Featured Image
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn

July 18, 2017 (Catholic Culture) — Pope Francis has referred to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn as the “authoritative interpreter” of Amoris Laetitia. So when the Austrian cardinal spoke to an Irish audience about the controversial papal document, people naturally paid careful attention.

According to Austen Ivereigh’s account:

Schönborn revealed that when he met the Pope shortly after the presentation of Amoris, Francis thanked him, and asked him if the document was orthodox.

“I said, ‘Holy Father, it is fully orthodox’,” Schönborn told us he told the pope, adding that a few days later he received from Francis a little note that said: “Thank you for that word. That gave me comfort.”

Assuming that it is accurate — and we have no reason to doubt that it is — Cardinal Schönborn’s anecdote presents us with an astonishing picture: The successor to St. Peter — the man whose solemn duty it is to guard the deposit of the faith — is asking another prelate whether his own teaching is orthodox. And he is comforted to hear an affirmative answer.

More: Pope Francis consults with Cardinal Schönborn — one of his close advisers, and a respected theologian — and looks for assurance that his teaching is orthodox, after the document has been issued.

It is ordinary procedure for a Pope to draft a document and then circulate it privately among respected cardinals and theologians, asking them if they could detect any difficulties, so that inaccuracies can be corrected before promulgating the document. According to a rumor that is too widespread to be dismissed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith submitted dozens of suggested amendments to Amoris Laetitia, and they were all ignored. Of course, the Holy Father has every right to accept or reject suggestions from his staff.

Cardinal Schönborn’s account leads toward the stunning possibility that Pope Francis was not entirely sure about the orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia even after he released it. At the very least, the fact that he could take “comfort” in Cardinal Schönborn’s reassurance tells us the Pope knew some influential prelates would find the document unsound.

​Reprinted with permission from Catholic Culture.


Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.