Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships.
Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope’s public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.
That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is
a source of misunderstanding and confusion.
Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/24/fr_lombardi_responds_to_reports_of_popes_call_to_argentinian_woman/en1-793438
of the Vatican Radio website
Understandable, but still rather unsatisfactory I would say. That which has been communicated cannot be confirmed as reliable. Well, actually it could. The Pope could clarify it, he chooses not to because it is a ‘pastoral’ situation.
I say unsatisfactory because it allows the widespread impression that the Pope, in his pastoral advice, contravened Church teaching. Allowing this impression without repudiation is a cause for scandal. This scandal, I would suggest, creates a more significant pastoral need that that of the woman in Argentina.
Which, leads me to the point, that if the Pope refuses to clarify personal comments when they become public, perhaps much greater caution should be shown in making the calls in the first place.