Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Pope Francis
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Pope Francis told a group of Argentine bishops on pilgrimage in Rome that although he wants to visit his homeland, current obligations impede him from fulfilling his wish, the bishops said.

The Pope met with the first of two groups of bishops from Argentina’s coastal and northeastern regions on May 2 during the ad limina visit that bishops are required to make to the Vatican.

According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez of La Plata told journalists that while the Pope expressed his hope to visit his homeland, “we have no indication of a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’; we only know that it is difficult”.

Archbishop Andres Stanovnik of Corrientes added that the Pope “also spoke about the difficulties he has due to an already intense travel agenda to other countries which delay a visit” to Argentina, La Nacion reported.

The Argentine bishops also said that during their meeting, which lasted over two hours, the Pope discussed the pastoral needs of the country and expressed “sadness” at increasing tensions there, particularly regarding the issue of abortion, which remains illegal.


Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose, California, who will be automatically succeeded by his coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantú.

Bishop McGrath, 73, was bishop of San Jose for nearly 20 years, and before that was coadjutor bishop of the diocese for an additional one year.

Citing the wish to let a younger man become bishop, he last year asked the Holy See permission to retire before turning 75, which is when bishops are required by canon law to submit letters of resignation for consideration by the Pope.

Dr McGrath was hospitalised last November after a serious fall, which caused a ‘slight fracture of a disc in his back’, according to a diocesan spokesperson.

The bishop became the object of criticism in August 2018 for a decision to purchase a five-bedroom, 3,300 square-foot home, for $2.3 million (€2m) to live in after retirement.

He later changed his plans, stating that the purchase made economic sense as a good investment, but that he had “erred in judgment” in purchasing the house.


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A group of 19 Catholics, including some prominent academics, have published an open letter to the bishops of the world accusing Pope Francis of heresy.

The letter, made public on April 30, was dated ‘Easter week’ and signed by 19 individuals, including Fr Aidan Nichols OP, an internationally recognised theologian and author. The 15-page letter begins by asking the bishops of the world to take some action against the Pope.

“We are addressing this letter to you for two reasons: first to accuse Pope Francis of the canonical delict of heresy, and second, to request that you take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation of a [sic] heretical Pope.”

The letter lists seven specific areas of Church teaching where the signatories believe the Pope has “through his words and actions, publicly and pertinaciously” demonstrated his belief in “propositions that contradict divine law”.

The complaints focus on supposed teachings of the Pope concerning sexuality and morality which they claim run contrary to the Church’s magisterium.