Rorate Caeli

De Mattei: But does the Pope believe in Jesus Christ the Man-God?

Roberto de Mattei 
Radio Roma
October 13, 2019

We cannot remain silent about this unbelievable episode, which many of you are certainly aware of. The following: 

Eugenio Scalfari, former director of La Repubblica published an article last Tuesday in which he writes: “Those who have had the fortune of meeting and conversing with him in utmost cultural confidence, the way I have several times, know that Pope Francis conceives the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth,  man, not God incarnate. Once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be God and becomes man until His death on the cross.” 

So a very well-known journalist asserts in one of the most widely-read Italian newspapers that Pope Francis does not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If this was true, Pope Francis would be a formal heretic, like the Arians, the Ebionites and the Socinians. 

Scalfari adds that when he happened to talk to him about it, Pope Francis had said: “I am the proven proof that Jesus of Nazareth, once He became man, even if a man of exceptional virtue, was not God at all.” This sentence repeats the heresy but adds this idea: that the proof that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God comes from the fact that the Pope, namely the Vicar of Christ, doesn’t believe in His Divinity.

Faced with the enormity of this, the Holy See should have reacted with indignation. We would have expected a communiqué that said: “Dr. Scalfari is a liar and a manipulator, as the Pope has never ever, not even remotely said or thought anything close to what he attributes to him.  The Pope is  the Vicar of Christ and Jesus Christ, Founder of the Catholic Church, is True God and True Man, with no possible deformations.” 

There was a retraction, but because of its ambiguity and weakness it has even aggravated the situation. 

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni says: “As already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Scalfari attributes  - in inverted commas - to the Holy Father during his conversations with him  - cannot be considered a faithful account of what was exactly said, but they represent, rather, a personal free interpretation of what he heard, as appears completely evident from what was written today regarding the Divinity of Jesus Christ.  

Firstly: if Scalfari, when speaking with the Pope distorts his words, why does the Pope continue  to talk to him and at any rate treat him with deference as a serious and trustworthy journalist? 

Secondly: it’s not enough to say that Scalfari’s words “cannot be considered a faithful account” of his conversation with the Pope. It has to be said that it was an absolutely false account, which overturns the Pope’s thought, deforms his words by making him say things contrary to what he thinks. 

Thirdly: what does it mean that  Scalfari’s words “represent, rather, a personal free interpretation of what he heard”? A personal and free interpretation? 

Neither Scalfari nor anyone else is free to interpret  the words of the Vicar of Christ how they want to, as if there were a plurality of possible interpretations. The Truth of Jesus Christ, True God and True Man does not admit any interpretations: it is one and only one. 

The retraction, in short, is not clear, it is not categorical, it is not solemn and lacks a proclamation of the opposing truth. And Scalfari may have exaggerated, but it is difficult to imagine  he invented everything. A dark shadow remains. Doubt remains that, in the secret of his heart, Pope Francis really thinks what Scalfari says he does.

We have reached the point of having to ask the Pope for a public profession of the Catholic Faith. May he do it clearly with no duplicity. 

We need to know with absolute certainty whether the Pope believes or  not that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. 

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana