The “Remnant” has, in its online edition, a customarily beautiful article about the boomerang effect of this too-stupid-for-words papacy. The article contains a long list of blunders, mistakes, heresies and assorted antics of this pontificate.
I must not have been paying attention, because the article links to a rather spicy event: the fact that the notorious interview with Scalfaro has been published in a book. A book, mind, not edited by Repubblica‘s publishing house, but by none other than the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the official publishing house of the Holy sea.
Hmm… let me think…
Was it not so, that the assorted Pollyannas have always tried to remove the interview from existence by stating that the interview was nothing more than the confused recollection of a very old man (Scalfaro), who had abused the generous, but orthodox mind of our Humble Pope?
What will they invent, now, to explain away the reality that stares at them in the face? Will they say that Francis was “not informed” of the interview being there? Or that he was there when they were discussing the book, but had to go to the bathroom when Scalfaro came up? Perhaps he has difficulties in understanding Italian? His parents died such a long time ago!
The Pollyannas now need a good dose of John Belushi/Jake Elwood spirit: the dry cleaner, the earthquake, and the locusts….
It truly is embarrassing to see how many people, whose brain works otherwise normally, embarrass themselves and insult their intelligence with this extreme kind of denial. Even Francis is abandoning them, more and more refusing to even them with some feeble excuse, some kind of fig leave to cover his and their shame.
It’s not easy to be a Pollyanna. And most people will not believe in the locusts…
Do you remember the first Repubblica interview?
The one with the all controversy about the Pope not reading the draft, or reading but not paying attention, or reading and paying attention but perhaps having a headache?
The one of which cardinal Mueller promised – and delivered – that it would be taken down from the Vatican internet site?
The one of which all Pollyannas were saying it was all fault of the old man Scalfari, because the oh so holy Holy Father would never say such rubbish?
The wolves truly have no shame.
God, please free us from Francis.
In your own good time. But please, please free us from this scourge.
And it came to pass Bishop Gaenswein allowed the world to know the Pontiff Emeritus had written a sort of commentary of the draft of the Papal interview with Civilta’ Cattolica, the 12,000 word exercise due to the fact that Bishop Francis does not like giving interviews.
This interview was scandalous enough. But it could be that without Benedict’s notes (which might have led to adjustments in the end) it could have been even worse.
Soon thereafter, Francis writes a long letter to Scalfari, even more scandalous than the interview to Civilta’ Cattolica, and inter alia lets the first bomb about “conscience” and “salvation for atheists” explode. Shortly after the letter, he doubles with the notorious interview, which was more a carpet bombing in Dresden style.
Knowing what we know now, we can safely conclude as follows:
1) Benedict must have received a draft of the interview already checked by Francis, then elementary courtesy demands no other behaviour. You don’t ask a Pontiff Emeritus to OK a draft you have not checked for accuracy first. He is not your under-under assistant just come out of the Seminary. Francis, then, does receive drafts, and he does read them.
2) Benedict does not receive, as far as we know – but it would be strange if Gaenswein would just keep this covered – neither the draft of the original letter to Scalfari, nor the draft of the Scalfari interview. Am I bad in thinking Francis feared he would receive not four, but fourteen pages of comment? Why, otherwise, would one avail oneself of the services of a fine theologian in the first occasion, but not in the second and the third?
3) How can even the blindest Pollyannas now declare that the Pope does not receive and reads drafts of interviews? Or that he is so reckless that he gives them green light for publication without even reading them? After we know he asked the draft of the Civilta’ Cattolica interview to be read by the Pontiff Emeritus? Really?
Just three thoughts, really. But I wanted to share them. We should not forget old scandals just because we are confronted with ever new ones.
And it came to pass Francis stopped shouting heresies to all corners of the planet, and we are now supposed to believe he is trying to steer his papacy into the path of righteousness. Pat Archbold already breathes a little easier. Other will breath much easier. Other still will say they have never breathed so well.
Personally, I don’t share the enthusiasm.
Let us see the arguments adduced, and the reasons why they do not persuade me.
1. The notorious interview has been removed. Fine. But this was only because ++Müller was informed, to his dismay, that the thing was still around in the Vatican cyberspace, and as a result stated in public he would take care of it, and delivered. This is not Francis’ initiative, though if he is half smart he must be relieved the interview is not there anymore without he being the one who took the initiative to have it removed. Slick Willie wouldn’t have his photos with Monica on his Internet site, either.
Besides, Francis has not recanted one word. Not one. Vatican officials may think the interview was bad, but he has not said it was wrong. Not one word has been corrected. The draft was approved by him. Enough of excuses.
2. Francis wrote to Agostino Marchetto, saying that the hermeneutic of continuity is the right way of interpreting the Council.
Every Modernist would say the same every morning, noon and evening without batting an eyelid. Francis always cared to “save appearances”. He visited the tomb of Pius X just days into his pontificate. Modernists aren’t as stupid as juvenile revolutionaries. They will always insist they are being harmoniously following 2,000 years of Christianity, they will only point out that some things just belong to the past. Look, Francis does exactly the same, criticising the rosary-counting “Pelagians”! The letter to Marchetto means exactly nothing, unless it be that Francis isn’t as stupid as to openly support the School of Bologna.
3. He called Mario Palmaro, the man who with Alessandro Gnocchi expressed himself – as every good Catholic should – critically about Francis on the Italian newspaper Il Foglio and was fired from the V II Catholic Radio Maria as a result. Fine, but Palmaro is, I am afraid, dying – so much can sadly be inferred by his words as reported – so that there is a merciful aspect here that is nothing to do with the issues at hand.
Besides, I am sure one phone call of Francis would have had both Gnocchi and Palmaro – leaving aside health considerations – immediately reintegrated at Radio Maria. Funnily enough, this phone call does not seem to have taken place.
4. The Pope said it is “important” for him to receive criticism, using one of those typically fluffy politician’s statements that mean perfectly nothing and perfectly avoid the issue at hand. I personally think it is infinitely more important that a Pope does not put himself in the position where he must be criticised by faithful Catholics, something no good Catholic would want to do, rather than spreading heretical statements all over the planet and then saying to his critics “yeah, I’m not angry at you. I totally get what you are trying to say. Totally!”. Alas, I must say it once again, because repetita iuvant: not one word has been recanted. Not one from the first letter to Scalfari, not one from the interview with him, not one from the 12,000 words interview with “Civilta’ Cattolica”.
Facta, non verba. If Francis really want to be orthodox, he must openly and explicitly recant all his questionable or openly heretical statements. Nothing else will spare his papacy from ignominy and condemnation for all centuries to come.
Pope Honorius has been declared a heretic because of the content of one letter he wrote. You can imagine in what pit of heresy a Pope has fallen, who allows his statement to be published worldwide without a word, – without a word! – of public correction.
And please let us not hide behind the finger of the interview having been removed from the Vatican site. When the interview appeared no one expected it to land on the Vatican site; nor did anyone wait for this to happen before considering the interview authentic, historical, or trustworthy. Everyone knew then the interview was authentic, and everyone knows it now. Again: not one word has Francis recanted. Not one. Not one. Not one.
“Oh – says the Pollyanna choir – but he has let it know, from what it appears to have transpired, that he has “regretted” the publication!”.
Regret is a feeling, not a rational position, much less a theological one. The drunken driver regrets his misfortune when the police stop him, but this does not mean he condemns his drinking. The Modernist regrets his interview had unintended consequences, but this does not mean he has changed his mind. On the contrary, this is nothing more than emotional bird food for the pigeons.
This Pope has made irruption into the china bull and has made a lot of damage, and then has started sending out rumours he regrets so much china was in his way, and phones one of the owners of the shop to say that to him (Francis) criticism is important. The china is in tatters, and there is no sign he offers to make restitution for the smallest broken piece.
Ah, but the article about the devastation has been removed from the Vatican site. All is fine now. Not a bull, then.
It must have been all a misunderstanding.
Let’s keep this short: the culprit is Francis, and no other.
It’s very easy to see why.
1. Not even an old incapacitated nincompoop would shut up after the interview instead of immediately saying, very loud, “this interview does not reflect our conversation”. There is no way in hell Francis can escape his responsibility on this. He even received the draft of the interviews, for heaven’s sake. What was he doing, watching the photos of Ms Chaouqui?
2. Many have tried to depict Scalfari as the old man in his dotage. Very wrong. Firstly, it is clear to everyone who is not gaga that Scalfari isn’t. Secondly, it makes sense that Francis would demand that the interview would be made without a recorder or a stenographer. A recorder would have implied Scalfari does not trust the words of a Pope, and a stenographer would have recorded all the inordinate rambling of the man. Notice when Francis rambles we only get the doctored versions, in which charitable souls try to give some sense to the rambling nonsense. If we read the literal transcription of a 30 minutes Francis’ performance, I think the entire planet would be rolling on the floor, laughing.
3. Francis received a draft, and gave the green light to it. This has been admitted from Vatican sources, who had to invent the pathetic excuse it is not clear whether he read it after Repubblica had to say – confronted with the brazen attempt to deny reality – that he bloody well did. There can be no excuse. There is absolutely nowhere to hide. The emperor has no clothes. Period.
4. Scalfari is a journalist. He knows his trade. Whatever was agreed between the two, he will not reveal unless, perhaps, attacked personally. If Francis says “please no recorder, but do not say it was on my request”, Scalfari will make the interview with no recorder, and will not say this was on Francis’ request. Don’t insult your intelligence thinking – or worse, saying – he forgot his recorder home and is unable to take notes.
5. In part, Francis’ interview echo scandalous affirmations already made by him, and which he merely confirms (“And I repeat it here”). How many times is this man misunderstood, and since when has he become unable to read?
What has happened is that 1) Mueller has insisted that the interview be removed as far too obscene, as reported by the media, when he was informed – to his surprise – that it was still on the internet site, and b) Francis had to see it was better for him to have the thing taken down now, than for it to be left on the Vatican site as a permanent monument to his own heresy and incompetence.
He has nowhere to hide.
I have already said, and I repeat it here (see how it works?) that there is crushing evidence that Francis approved the interview, and there is no evidence Hitler ordered the Holocaust.
If you are so dumb as to think Francis did not want this interview as published, you can as well believe Hitler did not want the Holocaust as happened.
We are now happily informed that the notorious, heretical interview with Eugenio Scalfari has been taken down from the Vatican site.
Well, it certainly shows the embarrassment had gone beyond what even a Teflon Man like Francis considers acceptable, but make no mistake: this is too little and too late. Utterly pathetic, and utterly predictable, is the attempt to attribute the taking down on the side to the fact that “it turned out” the interview was not recorded. Because, you see, Francis is blind, stupid and illiterate: he can't see, he can't read a newspaper, he is too gaga to know what he says, too imbecile to realise no one is recording or taking notes, he is even too far gone to realise something has gone wrong when all his collaborators whisper in his ears, in the polite and hushed Vatican manner, “what the Ricca”.
I still miss a word of correction, much less apology. I still miss an official declaration of this Tango Pope stating all the points in which he was wrong, and what Catholic teaching is instead. The damage is now done, and nothing short of an abiura as widely publicised as the original interview will do anything to remedy to the mess Francis and Francis alone, out of his uncontrolled infatuation for Pope Francis, has caused.
Methinks, though, this is another mouthful of bird feed that Francis throws to his unbelievably un-discerning pigeons: they will now be able to say: “Look! The entire planet knows of this interview and what the Pope said, but it has now been taken down from the website! What a wonderful Pope we have! The Holy Ghost must be making overtime!” Yeah, because the homosexualists, abortionists and assorted liberals all visit the Vatican site first thing in the morning, right?
Besides, all those who have defended the interview exactly as it appeared now have some explaining to do: it isn't often that the Vatican takes down the words from a Pope from the Vatican site because the stench is too much to bear.
How is it they found the smell so attractive?
I cannot say it often enough: the SSPX is a beacon of sound Catholic thinking in the darkness of the “new humbleness”. Clearly, if you want to know what proper Catholicism is you must stay away from Francis' ramblings, as they will inoculate you with the virus of Modernism and shift you from the solid ground of Catholic reasoning to the deadly quicksands of fluffy, emotional, senseless, and in the end heretical thinking.
I suggest that you take the time – not so much of it after all – to read and interiorise this beautiful reflection on Francis' forma mentis – make no mistake: an heretical one – on the basis of his exploits with “Civilta' Cattolica” and “Repubblica”.
Once again, we see the steamroller of sound Catholic thinking rolling over Francis' marshmallow-tasting, popularity-seeking emotionalism, and flattening it altogether. Francis, a man of embarrassing ignorance and even more embarrassing arrogance, will not understand the objection; but rationally thinking Catholics with a grounded knowledge of Truth will immediately grasp that the problem with Francis is not in, say, the way he expresses himself but, far more gravely, in the way he thinks.
The simile with the blind man and the forest is delicious, and will remain with you for a long time.
Enjoy this example of Catholic sanity, and please remember to say one or three Hail Marys for Francis, who is so much in need of our prayers.
“Would you really believe Pope Francis thinks that everybody can have his own idea of good and evil and thus justify what he does?” he asked.
“Is it really possible Pope Francis has an idea that would make being Christians, or believing in God, into nonsense?”
These not very intelligent words are from an Italian journalist, and are quoted here in the last desperate attempt to mask the Pope’s senseless heresies in front of the obvious unwillingness of the Pope himself to dispel them.
Yes, I believe it. Of course I do. It’s what he said. It’s in print. Never denied. Never corrected. Never apologised for. Verba volant, scripta manent.
What is happening here is utterly Orwellian. Words, and simple reality, don’t count anymore. Simple facts are turned into their contrary simply because one wants to. We have reached a form of denial that reeks of desperation. Let us see the facts instead.
Pope Francis expressed exactly the concept the Italian journalist says we could not “really believe” a first time in a long letter he sent to Eugenio Scalfari.
Then, he repeated the concept a second time during the notorious interview with the same man.
Then, he released no official denial or correction whatever after the interview went around the world, causing a wave of scandal and discontent Francis, in his blind quest for self-promotion, had not foreseen. Francis would not say he is awfully sorry he has confused the entire planet with his inordinate, utterly ignorant ramblings. He would not say it, because he is so humble.
Now we are informed that Francis would be worried that his words might be misunderstood. Wait a moment: would not this be the perfect time to ask that the text be changed? Would not this be the moment when I do not say the Pope, but a child of eight would have been able to understand that the interview cannot be published in the form proposed to him? Does this not prove that Francis, in fact, did read the draft of the interview before giving green light to the publication, and was very aware of its destructive potential?
Furthermore, we read:
These sentences led to a certain amount of criticism for the Roman Pontiff.
The Pope’s knowledge that he could be misunderstood is why – according to Socci – Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, was “told to maintain that the text of the interview had not been revised by Pope Francis and that it was penned by Scalfari after an informal chat.”
What? Following the criticism, someone told Lombardi to say Francis had not revised the text? Did Francis, then, lie? If he did not, how is the phrase to be understood? Who told Lombardi to lie about the degree of information of the Pontiff? Why would Lombardi say something so directly questioning the character of the Pope – an interview destined to be read worldwide is given the green light without the Pope even reading the draft: the behaviour of a perfect idiot by any human standard – unless the order came from Francis himself?
It goes on, in a frenzy of self-delusion. The entire load of excrement landed on the Osservatore Romano on the following day, but now we are informed Francis was – allegedly – displeased about that, too.
Yeah, right. Why would the newspaper of the Vatican publish an interview of the Pope after all? Seriously, how stupid are we supposed to be?
It gets even stupider than this. Francis is, then, displeased about the interview. He does not order the immediate removal of it from the Osservatore‘s site, and does not publish an extensive, perfectly clear, apology about what he said and clarification about what he should have said.
No. what happens is that he might have whispered in the ear of the newspaper’s director, very much en passant during a ceremony, that what the Pope says is not supposed to go on the Vatican newspaper; a fact which would, in the mind of these people, make all fine again. I quote:
[A] Video from Vatican TV shows that when Pope Francis went to visit the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, he stopped by and had a one-minute chat with Vian.
According to Socci, “that is probably the moment when Pope Francis complained to Vian.”
So, Francis is seen talking with the man in public for… one minute, and we do not know what they said. This is enough. We can dream our dream of the orthodox Pope now.
Lies have short legs, and deluded fantasies have shorter legs still.
As for myself, I choose to believe the facts.
Pray for the Pope, that he may stop being such a disgrace; for the good of the Church, and of his own soul.
The “Francis headline of the day” is, as we are reliably informed,
The Church has to bring Christ to everyone.
Fine; but, thinking in Francis' terms… why?
Has he brought Christ to Scalfari during the interview? Has he even made the attempt? Has he not called – whatever sophism you may try to use to hide this simple truth – exactly this very same attempt to bring Christ to an atheist, who is in most need of Christ's mercy, a “solemn nonsense”?
Further: if Francis is persuaded that an atheist can be saved by merely following his conscience – no, he still has not disowned his words; seriously, he hasn't – what is the reason he can adduce to make other people accept the “Diet Christ” brought to them? No premarital sex, no contraception even in marriage, no drunkenness, no adultery, obviously no remarriage, no abortion, mass attendance, penance, prayer, conflicts, and a lot of other nos? Why should anyone accept them, if he can get away with doing what he pleases with the benediction of the humble, look-at-my-old-car Pope?
The ugly truth is that Francis has been saying, for now almost eight months, that Christ is an option. Christ is, if you ask him, merely the – in his opinion, mind you; but who is he to judge? – more scenic way, better truth, and more joyous life. The man who says the Church can't be a glorified NGO makes of Her exactly a glorified NGO. In his mind the way is extremely broad that leads to salvation, and this way does not need I do not say Christ, but not even the acceptance of a god whatsoever, like a Hindu in invincible ignorance might believe.
He insults those who pray by rote saying they don't believe in God, but when he has in front of him one who really does not believe in God and doesn't even say prayers by rote he is very fine with it. Ah, if everyone only followed his abortionist conscience, what a better place the world would be!
Therefore, if you listen to Francis the Church must bring Jesus to the people as if He were a medicinal herb, or a new kind of aspirin. Necessary for salvation? Of course not. Should I try to convert other people? No, no, no! What about proselytism? Solemn nonsense…
Francis merely markets an option which he considers, in his humbleness, the best. He had no gut then to say to an atheist that unless he repents he will go to hell; he has no guts now to tell the world Jesus is no option, least of all for those who openly refuse Him. In short, Francis promotes Jesus like the Marlboro Man promotes cigarettes. This means, for him, that the church according to Bergoglism isn't an NGO. Oh no.
Come to where the “joy” is. Come to Bergoglio Country.
Please say three Hail Marys, rigorously learnt by rote, for this confused man.
Yes, you can count them.
It seems fashionable nowadays to show so much understanding for those who have willingly decided to put themselves outside of the Church, and in opposition to Our Lord and Saviour. If one is an atheist, it seems he is considered the spearhead of modern thinking, and even Popes – though not those who call themselves such – will make extraordinary (and actually heretical) contortions to show them how very cool they are in their atheism, because hey, they follow their conscience. Oh, how much better the world would be if there were more cool atheists following their own conscience…
In all this official and unofficial pandering to the ideology of our time, there are some situations that, I think, are never called to our attention. Therefore, I will do it myself.
Here, a good mother lovingly raises her children and tolerates a husband gone bad, because of love for the family and fidelity to Our Lord and to the sacrament of matrimony. There, another mother is tested with a sodomite as a son, but she has the guts to not capitulate to the “acceptance” mantra, and prays every day that her son may find the strenght to get rid of his satanic perversion and avoid hell. Follow me a few houses down the road. Do you see that man? He is a husband left by a sluttish wife, and who resists the temptation to think he can – nay, he has the right to – throw his sacrament from the window and pursue his own “happiness”, as some of his friends and all colleagues around him do, and as everyone in his family suggests he should be doing. Walk with me for a while, if you will. Do you see that window? You cannot hear it, but behind that window pane a young woman is crying; she must see a man for whom she deeply cares go away, because she does not want to acquiesce to his demand that she becomes his public concubine, or his bed companion. Walk with me to the school, and observe that young boy in the schoolyard; yes, the one isolated and silently mocked, and considered stupid or ridiculous for insisting to defend his Catholic values in front of the general opposition of his peer. It is even rumoured he counts his rosaries. To count… rosaries?! Can you believe this guy??!! And what’s a… rosary anyway?
All these people pay a price – at times temporary, at times very heavy – for their belief in Christ and His Commandments; they are those who think that their conscience is only then worthy of being followed, when it tells them what Christ would; they are those who – sinners as we all are – would not even contemplate giving scandal in front of their entire community and in the face of God just for the short-term reward of an illusive “happiness” that is, in reality, extreme rebellion; all those people are never the object of much attention from their shepherds. When they get it, it is generally the wrong one. “Obsessive” they are called, or “narrow-minded”. Next thing you know, they’ll be called “Pelagians”.
Nowadays, when the clergy tends to praise the Catholics, it is never for their obedience to God’s laws. It is, in case, because they are so social, so inclusive, so full of this flippin’ “joy” allegedly so well spread, but such that no one would be able to say, walking along a busy sidewalks, “that, that and that must be Catholics, because they have such joy written on their face”.
The Fear of the Lord most have heard mentioned last time, very probably, in the Bible. Christ’s yoke is now rather an amusement park, so when one can’t remarry there must be some serious issue with the machinery.
“bbbbzzzzz…… Service announcement: we are so sorry you are not getting the fun we promised you. Bishop Zollitsch is looking at the wheels as we speak, and Cardinal Woelki has some ideas about how the machine can be unstuck. We hope to be able to re-start the merry-go-round very soon. Please don’t go away. We value your custom”
Still, there are a lot of people out there who fight the good fight in silence, and pay the price without any
Pope Bishop of Rome praising them. People enduring privations, solitude, mockery, or financial insecurity. People who have lost their job because they did not want to be the nurse of an abortion, or the doctor who goes to sleep knowing today he has killed a baby; people spat on the face, or provoked in the street, for not wanting babies to be murdered in the womb. Strangely enough, they are called “obsessed”. They aren’t helping at all, you see. This is soooo the wrong message.
There are still a lot of these people around. They just aren’t cool. They are no examples. The atheist who has his conscience – and therefore himself – as his god, not the believer who has his faith in God, is, nowadays, the cool kid.
How can a God-fearing man be cool? He is so narrow-minded! His “excessive doctrinal security” certainly does not make him worthy of being made an example. He is so stuffy. Unfashionable. Pre-Council. Ugh!…
Doctrinal security is, we are told in so many words, a bit like chocolate. Not bad in moderate doses. Even good, actually. But too much of it? Heavens, it upsets those who have been appointed as the cool kids! It can’t be allowed, can it now. One wants to be liked by the cool kids. One wants their approval. One will do everything one can to show them whilst one must – alas – keep some divergence of opinion, one will do as much as one can to minimise it, make it almost disappear if he can, and make it appear just another version of their same coolness if he cannot. One will, therefore, become very popular. A just reward, because one is so very humble.
Thus, the unsung heroes will remain unsung, whilst those who should praise them most try to be popular with those they have appointed as the “cool kids”.
If those who should praise them were smart, they would recognise those whom they think cool are the real morons, and those whom they think “narrow-minded”, “obsessed” and plagued with “excessive doctrinal security” are the real cool kids. But they aren’t, so they don’t.
The unsung heroes continue their battle every day, belittled by those who should encourage them most. But they aren’t discouraged.
The Blessed Virgin sees them all; the smarts and the idiots, the brave and the cowards, the faithful and the rebels.
She sees the wife with the bad husband, the mother with the perverted son, the husband with the sluttish wife, the young woman crying in her bedroom; she sees the young boy walking alone in the schoolyard, the pro-life activist provoked in the street, and the nurse or the doctor who have chosen to endure the loss of their job.
She knows who the cool kids are.
I know I am not the only one who thinks this, but I thought I would say two words about it anyway.
The Bishop of Rome said on the aeroplane bringing him home from Brazil that he really didn't like giving interviews. Many, like me, thought: “of course he doesn't: his theological approximation is such that he would be exposed as a dangerous amateur in no time, and the comparison with Benedict would be painfully cruel”.
Strangely enough, since then our man has abandoned himself to extemporaneous public messages with a passion that I can only call voluptuous. What has happened to persuade Francis to change his mind?
What might have happened is that more and more voices within the Vatican have started to warn Francis of the dangers of his reckless behaviour. The man might therefore – in this scenario – have realised he would never get his revolutionary (read: heretical) message out there within the frame of the normal Vatican communication channels.
Imagine such an amateur as he trying to write an encyclical letter: it would be so full of bovine excrements that even the Neo-Modernist Vatican nomenklatura would be up in arms in no time, explaining to him in countless rigorously written notes why what he wants to write is utter and complete nonsense. At this point he might choose to just ignore them, but this would be theological suicide as the documents would be certainly leaked, procuring him a reputation for incompetence, officially sculpted in marble, that would defy the millennia.
He chooses, then, to do exactly the contrary of what he had planned: spread the bovine excrements through the mainstream media, as informal and spontaneous expressions of his humble heart; without anyone of the Vatican allowed to know beforehand what he is going to say; without, in fact, not even anyone present during his interview with Scalfari. Free as a bird, and alone with a buddy atheist. The revolutionary possibilities are limitless.
This way he goes around the Vatican apparatus, avoids being ridiculed in Vatican papers, becomes the idol of the X-factor catholics (small c), but avoids the direct ground of serious theological confrontation. He was merely talking off-the-cuff, you see. He is a merry guy, not so interested in theological precision. Exactness is overrated, and common sense vaguely Pelagian. The entire planet is taking him very seriously; but you, you should not give too much importance to the interviews.
Whilst, therefore, the entire planet will rejoice in Francis' heresy, the desperate defenders of neocon rose water Catholicism will say that he has “not changed Church teaching” (which in essentials he can't anyway and therefore isn't of any use, or any news), blessedly glossing over the fact that whilst officially not changing the teaching, Francis unofficially completely changes its perception all over the planet. But you, you wait patiently for the next encyclical; you will see there is nothing to fear, really…
If this is true, we will see this Papacy choose a rather cautious (when needs must) approach in official documents, giving Francis the bird food he needs for his Catholic pigeons; at the same time, he will continue his work of demolition through the mass media. The Clericalist Troops will be satisfied: hey, the encyclical on the wetness of water was so good, so where's your beef?
I might be wrong of course, and I have already clearly underestimated the immense potential of confusion and destruction of this man. But it is a fact that he did not want to give interviews and now he seems unable to live without – or without the letter-writing in answer to newspaper articles, which amounts to the same -, so one wonders what might have happened that made him change his mind.
We are being punished.
It is a well-known fact that Hitler never signed any document directly related to the Holocaust. Being evil, but smart, he knew that by doing so the future generations would have no shortage of stupid supporters ready to believe he had never anything to do with it, just because it is convenient to them to think so. They will – and they actually did; and still do – fabricate in their mind the legend of the evil people staging the Holocaust behind the back of the good-natured, unknowing Führer who was, in fact, always so nice with everyone, and loved his dog so much.
The wolves, you see. It's always the wolves. When some people put into their heads that someone they like cannot have taken certain decisions they don't, they will go to extraordinary lengths to try to let reality match their delusion.
An even worse degree of delusion is happening with the current Pontiff. There is no doubt he has approved the content of the Repubblica interview. The newspaper stated it, and Father Rosica also confirmed it on the Vatican's side.
This gives everyone a degree of certainty about who is responsible for the interview that vastly, vastly exceeds the certainty every reasonable, thinking person must have that Hitler was the driving force behind the Holocaust.
Still, the last desperate defence is the complete, total, utterly drunken denial of reality. Francis has approved, but has he read the interview before he did? Basically, in order not to admit the man is a walking heresy some people are ready to concede he might be so irresponsibly stupid as to approve the text of an interview that will be read worldwide, and of which he knows no recordings or notes exist, without even reading it. God knows I am not a great admirer of the intellectual faculties of Jorge Bergoglio, but this defies every notion of common sense.
Not only this: this delirious train of thoughts must assume that Francis has not read the interview even after it was published; and not even after it was clear all the Catholic world was in shock following the publication.
Therefore, the thinking goes as follows: “We know Francis has approved the interview, but we do not know whether he has read it. We also know the interview was published and read worldwide, but we are not sure he got the newspaper. The newspaper might well have reached his desk, but we do not know whether he has opened it. Yes, he might have opened the newspaper, but we do not know whether he read the actual words. Yes, it was suggested to him he should read what all the world was reading as attributed to him, but we are not sure he was listening“.
As I pen this we write the 9 October 2013.
Francis still hasn't retracted a word.
Make no mistake, those who think Francis “has not read” have no doubts about who is behind the Holocaust.
Thinking is suspended only when the problem is called Francis.
This intervention appeared on Chiesa, and is from Pietro De Marco, a professor of Theology in Florence.
It is noted the intervention appears in toto as appendix to A Magister article on L’Espresso’s “Chiesa”. It is also noted “L’Espresso” and “Repubblica” belong to the same editorial group.
Emphases mine, in bold. Comments in red and square brackets.
A “liquid” message
by Pietro De Marco
In conscience I must break with the courtly choir, composed of all-too-familiar secular and ecclesiastical names, which for months has accompanied the public statements of pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It is the choir of those who celebrate the “new” of the pope knowing that it is not such, and are silent about the true “innovations,” when they are embarrassing. For this reason, I am constrained to point out some of the reiterated approximations into which the spontaneous and captivating eloquence of Francis has fallen.
No one is exempt, in daily and private conversation among a few, from approximations and distortions, But there is no person [unless he be very arrogant, and appallingly superficial] who has responsibility in regard to many – who teaches, for example – who will not adopt another register in public and seek to avoid improvisation.
Now, instead, we have a pope who exclaims: “Who am I to judge?” as one can emphatically say at the table or even in preaching spiritual exercises. But before the press and the world a “who am I to judge?” spoken by a pope objectively jars with the entire history and profound nature of the Petrine function, moreover giving the distasteful sensation of an uncontrolled outburst. Because of his function as a vicar with respect to Christ, not as an individual, the pope judges. Since Pope Francis demonstrates, when he wishes, the awareness of his powers as pope, this is a matter – whatever he might want to say – of a true error of communication.
We then read in the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” the phrase: “Spiritual interference in personal life is not possible,” which seems to group together under the liberal-libertarian figure of “interference” both theological-moral judgment, and the public evaluation of the Church, when necessary, and even the care of a confessor or spiritual director in indicating, preventing, sanctioning intrinsically evil conduct. Pope Bergoglio Involuntarily [ very charitable…] adopts here a commonplace typical of postmodernity, according to which the individual decision is, as such, always good or at least always endowed with value, in being personal and free as one naïvely thinks it may be, and therefore incontestable.
This relativistic slippage, no longer rare in general pastoral practice [a common heretical slippage in V II times] , is covered up, not only in Bergoglio, by references to sincerity and to the repentance of the individual, almost as if sincerity and repentance canceled the nature of sin and prohibited the Church from calling it by its name. Moreover, it is doubtful that it is merciful to be silent about and respect that which each one does because he is free and sincere in doing it: we have always known that clarifying, not hiding, the nature of sinful conduct is an eminently merciful act, because it permits the sinner to discern about himself and his state, according to the law and the love of God. That even a pope [picture a facepalm here…] should seem to confuse the primacy of conscience with a sort of unjudgeability, or even as immunity from the judgment of the Church, is a risk for the authoritativeness of the pope and for the ordinary magisterium that cannot be underestimated.
In the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” the pope returns to the “who am I to judge?” and confirms: “If a homosexual person is of good will and is seeking God, I am no one to judge him. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has made us free.”
The reiterated use of that “who am I?” confirms on the one hand, in Francis, a popular acceptation of “to judge” as a synonym of “to condemn” – which produces confusion, because judgment is not necessarily condemnation, and often it is not – and on the other accentuates the idea that none of us and not even the pope is legitimated to express judgment [ ahem.. do I hear an “amen”?] . But this is false: each of us can be judge in every organization and even in the Church, if he acquires competence, and the pope is judge because of the mandate that is proper to him. [ Amen!]. Moreover, either no one is legitimated, ever, in judgment, because only God is, or it is not clear why only in the case of homosexuality the capacity for judgment should not be found [ true: the man “judges” all the time].
If moreover, as the pope says, “religion” – a cursory way of designating the history and institutions and treasures of grace founded in Christ of which the pope is the guarantor – “has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people,” but must not interfere in freedom, there is no longer room either for the law of God or for charity. Freedom as such becomes, truly, the absolute. And certainly if “religion” is reduced to an opinion group it cannot take on the stature of judge. Who has, moreover, need of charity if his freedom absolves him prior to any judgment?
The formula of the Church “in the service of the people” returns in the words of the pope even with regard to liturgical reform, which is taken to be “a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel on the basis of the concrete historical situation.” A staggering definition that reduces the sacred signs even below the little they had fallen to in the Protestant churches. What has been the use of a century and a half of liturgical “ressourcement?” [ another facepalm]:
It will be said that one must not overanalyze words that are spoken in a conversation between Jesuit confrères. But if this is the case, it would have been well that the conversation should have remained in the private memoirs of pope Bergoglio and Fr. Antonio Spadaro. To endure the fate of reading in “La Civiltà Cattolica” – a magnificent combatant at least since the 1950’s for the Catholic truth and for Rome [the entire contrary now] – that for the current successor of Peter doctrine, traditions, and liturgy have become the faculty and eventuality of giving an opinion and “offering a service,” is a humiliation that could have been spared the Church.
In “la Repubblica” of October 1 we read other debatable statements of pope Bergoglio. We learn that “proselytism is solemn foolishness, it makes no sense,” as a response to the theme of conversion proposed ironically by Eugenio Scalfari (“Do you want to convert me?”). [here Prof. De Marco is obviously wrong. has he not read all the contortionist blogs? tsk, tsk…] But seeking the conversion of the other is not “foolishness”; it can be done in a manner that is foolish, or sublime, as in many saints. I recall that the spouses Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, converts themselves, ardently desired and worked for the return to the faith of their great friends. Why avoid the theme of conversion by comparing it with “proselytism,” a word loaded with a negative connotation? [because he does not want to convert in the first place. That’s why].
We then read that, to the relativistic objection of Scalfari: “Is there a single vision of the good? And who establishes it?” the pope concedes that “each of us has his vision of the good” and “we must incite him to proceed toward what he thinks to be the good.”
But if everyone has “his vision of the good” that he must be able to realize, these visions cannot help but turn out to be the most diverse, in contrast and often in mortal conflict, as proven by current affairs and by history. Inciting one to proceed according to his personal vision of the good is in reality inciting the struggle of all against all, a strenuous battle, because it is waged for the good and not for the useful or something else contingent. [ do I hear an “how can Francis be such a child?”] This is why particular visions – including those guided by the most upright intentions – must be regulated by a sovereign, or in modern terms by the law, and ultimately by the law of Christ, which has no nuances of concession in individualistic terms. [ this man does have too much “doctrinal certainty”. Tsk, tsk again…]
Perhaps Pope Francis meant [ extreme effort at explaining heresy; we all went through that…] that man, according to the Catholic doctrine of the natural law, has the original capacity, a primary and fundamental impulse, given to all by God, of distinguishing that which is good in itself from that which is evil in itself. But here is inserted the mystery of sin and grace. Can one extol Agustine, as the pope does, and omit that in that which man “thinks to be the good” sin is always at work also? What has become of the dialectic between the city of God and the city of man and of the devil, “civitas” of love and of self? If the good were that which the individual “thinks to be the good,” and the convergence of these thoughts could save man, what need would there be for positive law in general, for the law of God in particular, and for the incarnation of the Son? [I rephrase for the benefit of the readers: “Is this rubbish Christianity at all? No, it isn’t!”]
The pope also maintains: “Vatican II, inspired by Pope John and by Paul VI, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to open to modern culture. The council fathers knew that opening to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with nonbelievers. After then very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and the ambition of wanting to do it.”
All of this sounds like an “a priori” that is hardly critical. How much destructive “ecumenism” and how much “dialogue” subservient to the ideologies of the Modern have we seen at work in past decades, to which only Rome, from Paul VI to Benedict XVI, have presented a barrier! [ note: Francis does not see anything negative in all that! and by the way: who is he to judge?] The Bergoglio who criticized the theologies of liberation and revolution cannot fail to know that dialogue with modern culture carried out after the Council was quite another thing than a courteous “ecumenism.”
Pope Francis shows himself to be the typical religious of the Society of Jesus in its recent phase, converted by the Council in the years of formation, especially by what I call the “external Council,” the Vatican II of militant expectations and interpretations, created by some episcopates, by their theologians, and by the most influential Catholic media outlets. One of those churchmen who, in their conciliatory and pliable tone, in their undisputed values, are also the most rigid “conciliars,” convinced after half a century that the Council is yet to be realized and that things should be done as if we were still in the 1970’s, in a hand-to-hand with the “pacellian” church, neoscholastic theology, under the influence of the secular or Marxist paradigm of modernity.
On the contrary: that which the “conciliar spirit” wanted and was able to activate has been said or tried over the decades and today it is a question in the first place of making a critical assessment of the results, sometimes disastrous. Even the tenacious proclamation in Pope Francis of the divine mercy corresponds to a pastoral attitude now widespread among the clergy, to the point of that laxity which the pope moreover censures. Not only that. The theme of sin has almost disappeared from catechesis, thereby liquidating the very need of mercy [ exceptions: gossipers and pelagian rosary-counters. Rather than promoting generally merciful behaviors, this is a matter today of reconstructing a moral theology less made up of words and again capable of guiding clergy and faithful in concrete cases. Also in moral theology the road to the true implementation of the Council has been reopened by the magisterial work of Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger.
Some maintain that Francis could be, as a postmodern pope, the man of the future of the Church, beyond traditionalism and modernism. But the postmodern that most thrives in him [this man is rotten to the core] – as liquidation of forms [he doesn’t know or care about what he says..], spontaneity of public appearance [… provided he is popular and in the headlines] , attention to the global village [because he wants to be a global phenomenon] – is superficial. With its pliability and aestheticism, the postmodern is hardly plausible in a bishop of Latin America, where until recently the intelligentsia was dominated by the Marxist Modern. Bergoglio’s solid core is and remains “conciliar.” On the road undertaken by this pope, if confirmed, I see first of all the crystallization of the dominant pastoral conciliarism in the clergy and in the active laity.
Of course, if Bergoglio is not postmodern, his worldwide reception is. The pope pleases right and left, practicing and nonbelievers, without discernment. His prevalent message is “liquid.” On this success, however, nothing can be built, there can only be remixed something already existing, and that not of the best.
There are worrying signals of this “liquid” appearance for anyone who may not be prone to the relativistic chatter of this late modernity:
a) the concession to set popular phrases like “everyone is free to do…” “who says that things must be this way…” “who am I to…” allowed to slip out in the conviction that they are dialogical and up-to-date. Presenting himself as a simple bishop to justify hardly formal behaviors, do not cover up and cannot cover up the different weight and different responsibility that instead belong to his words, any word, since the bishop of Rome and the pope are one and the same;
b) the lack of scrutiny on the part of persons of trust, but wise and cultured, and Italian, of the texts destined to be circulated, perhaps in the papal conviction that there is no need for this;
c) a certain authoritarian inclination (“I will do everything to…”) in singular contrast with the frequent pluralistic propositions, but typical of the democratic “revolutionaries,” with the risk of imprudent collisions with tradition and the “sensus fidelium”;
d) moreover, there remains incongruous in Pope Francis this constant taking of individual public communication initiatives and this wanting to be without filters (the symptomatic image of the papal apartment as a bottleneck), which reveal the unwillingness to feel himself a man of governance (something more difficult than being a reformer) in an eminent and “sui generis” institution like the Catholic Church.
His is, at times, the conduct of a modern and informal manager, one of those who concede a great deal to the press. But this clinging to persons and things on the outside – collaborators, friends, press, public opinion, even the apartment in Santa Marta is “outside” – as if the man Bergoglio were afraid he would not know what to do once he were left alone, as pope, in the apartment of the popes, is not positive. And the thing could not last. Even the media will get tired of supporting a pope who needs them too much.
Two last observations.
1. To those who invoke the Ignatian style of accompanying the sinner, or the far away, I reply that this concerns the relationship of the internal forum or the direction of conscience or private conversation. But if the pope expresses himself this way in public, his words enter the flow of the ordinary magisterium, they become catechesis. We all know that the conciliarist motto “from the cudgel to mercy” was aimed not so much at softening confessors as at weakening the authority of Rome.
2. The expressive model chosen by Bergoglio cannot be pushed to the limit of knocking down the ordinary magisterium and making it hardly or not at all obligatory. The powers of a pope do not extend to the very nature of his own “munus,” which transcends him and imposes limits on him. [ see my “letter to a Proddie friend”]. I do not approve of the traditionalist extremists, but there is no doubt that tradition is the norm and the power of the successor of Peter.
Florence, October 2, 2013
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.
I wasn’t there, of course, and can therefore not give witness of what exactly has caused the last madness of the Bishop of Rome: the interview with Scalfari.
I am, though, old enough to try to make a hypothesis – as charitable as I can – of what I think led to the present meltdown in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. If you think I am not entitled to make such hypotheses stop reading now, or hold your tongue. Otherwise, this is what I think might have happened.
– Francis obviously doesn’t trust many people. He feels that the Vatican apparatus is his enemy, bent on blocking every initiative of his. They don’t know anything of the favela, you know. They listen to Beethoven, dress exquisitely, and eat like princes. Among them, he feels like a revolutionary peasant in the middle of the bureaucrats of the King he has just deposed.
– He thinks he knows everything better, though. He has a certain idea (heretical, and stupid; but this post is not about that) of how the Church must become: a confused, explosive mixture of Peron, Chavez and Che Guevara; a mixture of which he has persuaded himself, a long time ago, that it is something not only good, but even Christian. He knows the Vatican “machine” is out there to (to use the delightful expression of “Yes, Minister”) “house train” him, and he therefore decides to “do his own thing” without looking left or right.
– His pride therefore leads him to isolation. He has nowhere to turn among the soft-spoken, but extremely alert personnel of the Vatican. He fears encirclement, isolation and, ultimately, castration. He decides not to enter the Papal Apartments, and to live as far away as he can from the Vatican bourgeoisie. A self-appointed spiritual son of the favela, he knows they are his class enemies.
– Coherently with his Jesuit-born “all you need is luv” religion, he starts surrounding himself with strange people. People like the homosexual Ricca, whom Francis keeps near him – very near him, actually – even after a huge scandal erupts. Francis does not care much of what other people think, so he does not think it fit to send Ricca in the wilderness – as a layman, if you ask me -. At least, he does not care as long as they do not dent his ceaseless quest for approval and popular adoration, which is proving more and more the most evident weakness of this, in the best case, mediocre man. He must think – I am charitable again – that he is doing what the Lord (or at least the very confused image he allowed himself to have of Him) would want him to do and, blinded by vanity, must see the popular approval as the evidence that he is on the right track. Vox populi, vox dei: the battle cry of demagogues and vainglorious leaders since time immemorial.
– Francis ends up, then, with a very close circle of trusted friends, none of them prudent or expert, none of them fit in Catholicism, many of them certainly sycophants. It’s the eternal bane of power, that wants the boss relentlessly subject to flattery of all sort. If he is a man of integrity, he will deal with it brilliantly. If he is Francis, he will soon believe he is the one who will be remembered in the centuries for his groundbreaking revolucion.
– I think I might know who some of these friends are. If they aren’t exactly those ones, then they are people like them. People with an agenda, or people who do not know, or people who do not care. They become the inner circle of this lonely wannabe revolutionary, and help him to fabricate his own personal tragedy. He doesn’t see the pit, because he isn’t enough intelligent or humble for that, and like all those who aren’t very intelligent he believes himself extremely smart. This is why he puts a bomb under his chair every two weeks, and still thinks he is doing just fine.
– One of these people might just be Monsignor Ricca. Francis wanted to keep him near him as the head of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, and he evidently trusts his advice. Don’t laugh. Francis is just the type to ask a scandalous faggot what he thinks of his theological views. Faggot priests he has seen and tolerated enough and for long enough, and, in his own words, “who is he to judge?”.
– Another one of these people might well be Rabbi Skorka, his dear buddy from Argentina who, besides being a Jew (no, they do not believe in the same God as we. They truly don’t!) is in favour of perverted “unions”. Skorka was in Rome around the time of the interview. He is possibly Francis’ closest friend, or at least one of his closest friends. Francis is so confused concerning matters of religion, that this very Skorka said in an interview Francis watches that he eats kosher. I kid you not. Google it!***
– If this is the morning, how can the day be any better than what we have just seen? Is it so unrealistic to think that Francis receives the draft of the interview, has it open on his desk, knows that it will be read the world over, and asks for advice people like Ricca and Skorka, and perhaps these very two? What will, then, a faggot and a Jew say to him when they see him (unwittingly, perhaps; again, he is not a genius) demolishing the Catholic faith? Will they say to him “are you sure this is how you want to be seen?” Will they say to him “I am not sure this is very Catholic?” Or are they going to say to him “this is so beautiful, Jorge! The world will applaud you! This is the dawn of a new era of peace, dialogue, understanding among the people, luuuv, and you are the prophet who ushers this new Christian (!) vision!” ?
– Again: Francis might not have asked exactly Skorka and Ricca (though again, he might well have asked just those two: they were near enough, and are trusted enough). But if he has cut himself out of sound advice – as he must if he wants to pursue his revolutionary plan; and as abundantly showed by his decision to avoid the Papal Apartments – he must have around him an awful lot of sycophants, perverts and unbelievers; people seeking personal promotion and advantage, or perhaps even believing in their very badly formed conscience that they are doing the right thing, and working for “world peace”. You read Skorka’s words, and you realise besides a thin varnish of Christ put here and there by Francis there isn’t much difference between the two: peace, dialogue, understanding, love; more peace, more love, more dialogue. Individual conscience, no matter how badly formed, is the metre of everything. Are you a Jew? Eat kosher!
If this is true, it become not only clear, but unavoidable how the meltdown could happen: when a confused Peronist who would be astonished at reading the Penny Catechism decides he can do without the “leprosy” of the Vatican apparatus, the result can only be the decision to publish the Scalfari interview as we have all read it, and allow it to go around worldwide without a word of correction.
Word, by the way, for which I am still waiting: then up to now an awful lot of people has started saying the interview does not reflect the Pope’s thinking; only, not the Pope.
I know, I know. Some of you think this is a far too gentle reading of the events, and I understand these readers though I do not agree with them. I do not think he is willfully evil. I think he is very confused, very ignorant (and I mean brutally ignorant, as in “no knowledge of the very basics”: commandments, sins crying for vengeance, works of mercy, stuff like that…) and naturally arrogant, and the mixture of the three leads him to believe he is being a good Catholic.
A thin excuse I know, and the Pope is the last one who can be excused for not having a properly formed conscience. Still, I would say it’s still better than the malicious intent. At least one can hope he lives and learns.
Pray for our confused, ignorant and arrogant Pope. It’s the confused, ignorant and arrogant Popes who need our prayers the most.
*** Then people are surprised he considers proselytism nonsense…
The latest contortionism of the Clericalist Troops seems to be to imply – or to say openly; I have read that, too; and no, I will not post the link – that Eugenio Scalfari is not “there” anymore with his head, and the value of Francis' interview is therefore to be dismissed because hey, it was an interview with a very old man, and there was no recorder!
As so often, the Clericalist Troops are bending over forward to adapt their drams to the crude reality on the ground. Let us see why.
– The Bishop of Rome lives in Italy. He is obviously well aware that Scalfari enjoys the reputation of a very intelligent man even among those who, like me, consider him a dangerous bastard. Francis has answered to a letter of this man, and gave him a historic interview. If Scalfari is gaga, what does this say of Francis?
– If there were no recorders and no note taking, this can only have been because of an express wish of the Bishop. This makes sense. Even the man himself realises one hour or more of uncoordinated, confused waffle would amuse the planet exceedingly. Therefore, he chooses the “informal chat with no hard evidence” way, where he can waffle at pleasure and Dr Scalfari will then have the ungrateful task of putting all the eh-ing and ah-ing and no-ing into something intelligible. I doubt Scalfari would do this for many people. I do not doubt he – and everyone else – would do it for the huge “scoop” of an interview with the (though he does not call himself this way) Pope. If anyone thought Scalfari forgot the recorder, he had better go back to reality now.
– If no recorders and no notes were used, then the interview can only be a reconstruction of the disordinate ramblings of Francis after the fact. But this does not make it less of an interview, at all. Think one second and you will realise that the absence of recorders or note-taking does not dent a bit the credibility of the interview, or the gravity of what Francis stated. On the contrary, it enhances it. With a recorded interview or notes taken on the spot you are, in a way, delivered to the ugly truth of the words you have spoken. With an informal chat, the interview's content is the draft you have just received, now lying on your desk and patiently awaiting for you to decide what to make of it. No time pressure at all. In fact, you have now all the time in the world to read; re-read; examine the theological implications; wonder what effect this or that phrase might have on the readership; have other people read the thing and tell you what their impression is; & Co, & Co. It would be then very easy – and truthful – to say to Dr Scalfari “Dear Eugenio, thank you for the draft text of the interview. I do not think some of the phrases in the draft reflect the content of our conversation; at least I did not mean it to be so. Kindly forgive any misunderstanding I may have caused. Please find enclosed a corrected version of your draft, better explaining what I should have been able to convey.” Easy peasy. At this point, the draft is the only content of the interview any journalist in good faith is authorised to consider as expressing the mind of the interviewee. Nothing of all this happened. Make no mistake: this bomb was made to explode by Francis himself.
– The use of quotation marks in the interview is certainly strange, and I do not know what the Italian code of conduct for journalists say in the matter. If in this case an extraordinary exception to the rule was made, it is obviously because of the extraordinary nature of the interview, and of the exceptional position of the interviewee. Still, there can be no doubt that Francis accepted in full the paternity of every word printed as his own direct quotation. Even if you do not believe that Francis approved the draft in full knowledge of its content – and if you do, it's not Scalfari who is gaga – you must accept the fact he had the interview with the quotations going around the world without objecting in the least. Very simply, Francis has nowhere to hide.
These considerations would be very obvious in any other circumstance, with every other interview to every other interviewee whatsoever. I am forced to write them because an alarming number of Catholics seem to believe elementary logic and common sense cease to find application wherever Francis states something outlandish, or worse.
Stop dreaming. Start thinking.