Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) Clashed with New Religious Order; Cardinal Sodano Came to Its Defense

Argentine media report (here and here) that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, clashed with the very conservative religious order “Institute of the Incarnate Word,” founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in Argentina in 1984. Bergoglio was primate during the first investigation of the order. Under his leadership, the Argentinian bishops stopped the ordinations, shut down the seminary, and put restrictions on the founder Fr. Buela and other IVE priests.

Then, according to reports from Argentina, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, now dean of the College of Cardinals, helped Buela and the IVE out of their problems with the Argentinian bishops. The IVE moved its headquarters to the diocese of Velletri-Segni, which is in Italy 37 miles south of Rome.

The ancient Diocese of Velletri-Segni has 153 square miles and 44 diocesan priests, with 79 extradiocesan and religious priests in its ministry. Among the diocesan priests is American priest Fr. John Zuhlsdorf who runs the widely-read “Fr. Z’s blog.” Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconin recently sent a communication to his clergy that Fr. Zuhlsdorf has full faculties in Madison.

Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE, General Superior of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, has sent a letter to Pope Francis expressing the IVE’s “total availability and obedience in the arduous task of the New Evangelization.”

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9 comments

  1. The ancient Diocese of Velletri-Segni has 53 square miles and 39 priests.

    The diocesean web site says that the area of the diocese is 397 square kilometers, which is 153 square miles.

    It gives different numbers for priests as well:

    Sacerdoti Diocesani: 44
    Sacerdoti Extradiocesani: 45
    Sacerdoti Religiosi: 34

  2. Sandro Magister had an interesting piece focusing on the IVE last month.

    But there is much that I just don’t know about IVE, and why it apparently excited so much opposition among some Argentine bishops, beyond allegations of disobedience – were there substantive problems, for example? It’s also unclear exactly how significant Cdl. Bergoglio’s role was in that conflict. The Pagina article is cryptic on these points, to say nothing of possessed of a strong point of view.

    Doing a little more digging, I came across a site dedicated to criticism of the IVE here. Certainly it does not bode well that Cardinals Sodano and McCarrick have been defenders of IVE; but I hate to work on guilt by association.

    It’s interesting that Argentina has such a strong array of more conservative ecclesial movements or groups operating on the margins of Catholic life: The SSPX, which we all know about, has a presence so strong that I was taken aback when I saw the listings; there is also Miles Christi, which clashed with Bergoglio’s predecessor but seems to have gotten along with Bergoglio himself; and then there is IVE, which I’ve not heard much about.

  3. Arinze is the current Cardinal bishop, his predecessor was Cardinal Ratzinger.
    This is like the churches around Rome to which cardinals are associated, but cardinal bishops get dioceses like this one. Suburbicarian.

  4. I wished I would hear more about clashes with left wingers like the Jesuits, Maryknollers and habitless nuns. I’m very pleased to read that the new Pope didn’t find reason to clash with Miles Christi, because my experience at a spiritual exercise retreat held by one of their priests was outstanding. I’m concerned when I read about Pope’s Francis’ obsession with “the poor” and he says nothing about the cause of poverty i.e. corrupt gov’ts, sloth and then misfortune. The later requires our help the first requires battle. We need to start hearing from him what the long term solutions are for poverty, which is not handouts. He will give great cover to demagogues like Obama who will use his words to promote government at the expense of the Church.

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