This week’s Holy Smoke podcast discusses two looming disasters for Pope Francis.
The first is the ‘Amazon Synod’ in October, at which the world’s bishops will discuss a bizarre plan to ordain Amazon ‘village elders’ as priests. The framework for the synod has already been published; Damian's guest Dr Ed Condon uses the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe the language it employs.
The second threat to Francis is more personal. When he became pope he lost no time making his friend Gustavo Zanchetta a bishop in Argentina. Bad move. Within a short time Zanchetta was facing allegations of sexual and financial impropriety. The Pope was informed of these allegations (and if you google them you’ll discover that they were pretty lurid).
His response? He plucked Zanchetta out of his diocese and created a plum job for him in Rome... managing the Vatican’s finances. Another bad move, now that Zanchetta, back in Argentina, is facing charges of molesting seminarians and other allegations of misusing money.
A mood of despair has set in at the Vatican. You’ll understand why if you listen to the podcast.
Presented by Damian Thompson.