The Catholic journalist Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña, one of the most well-known Spanish columnists and bloggers on Church issues, has never made a secret of his rejection of Marxist liberation theology and his criticism of their representatives such as Ernesto Cardenal. His grandfather had been murdered by the Marxists in the Spanish Civil War because, as a Catholic and an industrialist, he belonged to the "wrong" credo and the "wrong" class. He knows about what is supposedly meant well but can lead to wrong ideas.
Progressive Church circles celebrate the pardon of Cardenal by Pope Francis and take the opportunity once again to repeat their dislike of Pope John Paul II, who suspended Cardenal a divinis in 1984. This reaction was predictable and contains nothing new. How much more remarkable, however, is the conciliatory tone found by a hard critic of Cardenal like Fernandez de la Cigoña. The Spanish journalist sheds light on the extent to which the devout Catholic rejoices over anyone who returns to the full unity of the Church, and over any suspended or apostate priest who rightfully practices his sacrament of Holy Orders, even if he was once a harshly criticized opponent.
The video at the end of the article shows from minute 1:08 also Pope John Paul II’s meeting with Ernesto Cardenal, then Sandinista minister in Nicaragua. The gesture of the head of the Church clarifies the drama of the moment. He demanded Cardenal's immediate resignation as Minister of Culture, which he refused.
Here is the comment by Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña on the pardon of Ernesto Cardenal by Pope Francis in full:
Penalties waived against Ernesto Cardenal
by Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña
The penalties against Ernesto Cardenal have been lifted. That seems to me very good. He is 94 years old. He is in a hospital and looks very bad. It goes so far that it is not clear in the photos whether he is still fully conscious. Did he celebrate the Mass? Did he concelebrate? Whatever it is, it makes me very happy.
A priest of Jesus Christ who has been suspended for his political activities, minister of a Marxist government, communist, or whatever you wish to qualify it as, who has violated all the rules of the Church, is called by Pope Francis in articulo mortis [in the face of death] or almost pardoned.
Blessed Mercy of the Church.
Like the Claretian priest and liberation theologian Pedro Casaldáliga, Cardenal was considered a poet. For me he was never a writer, this attribution was misleading. There is no merit in his literary work; on the contrary, it seemed to me right rubbish, which was crammed with the prevailing leftist thinking. He always seemed to me to be an eccentric who was especially concerned about his fame. But perhaps he was misunderstood, even though his life conveyed exactly that impression. All his Sandinista passion ended in a radical opposition to the system he advocated and which had cost him the suspension a divinis. He was really mobile like a donna. (1)
I read that a few years ago he rejected the pardon of the Church. In old age you may know it better, as in his now. So we want to believe that he has now reconciled himself with the Church before his conscience - and above all in the infinite grace of God, which overcomes all our weaknesses.
John Paul II raised his accusing finger against him as he had to. The criticism of the Jesuit Pedro Miguel Lamet, even now, is even more regrettable. Now if Francis generously offered his hand, then that is as it should be. He has not acquitted a Sandinista, but a priest from his past mistakes. Now he can look forward to the mercy of the Church. And we too. Today, Cardenal is against Daniel Ortega, though that does not matter anymore in his state of doubtful consciousness. When he expressed his opposition to the Ortega system, he was still conscious.
Because of his age and my age, I'm sure I'll never meet Ernesto Cardenal. If anything happened tomorrow, I would also devoutly ask him, "Bless me, Father." And I would be able to receive his blessings from him with the permission of the Church. That pleases me a lot.
The pictures say a lot about the Pope's mercy. At least this time.
There are a few more, but I hold back.
If someone thinks that you should not publish such photos, then please do not complain to me, but on the progressive websites Lamet and Religion Digital.