Cardinal Franc Rodé, the highest ecclesiastical authority in Slovenia until very recently, is a victim of Communism. His family had to leave Tito's Yugoslavia, and they got to know in person the strong Populist transformation of Argentinian life under General Juan Domingo Perón (whose first administration ran from 1946 to 1955) in Buenos Aires, where he lived from 1948 to 1957, the formative years of his life, and where he entered religious life. He left Argentina for Rome and was ordained in France where he also obtained his doctorate at the Institut Catholique de Paris.
So, with a life of deep personal knowledge of Communism, Argentina, the Franco-German scholarship that made Vatican II, and the herculean efforts of John Paul II to at least prevent the complete collapse of the Church in the 1960s-1970s whirlwind, Cardinal Rodé, who was Prefect of Religious before the current Braz de Aviz regime, can be trusted to at least know what he is talking about. Cardinal Rodé took part in the 2013 Conclave.
He granted an interview for his 80th birthday to Slovenian news agency STA, and the paper Il Piccolo from neighboring Trieste translated some excerpts. (By the way, if a reader proficient in Slovenian can find and translate this interview for us, we would be most grateful.)
TRIESTE - In Slovenia, no one seems to have noticed, or has not wished to notice it, but Cardinal Franc Rodé, highest ecclesiastical authority in the Nation, strongly criticized Pope Francis in an interview to national news agency STA. Heavy words, pronounced by the 80-year-old prelate (who, due to his age, cannot take part in conclaves any longer), currently without specific attributions or roles at the Vatican structure and, therefore, perhaps for this reason, "freer" to express his own thoughts.
"Without any doubt - Rodé said - the Pope is a communication genius. He communicates very well with the crowd, the media, and the faithful."
"A great advantage - he continued - is that he seems likable. On the other hand, his opinions, on capitalism and social justice, are excessively to the left. One sees how the is marked by the environment from which he comes. In South America, there are great social differences, and great debates on this situation appear in succession everyday. But these people talk too much, but solve few problems."
Strong affirmations regarding the Holy Father that, for now, have not received official responses from the Vatican. ...