The column published yesterday by Eugenio Scalfari led to a brief reaction from the Vatican Press Office. Scalfari revealed in the daily La Repubblica that Francis entrusted him, in a personal conversation, with the conviction that Jesus Christ was "not God at all". But how did the Holy See react to this nuclear bomb of atomic bombs?
Strictly taciturn. So far, only the new Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has reacted. He said:
"As has been said on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari ascribed to the Holy Father in conversations with him, are not as a faithful representation of what has actually been said, but above all are a personal and free interpretation of what he has heard, as it quite obviously seems, what is written today concerning the deity of Jesus Christ."
Will the Vatican spokesman say that Scalfari is senile or even malicious? Or did he just want to say that the doyen of Italian left-journalism no longer hears well, and put together something in good faith that Francis has neither said nor meant?
And that was it?
Various media today claim that "Pope Francis" or "the Vatican" has denied Scalfari.
Why does Francis talk to a journalist, not to any journalist, but to Eugenio Scalfari, who he knows will then make the conversation public and, by reason of his position, will be well received? Not once, but repeatedly.
Given the long list of scandalous statements attributed to Francis by Scalfari since 2013, papal behavior is not explained by what has been said on other occasions. All the "corrections" made by the Vatican press office, which had previously been made to Scalfari, were everything, just no real denials. Why?
As any observer can convince, the Vatican press office knows very well to express a clear distancing. Exactly that has never happened to Scalfari.
As in the past his two predecessors Federico Lombardi SJ and Greg Burke also Bruni denied the said. Rather, it is each more or less confirmed, so even yesterday. Scalfari just simply interpreted the pope's words a bit "freely".
As usual, Francis is silent
Pope Francis is silent. He was silent on every Scalfari scandal produced in his name. Scalfari is very public with his media and its international reputation. Francis knows that too. Still, he talks to Scalfari again. Why? Especially since, according to Scalfari, he is "not converting" anyway.
The fact is that Scalfari, as spokesman for Pope Francis, is accustoming the public, above all the Catholic community, to the incomprehensible and unthinkable with a constant increase. This creates a stagnation that could accelerate the process of erosion in the Church in unexpected ways. And everything happens as usual:
As usual, Scalfari publishes a scandal "in the name of the Pope".
As usual, the Vatican signals without really denying that this is not to be taken literally.
As usual, Francis continues to contact Scalfari.
As usual, the "not so literal" Pope's opinion circulates in public and draws its circles.
As usual, the Scalfari Teaching Office follows a precise worldview that today is that of the mainstream and, for a long time, that of Freemasonry.
As usual, in today's edition of La Repubblica, we do not say a word about a Vatican denial. Why?
Not true, but probably
It is not only clear that the Pope should choose his interlocutor better. The matter is much more serious.
It is clear that the weak reaction of Vatican spokesman Bruni is not an adequate answer to the incomprehensible scandal, Pope Francis denied the deity of Jesus Christ.
After all, his Jesuit General, Arturo Sosa Abascal, has already doubted the genuineness of the Gospel and the words of the Lord handed down in it, for after all, there are no electronic recordings of it.
"Unbelievable, but true," wrote Vatican writer Sandro Magister at the time.
The bottom line is not just another unpleasant aftertaste (how much does the Church tolerate?), But far more worrying, because the statement may not be true, but likely.