The following comes from a Jan. 28 posting on Eponymous Flower. Some editing has been done by Cal Catholic editors to smooth the translation.
Preparations continue for the Synod of Bishops on the family in 2015. The Pontifical Family Council invited the leaders of the world’s most important Catholic lay movements from January 22nd to the 24th to Rome to hear their views on the questions of the questionnaire, which will be the basis of the Instrumentum laboris of the synod. But the result was not as Cardinal Baldisseri, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, had planned. The cardinal, who acted as an extended arm of Pope Francis at the Synod of Bishops in 2014, was angry and broke out with rage in his statements against the lay representatives.
Father Santiago Martín, founder of the Franciscans of Mary, summarized the opinions of lay associations in an essay titled: “Catholic Laity: Discount, No thanks!”
“Virtually all lay movements represented in Rome have spoken out in favor of retaining the traditional doctrine…. Practically all those present in Rome, about eighty movements, spoke in favor of retaining the traditional doctrine. Everyone says that the process of marriage annulments should be accelerated, but without making a Catholic divorce of it, and that the divorcee is to be met with great love, so that they do not feel excluded from the Church, but without prejudice to the Eucharist becoming devalued.”
Cardinal Baldisseri reacted angrily to the opinions of the laity. He defended the “right” of Cardinal Kasper against criticism of the laity, to require the approval of adulterers to Communion.
Baldisseri told the lay representatives they should “not be surprised” that there are theologians who oppose the teaching of the Church. The cardinal claimed that the dogmas of the Church “evolved” and that “there is no point to hold a synod, if you then just repeat what was always said.”
Indignation among those present broke out at Cardinal Baldisseri’s final assertion: “Just because a certain understanding 2000 years ago was in a place that does not mean that it can not be called into question.”
Patrick Buckley, the international representative of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (U.K.), commenting on the statements, said, “The Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is based on the words of Jesus Christ. These words may have been spoken 2000 years ago but remain an immutable law of God for the Catholics, nothing more and nothing less.”
Mary Madise, director of Voice of the Family, said, “Cardinal Baldisseri publicly corrected one delegate, who protested the attacks against the Catholic doctrine. Unmistakably, the same thing did not happen not so shortly afterwards, where another delegate denied the Church’s teaching on contraception. One had the impression that there is only one sin today, the defense of what the Church has always taught. ”
….Voice of the Family called for all Catholics to unite in prayer so the Catholic doctrine marriage and family is affirmed in any document of the Pontifical Family Council in the wake of the conference.