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Pope tells woman married to bigamist she can receive Communion? April 23, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, the return.

Yikes?  I know Fr. Z and others are trying to caution, and rightly so, that this is an unconfirmed story (parts are confirmed, see below), that even if true, this is a private conversation and not a doctrinal statement, and that we don’t know all the details.

All Mostly true, but nonetheless, this story fits a pattern of established behavior and also seems to align with public sentiments expressed by Francis elsewhere, so that discounting it as totally implausible seems a bit rash:

The details:

Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman’s husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law. [It’s not just Catholic Dogma, it’s rather straight from Christ Himself]

Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope’s home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.

Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament. [Yes, because since he is still married to his first spouse, she is committing adultery with a married man.  Plus, this couple was only ever civilly married]

“She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate. [Dear Lord, I hope not.  What, Confession over the phone now?  Was Pope Francis wearing a stole for the call?  This part seems unlikely.  But keep reading, there is more.]

A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation’s content.

“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.

Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. “The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls.” [This from the same man that lauds a manifest heretic in disgraced, laicized Gregory Baum.  We’re making progress?  None of this is a denial of the tenor or crux of the call.  Rosica may not personally know, or he could, and is simply trying to defuse the matter. But none of the above is even a slight denial, in fact, it leads one to surmise that the conversation did take place and that the general gist of it is not being wildly misconstrued.]

Pope Francis and other top Vatican leaders have said the issue will be discussed at a gathering of bishops from around the world in October. The Pope was not pre-empting that debate, according to Rosica.

“To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect,” he said. “The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex.” [Yes yes, and that’s the selling point of the whole Kasperite movement, isn’t it?  That these cases are just too darned complex to be governed by some statement from the Christ or 2000 years of Church practice?]

The most detailed coverage I’ve found is here.

Wow.  More than wow………this is enough to make one catatonic and/or apoplectic.  Or both at the same time.

A provocative thought from Bones:

Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing this undermining of the Magisterium and the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope’s enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself.

Maybe.  There are some odd bits to this report.  The pretended Confession, already noted. And the Argentine divorced and remarried man reported that the Pope insisted on calling himself Father Bergoglio – almost a schizophrenic gesture, if true, as no pope can ever be a private priest again.  But the scary part is the pope has plainly shown he has at least some sympathy for Cardinal Kasper’s novel approach on bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament, and we know he loves phone calls, so the key claim in this report is not like some bolt out of the blue.  There is some possible corroboration in other recent events/statements.

I know some folks are just not going to accept this as remotely valid. Others are going to be certain it is.  My advice for both is to pray like mad and gird your loins. If this report is true, which may be a big if, but if, it redounds on us all the more to pray for this pope and the entire Church and world.  I have made this upcoming Synod on Marriage and the Family a very big part of my intentions for the Rosary and other prayers, I have been offering a perpetual Novena for the Pope and his sanctification, but I will redouble my efforts in both regards.

I had a funny in here regarding Michael Voris, but I took it out.  I was just trying to laugh amidst our trials.




1. Pseudodionysius - April 23, 2014

I have to admit that the Fr Z “nothing to see here schtick, just move along” is starting to wear very thin with me. I have a personal policy of waiting 7 days before I react to anything purporting to be from the Holy Father, but your advice is very sound: pray; pray a lot. Pray to the Holy Face and draw close to Our Lady because the narrow road is getting a lot narrower.

ankenyman - April 23, 2014

Here are direct quotes from the woman who received the call. Religion News Service, writer David Gibson: Lisbona said the pope told her she should go to Communion, though she did not provide many other details. She seems put off by all the fuss. “This received too much public attention. He told me to go and take Communion in a different parish, but now I won’t be able to go anywhere,” she told the radio. The pope said he was “dealing with the issue” of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and she added: “Then he told me there are some priests who are more papist that the pope. He was completely normal with me on the phone and I tried to speak to him with the utmost respect. Now I am overwhelmed by the enormous effect this story has had and I feel moved by the fact that I spoke to Francis. I told him I would write to him again when I take Communion again.”

tantamergo - April 24, 2014

Yes, these are good points. I did see that text, I linked to that article in the post. It is very different from what her husband claims was said – which, he seems to have a vested interest, no? So it’s very confusing. The point is, these things are going to get out. When a private individual gets a phone call from the pope, they are going to tell people! It’s human nature. It would take a soul very advanced in virtue not to do so, and there are so few of those today.

So knowing that these things are going to explode into huge kerfuffles, it would be very nice if there could be advance word given to the Holy See press office with an explanation ready to go. Maybe that has happened, but it hasn’t seemed to have happened……they seem to get caught flat footed every time.

As for the advice telling her to go to a different parish, and inferring that some priests are holier than thou…..I hope that is a misinterpretation.

Having said that, I think we are a bit blind if we don’t see that this pope has a huge interest in this matter and seems to lean pretty strongly a certain way.

2. Terri - April 23, 2014

What Fr. Z may not yet know is that there are some parts of the story that are indeed a fact. The Vatican has confirmed that indeed Pope Francis did call her, but they would not disclose details of the conversation. Soooooo……..we do not yet know how much is fabricated, or has easily been misinterpreted or ????? We do also know that the Holy Father seems to love to pick up the phone and call people, which will easily get him into a lot of trouble, and in this case seems to have muddied the waters for him already. I MUST make myself turn off my brain on this one until we hear more, IF we hear more. I am praying that we do and soon because silence is sometimes deafening in cases such as these.

Yes good advice from Tatamergo…….PRAY like your life depends on it………….because IT DOES!

3. maggycast - April 24, 2014

I enjoyed the laugh about CMTV…yes, they will tap dance yet again. They will also likely eat crow when the true demolition of the faith hits b/c of Pope Francis…although I pray he converts by then:+) I look forward to the day when CMTV follows Truth again and not papal rock star-ism. You can call out truth without excoriating someone. God bless~

JTC - April 24, 2014

Do you REALLY think that “the true demolition of the faith” is even POSSIBLE, by Pope Francis or anyone else?

4. Baseballmom - April 24, 2014

Just have to stick to my plan of ignoring this pope. He is bad for my soul, and what he says, and does NOT SAY, are a near occasion of sin for me.

5. Baseballmom - April 24, 2014

But I will continue to pray for him and his intentions.

Kim - April 24, 2014

Baseball mom—-I pray for his soul, but not his intentions.

6. Rebecca Joan - April 24, 2014

Why would the Vatican not deny the scandalous aspects of this phone call, unless it is true? Unless they want the scandal to go around the world. The whole circus side show coming out of the Vatican since March 2013 is nauseating.

7. Kim - April 24, 2014

Hey Dallas—would have been better to use the Richard Gere lawyer tap dancing scene from the movie Chicago.

tantamergo - April 24, 2014

I didn’t want to get into copyright trouble?

Actually, I just searched for tap dancing and found the first thing I could find. What I really wanted to find was an old scene of William Bendix clumsily tap dancing from a TV show that was on in the late 80s and early 90s (a really bad TV show), but I couldn’t find it. That bad show used a clip from Life of Riley, I think it was. The show was called Dream On.

8. Terri - April 24, 2014

Yes, Ankenyman, but is she telling the truth? This is the part we do not yet know. Will we ever know? I am starting to suspect not. The fact that Pope Francis captured hearts of the liberal media alone gave me pause even at his very beginning, but then again, you have to consider how very corrupt the liberal media is. They lie and misreport on a consistent daily basis. Is Pope Francis really talking out of both sides of his mouth or does it just look that way? The 64 million dollar question. Like I said in a previous post, if we do not hear from him directly on some kind of a clarification, the silence will be DEAFENING, but maybe we just need to give him a few days? Pray the Rosary, the Blessed Mother will lead us to the truth. It’s one of her 15 promises.

9. shari - April 24, 2014

I understand how this conversation should be kept private out of respect for the woman (even though she chose not to keep quiet), however, it would seem that our Holy Father could at least make a public statement by simply voicing the Church law on the matter so the flock can hear / understand this long standing Church teaching. And would be nice for him to further explain why the law is for the good of the flock No comment from our Pope makes me feel they are going to change this law. I am divorced and remarried Catholic that went through the annulment process which was approved. thank God! I can honestly say I had every intention of not taking the Eucharist if it were not approved and I have and always will have great admiration for the Church for this law. It totally understand that this is hard for divorced persons but there is truth and there are consequences even in Church matters.

Oh may we not water-down the Eucharist any more than we already have.

One more thing, while waiting on my annulment, it angered me knowing that I may never receive the Eucharist while knowing and seeing other scandalous persons such as politicians for abortion, etc., not denied Communion by our priests/Bishops. But, I knew in my heart, this would no way make it right for me.without my approved annulment.

Therefore, if they approve a change on this subject we can expect more ok’s on other matters when receiving our Lord in Communion.

We humans are so childlike causing the need to have strict direction which the Church once understoon. Like the saying goes, when given an inch, we seem to take a mile – even with sin.

Terri - April 24, 2014

Like you all, I am waiting patiently to hear from the Holy Father. Waiting…..waiting……

10. Branch - April 24, 2014
tantamergo - April 24, 2014

Eh, I don’t know, it seems it was written pretty early on, before some aspects came to light. The update is important, that Canon 915 (and, I would say, more importantly, the moral law) demands that those who have married divorced (but un-annulled) people also cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament, as I said in the post, as they are participating in adultery.

Terri - April 24, 2014

Yes, it could be so that the Holy Father DID in fact say that “Divorced people do nothing wrong by receiving communion”….that is in fact true, UNLESS they are either remarried civilly or cohabitating with another. The SIN is in the sexual relationship OUTSIDE of the first marriage. Those that are divorced and living according to Church doctrine are of course able to receive, as are those who have received an approved annulment from the first marriage and remarried. What needs to be known is if he told this woman SHE could receive. Time will tell, I hope.

11. TG - April 24, 2014

Maybe I should write the Pope a letter and tell him how I gave up my second marriage so I could receive the sacraments again. It can be done by responding to the grace of God. The My hunger for the Eucharist lead to my decision and the Eucharist has given me the strength I need. I go by what Jesus said in the Bible about marriage. Two Scripture verses that affected my decision also were “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting” and “what does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your soul.”
(I read an article about this in a Christian news website. Pope Francis is really making Catholism look bad right now.) I pray for him every day.

tantamergo - April 24, 2014

God bless you, TG. That is a huge mortification. I don’t know the details, but thank you for sharing. That is very inspirational.

tantamergo - April 24, 2014

TG, you should write to the Pope. Standby a few, I have some more on this subject.

Lorra - April 24, 2014

TG, you aren’t the only one who has had to take their heart in their hands to do the right thing. I personally know women who have had to do the same at a cost to themselves known only to them. And, for what? So a future pope can come along and say, “Hey, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t judge. Don’t be a neo-Pelagian and a Rosary counter.”

What a slap in the face, and an absolute disgrace.

12. Magdalen - April 24, 2014

So, “Father” Bergoglio would tell this woman to sin and to go to another parish where she is not known to do this in an underhanded way? IF he did, then he too is guilty of this sin as is any priest guilty of the sin that they allow others to commit.

And there is no denial from the Vatican or even a restatement of the true dogma concerning marriage. Of course, the annulment machine has made a mockery of things anyway. And I have known couples who do not hide the fact that they are divorced and remarried outside the Church and hold positions in parishes with the pastor’s knowledge. No one seems to care much if God is offended or that people are left in their sins.

13. Lorra - April 24, 2014

Isn’t this Divine Law he is trespassing on? Isn’t Divine Law one of the two things he can’t go above?

tantamergo - April 24, 2014

The Pope cannot redefine or change Dogma.

But he can undermine the acceptance and practice of it, that’s for sure.

Lorra - April 24, 2014

But this is the way they have been doing things since the sixties. Leave doctrine and dogma untouched on paper, but in practice it changes.

I’m tired of making excuses for this man. He is a nightmare.

14. Lorra - April 24, 2014

You know, when I first heard this yesterday, I dismissed it as propaganda, since there seems to be a lot of it lately. So, I wasn’t quick to believe the worst.

Someone else wrote that this might be a trial balloon to gage the reaction. I believe that might be true.

15. mariaangelagrow - April 24, 2014

Reblogged this on mariaangelagrow.

16. Terri - April 25, 2014

I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here in a sense, and wonder out loud if this is really what happened at all. Somehow I think it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities that this couple is fabricating this story or at the very least stretching it a bit to fit their agenda. (the more I ponder the situation)

And…………Lorra……….a “Trial Baloon” also wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities….at all.

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