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Cardinal Pell: “You must stop manipulating this Synod.”

Andrea Solaras/AFP

Proposal to keep small group reports from public sparked "revolt"

The confusion created by the organizers’ choice to publicize some documents, such as the interim report, while keeping others under wraps — the bishops’ written and delivered speeches, as well as the working group summaries (a decision reversed by a vote of the full Synod) — has been described as “more and more like a soap opera” by John L. Allen Jr.,  associate editor of Crux. He also quoted Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn’s description of “the situation in the synod in which the mother says ‘watch out, be careful’ and the father says ‘no, that’s fine, go ahead.’

In an interview he gave to Catholic News Service, Cardinal Pell revealed that

three of the synod’s 10 small groups had supported a controversial proposal by German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

But Cardinal Pell offered this opinion on what the controversy was really about:

Communion for the divorced and remarried is for some – very few, certainly not the majority of synod fathers – it’s only the tip of the iceberg, it’s a stalking horse. They want wider changes, recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions," Cardinal Pell said. "The church cannot go in that direction. It would be a capitulation from the beauties and strengths of the Catholic tradition, where people sacrificed themselves for hundreds, for thousands of years to do this.

The Cardinal stated that if the final report did not reflect the views of a majority of the Synod Fathers, it would not be approved by the Synod before its closing.

By Saturday night, God-willing, with the approval of a final report – which will become a working document for the October 2015 Synod on the Family – the “soap opera” will end and all eyes can turn to the Beatification of Pope Pius VI.

Susan E. Wills
is spirituality editor of Aleteia’s English language edition.

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