Archbishop Léonard: "Final Report of the Synod is Ambiguous" -- "Clear Word" from Pope Francis Expected
A Picture That Defined the Time in Office of Msgr. Leonard: Prostitutes Attack Praying Archbishop
(Rome) On his departure as Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard has criticized the final report of the Synod on the Family which remains "ambiguous in the delicate points". With an appeal, he called Francis to exercise his Petrine ministry in unity and continuity with tradition, and to speak in terms of marriage and family in a "clear statement".
"Among others, one of the most unaccountable, barely comprehensible torpedoes that were fired during the reign of Pope Francis, had hit the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Msgr. André-Joseph Léonard," said the Vatican expert Marco Tosatti in today's issue of the daily newspaper La Stampa , Archbishop Léonard was unceremoniously retired after only five years at the helm of the European "capital" with the completion of his 75th year of life without having received the cardinal's hat, which all of his predecessors got since the creation of the Kingdom of Belgium.
Archbishop Léonard Took Over an Empty Seminary, Leaving a House with 55 Seminarians
The political mercenaries [indeed, prostitutes] of FEMEN attacked the Archbishop twice in front of cameras. Since then, the rumor stubbornly remains, that someone in Belgium had spent a lot of money to publicly expose the Archbishop publicly to humiliation. As Archbishop Léonard took over his archdiocese in 2010, there were only four seminarians in the seminary. Now he hands over to his successor a seminary with 55 seminarians preparing for the priesthood.
Léonard was 20 years a professor at the Catholic University of Leuven and thirteen years Bishop of Namur before Pope Benedict XVI. summoned him to Brussels. He was to sacrificed in five years as Primate of Belgium. The situation was already difficult in the liberal climate of the country for the church. Léonard was also a victim of his predecessor, Godfried Cardinal Danneels, who made no secret of the aversion to the successor who replaced him. In sum, Léonard remained largely isolated among the Belgian bishops. Léonard, then still bishop of Namur, was the only bishop in the country who defended Benedict XVI., when the Belgian parliament attacked the Catholic Church leader because of the Church's teaching on contraception.
The reluctance of his predecessor
The 2010 appointment of Léonard had been seen as an attempt to initiate a change of course in the church in Belgium. With the resignation of Benedict XVI. and the election of Pope Francis the approach turned out to be an illusion. Cardinal Danneels saw the opportunity for revenge. While Leonard was demonstratively ignored by Pope Francis, Danneels, who is one of the Francis electors went to Rome. Despite his dubious role in homo-clerical milieu of Flanders, Danneels was appointed by Pope Francis personally and in the first place in the Synod of the two Synods on the Family. His direct access to the Pope continued unaltered, despite last year's publication of an authorized Danneels biography wherein the cardinal revealed that since the 1990s, he was part of a secret circle which included individuals at the highest level in the Church among cardinals and bishops named for its meeting locale "The Sankt Gallen Group." Among themselves, the members of the secret circle would be described as "mafia". The aim of the progressively minded circle's highest dignitaries was the "reconciliation" of the Church with liberty, equality and fraternity, and, though unsuccessful, preventing the election of Pope Benedict XVI. With the election of Pope Francis both had been caught up, which was mediated by Cardinal Danneel's assessment, which leaves no room for doubt.
Expected "clear statement" of the Pope - the final report of the Synod of Bishops was "ambiguous"
Shortly after his retirement, Léonard answered some questions at the French weekly magazine Famille Chretienne.
First, Léonard declared himself to be "disappointed" by the final report of the Synod. He did give a positive report of the final editing. Ironically,in the most delicate points it remained an ambiguous document."Some bishops have told me that the texts were deliberately formulated ambiguously, so that they can be interpreted in different directions," said the archbishop .
For this reason, Monsignor Léonard directed an appeal to Pope Francis:. "I therefore hope that we will get a nuanced and sympathetic but clear word about teaching and discipline of the Catholic Church in matters of marriage and family. It is the moment for him to exercise his Petrine mission for the unity and continuity in the tradition, as he has announced it in his speech upon the completion of the first family Synod."