Thursday, April 24, 2014


Fr Lombardi responds to reports of Pope's call to Argentinian woman

(Vatican Radio) The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, has responded to widespread media reports about an Argentinian woman who says that Pope Francis called to tell her she could take Communion, even though her husband is divorced and they have not been married in church.

News stories earlier this week ran conflicting reports about the woman, Jacquelina Lisbona, who had written to the Pope several months ago after being denied Communion by her parish priest. According to the reports, Fr Bergoglio, as he called himself, picked up the phone to respond to her letter on Monday and told her the Church was in the process of dealing with the issue of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

In his brief remarks on Thursday, Fr Lombardi said such conversations should be seen in the context of the Pope’s “personal pastoral relationships” and not as an event that carries “consequences relating to the teaching of the Church”.

Below please find the English language translation of Fr Lombardi’s remarks:

Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral

Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activities, no information or
comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.

That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal
relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is
a source of misunderstanding and confusion.

Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from
these occurrences.

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website


Anonymous said...

My my my, what a solid and forceful upholding of Catholic Doctrine from the Vatican. I can't imagine why the Church seems to be falling apart when we have such clear teaching of the Faith. I'm sure Pope Pius V, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross would all just agree with that response.

So by the Vatican's standards what the pope does "privately" doesn't have any impact on the Church in any way. Hummmmmmm, so if he has a mistress or a mister on the side that wouldn't be a problem because it's private. I didn't know popes had a private life that was lead in opposition to the teachings of the Church.

Avignon I think we have a problem.

Gene said...

Ho Hum, yawn, what did you expect…the daily scramble to clarify, re-interpret, or obfuscate. And you complain about the SSPX…what a laugh.

Rood Screen said...

It was a private conversation, and the Press Office doesn't comment upon private conversations. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

rcg said...

It isn't private now. I sincerely hope this is wrong.

Anonymous said...

From Fr. Hunwicke at his Mutual Enrichment blog:

"I think it would be for the best if the Holy Father henceforth confined his public utterances to formal texts which had been passed by the appropriate and responsible Roman Dicasteries. If he wishes to publish some views qua private theologian, he should, as Professor Ratzinger did, indicate this formally and explicitly."

"The present situation simply cannot be allowed to continue."

Anonymous said...

Doctrine and Canon law are inviolable and thus SSPX is sacramentally schismatic. The law must be obeyed. But within (pro forma) full communion, pastoral decisions are hereby permitted to negate and override any canon or doctrine whatsoever.

Yeah, sounds perfectly fair and reasonable. Take that, SSPX!

Gene said...

So, if I want to go and have an affair with some hot chick that isn't my wife and I call a Priest and, in private conversation, he tells me to go for it, that's ok? Hey, cool…I mean, it was only a private conversation. I mean, who are we to judge. I guess that means I can use condoms, too. Far out…groovy!

John Nolan said...

I'm sorry, this isn't on. The Sovereign Pontiff should not be telephoning women in Argentina whom he presumably does not know, and advising them to disregard Church doctrine. There is no way Lombardi can spin this in any positive way.

This man has now been Pope for over a year and just when we were expecting he might be settling into the role he (allegedly) pulls a stunt like this. Either this must be emphatically denied or an awful lot of Catholics who were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt will have to reconsider their position.

Unless the Holy Ghost influenced the conclave to elect a recruiting sergeant for the SSPX.

Desirée said...

I'm not claiming to know it all, but I don't understand why the pope's actions aren't making more people nervous. He's not matching up with my recent catechism learning...or previous knowledge of what living for God is.
I really feel like the SSPX has been put in time-out for being too Catholic, and the pope is hailed for bending the Church to make people the name of being "pastoral".
Dogma beats pastoral, right? I'm trying to make it to Heaven. I need to be properly led.

Gene said...

I'll tell you one thing, no Papacy since the Borgias and Julius II has had this much entertainment value.

Mordacil said...

So many people on this blog are so nitpicky about the liturgy that they can be just as annoying as the grammar nazis (liturgy nazis?). They get so caught up in the minutiae of of how the mass is celebrated that they detract from sharing the truth that Christ is really present. This article addresses those people quite well and I think it's worth a read, father.

"Everyone's A Critic"

Cameron said...

Why does the Pope run his mouth and then expect that everything will be fine and dandy? I'm not saying the Pope can't do that, that he doesn't have the authority to, just that he is either a suprememly bad politician or a supremely eminent one.........

The only three options here are:

the Pope is ignorant
the Pope is stupid
the Pope is a Machiavellian backstabber

Victor said...

Hmmmm, sounds like a "I'm personally opposed, but...." statement that US and Canadian catholic politicians have been using for years to justify their public actions, but here in reverse: "I'm personally for, but ...".

Gene said...

Mordacil, The Devil is in the details...

Anonymous said...

I have truly tried to give him the benefit of a liberal press and a secular world doing everything it can to turn Catholic teaching upside down. I have to say, however, unless something more explanatory comes out about this, I am nervous!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We really don't know what the Holy Father said to this woman or how she interpreted it or her husband, who is the one who actually conveyed to the press his impressions. I can't imagine that the pope would not have told her to seek an annulment. From what I gather the previous marriages of these Catholics were not in the Church, so it is very easy to clear up and really isn't an annulment but what is called a "Defect or lack of form" meaning they were required to be married in the Church and chose not to do so.

The more puzzling thing about this is that bishops don't normally call parishioners of other bishops and give them spiritual advice. Pope Francis has emphasized the first official title that he holds which is Bishop of Rome. Why in the world would he give pastoral advice to someone who is some other bishop's parishioner? Not to mention he would have also bi-passed the local pastor assigned to that parish by his bishop, not the pope.

It seems to go against what the Holy Father wants done, that local decisions are made locally and you don't go to a higher authority unless there is a major problem and I wonder if the local bishop knew of any of this?

George said...

"According to the reports, Fr. Bergoglio, as he called himself, picked up the phone to respond to her letter on Monday and told her the Church was in the process of dealing with the issue of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics."

It doesn't say that the Holy Father gave her the OK. What do we really know after all?
Is it possible that someone else in the Vatican could have done this? I know it is only conjecture on my part but it not beyond the realm of possibility.

Anonymous said...

We have a pope who has enough free time to make personal phone calls to strangers who live half way around the world? Are we supposed to pretend, Father, that this is normal behavior for anyone let alone a bishop who also happens to be a world leader. This is not only troubling but strange and definitely not prudent.

rcg said...

I am skeptical enough that I think the persons in Argentina that feeding the press could be confused or doing this for some less than proper reason. The biggest problem is that the Pope would have made such a call without considering the chance of such an event as this. I hope it was some hoax. But it looks like a stunning display of naiveté.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

During the war years and also during the cold war, propaganda and dis-information was quite common to disorient the enemy.

The Church and this pope (and btw, Pope Benedict also) have many enemies both inside and outside the Church.

The media has made an art of handing out disinformation to confuse and confound Catholics, especially conservative, orthodox Catholics. This shouldn't be shocking to anyone.

Pope Francis is a progressive when it comes to pastoral sensitives and placing people above rules, some of which he has indeed called small-minded. And quite frankly, we know of many bishops and priests who allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion--there is nothing new in this although it is illicit. That Cardinal Jorge Bergolio would be of this school is not a shock, but that he would promote it as the Bishop of Rome is. He needs to clarify his position on this and I hope he will if not it smacks of the highest degree of clericalism.

John said...

What we need is a very clear and explicit denial by the POPE (Fr. Lombardy saying something ambiguous is not adequate, we are way past that being acceptable)that such an advice as reported by the husband of the Argentinian woman was ever given.

In the absence of denial by His Holiness he should without further ado resign and do not stay in Rome.

Templar said...

This is how liberal change is done folks. Ask the Espicopalians if Same Sex Marriage is permited and you'll get a resounding "No" of course it isnot, yet their Bishops regularly particiapte in such ceremonies. Why change the Laws, just ignore them and pretend like everything is fine. Works for them, works for our President, works for the jesuits, including the current Bishop of Rome playing at being a Pope.