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Cardinal Dolan acknowledges signing letter to Pope-- before Synod began

October 13, 2015

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan has acknowledged that he was one of a group of cardinals who sent a confidential letter to Pope Francis expressing concerns about the Synod process.

In an interview with Sirius Radio, Cardinal Dolan said that he joined the effort at the instigation of Cardinal George Pell. He observed that Pope Francis had encouraged the Synod fathers to express their opinions honestly, and the cardinals' letter was sent in that spirit.

However, the American cardinal disclosed that the letter, which came to light this week when a leaked (and apparently inaccurate) copy was published by a veteran Vatican journalist, had actually been sent to Pope Francis "a while ago-- before the Synod even began."

"I had forgotten it," Cardinal Dolan said. But he added that Pope Francis had addressed each of the concerns listed in the letter during an address to the Synod assembly. 

The concerns expressed in the letter, Cardinal Dolan said, included: whether the working document for the Synod, the instrumentum laboris, should be the sole focus of the bishops' discussion; whether the process allowed for fair and open debate; and whether the bishops participating in the Synod should be given an opportunity to influence the selection of the bishops chosen to write the final text.


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