Former CDF Official Critical of Fiducia Supplicans

I remain amazed and puzzled by how the publication of Fiducia Supplicans is affecting the Church—and by how the responses to it still seem to be under-perceived, downplayed, or ignored. Negative reactions to the document, and against specific contents of the document, have been strong, including those from entire bishops’ conferences and large numbers of priests and lay people.

Ignoring the vehemence and the reasons behind these reactions is not the way forward. Neither is it promising to continue demanding that people just read the text again. And it also will not be enough to remind Catholics, and priests in particular, of their loyalty and obedience to the Holy Father. Some reactions may have sounded a bit hysterical—in our world this seems unavoidable—but it does not make the substantial problems less severe, which are both doctrinal and pastoral.

The document, as Cardinal Fernández himself has made clear, is substantially his own work and allegedly follows indications received from Pope Francis who, by approving it, is responsible for it anyway. Moreover, the ever-popular game to blame the media for misrepresenting Vatican texts must stop—first, because if anyone is continually misrepresented, that becomes his own problem; second, because in this case there actually was not much misrepresentation. The fact that secular media home in on certain aspects of the document is hardly surprising and not as bad as apologetic prelates want it to be.

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