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Pope’s Call Doesn’t Change Church Divorce Doctrine

From CNN:

Vatican: Pope’s phone calls don’t change doctrine

By Daniel Burke | April 24, 2014

(CNN) – They’re just phone calls, people. That’s the message the Vatican sent to reporters on Thursday, a day after news broke about a private conversation between the pontiff and a woman in Argentina.

This is what passes for journalism, today. The Vatican had to clarify an earlier and highly misleading CNN report. And CNN mocks the Vatican.

Pope Francis, who is from Argentina and was archbishop of Buenos Aires for many years, reportedly called Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona and told her it was OK to receive Communion, despite her civil marriage to a divorced man.

"She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong," the woman’s husband, Julio Sabetta, told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate in Argentina.

Which CNN breathlessly reported as a major breakthrough on their (laughably named) ‘Belief Blog’: ‘Pope stirs Communion debate with call to woman.’

Does that mean the Pope was overturning centuries of church doctrine? Short answer: No. Long answer: No way, says the Vatican.

Again, this is professional journalism?

"Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement… But these calls are private, said Lombardi, and should not be construed as changing church doctrine.

"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," Lombardi said.

"Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences." As the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office, told CNN on Wednesday:  "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls." …

The Pope, being the supreme apostolic authority of the Catholic Church’s can define a doctrine held by the whole church. (Such as Pope Pius IX’s definition of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary.)

But this happens very very rarely, and it is done under the most solemn of circumstance. It is not the stuff of telephone calls.

While it is difficult to change canon law (after all, the church draws its teachings on marriage from Jesus himself), Catholic leaders have said they could at least streamline the annulment process, which sometimes drags on for years…

Unless you are a Kennedy, of course.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 24th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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