Rorate Caeli

Ladaria Will Not Attend Synod- Was He the 'Katechon' Holding Back the Rupnik Rehabilitation?


Today, it was announced that Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, former prefect of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), will not be taking part in the Synod on Synodality 'at his own request.' No other reason was given.

The peculiar timing, and absence of any explanation (other than that it was Ladaria's own request), are notable. Ladaria's last day as DDF prefect was September 8. He was replaced on September 11 with Francis loyalist Tucho Fernandez, who has been instructed by Francis to stay away from sex abuse investigations (despite it being a chief duty of his office). Pope Francis met with Rupnik's ardent defender and head of his Aletti Center, Maria Campatelli, the following Friday, September 15. The shocking statement rehabilitating Rupnik was released the next Monday, September 18. Ladaria announced today, three days later, that he would not be participating in the Synod on Synodality.

At least some online commentators have made the same connection-- Ladaria, who oversaw sex abuses investigations as head of the DDF, was the 'katechon' holding back the full-blown rehabilitation of Rupnik that Francis ardently desires, and is now expressing his extreme disapproval of Francis's appalling behavior. Massimo Faggioli's statement on Ladaria's departure from the Synod indicates something similar: "a forza di torcere e tirare, a un certo punto la corda si spezza"-- "due to the twisting and pulling, at a certain point the rope breaks."

If Ladaria held back Francis's rehabilitation of Rupnik, it would not be the first time that he has acted to avert scandal. Before the Pope's release of Traditionis Custodes, unveiling vicious Latin Mass restrictions against Traditional Catholics, Ladaria "held it back as long as he could" so as to avoid reigniting the liturgical wars and persecuting the faithful.

Ladaria's defection indicates that Francis's shocking attempt to rehabilitate Rupnik- a confirmed rapist- may prove to a bridge too far even for his loyal admirers.