Pic of Pope Francis reading a book

Austin Ivereigh Tells Us What We Already Know

Fatima Perspectives #1381

While the “conservative” Catholic commentariat exults that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia (QA) did not explicitly authorize the ordination of married men in the Amazon (read: eventually everywhere), nor mention any prospect of female “deacons,” the Francis biographer/adulator Austin Ivereigh tells us what we already know from even a cursory reading of QA: “The pope, in short, defers to the discernment of the local church.”

Ivereigh prattles on about how QA presents, not an explicit canonical directive to do this or that by way of innovation, but rather “a dream, a vision, and a prophecy” and that (quoting Fr. Augusto Zampini Davies, one of Francis’ Argentine cronies installed in the new Vatican dicastery for “Promoting Integral Human Development”) “if you don’t get inside Francis’s dreams, they won’t change you. But if you do, you are changed.”

That neo-gnostic nonsense aside, there is no explicit directive in QA for the ordination of married men or the invention of female deacons because those directives will come at the local level, just as Francis intends. To quote one of Ivereigh’s Vatican sources: “The pope is asking the bishops to come up with concrete proposals” for the ordination of married men because “He thinks the time wasn’t yet ripe for any kind of decision by him…”

Moreover, says Ivereigh, citing a fact the “conservatives” appear to have forgotten, “Another door has meanwhile opened to a female diaconate. At the end of the synod, Francis promised to reopen and reconstitute the commission looking into women deacons that ended last year in disagreement. That will now happen, says the official involved with the synod.”

This might seem like speculation, but QA itself settles the question with two short phrases that make it quite clear Francis wishes local bishops to apply, not QA, but the Final Document of the Amazon Synod to the question of married priests and “deaconettes.” Let him who has ears to hear, hear:

“At the same time, I would like to officially present the Final Document, which sets forth the conclusions of the Synod…

“May the pastors, consecrated men and women and lay faithful of the Amazon region strive to apply it…”

Of course, the Final Document opens wide the door to married “elders” in the Amazon and thus ultimately everywhere (¶ 106) as well as “deaconettes” upon further study by the commission Francis has reconstituted in order to tell him what he wants to hear, the first one having found no evidence that the Church ever ordained women as deacons (¶ 103).

But it will happen at the local level, just the way it happened at the local level concerning the admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion by the bishops of Buenos Aires, whose “guidelines” for applying Amoris Laetitia were promptly published by Francis as “authentic Magisterium” in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS).

I really hate sports metaphors, but this one applies too well: Francis will deliver his own football to the endzone by having local bishops carry it there in the near future. What was wrong with predictions that Francis would authorize married priests and lady “deacons” in QA (including my own prediction) was the manner in which the authorization would be expressed.  Francis has opted not for the quick touchdown pass of an express authorization by him, but rather the running game of a first down in the form of the exhortation to “apply” QA locally, followed by local bishops who plan to rush the defense so that at least one of them can reach the end zone.

And so, the “dreams” of Francis, which are a nightmare for the Church, will be realized in time. Or at least that is the plan.  Only God knows whether the plan will succeed before He brings the lunacy of this pontificate to an end, as He inevitably will do.


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