Three of the traditionalist Archbishops opposed to Pope Francis’ bid to change Catholic Church teachings on divorce and contraception have strong Irish links.
Five senior church figures in opposition to the fundamental changes have come together to oppose the Pope’s proposals, which will go before the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that begins in Rome on October 5th.
The Irish Times reports that the five include heavy-hitters such as German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and Irish American Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.
Also involved too are Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, former President of the Vatican’s Committee for Historical Sciences, and Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, former President of the Vatican’s Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The report says all contributed essays to the book "Remaining With Christ’s Truth," to be published on October 1, ahead of the Synod.
Irish Australian Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, will also take part in the Extraordinary Synod.
Cardinal Pell has written a foreword to another book to be published ahead of the Synod, "The Hope of the Family." This book includes an extended interview with Cardinal Müller.
All five say that when it comes to church teaching on marriage, including the ban on remarried divorced Catholics from receiving communion, they are not for turning.
The Irish Times reveals that Cardinal Pell, whose mother’s maiden name was Burke, and Cardinal Burke, are regular visitors to Ireland.
Cardinal Burke was dropped from the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops by Pope Francis last year. He is a regular visitor to the annual Fota International Liturgy Conference in Cork which he opened last July.
Cardinal Burke criticized Irish PM Enda Kenny last year during the debate on Ireland’s Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
The cardinal said Kenny’s description of himself as ‘a Taoiseach who happens to be a Catholic, but not a Catholic Taoiseach,’ did not make any sense.
The Cardinal said: “One cannot, as a Catholic politician, excuse oneself from the question of abortion by claiming one should not bring one’s Catholicism into the political realm.”
The Irish Times also claims that Cardinal Müller played a significant role in silencing rebel Irish priests.
The paper says negotiations between Fr Tony Flannery and the Prefect of the CDF at the time, Cardinal William Lavada, were approaching a solution when Cardinal Müller took over the role in July 2012 and he then adopted a much harder stance.
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin will represent Irish Catholics at next month’s Extraordinary Synod.