Respected French Vatican writer Jean-Marie Guénois confirmed with Scalfari that he didn’t tape the interview, nor did he take notes, so the text was an after-the-fact reconstruction.
I was going to say unbelievable and shocking, but these days there isn't much that can shock me, so I guess I have to say that this is... about par for the course, or what passes for a course these days.
Ficher sums the situation up thusly:
As my sister Devra Torres said, “So we’re commenting on a bad translation of a hazy memory in the mind of a presumably heavily biased source.” One more thing? Scalfari is 88 years old. But I’m sure his memory is completely accurate.
So for those of us who were panicking over this last interview, and I will admit I had my own deep unease about it, I will say this: back away from the ledge. Nothing to see here.
For those who are deeply uneasy about Francis' pontificate, I am, as I have said, willing to hear your point of view. I have concerns of my own that aren't going away easily. But as of right now, do not use this interview as an example of how Francis is going off the rails. It is now impossible to know how much was Francis' actual words, and how much was distortion/wishful thinking on the part of the interviewer. As a result, there is not a single line in here that can be quoted and not called into question. Pointing to this interview would be the Catholic equivalent of someone who shows a fuzzy picture of a flying hubcap and claims it is conclusive proof of the existence of UFOs. It proves nothing, and five hundred such pictures only proves five hundred times as much nothing.