Militant Bishop's Widow and Pope Friend, Clelia Luro is Dead
(Buenos Aires) Clelia Luro, the militant widow of former Catholic bishop Jeronimo Podesta is dead, the former bishop of the Diocese of Avellaneda, Argentina turned to the end of the 60s to Marxist Liberation Theology and the Soviet paradise of the workers and peasants. In 1967 the Vatican had urged him to resignation as diocesan bishop and made titular bishop. In 1971 Podesta turned his back on the Church and married his secretary, Clelia Luro. As "Tabernacle Bolshevik" Podesta worked, flattered, as a former Catholic bishop, in the Soviet-directed Christian Peace Conference (CFRP). In this medium, the Catholic left two fought for the abolition of celibacy, and for the "general" priesthood instead of the "ministerial priesthood" and a rebuilding of the Church in base communities.
Luro: "Bergoglio called me every Sunday"
As Podesta died in 2000 in great poverty, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the only member of the Argentine episcopacy who visited him. Since then, there had been a cordial relationship between the Archbishop and current Pope, with Podesta's widow. The two phoned each other once a week. A habit that Cardinal Bergoglio at least partially retained as Pope Francis. Luro, however, could not make friends with Pope Benedict XVI.. Luro wrote him several letters, even in her own name, other times in the name of this or that progressive "base community". However, she ran to Benedict XVI. with her demands for the abolition of celibacy, approval of remarried divorcees to the sacraments and the "democratization" of the Church and that does not open doors.
Clelia Luro died in hospital in Buenos Aires. She got to know Bishop Jeronimo Podesta in 1966. The then 39 year-old mother of six children lived separated from her husband. She went along with the bishop in a new relationship that caused Podesta after a long double life to give up the priesthood and episcopacy. Under Pope Paul VI. thousands of priests turned away from their calling, and were transported back to the lay state. Luro, meanwhile, had divorced. In 1972 they married. In one of the letters to Pope Benedict XVI. she emphasized that the known liberation theologian Archbishop Helder Camara of Olindo and Recife had "blessed" their marriage.
Podesta was Especially Important to Bergoglios Upon his Death
A few days before the election of Pope Francis, Luro said in an interview: "A month before his death Jeronimo said to me, 'Clelia, I will speak with the Archbishop.'" The woman asked him why he wanted to do this since the predecessor of Bergoglio had refused any conversation. "He is a very intelligent Jesuit, he will listen to me," replied her Podesta. "The two spoke two hours together. Jeronimo was very happy then," so went Luros' story.
As Podesta was dying in San Camillo Hospital, Archbishop Bergoglio prematurely ended a commitment and rushed to the hospital. He gave Podesta Extreme Unction. The former bishop was no longer conscious, "but he held my hand firmly," Archbishop Bergoglio said according to her.
"I know what it meant for Jeronimo to be near Bergoglio at his departure from this life," said Luro. The Archbishop had told the nurses in the hospital. "Don't send Clelia away, let her be there with him to the end." "Before I was allowed to stay with my husband only 15 minutes. Since then sympathy and gratitude for Bergoglio has grown in me ... He is a man of gestures, and some believe because of these gestures," said Luro.
Luro "Prophecy": Pope Francis Will "Soon" to Abolish Priestly Celibacy
Luro was a crusader for her own right. But the Pope also served in this. In early July, Luro was spoke to the German-speaking world, as she told the press a few months after the papal election of the Austrian daily, Die Presse to be sure that Pope Francis will abolish celibacy priest "soon." As the widow of a former priest and bishop, the fight against celibacy was a hobbyhorse for Luros, as previously also that of her husband, which she rode up to her death.
In the beginning of early 2012, he published an interview book with his friend, the Rabbi of Buenos Aires, Abraham Skorka, "About Heaven and Earth" (the German edition was not published until after his election to the papacy), the then Cardinal Bergoglio said about priest celibacy: "It is an issue that will be discussed in Western Catholicism at the insistence of some organizations. Currently it holds fast to the discipline of celibacy. Some say with a certain pragmatism that we lose workers. Suppose western Catholicism would reconsider the issue of celibacy, so I think it would do it for cultural reasons (as in the East) and not so much as a universal option. At the moment I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all the pros and cons that it brings with it, because there are ten centuries with more positive than negative experiences ... The tradition has its weight and validity. The Catholic priest chose celibacy gradually. In 1100 some elected to, others were not ... it's a matter of discipline, not of faith. You can change it. Personally, I never came to mind to marry."
"Repent, Observe Celibacy" and Not a Double Life - Archbishop Bergoglio and Celibacy
What the Archbishop of Buenos Aires did not brook, was a priest living a double life. "If someone comes to me and tells me that he has impregnated a woman, I listen to him, I try to calm him down and slowly, slowly I make him understand that the natural law comes before his right as a priest. Consequently, he must give up his priesthood and to accept his child, even if he should decide not to marry the woman. For just as this child has the right to have a mother, so it also has the right to have a father with a face. I take care of his papers in Rome, but he must give up everything. Now, if a priest tells me that he was carried away that he made a mistake, then I will help him to deal better with passion. There are priests, some better, but not others. Unfortunately, some won't even to say it to the bishop. "With the better," said Cardinal Bergoglio, "repent and observe celibacy. The double life is not good for us, I do not like, it means yielding to falsehood. Sometimes I tell them, 'If you are unable to tolerate it, then make a decision,'" said Cardinal Bergoglio in his conversation with Rabbi Skorka in the book.
So was Clelia Luros' assertion last summer merely wishful thinking? How Pope Francis responded in telephone conversations with the window, of the particularly joyful interview after his election, is not known, nor when the Pope called for the last time. The two telephoned anyway on the 7th of September according to Luro. It was then she accused Gustavo Gutierrez, the "Father" of liberation theology, of having treated her husband poorly in the 90s once (see own contribution Cardinal Cipriani: "Müller is a Bit Naive" - Impulsive Clelia Luro: Has Liberation Theology Really Changed? ).