Vatican Removes Pope Francis Interview: Not Reliable on 'Each Individual Point Analyzed’

November 18, 2013 - 11:59 AM

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Pope Francis. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – An interview Pope Francis gave to the atheist writer Eugenio Scalfari and published on Oct. 1 was removed from the Vatican website on Nov. 15 because not “each individual point analyzed” in the piece is reliable, said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.

“The information in the interview is reliable on a general level but not on the level of each individual point analysed,” Fr. Lombardi said on Friday.  “This is why it was decided the text should not be available for consultation on the Holy See website. Its removal is a final update on the nature of this text. Some mistakes were made regarding its value, which was questioned. The Secretariat of State took the decision.”

In the interview, published in La Repubblica on Oct. 1 and then re-published in the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper L’Osservaotore Romano on Oct. 2 and posted to the Vatican website, Pope Francis made several controversial remarks that were not audio-recorded by Scalfari.

Among those reported comments were that, “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense”; “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them”; “Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy”;  “our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs”; “I have already said that the Church will not deal with politics”; “And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.”

In addition, Scalfari said, “Your Holiness, you said that you have no intention of trying to convert me and I do not think you would succeed,” and Pope Francis replied, “We cannot know that, but I don’t have any such intention.”

According to Catholic columnist and author Antonio Socci,  Pope Francis regretted the interview after it was published in L’Osservatore Romano.   The interview was published among the Pope’s speeches at the Vatican website, and was online there reportedly for more than one month.