Vatican-watcher names Pope Francis’s ‘ghostwriter’

An Italian journalist says parts of Pope Francis’s recent family exhortation drew on writings by an Argentine prelate who once clashed with the Vatican.

Writing in L’Espresso, Sandro Magister compared passages from Amoris Laetitia with passages from two articles by Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández.

“The resemblance between the two is very strong,” the journalist wrote.

Magister described Archbishop Fernández as the “ghostwriter” of Francis’s major texts and his “thinker of reference”.

Magister stated that the two Fernández articles, written in 2005 and 2006, were a reaction to a conference in Argentina in 2004 on St John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor”.

At the time, Fernández was professor of theology at the Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Magister described the articles as “practically in defence of situational ethics”, of which Veritatis Splendor had been “decisively critical”.

“Partly on account of those two articles, the congregation for Catholic education blocked the candidacy of Fernández as rector of the Universidad Católica Argentina, only to have to give in later, in 2009, to then-archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who fought tooth and nail to clear the way for the promotion of his protégé,” Magister wrote.

“In 2013, just after he was elected Pope, Bergoglio even bestowed episcopal ordination upon Fernández, with the title of the extinct metropolitan see of Teurnia,” the Italian journalist continued.

Whereas “the chief culprit of the rejection, Dominican theologian Jean-Louis Bruguès” was consigned to the Vatican Apostolic Library, without being given the traditional title of cardinal, Magister added.

In an interview with Corriere della Sera last year, Archbishop Fernández said that “Christ has assured special guidance and illumination for the Pope and at the same time for the bishops as a whole, but not for a prefect or for another structure”.

Magister saw this as a slap in the face for the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller and the Roman curia.

Sources

News category: World.

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