CNA: Latin American religious backtrack on Pope and gay lobby

From CNA:

Latin American religious backtrack on Pope and gay lobby

Lima, Peru, Jun 12, 2013 / 10:45 am (CNA).- In response to media flurry, the Latin American Confederation of Men and Women Religious (CLAR) released a statement on June 11 claiming that the assertion of a gay lobby at the Vatican “cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father.”

The news that Pope Francis acknowledged the existence of a gay lobby at the Vatican was published on Monday by the left-leaning Chilean Catholic portal “Reflexión y liberación” (Reflection and Liberation), claiming that it was an “exclusive” account of the private meeting between Pope Francis and the CLAR presidency, held on June 6.

According to “Reflexión y liberación,” Pope Francis told CLAR members that “there are holy people in the curia, truly, there are holy people. But there is also a current (stream) of corruption, there is one, it is true… there are words about a ‘gay lobby,’ and it is true, it is there… we have to see what can we do (about it).”

The same source claims that the Pope also said that “the reform of the Roman curia is something that almost all of us cardinals requested during the congregations previous to the conclave. I also did. I cannot personally make that reform, with these managerial issues… I am too unorganized; I have never been good at that. But the Cardinals of the committee will carry it out.”

According to the statement, CLAR “deeply regrets the publication of a text regarding the conversation held with the Holy Father Francis on June 6. The conversation developed upon the questions asked of the Pope by those present (at the meeting).”

The group added that “there was no recording made during the conversation but shortly after a summary was made based on the memories of the participants. This summary, which does not include the questions posed to the Holy Father, was intended at (helping) the personal memory of the participants and in no way for publication.”

Regarding the decision of “Reflexión y liberación” to publish the story, CLAR says that “in fact, no authorization was requested.

“It is clear that, based on these facts, it cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father, the specific expression contained in the text, but only in its general sense.”

CNA attempted to contact CLAR’s secretary general, Fr. Gabriel Naranjo Salazar, who is currently in Rome, as well as the group’s president, Sr. Mercedes Leticia Casas Sánchez, FSpS, but did not receive a response by publication deadlines.

“Reflexión y Liberación,” based in Santiago (Chile), issued a June 12 statement defending its decision to publish the text.

“A few days ago, our magazine received a summary of what was the meeting of Pope Francis and CLAR’s directive,” it stated.

“We decided to publish it as a news story, without additional comments, just a brief introduction highlighting the importance of such meetings at the Holy See, not only for the Consecrated, but for all the People of God.”

It cited Matthew 10:27: “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”

Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told CNA on June 11 that “(t)he meeting between the Holy Father and the presidency of CLAR was a meeting of a private nature.

“Therefore I have no comment to make about the content of the conversation,” he said.

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39 Responses to CNA: Latin American religious backtrack on Pope and gay lobby

  1. Lavrans says:

    It may just be me, but the news that there is a homosexual lobby within the Curia wasn’t a huge surprise. It almost seems like old news, especially having lived through the sex abuse (i.e., largely homosexual) crisis of the recent past. It is my hope that these men seek the Truth and cling to it and pray when tempted by sins of the flesh. They are fallen human beings like the rest of us, but unlike the rest of us, they have been given an enormous responsibility. It is their souls that are on the line. Pray for them, but also pray for courageous cardinals and the Holy Father to rid the Church of their influence.

  2. Anchorite says:

    Dear Father,
    No news here. I’d love to know, though, your take on some other part of that conversation, the part that is closer to your, mine and many’s liturgical concerns. Always thankful.

  3. jacobi says:

    This is all based on a report by CLAR, a highly partial group, of a conversation that was not recorded. I would take it with a very large pinch of salt.

    a) It is remarkably long and detailed for a “remembered” conversation
    b) Pope Francis must have a very good memory if he recalls the prevailing atmosphere in 1940, at the age of four.
    c) The remark that “you are not old”. Well two, at least, look older than the Pope
    d) And as for the theology. The Holy Father is made to associate Pelagianism i.e., effectively the denial of Original Sin, the Fall and the redeeming divinity of Christ, with popular Catholicism the 1940s. Well I ask you?

    The subsequent reaction of CLAR suggests that they are embarrassed by their gaucheness.

    The lesson here is that the Vatican Press Secretary or whatever these people are called ought to step in and “manage” statements a bit more carefully.

  4. Bosco says:

    If I were the Holy Father I’d hire an ecclesiastical Court Reporter to follow me around all day.

  5. dans0622 says:

    I don’t doubt that the Pope said what was reported. I also don’t care too much that he may have said it. Are we supposed to hang on every word that proceeds from his mouth? I have the same lack of interest in the daily, “off-the-cuff” homilies. Maybe I should care more…

  6. wolfeken says:

    When nearly every day in the Vatican is now full of off-the-cuff sermons, casual conversations to groups of random people and an all-around chatty approach to the papacy — complete with ZERO transcripts released — we should expect a lot more of this.

  7. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I’ve avoided any comment on anything the H.F. is alleged to have said for the simple reason that I have only seen English translations of Spanish articles, that appeared in highly-biased papers, based on recollections of some people (unknown to me ) who claim to have heard some things the H.F. had to say.

    iow, nuthin.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. ACS67 says:

    A certain blog who “broke the story” use to be about facts but now it is about sensationalism, distortion and whining. They want to prove that they are “right” about how much the Holy Father is “not a traditionalist” and that he actually has disdain for tradition. Therefore they latch on to every word and gesture of his that proves, to their satisfaction, this very fantasy. They allow people to comment and essentially “pile on” condemning the Holy Father for something that has now been backtracked by the very people who wrote the original Spanish article (CLAR). They forget all respect due to the Holy Father. It is truly shameful. Furthermore, even if the Holy Father said what was reported regarding the “counting” and the “new agers” I agree with him totally, for both of these are distortions of the Catholic faith and quite frankly I am glad that he called them both out, if in fact he did so.

    Holy Father, please know that many of us are praying for you daily, as you have asked, and we support you.

  9. CatholicMD says:

    Great points Dr. Peters. This reminds me of the alleged statement that “carnival time is over” when declining to wear the mozetta. It’s more likely what liberals wish the Holy Father said as opposed to his actual words.

  10. Basher says:

    Bosco said:

    “”If I were the Holy Father I’d hire an ecclesiastical Court Reporter to follow me around all day.”"

    Yes. Bingo. This should go into the ‘good idea’ file next to “Every Bishop should have a driver and never pilot their own car.”

  11. lucindatcm says:

    http://www.reflexionyliberacion.cl/articulo/2729/papa-francisco-dialoga-como-un-hermano-mas-con-la-clar.html

    Granted, I don’t know how reliable a source they are, but certainly, even I with my somewhat rudimentary Spanish can find the appropriate passage. I think somebody recorded that conversation. Sounds a great deal like Pope Francis.

    To a degree, the “gay lobby” thing is old news. Except I never really believed it before.

  12. Pingback: I am Curia (Pink) » The Curt Jester

  13. brianvzn says:

    I dont like relying on these second or third hand accounts either, but we should be consistent. A few weeks ago this blog celebrated an unofficial account of Francis “shooting down” Bishops who wanted to overturn SP, but now when the second or third hand info attacks tradition, the blog acts as if the account has no merit.
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/05/pope-francis-shoots-down-bishops-who-want-summorum-pontificum-overturned/

  14. Anchorite says:

    ACS67,
    How often should Bishop Francis of Rome be making comments about the “Pelagians,” rosaries, bad old 1940s, or washing Muslim girls feet, and running the Church out of a hotel for the likes of you to really start to see Bp. Francis for who he really is?
    Rorate does the right thing, (and so are Fr. Z and Dr. Peters who are both directly answerable to Church hierarchy) reporting on facts (in whatever condition the facts are exposed these days).
    God bless them for not consuming liters of Koolaid, and bringing up valid concerns.

  15. benedetta says:

    This reminds me of the alleged and now discredited supposed interview pre-conclave with Chris Matthews that was circulating awhile back.

  16. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    My first Gold Star! My first Gold Star! :)

  17. dans0622 says: I don’t doubt that the Pope said what was reported. I also don’t care too much that he may have said it. Are we supposed to hang on every word that proceeds from his mouth? I have the same lack of interest in the daily, “off-the-cuff” homilies. Maybe I should care more…

    Probably a big part of why people are hanging on his every word is because, unlike his predecessor, the man who is now our Holy Father was virtually unknown before his election, and we are still trying to figure out what to make of him.

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In the (official) photos I’ve seen, there are six paticipants who are not the H.F.

    ‘The group added that “there was no recording made during the conversation but shortly after a summary was made based on the memories of the participants.’

    Made by whom, exactly, how, exactly?

    ‘ “This summary, which does not include the questions posed to the Holy Father, was intended at (helping) the personal memory of the participants and in no way for publication.” ‘

    Distributed to whom, exactly, in how many copies, by whom, exactly?

    ‘ “A few days ago, our magazine received a summary of what was the meeting of Pope Francis and CLAR’s directive” ‘, though ‘ CLAR says that “in fact, no authorization was requested.” ‘

    Received from whom, exactly, in what form, exactly? And why was no authorization requested?

    ‘ “There was no recording made during the conversation” ‘. How do they know, or why do they put it this way?

    Would not common courtesy, if not indeed simple honesty, dictate one goes beyond saying one “deeply regrets the publication” to answering all these questions, which surely one can do, simply and easily?

    Bosco said, “If I were the Holy Father I’d hire an ecclesiastical Court Reporter to follow me around all day.” Why not be doubly sure and add recording technology (such as is reportedly employed for the fervorini) to a Reporter’s skills?

    I recall seeing a filmed interview with Tony Benn where he said (if I am not mistaken) he recorded all interviews and telephone calls (with the knowledge of his interlocutors) – not someone I generally admire, but sage fellow in this.

  19. The comments here are an example of why I love your blog Fr. Z: Funny, insightful, info I didn’t have before.

    oh and @wolfken: yup.

  20. thepapalbull says:

    I don’t really see how this is backtracking. They aren’t denying anything or softening the rougher edges. They’re just stating the obvious – that the exact wording can’t be attributed since it was worked from memory. I don’t think they ever put their document forward as anything else, did they?

    ACS67: How is offering the Holy Father a spiritual bouquet a distortion of anything Catholic? You better take Fr. Z to task for doing the same thing multiple times in the past.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/05/request-to-readers-100000-memorares-in-may-as-a-spiritual-bouquet-promoted-by-bp-finn/

  21. cainech says:

    Hearsay is no evidence.

  22. Jeannie_C says:

    I was once told “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” In these days of photoshopped pictures and more lies than we can count I believe that was good advice. My husband and I read the article last night, shook our heads and deleted it. We then prayed for the Holy Father and for our church.

  23. jhayes says:

    the Latin American Confederation of Men and Women Religious (CLAR) released a statement on June 11 claiming that the assertion of a gay lobby at the Vatican “cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father.”

    Doesn’t sound as if CNA got that right. The statement from CLAR doesn’t say that he didn’t say that he didn’t mention a gay group in the Vatican – only that their notes give just the sense of what he said – not necessarily the exact words he used.

    “Es claro que sobre esta base no se pueden atribuir al Santo Padre, con seguridad, las expresiones singulares contenidas en el texto, sino solo su sentido general.”

    http://www.reflexionyliberacion.cl/articulo/2735/comunicado-de-la-clar-y-revista-reflexion-y-liberacion.html

  24. jhayes says:

    That should have read:

    Doesn’t sound as if CNA got that right. The statement from CLAR doesn’t say that he didn’t mention a gay group in the Vatican – only that their notes give just the sense of what he said – not necessarily the exact words he used.

  25. frjim4321 says:

    Well it has the appearance of something that was accurately reported but then it was denied. Damage control.

  26. anna 6 says:

    It feels like “way too much information”, and yet “not enough information”, every day.
    I am so confused.

  27. VexillaRegis says:

    It’s so confusing with all these “off-the-cuff” sermons and badly translated partial quotes from the Pope. The most puzzling thing is that he doesn’t seem to care so much about what happens with his words when they are spread around the World. A secretary or two plus a recording device would be nice!

  28. Supertradmum says:

    The number of mistakes, corrections and off-the cuff remarks must end. The Vatican news agencies and Italian sources, as well as other Catholic sources must have better information and excellent translations.

    Remember the nonsense last Autumn with the economic document? Really, in this day and age of talented people who know myriad languages and how to use the Net, there is no excuse for the almost daily bad reporting from or about Rome.

    Shows how unprofessional the Church has become.

  29. xgenerationcatholic says:

    Regarding the “counting” of rosaries, this was in respect to a spiritual bouquet the Holy Father had been given as a gift. Just what kind of loving father would tell another of his children, “See the (you fill in the blank) gift I was given by your backwards, stuck in the 1940s, sibling?” I’m sorry, but I’m absolutely crushed. I say this as somebody who is not a very organized Catholic, I couldn’t finish a novena to save my life. Please Fr Z say something comforting.

  30. pfhawkins says:

    Unfortunately, the opening paragraph of this CNA is slightly misleading. The CLAR didn’t claim that the gay lobby assertion “cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father.” The full quote that that is pulled from appears later in the article:

    “It is clear that, based on these facts, it cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father, the specific expression contained in the text, but only in its general sense.”

    They did not backtrack from the substance of what they published, only the specific wording.

    While I do not think it is too fruitful to pay excessive attention to this hearsay, misrepresenting the public statements of one of the participants in a news story by the CNA does nobody any favors.

  31. Fr AJ says:

    I’ll say one thing, these folks have a better memory than I do! If you read the entire report, it reads like a transcript. There is no way anyone could recall word for word what Pope Francis said. I think they did remember certain ideas and the they filled in the rest unless someone secretly recorded it. That being said, it certainly does sound like him and it repeats themes he has put forth previously.

  32. jhayes says:

    Today, Pope Francis clarifies that we are in a process of “continuous discernment of God’s will” and we need to “move forward on this path, without going back and without going off-track”

    Pope Francis continued, the law of the Spirit, “takes us on a path of continuous discernment to do the will of God” and this can frighten us. The Pope warned that this fear “brings two temptations with it.” The first, is to “go backwards” to say that “it’s possible up to this point, but impossible beyond this point” which ends up becoming “let’s stay here”. This, he warned, “is the temptation of fear of freedom, fear of the Holy Spirit.” A fear that “it is better to play it safe.” Pope Francis then told a story about a superior general who, in the 1930’s, went around compiling a list of regulations for his religious, “a work that took years.” Then he travelled to Rome to meet a Benedictine abbot, who, upon hearing all he had done, replied that in doing so he “had killed his Congregation’s charism”, “he had killed its freedom” since “this charism bears fruit in freedom and he had stopped the charism”.

    “This is the temptation to go backwards, because we are ‘safer’ going back: but total security is in the Holy Spirit that brings you forward, which gives us this trust – as Paul says – which is more demanding because Jesus tells us: “Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law”. It is more demanding! But it does not give us that human security. We cannot control the Holy Spirit: that is the problem! This is a temptation. ”

    Pope Francis noted that there is another temptation: that of “adolescent progressivism”, that de-rails us. This temptation lies in seeing a culture and “not detaching ourselves from it”.

    “We take the values of this culture a little bit from here, a little bit from there , … They want to make this law? Alright let’s go ahead and make this law. Let’s broaden the boundaries here a little. In the end, let me tell you, this is not true progress. It is adolescent progressivism: just like teenagers who in their enthusiasm want to have everything and in the end? You slip up … It’s like when the road is covered in ice and the car slips and go off track… This is the other temptation at the moment! We, at this moment in the history of the Church, we cannot go backwards or go off the track! ”

    Pope Francis concluded : the track “is that of freedom in the Holy Spirit that makes us free, in continuous discernment of God’s will to move forward on this path, without going back and without going off-track”. Let us ask the Lord for “the grace that the Holy Spirit gives us to go forward.”

    Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/06/12/pope_at_mass:_true_progress_is_in_trusting_the_spirit/en1-700777
    of the Vatican Radio website

  33. acardnal says:

    RE the Vatican Radio reporting, it cannot be taken as completely accurate because there are no full and entire transcripts from the Holy See on these events. Fr.Z and the Vatican Press Sec’y have stated previously that these types of extemporaneous and ad hoc remarks from the Pope’s daily homilies and meetings are not being recorded or transcribed or placed into the AAS. What ‘wolfeken’ stated above is a real issue.

  34. cyrillist says:

    @jhayes, quoting the Holy Father: “in continuous discernment of God’s will to move forward on this path, without going back and without going off-track”

    But if you already went off track, say, forty years ago, then isn’t going back your best bet for eventually getting back on track? Once you’re off track, won’t going forward only make it worse?

    And once you do get back on track, isn’t that the time to go forward again? Does anybody really want to go back to the point that they went off track, and then just sit there?

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    When I read the Radio Vaticana account, I wondered, was the Holy Father thinking of Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages”, “Not fare well, but fare forward, voyagers.”

    When I read cyrillist’s comment, I thought, are some remarks of Lewis, and his “Pilgrim’s Problem”, at the back of his mind? “Was the map wrong? / Maps can be wrong. But the experienced walker knows / That the other explanation is more often true.”

  36. Kathleen10 says:

    “going forward…in continuous discernment of God’s will” is too vague for me. I would need to know the subject of the comments, and nothing illuminates on that. I just often can’t pin down the specific topic.
    It reminds me of the United Church of Christ slogan, “God is still talking”.

  37. jhayes says:

    The official Vatican website has a full archive of the daily homilies (which they call “Meditations”) here:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/cotidie/2013/index_en.htm

    From what I have read, there are audio recordings of the homilies but, at Francis’ instruction, no full transcripts are published.

  38. cyrillist says:

    @VSL:

    Thanks, I hadn’t encountered that Lewis quote before. Now that it’s at the front of my mind, I’m not sure how apropos the map analogy is, but I would respond that we had a pretty good map for a pretty long time, and it got a lot of folks to their destination. We were given a new map forty-odd years ago, and I’m not entirely convinced that it’s quite as reliable as the old one. /understatement

  39. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    cyrillist:

    One need only suppose the one good map, and a long misguided wandering astray…