How to Explain Pope Francis’s Overabundant Communications? (2)

Source: FSSPX News

In recent times, the Pope has considerably increased his interviews with journalists. This is what Andrea Gagliarducci points out in Monday Vatican on July 11, 2022: in ten days, “Pope Francis granted three interviews published this past week. One to Reuters, published in installments; one to the Telam agency; and one for the podcast of Guillermo Marcò, his legendary spokesman in Buenos Aires.”

In the first part we have tried to decipher the pope’s communication strategy and to show the careful selection of the journalists who carry it out. This second part considers the content.

Obsession with Backward Looking

This is why the Argentine site The Wanderer, under the pen of Jack Tollers, noted, as of July 4, that Francis's interviews, despite their multiplicity, have a very limited audience. Echoing the words of the pope to the official Argentine news agency Telam on July 1, Jack Tollers, himself an Argentine, wrote:

“His statements about the United Nations, his far-sighted phrases such as: 'Because if we don't change our attitude towards the environment, we're all going to the well,' or even: ‘It is important to help young people in this socio-political commitment and, also, not to sell them a mailbox,’ indicate that Bergoglio is old.”

“His rantings are like his obsessions and his anger, changing with the seasons and always incoherent. If at one time it was about bourgeois priests and itinerant bishops, or celibate nuns and Pelagian faithful, today he is obsessed with restaurateurs and indietrism [“looking backward”].”

Thus on June 29, he imposed the pallium on the new archbishops, warning them against the dangers of indietrism, resorting to an Italian neologism: “the Church must not look back with nostalgia for past times which would have been better and brighter.”

And Jack Tollers asks himself: “what is the historical point from which the Church should be considered? According to his latest statements, it seems that it is the Second Vatican Council. We can only look at the Church from this great moment and not look to earlier times, which means Francis endorses the thesis of the Bologna School according to which Vatican II is a rupture in the Church and a refoundation of the Church.”

The compatriot of Francis underlines a contradiction here: “the pope affirms that indietrism is very much in vogue in the Church today. That is to say, there are a large number of Catholics, clergy and faithful, who look nostalgically at the past and even seek forbidden restorations.”

“But didn’t he just say in the same speech, and with great insistence, that there is room for everyone in the Church? Or is it, perhaps, that the Pope bellows for adulterers and LGBT people to have their place in the Church, but prevents indietrists from having it?”

“How can it be explained that the pope of synodality, who demands to 'listen to the people,' which is the source of revelation and divine manifestation, insists on not listening and, even more, on persecuting a good part of that people? – he himself admits that there are many – for the simple fact of looking back at the history of the Church? Nonsense and inconsistencies that no one can deny.”

Relevance of the Gregorian Reform

On his July 5 blog Settimo Cielo, the Vaticanist Sandro Magister quotes an extract from Cardinal Robert Sarah's latest book, Pour l’éternité: Méditations sur la figure du prêtre [For Eternity. Meditations on the Figure of the Priest], as the antipodes of Francis's obsessive denunciation of looking backwards. The Guinean prelate recalls, in fact, the benefits of the authentic restoration of the Church that was the Gregorian reform at the beginning of the second millennium:

“This reform was aimed at freeing the Church from the grip of secular authorities. By interfering in the ecclesiastical governance and appointments, political power had ended by producing a real decadence of the clergy. Cases of priests living in concubinage and engaged in commercial activity or political business.”

“The Gregorian reform was characterized by the resolve to rediscover the Church of the era of the Acts of the Apostles. The principles of this movement were not based in the first place on institutional reforms, but on the renewal of the holiness of priests. Is there not a need today for a reform such as that?”

“In fact, secular power has regained a foothold in the Church. This time it is a matter not of political power, but cultural. There appears a new struggle between priesthood and empire. But the empire is now the relativistic, hedonistic, and consumerist culture that has infiltrated everywhere. It is time to reject this, because it is irreconcilable with the Gospel.”

And Sandro Magister hopes against all human hope: “Well then, what is this if not the program of a new pontificate, to be discussed in the future conclave? A program radically alternative to that upraised by the synod of Germany, and not be it alone?”