This Post first appeared on 2nd April, 2013.

In the lead up to the recent Conclave to elect the new Pope, the assembled Cardinals met on several occasions to hear various of their members speak on matters they believed important to the deliberations of those among them who, by virtue of age would be the Cardinal Electors in Conclave.

Yesterday the great Father George Byers of Holy Souls Hermitage Blog published the following Post. Reporting the proposal put to the Cardinals by the then Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires Argentina, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, which have become of special interest since His Eminence became His Holiness Pope Francis.


The Bergoglio Conclave Intervention

by Holy Souls Hermitage
pope francis inauguration mass salve regina
Bergoglio's Intervention: A diagnosis of the problems in the Church
2013-03-27 Vatican Radio -- The archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, on Saturday read from a document given him by Pope Francis, outlining the speech he gave during the pre-conclave General Congregation meetings of the Cardinals.
Cardinal Ortega had been so impressed with the speech he asked the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio for a copy of the intervention. Cardinal Ortega received permission from Pope Francis to share the information.
Evangelizing implies Apostolic Zeal
1. - Evangelizing pre-supposes a desire in the Church to come out of herself. The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents, and of all misery.
2. - When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick. (cf. The deformed woman of the Gospel). The evils that, over time, happen in ecclesial institutions have their root in self-referentiality and a kind of theological narcissism. In Revelation, Jesus says that he is at the door and knocks. Obviously, the text refers to his knocking from the outside in order to enter but I think about the times in which Jesus knocks from within so that we will let him come out. The self-referential Church keeps Jesus Christ within herself and does not let him out.
3. - When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness (which according to De Lubac, is the worst evil that can befall the Church). It lives to give glory only to one another.
Put simply, there are two images of the Church: Church which evangelizes and comes out of herself, the Dei Verbum religiose audiens et fidente proclamans; and the worldly Church, living within herself, of herself, for herself. This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms which must be done for the salvation of souls.
4. - Thinking of the next Pope: He must be a man who, from the contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to go out to the existential peripheries, that helps her to be the fruitful mother, who gains life from “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.”
* * *
HSH commentary -- Note the two-step process of the Franciscan plan to rebuild the Church with the new evangelization, and only in this precise order:
(1) "Contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ" -- Dei Verbum religiose audiens
(2) "The sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing" -- fidente proclamans
Even the customarily shallow commentary of the Australian Radio reporting on Radio National has become alert to the reality of considerable apprehension at the priorities being adopted by the new Holy Father, the possibility of putting at risk the slowly mending division in the Church as dissident liberalism has waned and traditional devotion has surged. Nor have they been slow to point to the Holy Father's age and the fact that he is the last surviving of 5 children. The pointed suggestion seeming to be, that at 76 years of age, his is unlikely to be a long Pontificate.

The revelation of his view of the needs of the Church's situation is therefore of great interest. Despite the Media attention to petty differences of style, real and imagined/exaggerated by the same Media, they have been slow to latch onto the new Holy Father's firmly orthodox preaching and doctrinal stance. His refreshingly repeated references to the activity of the Devil in the present day is an excellent demonstration of this. 
The pastoral simplicity apparent in Pope Francis' preaching is timely and well received - launched as it is, from the solid platform of Philosophy, Theology, Sacred Scripture and Liturgy established by the Holy Father's two saintly predecessors. But the solid mass of administrative problems confronting the Holy Father needs to be addressed and symbolic gestures about transport, vestments and accommodation will not cut the mustard . The Curia must be reformed, GOOD Bishops need to be continually appointed and in a timely manner.Discipline needs to be enforced in a similarly timely manner.And the Church needs to be " on the front foot" in presenting itself to the world, not simply the sex abuse punching bag it has become. The fundamental problem is that the Church is about truth, the media is about sensation.

To achieve all this, and at the same time inspire the approach the Holy Father had identified as necessary , will be a daunting task , and especially with either a newly -reformed Curia OR the old seemingly dysfunctional Curia. God help the Holy Father.
Much prayer is required  for his guidance.


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