October 2023: Pope Francis faces his toughest tests

Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler:

October 2023: This is the month when all the major themes of the current pontificate—the ambitions and the frustrations, the confusion and the corruption, the talk of collegiality and the record of autocratic rule—reach a thundering crescendo. This is the month when a verdict will be rendered on the reign of Pope Francis, for good or for ill.

The crucial month actually begins a day early, on September 30, when the top leaders of the Church gather in Rome for the consistory at which the Pontiff will confer red hats on 21 new members of the College of Cardinals. The Pope has not scheduled a formal meeting of the full College, apart from the consistory itself. But the cardinals, new and old, will surely be meeting, and talking, informally—in small groups over meals during the weekend in Rome. They have a great deal to discuss. Report is here.