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Don’t mess with Francis!

Dean of Roman Rota: “Four Cardinals who have written to Pope could lose their Cardinalate”



[UPDATE: “Mgr.” Pinto says he was misquoted, Religion Confidencial issues retraction]

We all know that Francis is the champion of dialogue and encounter, but when “Cardinals” Burke, Brandmuller, Meisner, and Caffarra recently did nothing more than ask five very specific questions on a very important theological matter they wanted clarification on, the ever-so-humble Argentinian bridge builder decided to put up a wall: In a defeaning silence, he simply refused to answer.

After nearly two months of receiving no reply, the Novus Ordo cardinals decided to make their questions public. By doing so, they put the “Pope” into a corner from which he cannot escape because they have now forced the issue into the open for all to see, requiring him before the world to let his speech be either a clear yes or a clear no (cf. Mt 5:37), and if there is one thing Jorge Bergoglio doesn’t like, it’s being forced to answer in a clear black-and-white way that admits of no obfuscation, ambiguity, or vagueness.

Today, Nov. 29, there is a new development: The Spanish-speaking web site Religion Confidencial reports that the Dean of the Roman Rota, “Mgr.” Pio Vito Pinto (pictured above, center), has gone on record stating that Francis might strip the four troublemakers of their status as “cardinals” in punishment for their naughtiness. Here is the original report in Spanish:

We reproduce below a working translation of the Spanish text. Read it and don’t forget to close your mouth when you’re done.

Dean of the Roman Rota: “The four cardinals who have written to the Pope could lose their cardinalate”

Mgr. Pío Vito Pinto, Dean of the highest authority of the Catholic Church in the proceedings of marriage annulments, delivered a lecture at St. Damasus Ecclesiastical University in Madrid. In a strong and vigorous tone he said that the four cardinals who have asked Pope Francis to clarify some doubts about his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia have committed a grave scandal by publishing this letter in the media.

In statements to Religion Confidencial, Pio Vito has shown that these four cardinals, like some others in the Church who doubt the reform of Pope Francis and his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, are questioning “two synods of bishops on marriage and the family — not just one synod but two! One ordinary and the other extraordinary. You cannot doubt the action of the Holy Spirit.”

Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner had submitted [a letter] to the Holy Father asking [him to resolve their] doubts about Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis did not answer, and so the prelates made the letter public through the media. “What Church do these cardinals defend? The Pope is faithful to the doctrine of Christ. What they have done is a very serious scandal that could even lead the Holy Father to withdraw the cardinal’s hat [from them] as has happened at other times in [the history of] the Church,” Pio Vito said to Confidencial. The dean of the Roman Rota then clarified: “Which is not to say that the Pope will withdraw their status as cardinals, but that he might.”

During the conference, Pius Vito made it clear to the audience that the Pope has not responded directly to the four cardinals, “but has indirectly told them that they are seeing only black and white, when in the Church there are shades of colors.” Mgr. Pío Vito participated in the seminars on discernment and accompaniment for marriage annulment cases organized by the Episcopal Conference and St. Damasus Ecclesiastical University in Madrid.

Few Catholics ask for Annulments

Confidencial also asked Mgr. Pio Vito if it was not better to reach out to the divorced and remarried by granting them a marriage annulment, so they can marry in the Church and receive the Eucharist, before receiving Communion while being married [only] civilly. “By reforming the marriage process, Pope Francis wants to reach more people. The percentage of people seeking marriage annulments is very small. The Pope said that Communion is not only for good Catholics. Francis says: How do we reach those who are most excluded? With the Pope’s reform, many people may request annulments, but many may not,” said the Dean of the Roman Rota.

In this regard, he stressed a key of Francis’ pontificate, laid out in paragraph 4 of the bull he wrote for the Jubilee of Mercy: “There come to mind the meaningful words John XXIII spoke at the opening of the [Second Vatican] Council to indicate the way forward: ‘in our time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. The Catholic Church desires to show herself to be a loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness toward the children separated from her.”

The Difference with Protestants

Concerning the opinion voiced by some that the Church might be embracing the Protestant Reformation, the Dean of the Rota explained that “Luther destroyed the Catholic faith of the Apostles. The Catholic Church believes that in the Eucharist Jesus Christ is present, and Protestantism does not believe in the real presence of Christ in Communion. This is the big difference.”

In this respect and during the conference, he recalled that during the synod of bishops, some Synod fathers had asked the Pope for a new theological treatise on marriage but Francis rejected this since, he said, other Popes had already made the theology of marriage very clear.

He recalled that the focal point of Pope Francis’ message is reaching out to all those who have felt, or feel, discarded or injured by the Church. He also noted that currently, many people receive Communion indiscriminately. “A nun told me there are people who are divorced [and remarried] or living together [in fornication] who receive Communion. And what is the Church supposed to do, say ‘yes’ to this one and ‘no’ to that one? Pope Francis wants a church that is very close to the people.”

Wow. What a mess. No further comments should be needed at this point.

So this is where the Vatican is at now, and the only people who are in trouble are those four “cardinals” who dared to ask five questions and, upon not receiving an answer, made those questions public because they concern the salvation of souls and the sanctity of the (putative) sacraments.

Clearly, the “Year of Mercy” is over.