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Eugenio Scalfari (Italian: [euˈdʒɛːnjo ˈskalfari]; born 6 April 1924 in Civitavecchia) is an Italian journalist, editor of the news magazine L'espresso (1963–1968), former member of parliament in the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1968–1972), co-founder of the newspaper La Repubblica and its editor from 1976 to 1996. In 2018, he wrote an article related to his interview with Pope Francis stating that the pontiff made claims that hell did not exist. He later admitted that some words attributed to the pontiff "were not shared by Pope Francis" himself. Later in 2019, he did once again in another article related to Pope Francis, telling that the pope "rejects the godly nature of Jesus Christ", the fact was later denied by holy see citing that "as already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during talks with him cannot be considered a faithful account of what was actually said but represent a personal and free interpretation of what he heard, as appears completely evident from what is written today regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ"[1].

Eugenio Scalfari

Eugenio Scalfari 2016.jpeg
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
5 June 1968 – 24 May 1972
Personal details
Born (1924-04-06) 6 April 1924 (age 95)
Civitavecchia, Italy
Political partyNational Fascist Party
Italian Liberal Party
Radical Party
Italian Socialist Party
Simonetta De Benedetti (m. 1950⁠–⁠2006)
; her death
Giuliana Rossetti (m. 2008)
ChildrenTwo daughters
ResidenceVelletri, Lazio, Italy
Alma materUniversity of Genoa
Founder of la Repubblica

Early lifeEdit


A law graduate with an interest in journalism and politics, Scalfari worked for on the influential postwar magazines Il Mondo and L'Europeo. In 1955 he was among the founders of the Radical Party.[2]

In October 1955, jointly with Arrigo Benedetti he co-founded one of Italy's foremost newsmagazines L'Espresso with capital from the progressive industrialist Adriano Olivetti, manufacturer of Olivetti typewriters.[3][4] The experienced Benedetti, who had directed the newsmagazine L'Europeo (1945–54), was the first editor-in-chief until 1963, when he handed over to Scalfari.[5]

In January 1976 the Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso also launched the centre-left daily newspaper La Repubblica in a joint venture with Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Scalfari became the editor-in-chief and remained so until 1996.[5] Few believed such a venture could succeed in the already crowded Italian newspaper market, but under Scalfari’s skilful editorship La Repubblica prospered to the point of rivaling the prestigious Corriere della Sera in both sales and status as a national daily.[2]

He remains active in both La Repubblica and L'Espresso. He has also published a number of books including l’Autunno della Repubblica (Autumn of the Republic) (1969) and the novel Il Labirinto (The Labyrinth) (1998).[2]

Notable reportingEdit

As a journalist, he was especially active in investigative reporting, uncovering illegal right-wing activities and major government cover-ups.[2] With Lino Jannuzzi he uncovered the attempted 1964 coup d'état by General Giovanni Di Lorenzo in May 1967.[6]

In July 2014, he reported, in an interview, Pope Francis's controversial statement that approximately 2% of the Catholic Church's total number of priests, including bishops and cardinals, were pedophiles.[7]


Eugenio Scalfari in 2011.

Initially, like a lot of Italians of the time, Scalfari was a sure fascist, and described himself like "Young, happy and fascist".[8]

After the Second World War, Scalfari was near to the Italian Liberal Party, but in 1956 he participated to the split out the party of the "Radicals" (leftist liberals), like Marco Pannella and Ernesto Rossi, that formed the Radical Party.

In 1968, Scalfari was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1968–1972) as an independent aligned to the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and handed over his post as editor to Gianni Corbi.[9]

Political positionsEdit

Scalfari described himself as libertarian,[10] but also "liberal of social mold".[11] He has been a pro-choice in the referendums of 1981. Later, was a critics of the Silvio Berlusconi's political action, but more moderate respect the current positions of "La Repubblica".


He is an atheist.[12] In 2013, he received a personal and detailed explanation from Pope Francis about atheism and forgiveness.[13][14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of contemporary Italian culture, CRC Press, 2000, p. 747
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of contemporary Italian culture, CRC Press, 2000, p. 290
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Italian literary studies, CRC Press, 2007, p. 980
  5. ^ a b History Archived 24 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso (Retrieved January 30, 2010)
  6. ^ Cento Bull, Italian Neofascism, p. 4
  7. ^ David Barrett; Nick Squires (13 July 2014). "Pope Francis says about 8,000 pedophiles are members of Catholic clergy, including bishops and cardinals". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  8. ^ Lanna, Luciano (2011). Il fascista libertario. Sperling & Kupfer.
  9. ^ "Personal information and assignments in the V Legislature". Italian Chamber of Deputies. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  10. ^ Chieffi, Daniele (3 April 2009). "Eugenio Scalfari: Repubblica e il compleanno di "barbapapà"". Nanni Magazine.
  11. ^ Scalfari, Eugenio (16 January 2012). "Come si declina la parola libertà".
  12. ^ La Repubblica, 8 May 2005
  13. ^ Papa Francesco scrive a Repubblica: "Dialogo aperto con i non credenti", La Repubblica, 11 September 2013. Retrieved 12 Sept 2013
  14. ^ Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own consciences, The Guardian, 12 Sept 2013. Retrieved 12 Sept 2013

Cento Bull, Anna (2007). Italian Neofascism: The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation, Oxford: Berghahn Books, ISBN 1-84545-335-2