|English: A photo of Cardinal George Pell I took during his time in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
After the first papal resignation in 600 years by choosing a cardinal from South America many perhaps expected the chosen one would continue the very conservative lines of the last popes. They also did not expect the new pope to be a man of the people also connecting social matters with economical and ecological and science matters.
Last year appointed to manage the Vatican's finances Australian Cardinal George Pell dared to speak out loud what others in their corners discussed with their fraternal brothers.
Many priests and bishops do find it is not the task of the church people to interfere with science, economical and ecological matters, whilst others do understand church people cannot be ignorant of what is happening in the world and of what is interfering with people's life and health.
Cardinal George Pell says that the Roman Catholic church has ‘no mandate’ to lay down doctrine on scientific matters and places his concern among some high-ranking Catholics at the direction and tone of Francis’ encyclical on climate change last month.
In the encyclical, which carries the full authority of church teaching, the Pope said that the world risked becoming ‘an immense pile of filth’ and that ‘doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.’
The Cardinal is the most senior Roman Catholic yet to sound a note of caution over the encyclical Laudato Si, which said that climate change is doing most harm to the world’s poor and argues that the world must take precautions against climate change at the summit to be held in Paris in December.
The Pope said in his own paper that
‘The church does not presume to settle scientific questions’though Christians also can not ignore what is going on and should take on the right attitude.
The charismatic Pope Francis has gained lots of hearts, from Catholics but also from other believers and non-Christians. Where he shows up he is greeted more like “a rock star” and often we can see that he is doing his best to have a real contact with the people.
This popularity is for many a thorn in the eye. Also having this man not to mince the matter makes him in his own ranks a debatable figure.
But by conservatives the pope is losing popularity.
In October shall take place the second synod on the family.
Benedict XVI’s promise not to interfere with the teachings of the new pope has been broken. Pope Emeritus slapped down his old adversary, Cardinal Walter Kasper, for suggesting that when the former pope was still Professor Joseph Ratzinger he supported Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.
The world also sees the previous pope with his title and his white robe. That world also still gets signs from the previous pope that he is not yet death and that his visions stay standing. He also let others hear that he does not like it when certain cardinals, like the arch-conservative Raymond Burke, are sacked.
Many think the battle between reformers and conservatives will reach a bruising climax when cardinals and bishops convene in
Rome in three months’ time for a second synod on the family.
The progressive president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Reinhard Marx, and Gerhard Muller, the traditionalist head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog bring debates which may already give a sign that some really know what they want and are not prepared to wait for the outcome of the synod.
The majority of German bishops support the introduction of Communion for the remarried. But just over the border, in Poland, the Polish episcopate has implied that it could never be accepted. This makes consensus at the synod highly unlikely.
News about Pope Francis I his ideas and on debates about climate change:
Senior cardinal breaks ranks by questioning the Pope’s authority
Schism at the Vatican