Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba" NO CHANGE

September 25, 2014, Thursday — No Change

"This (the teaching on the indissolubility of marriage) was established by Jesus Christ and the Pope cannot change it." —Pope Francis, earlier this year, speaking to members of the Spanish hierarchy, according to the Bishop of Cordoba, Spain, in an interview published on September 21 in theDiario de Cordoba, and picked up yesterday and today by other journalists and news agencies

The Pope will not approve any change in the Church's established doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, according to a Spanish bishop who met with the Pope in early 2014. (The Spanish bishops visited Rome on their ad liminavisits at the end of February and in early March, 2014. link)

Pope Francis spoke the following words to the bishops: "This was established by Jesus Christ and the Pope cannot change it," Bishop Demetrio Fernandez told his interviewer.

The bishop, Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba (photo), said he was revealing this conversation because of the widespread concern among the faithful that Pope Francis and Church autorities might change even established teaching.

“I say this because sometimes people say that ‘everything is going to change,’ and there are some things that cannot be changed," Bishop Fernandez said. "The Church answers to her Lord and her Lord remains alive.”

This is second-hand information, of course, and -- like the controversial Eugenio Scalfari interviews conducted without a tape recorder, then reconstructed later from memory -- there is no way to know whether the Pope actually said precisely these words.

Nor is not clear why the journalist puts these words into quotation marks, as a direct quotation of Pope Francis, rather than simply leaving them without quotation marks as, "the Pope said to us that..."

The words do express, however, a belief that Francis has expressed on other occasions, and which corresponds to his stated view that there are Church teachings, often based in the explicit words of Christ, which cannot be changed by any theologian, not even by a Pope or a Synod.

So, in this perspective, there is no reason to doubt that Pope Francis said essentially this to the Spanish bishops.