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A (very) 'unorthodox' bishop and horrified cardinals: the fight behind the election of a high office in the Church


The Pope would have chosen a German ultra-progressive as Guardian of Orthodoxy. What happened after?

The premises that Pope Francis has the critical period

of his second phase of the pontificate ahead of him have found another confirmation

and the horizon points to a storm between

conservatives and orthodox against the progressive galaxy

that supports Francis.

A new allegedly divisive fact has come to light after the scandal caused by the open accusations launched against the pontiff by Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, as soon as the emeritus Pope Joseph Ratzinger died, to whom he was private secretary for many years.

A month ago, a piece of news began to appear on Catholic websites, especially conservative ones but also those of the progressive galaxy: he is about to be named Guardian of Catholic Orthodoxy, that is, Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith,

the Bishop of Hildesheim

, the German,

Monsignor Heiner Wilmer

(61 years old), whom Francis consecrated in 2018.

The Pope does not announce his appointments in the Vatican, nor does he comment on them, as befits

his status as absolute sovereign

by divine right.

Nobody then denies or affirms with certainty that a high prelate like Wilmer,

committed to the progressive orientation

of the Synodal Path of the German bishops who are causing a strong shock in the Church, is the candidate for a position

of the highest importance in the Holy See. .

It is enough to remember that for many years the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,

right arm of Pope Saint John Paul II

, who reigned for almost 27 years and whom Ratzinger replaced in the Papacy as Benedict XVI in April 2005 until his resignation , was the guardian of orthodoxy and discipline.

to the pontificate in February 2013.

Another who held the position was the German Cardinal Gerhard Muller, who in his five-year term in office

clashed several times with Pope Francis

over theological interpretations and other important issues.

When the five-year term of his mandate ended

, the Pope did not renew it.

Gerhard Ludwig Muller.

Photo: Reuters

In addition, Francisco has left him hanging without any new appointment.

Muller is perhaps the world's most prestigious theologian

and divides his time today between lecturing around the world and editing the theological works of Joseph Ratzinger.

His line is that of

doctrinaire orthodoxy hostile

to the reformist aspirations of Jorge Bergoglio.

But Muller swears and swears that "I am not an enemy of the Pope" and

does not participate in conservative conspiracies,

although he agrees with some of his proposals.

On July 1, the mandate of Cardinal Muller's successor, the Spanish cardinal

Luis Ladaria

, fell, who also clashed on some issues with the Argentine Pope and it is believed that

he will not be confirmed for another five years.

The storm grows and the controversies spread in the infinite networks of the Internet.

One of them headlines that “

an unorthodox German

 will be the custodian of orthodoxy”.

The Spanish cardinal Luis Ladaria.

Photo: AP

Heimer's thought

But is Bishop Heimer's

“deviation into heresy”

so strong , which for many is leading the majority of the German episcopate and clergy towards a schism?

Youthful in appearance, Heimer

is considered an exceptional talent

that secured his journey to the bishopric and becoming the Superior of the priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an important order of the Church.

Just one position that he made public is enough to make, according to conservatives,

his appointment

as Guardian of Catholic Orthodoxy impossible.

In an interview with the

Suddeusche Zetung

newspaper in Munich, he said: "I am passionately happy to be a celibate religious, but I think that celibacy could be even brighter

if it were not compulsory

for all clergy."

Heiner Wilmer, Bishop of Hildesheim.


He also said in another interview that “

the abuse of power is in the DNA of the Church


According to Bishop Heimer, this fact indeed calls for a radical change.

There are not only sinful individuals but also

“evil structures” in the Church

as a community.

To curb the evil of the Church, the powers must also be separated within it.

"We must say goodbye to the claim that

the Church is pure and immaculate

," he said.

Two months ago Monsignor Wilmer held an audience of hours with the Pope and the central theme of the dialogue was the

German Synodal Path


The Pope has sought various ways to contain the most reformist impulses because he knows that some proposals, which he himself rejects, can cause

an internal earthquake

in the Church with very serious consequences.

A document on sexual morality

Monsignor Wilmer spoke with the pontiff about the recent vote on the basic document on sexual morality, which did not meet the two-thirds of the German Synod necessary to be approved.

Among other explosive arguments, the document raises the admission of

same-sex blessings

, “self-stimulating” sexuality, sexual relations outside of marriage, and the call for a magisterial reassessment of homosexuality.

Bishop Wilmer spoke

in favor of the approval of the document

to open a broad debate on issues of sexual morality.

He said that the vote that prevented approval "is

a real brake

on those who want to renew the Church."

He added: "It cannot be that the Church's teachings hurt or discriminate against people."

It must be taken into account that the most thorny issue

has also been included in the Synodal Path

, which is the access of

women to the priesthood.

The Vatican "


" spread by social networks, agreed that the appointment

, scheduled for mid-December,

has been postponed .

It did not take place due to poor health and the death on December 31 of Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger.

The pressure of (many) cardinals

An insistent


indicates that the appointment of Bishop Wilmer as Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith did not materialize due to

a mobilization of a large group of cardinals

before the Pope to prevent it.

The decisive role would have been played by Cardinal Gerhard Muller.

who with the support of a good number of members of the College of Cardinals

managed to persuade Franciso to avoid the appointment.

Francis' resignation

In the coming months

, the issue of the resignation

that the Pope reserves to announce "at the right moment" will be reconsidered, in an arc that goes from this year to the Jubilee Year 2025.

Three years is enough, but Jorge Bergoglio has to carefully manage the times of the interlocking mechanism of his organized succession.

It is an elaborate enveloping maneuver that also involves the

appointment of more cardinals

to ensure an absolute majority of cardinals created by him and identified with his pontificate, destined to suffer more and more attacks from conservative and traditionalist sectors that contest his reign.

Vatican correspondent


look also

Does Pope Francis resign?

All the times that Bergoglio spoke about his resignation

Pope Francis and a phrase in the Angelus that made noise

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-20

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