Vatican City, Sep 4, 2019 / 16:45 pm
Two cardinals have sent letters to fellow members of the College of Cardinals, raising concerns about the working document for an upcoming synod of bishops on the pan-Amazonian region.
“Some points of the synod’s Instrumentum laboris seem not only in dissonance with respect to the authentic teaching of the Church, but even contrary to it,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller wrote to fellow cardinals in an Aug. 28 letter obtained by CNA.
“The nebulous formulations of the Instrumentum, as well as the proposed creation of new ecclesial ministries for women and, especially, the proposed priestly ordination of the so-called viri probati arouse strong suspicion that even priestly celibacy will be called into question,” the cardinal wrote.
Brandmüller said that the leaders of the pan-Amazonian synod have given him concern about its proceedings.
“The sole fact that Cardinal (Claudio) Hummes is the president of the synod and thus will exercise a grave influence in a negative sense, suffices to have a well founded and realistic concern, as much as in the case of bishops (Erwin) Kräutler, (Franz-Josef) Overbeck, etc."
Hummes, a native of Brazil, was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy from 2006-2010. Bishop Krautel, 80, is the emeritus bishop of the Brazilian Prelature of Xingu in the Amazon, and has been a long time proponent of married priests. Bishop Overbeck, 55, is the Bishop of Essen. Overbeck is known in Germany as an advocate for a re-examination of the Church’s teaching on ordination and sexual morality.
Brandmüller, 90, was for three decades a professor of Church history, and was president of the International Commission for Contemporary Church History from 1998 until 2006. He was made a cardinal in 2010, but, at age 81, he had passed the age limit for participation in the election of a pope.
“We must face serious challenges to the integrity of the Deposit of the Faith, the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church and its Apostolic Tradition. With all this has been created a situation never before seen in the Church’s history, not even during the Arian crisis of the fourth and fifth century,” Brandmüller added.