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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Pope Francis’ Lenient Stance on Divorce Troubles Conservative Cardinals

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Nov 16
  • Comments

A group of four Cardinals have written to the Pope, calling into question his lenient teaching on divorce.

According to, the four cardinals, American Raymond Burke, Italian Carl Caffarra, and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner, wrote to the Pope after he relaxed the Catholic Church’s stance on giving Holy Communion to divorced couples.

The Pope had said that in “some cases” the Church welcomes divorced couples to receive Holy Communion, adding that “No one can be condemned forever.”

The Cardinals, however, believe this is a departure from scripture and orthodoxy.

Father John Zuhlsdorf believes that many Catholic Church leaders may share the same view as the four cardinals, but are afraid to speak out.

"I'd be willing to bet that The Four are merely the tip of the spear,” stated Zuhlsdorf. “I'd wager that they represent a large gang of quiet Cardinals who want answers, but because they are presently in curial or diocesan positions they are hesitant to raise their heads too high."

The Cardinals say that their intention is not to create a conflict, but to maintain pure biblical doctrine. Cardinal Burke noted the passage in which Jesus says, "He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery."

"It is the duty in such cases, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it,” he added.


Publication date: November 16, 2016