Monday, October 09, 2017

Civil war underground in the Catholic Church

Those opposing the Pope plan a future without him.

Two years ago, the Pope summoned the world's bishops and discussed topics such as love and family. Since then, a directional struggle has been raging in the church. Francis' opponents are getting louder and louder than ever before.

That a Pope is accused of heretical behaviour is already unusual. That this happens with an open letter, which more than 60 Catholic scholars have signed, does not make the matter any better. In the document with the Latin name "Correctio Filialis" Francis's heresy is reproached,  also for departure from the doctrine. Even if the signatories are traditionalists and hardliners and there are no Cardinals among them, the whole thing should not be underestimated. It stands for the growing opposition to Francis. In essence, the question is whether or not married couples who are remarried can receive communion.

The escalation began two years ago, when the bishops of the world gathered in the Vatican on October 4 to talk about "hot irons" such as dealing with the remarried divorced and homosexuals. In the Family Synod sparks flew as reported by those who were there. The result was a clarification as soft as butter. In the meantime, the adversaries of Francis' modernisation course are getting more and more open about it.  For many conservatives, Francis' proposals are a mistake.

The point of criticism is the papal letter on the family, "Amoris Laetitia", in which Francis hints that remarried divorced people must not be denied the way to the sacraments. For many conservatives this is an absurdity, indeed a scandal, because it contradicts the teachings of the Church. For many believers, especially in countries like Germany, it does not go far enough in the direction of the opening of the church. At least the German bishops have put themselves behind the letter.

"There is such a kind of civil war in the church in the church," said Vatican author Marco Politi. The Family Synod, as in a parliamentary vote, had shown the real power relationship, namely that the reforming line of Francis was not supported by the majority. "The result was that the conservatives and the fearful were in the majority and prevented clear changes."

An unprecedented escalation

One should not understate the opposition in the Vatican, according to Politi. "The heresy document is an escalation, something like this has never existed." The opponents do not work in the direction of a fall of the Pope, but they are prepared for the time after Francis: "The aim of the movement is, above all, the next papal election , one which no longer chooses such a strong reformer as Francis, "says Politi. Officially, the Pope did not comment on his critics. Only the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, warned diplomatically: "Dialogue is important. Also within the church", by which he wants to mean: Rebellion in secret is the wrong way.

Should the Pope call all to order by striking the table?

The Pope has also been silent about the letter of the four cardinals, who had previously demanded an open letter in order to clarify the doubts about the interpretation of "Amoris Laetitia." The criticism will not be silenced, even if two authors of this so-called "Dubia" letter have now died: the German Cardinal Joachim Meisner and the Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra.

Many are of the opinion that the Pope has to strike on the table to make peace. After all, the Pope also has received open support. In the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano", the President of the Pontifical Family Institute, Pierangelo Sequeri, recently wrote: "Stop the complaints immediately."


"Superman-Pope" now as official T-shirt


He flies with a raised fist and a briefcase, his white soutane fluttering: Pope Francis was presented as a Superman in 2014 in a graffiiti image . Now the graphic is on T-shirts - for a good cause.

Colorful | Vatican City - 09.10.2017

The famous Papal graffiti with Francis as Superman will in the future be sold as a T-shirt for a good cause: the image which shows Pope Francis as a super-hero in the fight for Christian values ​​is now the "official emblem" for charitable initiatives of the Pope,  Radio Vatican reported on Monday. The official Papal super-hero shirt costs 19 euros and the revenues are to flow directly into the charitable donation projects of the Pope, such as Peter's Pence
, according to the head of the Vatican Secretariat of Communications, Dario Edoardo Vigano.

The T-shirt can be ordered on the internet in various colours as well as in men's and women's versions. The front is adorned by the Super-Pope with a fist raised high in flight and a briefcase with the words "values" in the other hand; Papal quotations are printed on the reverse. The graphic of the Italian painter and street artist Mauro Pallotta was painted in 2014  on a house wall near the Vatican, but was quickly painted over. Nevertheless, it received great attention. The Pontifical Media Council then broadcast a snapshot of the Super-Pope on the short message news service, Twitter.