I'm Michael Voris coming to you from Vatican City, specifically with some thoughts on the disturbing news about the Pope Francis-Eugenio Scalfari interview about whether Jesus was, in fact, divine — God.
There's a lot to say about this, a lot that is problematic, from the original story to the Vatican's somewhat wobbly response, to the further questions raised about the whole affair.
First, the conversation between the Pope and Eugenio Scalfari. Scalfari is a very old Italian journalist, who has known the Pope for a very long time and who enjoys a warm friendship with Francis.
That friendship has earned Scalfari various interviews in the past — and not without controversy.
Scalfari reported last year that Pope Francis does not believe in Hell, that human souls do not go there. Scalfari says the Pope told him that souls aren't eternally damned, they are just annihilated, pass into non-existence.
That comment set off a firestorm, which the Vatican feebly tried to put out by saying that Scalfari's interviews aren't reliable. They are just rough freely interpreted recollections.
OK, so why keep giving interviews to a man who apparently doesn't electronically record the interviews, does not take any notes and just rambles with a very bad memory when recounting the interview?
You'd think the Pope being misquoted as denying the immortality of the soul and that no human is ever damned would be enough to decline the next interview request from Scalfari.
But, no — not in this pontificate.
The man who zipped his mouth shut on the plane back from Ireland when the Viganò accusations emerged and told the reporters on board he would not say a single word; when the man who refuses to defuse the controversy surrounding his supposed denial of humans in Hell and immortality of the soul; when the man — the Pope — who refuses to meet with the remaining dubia cardinals does meet with an atheist reporter who, according to the Vatican, can't be trusted to get the story right — then Houston, we have a problem.
Here's the overarching problem which frames this controversy. Francis continues meeting with this atheist journalist, knowing he will be quoted, accurately or inaccurately.
And in the midst of everything, here's the question that hasn't been asked: Just how could Scalfari get this so wrong?
Seriously, how does a reporter sit down with a long-time friend, who he constantly says he knows very well and talk about things like, oh, whether Jesus is God — or not.
The Pope says, "Yep, Eugenio. Jesus is God," and then Eugenio goes, "Yep. Got it. Jesus is not God."
That scenario is more difficult to believe than a pope who doesn't believe in the divinity of Jesus while he was on earth. How could a journalist get this so terribly wrong? Not even close, 100% wrong, 180 degrees backward.
Yet, if we are to believe the Vatican statement, then that's precisely what you must believe, which of course begs the questions: Why isn't the Vatican actually denying the content, not just soft-balling and saying Scalfari is wrong? And two, why do you keep giving this guy interviews?
For years, decades really, there has been a theme running through the Jesuits, a kind of Arianism, that while Jesus was on earth, walking around during His Galilean days, He either actually wasn't divine, or didn't really know He was divine.
That second proposition is completely stupid because how could God, which is a being who is all-knowing, not know He is God?
But nonetheless, this is a Jesuit thing echoed almost constantly by the likes of James Martin, who says things like Jesus learned His mission from the Syrophoenician woman — really?
Well, I guess the rest of the human race has her to thank for bringing to Jesus' consciousness that He needed to redeem us — phew!
But don't forget that this is precisely what Bp. Barron's hero, Hans Urs von Balthasar, believed, that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity "deposited" His divinity — his term — before the incarnation.
He had a "kind of access" to His divinity when He prayed to the Father, but He Himself while on earth, nope, not divine.
Now, when you have that background, the Jesuits' decades-long denial, or at least fudging, of Jesus' divinity while on earth, von Balthasar's insane claim that he deposited, whatever that means, His divinity before the incarnation and you go back and read the interview, what Scalfari wrote, it starts to get a little dicey because what Scalfari says the Pope said is exactly what all these other guys say.
That Jesus wasn't divine when He was walking around on earth — a good man, full of virtue, blah blah, but not a God.
There is a very disturbing convergence here between what has become accepted theology among many Jesuits — and Pope Francis is a Jesuit — and what Scalfari says the Pope told him.
And there's that annoying, pestering, nagging question in the back of your mind on this one: How could the Pope say Jesus was divine and Scalfari take away the Pope said Jesus isn't divine?
Weird. Really weird.