The 80th Birthday of Pope Francis by Prof. Roberto de Mattei

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The 80th Birthday of Pope Francis

Pope Francis crosses the threshold of 80 years: Ingravescentem aetatem (advanced age), as Paul VI’s motu proprio of November 21st 1970 defines it, which imposes every cardinal to abandon all of their duties, expropriating them also of the right to go into conclave. Paul VI established the rule to create a new “Montinian” curia, but in doing so introduced a profound contradiction inside the more than thousand year praxis of the Church. If in fact advanced age is an obstacle for the head of a diocese or ministry, and even hinders a cardinal from electing a Pope, how can one imagine, that, a cardinal becoming Pope and then reaching the age of 80 can sustain the burden of leading the universal Church?
In any case, these considerations are not what prompted Pope Francis to declare on December 12th: “I have the sensation that my…

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