Never in the whole history of the Church has someone so utterly unsuitable risen to such high rank. Disgraceful response from Cardinal "Tucho" Fernandez to his fellow Cardinals.

Five cardinals challenge the Pope and ask him to publicly declare that he will not modify the doctrine on homosexuals

They ask him to rule on other issues such as the female priesthood or whether the synod ceases to be a merely advisory body.

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Every time a synod is held in the Vatican, the waters of the Church are stirred and the two currents that compete to pressure the Pope come to the fore. On the eve of the assembly that begins this Wednesday, five cardinals have publicly asked the Pope to respond with a "yes or no" to whether there will be changes in the doctrine on homosexuality, female priesthood or confession. "The Pope has already answered them, and now they are publishing new questions as if the Pope were a slave to orders," laments Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Vatican prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The five cardinals, conservative in nature, questioned the Pope in a letter on July 10 and considered the response that the Pontiff sent them a day later to be insufficient. At the end of August they sent him back those same reformulated questions and, having not received a response, they have made them public in the form of a "Notification to the lay faithful", through Internet publications critical of the pontiff.

Although only 5 of the 242 cardinals sign the "notification", they have managed to raise an enormous stir. Of them, two are voters and three are emeritus. They are the German Walter Brandmüller (94 years old), the American Raymond Leo Burke (75), the Mexican Juan Sandoval Íñiguez (90), Robert Sarah (78), from Guinea Conakry, and Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (91), from Hong Kong. Several of them participated in last Saturday's consistory in which Pope Francis imposed the cardinal's biretta on new cardinals.

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The five cardinals have released the letter they sent to the Pope dated August 21 in which they explain in a surprising tone that "his answers have not resolved the doubts that we had raised, but rather have deepened them. For this reason, we feel obliged to re-propose, reformulating them, these questions to Your Holiness (…) so that they can be answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no'.

Below, they detail the five questions on different questions of doctrine and morality. The first is whether "it is possible for the Church today to teach doctrines contrary to those it has previously taught in matters of faith and morals"; The second refers to the blessing of same-sex couples, requested by some bishops in Germany, and which the Vatican already rejected in a recent document.

"We are concerned that the blessing of same-sex couples could create confusion not only in the sense that it could make them seem analogous to marriage, but also in the sense that homosexual acts would be presented practically as a good, or at least as the possible good that God asks of people on their path to Him," they write.

Blessing of homosexual couples

After this introduction they formulate two "doubts" or "dubia": "Is it possible that in some circumstances a pastor can bless unions between homosexual people, thus suggesting that homosexual behavior as such would not be contrary to the law of God and the way of the person towards God? Is the teaching held by the universal ordinary magisterium still valid, according to which all sexual acts outside of marriage, and in particular homosexual acts, constitute an objectively grave sin against the law of God, regardless of the circumstances in which they take place? and the intention with which it is carried out?

They also ask him to clarify whether "the Church could in the future have the power to confer priestly ordination on women, thus contradicting that the exclusive reservation of this sacrament to baptized men belongs to the very substance of the sacrament of Orders, which "Church cannot change."

The other two questions are whether "a penitent who, while admitting a sin, refuses to manifest, in any way, the intention not to commit it again" can validly receive sacramental absolution; and whether the synod is merely advisory or whether it has deliberative power.

In the "notification to the lay faithful" they explain why they have made this text public, which constitutes a challenge and a gesture of distrust towards the Pope. «Given the seriousness of the matter, we consider it our duty to inform you so that you are not subject to confusion, error and discouragement, but that you pray for the universal Church and, in particular, for the Roman Pontiff, so that the Gospel may be taught every time. more clearly and followed more and more faithfully," they explain in a note dated October 2.

Already in 2016, two of the signatory cardinals, Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmuller, publicly posed five questions to the Pope on controversial issues in his document on the family “Amoris Laetitia”. The other two signatories at that time, the Italian Carlo Caffarra and the German Joachim Meisner, died in 2017. On that occasion they asked him to clarify whether his decision that some divorced and remarried people, under certain conditions, could receive communion, meant that Marriage is not "indissoluble." There was no formal response from Francis and the Vatican spokesperson assured that the Pope had said that "the answer was in the document."

"They speak as if the Pope were a slave to his orders"

"The Pope has already responded to the 'dubia' of these cardinals," Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, prefect of the dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, underlines to ABC. "They have not published the Holy Father's response, which despite his many occupations took the trouble to respond to them. Instead of publishing those answers, they now make public new questions, as if the Pope were his slave for errands," he laments.

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Perhaps aware that the text was about to be published, the Pope said this Saturday that "the truth does not need violent cries to reach the hearts of men. God does not like proclamations and commotion, gossip and confusion. "Let us pray that the synod is a time of fraternity, a place where the Holy Spirit purifies the Church from murmurings, ideologies and polarizations," he then asked.