Pope Francis Cancels Meetings With Curia in Wake of Four Cardinals Letter

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November 17, 2016

From Deacon Nick Donnelly’s Facebook page:

francis-brave-sir-robin

 

UPDATE 15:00 17 November 2016

 

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By Steve Skojec at OnePeterFive:

In a story reported by Deacon Nick Donnelly on the UK website of EWTN (the site is now down; there’s no saying if this is a traffic issue or some sort of denial of service attack) it has been revealed that Pope Francis will skip the usual days of meetings with the curia in anticipation of this Saturday’s consistory:

In an unprecedented development in the post Vatican II Church Pope Francis has cancelled his meeting with the world’s cardinals at the consistory he convoked to take place on Saturday 19th November. The Holy Father’s surprise decision follows the unusual step he has taken not to respond to the dubia — the five questions — submitted to him by senior cardinals to clarify confusion arising from his post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

A consistory is a formal meeting of the college of cardinals convoked and chaired by the pope that are usually conducted in secret, though can be held in public. The Code of Canon Law sets out the purposes of consistories:

Can. 353 §1 Cardinals assist the Supreme Pastor of the Church in collegial fashion particularly in Consistories, in which they are gathered by order of the Roman Pontiff and under his presidency. Consistories are either ordinary or extraordinary.

§2 In an ordinary Consistory all Cardinals, or at least those who are in Rome, are summoned for consultation on certain grave matters of more frequent occurrence, or for the performance of especially solemn acts.

§3 All Cardinals are summoned to an extraordinary Consistory, which takes place when the special needs of the Church and more serious matters suggest it.

§4 Only an ordinary Consistory in which certain solemnities are celebrated, can be public, that is when, in addition to the Cardinals, Prelates, representatives of civil states and other invited persons are admitted.

In the light of this, it appears unusual that having convoked a consistory the pope is not meeting with his college of cardinals to discuss important issues facing the Church.

Marco Tosatti, Italian journalist and Vatican expert, reports Pope Francis’s decision to cancel his meeting with the college of cardinals. He describes it as a “strange Consistory”,  strange because, unlike the other two previous occasions, the Pope will not meet the cardinals in Rome the day before. Tosatti observes that a consistory is a very special event in the life of the Church because it creates new cardinals. It is also a special occasion for the pope to “see gathered around him the College, including those who rarely come ad limina, to receive information, exchange ideas and perceptions, and send messages.” Marco Tosatti gives details of the unconventional programme

This year, there will not be a meeting with all the cardinals. The program provides only for the ceremony of creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica, at 11 Saturday, November 19, and the mass the next day. The Saturday afternoon from 16.30 to 18.30 are provided courtesy visits, “di calore” in curial jargon.

Pope Francis used his first consistory to tentatively introduce his plan to change the Church’s teaching on communion for the divorced and civilly “re-married’. He invited Cardinal Kasper — the long-time proponent of radical change in the Church’s perennial teaching — to address his fellow cardinals. At the time Marco Tosatti reported that Cardinal Kasper’s address caused consternation among the cardinals:

Card. Ruini noted that some 85% percent of cardinals who spoke up after Kasper were against Kasper’s proposals.  He opined of those who said nothing that perhaps they were simply “embarrassed”.

In the light of Pope Francis’s other unprecedented decison not to respond to the cardinals’ concerns about Amoris Laetitia, expressed to him in the traditional form of a dubia, it is being speculated that the Holy Father has cancelled his meeting with the college of cardinals in order to avoid discussing the dubia and his decision about it.

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, Tosatti has speculated that this may very well be a tactic for the pope to avoid having the dubia about AL presented to him in person.

Whatever the case, this weekend’s consistory has certainly taken on an interesting twist.

 

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12 Responses to Pope Francis Cancels Meetings With Curia in Wake of Four Cardinals Letter

  1. marysong says:

    Thank you. Surely Pope Francis has a plan.

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s NOT an “unprecedented development in the post Vatican II Church“, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI both did the same once in their day.

  3. kathleen says:

    I watched Raymond Arroyo’s “The World Over Live” on EWTN late last night. It included an interesting interview with Robert Royal and Edward Pentin live from the Eternal City.

    Edward Pentin said that Pope Francis was literally “boiling with rage” about the dubia !! That would explain why he hasn’t replied to the Letter, and probably why he has cancelled his arranged meeting with the college of Cardinals.

    But he won’t be able to ignore the Letter from the Four Cardinals for ever!

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    Edward Pentin said that Pope Francis was literally “boiling with rage” about the dubia !! That would explain why he hasn’t replied to the Letter, and probably why he has cancelled his arranged meeting with the college of Cardinals.

    All of the rumours seem to be suggesting so, indeed.

    One point that’s occurred to me is that this is all becoming a strong show of support for a possible Burke candidacy at the next Conclave.

  5. The Raven says:

    One point that’s occurred to me is that this is all becoming a strong show of support for a possible Burke candidacy at the next Conclave.

    From your lips to God’s ear, Jabba!

  6. JabbaPapa says:

    hmmm, there’s a rumour that the Pope has arranged a quiet meeting with the four Cardinals.

  7. Tom Fisher says:

    Sometimes I get bored of the sordid political machinations of the regular world, and so I check in to see how those who have found the peace that ‘passeth all understanding’ are doing. Still having fun I see. Lovely

  8. geoffkiernan says:

    Kathleen at 7.53: Cant seem to find the interview. Do you have a link?

  9. kathleen says:

    Hi Geoff!
    It was a live show on EWTN last night, so it won’t be available on YouTube yet. If you check EWTN’s Programme schedule for “Asia-Pacific” (which is the one I believe you receive in Australia) you should be able to see the replay on your TV or computer during the week.
    Another alternative would be to try EWTN Radio where it will also be broadcast again.
    If all this fails, the interview will be put up on YouTube, probably in the following week.
    Hope this helps🙂

  10. johnhenrycn says:

    The Raven (09:00) – I too think Cardinal Burke would be a good choice at the next Conclave, but I’m concerned about his age. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who is of the same mindset as Burke, is 12 years younger. It would be nice to imagine having a truly and unambiguously orthodox pope at the helm for the next 20+ years, not that I’m praying for an early Conclave.

  11. Toad says:

    We must pray Pentin meant metaphorically boiling with rage.
    Or the next conclave will be in a day or two.

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    Metaphorically, dear toad, you might want to put some of your beers in the fridge.

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