News story: Francis replaces Cardinal Muller with deputy Ladaria as head of doctrinal congregation — “Pope Francis has decided not to renew the expiring term of Vatican doctrinal chief Cardinal Gerhard Muller, choosing instead to replace the German prelate with his deputy…. The pontiff has appointed Archbishop Luis Ladaria, 73, as the new prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He had previously served as the office’s secretary.”
Archbishop Ladaria was secretary general of the International Theological Commission when it issued the document opining that it is possible for unbaptized infants to be saved. They may die in the state of grace, despite not receiving formal baptism, by means of a baptism of desire or of blood. The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized
The appointment of Ladaria to head the CDF may signal that Pope Francis is ready to teach on the subject of salvation for unbaptized infants, or more generally on salvation for non-Christians. Previously, the holy Pontiff has given some limited indications that he thinks atheists and non-Christian believers can be in the state of grace and can be saved. See my previous posts: Pope Francis on Salvation for Atheists and Pope Francis: We are all children of God.
The appointment of Ladaria may also signal that Pope Francis is ready to teach on the subject of the ordination of women to the diaconate. The previous head of the CDF, Cardinal Muller, spoke against the ordination of women deacons in an interview in May of 2017. But Archbishop Ladaria is head of the new commission studying the question of ordained deaconesses. Elevating him to lead the CDF may indicate that Pope Francis has decided in favor of ordaining women deacons.
If either of those teachings are issued by Pope Francis, I expect the conservative Catholic subculture to cry out against the Vicar of Christ and utterly reject him. In my opinion, the conservative Catholic schism has already begun. But most of the schismatics still claim to be subjects of the current Pontiff. If Pope Francis teaches that women can be ordained as deacons or that unbaptized persons can be saved without converting, I think that many papal critics will openly accuse him of heresy and openly reject him.
The Church is about to become much smaller and much holier. The process will take several years. But I don’t see any other course for the Ark of Salvation. She cannot continue to let the conservative Catholic subculture pretend to be the Magisterium. And She cannot let so many Catholics reject the teachings of the Church, and commit objective mortal sin, and yet still receive Communion. Those who do not repent, will fall away, just as it always has been.
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