ROMAN RUMORS: A RESIGNATION AND A DOCUMENT ON STATUS OF POPES EMERITUS?

ROMAN RUMORS: A RESIGNATION AND A DOCUMENT ON STATUS OF POPES EMERITUS?

Maria Antonietta Calabro, a Rome-based, well-respected journalist at the highly-esteemed Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, tweeted yesterday a link to her piece in Italian in the Huffington Post entitled, “Francis could promulgate a norm on the status of “pope emeritus.” Subtitle: “New rumors about a resignation by Bergoglio said to be working on a discipline of a role after resignation.”* Tweets with replies by M.Antonietta Calabrò (@maria_mcalabro) / Twitter

She also quoted Antonio Socci who on August 23 wrote a piece on a possible papal resignation in liberoquotidiano.it**   English translations of both are below.

These are indeed interesting times!

It is not the first time in the past 8 years that a resignation by Pope Francis was “imminent” or “on the horizon.” The resignation of a Pope, a new conclave, the existence together of two possible emeritus popes, all of this is an amazing hypothesis. Now, some are saying this is a hypothesis closer to reality.

Pope Francis has spoken often about his papacy being “a brief one.” What does ‘brief’ mean to Francis?   A couple of years? Something less than 10 years?

Obviously, Pope Francis’ July 4 colon surgery led a lot of us, media and faithful alike, to look at the Holy Father in a new way. I will confess that I, in particular, followed his surgery and post-op period with a great interest because I had a similar, though far more serious, operation a number of years ago. I remember what followed that operation for many, many months. Even now, all these years later, certain affects of that operation remain.

However, if you look at Pope Francis now, we see a Pope that has, at least outwardly, recovered well. Remember this photo from last week’s general audience?

We see plans for travels in September. We see him at the Wednesday general audiences and at the Sunday Angelus, and all seems well. There are very few other public appointments during the week but we have seen him make numerous videos in recent weeks with messages for various groups. He will be 85 in December and that is obviously a huge consideration in looking at his health, his energy level, etc.

Could the Pope be considering resignation? I have learned not to be surprised by things that Francis is predicted to do or write. He is known to be his own man and make his own decisions.

One answer to ‘could he resign?’ is ‘yes, that is very possible.’

Every time I’ve heard the word ‘resign’ linked to his name, I’ve told people I felt it would not happen while Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was still alive. And yet, those very words….if Benedict was still alive…. make it seem more possible than hypothetical that Francis would think of writing something on emeritus Popes!

If indeed he is envisioning both a resignation and especially a document on Popes emeritus, I might feel better about both if I thought he had consulted with either the College of Cardinals or the bishops of the world (especially on a document). In particular the College of Cardinals because that is always where a new Pope comes from.  Hopefully Francis is not envisioning doing either one alone.

I only have three words at this point: Only God knows!

* The following English translation of the Calabro piece was provided by Bob Moynihan of The Moynihan Letters:

“Stay tuned, state sintonizzati.” On August 1, 2021, the dean of American Vaticanists John Allen urged his readers to keep their ears open and alert for a possible August surprise, the Vatican equivalent of the October surprise that in American politics falls the month before the vote to choose the new president of the United States.

Perhaps this article is the origin of the assumptions and rumors — as Antonio Socci writes today in Libero (link; and published in its entirety below) — of the imminent resignation of Pope Francis.

So what is going on? Clearly, a climate is being recreated (but strongly still among a minority today, compared to what happened with Ratzinger, even in the mass media) similar to the climate that was created in the last year of Benedict XVI’s pontificate [Note: in 2012; Benedict resigned on February 11, 2013].

This takes place against a backdrop: a major financial scandal, that of the London palace which even involved the Vatican Secretariat of State (in 2012, the scandal looming in the background was “only” the IOR, the Vatican’s bank), with a trial just opened against 10 defendants, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu.

Death threats [against Pope Francis] have also arrived — as happened for Ratzinger: two different mailings of envelopes with bullets addressed to Pope Francis, the first intercepted on 9 August.

All seasoned with speculations on Bergoglio’s state of health, given that he underwent a colon operation on July 4th.

The pontiff’s “frail health” despite his “iron constitution” however, disappointed those who expected the discovery of cancer: the surgery was “decisive” and it is not enough – for those who are predicting an imminent physical collapse – to speculate on the fact that the Pope’s (post-operative July health) bulletins were issued by the Vatican Press Office and not from the Gemelli Polyclinic hospital, where the surgery was performed.

Of course, Pope Francis is an elderly man, who will turn 85 in December, but who also openly said in a (February 27) interview that he will never leave Rome (“I spent seventy-eight years in Argentina”).

In reality, a legislative change could soon occur that, yes, greatly worries the supporters of the “Pope Emeritus.” [Note: Pope Emeritus Benedict]

Pope Francis could soon promulgate a new law (in the form of an Apostolic Constitution) to regulate the resignation of the Pope, and especially the status following the resignation of a Pontiff.

This is also to avoid a whole series of misleading interpretations on the existence of two Popes, on their cohabitation, on the thesis of “an enlarged papacy” and on other issues that, although not having touched the vast majority of the faithful, have fed the underground poisons of the so-called “Pope-vacantists,” [Note: “Pope” or “Papacy Vacantists”] who have come to hypothesize that the only true Pope is Ratzinger.

In short, it is not even excluded, although it would be sensational, that for the new law there has been no Pope Emeritus at all.

** Moynihan also translated the Socci piece: Scroll down to half-way point on page: Letter #92, 2021, Monday, August 23: Calabrò – Inside The Vatican

POPE FRANCIS: “LITURGY NEEDS TO RETURN TO CENTER OF CHRISTIAN FAITH”

I think each of us can well remember what it was like when Mass could not be celebrated in our parishes but only online during Covid lockdowns last year. Churches were closed to liturgy in Italy at the time but had to be open during the day for people who simply wanted to stop in for a quick prayer or a rosary.

I think we all remember personally attending our first post lockdown Mass, even with social distancing, no holy water, hand sanitizer everywhere and little (or big) stickers on the pews, showing us where we could sit.

However, none of that mattered as much as finally attending Mass in person, as finally receiving the Eucharist, having the Lord Himself nourish us!

The Pope mentions the lockdown in his remarks on liturgy….

POPE FRANCIS: ‘LITURGY NEEDS TO RETURN TO CENTER OF CHRISTIAN FAITH’

Pope Francis sent greetings to participants in an Italian liturgical conference, and said last year’s Covid-lockdown can help the Church rediscover the importance of the Sunday Eucharistic assembly.

By Devin Watkins

As part of the 71st National Liturgical Week, Italian clergy and laypeople are gathered in the northern city of Cremona for a conference organized by the Center for Liturgical Action.

Pope Francis kicked off the 4-day event with a message signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. (Vatican media photo)

In his message, the Pope thanked God that the conference could be held this year in-person, “following last year’s disheartening moment” caused by the pandemic. “The painful decision to postpone the event,” said Francis, “has however confirmed in a new light the chosen theme which seeks to deepen reflection on various aspects of ‘celebrating’, which was put to the test by the spread of Covid-19 and the necessary restrictions to contain it.”

Liturgy and Christian identity

The conference’s theme to which the Pope was referring is “’Where two or three are gathered in my name’: Community, liturgies, and territories.”

He noted that Christians have always come together weekly in Jesus’ name, an act that is closely tied to the Church’s identity.

However, he lamented, weekly Masses were “harshly limited during the most acute phase of the pandemic.” “Yet, love for the Lord and pastoral creativity pushed pastors and lay faithful to experiment with new ways to nourish the communion of faith and love with the Lord and our brothers and sisters, in the expectation of returning to the fullness of the Eucharistic celebration in safety and tranquility.”

Lockdowns worsened existing trend

Pope Francis said last year’s “liturgical fast” was painful, but also illuminated by the mystery of the Cross of Christ and was made fruitful by many “works of charity, fraternal love, and service to those who suffered the most.”

Privation from the Mass, he added, has led the Church to reflect on the importance of the liturgy in the lives of Christians, since “we must also pray with the body.”

The shutdown of churches also highlighted a trend already underway on the Italian peninsula that has seen declining Mass attendance among certain age groups.

“We observe that people’s perception of time and Sunday itself has changed, with consequences on ways of living and feeling part of a community, people, and family,” he said. “The Sunday assembly is therefore misbalanced in terms of generational and cultural presence”.

Mass at center of faith

The Pope then expressed his hope that the liturgical conference might enkindle new ideas and pastoral guidelines to offer to parishes throughout Italy.

“May Sunday, the Eucharistic assembly, the ministries, and the rite emerge from the marginalization toward which they seem to tend inexorably, while rediscovering the centrality of faith and spirituality of the faithful,” he prayed.

Pope Francis concluded his message assuring his prayers for the Church in Italy as it seeks to keep Christ at the center of its liturgical life.

VATICAN MEDIA IN BRIEF

VATICAN MEDIA IN BRIEF

POPE FRANCIS: LITERATURE AND ART MUST NOT EXPLOIT SLAVE LABOUR Pope Francis responds to an open letter from Italian writer Maurizio Maggiani, and urges all authors to ensure their books are not printed using exploitative or slave labour. Maurizio Maggiani, an Italian author who writes romance novels, recently discovered that his books are printed by exploiting people in slave-like conditions in Pakistan. The Ligurian writer then wrote an open letter to Pope Francis—published on the online news site Il Secolo XIX—asking: “Is it worth producing beauty thanks to the work of slaves?” The Pope took up the invitation and wrote a letter of his own, which was published on Friday on the same website. Pope Francis: Literature and art must not exploit slave labour – Vatican News

POPE EXPRESSES HOPE IN YOUNG PEOPLE ON UN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY. Pope Francis posted a tweet for Thursday’s UN international Youth Day, saying young people can help the dream of a more just world come true. Pope Francis has great faith in young people, whose youthful spirit, he says, can bring about a more just and equitable world, especially for the poor and needy. The Holy Father expressed his feelings in a tweet on Thursday, on the occasion of the United Nations International Youth Day. “With the help of young people and their innovative spirit, we can make the dream come true of a world where bread, water, medicine and work flow abundantly and reach those most in need first,” the Pope said in a post on his Twitter account. Pope expresses hope in young people on UN International Youth Day – Vatican News

CARDINAL PAROLIN PRAISES CHINESE CATHOLICS’ WITNESS OF FAITH. In an interview with an online newspaper from Trentino, where he vacationing, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin addresses a number of current issues: from relations with China, to the Pope’s recovery from surgery, to the esteem that binds him to Italian President Mattarella, who is nearing the end of his mandate. The period of Ferragosto – the Italian summer holiday season – sees Church leaders with less hectic schedules, but their work does not come to a complete stop. So it happens that, even away from his office and from the spotlight that goes with it, the Pope’s chief collaborator can find himself providing updates on topics of international importance. This is precisely the situation of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was interviewed this week by La Voce del Nordest, a web magazine based in Trentino, where the Vatican’s Secretary of State has gone for a few days of rest amidst the scenery of the Conca di Primiero in northern Italy. Cardinal Parolin praises Chinese Catholics’ witness of faith – Vatican News

POPE FRANCIS MODIFIES, RESTRICTS NORMS REGULATING TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS

POPE FRANCIS MODIFIES, RESTRICTS NORMS REGULATING TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS

The Motu proprio TRADITIONIS CUSTODES” On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970″ was issued today by Pope Francis that modifies in many ways and greatly restricts in others the norms regulating the use of the 1962 missal granted 14 years ago by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, as the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.” The motu was accompanied by a letter to the world’s bishops in which he explains the reasons behind his decision.

The celebration of the TLM, Traditional Latin Mass, was called by Pope Benedict the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.”

To understand some of the changes, it is important to read Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Letter Given Motu Proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM On The Use Of The Roman Liturgy Prior To The Reform Of 1970.

The Pope emeritus wrote: “Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:

“Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.

“It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows: TO CONTINUE: https://www.vatican.va/…/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio…

The two documents named in the above paragraph are from St. John Paul.

The conditions set out by Benedict XVI in 2007 are easy to read and succinctly written. When you read these, you will understand the changes in today’s motu proprio.

One of the things that prompted Benedict to write this document was the growing love, in many places a yearning, for what is known as the TLM. What was really notable was that very often the love and appreciation for this rite was growing not among those who grew up with it in the 1960s and earlier but among the young generations who saw it beauty and reverence. So it was not a nostalgic look back for many. It was the desire for a Eucharistic celebration that was marked by beauty, reverence and awe.

Let’s see what happens after today……Oremus!

VATICAN CONFIRMS POPE LEFT HOSPITAL, WENT TO ST. MARY MAJOR, RETURNS TO VATICAN

VATICAN CONFIRMS POPE LEFT HOSPITAL, WENT TO ST. MARY MAJOR, RETURNS TO VATICAN

From Holy See Press Office (12:20 pm): “In response to questions from journalists, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, has confirmed that the Holy Father was discharged from Gemelli Hospital shortly after 10.30 this morning. Before returning to the Vatican, the Pope went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major where, before the icon of the Virgin Mary Salus populi romani, he expressed his gratitude for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital. Shortly before midday he returned to Casa Santa Marta.” (vatican photo)

(JFL: Media gathering outside the Perugino entrance to the Vatican, just behind the Santa Marta residence on the west side of Vatican City, noted that the Pope stopped the car to thank various police and other officials enabling his return to the Vatican.)

POPE VISITS PEDIATRIC CANCER WARD AT GEMELLI HOSPITAL

POPE VISITS PEDIATRIC CANCER WARD AT GEMELLI HOSPITAL

Pope Francis this afternoon visited Gemelli Hospital’s pediatric cancer ward which is on the hospital’s 10th floor, the same floor where the papal suite is located. (Photos Holy See Press Office).

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POPE CONTINUES TREATMENT, HAS SPECIAL THOUGHTS FOR BEDRIDDEN PATIENTS

POPE CONTINUES TREATMENT, HAS SPECIAL THOUGHTS FOR BEDRIDDEN PATIENTS

July 13, 2021: Holy See Press Office: “The Holy Father is continuing his planned treatment and rehabilitation, which will allow him to return to the Vatican as soon as possible. Among the many patients he has met during these days, he addressed a special thought to those who are bedridden and cannot return home: may they live this time as an opportunity, even if experienced in pain, to open themselves with tenderness to their sick brother or sister in the next bed, with whom they share the same human frailty.”

POPE FRANCIS TO REMAIN HOSPITALIZED FOR SEVERAL DAYS

POPE FRANCIS TO REMAIN HOSPITALIZED FOR SEVERAL DAYS

July 12, 2021: Statement by Holy See Press Office director, Matteo Bruni (released only in Italian today):

His Holiness Pope Francis spent a quiet day and completed the post-operative course.

In order to optimize the medical and rehabilitation therapy, the Holy Father will remain hospitalized for a few more days.

Yesterday, before the recitation of the Angelus, he wanted to meet some young patients from the nearby oncology ward with their families who, subsequently, accompanied him to the 10th floor balcony on the occasion of the Marian prayer

At the end, he greeted the patients hospitalized on the floor, chatting briefly with the medical and nursing staff. In the afternoon he celebrated Holy Mass in the private chapel with the staff who assist him daily.

In sharing the joy of the victory of the Argentine and Italian national teams with the people who are close to him, His Holiness dwelt on the meaning of sport and its values, and on that sporting ability to be able to accept any result, even defeat : “Only in this way, faced with the difficulties of life, can we always get involved, fighting without giving up, with hope and trust.”

 

JULY 11: POPE FRANCIS AT THE ANGELUS FROM GEMELLI HOSPITAL

JULY 11: POPE FRANCIS AT THE ANGELUS FROM GEMELLI HOSPITAL

Photos from EWTN’s Pablo Esparza: Pope Francis delivering Angelus reflections and blessing from balcony of papal suite on Sunday, July 11:

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In this photo, it seems Francis has a bandage on his right hand:

 

POPE SAID MASS FRIDAY, DINED WITH MEDICAL PERSONNEL

POPE SAID MASS FRIDAY, DINED WITH MEDICAL PERSONNEL

July 10, 2021: Press Office statement referring to Friday, July 9 on the continuing recovery of Pope Francis following July 4 surgery: “Pope Francis’ day was calm, with the expected clinical progress. His blood tests are satisfactory and he is continuing the prescribed treatment. He is gradually resuming work and continues to stroll in the hall of the apartment. In the afternoon, he celebrated Holy Mass in the private chapel and in the evening he dined with those who are assisting him during these days. The Holy Father, experiencing first-hand the human dedication of the medical and health personnel assisting him, addresses a special thought to all those who with care and compassion choose the face of suffering, engaging in a personal relationship with the sick, especially the most fragile and vulnerable.”