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Vatican adviser: Pope ‘breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants’

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Under Pope Francis, the Church is now “openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture,” a Vatican adviser has said.

In an admiring portrait of the Pope, Fr Thomas Rosica wrote that Francis “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants” because he is “free from disordered attachments”.

Fr Rosica, a Canadian priest and media advisor to the Vatican, was writing on the website of Salt & Light Catholic Media Foundation, of which he is CEO.

The article, written two weeks ago, was republished by the news agency Zenit. After Fr Rosica’s statements came to attention on social media, Zenit removed the controversial statement and replaced it with “[…]”.

Fr Rosica said that, as a Jesuit, Pope Francis is guided by the principle of “discernment” which at times results in “freeing him from the confinement of doing something in a certain way because it was ever thus”.

The article, which was published on the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, said that Pope Francis has brought “Jesuit intellectualism” to the papacy.

Fr Rosica’s words came days before the Vatican announced Pope Francis had changed the Catechism to state the death penalty is now “inadmissible”.

The alteration caused much debate as to what the term meant, and whether it contradicted traditional Church teaching, which holds that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil.