Reconstruction or Construction?
Robert P. Imbelli November 23, 2013 - 7:30am
The now infamous "Interview" of Pope Francis with the self-avowed atheist, Eugenio Scalfari, was recently removed from the "Francis" page of the Vatican website where it had been placed under the rather curious designation, "Speeches."
Since its original publication in La Repubblica, the Italian daily which Scalfari founded, it has come to light that the session with the Pope had neither been recorded, nor had notes been taken at the time. The exchange was reconstructed by the eighty-nine year old Scalfari after the fact.
Now, in a true interview with foreign journalists working in Italy, things become curiouser and curiouser. Scalfari says that he told the Pope when he sent his version of the exchange for permission to publish it:
Keep in mind that I did not include some of the things that you said to me. And that some of the things that I attribute to you you did not say. But I put them there so that the reader may understand who you are.
Despite this friendly warning, he received the "ok" to publish his version. But Scalfari goes on to admit to the reporters he was addressing:
I am perfectly willing to think that some of the things that I wrote and attributed to him are not shared by the pope, but I also believe that he maintains that, said by a nonbeliever, they are important for him and for the activity he is carrying out.
Reported in Chiesa.
About the Author
Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is an associate professor of theology at Boston College.