Catholic News Service weighs in with some reaction from Father DiNoia, undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has had no contact with Mr. (Marc) Balestrieri,” said Dominican Father Augustine DiNoia, undersecretary of the congregation.

“His claim that the private letter he received from (Dominican) Father Basil Cole is a Vatican response is completely without merit,” Father DiNoia told Catholic News Service Oct. 19, declining to discuss the matter further.

Now, if this is to be believed, then Father Cole is lying when he says he was asked by Fr. DiNoia to respond to Balestrieri’s questions.

I’ve talked to Marc Balestrieri, and he says he went to Rome and walked into the offices of the CDF where he sat down and talked to at least one person. He then submitted his questions in writing. Several days later he received a response. For Fr. DiNoia to say that Balestrieri had no contact with the CDF could only be true with the most Clintonian parsing of the sentence. Perhaps there was no “official” contact, since only bishops can have official contact, but there was contact.

  • Even if the V. Rev. DiNoia didn’t know that Mr. Balestrieri had the case before the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston, did Fr. Cole, who lives in Washington know it?  If he knew, then why had he not informed the V. Rev. DiNoia before sending the letter? I hardly believe that there was nary a word spoken at the mensa at the House of Studies in Washington.  Fr. Cole should have written “confidential” on the letter to be sure, in hindsight.  At any rate, surely this is a blessing in disguise.  The matter now at hand is whether Fr. Cole is right or wrong.  Rome will have to respond as a matter of justice and truth. …or Kerry will be walking over the Pope that couldn’t stand up to him. 

    The situation is worse than ever with an unamed person speaking on behalf of the Vatican:—“One Vatican official contacted by CNS said no church official had seriously approached the point of declaring Kerry a heretic. “No, Kerry is not a heretic,” he said.”— If it hasn’t been decided, then how could this person make such a pronouncement?

    Dom, I agree with your statement concerning “Clintonian parsing”.

    Best, Giulio

  • In a way I can see why some of these guys seem to be panicking: they are deathly afraid of making powerful enemies in the hierarchy.  The sad thing is that some of these guys would put their butts above the good to the Church and the truth.

  • Immediately I thought of the Peggy Noonan emails which led to the controversy over the Pope’s opinion of “The Passion of the Christ”.

    The fact is that the e-mail headers reflected the Vatican origins of the e-mails which confirmed the Pope’s opinion and permission to make it public.  The denials which came later showed how the Vatican is capable of making a statement which obviously contradicts undisputed facts.

    I hope that Fr. Cole has saved his email or fax of his instructions from Fr. DiNoia.

    It’s also very Clintonian for that unnamed Vatican official to say that Kerry is not a heretic. It is only because the canonical process to determine if his public position on abortion is heretical is not yet completed that he has not been declared a heretic.

    Until the day Clinton was impeached it was true that perjury not connected to the President’s conduct in office was not impeachable.  But he was impeached—and so now its clear that the President can be impeached for perjury not connected to conduct in office.

  • The confusion and “who to believe” scenario is extremely disturbing. What is the problem here? If Kerry is not a heretic then what is he? He is promoting, supporting and pontificating on the right to destroy pre-born babies(ESC, cloning etc..). How utterly absurd! For the sake of protecting the Body and Blood of Christ from sacrilege and his salvation and others (Scandal)I can not fathom why this continues to be a convoluted mystery(with Kerry et al. allowed to continue their abominable reception of Holy Communion)!

  • I read a copy of the letter that Father Cole sent out on the defide website.  He clearly states in the first paragraph that this is an unofficial response to his query.  I wouldn’t qualify the Vatican’s response as backtracking or being Clintonian. 

    If its an unofficial response, it holds no more weight than an opinion.  Do I agree with the opinion?  Yes. 

    Don’t you think Balestrieri jumped the gun here a bit folks?

  • Donenu_order>0

    2004-10-19 13:30:05
    2004-10-19 17:30:05
    I hope Ed Peters (no comment boxes in his blog) doesn’t mean to suggest that if the petition is not perfect in every canonical detail, then Kerry should get a pass.  This isn’t a game to be determined by a misspelled footnote—Kerry’s soul and the souls of millions are at stake.

    The focus on the “unofficial” Cole letter should be a wakeup call – let’s have an official letter.  Settle the matter and let’s move on.

  • Dom,

    I think the Vat wants to stay OUT of US politics.

    They’ve let us know what they think—in their own roundabout way, just as they did with the McCarrick letter (Ratzinger simply released his document in Italy to tell the US faithful what McCarrick would NOT.)

    I think it’s called Romanita.

  • The mantra of Sep.of Church and State is a ruse. Legislatures produce bills that may become laws. They have a moral component. THis idea of not legislating an article of faith that Kerry keeps espousing is fallacious. Abortion(Pro-LIFE position) is NOT an article of faith. The Trinity, Eucharist, the Hypostatic Union, Fasting etc…obviously can NOT be legislated. The killing of preborn nascent human beings is an abominable act and an universal egregious act of mass murder(holocaust). Can one imagine Kerry saying that abusing/raping children is okay in the privacy of one’s home. ” I am personally against it but I will not use an article of faith and impose laws that would make these acts illegal(it would be unconstitutional to do so)”! THe tortured logic that Kerry employs is astonishing.
    Let us all Pray and Fast that the Cult. of LIFE will rise from the ashes of the Cult of DEATH! Oremus.