Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Mega-Interview from Pope Francis: "I don't like how the world is overcoming the pandemic"

About Corona, climate and disinformation: "Without the commitment of young people, we are finished" 

Mega interview with Pope Francis

Edit: his adulation and admiration for the murdering, bloodthirsty figures of the Latin American revolution was what caught my attention. 

Rome) Pope Francis granted an extensive exclusive interview to the Argentine press agency Télam, which was published yesterday at noon Roman time. However, it was not entirely “exclusive”. In the past, there have been some disagreements between the Communications Dicastery established by Francis and his arbitrary interviewing activities. As is well known, this happened repeatedly without regard to their own ministry. It was different this time.

In the past few years, it could be that those responsible for communications at the Holy See only found out about interviews with the Pope from the media. Santa Marta didn't bother to notify the proper authorities.

So it was that the Vatican media, such as VaticanNews and the Osservatore Romano, lagged behind the secular media and only published excerpts of the interviews. This, in turn, did not satisfy Francis, who wanted people to be able to read and hear his statements directly and fully.

In this regard, there seem to have been refinements: the Télam interview was made available to the Vatican media in advance so that translations could be made. When the original Spanish version of the interview was published, the Vatican media were able to publish translations in other languages that had already been prepared. VaticanNews published the papal responses in English and Italian. The Osservatore Romano was able to print the original version in its Spanish weekly edition that appeared yesterday, for which it needed four pages. The German service of VaticanNews. On the other hand, as in the past, contented itself with making only an abridged version available to the readership. initially wanted to publish the complete interview in an annotated version. We don't do that. The readers can get an unbiased picture. Some comments are still allowed, but will only be added at the end.

Own logo for the interview

The interview with Francis was conducted by Bernarda Llorente, editor-in-chief of Télam :

"You don't get out of the crisis alone, you get out of it by taking risks and holding each other's hands"

Exclusive Télam agency interview with Pope Francis

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Francis, you have been one of the most important voices at a time of great loneliness and fear in the world during the pandemic. You knew how to describe the limits of a world in economic, social and political crisis. On that occasion, you said: "You never come out of a crisis unchanged, you come out better or worse". How do you think we will get out of this situation? Where are we going?

Francis: I don't like this [where we're going]. There has been growth in some areas, but generally, I don't like it because it has become selective. You see, the mere fact that there are no vaccines in Africa or only the minimum doses means that curing the disease also depends on other interests. The fact that Africa needs vaccines so badly shows that something has gone wrong.

When I say you're never the same, it's because a crisis inevitably changes you. Also, crises are moments in life when you take a step forward. There is the crisis of puberty, that of growing up, and the midlife crisis. Life marks milestones with crises. Because crises make you move, they make you dance. And you have to know how to deal with them because if you don't, they become conflicts. And the conflict is something closed, it seeks the solution within itself and destroys itself. Instead, the crisis is necessarily open, it allows one to grow. One of the most important things in life is knowing how to handle a crisis without becoming bitter. And how did we survive the crisis? Everyone did what they could. There were heroes, I can only speak of those closest to me: doctors, nurses, priests, religious, lay people who really gave their lives. Some have died. I think more than sixty died in Italy. Giving up one's life for others is one of the things that has come to the fore in this crisis. The priests also generally did well because the churches were closed, but they called the people. There were young priests who would ask the elderly in the market what they needed and shop for them. I mean, crises force solidarity because everyone is in a crisis. And that's where you grow.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Many thought that the pandemic had set limits: extreme inequality, disregard for global warming, excessive individualism, and the poor functioning of political and representative systems. However, there are sectors that insist on restoring pre-pandemic conditions.

Francis: We cannot return to the false security of the political and economic structures that we used to have. Just as I say that one does not get out of the crisis straight away, but better or worse, I also say that one does not get out of the crisis alone. Either we all get out of this or none of us. The assumption that a single group will emerge from the crisis may be salvation, but it is a partial salvation, be it economic, be it political, or of certain sectors of power. But you can't get out all the way. You remain imprisoned by the power choice you have made. For example, they made a business out of it or strengthened themselves culturally during the crisis. Using the crisis to your advantage means to get out of it badly and above all alone. You don't get out of the crisis alone, you get out by taking risks and holding each other's hands. If you don't do that, you won't get out of it. So this is the social aspect of the crisis.

It's a civilization crisis. And nature also happens to be in a crisis. I remember receiving several heads of government and heads of state from Polynesian countries a few years ago. And one of them said: "Our country is thinking about buying land in Samoa, because in 25 years we might not exist anymore because the sea rises so much." We are not aware of it, but there is a Spanish Proverb that should make us think: God always forgives. Rest assured that God always forgives and we humans forgive from time to time. But nature never forgives. That took its toll. You use nature and it comes back to you.

An overheated world also removes us from building a just and fraternal society. There is the crisis, the pandemic and the famous Covid. When I was a student, the main cause of the coronavirus was a cold. But then they mutated and what happened happened. The mutation of viruses is very interesting because we are not only facing a viral crisis, but also a global crisis. A global crisis in our relationship with the universe. We are not in harmony with creation, with the universe. And we slap them all the time. We abuse our powers. There are people who cannot imagine the danger mankind is in today due to this overheating and the trampling of nature.

I would like to share with you a personal experience: in 2007 I was on the drafting group of the Aparecida document and at that time there were proposals from Brazilians committed to protecting nature. "But these Brazilians, what's going on in their heads?" I asked myself at the time, but I didn't understand any of it. But little by little I woke up and felt the urge to write something. Years later, when I traveled to Strasbourg, President François Hollande sent his Environmental Minister at the time, Ségolène Royale, to receive me. At one point she asked me, "Is it true that you are writing something about the environment?" When I said yes, she asked me, "Please publish it before the Paris conference" [UN Climate Change Conference 2015], and that was Laudato si'." It was necessary to create awareness that we are slapping nature in the face. And nature will take its toll. That has its price.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): In the encyclical Laudato si' you warn that ecology is often spoken of, but detached from social and developmental conditions. What would these new rules look like economically, socially and politically in the midst of what you have termed a civilizational crisis and with an earth also saying "I can't give any more"?

Francis:It's all united, it's harmonious. One cannot imagine man without nature, and one cannot imagine nature without man. It's like Genesis: "Be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth". To subjugate means to harmonize with the earth in order to make it fertile. And we have that calling. There is an expression of the native people of the Amazon that I love: "living well". They have this philosophy of the good life that has nothing to do with our porteño [ language of the people of Buenos Aires] 'having fun' or the Italian 'dolce vita'For them, it is about living in harmony with nature. What we need is an internal decision by people and countries. A conversion, we would say. When I was told that Laudatio si' was a beautiful environmental encyclical, I replied that it wasn't, but "a social encyclical". Because we cannot separate the social from the ecological. The life of men and women develops in a certain environment.

This reminds me of a Spanish proverb, I hope it's not too guarango [rude], which says: "Whoever spits in the sky will fall on his head". It is similar with the mistreatment of nature. Nature takes its toll. I repeat: nature never forgives, not because it is vengeful, but because we set in motion processes of degeneration that are not in harmony with our nature. A few years ago I was horrified when I saw a photo of a ship passing the North Pole for the first time. The navigable North Pole! What does that mean? That the ice is breaking up because of the warming, dissolving. When we see something like this, we have to put a stop to it. And it's the young people who notice it the most. We adults aren't used to it, we say 'that's not bad' or we just don't get it.

Young people, politics and hate speech

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Young people, as you say, seem to have a greater ecological awareness, but it often seems segmented. Today there is less political involvement and even in elections, the participation of the under 35s is very low. What would you say to these young people? How can you help give them hope again?

Francis: You raised a difficult point here, namely the political disinterest of young people: why don't they get involved in politics, why don't they play their part? Because they are discouraged. They have - I won't say all of them, for heaven's sake - experienced situations of mafia dealings and corruption. When the young people of a country see that you can "sell even their mother" to make a deal, then the political culture sinks. And that's why they don't want to get involved in politics. But we need them because they are the ones who must propose the rescue of world politics. And why rescue? Because if we don't change our attitude toward the environment, we will all perish. But we need them because they are who must propose the salvation of universal politics. And why the rescue? Because if we don't change our attitude toward the environment, we will all perish. In December we had a scientific-theological meeting on this environmental situation. And I remember the director of the Italian Academy of Sciences saying: "If this doesn't change, in 30 years my granddaughter who was born yesterday will have to live in an uninhabitable world". That's why I say to young people that it's not just a question of protesting, but that they also need to find ways to take charge of the processes that will help us survive. And why the rescue? Because if we don't change our attitude toward the environment, we will all perish. In December we had a scientific-theological meeting on this environmental situation. That's why I say to young people that it's not just a question of protesting, but that they also need to find ways to take charge of the processes that will help us survive.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Do you think that part of the frustration of some young people leads them to be seduced by hate speech and extreme political options?

Francis: The process of a country, the process of social, economic and political development, requires constant re-evaluation and constant confrontation with others. The political world is this battle of ideas, of positions, that purifies us and moves us forward together. Young people must learn this science of politics, of coexistence, but also of political struggle, which purifies us of selfishness and advances us. It is important to help young people with this socio-political commitment and not to "buy a letterbox". But I think young people are smarter these days. In my time, we weren't 'sold a letterbox', but we went to the main post office straight away. Today they are much more awake and alive. I have great faith in young people. "Yes, but they don't come to Mass," a priest tells me. I answer that we must help them to grow and accompany them. Then God will speak to each one of them. But we have to let them grow. If young people aren't the protagonists of the story, we're finished. Because they are the present and the future. 

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): A few days ago you spoke about the importance of dialogue between generations.

Francis:  In this context, I would like to say something that I always like to emphasize: we must resume the dialogue between young and old. The young need to come to terms with their roots, and the old need to be aware that they are leaving a legacy. The young person who meets his grandfather or grandmother receives juice, receives things and carries them on. And the old man when he meets his grandson or granddaughter has hope. There is a very nice line by Bernárdez, I don't know which poem, that goes: "What flowers the tree has comes from what it has from the ground". It doesn't say, "The flowers come from down there." No, the flowers are upstairs. But this top-down dialogue, starting from the roots and continuing is the true meaning of tradition. I also noticed a quote from the composer Gustav Mahler: "Tradition is the guarantee for the future". It is not a museum piece. It is what gives you life as long as it allows you to grow. Anything else would be a step backwards and thus unhealthy conservatism. "Because it's always been done that way, I don't dare take a step forward," was the reasoning. Perhaps this requires further explanation, but I get to the heart of the dialogue between the young and the old, for therein lies the true meaning of tradition. It's not traditionalism. It is tradition that makes us grow, it is the guarantee for the future. 

The Evils of Time

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Francis, you often describe three evils of the time: narcissism, discouragement and pessimism. How to fight them?

Francis: The three things you mentioned—narcissism, discouragement, and pessimism—are part of what's called mirror psychology. Of course Narcissus looked in the mirror. And that look at yourself isn't a look forward, it's a look back and a constant licking of your own wound. In fact, it is the philosophy of being different that makes us grow. If there is no confrontation in life, there is no growth. The three things you mentioned are those of the mirror: I look at it to look at myself and to complain. I remember one nun who was always complaining and in the convent they called her 'Sister Complaint'. Well, there are people who constantly complain about the ills of the times. But there is something that helps a lot against this narcissism, discouragement and pessimism: sense of humor. It's what makes us more human. There is a beautiful prayer of St Thomas More that I have prayed every day for more than 40 years that begins with the request, “Lord, give me good digestion and something to digest too. Give me a sense of humor so that I can appreciate a joke [“Give me, O Lord, a sense of humour, give me the grace to understand a joke”, n. Télam] A sense of humor puts many things into perspective and does one good . It goes against that spirit of pessimism, of "whining". It was Narcissus, wasn't it? Back to the mirror. Typical narcissism. 

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Back in 2014 you said the world was on the verge of a Third World War and today reality confirms your prediction. Is the lack of dialogue and listening to an aggravating factor in the current situation?

Francis: The expression I used at the time was 'world war in pieces'. We are witnessing firsthand what is happening in Ukraine and that is why we are concerned, but think of Rwanda 25 years ago, Syria 10 years ago, Lebanon with its internal struggles or Myanmar today. What we see here has been happening for a long time. A war is unfortunately one cruelty a day. In war one does not dance the minuet, one kills. And there's a whole structure of arms sales that favors that. Somebody who knows statistics told me - I don't remember the numbers - that if no weapons were made for a year, there would be no more hunger in the world. I think it's time to reconsider the concept of "just war". There can be a just war, there is the right to defend oneself, but the way the term is used today needs to be reconsidered. I have stated that using and possessing nuclear weapons is immoral. To solve things with war is to deny man's capacity for dialogue, for the constructive. This ability to dialogue is very important. I leave the war and move on to general behavior. Look, if you're talking to someone and before you're done, you'll be interrupted and reciprocated. We don't know how to listen to each other. We don't allow the other to speak their own mind. We have to listen. Listen to what he says, receive. We declare war beforehand, that is, we break off the dialogue. For war is essentially a lack of dialogue.

When I went to Redipuglia in 2014 for the centenary of the 1914 war, I saw the ages of the dead in the cemetery and I cried. I cried that day. On November 2nd, a few years later, I visited the Anzio cemetery and when I saw the ages of the dead boys, I cried too. I'm not ashamed to say that. What cruelty. And as the anniversary of the Normandy landings came around, I thought of the 30,000 boys who were left lifeless on the beach. They opened the boats and received the command: “Down, down” while the Nazis waited for them. Is that justified? A visit to the military cemeteries in Europe helps to recognize this.

The institutional crisis

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Are the multilateral organizations failing in the face of these wars? Is it possible to achieve peace through them? Is it feasible to seek common solutions?

Francis: After World War II there was a lot of hope in the United Nations. I don't want to offend anyone, I know that very good people work there, but at the moment they have no power to assert themselves. They help avoid wars and I am thinking of Cyprus where Argentine troops are stationed. But the UN has no power to end a war, to resolve a conflict situation such as we are experiencing today in Europe or in other parts of the world. No offense. It is that the constitution that they have does not give them the power.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Has the balance of power in the world changed and has the weight of some institutions changed?

Francis: That's a question I don't want to generalize too much. Let me put it this way: there are some deserving institutions that are in crisis or, worse, in conflict. Those in crisis give me hope for possible progress. Those in conflict are busy finding solutions to internal problems. Courage and creativity are required at the moment. Without these two things, we will not have international institutions that can help us overcome these very serious conflicts, these deadly situations.

Time to take stock

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): In 2023, 10 years will have passed since you were elected to the Vatican, an ideal anniversary to take stock. Were you able to achieve all of your goals? Which projects are still pending?

Francis: The things I've done I didn't invent or make up after a night of indigestion. I've collected everything the cardinals said at the pre-conclave meetings about what the next pope should do. Then it was said what needs to be changed, which points need to be addressed. What I set in motion was what I was asked to do. I don't think it was anything original what I did, but rather that I implemented what was requested by all of us. The Curia reform thus resulted in the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, which, after eight and a half years of work and consultations, allowed us to implement the changes requested by the Cardinals and already put into practice. Today there is a missionary experience. Praedicate Evangelium, meaning "Be missionary," preaches the Word of God. In other words, the most important thing is to get out there.

Curious: at these meetings a cardinal said that in the text of the Apocalypse Jesus says: “I stand at the door and knock. If someone opens the door to me, I will come in". Then he said, "Jesus keeps knocking, but so that we will let him out because we are holding him captive". This is what was asked for at these Cardinal Assemblies. And when I was elected, I started that. A few months later, initial consultations took place until the new constitution was finalized. And in the meantime, changes have been made. In other words, these are not my ideas. So that's clear. It is the ideas of the entire College of Cardinals that have called for this.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): But is there an imprint, an imprint by the Latin American Church?

Francis: Yes, there are.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): How has this perspective enabled the changes we are witnessing today?

Francis: The Latin American Church has a long history of being close to the people. If we look at the Episcopal Conferences - first in Medellín, then in Puebla, Santo Domingo and Aparecida - they have always been in dialogue with the People of God. And that helped a lot. It is a people's church, in the truest sense of the word. It is a church of God's people, which was denatured when the people were no longer allowed to express themselves, and finally became a church of the foremen, in which the ministers were in charge. However, the people expressed themselves more and more religiously and eventually became the protagonists of their story.

There is an Argentine philosopher, Rodolfo Kusch, who has best grasped what a people is. Since I know that I will be heard, I recommend reading Kusch. He is one of the great Argentine thinkers and has written books on popular philosophy. In part, the Latin American Church has experienced this, even if there have been attempts at ideologization, such as the instrument of Marxist analysis of reality for liberation theology. It was an ideological exploitation, a way of liberating – let's put it that way – the Latin American national church. But peoples are one thing, populism is another.

The Doctrine of the Periphery

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): What is the difference between the two?

Francis: In Europe, I have to say that again and again. There they had a very sad experience with populism. There is a book that has just come out, Syndrome 1933, that shows how Hitler's populism developed. That's why I like to say: Let's not confuse populism with popularism. Popularity means that the people regulate their own affairs, express their wishes in dialogue and are sovereign. Populism, on the other hand, is an ideology that glues people together and tries to steer them in one direction. And when you talk to them here about fascism and Nazism, they understand what populism is. The Latin American Church exhibits aspects of ideological submission in some cases. It has existed and will continue to exist because it is a human limitation. But it is a Church that has been and is able to express its popular piety better and better, for example its religiosity and its popular organization.

If you notice that the Misachicos ( Misachicos are small processions organized by families or groups carrying the image of a saint, typical of northwestern Argentina, NB Télam) coming down from 3,000 meters, then there is a religious one there. It is a unity that is not superstition because they identify with it. The Latin American Church has grown significantly in this area. And it is also a Church that has known how to look after the margins because from there one sees the true reality.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Why does real change come from the margins?

Francis: I was struck by a lecture by the late philosopher Amelia Podetti, in which she said: "Europe saw the universe when Magellan reached the south". In other words, it understood itself from the larger periphery. The periphery lets us understand the center. You may or may not agree, but if you want to know what a people are feeling, you have to go to the margins. The existential margins, not just the social ones.
Go to the pensioners, to the children, go to the neighborhoods, to the factories, to the universities, go to where everyday life is happening. And that's where the people show up. The places where people can express themselves more freely. That's the key for me. Politics from the people that is not populism. Respect for people's values, respect for the rhythm and wealth of a people.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): In recent years, Latin America has begun to show alternatives to neoliberalism through the development of popular and integrative projects. How do you see Latin America as a region?

Francis: Latin America is still on the slow path of struggle, of San Martín and Bolívar's dream of regional unity. It has always been a victim of exploitative imperialism and will remain so until it frees itself. This applies to all countries. I don't want to mention them because they are so obvious that everyone sees them. The dream of San Martín and Bolívar is a prophecy, the encounter of all Latin American peoples with sovereignty, beyond ideologies. This is what we must work towards in order to achieve Latin American unity. Where every people feels that they have their own identity and at the same time need the identity of the other. That is not easy.

"The true reality is seen from the margins"

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): You show a path based on certain political principles.

Francis: There are four political principles that help me, not only in this, but also in solving problems in the Church. Four principles that are philosophical, political or social, whatever you want. I will mention them:

  • "Reality comes before ideas," in other words, if you embrace idealism, you lose; it is reality that touches reality.

  • "The whole comes before the part", ie always strive for the unity of the whole.

  • "Unity is better than conflict," in other words, if you encourage conflict, you harm unity.

  • "Time comes before space", bearing in mind that imperialism always seeks to occupy space, while the greatness of peoples consists in initiating processes.

These four principles have always helped me to understand a country, a culture, or the Church. They are human principles, principles of integration. And there are other principles that are more ideological in nature, namely that of disintegration. But thinking about these four principles is very helpful.

media manipulation

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): You are perhaps the most important voice in the world when it comes to social and political leadership. Do you sometimes have the feeling that you have the opportunity to change many things with your dissonant voice?

Francis: I have sometimes felt that it is dissonant. I believe my voice can change, but I don't believe too much because it can hurt. I say what I feel before God, before others, with honesty and with a desire to serve. I don't worry too much about whether this will change anything or not. I'm more about saying things and helping them change themselves. I believe that there is a great power in the world and especially in Latin America to change things with these four principles that I just mentioned.
And it's true that when I speak, everyone says: "The Pope has spoken and said this". But it's also true that they take a sentence out of context and make you say something you didn't mean. In other words, you have to be very careful. For example, in relation to the war, there was a whole argument about a statement I made in a Jesuit magazine: I said, "There is no good and no bad here," and I explained why. But they just took this statement and said: “The Pope does not condemn Putin!” In reality, the state of war is something much more general, more serious, and there are no good and bad here. We are all affected and we have to learn that.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): The world has become more and more unequal, and this is also reflected in the media, which are gaining more and more power in the production of discourse through the concentration of companies, digital platforms and social networks. What role do you think the media should play in this context?

Francis: I believe in the principle that reality comes before ideas. I remember a book by the philosopher Simone Paganini, professor at the University of Aachen, in which he talks about communication and the tensions that exist between the author of a book, the reader and the power of the book itself. He argues that there is tension in both communicating and reading the book. And that is the key to communication. For in a way the communication must enter into a relationship of healthy tension that stimulates the other to think and prompts a response. If not, it is informational only.

Human communication - and he speaks of journalists, communicators, whatever - has to be included in the dynamics of this tension. We need to be aware that communication means getting involved. And we have to be very aware that we have to get involved. For example, there is objectivity. I communicate something and say: “That happened, I think that”. That is my commitment and I am open to the answer of my counterpart. But if I tell what happened by cutting it without saying I'm cutting it, I'm dishonest because I'm not telling the truth. You can't communicate a truth objectively, because if I communicate it, I'll put my sauce on it. Therefore, it is important to distinguish: "That happened and I think that happened". Today, unfortunately, "I think" leads to a distortion of reality. And this is very serious.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): You have spoken on several occasions about the sins of communication.

Francis:I first said this at a conference in Buenos Aires when I was Archbishop. It occurred to me to speak of the four sins of communication, journalism. First: disinformation: I say what suits me and keep silent about the rest. No, they must not misinform. Second: defamation. They invent things and sometimes destroy a person with a message. Third, slander, which is not slander but reduces a person to a thought he had in another time but has already changed. It's like having an adult bring you dirty diapers from your childhood. I thought the same way when I was a kid. That has changed, it is now. Coprophilia, that is love of excrement [Francis uses a heartier word], love of dirt. That means you want to get dirty, you want a scandal for the sake of the scandal. I remember Cardinal Antonio Quarracino saying: "I don't read this newspaper because when I do, the blood spurts out". It's the love of the dirty, the ugly.

I believe that the media must be careful not to fall into disinformation, slander, defamation and coprophilia. Their value is in expressing the truth. I'm telling the truth, but I'm the one expressing it, and I'm adding my own sauce to it. But I'll make it clear what's my sauce and what's objective. And I transmit them. In this transmission, honesty is sometimes lost a bit: so from the oral tradition, one goes through a first step in which Little Red Riding Hood flees from the wolf who wants to eat her, and ends up at a banquet at the end of the transmission, where the Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood eat the wolf. One must be careful that communication does not change the nature of reality.

communication and power

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): What value do you attach to communication?

Francis:Communication is sacred. She is perhaps one of the most beautiful things a person has. Communication is divine and one must know how to communicate with honesty and authenticity. Without adding anything of mine and saying: "It happened, I think it must be like that, or I interpret it like that". Make it clear that it is you who are speaking. Today the media have a great didactic responsibility: to teach people honesty, to teach them to lead by example, to teach them to live together. But when you have media that gives the impression that they have a grenade in their hands to destroy people - with a selective truth, with slander,

I demand that healthy objectivity from the media, which doesn't mean it's distilled water. I repeat: "It is so, and that is my opinion". You go out there, but make it clear what you think. That's very classy. But if you talk about the program of a certain political movement, a certain party, without saying what it is, that's shabby and not good. To be a good communicator, the communicator must be born well.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Many media that put their interests first give way to a globalization agenda of indifference. These are the issues that the media want to make visible or conceal for various reasons.

Francis: Yes, when I sometimes think of the media, which unfortunately do not do their job well, when I think of these things in our culture in general, in world culture, that damage society itself, a sentence from our philosophy comes to mind the sense that seems pessimistic, but the truth is: " Dale que va, todo es igual, que allá en el horno se vamo" . In other words, it doesn't matter what is the truth and what isn't. It doesn't matter if that person wins or loses. Everything is irrelevant. Dale que va“. When this philosophy is propagated in the media, it is devastating because it creates a culture of indifference, conformism, and relativism that harms us all.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Technology is often credited with having a life of its own, being blamed for evils committed beyond its deployment. How can we reclaim humanism in this technological world?

Francis: You see, an operating room is a place where technology is used down to the millimeter. But what care is taken during a surgical procedure with the new technologies? Because there is life to take care of. The criterion is that technology is always seen, that it works with human lives. We have to think about the operating rooms. That is the honesty that we must always have, also in communication. There are human lives at stake. We can't pretend nothing happened.

The shepherds of the people

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): You have always been a pastor, but how to transmit this Church of Pastors, this Church of the street that speaks to the faithful? Is belief different today? Does the world have less faith? Can faith be regained?

Francis: I like to distinguish between people's chaplains and state chaplains. A cleric of state is a cleric of the French court, like Monsieur L'Abbé, and sometimes we priests are tempted to get too close to those in power, and that's not the right way. The true way is the pastoral ministry. To be in the midst of your people, in front of your people, and behind your people. Being in the thick of it, smelling it good, knowing it well because you were taken from there. Standing in front of your own people and sometimes setting the pace. And being behind your people to help those who are left behind and letting them go alone to see where they are going because sheep sometimes have the intuition to know where the grass is. That is the shepherd's job. a shepherd, who stands alone before the people does not work. He must get involved and take part in the life of his people. When God makes you a pastor, it is to feed them, not to judge them. God came to save, not to condemn. That's what Saint Paul says, not me. Let's save the people, let's not be too harsh.

What I am going to say now will not please some: there is a capital from the basilica of Vézelay, I do not remember if it is from 900 or 1100. You know that in the Middle Ages catechesis was carried out with sculptures, with capitals. People saw them and learned. And a Vèzelay capital that really touched me is that of the hanging Judas, being dragged down by the devil and on the other side a good shepherd who grabs him and carries him away with an ironic smile. He is teaching people that God is greater than your sin, that God is greater than your betrayal, that you should not despair because of the wrong you have done, that there is always someone who will carry you on his shoulders. It is the best catechesis about the person of God, about the mercy of God. For God's mercy is not a gift that he gives you, it is himself. It cannot be otherwise. When we present this severe God who is only about punishment, he is not our God. Our God is the God of mercy, of patience, the God who never tires of forgiving. This is our god. Not the one we priests sometimes deface. This is our god. Not the one we priests sometimes deface. This is our god. Not the one we priests sometimes deface.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): If society listens to this God and to this people who are sometimes not heard, do you think that it will then be possible to construct a different discourse, an alternative to the dominant discourse?

Francis: Yes, of course. Hegemony is never healthy. Before I close, I would like to address something else: In our liturgical life, in the gospel, there is the flight into Egypt. Jesus has to flee with his father and mother because Herod wants to kill him. The three kings and this whole story. But there is also the flight into Egypt, which we so often imagine was in a carriage and was done quietly on a donkey.
Two years ago, a Piedmontese painter thought of the drama of a Syrian father fleeing with his son and said: "This is Saint Joseph with the child". What this man is suffering is what Saint Joseph suffered then. It's that painting that's there that he gave me.

Bergoglio and Francis

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Apart from the pride of having an Argentine Pope, I always think about how you see yourself: how does the Pope see Bergoglio and how would Bergoglio see Francis?

Francis: Bergoglio never thought that he would end up here. Never. I came to the Vatican with a small suitcase, with the clothes on my body and a little more. I have already prepared the sermon for Palm Sunday in Buenos Aires. I thought to myself: No pope will take office on Palm Sunday, so I'm going home on Saturday. In other words: I never thought that I would be here. And when I see Bergoglio there and all its history, the photos speak for themselves. It is the story of a life of many gifts from God, many failures on my part, and many not-so-earth-shattering positions.

One learns in life to be universal, to be merciful, to be less evil. I believe that all people are good. In other words, I see a man who has walked a path, with ups and downs, and so many friends have helped him to continue. I have never spent my life alone. It was always men and women, starting with my parents, my brothers, one of whom is still alive, who accompanied me. I can't imagine being a lonely person because I'm not. A man who went his own way, who studied, who worked, who became a priest, who did what he could. I can't think of any other way.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): And how would Bergoglio see the Pope?

Francis: I don't know how he would look at him. I think deep down he would say, "Poor guy, what have you been through!" But being Pope is not that tragic. One can be a good pastor.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Maybe he would look at him the way we all look at him: he would discover him.

Francis: Yes, maybe. But it didn't occur to me to ask myself that question, to answer it. I will think about it.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): Do you feel that you have changed a lot as Pope?

Francis:Some people tell me that things that were germinating in my personality came to the surface. that I have become more merciful. There were tough times in my life when I asked too much. Then I realized that you can't take this path, you have to know how to lead. It's that fatherliness that God has. There is a very beautiful Neapolitan song that describes what a Neapolitan father is like. It says: "The father knows what is happening to you, but he pretends not to know". A father knows how to wait for others. He knows what's happening to you, but he makes you go on your own, he's waiting for you as if nothing happened. That's a bit of what I would criticize about this Bergoglio today, who at one point, not always, was a little more benevolent as a bishop. But as a Jesuit I was very strict. And life is very beautiful with God's way of always hoping. Knowing but pretending not to know and letting it mature. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of wisdom that life gives us.

Bernarda Llorente (Télam): You seem to be fine, Francis. Will we have the Pope and Francis for a while longer?

Francis: That decides the above.

Translation: Giuseppe Nardi

Short Notes

by Giuseppe Nardi

Unfortunately, the long-winded interview is mainly characterized by two factors: a lot of words, little substance and horizontal without vertical. This could be a disappointment to go back to business as usual. However, a few questions are allowed: 

Is there really nothing more important for a pope to say? Where does Francis get his assurance that Africa “urgently needs vaccine”? Where does he get his certainty of a mutation of coronaviruses from a common cold to... yes, what for... the "killer virus"? Where does he get the certainty of his climate-hysterical narrative from? Why is Francis contradicting himself in the same interview, demanding a distinction between “what is” and what someone only “thinks” is? Nor does he seem to recognize the contradiction when, outside of a Christian context, he speaks of an inexorable nature that "never forgives", demands "tribute", i.e. "takes revenge", but at the same time propagates the corona vaccination with gene-manipulating sera,

In an infusion of Corona, climate and disinformation, Francis speaks without noticing the stumbling blocks, neither for himself nor for the people he lets stumble over them through his instructions. 

What he proclaims about Covid and climate with the certainty with which he should proclaim truths of faith turns him from a preacher of the faith to an ideologue who does not speak science ( science), but science fiction . 

He ignores the fact that proof has now been provided that SARS-CoV‑2 originated in the laboratory. With that, however, all his statements crumble to dust, especially the bizarre warning not to return to the state before Corona. Such a warning was previously only known from… yes, from people like Klaus Schwab & Co. If Corona were a natural virus, why not return to normal after it has subsided in the meantime? Here, to put it guarango like Francis, the dog seems to be biting its own tail. The only logical conclusion from this would have to be the admonishing demand for a strict ban on such dangerous research. But Francis is silent on this.

Likewise, the relevance attributed to CO 2 for the supposedly man-made global warming was refuted. Newer scientific models point in a completely different, relaxed direction, which above all do one thing that Francis demands but does not take to heart: to recognize reality. 

At this point, we shall refrain from making any comments on the mythification of nature that can be heard in the words of the Pope. More questionable is his appeal to Rodolfo Kusch. See also: The Unknown “People” – Pope Francis Reveals Who Told Him the “Pueblo” Myth.

So what does Francis do? He speaks only casually of God and not at all of Christ. He gives some more or less useful tips and all the more platitudes. He talks mainly about politics, once again rehabilitates Eugen Drewermann ( Vézelay ), of course without naming him, and, where he becomes more concrete, does not use a genuine but precise narrative, that of the strong powers, that establishment that directly names like Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates or George Soros and the left-liberal political establishment of the EU and the USA.

And something else stands out and hurts: Francis again avoided addressing the centenary judgment of the US Supreme Court for the right to life of unborn children and against abortion, let alone praising it and using it in favor of the most elementary of all rights, the right to life. But although Francis himself says he will be heard through the interview, he recommends reading Rodolfo Kusch instead.

What remains of the mainstream interview? The unpleasant aftertaste of having wasted your own time reading it. And that's sad.

Francis doesn't like the way the world is getting through the pandemic. An essay by the unforgotten legal philosopher Mario Palmaro comes to mind, with which he explained on October 9, 2013 why he "didn't like" this pope .

Image: Telam (screenshots)

Trans: Tancred



Peter Cornelius said...

This piece of nonsense provides just another reason not to give a cracker. The crowd there are no better than the liars at Lifesite.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous, communist, agitprop. He sounds like the insane, broken down, lewd old communist hack that he is. Rambling, senile, delusional dreck. I’ve never read so much vapid nonsense crammed into a few paragraphs.

Pieter Holland said...

Very good interview. Long live the Holy Father!

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

I just briefly skimmed the tome. In that entire exchange Francis said "Lord " once and "God" two or three times. I saw no mention of Jesus. Please remind me - the pope is the Vicar of whom??

Peter Cornelius said...

The Pope is Vicar of Peter, not Christ. Read the history of the title and be enlightened.

Anthony said...

Vicar of Christ is one of the pope's titles, not Vicar of Peter. The first pope wasn't the Vicar of himself.

PC said...

Amaze yourself. Read a book.

Anonymous said...

you can read?

Anonymous said...

Gaybrielle is so insecure, he has to lash out with snotty retorts. Typical gay food server.