Cardinal Wuerl Calls Out Pope’s Opponents

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has flatly denied the allegations by some of his fellow cardinals and bishops that the fathers attending the synod are “somehow” being manipulated by the pope and the synod structure that Francis approved. He wonders whether the underlying reason why they are suggesting or saying such things is because “they just don’t like this pope,” and find the church that he is calling for “somewhat threatening.”

In this interview with America on Oct. 18, the cardinal archbishop of Washington charged that a number of his brother cardinals and bishops have their own position and think that some questions now on the synod agenda should not even be discussed. He said some of these people “are speaking, sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes half-way implying, then backing off and then twisting around” and in this way they have ‘tainted’ the synod process in the public eye with their groundless allegations of manipulation, and so cast a cloud over its outcome.

Cardinal Wuerl has a long experience of synods, having attended seven as a bishop, and having served as general rapporteur at one. He is known as a man of great equilibrium, patience and wisdom and, not surprisingly, Pope Francis appointed him as one of the 10 members of the special commission he established to draft the final synod document.

Given all this background, Cardinal Wuerl is well positioned to judge the present synod process and, in this interview, he categorically states that he hasn’t seen even the slightest hint of manipulation at this synod. On the contrary, he says, the bishops have greater freedom that ever before to speak their mind, and have more time than in any of the past synods to discuss the issues in depth in the small language groups.

Cardinal Wuerl said, “there are always people who are unhappy with something that is going on in the church, but the touchstone of authentic Catholicism is adherence to the teaching of the pope.”

In other words, it’s politics.

People will criticize the process by which the decisions were made if decisions don’t go the way they want them to go.

I am frequently faced with accusations like these where I work.

Politics, stagecraft, sour grapes, call it what you will. :shrug:

Freedom to speak one’s mind is invariably perceived as threatening to those of a certain mindset.

Freedom to speak one’s mind is typically perceived as threatening by those of a certain mindset.

I’m hoping this thread doesn’t go that way, but why should this one be any different;

So, I wish the faithful would just let the Synod do its job, without speculating, postulating, second guessing, or criticizing what they are not even witnessing.

Couldn’t we just wait for the Synod to report, or more importantly, for the Holy Father to speak and act.

I guess gone are the days when we trusted in the Holy Spirit, and were obedient to the Church hierarchy.

I shouldn’t be surprised. We have made bad guys out of politicians (who we once called “the loyal opposition” we now call “traitors”.

I think its the curse of the internet…everyone is now a self-proclaimed canon lawyer, theologian, historian, biblical scholar.


Is it just politics? Cardinal Wuerl may be right (I’m not a mind reader), but perhaps what the other bishops are concerned about is people using this synod as an excuse to continue detrimental behavior that we are seeing in Japan and the West.

Some of those concerns are justified because I’m not sure if the Vatican is aware how what Pope Francis says gets twisted in the media.

The internet is just a tool for communication, so strictly speaking, it cannot have fault.

The fault lies, I suspect, with people either thinking Pope Francis is either a Marxist or a post-modern American progressive, both of which (the latter today) are contrary to Catholic teaching on many levels.

And I think, perhaps, the Western media is leading on it’s low information audience that the Pope is going to use the synod to radically change doctrine. :rolleyes:

I’m just very disappointed because it looks like there is a lot of scandal and no one has even mentioned a word about that.

Pope Francis has demonstrated in so many ways that he is a humble servant of the Lord. He is such a Good Shepard, and I know that the Holy Spirit will bless him so that in whatever direction he leads the Church it will be the will of God. All we have to do is to submit to God’s will, and everything will be just fine.

From the article in the original post:

Pope Francis is calling for a church that, to my mind, is much more in contact with the Gospel, with the living out of the Gospel. Not just the articulation of the Gospel, the voicing of the Gospel, the proclaiming of the Gospel, but the personal living of it, and that seems to be what is the most attractive part of this pope, why so many people find him inviting, why so many people follow him, why so many people are coming back to the practice of the faith. And for reasons known only to them, there are some who find this somewhat threatening.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit