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Another papal interview catches Vatican press office by surprise

October 09, 2014

Pope Francis spoke at length about his relations with the government of his native Argentina, and said that he is comfortable with a lively debate at the Synod of Bishops, in a new interview published by the Argentine daily La Nacion.

When journalist Joaquín Morales Solá asked him whether he was concerned about the recently published books in which a number of cardinals have criticized the “Kasper proposal,” the Pope replied: “No.” He continued: “Everyone has something to contribute. I personally enjoy debating very conservative bishops, especially those who are intellectually well formed.”

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, declined to comment on the Pope’s words. “I have no knowledge of this interview,” he said. “I know nothing about it.”

The interview was conducted at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 11, 2014 3:08 PM ET USA

    The terms "very conservative" and "very liberal" basically mean "non-orthodox" or "heretical." Descriptions "conservative" and "liberal" were never applied to the Christian faith in the past history, and they should not be used by anyone in the Church today. The Truth is not conservative or liberal. There is the Truth, or else there is a heresy. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no, and everything else comes from the evil one.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 09, 2014 11:10 PM ET USA

    How he must have "personally enjoy[ed]" debating with Cardinal Burke. Too bad he deprived himself of this enjoyment by demoting him! So now the cat's out of the bag: Francis clearly contrasts himself with "conservative bishops." He might be the first Jesuit to become Pope, but he is likely to be the last.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 09, 2014 8:35 PM ET USA

    " I personally enjoy debating very conservative bishops, especially those who are intellectually well formed.” Meaning, of course, that he doesn't agree with these "conservative bishops"; one doesn't debate normally people with whom agreement is easy.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Oct. 09, 2014 6:43 PM ET USA

    "I personally enjoy debating very conservative bishops especially those who are intellectually well formed". So it sounds like "very conservative" generally equates with 'not well formed'. He didn't say 'I find them well informed'. Perhaps this is just another of those translation problems that keep popping up. Or maybe not. I wonder if he is talking about liberation theology as the formative agent. I guess we'll never know.