Pope Francis: Set to Retire?

Jun 7, 2022 | 0 comments

According to the Guardian newspaper and other outlets, there are rumours in Rome that Pope Francis may be planning to announce his retirement in August 2022.

The spark for these rumours is apparently the coincidence of an August 27th consistory to appoint new cardinals, and the pope’s declared intent to visit the tomb of Pope Celestine V – the first pope known to have retired from the role – on the very next day.

Arguably by the end of August the pope will have appointed so many of the cardinals who will elect the next pope that he can be confident that his reforms and the direction they have set for the church, including the push for ‘synodality everywhere, will survive him.

The pope at 85 has also recently had mobility issues, and is known to believe that resignation should become normal for popes.

Against the argument that he would not want the next pope to have two other popes still alive at the same time there is the possibility that he believes that this too could help to make papal retirement a matter of routine rather than sensation.

For the full Guardian report, click here.

 

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far - and especially the presentation by Dr Nicola Brady on February 24th 2022 - gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.

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