Behold the Church of Doublethink…

ingsoc nothing to hideGood 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.

sarlacc pit han solo

* 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.

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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12 Responses to Behold the Church of Doublethink…

  1. Murray (mgl) says:

    “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.”

    Well, so much for the Secretariat of State. I guess they were mistaken about those “mistakes regarding its value.” Nobody’s perfect.

    But this leaves the “normalists” (as the Remnant calls them) in a very tricky situation, since apparently we’re reading Francis through Scalfari these days. The removal of the first interview was widely taken as definitive proof that Scalfari had been discredited. Never mind that he’d submitted the text to the Holy Father for review prior to publication, and that neither one jot nor one tittle of the interview was ever retracted or clarified. What do they say now?

    I did the rounds of Patheos and the Register yesterday, even violating my own vow to never give pageviews to aehS kraM. It was … pretty quiet over there. Perhaps they were busy working on the official normalist hermeneutic?

  2. Nothing to hide! Nothing to fear! Paging Chip Diller!

  3. Murray (mgl) says:

    Just checked Patheos again. Father Longenecker is valiantly trying to shore up spirits with Ten Things to Remember if Pope Francis Upsets You Among them the familiar evasions: Doctrine won’t change! Miscommunications! Media beatups! He’s from Argentina! He hasn’t taught heresy yet! But also the genuinely useful: Be at peace. Put your faith in Christ, not the Pope. Tend your own spiritual garden.

    But otherwise, it’s pretty quiet over there. I expect the eventual response will rely heavily on Fr. Lombardi’s contortions, and will assiduously avoid the connecting of inconvenient dots.

  4. Good thing the world is so at peace these days, otherwise we may have needed a clear leader.

    Whew! A problem denied is a problem solved!

  5. He knows exactly what he is doing.

    Remember when The still Impeached POTUS told everybody he dad not have sex with that woman? Wasn’t there a book that resulted from that episode – No one left to lie to?

    Patheos may soon be required to post a – No one left to defend him – column.

    Even Mr. Akin must be aching to say to hell with it…

  6. Hey, B.C, Have you heard about the new German translator that Rorate Caeli is using?

    From what ABS knows of him, he seems quite radical – in the original sense of the word.

    Kudos, brother.

    Isn’t it interesting how a synaxis of traditionalists is forming itself on the web; the process sort of reminds me of Joseph Sobran’s idea about The Hive but whereas that synaxis was about ideology, ABS considers this synaxis to be led by the Holy Ghost and it is all about Catholic Tradition.

  7. For those who have never head of “The Hive”

  8. joe says:

    If this continues, the only ones left will be sheeple so desperate to be told what to think they will swallow anything (“Please explain this, Father! I know it sounds contradictory but it is our Papi…”), and liberals who simply want a Church of Nice to give religious sanction to their Democratic Party platform. You can’t follow the different lines of thought logically and not realize there has been a significant reversal of teaching on The Last Things, on Moral Theology, etc. The difference is the Anglicans admit it up front, whereas we insist doctrine doesn change even was we explain away. They are disappointing whereas we are disingenuous.

  9. He is also very explicit in marking the points on which he is distancing himself from his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II and John Paul I, and Paul VI and and John 23rd and Pius XII and thus and such until one reaches Peter.

    He is making the revolutionary Paul VI appear to have an atavistic rigorist.

    Wait, what?

    O, that’s right. Paul VI is soon to be Canonised.

  10. Marietta says:

    Theologia Bergogliana is all too easy to understand: To him, the concept of orthodoxy is a moveable reference point that must be overcome, or at least reduced, because it “stifles freedom of thought and used as a weapon to police and punish.”

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