- Dec 13, 2019
Archbishop Juan José Omella of Barcelona is the odd man out among the five new cardinals being created by Pope Francis today, because the Catalan capital is a traditional red hat see. It’s a sign of how unorthodox Francis’s cardinal picks have become that the biggest surprise of this consistory was that, in this case, Francis didn’t surprise.
Stephen Walford, a British Catholic author, has challenged the four cardinals who submitted doubts about ‘Amoris Laetitita’ to Pope Francis to change course, arguing they’re largely wrong on the merits and also fueling a ‘satanic’ form of abuse directed at the pontiff on traditionalist and conservative websites and blogs.
Cardinal Raymond Burke – one of four Cardinals to present Pope Francis with five ‘dubia’ on ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – said on March 24, confusion over the papal marriage document is making people “understandably” upset, including himself.
Perhaps there’s a danger of of subjectivism and laxity in thinking about ‘Amoris Laetita,’ but there’s also a risk of legalism and rigorism. The flip-side of the zeitgeist is a crude technocratic paradigm, in which black is black and white is white and to speak of grey areas is to deny the binary law of logic.
Speaking to the press about a highly unusual vote of confidence in the pope given by his Council of Cardinals, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said, “We didn’t want to make a great drama but it was time to repeat that we support the pope and we are together with him.”
In the face of ever more vocal criticism, Pope Francis has responded with talk about brotherhood and the shadow side of criticism, when it becomes “malevolent.” Perhaps part of what helps Francis keep an even keel is the realization that he’s hardly the first pope to face opposition and insults.