Cardinal Caffarra was Archbishop of Bologna from 2003 until 2015 and was elevated to the college of Cardinals in 2006. In 1981 he founded the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, which was dedicated to supporting Catholic teaching in those areas. On founding the institute Caffarra wrote to Sr Lucia of Fatima to request her prayers. In reply the seer sent a message of profound significance, as the Cardinal later revealed:
“In [her letter] we find written: ‘The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid,’ she added, ‘because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.’ And then she concluded: ‘However, Our Lady has already crushed its head.’”
In May this year, at a conference organised by Voice of the Family, His Eminence spoke of “the ultimate and terrible challenge which Satan is hurling at God” in his attempt to establish “anti-creation”, which exalts the destruction of human life and the destruction of marriage in place of the order established by God. A battle is currently raging, said the Cardinal, between the “wounded Heart of the Crucified-Risen One” who calls all men to himself and the “power of Satan, who does not want to be ousted from his kingdom.”
Cardinal Caffarra called on all of us to be courageous in our witness to Jesus Christ by testifying “openly and publicly” to the truth about God’s creation. He continued:
“Someone who does not testify in this way is like a soldier who flees at the decisive moment in a battle. We are no longer witnesses, but deserters, if we do not speak openly and publicly.”
Cardinal Caffarra gave witness to the truth when, on 19 September 2016, with three other cardinals, he submitted dubia to Pope Francis requesting clarification of the meaning of a number of propositions contained in the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The cardinals have not yet received any response to their grave concerns, despite the submission of dubia being a well established practice in the tradition of the Church. Furthermore, Pope Francis has consistently refused to meet with them to discuss the matter. Joachim Cardinal Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, died on 5 July, shortly after Pope Francis had once again turned down a request for an audience. The loss of Cardinal Caffarra and Cardinal Meisner means that only two of the original signatories, Walter Cardinal Brandmüller and Raymond Cardinal Burke, now remain.
We commend the soul of Carlo Cardinal Caffarra to the mercy of our Heavenly Father and to the prayers of our readers.
Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.