November 21, 2016
In what appears to be the first (of hopefully many) prelates to speak out publicly in favor of the Four Cardinals Letter, Auxiliary Bishop Józef Wróbel of Lublin, Poland, said in an interview with Michele M. Ippolito of La Fede Quotidiana that “The four cardinals were right to ask for clarification on Amoris Laetitia. If anything, it is only just to answer them.”
In the interview, the bishop is very candid in his support:
[Your] Excellency [Bishop] Wrobel, what do you think of the letter of clarification on Amoris Laetitia sent by four cardinals to the Pope?
They have done well and they have exercised correctly the provisions of canon law. I think it is not only a right, but even a duty. It would have been just to answer to their observations. They asked no questions about the next day’s weather, but on issues concerning the Church’s teaching and therefore the faithful.
The doubts regarding AL, do you find them pertinent?
As I said before, a clarification on the document, and especially on chapter 8 is opportune. The text effectively lends itself to various interpretations, it’s ambiguous.
Why does it lend itself to various interpretations?
Because it was not well written. Probably with too much haste, without analyzing the contents and the possible consequences with careful [extreme] attention. There is a need to bring these questions to the Vatican and to the collaborators in whom the Pope has confidence. Drawing up such important texts in haste does not render good service to the Church.
Can one give Communion to those who have remarried civilly?
You couldn’t give [them Communion] before Amoris Laetitia, it’s not possible now. The doctrine of the Church is not subject to changes, otherwise it is no longer the Church of Christ founded on the Gospel and the Tradition. It is given to no one to modify the doctrine insofar as no-one is master of the Church.
Communion to gay couples?
It is not possible, and mercy is not a permission slip. Homosexual acts are a very grave sin, much more than those committed among heterosexuals. In fact, they go against nature.
His comments on Amoris Laetitia are strikingly firm, but equally so is his answer to a question that is high on the Vatican’s list of priorities: the welcoming of refugees:
Immigration, what to do?
Welcoming is in the Christian spirit. Above all, in moral theology, the primacy is in charity. It looks first to those closest [to us], to the neighbours, in order to get to those further away. And so we should first of all ensure that those who live close to us — relatives, children, parents, fellow citizens — are doing well and only afterwards take care of those who come from outside. Demagoguery leads nowhere.
Like Bishop Athanasius Schneider before him, we see in Bishop Wróbel an auxiliary who cares far more about the Catholic teaching and the faithful than about advancing in his own ecclesiastical career.
And in a way, their work elevates them far beyond the dignity of a diocesan see. They truly become bishops of the world.
We can only pray that this is the beginning of a larger trend of support for the four cardinals from among the world’s apostolic successors.