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New details emerge about controversial firing of three priests at Vatican doctrine office

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

January 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – New details have begun to emerge about the pope's sacking of three priests at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

According to Vaticanist Sandro Magister, one of the priests is Father Christophe J. Kruijen. Kruijen is Dutch. Kruijen is an expert on the "four last things": death, judgement, heaven, and hell. Kruijen is an outstanding theologian, Magister wrote, and has served the Vatican's doctrine office since 2009.

Kruijen is a relatively young priest; he was only ordained in 2000. His master's thesis focused on St. Edith Stein, who converted from Judaism to Catholicism. She became a Carmelite nun and was killed in Auschwitz.

"In the public writings and remarks of Fr. Kruijen there is not a single word of criticism against Francis," wrote Magister. "But all it took was a tattle lifted from one of his private conversations to bring him into disgrace with the pope, who brought the whip down."

Magister's explanation matches the explanation Vaticanist Marco Tosatti gave of the sacking. Apparently, a "close collaborator" of Pope Francis heard Kruijen and another priest speaking of some of the pope's recent decisions. This collaborator then apparently told Pope Francis, who allegedly retaliated

"One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much," Tosatti wrote.

One of the priests, likely Kruijen, was "reprimanded harshly by telephone for having expressed criticisms against him, which had come to the pope’s ear through an informant," Magister wrote. 

In his initial report, Tosatti wrote that recently, a decision concerning an episcopal appointment was before the Congregation of Bishops. Someone from the Congregation presented to Vatican officials three possible candidates for the position: one great, one good, one about whom he had doctrinal concerns.

"But the third was a friend of someone; and another cardinal [of] the circle currently in power, lashed out at his colleague, accusing him of impropriety. The meeting was closed without further decisions. But the day after the personal secretary of the Pope [informed] the Congregation...that the choice fell on the third," Tosatti wrote.

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