And was not happy about it?
“The Holy Father’s disposition was very clear, he was most displeased about the whole subject of Fr. Martin and how their encounter had been used. He was very expressive, both his words and his face – his anger was very clear, he felt he’d been used,” one bishop told [EWTN-owned] CNA.
Another bishop, the archbishop of Santa Fe NM, did not see it that way.
In the fourth paragraph, the article states that the Pope was most displeased with the subject of “Father Martin and how their encounter had been used.” My recollection is that it was not Father Martin the Pope was talking about, but the way others tried to use that encounter, one way or the other. In my view, the language subtlety [sic], yet incorrectly, leads the reader to believe that Father Martin was the issue while in fact, it was how others used their meeting that was in play. Furthermore, I have no memory at all of the Pope being angry, upset or annoyed. He spoke gently and patiently throughout our meeting.
Bishop Steven Biegler of Cheyenne, Wyoming, said he supports the recollections of Archbishop John Wester of Sante Fe, New Mexico, who went public to counteract two anonymous bishops who insinuated that the pope was unhappy with Martin.
Wester’s response “accurately describes the tone and substance of the short dialogue regarding Fr. James Martin,” he said.
Wester noted several bishops at the meeting brought up the topic of Fr. Martin, including the Jesuit priest’s private meeting with the pope last fall and his recent talk to Catholic university presidents. What displeased the pope, Wester said, was “the way others tried to use” Martin’s papal meeting.
NC Reporter has both these denials of the in effect sourced story about Francis as peeved at Fr. Martin, being careful also to note the anti-Francis parentage and record of CNA and its editor, who wrote the story in question.
Standard enough, and telling. This Bishop Anonymous comes across as gossipy and CNA as unfortunately too eager for his story , though its reference to America Magazine’s post-meeting hurrah made its point about how others interpreted the meeting.
“By choosing to meet him in this place, Pope Francis was making a public statement. In some ways, the meeting was the message,” America Magazine reported of the encounter.
To complete the give-and-take among news outlets, until the next riposte, CNA duly reported on the two NCReporter articles, reminding us of Archbishop Wester’s being what’s called a “Francis bishop” and his having wholeheartedly embraced the James Martin message.
The Santa Fe archbishop, who was appointed to his post in 2015, is one of seven U.S. bishops to have endorsed “Building a Bridge,” Martin’s 2017 book on the Church and homosexuality.
“This courageous work is necessary reading for all who wish to build up the Christian community and to give witness to the Gospel message of inclusion,” Wester wrote of Martin’s book.
Tit for tat, fair is fair on both sides.
As for me, the idea of Francis being angry at Fr. Martin is absurd on its face. But his talking this way to visiting bishops (if he did) would fit with his depiction in Dictator Pope as a true-blue Peronista in his willingness to mix his answers to fit his audience — actually, in Pope Francis’ case even when both sides were on hand for his answers.
The reason why Professor Rego de Planas was puzzled [at then archbishop Bergoglio’s seeming agreement with both sides of hot issues] was that she was Mexican. If she had been Argentinian, she would have found the technique perfectly familiar: it has the note of classic Peronism.
The story is told that Perón, in his days of glory, once proposed to induct a nephew in the mysteries of politics. He first brought the young man with him when he received a deputation of Communists; after hearing their views, he told them, “You’re quite right.”
The next day he received a deputation of fascists and replied again to their arguments, “You’re quite right.” Then he asked his nephew what he thought and the young man said, “You’ve spoken with two groups with diametrically opposite opinions and you told them both that you agreed with them. This is completely unacceptable.”
Perón replied, “You’re quite right too.”