Redde Rationem: What Eugenio Scalfari’s Prestige Is Worth Now.

Eugenio Scalfari has died some days ago, and the reaction of not only the Press, but the Vatican and the coterie around Francis was boringly predictable.

Cardinal Ravasi told us that he really liked the man’s beat. Francis reminds the conversations with the man with affection. Everybody has a nice word. Everybody is so eager to clap with the world.

What is not said is this: that this is a guy who managed to get to the rather advanced age of 98, in a very sound state of mind, and never gave any hint that he might, his last stop now approaching, have had at least a movement of hope, a hint of conversion, a doubt in his heart. For all we know, he died exactly the hardened atheist he had been for all his adult life.

You would think a Cardinal, or a Pope, would actually profit from the occasion to – gently, but firmly – make of the man a cautionary tale. You would think that they would, gently but firmly, remind their sheep that all the prestige Scalfari enjoyed in life, and for a very, very long time, has now turned to ashes. Gone are the pretty salons, gone the interviews given and taken, gone the constant aura of “great old man” of Italian journalism he took from a man far bigger than him, Indro Montanelli. The moment he died , the man was in front of his Creator, naked and miserable like, certainly, all of us, but with, in addition, that baggage of who knows how many decades of militant atheism.

It is customary, on these occasions, to say that to God nothing is impossible, and if He, in His mercy, has decreed that the man be saved, He has, unfailingly, put in his heart, in the last minutes, the faith and perfect contrition (I doubt a confessor went anywhere near the man) which would allow the wretched man to give his own small contribution to God’s providence and die at peace with Him.

The above is, obviously, true. Whether it has happened, it is a different matter altogether.

As I am neither a Ravasi, nor a Bergoglio, I will tell you what those strange people called Catholics would, in any age before ours, think in moments like this: that God’s majesty is terrifying, and must appear even more so to the likes of an Eugenio Scalfari.

The probability of Eugenio Scalfari *not* burning in hell as I write this is very, very thin, and I will *not* bet my pint on him saving his hide. I have, as it is my custom, said my “eternal rest” for him, for the very improbable case that God allowed the man to avoid hell. But this is, in the end, merely an exercise in charity and, if you wish, a remedy against the mortal sin of “deciding” that the guy is damned. For the rest, Scalfari’s salvation is not something to which I attach any appreciably measurable degree of probability. We are, I think, in the realm of the zero point zero something percent. All the rest – nay, all his life – points to the guy being barbecued in a way that makes the scorchers we are going through (37C today, 38C tomorrow) look like a veritable freezer.

And so this is where we are. Decades of smiling, fawning, admiring men. Cardinals and Popes included.

And at the end, unavoidably, the redde rationem.

Posted on July 18, 2022, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. May God have mercy on his soul!

  2. Johnny Cash, what an artist and that voice. This song and your words bring in sharp contrast how magnificently our clergy have failed us. When was the last time any pastor or preacher preached on damnation. Never, to be exact, that I have heard, live, in my lifetime. Our priests blow happy gas, not because they wouldn’t, but because they aren’t allowed. That souls go there by the thousands every day, not their concern, not their job to save them.

  3. As Italian, I totally agree.

  4. “Cautionary tale.” One could wish that after each “mass shooting” in the USA, bishops would encourage their flocks to stay in the state of grace. But not a word of that so far.

  5. acesover8sf25e5ce421

    I hope that Eugenio Scalfari repented of his atheism and accepted our Lord Jesus Christ prior to his death.

    Whatever his religious beliefs, Mr. Scalfari was apparently well regarded for his integrity as a journalist. As such, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Scalfari would risk his professional reputation by deliberately misquoting a Catholic pope – on two separate occasions – as he stated that Francis said that hell does not exist and that Jesus is not God. More remarkable is that Pope Francis ( who loves to make public and be quoted on his personal opinions ) was strangely silent when the Vatican was asked to verify or deny Scalfari’s remarks.

    In this most confused age in history – and after a solid decade of his consistent inconsistencies – it is an undeniable fact that Pope Francis is deliberately adding to the confusion.

    Why does Pope Francis want to be known by these poison fruits ?

    Father John Matthew Duffy
    Toronto, Canada

    • Hi Father,
      I can confirm that Scalfari would never, ever try to distort or spin the word of a Pope for reason of political expediency. Every word of Francis that he has reported must be considered true.

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