A Third Bishop Comes to the Defense of the Four Cardinals

(Image courtesy of the Diocese of Rzeszow)

After the wonderful news yesterday that Bishop Athanasius Schneider has come publicly to the aid of the courageous Four Cardinals who are challenging Pope Francis over the much-contested post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, a second Polish Bishop – after Auxiliary Bishop Józef Wróbel of Lublin, Poland – has now raised his voice in a similar way. Bishop Jan Watroba, President of the Council for the Family of the Polish Bishops’ Conferences, has now made a statement where he declares that he believes that the publication of the Four Cardinals Letter is “not reprehensible.”

According to the Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, Watroba sees in this letter “an expression of the commitment and care concerning the right interpretation of the teaching of Peter.” He stressed also that he himself is now “waiting very much to see an answer, a clarification,” inasmuch “as I myself have now been overwhelmed with many similar questions – just like other bishops and pastors.” Watroba spoke these words to the Polish News Agency (KAI). He added the following words:

It is too bad that there exists no unified interpretation and no clear message of the document [Amoris Laetitia] and that one has to add interpretations to the Apostolic document. I personally – perhaps out of habit, but also out of conviction – prefer such documents, as John Paul II used to write them, where additional commentaries or interpretations concerning the teaching of Peter were not necessary.

It is encouraging to see that more prelates have the courage to defend the Four Cardinals – especially after they have now been accused of heresy, apostasy and schism by another prelate.

Moreover, it is to be hoped that the Catholic resistance will now grow by the day. This will become even more pertinent, inasmuch as more and more troubling pieces of news are coming to us now out of Rome. Today, our colleague in Germany, Guiseppe Nardi, reports that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia – the new head of the Pontifical Academy for Life – has said on 23 November in an interview with La Nazione (among other newspapers) that the canonical rule of excommunicating a person for performing or procuring an abortion might soon be removed. To the question of the journalist as to whether this rule could be removed in the near future, Paglia answered: “Yes, this is not impossible.”

Paglia continued, saying:

Whether it will be Pope Francis who will remove this canonical rule, I do not know – one would need to ask him. It is certain, however, that the Canon Law has been modified dozens of times in the last decades. Thus it would not be surprising if the progress of life would lead to an aggiornamento [update] of Canon Law. That is part of reality. The tradition of the Church is a living body, not a blocked set of rules.

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