The prelate who is regarded as the voice of conservative Catholicism has warned that confusion is spreading among Catholics "in an alarming way" about divorce and homosexuality.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, who until recently served as head of the Church's highest court but now is patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said in an interview with Jeanne Smits of LifeSiteNews that the synod on the family in Rome last October was subject to "manipulation".
The result was that Catholics now felt free to contest Church's doctrines such as that banning artificial contraception.
"I hear it myself: I hear it from Catholics, I hear it from bishops," he said. "People are claiming now, for instance, that the Church has changed her teaching with regard to sexual relations outside of marriage, with regard to the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts."
About the synod of bishops, which will be followed by a similar gathering this October, he added: "It's clear to me that there were individuals who obviously had a very strong influence on the synod process who were pushing an agenda which has nothing to do with the truth about marriage as Our Lord Himself teaches it to us, as it is handed down to us in the Church.
"That agenda had to do with trying to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex and, in a way, clearly to relativize and even to obscure the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage as a faithful, indissoluble, procreative union of one man and one woman."
He was concerned that "people are being led in a false way to think that they should practice some form of birth control in order to be responsible stewards of the earth." He warned: "The fact of the matter is that the birthrate in most countries is far below what it needs to be to replace the present population."