In the matter of the spat between Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke over the delivery of the now-famous Dubia, it seems to me that there are three possibilities:
- Francis is mistaken
- Burke is mistaken
- The letter was delivered by Cardianl Caffarra, as described, but it never reached Francis
The last possibility is the more charitable to both protagonists; but it raises serious concerns about the functioning of the Pope’s private office and the integrity of those close to him.
This is not the first time, it should be remembered, that Francis has pleaded ignorance of documents sent to him – consider the Karadima/Baros affair.*
What are we to conclude?
That it is a strange world in which the choice is between a prevaricating Pope, a prevaricating Cardinal and a corrupt and self-serving bureaucracy.
*’the abuse survivor and former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Marie Collins, made it known that she had delivered an 8-page letter to the Pope…Collins claims she delivered the letter in 2015, through the Pope’s own chief adviser on sexual abuse matters (and president of the Commission for the Protection of Minors), Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston. [Catholic Herald, 10 Feb 2018]