Fr Aidan Nichols, is without doubt the most considerable living theologian of the English-speaking Catholic World. For members of the Ordinariate, he is the great friend who, when we were still Anglicans and he was still a Dominican, helped and guided us during the years when we were planning, and then setting up, the Ordinariates. And he is as prolific a theological writer as Joseph Ratzinger (on whose theology he wrote a still normative guide, long before the election of Benedict XVI).
Fr Aidan once delivered a characteristic lecture on the crisis which had been precipitated by Amoris laetitia. The Catholic Herald gave a report on 18 August 2017, which is still there, only a google away. I urge everybody to read it; and to take it very seriously.
I would like to make two comment on my own behalf.
(1) Fr Aidan delivered his lecture at a meeting of the English Fellowship of Ss Alban and Sergius - largely an Anglican/Orthodox Society. Was this a good idea? Washing our dirty Catholic laundry in front of non-Catholics??
It was a thoroughly brilliant idea. You see, there are people who think that Pope Bergoglio's style of papacy may be somehow more "ecumenical" than that of some other popes. Bergoglio goes around kissing Patriarchs and begging their blessings; he insults his fellow-Catholics with such easy and iterated fluency yet can speak only well of non-Catholics. He is reported to have reopened the "Question of Anglican Orders"; he spoke ambiguously about "intercommunion" with Lutherans; made a fool of himself at Lund.
But as we conclude this 2023 Octave of Prayer for the Unity of Christians, you will forgive me for reminding you that thoughtful Orthodox and Anglicans will not be attracted by a model of Papacy which can make any Roman bishop a self-obsessed tyrant propped up by an unhealthy personality cult; somebody whose least word or whimsy has to be accepted; who can, at will, change doctrine, morality, liturgy, and law.
Such a papacy is not a papacy which the more open-minded Anglicans and Orthodox have ever been prepared to receive from earlier popes. There is no reason to think that they will be any more prepared to accept it when it comes with an Argentine accent and emphasis.
BUT the best reason whey should not accept it, is because it is not what the Catholic Church teaches.
Fr Aidan reminded his hearers that Vatican I in fact limited the papacy; and surmised "it may be that the present crisis of the Roman magisterium is providentially intended to call attention to the limits of the papacy [in regard to teaching]"
(2) Very naturally, there have been people, during this Pontificate, who have kept their heads below parapets; who have been cowed into acquiescence by fear of the bully-boys, delatores, and sycophants who surround the current Roman bishop.
The courage, and unambiguous words, of Fr Aidan Nichols might inspire them to demonstrate that parrhesia for which ... at an earlier stage in his pontificate ... pope Francis himself so often loudly called.