On September 16, 2020, the Holy Father accepted Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri’s resignation as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and appointed Bishop Mario Grech of Malta to succeed him. The prelate became known for having applied in his diocese the most controversial positions of the exhortation Amoris lætitia.
The appointment of Bishop Mario Grech, a 63-year-old Maltese prelate was expected, since he has been, since October 2019, the number two man of the Synod of Bishops, an important body in the eyes of the Argentine pontiff who has never hidden his desire to make “synodality” the mode of governance par excellence in the Church. At the risk of all sorts of abuses.
Abuses against which the new secretary general may find it difficult to stand up: in January 2017, Pope Benedict XVI’s appointed bishop of Gozo (Malta) co-signed a pastoral letter with Mgr. Charles Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta, in order to ask the clergy to absolve the divorced and “remarried,” and to make them accede to giving sacramental communion, in defiance of the law of the Church.
Having thus become one of the most zealous bishops seeking implementation of the sulphurous recommendations of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the Maltese prelate was naturally noticed by the host of St. Martha’s House.
And to fill the gap, Mgr. Mario Grech also spoke in favor of the legalization of unions between people of the same sex: in March 2018, the prelate, during a televised interview, declared “to welcome” such unions, claiming that homosexuals living as a couple “have the right to be respected.” Difficult to be more politically correct.
One of the most important missions of the new secretary general will be to organize the future Synod of Bishops which must—except in unforeseen circumstances—be held in Rome in October 2022, and which will be entitled, For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.
A theme dear to Francis’ heart, but also the umpteenth Pandora’s Box: given the personality of the new secretary general, the future synodal assembly will at last have found the ideal “Mr. Loyal” to begin its new round.