Friday, January 27, 2023
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Vatican Conservatives Have Secret Plan to Oust Pope Francis

'He will resign if he is no longer able to deal with the challenges of his pontificate, but for now he keeps going...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Conservative cardinals in the Vatican have planned to pressure Pope Francis out of his position by exhausting him, the Telegraph reported.

According to one Italian cardinal, conservatives plan to use Francis’s age and declining health to get him to step down.

“The secret plan will be formulated on various axes and phases, but it will have one objective—to place the pontificate under such stress that Francis will have to resign,” he said.

The campaign to undermine Francis would require “the progressive weakening of the Holy Father as well as his doctrinal choices, which will create a great deal of discontent which can be used against him.”

Francis, 86, has previously noted that if his health were to continue to worsen, he would consider stepping down, following the precedent set by his immediate predecesor Pope Benedict XVI, who exited the papacy in 2013 and assumed the role of pope emeritus for the remaining 10 years of his life before his death in December.

However, the task of replacing the current pope with someone who, like Benedict, adheres to a more conservative orthodoxy, will not be so simple given the state of Vatican politics.

“The opponents of Francis know that right now they are in a minority, that they will need time both to win consensus and to weaken Bergoglio,” the Italian cardinal added, referring to Francis by his given surname rather than his assumed papal name.

Conservative loyalists of Benedict have opposed Francis’s stances on and decisions regarding major issues such as women in the clergy, homosexuality, communion for divorcees and the place of the Latin mass in the Church.

His decision to minimize the place of Latin masses, in particular, had deeply affected his predecessor.

“It hit him pretty hard,” Archbishop Georg Gänswein recently said, referring to Benedict.

Even Pope Francis’s allies have admitted to the increasing division in the Church.

Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, noted that “there are tensions, as there have always been in the history of the Church. It is not a monolithic block.”

Many have suggested, however, that Pope Francis remains strong and has enough allies to endure for quite some time.

“He will resign if he is no longer able to deal with the challenges of his pontificate, but for now he keeps going,” noted Walter Kasper, a German cardinal.

“For the moment he is not ready to step down,” Kasper continued. “It is obvious that there is a clash between progressives and conservatives, but we need to keep up the dialogue between different points of view.”

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