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Trump, contraception, homos, and more…

Francis Unplugged: Hoopla ensues after Confusing Comments on Return Flight from Mexico

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Bergoglio meets microphone – you can imagine how it went…

Links to developments & commentary below

We all knew this was coming, and it is always the best part of his trips: The expected but impromptu in-flight news conference aboard the “papal” plane, featuring Jorge Bergoglio answering questions from journalists off-the-cuff. This is Francis unplugged. Unscripted. Unfiltered. Warts and all. This usually means lots of rambling, disjointed thoughts, flowery phrases, vague platitudes, ambiguous language — lots to clean up afterwards for the various Novus Ordo spokesmen, commentators, and apologists.

It was no different this time.

Having completed his “Apostolic Journey” to Mexico (see our coverage here), the apostate papal pretender got on his airplane and stepped up to the microphone, eager to answer whatever questions journalists were going to throw at him. It was a total of 12 questions, and the Novus Ordo news outlet Catholic News Agency has provided a complete transcript in English of everything that was said. You can access it here:

Below, we are excerpting Francis’ most striking comments from the transcript. However, we advise you to read the interview in its entirety and not just the selections below because it was a gigantic rambling mess and some things we decided not to excerpt at all because it was not really clear just what the salient points were.

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[on pedophile clerics:]

First, a bishop who moves a priest to another parish when a case of pedophilia is discovered is a reckless (inconsciente) man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear?

…And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.

[on Donald Trump’s accusation that Francis is a political man and a pawn of the Mexican government for migration politics:]

Thank God he [Trump] said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus.’ At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

[on homosexual civil unions and adoption rights being considered by the Italian government:]

First of all, I don’t know how things stand in the thinking of the Italian parliament. The Pope doesn’t get mixed up in Italian politics. At the first meeting I had with the (Italian) bishops in May 2013, one of the three things I said was: with the Italian government you’re on your own. Because the pope is for everybody and he can’t insert himself in the specific internal politics of a country. This is not the role of the pope, right? And what I think is what the Church thinks and has said so often – because this is not the first country to have this experience, there are so many – I think what the Church has always said about this.

[on the threat of the Zika virus with regard to pregnant women, whether contraception might be the lesser of two evils when compared to abortion:]

Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no?  It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

[on how a merciful church can allegedly forgive murder more easily than a “remarriage” after divorce:]

I like this question! On the family, two synods have spoken. The Pope has spoken on this all year in the Wednesday Catechisms. The question is true, you posed it very well. In the post-synod document that will be published, perhaps before Easter – it picks up on everything the synod – in one of the chapters, because it has many – it spoke about the conflicts, wounded families and the pastoral (care) of wounded families. It is one of the concerns. As another is the preparation for marriage. Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK. On the other hand, to make a sacrament (marriage), which is for your whole life, three to four conferences… Preparation for marriage is very important. It’s very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church has not valued much.

For example, not so much anymore but some years ago in my homeland there was a habit, something called ‘casamiento de apuro,’ a marriage in haste because the baby is coming and to cover socially the honor of the family. There, they weren’t free and it happened many times this marriage is null. As a bishop I forbade my priests to do this. Priests, when there was something like this, I would say, let the baby come, let them continue as fiancées, and when they feel like they can continue for the rest of their lives, then they could go ahead. There is a lack there….

Another interesting thing from the meeting with families in Tuxtla. There was a couple, married again in second union integrated in the pastoral ministry of the Church. The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera. But of this one mustn’t forget the children in the middle. They are the first victims, both in the wounds, and in the conditions of poverty, of work, etcetera.

[on whether “integration” of adulterers means they can receive Communion:]

This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.
[on John Paul II’s intense correspondence with Ana Teresa Tymieniecka:]

…A  friendship with a woman is not a sin. (It’s) a friendship. A romantic relationship with a woman who is not your wife, that is a sin. Understand?

But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends – Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross – don’t be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help of a healthy friendship.

(Excerpts taken from: “Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Mexico to Rome”Catholic News Agency, Feb. 18, 2016)

Now we can simply sit back and wait for the powers that be to issue various clarifications, “what the Pope really said”, “what the Pope actually meant”, etc., the usual spiel. We’ve seen it dozens of times, and it will be no different this time.

Meanwhile, Francis’ comments have caused a media frenzy especially in the United States, where it’s a presidential election year and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump did not take kindly to Mr. Bergoglio’s words. Of course, openly Modernist web sites like the National [Non-]Catholic Reporter immediately zeroed in on Francis’ ambiguous comments regarding contraceptives.

We’re not going to spend any time commenting on Francis’ remarks, for one simple reason: By the time we could put a good analysis and commentary together, what is hotly debated right now will no longer be of any concern to most — because Francis will already have uttered eight other outrageous things somewhere else. We know this because it’s happened countless times in the past.

However, some other people have written some interesting comments — here is a selection from various camps:

As you wonder what to make of Francis’ latest, we would like to help you make the right decision by inviting you to play a quick game of “Find the Cross with Francis”:

It’s Lent, folks. Pray, fast, make sacrifices.