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Cardinal Fernández: Vatican’s New Document on Human Dignity to Be Published in Early April…

Cardinal Fernández: Vatican’s New Document on Human Dignity to Be Published in Early April…

The prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith said a ‘new text’ had been recently prepared having already had ‘several versions.’

A Vatican document on the theme of “human dignity” is almost complete and will be published early next month, the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has confirmed.

Cardinal Victor Fernández, who is overseeing the writing of the document, told the Register March 7 that the document has had “several versions” but that the “text is almost finished and will be published in early April.”

The Argentinian cardinal, who began his work as dicastery prefect last September, said that a “new text” had been “prepared in the past few months and discussed by the dicastery’s cardinals and bishops at the Feria IV” — a regular Wednesday meeting of the dicastery’s senior members.

“At this moment, we are incorporating some suggestions proposed by them at the Feria IV,” the cardinal added.

His comments follow his disclosure in a Jan. 12 interview that the dicastery was preparing “a very important document on human dignity” that contains “a strong criticism” of immoral trends in contemporary society.

Cardinal Fernández told the Spanish news agency EFE that the new document would include “not only social issues but also a strong criticism of moral questions such as sex-change surgery, surrogacy, and gender ideology.”

La Croix’s Rome correspondent, Loup Besmond, gave further details in a March 5 article, saying that theologians had been working on the document for the past five years, but that Cardinal Fernández had “completely revised it” and that the Pope had “specifically instructed him to do so.”

“The upcoming document is said to focus on central themes of Francis’ pontificate, such as migration and the environment, whereas the first version was limited to bioethical issues,” Besmond wrote, and predicted that the new text could “provoke more shockwaves throughout the Church.” 

Cardinal Fernández has long assisted Pope Francis in writing documents, dating back to the 2007 Aparecida conference of Latin American and Caribbean bishops when he helped Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio draft the meeting’s final document.

Since he succeeded Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer as prefect in September, Cardinal Fernández has issued four formal DDF responses to various doctrinal questions as well as the controversial declaration  Fiducia Supplicans on the blessing of same-sex couples and those in irregular unions, which prompted a follow-up document that aimed to help clarify the declaration.

In his January interview with EFE, Cardinal Fernández said he did not foresee further such controversial documents: “I must say that I don’t think I will be in the news in the foreseeable future because in the dicastery we don’t foresee topics that could be very controversial, like the last ones.”

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