VATICAN CITY, September 29, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis slammed the pro-gay "marriage" mayor of Rome who attended the World Meeting of Families last week in Philadelphia.
Ignazio Marino wore his mayoral sash at the Papal Mass and had attempted to get a personal visit with the pontiff. Asked about the encounter by a member of the Vatican press corps on the papal plane back to Rome, Pope Francis responded, pausing between each word:
"I did not invite Mayor Marino. Is that clear?"
He continued, "I didn't do it, and I asked the organizers and they didn't invite him, either. He came. He professes to be a Catholic and he came spontaneously".
Tuesday, the Pope further commented, "He pretends to be Catholic; it came on him all of a sudden. It doesn't happen like that."
As a senator, Marino advocated right-to-die legislature in the Italian senate. He was supported by the Italian Radicals, an anti-clerical, pro-abortion, pro same-sex marriage group that also wants to legalize soft drugs. Elected mayor of Rome in 2013, he earned the ire of the same Pope who smiled and shook hands with Fidel Castro and Barack Obama.
A DJ from an Italian radio station posed as the Italian Prime Minister and recorded a phone call to Abp. Vincenzo Paglia, the head of the Pontifical Council on the Family and organizer of the Philadelphia event.
The archbishop, thinking he was speaking confidentially, spoke about Marino being in Philadelphia, saying, "He [Marino] wanted to take advantage of it and this really upset the Number One," apparently referring to Pope Francis.
"[N]o one invited him, certainly not officially. ... The Pope was furious. ... When Marino was there he insisted to see him [again and again] and this annoyed the Pope tremendously."
Marino, however, claims to have been invited to the Papal Mass by the city of Philadelphia.
The incident will likely cause tensions between the Vatican and the city of Rome for the upcoming jubilee, when millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the city. The Vatican will rely on the mayor and his government to coordinate the influx of people, but it's uncertain how Marino will respond.