Analysis of Francis’ Motives in Appointing Victor Manuel Fernandez to the Doctrine of the Faith

A few weeks ago, when we learned of the appointment of Archbishop García Cuerva as the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I commented in this blog that Pope Francis had already let go of Bishop Tucho Fernández’s hand. A reader sent a comment saying that, in reality, the Supreme Pontiff was reserving Tucho for Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith. I did not publish the comment because I do not publish nonsense. And in view of the news we woke up to last Saturday, I must say that the reader was not wrong, but I was not wrong either, since this appointment is nonsense or, better yet, a catastrophe.

The fact deserves an analysis from several perspectives. If we focus on the person in question, and from his public antecedents that I summarized in the previous entry, it is clear that he is the most inadequate person for the position to which he was elevated. Bishop Fernandez has no doctrine and his Catholic faith is more than doubtful.

The first statement is proven if one approaches any of the copies of his profuse bibliographic production. We are not talking here about his best-known El arte de besar (“The Art of Kissing”). Choose any of his other books and you will see that they are always bulky and appropriate for the reading of older and disenchanted nuns; a kind of light self-help with Christian coloring.

And as for his faith, listening to what he says in his homilies or writes in the press; it is not reckless to doubt the Catholic character of what he believes. Cardinal Müller himself, in 2016, being prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called him a heretic (sogar häretisch). That is, it will be a heretic – according to the cardinal’s label – who will be in charge of guarding the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith. Hardly anyone could have thought of a more absurd situation; neither Mons. Robert Benson, nor Hugo Wast, nor Soloviev, nor Castellani. Reality, once again, surpasses fiction.

A few hours ago, a letter from Bishop Fernandez was published in which he bids farewell to his parishioners. Few will believe his words, but it must be recognized that he speaks some truths. His close friends knew that, in fact, Pope Francis had made him the offer a month ago, probably at the same time as the appointment of Bishop Garcia Cuerva in Buenos Aires, in order to avoid disappointment. It was also known that he would begin his new function in September. But the taking up of the post was brought forward to August, something very strange because it is a month when Rome and the Vatican are deserted. Some suspect that this is because Francis will not survive till the autumn.

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