When Pope Francis called for frank and open talk at the Synod of Bishops, he was encouraging bishops to speak up “without fear that Cardinal Mueller will come after you,” one of the pope’s closest associates said today. The humorous aside – well, I think it was humorous – came from Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, who is reputedly one of the pope’s top theological advisors. Archbishop Fernandez was addressing reporters on the synod’s third day, and he said the pope’s call for an honest exchange was necessary if the assembly wanted to be productive. The reference to Cardinal Gerhard Mueller prompted chuckles in the press room. Muel
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