Seeking to perpetuate his policies, FrankenPope is packing the Church with like-minded cardinals and bishops
He is appointing like-minded cardinals and bishops at a breakneck speed. He is faster in making appointments than JP2 and much faster than the B16. He is making it almost impossible for the Neo-Catholics and Traditionalists ever to make a comeback. As a result FrankenChurch appears headed toward a permanent status.
He has achieved this outcome in two ways. First, as already mentioned, he’s replacing bishops as fast as he can, often forcing Neo-Catholic bishops to retire before they turn 75. Since the date of his election (three full years), he has appointed 767 diocesan bishops (including those who are equivalent in law to a bishop, such as vicars apostolic). This number represents about one-quarter of all the diocesan bishops.
To these must be added the Modernist bishops appointed by his two predecessors. Being Neo-Catholic and not Traditionalist popes, they appointed a large minority of Modernist prelates to “strike a balance” and “keep the peace”. They wanted both factions in the Church to have something to crow about. For example, one of B16’s first appointments was a Modernist Franciscan priest in Brazil, Severino Clasen, who was a strong advocate of artificial contraception. Later B16 promoted him to metropolitan archbishop!
By now it is nearly impossible to restore a Catholic episcopate in the Church. He had to take some time in his first year to gain control of the structure. Thus, he did not appoint as many Modernist bishops in that year (120) as in the next two. At his current rate of appointment if he should survive three more years in office, he will have appointed over half of all the bishops.
FrankenPope has done more: He has appointed a very large number of auxiliary bishops (244) in the past three years. Some of these men have already been promoted to diocesan bishops. The really strange thing is the break in custom on this. In the past, auxiliaries were appointed as “helping bishops” in very large or populous sees especially in metropolitan archdioceses. He has been appointing them in small dioceses in Africa such as in Guinea and Sierra Leone. In effect these auxiliaries are coadjutors with the right of succession. He’s trying to rule the Church into the future – after he’s no longer pope by death or abdication. Poorer dioceses such as those cannot afford to support auxiliaries; thus, there is pressure to promote them to ordinaries in the future.
FrankenPope has only one more job to do to seal the deal: He needs to pack the College of Cardinals. He has already held two consistories, but there is still a strong Neo-Catholic presence there. He could surprise everyone by increasing the number of cardinals. Popes back to John XXIII set a precedent for this (JP2 did it twice). What a Neo-Catholic pope can do, a Modernist pope can also do. If he doesn’t increase the number of cardinals, he can still gain a majority there in the next consistory (or the following one) to get a like-minded successor. He is going slowly on this path to avoid schism but would like to pack the whole College of Cardinals with Modernists.