On May 31st, Francis issued a letter through his Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, asking for the cardinals to inform Francis “by way of the Secretariat of State, the period of their absence from Rome and the address of their stay” because it’s “tradition”. Is someone fearful of a coup d’etat?
(translation of letter)
On June 8th, Francis had a private audience audience with a delegation from the Nigerian Diocese of Ahiara. Francis said he was “deeply saddened” by the refusal of the diocese to accept the bishop appointed for them, Peter Ebere Okpaleke, who was appointed to Ahiara by Benedict XVI in 2012. Here’s Francis’ full statement:
Words of the Francis to the members of the delegation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ahiara (June 8), 06/10/2017
I cordially greet the delegation and thank you for coming from Nigeria in a spirit of pilgrimage.
For me, this meeting is a consolation Because I am deeply saddened by the events of the Church in Ahiara.
In fact, the Church (and excuse the wording) is like a widow for having the Bishop Prevented from coming to the Diocese. Many times I have thought about the parable of the murderous tenants, of which the Gospel speaks (cf. Mt 21: 33-44), That want to grasp the inheritance. In this current situation the Diocese of Ahiara is without the bridegroom, has lost her fertility and can not bear fruit. Whoever was opposed to Bishop Okpaleke taking possession of the Diocese wants to destroy the Church. This is forbidden; perhaps he does not realize it, but the Church is suffering as well as the People of God Within her. The Pope can not be indifferent.
I know very well the events That sono stati dragging on for years and I am thankful for the great patience of the attitude of Bishop, indeed the holy patience Demonstrated by him. I listened and reflected much, even about the Possibility of suppressing the Diocese, but then I thought That the Church is a mother and can not abandon her many children. I feel great sorrow for Those priests who are being manipulated from abroad and even from outside the Diocese.
That I think, in this case, we are not dealing with tribalism, but with an attempted taking of the vineyard of the Lord. The Church is a mother and whoever offends her commits a mortal sin, it's very serious. However, I Decided not to suppress the Diocese. Instead, I wish to give some indications That Are to be Communicated to all: first of all it must be said That the Pope is deeply saddened. Therefore, I ask That every priest or ecclesiastic incardinated in the Diocese of Ahiara, there Whether he resides or works elsewhere, even abroad, write a letter addressed to me in cui he asks for forgiveness; all must write individually and personally. We all must share this common sorrow.
In the letter
1. Clearly one must manifest total obedience to the Pope, and
2. whoever writes must be willing to accept the Bishop-whom the Pope sends and has appointed.
3. The letter must be sent Within 30 days, from today to July 9th, 2017. Whoever does not do this will be ipso facto suspended a divinis and will lose His current office.
This Seems very hard, but why must the Pope do this? Because the people of God are scandalized. Jesus reminds us That whoever causes scandal must suffer the Consequences. Maybe someone Has Been manipulated without having full awareness of the wound inflicted upon the ecclesial communion.
To you brothers and sisters, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your presence; And Also to Cardinal Onaiyekan For His patience and to Bishop Okpaleke, Whose patience and humility I admire. Thank you all.
[00905-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]
source: Vatican, Parole del Franciscus ai Membri della Delegazione della Diocesi di Ahiara (8 giugno), 10.06.2017
See, Francis can act all ‘papal’
‘traditional’ when it suits him!