13 February 2017
Council of cardinals gives Pope Francis vote of confidence
Group charged with overhauling the Curia expressed its full support for the work of the Pope ahead of its 18th meeting this week
A top level commission of cardinals has pledged its “full support” for the Pope following what they described as “recent events” with Francis being targeted by hostile posters and fake news
The backing today came from the council of cardinals - known as the C9 - which is the Pope’s main advisory board: they are gathering in Rome this week for their 18th round of meetings.
In a statement the Vatican said that before getting down to business in the council “expressed its full support for the work of the Pope, while ensuring full adhesion and support of his person and his Magisterium.”
Since its creation by Francis soon after his election, the C9 (pictured) has been tasked with an overhaul of the Roman Curia and their meetings this week will continue in this vein.
Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the group’s co-ordinator, this morning thanked the Pope for his address to the curia just before Christmas where Francis laid out the principles behind the reforms, criticised the internal resistance against ti and then gave officials each a book titled “Curing the Illnesses of the Soul”.
In the last few weeks a spoof front page of the Vatican’s newspaper mocking the Pope has been circulated inside the Vatican in another sign of hostility against Francis.
The realistic mock up of L’Osservatore Romano imagines the Pope responding to the questions about his family life document submitted by four cardinal critics and which require yes or no answers, with Francis being criticised by conservatives for refusing to answer the queries.
In the fake news page Francis replies to each of the queries - known as “dubia” with “yes and no” under the headline: “He answered!” A number of papal critics say that Amoris Laetitita undermines Church teaching on marriage by opening up the possibility of giving remarried divorcees communion.
It comes as a series of anti-Francis posters were put up in around 40 locations around Rome, with protests against a Pope in Rome highly unusual in a city where the papacy is respected as a quasi-monarchy.
Today the Pope made reference to internal Church disputes in a homily that encouraged Christians to rid themselves of petty resentments and jealousy.
"Even among our priests, among our episcopal colleagues, how many cracks are beginning well!” the Pope said. “Small little things…rifts ...they destroy brotherhood."
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