Today, DER SPIEGEL, a very influential German publication, published an article about the manifest current crisis in the Church, to include a growing resistance to Pope Francis’ proposed and actual reforms. At the end of this article its author, the Spiegel’s Correspondent in Italy, Walter Mayr, reveals an important new leak:
In a very small circle, Pope Francis is said to have self-critically further explained himself as follows: “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.” [my emphasis]
In light of this self-revealing comment, it is worth quoting some other parts of this article which shows just how much open and smoldering indignation Pope Francis has caused within the Catholic Church. Mayr describes the atmosphere in the Vatican with critical words, as follows:
It is Saturday morning last week, shortly after eight, in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican. A group of fifty cardinals now living in Rome – purple elegant robes and purple caps as far as the eye can see – has appeared in order to honor Pope Francis with a common concelebrated Mass, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. As they sit there under the fresco of Michelangelo depicting the crucifixion of Peter, the dignitaries have their eyes on the powerful man to the left of the altar – and the estrangement can nearly be palpably grasped with one’s hands. “Be assured that we are close to you,” says the cardinal deacon [Cardinal Angelo Sodano] to Francis – but this reassurance sounds strangely hollow.