A group of cardinals who supported the election of Pope Francis are worried about his reforms and are planning to appeal to him to step down, a Vatican watcher claims, according to The Times.
"A large part of the cardinals who voted for him is very worried and the curia ... that organised his election and has accompanied him thus far, without ever disassociating itself from him, is cultivating the idea of a moral suasion to convince him to retire," Antonio Socci wrote in the Italian newspaper Libero.
The conservative Catholic journalist said that Pope Francis's election had been backed by progressive German cardinals and a curia faction impatient with the rule of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
It was the latter faction who now believed that the Pope should resign and who would like to replace him with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, Mr Socci said. He believed that the group numbered around a dozen, "but the importance of the members counts more than their number".
"Four years after Benedict XVI's renunciation and Bergoglio's arrival on the scene, the situation of the Catholic Church has become explosive, perhaps really on the edge of a schism, which could be even more disastrous than Luther's [who is today being rehabilitated by the Bergoglio church]," Socci wrote.
What was significant, he said, was that the doubters were not the conservative cardinals who had been in open opposition to the Pope since early in his reign.
Putting pressure on a pope to resign is a crime punishable under canon law, Socci added, so it was unclear how the moral suasion might be exercised.
Anti-reform cardinals 'want the Pope to quit' (The Times)
Cardinal Pietro Parolin (Wikipedia)