Action Alert!

Curiouser and curiouser

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Oct 18, 2004

Father Basil Cole, OP, who supplied the material for a CWN lead story with his response to a question about public support for abortion, has announced that he was not speaking officially for the Vatican.

OK, fair enough. His letter did make it clear that he was responding "unofficially"-- in response to "a request from the Very Reverend Augustine DiNoia, OP, undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." He was not speaking officially for the Congregation. All quite clear.

But then Father Cole goes on to say that he was responding-- at Fr. DiNoia's request-- to a question from someone. And he adds:

Both Fr. DiNoia and I assumed that the person was a student wanting to understand the Church's teaching...Neither Fr. DiNoia nor I had any knowledge that he was going to "go after" Kerry or any other Catholic figure for their public stance concerning the evil of abortion.


Marc Balestrieri had filed a canonical lawsuit against pro-abortion politicians. He had gone to Rome to pursue that lawsuit, and talk with Vatican officials about it. And yet Fr. DiNoia, after speaking with Balestrieri, did not have "any knowledge" of his intentions? Hmmm.

Father Cole's explanation requires us to belive that Balestrieri went to Rome, strolled into the office of an important Vatican official, asked a purely academic question, and received a 4-page response from an American theologian 10 days later.

Sure. Happens all the time.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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