Canadian Cardinal Defends Himself Against High-Ranking Vatican Clergy

by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  •  October 30, 2015   

Canada's Cdl. Thomas Collins responds to the spin of Cdl. Donald Wuerl and Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica

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ROME ( - Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto is defending himself and other prelates who have been accused of not liking Pope Francis because they voiced concerns about the Synod.

The Canadian prelate says sometimes it's a cardinal's duty to raise such concerns and give honest advice to the Pope.

Collins was one of around 13 Synod Fathers who signed a leaked, media-hyped letter to Pope Francis raising concerns about the Synod procedure a couple weeks ago. They warned that the gathering's working document, the Instrumentum Laboris, ran contrary to the traditional purpose of a synod and seemed rigged for certain predetermined results.

Among the alleged signees were Cdls. George Pell, Robert Sarah, Timothy Dolan and Daniel DiNardo.

Recently, the Jesuit America magazine interviewed Cdl. Donald Wuerl of Washington DC, who rebuked the prelates who get behind such letters, suggesting they simply hold a personal grudge against the Pope.

"I wonder if these people who are speaking sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes halfway implying, then backing off and then twisting around, I wonder if it is really that they find they just don't like this Pope," he said.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica, whose media outfit Salt + Light TV is based in Cdl. Collins' archdiocese, sent Cdl. Wuerl's comments to a local newspaper stating, "I fully share Cdl. Wuerl's assessment."

Now Cdl. Collins has responded, pointing out that the Pope has explicitly requested such open expression, deeming it "ridiculous" to imply he and fellow signees are somehow hostile or allied against the Pope simply for not keeping silent about their concerns.

"I don't know where they're coming from, either Cdl. Wuerl or Fr. Rosica," Cdl. Collins told the Toronto Star last week. "The Holy Father has been really clear: If you've got some concerns you express them. That's hardly opposing the Pope or something; that's ridiculous. What do we want, everyone to say nothing?"

The question, while rhetorical, doesn't seem to be off the table for a growing number of liberal Catholics. An expanding list of left-wing academics are in an ongoing dispute to silence an orthodox Catholic New York Times columnist for writing critically on the Synod and some of its heterodox proposals.


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