Council of Cardinals gives Pope Francis a vote of confidence
February 13, 2017
The release of a public vote of confidence in the Holy Father confirms the existence of serious tensions among Church leaders; such a statement would be wholly unnecessary if there were not major concerns about the direction of papal teaching.
The statement came as the Council of Cardinals—the group named by Pope Francis to assist him in planning Vatican reforms—began its 18th session, which will continue through February 15.
The statement does not directly address the most controversial aspect of the teaching of Pope Francis: the heated debate over the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Instead the statement pays homage to the figure of the Pope and to his Magisterium—leaving open the question of whether Amoris Laetitia has introduced a change in magisterial teaching.
The Council statement opens with a report that Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the chairman of the group, thanked the Pope in particular for his December address to the Roman Curia. In that speech the Pope denounced “malicious resistance” to his program for reform in the Church