The Pope relieves the person in charge of the Doctrine of the Faith, the body that deals with abuses | International

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Luis Ladaria, in 2019 in Mallorca.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which until very recently constituted the aorta artery of the Vatican, announces changes in the control room. The organ known as La Suprema for its extreme importance, also named throughout history as the old Holy Office, changes its guard and the Spanish Jesuit Luis Ladaria, cardinal and until today in charge of guarding the essences of the Catholic Church, will be replaced by the Argentine Víctor Manuel Fernández, known as tucho. The change was expected due to the incumbent's retirement age being exceeded but, as so many times in the era of Francis, it has caught many in the Holy See on the wrong foot, who did not expect someone so young and, let's say, so francisquista Especially the more conservative wing.

Víctor Manuel Fernández is the current Archbishop of La Plata. His appointment is a direct consequence of the advanced age of his predecessor, Luis Francisco Ladaria, 79, who will finish his term in September after five years in office. Curiously, the most relevant thing now could also be the age of Fernández, 61, and who was ordained archbishop in 2013 by Francisco himself, with whom he has a strong friendship and with whom he coincides in positions considered to be from the progressive wing of the Church. . He is also the first Argentine prelate from his circle that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has decided to bring to Rome for a position of great importance.

The appointment, in some way, closes an era in the control tower of the theological doctrine of Ratzinger's heritage. After the German Gerhard Müller (who left the dicastery early and deeply at odds with the Pontiff) and Ladaria, whose contribution has been as blurred as it was invaluable (especially on the subject of abuses), comes a notable change of direction. And the appointment is not insubstantial in the future of the Church. Despite the organizational changes made by the Pope recently, in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is no longer the number 1 dicastery, the old Holy Office continues to be one of the key places to decipher the identity of the current Catholic Church.

“As the new prefect of the Department for the Doctrine of the Faith, I entrust you with a task that I consider very valuable. Its central purpose is to guard the teaching that springs from faith to give reason for our hope, but not as enemies that point out and condemn, "said the Pope in a letter released this Saturday. In addition to what was expressed by Francisco, the congregation that Fernández will now direct, who is expected to be named a cardinal by the Pontiff soon, has the function of supervising investigations of child abuse.

In the old Palacio del Santo Oficio, the old command room where the Inquisition judged and punished the sins of heretics of all stripes ―some of the devices for torture and an old dungeon are still preserved―, today the CDF has its offices. Until now, this body was the most hierarchically important of the Holy See, so much so that in 1965 it was known as La Suprema and its prefect was the Pontiff himself. But the reform of the Curia carried out by Pope Francis - which put in first place the new great ministry of Evangelization - and a slow process of restructuring, place it right now at a moment of particular change.

Tucho Fernández arrives in Rome just when the investigation of the abuse of minors by the clergy is acquiring more relevance throughout the world and a definitive response from the Holy See will be needed. A moment in which the CDF must also decide whether to enhance its nature as a court or its theological aspect. Fernández's plans and firmness will be key to understanding him.

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