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Pope Francis Archbishop Justin

Pope renounces infallibility

Pope Francis Archbishop Justin

On the feast day of St Melito of Sardis (April 1) Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the little-known Vatican parish church dedicated to the saint.

Ever the contemporary pope, in his off-the-cuff remarks Pope Francis mentioned he had been skyping the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and gave hints that since there has been full communion between Anglicans and Old Catholics from the 1930s, this means that the [Vatican] judgement of Apostolicae Curae [against the validity of Anglican orders] no longer holds.

Having upset conservative Roman Catholics with his Maundy Thursday footwashing (more about that in a future post), the Pope is bound to cause further debating in now quoting one of his predecessors, Blessed John XXIII, “I am only infallible if I speak ex cathedra but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible.”

Those who have been struggling with some of the English language clangers of the new translation of the Roman Missal have been heartened by the simpler style of Pope Francis, and in other Vatican breaking liturgical news, he has initiated the possibility of allowing a “Common Form” (based essentially on the agreed but later Vatican-rejected 1998 translation), as an alternative English translation. The Common Form would sit alongside Pope Benedict’s Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

Also on this same day (April 1), the Archbishop of Canterbury, caught by journalists jogging in the early morning in purple lycra, let slip that his plans for the 2018 Lambeth Conference include the hope not just of inviting Pope Francis to be present, but to actually chair the indaba-style Lambeth Conference.

The above paragraphs may look like separate stories, but cumulatively could be a leaping over now-irrelevant past difficulties between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

Some reformation of both churches could further this surprising trend. An example: both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church do not practice local decision-making in determining who will be the local bishop. “If both churches could agree to return to the practice of the early church of locally choosing a bishop, there is a hope that, in the change-over, Roman Catholics and Anglicans could share together in agreeing to a local bishop who oversees both communities as they draw closer together.”

Infallibility, universal jurisdiction, and secular interference have long been sticking points between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. With the Bishop of Rome leading the Lambeth Conference, renouncing his use of infallibility, and a return to previously accepted ways of deciding on bishops – an ecumenical Spring is in the air.

There are also rumours of a possible Vatican III. But the Pope who said, “Don’t fly for me Argentina” is unlikely to agree to the expense of all bishops in Rome for four years as previously. Far more likely, taking the cue from the Francis-Justin skyping news, is a virtual meeting of all bishops. “A sort of Vatican 2.5 is possible”, says Archbishop Aprilis Stulte, the man known to be responsible for the Pope’s twitter account. “We are working on a new, fast communication system where hundreds can communicate at the same time – all around the Catholic world; a sort of more powerful version of Google+ Hangout.” He won’t be drawn on, if this Vatican technological advance proves successful, whether it would be commercially marketed, but he does let slip that, “Yes, it is not impossible that Anglican bishops could, under this new Pope, be full participants in such a council.”

No one is suggesting that the road ahead will be an easy one for reunion between the churches. Hurt goes deep and the history is complicated. Major discussions loom about who will wear what, where do they come in processions, and what titles people will have, and will they retain those titles when they actually leave those positions? “For many this goes to the very heart of the Christian faith, way ahead of who may love whom and how.”

But there is now real hope. As the Pope hops on the bus that goes from St Melito of Sardis Church to Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis blesses the surprised fellow occupants on the bus in Latin: “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies.”

image source

This site has been in the forefront of keeping people informed of these breakthrough developments. See also here and here.

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129 thoughts on “Pope renounces infallibility”

  1. Mark Aitchison

    “… speak ex cathedra …” Oh no, please don’t speak of ex cathedrals… the plans to have Christchurch’s cathedral ruins rebuilt into a combined cathedral and rugby stadium for Anglicans and Catholics and rugbyists that was announced today is just too shocking.

  2. We’re still in March here in Honduras, but this is a howler!
    Thomas Aquinas wrote: ‘Therefore, unmitigated seriousness betokens a lack of virtue because it wholly despises play, which is as necessary for a good human life as rest’.

  3. Martin Luther

    For centuries I have been saying that the Pope is not infallible, ex/inter/intra cathedra. Only now do you get it?

  4. Yes, a virtual Vatican 3 under Francis would be just the thing. After all B16 treated Vatican 2 as just a virtual conference which made no real difference to the Roman church! So why not another virtual conference?

  5. April Fools’ Day blessings…we could all use more humour!

    ‘Feria stativa’.

    I just hope their collective goal ( if there is to be one ) will include women…whenever men get together with a plan that’s not usually historically been the case!

    And I hope they stop making ridiculous explanations for where things have gone wrong.

    The excuses for the rape and abuse of Catholic children is proportionately suffering-wise much worse than the scandal of the denied UK women bishops- but they are both dishonourable positions. Neither church has a monopoly on Christ or goodness or Godliness.

    ‘Freedom lies in being bold’ ( Robert Frost )

    Be bold then.

    Let people be free and let go your stranglehold on telling them what to do when you don’t know. Give good advice- or stay out of it.

    There’s a million and one people need the Christian’s support every day on this planet…do that. It’ll never end according to Jesus ‘the poor you always have with you’.

    We either believe and trust in the spiritual component of life or not…and if we don’t- it doesn’t matter what we do.

    Popes, princes, emperors- they all have to choose in the end.

    Is Bishop Schori included in your virtual discussion?

  6. Fr John W. Price

    Stunning. I’ve worked closely with RC priests many years in my active priesthood as Army Chaplain 30 years and found myself more at home with them than with fellow Protestants (except Lutherans) when there were no other Anglicans around to worship with. I welcome this esp. since he’s talking about locally choosing bishops as we do in the American Episcopal Church as superior. We’e been doing that since the 1780’s. I”m so glad if this is real. It came so easily, effortlessly, that in a way it’s hard to believe. I’m pinching myself to see if this is a dream.

  7. Friends, speaking as a Methodist with Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran and Independent Baptist history and service, with local, regional and national experience: Let the fun begin.

  8. Susan Peterson

    Thank God this is an April Fools joke!

    If it were real it would be time for me to become Orthodox.

    Susan Peterson

    1. Click my name for a post on what Francis has ALREADY done to reach out to the Orthodox! (No joke either…)

      Jesus urged unity! I’m Orthodox and I’m all for it!

  9. This batch of encouraging news would be even more encouraging were it not dated April 1st – also known as “April Fool’s Day.” Is this something we are supposed to believe, or just an elaborate – and admirably plausible, in light of the current Pope’s actions so far – and well-constructed April Fools joke?

  10. Janine Therese Bryant

    Infallibility is not something the pope has the freedom to renounce…any more than he can any defined dogma. It is wrong to put such words forth as his. But, happily; he does have great commitment it seems to the welfare of the sister churches of the East and the Anglican and other ecclesial organizations for the recovery of our original unity of the one body of Christ. We are grateful for our Holy Father Francis.

    1. He is not renouncing it. Just saying he isn’t going to use it. But on the other hand, since it did not exist until the 19th century, I don’t see why the Church could not make the decision to state that it was a mistake against the collegial nature of what the Church is supposed to be and that it is hereby removed from the polity of the the Church…and that the previous pronouncements will now be offered to the faithful for belief but not as a requirement for full membership in the Church. Think of what that would do for ecumenism. There is no harm is saying that our understanding of what “ecclesia” needs to be has improved with age, like good wine. We’ve apologized for the mistakes of the past (the old notion that the sun revolves around the earth, slavery, usury, poor Galileo, etc.). Why not apologize for infallibility and the division in Christianity it has caused.

      1. Richard Aluise

        Infallibility has indeed caused serious and irreparable harm to unity. It is hard to believe that this nonsense was ever approved by the RCC.

        Pius IX had to cajole a number of bishops to get it approved. There were roughly 1050 RCC bishops at the time of Vatican I. As I recall, about 600 attended. Sixty two or three of those voted against it. After threats of being “cut off” financially, those sixty two accepted the doctrine after having voted against it.

        So, let’s recap. Less than half of the total RCC bishops at the time actually voted for this absurd doctrine.

        The RCC would have the rest of the Christian world believe that this constitutes an “ecumenical” council with binding authority.

        A sad joke. There will be no unity without this doctrine being set aside and viewed for what it actually was – namely, the desperate attempt to assert papal authority by a man losing his dominion. Oh, and did I mention that he also kidnapped a Jewish child to raise him in the Vatican?

        Pius IX was not well.

        1. Actually there were only two bishops who voted “non placet”, one of whom, I recall, ws bishop of Little Rock, Ark. After the vote they immediately pledged their fidelity to the vote of the Council.

          That only 600 or so bishops out of more than 1000 attended has more to do with the lack of transportation at the time. Not to mention the fact that many nations made it difficult for bishops to leave. And, not to forget, Garibaldi and his thugs, having steadily invaded and stolen the sovereign territory of the papacy since 1865, were, in 1870, just outside the walls of Rome.

          Due to Garibaldi’s immenent invasion, in fact, Vatican I never had time to call itself to a close cuz the bishops were hotfooting it outta Rome as fast as they cd go.

          It’s always best to give a historical context to remarks made in derision.

        1. From my days as a Roman priest, the Latin at the end is great: “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte Dies” — have a great April Fools Day.

  11. Robert H. Woodman

    For those of you who are either amazed or worried that Pope Francis has lost his mind, the last line of the article, Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies.’ is a clue that he is still in his right mind.

  12. Even on the second of April, I am reliably informed that both Pope Francis and the blogmeister here have a sense of humour:)

  13. Hi. I heard Sister Bryant on the radio (Woman’s Hour?) and thought I would Google her and found this site. Very interesting about Pope Francis’ decision to not invoke the infalability function. As a Catholic heavily involved in ecumenism I believe this is a very courageous course of action and I applaud Pope Francis for taking this step so early; although I understand and have no issue with the doctrine of Infallability.

    1. Should not be! Women can minister and teach, but NOT! I SAY NOT! BE PASTORS. The Written Word of THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY SAID SO!
      I believe it and I will teach it! What has been written in God’s Word is TRUTH!and is written.
      2nd Timothy 2:162 Timothy 3:16
      King James Version (KJV)
      All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
      God said it, I beleive it!
      Mary Clelland

      1. The word of God is not the Bible, but Jesus Christ himself (Jn 1), in whom there is no male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free, according to St Paul. Jesus is God, and He wrote nothing at all, except perhaps some scribble in the sand at the stoning of the woman caught in adultery. God certainly did not write the Bible. And by the way, the capitals make you seem a bit unhinged.

  14. Gregory Orloff

    My friends, I think we may have been playfully snookered by our reverend host here with this post. ‘Tis April 1 — April Fool’s Day — after all. Good one, Bosco! I almost bought into it!

  15. Jonathan Nelson

    I am guessing that tomorrow’s post will say, “April Fool’s!” The tip-off is the bit about the Archbishop of Canterbury jogging in purple lycra: nice touch!

  16. William Ingle-Gillis

    Speaking as an Anglican who is not normally quick off the mark, but managed to be so today: look at the date. 🙂

  17. The Rev. Robert D. Askren,Ph.D.

    Holy Father Francis is very aware of Catholic history. He knows about Pope Honorius, who was
    condemned by the Roman Church for Heresy!
    Only Jesus is Infallible !

    1. Amen Brother and Sister! AMEN!
      Way too many Pastors, deacons etc. think thay have the right to call themselves holy, there is non holy except the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ the son and The Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ left here to teach, protect and give those of His discernment of the evil and understanding of the Holy Scriptures through the POWER THAT IS WITHIN BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS.

    2. Read the canons of the Council again. Honorius I was not condemned for advocating heresy but for not doing enough to contain it.

      Sheeesh. Where do you guys get your history from, a Cracker Jack box?

      1. Your second paragraph, Sean, is not the way that I hope we talk to each other in the community gathered around this site, made more poignant by the fact that “The council, according to custom, presented an address of congratulation to the emperor, which was signed by all the bishops. In it they have much to say of the victory which Agatho, speaking with the voice of Peter, gained over heresy. They anathematize the heretics by name, Theodore, Sergius, Paul, Pyrrhus, Peter, Cyrus, “and with them Honorius, who was Prelate of Rome, as having followed them in all things“. Blessings.

  18. As an Orthodox Christian, I’m excited by this guy – the thought of Unification!

    But …. alas …. you all realize this is April Fool’s right?

  19. Speaking as a realist, I am looking at the date on the calendar (repeated several times throughout this article). It’s April 1 in case you missed it.

  20. I can’t speak for the Church of England, but the other churches in the Anglican communion choose their bishops locally. here in Canada, once a diocese becomes vacant, there is an Electoral synod made up of delegates from each parish that meets and votes. A candidate must receive 2/3 on the vote in both the House of Clergy and the House of laity. This can cause problems because, as my mother says, the laity are choosing their bishop, but the clergy are choosing their boss.

  21. Fr. VIncent Schwahn

    As a happy anglican Priest, ex Roman Catholic seminarian…with 7 years of seminary in the 80’s…I welcome the idea of a new future together…but as a Realist…have my doubts that Rome will come through…women priests, bishops, GLTB issues…are still a great threat to Roman Catholics who would benefit from the anglican “via media”

  22. Janine — if he were to have said those words he wouldn’t necessarily renounce the Catholic notion of infallibility. He said he is not going to take advantage of speaking “ex cathedra.”

  23. Since Pope Francis and our new Archbishop of Canterbury, I’ve been telling the 11 year olds in my Sunday School class that if everything goes well, perhaps the Anglican Communion and the Roman Church will be one in their lifetimes. What really impressed the kids, however, was a report that the two had been communicating via Skype.

  24. So often there’s a sense that Catholics have to believe anything the Pope says is to be taken as infallible. Both Pope Francis and Blessed John XXIII are correct in noting that only things spoken “ex cathedra” are considered to be infallible statements of faith. Getting to the point of making such a statement is not easy, requires consultation with the People of God around the world and across denominational barriers, and applies to issues of faith and morals. I’m glad to hear Pope Francis is not planning to go there!

  25. Really? 14 comments and nobody has noticed that “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies” means, roughly, “Have a good April Fool’s Day”? I guess sometimes it takes a Protestant… 😉

  26. If this is true and not an “April Fool’s” hoax, then why in the world aren’t the major new sources around the world reporting this? Can anyone explain this to me? It seems that this is quite a newsworthy event. Has Christianity fallen that far off that the world just doesn’t care? What do you think?

  27. Cynthia Haug-West

    Check the punchline, folks: “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies.” Happy April Fool’s Day.

  28. It’s an April Fools joke, people. His “blessing” translate as “Well, have a good April Fool’s Day”!!!

  29. Phillip Welton

    This article is nothing more than an April Fool’s hoax, as is evidenced by the last line of the article, “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies.”’.

    I am stunned, really, that an ordained leader anywhere in the Anglican Communion would construe of such matters in such a way, and I am deeply disappointed in what Bosco Peters has done here.

    No one on my Facebook thread is laughing, and I will not be following any of the words that Bosco Peters uses in the future, nor will I use or reference his website in prayer ever again.

  30. Robert H. Woodman

    Folks, this is an April Fool’s joke. The last quote, “Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte ‘Dies.'” means “Have a happy April Fools Day!”

  31. I am skeptical of all of this. Papal infallibility isn’t something one takes on and off. Encyclicals etc are part of the teaching of the Church and include former definitive teaching which Catholics are obliged to accept a continuum of the deposit of faith. Authentic teaching is not an isolated idea proposed but an extrapolation of what is already defined.

    It is absolutely impossible for the Catholic faith to have women priests. The reasons go to the heart of the Eucharistic teaching in light of Christ and His Church. Further the Anglican faith doesn’t hold to the Catholic teaching about the nature, presence and reality of the Eucharist which theologically is best described as Transubstantiation. Anglican doctrine is more like Transignification which is quite different from Catholic theology. These theologies aren’t interelated.

    1. If it is impossible for the Church to have women priests, why is it absolutely historically provable that the Church did ordain women in its early years? And didn’t Jesus come to the world through a woman? Why can’t he continue to do so through ordained women?

  32. I’ll further add that if this is simply all true then I’m off to the Orthodox Church as the Catholic faith will have apostosized from its Eucharistic doctrine and the nature of the relationship between Christ and His Church.

    The Orthodox would never unite with Rome in that case either.

  33. Luke 22:19

    And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

    Dearly beloved,

    The focal point of our Roman Catholic and Anglican worship is the Eucharist… blessed, broken, and given to us. As we reflect on who we are, as church, it is easy to see the many blessings God continues to pour out on us. It is perhaps even easier to confess how broken into pieces and seperated we have allowed ourselves to become over the centuries.

    Try to imagine what “one holy, catholic and apostolic church” looks like. To me, it would look like a giant puzzle consisting of millions of pieces all fiting into place together to form a picture of the cross of Christ.

    Now, try to imagine what our “one holy, catholic and apostolic church” looks like today. I think we looks like the same giant puzzle – but broken apart in pieces, struggling to put ourselves together in sections, while having lost sight of the big picture – the cross of Christ.

    When Jesus said “do this in rememberance of me” I see the word rememberance as re-memberance. I believe our vocation as church today is to re-member itself. To come together and rediscover who God wants us to be TOGETHER.

    Let us pray for God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as our church leaders begin this new dialog together. Let us listen, learn, love and support them. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your son, AMEN

  34. I pray God this is not some kind of April fools joke. God is able and the potential is limitless. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory.

  35. As much as I would love all the above to be true, I’m afraid this is a well-crafted April Fools joke. There is not a bit of news about any of this elsewhere on the web. That said, it would be amazing to see the day these bridges could be constructed. I believed this post for a minute and was overjoyed.

  36. Aha…me thinks this whole topic is an April Fool’s posting! The topic is so far out it would be all over the news…and it ain’t.

    Good one.

    Yes Child of God….we are meant to be together….but it has to be a unity in truth not sentiment.

    1. Yes Lynda! I agree…. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. We come together in Christ.

      God Bless

  37. Pity we don’t know a little Latin these days: Bene habere bonum Aprilis Stulte Dies. Archbishop Aprilis Stulte should impose it on all!!!!

  38. ( was sure I already left a comment…getting very forgetful lately…)

    Luke 22: what if we look at that translation again and Jesus is saying ‘you are doing this in remembrance of me’ to the disciples? Present tense not future tense.

    What if ‘the greatest among you will be as the younger, and the chief as a servant’ is looked at in terms of representing equality?

    ‘It is absolutely impossible for the Catholic faith to have women priests.’

    until they do ( and the Anglicans have full equality and anyone else who still advocates male dominance ) then it’s not truly a spiritual endeavour. It’s broken at a fundamental level: ‘one person’s prayers aren’t as worthy as another’s.’

    A church where women are not equal to men is an irrelevance to me in 2013- call the Bible ‘written word of God’ but I’m not going to follow 99% of the instructions/prohibitions/codes of dress or conduct or attitudes representing Biblical times, and neither are most people in the modern world who value decency and civilisation.

    Those were words written in crueler and ignorant times which need careful interpretation to translate spiritually to the teachings of Jesus Christ. He was standing up against his violent unjust hypocritical society- not advocating we create one like it in His name.

    That’s the honest dialogue that will be missing until people accept one person’s cherished tradition is another’s spiritual prison…

  39. ‘I am stunned, really, that an ordained leader anywhere in the Anglican Communion would construe of such matters in such a way, and I am deeply disappointed in what Bosco Peters has done here. No one on my Facebook thread is laughing, and I will not be following any of the words that Bosco Peters uses in the future, nor will I use or reference his website in prayer ever again.’

    Then you will be losing an opportunity to communicate with one of the best resources on liturgical discussion available.

    Bosco is one of the dearest devoted Christians on earth today, many of us around the world would have turned our backs on religion if it were not for his influence.

    ‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

    He won’t be upset that you didn’t laugh at his joke- why should you be offended that he made one. Apparently the new Pope has a sense of humour ( and will need it )

    We all will. Life is tough.

    The things we might take more offence at are cruelty/violence and unfairness and exploitation, so much else is about developing the forgiveness and maturity for accepting the spirit in which things are presented to us, often not so much the spirit in which they are received, surely?

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the Christians made a better, loving world? Just once?

    ( I said that to a theology professor who told me talking to me was like being doused in warm syrup, and he had much more time for Old Testament bloodiness than trying to be ‘nice’ all the time! )

    1. Thanks, Tracy. As you say – I’m not upset that Phillip Welton did not laugh. Like you, I’m certain Pope Francis would. Jesus, too, had a great sense of humour. Christ is risen. Blessings.

    2. Phillip Welton

      Thanks for your reply to my post, Tracy, and I definitely think that it is important to have a sense of humor in matters that pertain to Christian faith and religion in general.

      Given the subject matter, and how many people are given over to the symbols of power that are involved with all of this, I just feel that making an April Fool’s joke of this nature is not very wise, and the offense will be taken differently in different cultural contexts (what may be a light matter in New Zealand may not be so light in other places).

      Personally, I felt the need to have to issue an apology for having shared this article with enthusiasm at first, given that I have much hope for both the new Pope and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and many who also shared the article felt the need to do the same.

      I, too, have found the resources available on Bosco’s site to have been helpful in the past, which makes the disappointment that much greater. Peace, and I am wishing everyone well, and no one harm.

  40. Dear Rev. Peters,

    I went to the doctor the other day because I’m dying of cancer. After the exam he told me that my cancer was cured; that my worries about dying were now unfounded. I was so happy I began to cry, right there in his office. Then he said, “April Fools”.

    Your article about Pope Francis’ statement about papal infallibility is just about as funny. I believe you owe Christians, especially those of us ,who pray daily for the unity of the Church, an apology. I believe your actions on this particular matter were not only childish, but tasteless as well.

  41. is the new pope francis going to declare explicitly, that in no situation (under no condition) he is infallible? thanks for answer if any. if he is going to declare that then it would change essentially my attitude to religion. greetings from karel popp, atheist,born 1930.

    1. Mark Aitchison

      As somebody said to me… if a pope said he wasn’t infallible he could change his mind later because what he said wasn’t infallible! 🙂

      April Fools jokes are like Court Jesters – a good opportunity to talk about something people take so seriously, with the aim of everyone getting a chance to think about something that wouldn’t be mentioned otherwise. From the amount of responses here (and a quick google search for where it has been mentioned elsewhere) this has touched on something important, and whether it is due to the difference in time zones on the Internet making this April 1st text appear on March 31st for some, or the difference in popes making this “news” more plausible than in recent years, the serious response has given me, at least, something to think about.

      All that doesn’t answer the question of what the new pope may actually say some day, but how the world responds to change is a big question in its own right, worthy of thought, especially after we have just recalled the response to the startlingly fresh approach of Jesus.

  42. I’ll share the conclusion of this episode with the 11 year olds on Sunday with considerable sadness. They’re in the process of a semester project creating a video about prayer in world religions, and they’re a mix of Episcopalians, Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics in our little country parish, so they’re attuned to the subject. I think I can predict what one of the girls will say, almost to the word: “That’s not funny. That’s harsh.”

    1. …and regarding the purple lycra jogging suit, one of the other kids will predictably say “If he wants to wear purple lycra, so what?”

      The bottom line, I think, is that they perceive the present division as the kind of silliness they have already learned to expect of adults.

      Thank God for children! They see with astonishing clarity.

  43. Lets not see any more of the curmudgeon comments!

    Sheesh, I am of the opinion that one certainly can be too religious. In my experience those types of “christians” are like barren fig trees. So heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.

    1. June, I think the model of the Jester very helpful (in understanding Jesus also). And I think Mark made that connection very well.

      Anyone who actually read the post with some care, noting (as many did) that it was posted well before the events it recounts could have occurred, dated April 1, repeatedly stressing April 1, (and I know some people think this pope is a rebel – but wouldn’t celebrating the feast of St Melito of Sardis on Easter Monday be a bridge too far even for him?!), putting the name of the Archbishop or the Pope’s blessing into Google translate if their Latin wasn’t up to it, checking the links to all the other April Fools jokes,… such people noticed that it’s a joke. And those who skimmed it, and passed it on as real – well…

      Does this really equate to a doctor joking with Archbishop Ed Jansen about his terminal cancer?…

      To return to the Jester point – where truth is told with a twinkle in the eye: we actually know that much of this story could be true; in fact as Christians, as Easter people, as people who believe – much of this story should be true!!! And we are rightly disappointed that it isn’t. If only we just had a bit more of the courage of our convictions…

      … or it might even just become possible if we had a bit more of a sense of humour…


      Alleluia! Christ is risen!

  44. No, Bosco, your clever and funny post is not the same as a doctor joking with a patient about terminal cancer. So many expectations have been projected onto the new pope (and the new Archbishop of Canterbury) that no mere human could fulfill them all. In that spirit, I read and enjoyed what you wrote.

    Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

    June Butler

  45. Hello, Where can I find a text or audio of the Pope’s April 1 off the cuff remark about “the [Vatican] judgement of Apostolicae Curae [against the validity of Anglican orders] no longer” holding. As much as I appreciate yuor apt description, I would like to read his actual words. Thank you and God bless you!!

    1. Is this a serious request?

      You do realize that this was Father Bosco’s idea of an April Fools joke, right?

  46. Father Ron Smith

    Although I do think the prospect of Pope Francis chairing the next Lambeth Conference to be somewhat remote; one wonders which of the Anglican Primates from the Global South would want to be under the chairmanship of so liberal and liberated a Roman Pontiff?

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