The Pope’s phone call to Argentina

 

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

After yesterday’s media confusion about a phone call Pope Francis made to a woman in Argentina regarding her reception of Communion, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi today made a statement confirming that the phone call did take place, but indicating that reports about what was said may not be reliable and have no bearing on Church teaching.

It has been widely reported that Pope Francis called Jaquelina Lisbona of San Lorenzo, Argentina on Easter Monday in response to a letter she sent him last fall. The Holy Father allegedly told her that she may receive Communion despite being married to a man who is divorced.

Today Father Lombardi stated:

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.

Meanwhile, Catholic News Agency has more information on the situation, including details about the couple in question and quotes from a local priest, who called the suggestion that the Pope had given permission for Lisbona to receive Communion “absurd.”

[Julio Sabetta, Lisbona’s husband] was married into the Catholic church in 1985, but got legally divorced in 1992. In 1994, he was re-introduced to Jaquelina – they had been boyfriend and girlfriend in their teens – and the two started to live together in a civil union. Since then, they had two children, Candela and Josefina, aged 17 and 14, respectively.

Six years ago, during Candela’s preparation for her confirmation – both daughters have been baptized, received first Holy Communion and have been confirmed – the local pastor at that time, who has been erroneously described as having left the priesthood by some news sources, told Jaquelina that she could not receive Communion because of her marital status.

Last September, encouraged by a friend, she decided to write Pope Francis about her situation and her desire to receive Communion.

The story of the Pope’s “permission” to Jaquelina to receive Communion was first posted on Monday evening by Sabetta on his Facebook Page when he wrote: “Today one of the most beautiful things happened to me since the birth of my two daughters, I got a call in my home from none other than Pope Francis, it was a big emotion, we cannot figure it out yet, this call was originated by my wife who sent him a letter and he took his time to call her and talk to her and I can assure you that we he talks, he gives you total peace. Thanks God for this blessing!” …

What the Pope exactly told Jaquelina is a matter of controversy. Speaking to La Red, Jaquelina said that after talking for about ten minutes with the Pope, he allegedly told her that there are some priests that are “more Papist than the Pope” and that she should “go to confession and start taking communion at a different parish.”

In a second interview, overwhelmed by the international attention and the phone calls from around the world, she confirmed that she received “permission” to receive Communion by the Pope, but she complained: “this was supposed to be discreet, now I don’t think I will be able to go anywhere now.”

Since Wednesday, Jaquelina has not been available for comments. …

Sabetta instead has been happy to respond to the press. According to his version: “Francisco told my wife that she was free from all sin, that she should go to communion, that she should go with peace of mind, since a divorced who goes (to Communion) is doing nothing wrong.”

“He only told her to go to communion to another parish to avoid frictions (with the pastor.)”

But the pastor of San Lorenzo’s church, Fr. José Ceschi, said late on Wednesday that the alleged “permission” to receive communion given by the Pope is “absurd.”

Speaking to local radio station La Ocho, Fr. Ceschi said that “first of all, I am very happy to know that the Pope called someone in San Lorenzo, the Pope surprises with these calls and people is so surprised, and that makes me happy. I do believe in the call, but what is hard to believe is that he gave her permission to go to communion.”

“The Pope would never do that, is impossible. If he is coming from a previous sacrament and they are living together is absolutely impossible,” Fr. Ceschi told the radio station.

“What happens is that the Pope, like all bishops and priests, needs to be father, mother and teacher, always with an open heart, while telling things as they are.”

Speaking of his predecessor, who told Jaquelina that she could not receive communion, the priest noted that “Fr. Sergio was right, if a previous sacrament of marriage is involved, the Church cannot go beyond what Jesus has taught.” …

“Again, I believe that the call happened, I just don’t believe the Pope would go over the head of the (local) bishop – it is absurd,” he reiterated.

To read the original story, click here.

 

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  1. Clinton R. says:

    Having been a practicing Catholic only since 2009, does anyone remember when Catholic teaching was clearly expressed with no room for misinterpretation?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Yes Clinton R., I do remember those days of clear teaching. Continue to follow those clear teachings and ignore the other crap.

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      Yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

      • Clinton R. says:

        I sure will. The Baltimore Catechism has been very beneficial, as has the writings of the Church Fathers, and pretty much everything written pre-Vatican II.

  2. Don Guillermo says:

    The Telegraph, a newspaper in the UK, has suggested that Pope Francis’ phone call to the Argentine woman may have been to “test the water” for a future loosening of the restriction on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist. Let us hope that the Telegraph is mistaken.

  3. In the old days, when someone said YES, he meant YES, when someone said NO, she meant NO. Today, because of new speak, you can make up whatever you want, because there are hardly any absolutes. The Holy Father might have said what he said, but there may have been circumstances which were not conveyed to the public. Perhaps the couple promised to live as brother and sister. Just the same, if they had not been living that way,up to the phone call, then the Catholic party must go to confession (confessions are NOT valid over the phone, e-mail, television, or radio). In dealing with moral and sacramental theology, the parties involved must be specific, so there is no grey matter. As Sergeant Friday used to say; “Just the facts, ma’am! Just the facts.”

  4. Catholic teaching is expressed with no room for interpretation in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which all Catholics are required to adhere to.

    Let’s all remind everyone of this.
    It’s too bad most US Bishops and most US Priests do not.

  5. Abeca Christian says:

    It just sounds like gossip!

    • Agreed. Someone made a private matter public in order to make a point. It was plainly the wrong thing to do. We all have opinions, but using the private lives of others – especially without asking those involved – is as wrong as can be.

  6. Jesusita says:

    The above photograph shows the Holy Father with what several of us call, ‘a flying saucer’. The consecrated Host is so large, it is almost laughable. Of course, the Pope cannot consume all of It because It is so big, so he will have to break It up. There will be crumbs everywhere, but then, many Catholics do not believe Christ is present in the crumbs. Before Vatican II, there was none of this silliness where the host has become the size of a man hole cover. The looney and terror minded liturgists are mainly responsible for this. I am not anti papist, and I am not against Pope Francis, but I sincerely believe this showmanship promotes further disrespect for the Our Lord’s presence in the Holy Eucharist. Ave Maria Purrissima!

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Of course you are entitled to your opinion about what the appropriate size of the host should be, but I think it might be helpful to realize that the host, regardless of it’s size, is always broken in the ancient Fraction Rite. Also, the hosts are designed so that they do not produce many crumbs, and most priests I know sweep the paten clean into the chalice so that any crumbs are captured and treated with due reverence. You may think of it as showmanship, but I think that statement really undermines the intention of the use of these hosts, which is clearly to provide all the faithful present with a view of the sacrifice which is being offered for them.

  7. Bob Bugiada says:

    It’s amazing how desperately the mainstream media wants the Catholic Church’s teachings to “get with the times.” If the restrictions on Communion were lifted for divorced and remarried Catholics , that would mean one of three things: (a) Jesus himself was wrong, and didn’t know what he was talking about, (b) Adultery is not a serious sin, or (c) The Orthodox and Protestant churches were correct all along. Each of these three has consequences. Do we really want to go down this road?

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      I’m not sure I agree with your “three things”. There are a whole variety of other things that this could mean: a) The Church is responding more deeply than ever to Christ’s call to forgiveness and renewal, b) The Church understands words like “adultery” differently than it once did, c) Since Orthodox Churches also represent the fullness of faith save their communion with Rome, perhaps either this is not an essential element of the faith or maybe the Orthodox were right all along.

      So yes, I think we have to go down this road. Cautiously and prayerfully, to be sure.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        Your Fallen Catholic (YFC).

        Why is it that it is not the least bit surprising, a sodomite, would want to go down that road? A road clearly defined by Our Lady at Akita as a road to perdition!

        May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
        Viva Cristo Rey!
        Yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
        Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

      • Pope Francis has changed no teaching of the Church to date.

        “….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Bob Bugiada you are correct, the media wants to be the one to change the world and they twist and try to use the Pope for their evil deeds. So we must rebuke such gossip and pray for our Pope. As you can see how much they really hate him. So much that they are USE him for their cause. It will be the truth that will save people from themselves not the Media! The Media is not the church nor will they save people with their shows! Our Pope is learning more and more how crooked the media is. They hate our Pope! So much that they use every opportunity to twist his intentions.

      The truth will never expire, the truth will never become void but it is the Truth (Jesus) that will save all sinners! The Truth does not change! No one can change the truth, no one has the power to tell God how it is! Mankind can lie to himself because that is what sinners do but with God’s graces, many can all gain His graces…..with a contrite and loving heart for Him!

  8. good cause says:

    The 15 Million “former Catholics” in the US are waiting in the wings for His Holiness to make a decision on divorce and remarriage and contraception. The number of Catholics that have left the Church now comprises the second largest religious denomination in the US. While Mass attendance declines, Catholics marriages in the Church decline, and obedience to the birth control teaching plummets, we face a future of far fewer Catholics in the pews or a teaching authority that understands that some new truth has entered our world and we want to unite God’s love with his Truth to build better homes, marriages, and families.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      good grief how does it make you feel to post such negative outlook of Christ;s church and His people? Do you feel high almighty? Well? Tell me! I found your comments so negative as if you wanted people to despair! Take a look at biblical times, there were many “good cases” folks saying the same thing and even more when Jesus died on the cross.

      Don’t fret and stop feeling the need to be the messenger of bad news but instead ASK JESUS to give you a heart like His own! But first repent, confess and fear the Lord!

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      so called good cause, you have made it quite clear now what your alleged good cause is, it is the complete destruction of what Our Lord gave us. Guess what, much better in evil than you have tried it in the past and failed misearably.

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      Yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

    • good cause, if they had a valid first marriage, they commit adultery every time they act sexually with their new civil partner.

      Do you believe Jesus, or do you think that the convenience and sexual desires of people are more important?
      Based upon your post we could have a Church with no principles, and do whatever you want – like the Protestant Faiths that support divorce.

      “ Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” – JESUS
      Mk 10:11-12

    • Very likely the ‘former Catholics’ you have waiting in the wings in expectation of a change in Church teaching on divorce, ‘good cause’, have merely slipped out the backdoor into a dark alley because too much was expected of them. They’ve either caught a taxi to badboy land or
      have found entry into a host of affable, ‘nice’, welcoming, warm and fuzzy multitudes of other religions offering unconditional acceptance of any sin one wants to take part in…all in the name of love.

  9. St. Christopher says:

    “good cause” and “Your Fellow Catholic”: You both miss the valid points raised by “Bob Bugiata.” This is not a matter of sexual politics — yes, including homosexual sexual politics — but of the Faith, which cannot change. Catholic certainly have left the Church since Vatican II although the reasons for this most likely have to do with the Church’s retreat from Tradition and its embrace of a theologically sloppy and overtly liberal Mass and other sacraments that already seem outdated. The literature is overwhelming that in many dioceses and order, where Tradition is reinstated, the population of churchgoers, seminarians, and devoted lay voluteers dramatically increases. You so much want to bank on mis-applications of biblical “love” and “charity” to achieve ends that cannot licitly be achieved. Homosexual sex is wrong, is immoral, and is never permitted, ever, by a practicing Catholic. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, is immoral, and is never permitted, ever, by a practicing Catholic. If people wish to act sinfully, God will respect this choice. Will the Pope and his leadership decide to change centuries of belief in areas of sexual behavior? Perhaps. However, in doing so, such new direction will be wrong. Popes can make grave errors of judgment. We hope that Pope Francis listens to the Holy Ghost, but whether he does or not, make no mistake, true Catholic charity demands honesty, given in an effort to save souls. We will see what happens, but please resist linking what is right and correct spiritually with what happens on CNN and in popular opinion polls.

  10. Ann Malley says:

    … new truth has entered the world? What new truth would that be?

    Good grief, Good Cause. Mass attendance has declined because people do not want to hear the Truth that is. They want to make up their own truths that negate that which is difficult. And it is difficult for every generation. That is not new.

  11. Nothing to see here folks…..

  12. I agree with the “trial balloon theory”….. the man is far too savvy a pastor to not know this would leak and be a subject of talk.
    Also Church rules on the administration of the Sacraments and who is eligible etc are NOT matters of doctrine but practice…and practices change don’t they?
    The Church could do away with the practice of marriage tribunals and leave annulments to the pastoral decision of the pastor – and the biggest pastor of all is the Pope.

    My mother taught me 4 things about the Church – 1-believe in the Blessed Sacrament, 2- be loyal to the Pope and 3- love Mary….and 4- Don’t be more Catholic than the Pope! Everyone who posts here does a good job of Rules 1 to 3.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      So, Jim Aroo, you have just told us that you would have been loyal to Popes Liberius who for a awhile was a heretic Arian, Pope Honorious who was declared a heretic by a solmen Council, and the Borgia Pope. Good luck with that when you face the One True God, the Catholic God and His Mother.

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      Yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

  13. Father Karl says:

    People want NO sacrifice in their lives. They demand their cake, and they want to eat it too. Without God in their lives, married couples cannot face all the problems that the grace of the sacrament has to offer. By using the pill and other contraceptive and abortion tools, marriages are breaking down. When it gets hard or difficult, the couple want a divorce, instead of sticking it out. The priest is no longer a counselor, but Ann Landers and Dear Abby are their guides who urge them to have an affair or get a divorce. Life is hard; being a Catholic means to carry one’s cross daily. With all the materialism and modernism being preached today, a holy priest told me that most marriages in the United States are invalid because the couples never intended ‘for better or for worse’ or ‘until death do us part’. Our society is throw away, so they believe why not throw away the marriage. God’s laws cannot be changed, and even though something might have been said (we will probably not know for sure what was said for a long time), the norms for receiving Holy Communion will not be altered.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Most marriages are invalid because they couples never intended to stay together until death.” Now there is a can of worms that the Church does not want to open. I know a couple who wanted to divorce but did not because they are Catholic. At the time they married, one of them was open to divorcing if things did not work out. They went through a rough patch where they almost got divorce but didn’t because the believing one would not agree to a no-fault divorce and there were no grounds for the unbeliever to sue for divorce. Now they believe, as the Bible says, that the Lord abhors divorce. They believe, as the Church teaches, that divorce is a great evil. They also believe that they were not in a state of grace when they were married and they asked a priest who said that did not invalidate the marriage. There is no way in the Catholic Church that they can have their marriage validated if it truly is invalid.

      • Anonymous, Yes, – – – – but if they want to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, by putting God before their own carnal desires – they can do so PROVIDED – – – – – –

        CCC: ” 1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was.
        If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities.
        Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance CAN be GRANTED only to those who have REPENTED for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are COMMITTED to living in COMPLETE CONTINENCE. ”

        Everyone – please let your divorced and civilly re-married friends who may not qualify for an annulment – know that they do have a CHOICE which will allow them to receive the Sacraments, including Holy Communion.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          So what is a question here is that, once forgiven of the sin of entering into a false marriage, why is the person, now forgiven, now punished by prohibiting entry into a valid marriage? The very notion of forgiveness seems at issue here.

          • Ann Malley says:

            If one is truly sorry for a sin committed, one will give up the fruits of that sin as a matter of true contrition, YFC. So saying, a Catholic who has divorced their lawful spouse and entered into a civil marriage with another cannot be said to be truly sorry for the ‘sin’ of adultery if they keep having sex with their unlawful ‘spouse’. (Contrary to what you may believe, people are capable of controlling what they ‘do’ with their sex drive… even when it’s difficult.)

            That would be like stealing, going to confession to say you’re sorry, and then expecting to be absolved while still holding onto and ENJOYING the ill-gotten goods. (Yes, Father, I’m really sorry I stole that box of peaches from Farmer Jones, but I’m fully intending on going home and having another peach from the box tucked under my bed because to waste the fruit would be a sin. Doesn’t really qualify as contrite even if Farmer Jones has passed away. The idea is to give up that to which you have no lawful right to enjoy.)

            So while forgiveness is an issue, contrition and the promise to ‘sin no more’ as Christ has called us to do, is also a requisite for absolution. Not perverting the notion of forgiveness to be license to whatever your instincts demand.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        a very strong post, anonymous. I have to admit, I’ve never considered the issue in this depth before.

      • Ann Malley says:

        The validity of one’s marriage does not depend on whether or not one is in the state of grace when receiving it, Anonymous.

  14. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    Father Karl,

    The norms may indeed be changed by an apostate Synod, but God’s norms will NOT be changed and an appeal to such apostate norms will NOT suffice before the Judgment Seat of God!

    Those who truly want to save their souls must take the time and effort to know what His Church truly teaches, and follow that!
    May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
    Viva Cristo Rey!
    Yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
    Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

  15. Linda Maria says:

    This news story sounds too absurd, and I wonder if this report s true, or not?? I wonder, if this story is true, and if a Pope goes around the world with heretical and immoral beliefs, misinformation, and false Catholic teaching– what happens?? Could he possibly place his role as Pope in jeopardy? Could the College of Cardinals that elected him, hold another conclave, and get rid of a heretical or immoral Pope, and elect a new one, faithful to Christ? Or what? What are the Church Laws on this?? What has happened, in such a potential case, in the history of the Church?? What if millions of Catholics, let’s say, in the same position as this woman, all went to all their local bishops and cardinals, all over the world– and what if they all were told “no,” and then there was a great big fight, in the Vatican, between the Pope and his prelates?? What would happen?? What about local diocesan Tribunals, with annulment cases– and what about priests preparing millions of Catholic couples for Marriage?? What do you DO?? This is a big worry, for millions of people, and for clergy all over the world, in big positions of responsibility– as well as a big problem, for millions of Catholic schools, universities, and seminaries!! And a big problem for devout Catholic lay catechists, and also parents, trying to teach their children the Catechism, at home, too! Well– let’s hope this story is all just a big mistake!! Permissiveness is not “pastoral,” and is not “loving”– it is just plain LAZY and IRRESPONSIBLE!! Let’s hope this news story is just a bunch of baloney!! God help us!!

  16. Linda Maria says:

    Perhaps what the Pope actually said in this news story, was something like this: “Go to Confession, and confess your sins, and then the priest hearing your confession will give you a penance, plus, instructions as to what to do, to set your life straight with God. And then, you may be eligible to receive Holy Communion, AFTER doing your penance, and following the priest’s instructions.” Maybe that was the truth of this case!

  17. Jesusita says:

    Ken, perhaps the laws concerning the reception of Holy Communion would be changed by an apostate curia in the Vatican. But they would be invalid laws , since they greatly weaken the faith, and downplay the reverence we must have towards the Blessed Sacrament.The Holy Ghost has guided the Catholic Church throughout the ages, but He seems to have been ignored in the past fifty plus years, as things are getting worse, not better in the Church. Many of her enemies are within, and like termites they are destroying the Mystical Body of Christ. Ave Maria Purrissima!

  18. ” And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.” – JESUS
    Mt 19:9.

    “ Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” – JESUS
    Mk 10:11-12

    CCC: ” 1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions.
    In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was.
    If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists.
    For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities.
    Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence. “

  19. caroline says:

    “With all the materialism and modernism being preached today, a holy priest told me that most marriages in the United States are invalid because the couples never intended ‘for better or for worse’ or ‘until death do us part’”

    As Fr. Karl perhaps unintentionally argued, there are legitimate grounds for mass annulments even in the internal forum if the tribunals couldn’t handle the sheer quantity.

    • caroline, please send us a link to official church teaching to support your statement. In other words, prove it.
      You can not take or twist the words of any poster, but must use official Church documentation.
      The Vatican web site is the best source for Church teaching.

      Are you calling Jesus a liar ?
      Read what PETE says: May 1, 2014 at 4:55 am
      These are not his words but Official words from Jesus and the Church.

      See Code of Canon Law regarding marriages and annulments.
      Title VII #1055 – 1165.

      • caroline says:

        Hi Nancy, Don’t argue with me but just with the “holy priest” whom Father Karl quotes as saying the vast majority of marriages in the USA are invalid. If they are invalid, they are not marriages. Only invalid marriages can be declared null and void. If they are null and void, the participants can be sacramentally married in the future. But maybe Fr. Karl’s “holy pries is wrong” about the invalidity of the vast majority of marriages. Please take it up with Father Karl, not me.

        • carolyn, no person knows what every individual knew or did not know at the time of marriage. This is the reason for Church marriage tribunals.
          But in the USA, not one Catholic married in a Catholic Church did not know that marriage is for life.
          This is why when they defy the teachings of Jesus on divorce and remarriage they go to civil rather than Church authorities for their adulterous second marriage.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            There are classes/retreats that couples take before marriage. I wonder if they are being offered throughout the world? Those retreats or classes are marriage prep courses of some type to help them discern the seriousness of this beautiful sacrament.

  20. People seem to forget about God’s justice.

    Some may lie to a marriage tribunal, but they can not lie to God.
    Not only would they be committing the sin of lying to the Church (and in the Confessional), and continued adultery on an ongoing basis, but also Sacrilege when they go to Holy Communion, and the mortal sin of Scandal.

    Mortal sin without repentance (and the promise to sin no more) will send individual Souls straight to Hell.

    God’s JUSTICE – per Jesus.
    Jesus: Mt 7:13-14; Lk 13:22-28.

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