Rorate Caeli

- For historian Roberto de Mattei, if things go on like this, there will be schism.

Giovanni Panetterie
[Daily newspapers] Il Giorno, La Nazione, Il Resto del Carlino 
March 9, 2015

“A revolution in family pastoral care regarding Communion for the divorced and remarried and homosexual unions is materializing. Like this, the Pope is disorienting the Church, from the cardinals right down to the parishes.” Two years on, since the start of Bergoglio’s ministry, the historian Roberto de Mattei, author of the famous Vatican II, A History Never Written, defines the Latino's Pontificate as “enigmatic” and “filled with paradoxes”, and highlights the distance between Francis’ wishes and the sentiments of the Catholic world. According to “the finest intellectual of Italian Traditionalism” (copyright Alberto Melloni, who is on the opposing side) “with this Pope the Church is risking a schism brought on by those progressive bishops, like the Germans [for instance], who want to go ahead with the apertures even if the Synod in October rejected them.

[Panettiere:] Also the ultra-conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke has promised to resist at all costs.

[De Mattei:] “He didn’t mention a schism, he simply said that at the Synod he will oppose any change whatever regarding the truth of matrimony. It seems to me that this is an honest and transparent stance.

But is the Pope really trying to attack doctrine?

“Francis presents himself as a conservative, he doesn’t speak against the dogmas, but his pastoral strategy is, per se, revolutionary, as it subordinates the truth to praxis, moreover on a hot issue like the family. In this way it marks a profound discontinuity in the history of the papacy which hasn’t been registered for fifty years now.”

The Church isn’t ready for this change.

“I certainly don’t want to support such a change. I find it more correct to say that Francis is disorienting cardinals, bishops, priests and parishes. You only need to see the appeal made to the Pope by 120,000 faithful from all over the world, which asks finally for a clear statement on the indissolubility of marriage. Even by just tolerating second marriages opening Communion to the remarried, would alter the Traditional Doctrine of the Church.”

On this point, at the last Synod, there was a very bitter clash between progressives and conservatives.

“I would talk of a fracture which saw the paragraphs of the final document, the ones on homosexuals and divorcees, not reach the 2/3 of the consensus necessary. The real novelty at that assizes was the strong opposition to the reforms by the African and Eastern European episcopates. In other words, those bishops from the peripheries that Bergoglio never stops praising. We are faced here with one of the paradoxes of this Pontificate.”

What are the others?

“In October, the Pontiff met with the Popular Movements, giving a Peronist image of himself, especially close to their social plights. And yet who does the Vatican use to certify the balances of IOR? An institute of global-capitalism like Ernst & Young. And another: Bergoglio talks about decentralizing the power in the Church and then shows that he is a strong centralizer.”

Who continues to attract a large consensus?

“Yes, he does, in the world of the media and outside the Church, where he has even surpassed Wojtyla in popularity. But it’s inside the Catholic world that he much less loved.” Also participation at the Angelus and the audiences in St. Peter’s is dropping.”

[Translation by Contributor Francesca Romana]