Pope Francis has given a second bombshell interview in the wake of his first lengthy dialogue, which in the last two weeks ran in journals of the Society of Jesus, the religious order to which the Pope belongs. The second interview was given on September 24th to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder and publisher of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which was published in English on the paper's website yesterday. The interview is significant because La Repubblica is a traditionally Leftist editorial organ that has shown hostility toward the Church in the past. Francis chose the paper and the interviewer, founder Eugenio Scalfari, that the secular world would never have expected.
The Holy Father denounced the idea of militant proselytization, but still used the interview as a way to spread the Gospel, openly asking Scalfari "you, a secular non-believer in God, what do you believe in? You are a writer and a man of thought. You believe in something, you must have a dominant value. Don't answer me with words like honesty, seeking, the vision of the common good, all important principles and values but that is not what I am asking. I am asking what you think is the essence of the world, indeed the universe." When Scalfari responded that he believed "in Being," the Pope responded "and I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being."
The Pope called the "middlemen" or the "court" of the Vatican bureaucracy (not the curial leaders themselves) "the leprosy of the papacy," hinting that a focus of his reforms of the Roman Curia might include a major reform of the bureaucracy. Francis also shared that immediately after he was elected, he asked to be left alone for a few minutes before deciding whether it accept. "My head was completely empty and I was seized by a great anxiety...I closed my eyes and I no longer had any anxiety or emotion. At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting and the table on which was the act of acceptance. I signed it, the Cardinal Camerlengo countersigned it and then on the balcony there was the '"Habemus Papam"