- Dec 14, 2019
Although some accounts have framed the Sept. 6 death of Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra almost entirely in terms of his final act as one of the “dubia cardinals” challenging Pope Francis’s document “Amoris Laetita,” he was a much bigger figure than that, and he illustrated Catholicism’s perennial genius for embracing strong and divergent views on important questions all at once.
Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra has died at the age of 79. He was one of the four ‘dubia cardinals’ who asked Pope Francis to clarify his position on communion for the divorced-and-remarried after the release of the his apostolic exortation ‘Amoris Laetitia.’
Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, rector of the Catholic University in Buenos Aires and sometimes described as the pope’s amanuensis, has issued a systematic defense of “Amoris Laetitia,” Francis’s controversial document on the family, saying its critics are locked in a “death-trap” logic and their approach risks “a betrayal of the heart of the Gospel.”
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, said that those trying to use the words the pope emeritus sent for the funeral of one of the “dubia” cardinals as an attack on Pope Francis are “stupid.” In his message for the July 15 funeral of German Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Benedict alluded to the Church being near “capsizing,” which is a familiar image in his writing.
Pope Francis has declared Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna to be the “authoritative interpreter” of ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ the papal document on marriage and family. Schönborn spent hours explaining it during a visit to Ireland this week.
Leading conservative German Cardinal Joachim Meisner has died. His successor as Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, said Meisner stood up for truth, and “fought for the protection of life from the beginning to the end, and raised his voice wherever the dignity of the person was challenged.”