(New York) Earlier this week, not only did the book "Il Dio unico e la societa moderna"(The one god for modern society) of Pope friend Eugenio Scalfari, but also the new book"Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church"(The Wounded Shepherd, Pope Francis, and His Battle for the Conversion of the Catholic Church) by Pope Biographer Austen Ivereigh.
Both books are currently available only in the original languages Italian and English. Ivereigh had announced his book in a recent interview with the Chilean daily newspaper on August 10th La Tercera, In it said the British journalist and former press secretary of the primate of England, Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O'Connor, as if he were the strategist of Pope Francis:
"We need the environment of Benedict XVI. to bring something under control."
Two days after his new book on Pope Francis reached the bookstores on 5 November, the American Bishops Conference on the book.
Yesterday, the first group of US bishops gathered with Pope Francis on their occasion Ad liminaVisiting Rome. Because of the size of the American Bishops Conference The traditional visit of the Petrusgraben, divided into several groups, will take place until February 2020. The first group was formed by Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley OFM Cap. led, the archbishop of Boston, representatives for North America in the shrunken C9 council of cardinal advisers and chairmen of the Child Protection Commission of the Vatican.
Whether the Ivereigh book was also the subject of the Pope's audience, is not known, but the public reaction of the US Bishops' Conference already. The statement is signed by James Rogers, spokesman for the Episcopal Conference.
It states that the new book by Austen Ivereigh repeats an "unfortunate and inaccurate myth" that Pope Francis belongs to the leadership and staff of Auschwitz American Bishops Conference encounter resistance. The author disseminated a disparaging opinion about the secretary-general and an adviser to the Commission on Canon Law. Documents alleging "false and misleading" allegations in October 2018 in connection with action against bishops guilty of sexual abuse or cover-up are Ivereigh's allegations.
The press office of the Bishops 'Conference describes in the statement the emergence of the corresponding proposals, which had their origin in an initiative of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the chairman of the Bishops' Conference, of August 2018. The documents would have gone through all the relevant committees. However, in November 2018, Cardinal DiNardo withdrew the elaborated proposal at the Bishops' Conference in the autumn. There was no vote. This was, according to the broadcast, a clear signal of cooperation and obedience of the bishops to the pope. When Pope Francis announced a new law applicable to the whole Church in the same question, Cardinal DiNardo emphatically supported it. It was then also quickly set out to initiate the necessary implementation of the new provisions in the way. In June 2019, the relevant resolutions had been taken at the Spring Plenary Assembly, without objection from the Holy See.
"Through the decisive actions of Pope Francis and the US Bishops' Conference, the Church is a safe place for children and adults in vulnerable situations."
The Bishops' Conference endeavors, with this reaction, to paint a unified image of the Church and a complete consensus in action between it and Rome. The swipe of the Bergoglian Ivereigh has its reason. After the scandal of the former Cardinal Theodor McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, who was now stripped of his cardinal status and was released, it crashed heavily in the entablature of the American Bishops Conference, The majority around Cardinal DiNardo wanted to use strict measures and strict transparency, through the use of an independent commission of inquiry, to investigate future suspicions or accusations against bishops. A minority around Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, went too far. She proposed to Rome an internal regulation. Background were efforts to protect McCarrick, but especially the homophilic McCarrick circle, which the dethroned Cardinal had built up over the years, but especially under Pope Francis, including Cupich and Wuerl himself. Wuerl soon after himself to fall came and was retired as archbishop of Washington.
The two models in dealing with allegations against bishops had a violent tug-of-war between Rome and the majority, that is, the leadership level of the Episcopal Conference. Since she was determined to go her stricter way, it came to appropriate intervention by Cupich, Wuerl and others to an authoritarian intervention in Rome. When in November 2018 the Episcopal Conference gathered for its autumn plenary assembly, Pope Francis forbade the bishops to vote on their proposal. The reason for the interference was that the Holy See had already summoned the same thing to a summit meeting in the Vatican in February 2019, where a unified law would be presented to the universal Church.
The discontent among the American bishops was great. The outraged public wanted to see facts after the abuse scandal became public in the summer. But the mouths of the bishops were bound by Francis's hands. Since they could not or did not want to protest in public, which would make a division in the Church visible, they had to accept the disappointed beatings of the public and the accusation of inaction.
Observers suspected behind it a not unwelcome intention of Rome to weaken the non-Bergoglian majority of the Episcopal Conference. This assumption was supported by the French Bishops' Conference, This had adopted just a few days earlier their model against sexual abuse, which also provides for the use of an independent commission of inquiry, without a veto from Rome.
Despite their docility, the majority of US bishops must now also put up with a bad account by the pope biographer Austen Ivereigh. He had his book published by a New York publishing house. It also aims primarily at the USA, where the Bergoglians see the center of a cultural struggle at work and the real "house power" of the critics of Pope Francis.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi