(Madrid) Last Tuesday, 29 November, a report by Religion Confidencial struck like a bomb - and led to a significant image problem for Pope Francis. Now a "corrected position" has appeared, with which the image problem was corrected.The criticism by the four cardinals, on the other hand, was not withdrawn.
Msgr. Pius Vito Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota , one of the supreme courts of the Catholic Church, was took part the day before in a conference on the new marriage tribunal process in Madrid. On this occasion he gave an interview to the Spanish news site, Religion Confidencial. He was quoted as saying that Pope Francis would strip the four cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner of their dignity as cardinals, because by posting their Dubia (doubts) to the controversial post-synodal Letter Amoris laetitia, they had given "serious offense".
The words of the Rota Dean, coupled with further criticism of the four Dubia presenters was understood as threat and intimidation.
The old and the new version
Meanwhile a "correction" was made in the publication Religion Confidencial, which is more of a clarification (RC). RC said that Msgr. Pinto had answered the questions in Italian and that the translation into Spanish was "incorrect". The new title of the RC interviews is now: "Under another pope, the four cardinals who wrote him could lose their cardinalatial dignity."
First, RC had published the following reply from Msgr. Pinto:
"What church are these Cardinals defending? The Pope is faithful to the teaching of Christ. What they have done is a very serious offence which could cause the Holy Father to deny them the Cardinal's hat, as has happened in other times in the Church. "
The revised body is now:
"What church defend these cardinals? The Pope is faithful to the teaching of Christ. What they have done is a very serious offence. He continued, that Pope Francis, however, is not a pope of the past, who would take away the Cardinal's hat, as Pius XI. did with the famous French Jesuit theologian Louis Billot. 'Francis will not do that,' he said."
The tarnished image that was feared has been left behind - but criticism of the four cardinals remains
After Msgr. Pinto's statement, which was first distributed by RC, caused worldwide attention, there seems to have been a corresponding intervention to reduce the position. The original statement conveyed a very bad impression of not very "merciful" administration by Pope Francis. The image of a pontificate in which even the highest dignitaries are heavily punished just because they ask questions, could be an image shredder.
It is striking that the first version was consistently indicated as a statement by Monsignor Pinto, whereas in the revised version, the controversial passage is only indirectly reproduced. RC reported a translation error. We are more closely acquainted with the fact that the results obtained by Mgsr. Pinto last Monday, reveals a threat posture in Rome some because active imagination went too far. Still the criticism of the four cardinals was not weakened by the "correct position".
According to Pinto, the attitude of the four cardinals is so serious that they would deserve to lose the cardinalatial dignity, but it is just their good luck that it is Pope Francis who is reacting and not "another pope."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Religion Confidencial (Screenshot)
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