POPE Francis has sent shockwaves across Christendom with a reconstructed view about the resurrection saying that he does not believe that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead in the same body in which he was buried.
Historically, Christianity has held the view that Jesus died and his body was kept in a cave and three days afterwards, this same body rose up from the dead and ascended into heaven. However, according to Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, the pope has questioned this account of events, inferring that body that was buried and the one that resurrected might have been two different ones.
In an article in the newspaper Repubblica, which he co-founded and edited, Mr Scalfari said that the pope gave him this reconstructed view about resurrection in an interview. Many Christians will consider the view a heresy as it hits at one of the fundamental pillars of the Christian faith.
Mr Scalfari quoted the Pope as saying: “He was a man until he was placed in the tomb by the women who recomposed his body. That night, in the tomb, the man disappeared and from that cave he came out in the semblance of a spirit that met the women and the apostles while still preserving the shadow of the person and then he definitively disappeared.”
This quote attributed to the pope is from Mr Scalfari’s new book The One God and Modern Society, which centres on his interviews with Pope Francis and the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former Archbishop of Milan. Eugenio Scalfari, 95, a self-professed atheist and a long-time friend of Pope Francis, has conducted multiple interviews with the pontiff that have caused much furore in the Christian community.
He has previously claimed the pope told him that hell does not exist, that divorced and remarried Christians should be admitted to Holy Communion and that Jesus Christ is not God. However, the pope himself has never clarified his purported quotations carried by Mr Scalfari and on each occasion, the Vatican has stated that Mr Scalfari’s account is not reliable, particularly as he never takes notes.
Last month, Mr Scalfari claimed that Pope Francis told him in a conversation over two years ago that he conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, a man, not God incarnate. He added that once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be a God and becomes a man until his death on the cross.
However, a Vatican spokesman then said at a press conference that the Holy Father never said what Mr Scalfari wrote. He added that both the quoted remarks and interpretation of the conversation by Mr Scalfari cannot be considered a faithful account of what was said by the pope.
Replying to the alleged papal comments on the Resurrection, the Holy See Press Office said the quotation attributed to Pope Francis represents a personal and free interpretation of those who listened, as appears completely evident from what is written today regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ.