Pope Francis: Say What?

Earlier this week, a story made the rounds on the inter-webs that Pope Francis had counselled an Argentine woman who had married a divorcee to go ahead and receive Communion. The story, as reported here, was based on an Italian report of an Argentine report based on a Facebook post by the husband of the woman with whom Pope Francis had a private telphone conversation.

A great many sensible Catholics panicked whigged out freaked expressed concern.

Then today, the leader of the Catholic Church (who shares an identity with Pope Francis) threw a bit of cold water over all the wild and unseemly speculation that he’s some sort of apostate controversy by stating the following. (N.B., the following report from Catholic News Agency is based on things the Pope actually said–in public–and is in no way based on thrice recycled reports of some Argentine dude’s Facebook status.):

The holiness and indissolubility of Christian matrimony, often disintegrating under tremendous pressure from the secular world, must be deepened by clear doctrine and supported by the witness of committed married couples.

He also said this:

Christian matrimony is a lifelong covenant of love between one man and one woman; it entails real sacrifices in order to turn away from illusory notions of sexual freedom and in order to foster conjugal fidelity.

Then, for good measure, he said this:

We also observe with great concern, and can only deplore, an increase in violence against women and children….All these realities threaten the sanctity of marriage, the stability of life in the home and consequently the life of society as a whole.

All on the way to saying this:

Abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressures of a secular culture which devalues God’s gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn.

That’s all. Enjoy this weekend’s canonizations!

keep calm Francis

  • http://yahoo.co.in mercy arokia rani

    we like you very much Lord. We need your blessings.

    Now days, ,All Roman catholic education Institutions are changed into commercial one. Will you give a solution for this.
    Surely we pray for you.

    Thank you.

  • skeetergirl

    The election of this current Pope, Francis, to walk in the ‘Shoes of the Fisherman,”, was a sad day in the annals of Roman Catholicism. This man is a Liberation Theologian. Would you expect anything different from a man who grew up in a country that is socialist? He is a Spiritual leader, not an economist and should be concerned with the souls of humanity, not engaging in the politics of the USA, that is one of the few countries on this planet that believes in individual freedom. I take umbrage at [his] thinking, which is in tune with our Marxist president, Obama in espousing “wealth distribution,” of hard working Americans, who have succeeded in accruing wealth by hard work and risks. That’s what separates the USA from a world of takers as opposed to doers and givers. The Roman Catholic Church has always been a body of conservatism. In the 1980’s priests that espoused Liberation Theology were warned and sanctioned to abandon that line of essays and thinking. Now we see a major shift in religion and politics towards a one-world government. As a Roman Catholic, I do not support this Pope’s ideologies and wonder why a wonderful Pontiff such as Pope Benedict XVI retired? This is a rare occurrence in the Papacy. Francis is the icing on the cake of the stupidity of the RC Church since Obama’s takeover of the White House. I watched in horror, as Roman Catholic Bishops, Priests, schools and universities kissed Obama’r ring, his robe and backside! The RC church pandered to him and what they got for their stupidity was his assault on the church and Christianity in general.
    When you dance with the devil, you get burned!!!

  • Janet O’Connor

    I think Francis may be under pressure to change the Church Moral teaching but as we all know he won’t because he can’t. When the Pope speaks on Matters of Faith or Morals he is supposed to be Infallible. I do think some of his advisors are hoping for change not Francis

  • M Haitz

    You know, I’m getting tired of this “sensible Catholics panicked, whigged out, freaked…” schtick.

    It’s as if faithful Catholics are the ones with the problem, rather than Pope Francis’ loose-lips that require him to constantly ‘clarify’ (read, ‘say the opposite of what he just said’).

    Didn’t you perhaps think that faithful Catholics maybe had a few teensy-weensy reasons to be concerned? Like maybe when Pope Francis praised Cardinal Kasper’s speech in which he outlined a ‘path’ to a ‘second marriage’ (i.e. just go to confession and then you can go back to committing adultery)? Or maybe when Pope Francis quoted his South American mentor, saying, “half of all marriages should be considered null”? Or how about when Pope Francis said that the upcoming synod on the Family should examine the question of divorce and remarriage (What’s there to examine anyway? Really, how often do we have Christ’s explicit answer to a moral question as we do with “any man who divorces his wife…”?)

    Sorry, Mr. White, but we were not over-reacting – our concern was entirely justified.

    • Joshua Mercer

      I agree with you that this phone call is a concern. This concern is also shared by Ross Douthat: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-popes-phone-call.html

    • Eric Johnson

      I suspect that Pope Francis is taking the first cautious steps to prepare Catholics for changes he and his advisors will be putting into place over the next several months and years to move the Church toward a more forgiving and empathetic approach to Catholicism, more in line with the New Testament teachings of Jesus and away from some of the hard line Old Testament teachings: in other words, a more flexible approach. This will no doubt upset some ultra conservatives but I see Pope Francis as the right man at the right time.

      • m haitz

        “…more in line with the New Testament teachings of Jesus ”

        You mean New Testament teachings like, say, “any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery”?

        • Eric Johnson

          You may want to review why Jesus stated this. There’s a great deal of information on the internet.

          • M. Haitz

            “…there’s a great deal of information on the internet.”

            So, the internet will tell me what? …that Jesus meant the exact opposite of what He said?

  • Rich

    And as you “keep calm and Catholic on”, just remember that there are countless suffering souls who were victimized by the sexual abuse of priests who, in turn, were protected by John Paul ll ( think Bernard Law) from any prosecution of their abominable sins. These poor souls will watch, perhaps in tears and most certainly anger, as the leader if the Church, who could have brought them relief, is elevated to Sainthood and thought to sit at the right hand of God. This is outrageous and, yet again, another travesty of the CC. Does anyone in the hierarchy see the sheer hypocrisy of this event?

  • Eric Johnson

    Call me dense, but it seems none of the quotes from Pope Francis that you noted contradict what he may have said to the Argentine woman about receiving Communion.

    • Kevin


    • Rosemary

      I have yet to read anything coherent about this phone call. Of course, all know that divorced persons can receive the Holy Eucharist, which seems to be what the Pope was referring to. But the issue of Lisbona is that she married a divorced man. I have not read how the Pope responded to that. Other comments he has made recently imply that he thinks this should be handled “pastorally”. Uh-oh.



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