Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Perhaps the psy-ops are working.
What just 18 months ago would have set the Catholic internet on fire, this time around barely smoldered. In an editorial reflection (not a new interview) the Pope's infamous marxist atheist dialogue partner, Eugenio Scalfari, put the following words in the mouth of the Pope:
What happens to these extinct souls? Will they be punished? And how?
Francis’ answer is unambiguous and clear: There is no penalty but the annihilation of that soul. All others live on to share the the happiness in the presence of the Father. The extinguished souls have no part in this feast, with the death of the body is its end and this is the motivation of the missionary Church: to save the lost. This is also the reason why Francis is through and through, a Jesuit.
So we have a man who has been granted repeated interviews with Pope Francis stating that the Pope, in an unambiguous and clear way, endorsed the heresy of Annihilationism.
And the Catholic world shrugged.
Where are the reporters beating down Fr. Lombardi's door asking for a clarification? Where are the trads screaming bloody murder? Where are the ostrich Catholics telling us how difficult to impossible it is to translate other languages into English? Where are the neo-ultramontanists telling us how Annihilationism has a long and noble Christian tradition? Where are the people on Facebook breathlessly telling us that to deny Annihilationism is to deny Peter and the Holy Spirit?
Sorry, everybody is too tired. Not this time.
None of these things happened this time around. Why? Because the reporters know that a waiting for a clarification from the Pope to Fr. Lombardi is like waiting for Godot. The trads are not screaming bloody murder because they know that Scalfari is an old marxist nutjob who doesn't take notes or recordings and there is no way ever to substantiate the Pope's favorite interviewer's claim. Why bother taking the heat when you can't prove a darn thing? Everybody else, if they have even heard of the Scalfari editorial, just scratch their head and say "Huh?"
And so it goes. Some may view this as progress, people are learning not to go nuts over every little utterance. Still, the Pope's repeated interview buddy puts heresy into the mouth of the Pope, again, and nobody cares. I can't see any way in which that is a good thing, unless the psy-ops are working.
On a completely unrelated note, I am sure the flurry of stories lately that Kasper and his proposals have fallen out of favor at the highest levels of the Vatican should make us all feel better. Whatever unfortunate heretical sausage making we got exposed to last October, that is all behind us now. Not to worry. You all look very tired, you should take a nap. We'll wake you up in November.