Vatican official disapproves of Cardinals questioning Francis, says Pope’s collaborators must obey him
December 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A Vatican administrator disagrees with the action taken by the four Cardinals who asked Pope Francis for clarification about certain aspects in Amoris Laetitia regarding the sacraments for remarried divorced Catholics.
“As the Pope’s humble collaborator, I feel I have a duty to loyally tell him what I think when a decision is being taken — Once it is taken, I obey the Holy Father fully,” Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Minister of Internal Affairs, said in an interview with Vatican Insider.
Becciu, who was appointed to his office by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2011, commented that the Pope is rather unfazed by the situation, contrary to other reports that say Francis is “boiling with rage.”
“The Pope is a very peaceful man, he is always good-spirited but obviously, every form of division causes him distress and pain,” Archbishop Becciu said.
The four Cardinals made a bold step in publishing their letter, but it has yet to receive an answer or comment from Pope Francis. While Archbishops Becciu claims that division in the Church causes Pope Francis pain, the Holy Father refuses to address certain passages of Amoris Laetitia that are causing the divide when a simple yes or no would put the matter to rest.
Becciu continued: “I will enter into the controversies, but I do wish to reiterate the principles I have always been taught by the healthy tradition of the Church: As the Pope’s humble collaborator, I feel I have a duty to loyally tell him what I think when a decision is being taken.” Then, Bacciu said, he would obey the Pope fully in his decision.
Becciu reiterated obedience to the Holy Father, yet seemingly fails to acknowledge that the four Cardinals seek an equally clear line for the Church universal to follow. The dubia has been written; the Pope has not responded to the request for further clarification.
For Becciu, the dubia puts the Church in danger. “The unity of the Church, for which Jesus sweated blood and gave his life, comes before my own ideas, however good they may be. Ideas that have involved disobedience have ruined the Church.” But if the dubia could or in fact does create a separation in the Church, why does the Pope not step in if he is keen on keeping unity?
Another Cardinal has taken the side of the four doubters. Cardinal Renato Martino, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, explained that it would be “just if the Pope would respond,” in an interview with La Fede Quotidiana.
Having been asked about the dubia, Martino answered: “I see nothing bad in them. It is licit in a topic of doctrine to take recourse with the Pope and I think it is also just to respond.”
Martino also stressed strongly that the admission to Communion for “remarried” divorced Catholics is not and will never be possible: “The doctrine has not changed and will not change. The sacrament of matrimony is indissoluble. Certainly the ‘case by case’ of which Amoris Laetitia speaks can lead to dubious interpretations when one thinks of the pastoral viewpoint it follows.”
Regarding the recent publication of Misericordia et Misera, an Apostolic letter with which the Pope has granted all priests worldwide the capacity to lift the excommunication tied to the sin of abortion, Martino clarified what the media spun to be an alleged relaxation of the Church’s teaching on abortions.
“The risk of launching a message like this exists," he said. "People, especially in this very secularized context, could misunderstand it, and it is enough to see the reactions and interpretations of the mass media. I am sure that this was not the intention of the Pope and in reality in the document abortion remains a most grave sin.”