Guarding fumes and making haste

Word has made it out that Archbishop “Tucho” Fernandez, the Holy Father’s favorite theologian (a sobriquet that must break Archbishop Bruno Forte’s heart), is the principal author of the forthcoming post-Synodal exhortation, which will be released, probably, before the end of March. Edward Pentin reports:

Well informed sources have told the Register that the document, which observers believe will probably be released on March 19 — the feast of St. Joseph and the 3rd anniversary of the Pope’s inauguration Mass — is in its third draft. They also say that the chief drafter is Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, rector of the the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires and one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers.

One reliably informed source, a recognized moral theologian who has seen the draft, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the text as it “calls into question the natural moral law”. A senior Vatican official said he had heard the draft was good, but that was “some time ago”. He said he expects it to be similar to the Ordinary Synod’s final report, almost all of which the synod fathers passed unanimously.


Earlier this week, Vatican analyst Andrea Gagliarducci reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has studied the draft and sent a long note with several doctrinal remarks, rumored to be 40 pages in length.

A senior Vatican source told the Register last week that the CDF has offered “all kinds of observations” on other documents as well during this pontificate, “but none of them are ever taken.” The dicastery, like much of the Roman Curia, is largely left out of such processes and is considered to be “isolated”, according to sources.

(Emphasis supplied and hyperlink omitted.) We note that the controversial paragraphs regarding the Germanicus group’s forum internum proposal (the great compromise between Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Kasper, brokered, allegedly, by Cardinal Marx) did not pass unanimously. Not even close. In fact, but for the Holy Father’s personal appointments to the Synod, they probably would not have passed at all.

The only not-disturbing thing we see is that Archbishop Fernández, who has long been a close adviser and collaborator with the Holy Father, also is supposed to have drafted Laudato si’, which, in the main, is a wonderful document. Not perfect. But still very good. That said, we expect the bigamists to be lined up at Easter Vigil this year, exhortation in hand, demanding to approach the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord. There has been too much grief over the Kasperite proposal not to go through with some form of it. To have this much trouble and say “oh, well, you fellows are right, I guess” would be almost unthinkable. (Though not impossible: Our Lady and St. Joseph may yet intervene.)

But, for the sake of those men and women who will take a papal pronouncement as a guarantee, we hope that the Holy Father and Tucho guess right.