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Honduran cardinal sees increasing curial opposition to Pope Francis

April 24, 2014

Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the Honduran cardinal who is coordinator of Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinals, said in a recent talk that the Pope’s popularity is beginning “to awaken deaf opposition not only in the old Curia, but in some who are sorry to lose privileges in treatment and in comforts.”

A copy of the talk, delivered in Florida on April 8 to a conference of Franciscan provincials, was provided to the National Catholic Reporter by the conference’s secretary. According to the newspaper, the cardinal wore a Franciscan habit during his address, even though he is a Salesian.

“Expressions like ‘what can it be that this little Argentine pretends?’ or the expression of a well-known cardinal who let slip the phrase, ‘We made a mistake,’ can be heard,” said Cardinal Rodríguez.

“There is a new concept of Church” in this papacy, he added. The prelate said that the Pope “feels called to construct a Church” that is “at the service of this world by being faithful to Christ and his Gospel,” “free from all mundane spirituality,” “free from the risk of being concerned about itself, of becoming middle class, of closing in on self, of being a clerical Church.”

The Pope, according to Cardinal Rodríguez, wants a Church that is able to “offer itself as an open space in which all of us can meet and recognize each other because there is space for dialogue, diversity and welcome in it,” as well as a Church that “gives importance to women in both society and its own institutions.”


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  • Posted by: - Apr. 25, 2014 7:02 PM ET USA

    There is no "new" or novel concept of Church, to speak that way undermines the sacred tradition and the apostolicity of the Church. Further, most parishes have long since adopted the "open space" model that "welcomes" dialogue and diversity - so much so that many who desire to meet the Lord of faith have gone to evangelical Churches and others have just become more secularized because of the ineffectual presentation of belief, sacrament, moral life, and prayer.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 24, 2014 9:51 PM ET USA

    So the cardinal is confused about which religious order he belongs to and he heads the pope's Council of Cardinals - and he's talking about others in the Curia? Did the pope choose these cardinals as a reflection of himself?

  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 24, 2014 1:41 PM ET USA

    What, really, is new here? Pope Benedict went to that same juvenile prison and washed the feet of male prisoners, as required by the rubrics, and no one congratulated him for being amazingly compassionate to prisoners. Let us be the Church of the whole Christ: Jesus said some very tough and unequivocal things, especially about marriage. Christ did not establish a Church so that it would not matter whether one believed and obeyed that Church's teachings.

  • Posted by: Deo Vindice - Apr. 24, 2014 10:42 AM ET USA

    Is it that these oppositions coming from the Old Curia and others in the Church are because of the Curial changes Pope Frances wants to make or are they really oppositions due to the many Doctrinal contraditions that have been alowed by the Vatican?...I often wonder that it many cases it might be the latter.