Why does Pope Francis put up with Eugenio Scalfari? It is a puzzling question. The veteran journalist has been given privileged access to the Pope twice recently. And on both occasions he has claimed that the Holy Father spoke in a way that all would call unorthodox and most would categorize as heresy.
The question surely is this: why does Francis permit it? And why is the Vatican Press Office left (ineptly) to pick up the pieces? The Holy Father could as easily (and more authoritatively) deny the assertions himself.
There are after all, a number of possibilities. That Scalfari is theologically naive and ill informed, and so unable to comprehend Francis’s subtlety of argument; that he is old and confused; that he was enthusiastically trying to foist his own opinions on the Holy Father; that Francis had (not for the first time) spoken imprecisely or carelessly.
But we need to have a word, as to which it was, from the only other witness who was present at the interviews. As in the case of the dubia, silence is not an option