(Rome) The bishop of Porto, Manuel Linda, has denied the virginity of Mary just before Christmas. But even Pope Francis, who appointed him to this office in March, seems to have his difficulties with the Most Blessed Virgin and Mother of God. In his less-publicized address on December 21 at the Christmas reception for the Holy See and Vatican City staff, the Catholic leader spoke about Mary and Joseph.
Pope Francis de facto denied on this occasion the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed in 1854. Mary is revered by the Church as comceived without sin. She was born without the stain of original sin, and remained without sin for the rest of her life. In the Eastern Church, she is addressed with the title of Panagia.
In contrast, Pope Francis said in his speech:
"So who is happy in the crib? The Blessed Mother and St. Joseph are full of joy: they look at the Infant Jesus and are happy because, after a thousand worries, they have received this gift of God with much faith and love. They are 'overflowing' with holiness and therefore with joy. You will say to me, "Of course! It is the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph! 'Yes, but we should not think that it was easy for them: One is not born holy, but they will become it, and so will you.”
"Perhaps the Pope does not know the dogmas of his own Church?" Asks today the Roman website Chiesa e post concilio (Church and the post-counciloar period).
The Bishop of Porto corrected himself two days after his denial of virginity. From Pope Francis six days after that, nothing is known. The Vatican officially published its confusing statement on its website in Italian and English.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Vatican.va (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org