One has to ask the obvious question. "Why does this Bishop of Rome feel it necessary to engage secular media in this way?" The real story here is not the pope's interview but rather the reaction to it. The first thing that should be noted is that the pope has used an alternate and very unorthodox channel for disseminating this information. The fact that he has used Eugenio Scalfari repeatedly means that he is at least satisfied that he was not badly served the last time he gave him an interview. By using a secular journalist rather than going through official channels means that this communication does not have the stature that an announcement from the balcony of St. Peter's would. Moreover, a speech from the balcony could not be made without alerting much of the curia to what was going to be said. The Pope wants this to be attributable to him without it being an official pronouncement.
What does the Pope get out of this? The answer is in the flurry of reaction to the Scalfari interview. As he watches the curial functionaries running about reacting to this leak he gains some very critical intelligence. The Pope is usually surrounded by a coterie of careerists and sycophants whose job it is to mediate the Pope's relations with the world at large. Essentially they are to make sure there are no surprises. By carefully gauging the reaction to the Scalfari leaks he can determine which of those he can trust.
The Pope is in a very precarious position right now. The honeymoon is over and some real work needs to be done on those things that most plague the curia right now. I do not believe for one moment that the Pope is either stupid or foolish. By becoming the Vatican's chief source of leaked information he is preempting anyone else who might be tempted to fill that role and he is finding out who he can really trust on the inside. As for the rest of us, we can learn much by watching the reaction of media pundits in our own backyard.
To read Part I.