List of Prelates For and Against the Five Dubia on ‘Amoris Laetitia’

A week or so ago, I received a working list of churchmen who seem to be in favor of submitting (and getting answers to) the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals™, who seem to be against the same and who seem to be neutral.   I now see a somewhat curtailed, but annotated version of the list has been posted at LifeSite.

Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews brings you a list of bishops and cardinals who have publicly indicated their support or opposition to the September 2016 “dubia” submitted to Pope Francis by the four cardinals. This list includes high-ranking prelates whose comments relate directly to the dubia after their public release on November 14, 2016. The list does not include prelates who have merely made statements supporting or opposing the writings, decisions, and actions of Pope Francis, but haven’t commented directly on the dubia.

Cardinals who signed the dubia

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller
Cardinal Raymond Burke
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra
Cardinal Joachim Meisner

READ: Who are these four cardinals who wrote the ‘dubia’ to the Pope?

Bishops and cardinals who support the dubia

Archbishop Luigi Negri: March 06, 2017 – “Amoris Laetitia needs clarification, unfortunately, the current leader of the Church still remains silent. […] I think that the Holy Father should respond.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput: March 03, 2017 – John Allen: “Do you want the pope to answer the dubia?” Chaput: “Yes. I think it’s always good to answer questions, clearly.”

Cardinal Joseph Zen: February 16, 2017 – “It is a very respectful request by those bishops and cardinals to have a clear statement. I think they are right to have an answer.”

Bishop Andreas Laun: December 23, 2016 – “I have read the concerns of the four cardinals, and I agree with them!”

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino: December 16, 2016 – “It is legitimate in terms of doctrine to turn to the pope and express an opinion – and it is also just that he would respond.”

Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes: December 12, 2016 – “With an objective tone, the four cardinals have asked for the removal of doubts about the text [Amoris Laetitia].”

Bishop James D. Conley: December 5, 2016 – “The questions being posed to the Holy Father are intended to help achieve clarity.”

Cardinal George Pell: November 29, 2016 – “How can you disagree with a question?”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: November 23, 2016 – “The four cardinals only did their basic duty as bishops and cardinals.”

Bishop Jan Watroba: November 23, 2016 – “I myself have now been overwhelmed with many similar questions.”

Bishop Józef Wróbel: November 22, 2016 – “The four cardinals did well in asking for clarification about Amoris Laetitia.”

Bishops and cardinals who oppose the dubia

Cardinal Vincent Nichols: February 23, 2017 – “I think the Pope’s patience and reserve about this whole matter is exactly what we should observe.”

Cardinal Gerhard Müller: January 8, 2017 – “The Pope is basically forced to answer with ‘yes or no.’ I don’t like that.”

Cardinal Walter Kasper: December 22, 2016 – Amoris Laetitia is “clear. … These dubia … do not exist.”

Cardinal Reinhard Marx: December 21, 2016 – “The document [Amoris] is not as ambiguous as some people claim.”

Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar: December 11, 2016 – “Some honorable men suffer because they do not understand what Francis wanted to say in Amoris Laetitia.”

Archbishop Mark Coleridge: December 9, 2016 – Pope Francis “wants a genuine clarity” while the four cardinals are seeking a “false clarity.”

Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto: December 1, 2016 – “They gave the Pope a slap in the face.”

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier: November 30, 2016 – “Jesus also chose not to answer certain questions.”

Cardinal Claudio Hummes: November 25, 2016 – “We are 200, they are only four.”

Bishop Frangiskos Papamanolis: November 20, 2016 – They have committed the “two very serious sins” of “apostasy” and “scandal.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich: November 19, 2016 – “It’s up to those who have doubts and questions to have conversion in their lives.”

Cardinal Joseph Tobin: November 18, 2016 – “Just to simply reduce [Amoris] to a ‘dubium’, I think it is at best naive.”

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn: November 18, 2016 – This is an “attack against the pope.” The cardinals “must be obedient to the pope.”


Cardinal Angelo Amato: November 24, 2016 – “The debate must be continued in reciprocal respect and above all by using the talents of the respective positions [in order to arrive at a] more integrated and improved positions.”

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  1. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr. Z
    I know that we should fast and pray and ask Holy Mother Mary for support, and that we should pray for the Holy Father Pope Francis. To me nothing seems more important.
    Do we as lay Catholics have a duty to go to our Priests, and Bishops, and ask that they support the Dubia presented?
    Do we have as lay Catholics a duty to ask our Priests and Bishops, “Who is correct, the Pope or Jesus?”.
    It seems to me we should know if we are being lead to heaven or hell. Jim

  2. Titus says:

    Surely Müller is in the wrong camp here? He has the quote about the mechanism of the dubia, but his other statements have made it pretty clear what side his bread is buttered on in regards to the underlying questions themselves.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    None of these men, not one, have fulfilled the obligation laid upon them by their own ordination.
    We will know they have decided to fulfill that obligation when they use the word “heretic” and attach it to a name.

  4. un-ionized says:

    As usual my bishop is nowhere to be seen. You might catch him at a fish fry though! Yum!

  5. Mariana2 says:

    “Bishop Józef Wróbel: November 22, 2016 – “The four cardinals did well in asking for clarification about Amoris Laetitia.””

    Our revered and dear former bishop, always reliable!

    The one good thing with this papacy: lots and lots of people have come out of the woodwork, and we know now who they are.

    There are probably more clever ones who are staying in the woodwork, but still.

    Of course, I have also been cured of my papolatry.

  6. mysticalrose says:

    Archbishop Sample should be included in the pro-dubia group — his pastoral letter was crystal clear.

  7. “So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye /
    There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy /
    There’s only you and me and we just disagree/”

    Dave Mason, 1977

  8. mburn16 says:

    “Some honorable men suffer because they do not understand what Francis wanted to say in Amoris Laetitia.”

    Such numbers are legion.

  9. Imrahil says:

    It is not really to the point, nor clear if you don’t know more of his statements, but Auxbp Laun really would do a favor to his own persuasiveness if he made less use of the exclamation mark.

  10. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    So the 4 cardinals plus 13 or so who stand with them.

    And 13 against them with the Pope.


  11. roma247 says:

    Isn’t it notable that the responses of those against the dubia are all evasive: off-topic deflections, meaningless catchphrases or else ad hominem attacks?

  12. Aegidius says:

    Cardinal Müller appears on the wrong list in my opinion. Whereas he was being diplomatic in commenting the dubia, for whatever reason, he was quite clear on the subject itself – and in line with a No, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.

  13. Scout says:

    LifeSiteNews continues to get it wrong by saying that Fr. Pio Vito Pinto is an “Archbishop”. He is not.

  14. hwriggles4 says:

    Bishop Lopes should also be included in support of the Dubia. His letter titled A Pledged Troth is worth reading – it is also short and it was released in January 2017 with very little fanfare.

    Bishop Lopes is the Bishop for the Ordinariate for the Chair of St. Peter. Much of his flock upholds the Catholic teaching on marriage, since that was a primary reason many of these now Catholics left the Episcopal Church.

  15. Paul says:

    So sad, it’s just like the infighting and jostling for power of a political party with the brown nosing towards the chief.

    @roma247 agreed!

  16. JonathanTX says:

    >>>Cardinal Gerhard Müller: January 8, 2017 – “The Pope is basically forced to answer with ‘yes or no.’ I don’t like that.”

    >>>Cardinal Walter Kasper: December 22, 2016 – Amoris Laetitia is “clear. … These dubia … do not exist.”

    There are dubia and contradictions regarding even statements in support of AL. If AL is so clear, per +Kasper, then why should +Müller be worried about being backed into a ‘yes or no’ answer?

  17. spock says:

    I am in the corner of Cardinal Burke and the other three cardinals. That said …..

    There was -right or wrong- a significant amount of strife over the fact that the dubia was made public.

    Is it possible that the Pope gave unambiguous and direct responses to the dubia in a non-public forum?

    My guess is probably not because too many people would have to be counted upon to keep a secret. I thought it a reasonable question.

    It would seem to me that if it the public nature of this really bothered the Holy Father and the cardinals on his side of this, not responding quietly would be a hypocrisy.

  18. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Cardinal George Pell: November 29, 2016 – “How can you disagree with a question?”

    Amen, Cardinal Pell. God bless you !

    Cardinal Christoph Schönborn: November 18, 2016 – This is an “attack against the pope.” The cardinals “must be obedient to the pope.”

    I afraid I can’t agree with that : I think this is predominantly an “attack” on the potentially disastrous effects of footnote 351 ; it’s about imminence , Your Eminence. God bless you !

    “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footnote.”

  19. LizS says:

    “Cardinal Gerhard Müller: January 8, 2017 – “The Pope is basically forced to answer with ‘yes or no.’ I don’t like that.””

    Funny, I seem to remember something about letting your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no’. Anything more was from…who again? Oh yes that’s right…

  20. Andrew says:

    That surprises me about Cardinal Wilfred Napier OFM of Durban, South Africa.
    During the explosive first Synod on the family in October 2015 he was the biggest supporter of Cardinal George Pell, who attacked the initial report of the Synod.

    In early 2016 I met Cardinal Napier during a lecture he gave in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. I had heard news reports that the African Church was going to vote in a bloc at this second Synod later in the year, and he said to me he believed there were another numbers to halt any radical agenda, from those in other parts of the world.

    it seems though now with the publication of the apostolic exhortation, he has accepted it for what it is.

  21. JesusFreak84 says:

    Seeing Mueller in the against pile is saddening. He’s the only name there that surprises me, though. Only name on either list that was a surprise.

  22. Absit invidia says:

    Look at all the Germans opposing. It’s no wonder their country is turning into a muslim nation.

  23. Cardinal Schönborn should have finished his thought when he said that the cardinals must be obedient to the Pope, because in his mind politics clearly trumps following Christ and leading others to Him. Cardinal Schönborn, Misereátur tui omnípotens Deus, et, dimíssis peccátis tuis, perdúcat te ad vitam ætérnam. (The public Confiteor of the Priest is yet another good reason to celebrate the TLM).

  24. Aquinas Gal says:

    This one jumped out at me:
    Cardinal Blase Cupich: November 19, 2016 – “It’s up to those who have doubts and questions to have conversion in their lives.”

    So, is he saying that to have questions means one is morally flawed? How does that follow?
    The liberals have been telling us ever since Vatican II that it is good and proper to question the whole previous Catholic tradition. All I can conclude is that he means anyone who questions the liberal agenda needs a conversion. I respectfully disagree.

  25. Kerry says:

    Roma247, agreed. Smokescreen, camouflage and jabberwock. “…200 to 4”. Yep, that works. Heh.

  26. Justalurkingfool says:

    I went to visit an old male friend from my days in the Word of Life, Catholic Charismatic Community in Newburgh, NY. I had not seen him since 1985, when my wife and I left this community. The community disbanded in the early 1990’s.

    We are both in our early 60’s. He and his wife had 3 or 4 children then who were about our little ones ages. They had been married, civilly, in the late 1970’s. During their time in this community, they realized that they had not been married “properly”, so they were married before Father Richard O’Gorman, the fine priest who was kind enough to allow the community a home in his parish, and other practicing Catholic members of the community, two of whom(one recently passed away, these were husband and wife) are/were Godparents to two of our children. This was a valid, Catholic marriage. Both spouses were Catholics. Both were in their early 30’s when the tied the “real” knot.

    They divorced in the middle 2000’s and the wife, W, sought nullity. This I learned/confirmed just today. It had haunted me and I drove 2 hours to speak with my old friend, P, the husband. I only learned of their divorce less than two years ago as I was making inquiries about old friends from the Word of Life. Nullity was granted, to the chagrin of the abandoned husband, based upon psychological issues of W, due to a “dysfunctional” family life in her youth. Remember, she was in her 30’s when she participated in her, putative, marriage. They had a total of 6 children over about 26 years together.

    P told me today that he has not been a practicing Catholic since the divorce/annulment, because he feels betrayed by the Church. He lives with another woman now for about 13 years. They live together and are not married. He said nothing was done by the Church to help to heal the marriage and he was given no encouragement or support in his defense of their long marriage. His impression remains that the annulment was a foregone conclusion from the moment that W sought it out and that his participation was a formality, grudgingly, allowed but not pursued, sifted properly or investigated. His overriding concern, in the face of a wife determined to end, and to nullify their marriage, was to cut his losses, particularly in respect to their children, by not strongly opposing the nullity because he was certain that it would cause tremendous harm to their children and parental relationships, especially if nullity was denied. He does not give credence to the decision in favor of nullity but will not attempt to question it because it will only result in more brokenness, in his most objective analysis. This has destroyed his faith.

    I knew him. I knew her.

    This folks, is what is happening to many marriages and it is destroying families and it is destroying faith in serious numbers. This is exactly what is encouraged in the disintegrating society that has existed since the late 1960’s, at least in the USA. This is what has helped to make way for “Amoris Laetitia” because it is also happening in Europe, in its post Christian disintegration and in other westernized areas/countries/places.

    I know very few, like myself, who have stood their ground, defended against nullity successfully, and seen/borne the tremendous wrath that our spouses feel and take out on us, in endless, many unseen but destructive ways, as the Catholic Church supports our spouse’s “right” to question their marriage, while the almost always brutal destruction of their marriages and families are REQUIRED by the Catholic Church in order to process annulments, yet the Catholic Church does not act, at all, to require respect for the public vows and obligations in families, or to punish or to hold to account either spouses or clergy, or tribunal personnel who help to destroy marriages. I have seen this, in person, and numerous people that I know have, as well. This is NOT a rare phenomenon.

    I have seen what I am describing in many cases which I have spoken about with the abandoned spouses involved, whom I have communicated with and listened to over the past almost 30 years.

    It is unconscionable that they and those like myself have not been, specifically, sought out for our experiences and our knowledge of what truly goes on in these cases, with the full cooperation of the Catholic hierarchy. This, clearly, is evidence that the mind set of the Catholic hierarchy, is predetermined against marriage, against their legitimate defense by abandoned spouses, against the pursuit of truth, against the family, against our children and, lastly, against the will of God that holds that marriage is indissoluble, like the Blessed Trinity.

    The dubia, would be addressed, and addressed thoroughly and honestly, if there was the Catholic will interested in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is that same lack of a Catholic will, that has been allowed to fester and strengthen over the past 40 years and which has set the stage for what we are seeing.

    This is the denial of Jesus Christ, Himself, while using His name, blasphemously, to support an indefensible position.


  27. Filipino Catholic says:

    Still waiting for that correction, whether fraternal or otherwise.

  28. Nicholas says:

    I thought Müller had also expressed certain pro-dubia statements.

  29. Nicholas says:


    Why isn’t he an archbishop?

    I haven’t heard of the guy.

  30. Nicholas1978 says:

    It seems clear that the majority of the clergy and hierarchy have either lost the faith (if indeed they ever had it) or are careerists with an eye on their position and promotion, or are spineless wimps. Or a combination of these. I have lost all confidence in the human dimension of the Church – it is in God’s Hands entirely. I pray I do not lose the faith…right now walking away altogether from the lies, betrayal, hypocrisy, cruelty, faithlessness, cowardice, godlessness and cynical politics of the Church is very tempting. I used to take confidence from the belief that whatever priests or bishops threw at us and however they attacked the faith and ridiculed, persecuted and betrayed faithful Catholics, Rome in principe had our backs. Now even that is gone.

  31. stephen c says:

    Nick – I will pray for your friend. Many of us are unable to sincerely pray for people who make decisions that cause us great pain. That is so sad, we all will grow old and be gone from this world one day (or not grow old and be gone from this world – same thing), and then our prayers will be less effective, for obvious reasons. I was fortunate – born to a large Catholic (sort of) family, late in the day to old parents, all my grandparents dead, not a single uncle or aunt helping out – and on top of it all, I was a clumsy, ugly child who did not have much common sense. Hence I had many people treat me with unmitigated scorn and dislike from before the earliest days I can remember, and, to tell the truth, nobody really all that interested – and I mean nobody in the literal sense – in comforting me in my solitude and suffering. With that background, there is no way I would ever feel that someone who was, eventually (in my early adult years, having left behind the disaster of my childhood) kind enough to marry me with deep Christian love, one bright happy day, would ever be someone, in later days, no matter what she later did, that I could not pray for from the deepest depths of my sinful heart. God bless your friend for his devotion to the sacrament. While I am still not a good Christian, I know that God loves us all, and having seen the ugliness of indifference from the earliest days of my life I have learned one thing – when others treat us badly and unfairly, and do not see us as fellow creatures loved by the Lord, they need our prayers. Every single moment we spend feeling sorry for ourselves is wasted. I forget that all the time (having been blessed, in adult years, with wonderful friends and great blessings that the poor little child I was at the age of 8 could never have imagined were in my future – and when I say wonderful friends and great blessings, I am not using rhetoric but just trying to explain what my life has included) but I just wanted to tell you that I understand what your friend has suffered, and I hope one day he can pray with a heart full of love for those who have been cruel to him. Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Therese Martin – just to name two French saints – have beautiful things to say about this. They might not approve of who I am now, but I have no doubt that they prayed from the depths of their souls for me in those cold unloved moments that I try not to remember. And it is the Saint Francises and the Saint Thereses who are the church at its best, and that should be enough. I have known many great priests and a couple mediocre ones. One really does not want to wonder what the temptations of the mediocre clerics of this world are, one just wants to avoid being offended in our hearts by them, and to avoid the desire not to pray for them (if one is the type of Christian I would like to be some day)…..

  32. Elizium23 says:

    I do not know if it is considered “pro-dubia” to be anti-sacrilege, but Bishop +Olmsted of Phoenix has clearly stated his opposition to giving Holy Communion to those in adulterous unions.

  33. Elizium23 says:

    I will also note, not entirely off-topic, that +Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke met briefly with Diocese of Phoenix officials on unknown business on February 22, 2017. And much to our chagrin, nobody in our class got a selfie with him.

  34. robtbrown says:

    Aquinas Gal says:

    This one jumped out at me:
    Cardinal Blase Cupich: November 19, 2016 – “It’s up to those who have doubts and questions to have conversion in their lives.”

    So, is he saying that to have questions means one is morally flawed? How does that follow?

    It is typically ambiguous–everyone needs to have conversion in their lives.

  35. robtbrown says:

    I have heard that the pope has been surprised at the reaction to Amoris Laetitia and really has no idea what to do about the situation.

    I wonder whether he thought the pages and pages of description of the “ideal of marriage” would satisfy those who don’t think a marriage can be dissolved/annulled by an act of conscience. And so it would be OK to interject a fairly hidden text that he thought was a way to circumvent any problem.

    To that can be added the slash and burn approach toward the Franciscans of the Immaculata and the Knights of Malta.

  36. stephen c says:

    Justalurkingfool – next time you see your friend who told you that an ordinary lack of competence on the part of clergy and a lack of deep love from his spouse ” has almost destroyed his faith” ask him why he puts his trust in romantic partners and wives and clergy. Seriously. Last night I posted what was, for the one or two people who read it, something that seemed like a self-indulgent complaint. Well, I have lived in this world since 1960, and somewhere around 1968 I realized that God loves us, ***and*** if we think we can be self-indulgently disappointed that someone who is not God does not love us then we are selfishly asking for miracles. As sad as I am at the coldness and the joy in confrontation that our poor current leaders of the Church engage in I am even sadder when someone is mistreated by another Christian – even if that Christian is someone who is fundamentally sound on things like the liturgy and the sacraments that Jesus discussed and so on – and when that Christian deduces, from that mistreatment, that Christianity is not true: then, and only then, real tragedy ensues. If the Christian does not make a false deduction, well, it is just a detail in an otherwise blessed life; I am sure you agree with this — let’s not make false deductions, my friend. God loves us and those of us who are not loved in this world by a single one of God’s creatures – not a single one – (try thinking for a moment what that means – completely unloved except by GOD) are still the happiest creatures in the universe, because GOD loves us (you have to know what I am trying to say I cannot believe that you do not). A million materialistic Bergoglios and ten million incompetent time-serving canon lawyers – or vice versa, ten million of the one and a million of the other, or any big number you can think of – cannot change that. I will pray for your friend. He has better days ahead – Joy is in the morning. Ask him to pray for me: I may be almost the only person in the world who does not feel as sorry for him as he expects, and if I am wrong, then I really need his prayers. If he wants to talk to a priest who knows more about these things than I do, he might see that Joy is in his future: I could quote the Bible here but your friend probably knows the Bible better than I do. God is good and God loves us.

  37. Imrahil says:

    Look at all the Germans opposing. It’s no wonder their country is turning into a muslim nation.

    Apart from the fact that Germany, even unfriendlily speaking, is turning into a secular country at far greater speed than into a Muslim country, and apart from debating the quite interesting which of these two fates would actually be worse,

    I find that remark rather inappropriate if out of the four Cardinals we are chiefly taking about, one is called Meisner and the other is called Brandmüller.

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