Rosarygate: Confusion As Pope Remains Silent
One and a half day into the latest mess created by Pope Francis with his own carelessness, we are put in front of a show of incompetence that lets one wonder why on earth Cardinal Bergoglio was deemed the best fitted to put some order in the Vatican machinery.
As I write this in a cold, grey UK morning, we have two Rosarygate updates on the usual Rorate Caeli. With the first we were informed a probably desperate Father Lombardi declined to comment on the “private” conversation of the Pope, as several Vaticanists explained to El Mundo that yes, Bergoglio is the man who would talk such rubbish. This was a huge occasion to clarify and set the matter to rest, and was lost.
Would it have been too much for the Pontiff to authorise Father Lombardi to say something on behalf of the Pope, renewing his encouragement to pray the Rosary, his respect for those who count them, his special gratefulness for the rosary bouquet given to him, and his renewed confidence in the work of the CDF? Too difficult? Really?
It was in fact too difficult, one thinks, because this is a Pope very humbly attached to heterodoxy and, in Franciscan simplicity, unwilling to backpedal even when the entire planet is asking “could he really have said that?”. Yes, he could. Yes, he did. Yes, you can bet your pint he'll do it again. This was not an occasional slip of the tongue, as such episodes are now at least one too many, and too worrying for that. This was an insight into Pope Bergoglio's world, which is why he refused to backpedal. Methinks, he considers all this mess a tempest in a glass of water, caused by people absurdly attached to these practices of the past like the Rosary, and who think they live in the Forties.
After a clearly hand-faced Lombardi declined to comment, the pressure was obviously on the CLAR to save what can be saved, or at least smooth some corner; but those at CLAR obviously refused to do the Pope's job, and confirmed (second Rorate update) the content of the report, though they tried to downplay the quotations implying the man with the writing pad must have been thinking of women, and all was written from “recollections” after the fact.
Don't make me laugh. As if words of the Pope would be put in quotation marks without someone there having written them down verbatim. Nor did CLAR, as I write, modify or correct or retract one single word of their report.
If CLAR had said “awfully sorry, we were very wrong on this one, the Vatican phoned and it is clear there must have been two or three rather massive misunderstandings”, the matter would have somewhat settled down, but they would have lost face without being in the end guilty of any misinformation. One can understand they decided to weather the storm and say “no, this is really what he said and meant”.
If I were in the same room as Father Lombardi – whom again I imagine, Jesuit and heterodox as he is, with the hands on his face, leaning on his desk in utter disbelief – I would suggest that anyone who is received by the Pope signs a confidentiality agreement, notepads are utterly forbidden, and even smartphones are given to Vatican officials before entering the Pope's room, as it is very easy to use them to record every word he says.
“But Mundabor” – you might say – “this is absurd! It is tantamount to admit the Pontiff is such a maverick that the Church must be protected from him every time he opens his mouth and speaks off-the-cuff!”.