Does Pope Francis (#267) Have The Chutzpah To Call For “Vatican III” At The February 2015 Consistories?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Some Related posts:
Camerlengo, Jean-Louis Tauran.
>> February 2015 consistory.

Pope plans to reorganize Holy See.
Francis and Ratzinger at consistory.

>> 19 cardinal designates for 2014.
>> 2014 cardinalabili list.


This pope is boxing himself into a corner. Yes, he is hugely popular with the populace but that does not help him make the reforms to the Church and curia that he claims he so dearly wants to make. In the case of a pope rock-star popularity and 100% approval ratings means diddly — he is not running for re-election. Neither can the people who love him vote in or vote out any of the prelates (read ‘curialist’, ‘cardinals’ or ‘archbishops’). It is a very strange setup.

Yes, the pope is all powerful. The most autocratic ruler the world has ever had. But, in some ways his powers are also rather limited.

We saw that last month during the now notorious Synod of the Bishops. The pope wanted the Church to be more inclusive when it came to gays and the divorced. In the end the Bishops ‘vetoed’ him — though he in turn, if he so wished, could have SQUASHED their motions and post-synodal declarations just with a few words or with the stroke of a pen. He didn’t because he knew that in the end he needs the support of the prelates.

Funny thing, this being pope. Paul VI (#263) thought he could tell Catholic women that they couldn’t and shouldn’t use birth control. Brazil the largest Catholic nation in the world has an abnormally low birth rate — most women on birth control! You don’t even have to think as to how many American Catholic women heed Paul VI’s edict.

Ditto divorced folks not being able to take communion. How many divorced, re-married U.S. Catholics do YOU know who go to communion, with no compunction, each week.

So rhetoric and edicts alone doesn’t cut it. Then to compound matters the pope in a very ‘un-papal’ manner tongue lashed his curia just ahead of Christmas. Not a clever move. The curia still pulls all the levers that keep the Barque of St. Peter moving forward, the pope just has his hand on the tiller.

The pope as I have said from day one is living dangerously, making enemies here, there and everywhere. Now the U.S. Cubans are mad at him.

Who this pope is trying to emulate is NOT John Paul II (#265). If he was he has already succeeded.

No. Francis wants to be like and loved like St. John XXIII (#262).

John XXIII was the one that defused the Cuban Missile Crisis.

John XXIII also was not a great fan of the curia. But he, very clever, inordinately witty, incredibly shrewd and kind as can be, never openly criticized the curia. He used humor to get his point across. When asked how many people worked at the Vatican he promptly replied ‘about half’. Since the curia makes up 90% of those working in the Vatican his statement made it very clear as to what he thought of those in the curia.

One of the ways that John XXIII circumvented the curia and then actually got meaningful curial and OTHER reforms was by calling the momentous Vatican II. he didn’t live long enough to see the changes wrought by Vatican II, but he knew that he had to call an Ecumenical Council IF he was going to succeed in making any meaningful long term reforms.

Well, Francis may have to call for Vatican III.

He has the ideal stage for that when he brings in all of his cardinals to Rome, in February, for a series of consistories, the the cardinal creating consistory but just one.

So stay tuned. Vatican III could be a BIGGIE.

About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my blog.
%d bloggers like this: