The German Cardinal Mueller, himself a conservative member of the College of Cardinals, seems most disturbed by Pope Francis’ willingness to consider the possibility of reviving the ancient tradtion of women as deacons in the Church. However, he is not alone among those Cardinals who seem unwilling to admit the need to bring the Church into line with modern understandings of (a) the origins of the place of women – and the fact of married clergy – in the earlier Church’s historical development.
America’s Cardinal Burke addresses conservative (wealthy) Roman Catholics at a lush private Resort venue – in order to launch a protest against Pope Francis’ plan to continue the reforming zeal of Pope John XXIII at Vatican !!
There can be little doubt that the more conservative element in the College of Cardinals (assisted by America’s pre-eminent conservative, Burke) is determined to undermine the reforming influence of Pope Francis, whose efforts to bring a more humanely pastoral ethos into play in the world-wide Church community is upsetting the status quo of those whose privileged positions have been challenged by the Pope.
The obvious need for the Catholic Church to keep abreast of new learnings – about human flourishing and the modern recognition of the place of women in the Church – as well as addressing the general shortage of priestly vocations in Western countries – has set up a climate of reaction that is most obvious in the lives of those in the hierarchy of the Church most threatened by change.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand