Yesterday the website Rorate Caeli posted a translation
of what is alleged to be a transcript of a meeting Pope Francis held last week
with members of the Latin American Conference of Religious. The original
Spanish document was posted on the Chilean website Reflexión
y Liberación. The textdescribed at Reflexión y Liberación as a “short
synthesis” of what the Holy Father said during the meetingincludes confirmation
of the existence of a “gay lobby” within the Roman Curia (rumors that this
behind Pope Benedict’s resignation were widely circulated through the
Italian media earlier this year). The alleged transcript also references to “Pelagian”
tendencies of some traditionalist groups and “Gnostic” tendencies among the “educated
Today at the Vatican reporters asked Father Federico
Lombardi, SJ about the accuracy of the report; the Vatican spokesman replied: “The meeting of the Holy Father with the presidency of
CLAR was a meeting of a private nature. I therefore have no statement to make
on the proceedings or on the content of the conversation.”
Veteran Vatican reporter John
Thavis notes that the Spanish text, as well as the Rorate translation,
includes many ellipses and parentheticals: “That means that nuances and
qualifiers may have been lost along the way.” He continues: “Nevertheless,
the text appears to echo the tone of Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff comments on
other occasions. And it would seem that if anything patently false were
reported, the Vatican would not have passed on the opportunity to knock it down.”
Some excerpts from the Rorate
They will make
mistakes, they will make a blunder [meter la pata], this will pass! Perhaps even a letter of the Congregation
for the Doctrine (of the Faith) will arrive for you, telling you that you said
such or such thing... But do not worry. Explain whatever you have to explain,
but move forward... Open the doors, do something there where life calls for it.
I would rather have a Church that makes mistakes for doing something than one
that gets sick for being closed up...
I share with you two concerns. One is the
Pelagian current that there is in the Church at this moment. There are some
restorationist groups. I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos
Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council... One
feels in 1940... An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh at
it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received
a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness, we offer
you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say, 'we pray
for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting... And these groups return to
practices and to disciplines that I lived through - not you, because you are
not old - to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not
now, they do not exist today...
The second [concern] is for a Gnostic current. Those Pantheisms... Both are
elite currents, but this one is of a more educated elite... I heard of a
superior general that prompted the sisters of her congregation to not pray in
the morning, but to spiritually bathe in the cosmos, things like that... They
concern me because they ignore the incarnation! And the Son of God became our
flesh, the Word was made flesh, and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly
[de tirar al techo]! What happens to the poor, their pains, this is our
(upon mentioning the hardship of being in
charge of the Roman Curia, and the commission of cardinals who will support
him, etc.) And, yes... it is difficult. In the Curia, there are also holy
people, really, there are holy people. But there also is a stream of
corruption, there is that as well, it is true... The "gay lobby" is
mentioned, and it is true, it is there... We need to see what we can do...
The reform of the Roman Curia is something that almost all Cardinals asked for
in the Congregations preceding the Conclave. I also asked for it. I cannot
promote the reform myself, these matters of administration... I am very
disorganized, I have never been good at this. But the cardinals of the
Commission will move it forward. There is Rodríguez Maradiaga, who is Latin
American, who is in front of it, there is ErrÁzuriz, they are very organized.
The one from Munich is also very organized. They will move it forward.
Pray for me... that I make mistakes the least
Full text here.
UPDATE: The president of the Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosas y
Religiosos (CLAR), the group with which Pope Francis met last week, has released a statement apologizing for the release of the text in question. The statement, in Spanish, can be read here; Rorate Caeli has an English translation:
The Presidency of CLAR deeply regrets the publication of a text referring to the conversation kept with the Holy Father Francis in the course of a meeting on June 6. A conversation that took place prompted by questions made by those present to the Pope.
In this circumstance, no record of the conversation was made, but soon afterwards a summary of the same was made based on the recollections of those present. This summary, that does not include the questions posed to the Holy Father, was destined to the personal memory of the participants, and not for any reason meant for publication, something for which, on the other hand, no authorization was requested.
It is clear that, on this basis, the singular expressions contained in the text cannot be attributed to the Holy Father with certainty, but only their general sense.
The Presidency of CLAR deeply regrets what has happened and the commotion it may have caused.
Sister Mercedes Leticia Casas Sanchez, FSpS - President
Fr. Gabriel Naranjo Salazar, CM, - General Secretary