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Pope calls despairing single pregnant mom, offers to baptize her child
RNS ^ | September 6, 2013 | David Gibson

Posted on 09/06/2013 2:50:24 PM PDT by NYer

RNS-INAUGURAL-MASS

(RNS) Of all the novelties that Pope Francis has brought to the Vatican, few have endeared him to the public — and unsettled his aides — as much as his penchant for picking up the phone and calling someone out of the blue.

Now it seems “the cold-call pope,” as he has been dubbed, has done it again: he reportedly called a 35-year Italian woman who had written to him after she became pregnant and was then dumped by her fiance’, who it turned out was married with children of his own. The man also urged the woman to have an abortion.

Instead, Anna Romano wrote in desperation to Francis in July, knowing that he sometimes responds personally to the thousands of people who write to him.

On Tuesday (Sept. 3), Romano’s cell phone rang. It was Rome number she did not recognize but she answered anyway.

“Hello, Anna,” the voice on the other end of the line said, “this is Pope Francis.”

“I was petrified,” she told Il Messaggero, a Rome daily. “I recognized his voice and I knew right away that it really was the pope.”

She again recounted the story that she had written in the letter: how she was divorced with a child already, and was engaged to be married when she discovered in June that she was pregnant. That’s when her fiance’ demanded that she have an abortion.

She told him to get lost and said she was keeping the baby. But she was also feeling desperate, “betrayed, humiliated.” That’s why she wrote to Francis. On the envelope she put: “Holy Father Pope Francis, Vatican City, Rome.” No zip code, nothing else.

It was enough, apparently. The pope called her as informally as “a dear, old friend” would, Romano said, and in their conversation Francis “reassured me, telling me that the baby was a gift from God, a sign of Providence. He told me I would not be left alone.”

When Roman told the pope that she wanted to have the child baptized but was afraid she could not because she is divorced and n her own, the pope told her he was sure that she could find a willing pastor.

“But if not,” Francis added, “you know there’s always me.”

Though she doesn’t know whether she will have a girl or a boy, Romano told the newspaper she thinks it’s a boy, and it’s clear what she will name him: “Francis.”

There was no official Vatican confirmation of the story, and in fact the pope’s spokesman on Friday had to deny the claim by a gay man in France that the pontiff had personally called him to reassure him that “your homosexuality doesn’t matter.”

“There is always the risk that people pretend to be the pope over the phone,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Le Figaro.

But this latest episode does seem to be in keeping with Francis’ pastoral style.

While archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio famously blasted priests who refused to baptize children born out of wedlock, calling them “today’s hypocrites” who “separate the people of God from salvation.”

Moreover, since becoming pope in March, Francis has regularly used his personal cell phone to reach out beyond the confines of the Vatican.

Right after his election, for example, the pope called his local newsstand to cancel his newspaper subscription, and he also phoned his cobbler back home to ask if he could repair the battered black shoes that Francis favors.

But he has increasingly used his phone for more pastoral purposes.

He called an Italian man who has struggled to forgive God after the murder of his brother, and he called an Italian engineering student who wrote to the pope about his fears of not finding work even with his degree. The two “laughed and joked” for eight minutes, the teen said, and Francis told the young man to use the informal “tu” with him.

In late August, the pontiff called an Argentine woman who had been raped by a local police officer and counseled her for a half hour.

The pope’s penchant for calling people has become so notable that an Italian humorist recently took to the pages of a leading Italian newspaper with a list of tongue-in-cheek etiquette tips in case Francis calls you:

“Calling him ‘Frankie,’ for instance, would be inappropriate,” Beppe Severgnini wrote.

“Exclaiming ‘Your Holiness!’ is predictable, but getting carried away with appellations such as ‘Your Magnificence’ or ‘Your Megagalacticness’ would be a little grotesque.”

 


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/06/2013 2:50:24 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...
Though she doesn’t know whether she will have a girl or a boy, Romano told the newspaper she thinks it’s a boy, and it’s clear what she will name him: “Francis.”

And .. if it's a girl .. she can name her Francesca.

2 posted on 09/06/2013 2:51:15 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer
Thank God he remembers that he is still a priest, no matter what other titles and bishoprics they pile on him.
3 posted on 09/06/2013 2:54:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I am not catholic, but this man is the real deal IMHO.


4 posted on 09/06/2013 3:01:37 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: NYer

Codling single mothers is destroying civilization.


5 posted on 09/06/2013 3:20:12 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: NYer

Excellent from just about every point of view. He’s concerned about the life and soul of the child. He’s concerned about the mother, who has committed several serious sins but needs to repent and pull her life together.

And he is setting a good example for everyone who hears about this. If you get into difficulties, you don’t solve them by committing even more serious sins. Abortion is not the answer to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, no matter how much you feel backed into a corner. A child is a human being, and it is also a gift of God.


6 posted on 09/06/2013 3:27:10 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ClaytonP

Murdering innocent children in the womb is destroying civilization.


7 posted on 09/06/2013 3:43:45 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Murdering innocent children in the womb is destroying civilization.

Its too bad the Church's opposition to abortion is limited to sentimental gesture that fool the rubes even as they vote for the pro-abort politicians time and time again.

8 posted on 09/06/2013 3:46:38 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

How was he coddling? He was showing compassion, as Jesus would do, as he did with Mary Magdalene. She was engaged to be married, got pregnant and her fiance left her.

She didn’t take the easy way out- by having an abortion.

He is compassionate to offer to baptize the child, regardless, of the circumstances it was conceived(out of wedlock).

Would you feel better if the Pope called her out on her sin, by having her bastard child, to the point she killed herself, or worse, the child? The Pope gave her hope, the Lord does provide for those who repent and turn away from sin. Did our Lord tell us “God will never you leave you if trust and believe in him”?


9 posted on 09/06/2013 3:52:05 PM PDT by Engedi
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To: Engedi
How was he coddling? He was showing compassion, as Jesus would do, as he did with Mary Magdalene. She was engaged to be married, got pregnant and her fiance left her. She didn’t take the easy way out- by having an abortion. He is compassionate to offer to baptize the child, regardless, of the circumstances it was conceived(out of wedlock). Would you feel better if the Pope called her out on her sin, by having her bastard child, to the point she killed herself, or worse, the child? The Pope gave her hope, the Lord does provide for those who repent and turn away from sin. Did our Lord tell us “God will never you leave you if trust and believe in him”?

Why not baptize a child that was born to parents who followed the rules and got married before they had a child.

This woman was impregnated by a player who already had children by another woman.

In addition to the welfare benefits she will be receiving, she is now getting world attention by having her child baptized by the Pope.

It is this constant rewarding of bad behavior in women that has led to the bastardy rate climbing above 50% in most developed nations.

10 posted on 09/06/2013 4:15:39 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

“Codling single mothers is destroying civilization.”

Reassuring pregnant women abandoned by men who used them that not murdering the baby is the right thing to do doesn’t harm civilization in the least.


11 posted on 09/06/2013 5:08:26 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: NYer

I like the name Francesea if turn out be girl

and Francis for boy yeah that works out
BTW Pope Francis took time out today

http://swampland.time.com/2013/09/05/pope-tweets-against-syria-strike-writes-putin-plans-saturday-vigil/


12 posted on 09/06/2013 5:10:32 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: NYer

What a touching story! God bless Pope Francis!


13 posted on 09/06/2013 7:00:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ClaytonP

Jesus came for sinners. Not for someone who does everything right the first time.

Have you ever made a mistake?


14 posted on 09/06/2013 7:02:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Jesus came for sinners. Not for someone who does everything right the first time. Have you ever made a mistake?

The RCC is promoting policies that destroy the nuclear family in favor of the welfare-queen bride of the state.

That is why it is a demonic institution that needs to die.

15 posted on 09/06/2013 7:38:53 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

The Catholic Church has always stood for marriage between a man and a woman.

They have also staunchly opposed contraception — the real destroyer of families.

Where are you getting your information?

I think it is sadly mistaken and in error.

“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”


16 posted on 09/06/2013 7:43:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

‘Brides of the State’ and the Family Man

By Katie Mythen

First published in "Inside Cork" Newspaper Thursday 8 July 2004

It is generally presumed, both at home and abroad, that Irish Society affords a high level of protection for parental rights and for the welfare of children. However, as society moves further and further away from the traditional values of marriage, wedlock and two-parent families, embracing what has become a comparatively liberal reality, the outline of a father's duty in the upbringing of children has become somewhat blurred.

For years, many men have found themselves on the outside of what was once their family life, faced with the stark realisation that having rights and actually being able to exercise them are two completely different issues. One of the prime activities of the National Men's Council of Ireland is to monitor, on behalf of parents, how legislation and social policy impacts on the family, marriage and, particularly, on children.

Roscommon man Roger Eldridge, Chairman, National Men's Council of Ireland told Inside Cork, "Recently an unmarried father complained about his treatment as a parent saying, "Men can rear children, wash dishes, cook meals, clean houses just as well as women can. The only thing they can't do is give birth. "The obvious reply is, of course men can do all the practical things. The problem for men lies in the second sentence, "The only thing they can't do is give birth." This leaves this man and all unmarried men with the problem of how do they propose that women let them "rear children, wash dishes, cook meals, clean houses?"

Roger continued, "What the National Men's Council of Ireland are saying and what is in the Constitution (for the Common Good) is that only marriage allows a man to have a legitimate opportunity to have a family life as this man describes. A man earns himself a role by being family protector and provider. As long as the woman values his role she will agree to him being part of her family."

According to the French novelist and social anthropologist Briffault: "The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place". - Robert Briffault"

"This somewhat harsh analysis derives from the empirical data which show that, despite our delusions about women being the more romantic partner in a relationship, 90% of women marry a man who has more assets or earning potential than they do." Said Roger. "If women married for love the law of averages suggests they would marry a richer man only 50% of the time. The state is aware of Briffault's Law and through social welfare policies and illegal judicial activism in the family courts has sought the place of the husband. Effectively the army of "unmarried mothers" and 'separated wives' in Ireland today are "Brides of the State". For example the state is able, through the so-called 'One- Parent Family Payment' scheme, to offer young women a disposable income that 99% of young men can not compete with. We have calculated using up-to-date figures how much a man must offer just to compete with the equivalent cash-in-hand that an unmarried mother is currently receiving by way of benefits, including housing, clothing, fuel allowances etc. If the mother has 2 children, gets Child Benefit and the One-Parent Family Payment and she avails of the scheme where she works 19 hours a week at times that suit her, her cash in hand will be roughly €450 per week. She pays no tax or PRSI on this. On to this must be added the cost benefits of the free Medical Card, Fuel Allowance, Back-to-School Clothing Allowance, say at a minimum another €30. She will be put at the top of the Local Authority housing lists and will then get a reduced rent or mortgage payment benefit equivalent.

For a young man to generate an equivalent disposable income he must provide as take-home- pay the same €480 she is getting plus he must provide equivalent secure housing which means a mortgage costing him a minimum of €150 per week. So now he must provide €630 per week in his hand to provide the equivalent of what the state gives to the mother for her and her two kids. We must not forget his basic needs. The most important being that he needs is a car so that he can get to work so he needs again a minimum of another €70 in his hand for insurance, tax and running costs. The state allowance for a single man on the dole is €130 so let's assume he lives on the breadline. This means that he must bring to the relationship €630 + €70 + €130 = € 830 in cash to enable his wife and him to live at the level that the mother could enjoy from the state on her own without him. This cash is after tax and PRSI deductions so his gross pay must be in the region of €1250! It is obvious that only exceptionally fortunate young men (or any man) can compete with the state for the mother's 'hand in marriage'.

The average gross pay for 20 to 30 year old men is actually less than half what he needs to be an 'eligible' bachelor." Hence the state, having wooed the mother with our tax-paid money, then acts in the nature of a jealous husband who will countenance no rival suitors and so ensures that she will never marry a man. If the mother should meet a man who might have the potential to foot the bill for her, this is where the state gets really nasty. It says that if she is even seen with a man about the house she will lose all her benefits!"

Roger feels that the untold pressure on the modern Irish man contributes significantly to the country's climbing suicide rate, "We shouldn't be at all surprised to see that the rate of suicide amongst men in Ireland is one of the highest in the world," he said, "and that it peaks for males between the ages of 20 and 35, when men should be at he prime of their lives and getting married so they can start a family and enjoy the comforts and benefits that it brings." A recent World Health Organisation report, entitled Young People's Health in Context, which studied the health and behaviour of 11 to 15-year-olds in 32 European countries, as well as Canada, America and Israel, cited family structures as an "important factor" in young people's health.

Jill Kirby, the chairman of the family policy group at the Centre for Policy Studies, said: "There is a mass of evidence that children brought up by only one parent are at risk of under-age sex, drug abuse and drinking." Roger asks, "So how does the state justify promoting the position of unmarried mothers to the detriment of their children? And why, with the Irish Constitutional position clearly encouraging families based on marriage, is the state penalising the formation of marriage and RTE hell bent on preventing groups like us who promote marriage for its well-documented benefits from being heard by the people? The answer frighteningly must lie with the fact that the unholy alliance between big government and big business wants us all to be isolated, vulnerable individuals without family or community supports so that it can do what it wants with us, ie enslave us. Isn't it time that the decent family men and women of Ireland stood up for themselves?"

As always, Inside Cork welcomes your views (Broadcasting House, Patrick's Place, Cork).

17 posted on 09/06/2013 7:51:01 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: Salvation
The article I posted focuses on Ireland, but could equally apply to any country where the "Social Justice" welfare state was implimented.

The RCC has always supported these polices and it is leading to the destruction of the family.

18 posted on 09/06/2013 7:52:25 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

Did you read my post.

I emphatically pointed out that the Catholic Church has always supported families and the marriage of only one man and one woman.

They also have staunchly opposed contraception — what really destroys families.

Now you got the message twice.

Where are you getting your information? From some pastor who hates Catholics? From a pamplet?

Your information source as well as what you have posted here is in error.


19 posted on 09/06/2013 8:04:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ClaytonP
You might want to check out the truth of your statements before you post again!
20 posted on 09/06/2013 8:08:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ClaytonP

1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy - heavier than the Law of Moses. By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to "receive" the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ's cross, the source of all Christian life.

 

1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God's fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.

 

1631 This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement:

- Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church;

- Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children;

- Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses);

- The public character of the consent protects the "I do" once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.

1652 "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."

Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: "It is not good that man should be alone," and "from the beginning [he] made them male and female"; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply." Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.


21 posted on 09/06/2013 8:09:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
I'll guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Have a good night.

22 posted on 09/06/2013 10:33:05 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: NYer

I really like this Pope.


23 posted on 09/06/2013 10:39:48 PM PDT by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: ClaytonP
"Codling single mothers is destroying civilization"

Oh, so we should treat them like crap, and make it harder on them then it already is. And we should make their children carry the extra burden of being outcasts.

Jesus was continuously criticized by the so called religious leaders, for preaching the love of God to outcasts.
Apparently you overlooked that part in your Bible studies.

24 posted on 09/06/2013 10:50:32 PM PDT by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: ClaytonP

I guess stoning her would have been more your style.


25 posted on 09/06/2013 10:54:08 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: ClaytonP

Kindly explain, if you will, if you can, how it is just to punish a child for the sin of its parents. Refusing to baptize a child really only harms the child, who is truly the innocent party. It certainly does nothing to discourage immoral behavior—it is impossible to imagine two lovers saying, “Oh, no, we mustn’t have sex—the priest will refuse to baptize any child we might conceive!”

Making the child pay the price for its parents’ sin is the entire premise of abortion.


26 posted on 09/07/2013 5:37:14 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: ottbmare; dead
I guess stoning her would have been more your style.

"Kindly explain, if you will, if you can, how it is just to punish a child for the sin of its parents. "

Are the two of you incapable of understanding the difference between punishment and reward?

This woman is getting world-wide attention (reward) for what she has done.

So not rewarding single mothers is automatically punishment? I guess thats consistent with a dying civilization that sees not giving every kid a trophy "punishment" for failure

27 posted on 09/07/2013 11:23:11 AM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

Since you have made it abundantly clear that you’re not a Catholic, please allow me to explain this to you. In the view of the Roman Csrholic Church, baptism is not something that is done to make a baby’s parents happy; it is not a reward to the parents; it does not garner attention or money for them. It is a sacrament that confers grace upon the child. Withholding baptism from a child is a petty way of punishing a mother for her sin. It does nothing to deintentivize or deglamorize the sin of fornication. It does not undo the sin. It achieves nothing except to make it more difficult for a penitent Christian woman to raise her child as a Christian. Is that your desire? To have fewer children raised to worship Our Lord and Savior? Because if so, this would be a way to achieve that goal.

Now, that said, I agree with you that it is disastrous to glamorize and incentivize the bearing of children outside of wedlock. But unless you take illegitimate children away from their mothers and raise them in a state orphanage, which presumably you as a conservative would abhor, it’s very hard to think of a way to punish a mother without also punishing her innocent child.

And may I draw your attention to the example Christ have us in speaking to sinful women, both the Samaritan woman who was shacking up with some dude, and the woman taken in adultery. He didn’t harass them or say that their children couldn’t be baptized because they had sinned. He spoke in a compassionate manner, telling the adulterous woman to cut it out and saying to the Samaritan woman that he would give her living waters to drink. Pretty clear examples of how we are to bear ourselves toward other sinners.


28 posted on 09/07/2013 12:28:51 PM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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