Church Militant reports Pope Francis is attempting to mitigate the conflict that has arisen surrounding the publication of the book co-authored by Pope Benedict and Cardinal Sarah:
Pope Francis has used his latest interview with his atheist journalist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, to deescalate media furor over the book on priestly celibacy published by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cdl. Robert Sarah. The case of Benedict apparently coming out against Francis’ possible ordination of married priests in the Amazon and other outlying regions is closed, the pontiff tells Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica, in a three-page interview. Francis insists that the pope emeritus has demonstrated “fraternal” solidarity with him and has not allied himself with Cdl. Sarah, the Guinean prelate and co-author of From the Depths of Our Hearts.
But perhaps the bigger story here is the fact that Francis actually chose to grant Scalfari yet ANOTHER interview.
Recall the media firestorm that erupted last October when Scalfari reported Pope Francis told him that Jesus was a “man… not at all a God.” The Vatican promptly issued a press release stating Scalfari’s reporting “cannot be considered as a faithful account” of what the Pope actually said. But Pope Francis himself never actually denied what Scalfari had written.
Of particular concern are atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari’s claims that the Holy Father believes in annihilationism (that the damned are simply annihilated by God and that Hell is empty), thinks that Christ on Earth was not divine, and denies the bodily resurrection of the Lord. These claims have been addressed by the Vatican only in vague terms. We are told that Scalfari doesn’t always get everything right, that he doesn’t always faithfully record or represent what the Holy Father says, and that he sometimes misunderstands.
This is too weak. If someone were ever to make such grave allegations about my faith, I would run to the nearest microphone and clearly announce my unambiguous belief in our holy and apostolic faith. I would use every platform I could to reject such claims lest anyone be confused, disheartened or led astray. Yet Scalfari continues to make these assertions with impunity, facing only the mildest and vaguest of rebukes.
The silence has been deafening. The enemies of the faith are encouraged while the faithful are disheartened.
We stated at the time there appears to be some kind of elaborate shell game being played between Scalfari and Francis.
SO HERE’S THE QUESTION: if you were the head of Christ’s Church on Earth and a reporter repeatedly misquotes you time and time again, why on earth would you continue to grant him additional interviews? The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
And why would you not personally correct the record on such fundamental matters of the faith, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ?
A rational person could only reach one of two conclusions: either Pope Francis is insane or he is a master manipulator of the truth.