Edward Pentin reports that the Holy Father has decided not to have a pre-consistory meeting of the College of Cardinals before the ordinary public consistory for the creation of new cardinals. Pentin says that Marco Tosatti is suggesting (in Italian) that this may have to do with the dubia submitted by Cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner regarding chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia. Pentin:
Vaticanist Marco Tosatti of La Stampa believes that the submission of five questions or “doubts” about Amoris Laetitia that four cardinals sent to the Pope in September and which he has declined to answer, may be a motivating factor behind Francis’ decision this year.
Tosatti asserts that the dubia, although not made public when the Pope decided against holding such a meeting, were going to be “resubmitted” during the pre-consistory gathering, “not only by the signatories of the request for clarification, but also perhaps by other cardinals, eager for a decisive word from the Pope.” It’s a situation, he added, the Pope probably “preferred to avoid.”
But Tosatti noted that the Vatican has not given an official reason for the decision. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has also not responded to a Register enquiry about the real motives behind the decision not to hold the meeting.
(Emphasis supplied and hyperlinks in original.) It would be very interesting indeed if the Holy Father, no doubt recalling all too well the floor revolt during the 2014 Extraordinary Synod, decided not to have a pre-consistory meeting in hopes of avoiding having to face the four cardinals’ dubia squarely or of revealing a broader base of support than a handful of cardinals invariably described as “retired” or “traditionalist” or whatever else the Villa Malta publicity machine describes them as.
At any rate, we won’t be holding our breath for a public answer from the Holy Father.