The Demos Memo… written by the late Card. Pell

In Lent of 2022, at the time of the rare consistory of Cardinals in Rome, a “memo” emerged penned by the pseudonymous “Demos” in the style of yesteryear.  The Memo was about the state of the present pontificate.  It offered also points for future corrections.  The overall assessment of major aspects of the pontificate and the state of the Vatican City State and Roman Curia were decisively negative.  It wasn’t just a list of assertions.  It was backed up with reasons and numbers.  The Demos Memo was circulated among the Cardinals and others.

The Demos Memo, post at the website of longt-time vaticanista Sandro Magister makes for engaging reading and pondering.  HERE

It is strongly assert now that Card. Pell was Demos.  This was his assessment and these were his suggestions about the future.

The revelation of Card. Pell as Demos has provoked hysterical reactions from the usual suspects, probably because it is clear, convincing and spotlights heterodoxy, suppression of traditional worship and, above all, the problem of homosexuality.

It doesn’t take long to read and it bring to the fore quite a few points for consideration at both the larger Catholic level as well as the local.

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  1. Benedict Joseph says:

    It is perfectly reasonable to suggest Cardinal Pell might be Demos. He was a man who saw things quite clearly and did not attempt to put the shine on the debased. He stood out among his confreres for his sterling authenticity. While he was demonstrably cultivated he was simultaneously what you might call a “meat and potatoes” man. His article published yesterday at “The Spectator” provides credence for the speculation. I hope it turns out to be true. He was a fine man.

  2. KSC says:

    This is great. I especially like the opening sentence, “Commentators of every school, if for different reasons, with the possible exception of Father Spadaro, SJ, agree that this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe.”

    Maybe add an editor, also a Jesuit, from “Amerika” magazine as an exception, too!

  3. Gab says:

    It just doesn’t seem to be his style of action. The Cardinal, may he rest in peace, was too straightforward.

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “The first tasks of the new pope will be to restore normality, restore doctrinal clarity in faith and morals, restore a proper respect for the law and ensure that the first criterion for the nomination of bishops is acceptance of the apostolic tradition.”

    a past papal motto comes to mind: Instaure omnes in Christo

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    Gab, if you are referring to the anonymity of “the memo” I did have the same thought, but the necessity of anonymity is itself indicative of the present situation and an indictment of it. In any event the speculation regarding the author as Cardinal Pell is confirmed by Sandro Magister as of yesterday I learned at LifeSite. Good reading.

  6. Gab says:

    Benedict Joseph, I may be wrong of course. I just know the Cardinal had the courage to put his name to anything he wrote.

  7. Robbie says:

    Learning that Cardinal Pell was the author of the Demos memo makes his death sting even more. He correctly noted the problems facing the Church and, despite being over 80 years of age, would have played a major role in the pre-Conclave meetings that take place before the next pope is elected.

    It’s been a trying time, but it’s always darkest before the dawn.

  8. Cornelius says:

    I dissent. The Demos letter is weak, contemptibly weak, with far too much emphasis on financial matters. The spiritual significance of the auto-destruction of the Church from within is largely overlooked, but it is huge.

    The author is, “oh, we’ve got this awful Pope, the next one will have to fix many things” when he should be openly wondering whether there will even BE a next Pope.

  9. Gab says:

    ”The Demos letter is weak, contemptibly weak, with far too much emphasis on financial matters.”

    Yes. I thought the same. Not really in the Cardinal’s style of prose.

  10. Jim Dorchak says:

    Well those of us who wear tin foil hats… it appears we were right all along about this and many other things.

  11. mercy2013 says:

    The fact that the memo focused significantly on financial issues lends credence to the idea that Pell was its author given his knowledge of the financial problems plaguing the Vatican. The rest of the memo is enough to cover the issues without turning it into a book.

    These past two weeks have been interesting indeed. I’m getting the feeling that God’s timing in the deaths of two great churchmen has been, at least in part, to allow necessary things to come to light.

  12. Benedict Joseph says:

    Cornelius, I do disagree. As for the composition of the memo it was obviously written to simply list without editorializing the transgressions of the current pontificate. And as for the authenticity of Pell’s authorship — Sandro Magister’s affirmation of that reality is sufficient. He is a fine man and journalist. He would not deliberately deceive us. He is a truth teller. Truth is his product and that is why people read him. Should he deceive he would end his career.

  13. I think the author has it spot on and identified the basic problems. A visitation on the Jesuits, followed by a stern house cleaning/reform, would be advantageous. The spring in the step of the Protestant liberals in the Church, a very good description of the progressives, needs to be shut down and with a Pius X quickness. As for the traditionalists and the contemplatives, persecution does need to be stopped. Traditionalists should be cultivated and respected. Given the current climate among the hierarchy, we should expect the persecution to get worse until the next generation arises to replace the diehard progressives.

    Two questions:

    1) What will happen in the Synod on Synodality? Given the current situation, I expect the progressives will try very hard to impose their agenda on the sensus fidelium, while they’re still in power, if they can.

    2) What’s the likely outlook for the next Conclave? The nightmare scenario is a Francis 2.0, but, I’m thinking that a more moderate will be elected. Honestly, we need a Pius V or a Pius X than a moderate. That’s the best case scenario.

  14. Matt R says:

    It’s not a matter of “suggestion” from which there may be disagreement or “dissent.” Cardinal Pell gave the memo to Sandro Magister and therefore identified himself as the author.

    There is not far too much attention to financial matters, nor is it “weak, contemptibly weak,” good grief.

    The tone fits perfectly with Pell’s style, by the way. He always got to the point but unlike most of the perpetually unhappy lot online, he didn’t beat dead horses.

  15. iamlucky13 says:

    “The first tasks of the new pope will be…and ensure that the first criterion for the nomination of bishops is acceptance of the apostolic tradition.”

    Interesting idea: the leaders of a religious organization should be adherents of the religion. It’s so crazy it just might work.

    I have a more serious comment on this related point:

    “serious consideration should be given to the feasibility of a visitation on the Jesuit Order. They are in a situation of catastrophic numerical decline
    The order is highly centralized, susceptible to reform or damage from the top. The Jesuit charism and contribution have been and are so important to the Church that they should not be allowed to pass away into history undisturbed”

    For all the joking dismissals, the proposal that the Jesuit order is worth saving and can be saved resonates with me somehow. There is a sense of hope underlying the suggestion that the Society of Jesus can still do a great amount of good for the Church. It would be a challenging task, but I am intrigued by the proposal.

  16. APX says:

    I wonder if another death may be in the near future and expected enough to allow for one to make use of the sacraments before, but unexpectedly enough to prevent anymore disasters of a cardinal nature. That’s one of the problems with popes retiring.

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