Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops (left), talks with Pope Francis during the morning session on the final day of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 18. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The head of secretariat of the synod of bishops was reportedly “furious” about “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” which includes chapters by Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller

Both Kath.net and Edward Pentin are reporting that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, head of secretariat of the synod of bishops, ordered the interception of over a hundred copies of the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, which had been mailed to participants in last October’s Extraordinary Synod.

The book, which consists of essays by five Cardinals—including Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller—and four other scholars, was written in response to Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book The Gospel of the Family, and defends the Church’s teaching that Catholics who have been divorced and civilly remarried cannot receive Holy Communion. It was edited by Fr. Robert Dodaro, OSA, who was interviewed about it by CWR last September.

Pentin reports:

Reliable and high level sources allege the head of secretariat of the synod of bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, ordered they be intercepted because they would “interfere with the synod.”

A source told me that Baldisseri was “furious” the book had been mailed to the participants and ordered staff at the Vatican post office to ensure they did not reach the Paul VI Hall.

Kath.net reports that around 200 copies of the book were mailed, but only a few apparently made it into the hands of the proper recipients, a report that has also been confirmed by Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, of Ignatius Press. Pentin states that the books were mailed through “the proper channels within the Italian and Vatican postal systems”, but that Baldisseri claimed they were mailed “irregularly,” and so the interception of the books was legitimate.

In other words, Baldisseri has apparently admitted that the books were taken; the dispute is over why they were taken. Pentin further reports that the books were apparently destroyed after being taken.

Three months ago, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said he knew nothing about allegations regarding the stolen/intercepted/confiscated books, and dismissed the sources for the allegations as not being “serious and objective.” Pentin, a veteran and respected Vatican reporter who recorded a controversial interview with Kasper during the Synod, concludes his report by stating that since December, “the allegations have become more widely known and have been corroborated at the highest levels of the church.”

What to make of this? First, as Fr. Z notes, these allegations involve a serious crime:

When the organizers of the Synod realized what had been sent to the members of the Synod, someone removed all the envelopes from the members’ mail boxes!

That’s called theft.   That’s called illegal.   They stole people’s mail.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that a crime in, I think, every country?   The Vatican City State… that’s a country… isn’t it.

Secondly, it adds to the already much-debated and controversial nature of the Synod, which was marked by discord, accusations of manipulation, and a mid-Synod report that sparked anger and accusations that there was a concerted effort being made to push through statements that were pro-homosexual and contrary to established Church teaching. (See CWR’s compilation of some four dozen articles, reports, and interviews about the Synod.)

Third, it raises serious questions about the motives and leadership of Cardinal Baldisseri, who has already gone on record with some contentious statements apparently aimed at those defending Church teaching on marriage, divorce, remarriage, and Communion. A month ago, he made the following remarks to Aleteia:

“Therefore, there’s no reason to be scandalized that there is a cardinal or a theologian saying something that’s different than the so-called ‘common doctrine.’ This doesn’t imply a going against. It means reflecting. Because dogma has its own evolution; that is a development, not a change.”

The cardinal added that it is “right that there is a reaction” and that “this is exactly what we want today. We want to discuss things, but not in order to call things into doubt, but rather to view it in a new context, and with a new awareness. Otherwise, what’s theology doing but repeating what was said in the last century, or 20 centuries ago?”

He further stated that “discussions are welcome,” although one has to wonder how such a welcoming approach can be squared with the decision to intercept and perhaps destroy copies of a book that is a part of that those discussions.

Fourth, it raises questions about the transparency and openness that supposedly marks the current pontificate. If these allegations are true, will they be properly addressed? If not, it may well raise further questions about the reforms that Francis is pursuing in the Curia. Put simply, are these the sort of actions that a pope wishes to be taking place, especially after having renounced “the sickness of rivalry and vainglory” during his Christmas address to the Curia?

Finally, what does this indicate about the motives and judgment of those who are apparently intent on not only shutting down real discussion and open debate—at both last year’s Synod and the approaching Synod of Bishops—but who will engage in such heavy-handed tactics in order to get their way? Remaining in the Truth of Christ is both a work of scholarship and of pastoral engagement; it is not an angry, polemical screed or the result of a bullying strategy. It takes seriously Pope Francis’ call for open discussion, a call that some, apparently, at least in this instance, seem uninterested in following.

About the Author
Carl E. Olson editor@catholicworldreport.comCarl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.


New post on In the Light of the Law

It was worse than a crime—it was a blunder

by Dr. Edward Peters

There are credible reports that Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, head of the secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, ordered the confiscation of pro-marriage materials legally mailed to synod participants last October. In addition to whatever international and/or Vatican City State laws might have been violated thereby, and besides the possibility of the violation of Canon 1389 (abuse of ecclesiastical office), this action, if indeed it was taken by ranking prelate, offends at a level that will, I suggest, haunt Church staffers for years to come.

I cannot count the number of times over the decades that I have heard good Catholics, concerned for this problem or that in the Church, despair of having their voice heard as follows: “Why should I bother writing to the bishop? Someone on his staff will not like my letter and make sure it never gets to him.”

I have many, many times, assured Catholics that such “mail-filtering” was a myth and that, in my experience, bishops see every letter addressed to them. They don’t always answer, I admit, but they do see it. Who knows, perhaps a few Catholic decided to write to their bishops after all, upon my comments.

Now, the myth of ecclesiastics filtering mail that they don’t want others to see has been given a new lease on life. We will be decades living the story down. Put another way, this stunt, assuming it happened as it seems to have happened, was worse than a crime—it was a blunder.

The truth of this matter needs to come out, and, if the story is false, it needs to be contradicted if only for the common good; if it’s true, consequences need to come. Quickly.

Dr. Edward Peters | February 26, 2015 at 11:43 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p25nov-Pl

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. abyssum says:

    Quien sabe?

  2. acroat says:

    Does he think he is exempt from the 7th commandment!!!

  3. acroat says:

    Does he thin he is exempt from the 7th commandment!

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