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Archbishop Héctor AguerTodo Noticias/YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — Philosophy has coined the following observation about processes that is particularly valid for change: motus in fine velocior, i.e., movement speeds up toward the end. Beyond the realm of physics, this should be understood as referring to the metaphysical identity and quality of any process near its end, near the fulfillment toward which it is directed. For example, consider a revolution: its governing law indicates that a situation is getting worse and worse and negative sides are increasingly showing their evil form.

This Aristotelian vision applies to Pope Francis’ papacy, which reveals its harmful condition inasmuch as it drags on as the pontiff gets older. In this case, speeding up is so innate that it seems like negligence. This is taking place through all the means privileged by papal action: the role of women in the Church and society, the greater “inclusion” of homosexual “couples,” ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, and the “theology of the people.”

Let’s begin by recalling reactions to Fiducia Supplicans, even in entire episcopal conferences. The African reaction was perhaps the most severe: their bishops publicly stated that homosexual “couples” will not be blessed in Africa. In a possible attempt at clarification, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published a new text stating that there are different types of blessings, Fiducia Supplicans refers to brief blessings lasting only 15 or 20 seconds, and that such blessings should not be denied to anyone. This example falls into an attitude well known in the current papacy: deliberate confusion hidden behind dissimulation. Let’s see what can be detected of this confusion in different areas.

First off, feminism. It is true that Pope Francis has disapproved of maternal surrogacy, condemning it as contrary to the dignity of the woman and the child. This is a praiseworthy act. He has clearly stated: “It is essential not to naturalize this perverse practice, much less romanticize it.” Yet he continues on with his goal of adding women to the governing structures of the Church. He recently invited women to speak before the group of nine cardinals that make up his council of advisors – in line with the “Synodal Way,” through which Vatican feminism has been established.

The contrast between this and the very clear observations of St. Paul could not be greater. The apostle identified the woman’s role as that which corresponds to her condition as wife and mother, which is how she fulfills her vocation. He does not contemplate any activity for her in the organization of communities; on the contrary, he reserves for her silence in the assemblies: let her keep quiet and learn, hence the traditional interpretation of mulieres in Ecclesia taceant. The actual role of women has been comprehensively explained by St. John Paul II, especially in his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem.

READ: Pope Francis ‘is very much in favor of the female diaconate,’ claims nun invited to address Vatican cardinals

We also note the persistent goal of greater “inclusivity” for homosexual “couples,” an initiative deployed by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández. The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document in order to “clarify” Fiducia Supplicans. As we have already pointed out, the clarification states that there are different types of blessings, Fiducia Supplicans is about brief blessings, and such blessings should not be denied to anyone. Dissimulation masks confusion here as well. The problem is not about duration, it is about who is being blessed. A homosexual person can be blessed and should be called to chastity, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates. But the blessing of a homosexual “couple” could lead to an affirmation that homosexual “marriage” is licit, especially given that Fiducia Supplicans says a blessing should not be preceded by a moral judgment.

Let’s now take up another topic on the orientation of the current papacy: ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, focused in such a way as to overshadow Catholic identity. This situation is verified even in circumstantial cases, as in Scholas Occurrentes, a private initiative assumed by the papacy (a “racket” [“curro“], as some say). What does this initiative mean? It is a linking of Catholic schools with secular institutions or those of other religious confessions, i.e., an application of postconciliar “ecumenism.”

Let’s look at the name of this global enterprise. The verb “occurro” primarily means “to attend, to assist, to meet with another,” but among the numerous and contrasting meanings listed in the dictionary, there is also “to remedy, to heal.” This is a sort of “league” of school institutions where ideological and religious identity are abdicated in order to emphasize the “encounter,” which is what really matters. Given the problems afflicting a Catholic system of youth formation today, a World League of Catholic Schools receiving wise guidance according to the Catholic tradition of education would be of utmost interest.

I reserve the last point to the “theology of the people,” an application in which we could identify its Argentinean and Jesuit roots: Peronist politics and the work of Juan Carlos Scannone, SJ. In Francis these roots are found in changes to the images of the Church: no longer a Body or a People, but an inverted pyramid or a polyhedron – hidden in these images is a new identity. What is called the “Peronism of the pontiff” has congealed into an ideology, a new identity contrary to Tradition. Populism turns out to be compatible with dictatorship, which is exercised against “traditionalists” and appears in the Pope’s intemperate statements.

In his decade-long papacy, Jorge Bergoglio has not felt inclined to visit his home country. This neglect contrasts with the cases of John Paul II and Benedict XVI: Karol Wojtyła’s first departure from Rome took him to Poland, and Joseph Ratzinger to his native Germany. The contrast could not be greater. How do we interpret this singular phenomenon? One hypothesis could be ventured: He has not returned to Argentina because he has noticed it would not go well. There would undoubtedly be crowds who would come to see the Pope – but there would also be loud opposition. One can assume this by taking into account the numerous criticisms that have only multiplied as his papacy drags on and accentuates his progressive image. This is only a hypothesis, but it takes into account the worsening of the characteristics contrary to ecclesial Tradition, which encounters a strong rejection in Argentina. Indeed, here it seems to be getting worse and worse.

+ Héctor Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata

Buenos Aires, Thursday after Ash Wednesday, February 15, 2024
Holy Lenten Season