So rumours are circulating that PF will appoint Blaise Cupich to head the Congregation for Bishops. And the suggestion is that this will produce the sort of cloned episcopate PF wants.
(And there have been recent papal jokes about solving the problem of traddies in the Vatican.)
But perhaps this is only a rumour. Let us hope and pray ...
Nevertheless, I think there are already quite enough grave questions about the quality of some of those whom PF appoints to bishoprics.
But who cares what I think?
So let's forget me.
And let's instead turn to two of the most significant Catholic theologians of the modern Anglophone world.
(1) Fr Aidan Nichols. "[The pope's] programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past, been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia".
This led to Fr Aidan, who has taught with distinction in this University, being forbidden to circulate any further the paper which included those words.
(2) Fr Tom Weinandy wrote to PF with these words: "faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them. What scandalises believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice. This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being. As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the sensus fidelium, are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd."
This led to Fr Tom, who has served as a Head of House in this University, being sacked from a post he held from the US episcopal conference.
But who cares about this fusty old pair of pen-pushers ... however many books they may have published? It is probably very good for their souls for them to be treated like naughty little schoolboys.
(3) So let's go to somebody radically different; somebody who (while he also has written not a few books) is fully in touch with what goes on in Rome, in Curial Congregations, and throughout the Catholic world; a man who Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried: Gerhard Cardinal Mueller.
His Eminence has written about the "shameless half-education" of some episcopal nominees; "theological illiterates in bishops' hats"; "ideologues with a ridiculous super-papalism."
A year or two ago, Cupich delivered a 'lecture' at Cambridge, after which he was entertainingly demolished (and by a mere retired Classicist).
PF has dismissed Mueller as "a child". So that puts him in his place.
If the Bergoglios and the Cupiches are to count as Grown Ups and as competent theologians, may God protect His Church Militant and Patient from such adult sophisticates.