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Fr. Lombardi, doing his bit to help

Have you ever wondered if maybe the difficulty we’re experiencing is really just a matter of definitions. When the pope announced that there was going to be a “Synod on the Family” how many of us would have thought that we ought to have asked him what, exactly, he meant by that term?

Well it does seem as though the Vatican’s official spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, in his own inimitable style, has today greatly helped to clear up any confusion. Which, now that I come to type that, seems rather surprising.

I admit that, not being an American myself, I didn’t follow the papal trip to the US very closely. Quite a bit of stuff popped up in my FB feed, but I ignored most of it, thinking that there were lots of American bloggers who could cover it better and were more motivated than I. So when the whole Kim Davis business popped up, I more or less just read the headlines and moved on. Not my horse. Not my race.

But today, suddenly, we have Fr. Lombardi tying all things together for us, really helpfully helping to make us see how all the stuff we talk about, everything, is really about the Synod to End the Family.

For those who were like me, too Canadian to bother, Kim Davis is a town clerk in a backwater town in Kentucky. After the US Supreme Court decision came down, she stopped issuing marriage licenses. The thing came to a head when a lesbian, who was originaly from the town, decided she needed to get “married” to her female partner, mainly, let’s face it, to stir up a test case against a conscientious Christian.

Kim Davis refused, and she was briefly tossed in jail for contempt. A few days later, the judge let her out, and the case is ongoing. So far, so banal (for our time).

There was already a big bruhaha amongst American political neoconservatives over whether she simply should have resigned. But now she’s breaking the law! Oh! Where’s my fan! (Yes, Americans are weird.)

Cue minor kerfuffle.

Along comes the pope. During the papal visit, her lawyer arranged with the Washington DC nunciature to have Mizz Davis secreted in to meet with the pope and was told to keep it quiet. According to normal papal procedure, Francis gave her a couple of Rosraries for her Catholic parents, patted her on the head and sent her on her way. All quite pro forma.

Of course, the lawyer had sent his client to see the pope for a reason, and on the day Francis heads back to Rome, he issues the statement that she had met him privately and been blessed… or whatever.

What the trip organisers and the pope’s handlers perhaps were not prepared for was the American left going, not to put too fine a point on it, bat____ crazy! There was a sudden explosion of horror! outrage! and deep… deep… disappointment on the part of his adoring legions of fans on the US popular left.

Ladies devoted to Christ before Pope Francis met Kim Davis
Twitter, Facebook and Buzzfeed suddenly were deluged with weeping young ladies who, having just earlier that week devoted their lives to Christ after seeing the pope, posted lamentations like, “I’ve lost my faith…”

The DC archdiocese offered grief counsellors to help TV talk show host and systematic theologian Jimmy Kimmel deal with the shock. Esquire magazine published an op ed speculating that perhaps their darling Francis had been duped, “swindled” into meeting with Mrs. Davis.

Clearly it was a catastrophe. The pope with this one meeting had ruined all the good will he had built up during his triumphal progress through American liberalism.

Meanwhile, American neocatholics dove for their keyboards to call Steve Skojec and Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara haters because this secret meeting was PROOF that Francis IS SO! concerned about Catholic religious freedom! and was totally against “gay marriage,” because he said so once. And anyway, John Allen said so too!

“…the Davis meeting confirms that the US trip amounted to the public debut of “Francis 2.0,” meaning a pope more clearly perceived as standing in continuity with Catholic teaching and tradition, as well as in solidarity both with previous popes and with the bishops.”


…And a splendid time was had by all…

This week, Fr. Lombardi entertained us again with one of his celebrated Italian diplomatic performance-haikus.

the Vatican announced Wednesday morning that they could neither confirm nor deny the alleged meeting happening … ThinkProgress received a similar response from the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See: “The embassy does not deny that the meeting took place, but will not make any further comments on the subject.”

Rev. Federico Lombardi …told the New York Times that he “did not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add,” which led the New York Times to conclude that he had “confirmed the meeting.”

To BuzzFeed, Lombardi said that, “yes,” the meeting took place — an apparent confirmation — but then repeated the line, “I don’t deny the meeting has taken place. but I have no comment to add.”

Today Fr. Lombardi issued yet another statement this time confirming firmly that the meeting had taken place, but distancing the pope from the “details”.

“Davis was one of ‘several dozen’ people who had been invited by the Vatican ambassador to see Francis during his visit to the U.S. capital.”

“The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” Lombardi said in a statement.

“The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature (Vatican embassy) was with one of his former students and his family,” the statement said.

This, of course, was the statement that a competent press office would have released first. That this was a completely normal kind of meeting, in which a bunch of people are ushered into the pope’s presence, he says a few polite words, gives away a few Rosaries, pats people on the head and moves on.

But we’re dealing with the Vatican and, like cephalopods, their instant response to every situation is to dive for cover, then squirt a bunch of ink to create as much confusion as possible while making a break for it. The non-denial denial, and subsequent backhanded confirmation, was what drew everyone’s attention to it … because, let’s face it, the Vatican’s first instinct was to treat Kim Davis and everything she was about as an embarrassment.

There have been a few other things happening around this, particularly some very funny comments from Fr. James Martin SJ:

Via Father James Martin
BREAKING: The Vatican has said that the Pope’s “brief” meeting with Kim Davis does NOT constitute support for her position and that it wasn’t even a “real” audience. For all those who were so frustrated yesterday, this shows, as I wrote yesterday, that the Pope was simply being kind to “one of several dozen” people who was presented to him briefly by the nuncio that day, and does not indicate any support for her position. It also shows the Vatican’s willingness to correct the record when the Pope’s actions are being misrepresented.

…and Fr. Thomas Rosica, whose first instinct was less Italian and more Canadian in blaming the Americans

“Everyone who was there was brought in by the nunciature, not the Vatican, not Lombardi, nor anyone of the Vatican’s group,” he said. “They were organized by the local people.”

Viganò is an Italian bishop best known for his role in the Vatileaks scandal, which helped bring about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation

…but we can leave those aside for the moment.

Because CNN has helpfully helped us to understand that last little bit of Fr. Lombardi’s statement much,  much more clearly. Someone call Jimmy Kimmel. CNN has made it all better:

The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.

Didn’t Fr. Lombardi just say that this chap, who had been a former student of Papa Bergoglio in Argentina, had brought his “family”?

CNN gives us a full interview

Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug…

Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email…

“Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,” Grassi said…

…The Vatican said that the meeting with Davis was not intended as a show of support for her cause and said “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.”

“That was me,” Grassi said.
Grassi said the Pope has long known that he is gay, but has never condemned his sexuality or his same-sex relationship. Grassi said he and Iwan (he declined to disclose his last name due to privacy concerns) had previously met Francis in Rome.

Greeting Iwan with a handshake, Francis says that he recalls meeting him, according to the brief video. At the end the meeting, the Pope hugs both men and kisses them on the cheek.

“He has never been judgmental,” Grassi said. “He has never said anything negative.”

“Obviously he is the pastor of the church and he has to follow the church’s teachings,” Grassi added. “But as a human being he understands all kinds of situations, and he is open to all kinds of people, including those with different sexual characteristics.”

…While Grassi describes his relationship to the Pope as very close, they haven’t always agreed on same-sex rights.

[When Bergoglio opposed same sex “marriage” in Argentina, Grassi wrote to him,]

“You have been my guide, continuously moving my horizons—you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview,” Grassi wrote to future Pope in an email, according to National Geographic magazine. “And to hear this from you is so disappointing.”

Grassi said he believes the Pope was “misled” into meeting with Davis, who served six days in a Kentucky jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

And the NYT has a video!

Isn’t that nice?

Of course, neither CNN, the New York Times, nor Crux News has a statement from Kim Davis about how she likes life under that bus.

As a friend and fellow Trad this evening commented, “With Kim Davis the left, both within and without the Church, has finally found a sinner with whom Our Lord would not sit down to dinner… and therefore, whom pope Francis does well to categorically reject.


31 thoughts on “Fr. Lombardi, doing his bit to help”

  1. Cannonkat says:

    i like moynihan too, but he has been buying alot of lipstick lately…

  2. Cannonkat says:

    “we want barrabas!”

  3. ron a. says:

    The truth! Randi correctly suspects/intuits that there is a “foregone conclusion” on the subject. Personally, I believe there are many foregone conclusions in this Synod. In other words, the deck is stacked! And the last thing the “Progressives” (let’s use that term and all the silliness it connotes) want is transparency.

    Like Pontius Pilate, many of these apostates will ask “what is truth?” (theirs is ‘situational’). And all the time the truth is there right before their eyes—always and ever the same.

    Yes, “the other side” is Truth.

  4. Heartlander says:

    “Progressive” means different things to different people. Plus, National Geographic, like nearly every other organ in our media, is going to give every single thing the most secularist/leftist spin possible.

  5. Heartlander says:

    Barbara, that is a GREAT analogy, and one that should encourage us.

    Of course, it’s not a perfect analogy, because while the English bishops were cowards, the Pope himself was not.

  6. Heartlander says:

    What is “the other side,” pray tell?

  7. Heartlander says:

    Perhaps Grassi had some real family members with him (siblings, nieces and nephews, for example). Do we know for sure that he didn’t? I’m not a big Francis fan, but I don’t want to jump to unjustified conclusions, either.

  8. St. Karl Marx of Assisi says:

    We have each other here online. There are many faithful catholic websites where we can share talk and ideas and even prayers. We don’t belong to Satan’s church.

  9. Barbara says:

    Yeah, there’s no putting lipstick on this pig.

  10. Barbara says:

    Yes, but “to whom will we go” if we leave our Church? The Holy Catholic Church is still perfect and always will be. She is still the Bride of Christ and always will be. So we are not on our own. This is what it must have been like in England after almost all the bishops drank their particular brand of cool aid. But the Catholic Church survived there and she will survive this.

  11. Barbara says:

    “At Immaculate Conception High School”…this is beyond disgusting, it’s a direct insult to Our Lady. So how about bringing back First Saturday Devotions to make reparation to Her? In most parishes the only Mass on Saturday is the fake vigil mass (sic). In FSSP parishes from May to October there is also an outdoor procession with Our Lady’s statue held aloft – we march up and down a few streets saying the Rosary. Yes, we get stares, and dogs bark, but Our Lady knows we are trying to soothe Her poor sorrowful heart.

  12. Jim in Seattle says:

    The ‘mother’ turned out to be a woman friend.

  13. Maggie says:

    God will have the last laugh. All these machinations of sin filled men will come to naught. But still we must pray for these erring ones for their souls are in mortal danger and hell is real and souls do go there.

  14. Maggie says:


  15. Maggie says:

    “you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview”
    So as to become an atheistic sodomite?

  16. Maggie says:

    “He has never been judgmental,” Grassi said. “He has never said anything negative.”
    The Jesuits taught him and now he is an atheist sodomite and even the pope will not speak truth to him to help him save his souls. Sad. Beyond sad. Where are our true shepherds?

  17. Diego Serrano says:

    The guy’s mother was there. That’s family. I doubt Father Lombardi would have meant the other man. Not yet at this point at least.

  18. Chloe says:

    NO! If these things happen it will NOT be the Catholic Church which is doing it! We will know the perpetrators are NOT Catholics!

  19. Chloe says:

    Absolute right! Eoin “so few. So few have come back!”

  20. St. Karl Marx of Assisi says:

    Mark my words:

    The next pope will be openly sodomite.

    Gay “marriage” will be legalized and will be performed in all Catholic Churches.

    Women will be ordained to the priesthood.

    And a woman will be the pope one day.

    You think all this is impossible?

    Wake up, it will happen. And more.

  21. St. Karl Marx of Assisi says:

    http : // voxcantor .blogspot . ca/2015/10/sodomite-priest-buried-in-congregation . html

  22. St. Karl Marx of Assisi says:

    As I wrote in my previous comment. Forget about the Vatican. It is Satan’s abode. Check this out:

    Sodomite Priest buried in the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith seeks to undermine Prefect Müller, the Polish Bishops and the Synod on the Family – Demands changes to Catechism and the Holy Bible!


    The sodomite mafia that we’ve long suspected in the Vatican is raising its
    filthy head on the eve of the Synod to detroy the family. Father Oko’s
    work on the infiltration of the priesthood in Rome and in Poland must be
    held up as a warning of what was to come. The dossier of three hundred
    pages handed over by Benedict XVI to Jorge Bergoglio gathers dust but
    the truth will come out along with coming out of these sodomite moles
    into the light where they can no longer hide.

    A vile and satanic attempt by numerous priests, bishops and cardinals is underway
    to subvert the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Christian people
    must wake up to this evil and diabolical crisis which we face under the
    very nose of the Bishop of Rome himself!

    Polonia Cristiana is reporting on a priest working in the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith, Krzyztof Charamsa who has reported, “I am a gay priest. I
    am a happy and proud gay priest. My joy and freedom is dedicated to a
    man whom I love, Eduard, my boyfriend, who able to bring out my best
    energies and also convert the remnant of fear on the strength of love.”

    This priest even demands the rewriting of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Bible!

    According to Edward Pentin on Twitter, Charamsa’s “self-‘outing’ is seen as an
    attack against Cardinal Muller, the CDF and the Polish bishops ahead of
    the Synod.” Pentin reports that the Doctor of Theology intends to hold a
    press conference at noon, Rome time on Saturday.

    Charamsa has issued his “new manifesto of liberation.”
    It is only right to give it the widest possible distribution to expose
    this man and others for the evil work they do in the Bride of Christ for
    the Father of Lies, Satan himself.

    1. Disposal of homophobia and anti-gay discrimination

    We demand that the Catholic Church divest itself of activities, the mentality and
    language of homophobia, hate speech, humiliation and depreciating,
    marginalization, stigmatization and rejection of LGBT people. We demand the
    cessation of the Church of discrimination and soft persecution of these people
    so within it as well as beyond its borders.

    2. Condemnation punishment for homosexuality

    We demand that the Church unequivocally speak out against punishment for sexual
    orientation and against the death penalty or imprisonment, against any acts of
    cruelty against any discrimination against people based on sexual orientation,
    as well as against attempts to undergo “reorganizational therapies”
    of persons belonging to sexual minorities.3. Abandonment by the Church to
    interfere in guaranteeing human rights by democratic statesWe demand that the
    Church revise its past behavior to states and nations which, through democratic
    development of civilization seek to guarantee human rights, including the right
    to love and to civil marriage, persons belonging to sexual minorities .
    Civilized countries should respect their autonomy for the sake of the common
    good of all, not just Catholics.

    4. Canceling incompetent and prejudicial documents

    We demand from the pope revise the catechism and appeal all the documents, cruel
    and incompetent regarding homosexual persons who are the object of the Church’s
    compassion and stigmatization. In particular, the documents of the Congregation
    for the Doctrine of the Faith, the heir to the Holy Inquisition. Not acceptable
    documents are: a) the declaration “Persona Humana” from 1975, saying
    among others about “pathological constitution” of homosexual persons,
    which by their nature are supposedly “difficult to adjust socially”
    and carry the “anomaly” that “without the necessary and
    significant order” is “depravity”; b) “Letter on the
    Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” of 1986, which calls for
    “compassion” for homosexuals, “sufferers”, accepts the
    existence of a “fair discrimination” homosexuals, and rejects only
    the “unjust discrimination”; c) outrageous “considerations
    concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of
    homosexual persons” in 1992 r .; d) ‘Considerations Regarding Proposals to
    legalize Unions Between Homosexual Persons “from 2003, according to which
    homosexuality is” devoid of any genuine affective, “and homosexual
    relationships are devoid of” human and ordered form of sexual relations
    “e)” Catechism of the Church Catholic “, points 2357-2359,
    teaches that not only works, but also homosexual orientation is”
    objectively disordered “. He also emphasizes that the nature of homosexual
    people, there is no emotional complementarity with other human persons that
    they love. And he adds that for most of us orientation is difficult experience
    requires compassion neighbor, but not without a just avoiding discrimination.
    How does he know what is our suffering and difficulty? Well, it is not sexual
    orientation, but homophobia of the Church. Learning by catechism is offensive,
    apart from the fact that the very definition of homosexuality is deficient, if
    at all not quite false. Cheaper is also analysis of the situation of homosexual

    5. Immediate cancellation of discriminatory instructions about avoiding the priesthood of homosexual persons

    We demand that the pope immediately abolished regrettable instructions about
    avoiding the ordination of homosexuals, endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

    6. Initiate a serious scientific reflection interdisciplinary over the morality of human sexuality

    We demand that the Church initiate a serious and objective scientific reflection
    on sexual morality, taking note of the development – which so far sees as
    ideologically – science and reproductive health services, medical,
    psychological, psychiatric, biological, sociological, anthropological, Gender
    studies etc.

    7. Revision of the interpretation of biblical texts on homosexuality.

    We demand that the Church has treated seriously question their own interpretation
    of the Bible, freeing themselves from fundamentalism, spotting letters when
    they talk about homosexual people, they never condemning, and kontekstualizując
    biblical texts that address homogenital acts.

    8. Adoption of ecumenical dialogue with our brothers Lutherans and Anglicans about homosexuality

    We demand that the Church has taken a serious ecumenical dialogue on the issue of
    homosexuality with Christians, Protestants and Anglicans who, in an open and
    transparent process of maturation have developed their own beliefs on this
    subject, which may help the Catholic Church understand the reality.

    9. The need to ask for forgiveness wines past and present church toward homosexuals

    We demand that the Church went the way of request for pardon him wine age, neglect
    and silence, persecution and crimes against homosexuals and to cease committing
    similar acts from now.

    10. Respect for believers, homosexuals and change distorted position of the Church on the issue
    of how it should look like their Christian life

    We demand that the Church finally open up to believing homosexuals, for baptized
    persons belonging to sexual minorities who do not have the right to propose a
    total disposing of love and resignation with a healthy sex life, which
    expresses their nature and in accordance with their sexual orientation.

    Text “Gazeta Wyborcza” received from the Father. Christopher Charamsy

  23. St. Karl Marx of Assisi says:

    Please, don’t tell me that this is the Catholic Church that believes in Jesus Christ.

    Soap Operas have nothing to do with supernatural faith.

    I think we, faithful Catholics, are on our own. What is left of the Catholic Church is her past.

    We have the Bible, and the spiritual, theological and teachings of the saints and that’s enough.

    We are on our own, my friends, here on earth.

    Forget about the Vatican. It became Satan’s abode.

  24. ron a. says:

    Randi–Jump! Please jump. That’s exactly what they’re counting on ‘the flock’ not to do. Jump to the other side, away from this nonsense.

  25. ron a. says:

    Bottom line: After hearing both sides, Kim Davis is more honest than the Pope! And for all the sheep in the pasture: It’s really not that complicated to see (Lombardi’s witness notwithstanding). Perhaps these jokers could do a comedy skit on Kimmel’s show. No doubt they’d be welcome….

  26. Brian Miles says:

    Here’s my favorite quote from the CNN piece: “Pope Francis taught Grassi in literature and psychology classes at
    Inmaculada Concepcion, a Catholic high school in Sante Fe, Argentina,
    from 1964-1965. Grassi said that he is now an atheist.”

    So basically Grassi got the same crap in the 60s that the whole Church is getting today, and with similar results it would seem.

  27. Barbara says:

    You know what is even sadder than this whole disgusting freak show? There were no Catholic city hall employees who were jailed for upholding Catholic truth for the Pope to ‘non-meet.’

  28. chriscas says:

    Yep! Let’s just throw away 1900+ years of Catholic teaching about Sin as well as Mercy and Grace because of hurt feelings! Way to go [to hell]! What was it St. Paul said, “Work out your salvation with Beer and Friendly’s”? In the words of Jon Lovitz “Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket”! Kyrie Eleison Christe Eleison

  29. Maggie Sullivan says:

    The sodomites running the church could not allow the world to think Francis had a nice word to say to Kim Davis.

  30. Radical Catholic says:

    Check this little tidbit from National Geographic:

    In 2010, Yayo Grassi, a Washington, D.C.-based caterer, fired off an email to his former teacher, the archbishop of Buenos Aires [i.e. Bergoglio]. Grassi, who is gay, had read that his beloved mentor had condemned legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. “You have been my guide, continuously moving my horizons – you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview,” Grassi wrote. “And to hear this from you is so disappointing.”

  31. Randi Gordon says:

    With Fr. Lombardi referring to Grassi and his longtime gay partner and their friends as “former student and his family”, does this mean that we can expect from this Synod a new definition of family and marriage that embraces homosexual relationships? I don’t want to jump to conclusions here, but honestly if this is how the Vatican is publicly referring to such relationships, as FAMILIES, doesn’t that imply that it is a foregone conclusion that they are seen as families?

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