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BOLOGNA, October 28, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archbishop of the Bologna archdiocese has retired and been replaced with the auxiliary bishop of Rome, an admirerer of the Tridentine Mass.
Yesterday Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, who has served the diocese of Ferrarra-Comacchio as a cardinal for nine years and as a bishop for 20 years. Every cardinal on reaching age 75 must submit a resignation letter to the Holy Father, who has the choice to accept or reject the resignation.
Cardinal Caffarra, who served Pope St. John Paul II as the director of the Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family, is known for being a staunch defender of Church teaching, particularly on sexual morality.
In 2010, His Eminence stressed that Catholic politicians "have a serious duty to make sure their beliefs, thoughts and proposals concerning the common good are consistent [with Church teaching]." He condemned any support of "gay" marriage on the part of Catholic politicians as a "gravely immoral act."
"Society owes its survival to families founded on marriage, not on homosexual unions," the cardinal said. "It's impossible for the Catholic faith and support for putting homosexual unions on equal footing with marriage to coexist in one's conscience — the two contradict each other."
In that case, he said, "It's impossible to consider oneself a Catholic."
In 2014, Cdl. Caffarra attacked the Kasper proposal in the lead-up to the Synod on the Family, saying that to accept it would annihilate "the foundational pillar of the Church's doctrine on sexuality."
He said that not even a Pope can change Catholic doctrine. "Over a ratified and consummated marriage, the Pope has no power," he said. "Do not touch the marriage of Christ. It cannot be judged case by case; you do not bless a divorce."
The cardinal argued, "If the Church admits [divorced and civilly remarried Catholics] to the Eucharist ... then what about the first marriage? The second cannot be a true [marriage] since bigamy is against the word of the Lord."
His Eminence called out Cdl. Kasper's logical inconsistencies. "Hypocrisy is not mercy," he said. "At this point one might wonder: Why did [Kasper] not approve of free cohabitation? And why not relationships between homosexuals?"
Cardinal Caffarra also co-authored the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ with four other orthodox prelates, including Cdl. Raymond Burke and Cdl. Gerhard Müller. The book was written in defense of the Church's traditional teaching on marriage and the family and was sent to the bishops just before last year's Synod, although copies were allegedly intercepted and destroyed by Cdl. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General to the Synod, because he thought they would "interfere with the Synod."
Now Cdl. Caffarra will be replaced by Auxiliary Bishop Matteo Maria Zuppi, known politically for his peace activism (brokering peace during the Mozambique Civil War, helping to end the conflict in 1992) and, amongst Traditional circles, for his friendly outreach to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) in 2014.
Bishop Zuppi asked the FSSP priests in Rome not only if he could offer Laetare Sunday Mass (the "Joyful" Fourth Sunday of Lent) with them but also if they would teach him to say the Pontifical High Mass.
The beautiful ceremony took place at the FSSP parish in Rome, Santissima Trinita Dei Pellegrini (Church of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims) on March 30, 2014. Parishioners who attended the Mass recall that Bp. Zuppi apologized in advance for any mistakes he might make during his first celebration of the Tridentine Usage of the Roman Rite.
Although Bp Zuppi is relatively young to become a cardinal (60), some in Rome speculate that Pope Francis appointed him because he has "always been attentive to the poor."