Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic World News

Italian progressive, conservative writers agree: Pope Francis made unprecedented claim about papal power

December 07, 2023

» Continue to this story on Crux

CWN Editor's Note: Leading Italian Catholic journalists from different ends of the ecclesial spectrum agree that Pope Francis made unprecedented claims about the papacy’s temporal authority in the new Fundamental Law of Vatican City State, issued in May in Italian and still untranslated by Vatican officials into other languages.

The Pope is “called by virtue of the munus petrinum [Petrine ministry] to exercise sovereign powers over the Vatican City State,” Pope Francis wrote.

Sandro Magister commented that “in reality, in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the munus petrinum that Jesus conferred on the first of the apostles has nothing to do with any temporal power.” Alberto Melloni, associated with the progressive or liberal interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, agreed: “Not even the most tenacious defenders of temporal power have ever maintained that it was conferred on Peter consistent with the primacy and infallibility defined by the First Vatican Council.”

Turning to the Vatican financial trial, John Allen of Crux wrote that “a series of ad-hoc papal decrees” has “stacked the deck in favor of the prosecution to such an extent as to raise serious doubts about due process, arguably standing in contrast with both Catholic social teaching as well as international conventions on human rights to which the Vatican itself has subscribed.”

Melloni “suggests that the only real parallel to what’s going on now reaches back almost 500 years, when Pope Paul IV in 1557 had Cardinal Giovanni Morone imprisoned in Rome’s Castel Sant’Angelo and put on trial on charges of heresy for his alleged sympathy for the Lutherans,” Allen added.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Dec. 09, 2023 8:32 PM ET USA

    When even Alberto Melloni finally agrees that Francis has become a law unto himself, do we need more proof that the Church is rotting from within?

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Dec. 08, 2023 10:00 PM ET USA

    I'll repeat: the illegal Biden legal activities differ from Pope Francis only in scope. (P.S. We need to call a thing by its proper name: