Daily Archives: October 3, 2011

Pope Didn’t Call Mexico. Sad, really.

"Internal matter"?

A rather embarrassing small incident after the victory for pro-life supporters in Mexico.

It would appear that Bishop Guerrero Macias had boasted that “a call from the Pope, I don’t know to who[m]”, had changed the situation.

Federico Lombardi promptly intervened and said that oh no, God forbid, the Pope would never do that. The head of the biggest organised religious organisation in the planet to say to a Catholic what he thinks about what he is doing with his soul? Unthinkable. The Pope “always respects the internal affairs of nations”, and therefore such calls simply do not take place.

I have a couple of small problems here.

Firstly, the Pope is not only a head of State, but the head of a religious organisation. It is not clear to me how it should be a problem that – wearing his religious hat, so to speak – he should contact whomever he pleases in the discharging of his religious duty. On the contrary, I see it as difficult to justify how he could not intervene.

Secondly, Lombardi’s principle sound dangerous, as it makes every religious controversy “an internal affair” of that nation. If in Malta divorce is legalised the matter concerns all Christianity, not only the Maltese. Christianity doesn’t know “internal affairs”. This is why religious blogs like this one deal with Christian matters wherever they happen, UK or US or Mexico or Hungary.

There might be reasons of prudence suggesting that a Pope doesn’t make this or that phone call. But when Lombardi declares with such blunt words that the Pope has the duty to shut up in matters concerning “the internal affairs of nations” and that it would be “disrespectful” to intervene, I wonder whether the mentality in the Vatican is becoming a rather secularised one.


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