions ask if doctrine can be changed, if women can be priests, if homosexual couples can be blessed and if the Synod has the power to decide on doctrinal issues.
The question of the Synod is timely as this consultative body will reconvene this week in Rome. It has generated concern in some pockets of the College of Cardinals, as they have said that
some members of the Synod have made declarations that are openly contrary to the doctrine of the Church.
The five cardinals who submitted the questions to the Pope regarding the Synod are Walter Brandmüller of Germany, Raymond Burke of the United States, Sandoval Iñiguez of Mexico, Robert Sarah of Guinea and Joseph Zen of China.
These five cardinals had already expressed these concerns to Pope Francis and the Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 10. The Pope responded the following day but, as the cardinals stated, did not provide clear answers. That is why they decided to write again in August and reframe the questions. After more than a month without a response from the Pope, the five cardinals released their questions to the public. However, they did not disclose the exact content of what the Pope responded to them in July.
As a result, the Vatican has now published the Pope's almost seven-page reply in July.
The Synod will last almost the entire month of October. Pope Francis has warned against an attitude of fear and encouraged an atmosphere of silence and prayer among the participants.
God does not like proclamations and clamor, chatter and noise.
The Synod on Synodality will be held at the Vatican from October 4 to 29.