Four Cardinals Formally Ask Pope for Clarity on Amoris Laetitia

VATICAN CITY — Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The cardinals — Italian Carlo Caffarra, American Raymond Burke, and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner — sent the five questions, called dubia (Latin for ‘doubts’) to the Holy Father and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Sept. 19, along with an accompanying letter.

Dubia are formal questions brought before the Pope and the CDF aimed at eliciting a “yes” or “no” response, “without theological argumentation.” The practice is a longstanding way of addressing the Apostolic See, geared towards achieving clarity on Church teaching.

m.ncregister.com/51541/d

Clarity is always good.

I believe that per several reports (Father Z, the Catholic News Service) that the reason the National Catholic Register printed this letter is that the Pope has told the cardinals that "he will not respond’.

Cardinal Burke had an audience with the Pope last week. I would think that this letter was a topic of conversation.

Dan

Since the letter was published after the interview, one wonders if the reason we know that the Pope said he would not answer is that he told Cardinal Burke that, at the audience.

VATICAN CITY — Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The cardinals — Italian Carlo Caffarra, American Raymond Burke, and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner — sent the five questions, called dubia (Latin for ‘doubts’) to the Holy Father and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Sept. 19, along with an accompanying letter.

Dubia are formal questions brought before the Pope and the CDF aimed at eliciting a “yes” or “no” response, “without theological argumentation.” The practice is a longstanding way of addressing the Apostolic See, geared towards achieving clarity on Church teaching.
m.ncregister.com/51541/d

Has this ever happened before? If so, when?

Is there a reason given, why the Pope will not respond?

Thanks for the thread & any other clarifications.:slight_smile:

God bless!

The Great Sifting has begun, IMHO, and much prayer and sacrifice is needed for Pope Francis, for Holy Mother Church and for ourselves (especially for the gift of Final Perseverance). The Cardinals did a necessary thing for the Church, we need clarity.

Remember, both John Paul II and Benedict XVI stressed over and over and over to us…KNOW THE FAITH, the teachings of the Church. It wasn’t “dwell on whatever you think the Faith is or what you want the Faith to be” … but “KNOW the Faith”. There was a reason for that, it was to prepare us for what we are facing now.

I wonder if the Pope will decide to respond later. In a sense, all can be answered “yes”, though mainly because of the way they are worded. “Is it possible…?” That is a rather high bar unless there is an absolute theological prohibition. It may be that the requirement of “yes” or “no” does note really fit when so many terms are used, and the questions themselves my be called into question. Number 5, for example does not quote Veritatis Splendor and may or may not be exactly what St. John Paul meant. An answer to such a question would cause confusion.

I have to agree with you on this.

The questions are not worded for a “yes” or “no” answer, so I guess I don’t blame the Pope for not answering, at least as they are written.

I can’t help but to if wonder if the questions were asked this way for a reason? :hmmm:

Questions 2 to 5 are heavily leading and I’m not surprised an answer, especially a yes/no answer, is not forthcoming. Question 1 however is a legitimate question and a clear answer would be very useful to many people.

Why do we need to know this? Unless you are divorced and remarried with no possibility of an annulment, it really has nothing to do with us or our salvation. If you are in this situation then you need to speak to your priest.

Whatever the “great sifting” is, I can assure you I don’t believe in it. Sounds like a Protestant end-times prophecy.

God bless these Cardinals for writing this letter and attempting to get a clear answer and teaching from the Pope. Clarity in Church teaching is essential.

Given the debate we just had over similar questions on another thread (since closed) it would seem that they all require an answer. It seems especially important given the disagreement among the cardinals and bishops themselves. There is more confusion now than there was before AL was presented. Can anyone possibly think this is a good thing? I can’t accept that answering questions leads to confusion.

Yes.

Just to be clear, here is what you responded to:

  • There is more confusion now than there was before AL was presented. Can anyone possibly think this is a good thing?
    *You’ve stumped me; I have no idea how to respond to someone who believes confusion over matters of doctrine is good.

Yes, they were asked this way for a reason:*What is peculiar about these inquiries is that they are worded in a way that requires a “Yes” or “No” answer, without theological argumentation. This way of addressing the Apostolic See is not an invention of our own; it is an age-old practice. *(Explanatory note contained in the letter)
Apparently this is the way such inquiries have always been made.

Object lesson complete. Loaded questions may cause confusion when answered yes or know. In your case, it is possible to reject the premise that there is more confusion, making “yes” a possible answer.

So if this lead you to say, “You’ve stumped me,” then perhaps you can see where questions worded as yes/no can possibly lead to confusion. The questions asked if you read them, were not simple and did include (as did yours) facts and assumptions that require more discussion.

It is surely true that a question can be so ambiguous that a yes or no answer is equally ambiguous, but that’s not what you responded to. I stated that more confusion existed and asked if that was a good thing, to which you answered yes, but if you reject the premise then yes is as invalid as no. Nor is there any reason, even though a yes or no answer is required, to believe that it must be without accompanying explanation. You may assert that there is not more confusion than before but it is not possible to assert that great confusion does not still exist throughout the church. Nor is it reasonable to believe this is not a bad thing.

The questions asked if you read them, were not simple and did include (as did yours) facts and assumptions that require more discussion.

If you read the entire text of the letter you would find a more extensive explanation of each of the five questions. What is the justification for not clearing up the same concerns that exist among the bishops as the laity are trying to answer themselves? How do you justify not clarifying what is clearly a very significant issue?

Ender

Precisely. Long questions in matters of faith and morals with qualifying phrases or dependent clauses is typical and have been submitted to the Church for clarification and response for centuries. The questions submitted by the cardinals is no more entrapping or loaded than many of those submitted to the Church in the past. These questions are indeed answerable and can be answered in the affirmative or negative in parts, as this has been done in the past as well.

Their Eminences petitioned the Vicar of Christ, as is their prerogative.

If His Holiness chooses not to look with favour upon the petition, that is his prerogative and the matter is finished.

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