Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed: "The Failed Francis Pontificate - Finding another Path for the Church: may Pope Pacelli help us!"

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.


Father Pio Pace

I visited in these past few days the tomb of Pius XII, in the crypt of the Vatican Basilica. My thoughts often go back to Pius XII, this great moralist pope, in this month of October 2015, in which takes place this strange Synod of the Family, during which we have spoken only of adulterous couples and homosexual couples. During which the doctrine de fide et moribus has been brought up for debate, as if the Church had not defined it already.

Will the liberal option win ? This is far from being certain : the stances in favor of traditional doctrine have been numerous, and weighty: a petition with over 800,000 signatures, a book signed by 11 cardinals, following those of the past year signed by 5 cardinals, along with that collecting the interventions of 11 African cardinals and bishops, as well as meetings and panels, such as those that took place at the Angelicum, in Rome, on September 30, presided by Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologne, and Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Order of Malta. And then, there was, during the Synod, the letter of the 13 cardinals, challenging respectfully, yet firmly, the manner in which the assembly was being directed. And also, the magnificent resistance of the unamimous bishops of Poland.

Can we then conceive of the reaffirmation of the doctrine of the Gospel? It is already hurt : as predicted by me in 2014 (see previous article), a certain number of canonists (cardinal Coccopalmerio, Msgr. Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota, Msgr. Maurice Monier, Auditor), have produced a text considerably widening in fact the possibilities of declarations of nullity of marriage for those marriages that "have failed." A kind of divorce will from now on exist, as among the Eastern Orthodox.

We risk little by foreseeing that this assembly of the Synod will end more or less as the past one, by observing the disagreement among the Fathers (1/3 to 2/3 last year, 2/3 to 1/3 this year?...) It is not impossible that the Pope, as he has already indicated,will open a new debate on the powers on the episcopal conferences, and launches a new "Synod on Synodality", a void grinding machine... In any event, a defense of traditional doctrine will have arisen, which is understood as a questioning of Pope Francis. "If a conclave were to be held today, Francis would be lucky to get ten votes," one of my friends in the Curia told the New Yorker. Undoubtedly, he will try to regain control with the famous reform of the Curia, that is, with some stunning nominations to new dicasteries. But what is gaining shape now is the failure of the pontificate.

Following the failure of the "restoration" pontificate of Benedict XVI, which ended with a resignation, are we going towards the failure of the "opening" pontificate of Francis? The Postconciliar Church seems intrinsically ungovernable.

From which come my insistent thoughts towards Pius XII. I am not naïf, of course: a return to the Church of Pope Pacelli is not possible. But a reflection on a true reform along the lines of this angelic pontificate is once again conceivable. I truly think that the following topic will grow in the Church: 1965/2015, 50 years of post-Council, and we are in an impasse. We have to find something else.