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Pope plane presser - Distribution will be via CBS Washington. Shortly after takeoff, Pope Francis came to the back of the plane and answered 12 questions in Spanish and Italian, spending about an hour with the journalists. After the presser ended, he stayed for some words of farewell for Alberto Gasparri, who served 37 years at the Vatican, organizing papal trips for three pontiffs. Highlights: 1.On Donald Trump: "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt." 2.Asked whether church would consider it permissible to use contraceptives to prevent transmission of Zeka, Francis said that in some cases the "lesser of two evils" can be applied. He used the example of Paul VI, who allowed nuns in Africa to use birth control to prevent offspring from rape. Abortion, on the other hand, "is a crime, an absolute evil," whereas birth control is not an absolute evil. 3. Asked about reports that JPII had a romantic yet chaste relationship with a woman, said it was known that JPII had this friendship, and that "a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a a man who is missing something." "But the pope is a man. The pope needs the input of women, too. And the pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman." Cited examples of saint-friends -- Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross. 4.Communion for the divorced and remarried: He said that wounded families, and those that have remarried should be integrated into the life of the church. However, when asked if integration meant communion, he said, "This is the last thing. Integrate in the Church doesn't mean having communion. Work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ''from here on they can have communion. This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple. It wouldn't make them do this path of integration." 5..Pedophilia: Pope said it was a "monstrosity" that "destroys" children. Bishops who move pedophile priests from parish to parish were inconscientious and should resign. Thanks Pope Benedict for working hard to rid the church of this filth. "But I thank God because the pot was uncovered, and we have to continue on this path. We need be aware that it's a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God and it's there that he eats him in a "diabolical sacrifice." 6. Russia: hinted he may go to Russia. When asked whether Patriarch Kirill had invited him to Russia and whether he was planning to go, Francis said he would prefer not to talk about that, and that he and the Patriarch had a 2 hour private talk and neither would release details beyond what was made public in the document issued at the end. He said that after that talk, both he and Kirill were very happy. 7. 43 missing students: When asked why he didn't meet with the parents of the 43 missing students, Francis said that an attempt was made, but there was infighting going on that made a meeting difficult, plus there are too many victims of crime groups, which made it impossible to meet with them individually. He opted to invite all victims of crime to the mass in Juarez. TRANSCRIPT OF PRESSER, NOT OFFICIAL QUESTION 1 - MISSING STUDENTS Q: Holy Father, thousands go missing in Mexico; but the case of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa is emblematic. I'd like to ask you why you didn't meet with the family members and also, please leave a message for the thousands of people who have disappeared. POPE: If you read the messages continuously.the killings, the death or the life taken, by the narco trafficking gangs and human smugglers. That's one of the problems that I talked about, like one of the wounds that Mexico suffers. An attempt was made to meet these groups; but they had some infighting going on. I decided that I would see all of them at the mass in Juarez or at another mass. It was practically impossible to meet everyone and they had some infighting going on. It's a situation that's difficult to understand, especially for me because I'm a foreigner, right? The Mexican society is a victim of all the crimes of "limpiar gente"???. I talked about it in every speech I could. It's a great pain that I'm taking with me, because this country doesn't deserve this drama. QUESTION 2 - PEDOPHILIA Q: Pedophilia in Mexico has very dangerous roots, very hurtful. The Maciel case left a strong inheritance, especially in the victims, who still feel unprotected. Some of them are still very religious, some priests. Did you at any moment consider meeting with the victims? What do you think about moving priests around when cases of pedophilia are detected? POPE; First, a bishop who changes a priest of parish when a case of pedophilia is an inconscientious man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear? Secondly, The Maciel case - here I allow myself to honor the man who fought in moments when he had no strength to impose himself, until he managed to impose himself. Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger deserves an applause. He's a man who had all the documentation. He was perfect in the doctrine of the faith. He had everything in his hands, conducting all the investigations, and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn't do more in the execution. But if you remember, 10 days before the death of John Paul II, in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said the church needed to clean the filth (porquerias) of the church, the garbage. He wasn't naïve during the Mass Pro-Eligendo Pontefice, he knew that he was a candidate, and he crafted his answer. (maquillar su fortuna). He was the brave one who helped so many open this door. I want to remember him because sometimes we forget about this hidden works that were the base (cimientos) to uncover the pot. Third, We're doing plenty. With the Cardinal Secretary of State [Pietro Parolin], and with the group of nine cardinal advisors, after listening, I decided to name a third adjunct secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to take care only of these cases, because the congregation is overloaded with cases. An appeals tribunal was constituted, headed by Monsignor Sicluna, which deals with second degree cases. When resources are available, because the priority is the "feria quarta," we call it, which gathers on Wednesday. When resources are available it returns to the first degree and that is not fair. The second legal recourse, a legal defense team; but we must hurry because we're behind with the cases, because new cases come forward. The commission for the protection of minors is also working very well. It's not strictly closed to [or exclusively devoted] cases of pedophilia, but the protection of minors. I spent a whole morning with six of them, two German, two British and two Irish, abused, victims. And I also met with victims in Philadelphia (needed to have someone give him the city). Age doesn't come alone! So we're working. But I thank God because the pot was uncovered, and we have to continue on this path. We need be aware that it's a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God and it's there that he eats him in a "diabolical sacrifice." (sacrificio diabolico) He destroys him. QUESTION 3 - TRUMP Q: Good evening your Holiness. Today you spoke a lot and eloquently about immigrants. On the other side of the border there is a tough electoral campaign. One of the candidates for the White House, republican Donald Trump, said in a recent interview that you are a politician, and even said that perhaps you are also a pawn of the Mexican government in its immigration policy. He has said that, if elected, he would like to build 2500 km of wall along the frontier. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, thus separating families. I would like to ask what you think of these accusations, and whether an American Catholic can vote for this sort of person. POPE: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus'. So at least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgement and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt." QUESTION 4 - KIRILL Q: The meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and the signing of the joint declaration was greeted by the entire world as an historic step. But now today in the Ukraine, Greek Catholics feel betrayed. They speak of a political document that supports Russian politics. In the field, the war of words has reignited. Do you think you'll be able to go to Moscow? Were you invited by the patriarch? Or, (will you) go to Crete to greet the Pan-Orthodox Council in the Spring? POPE: I'll begin with the end. I will be present. spiritually. And with a message. I would like to go greet them there at the pan-orthodox synod. They are brothers but I must respect them. But, I know that they want to invite Catholic observers and this is a good bridge, but behind the Catholic observers I will be praying with my best wishes that the Orthodox move ahead because they are brothers and their bishops are bishops like us. Then, Patriarch Kirill, my brother. We kissed each other, embraced, and then a conversation for an hour (Fr Lombardi corrects). two hours. Old age doesn't come on its own. (laughs) Two hours where we spoke as brothers, sincerely and no one knows what was spoken about, only what we said at the end publicly about how we felt as we spoke. Secondly, that statement, that declaration about Ukraine. When I read this, I was a little bit worried because it was Sviatoslav Schevchuk who said that the Ukrainian people, some Ukrainians, also many Ukrainians felt disappointed, betrayed. I know Sviatoslav very well. In Buenos Aires, we worked together for 4 years. When he was elected - at 42 years old, eh, good man - he was elected major archbishop. He came back to Buenos Aires to get his things. He came to me and he gave me an icon - little like this - of Our Lady of Tenderness. And he told me, 'This has accompanied me my entire life. I'll leave it to you who accompanied me over the last four years. It's one of the few things I had brought from Buenos Aires and I keep it on my desk. That is, he's a man whom I respect and also have familiarity. We use the "tu" (familiar) form with each other, and so on. So, for this it seemed strange to me and I remembered something I said here to you: to understand a piece of news, a statement, you need to seek the hermeneutic of everything. But, when you said this, it was said in a statement from January 14th, last February, last Sunday. an interview made by brother.. I don't remember . a father, a Ukrainian priest, in Ukraine, it was conducted and it was published. That news, the interview is one page, two, a little bit more, give or take. That interview is on the last page, a little like this. I read the interview and I'll say this: Schevchuk, in the dogmatic part declares himself to be a son of the Church and in communion with the bishop of Rome and the Church. He speaks of the Pope and his closeness of the Pope and of himself, his faith, and also of the Orthodox people there. The dogmatic part, there's no difficulty. He's Orthodox, in the good sense of the word, that is in Catholic doctrine, no. And then, as in an interview like this one, everyone has the right to say his things and this wasn't done on the meeting, because the meeting, it was a good thing and we have to move forward. This, he didn't do on the meeting, the encounter was a good thing and we must move forward. This, the second chapter, the personal ideas that a person has. For example, this, what I said about the bishops who move pedophile priests, the best thing they can do is resign. This isn't a dogmatic thing, but this is what I think. So, he has his personal ideas. They're for dialoguing and he has a right to have them. Thirdly. ah, all of what he's speaking about is in the document, that's the issue. On the fact of the meeting: the Lord chose to move it ahead, the embrace and all is well. The document. It's a debatable document and there's also another addition. In Ukraine, it's a moment of war, of suffering, with so many interpretations. I have named the Ukrainian people, asking for prayers, closeness, so many times both in the Angelus and in the Wednesday audience. There is this closeness. But the historical fact of a war, experienced as . i don't know if . well, everyone has their own idea of this war, who started it, what to do and it's evident that this is an historical issue, but also a personal, historical, existential issue of that country and it speaks of the suffering. And, there I insert this paragraph. You can understand the faithful, because Stanislav told me that so many faithful have written to me saying that they are deeply disappointed and betrayed by Rome. You can understand that a people in this situation would feel this, no. The final document but it is a jotting down of some things. Pardon, it's a matter of opinion on this issue of Ukraine. But there, it says to make the war stop, that they should come to an agreement, Also, I personally said that the Minsk accords should move forward and not be eliminated. "With the elbows what wasn't written with the hands." ("Con il gomito quello che non e scritto con le mani, eh. ") The Church of Rome, the Pope has always said, 'Seek peace.' I also received both presidents. Equality, no. And so for this when he says that he's heard this from his people, I understand it. I understand it. But, that's not the news. The news is everything. If you read the entire interview, you'll see that there are serious dogmatic things that remain, there's a desire for unity, to move ahead in the ecumenical - and he's an ecumenical man. There are a few opinions. He wrote to me when he found out about the trip, the encounter . but, as a brother, giving his opinion as a brother. I don't mind the document how it is. I don't dislike it in the sense that we need to respect the things that everyone has the freedom to think and in (the context of) this situation that is so difficult. From Rome, now the nuncio is on the border where they're fighting, helping soldiers and the wounded. The Church of Rome has sent so much help there. it's always peace, agreements. We must respect the Minsk accords and so on. This is the entirety. But, don't get scared by that phrase. And this is a lesson that a piece of news must be interpreted with the hermeneutic of everything and not just a part. (Follow up from journalist - did the Patriarch invite you to come to Moscow sometime?) Patriarch Kirill. I would prefer - because if I say one thing, I have to say another and another and another - I would prefer that what we spoke about, us, alone will remain only what we said in public. This is a fact. And if I say this, then I'll have to say another and another. no! The things I said in public, the things he said in public. This is what can be said about the private conversation. To say it, it wouldn't be private. But, I tell you, I walked out of it happy, and he did too. QUESTION 5 - SAME SEX UNIONS Q: Holy Father, my question is about the family, a subject which you addressed during this trip. The Italian parliament is discussing a law on civil unions, a subject that is provoking strong political clashes but also a strong debate in society and among Catholics. In particular, I would like to know your thoughts on the subject of adoption by civil unions and therefore on the rights of babies and of children in general. POPE: First of all, I don't know how things stand in the thinking of the Italian parliament. The pope doesn't get mixed up in Italian politics. At my first meeting with the (Italian) bishops in May 2013, one of the three things I said was: with the Italian government you're on your own. Because the pope is for everybody and he can't insert himself in the specific internal politics of a country. This is not the role of the pope, right? And what I think is what the church thinks and has said so often, because this is not the first country to have this experience, there are so many. I think what the church has always said about this. QUESTION 6 - ZIKA Q: Holy Father, in the past weeks there's been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries, and also in Europe, regarding the Zika virus. Pregnant women are the most at risk. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of "the lesser of two evils?" POPE: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to kill someone in order to save another. This is what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the lesser evil, avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. The great Paul VI, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape (violenza). Don't confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? How many Hippocratic oaths must doctors take? It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil at its root, no, it's a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned. On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on. QUESTION 7 - EUROPE Q: You will soon receive the Charlemagne Prize, and that's the main European one. What do you say to Europe which now seems to be falling to pieces, first with the crisis of the euro and now that of the refugees. Maybe you have a word for us in this situation of European crisis? POPE: First, the Charlemagne Prize. I had the habit of not accepting prizes or doctorates, not out of humility, but because I don't like them. Maybe a little crazy, but it's good to have it, but I just don't like them. But in this case, I don't say (I was) forced, but convinced by the holy theological headstrongness of Cardinal Kasper, because he was chosen, elected by Achen to convince me. I said yes, but in the Vatican. And I said I offer it for Europe, as a co-decoration for Europe, a prize so that Europe may do what I desired at Strasburg, that it may not (anymore) be grandmother Europe but mother Europe. Secondly, reading the news the other day about this crisis and so on - I read little, I just glance through one newspaper. I won't say the name so as not to create jealousy, but it is known! Just 15 minutes. Then I get information from the Secretariat of State and so on, and there was one word that I liked, and I don't know if they will approve it or not, but it was "the re-foundation of the European Union." I thought of the great fathers, but today where is there a Schuman, an Adenauer, these great ones who after the war founded the European Union. I like that idea of the re-foundation of the European Union, maybe it can be done, because Europe - I do not say is unique, but it has a force, a culture, a history that cannot be wasted, and we must do everything so that the European Union has the strength, the inspiration to make it go on. That's what I think. QUESTION 8 - COMMUNION FOR THE DIVORCED Q: Some wonder, how a Church that claims to be merciful, ask how can the church forgive a murderer easier than someone who has divorced and remarried? POPE: I like this question. Two synods spoke on the family. And the Pope has spoken all year in the Wednesday Catechisms. The question is true, you put it very well. In the post-synod document that will be published, perhaps before Easter - it picks up -- in one of the chapters, it has many - the conflicts, wounded families. It is one of the concerns. As another is the preparation for marriage. If you think to become a priest there are 8 years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you want to leave, you can ask for a dispensation and you leave, and everything is ok. Instead for a sacrament, (marriage), which is for your whole life, there are 3-4 talks. Preparation for marriage is very important. It is something Church doesn't value -at least in my country, Latina America, not valued much. Some years ago in my native country there was a custom, called ''accasiamento de apuro (SP?)'' marriage in haste because a baby is about to arrive, and to cover socially, the honour of the family. There, they weren't free. Many times these marriages are void. As a bishop I forbade my priests to do this. When there was something like this, I would say, let the baby come, let them continue as fiancées, and when they feel like they can continue for the rest of their lives, then they could go ahead (and get married). Another very interesting chapter is the education of children - the victims of problems of the family are children. Even of problems that neither husband or wife want (have a say in). For example, the demands of a job. When the dad doesn't have free time to speak to his children, when the mother doesn't have time to speak with her children. When I confess a couple, I ask how may children do you have,? Some are worried I will ask why don't you have more? I'll ask a second question. ''Do you play with your children?" The majority say, ''but father, I have no time. I work all day''. Children are victims of a social problem that wounds the family. It is a problem. I like your question. They have no time to play with the children the children are victims of this social problem. Another interesting thing. In the meeting with families in Tuxtla, there was a couple, married again in second union (after divorcing). Integrated in the church. The key phrase used by the synod, which I shall take up again, is ''integrate'' into the life of the church the wounded families, those that have remarried etc. One mustn't forget the children in the middle. They are the first victims, both in the wounds, and in the conditions of poverty, of work, etc. (Q: can they take the Eucharist): POPE: This is the last thing. Integrate in the Church doesn't mean having communion. I know remarried Catholics who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year (and say) I want to join in Communion. As if joining in Communion were an award (honor). Work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ''from here on they can have communion."" This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple. It wouldn't make them do this path of integration. QUESTION 9 - JOHN PAUL II AND LADY FRIEND Q: POPE: I already knew about this friendship between St. John Paul II and this philosopher when I was in Buenos Aires. It was known. Her books were known. John Paul II was a restless man. Then I would also say that a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a woman -- I'm not talking about misogynists, those are sick, -- well, he's a man who is missing something. And in my own experience, including when I ask for advice, I would ask a collaborator, a friend, but I'd also like to hear the opinion of a woman because they have such wealth (ricchezza), they look at things in a different way. I like to say that women are those who form life in their wombs -- this is an observation I make. They have this charism (gift) of giving you things you can build with. A friendship with a woman is not a sin, it's a friendship. A romantic relationship (rapporto amoroso) with a woman who is not your wife, that is sin. Understand? But the pope is a man. The pope needs the input of women, too. And the pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends -- Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross -- don't be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman can do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help, healthy friendship. Question 10: SAME SEX UNIONS Q: Holiness, good evening. I return back to the topic of the law that is being voted on in the Italian parliament. It is a law that in some ways is about other countries, because other countries have laws about unions among people of the same sex. There is a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith from 2003 that dedicates a lot of attention to this, and even more, dedicates a chapter to the position of Catholic parliamentarians in parliament before this question. It says expressly that Catholic parliamentarians must not vote for these laws. There is much confusion on this. I wanted to ask, first of all, is this document of 2003 still in effect? And what is the position a Catholic parliamentarian must take? And then another thing: (Something about a mosque in Cairo and an audience the pope wants with another pope?) Pope: For this, Msgr. NAME went to Cairo last week to meet the second to the Imam and to greet the Imam...." "I want to meet him. I know that he would like it. We are looking for the way, always through Cardinal Tauran because it is the path...." Italian parliament: "I do not remember that document well ... but a Catholic parliamentarian must vote according their well-formed conscience. I would say just this. I believe it is sufficient because -- I say well-formed because it is not the conscience of what seems to me. I remember when matrimony for persons of the same sex was voted on in Buenos Aires there were votes. And at the end, one said to advise the other: 'But do you have to declare, or no? 'Me neither. Let's go. But if we don't go there won't be a quorum.' "The other said: 'If we have a quorum we will give the vote to Kirchner.' The other said: 'I prefer Kirchner and not Bergoglio.'" "This is not a well formed conscience. On people of the same sex, I repeat what I said on the trip to Rio di Janeiro, in the Catechism of the Catholic church." QUESTION 11 - FUTURE TRIPS Q: We are thinking about future trips, about preparing out suitcases again. Holy Father, when are you going to go to Argentina where they have been waiting for you for a long time? When will you return to Latin America? Or in China? And quick comment, you spoke many times during this trip about dreaming - what do you dream about? And what is your nightmare? POPE: China. (laughs) To go there. I would love that. I would like to say something about the Mexican people. It is a population that has a wealth, such great wealth, a people that surprises. They have a culture, a culture that goes back millenniums. Do you know that today, in Mexico, today, they speak 65 languages, counting the indigenous languages, 65. It is a people of great faith. They have also suffered religious persecution. There are martyrs, I will canonize two, it is a population that you can't explain, you can't explain it because the word "people" is not a logical category, it is a mythical category. The Mexican people you cannot explain this wealth, this history, this joy, the capacity to celebrate (festa) within these tragedies that you have asked about. I can say another thing, that this unity, that this people has managed not to fail, not to end with so many wars, things, things that are happening now. There in the city of Juarez there was a pact of 12 hours of peace for my visit. After that they will continue to fight among themselves. No? Traffickers. But a people that still is together with all that, you can only explain with Guadalupe. And I invite you to seriously study the facts of Guadalupe. The Madonna is there. I cannot find another explanation. And it would be nice if you as journalists-there are some books that explain the painting what it is like, the significance, and that is how you can understand better this great and beautiful people. QUESTION 12 - GUADALUPE Q: Two things, I wanted to know what did you ask (the Madonna of ) Guadalupe? Because you were there a long time in the church praying to Guadalupe. And then something else: do you dream in Italian or Spanish? POPE: I'd say I dream in Esperanto. I don't know how to respond to that. Sometimes I remember some dreams in another language, but dreaming in languages, no. But images, yes, that is my psychology (the way I am made.) I dream only a bit with words, no? Q: And the first question, in front of Guadalupe? POPE: I asked for the world, for peace, for so many things. Poor thing, I "made her a head like this" (Italian expression, means he asked for a lot of things.) I asked pardon, I asked I asked that the church grows healthy. I asked for the Mexican people. And another thing I asked for a lot: for priests to be true priests, and nuns good nuns, and bishops good bishops. as this is what the Lord wants. I asked a lot of her, but after all, the things a child tells his mother are a bit secret.
Archived Unity File