The first time Pope Francis caused controversy in an interview with Eugenio Scalfari was in 2013, at the very outset of his papacy. In that interview, he made statements that immediately became infamous:
- “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.”
- “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
- “Convert you? Proselytism is solemn nonsense. You have to meet people and listen to them.”
Ironically, it was this interview that indirectly gave birth to the idea of OnePeterFive. It was this interview, and the reception to the piece I wrote about it at the time, that alerted me that my concerns about Francis were shared by a great many Catholics. This realization led, ten months later, to the launch of this project. Suffice it to say I’ve been following the Scalfari saga from the very beginning.
If you’ve also watched these developments for the past 6 years, it has no doubt become clear to you that the pope is using Scalfari to propagate his most extreme ideas under a veneer of plausible deniability. Recall again what Fr. Lombardi, then papal-spokesman, said in response to controversy over that first 2013 interview:
Pressed by reporters on the reliability of the direct quotations, Lombardi said during an Oct. 2 briefing that the text accurately captured the “sense” of what the pope had said, and that if Francis felt his thought had been “gravely misrepresented,” he would have said so.
There is the current denial in nascent form: not a verbatim transcript, but — and this is the part they no longer admit, because they can’t — a representation that “accurately captures the sense of what the pope had said.”
As for the promised correction of any grave misrepresentation, it never came. Not that time, not any of the NINE times, by my count, that interactions between Scalfari and Francis have made the news. Here those are, with links:
If the pope had an objection to the way Scalfari represents him, wouldn’t you think he would have said something by now?
Read the rest at OnePeterFive