Good news, team: the original Scalfari interview, a watershed of papal scandal, is now back online at the Vatican website!*
Months ago I had taken its removal as a victory of Catholic prudence and papal dignity, but that reaction, obviously, was too triumphalistic and neo-Pelagian of me.
Now I know better (again for the first time): we are not supposed to know what Pope Francis has actually said, we are simply supposed to embrace the latest talking points like good Catholics. After all, “Francis knows exactly how power is spelled,” so even if we lowly laymen are too naive to follow along right now, there is hope that we will, in time, become as cunning as doves [sicsic].**
In perfect conformity with the logic of doublethink, this textual
barrel roll volte-face Aufhebung development comes fresh on the heels of Eugenio “the expert journalist” Scalfari being thrown under the bus for a third time by Fr. Lombardi. As the Catholic Herald recently reported:
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, promptly released a statement confirming that the article “captures the spirit of the conversation” between Pope Francis and journalist Eugenio Scalfari, but cautioning that the “individual expressions that were used and the manner in which they have been reported cannot be attributed to the pope”.
Suggesting that the “naïve reader is being manipulated” by certain portions of the article, Fr Lombardi expressed particular skepticism about two statements attributed to Pope Francis: a claim that some cardinals have been guilty of sexually abusing children, and a vow to “find solutions” to the “problem” of priestly celibacy.***
Unfortunately for Fr. Lombardi, adept though he is at tending to the boiling cauldron that is the Golmar Papacy, his skepticism holds very little water. He will be notified of what he is to believe when the time is right, and he shall inform us of the same as needed. According to one prong of the antinomy, Lombardi is the official papal spokesman, and he has publicly denigrated the journalistic integrity of Scalfari. To wit, in the wake of the first encounter with Scalfari, Lombardi had this to say:
“The information in the interview is reliable on a general level but not on the level of each individual point analysed. This is why it was decided the text should not be available for consultation on the Holy See website…. Its removal is a final update on the nature of this text. Some mistakes were made regarding its value, which was questioned. The Secretariat of State took the decision.”
Yet, on the other doublethinking prong, the man for whom Lombardi allegedly speaks has deigned to hold three private interviews with Scalfari, and the original encounter between them is now officially a part of Pope Francis’s public magisterium. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, have been made to the (first) interview-that-wasn’t.
I would tell you to Stay Tuned, but why bother? This whack-a-mole papacy is barely worth keeping up with.
Just ask Fr. Lombardi.
* Archived, lest the Magisterial Memory Hole grow hungry once more.
** HT to ABS for the RC link.
*** HT to Steve Skojec for emphasizing this quotation.