Vatican III?

I’d like to begin with a disclaimer. This story might be a moving target, and I am not a journalist. But I’ll do my best here.

According to a twitter feed claiming to be the official feed of Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, Pope Francis is planning to call an ecumenical council.

Screenshot of the tweet from Cardinal Tauran's feed

Screenshot of the tweet from Cardinal Tauran’s feed

It’s a few days late for April Fool’s Day (then again, the Church does move slowly…)

The reason I say “claiming” is because I’m not 100% sure whether the feed is authentic or not.

  • It’s a relatively new feed (the one in question is from earlier today and only the third tweet).
  • It does not have the “verified” status that Twitter typically confers upon notable persons and celebrities (although, as a new feed, that may still be in the works. Then again, Cardinal O’Malley doesn’t have the “verified” marker either).
  • The fact that is says “Official Twitter Account” is technically only a line in the profile, so that should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Lastly, the apparent date for an ecumenical council – May 2014 – seems absurdly fast when compared to the preparations for Vatican II, which took about three years (yes, we have the internet now, but that doesn’t seem a good enough explanation).

In favor of authenticity:

  • The statement about the council is in French, his native language (although as a polyglot this is not necessarily important).
  • Among the followers of the feed are John Allen (of NCR fame), whom I expect would know whether the feed was genuine.

So issue number one is whether or not the feed is authentic. It might be, it might be a hoax. Hopefully that will become clear soon. The second issue is, assuming the feed is authentic, whether or not the information is accurate. That also will only become clear if and when there’s an official announcement. As the tweet is only a couple hours old, I’ll be curious to see if the story gets picked up.

All that being said, talk of Vatican III has been going on since shortly after Vatican II ended. I would certainly be excited to see a council happen in my lifetime (even if I’m probably a bit too young to be a peritus).

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