|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:Google translates this as:
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
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.