September 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The divorced and remarried civil spouse of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos claims that Pope Francis blessed her union with Santos while on his recent state visit to Colombia – and has published a video of the supposed event.
First lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, known by her nickname “Tutina,” posted a Twitter message on September 10 stating:
“Your holiness @Pontifex_es , thank you for blessing our marriage“
— María Clemencia (@Tutina_deSantos) September 10, 2017
Attached to the tweet was a video of Pope Francis performing a blessing as the president and first lady stood before him, each to one side, facing each other.
Although the video includes an audio track, it does not make clear what the pope is blessing.
Various objects that appear to be containers of some kind are arranged on a table in front of the three, and Francis appears to bow his head toward them while uttering some inaudible words. He then blesses with the sign of the cross, and the president and first lady pick up the objects and walk away, suggesting that the objects were being blessed rather than the couple or their union.
Both Santos and Rodriguez had been married and divorced before they entered into a civil marriage in 1987, according to reports in the local media.
Although the tweet was directed by the wife of a head of state to the pope’s own Spanish Twitter account, it is not clear if the pope read the tweet.
LifeSite has received no response to a request for clarification submitted to the Vatican’s press office.
Although the claim of a papal blessing for a previously divorced and invalidly married couple would have been the cause of much scandal in Latin America in the pre-Francis years, the tweet by Rodriguez provoked little response from local media, and thus far no comment from local bishops.
While some readers of the tweet expressed their congratulations to Rodriguez, many denounced it strongly, calling a “farce” and an abuse of public power, and called the couple’s union illegitimate and adulterous.
“Your unfortunate tweet is causing scandal,” responded one reader. “Neither the pope nor any priest can bless a marriage that isn’t Catholic. He blessed some objects.”
Another responded angrily to the video by questioning the pope’s judgment. “@JuanManSantos Holy Father @Pontifex_it why did you bless the #CivilMarriage of two #DivorcedRemarried? :-(” wrote one.
Other comments included, “You are public adulterers and therefore live in an objective situation of sin that everyone knows about,” and “Both are divorced and remarried, therefore that CIVIL marriage cannot be blessed, is INVALID, and THEY CANNOT RECEIVE COMMUNION.”