— Michael Rogers, SJ (@mrogerssj) February 17, 2014
As a Church historian, the German cardinal refutes the notion according to which clerical celibacy was an invention of the 10th century. No, he objects: its origin is with Jesus and the apostles. And he explains why
… Fr. Lombardi cast doubt on the notion that the pope had proclaimed, with regard to the celibacy of the clergy, “I will find the solutions.”
But he made no objection to the other highly reckless words put into the pope’s mouth, according to which “celibacy was established in the 10th century, 900 years after the death of our Lord.”
A Church historian no less authoritative than German cardinal Walter Brandmüller, for more than twenty years the president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, in fact felt himself duty-bound to demonstrate the lack of foundation for this idea. …
Scalfari’s previous interview with Francis, which appeared in “La Repubblica” of October 1, 2013, also raised doubts about its reliability. So much so that the following November 15 it was taken down from the official website of the Vatican, where it had been placed among the pope’s discourses and afterward inexplicably reappeared, translated into five languages, only to disappear once again a few days ago.
Scalfari himself admitted that he had accompanied the preliminary draft of that first conversation that he sent to the pope – which did not raise any objections and was published without revision – with a note in which he wrote:
“Keep in mind that some of the things you said to me are not written down here. And that some of the things I attribute to you, you did not say. But I have put them there so that the reader may understand who you are.”
Months later, a second conversation between Scalfari and Francis did not undergo any journalistic “translation,” at the prudential request of the Vatican.
But after the third conversation, which took place last July 10, this time as well without a recording, the pope again gave Scalfari the go-ahead to include his changes, with the results that can be seen.
Please follow the link to the Chiesa website if you wish to read Brandmüller’s letter to Scalfari.