Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has criticised fellow cardinals who submitted a dubia requesting that Pope Francis clarify Amoris Laetitia.

Four cardinals asked the Pope a series of questions to clear up confusion about the document issued after the family synods.

Speaking during a visit to Ireland, Cardinal Schönborn said reception of Amoris was a “long process” that needed negotiation and discussion.

“That cardinals, who should be the closest collaborators of the Pope, try to force him and put pressure on him to give a public response to their publicised letter is absolutely inconvenient behaviour,” he said.

He told journalists: “I fear those who have rapid, clear answers in politics and economy and also in religion. Rigorists and laxists have clear and rapid answers, but they fail to look at life. The rigorist avoids the effort of discernment, of looking closely at reality. The laxist lets everything possible go, and there is no discernment. They are the same but opposite.

“St Gregory the Great said the art of the pastoral accompaniment is the art of discernment. It is an art and it needs training.”

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