Archbishop Cordileone on signing letter to German bishops: ‘Christ’s teaching is timeless’

By Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

CNA—Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, one of the bishops who have signed a letter of warning to German bishops for their proposed reforms, emphasized on Tuesday that the Catholic Church is permanent and enduring.

“The teaching of Christ is timeless. It’s not bound by any one generation, any one time or culture,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, one of the signers, told EWTN News Nightly on April 12. “It’s universal, it applies to all times, all places, all cultures.”

Cordileone spoke after more than 70 bishops, including himself, signed an open letter to Germany’s bishops warning that sweeping changes to Church teaching advocated by the ongoing process known as the “Synodal Path” may lead to schism.

More signatories have added their names to the letter since its release Tuesday morning.

While Cordileone agreed this is not the first time that German bishops’ actions have been questioned, he said that this “is certainly the most egregious, I would say, example of that.”

“I signed it because the German Synodal Path is sowing a lot of seeds of confusion about what the Church really teaches and … what its long-established discipline is,” he said. “It’s certainly causing a lot of confusion within Germany and it stands to risk spreading throughout the rest of the Church.”

The letter comes after the German Synodal Path assembly voted in favor of draft texts calling for same-sex blessings and changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a part of a “re-evaluation of homosexuality” in February. More recently, in an interview published on March 31, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx asserted that the Catechism’s teaching here is “not set in stone” and “one is also allowed to doubt what it says.”

Cordileone identified the German Synodal Path as a multi-year process of talks and proposals with bishops, clergy, and other laity about “what they call ‘reforms of the Church.’” He said that these reforms were “actually challenges to long-established and settled doctrine and also disciplinary matters.”

“I thought it was important that bishops around the world speak with one voice to be very clear about our fidelity to the deposit of faith Christ trusted to the apostles and through them to the whole Church, especially their successors, we the bishops,” Cordileone said. “We made a pledge to be faithful to teaching the teaching of Christ and I join with so many other of my brother bishops in doing so.”

He said people in his own archdiocese, along with his contacts in Germany, are confused by the actions of church leaders. Both faithful German Catholics and a few bishops in Germany are calling for help, he added.

“I hope as well then, in addition to supporting the Catholics in Germany — faithful Catholics in Germany — and teaching clearly for my own people here at my own archdiocese, that would also make clear to Catholics throughout the world that their bishops are still standing with the teaching that Christ has entrusted to the apostles and, through them, down to our own time to us,” he said.


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