Pope Francis will open the academic year at the John Paul II Institute in Rome, in a schedule change that will see him replace Cardinal Sarah.
The news of the pontiff’s substitution for Sarah comes just weeks
after Francis chose Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Mgr Pierangelo
Sequeri to head the institute, whose full name is the Pontifical John
Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
The selection of Archbishop Paglia and Mgr Sequeri as the new grand
chancellor and president of the institute proved controversial.
suggest that the pair possess ideas on marriage and the family that go
against the approach which the institute has traditionally upheld.
commentator Philip Lawler asked “whether Pope Francis is deliberately moving away from the teachings of St John Paul II on marriage, family, and life.”
Archbishop Paglia has given his support to the
Kasper proposal – a scheme floated by Cardinal Walter Kasper that would
allow remarried divorcees to receive Communion.
The proposal was
dropped after many bishops argued that it was contradictory to
magisterial teaching, as expressed in documents such as John Paul II’s
The replacement of Cardinal Sarah in the inauguration ceremony on
October 27 is likely to be interpreted as a knock-back for Cardinal
Sarah. In July, the cardinal asked priests to make a special effort to
say Mass ad orientem – a request which the Vatican quickly discouraged.
The institute will celebrate its 35th anniversary in November.
There are currently 13 locations around the world.