Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ...., the letter sent by the 5 cardinals
In view of the Synod, due to the statements on serious matters contrary to the doctrine of the Church multiplying, we cardinals asked the Pope for clarification, but he did not respond. Therefore, we have now decided to make our letter public so that the faithful do not fall into error. This is the text of the Notification to the Faithful regarding the Dubia.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We, members of the Sacred College of Cardinals, in accord with the duty of all the faithful “to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church” (can. 212 § 3) and, above all, in accord with the responsibility of Cardinals “to assist the Roman Pontiff … individually … especially in the daily care of the universal Church” (can. 349), in view of various declarations of highly-placed Prelates, pertaining to the celebration of the next Synod of Bishops, that are openly contrary to the constant doctrine and discipline of the Church, and that have generated and continue to generate great confusion and the falling into error among the faithful and other persons of good will, have manifested our deepest concern to the Roman Pontiff.
By our letter of July 10, 2023, employing the proven practice of the submission of dubia [questions] to a superior to provide the superior the occasion to make clear, by his responsa [responses], the doctrine and discipline of the Church, we have submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, a copy of which is attached. By his letter of July 11, 2023, Pope Francis responded to our letter.
Having studied his letter which did not follow the practice of responsa ad dubia [responses to questions], we reformulated the dubia to elicit a clear response based on the perennial doctrine and discipline of the Church. By our letter of August 21, 2023, we submitted the reformulated dubia, a copy of which is attached, to the Roman Pontiff. Up to the present, we have not received a response to the reformulated dubia.
Given the gravity of the matter of the dubia, especially in view of the imminent session of the Synod of Bishops, we judge it our duty to inform you, the faithful (can. 212 § 3), so that you may not be subject to confusion, error, and discouragement but rather may pray for the universal Church and, in particular, the Roman Pontiff, that the Gospel may be taught ever more clearly and followed ever more faithfully.
Yours in Christ,
Walter Cardinal Brandmüller
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Juan Cardinal Sandoval Íñiguez
Robert Cardinal Sarah
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun
Rome, 2 October 2023