Cardinal Vincent Nichols has expressed his support for Pope Francis in the wake of questions raised by four cardinals about parts of Amoris Laetitia.

The Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales made his remarks in an interview with The Irish Catholic newspaper while on a visit to Belfast last week.

Asked if he shared any of the concerns that had been expressed by Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals, Cardinal Nichols said: “For me it is very simple. Pope Francis is the Pope. He is who God has given us and, therefore, we follow his lead.”

Asked how he would respond if the four cardinals published a “formal correction”, Cardinal Nichols said: “The Pope is the one who has been chosen under the influence of the Holy Spirit to lead the Church and we will follow his lead. I am not going to say anything more than that because I think the Pope’s patience and reserve about this whole matter is exactly what we should observe.”

Questioned whether he thought that Amoris Laetitia had changed any of the Church’s teaching, Cardinal Nichols said: “There is no question of that. There is no question. The issues raised by Amoris Laetitia are not core doctrinal issues, these are about how do we live, in very traditional terms actually.

“Everything in Amoris Laetitia is drawn from the tradition of the Church: how do we live the mercy of God and how do we enable people who feel judged, feel excluded, feel as if they have no place, to begin to explore that [the mercy of God].”

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