ROME — Those who attack Pope Francis are playing the long game, hoping to influence the outcome of the next papal elections, said Father Arturo Sosa, the superior general of the Jesuit order this week.
Recent criticisms by Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider are “a way to influence the election of the next Pope, because Francis is not a young man and his pontificate will not be the longest in history and they are looking at his succession,” Father Sosa told journalists during a press conference in the Vatican Monday.
As Breitbart News reported, last week Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider launched a crusade of prayer and fasting to prevent theological errors from being approved at the upcoming Vatican synod on the Amazon.
The Synod’s working document is rife with “serious theological errors and heresies,” they declared, while calling on the faithful to “implore God that error and heresy do not pervert the coming special assembly of the synod of bishops for the pan-Amazon.”
These criticisms are not motivated by a sincere concern for the faithful or the integrity of Catholic doctrine, Father Sosa insisted, but represent a political battle against Pope Francis.
“This is a political fight within the Church,” Sosa said, and the attacks on the pope are really a reaction to his efforts to root out clericalism.
The pope “promotes synodality against clericalism, and these attacks are the same as we saw against the synod on youth and the synod on the family,” he said.
The working document for Amazon Synod, the Jesuit General said, explains “how we, as the Church and as a society, really care about an integral ecology. Those who think it’s a left-wing strategy should be helped to open their eyes.”
Father Sosa also addressed the pope’s recent announcement that he will elevate three of his brother Jesuits to the rank of cardinal in the next consistory on October 5.
The choice of Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, Sosa said, underscores the pope’s “commitment on behalf of refugees and migrants,” whereas with the elevation of the Luxembourgeois archbishop Jean-Claude Höllerich, Francis “wants to give a message of the unity of Europe.” The third Jesuit who will be made cardinal, the Lithuanian archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius “is a living martyr,” Father Sosa added.
In point of fact, Pope Francis — the first Jesuit pope — has not been averse to using his authority to elevate members of his own Jesuit order to positions of prominence and influence in the Church.