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The Downfall of Pope Francis’s Cardinals

The Decomposition of Pope Francis’ reign continues. In light of what Onepeterfive has shown in the recent past concerning Pope Francis’ close advisors – Cardinals Maradiaga, Errazuriz, and Marx – it might be of interest that now one of the most prominent Swiss newspapers – Der Tages-Anzeiger – joins in that discussion, talking about the “Downfall of the Cardinals” (which is the title of the article).

The author of the article, Michael Meier, the newspapers’ religion expert, picks up some of these cases that we have recently discussed, and he says that, after the “enthusiastically” welcomed beginning of the pope’s curial reform “some of his closest papal advisors have come under pressure and threaten to perish in a whirlwind of abuse scandals.” “Looking back, Francis did not have a good hand in his decisions concerning cardinals,” Meier adds. “In spite of his zero tolerance policy toward pedophilic clergymen, he himself seems to spare his own people according to an old pattern.”

In the following, Meier deals with cardinals who are also members of the Council of Nine Cardinals, among them Cardinals Francisco Errazuriz and Oscar Rodgriguez Maradiage.

Meier then touches upon the case of the Chilean Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz who only recently has been accused by three abuse victims of having given the pope false information about responsible clergymen in Chile and of having blocked the juridical prosecution of the abusing priest, Father Fernando Karadima.

While Pope Francis now has apologized for his initial rebuke of these abuse victims, Meier says “One nevertheless has the impression that the pope sees the problem only in part.” The journalist continues, saying: “Because also with regard to the deceptive practices of yet another cardinal – Oscar Rodiguez Maradiaga – he does not seem to be overly interested in bringing light into the affair.” Meier shows here how this cardinal from Honduras is both accused of financial meddling – receiving a 35,000 Euros monthly payment from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa – and of covering up for the financial and moral corruptions of his auxiliary bishop – Juan José Pineda – who even now represents Maradiaga when traveling. Pineda is even accused of having sexually harassed some seminarians, according to Meier. The journalist explains that the pope has sent, a few months ago, a papal investigator to Honduras. “For a long time now, he [the pope] has his report,” Meier adds and then asks: “But why does he not establish sanctions? Because he wishes to spare his friend Maradiaga?” Maradiaga, who is currently in the U.S. for the treatment of his prostate cancer, is “being represented currently by Pineda himself.”

In conclusion, Meier wonders whether “all these fallible cardinals are damaging the curial reform? And the credibility of Pope Francis?” He also asks whether the pope’s choice of cardinals more in the sense of a globalization “pays off.” “Are some Third-World-Cardinals corruptible? With these questions, one looks at the upcoming new appointments to the cardinalate in the middle of May.” The Swiss journalist ends his critical account of Pope Francis’ personnel policy with the comment: “Also with regard to the choice of personnel and cardinals, one cannot get rid of the impression that this pope acts more according to his gut and after too little reflection.”


This article has been updated since its original publication since Cardinal Pell has been exonerated from the accusations against him. 

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