Dippy coverage from Reuters on Pope Francis’ General Audience

It is hard to imagine how wrong newsies can be… and then you run into the abysmally twisted report from Reuters about what Pope Francis said today in his Wednesday audience about women.

Pope stresses “fundamental” value of women in Church

By Naomi O’Leary

ROME | Wed Apr 3, 2013 1:23pm EDT
(Reuters) – Pope Francis stressed the “fundamental” importance of women in the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, a message hailed as a significant shift from the position of his predecessor Benedict.  [ROFL!  Over HERE we saw that Francis was virtually quoting Benedict.  Furthermore, Francis stressed motherhood.  But let’s go on…]

Supporters of liberal reform of the Church have called on it to give a greater voice to women and recognize their importance to the largest religious denomination in the world, and some groups call for women to be ordained as priests.

The head of the Women’s Ordination Conference, [ROFL!  Here we go!] which calls for women to be treated equally in the Church [Naomi is not actually reporting at all, now, is she…] and to be allowed to become priests and bishops, said Francis’s words were the most encouraging she had heard in her lifetime, but did not go far enough. [They will wait a looooong time, I’m afraid.]

“While the pope was trying to be positive about women’s role, where he’s actually wrong is that women were actually disciples, like Mary Magdalene,” [that’s not the point] WOC [spell it backwards] Executive Director Erin Saiz Hanna told Reuters.

“He said women are able to communicate Christ’s words, but actually women can’t preach so that’s a false statement.”  [So, Francis is a liar.]

The Vatican [I love it when they write “The Vatican” like that.] says woman cannot be priests as Jesus Christ willingly [translation problems? purposely… intentionally…] chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood reject this position, saying Jesus was merely conforming to the customs of his times.  [What is so funny about this is that, today, Francis said in his talk that the ancient cultural norms were being contradicted by what happened at the time of the Resurrection.]

Francis, elected last month as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, said women had always had a special mission in the Church as “first witnesses” of Christ’s resurrection, and because they pass belief onto their children and grandchildren.  [There it is, but poor Naomi and the others don’t get it.  They do this as MOTHERS, not MINISTERS.]

“In the Church, and in the journey of faith, women have had and still have a special role in opening doors to the Lord,” Francis told thousands of pilgrims at his weekly audience in S. Peter’s Square.

He said that in the Bible, women were not recorded as witnesses to Christ’s resurrection because of the Jewish Law of the time that did not deem women or children to be reliable witnesses.  [Is Naomi unaware that the Gospels are part of the Bible.  Or is Naomi of a tradition that doesn’t accept the Gospels as part of the Bible?]

“In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role … The evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria,” Francis said.


The address was the second time Francis had spoken of women’s role as witnesses to the resurrection of Christ, a subject of bedrock importance to the Catholic faith. [The Resurrection is of “bedrock” importance, but not women’s role as witnesses.]

His Easter Vigil address on Saturday made prominent mention of women and urged believers not to fear change.

Francis’s decision a week ago to include women in a traditional foot-washing ritual drew ire from traditionalists, who see the custom as a re-enactment of Jesus washing the feet of his apostles and said it should therefore be limited to men.

Marinella Perroni, [Who?] a theologian and leading member of the Association of Italian Women Theologians, which promotes female experts on religion and their visibility in the Church, said the pope’s words marked a significant shift from the previous pope.

“The fact that the Pope acknowledges that the progressive removal of female figures from the tradition of the resurrection … is due to human judgments, distant from those of God…introduces a decidedly new element compared to the previous papacy.” [This incomprehensible.  Translation problem? Bottom line: silly.]


This is just dumb.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Titus says:

    “He said that in the Bible, women were not recorded as witnesses to Christ’s resurrection because of the Jewish Law of the time that did not deem women or children to be reliable witnesses. ”

    “The fact that the Pope acknowledges that the progressive removal of female figures from the tradition of the resurrection … is due to human judgments, distant from those of God…introduces a decidedly new element compared to the previous papacy.”

    “Another element. In the professions of faith of the New Testament, only men are remembered as witnesses of the Resurrection, the Apostles, but not the women. This is because, according to the Jewish Law of the time, women and children were not considered reliable, credible witnesses. In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role. ”

    What we have here is a lack of reading comprehension. Professor Perroni clearly either did not read the Pope’s actual statement, or is so dense that she did not understand it. Clearly the what the Pope said went about fifteen feet over the author’s head, or she would not have said what she did in the first quotation. Presumably she fed her own misapprehension to the “scholar,” who reacted with a statement that is a reasonably commentary on the article, but a complete hash next to the actual text of the statement.

    I must confess, though, having not read Benedict’s book myself, I had to hunt for precisely what is being referred to by the term “professions of faith of the New Testament.” But even someone pretending to be a theologian should know what I was able to discover in 45 seconds via google.

  2. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    It would appear that in the minds of those who have been so unfortunate as to have consented to be indoctrinated by the Culture of Death, an impermeable template exists – a template upon which is impressed the dictum: “any assignment of roles, whether in society or in the church, that is based upon sex (male or female) is, by definition, evil and oppressive.”

    That’s it. Humanly speaking, nothing anyone in the Church says or does can penetrate the template. The template shuts it all out.

    It will take a miracle.

  3. HeatherBarrett says:

    “actually women can’t preach” — Ha, that’s news to me and any other female Dominican! Or any Catholic woman in general, really. It is people like WOC who are limiting women by limiting preaching to giving homilies and sermons from the pulpit. Women absolutely have the ability and the responsibility to preach, whatever their state in life may be, but particularly as mothers, as Pope Francis says. Those of us who are not married nor have children of our own, nevertheless touch many lives in our families and in society and can act as spiritual mothers.

    Some of my Catholic relatives were discussing a similar article and being under the impression that Pope Francis is the first and only pope to have such a positive view of women. I told them they need to read Pope John Paul II’s writings on woman’s dignity and human sexuality in general. I think Pope Francis might begin building on those teachings and taking them to a wider audience. I hope so, because apparently they haven’t yet gotten through to many people.

  4. No surprise. Reuters isn’t EWTN or even Fox. Isn’t “liberal reform” and oxymoron?

  5. acardnal says:

    “WOC [spell it backwards]” LOL!

  6. acardnal says:

    HeatherBarrett, perhaps you were thinking of John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem.


  7. Genna says:

    I find this constant dissing of Pope Benedict not just painful, but heartbreaking. It seems like Pope Francis is being built up by the dissidents/media for the sole purpose of putting Benedict onto the scrap heap of history. Presumably the detractors are under the impression that the present pope is less Catholic than the former. Their anger will, I hope, be multplied an hundredfold as this papacy progresses.

  8. HeatherBarrett says:

    acardnal: Yes indeed, and I shared that link with everybody, so that they would have no excuse not to take a look at it. :)

  9. Scarltherr says:

    WOC [spell it backwards] I laughed out loud!!! I pray for the day when women are happy to be women, instead of claiming to be oppressed men!
    Must prepare to teach the parable of the Kosher Deli to my junior High boys homeschool writing class!

  10. LarryW2LJ says:

    I agree with Heather – my Mom spent plenty of time preaching and her “homilies” were the ones that stuck with me the most throughout my life. The time spent at the domestic church in our house was just as important as the time spent at good ol’ St. Mary’s. I’ve often said that I am the Catholic that I am today because of Mom.

    She passed away last May, and while that was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to deal with, I was comforted by the fact that I know in my heart that she heard “Job well done, my good and faithful servant”. If I end up being half the dad that my mother brought me up to be, I will have done a decent job.

  11. aviva meriam says:

    It would be REALLY helpful if “experts” and “reporters” would actually take the time to UNDERSTAND the topic of conversation. Any theologian with a decent understanding of Jewish Law (regarding women) would comprehend the differences alluded to by both Benedict and Francis.

    Sorry: this is a major pet peeve of mine.

  12. dominic1955 says:

    That ditz from CO spewing stupidity about magazines and bullets, her idiot spokeswoman following suit, the “pregnant man” getting divorced, this nonsense and more “women’s ordination” silliness…April Fools must be a month long event now…

  13. rtjl says:

    “women can’t preach” – well – perhaps not in a liturgical context but they can in other contexts and they can certainly teach and deliver addresses and speeches.

  14. greasemonkey says:

    I didn’t find anything in that Wednesday Audience a steller affirmation of the all-male priesthood. I didn’t really find that it broke with tradition in anyway either. I felt it was a hopeful stretch to claim it was a “point for our side”.
    I think “we” are all going to great lengths to find things about this pope in order to give us hope for the uncertain future.

  15. The “perception is reality” problem here is the ample opportunity that is being provided (however unintentionally) for the main stream media to report–convincingly to “low information Catholics” throughout the world–that Francis is reversing most everything Benedict did.

  16. greasemonkey says:

    You got it. TOOOOO much “ample opportunity”. Jimmy Akin bending over backward to defend this pope washing the feet of women ect…. I’m thinking to my self “we sure look like bafoons now!”

  17. Johnno says:

    Dear Pope Francis & all Catholic Clergy,

    Please get rid of all ‘Pastoral language’. It is vague. Your opponents never get it. They will twist it’s meaning. Impressionable Catholics will be led astray. You accomplish nothing. You have never accomplished anything by it. You only make things worse. And all you had to do to avoid articles like this was to add the words,”Although the Church cannot ordain women,…” before the rest of the sermon. Please stop being politicians, and be priests. Thank you.

  18. jhayes says:

    The Vatican has announced that Francis is scheduled to celebrate a public Mass every Sunday from now to Pentecost – so we sjould hear quite a lot more from him in his homilies.

    Also reported by the Vatican:

    LE UDIENZE , 04.04.2013

    Il Santo Padre Francesco ha ricevuto questa mattina in Udienza:
    S.E. Mons. Piero Marini, Arcivescovo tit. di Martirano, Presidente del Pontificio Comitato per i Congressi Eucaristici Internazionali.

    It would be interesting to hear that discussion. [I sincerely doubt that.]

  19. anna 6 says:

    “Marinella Perroni…promotes female experts on religion and their visibility in the Church, said the pope’s words marked a significant shift from the previous pope.”

    How do they even get away with this nonsense?

    Some of Benedict’s closest collaborators throughout his life have been women. He dedicated numerous General Audiences to great women of the Church (see OSV’s “Holy Women”), and he elevated Hildegard of Bingen to Doctor of the Church.

  20. Anchorite says:

    Henry Edwards,
    I was about to say the same – Francis’s action are interpreted “through Benedict” ONLY on this blog – the rest of the world got the message loud and clear. When Pope Benedict’s action were misinterpreted in the past, Fr. Lombardi and the rest of Vatican PR crew were all addressing the “misunderstandings.” Now, they are silent – after all, the message is clear: “Read my lips: I AM NOT BENEDICT.” When they do come out and speak – it is a malarkey.
    Besides, Francis just received in audience Abp. Piero Marini – the Archpriest and Architect of Farce, pushed on the faithful as a Holy Mass. We should really prepare ourselves for another round of spectacles that are less spiritual and edifying than “Waiting For Godot.” [Let’s all try to avoid having a spittle-flecked nutty about Francis allowing Arcbp. Piero Marini to be in the same room with him. Francis is doing what new Popes do: he’s meeting with the heads of dicasteries. P. Marini is the head of an office.]

  21. Evovae says:

    Anchorite: “Now, they are silent – after all, the message is clear: “Read my lips: I AM NOT BENEDICT.”

    Harumph! I say, things have just gone downhill ever since that upstart Linus fellow…

    But seriously: I understand the importance of PR, but when has what “the rest of the world thinks” been the proper lens through which to judge the words and actions of faithful Catholics?

    Also, I agree that franken-liturgies are generally an abomination, but it’s hard to imagine them (let alone anything else) as “less spiritual and edifying than ‘Waiting For Godot'”.

  22. jonvilas says:

    Well, maybe the view that I am to express will not be acceptable to many there, however, it appears, that the new bishop of Rome (as he prefers to call himself) Francis, from the very beginning willingly or unwillingly opened the code of rupture, i.e. that hermeneutic of rupture against which pope Benedict XVI was clearly staring strong. Therefore, such interpretations from mainstream media are logical consequence, rather than some dumbness. Besides, it is really (as somebody have noticed already a number of times) strange that suddenly all this noise about the pedophilia scandals, Vatileaks etc disappeared in an instance, while with BXVI it was nearly daily or at least weekly meal of the same media. Is it just and attempt to make sharp opposition between the two popes or is it really an agenda of the wolves outside and within to return to the old project of rupture. I do have hope that the right key of interpretation is the one proposed by Fr. Z (i.e. view Francis through Benedict), however, I cannot be 100% optimist in this case. And today’s audience with Piero Marini does not make things easier.[That audience means nothing in itself. Nothing.] Actually, my biggest concern is that we might really be in front of the future disastrous schism inside the Church. Praying that it is not the case.

  23. JohnE says:

    They find some points of agreement in order to bend and twist Christian teaching to their agenda. A square coincides with a circle at 4 points too, but they’ll never be the same.

  24. Anchorite says:

    Father, no nutty here, just thinking that Piero Marini will be heading the Sacraments and getting the red hat, while one of his disciples will be replacing Msgr. Guido Marini ASAP. Just saying. …

  25. Anchorite says:

    Anything written by Beckett is less absurd than Piero Marini’s mass concoctions, and more edifying.

  26. BLB Oregon says:

    The schism that concerns me is the people who have been excommunicated but both refuse to be reconciled and refuse to leave. It doesn’t matter what is said to them, because what they don’t want to hear, they simply refuse to hear.

    An older woman in my parish remarked about the installation of Archbishop Sample: “I looked at all those bishops up there, and thought to myself ‘they’re just a bunch of old men.'” To which I replied, “I’m sorry, but if you’re suggesting we ought to have a Church run by young people, no thanks to that!” I passed over the implication that there is something wrong with men, as if it didn’t occur to me to take her remark that way. I know some very smart older women, but there is no arguing with those who think that old ladies have some kind of magic extra-worldly wisdom that ought to be ruling the earth. Where on the earth they go that, I have no idea. They know some magic old ladies that I haven’t met, I guess.

  27. kmtierney says:

    Whenever discussing “The Vatican”, it is always good to remember John Allen’s first rule of Vatican Reporting: There is no “The Vatican” When you see it, it’s a clear sign that you can safely ignore anything the scrub is about to say.

  28. Traductora says:

    Gads, these people are insane. Pope Francis practically adopted every word of what Benedict had said, and there is no “rupture” at all.

    I think the thing that many people here don’t like about Francis, which is that he is very plain spoken, is going to be one of the things most remarkable about him. What he is doing is taking the same message that Benedict had (which is, after all, the Gospel message and therefore what you would expect of a Pope) and projecting it more expressively.

    I saw Pope Francis in Rome on Palm Sunday, and he’s a very good, affecting preacher. I loved Benedict – whom I had also seen – but I think for many people he came across as too scholarly and perhaps too elderly. And Benedict knew that his message wasn’t getting out.

    Everybody is reading Francis through the lens they like best: love of Benedict, hatred of Benedict, whatever. What will be interesting is when the liberal contingent suddenly realizes that the medium is not the message: Pope Francis may be much more expressive and immediate, but this isn’t the message. The message is the same as it has always been.

  29. DCMArg says:

    Two WOC Members at the Mall, in line for a Sub:
    – “This is outrageous. I’ll start a campaign for Subway to include a Big Mac as part of the menu. Because, you know… I like Big Macs.”
    – “We can go to that MacDonalds near this Subway if you want”.
    – “Never. I’m a Subway person”.

  30. Hank Igitur says:

    So which other heads of dicasteries has he already met with since mid March? Ouellet? Burke?

  31. acardnal says:

    Hank Igitur: many.

    If you monitor the following websites you can stay current:

    Pay attention to the section entitled “Audiences”


  32. acardnal says:

    Under “Audiences” of VIS News it states the Holy Father met with:

    Vatican City, 4 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

    – Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples,

    – Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls Basilica, and

    – Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.


    The Pope meets almost daily with Vatican officials.

  33. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Hank, my friend — You do realize that you have an Internet out there, and you can do some research on it if you’re really interested.

    Of course, I had parents who referred our questions to the encyclopedia, the dictionary, and the library, but you can do it too!

  34. Hank Igitur says:


    thanks for the informative reply

  35. sciencemom says:

    #1. He said that in the Bible, women were not recorded as witnesses to Christ’s resurrection because of the Jewish Law of the time that did not deem women or children to be reliable witnesses.

    #2. “In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role … The evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria,” Francis said.

    If you can’t see that #1 directly contradicts #2, which it claims to report, you need remedial reading comprehension. I think my 8yo would see that. I will have to ask him tomorrow. I can’t imagine why anyone would take such an obviously clueless article seriously. And yet it is not much worse than most of what passes for journalism on Catholic topics these days.

  36. jhayes says:

    Sciencemom, in #1. Instead of “In the Bible”, what Francis said was “In the professions of faith of the New Testament”

    For instance: 1 Corinthians 4-8

    The Reuters article gets it wrong. [There’s a shock. I am glad Phil Pullella’s name wasn’t on that piece.] See the Vatican radio transcript and English translation at:


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