Pope Francis opts not to hold his customary meeting with the curia ahead of November 19's consistory.
In a surprising move that was only made public today, Pope Francis is reportedly opting out of meeting with the curia before the consistory planned for November 19. The news, which was broken by EWTN's United Kingdom website and examined in more detail by Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, comes on the heels of revelations that four cardinals -- including American Cardinal Raymond Burke -- sent a series of dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia to Pope Francis in September. However, according to Tosatti, the Pope's decision to forego the meeting was made prior to the dubia, along with the cardinals' cover letter, being made public.
Additionally, Cardinal Burke, in an exclusive interview with the National Catholic Register, stated that it may be neccessary for the cardinals to "tak[e] a formal act of correction" regarding certain errors in Amoris Laetitia. Veteran Rome reporter and Vatican expert Edward Pentin, relying in part on Tosatti's analysis, has also weighed-in on the matter.
Vaticanist Marco Tosatti of La Stampa believes that the submission of five questions or 'doubts' about Amoris Laetitia that four cardinals sent to the Pope in September and which he has declined to answer, may be a motivating factor behind Francis’ decision this year.
Tosatti asserts that the dubia, although not made public when the Pope decided against holding such a meeting, were going to be 'resubmitted' during the pre-consistory gathering, 'not only by the signatories of the request for clarification, but also perhaps by other cardinals, eager for a decisive word from the Pope.' It’s a situation, he added, the Pope probably 'preferred to avoid.'
But Tosatti noted that the Vatican has not given an official reason for the decision. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has also not responded to a Register enquiry about the real motives behind the decision not to hold the meeting.
Despite the absence of such a pre-consistory meeting this year, the Pope will, as is customary, create the new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at 11am on Saturday, Nov. 19."
While more details surrounding this decision are likely to surface in the coming days, we hope and pray that Pope Francis takes the opportunity of the Cardinal's dubia to reaffirm the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacraments of Marriage, Penance, and the Eucharist.