Amid a robust Italian debate over the leadership of Pope Francis, a cross-section of liberal Catholic groups in the country has launched an online petition to show backing for the Argentinian pontiff.
Pointedly called “Stop the Attacks on Pope Francis,” the petition was launched on Christmas Day by groups including “We are Church,” “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” the Edith Stein Study Center, an Italian association of theologians, and a variety of base communities. All are generally associated with the liberal wing of the Italian Church.
APPEAL IN SUPPORT OF POPE FRANCIS
The arrival of the Pope who "came from the end of the world" and takes the name of Francis presenting himself not as Pontifex Maximus but as Bishop of Rome, provokes frantic reactions inside the Vatican Curia which, decimated by scandal and corruption, consider the Pope as an "outsider" to its consolidated system of alliances with worldly power, enhanced by two perverted tools: money and sex.
At first, the chatter on the "strange Pope" starts quietly, then gradually becomes more and more obvious as Pope Francis speaks of the need for pastoral care of families, urging bishops to be close to God's people. And, scandal of scandals, he dares to talk with non-believers and atheists!
After the shock of a synod "free to speak their mind," the frontal attack of five cardinals (Müller, Burke, Brandmüller, Caffara and De Paolis), including the Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, has strengthened the face of opponents who see Pope Francis as a "danger" that must be stopped at all costs.
Breaking a practice of external formalism, during the Christmas greetings, the Pope himself lists fifteen "diseases" of the Curia, putting them on notice and asking for consistency and authenticity.
In response to the Pope, the next day, December 24, 2014, Christmas Eve, not chosen at random, the journalist Vittorio Messori publishes the Corriere della Sera, "a sort of confession that I would gladly have postponed, if I had not been request," succeeded in stirring up doubts about the leadership of Pope Francis." Bergoglio is unpredictable for the average Catholic. He elicits a broad interest, but how sincere is he? "
The frontal attack was targeted and created a true declaration of war, menacing in its substance of a warning similar to that of the mafia: the Pope is dangerous, "unpredictable for the average Catholic." It's time to offer our support to the Pope and allow him to restructure the Curia. The author does not reveal the names of the "instigators", but he protects them saying that his speech "was required."
We oppose these maneuvers, this expression on of conservatism, which has often prevented the Church from fulfilling its unique task to evangelize. Pope Francis is dangerous because he proclaims the Gospel, promoting the Second Vatican Council, which for too long has been frozen. The clergy and the conservatives who oppose him are the same who have undermined the council and that until recently were steadfast defenders of the "primacy of Peter 'and' 'infallibility of the Pope" because the Popes, incidentally, thought like them.
We can not be silent and we cry with one strong voice to take the side of Pope Francis. Our appeal to women and men of good will, without distinction of any kind, is intended to create a circle of support and prayer around him offering our affection and committed solidarity .
The "change of Pope Francis" generates no doubt in us; on the contrary his leadership stimulates the majority of believers to follow him with respect and affection. The ministry of the Bishop of Rome and his pastoral theology arouse hope and yearning for renewal in the whole People of God and his message is being listened to carefully by many women and men of good will, or non-believers of different faiths and beliefs.
We ant to tell the Pope that, in answer to his incessant invitation, the whole Church prays for him (cfr. Acts 12.2). It is the Church of the simple, of the parishes, the sidewalks, the Church of the Poor, the voiceless, without pastors of the Church "apron" that lives a life of service, witness and generosity, attentive to the "signs of the times" (Matthew 16 , 3).
Similarly, many non-believers, atheists or other religions, free men and women, publicly express their esteem and their friendship. The cult of "those who wear expensive clothes and live in luxury are as kings'" (Luke 7:25) can not be with a Pope named Francis who speaks the Gospel 'sine glossa'.
Pope Francis, accept our embrace and our blessing.
Rome, December 25, 2014 - Birth of Jesus