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Italian journalist and papal interview Eugenio Scalfari dead at 98

July 14, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Eugenio Scalfari, a noted Italian journalist who published several controversial interviews with Pope Francis, died on July 14 at the age of 98.

Scalfari, the founder of the liberal daily La Repubblica, was an avowed atheist, who developed a friendly relationship with Pope Francis and published several interviews based on his conversations with the Pontiff—the most recent in August 2020. The interviews drew worldwide attention when Scalfari quoted the Pope as contradicting fundamental Catholic doctrines: on one occasion apparently questioning the divinity of Jesus Christ, on another denying the existence of Hell.

Scalfari took no notes during his conversations with the Pontiff, and produced the quotations from memory.

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis, upon hearing of Scalfari’s death, said that “he cherishes with affection the memory of the meetings — and the deep conversations on the ultimate questions of humankind — that he had with him over the years, and he entrusts his soul to the Lord in prayer.”

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