So it was reported in the National Catholic Reporter. Francis has either deliberately chosen to restrain ecclesiastical supervision or else it may be that he sides with those whose doctrinal orthodoxy was subject to question previously. In any case, it is notable that Rome has been silent since Francis became Pope and disciplinary action has not been taken against anyone -- except perhaps those whom he has dismissed from their posts for having the nerve to question him and his overtures (think here of people like Cardinal Burke).
While some might be relieved that the Roman Church is no longer going after dissidents, the truth is that without boundaries the truth is not secure. Doctrine cannot only be positive but it must also be negative -- condemning those things that cannot be tolerated as true and faithful. Lutherans take note. For we cannot exist without boundaries either. When those who contradict Scripture and the sacred tradition are allowed to stand without sanction or condemnation, the truth itself is under assault and the faithful are left upon uncertain ground.
The Lutheran Confessions not only confess but also condemn. If Lutherans cannot also confess and condemn, they risk a profound disconnect with their own tradition. I cannot speak for Rome but as a Lutheran we must meet challenges to our creedal and confessional orthodoxy or we will betray the living legacy of those who were willing to risk their lives both for what they taught and what they condemned. Since Roman Catholics constitute such a large portion of the whole Christian witness before the world, even Lutherans suffer when Rome no longer has the stomache to confront and condemn falsehood. To be sure there will always be great difference between Wittenberg and Rome over many things, there are also many commonalities. We Lutherans cannot shrug off the failure of any Christian tradition to confront error and condemn it. These assaults are not internal matters but attacks upon the core of Christian doctrine and faith.
It makes you wonder. One blogger has suggested that the current pope is neither learned nor intelligent. Church leaders do not have to be the most scholarly or astute but they do need to be faithful. Francis needs to be at least that. If he is not, then all of Christianity loses as error is confused with truth and falsehood tolerated and therefore affirmed. Orthodox Christianity is not so wide or deep that we can afford to write off any tradition.