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Cardinal-Elect Victor Manuel Fernandez Warns Against Schism
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Cardinal-Elect Victor Manuel Fernandez, set to assume his role as the head of the Vatican's chief doctrinal office in the near future, has conveyed his openness to theological discussions, emphasizing their role in deepening the Church's comprehension of the Gospel. He also warned against schism.Â
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In an exclusive interview with veteran Vatican journalist Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, and reported on CNA, conducted via email on September 8, Fernandez discussed the recent pro-abortion ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) and his perspective on theological discourse.
Fernandez stressed that "True doctrine can only be a light, a guide for our steps, a sure path and a joy for the heart." However, he pointed out that the Church still has room for growth in its understanding of the Gospel, highlighting that "the doctrine does not change, the Gospel will always be the same, Revelation is already settled." Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the Church will always face the challenge of comprehending the full richness of the Gospel.
He also expressed concern about bishops, both "progressive" and from "traditionalist groups," who claim a "special gift of the Holy Spirit to judge the doctrine of the Holy Father." Fernandez cautioned that such a belief could lead to "heresy" and "schism," pointing out that heretics often think they possess the true doctrine of the Church. He highlighted the unique charism granted to the Pope and his successors, which is "a living and active gift" to guard and preserve the deposit of faith.
Regarding his stance on Church blessings of same-sex unions, Fernandez indicated an openness, provided they do not lead to "confusion." However, he rejected media insinuations that his views align with the German Church's Synodal Way, which calls for significant changes in the Church's teaching on sexual morality and other issues. He acknowledged the challenges faced by the German Church and its need for new evangelization.
Fernandez referred to his own approach to evangelization in Argentina, citing his popular book titled "Los Cinco Minutos del Espiritu Santo" ("The 5 Minutes of the Holy Spirit"), which contains daily meditations on the Holy Spirit. He also highlighted his past activities as a parish priest and diocesan bishop, which included Eucharistic adoration, catechism courses, Bible studies, home missions, and prayer groups. As a bishop, he focused on discussing topics like Christ, prayer, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and sanctification.
Cardinal-Elect Victor Manuel Fernandez's forthcoming role as the head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith will involve guarding and preserving the faith while providing a space for theological debates framed within the secure doctrine of the Church. His appointment carries the expectation of dedicated commitment to the main purpose of the dicastery, which is "guarding the faith," according to Pope Francis.
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