The Pope Is On The Line

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The controversy du jour regarding the Pope with Father Z’s comments:


Sometimes it is hard to tell whether the writer gets it wrong because he doesn’t know better or whether their mistakes are on purpose.

Perhaps you can chime in.

From The Telegraph:

Pope Francis tells divorced woman she should be allowed Communion [This is news?  No.  That was a trick question.  Is there more?]

In what would be a break from Catholic teaching, Pope said to have phoned remarried [That adds new information, doesn’t it?   You would think that something this important would in the headline, no?] Argentine woman Jacquelina Sabetta telling her ‘nothing wrong’ in her taking Holy Communion  [Next question: Who says?  Who claims that this is what the Pope said?]

Pope Francis has reportedly [!] told a divorced and remarried woman that she should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, in what would be a significant shift from current Catholic Church teaching. [And therefore we are all to be highly skeptical.  This is rumor.  The woman tells a reporter in Argentina, the wires pick it up, this article is written… how many times removed is this?  Did she, at the beginning, even grasp what the Pope might have actually said?  (I doubt it.)]

Jacquelina Sabetta, who is from the Pope’s home country of Argentina, wrote to him saying that she found it distressing that as a Catholic who had divorced and remarried, she was not allowed to take the Sacrament in church. [“Take the Sacrament” a turn of phrase redolent of… something.]

After divorcing her first husband, she had remarried in a civil ceremony.

In her letter she said she was worried that if she took Communion, she would be “violating Church rules”. [NO!  This is not just a “rule”! Rules are fairly easily changed.]

The Pope, who since being elected 13 months ago has established a reputation for calling ordinary Catholics out of the blue, then telephoned her at home on Easter Monday. [Maybe.]

He reportedly [!] told her: “A divorcee who takes communion is not doing anything wrong.” [That doesn’t pass the smell test.  I just don’t buy that the Pope would tell a woman who is in an improper marriage can receive Communion.  And I certainly don’t think he would have wanted this to be trumpeted around.]

The surprising exchange was recounted by Mrs Sabetta’s husband, Julio Sabetta, who wrote about it on his Facebook page.  [WOAH!  So, the source wasn’t the woman who allegedly received the phone call.  This is more information.  It was her “husband”.  And not just her husband, but his page on FACEBOOK!  This is a good source?]

“One of the most wonderful things in my life has just happened,” he wrote.  [And I suppose we are all supposed to be delighted for them. How you “feel” is all that matters these days.]

The phone call from the Pope reportedly [!] came six months after the woman wrote to him. Introducing himself as “Father Bergoglio” – a reference to his given name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio – the South American pontiff said he was sorry it had taken him so long to make the call. [“Father Bergoglio”… uh huh.  Sometimes priest friends have been known to make some pretty funny phone calls to me and mutual friends while imitating imitable priests or bishops.  Hilarity ensues.]

“It is an issue we are discussing in the Vatican, because a divorcee who takes communion is not doing anything wrong,” the Pope reportedly [!] said.  [HERE is the big problem at the core of this article.  It is true that a “divorcee” can receive Communion.  In the last quote, that is the main element to attend to.  The problem enters when you add “remarried” to “divorcee”.  Get it?  So… what’s going on?  IF the Pope called, and I am not ready to buy that without a moment of doubt, and IF the Pope tried to explain her situation, did she actually understand anything he said after saying that divorce, in itself, isn’t the main problem?  I can very imagine her tuning out everything after that.  Then she recounts it in a scrambled way to her “husband” who may or may not get it.  He puts it on Facebook.  Somehow the press sees it… how did that happen, I wonder.  Then it hits the wires… then… get it?]

The Catholic Church currently maintains that unless a first marriage is annulled, [NO! NO! NO!  The Church does NOT annul marriages!   The Church can declare that a marriage was null from the beginning.  The Church cannot put asunder what God hath joined.] Catholics who remarry cannot receive Communion because they are essentially living in sin and committing adultery.

Such annulments are often impossible to obtain, or can take years to process, a problem that has left many Catholics feeling rejected by the Church.

Since being elected in March last year, Pope Francis has on several occasions called for a more merciful approach to the problem, but had so far stuck to official Church doctrine.  [“Official” Church doctrine… is there any other kind?  Apparently there is the Church doctrine as reported by the MSM.]

In February he said divorced and separated couples should not be excluded from Church activities, in remarks which also raised speculation that he may one day lift the ban on divorcees receiving Communion.  [Again… sloppy and misleading.  AGAIN… the problem is not just divorce.  The problem is remarriage.]

He told a group of Polish bishops that priests should “ask themselves how to help (divorced couples), [HUH?  “Divorced couples”?] so that they don’t feel excluded from the mercy of God, the fraternal love of other Christians, and the Church’s concern for their salvation.”

When asked whether the remarks attributed to the Pope were correct, a Vatican spokesman told The Telegraph: “We would neither confirm nor deny that – this was a private telephone call made by the Holy Father and we would not divulge the details.” [The Press Office doesn’t have to divulge all the details, but… sheesh!… at least uphold Catholic teaching!]

But the reported remarks were in line with the position taken by Pope Francis in recent months – that the Church should treat divorcees and their partners with more compassion. [When you look at what Francis has said in public, he talks about sinners and compassion.  Compassion does NOT mean violating the teachings of the Church.]

Go here to read the rest.  Doesn’t the Pope have better things to do with his time than cold calling people who have written him to have impromptu doctrinal discussions?  Is this all part of some papal master plan or further evidence that the Pope could care less about any confusion caused by casual remarks made by him?  How history will assess this papacy is something that will be decided in due course, but I have no hesitation in calling this papacy the oddest I have lived through.

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  1. I certainly hope that Francis is NOT making calls like this or any of those purported to have been made by him.

    If he has been making them, I hope he WOULD call me so I could set him straight! But, not while I was at work. I would rather be at home so I could be quite free with my pontifications for the Pope.

  2. If true (and this is a very big if) , the pope is stating something that is in direct conflict with Catholic teaching, something the pope is supposed to be prevented from doing. I would be interested in learning who The Telegraph’s sources are.

  3. I would be interested in learning who The Telegraph’s sources are.

    The Facebook page of the (civil) husband, supposedly.

    One of Fr. Z’s commenters offers that even if untrue, the Pope’s conduct has been such that these controversies are to be expected.

  4. “……one ringy-dingy….two, Hello! Yes this is the operator. Would you accept the collect call from Pope Francis?”

    Whats next? A conference call with Holy Father and all Catholic supporters of abortion. Hummmmm…..

  5. Good Lord, I first learned about this crazy (false?) phone call yesterday – Wednesday. This morning, I’m scanning radio channels on my way to work when I hear a non-Catholic radio personality going off on how previous popes were strict, while this new one is “doing a good job” since he’s changing rules. He specifically highlighted the phone call as evidence that Francis is changing rules for the better.

  6. Lucretia, I personally have been in places were the media videotaped events and then completely twisted what I had seen, even to the point of not showing the video when it conflicted with the story. I don’t trust anything I see from just one source.

  7. We have the right pope, at the right moment, at the right time. The Holy Spirit was indeed active among the Conclave at his election.

  8. I’m sure what the Pope said has been misreported, but that wouldn’t be an issue if he didn’t make these types of phone calls. This lack of prudence on the part of the Pontiff is scandalous.

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