In the latest edition of La Repubblica, Pope Francis’ longtime atheist friend and interviewer, Eugenio Scalfari, claims that the Pope told him that once Jesus Christ became incarnate, he was a man, a “man of exceptional virtues” but “not at all a God.”
This is Scalfari’s sixth controversial interview with Pope Francis to-date. Scalfari directly quotes Pope Francis, as follows:
“Whoever has had, as I have happened several times, the luck of meeting him and speaking to him with the utmost cultural confidence, knows that Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate. Once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be a God and becomes a man until his death on the cross.”
Scalfari also claimed that Pope Francis told him that he was the “proof” that Jesus was “not a God at all”. Here is another excerpt from Scalfari’s article:
“Pope Francis said to me: ‘I am the proof that Jesus of Nazareth, once he became a man, though a man of exceptional virtues, was not a God at all.’”
An important thing to note with the recent Scalfari interview is that he implicitly claims that Pope Francis somehow believes in pantheism, or the belief that there are a multitude of “gods”. According to Scalfari, the Pope told him that “once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be a God.” Isn’t Jesus Christ the God – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the one True God?
Massive Global Media Coverage
On October 9, the whole world woke up to massive global news coverage of the controversial Scalfari interview. A quick Google search on the morning right after the interview was published shows that more than 42,000 articles have already been published about this recent Scalfari interview. Millions of people have already read the incredible claim that the sitting Vicar of Christ actually denies that Jesus is God.
The Holy See Press Office’s director, Matteo Bruni, issued the following official response to Scalfari’s report:
“As already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during conversations with him cannot be considered as a faithful account of what has actually been said, but rather represent a personal and free interpretation of what he has heard, as is quite evident from what has been written today about the divinity of Jesus Christ.”
The Interview Did Take Place
There are some important things to note with the Vatican denial. First, it implicitly admits that the interview did actually take place. This is already Scalfari’s six interview with the Pope. In each instance, the Vatican or the Pope has never denied that the interviews take place. In fact, some of the interviews were even published on the Vatican website, and they have been occasionally published by the Vatican publishing house (LEV) itself.
Could Scalfari have actually just made this all up?
The Vatican’s official statement of denial actually answers that question. That is simply not the case. The Vatican has officially admitted that the interview did take place.
Another point to note is that this is the sixth interview with Scalfari. The Vatican, in all instances, have admitted that the interviews did take place.
The Vatican, nor the Pope, Never Denied the Content
Another key point to note is that in the Vatican’s official note, they never explicitly denied the key contents of the interview. This is an unprecedented interview in human history: for the first time in history, we have a journalist claiming that a sitting Pope told him that “Jesus was not a God.”
Such a heretical and blasphemous claim needs to be clearly and unequivocally denied by the Vatican. Adding a simple statement like this would have been absolutely necessary given the mind-blowing ramifications of this claim: “The Catholic Church, and the Pope, affirms that Jesus is God made man, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity.”
Instead, the global media is free to proclaim to the whole world that “Pope Francis denies Jesus’ divinity”.
Why would Pope Francis continue speaking to Scalfari?
The key question is: Why would the Pope continue to speak with an atheist journalist who keeps attributing to him blasphemous and heretical positions?
If the Pope wanted to prevent the unfortunately situation of the world’s global media screaming headlines like “Pope denies divinity of Jesus Christ”, the solution is quote simple: stop being interviewed by Scalfari, ban him publicly from interviews with him, and publicly castigate him for “misquoting” him.
Instead, the interviews continue to happen, and seem to be perfectly timed to coincide with major events of the Church. For example, a day before Good Friday, Scalfari claimed that Pope Francis “abolished hell”. This particular interview was perfectly timed to coincide with the start of the Amazon Synod.
The Solution: An Official Papal Denial
The only solution to this massive controversy is quite simple: An official statement from Pope Francis. The Pope can make any of the following statements:
- The Pope can publicly claim that while he was indeed interviewed by Scalfari, he was dramatically misquoted. He can then proceed to affirm in his statement the timeless Truth and teaching of the Catholic Church that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man.
- If the interview did not really take place, then the Pope can also publicly state that the interview never really happened, and that Scalfari fabricated everything – including all the other five previous interviews which were also controversial.
Finally, the Pope can publicly say that while Scalfari is a good friend, he is from hereon officially banned from interviewing Pope Francis in an official capacity, and that he would not be granted any official Papal audience or interview from here on out.
Unless any of the above takes place, millions worldwide will be left in grave confusion, their Faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ shaken to the core.
by Paul Simeon
Editor’s Note: The interview, originally published in Italian on October 9, sits behind a paywall. Below is a screenshot of the side by side Italian-English Google Translation of the relevant portions of the interview.