Catholic World News

Tension develops in relations between Pope, Mayor of Rome

September 30, 2015

A rift has developed between Pope Francis and Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino.

In an exchange with reporters during his flight from Philadelphia to Rome on September 27, the Pope used a blunt language to deflate a report that Marino, who joined the Pontiff at the World Meeting of Families, had come at his request. “I didn’t invite the mayor,” the Pope said. “Is that clear?” He went on to say that the organizers of the event in Philadelphia had also not invited Marino.

Tensions between Marino and the Vatican have developed because of the mayor’s support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. But Vatican officials usually avoid conflicts with local public officials. The relations between the Holy See and the city of Rome will be put to a test in coming months, as tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to Rome for the Jubilee Year.

The difficulties in relations between the Pontiff and the mayor were underlined when an Italian radio station placed a prank call to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Pretending to be Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the caller asked the archbishop about the tensions between the two men. Archbishop Paglia said that Marino “wanted to take advantage” of the publicity surrounding the Philadelphia meeting, and this “really upset” the Pope.

Agence France-Presse ran a story quoting Pope Francis as saying that Marino “pretends to be a Catholic.” The story did not indicate the source of that quotation. 

 


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  • Posted by: chady - Oct. 01, 2015 1:32 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis appears to be very conciliatory sometimes and unexpectedly so. I think we are beginning to discover how shrewd he is and that the Holy Spirit is working in him - wisdom, discernment and humility. To some he appears a tad liberal but he is just as focused as his two predecessors. He's like a Dad who is enfolding and protecting but recognises his children have to take responsibility for their actions......and he is not afraid of telling them when they are out of line.