Controversial Papal Interview Removed from Vatican Website Over Accuracy Concerns

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  • Pope Francis at Vargihna
    (PHOTO: commons.wikimedia.org)
By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter
November 21, 2013|12:17 pm

An interview Pope Francis made with an Italian publication that garnered international headlines for remarks that may have been perceived as counter to Catholic tradition has been removed from the Vatican website over issues surrounding its accuracy, according to an official spokesman.

The announcement about the interview, conducted by atheist Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, being removed from the Vatican City website was made recently by the Holy See. The entity is the governing arm of the Roman Catholic Church and is based in the Vatican City State. The Pope is the head of both the Vatican and the Holy See.

Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi explained to the press that points of contention were found regarding the accuracy of some of the specific details within the text.

"The information in the interview is reliable on a general level but not on the level of each individual point analyzed: this is why it was decided the text should not be available for consultation on the Holy See website," said Lombardi. "Its removal is a final update on the nature of this text. Some mistakes were made regarding its value, which was questioned."

At the beginning of October, La Repubblica published an interview with the Pontiff that stemmed from a dialogue between the publication's atheist editor and the Pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Scalfari questioned the Pontiff on a host of issues, focusing on how the Church was going to change, if at all, during his reign.

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Still available for reading on La Repubblica's website as of Thursday morning, the interview garnered international attention for many of the things Pope Francis said.

Remarks the Pontiff made that turned heads included his statement that "proselytism is solemn nonsense" and that every person "has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them."

The interview helped perpetuate the notion that Francis, who became Pope earlier this year, was more progressive than his predecessor and may change some key traditional positions of the Roman Catholic Church politically and theologically.

As to why it took nearly two months for the Church to opt to remove the interview, apparently the Pope had not read the finalized interview at the time, reported Vatican Insider.

"Ever since the interview was published, Fr. Lombardi declared that the Pope had not looked over the text personally," wrote the Insider staff. "The article did in fact contain expressions that did not seem like typical expressions Francis would have used."

 

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