Sunday, April 27, 2008

French Paper Questions Pope's Health- Vatican Reaction Fast and Furious

The French Magazine Le Figaro in the most flimsy and irresponsible of reporting has a article out about Pope Benedict's health. The reaction has been furious and fast. The Le Figaro article as well as other Vatican reaction has been translated here at the Ratzinger Forum

Vatican Reporter John Allen has piece up on this silliness here at Le Figaro declares papal primary season open
The Pope's Personal Secretary has already responded as we see here in this translated article

'The Holy Father is very well, thank you' -
Mons. Gaenswein by ORAZIO LA ROCCA Translated from La Repubblica April 27, 2008

VATICAN CITY - "False news, devoid of any basis. The Holy Father is very well, thank you. He has no health problems, and that was obvious during his recent visit to the USA. Sinee he returned to the Vatican, he has not cancelled any appointments. He carries on his ministry every day with the same tireless dedication. There has been no change." Mons. Georg Gaenswein, personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, almost never grants interviews or makes any statements. But this time, he broke his traditional reserve to refute what he calls 'plain falsities printed in the French newspaper Le Figaro."

Mons. Gaenswein, Le Figaro is one of the most authoritative itnernational newspapers. Is it possible that they could have committed such a blunder about the health of the Holy Father?

I'm not interested why they wrote what they did. What I would like to say with absolute certainty is that the report is completely false and devoid of any basis. I do not understand why they published it and to what purpose, all the more because it came just after the whole world saw the Holy Father undertake a series of important pastoral activities on the international level.

You are referring to the trip made to the USA and the United Nations...
Exactly. The Holy Father, as he usually does, even in this pastoral visit to America and the UN gave of himself with passion and love, he spoke, he prayed, he faced all the commitments scheduled - and added a few. Everyone saw him. I do not uderstand how stories like this begin and how they take flesh! But it is all false. He works everyday, whether in public or in private. And he usually works till late at night.

But it is true that the Pope has reduced his public commitments. As Le Figaro points out, last Wednesday, he did not hold a general audience, and he did not celebrate the funeral Mass for Cardinal Trujillo. At the concert on Thursday in Aula Paolo VI, he had limited contact with the public.

Plain coincidence. The Holy Father has his own pastoral style. Whoever speculates about his health, like that newspaper and those who would give it credence, are simply indulging in cheap ‘dietrologia’ [Italian neologism for ‘trying to fhind out what’s behind the scenes’ for those who never take anything at face value]. No one should be concerned. The Pope is not cutting down on his pastoral acitivity and the government of the universal Church is in good hands.

Repubblica, 27 aprile 2008

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