(Vatican) The interview by atheist Eugenio Scalfari with Pope Francis has been deleted from the official website of the Vatican. On the 1st of October 2013 by the newspaper La Repubblica published an interview which sparked some incomprehension and violent criticism among some Catholics to the Pope's statements, which are contrary to the Church's teachings or are at least ambiguous in their formulation. The crux of the criticism was, among other things, the statement of Pope Francis on the autonomous conscience ("Everyone has their own idea of good and evil"), and the rejection of conversions ("proselytism is a giant stupidity", "I do not want to convert").
The interview was shortly afterwards completely reprinted and accepted by the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, the Osservatore Romano. In addition and without comment, it was published on the website of the Holy See. Thus there was the impression that the interview is part of the ordinary magisterium of the Pope, which is now precluded in the deletion.
What remains are a half month's unnecessary confusion about the authority of this interview. What also remains is the self-inflicted confusion by the interview of the Pope - as is clear now - was as a private person. This leaves the question of whether a pope ever give an interview as a private individual and to make statements. His predecessors seem to have had good reasons not to do so. The Scalfari interview has confirmed it.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Una Fides
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
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