UK cardinal rebukes 500 priests over letter to resist change

Cardinal Nichols

UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols has rebuked the almost 500 British priests who have signed a letter resisting any change to Church teaching at the Vatican’s next Synod on the Family in October, reports The Tablet.

The Cardinal said discussions between priests and bishops ahead of the gathering are "not best conducted through the press."

Almost 500 priests in England and Wales have signed a letter calling on the Vatican’s next Synod on the Family to proclaim the Church’s “unchanging” moral teaching and resist any move allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The 461 priests endorsed a letter, reported earlier this month by The Tablet and published in The Catholic Herald, that was initiated by a group of a dozen conservative-minded clergy. The 12 had circulated a letter and a covering note to priests in England and Wales. The note invited priests to sign the letter which was composed for publication in the press.

The letter expresses fidelity to the Church’s traditional doctrines of marriage and sexuality, and affirms the traditional discipline “regarding the reception of the sacraments” (which bars Communion for the divorced and remarried).

The covering note to the letter contended that the media’s reporting of the 2014 synod had left a “distorted sense” that the Church’s moral teaching could be changed.

Yesterday, Cardinal Nichols issued a statement saying every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion and that their pastoral experience and concern are of “great importance.” He added, however, that the “dialogue between a priest and his bishop, is not best conducted through the press.”

FULL COVERAGE

Cardinal rebukes 500 priests for going to the press with call to resist change to church teaching (The Tablet)

Cardinal Nichols urges priests not to conduct synod debate in press (The Catholic Herald)

Pope Francis on the family synod: 'We need prayers, not gossip' (CNA)

Pope says prayers, not 'gossip,' needed for successful synod on family (CNS)

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