Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Pachamama Rag (with apologies to Tom Lehrer)

Dedicated to Tom Lehrer, a very funny man, who made fun of us* but also made fun of everybody. Pray that he will somehow find salvation in Jesus Christ.    

The Pachamama Rag

(to the tune of The Vatican Rag)

First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with your native beads,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

Do whatever prayers you want if
You have cleared them with the pontiff,
Everybody say his own
Native New Age occult poem
Doin' the Pachamama rag.

Hold hands in that hippy throng
Sing some 60's Marxist song,
There the gal who's got religion'll
Tell you that it's aboriginal.
If it is, I think you'll you know that
It's an idol on the throw mat 
Mother Earth or Pachamama 
Time to sacrifice a Llama!

So get down upon your knees,
Fiddle with your native beads,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

Carve some pagan grooves around a stick
When in Rome do like a heretic,
Hey wooden mama
Gee I'm glad they dunked ya,
It's more than just moronic,
It's really quite demonic.
Doin' the Pachamama rag!

*If you pay attention to Lehrer's introduction to his original Vatican Rag, you may find that much of it is spot on (ignore the silly quip about Friday abstinence). For this Catholic, he seems to be making fun of Vatican II as much as the Faith itself, though of course he may not have quite looked at it that way.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Who is Right, Athanasius Schneider or Robert Bellarmine?

For the last few years, debate has swirled among traditionalist Catholics as to whether Francis may be a heretic. Implicit in the discussion has been the assumption that if he were a heretic, then he would forfeit his papal office and/or make himself liable for judgment or official deposition by the rest of the Church.

The debate often seemed to turn on the differences between material heresy, formal heresy, manifest, notorious or public heresy and so on, and the possible juridical component of some of those definitions - who had the ability or right to pronounce or judge it, if such an official judgment was necessary.

Curiously, among the traditionalist circles and sources that I participate in and follow, the debate seems to have recently somewhat quieted. Unfortunately, this has occurred because the general answer, however we might niggle over the precise definitions, seems to be now fairly widely agreed on, in private if not widely in public - Francis is probably a heretic.

Interestingly, it was Bishop Athanasius Schneider who implicitly confirmed that the debate may now be over. In his recent On the Question of a Heretical Pope, published in March, Schneider didn't name Francis as a heretic. But that was the elephant in the room. The purpose of his piece was to ask (and answer) the next question: Assuming he is a heretic, what do we do? Or, rather, Schneider's essay was largely addressed to what the bishops should do.

His answer was that they can and should do nothing.

To be fair, Schneider didn't mean literally nothing - there are all sorts of things that he argued might be done, ranging from prayer to publicly calling out or correcting any further heretical papal claims or actions - but on the question of whether, say, an imperfect council should be called to depose the pope (or declare that he has deposed himself), his answer was forcefully in the negative. Schneider wanted to definitively settle the issue. The question of papal heresy would now be in one sense moot. Even a heretical pope remains pope.

There are two parts to Schneider's argument, the first we might call the practical positive argument. It can be summarized simply: Deposing an heretical pope just wouldn't work and/or it would do more harm than good: 
The theory or theological opinion allowing the deposition of a heretical pope or the loss of his office ipso facto because of heresy is in practice unworkable.
A few paragraphs later he continues:
A formal schism, with two or more pretenders to the Papal throne – which will be an inevitable consequence of even a canonically enacted deposition of a pope – will necessarily cause more damage to the Church as a whole than a relatively short and very rare period in which a pope spreads doctrinal errors or heresies.
And later:
The deposition of a heretical pope will ultimately foster the heresy of conciliarism, sedevacantism, and a mental attitude similar to that which is characteristic in a purely human or political community.
It is not my purpose here to pronounce on the soundness of this part of the argument. Certainly, it is thoughtful and well-presented and deserves a high level of consideration. Schneider, an auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan is not only one of the most implacable defenders of Catholic tradition alive today but appears to have an extensive knowledge of theology and history. Anyone would be a fool to dismiss his well-considered opinions out of hand.

But there is a second part of his argument, and this is what I wish to focus on here. Schneider is well aware that the view that a heretical pope should not or cannot be deposed is not the historically accepted view among Catholic theologians.

In his I am With You Always: The Divine Constitution and Indefectibility of the Catholic Church, the late Catholic historian Michael Davies sums up what is the accepted view:
The problem which would face the Church if a legitimately reigning pope became an heretic has been discussed in numerous standard works of reference. The solution is provided in the 1913 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia: "The Pope himself, if notoriously guilty of heresy, would cease to be pope because he would cease to be a member of the Church." Many theologians have discussed the possibility of a pope falling into heresy, and the consensus of their opinion concurs with that of The Catholic Encyclopedia. The Pope must evidently be a Catholic, and if he ceased to be a Catholic he could hardly remain the Vicar of Christ, the head of the Mystical Body. St. Robert Bellarmine taught: "The manifestly heretical pope ceases per se to be pope and head as he ceases per se to be a Christian and member of the Church, and therefore he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers" [part of I am With You Always is excerpted here].
Bellarmine would go on to cite St. Cyprian (AD 200-256):
This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: "He would not be able to retain the episcopate, and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church." 
According to what St. Cyprian affirms in this passage, even had Novatian been the true and legitimate Pope, he would have automatically fallen from the pontificate, if he separated himself from the Church [from De Romano Pontifice Book II, Chapter 30, excerpted here].
Thus, an educated reader might ask, how could Schneider be right and all the rest of Catholic tradition be wrong?

Schneider knew that he had to give sort of an answer. He did so by claiming that in fact the purported tradition isn't the tradition. Or if it is, it's only a relatively recent tradition that has no magisterial or determinative theological authority. It is worth quoting Schneider at length, here: 
The theory or theological opinion that a heretical pope can be deposed or lose office was alien to the first millennium. It originated only in the High Middle Ages, in a time when pope-centrism arrived at a certain high point, when unconsciously the pope was identified with the Church as such. This was already in its root the mundane attitude of an absolutist prince according to the motto: “L’État, c’est moi!” or in ecclesiastical terms: “I am the Church!” 
The opinion, which says that a heretical pope ipso facto loses his office, became a common opinion starting with the High Middle Ages until the twentieth century. It remains a theological opinion and not a teaching of the Church and therefore it cannot claim the quality of a constant and perennial teaching of the Church as such, since no Ecumenical Council and no pope has supported such an opinion explicitly. The Church, however, condemned a heretical pope, but only posthumously and not during the term of his office. Even if some saint Doctors of the Church (e.g. St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Francis de Sales) held such an opinion, it does not prove its certainty or the fact of a general doctrinal consensus. Even Doctors of the Church have been known to err; such is the case with Saint Thomas Aquinas regarding the question of the Immaculate Conception... 
The theory – deposing a heretical pope or the loss of his office ipso facto because of heresy – is only a theological opinion, that does not fulfil the necessary theological categories of antiquity, universality, and consensus (semper, ubique, ab omnibus). There have been no pronouncements of the universal ordinary Magisterium or of the Papal Magisterium, that would support the theories of the deposition of a heretical pope or of the loss of his office ipso facto because of heresy.
Note that as far as I can tell, Schneider provides no sources for his central historical assertion.

So here are the positions:

The theory or theological opinion that a heretical pope can be deposed or lose office was alien to the first millennium.
This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers.
Just so as there is no confusion, the point is this: not only does Schneider differ with Bellarmine on the theological question itself (which Schneider fully admits), he also differs with him on the historical facts (which Schneider is silent on). There is, not to put it too finely, a yawning difference between the two claims, though one that could presumably adjudicated by looking at the historical evidence.

I suppose we might start with St. Cyprian.

This post, uncharacteristically for me, isn't intended to answer a question so much as to ask one. And the question is important. Schneider argues that the theological views of Bellarmine and many other Doctors of the Church concerning the deposition of a heretical pope are only opinions, opinions based on a relatively recent sort of theological trend or fad stemming at least partly from medieval and post-medieval political theories. Davies and others have written that these "opinions" are in fact historically universal among the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. As far as I can tell, this more accepted view is based at least partly on the writings of Bellarmine himself.  

Who is right, Bishop Schneider or Robert Bellarmine? 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Since 2010, the Sisters of Mercy Have Been Partnering with the "Pachamama Alliance"

The Catholic women's religious order, Sisters of Mercy

Note: I briefly published this on October 22, but then pulled it for revision. Obviously, it has been somewhat eclipsed by recent events. But here is the final version for the record: 

The now famous Pachamama (or Mother-Earth goddess) carvings, first featured in a recent ritual in the Vatican gardens and then displayed in a side chapel of Santa Maria in Traspontina for a few days before they were accompanied into the river Tiber by two anonymous Catholic activists, were not just, as it were, random pagan idols brought to Rome by a few feathered indigenous on a field trip. Rather, Pachamama and what she represents has been embraced by many on the North American and European Catholic left for years.

The Pachamama Alliance, founded in 1995 by American philanthropists and activists Bill and Lynn Twist and economics and business consultant John Perkins, is now a $5 million dollar a year non-profit, based in San Francisco.

Lynn Twist, Perkins and others associated with the Alliance have done numerous TED Talks.

It's stated Mission/Purpose is to "empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world."

While much of the organization's focus is on development and environmental economics and "social justice," it also appears to have a quasi-religious element. First on its list of Guiding Values and Principles is this:

The universe is friendly and the evolutionary Force that put the stars in motion is still moving through all of us and is a dynamic, self-organizing process whose grace and guidance we can trust.

Since 2010, the Pachamama Alliance has been involved in a partnership with the North American Catholic Sisters of Mercy through a program called "Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream." A 2011 article in National Catholic Reporter describes the program.
Earlier this spring, teachers from three Sisters of Mercy Catholic high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area were not numbing their feelings. Instead, they were quietly weeping and raging over video clips they had seen of environmental devastation. These teachers were participating in a six hour inter-active educational symposium, “Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream,” organized by the Burlingame, Calif. Sisters of Mercy. More than 100 teachers took part in three separate faculty retreat days. 
“Dreamer” is the creation of the Pachamama Alliance, a non-governmental organization in San Francisco. Its message holds that we who live in modern industrial society must be awakened from our destructive dream of runaway prosperty and consumerist fixation. Our trance-like belief system has produced a daily nightmare for every other creature and ecosystem on the Planet. 
Mercy Sr. Patricia Ryan views “Dreamer” as one of the best programs she has ever presented. “It puts everything together that we’ve been studying and supporting separately for years,” weaving together environmental sustainability and activism with social justice and spirituality. Tying together these three elements is what has riveted the attention of the entire Mercy community throughout the U.S. explained Sr. Ryan. 
Her community became involved in April of 2010 when the Mercy Institute’s Extended Justice Team participated in a “Dreamer” symposium. Its success prompted members to carry the program back to sisters within their own geographical areas and to begin training symposium facilitators. Sessions have since taken place in Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, and California.

The six-hour session packs in rich helpings of information, feedback and rituals. Participants experience guided meditations honoring their local indigenous ancestors. They view video clips of Fr. Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy, Wangarai Maathai, Julia Butterfly Hill and Maude Barlow. They listen to indigenous leaders. One of them warns, that “if you are coming to help us, you are wasting your time. If you are coming because you know your liberation is bound up with ours, then let us work together.”
What exactly is the nature of these guided meditations and rituals? It's not stated. One has difficulty imagining the San Francisco yuppies of the Alliance or the tee-shirted nuns of the Sisters dressing up in Native South American feathers. But who knows?

On the Sisters of Mercy website the philosophy or theology of the "Dreamer" program is explained in more detail:
We have lived in a mythic trance of a worldview that has become dysfunctional and destructive. As participants begin to free themselves from the constraints of the unconscious, unexamined assumptions they have internalized, new possibilities for the future open... [There is also a] profound interconnection presented by science and spirituality in the universe story, which is beginning to shape the consciousness on Earth. 
...Many teachers including Brian Swimme and Teilhard de Chardin think that we are the self reflective consciousness of Earth; that what is emerging through our awakened hearts and minds and mouths is the force of life itself, acting on behalf of all beings.
Brian Swimme is a popular science author and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

It's fair to say that while the Pachamama Alliance and the "Dreamer" program are theoretically focused on the "non-Western" people and cultures of the Amazon, complete with admonishments to not merely help but co-operate and listen, the actual philosophy expounded, with its references to Teilhard, etc. is decidedly modern American and European.

Some might call it New Age.

Swimme claims not to be anti-religion but pro-multiplicity of religions. Science and environmental ecology are pointing to a new sort of synthesis:
... if you take Buddhism and Christianity and so forth there's a kind of battle — a subtle sort of struggle taking place because they're not standing in a common ground but... take the Earth or ecology then suddenly they can begin to explore what they have to offer. So I do think absolutely that... there will be a flourishing of religions, not a withering away. And they will flourish to the degree that they will move into the context of planet and universe.
While for the Catholic Church these ideas in their most explicit form used to be confined to small pockets of radical women religious or leftist professors, with the ascendency of Francis this sort of mystical ecological theology, along with its alleged implications for economic and social policy seems to be in the ascendent, at least in the Vatican.

The Pachamama Alliance recognized this with a 2018 blog post on Pope Francis praising him for "Changing the Catholic Church, and the World." More than four years before the Amazonian Synod, they recognized that much of the direction of the Francis pontificate had been set by Laudato Si.
Pope Francis’ statements point toward radical change of the very institutions that form the basis of our modern culture. The Pope is asking for economic and financial change; political change; and profound social change. 
...Bill and Lynne Twist, and John Perkins, co-founders of the Pachamama Alliance, recently agreed that the Pope’s message is uniquely inspiring because it echoes the same call for a revolution that we are hearing at this time from the United Nations, the Dalai Lama, and social justice and activist groups from around the world. 
The Pope’s call for a revolution is unmistakeable.
What are we to make of all this?

Some of the staff of the Pachamama Alliance

From the Sisters of Mercy webpage: "Become a Sister"
An Alliance supporter on one of the group's "Journeys"

Do any of the players involved - leftist nuns, TED-Talk NGO staffers or even very many of the "indigenous" themselves (who recently got a free trip to Rome if they would agree to dance for the gringos) - actually worship or wish to worship Pachamama in any meaningful sense?

Who knows?

Perhaps they believe in the New Age claims of Bill Swimme, Tielhard or Laudato Si.

Do they even understand them? Does anyone?

Is it Marxism with an ugly goddess face?

Or merely ecotourism with a legitimizing dose of protest signs?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Video of Cardinal Ravasi Participating in a Pachamama Ritual in 2015

The following video, "Cardenal Gianfranco Ravasi participating in the cult of the Pacha Mama," was uploaded four years ago by the Argentinian Catholic group, QueNoTeLaCuenten, Javier Olivera Ravasi, director (no relation to the Cardinal, I assume).

It clearly shows Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, participating in a windswept and circular "Pacha Mama" ritual in San Marcos Sierras,
Córdoba, Argentina sometime previous to July 13, 2015.

Is this an "authentic" Pachamama ritual? Who knows? Lonely Planet describes the area, thus:
The hippie towns of San Marcos Sierras and Capilla del Monte give a glimpse into Argentina's alternative lifestyles.
One begins to wonder whether much of the current Pachamama craze is as much a re-invention by 21st century European or European-influenced hippies as it is an expression of true indigenous practice.

Indeed, one YouTube commenter wonders why, as he put it, the most "superstitious" elements of indigenous worship are so often highlighted by progressives:
It is curious that they talk about the cult of Pachamama and never speak for example of Tupá the god of the Guarani. Is it not that they do it because Tupá means God and the Guarani were monotheists, and instead they are more superstitious in believing that the earth is the creative goddess? Let me explain what I mean. Progressiveism gives more importance to this pre-Columbian belief because it is the most superstitious of all or almost all while the God of the Guarani was simply God.
The poor Guarani - their monotheistic religion isn't hip enough for septuagenarian Vatican prelates and Marxist professors.

See, it's not idol worship, it's just an alternative lifestyle.

And if you disagree, you're a racist.

H/t Hillary White  

Monday, October 21, 2019

Meet Kyle J Baker SJ, the Stalinist Hippy Trying to Get Catholics Banned from Twitter

Yes, Kyle J Baker is a Jesuit. Or, perhaps I should say, of course he is.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right. He also has been called a Dudeist (seriously).

Today, he reported a number of Catholics - people positively tweeting about the recent accompaniment of five Pagan idols from a Catholic sanctuary into the river Tiber - to Twitter for "racism" and "sick hate mongering."

Apparently, this is not the first instance Baker spent some of his free-time reporting people to Twitter. At least once his efforts have paid off:

Oddly, and even sadly, even though he has 847 followers, he rarely gets more than a few hits of activity on most of his tweets. Today's tweet only had one "like" for a while (though now it has ten), though it steadily garnered what must be a record number (for him) of "replies" - almost 200 by last count - virtually all of which were hostile and mocking about his "reporting". Many said they would report him right back.

Who is Kyle J Baker?

He's an excitable politics junkie who likes retweeting the usual suspects.


He is often very disturbed.

He believes things are very bad and wants them to change NOW.

He mourns glaciers and is a vegetarian.

Two days after the the Nativity of Mary, he lobbied for a Feast of the Nativity for a lesbian poet.

He doesn't seem to like that there are no non-binary gender options when purchasing airplane tickets (maybe he reported the company).

He doesn't like Catholic youth.

He does like Aryan youth.

And so on.

In other words, this Jesuit is just like that school chum who you run into occasionally but try not to talk politics with. Or he's just like 75% of Democrat voters on social media or whatever.

Bless their little liberal hearts.

Except there's more to it than just that.

The hippy Jesuit with the dorky smile is a Stalinist.

If he doesn't like what you have to say, he will try to ban you from saying it. He will try to ban you.

If he could, he'd put you in a concentration camp.

That's simply my own opinion, of course.

There's also this opinion:

But if anything is certain, it's that Kyle J Baker SJ is not really a Dudeist.

In fact he's the anti-Dudeist. 

"Racist! Hate monger! Xenophobe! I will REPORT you!!!"

Careful, man. There's a beverage here.

Vatican Spokesman on the Drowning of the Pachamama Idols: "These people don't believe in dialogue."

At this morning's Synod press conference in Rome, Paolo Ruffini, the Vatican's Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, said that the men who removed the "Pachamama" idols from a sanctuary at Santa Maria in Traspontina and then threw them in the river Tiber "didn't believe in dialogue."

He also said the act was an "insult" to indigenous peoples.

If you are just now waking up, here's the background:

A few hours ago, just before dawn, Rome time, at least two men, entered the Santa Maria in Traspontina, removed the four or five "Pachamama" idols from one of the sanctuaries, walked to the river Tiber nearby, and after a few prayers, knocked them into the water.

One of them recorded the act for video. At least two videos have been so far uploaded to YouTube by a "Michael Del Bufalo", an account seemingly set up for this purpose.

Under the second video they posted an explanation for their actions:

This was done for only one reason: 
Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, his blessed Mother, and everybody who follows Christ, are being attacked by members of our own Church. We do not accept this! We do not longer stay silent! We start to act NOW! 
Because we love humanity, we can not accept that people of a certain region should not get baptised and therefore are being denied entrance into heaven. 
It is our duty to follow the words of God like our holy Mother did. 
There is no second way of salvation.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!
Taylor Marshall quickly posted a longer explanatory video:

Yesterday, there was a minor storm on Twitter when it was discovered that all of Taylor Marshall's tweets had been deleted. "Where is Dr. Marshall?" people asked. Marshall and his friends weren't talking.

Someone quipped, "Pachamama got him."

Not quite.

The mainstream press is now reporting the story. From the Washington Post:
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ controversial meeting on the Amazon has taken a criminal twist after thieves stole indigenous fertility statues from a Vatican-area church and tossed them into the Tiber River. 
Video of the pre-dawn theft from the Santa Maria in Traspontina church was shared and celebrated on conservative social media Monday. The Vatican’s communications czar, Paolo Ruffini, termed it a “stunt” that violated the idea of dialogue.
It won't be long before they blame "Americans" and Donald Trump.

But even the Post is calling them "indigenous fertility statues."

The Synod did indeed take a criminal turn, but faithful Catholics know that this happened more than a week ago.

And the "dialogue" in the Church has been of the one-way Stalinist variety for seven years.

What next for the Synod? Only God knows.

But for now, in the words of Christina Niles,

Pachamama sleeps with the fishes,

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Francis: "Jesus was not a God at all."

Francis, surrounded by laughing cardinals, leftist nuns and Indians (La Repubblica editorial) 

UPDATE/CORRECTION: The original title of this post was "Francis: 'I am the proof that Jesus was not a God at all.'" Apparently, a more accurate translation of Scalfari quoting Francis is "These facts show that Jesus was not a God at all." This alludes to an earlier part of the conversation that Marco Tosatti did not include in his excerpt where it is discussed, among other things, that Jesus cried out, "why hast Thou forsaken me?" (H/t Hilary White.)

2ND UPDATE: According to a bilingual Italian source cited by Ann Barnhardt "Sono la prova provata” does indeed mean, "I am the demonstrable proof". One of the bizarre things about this story is that no one seems to have access to the full original text. Or to put it another way, La Repubblica would appear to have few actual subscribers these days. (But they do have a very effective paywall.) 

Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari has just related the contents of another purported conversation with Francis, this time in the form of an editorial on the Amazon Synod.

In it, it is claimed that Francis's true goal is to promote a sort of one world religion.

Even more shocking, Scalfari has Francis denying the divinity of Jesus.

This is the latest of numerous Scalfari articles throughout the last six years in which Scalfari has either quoted or paraphrased Francis purportedly saying various heterodox and heretical things.

Defenders of Francis have always claimed that Scalfari is an untrustworthy source who likes to put words in his pontiff's mouth to conform with his own atheism. But Francis keeps having these "conversations" and never himself denies the substance of what Scalfari has claimed.

In addition, a number of claims and themes that Francis later would explicitly emphasize publicly first made their appearance in a Scalfari piece, later looking for all the world like trial balloons or attempts to "soften up" his Catholic audience.

Such was the case with his famous "proselytism is solemn nonsense", which first appeared in a Scalfari piece from October, 2013 or his support for communion for the divorced and remarried.

Most of yesterday's editorial in La Repubblica is hidden behind an Italian paywall, but the first paragraph is public:
Francesco has been launching the idea of ​​the One God for years. It is an obviously revolutionary idea that involves examining a serious problem that affects everyone...
A few hours ago, Italian journalist Marco Tosatti excerpted a later part of the text:
Chi ha avuto, come a me è capitato più volte, la fortuna d’incontrarlo e di parlargli con la massima confidenza culturale, sa che papa Francesco concepisce il Cristo come Gesù di Nazareth, uomo, non Dio incarnato. Una volta incarnato, Gesù cessa di essere un Dio e diventa fino alla sua morte sulla croce un uomo. 
Quando mi è capitato di discutere queste frasi papa Francesco mi disse: «Sono la prova provata che Gesù di Nazareth una volta diventato uomo, sia pure un uomo di eccezionali virtù, non era affatto un Dio
Google translates this as:  
Anyone who has had, as I have happened several times, the good fortune to meet him and talk 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... 
When I happened to discuss these sentences, Pope Francis told 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".
Aside from the bizarre nature of someone who calls himself Pope denying an essential item of the Christian creeds, there is also the oddity of "I am the proof." Francis believes he is the proof that Jesus was merely a man? How is that? Perhaps he means that since he has repeatedly preached objective heresy as Pope, Jesus' promise to Peter to protect His Church would appear to have been broken or ineffectual. And such could only happen if Jesus was not God [though, see above].

Almost four years ago I analyzed down what I saw as Francis's "Scalfari strategy":
It's now clear that the Eugenio Scalfari interviews in the anticlerical La Repubblica are actually an important part of Bergoglio's controlled demolition of the Church. In the interviews all sorts of heresies are proclaimed, as befits a South American Jesuit who came of age in the late twentieth-century: Indifferentism (proselytism is solemn nonsense), relativism (what really matters is that we all journey towards our own conceptions of the good) annihilationism or universalism (there is no hell), Kasperism (doctrine should bend to practicality) and so on. 
Bergoglio knows the message that he believes these things, and thus that they are now quasi-official teachings of the Church, will get out, not because everyone reads Scalfari, but because his words will gradually filter down to the bishops, priests and Catholic masses through secondary articles, headlines and the like. And they will be, as it were, implemented, just as surely as if that kissing priest had written an encyclical for him. 
Is Bergoglio worried about opposition? Sure. But telegraphing his thoughts through Scalfari gives him a certain protection. There will always be someone--even the official Vatican spokesman--who will imply (though never actually say) that these are not really Bergoglio's thoughts. Don't trust that atheist journalist spinning his words, etc. etc. This of course is ridiculous, but it gives his potential opponents just enough cover to provide an excuse to mask their own cowardice in doing and saying nothing. And Bergoglio, being an arch-coward himself, knows that most men grapple with that vice. 
Doctrine is never officially challenged or denied, but it is undermined just as surely as if Bergoglio had solemnly declared what's what from the throne of St. Peter.
Of course we've travelled light-years since then. The Amazon Synod with its heretical preparatory document and sacrilegious opening worship ceremonies is now front and center for all to see. What's another silly Scalfari interview, whatever was supposedly said?

And of course, what was said (please, let's grow up and drop the supposedly), shouldn't be a shock.

Does anyone paying attention still really think that Bergoglio believes that Jesus was God? Even his allies and defenders don't believe that. After all, most of them don't believe it, themselves.