The Pope’s interview with the Argentine website “Infobae” on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Pope’s Pontiff: hopes for change in Venezuela and the end of the war in Ukraine, strong words about the situation in Nicaragua, the discipline of “celibacy”, “bad resistance” in the Church, Our Lady’s vow not to watch TV from among the topics covered.
Salvatore Cernosio – Vatican City
The trip to Argentina, the hope for change in Venezuela, the denunciation of the “cruel dictatorship” in Nicaragua. In his interview with the Argentine news site, Francis focused above all on Central and South America infobae, a few days after the celebration of the tenth anniversary of his pontificate. In the conversation in Santa Marta with gatekeeper Daniel Haddad, the pope ranged from geopolitical topics, such as the war in Ukraine, to ecclesiastical questions, such as the approach to homosexuals and the role of women, all the way up to more personal topics. issues (“Why don’t you watch TV anymore?”).
The situation in Nicaragua
In particular, the Pope speaks of the difficulties currently faced by the people and the Church of Nicaragua, where the embassy has been expelled and Holy Week processions have been banned, as well as the constant attacks on bishops and priests. The Pope denounces the imbalance of those who lead the country and, with reference to the Bishop of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, sentenced to 26 years in prison, about whom he spoke at the Angel on February 12, adds: “We have a bishop in prison. A very serious man, very capable. He wanted to testify.” And he didn’t accept the denial. It’s something that’s not in line with what we’re going through. It’s like bring the communist dictatorship of ’17 or Hitler’s dictatorship of ’35, and bring that same dictatorship here, right? They’re kind of crude dictatorships. Or to use a nice Argentinean definition, guarangas (rough)”.
The flight to Argentina
Speaking of Argentina, the inevitable question is about a possible trip to his home country. “It was scheduled for December 2017,” Jorge Mario Bergoglio explains, repeating what he had already said on the flight back from Iraq: “First we went to Chile, then to Argentina and Uruguay. That was the programme. But what happened? There were elections in that.” Time.So we had to go from Chile to December and then go to Argentina and Uruguay in January.In January you can’t even find the cat…then the program was changed and Chile and Peru were created.Argentina and Uruguay left for later…there is no refusal To go – confirms the Pope -. Absolutely. The trip is planned. I am open to the opportunity … I want to go to Argentina. ”
The regime in Venezuela and the war in Ukraine
Francis then turns his sights to Venezuela, declaring that he sees a glimmer of hope in the possibility of regime change: “I think so – and he declares – because it is historical circumstances that will force them to change their method of dialogue… I never close the door to possible solutions. On the contrary, You encourage them.”
The pope is more cautious about finding a solution to the war in Ukraine: “Everyone is working for this. They are all working,” he says. Modi (Prime Minister of India, Mr. Dr) could do something, I don’t know. I know there are many referees who are moving. There is an Israeli group that is doing well. But we don’t know what it will lead to.”
Homosexuals, divorced and married women, celibacy are the other topics addressed by the Pope in the interview. On welcoming gays, Francis refers directly to Jesus’ words: “The great answer has been given” by him, he says. “Everyone. Everyone. Everyone in. When the “repeater” did not want to go to the banquet, he let them go to the crossroads and invited everyone, good, bad, old, small, children, everyone. Everyone. The church is for everyone. And everyone decides his place before the Lord by what He has power. This is the Church of sinners.”
“I don’t know where the Church of the Saints is, we are all sinners here,” the Pontiff repeated, and, as on his first trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2013, repeated: “Who am I to judge a person if he has good will, right? If he is like One of Satan’s gang, well, let’s defend him a bit. But today there is a lot of attention to this issue. Jesus calls everyone and everyone solves his relationship with God as he can or as he wants, sometimes he wants and sometimes he can’t, but the Lord is always waiting.”
The role of women
In a similar vein, speaking on the sacraments of divorced and remarried women – a central theme of the 2014-2015 double synod on the family – recalling the “bishop’s conscience” and suggesting separated couples “go to their bishop so that he may go and present their situation”.
While for women he emphasizes the fact that the number of those who work in the Church is now greater: a necessary step forward because “manhood is bad,” he says. “Sometimes celibacy can lead you to manhood. A priest who doesn’t know how to work with women is missing something, he’s not mature. The Vatican was very masculine, but it’s part of the culture, and no one’s fault. It’s always been that way.” But things are changing now: “They have another methodology, women. They have a different sense of time, of waiting, of patience than men. This does not diminish men, they are different. And they must complement each other.”
The “discipline” of celibacy
Pope Francis paused on celibacy in the Western Church to explain, “It is a temporary prescription… It is not eternal like priestly ordination… Celibacy, on the other hand, is a discipline.” The interviewer asks, “Can it be reviewed?”. “Yes,” the pope replies.
Haddad then quotes the 92-year-old Cardinal Julian Herans, when he says that of the six popes with whom he collaborated “the devil may have worked with two, Paul VI and Francis, always to divide the Church and impede the spread of the Gospel”. Answer: “I cannot judge whether this is true or not.” But sometimes there is resistance, but it’s bad resistance. Not the good. Because the good resistance is that if you do a good project, let’s see, let’s discuss it. Resistance to evil is discussed here and it goes back in search of betrayal as well. But either I am naive, or I do not listen to them. ” There are such things in the Church, there, in the corner, hidden “,” On the brink of schism, this is the bad thing – the Pope comments -. For example, the case of a well-known American bishop who was ambassador It is not known whether this man is a Catholic or not, because he is on the border. These resistances are managed badly. In the Church, from the beginning, there has been resistance ». “When they criticize me directly, I appreciate it – and he adds -. Sometimes I don’t like it, but I appreciate it.
He vowed not to watch TV
Hence, a nod to the vow made 33 years ago to the Virgin of Carmel not to watch television. It was July 15, 1990, and while he was with the community on television, “things that do no good to the heart were broadcast. Not things that are wrong, but that relativity that weakens the heart.” The next day, at the Mass of the Virgen del Carmen, Francis “felt that I didn’t have to see her without any problem.” So he said “enough” except for some brief concessions.
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