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PHILADELPHIA (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told Cardinal-designate Kevin Farrell that a local bishop is responsible for running his own diocese and not a conference of bishops. Farrell was recently appointed prefect of the Vatican's new dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.
Under canon law — not to mention common sense — governance of a diocese belongs to the local bishop as a successor of the apostles, not to a conference, though bishops' conferences can often provide a valuable forum for discussion. As a former resident bishop, the cardinal-designate surely knows this, which makes his comments all the more puzzling in the light of our commitment to fraternal collegiality.
I wonder if Cardinal-designate Farrell actually read and understood the Philadelphia guidelines he seems to be questioning. ... Life is messy. But mercy and compassion cannot be separated from truth and remain legitimate virtues. The Church cannot contradict or circumvent Scripture and her own magisterium without invalidating her mission. ... The words of Jesus himself are very direct and radical on the matter of divorce.
Ever-growing division on such issues, especially among prelates, moved Cdl. Raymond Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, along with three other cardinals to formally ask the Holy Father for an official clarification on specific questions related to "Amoris Laetitia." The Holy Father has yet to respond.