Archbishop Héctor Agüer: What Will Be the Tasks of the Next Pope?

The College of Cardinals has acquired an unusual breadth. How far we are from some pontifical elections, decided by a handful of members of this traditional protagonist of the high point of ecclesial life! History is more than eloquent. It is not possible to dwell too much on the search for models. Just one example: in the conclave of 1458, Enea Silvio Piccolomini -an expert in Latin verses-, thwarted the arrangements of an ambitious Frenchman, and without wanting or looking for it, he himself was elected: Pius II; there were 18 cardinals. Today, the exorbitant number of red hats makes it impossible to foresee a name as the future Successor of Peter. Several friends ask me to outline what the pontificate that succeeds the languishing Francis should be like, taking into account the very serious situation of the Church, disguised by Vatican propaganda.

Here is the attempt.

First of all, it is necessary to ensure the Truth of the authentic Catholic doctrine, to overcome the progressive myths that undermine it, and that the current Pontiff raises as his agenda. The Light comes from the New Testament, which bears witness to the apostolic work that the Twelve – and, above all, St. Paul – transmitted as a mandate to their immediate successors, and which designs the organization of the Church, the source of nascent Christianity.

The Apostle Paul commends his disciple Timothy: “I charge you (diamartyromai) before God and Christ Jesus, who is to come to judge the living and the dead, by his epiphany and by his Kingdom: preach the Word of God, urge with occasion or without occasion, argue, rebuke, exhort, with unwearied patience, and zealous teaching. For the time will come when men will no longer endure sound teaching, but according to their lust they will seek out teachers to flatter their ears, and turn their attention away from the truth and be converted to myths” (2 Tim 4:1-4). St. Paul goes on to exhort, as the Church will do throughout the centuries: “Be vigilant in everything”; this is what the Inquisition did in the face of heresies and schisms. This task makes the work of evangelization, of fulfilling the ministry (diakonia) to perfection, burdensome. One of the progressive arguments is to disqualify this endeavor as if it were contrary to Christianity. This is the confrontation of the New Testament with the worldly conception of the Church, to the point of the current Pontificate’s misguidance. What the Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard wrote in his Diary in 1848 applies to this case: “Just now, when there is talk of reorganizing the Church, it is clear how little Christianity there is in it”. The same author describes this situation as “unfortunate illusion”.

The new Pope will have to steer the Church in the direction indicated by that Pauline exhortation; it is what the mystical Bride of Christ did in her best times. It is essential to vindicate the Truth of doctrine, which has been undermined and neglected by relativism. Progressive approaches have left the Church enclosed in the enclosure of Practical Reason, whose moralism has replaced the contemplative dimension that is proper to the Faith, and to the proposal of the fullness to which all the faithful are called, according to the vocation to holiness that springs from Baptism.

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