Greetings everyone. Sorry about the light blogging, but I had to make an emergency trip on a family matter to interior British Columbia last week and, where I was staying, the internet access was intermittent.
Their first meeting had taken place on October 25, 2014. That day left a deep impression on Cardinal Sarah. Right away he recognized an ardent soul, a hidden saint, a great friend of God. How could anyone forget Brother Vincent’s spiritual strength, his silence, the beauty of his smile, the cardinal’s emotion, the tears, the modesty, the colliding sentiments? Brother Vincent was incapable of uttering a simple sentence because the sickness deprived him of the use of speech. He could only lift his gaze toward the cardinal. He could only contemplate him, steadily, tenderly, lovingly. Brother Vincent’s bloodshot eyes already had the brightness of eternity.
That sunny autumn day, as we left the little room where the monks and the nurses ceaselessly took over from one another with extraordinary devotion, the Abbot of Lagrasse, Father Emmanuel- Marie, brought us into the monastery gardens, near the church. It was necessary to get some air in order to accept God’s silent will, this hidden plan that was inexorably carrying off a young, good religious toward unknown shores, while his body lay tormented.
The cardinal returned several times to pray with his friend, Brother Vincent. The patient’s condition kept worsening, but the quality of the silence that sealed the dialogue of a great prelate and a little monk grew in an increasingly spiritual way. When he was in Rome, the cardinal often called the Brother. The one spoke gently, and the other remained silent. Cardinal Sarah spoke again to Brother Vincent a few days before his death. He was able to hear his breathing, husky and discordant, the attacks of pain, the last efforts of his heart, and to give him his blessing.
Last week, we received news that Pope Francis was not renewing Cardinal Muller’s term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and had appointed the CDF’s secretary Archbishop Ladario, SJ, as his replacement.
Of all the names that were bandied about as possible replacements (and Archbishop Ladario was not among them as I recall), this, I hear, is a good choice. I also recall that not long after his appointment, those of us in the Anglican world aspiring to become Catholic, believed the new secretary would be a friend to us.
I feel bad for Cardinal Muller in that he was increasingly sidelined long before this. For example, it was given to Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, to introduce Amoris Laetitia, when it was published a little over a year ago.
A strong CDF is one of the checks and balances in the Holy See to ensure the Pope faithfully carries out his mission as the Successor of Peter and defender of the Deposit of Faith. Perhaps Pope Francis believes he has no need any theological structuring.
Have any of you been following the debate over this letter to the four Dubia cardinals by UK Catholic Stephen Walford that appeared at Vatican Insider?