Interesting “Declaration” from the Holy See’s Press Office

This is pretty interesting, from the Holy See Press Office Bolletino today:

My translation from the Italian original:


In the late morning the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Rev. Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, gave the journalists the following declaration:

Not rarely the information media attribute to the "Vatican", intending by that the Holy See, comments and points of view which cannot be attributed to it automatically.  The Holy See, in fact, when it intends to express itself authoritatively, uses the proper ways and appropriate means (communiques, notes, declarations).

No other pronouncement has the same merit.

Also recently, inopportune attributions have been made.  The Holy See, in its representative branches, shows respect toward civil authorities, which in their legitimate autonomy have the right to provide for the common good.


Also, if you know something about Italian, you know how turgid the style can get when the writers want to strike a high tone or sound official.  Here is the last part in the original:

Anche di recente, si sono verificate attribuzioni non opportune. [gotta love that!] La Santa Sede, nei suoi organi rappresentativi, [excellent phrase, that] manifesta rispetto verso le autorità civili, che nella loro legittima autonomia hanno il diritto e il dovere di provvedere al bene comune.

Clearly a defensive move.

I am sure you readers will jump in and supply the backdrop for this Declaration.


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  1. Sounds to me like this is an attempt on the part of the Vatican to put to bed all of the rumors that have been swirling around for the past week with regard to L’Affaire Wagner and L’Affaire Williamson. This might also have something to do with the consecration of Bishop Dolan.

    It’s very good to hear this kind of thing from the Vatican press office. I guess if it’s not offical news, then it\’s not official.

  2. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    A more nuanced translation:

    Don’t listen to Fr Tom, Bishop Dick, and Cardinal Harry who mouth-off with “comments and points of view which cannot be attributed to [the Holy See] automatically.”

  3. prof. basto says:

    Yes, but who offended civil authorities?

    Who made declarations on behalf of the Vatican that are not of the same “merit”, or rank, of those made by the Holy See officially (by means of Press Office communiqués, notes or declarations)?

    This statement by Fr. Lombardi fails to mention an specific episode, fails to denounce any particular press report, fails to distance the Holy See from any particular statement.

    What was the statement that led Fr. Lombardi to issue this generic rebuke? Because, it is so generic, that you can’t even tell what is being rebuked? You only know that it was offensive to civil authority.

    Perhaps this has to do with some statement directed against the Quirinal for President Napolitano’s role in the death of Eulana Englaro?

  4. joy says:

    I thought maybe they were addressing the spinning Pelosiisms

  5. prof. basto says:

    Thanks Syriacus. That must be it.

    My hypothesis was less probable from the start, since the Vatican Press Office was not likely to intervene to stop any criticism of President Napolitano’s stance, since that criticism is legitimate and the President trully deserves bashing for his immoral refusal to sign the decreto-legge that would have kept Eulana alive.

  6. I hope this Declaration, from the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr Lambardi, will receive widespread publicity and be adheared to. For far too long the media and liberal journalists have used the word ‘Vatican’ to camourflage a direct attack on the person of the Holy Father or a member of one of his Congregations (the Curia). They are afraid to say, ‘the Pope’, ‘The Holy Father’ or Pope Benedict XV1 or Cardinal so-and-so or any other influential person in ‘the vatican’ in case they find themselves in trouble. It’s time the Press Office put a ‘bar’ on Journalists of this kind and refuse them any scoops!

  7. GOR says:

    From Petrus:“Il portavoce del Papa non cita nessun esempio. Solo qualche ora prima, pero’, il segretario del Pontificio Consiglio per la pastorale dei migranti, Monsignor Agostino Marchetto, ha criticato con forza le ‘ronde’ approvate dal Governo; un’opinione che e’ stata automaticamente identificata come una condanna da parte del Vaticano del provvedimento.

    It would appear that this refers to the immigrant issue in Italy. I haven’t followed it closely enough to know what ‘ronde’ were approved by the government. But the pastor and mayor of the island of Lampedusa called for the Holy Father’s intervention last month – stating that Lampedusa had become a ‘police state’. Is Lampedusa Italy’s version of Ellis Island?

  8. Victor says:

    I think Fr Lombardi is recurring to the causa Wagner (Linz/Austria):
    earlier this week, the spokesman of Cardinal Schoenborn (Archbishop of Vienna, of which Linz is NOT a suffragan!!!) told the press that the Vatican had already accepted Msgr. Wagner’s “abdication”. Up to today, none such thing was heard of the Vatican.
    Honni soit qui mal y pense…

  9. RC says:

    It’s a good observation for reporters to keep in mind any time. A few weeks ago, some press reports were claiming that “the Vatican” had endorsed a Hungarian firm’s speculative anti-cancer drug. Of course the Holy See had not done any such thing.

  10. Cristiano says:

    GOR is correct. It is in relation to statements made by Mons. Agostino Marchetto in relation to the vigilantes squads (ronde) that are proposed in order to reduce the criminal activity by eastern Europeans.

    Lampedusa in not the Italian version of Ellis Island. It is more like a detention center for illegal immigrants similar to what we have in the USA.

  11. Aaron says:

    The Legionaries of Christ often associate their “good works” with the vatican. For example, a couple of years ago the Belfast Telegraph reported that “vatican architects” had contracted a local company to build a pre-school (kinder) in Dublin. This was a legionary school in the legion’s grounds in Dublin. It was the Legion of Christ that contracted them.

    In recent news, Alvaro Corcuera LC – General Director of the Legion of Christ – said that it had investigated its founder, who died last year, and discovered a double life, or certainly behaviour inapproproate for a priest. A legionary priest confirmed that this is referring to Maciel having at least one mistress and a daughter.

    “Another notable facet of the leader of the Legionaries address was that he “gave a general impression that the Legionary was 100% compliant with what the Vatican wanted to see happen.” The priest claimed that his individual visitation of Regnum Christi chapters was approved by the Holy See, mentioning that he met with each of the priests at the Mass individually.”

    “For the last week, well-placed Legionary priests told journalists working on the story that a big, possibly authoritative statement of apology would soon be released by the order…Last night, an LC priest told me the statement had been delayed again — he hinted that the Vatican caused the delay — and this time he didn’t provide a new deadline.”

    Throughout the reporting of this story much speculation – not helped by the Legion’s silence and lack of detail – as to whether the Vatican insisted that the Legion break the news to its members or it – the vatican – would.

    Speculation also abounds about whether these knowledge of Maciel’s family came from the previous CDF investigations or from an internal Legionary investigation.

    The Vatican, of course, has not used any of its channels to communicate anything about this recent news, or about previous news of the vatican changing some of the rules and customs of the legion last year, such as the removal of the private vows and the practice of confession in the legion seminaries.

    This leaves the Legion alone as it has so often tagged vatican or pope to its works and deeds (the pope asked maciel/the legion to do this, to raise money for that, gave him special permission to pray his breviary all at once instead of at the appointed times etc).

    The Legion used a statment in 2005 that supposedly came from the Secretariat of State to say that Maciel was not being investigated, with this it was reported that there was no Vatican investigation and therefore Maciel was innocent. This appears to be false as Months later an offical Vatican statement read that following an investigation, Maciel was invited to live a life of prayer and penance, and not to preach in public or say mass in public. He was considered too old and unwell to go through a trial at the time, which would imply that there was reason to do so.

  12. Alessandro says:

    I conferm that GOR is right. Don’t try to discover other strange hidden reasons or messages. Fr. Lombardi was addressing a particular italian problem with cardinals and bishops always speaking about everything and jounalists willing to put their words on the “lips” of the “pope” (or the “Holy See” as such).

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