On the one hand, a progressivism that seeks to keep up with the times, on the other a reminder of the original mission of the Church. On the one hand, Pope Francis, the Jesuit pontiff who arrived from the “end of the world”, who has proposed from the beginning to reform the Vatican and who, among other things, dreams (goes) of the historic rapprochement with China. On the other hand, Pope Benedict XVI, traditionalist in his moral vision as much as revolutionary in his gestures (primarily, obviously, that of resigning).
The clash between pro Bergoglio and pro Ratzinger
For now, the possible tension deriving from the unprecedented cohabitation of two popes had remained completely under trace. Never a word on the relationship between Bergoglio and Ratzinger. But in the last few months it has become evident that something is moving. If not between the two protagonists directly, at least between the two factions that feel represented by one or the other. Yes, because not everyone appreciates Bergoglio and many, leading German churches, still see in Ratzinger (being still alive and resigning pope) the true point of reference of the Holy See.
Bergoglio cancels Ratzinger’s move on Latin masses
The last episode is the one on the Latin masses. A few days ago, in fact, Bergoglio repealed the law of Benedict XVI which regulated the mass in Latin according to the 1962 missal. According to his words, Francis’ intent was to “promote unity and concord”, but in reality it seems the opposite is happening. “I am equally saddened by the abuses of both sides in the celebration of the liturgy. Like Benedict XVI, I too stigmatize that ‘in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not celebrated faithfully, but even be understood as an authorization or even as an obligation to creativity, which often leads to distortions to the limit of the bearable ‘”, wrote Francis in the letter in which he illustrated to the bishops his decision to cancel Ratzinger’s previous move, leaving in fact, the responsibility for choosing the Latin Mass for the individual dioceses.
Cardinal Zen against Chinese Bergoglio
However, the sizeable traditionalist bloc is protesting with unusual force. Starting with Cardinal Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, who denied Bergoglio’s positions: “The Tridentine Mass does not divide; on the contrary, it unites us to our brothers of all ages, to the saints and martyrs of all times, to those who fought for their faith and found in it an inexhaustible spiritual nourishment “. On the other hand, Zen certainly does not look favorably on Bergoglio’s papacy, especially for his prolonged silence about the situation in Hong Kong and his attempt to get closer to Beijing, concretized with the agreement on the appointment of bishops in 2018 which was then extended. two years in 2020.
From Mueller to Sarah: who are the anti Bergoglio
Cardinal Mueller also launched a direct attack: “The clear intention of Francis is to condemn this mass to extinction in the long term”. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinal Robert Sarah are also among the anti Bergoglians. And the fact that there are two opposing souls is evident from the reference that the latter makes to Ratzinger: “In history, Benedict XVI will be remembered not only as a great theologian, but also as the Pope of Summorum Pontificum, the Pope of liturgical peace, he who has built an ecumenical bridge with the Christian East through the Latin-Gregorian liturgy. He will remain as the Pope who has at heart the will to regain the Christian roots and the unity of Europe and will have opposed meaningless secularism and to the destructuring of European culture. From the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, despite the difficulties and resistance, the Church has embarked on a path of liturgical and spiritual reform which, albeit slow, is irreversible. Despite the intransigent clerical attitudes of opposition to the venerable Latin liturgy- Gregorian attitudes, typical attitudes of this clericalism that Pope Francis has repeatedly denounced, a new generation has emerged in the heart of the Church action of young people. This generation is that of young families, who demonstrate that this liturgy has a future because it has a past, a history of holiness and beauty that cannot be erased or abolished overnight. The Church is not a battlefield where one plays to win by trying to harm others and the spiritual sensitivity of one’s brothers and sisters in the faith “, concluded Sarah.
The schism hypothesis with the German church
That of the Latin Mass is only the latest in a long series of episodes, which has even given rise to the hypothesis of a possible schism. In particular, the recent confrontation with Cardinal Marx, a leading exponent of the German church, who had resigned, then rejected, to Bergoglio. Marx is the leader of a large section of the Catholic Church which believes that Bergoglio’s openings (for example on married priests) are wrong and believes that to revive the image of the church it is necessary to return to the basis of Catholic thought. Only on the surface was the question of pedophilia among priests but deep down there was much more. Two opposing and difficult to reconcile visions that could also lead to a future split. Then there was also the story linked to the conservative American church that wanted to prevent Joe Biden from communion, also this time in conflict with Bergoglio. The church has two souls, they may not be able to coexist forever.