Abp Viganò urges Pope to personally answer claims he doesn’t believe in divinity of Christ
Diane Montana Follow Diane
ROME, October 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Following the Vatican’s second attempt to deny claims by atheist Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, that Pope Francis told him he doesn’t believe in Christ’s divinity, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is urging the Pope himself to give a “clear answer.”
In comments to LifeSiteNews after Thursday’s synod press briefing and denial of Scalfari’s claim, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said: “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’”
“Why doesn’t the Pope use the language of simple people, while he invites people ‘Cher jaleo,’ to create chaos, confusion and division. Is this the mission of the Pope? Hacer jaleo.”
At the end of Thursday’s synod briefing, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications, Paolo Ruffini, insisted that the Pope “never said what Scalfari wrote.”
“Both what was reported in quotation marks as well as the free reconstruction and interpretation by Mr. Scalfari — the conversation dates back more than two years — cannot be considered a faithful account of what the Pope said and [what he said] can instead be found in all of his magisterium and that of the Church about Jesus, true God and true Man,” said Ruffini.
LifeSite asked Archbishop Viganò: “In what sense was Ruffini’s further clarification insufficient, given that he explicitly referred to Jesus as “true God and true Man?”
“In the sense that Christians expect a clear answer from the Pope himself. The thing is too important; it is essential: Yes, I believe that Christ is the Son of God made Man, the only Savior and Lord,” Archbishop Viganò replied.
“All Christians await this clarification from him, not from others, and by virtue of their baptism have the right to have this response.”
While the further clarification from Ruffini is widely seen as a step in the right direction, both high-ranking clergy and ordinary Catholics are asking the same question: why does it take over two tries and over twenty four hours to clarify a matter regarding a truth as central to the Christian faith as the divinity of Jesus Christ? And why does Pope Francis, who has granted Scalfari several interviews over the years, not himself confirm the brethren in the faith and distance himself from a man who is sowing confusion?
A priest in Rome pointed out that the confusion generated by Scalfari, who is numbered among the Pope’s favored interviewers, is compounded given the “Document on Human Fraternity” that Pope Francis signed with a Grand Imam Ahmad el-Tayebin February, and which states: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom.”
He argued that if the Pope states that all religions are willed by God in the same manner as sex, race or color, Catholics begin to question the truth of the divinely revealed truth that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Incarnate Word and only Savior of the world.
American Capuchin priest and scholar Father Thomas Weinandy echoed this view in a recent article for The Catholic Thing titled, “Pope Francis and Schism.” The Abu Dhabi statement, he said, “directly contradicts the will of the Father and so undermines the primacy of Jesus Christ his Son as the definitive Lord and universal Savior.”
Pope Francis has granted the 95-year-old Scalfari (who doesn’t use a tape recorder) several interviews since the beginning of his pontificate, with similar and predictable effect. In March 2018, Scalfari claimed the Pope told him that hell does not exist. La Repubblica, an Italian daily which Scalfari founded, claimed that Francis has told him the souls of those who do not go to heaven are annihiliated. Annihilationism is a heresy according to the Catholic Church.
At the time, the Vatican disputed the claim, insisting the Pope does believe that hell exists and that “no quotation of the article should be considered a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”
I have never doubted that Jesus, at the same time, was 100% god and 100% man.
I believe this was achieved by the absolute power if God, for whom nothing is impossible.
This means, for me, that Jesus’s divine nature was capable of not allowing his 100% human nature to be affected by his divine nature.
56 replies on “DOES POPE FRANCIS THINK THAT JESUS WAS NOT GOD?”
at 11am on Tuesday morning, there will be an announcement made at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Nathy Roscommon, that Pope Francis has appointed Fr Seamus O’Connell, Maynooth College, as bishop of Achonry.
If it’s true, congratulations to the Prof. An opportunity to combine with Killala missed though.
Light duties being bishop of Achonry. Has he ever served in a parish?
Frankly I am bemused at the convoluted explanations of the RC church establishment figures in their attempts to present any semblance of rhyme or reason, sense or sensibility to their religious beliefs, its historical basis and its objective validity.
Mmmm ? I wonder. I wonder why God would intervene in this way 2000 years ago, and not in the millions, billions of years before or to come ? Just a bit too convenient, it seems to me. So, my own view (and I count myself as culturally and institutionally Christian given where I find myself in history and geography) is that we have made an awful lot of a moment in history that we don’t fully understand, but which presented us with a very significant person, Jesus, and a very significant teaching, the Gospel. Outside of that, I suspect that a lot was made of a little, and all sorts of theological interpretations given at different times, and as the Church became more powerful and influential, so these interpretations became set in stone. I cross my fingers every time I recite the Creed, or rather others recite it around me because I can’t bring myself to recite such a simplistic and nonsensical set of words. Taking the Christian Fatih literally and not being able to understand it with subtlety and nuance and in the context of today, culture, history, society, social and psychological understandings etc, seems crazy and a misuse of the rational and interpretative powers that we have. The Gospel values make sense and make for a good community and peace and love, and all things apple pie ! I live them, as best I can. They are a pathway to goodness. But don’t ask me to sign up to such ridiculous beliefs as traditional Christianity teaches. They are patently in many respects ludicrous and fly in the face of reason and logic, including the notion that Jesus was the literal son of God, and both God and man at the same time, and that he had a physical resurrection, and that after we die we move to a parallel universe when we have wings ! Yes, I know a God can do what he wants, when he wants. But, do you really think that he decided to do this 2019 years ago ? Seriously ! Grow up ! I wish the Church and the Christian faith well, and will live in the shadow of it and its teaching because it is where I am. But, I have a brain and I can think for myself, and I just don’t buy everything. Perhaps the Pope doesn’t too ? Well, good for him. At least he has a mind of his own.
Thank you Anon@11:32.
Your comment is probably the best I’ve read in the aprox five years I’ve followed this blog.
The essential core of Christian belief in how we should treat one another is also found in other faith traditions, and I agree with them, and their expression in the Golden Rule. [Do to others as you would wish them to treat you]
But all the ancillary trappings traditional religion such as Catholicism sees as core essential beliefs are………well: you’ve expressed it admirably.
So you think it a ‘bit too convenient’ that God intervened at the moment in human history that he did, rather than some moment before?
You’ve actually, like many pioneers in medical science, stumbled on a theologically seminal answer: it was indeed convenient, but not ‘too’ convenient; rather it was supremely convenient…for our salvation.
Jesus arrived not a moment too early, nor a moment too late; he was bang on time.
Magna. When you say that Jesus was “bang on time” you seem to have accepted the same ego-centric point of view [in the broader sense of mankind’s self centered view as a whole] that Anon @ 11:32 questions. He believes that early Christians attached an undue and over-rated significance, and subsequent interpretations, to a phenomenon then not readily understood, ie the appearance and teachings of the man called Jesus. Over time those early “Christian interpretations” of that phenomenon became codified by an increasingly powerful clerical caste into what is now a “set in stone” Christian faith. And it’s all the ancillary trappings and beliefs of that faith 11:32 questions, as well as the big question of the actual validity of those early beliefs of Christianity in that particular epoch when considered against the millions of years before and to follow.
We’ll probably have to agree to differ, but I think 11:32 raises a very valid perspective.
MMM @ 9.25
Is it possible, really so, to attach ‘undue…signifacance’ to someone who was known to heal even the incurably sick, not to mention raise the dead?
We may disagree about the nature of Jesus (God, or God-man, or just man?), but not about the extraordinary nature of his works. And these, inevitably, beg the question of each of us that Jesus asked Simon Peter, and the others: Who do YOU say that I am? It is a question each must answer for himself, and not everyone will answer in the same way.
Jesus was not unreasonable. He did not expect people to conclude from his verbal teaching alone (authoritative though it was proclaimed) about the nature of his person: he performed, too, such works as no human could perform. Even his enemies knew that these works were not humanly possible, so they accused him of being in concert with evil: ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the Prince of Demons, that this man casts out demons.’ ( Matt 12:24)
That same reasonabless characterises God as much today as it did back in Jesus’ time: God does not want believers by cultural upbringing, but by conviction that he actually has intervened at points in their lives and, as it were, proved to them not only his existence, but his fatherly care of them.
God exists. Let him persuade you of this. But he can’t if you absolutely insist that he does not, cannot, exist.
Early Christians responded to the objection, “Why did Jesus come so late?” Today’s answer might be that the coming of the divine Word into history is an evolutionary process and attains a hugely significant evolutionary leap in Jesus Christ. Aquinas sees the possibility of multiple incarnations of the Word and we could imagine similar evolutionary leaps happening on distance inhabited planets if such exist. If God seeks to be incarnate in human history, one could quarrel about any time that is chosen to that event. John 1.1-14 shows that the Logos was ALWAYS entering into the world in any case. The poster who disparaged the Nicene Creed ruined his case by misstating its tenets in caricatural style.
For my own part, I need some reasonable form of proof, indeed any, for such a stupendous concept that an almighty God has “done” what religious belief alleges. Moreover I think it bizzare that this alleged God chose to “relate” to humankind and in such a bizzare manner at that point of time in the millions of years past and future. And the reality is, that all information concerning the alleged “Son-God’s” activities relies on second, third/fourth etc hand accounts allegedly written on no longer existent documents subsequently transcribed and regularly rewritten by “believers” already subscribing to the perpetuation of the “gospel-message” . And there appears to be a complete dearth of reliable contemporaneous and parallel historical records concerning someone so allegedly significant as this man-God-Jesus. I’ve read that there are surviving reliable Roman records of significant events around Christ’s era none of which mention him. EG. Philo, an eminent Jewish author’s aprox 50 still surviving documents on history, religion, philosophy etc make no mention of Jesus but comment a lot on Pontius Pilate. The same applies to Justus of Tiberias’s history from Moses to his era of around Christ’s time: again no reference to Jesus.
Quite apart from dodgy written records, accounts of Christ’s alleged “miracles” should be considered with the “grain of salt” test. For example, was Lazarus actually dead, or in some suspended animation unconscious state which medical science now understands?
Magna: belief that unsupported alleged events of ancient history have current religious significance is just too much of a leap of faith I do not possess. But from a psychological and emotional perspective I can readily accept that many others have a different perspective.
You are, of course, correct.
The Word has come at different times, and in different ways, throughout human history; and he continues to do so. But the climactic moment of divine intervention in that history was 2000 years ago, supremely in the person of Christ.
MMM @ 4.18
If you are truly aiming to live that golden principle you mention here from time to time (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That, or thereabouts.), even if it is only with partial success, you are of course heeding the second of two commandments into which Jesus distilled and simplified Mosaic Law: love others as you would have them love you.
I have debated with some on YouTube who profess Christianity, but who stress intellectual belief in Christ’s divinity (assent to it) as being first and foremost; they seemed not to know that even the demons believe as much. ( I know you don’t believe in the existence of these either, but do take my point.)
It is much more important to follow Christ’s footprints than to know whose footprints are being followed.
I think it’s more “imprints” than footprints most individuals with a moral conscience follow.
Imprinted into humanity’s genetic code, one which has evolved over countless generations of humankind, is an awareness of what is best for our common survival and the continuation of our species: to cooperate with one another; to behave co-operatively for the reciprocal benefit of us all. This seems true for humanity in general. But of course given human nature, there are wide variations from the truly altruistic individuals to the greedy, acquisitive and aggressive. But moral behaviour, while interpreted variously in different cultures and eras, seems widely applicable to humanity in the general sense.
Many faith beliefs subscribe to this underlying reality, and have elaborated and codified it in religious tenets, prescriptions and prohibitions, as has indeed civil and criminal legislation.
Much of formal western religion seems to have taken upon itself to “lay down prescriptive laws” with their “high priests” assuming the sole right to interpret and arbitrate concerning human behaviour, often it must be said, based on questionable biblical, historical and traditional “evidence.”
Surely the delay was on the part of humanity. God’s revelation, as, for example in nature, including nature, was there from the beginning. It’s not surprising it took human beings that length of time to recognise it. There were individuals who did of course.
Scalfari is a very old man (he was at least 93 years of age when this ‘recalled’ conversation with Pope Francis took place), with the reliability of a very old man’s memory and cognition.
Moreover, Scalfari is hardly a competent journalist (professional, perhaps, but hardly competent), since he neither recorded the conversation digitally, nor produced a transcript of it signed by Pope Francis himself. What we have, then, is nothing more exclusive than, er, ‘he said; he said’ conflicting accounts of what actually transpired between the two men. As I stated, Scalfari is a very old man, and likely with age-impaired memory and cognition (more so than Pope Francis). And, to boot, he is not a very competent journalist either, since a good one would have been smart enough to ensure independent corroboration for such startling statements about a pope. (I know on whom I’m betting for reliability here.)
Predictably, Church Militant’s rebel-in-chief, Michael Voris, has been stirring things with this, er, ‘scoop’. Cynicism seems entirely appropriate, since there is nothing concrete about the story in terms of hard evidence.
What interests me, though, is not Scalfari’s allegation itself, but its timing: it couldn’t have happened on a more propitious occasion to do Pope Francis maximum personal damage and to eclipse the Amazon synod (which the Catholic right hate), taking place in Rome.
Predictably, other dogs have lined up to pee where the first one did (I’ve already mentioned Church Militant, and Michael Voris), and joining them all is the theologically conservative Archbishop Vigano, no doubt still smarting from the fact that Pope Francis thought him unimportant enough to ignore his serious allegation about Francis and McCarrick. (And sure didn’t Francis get away with it?)
Why change a winning strategem?
I doubt whether Pope Francis will take any heed of Vigano’s alpha male challenge this time round either.
Serves Vigano right.
Why does that other old man Bergolio seek him about to be interviewed by him five different times? There’s been no official rebuttal by the Vatican.
And so, sadly, is your mind.
This is mischief making on the part of Burke, Viganò and the rest of Francis’ detractors. It is not actually especially meaningful to assert that Jesus is Son of God, as Jesus’ pagan Roman contemporaries happily gave that title to the Emperor. For centuries Christians anathematised each other desperate then as now to exclude anyone suspected of thinking for themselves. Yet for Jesus himself as for Paul and others what mattered was living IN CHRIST – this was faith rather than signing up to a list of propositions drawn up by a committee. If that is what interests you, you can find out everything you need to know say in the library at Wonersh, whereas the actual corporate life of the college seems to go in the showers – and Paul would have had something to say about that, don’t you think?
”the conversation dates back more than two years”
I wonder, could Jesus, as a child be naughty?
As a youth could he have been disrespectful to his mother?
Did he sin in any way? Otherwise his humanity was somewhat non-human.
But then the Incarnation is a mystery of faith.
Ah well, you see Pat, you can be surprisingly orthodox. Do you also believe in hell?
These heresies can often be found amongst priests and people – perhaps he just let it slip by mistake.
Scalfari is theologically incompetent. Pope constantly speaks of Jesus Christ as true God and true man. That in his humanity Jesus grows and learns is emphasized by the New Testament itself. The “hypostatic union” connected the divinity and humanity is one of the hardest topics to discuss without sounding like a heretic on one side or the other. Hans Urs von Balthasar, honoured by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, uses the misleading language of the divine Word suspending his divinity. “Christ would deposit His divine knowledge with the Father before the Incarnation and, after it, He would literally be “made sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), experiencing in Sheol after His death on the cross a state of abandonment from the Father worse than hell. In the words of Balthasar himself: “At this point, where the subject undergoing the ‘hour’ is the Son speaking with the Father, the controversial ‘Theopaschist formula’ has its proper place: ‘One of the Trinity has suffered.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Urs_von_Balthasar
Anon@ 7:25: Re your comment/explanation, or whatever it is: as I’ve said in an earlier comment……words fail me here!
Here, here, MMM. I read some Balthasar in my younger days so am not entirely ignorant of his thought, but honestly language of Christ “ depositing his divine knowledge” with God the Father while he visits Planet Earth and then reclaiming it on his return home just gives Theology a bad name. Imagine the fun the late Christopher Hitchens would have had with this. ( Hitch, by the way, was by no means ignorant or insensitive to his Christian heritage, but he rightly waged war on bull-shit. )
Von Balthasar here was not using the precise ‘language’ of mathematics; his words were approximations, since so, too, was his theological understanding of these matters.
Such statements by von Balthasar are best read (to be best understood) as though they were prefixed with ‘as it were…’ .
I believe Jesus was a divinised soul.
Jesus is who he is because he is and not because I or anyone else believes or doesn’t believe it hi. All religious if followed appropriately can and should lead to God Tis the wan bus driver and we are all passengers
If Pope Francis doesn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus he’s not Pope. It seems to me a clarification is warranted from the Pope, himself. I suspect plenty of clerics don’t even believe in the existence of God but remain for the lifestyle.
9.04: You suspect WRONGLY, Mr. cynicism. I have questions and doubts about my faith but that makes me reflect, study, read and pray all the more seriously. I think Karl Rainer said there is no true faith that hasn’t some doubt. I am glad for the darkness, doubting and searching in my life: I am always compelled to seek clarity and illumination. I struggle with living the ideal of priesthood but I am not in it for the lifestyle. Sorry to burst your little bubble of crap.
Doubt is perfectly normal, natural (not to mention ‘necessary’) for such an evolutionary species as homosapiens; in relation to divine faith, it has one rationalise what is believed about God, and take ownership of it in a more radical and personal way. Faith without the exxperience (and sometimes the agony) of doubt is just conformity rather than true personal understanding and assent.
God does not want robots; he wants followers who truly trust in him, because they know from experience, whatever and however dark the circumstance, he has their back: that he will intervene. This is when faith becomes unshakeable (when the demons themselves are frightened) and the power of God to act is such that it could, in accordance with the divine will, move more than proverbial mountains.
(Hope that book of yours on miracles is coming along nicely, Bishop P. I’m looking forward to a great bedtime read.)
If I didn’t believe in the core beliefs of a political party I wouldn’t expect to be a paid functionary in it. Why are priests any different when it comes to the Church?
This true God and true man thing is one of the more bizarre ideas of Christian theology, and shows its origins in that it only works in a Pagan world view where gods and people are not so far apart. In a monotheistic world view, by definition if you are human you can’t be God.
And don’t even get me started on the trinity.
I respect your views but disagree.
I believe in the divinity of Jesus and in the Trinity.
As mysteries of FAITH it is not an intellectual argument for me.
It’s easy , in 1960 everyone knew that Jesus was True God and True Man no confusion no qualification , either belive it as it was understood or doubt it. Today the Pope has supposedly denied the existence of Hell, said God wills competing religions and that on earth Jesus was only ever Man. Throughout its history the Church has never been in decline, suppressed yes, persecuted yes, souls led into doubt , schism and heresy yes, but not decline. In 2019 the Church is a listening community, a shared prophetic pilgrim people,we gather to be feed with word and Eucharist at the Supper of the Lord, are ministers preside drawn from the assembly we don’t sin we witness to our brokenness our God is a great big God who’s always listening everyone goes to Heaven when they die including pet animals , the Church can learn a lot from the world and the young etc.Crummy Catholicism.
The Chuch is now a ‘listening community’? ‘A shared prophetic pilgrim people’?
Wow! You could persuade yourself of anything, couldn’t you?
The ‘Church’, as you expressed it, has been dragged, kicking and screaming, to the point it is now at. It is not listening so much as being told to be quiet, to allow God to speak to it through his people.
Naaa aconary not going to maynooth. It’s going to wonersh this time. Yaaaaa all the negative publicity worked yaaaa
Are you drunk?
I think Pope Francis takes pity on him, takes risks for friendship’s sake (regardless of public reaction).
Jesus did likewise…and caused scandal, too.
In the Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 14, Paul says that all those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.
Hey, sunshine, what’s eating you? I said, I suspect PLENTY of clerics don’t believe in God and are in it for the lifestyle. Are you speaking for All or Many or Most! You’re ultra defensive, man. I have plenty of reason to be cynical as a result of plenty of criminals in clerical collars protected by their Bishops. Karl Rahner also said, the Christian of the future will be a mystic or he won’t exist. The clarity and illumination you seek might come through deep prayer!
3.50: And I’m responding by saying that you WRONGLY suspect. Simple as. Sincecwe clerics belong to thevhuman race, it’s only natural that we’ll fall, sin and be prone to many, many flaws. My conscience is clear before God but I also know my profound need of God’s mercy. That’s not being defensive: merely a statement of fact. My years of experience has taught me to be positive and optimistic, not cynical or negative. Yes, Karl Rahner is right: the mystic in us will help us rediscover God. I “suspect” that, like me, you are finding your inner mysticism!! Now, Miss Polly, go and pray…..
I never doubted clerics are members of the human race, who fall, sin and are prone to many many flaws. Did you or some of your colleagues think otherwise? Who’s questioning your conscience before God or need for the mercy of God?
Glad to know you remain positive and optimistic. WRONG! God will discover YOU, through deep conversion, deep prayer and desire for deep intimacy and union with Him.You won’t find the living God in books. God bless.
Pat the wounded healer is back, front and centre on the sanctuary in Clonfert today. Even eamon has had to take a back seat for him.
Well done he is back and rightly so
Well, he’s back, at any rate.😕
Are we back in old Athens and worship an unknown God again. Like Adam & Eve we have gotten too big for our smelly wellies and believe we can quantity God but
Evenin hi fly.
Aye, fly. The unknown god is on the go big time….
Begorra fly, didn’t know Adam and Eve wore wellies and smelly wellies to boot.
Quantity God or gods cause there’s a multitude of gods doin the
rounds including worshippers of all things golden!
Bye bye fly hi.
5.53: What games are you attempting to play at with your comments?? You’re complex…
Very interesting reactions today. Some people/clergy are very defensive indeed and keen to defend their own motivation and lifestyle. Come to think of it there were answers in similar vein yesterday.
It’s funny how so many Catholic people or clergy are so keen to impress on others that they’re busy, stand out against abuse, have intense prayer lives and so on.
I wonder if they have any idea how unfortunate it all sounds.
I also wonder when a priest will come on here saying he’s celibate. That’s not happened yet. I can’t wait to hear the phrase ‘… And I’m perfectly happy’ – you can almost hear them snapping through clenched teeth.
10.14: There’s nothing unusual in clerics defending themselves. It’s perfectly legitimate. We don’t live in a dictatorship, thankfully. I don’t see anything wrong if individual priests assert their moral and spiritual integrity. What’s your problem??
If they were defending their integrity I wouldn’t have one…
I see that Fr Gary Toman, ex-chaplain of QUB is now Columba Mary OP. What became of Fr Gerard Magee, a Down and Connor priest who became a Cistercian at Portglenone and then Roscrea, turning into Fr Aelred OCSO in the process.
Then in 2016 Noel appointed him QUB chaplain as plain old Fr Gerard Magee, though he’s not there now. It’s all very confusing.
Confusion is another sign of the times.
So Gary becomes Columba Mary and Gerry is now Aelred! And we think people are going to take us seriously? Since when did UK and Irish Dominicans become such a freak show considering they used to be pretty radical?
And Moe becomes Larry , Curly becomes Moe, while Larry becomes Curly!
Who’s , who!
A great deflection strategy.