Marco Tosatti: The Head of the Serpent

After the death of Benedict XVI, the difficult coexistence of the two popes in the Vatican ended, the way was finally clear for the reforms, the real ones, so long awaited since 2013.

The first major reform – for which to tell the truth the death of the Emeritus was not expected – was the promulgation of the Motu Propio “Tradizionis Custodes” with which Pope Francis effectively overturned Benedict XVI’s decision regarding the so-called Mass Traditional relegating to a corner, like nostalgic “backwards”, priests and faithful who (ever more numerous) find in the Tridentine Mass a rite rich in spiritual graces and the fruits of holiness.

The second great change – which we could define as epochal – was the appointment of the Argentinean Victor Manuel Fernández as head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith . A move that many saw as revolutionary given the ideas and theological caliber of the new prefect (who found himself having to justify his appointment by boasting the authorship of works of high theological rigor). Alongside Fernández, Francis wanted a young Italian theologian, Armando Matteo, very active in publications of a pastoral nature, especially on young people who are increasingly distant from the faith and life of the Church.
Fernandez’s appointment was immediately read, by the most attentive observers, as a drastic break with the recent past characterized by Wojtyla and Ratzinger, theologians and popes who brought the Church into the twenty-first century in the difficult period immediately post-Council.

“With the appointment of Msgr. Victor Manuel “Tucho” Fernandez at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now the “Dicastery”) marks the end of a historical era for the Church. The Wojtylian and Ratzingerian one according to some, the Catholic one according to the more malevolent. The fact is that the news represents a real turning point. Unlike what one might think, this is perhaps the first real turning point of the Francis era, the most incisive and representative, the most radical”.

The recent Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith “ Fiducia Supplicans ” is the first evident act of rupture of the Fernández era. A document focused on the value and meaning of blessings useful to clarify once and for all that it is possible to bless homosexual couples. This is in fact what is of interest, not only to the newspapers (always eager for “openness” and in particular “openness to gays”, a mantra since 2013) but to the signatories themselves. It is in fact one of the points on which there has been the most discussion in recent months characterized by the Synod on synodality and the synod of the German Church which seems to have alerted even the pontiff himself for his reckless accelerations. There has been a lot of talk about blessing homosexual couples in Germany , where many priests and bishops have gone ahead without asking anyone for anything.

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