Rorate Caeli

Report from a Rome in Deep Crisis: "Terror, Disgust, Espionage: Everybody Hates Francis."

 Caminante Wanderer
Argentina, February 27, 2023


It is one thing to be told, and another to see it. I have been saddened by this truth in the last few days. Some Roman friends often tell me secrets, or not so much [secret], of what goes on inside the Vatican walls and [Spanish blogger] Specola also gives us this kind of news daily, of which he knows a lot. But another thing is to personally verify the facts and confirm the conclusion that we all know: Pope Francis is not loved by anyone; neither by bishops, nor by priests, nor by the faithful, whatever may be their origin. And beyond the fact that one does not particularly like the Roman Pontiff, it is very sad to see the profound rejection that his figure produces. Whether we like it or not, he is the Vicar of Christ. 

I have been able to speak in recent weeks with priests from all walks of life. There is no need to pour out here the opinions of conservatives and traditionalists. Everyone knows them. What has astonished me is that the most progressive priests, who are generally also the oldest, have the same dislike for Bergoglio as that of their younger colleagues. It is no longer a doctrinal question in which traditionalists are pitted against progressives; it is something of a more basic level and has to do with the human and the institutional element. They cannot understand, for example, the Pope's permanent aggressiveness towards them; they affirm from both sides that they are astonished that whenever he refers to priests it is always in strongly negative terms: they are careerists, greedy, grumpy, proselytizers, criminals, they watch pornography, they have psychiatric problems, etc. Never a word of encouragement; never closeness. It is as if the enemy were speaking, and not the father who should confirm them in the faith. Someone more wicked and sharp commented to me that it is a typical case of projection: Bergoglio projects on the priests -and he himself is one- the characteristics that he unconsciously knows he possesses and hates. That is to say, he rejects others because it is he himself who is reflected in them. 

In the Vatican Curia they live in terror. "Il cretino gloriosamente regnante" [The gloriously reigning cretin], is an expression heard with some frequency within the sacred walls. But the most repeated word is terror. It is the regime that the Argentine pope has installed there. No one knows how long he will be in office and, even worse, no one knows who is spying on whom, for that is another one of Bergoglio's methods: spying, to know what each of the priests and religious who walks around the Sacred Palaces are thinking and saying. It is the same method he applied in Argentina when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and kept spies in all the dioceses and religious congregations. But in Rome, in addition, he trusts absolutely what his delegates tell him and thus, there are several curial officers who have received the message: "The Holy Father wants to talk to you", and half an hour later they were sent packing.

Another thing that puzzles and infuriates everyone is what he is doing with the College of Cardinals and the College of Bishops. And I insist, these comments do not come from conservative sectors but on the contrary. It is a question of institutionalism. It is not possible, some Italian priests told me, that the oldest and most prestigious sees of that country such as Milan, Naples, Venice, Palermo or Turin do not have cardinals and, on the other hand, new and insignificant sees do. This infuriates not only the incumbents of those sees who are left without a biretta, but also the faithful, as they feel hurt by a pontiff who denies them a privilege they have had for centuries.

What we see in Argentina with the episcopal appointments, happens all over the world. In our country, Francis has appointed a swarm of bishops chosen from among the least trained and qualified priests for the episcopal ministry and as the years go by, the consequences of such decisions will be seen. And the same thing is happening in a good part of the world. People who have known him very well for many years told me that Bishop Robert Prevost, appointed a few weeks ago Prefect of the Dicastery of Bishops, that is, one of the most important and powerful positions in the Church, is a nobody. It is not that he is progressive or conservative; he is insignificant, one more of the pile, a limited and shortsighted man. And it will be this good man who will be in charge of appointing the bishops of the whole world? 

Finally, a group of American priests, moderate and by no means traditionalist, commented to me the enormous uneasiness caused in California by the cardinalatial appointment of the bishop of San Diego, a small and suffragan diocese, while the archbishop of Los Angeles, its metropolitan, is not. And the problem is not just who wears the purple; the problem is that Cardinal Robert McElroy is extremely progressive, too progressive even for his own folks.

In the end, Pope Francis will not be mourned by anyone; only his pious followers, those who with his death will lose their ignoble positions and functions, will do some pouting.

[Source, in Spanish.]