(Rome) The Spanish daily El Pais published in yesterday's Sunday edition an interview with Pope Francis. In this, the leader of the Catholic church said that "liberation theology was a positive thing for Latin America," that "one can practice religion in China" and that he "must be much more incomprehensible because of my sins." An excerpt.
On Liberation Theology
El Pais : Do you not think that the Church has lost many positions for the benefit of other religions and sects even after the failed attempt of liberation theology? Why is that?
Pope Francis : Liberation theology was a positive thing in Latin America. The part was condemned by the Vatican which opted for the Marxist analysis of reality. Cardinal Ratzinger issued two instructions when he was prefect of the Congregation of the Faith. It was very clear about the Marxist analysis of reality, and a second in which he came back to the positive aspects. Liberation theology had positive aspects, but also deviations, especially in the Marxist analysis of reality.
To the People's Republic of China
El Pais : Can Vatican diplomacy soon be broadened in China?
Pope Francis : In fact, there is already a Commission working with China and meets every three months, once here [Vatican], once in Beijing. And there is a lot of dialogue with China. China has always had the aura of mystery, which is fascinating. Two or three months ago they were happy with the exhibition of the Vatican Museum in Beijing. And they will come to the Vatican in the coming year with their things, their museum.
El Pais : Will you soon travel to China?
Pope Francis: When I am invited. They know that. In China, by the way, the churches are full. They can practice religion in China.
El Pais : Do you think, Holy Father, that the signs are similar in Europe today, which were present in Germany in 1933? [It's like Hitler!!]
Pope Francis : I am not a technician in it, but on today's Europe, I refer to my three speeches. The two in Strasbourg, and the third, when I received the Charlemagne Prize, the only prize which I have accepted as a service because of the moment which Europe is going through. These three speeches say what I think about Europe.
About Paul VI. And misunderstanding
El Pais : 50 years ago there was almost everything. The Second Vatican Council, the journey of Paul VI. And the embrace with the patriarch Athenagoras in the Holy Land. Some say to understand you, they should come to know Paul VI. At a certain moment he was a misunderstood pope. Do you also feel a bit like an uncomfortable pope?
Pope Francis : No, no. I think I am much more misunderstood because of my sins. Paul VI was the martyr of disagreement. Evangelii gaudium was in the framework of the Pastoral. What I want to give to the Church now is an update of Evangelii nuntiandi of Paul VI. He is a man who went forward in history. And he suffered, suffered much. He was a martyr. And many things he could not do, because he knew as a realist that he could not, and so he suffered, but he offered that suffering. And he did what he could do. And what Paul VI did best: sow. He sowed things that were later harvested in history. Evangelii gaudium is a mixture of Evangelii nuntiandi and the Aparecida document [2007 Latin American Episcopal Conference]. Things that have grown from below. Evangelii nuntiandi is the best post-conciliar pastoral document and has lost none of its topicality. I do not feel misunderstood. I feel accompanied, accompanied by all types of people, boys, old people, ... Yes, some out there are disagreeable, and that's their right, because if I felt bad, because some disagree. that would be the beginnings of the dictator in my attitude. You have the right to disagree. You have the right to think that the road is dangerous, that it could bring bad results, that ... they have the right. But always on the condition that they enter into a dialogue, and not that they throw stones and hide their hand, not that. No man has a right to that. [Except for you and your close circle of intimates who rules the Vatican like oriental despots?] Throwing a stone, but hiding the hand is criminal. Everyone has a right to discuss, and hopefully, we will discuss a lot, because this is what sets us apart. The discussion unites. The discussion with good blood, not with slander and all that ... [Unless it's you who's doing the slander, Holiness?]
Introduction / translation: Giuseppe Nardi Image: OSS / El Pais (Screenshot)