It’s a scenario that’s been played out over the world for decades:
She’s been married for 19 years to a divorced man and they have two kids. They’re Catholic, so it was a civil cermony. Church teaching prohibits the divorced from marrying again. But they’re religious and attend Mass. Problem is: Whenever she wants to receive Communion, her parish priest tells her no way because she’s “living in sin” with a divorced man.
This couple happens to be from Argentina. Six months ago, the wife, Jacquelina Sabetta Lisbona, decided to write a letter to the man who used to be Jorge Bergoglio, the old archbishop of Buenos Aires. What would happen, Jacquelina asked him, if she were to go to a parish where no one knew her and receive Communion there? Would she be violating church rules?
“Padre Bergoglio,” who has made news often by picking up the phone, decided to give her a ring on Monday.
It was her husband who answered. “It’s Father Bergoglio,” the voice said.
“One of the most wonderful things in my life has just happened,” Jacquelina’s husband wrote on Facebook, “receiving a telephone call from none other than Pope Francis.”
When Jacquelina got on the phone, Francis supposedly told her: “There are some priests who are more papist than the pope.” “A divorcee who takes Communion is not doing anything wrong.” You can return to Communion “without problems.”
Damian Thompson, editor of Britain’s Telegraph blogs, isn’t buying this “potentially huge” story. “We need much more clarity on what Francis reportedly said,” Thompson writes. “I find it hard to believe that he would make such an unqualified statement.”
A Vatican spokesman had no comment on the “private” phone call.
h/t The Telegraph