"The pope is a heretic!" - Catholics of such accusations did not throw more than half a century to the head of their church. And then several dozen theologians and priests publicly accused the pope of Francis of ultra-liberalism. And it is impossible to hush up this scandal: the authors of the document are prominent church figures, among them even the ex-head of Vatican Bank Etore Tedeschi. However, just a few hours before the publication of the appeal, the governor of the Holy See himself accused Catholic priests of indulging pedophilia and unwillingness to help migrants.
The detonator of the scandal was the third encyclical of Pope Francis Amoris laetitia (Joy of Love - Ed.), Dedicated to family issues. In it, the pontiff, for example, allows divorced spouses to participate in church ordinances. Such liberalism in the spirit of Protestant churches from the first pope-Jesuit certainly did not expect.
"The publication of Amoris laetitia ... brought upon the Church and the whole world a scandal involving faith and morals, and as a result, heresy and other mistakes spread throughout the Church," the compilers of the document, pretentiously called "The Sentences of Punishment", are indignant.
Meanwhile, since 1870, the decisions of the Pope have been officially recognized as infallible, and his texts are not a private opinion, but a kind of revelation received by the successor of the Apostle Peter. This is the infallibility of the pontiff, which became one of the dogmas of the Catholic Church, and the authors of the "punishments" questioned.
The Italian edition La Stampa has already noticed that the rhetoric of the proclamation speaks of the participation in this venture of the long-standing enemy of Pope Francis - American Cardinal Raymond Burke.
Dad vs. Trump
Archbishop of St. Louis Raymond Leo Burke is the most influential Catholic in the United States. The former head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Vatican literally in a couple of years managed to unite around him all those who were dissatisfied with "the Pope of Bergolio," who, as the cardinal had once made, made the church "a ship without a helmsman." The Cardinal never hid his dislike of the current ruler of the Vatican. He even - at the peak of the unofficial Vatican rule of "being more modest" - deliberately appears in public in the most expensive vestments, emphasizing his independence.
"In the traditionalist world, Burke is perceived as a hero," says religious scholar Sandro Magister in an interview with The Daily Beast.
And when Pope Francis for the first time (in March 2016 year) publicly doubted that Trump is a Christian, Cardinal Burke offered his presidential candidate assistance. His communication with Trump, according to US media, was mediated by Steve Bannon (after the election, he will briefly become the main strategist of the White House).
Let's remind, Catholics make 22% of the population of the USA. And the most conservative of them, white Catholics, according to the authoritative research center Pew, played a decisive role in Trump's victory.
After the election in the US, Cardinal Burke went on a decisive offensive, along with several American cardinals exposing the pope in support of gays. The answer of the pontiff was not long in coming: at the beginning of 2017, he deprived the Order of Malta of its leaders - the agents of the American cardinal.
It was against this background that the first personal meeting between Pope Francis and Donald Trump took place. And the friendly and friendly pontiff this time was unusually sad, and journalists dubbed this meeting "the most strange in history."
Sin of the father
American Catholics have been accusing the pope of Francis for almost a year in the most terrible, in their opinion, sin - rapprochement with Putin. They were particularly angered by the words of the pontiff that the Russian president was "the only politician who stood up for the Christians of the Middle East."
He warmed the indignation and the first official visit of the State Secretary of the Vatican Pietro Parolina to Russia. On the pages of foreign publications, a polemic began on the topic: "Why does the peaceful pope Francis pray for an increasingly militant Putin?" The publication of The Politico and at all asked the question: "Why does the pontiff so love the Russian president?" Jacopo Scaramucci. One of the experts La Stampa, who knows the Vatican's "kitchen" well, put forward his own version: Putin and the pope want to "unite Christians." And the members of the "conservative wing" of the Roman church are categorically against advances of the "apostle of Rome" with other faiths.
As a result, the Holy See has been shaking scandals for a month already: the third person of the state and the chief inquisitor turned out to be pedophiles, then prominent theologians united against the pope himself. Are the enemies of Francis really looking for an opportunity to displace him?
"Most Catholic theologians and specialists in the field of canon law - although not all - agree that there is no legitimate mechanism for the compulsory" sending "of the pope to resign in the church," said the secretary of the Coordinating Council of the Catholic Association Una Voce Russia, historian Ivan Fadeev.
At best, the enemies of the pope can count on the fact that he himself recognizes the fallacy of his statements, as did, for example, John XXII in the XIV century. But if you look at how Francis reacts to the criticism of his scandalous statements, this is an unlikely scenario.
Another option - to force the pope to retire at will. However, judging by the activity with which he promotes the idea of lustration of the Catholic clergy, this is also unlikely to happen.
The third option is to turn to the experience of the past: when in 1870 the dogma of the infallibility of the pope was adopted, a split occurred in the Catholic Church. And today such a development of events does not seem like a fantasy: more and more influential people want the bias of Pope Francis.