De Profundis

Majority of Francis' Council of Cardinals Have Serious Issues to Address

John Allen, meanwhile, remarks that the Pope’s most influential advisory board, the Council of Cardinals, “right now is a distracted bunch.”

Of the nine cardinals on the Council, five now have serious issues of their own to address:

Cardinal Errazuriz, is embroiled in the Chilean scandal. He is also, at 84, well beyond retirement age, and thus a good bet to drop off the list of the “Council of Nine.”

Cardinal George Pell has missed several meetings of the Council, and likely will miss many more, since he is in Australia fighting [bogus] abuse charges. He too is beyond retirement age, and although he remains the titular Secretary for the Economy, it is questionable whether he will return to Rome in that, or any other, official capacity.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the chairman of the Council of Cardinals, faces his own brewing scandal in Honduras, where he has been accused of accepting massive financial payments for which his archdiocese cannot provide a satisfactory accounting. Oh, and he too has passed his 75th birthday, so his resignation should also be on the Pope’s desk, although it is unlikely to be accepted anytime soon—unless the situation in Honduras heats up considerably.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, as president of the German bishops’ conference, is busily battling with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) over a proposal to allow the Protestant spouses of German Catholics to receive Communion. The CDF reportedly disallowed the German bishops’ policy; Cardinal Marx is fighting to preserve it.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley is not himself under fire, but as chairman of the papal commission on sexual abuse, he has his hands full with the consequences of the scandal in Chile and whatever moves the Pope plans to make to address that situation.

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