Priceless question, hilarious response…

Journalist at Synod Press Conference:
How do we know it’s the HOLY Spirit acting at the Synod?

Dr. Paolo Ruffini on Oct. 6, 2023, as he provides a word salad for Diane Montagna (insert)

The American journalist Diane Montagna did the world a favor today.

At the daily Vatican press briefing on the ongoing Synod on Synodality with Dr. Paolo Ruffini, the Vatican’s Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Montagna asked point-blank how, with all this incessant talk about the Holy Ghost being the “protagonist” of the Synod, the synodal assembly will know whether something comes from the Holy Spirit and not from some other spirit, perhaps one not so holy.

Answering in his native Italian, the Vatican’s top dog for communication offered the following embarrassing word salad. Here is the full exchange:

Diane Montagna: “A fundamental question about the Synod: Repeatedly, Synod officials, including yourself, have talked about the Holy Spirit as the ‘protagonist’ of the Synod; over and over again we hear about the Holy Spirit. Traditionally — well not just traditionally — the Catholic Church discerns the presence of the Holy Spirit by determining if something is in accord with Divine Revelation, the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, and Apostolic Tradition. How is this assembly discerning whether something comes from the Holy Spirit or from another spirit?”

Paolo Ruffini: “I can respond by citing the Creed, which you know: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” For the rest, it is the People of God on a journey that is meeting to pray and converse together. In history, as in prior history, moments happen when the People of God gather, pray, God with them and the Holy Spirit acts.”

Diane Montagna: But how do we know that it’s the Holy Spirit?

Christiane Murray (vice-director of the Holy See Press Office): Thank you, thank you Dr Ruffini. Are there other questions? No, then… tomorrow there’s another meeting here.

(“October 6, 2023 Synod Press Briefing – Vatican”; bold print given. Translation Montagna’s.)

Montagna, who works for Catholic Herald, posted the exchange on her Twitter feed today. The video of the press conference, provided by Vatican News shows the conversation beginning at 36:59:

The journalist’s follow-up question is barely audible because the microphone had been taken away from her.

So Ruffini explained that he believes in the Holy Spirit and that the ‘People of God’ are ‘on a journey’, praying and talking together. No doubt, that was a powerful and profound reply — he only forgot ‘encounter’ — which all but guarantees divinely-inspired results. Perhaps the numerous Protestants in the world who talk, pray, and walk together are also guided by the Holy Ghost.

Thank you, Diane Montagna, for this priceless episode!

[UPDATE 09-OCT-23: Diane Montagna speaks about her exchange with Paolo Ruffini at The Catholic Thing podcast, October 7, 2023.]

Title image: composite of elements from YouTube (screenshot) and (cropped)
Source: fair use

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