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ROME, August 20, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) — Eleven cardinals are standing behind Church doctrine with the release of a new book on marriage and the family, a few weeks before the Synod on the Family.
The book, titled Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family, is slated for release September 25; it's expected to focus on ministry toward those who face challenging marital situations, including the divorced, civilly remarried and those abandoned by their spouse while remaining faithful to their marriage, in addition to marriage preparation and evangelization.
It explicitly rejects the Kasper doctrine, proposed by German cardinal Walter Kasper, which promotes the idea, contrary to longstanding Church practice, of opening up Holy Communion to those in adulterous second marriages. The aim of the book is to clarify and defend the Church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.
Winfried Ayman, a German canon lawyer from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, is credited as editor. Speaking of Church teaching on marriage last June in L'Osservatore Romano, Ayman wrote that "in times when civil law increasingly tends to expose the marriage contract to arbitrariness, in any event increases in every way, the preaching of the Church must be all the more clear."
The eleven contributors to the book are:
The book has already been deemed by some as being Remaining in the Truth of Christ "Part Two." This is in reference to 2014's book containing essays written by five cardinals, including Cdl. Raymond Burke; it generated a storm of controversy prior to last year's synod, mostly concerning the polemics that accompanied it.
On account of the critiques, many were accused of "conspiracy against the Pope," with Cdl. Walter Kasper openly making such accusations: "The aim of the polemic is not me, but the Pope."
Cardinal Burke was subsequently removed from the position of Dicastery head and relieved of his duties within the Roman Curia. The Pope denied the removal had anything to do with personal or doctrinal disagreements with Burke, but speculation still abounds about the real motives.
The publication of the book is timed in the hope of having copies distributed to all synod participants. Last year's Remaining in the Truth of Christ never made it to the synod, a mistake Cdl. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, blamed on the post office. But many suspect — including the authors of the book itself — that delivery of the book was purposely blocked by those who didn't want its message reaching the Synod Fathers.
A second book, allegedly titled Nova Patria Christi Africa, is also scheduled to be released on September 28.
Written by 11 African bishops, it similarly defends Catholic teaching on marriage and family, with the hope of making the voice of African Catholics heard.