|Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013.
Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.
.- According to a Catholic writer in Italy, Pope Francis was aware that his reported words in an Oct. 1 interview published in “La Repubblica” could be misunderstood, and took measures concerning this.
Antonio Socci, a Catholic columnist for the Italian newspaper “Libero,” wrote Oct. 27 that after the publication of the interview, Pope Francis was fully aware of the risk of misunderstanding of some of his words, particularly those on conscience.
In the interview, Eugenio Scalfari, founder and former director of “La Repubblica,” quoted Pope Francis as saying that “the conscience is autonomous, and everyone must obey his conscience.”
Pope Francis reportedly reiterated his phrase, adding that “everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
These sentences led to a certain amount of criticism for the Roman Pontiff.
The Pope’s knowledge that he could be misunderstood is why – according to Socci – Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, was “told to maintain that the text of the interview had not been revised by Pope Francis and that it was penned by Scalfari after an informal chat.”
Fr. Lombardi also underlined that “the interview is not part of Pope Francis’ Magisterium.”
Despite this, “L’Osservatore Romano,” the Vatican newspaper, re-published the interview in its Oct. 2 edition, and it is included among Pope Francis’ speeches on the Vatican’s website.
According to Socci, Pope Francis “regretted” the publication of the interview in “L’Osservatore Romano” and “complained of it to the director, Gian Maria Vian, in Assisi on Oct. 4.”