(March 15, 2017 – Steven O’Reilly) – March 15th, the Ides of March, is a day of “betrayal” in the annals of history. Julius Caesar was assassinated on this day in 44 B.C. by those he might have had cause to trust. On this day, word comes from the “Anonymous” blog in Rome that the Dubia Cardinals have opted not to seek a formal public correction of the Pope. Per Anonymous, The Dubia Cardinals apparently met a few weeks ago in Rome and decided against issuing a public formal correction of the Pope over grave ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia. The reason for this decision, according to Anonymous-citing his source-is that the Cardinals:
“…did not feel they had support from other Cardinals, at the official level and have decided to throw in the towel.”
We will have to see if Anonymous has good sources, or if this particular source got this one right. I certainly do not have sources on the question. My previously posted hunch was that the formal correction would come next week (March 19-25) [see here and here]. I find this latest news hard to believe. I do not mean to suggest doubt in Anonymous or his source- it is just hard to understand why the Cardinals would back out at this point. It smacks of turning the landing craft around when it is about to hit the beaches of Normandy and then heading back out to sea. When they began their efforts the Cardinals had less support than they do now. If it is true that their support in the Sacred College has not grown measurably in time, it is true that the case in favor of their argument has improved. If doubters in the Dubia had ever really thought the questions academic, they cannot argue that any longer. Afterall, in the six months since the Cardinals delivered the Dubia to the Pope, it has become clear to all that Amoris Laetitia has resulted in growing division- as evidenced by the contradicting communion guidelines (over communion for public adulterers living more uxurio) issued by bishops and episcopal conferences around the world. This trend will only accelerate.
The Cardinals most certainly should have known-or suspected full well- when they started down the Dubia road that the point in time might come when they would need to issue a formal correction of the Pope. If they did not intend the possibility-if necessary- of a public formal correction, it should never have been mentioned in November 2016. Was it all a bluff? And, the Pope called them on it? Perhaps, but I do not think so. It is hard to believe, having come this far and seeing the growing divide and confusion in the Church, that the Cardinals would decide to back out now. They may not have much visible support among their fellow Cardinals, but that is no reason to not do anything. If you want followers–lead. Who is the patron saint of “backbone”?
I still hold out hope that anonymous is wrong, or he received a ‘garbled message’- but, if Anonymous and his source turn out to be correct-this is horrible, horrible news.