It cannot be difficult to discern what is meant by "rabbitgate". We all recall the interview during the trip from the Philippines to Rome last week. When I put my post onto facebook I got all sorts of scolding, with folks claiming that I was just going with mainstream media and that the pope really didn't rebuke the poor expectant mother. I was also remonstrated for not considering the sources. Well, guess what, "first-hand sources" indicate that he rebuked her for being pregnant.
I link now to commentary from Mundabor. He in turn links to a video produced by Louis Verrecchio; the latter shows video of the actual interview, with the Pope speaking Italian. Both Mundabor and Verrecchio are Italians who speak the language. Both verify the Italian verb for "rebuke". So now irrefutable proof exists that the pope rebuked a pregnant woman for - being pregnant. Just what good did he expect that rebuke to accomplish? If the woman was already under stress owing to previous c-sections, the last thing she needed was more stress as she tries to carry the pregnancy through to birth. For all the yap and yammer about being "pastoral", I cannot see how that papal behavior filled that bill.
Vatican damage control has leaped into action (they're getting a lot of practice these days). We heard yesterday from the Vatican's State Department that "Pope Francis was surprised that his words on responsible parenthood were not widely taken in the sense that he intended them." The rest of the article is just as ridiculous. NEWS FLASH! When millions of people, all from widely differing perspectives and languages, are gleaning very similar, if not identical messages, perhaps the fault for that lies not with the listeners, but the delivery and/or content of the message itself! Got that?? I would ask why they haven't learned from confusion caused by previous disastrous interviews, but I think I know the answer. Confusion is precisely what they want - confusion regarding God's first command to mankind to "be fruitful and multiply", confusion regarding marriage and sexuality, confusion regarding the transmission of life. In other words, we're supposed to "mature", a la "sin-nod" style.
Now onto rotagate Recall that a few months ago, Cardinal Burke was relieved of his post as head of the Roman Rota and shuffled to the Knights of Malta. The bulk of duties of the Roman Rota is to hear cases for marriage nullity. Shortly before the October sin-nod, Cardinal Burke co-authored a book called "Remaining In The Truth Of Christ". I have a copy and urge all to get their own. Cardinal Burke's piece is entitled "The Canonical Nullity Of The Marriage Process As The Search For Truth". In a nutshell, Cardinal Burke cautions against tampering with a process that has developed over hundreds of years: a process developed to rigorously search for the truth behind individual cases. What he wrote flies in the face of the tinkering that was proposed at the sin-nod. My strong suspicion is that the Cardinal was removed from all positions of real influence at the Vatican owing to his standing for truth in the face of the progressive juggernaut underway there.
This past Friday the pope met with the Rota (sans Burke) as they begin a new year. Among other things, he urged Rota member to "have great care and sensitivity to the importance of a formed conscience – or lack thereof – in regard to the nature and purpose of marriage, and the ways in which conscience can affect the very validity of marital unions.." Whether he intended to do so or not, he just gave divorcing couples a Mack-truck-sized loophole to have any kind of marriage declared null. Would that statement have been made if Cardinal Burke had been in the room? Did we hear more "maturation" going on?