Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa notes that Pope Francis is leaving no doubt as to who is in charge:
He feels himself free from the canonical norms. In just one year he has already suspended six times the ironclad rule that demands a new miracle before a blessed may be proclaimed a saint. John XXIII is the last of the six. Francis wanted at all costs that John Paul II should be canonized not on his own but balanced by another pope with a different profile, less combative, more merciful.
And so it will be on Sunday, April 27. The congregation for the causes of saints has bowed to his will and has offered the pretense of asking Francis for the dispensation, benevolently granted right away.
In addition Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who still figures as president of the Italian episcopal conference, has asked Francis that it be he, the pope, who delivers the inaugural discourse to the plenary assembly of the bishops to be held in May, something no pontiff has ever done.
The cardinal’s request, the official statement reads, “met with the ready willingness of the Holy Father, who confided that he had the same intention in mind.” Indeed. It had been known for at least for a month that Francis had made this decision.
Since he has been pope the CEI has been virtually annihilated. Francis has asked the Italian bishops to tell him how they would like the appointment of their president and secretary to take place, whether by the pope as has always been done in Italy or by independent voting as is done in all the other countries. Taking the hint, the intention of almost all the bishops is to leave the appointment to the pope. And if he himself wants there to be a consultative vote beforehand, this will take place, but in secret and with no examination of the ballots. They will be delivered to the pope still closed, and he will do want he wants with them.
Go here to read the rest. Pio Nono famously thundered at a bishop who cited tradition against Papal Infallibility. “Tradition! I am the Tradition!” In the short run that is a completely accurate statement. In the long run it is not. Pio Nono’s establishment of Papal Infallibility remains, but much of what he did, said and wrote, the Syllabus of Errors for example, is one with Nineveh and Tyre as far as the contemporary Church is concerned. That is true with most of the actions and statements of most Popes. Time works as a sorting mechanism as to what of any particular papacy becomes part of the Tradition that guides the Church. History is long and papal reigns tend to be short. Each Pope has a usually brief opportunity to lead the Church and after they are gone there are no guarantees that their successors will look upon what they attempted to do as a path to be followed or an aberration in the life of the Church to be shunned.