The Worse Than Useless “Council of Cardinals” Another Vaunted Reform Disintegrates
Fatima Perspectives #1201
The post-Vatican II epoch has been marked by a series of unprecedented ecclesial “reforms” hailed as the harbingers of a new “springtime” for the Church when in truth they were only signs of what Cardinal Ratzinger admitted is “a continuing process of decay that has gone on largely on the basis of appeals to the Council, and thus has discredited the Council in the eyes of many people.”
So it is with the vaunted “Council of Cardinals” established by Pope Francis shortly after his election. As Sandro Magister notes, this “Council of Eight,” which quickly became the “Council of Nine” or “C9” when the Vatican Secretary of State was added to it, was hailed as the first step in a dramatic reform of the Roman Curia. The same Roman Curia dominated by the same Secretary of State, as Father Gruner exhaustively documented.
But now, writes Magister, “after five years and twenty-four summits with Francis, the curia is more derelict than ever, the universal Church is in a state of confusion, and this council of cardinals is in pieces.” The disintegration of the “C9”, as Magister observes, is “an unflinching photograph of the current pontificate, which deserves an enlargement.”
First of all, the current Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, whose office was supposed to be “the designated victim of the presumed curial reform,” now “has more influence than all the others put together.”
Next, the “C9” coordinator, Cardinal Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, is mired in financial and sexual scandals back in Honduras, including a raid on the coffers of a Catholic college, as shown here and here, yet Francis “stubbornly keeps [him] in the saddle in spite of the fact that his reputation is in tatters, even among the cardinals sitting beside him.” In fact, he remains in the saddle despite the devastating report on the situation presented by Francis’ own apostolic visitor, Argentine bishop Alcides Casaretto. According to the report, Maradiaga’s close friend, Tegucigalpa auxiliary bishop José Pineda Fasquelle, has presided over a “dismal picture of financial mismanagement and continuous sexual transgressions, at the diocesan seminary but not only there.”
The cavalcade of corruption continues with C9 member Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago. As Magister reports: “He is charged with having covered up for one of his confreres, Osorno bishop Juan Barros, who in turn was the disciple and accomplice of a charismatic and once highly honored priest, Fernando Karadima, the spiritual guide and at the same time serial predator of countless young men and teen boys, found guilty and sentenced by Vatican authorities in 2011.”
The cover-up conducted by Errázuriz has, Magister writes, “exploded like a bomb, above all against [Francis], to the point that after returning to Rome Francis found himself constrained to send to that country an inquisitor experienced in these matters, Maltese bishop Charles Scicluna. Whose report finally persuaded the pope to acknowledge that he had been wrong and to blame those who had given him ‘untruthful information’” — first and foremost Cardinal Errázuriz himself.
And now all the bishops of Chile, summoned to the Vatican by Francis for an accounting, have tendered their resignations. Yet Barros has yet to be singled out for his singular role in the Chilean debacle, as if the Pope would rather sack the entire Chilean hierarchy than punish Barros, another of his friends. (As of this writing it remains to be seen how many of the tendered resignations will be accepted or even if Barros will be among them.)
Then, of course, there is C9 member Cardinal George Pell, now on trial in Australia for allegations of sexual abuse and the alleged cover-up of same, which appear to be largely, if not entirely, a frame-up. At any rate, the financial reforms he was supposed to undertake were neutralized almost from the start when, by order of Francis, “he was deprived, as prefect of the brand-new secretariat for the economy, of the powers of supervision over all the administrative and financial offices of the Holy See, which went back to acting on their own account just as before the putative Bergoglian reform, and with the secretariat of state more untouchable than ever.”
The lesson to be learned from the disintegration of the C9 is the same lesson to be learned from all the failed “reforms” in the name of the Council: that which is rooted in the shallow topsoil of novelty has no real life and will soon wither away. And whatever fruits it manages to produce will be bitter.
As Our Lord Himself declared: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matt 7:17-20).
By their fruits we do indeed know the “reformers” of Vatican II. And even now, before God renders His final judgment on the perpetrators of the ecclesial insanity of the past half-century, their human inventions are all collapsing. For they are not rooted in the truth of Christ but rather are the work of what He called the “foolish man that built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof” (Matt 7: 26-27).
And great is the fall of the “regime of novelty” that has tyrannized the Church since Vatican II.