Hmmm. An old friend of Pope Benedict goes public with criticism of Pope Francis:
In a recent lengthy interview with the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz in an issue especially dedicated to the theme of Pope Francis, the renowned and arguably most prominent Catholic philosopher in Germany, Professor Robert Spaemann, a long-time friend of Pope Benedict, has gone public with a strong criticism of Pope Francis that is being discussed nation-wide.
At the beginning of this interview-discussion that included also another German Catholic philosopher, Professor Hans Joas, Spaemann in a calm and differentiated way first acknowledged Pope Francis’ strengths and especially what he calls his “traditional piety”: “He speaks like a Latin-American bishop who is fully rooted in the piety of his people.” Spaemann continues:
“On the other side, in my view, his cult of spontaneity is not helping. In the Vatican, some people are already sighing: ‘Today, he has already again another different idea from yesterday.’ One does not fully get rid of the impression of chaos. And it is irritating how he prepares the Synod. It is the intention that two parties meet at the synod which the Pope wants to lead into a dialogue whereby he himself plays the role of a moderator. In the same time, however, he takes sides already in advance by favoring the position of Cardinal Walter Kasper, he has excluded the John Paul II Institute for Studies on the Family from the pre-Synod consultations and tries with the help of explicit pressure to influence those consultations.”
Spaemann then also criticized Pope Francis for dismissing personnel who have been close to Pope Benedict XVI: “Pope Francis always stresses his close bond with Pope Benedict. In certain ways that certainly also exists. But I wonder why he throws so many people out of the Vatican who had been called in by Benedict.”
The 87-year old Spaemann who had taught at important universities such as the University of Heidelberg and the University of Munich, also criticized Pope Francis for his way of electing new cardinals:
“Take the recent elections of new cardinals. There have now entered into the government of the whole Church completely unknown bishops who at times only have 15,000 Catholics in their dioceses. Bishops with larger dioceses, however, were passed by, even though one must have seen in them a certain extraordinary quality when they were chosen to be archbishops. Why are they then not called to the top? I ask myself, what will be the result in the end – next to a fleeting symbolic gesture? The upcoming Synod will especially have to show what the Holy Father intends.”
Go here to read the rest. It is interesting how large Germans, and the struggle within the Catholic Church in that country, looms in the current papacy.