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Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria.Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

March 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – This morning the Vatican announced that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the Synod of the Family is to be released April 8 at noon Rome time.  Two left-leaning Cardinals will present the document, a move which is being seen by Vatican experts as a sign of its contents’ progressive bent.

The document, titled “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), is to be presented by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna.  While as Synod organizer, Baldisseri’s presence was expected, Crux’s John Allen says Schönborn’s appointment is “a move possibly hinting that Pope Francis will side with progressives on some contentious matters regarding family life.”

Schönborn was behind the controversial proposal at the first Synod on October 2014 to recognize “positive elements” in homosexual relationships. Moreover, he was identified as having ridiculed a Synod Father who expressed grave concern about the goings on in the Synod.

It was Kazakhstan Archbishop Tomash Peta’s who warned in his Synod intervention that the “smoke of Satan” was entering the Synod through the proposals to admit to Holy Communion those who are divorced and living in new civil unions; to affirm cohabitation is a union which may have in itself some values; and the pleading to accept homosexuality as something which is allegedly normal. According to another Synod participant, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Cardinal Schönborn retorted by saying the “smoke of Satan” would enter the Synod “if we succumbed to an anxious and ideologically driven spirit of partisanship that violated the communion of the episcopal college and the Church and reduced the Synod to no more than a political cause where power is what really matters. Satan is 'diabolos', the separator.”  According to a witness of the exchange, when Schonborn issued his “smoke of Satan” rejoinder, he paused for laughter at his Kazakhstan counterpart’s expense.

In addition to the Cardinals, the married couple Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Rome at Tor Vergata, and Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy in Naples, will present the exhortation at the press conference.

The Press Conference can be viewed via live streaming (audio-video) on the site where it will subsequently remain available on demand.

On the day of its release, the exhortation will be available in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.


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