Fraternal Attempted Corrections
I don't know you, but when I read the Catholic news I can't think of anything else than the now eagerly awaited correction: will it come? When? Signed by whom? Will it be necessary in the first place?
As already written in the last days, it is reasonable to suppose that such a correction will be made to Francis in camera caritatis first. The issue here is not whether Francis will be persuaded by the Cardinals; the issue is, rather, whether the private warning will be a credible threat, sufficient to persuade Francis to backpedal, or not.
Here is where it gets strange. Francis has certainly surrounded himself with sycophants telling him the Cardinals are isolated. However, the climate of fears the man himself has created will not encourage any bishop or Cardinal to have a word with him in private to try to dissuade him from being stubborn. Therefore, it is likely that whatever the Cardinals tell Francis – for example, “we have three dozen Cardinals and more than one hundred bishop ready to support us when we publicly correct you” – they will not be believed.
I have written on several occasions that if Francis is smart he will prefer to cave in. But the thing is, there are many signs indicating that the man is not smart. He will believe what is friends tell him and think that the silence of the others is, if not approval, at least acquiescence. He would underestimate the menace of orthodox bishops even if such a menace were to materialise. He will see no reason whatever to comply with the request of the Four Cardinals and answer – in the proper way, of course – to the Dubia.
It is, therefore, at this point more likely that the ball goes back in the half of the Four Cardinals. It is for them to now do what they – through Cardinal Burke – do what they say they would and let Francis taste the excrements of his own pontificate.
Alas, this us one who might even like the exercise.