View From Rome

View from Rome

24 November 2016 | by Christopher Lamb


The Pope’s habit of speaking off the cuff has long worried Vatican officials, but now they seem to have found a new way of dealing with it: they simply cut him off. In a speech last week to leaders of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church’s global aid and development arm, Francis put aside his pre-prepared text and told them he didn’t want it to be an “institution dependent on the Pope, on the Holy See, on Cor Unum, on Justice and Peace”.

But minutes after he made those remarks, the broadcast feed between where the meeting was taking place in the Apostolic Palace and the Holy See press hall was cut. The Vatican later declined to release the Pope’s impromptu remarks. Instead, the journalists were issued with the approved pre-prepared script, which he had gone on to deliver later.  

It seems that someone took offence at Francis’ suggestion that Catholic charities around the world should act with more freedom, and be less subservient to officials in Rome. It’s an issue which has become something of a hot potato.

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