sexta-feira, 15 de março de 2013
‘New way’ pope faces old forces
Ótimo artigo sobre os desafios que esperam o novo Papa Francisco. Tenho a leve impressão que ele deverá desapontar aqueles que, equivocadamente, confundem defesa dos pobres com adesão a controversa teologia da libertação latino americano. O artigo abaixo e outros que li, deixam claro a sua oposição a este corrente que já foi muito popular entre os jesuitas, cujo maior mérito é a tese da opção preferencial pelos pobres.
In the short time since his election as the first non-European Pope in almost 1,300 years, Francis has already sought to inject fresh humility and simplicity into the papacy, while charting out a path to take the troubled Roman Catholic Church back to the people through “new ways” of evangelisation.
Small gestures have already won over many hearts – greeting the faithful in a rain-drenched St Peter’s square on Wednesday with the simple words “Good evening”, turning down ermine-trimmed robes as well as the papal Mercedes, and insisting on paying his bill at a Vatican-owned guest house.
As the Jesuit cardinal of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio lived in a simple apartment instead of the archbishop’s palace, cooked his own meals and rode the bus to work.
Social justice and attacking ill-gotten privileges have been dominant themes of his life, even if he rejected the Marxist politicisation of liberation theology that brought the Jesuits, with their roots among the oppressed, into conflict with the military juntas of Latin America, and the Vatican itself.
The question many are now asking in Rome is whether the first Jesuit Pope in history will have the courage to take such battles into the heart of the Curia, the Vatican’s Italian-dominated apparatus revealed through last year’s “Vatileaks” exposures to be a font of corruption, waste and palace power intrigues.
Should Francis try to take on the Curia – and in his first homily he warned that “everything is swept away” if the Church were built on sand – then some voices are already warning he might not last the course.
“This could be a Pope with a short-term contract,” commented a French priest working in the Curia who asked not to be named, noting that Benedict XVI had set the modern-day precedent of abdication, and that Pope Francis, at the age of 76, was only two years younger than when his predecessor was elected in 2005.
Awaiting Pope Francis in a locked safe in the Vatican is a long report drawn up by three cardinals appointed by Benedict to investigate the leaks scandal.
Cardinals meeting ahead of their conclave vote in the Sistine Chapel quizzed the authors but did not see the file. Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s powerful secretary of state or prime minister, also reported on the hesitant progress made to comply with international banking standards at the Institute of Religious Works, as the Vatican bank is formally known.
Just two weeks before Benedict stepped down, Cardinal Bertone was instrumental in appointing Ernst von Freyberg, a German lawyer and aristocrat, as president of IOR to replace Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. The Italian banker and professor of ethics was abruptly sacked last May and is still under investigation by Italian prosecutors probing IOR’s suspected breach of money laundering procedures.
Mr Gotti Tedeschi, the Vatican said, had been incompetent and demonstrated “increasingly erratic personal behaviour”.
However, according to a senior Italian official who asked not to be named, Mr Gotti Tedeschi had instead “opened too many boxes” in his efforts to expose the secretive bank to international scrutiny after its scandal-plagued past.
“He found astounding things and believed the Pope would save him,” said the official who is involved in Italy’s monitoring of the bank.
Pope Francis, with no experience of working in the Curia, is expected to replace Cardinal Bertone, possibly within months. The choice of an outsider – respected diplomats Pietro Parolin and Fernando Filoni are mentioned – would signal the start of a purge of Curia insiders.
“He needs to start to reform the Vatican and decision making process inside the Roman Curia, especially he has to clarify its banking system and should give much more self-determination to local churches,” urged We are Church, a movement advocating structural changes, particularly in response to the clerical sexual abuse scandals.
The Pope’s background as a Jesuit gives hope to those seeking change. Renowned for their academic rigour and spiritual-driven missionary work through shared suffering, the Society of Jesus – founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish knight – is also intensely pragmatic when it comes to management.
But the Jesuits are also in the spotlight for their alleged involvement in cases of sexual abuse. Bishop Accountability, a US group seeking justice for victims, said on Friday that it would send the new Pope a list of all Jesuit priests who had been publicly accused of abuse.
“Religious orders are a challenge because they evade accountability and are more proficient than the diocese at hiding abuses,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, group co-director
“Pope Francis seems like a safe guy. We need someone that dares ... He does not seem like a reformist, but sometimes it’s the non-assuming folks that surprise,” she said.
A Jesuit priest from central Africa, speaking near Rome’s Gregorian university run by the order, suggested that matters regarding the Vatican core were never quite what they seemed.
“The Church knows we are going through many difficulties, with sexual and financial abuses,” he said, suggesting that an exhausted Benedict, unable to cope, had “opened the way” for Cardinal Borgoglio, who had been his runner-up in 2005, to take over.
Asked if change were possible, he replied: “Formally yes, being the first Jesuit Pope and the first from the Americas ... but real change?” And then he fell silent.
Guy Dinmore and Giulia Segreti