Shortly after one Vatican article stirred debate by asserting there’s an “ecumenism of hate” in the U.S. between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics, another over the weekend asserted that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision for the Church is “closure, if not hostility” from “a good part of the clergy, at levels both high and low.”
“The clergy is holding the people back, who should instead be accompanied in this extraordinary moment,” said the article by Italian Father Giulio Cirignano, a native of Florence and a longtime Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy.
Though there’s no indication that Cirignano’s piece was encouraged by Pope Francis, or indeed that the pontiff was even aware of it, Francis himself has frequently taken recalcitrant bishops and clergy to task during the course of his papacy.
Famously, in his December 2014 address to the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s central administrative bureaucracy, Francis ticked off 15 “spiritual diseases” he saw, including “Spiritual Alzheimer’s,” “rivalry and vainglory,” gossip, and even an unhealthy lack of joy he dubbed “funeral face.”
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