Cardinal Zen in hard-hitting new interview: "At the Synod not truths of faith, but psychology" and "The workers of darkness are afraid of the light"

The 91-year-old Chinese cardinal published a letter to the Synod fathers and an analysis of the Pope's responses to the Dubia (which he signed together with the other 4 cardinals). Bussola (The Compass) takes stock of the synodal climate, where "discernment" seems rather dictated by emotions.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, 91 years old, needs no introduction. He was recently among the signatories – together with the other members of the sacred college Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Robert Sarah – of the five Dubia to the Pope on the concept of reinterpretation of Divine Revelation, blessing of homosexual couples, structure of the Synod, female ordination and repentance for absolution. In a recent analysis published on his personal website, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong questioned - evoking a similar quote from Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández - whether the answer to their questions was actually written by Francis, considering it part of what he defined it as «the arsenal that the organizers of the Synod (...) had already prepared to respond to the disturbers of their agenda». As we move towards the last two weeks of the first session, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana took stock of the synod works with Cardinal Zen and collected his point of view on their progress to date.

Your Eminence, you have written a letter to "warn" the participants in the Synod. Have you heard from anyone?

I'm sorry to have to answer this question in the negative. I'm not surprised, there is a strict duty of silence. Who dares risk the penalty of having violated a "pontifical secret"?

What do you think of the decision to impose silence on the composition of the working groups and their debates?

The workers of darkness are afraid of the light.

Among the few filtered contents, we know for example that Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, general rapporteur at the Synod on synodality, was keen to reiterate that "the Baptism of women is not inferior to that of men" asking how this can be ensured for women to feel "an integral part of this missionary Church". Do you think that the women who have been and are an integral part of the Church in these millennia have perceived this inferiority?

They should go and ask Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Teresa of Avila, the Jewish Edith Stein, who converted to Catholicism, became a Carmelite and was martyred by the Nazis. Let them ask all the mothers who have offered their sons and daughters to the Lord and the Church.

During my years in Italy I learned a beautiful hymn to mothers (His Eminence remembers the song in full, ed.):

“All mothers in the world are beautiful

when a child holds them close to their hearts

they are an image of the Madonna

I am an image of goodness…

and the years pass

the children grow up, the mothers turn white,

but their beauty will not fade.”

I have not heard such a song in honor of fathers. It is mothers who have the "power" to shape great personalities on their knees.

In the discussion that began at the Synod on the LGBT issue, it appears that the synod fathers' reasoning against a revision of the Church's teaching on homosexuality was contested by other participants with reported personal testimonies greeted with applause. How do you judge this emotional approach in a Synod?

You evidently know things about the Synod that I don't. But what he says doesn't surprise me. This is not a Synod of bishops, but of supporters, or at least supporters of supporters, of homosexuals "kicked out" by the Church.

It is not a Synod of discernment of the truth, but only a "sharing" of emotions. It is not about the truth of faith, there is only psychology.

You were one of the signatories of the last Dubia. Aren't you afraid that the Pope's responses to your letter of 10 July could influence the debate and decisions of the Synod fathers on the themes of the Instrumentum Laboris?

The Holy Spirit will be able to help you read those answers, if they are according to the dictates of faith. I have offered my modest analysis of those responses which you can find on my blog.

The fact that the Pope did not respond to the reformulated Dubia also says a lot.

The Instrumentum Laboris also talks about the situation of divorced and remarried people. Have you read the response of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to Cardinal Duka's Dubia? What do you think?

I should write half a book on this! Forgive this sick old man if I am unable to do so at this time. The Lord bless you and the Bussola.