Pope Francis to RC Bishops: Avoid Ordaining “Traditionalists”

March 10, 2015  (Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com)

ROME, February 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — In comments to Roman clergy yesterday Pope Francis referred to cases that “happen often” where bishops have accepted “traditionalist” seminarians who were rejected by other dioceses.  Because “they presented themselves very well, very devout,” said the pope, the bishops failed to find out information about them, and they were later found to have “psychological and moral problems.” Ordaining such seminarians, said the pontiff, is like placing a “mortgage on the Church.”

The comments came in a meeting with Roman clergy that, in order to be allowed to flow freely, Pope Francis asked not to be televised.  However, Rome’s Zenit News Agency, with close ties to the Vatican, constructed a report of the proceedings based on interviews with priests, some of whom had audio recordings of the pope’s remarks.

While, according to the Zenit report, the pope only raised the negative assessment of ‘traditionalist’ seminarians using their piety as a cover for psychological and moral problems, liberal clerics too have exhibited such problems.  Nevertheless, liberal Catholics have gleefully taken up Pope Francis’ words as a prescription to avoid traditional seminarians.

The pope’s negative reference to “traditionalists” is not new.  He used the term in his closing address to the Synod Fathers gathered in the Vatican for last October’s explosive Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  In comments widely interpreted as referring to Cardinal Raymond Burke and other cardinals at the Synod who fought to maintain the teaching of the Church on homosexuality and Holy Communion, Pope Francis spoke of the temptation of “traditionalists” with their “hostile inflexibility,” and their failure to allow themselves to be “surprised by God.”

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