If you want to follow the Lord, prepare to do battle. And the Pope is prepared.
That is the message from the senior cardinal who heads his influential advisory 'Council of Nine', known as C9.
Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and former president of Caritas International, a global confederation of Catholic humanitarian organisations, was speaking after yet more revelations of internal divisions fomenting in the wake of the Pope's reforms. Christian Today reports that Vatican police have summonsed for questioning a senior priest and a former employee on suspicion of leaking confidential documents about his reforms which form the basis of two new books on Vatican finances.
Cardinal Maradiaga said: "You know, everybody that is trying to make good will have opposition. The books of the Bible said, especially the Wisdom books: 'If you want to follow the Lord, prepare to the battle.' And the pope is prepared."
Speaking after a conference on the environment at Fordham University, Cardinal Maradiaga added: "It's a revolution going on. But a revolution of love, and hope."
Conservative opponents of reform have been vocal in calling on traditionalist Catholics to stand and speak up for what they regard as immutable doctrinal truths.
Cardinal Maradiaga suggested it might be the reformers who had God on their side however and the traditionalists who are in opposition to the Holy Spirit.
"I say it's necessary to be open to the Holy Spirit because the church is guided by the Holy Spirit, not by the attitudes of men, or women, or pastors of the church. If they feel that they are the defenders, remember that the Pope was elected by the majority and if we believe, the Holy Spirit is guiding him. And so, it's a matter of faith. It means maybe you are fighting against the Spirit."
The cardinal was in New York on a tour to speak about the pope's recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.
Today Pope Francis continued to preach a message of inclusiveness. The Christian includes, he does not close the door to anyone, even if this provokes resistance, he said in his homily at Mass this morning. He who excludes, because he believes himself to be better, generates conflicts and divisions, and does not consider the fact that "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God."
He said there were two paths in life, the path exclusion and the path of inclusion. "All calamities, all wars, begin with an exclusion. One is excluded from the international community, but also from families, from friends – How many fights there are! – and the path that makes us see Jesus and teaches us Jesus is quite another, it is contrary to the other: to include."