A reader just alerted me to the fact that the October 2013 interview with Scalfari has once again been scrubbed from Pope Francis’s Vatican dossier.*
What a relief!
Now all the erstwhile defenders of its contents can revert back to agreeing that it’s rife with error and should have been retracted–until, that is, they are notified that it is, once again and after all, a ‘trustworthy’ portrait of the pope’s encounter with Scalfari, at which point the weathervane of orthodoxy will require them to defend every jot and tittle.
If it’s this easy to play hopscotch with the online version, perhaps it wouldn’t be too much to ask of the Holy Father–or Fr. Lombardi, as his orphic “spokesman”–to release an official retraction in L’Osservatore Romano, the published pages of which still contain the original interview in full.
Then again, it might be more “pastoral” for Pope Francis to clarify this fascinating bibliographical odyssey in his next interview with Scalfari.
Or perhaps this escapade is this Holy Father’s way (fresh on the heels of the World Cup) of teaching us the art of “holy cunning”, of cultivating wisdom to read the signs of the times, of helping us do away with a hankering for absolute truth in favor of developing dynamic discernment–in a word, of making the most delicious stone soup the Church has ever known.
The moral of the story, I guess, is that, because the reaction was too negative (again), it was decided (again) that it’s best to continue as if nothing ever happened. You know how fickle some focus groups can be. Nothing says “Catholicism” like breakneck media tweaking and busybody broadcasting.
* Here’s an archived version of it in English, if you’re curious.