Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic World News

More Vatican alterations of Pope’s press conference comments

March 20, 2009

John Thavis of Catholic News Service-- one of a half dozen journalists who asked Pope Benedict questions on his plane flight to Cameroon-- noticed the Vatican has altered the wording of additiona comments made at the time by the pontiff. Yesterday, a chorus of journalists and bloggers criticized the alteration of his words on AIDS from “One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem” to “One cannot resolve the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, there is a risk of increasing the problem.” Thavis observes:

The Vatican made some other changes, too. For example, the pope said you couldn’t resolve the problem of AIDS only with money, explaining that assistance programs require a “soul” and spiritual help as well. But in the official Vatican version, “money” was, strangely, replaced by the phrase “advertising slogans.”

Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, attributed these changes to the Secretariat of State:

Asked about the discrepancies, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the tape is normally transcribed and then the text passes through the Secretariat of State for slight editing-- to put it into good Italian if there are discontinuous expressions. But modifying the meaning of what the pope said is not supposed to be done, he said. Father Lombardi said he would have to verify what happened in this case and correct it if necessary.


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