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Francis’s bishops: an uneasy relationship

The Pope is hoping to reshape the Church with the support of bishops, said Sandro Magister in L’Espresso. But apart from Italy, “The only national episcopates that he can count on today are those of Germany, Austria, and Belgium, nations in which the Catholic Church is in the most dramatic decline.”

Meanwhile, Magister wrote, “the more vital Churches of Africa are those that stood together, in the two combative synods on the family, against the innovations desired by the Pope”.

In the Americas, Francis also faces resistance. The US bishops elected as their chairman Cardinal Daniel DiNardo – who was a conservative voice at the family synod. In Canada, the bishops of Alberta have reaffirmed traditional Church teaching on Communion. In Latin America, the bishops of Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia object to some of the Pope’s political interventions.

“Winning the agreement of the bishops is anything but easy for Francis,” Magister concluded.

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