After years of doctrinal confusion and disciplinary inconsistency, prominent cardinals are clearly growing restive about the leadership of Pope Francis.
Today Cardinal George Pell issued a highly unusual public statement, calling for a Vatican rebuke to two other prominent prelates whose public statements have suggested a “wholesale and explicit rejection” of Church teachings on sexuality.
And on the same day, a prominent Italian journalist made public a memorandum which, he said, is now circulating among members of the College of Cardinals, pronouncing “that this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects: a catastrophe.”
Sandro Magister of L’Espresso, who published the bombshell memo, is a veteran Vatican-watcher, with excellent sources, who does not shy away from controversy. Magister writes that the author “is unknown, but shows himself a thorough master of the subject. It cannot be ruled out that he himself is a cardinal.”
The memo—like the public statement from Cardinal Pell—points to the German hierarchy, whose “Synodal Path” has become an open conduit for dissent from Church teaching, and to Cardinal Hollerich—to whom the Pope has entrusted the leadership of the next worldwide Synod of Bishops—who (as the memo puts it) “rejects the Christian teaching on sexuality.” The silence from the Vatican in response to these expressions of dissent, the memo’s pseudonymous author continues, contrasts sharply with the “active persecution of the traditionalists and the contemplative convents.”
“If there was no Roman correction of such heresy, the Church would be reduced to a loose confederation of local churches, holding different views, probably closer to an Anglican or Protestant model, than an Orthodox model,” the memo warns.
The memo’s author, who identifies himself only as “Demos,” goes on to issue a blanket indictment of current Vatican leadership. He devotes several paragraphs to financial mismanagement, but also bemoans the chaotic administrative style that has exacerbated tensions within the Vatican and demoralized the faithful. Among his complaints:
- ”Phone tapping is regularly practiced.”
- “The financial situation of the Vatican is grave.”
- There has been “…no public support for the loyal Catholics in China…,” nor “for the Catholic community in Ukraine, especially the Greek Catholics…”
- The College of Cardinals has been “weakened by eccentric nominations…” and because the Pope has not allowed for meetings of the College, the cardinals are now “unknown to one another.”
- The extensive preparations for the Synod on Synodality will “consume much time and money, probably distracting energy from evangelization and service…”
- The Amazon Synod heard virtually no mention of the “disastrous decline in Catholic numbers and Protestant expansion in South America.”
There are hopeful signs, Demos says, noting for instance that young priests are “almost completely orthodox, sometimes quite conservative.” But the overall situation, he insists, is grave, and calls for decisive action. In his memo, looking forward to the next papal conclave, he summarizes the challenge that the cardinals reading this memo will face:
The first tasks of the new pope will be to restore normality, restore doctrinal clarity in faith and morals, restore a proper respect for the law, and ensure that the first criterion for the nomination of bishops is acceptance of the apostolic tradition.
The above comes from a March 15 posting by Phil Lawler on CatholicCulture.org.
The darkest days still lie ahead. This site will have lots of negative stories to post, count on that. Things are only worsening in America for the Catholic Church. Mass attendance is still aggressively in decline, the youth and young adults are almost nowhere to be seen in parishes, far fewer baptisms and marriages in Catholic parishes, a crisis of a priest shortage that’s about to explode because Baby Boomer priests are retiring. Pope Francis isn’t the cause of it, but he’s not helping either.
It’s about time these cardinals start speaking out about some the very confusing statements coming from the Holy Father and some of his Cardinals and Bishops. If it wasn’t for the hit job on Cardinal Pell I believe he would have become a leading candidate to become the first Pope from an English speaking country. This brings to mind the prophecy of Saint John Bosco of one pope in and one pope out. This would be the final Pope in Catholic Church and world history. Only Almighty God knows the answer to the Saint John Bosco prophecy. God is in charge. Evil will be crushed and defeated because God created every thing and knows every thing. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!
Cardinal Pell was never seen as a publicity hound or as injudicious in confronting troubles. [On the contrary–he is terse and often even brusque.] At last he is speaking out. On cardinals and bishops who trash the constant teachings of the Church without consequences. And on cardinals who game the system to manipulate Vatican funds for their own purposes. And he wants straight answers whether vast sums of Vatican $$$$ were sent to Australia before his trial, to secure his false conviction of sexual abuse of a minor–and by whom. The “Quiet Man” has come out and is publicly insisting on public, honest-to-God answers. He’ll never get them during this pontificate.
His name wasn’t mentioned in the last Conclave. Honesty, humility, administrative ability and clear and consisting teaching of the Faith were not the qualities on demand. “Hagan lio” was. The Pope chosen filled the desired bill; he went in and “made a mess”.
and get the gays out of the church hierarchy
Cardinal Burke and his friend, Steve Bannon, undoubtedly had some involvement in this fiasco. The conservatives do not want Pope Francis to have a successful papacy. They are embarrassed by the failed papacy of Pope Benedict XVI and are doing their best to topple our current Holy Father.
“Cardinal Burke and his friend, Steve Bannon, undoubtedly had some involvement in this fiasco.” William Robert, can you do us all a favor and supply the evidence for this strange accusation? Can you supply evidence that conservatives are embarrassed by the failed papacy of Benedict? Can you supply evidence that the papacy of Benedict was a failure? Can you tell us which conservatives are doing their best to topple Francis, with clear citations? And thanks in advance.
WR, it all depends on what is meant by a ‘successful papacy’. Successful at doing what, exactly?
It is actually nonsensical.
WR– Cardinal Burke and Pope Benedict deserve respect from everyone! Cdl. Burke is not “friends” with radical politician and journalist, Steve Bannon. There is no such thing as political “conservatives/liberals” in the holy Church, founded by Jesus Christ. Either you are a sincere believer– or you are not. It is cruel and abusive to run a sick, lame athlete or racehorse to death, all for worthless prestige, power, money and ego. No, retire the excellent, wounded athlete or racehorse kindly, with lots of respect, love, honor, and good medical care! Always speak well of him, and respect and appreciate his many, many wonderful, outstanding accomplishments! Pope Benedict gave his life in service to us, until he could go no further. He was faithful to Christ, and had multitudes of outstanding accomplishments, for the Church! Millions read his many wonderful books, and love his “Summorum Pontificum”– and much, much more!
What are you confused about, exactly? My experience of people who say they are confused about Church teaching lately is that they aren’t confused at all. They have their own agenda to push and they are confused about why Francis isn’t pushing it.
With all due respect William Robert the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI was very successful not a failed one. After all Pope Benedict was handpicked by none other than Blessed John Paul II who will one day be known as Pope John Paul II The Great. Like Cardinal Pell Pope Benedict has had a hit job on him as well. He is innocent as a lamb. I believe he retired because he or his family was threatened because he was about to expose all the corruption in the Catholic Church and the seminaries. Why is not Pope Francis cleaning up this mess? What is he waiting for? God and the Holy Spirit will choose the next and maybe final pope in Catholic Church and world history.
JPII will not be known as “The Great”. I wish people would stop that. His mishandling of abusive clerics will prevent him from being considered “The Great”. So stop it.
If what you say is true about Benedict, but you don’t know it is, then he should have had courage to stick it out no matter the consequences. After all, we’re supposed to accept the Cross.
By saying the next pope might be the final pope, you’re probably a Garabandal or Medjugorje eschatological end of the world scenario weirdo.
Just saying wake up and smell the roses!
Well, that is not the reason Pope Benedict XVI gave and if he is a liar, he shouldn’t be Pope.
Not for reason you are on a fishing mission. Blessed John Paul II maybe the greatest Pope in history next to Saint Peter chose then Cardinal Ratzinger to be his right hand man. Keep fishing!
Huge news just announced in the Catholic world that Pope Francis has just asked all the Catholic Bishops of the entire world to also Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If Papa Francesco succeeds he would be the first Holy Father to do do since this special request was made at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. The story was broken by the American Michael Brown the creator of the the number 1 website spiritdaily.com in the entire world. Brown was a former journalist who broke the Buffalo area Love Canal story in the 1970’s. He has also authored 28 amazing books. Let us all pray to Our Lady of Fatima that this act of consecration succeeds the way requested by Mother Mary at Fatima. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!
Accept the Cross I have accepted my Cross. Have you accepted yours? I have never been a Garabandal or Medjugorje eschatological end of world scenario weirdo. I am a Lourdes, Fatima Mother Mary weirdo. With the world ending part there of course is the 1000 year reign of Christ after the Second coming of Jesus Christ. Then there is the part where satan is bound in chains and thrown in the lake of fire during the 1000 year period. So the world won’t end for just over 1000 years from now. Only God the Father knows the exact date and time. By the way I have just come to the conclusion in recent days and months that Medjugorje is for real.
Medjugorje is for real? There have been thousands of banal “messages” claiming to be from Mary at Medjugorje, going on now for what… over thirty years? You’d think Mary could be more concise or at least more interesting and relevant. I’ve concluded Medjugorje is a fraud.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.
Dan: please read the subtitle for this article (who is the secret author?) My sources are people that I know who are in the know but want to stay in the background. I suspect the “memo” circulating is a fake. Church income is down because of the pandemic. Anyone with half a brain could figure that out.
” My sources are people that I know who are in the know but want to stay in the background.” And these sources think Benedict’s papacy was a failure? Their opinion is capable of question. And these sources hypothesize C. Burke and Bannon to be in cahoots? Such claims require evidence, otherwise the assertion is slander and should not have been made in the first place. And why do you think the memo is a fake? This person with half a brain wants to know.
The contents of this article were related and discussed last night, March 17th, on EWTN’s “World Over Live,” which I greatly enjoyed. I have always found Church-approved apparitions and prophecies of Saints to be fascinating. I am thinking now, of the prophecies of Fatima, of St. John Bosco, and of one called “The White Cowl,” relating to the Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps the Cardinals will get smart at the next Conclave, with a desperately-needed, strong resolve to return to orthodoxy, responsibility, and discipline, in worship and in practice.
me: me too well said. Amen!
me: beautiful. Amen!
Successful or not, Cardinal Ratzinger was the de facto pope long before the conclave elected him so. We love to think of St John Paul as youthful and vigorous, but his papacy extended well into his very frail years and Probably was incapable at that point, and Ratzinger called all the shots, to use a profane term. And I would imagine acting as pope without being pope weighed on him heavily as it would anyone. So when it was his turn to realize his own frailty, he understood the importance of resignation over “hanging on”. I blame neither man, in fact I hold them Both in High regard especially the blessed Saint at whose mass I was fortunate to attend here in San Francisco. But I think Pope Benedict must have agreed to take the office with a promise to himself that if he ever go so sick or aged that he couldn’t personally handle the job, he would bend to the will of Christ and resign.
YFC, I agree. Vatican II rules state that bishops are to retire at age 75– that makes good sense. We now have modern medicine, with highly-trained doctors. And Pope Benedict’s doctor stated that he should resign, for health reasons. He was so frail, he could not even walk, nor travel, and needed to be wheeled on a platform. Why can’t people respect that? Today we have air travel—more complex than travel by horse-and-buggy! And popes are no longer “prisoners of the Vatican.” Pope St. John Paul II was very frail at life’s end, with many medical issues, to include Parkinson’s Disease– and his speech was greatly impaired! How could he greet world leaders that way, and discuss serious issues? Time to retire! Church leaders must be able to function well, and handle huge, very difficult responsibilities, in a far more complex and stressful world, than 100 years ago! And with TV, computers, and all media– the world quickly sees everything– millions are depending on the Pope!
Some popes have died in previous eras, of things like cancer, heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, etc. Bl. Pope Pius IX suffered from epilepsy, and died of it, during a seizure. Wonder if any of our popes in the past, ever had Alzheimer’s, or any form of dementia, at life’s end? Or ALS, or any other very serious disease, severely impacting a pope’s ability to function normally? I know that some were bedridden, and finally lost consciousness, and then died.
YFC, that is not true at all.
And that is not how the Vatican works. At. All.
Fiction. Total fiction.
I agree with Cardinal Pell. Cardinal Hollerich, Bishop Batzing, plus Cardinal Marx, and many other immoral, heretical, false Church clerics need to be removed.
Pell is a public heretic who denies the existence
of Adam and Eve, so the notion of him calling
out his fellow modernists for doctrinal heterodoxy
I’m so confused and dispirited by all the infighting in the church.
It is just a few loud people. There have always been outliers.
Be at peace. Read your Bible every day. Pray the rosary. Pray the Chaplet of Mercy.
Spend 15 minutes a day (at least) just being still before God so that you can listen to him.
He will end all confusion. Pray to the Holy Spirit for His gifts.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.