On May 2, he must receive his visitors at the Maison Sainte-Marthe and not at the Apostolic Palace, to avoid travel. On May 3, he received an injection in his right knee for relief. On May 5, he showed up in a wheelchair at an audience given to a group of leaders of female religious orders. And on May 9, we learn without surprise that the Pope’s trip to Lebanon, scheduled for June 12 and 13, has been postponed.
This worrying state of health pushes Roman observers to wonder more and more about the future pope. So Msgr. Nicola Bux, former consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, returns in an interview granted to Diane Montagna for The rest of April 16, to the mysterious memorandum signed “Demos”, published by Sandro Magister (DICI n°419, April 2022).
The Roman theologian draws a severe assessment of the current pontificate: “For most Vatican experts, the assessment of Francis’ pontificate, from the doctrine of faith to morals, shows a deficit compared to his predecessors, not to mention finances. . This pontificate helped exacerbate the secularization of the West, as the Pope intervened socially and politically and supported a spirituality without identity. And then the question arises: what is the Petrine ministry?
Bishop Bux notes, in passing, that “many Bergoglians at the beginning distanced themselves from the current pontificate and consider it chaotic and despotic”.
He shows how the dechristianization of the South American continent manifests itself concretely: “In the Vatican, they are well aware of the apostasy of Catholics in Latin America, which has fallen to 52% in the face of a 25% growth of sects.
“On January 13, the the wall street journal headlined (because the Church is losing Latin America): “The Catholic Church opted for the poor and the poor opted for the Pentecostals”. It is a tremendous contribution to the process of self-destruction of which Paul VI spoke.
“The Church has transformed itself into an agency aimed at solving social, economic, psychological and even environmental problems, abandoning its mission to save souls. At the Amazon Synod they spoke not of re-evangelizing the region but of the environment, not of fostering a personal encounter with the Lord, but of political and social issues. In short, while the faithful demand more religion, the bishops propose socialism.
Asked about the influence that this memorandum could have on the next conclave which will elect the future pope, Bishop Bux replied: “Like any Christian, the Pope is subject to revealed divine law, and even before that, to natural law and then to canon law, which binds him as to the essential doctrine and the constitution of the Church, which is not synodal but hierarchical. The Memo seems to recall it.
On the priorities that should be those of the next pope, the Roman theologian recalls the need “to elect a pope who will promote the Catholic faith, put an end to the reduction in the number of priests and faithful in the West caused by the secularization that has penetrated in the church “.
He denounces in current ecclesiastical teaching: “the politically correct language purged of religious connotations, the loss of the sense of limits (the cases of abortion, so-called homosexual marriage, gender, euthanasia, etc. are typical), the loss of the sacred, and the transformation of religious faith into a “humanitarian” religion, the Gospel into a moralism, and the homily into a gathering.
Thus, according to him, “the priority of the conclave is therefore to elect a Catholic pope; otherwise, the loss of faith will not only be the effect but also the cause of the secularization of Christianity, which will eventually become irrelevant.
And to add: “The next conclave will have to clarify what it means to be ‘pastoral’: nobody knows it until now, and this serves as a master key to justify everything in the Church.”
Bishop Bux insists: “The next pope must have the promotion and growth of the faith at the top of his agenda, so that Christian families and priestly and religious vocations can flourish. We must return to the magisterium, which decides infallibly in matters of family morality, by appointing bishops who accept the apostolic tradition.
“The now latent schism [less and less latent, and even very patent with the Synodal Path in Germany. Editor’s note] will likely be mitigated, even if the “persecution” by secular media increases. »
The prelate calls for “a pontificate that looks towards a Catholicism that fills the churches with devout believers and the public square with witnesses of faith and life, proving that it ‘works’ because it produces conversions”.
“The Catholic Church must have a Pope who says and does what is Catholic – morally, doctrinally and liturgically. Remember the cover of Time magazine: ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ Is it strange that the Catholic Church is entitled to a Catholic Pope?
And to conclude with precision and without detour: “to put an end to the confusion in the Church, the next conclave will have to seek candidates who respond to the Dubia on Amoris Laetitiacorrect Evangelii gaudium where it is said that the worst social evil is inequality, that is to say a bad distribution of wealth, and not sin;
Laudato Si’ where he exalts neo-Malthusian environmentalism, which is on the contrary at the origin of all the problems of the last 50 years; Fratelli Tutti which proclaims the end of capitalism, then suggests how to survive and camouflage with the magic words “inclusion” and “sustainability”.