Pope Emeritus Benedict on Papal Interviews: “The Concept of Preventive Clarifications is Not in the Catechism”

January 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Vatican

Speaking to journalists at his residence inside the Vatican this morning, Pope Emeritus Benedict answered journalists’ questions concerning the currently debated question of whether or not the use of preventive clarifications is acceptable for Papal interviews.

“It is important not to attribute simplistically the comments made by the Pope during many of his off-the-cuff interviews to error,” Benedict said. “That would be a great inaccuracy. It is true that the history of this Pope contains a tendency to say random things that seem to anger some traditional Catholic sensibilities, but the fact is that he has not gone against the traditions of his predecessors.”

A  journalists from EOTT pressed him, asking the former head of the Catholic Church if the Catechism of the Catholic Church permits “preventive clarifications” in exceptional cases.

“The concept of preventive clarification does not appear in the Catechism,” Benedict stated, adding in clarification, “We cannot simply say that the Catechism does not justify clarifications of what Francis is going to say, but it is true that the Catechism has developed a doctrine which on one hand does not deny that man does have free will, that the Pope is a man, and therefore he, as man, can say things without considering how quickly the media can and will jump on anything he says without a second thought. The problem that we face, of course, is that Francis does not stick to script, but rather, tends to trail off into a wide variety of topics, so that even if we can justify preventive clarifications, how could the Vatican know beforehand when it’s time to clarify a yet-to-be-said statement, or what it is exactly that they are about to clarify? These are many of the questions that must be discussed.”

  • T. Audrey Glamour

    Is this where we can post preventative comments on this subject?

  • Almario Javier

    Nailed out Pope Emeritus’ style, hahaha.

    • No, the interview has in fact taken place this morning. It’s just what I said. Should I have clarified that beforehand?

  • Before Audrey posts her preventative comment, I’d like to point out that you’d have to know first what comment was coming before you could prevent it. I don’t think it’s possible to predict … except that, if the thread goes on long enough, sooner or later pedophiles will be mentioned. Which I just did. Sorry.

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      I knew it! I just knew it!

      Why didn’t I just take things in hand and prevent it? (To tell the truth I was busy making the prevention rounds of Crux and NcR.)

      Can I get a little help here please…!

    • Elliot Bougis

      AND NAZIS. #yayGodwinsLaw


    I wish this really happened.

  • SnowCherryBlossoms

    I’m not sure this site will work for me, I’m absent minded and I already know I will come in one day and forget it’s a humor-relief site and I’ll embarrass myself and ..well…it’ll be disastrous for me lol.
    I almost did it earlier, thankfully I remembered. I was reading and thought, oh Pope Benedict is just so kind…..geeze.

  • Fr. Josh Miller

    “Many notable Catholic bloggers were for the comment, before they were against it.”

  • Guest

    Totally nailed his style.

  • As for the next article on the Eye of the Tiber, I would like to clarify that I shall, as always, read the comments first, laugh about them, then proceed to the text itself and laugh about it as well. After that, I shall return to the comments and, having read the article itself, laugh about them a second time. While I shall answer T. Audrey Glamour’s comment she will have written in the meantime, I shall think by myself: “I can hardly wait till Sr. Mary Brigid will finally begin to write comments again!”

    So, as you can see, I shall read the next EOTT article as one should read Thomas Aquinas, which will be the cause why some of my comments will be a little incohaerent with the article itself.

    I felt I should point this out beforehand.

    • Neihan

      “I miss Sr. Mary Brigid’s comments; hopefully, she will resume to write here, soon!”

      So say we all. But at least you have not yet resigned from posting here, so we are not entirely without comfort.

    • Holy Father Emeritus, Sr. Mary Brigid is on retreat currently. I’m sure she’ll be back soon…well in 8 days or so.

      • Thank you very much for the information! I wish her a blessed and fruitful retreat.

  • PeteVere

    I thought Benedict had been declared an antipope over his promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, which in restoring canonical status to the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy, implicitly encourages Catholics to kneel while praying on Sundays and Pentecost, contrary to canon 20 of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea?


    • LatinMassType

      A group of us used a bit of Preventative Clarification™ when that old “antipope” epithet was making the rounds. It’s been put out to pasture so to speak. Michael Voris was going to do an investigative piece on that but it appears that somebody else has done their own Preventative Clarification™.

  • fredx2

    It is rumored that the Vatican will issue a statement to journalists at the start of every trip that says:

    “Statements by this Pope are forward looking statements, which may or may not reflect the actual state of Catholic doctrine, If they don’t represent Catholic doctrine, he didn’t really mean to say that, whatever it was. And if you print otherwise, you risk getting punched where the sun don’t shine.”

  • Elliot Bougis

    It’s my understanding that the Church is actually only opposed to ARTIFICIAL preventive clarifications, not something organic and moral like Natural Francis Planning.

  • Richardson McPhillips

    All that was missing was the use of “Indeed” three times. Why not have Fr Lombardi answer the questions, and then the Pope can clarify his comments?

  • WayfarinStranger

    Your Holiness, I believe the doctrine of preemptive clarification is evolving even as we speak.
    Or WILL have evolved… or did but we don’t know about it yet…. or — okay, thinking about clarification exisiting in kairos rather than chronos is giving me a headache.
    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  • Ginkgo100

    Not fair… I like B16’s style better than St. JP2’s. I find it easier to read and understand, believe it or not… more precise and clear. I like my Popes precise and clear. 🙂 (But, I should haste to point out, mostly I just like my Popes, period.)

  • 1crappie2

    Is it too late to post a post-preventative comment or should I have much earlier posted a pre-post preventative comment?