Daily Archives: June 14, 2021

The Resignation That Wasn’t.

God knows I think that both Francis and many of his – particularly progressive – Cardinals have no shame. But even I wasn’t prepared for the resignation debacle that we witnessed in Germany.

First, a cultural note. Germans aren’t Argentinians. If you pull a stunt like a resignation when you think you will remain in office, they will think (much) worse of you. “What we say, we must also do” is a liked quote over there.

Cardinal Marx resigned as a “gesture”, and remained in office. This will stay with him forever and he will, forever, be seen as a trombone, at least in Germany and by the people with some morality left, whatever their religious persuasion or lack of it. Something has gone wrong here, because this is not how you do it in Germany. In fact, I have seen third party video commentaries about Marx’s resignation, giving it as a fait accompli. This is how your typical German journalist (and citizen) thinks. You resign when you know your resignation will be accepted, then this is not a pro forma resignation. If this is not the case, you don’t resign.

So, I am thinking what might have happened here, and I have come up with some hypotheses. None of these is flattering for Marx, Francis, or the Vatican at large.

First: Marx wants to move to Rome. There are a couple of appetising Congregations available, and he tries to force Francis’ hand. He stages a grand resignation that makes him appear, after his “courageous” act, oh so suitable to lead from the front, in Rome. In this scenario, Francis ruins the party, as it appears Marx will be forced to stay in the shadow of the Theatinerkirche (and what a beautiful shadow it is!).

Second: Marx wants to go NGO, in order to hobnob with the really powerful of this earth. He will resigns and undergo self-martyrdom, then ask Francis for whatever authorisation and dispensation he needs to jet around the world. Again, if this was the plan, Francis wasn’t in agreement. The guy might have put him a bit in the shadow.

Third: Francis might have had plans for Marx in Rome, but he was peeved that Marx wanted to force his hands. So he decided to make him stay in Munich for as long as he pleases.

Fourth: Francis, who is – emphatically – not a German, does not care about stuff like, you know, doing what you say. Therefore, he suggests to Marx that he makes the grand gesture, in order to strengthen the progressives in the ongoing German Schism Saga. Perhaps Francis leads Marx to believe that he is exactly what is needed in Rome in order to move him to resign. Then he screws the guy, with a stunt that looks very stupid in Germany if Marx does not go, but is probably quite the event in places like South America, or wherever people without integrity live.

I still have the impression that something went wrong here, as this is so cheap it’s even below Francis’ standards.

Still, they have no shame, so you don’t know what they invent if they are bored.

Marx looks, as it stands now, very stupid as if he knew that Francis “needs him at his place” and would make him stay, with whatever excuse, he should not have resigned in the first place.

Francis looks like, well, Francis.

We all look like we can’t wait for these people to go away.

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