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Vatican will not publish full text of Pope’s weekday Mass homilies

May 31, 2013

In response to requests for the full texts of Pope Francis’s weekday Mass homilies, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi explained why Vatican Radio and L’Osservatore Romano are publishing only summaries of the homilies.

The Pope’s daily Mass homily “is delivered spontaneously, and not from a written text, and in Italian--a language Pope Francis knows well, but which is not his mother tongue,” Vatican Radio reported. “An integral, or official, text, would necessarily have to be transcribed and slightly reworked, given the differences between a written work and the homilies’ original oral form. In short, he said, there would have to be a revision by the Holy Father himself – but this would clearly result in something that differs from what the Holy Father intends in his daily homily.”

“We must insist on the fact that, in all of the Pope’s activities, the difference between different situations and celebrations, as well as the different levels of authority of his words, must be understood and respected,” Father Lombardi added. “So, for the Pope’s public celebrations or activities, broadcast live on television and radio, the sermons or speeches are transcribed and published in full.”

“During smaller, more familiar celebrations and functions, we have to pay attention to the character of the situation, and the spontaneity and familiarity of the Pope’s remarks,” he continued. “The solution respects both the intention of the Pope and the nature of the morning Mass, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the desire to give the wider public the opportunity to hear the message of the Holy Father even in such circumstances.”


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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 01, 2013 9:32 PM ET USA

    I guess this will lead to people selling unauthorized online copies of these homilies if there is demand for them. Somehow "spontaneity" doesn't immediately come to mind when I think of the attributes of a Pope. Does the Vatican bureaucracy believe that what the Pope says can be disavowed?

  • Posted by: ramonantonio3455448 - Jun. 01, 2013 7:13 PM ET USA

    This is a very strange situation and the explanation is worse than the situation. IF there is a problem of translation, the problem is for the italians not for the rest of the world. The effort to "correct" whatever the Pope intended to say seems to "de facto" verify and demonstrate the existence of a vast "structure of power" behind the figure of the Pope that needs to be in control of whatever the Pope says and does. I expect responsible media to follow up aggressively on this.