Is Pope Francis Preparing To Resign? (Now, now…Don’t all cheer at once!)

Is Pope Francis Preparing To Resign? (Now, now…Don’t all cheer at once!)

From Rorate Caeli…

Marco Tosatti: Does Pope Francis think that his Pontificate is about to come to an end?

December 8, 2019

The appointment of [Cardinal] Tagle as Prefect for Propaganda Fide is an important signal for many reasons. But most of all because it gives grounds to suppose that Pope [Francis] believes the end of his pontificate is nigh. An intuition, obviously; nonetheless, justifiable, if you consider another decision taken – for no apparent reason – some weeks ago.

We are referring here to the end of Fabiàn Pedacchio’s service as special Secretary to the Pontiff over the last six years; a position commenced shortly after the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio on March 13, 2013. Fabián Pedacchio, all this time, has maintained his position in the Congregation for Bishops, acting in support of his very close friend, Ilson de Jesùs Montanari, appointed by Pope Francis as Secretary of that same Congregation, resulting in an absolutely extraordinary leap in career; he divested de facto the Prefect, Marc Ouellet, by being, repeatedly, the leading voice in the choosing of bishops.

So, leaving the position of Secretary has a question mark attached to it, if no other explanations are revealed. It has been said that Pedacchio will return to the Congregation, but in reality, he never left it. However, if the rumors over the last few weeks are true, the picture would be very different. According to these rumors, in fact, the present Secretary of the Congregation, Ilson Montanari, would be headed for Brazil, in an important diocese (Salvador de Bahia). Bishop Krieger has already passed the age of retirement by a year, to become the Primate of Brazil. And so the position of Secretary of the Congregation would be taken over specifically by Fabián Pedacchio, who of course, would become a titular Bishop.

In modern times, it has become standard practice that the special Secretary to the Pontiff, is appointed bishop when it is thought the reign is coming to an end; a sign of gratitude for services carried out, and also a way of protecting him from possible retorsion. The work of a Pope’s special Secretary creates friendships, but also generates less amiable, less positive sentiments.

Benedict XVI appointed Georg Gänswein to this role in December 2012, a few months before announcing his demission in February 2013.

We will see if these rumors become reality in the upcoming months.

But meantime, we have the unexpected appointment of Tagle in Rome. The present Prefect of Propaganda Fide (…) Fernando Filoni is seventy-three years old. Which means that his time to resign should be April 15, 2021. He has been the Prefect for the Congregation since May 2011; so, his second mandate would come to an end in May 2021. This is a change of position that cannot be explained by the numbers.

So, how hard is it to decipher sixty-two year old Luis Tagle’s appointment to that position. He isn’t the first Asian to head the Propaganda (he was preceded by Ivan Dias). Yet it is difficult to shake off the idea, that by giving Tagle a position in Rome, to learn about the Curia and broaden his audience of contacts and relationships, that Pope Francis doesn’t want to give a clear signal for the succession, which other candidates, like the present Secretary of State, Parolin, or the Prefect for Bishops, Ouellet are [already] preparing for. But also this signal – if this interpretation is correct – indicates that, there is the sense that the end of this reign is beginning to insinuate itself behind the Walls.   Source


Imagine the announcement of Papa Francis’s resignation.  The stuff of day-dreams.   However, not so fast.  The way things are, worsening by the nano-second, we could find ourselves, after the next conclave, saying “Come back Pope Francis, all is forgiven!” 

So, let’s reflect now on the $65,000 question:  Who would we hope would replace him?  

Comments (33)

  • gabriel syme

    Who would we hope would replace him?

    There are no real outstanding candidates in the college of Cardinals. Someone like Cardinal Burke or Sarah (for example) would be the best on offer. Someone like that might prove the “best conciliar Pope” although that is a low bar of course.

    Although the will to openly and directly criticise Vatican II / subsequent errors is growing in the Church, the College of Cardinals is still largely a backbone and realism free zone. And so it may be a few years yet, before any “right thinking” candidates emerge (by the time men of +Schneider’s current age start appearing as Cardinals, in future)

    Barring the extraordinary occurrence of a non-Cardinal being elected, it seems we are left hoping for the best of a bad bunch, the least poor choice.

    Tagle would be rank rotten, although I do believe there could be worse than him.

    December 10, 2019 at 12:26 am
  • RCAVictor

    Is Pope Francis preparing to resign? We should be so lucky…but I think Rorate Caeli might be trying to read tea leaves where there are only caffeine stains.

    I think Cardinal Muller might be an interesting choice. His past is rather heterodox, but he has stood up numerous times clearly and articulately against the Francis wrecking ball – to the point where these days it hardly seems he is the same man as before.

    But, having stood up against Francis, he also stands up against the German episcopate, who seems to have the clout (or is it the money?) necessary to control the next conclave, as they controlled the last one.

    As Gabriel Syme has already pointed out, there sure isn’t much to choose from….

    December 10, 2019 at 3:39 am
    • Margaret USA

      Honestly, I don’t think anyone should be happy about this. Pope Francis, for all his faults (I’m really trying to be charitable here), is still pope and he needs prayers.

      Also, I don’t like the idea of popes resigning. *If* he resigned, then we’d have 2 (!) emeritus popes. The BXVI supporters would not accept PF so they probably wouldn’t accept the pope after him. PF supporters will make the same arguements as the BXVI supporters are doing now. Then you’d have most Catholics say “ok, PF resigned so we have to follow the new pope.

      1 Cor. 1: 10-18 is the Epistle for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost on the Byzantine calendar. That pretty much describes what would happen if PF resigned imo.

      December 10, 2019 at 4:16 am
      • RCAVictor

        Margaret USA,

        I think “relief” and “gratitude” would better describe my emotions, just staying strictly at that level, better than “happy.” But actually, relief and gratitude mixed with dread – as in, now what?

        Yes, Francis certainly does need our prayers. I don’t like the idea of popes resigning either, but there’s no such thing as a Pope Emeritus….

        December 10, 2019 at 4:06 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Margaret USA,

        Sorry to say I have to disagree with you. Although I don’t like the idea of popes resigning either, I would be delighted if this pope did so. He’s doing terrible damage to the Church.

        December 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      “tea leaves/caffeine stains” – priceless!

      Cardinal Muller would be up against more than the German bishops – check out this latest nonsense

      December 10, 2019 at 10:07 am
      • RCAVictor


        Yes, I saw that. The Church under the hammer and sickle of Francis has become just another department of the UN.

        Meanwhile, to feed Rorate Caeli’s speculations, it seems Cdl. Tagle, “the Asian Francis,” has been appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples:

        December 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        RCA Victor,

        I saw that too and it got me confused. I think he’s just been appointed Prefect at the Propagation for the Faith so I’m wondering if “Evangelisation of the Peoples” is some idiot’s idea of a translation for “Propagation of the Faith”? He’s surely not been made Prefect of two different congregations at the same time, even in this lunatic Vatican?

        December 10, 2019 at 5:41 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Margaret Mary,

        That confused me as well. I wondered if the reporter was anticipating the name change, which I didn’t recall seeing before.

        At this rate the apostates will try to change the very name of the Catholic Church!

        December 10, 2019 at 6:49 pm
  • Teutonic Warrior

    This so called papacy has convinced me to become a SedeVacantist. All the “Popes” since Vatican II have compromised the faith by irreligious meetings with false religions. But Francis and his open idolatry takes the cake! Mainstream Catholicism is gone– in complete apostasy! The only truth Catholics left are a small remnant of traditionalists. We must reject all innovation and novelty of Vatican II, and return to tradition. Repentance from our worldly ways; immodest, irreverent, man-centered sacrilege of a new mass.

    Editor: our House Rules prohibit the promotion of the error of sedevacantism (although our bloggers ARE encouraged to correct it), so your post has been released from moderation only to promote your final conclusion – and as a reminder to our bloggers and readers not to fall into the error of thinking that a bad pope and no pope are one and the same thing.

    December 10, 2019 at 4:35 am
    • RCAVictor

      You contradict yourself. A return to tradition automatically excludes sedevacantism, which is a rebellion and a self-deceit.

      December 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        RCA Victor,

        Hear, hear. That’s another lunacy, to think you can break the succession and still claim you believe in Christ’s promise to be with his Church till the end of time.

        December 10, 2019 at 5:42 pm
      • Teutonic Warrior

        [Ed: this is addressed to RCA Victor, who is many things, but certainly not deluded, at least not by self-love… His devotion to his Catholic Truth pay check/cheque proves that 😀 ]

        You are deluded by your self love, and love of an institutional religion that has gone astray. Idolatry in the Vatican by Francis is too much heresy!

        Editor: well, we can see that your new religion is a tad short on its teaching on charity 😀 Not to mention logic; people go astray, not “religions”…–big-bad-wolf-bible-humor.jpg

        December 11, 2019 at 12:42 am
      • RCAVictor

        Congratulations, you have just exposed the essence of sedevacantism. I suggest you read True or False Pope? – which also exposes the essence of sedevacantism – before you descend too deeply into your Protestant rebellion.

        December 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm
      • editor

        Teutonic Warrior,

        I’ve now despatched your latest comment into cyberspace – it’s a blatant promotion of the sede nonsense and we’re honestly not remotely interested.

        I suggest you take your sales pitch elsewhere – we’re not buying…

        You wont realise it, but I wrote that last sentence with an American accent…


        December 11, 2019 at 11:24 pm
  • Marc

    Sometimes it’s better the devil you know. In all likelihood, the lavender mob will, in direct opposition to the rules concerning the election of the pope, vote as a group to ensure that one of the moderates (i.e. unbelievers) is installed.

    December 10, 2019 at 6:31 am
  • westminsterfly

    I wonder if Tradition (and sanity) will only be restored to the Papacy after the Consecration of Russia (being as it is widely believed that the unreleased part of the Third Secret refers to the apostasy in the Church, which Cardinal Ciappi said ‘starts at the top’) or if the Consecration will be done by a bad liberal Pope like Francis, out of sheer fear because of catastrophic world events – i.e. a global chastisement.

    December 10, 2019 at 11:09 am
    • editor


      Absolutely correct. And that is the $64,000 dollar question – whether the Consecration will be effected by another pope, or this awful/unlikely one, under terrifying circumstances. Time will tell. And I have a feeling, that time will be soon.

      December 10, 2019 at 2:51 pm
  • Helen

    Can someone help out a poor overworked mother? I listened to the wonderful talk (1947) by Archbishop fulton sheen posted by Victor But, although he said, and I paraphrase, “that until you return to me, I will not return to you, said the Lord God of Hosts, he never once mentioned the consecration of Russia. Why was that? Or, perhaps that request hadn’t yet been made by Our Lady at that time??

    December 10, 2019 at 3:52 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I went to the Fatima site to check that out for you and it was in 1929 – here’s the story at this link

      December 10, 2019 at 5:48 pm
    • RCAVictor


      Westminster Fly might be able to tell you when Our Lady’s request became known to the wider Church (sorry to put you on the spot, WF!). Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart on October 31, 1942, so it might be reasonable to assume that Bishop Sheen knew about it in 1947.

      However, just to add to our confusion, this article claims that Pius XII performed this act as a result of messages received from Jesus and Mary from “Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar, – of whom I’d never heard before – not in response to Our Lady’s request of 1929.

      December 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm
      • westminsterfly


        I’m not sure what you mean by “when Our Lady’s request became known to the wider Church”. She said at Fatima in 1917 that She would return to ask for the Communion of Reparation (the First Five Saturday Devotion) and that happened in December 10th, 1925. Then the Tuy Trinitarian apparition occurred on June 13, 1929, when Our Lady said to Sr Lucia: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.” The Fatima apparitions received ecclesiastical approval in October 1930.

        The events at Balasar involving the mystic victim soul Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa – although very much linked to Fatima – were distinct from Fatima in so far as she was asked to offer specific sufferings as a victim soul to bring about the Consecration of the world by Pope Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that the duration of World War II would be shortened.

        Sister Lucia of Fatima once wrote to her spiritual director Fr Umberto Pasquale, saying “May the Lord grant that Alexandrina’s cause of beatification advance as quickly as possible, for the glory of God. It is necessary that such a materialistic world sees that there are still souls capable of being raised into the realms of the supernatural”.

        An online booklet about the life of Blessed Alexandrina can be found here:- Also, in booklet form, for sale, here:-

        December 11, 2019 at 9:55 am
      • editor


        I took it that RCA Victor meant that it was perhaps not the case that – even at that early stage – the full message of Fatima was being publicised within the Church. I could be wrong, though. Again!

        December 11, 2019 at 11:15 am
      • RCAVictor


        Thanks for that info. By “wider Church” I meant clergy at the lower end of the food chain, and the faithful at large.

        I just did a search to see if Bishop Sheen mentioned Fatima elsewhere, and an entire page-full of videos came up!

        Helen, take note. He probably failed to mention Fatima during the 1947 address because he had mentioned it numerous times elsewhere (I say that without having checked the broadcast dates of the page-full of videos – I’ll leave that to your good self!).

        December 11, 2019 at 4:42 pm
  • Helen

    Thank you both for your sleuthing prowess! However, I still don’t know why the Archbishop didn’t seem to lay great store on the consecration when it is uppermost in all Traditional Catholic minds! Don’t tell me that it has been blown out of proportion in recent times!!

    December 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm
    • editor


      Your confusion arises from your assumption that the Archbishop was “traditional” in the authentic sense of the word. He wasn’t, sadly, despite his often beautiful spiritual insights, evident in some of his writings.

      December 10, 2019 at 10:56 pm
  • Helen

    Surely every Catholic was “traditional” in 1947 when he gave that talk posted by Victor?! Until vatican 2 there was only one type of Catholic I would have thought?

    December 10, 2019 at 11:27 pm
    • editor


      Yes, you’re right, although the “experts” tell us that the modernists were beavering away behind the scenes for decades before Vatican II. However, I seriously doubt if Archbishop Fulton Sheet was among them!

      I’ve just checked dates and he wasn’t a bishop until 1951. I saw some videos listed where he speaks about Fatima, so it might be worthwhile listening to them to see if he mentions the Consecration. Below, the first one to come up when I went to YouTube and Googled ‘Bishop Fulton Sheen on Fatima.’ I’ve not had time to watch it yet, but it might be useful and might lead to subsequent talks on Fatima. It would certainly be interesting to hear what, if anything, he says about the Consecration of Russia.

      December 11, 2019 at 12:08 am
    • RCAVictor


      I think you might be confusing “traditional” with his failure to mention Our Lady’s request. He may not have known about it, but not talking about it doesn’t mean he wasn’t faithful to tradition…until Vatican II, that is…

      At first I thought that delayed approval of the Fatima apparitions may have played a part here, but it seems they were approved as “worthy of belief” by the local bishop in 1930 and recognized by Pius XII in 1940.

      December 11, 2019 at 12:15 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        You’ve just reminded me that I read somewhere (around a million times!) that Pius XII thought he had complied with Our Lady’s request to consecrate Russia, not realising that all the world’s bishops had to be included in the act. Thus, I suppose we can take it that Archbishop Fulton Sheen genuinely believed that the consecration had been done. It would, however, have been interesting had he made a video to explain why there was no world peace as a result, and no conversion to the Catholic Faith of Russia…

        December 11, 2019 at 12:56 am
      • Laura

        I found this video about Pius XII – he did consecrate Russia but not with the bishops. The maker of this video is suggesting that Our Lady didn’t ask for the bishops to join in when she first mentioned the consecration.

        December 14, 2019 at 6:36 pm
      • Margaret USA

        She DID ask for the cooperation of all the bishops. Please see Westminster fly’s post on 11/12/19 @ 9:55 a.m. on this thread.

        December 17, 2019 at 2:45 am
  • graeme taylor

    Bishop Schneider would be a real shepherd for the Church in this time of apostasy.

    December 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm

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