The Vatican has said that an interview which quotes the Pope as saying that “all divorced who ask will be admitted” to Communion is “in no way reliable” and “cannot be considered as the Pope’s thinking”.
In an article in La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari said the Pope made the comment during a phone interview.
According to a translation by traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli, Pope Francis said: “The diverse opinion of the bishops is part of this modernity of the Church and of the diverse societies in which she operated, but the goal is the same, and for that which regards the admission of the divorced to the Sacraments, [it] confirms that this principle has been accepted by the synod.
He added: “This is bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.”
However, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told the National Catholic Register : “As has already occurred in the past, Scalfari refers in quotes what the Pope supposedly told him, but many times it does not correspond to reality, since he does not record nor transcribe the exact words of the Pope, as he himself has said many times.
“So it is clear that what is being reported by him in the latest article about the divorced and remarried is in no way a reliable and cannot be considered as the Pope’s thinking.”
He added that those who have “followed the preceding events and work in Italy know the way Scalfari writes and knows these things well.”
Since his election in 2013 Pope Francis has given a series of interviews to Scalfari, the 91-year-old who co-founded La Repubblica and was its editor from 1976 to 1996.
Previously Scalfari is said to have not used a tape recorder during his interviews with the Pope.
In 2014, the Vatican said one of Scalfari’s interviews, in which the Pope discussed sex abuse, should not be considered a record of his exact works.
Suggesting that the “naïve reader” was being “manipulated” by certain portions of the article, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Lombardi expressed particular scepticism about two statements attributed to Pope Francis: a claim that some cardinals have been guilty of sexually abusing children and a vow to “find solutions” to the “problem” of priestly celibacy.
The synod fathers voted narrowly to approve a section about the pastoral care of remarried Catholics at the end of last month’s synod. Church leaders have disagreed on whether the final report opens the way for the remarried to receive Communion.