Last week there was this story:
The Vatican’s Office of the Synod intercepted mail to prevent delivery of a book to bishops participating in last October’s session of the Synod, journalist Edward Pentin reports.
Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a series of essays about Catholic teaching on marriage, was published just before the Synod meeting. The book, published simultaneously in several languages, was a response to the proposal by Cardinal Walter Kasper that Catholics who divorce and remarry might be allowed to receive Communion. Among the contributing authors were three cardinals: Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was then the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura; and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.
The editors and publishers of Remaining in the Truth of Christ sent advance copies to score of the bishops who were in Rome for the October Synod meeting. But the books that were addressed to bishops staying at the Vatican were not delivered, Pentin reports.
Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the editor of Ignatius Press, which published the American edition of the book, confirms that dozens of books were received by the Vatican City governorate, but never reached the prelates to whom they were addressed.
According to Pentin, the books were intercepted on orders from Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops. Pentin writes that Cardinal Baldisseri was “furious” about the book, and said that it would “interfere with the Synod.”
Hey I read the book “The Book Thief” and it wasn’t about Cardinal Baldisseri. Still there are interesting aspects to this story. First off it was originally reported in a story by Pentin in NewsMax.com and not the National Catholic Register which is where Pentin normally has his stories published. So no doubt there were problems affirmatively sourcing the story as would be expected even if true.
Whatever the merits of the story, I find this press release from Ignatius Press hilarious.
I used their title The mysterious case of the Extraordinary Synod and the missing books in my title. This is simply awesome and we need Sherlock Holmes on the case. Besides he investigated the Vatican before – Murder in The Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has denied this story:
“The copies that arrived by mail were distributed in the mailboxes without impediment,” Father Lombardi told AP. “One person told me he even received two copies!”
Father Joseph Fessio, the publisher of the book’s English-language edition, maintained that the books had not been delivered. “Only a few reached synod fathers at their mailboxes in the Vatican,” he told AP.
Confirmation bias tends me towards believing the story along with the fact that too often I have trusted Father Lombardi full revealing of the facts just a little less than the White House spokesman. Well that is hyperbolic, really it is that I detect too much spin in his statements and that they lack a real getting at the truth. Any amount of spin from a Vatican spokesman totally annoys me.
Whatever the merits of the original story, I find it unlikely that there was much of an investigation into this. Such an allegation should be strenuously investigated as it is matches totally the criticisms of the Curia from Pope Francis. See Dr. Peters post on this story It was worse than a crime–it was a blunder.