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.


Posted on October 3, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. If Lombardi, a Jesuit, believes intentional killing of innocent persons for convenience to be an “internal affair” of any given state, then he does not have a secularised mentality but a diabolical one. Which, sadly, we have come to expect from Jesuits.

    One would like to tell him that if the believes state-sanctioned murder of any class of persons to be an “internal affair”, we can reasonably expect his eternal soul to be a rather, shall we say, “infernal affair”…

    I probably should not believe that the Pope shares this mentality, although he has been strangely silent on these issues during his visit to Germany, where abortion appears to be the only sacrament the people and their leaders (even some within the Church) really believe in.

    Would the Pope decline to intervene if the adherents of some kind of heretical protestant sect were persecuted – not killed, but just not allowed to exercise their precious sacred right to religious liberty? Would he believe the attempt of a state to impose the right to murder Jews, as opposed to the right to murder unborn children, to be an “internal affair”? Would Fr. Lombardi?

    You are right: There may have been legitimate prudential reasons for not intervening. But the justification is, while maybe just a small problem in its own right, VERY telling in that it shows us where the big problems lie.

    • I fully agree, Catocon & Leftfooter,

      as so often whenever Lombardi opens his mouth, you cannot avoid wondering what on earth is he doing in the Vatican. He seems to have the rare gift of saying the wrong thing even when he means to say the right one. In this case I suspect, like you, that he is so secularised that he cannot even understand the huge problem of what he says.

      I didn’t know he was a Jesuit. I must say I am not surprised.


  2. The Pope “always respects the internal affairs of nations”, – I’ve never heard such poppycock.

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