Posted by Oakes Spalding on 2/10/17
Ideas are bulletproof.
They may even survive assaults of ambiguity.
A week ago, anti-Francis “Where is your mercy?” posters appeared all over Rome.
Today, a parody copy of L’Osservatore Romano was Emailed to bishops, cardinals and other Vatican officials.
The headline reads, “Ha Risposto!” and the text features the Pope responding to the dubia questions with silly and bizarre statements that are often direct quotations from his own homilies and interviews, culminating in each case with the answer, “yes and no.”
The parody also makes fun of Antonio Spadaro, Cardinal Kasper and other Francis allies.
No doubt Francis will meet this event with the “calmness and serenity” he allegedly exhibited when being told of last week’s posters. Rumors that workmen are clandestinely removing destroyed furniture from Casa Santa Marta have not been verified.
According to the Italian daily Il Messaggero, which reported on the spoof in its Friday print edition, it was sent out via email to “monsignors, cardinals, bishops, and gentlemen” inside the Vatican.
As an example, the first question posed to Francis in the dubia was whether “after the exhortation Amoris Laetitia, absolution and Eucharistic Communion can be given ‘in certain cases’ to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio,” meaning as man and wife.
The spoof claims the pontiff responded “yes and no”, with the following explanation taken from an address he gave on Nov. 15, 2015: “I make the question my own. I ask myself: ‘The Supper of the Lord is the end of a journey or is it encouragement to walk? There are questions to which only if one is honest with oneself and with the few theological lights that I have, one must respond the same, you see.’ And from there you accept the consequences. It is a problem that each one must answer.”
The fourth question, in which the cardinals asked whether, after Amoris Laetitia, circumstances or intentions can transform an “intrinsically evil” act into something subjectively good, is answered with an explanation built by a series of famous one-liners from the pope, taken completely out of context.
“Responsum: Yes and no!” the pope allegedly writes. “Explicatio: Who am I to judge? [June 28, 2013]. I don’t meddle [Feb. 17, 2016]. But if doctor Gasparri, a great friend, said a curse about my mother, he can expect a punch! But this is normal! It’s normal! [Jan. 15, 2015]. God is unfair? Yes, he was unfair with his Son, who he sent to the cross [Dec. 15, 2016].”