Victor Manuel "Tucho" Fernandez, ghost writer of Pope Francis, effectively eliminated the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in his archdiocese.
(Buenos Aires) Msgr. Victor Manuel Fernandez is one of the closest, Argentine confidants of Pope Francis. On June 2, 2018, Francis appointed him archbishop of La Plata, the second most important metropolitan See in Argentina after Buenos Aires. There he is taking action and has effectively prohibited the celebration of Holy Mass in the traditional form of the Roman rite in his Archdiocese. The evidence is mounting that the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI. is to be strangled.
The Argentinian Victor Manuel Fernandez was one of the very first personnel decisions of Pope Francis. Francis appointed him titular archbishop on May 13, 2013, exactly two months after his election as church head. Few people in the early phase of this pontificate signaled more clearly that many things would change under the new pope.
The career of the ghostwriter
Fernandez was appointed Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in 2009 by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, whose speechwriter he was. The appointment was followed by a tenacious tug-of-war with the Roman Congregation for Education, which lasted two whole years. The Congregation did not consider the candidate of the then archbishop of Buenos Aires suitable. Doubts existed, among other things, in his theological production and even in his orthodoxy. Bergoglio prevailed nevertheless. In 2011, Fernandez received confirmation by Rome.
As a pope, Francis practiced retribution on those who opposed him in the Vatican.
Fernandez, known as "Tucho", he promoted demonstratively titular Archbishop. Officially still active as a rector in Buenos Aires, however, Francis often brought him to Rome, where he was especially in the first years of the pontificate, the actual speechwriter of the pope. Some statements not only brought him attention, but also criticized him. When this became too violent, he was withdrawn from the front line. Since then, he hardly appears publicly in connection with Francis. The connection between Bergoglio and his "eyeball", as "Tucho" is still called, is still good.
In May 2018 Fernandez resigned as Rector and was appointed by Francis as the new Archbishop of La Plata Previously, the Pope had the archbishop there, Msgr. Hector Ruben Aguer, retired at the age of 75 years. Archbishop Aguer was Bergoglio's most influential opponent in the Argentine Episcopate. The replacement by Fernandez was again considered a demonstrative act, with which Pope Francis signaled his triumph and a corresponding humiliation of Archbishop Aguer.
Two decrees against the traditional Roman rite
Half a year after taking possession of his Archdiocese m, Archbishop Fernandez issued two decrees before Christmas, with which he prohibited the celebration of the traditional Mass, as introduced by Pope Benedict XVI. in the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The decrees were received with particular concern in traditional circles. They join in more signals that have been directed against Summorum Pontificum in the past two months. In November, during the autumn plenary assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, a horn was blown against the Motu proprio.
Recent rumors of a dissolution of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei go in the same direction.
The measures of "Tucho" Fernandez are so far the most massive attack. Because of his close proximity to Pope Francis they are particularly noticeable.
On December 17, Fernandez issued a decree annulling "generally all previous archdiocese norms relating to liturgical celebrations".
A week later, on December 24, he issued a second decree ordering that the sacraments always be offered "in the vernacular," not Latin. The Mass, according to the same decree, also has to be celebrated "in the ordinary form" and "towards the people".
The confidant appointed by Pope Francis thus effectively eliminated La Plata’s Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese, ruling as if the motu proprio did not exist. With the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, the need to ask the superiors’ permission, in particular the archbishop, to celebrate in the traditional form of the Roman rite was dispensed with.
Only "a blind man can deny", to quote Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, "that there is a campaign in the Church against everything that smells of tradition," said the Spanish news portal InfoVaticana. The question is, "where is the terminus, what will be the last act of this operation?"
Text: Giuseppe Nari
Image: columnasdelaiglesia (screenshot)
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