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Yesterday was a watershed day for the Francis bishopric of Rome. To be more precise, what transpired yesterday was the result of a coup d’etat by the Catholic forces behind the Sacred Vatican Walls against the populist (Evita) Peronist dictator Jorge Bergoglio.
The execution of this coup has left Francis, or to be more precise Francis’ “personal magisterium” in shambles. By definitively destroying Francis’ teaching office, or that which was left of it, Francis has lost any authoritative power to superimpose his “revolutionary TRANSRATIONAL ramblings and musings” onto the Universal Magisterium.
So what happened yesterday?
Well, one Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the author of the supposedly definitive and “official” response (“The Response™ according to Fr. Z.), by proxy of Francis, the bishop of Rome (?), to the Dubia of the 4 Cardinals, did not show up to his book launch (containing the “official” response) press conference.
Which leaves a very big dangling question, namely: why did Cd. Coccopalmerio, the author of the supposedly “official” and definitive The Response™ not show up to the press conference and what is its significance?
Which actually tees up this subject for your humble blogger. Let’s face it, explaining this situation lines itself right up in the sweet spot of this blog.
So here goes…
The official DEUS EX MACHINA HYPOTHESIS as to “why” Cd. Coccopalmerio did not show up at his book launch press conference, a booklet in reality, that is supposedly the definitive and “official” response to the 4 Cardinal Dubia and its “significance” follows.
First to understand the significance of what happened yesterday, one must begin by understanding the significance of who Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio “is” and “what” Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio represents.
If you dear reader recall, Cd. Coccopalmerio is one of the core members of the Francis subversives. In our post titled Optics: When realities collide!, we observed that Cd. Coccopalmerio is a member in good standing in the informal group known as the “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco”. Actually, Cd. Coccopalmerio was with Francis right from the beginning. We first were introduced to Cd. Coccopalmerio’s activities at a small meeting of the “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco”, or as we dubbed it, the “Friends of Francis”. Here is the background:
From the blog Rossoporpora.org edited by the Vatican correspondent Joseph Ruskin, we learn of the existence of the “Cenacle of Friends of Francis”, “Francis” being the current Pope Francis. It is a small group of journalists and intellectuals – who could be described assupporters – led by the Vatican correspondent of the GR1 Raffaele Luise and formed shortly after his election to the pontificate of Pope Bergoglio.
And here is how Cd. Coccopalmerio fits in:
Of all the possible interpretations of the magisterium of Pope Francis, one of the Last Supper – Raffaele Luise is among the most progressive. No coincidence that at the first public event three nights ago in Rome, the keynote speakers were the inevitable Cardinal Walter Kasper and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. Given the number of guests at the event, probably “the Last Supper” could refer to the number of participants (no more than twenty present at all).
This passage above was posted on Fr. Z’s blog on the 14th of November 2014.
From this passage, we can see that the FrancisMercy movement was and, it would be fair to say, still is quite small. And one can say that Cd. Coccopalmerio is an integral part, if not one of the founding members of this small “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco” cabal.
Understanding this above, one then can then go on and assess the importance of what transpired yesterday.
The simplest manner in which to describe what happened yesterday was that by Cardinal Coccopalmerio not appearing, nor even being in the room of the press conference that presented his booklet which was supposed to contain that which Fr. Z has coined “The Response™” and then justifying his absence with a trivial excuse, he in FACT threw Francis under the “Joy of Sex” bus.
Which raises the question, why did Cardinal Coccopalmerio, an integral part of the Friends of Francis cabal and one of Francis’ and Cd. Kasper’s oldest ally, bail on Francis?
The reason has to do most likely with the situation behind the Sacred Vatican Walls. The direct cause most likely has to do with two recent developments, namely the FrancisMercy posters and the L’Osservatori parody mailing. Actually, more than these events, what has created the real “issue” was the FrancisResponse to these incidents. Here is how Fr. Blake summarizes these incidents in his post titled Putting up Walls: (emphasis added)
Something seems to be abroad at the moment, posters going up over Rome, fake copies of L’Osservatore or even satirical songs like ‘That’s Amoris’ being circulated among Vatican staff, the response seems to be typical of South American dictators: getting the police in to investigate and clamping down on the perpetrators and treating something which really is school-boyish as a major incident. In response, it seems, even the Pope’s Council of Cardinals have made a ‘pledge of allegiance’. Today Cardinal Coccopalmerio cancelled a press release of his book on Amoris Laetitia, which some had seen as an answer to the ‘dubia’, one suspects to be briefed by the Pope and his advisers.
Given the above, the question then needs to be asked: Why was Cardinal Coccopalmario scared off, “cancelling a press release” and skipping the entire press conference.
The answer to this question comes via the MondayVatican website. In a post titled Pope Francis observes, judges, and acts. And begins establishing a parallel Curia from the 3rd of March 2014, we are provided the following insights into what most likely is Cardinal Coccopalmario’s thought process:
Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, was first to raise the notion a Moderator Curiae (Ed note: as a possible solution to Francis’ ill-fated Curial reform). A very skilled law expert, Cardinal Coccopalmerio introduced this concept to the General Congregations together with his own ideas for reform. It was a precise program.
Please recall that the primary reason for why Jorge Bergoglio was elected as the bishop of Rome was due to his promise of Curial reform. Turns out that at the 2013 Conclave, Francis had a competing reformer. Here is that passage:
This project of reform gained a lot of support in the conclave. According to rumors, Cardinal Coccopalmerio had been the most-voted Italian cardinal in the conclave because of his views.
So that sets the CONTEXT.
Aside, more context here.
Concluding, what is of importance is to note that Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmario is an ambitious prelate. He is so ambitious in fact, that he not only gauged the sentiment of the College of Cardinals before the 2013 Conclave, but he had a plan in hand entering that Conclave.
Supporting the evidence that Cardinal Coccopalmario is one who can read the mood that exists behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, is the citation that he was the most-voted Italian cardinal in the conclave.
This could also be the reason that the good Cardinal jumped onto the Francis bandwagon early in the Francis bishopric of Rome. Being on the side of Francis – The German Bishops’ Conference – KIRCHENSTEUER and the “right” side of history appeared to be a wise decision.
Fast forward to today, being an insider who can gauge the mood behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, the good Cardinal must now be aware of the prevailing anti-Francis sentiment. The FrancisMercy posters and the L’Osservatori cited by Fr. Blake surely must have made an impression on Cardinal Coccopalmario. That impression must have been one that suggested to the Cardinal that he needs to be very, very careful.
On the other hand being not only a close ally of Cardinal Kasper and Francis, and also being a very skilled law expert and the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, it is not a leap of faith that the good Cardinal would have received a “request” from Francis. A “request” that the good Cardinal could not refuse.
Update: That was fast. Over at Rorate Caeli, we get this passage: “… we are told that Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s new book on Amoris Laetitia, written at the request of Pope Francis,…”
And if the above is a correct reading of the situation, what we have is an ambitious Cardinal who is trying to position himself for the next conclave – he will be 79 this March – so there still is time, or if time runs out, to be at least close to the “power” in his retirement, then it makes sense to “issue a booklet” that can be seen as a token gesture of support for Francis.
On the other hand, being a good judge of the mood behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, Cardinal Coccopalmario sees that the Francis papal line is most likely a one and done affair. Taking a “strong” position in support of Francis’ material and most likely formal heresy is not a career enhancing position.
So sending out a SIGNAL that all is not as it seems, by BLATENTLY not appearing at the booklet launch, while providing a BANAL excuse in the form of a scheduling conflict for not attending The purportedly definitive and “official” Response™ to the 4 Cardinal’s Dubia booklet that he himself wrote, is the best that the poor Cardinal could manage.
And by doing so, throwing Francis under the “Joy of Sex” bus.
And with Francis, his “teaching office” as well.
PS If the above is the case, one also has to wonder why Francis felt that he needed to hang the ambitious Cardinal out to dry.