Pentin assesses papal appointments three years in

We note, briefly, that Edward Pentin has, at the National Catholic Register, kicked off a three-part examination of the Holy Father’s various appointments. The first installment deals primarily with Francis’s diocesan appointments throughout the world. A brief selection:

Father Goyret thinks these choices are a consequence of placing at the center what the Pope considers overriding pastoral concerns, rather than safeguarding doctrine. The Pope, he believes, is “neither conservative nor progressive,” stressing he doesn’t like to use such labels for a pope. Nor is he “against traditional theology or doctrine,” he said. “He just skips these categories and wants pastoral and missionary bishops.”

After Benedict XVI paid close attention to sound doctrine, Francis is trying, at some risk, to “find a different way because he believes that evangelization has to change,” Father Goyret said. “He says we’ve been worried too much about sound doctrine, but that does not mean he goes against sound doctrine.”

But even if the Pope’s appointments may be doctrinally solid, the change of emphasis is having other consequences. A senior Church source in Italy told the Register on condition of anonymity that although recent appointments in the country have been “good parish priests,” they don’t have the “personal gravity to be bishop.”

He said many of the new Italian bishops are “great at the fatherly gestures, hugging, kissing babies, but they are not teachers of the faith, they’re not prepared for that.” He added that the bishop has to be “a strong and courageous pastor and be able to govern the Church,” and that failing to appoint those “willing to make hard decisions makes the flock ill provided for.”

(Emphasis supplied.) Read the whole thing there.

We will be following this series with interest, especially when Pentin turns his eye toward the Curial appointments.