The four cardinals who wrote the “dubia” to Pope Francis have sent him a second letter requesting an audience, again without receiving a response, Italian journalist Sandro Magister reports.
The Pope received the letter, signed by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on behalf of Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Joachim Meisner on May 6. However, after a prolonged period with no response, the text has now appeared in the press.
In the letter, the Cardinals request an audience with Pope Francis to discuss “uncertainties” regarding the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’, saying that “interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from but contrary to the permanent Magisterium of the Church.”
“Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed,” they add, “Numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved.”
They say the Church is now in a situation where “what is sin in Poland is good in Germany… what is prohibited in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on.”
“How painful it is to see this!” the cardinals exclaim.
“Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an audience,” they add.
In January, the Maltese bishops issued guidance on Amoris Laetitia saying there are cases where it may be “humanly impossible” for divorced and remarried couples to avoid having sex, and in such instances they may be readmitted to Holy Communion.
The Diocese of San Diego had already said divorced and remarried Catholics may “conclude that God is calling them to return to full participation in the life of the Church and the Eucharist.”
Cardinal Burke said that if such guidelines were to become universal “then the Church’s teaching on marriage is finished.”
The Polish episcopal conference announced earlier this month it will publish pastoral guidelines on Amoris Laetitia that uphold previous Church teaching without exception.