Cardinal Pell: Vatican Is ‘Lawless’
When I met him for lunch last month in Rome, Cardinal George Pell -- pictured above on EWTN on the day of Benedict XVI's funeral -- said that the Vatican is in serious trouble. He called the situation there right now "lawless." I didn't expect to repeat that, but now that Vatican journalist Sandro Magister has outed the late cardinal as the author of the "Demos" memo from last year, then "lawless" is very mild compared to what the conservative Australian cardinal said in the memo. Here's a link to an English version of the Demos memo. Excerpts:
Commentators of every school, if for different reasons, with the possible exception of Father Spadaro, SJ, agree that this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe.
1. The Successor of St. Peter is the rock on which the Church is built, a major source and cause of worldwide unity. Historically (St. Irenaeus), the Pope and the Church of Rome have a unique role in preserving the apostolic tradition, the rule of faith, in ensuring that the Churches continue to teach what Christ and the apostles taught. Previously it was: “Roma locuta. Causa finita est.” Today it is: “Roma loquitur. Confusio augetur.”
(A) The German synod speaks on homosexuality, women priests, communion for the divorced. The Papacy is silent.
(B) Cardinal Hollerich rejects the Christian teaching on sexuality. The Papacy is silent. This is doubly significant because the Cardinal is explicitly heretical; he does not use code or hints. If the Cardinal were to continue without Roman correction, this would represent another deeper breakdown of discipline, with few (any?) precedents in history. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must act and speak.
(C) The silence is emphasised when contrasted with the active persecution of the Traditionalists and the contemplative convents.
2. The Christo-centricity of teaching is being weakened; Christ is being moved from the centre. Sometimes Rome even seems to be confused about the importance of a strict monotheism, hinting at some wider concept of divinity; not quite pantheism, but like a Hindu panentheism variant.
(A) Pachamama is idolatrous; perhaps it was not intended as such initially.
(B) The contemplative nuns are being persecuted and attempts are being made to change the teachings of the charismatics.
(C) The Christo-centric legacy of St. John Paul II in faith and morals is under systematic attack. Many of the staff of the Roman Institute for the Family have been dismissed; most students have left. The Academy for Life is gravely damaged, e.g., some members recently supported assisted suicide. The Pontifical Academies have members and visiting speakers who support abortion.
3. The lack of respect for the law in the Vatican risks becoming an international scandal. These issues have been crystalized through the present Vatican trial of ten accused of financial malpractices, but the problem is older and wider.
(A) The Pope has changed the law four times during the trial to help the prosecution.
(B) Cardinal Becciu has not been treated justly because he was removed from his position and stripped of his cardinalatial dignities without any trial. He did not receive due process. Everyone has a right to due process.
This is notable because Becciu was an enemy of Pell's, a man Pell suspected may have bribed, or attempted to bribe, people in Australia to ensure Pell's conviction on false sex abuse charges. That Pell stood up for Becciu's right to due process speaks well of him. More:
(C) As the Pope is head of the Vatican state and the source of all legal authority, he has used this power to intervene in legal procedures.
(D) The Pope sometimes (often) rules by papal decrees (motu proprio) which eliminate the right to appeal of those affected.
(E) Many staff, often priests, have been summarily dismissed from the Vatican Curia, often without good reason.
(F) Phone tapping is regularly practised. I am not sure how often it is authorized.
(G) In the English case against Torzi, the judge criticised the Vatican prosecutors harshly. They are either incompetent and/or were nobbled, prevented from giving the full picture.
(H) The raid by the Vatican Gendarmeria, led by Dr. Giani in 2017 on the auditor’s (Libero Milone) office on Italian territory was probably illegal and certainly intimidating and violent. It is possible that evidence against Milone was fabricated.
There's a lot more, including this for the new conclave:
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. Theological expertise and learning are an advantage, not a hinderance for all bishops and especially archbishops.
These are necessary foundations for living and preaching the Gospel.
UPDATE: A Catholic priest reader quoted this from the Pell memo:
1. The College of Cardinals has been weakened by eccentric nominations and has not been reconvened after the rejection of Cardinal Kasper’s views in the 2014 consistory. Many Cardinals are unknown to one another, adding a new dimension of unpredictability to the next conclave.
Comments the priest:
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If this is Pell's memo, the other cardinals would know what happened at that consistory. This would mean the Cardinals actually rejected Kasper, the Pope pressed forward nevertheless (using two synods to cover his actions), and stopped taking counsel or allowing them to meet for mutual interaction and discussion
In 2014, Cardinal Kasper presented the cardinals gathered to prepare for the upcoming Synod with a proposal to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to communion. Reportedly, a large number -- depending on who you believe, as many as 85 percent -- of the cardinals rejected the Kasper proposal. The German cardinal made it clear that he spoke with the Pope's approval -- that is, that he was speaking for what the Pope wanted. After the rejection, Francis praised Kasper's address strongly.
What the priest correspondent is saying is that the Pope, despite having seen that he had most of the consistory against him, went forward with a strategy to divide and confuse his opposition, to get his own way on liberalizing the Church. Fascinating.