“Yes, the pope IS Catholic”.
In August 2018, Ireland will host the next World Meeting of Families. On indicator of how the tone for than assembly will differ sharply from the previous one in Philadelphia, is the prominent role played by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, in preparatory workshops and conferences. At one conference last month, he was careful to point out that the WMF should pay attention to ALL families, not just the conventional ones described in Vatican doctrine.
Last week, he was in Limerick, speaking to the Irish Institute for Pastoral studies. Introducing his talk, he was careful to reassure his audience that, considering the doubts expressed in some quarters that, “Yes it is Catholic – and the pope is Catholic”. After Schonborn had presented the document, at the pope’s request, to the media, Francis asked him, “Is it orthodox?”.. The reply was an unequivocal “Yes, it is orthodox. It is fully orthodox.” He continued,
Does Pope Francis question the indissolubility of marriage?
The answer is no.
Does he teach the classical teaching on marriage and family?
The answer is yes.
So, the issue is not one of changing doctrine, but of reaffirming a neglected strand on teaching, on the importance of prudence and discernment in pastoral application of the teaching.