As usual, the Pope gave a short press conference on the plane back to Rome.
On his return from Hungary and Slovakia on Wednesday 15, Pope Francis gave a half hour of interview to the journalists who accompanied him on the plane. An opportunity to take a look at topical issues. Here are the main excerpts collected by the Roman press agency I.Media and Vatican news.
Europe : “Europe is in danger of being just a management office”
“The European Union is not a meeting to ” do ” things… It is very spiritual! Europe must therefore take back the dreams of the great, the founding fathers of the European Union: Schumann, Adenauer, de Gasperi. There is a spirit at the base of the European Union and all countries must be inspired by the dreams of the great founders. We have to go back there because the European Union is in danger of being just a management office. It does not go well ! We really have to go back to mysticism, look for the root of Europe and push it forward with each country that must move forward ”.
Vaccination : “There are some denialist cardinals”
“Humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines. We, children, for measles or polio, all children were vaccinated and no one said “no”. It’s strange but we have come to this. Perhaps this is due to the virulence and uncertainty of the pandemic but also to the diversity of vaccines and the reputation of certain vaccines which are not considered reliable. And that creates fear in people. Others say there is danger because the vaccine would carry a virus. Some also explain this division by the diversity of sources of vaccines which are not sufficiently tested. This division is also found in the college of cardinals. There are some deniers [qui refusent le vaccin, selon un terme déjà utilisé par François sur le même sujet]. And one of them, the poor one, is recovering from the virus. It’s the irony of life !. But we must clarify and speak with serenity. In the Vatican, all vaccinated except a small group for whom we are studying how to help them. ”
Hungary: “A law helps young couples to get married and have children”
«The president came to see me. He had this care, this kindness. He came with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister. The president spoke to me. The first topic was ecology. Hats off to you Hungarians: your ecological awareness is impressive! Then I asked him the average age of people because I am worried about the demographic winter. In Italy, if I’m not mistaken, the average age is 47… Spain is even worse. It is a serious concern. How to solve it? The president explained to me – always the president – the law which helps young couples to marry and have children. It’s interesting. It looks quite similar to French law but more developed. This is why the French do not know the tragedy we have in Spain and Italy. We haven’t talked about immigration. So there are a lot of young people, a lot of children in Hungary as well as in Slovakia. It is a promise. The challenge is to look for jobs now so that they don’t go abroad. If there is no work, they will go abroad. The president spoke to me all the time. The two ministers [dont Viktor Orban, premier ministre, ndlr.] added some specific data. The atmosphere was good. ”
On Joe Biden, communion, abortion: “I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone »
“I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone. Communion is not a reward for the perfect – let us think of Jansenism – communion is a gift, a gift, it is the presence of Jesus in the Church and in the community. Then those who are not in the community cannot take Communion. They are out of the community – excommunicated – because they are not baptized or have moved away.
The second problem, that of abortion: it’s more than a problem, it’s murder. Whoever practices abortion kills, without half measures. Pick up any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA … It is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear!
To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it fair to hire a hitman to kill a human life? Scientifically, it is a human life. Is it fair to remove it to resolve a problem? This is why the Church is so tough on this issue, because if it accepts this, it is as if it accepts murder on a daily basis. A head of state told me that the population decline had started because at the time, the abortion law was so strong that six million abortions were performed, which resulted in a drop in births in the society of this country.
What should the pastor do? Be a pastor, don’t condemn. To be a pastor, because he who is a pastor is also for the excommunicated. Pastors with the style of God, with closeness, compassion and tenderness. I’m not very familiar with the details of the United States … But what if you’re close, loving, and giving Communion? It is a hypothesis. The pastor knows what to do at all times. But if you come out of the pastoral care of the Church, you become a politician.
They are children of God and they need our pastoral closeness, the pastor to resolve the situations as the Spirit indicates … “
Anti-Semitism: “Very awful, it is resurfacing”
“Anti-Semitism is all the rage right now; it is resurfacing. It’s something very, very awful. ”
Homosexual marriage: “Marriage as a sacrament is a man and a woman”
“Marriage is a sacrament. The Church does not have the power to change the sacraments. The Lord instituted them. There are laws that seek to help the situation of so many people who have diverse sexual orientations. And it is important to help them in this way but without imposing things which, by nature, in the Church, are not right. If a homosexual couple wants to bring life together, the States have the possibility of supporting them civilly, of giving them security of transmission, health, etc. The French have a law for that: not only for homosexuals but for all people who want to live together. But marriage is marriage… This does not mean that we should condemn people who are like this: no please! They are our brothers and our sisters and we must accompany them. But marriage as a sacrament is clear. The French Pacs, homosexual couples can use it. But marriage, as a sacrament, is a man and a woman. We are all equal and we must all respect. The Lord is good and will save everyone. The Lord wants everyone’s salvation. But please don’t let the Church deny her truth. So many homosexual people approach the sacrament of penance, approach and seek advice from priests… The Church helps them to move forward in their own lives. But the sacrament of marriage… ”