“Cardinal Raymond Burke stated that leaders within the Catholic Church appear to be falling into a “kind of totalitarian mentality” with regard to their treatment of Professor John Rist, one of the original 19 signatories of the Open Letter to Bishopsaccusing Pope Francis of heresy, who was barred from Pontifical Universities without explanation in the wake of signing the Open Letter.
“We seem in the Church to fall into a kind of totalitarian mentality, where people are simply exercising authority without speaking with the person involved,” Burke said …”
“The pontifical faculties are, admittedly, a special case; professors are expected to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church. But Rist’s orthodoxy is not in question. He is being punished for questioning the orthodoxy of another prominent figure. And since the target of his criticism is the Bishop of Rome, a special rule applies.
In that 2018 document Veritatis Gaudium, amending the rules of the pontifical faculties, Pope Francis stipulated that the professors must be loyal to the Church. The wording of the relevant clause (26.2) is noteworthy:
Those who teach matters touching on faith and morals are to be conscious of their duty to carry out their work in full communion with the authentic Magisterium of the Church, above all, with that of the Roman Pontiff. [emphasis added]
The crude treatment of John Rist—which the professor rightly described as “grotesque discourtesy”—highlights a disturbing trend in Rome. Call it the new ultramontanism: the aggressive attitude of the Pope’s overeager defenders, who treat criticism of the Pontiff as a far more serious offense than attacks on the Catholic faith.”
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