John L. Allen Jr.: Could C9 cardinals backing the pope have unintended fallout?

(Crux) Generally speaking, you know a manager is in trouble when somebody has to put out a statement expressing “full confidence” in his or her leadership. If a corporate board does that for the CEO, it’s usually a sure sign of either scandal or a drop in profits; if a sports franchise owner does it for the coach, it usually means the team is failing.

Granted, the Catholic Church is hardly either a corporation or a sports team. There’s a truckload of differences, including this key point: A CEO or a coach can both be fired, but not a pope.

Still, it’s probably not entirely meaningless that on Monday the “C9” council of cardinal advisers, a body created by Pope Francis to be his primary sounding board for Church governance, felt compelled to release the following brief statement. To be sure no one missed it, the Vatican didn’t simply insert it into the daily news bulletin, but sent it out through a separate email blast.

“In relation to recent events,” the statement said, “the Council of Cardinals expresses its full support for the work of the Pope, assuring at the same time its full adhesion and backing for His person and His Magisterium.”

The council is led by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, and its American member is Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston. [More]