It is neither a thought, nor a concern, nor even a desire, said Pope Francis when asked whether he was considering stepping down from the throne of Peter. The priest gave an interview to the popular talk show “Che tempo che fa”, broadcast on the commercial television station Nove. During it, he said that in the second half of the year he would like to visit his homeland, which he had not been to for ten years.
Two days after the Pope himself revealed that he had mild bronchitis, when asked how he felt, he jokingly replied: “I’m still alive.” When asked whether he was considering resigning from office, 87-year-old Francis said that “it is neither a thought, nor a concern, nor even a desire.”
– This is a possibility open to all popes, but at the moment it is not at the center of my thoughts, worries, my feelings – the pope explained.
– As long as I feel I can serve, I will move forward. If I can’t cope anymore, it will be time to think about it, Francis added.
The Pope on the war in the Gaza Strip
Referring to the conflict in the Middle East, he emphasized that he calls the parish in Gaza every day. – They tell me that terrible things are happening. How many Arabs died and how many Israelis died. Two nations, called to be brothers, destroy each other, he declared. Francis returned to the issue of the arms trade, saying it was behind the wars. Wars are fought or expanded to “sell more weapons” or “try new ones,” he noted. – Money is invested to kill – he said about the arms industry. The Pope noted that when deciding on war, those in power are guided by different intentions – Some people have a sense of patriotism, others have economic interests, others have a desire to create an empire to dominate – he explained. As he said, it is a “crime” that children forget to smile because of the war. He admitted that the “war escalation” makes him afraid.
“The human capacity for self-destruction”
– The question is: how will we end up with nuclear weapons that destroy everything? As Noah’s Ark? This is what scares me: humanity’s ability to self-destruct, he said. Asked if he sometimes feels alone because of the decisions he makes, the Pope said that “when decisions are made, there is a price of loneliness that has to be paid, and sometimes the decisions are not accepted.” – But most often decisions are not accepted because they are not known – he said.
Pope on blessing same-sex couples
When you do not accept a decision, you have to go to talk and share your doubts, the pope explained. He considered only opposition and “resistance” as “dangerous”. This was the case, he admitted, with regard to the possibility of blessing everyone, including same-sex couples, as announced by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Pope noted: – God blesses all who come. – People must see the path that the Lord shows. And we must take them by the hand and help them find this path, not condemn them from the beginning. This is pastoral work for the Church, he explained. The Pope confessed that during his 54 years of priesthood he refused forgiveness only once: “for a person’s hypocrisy.” The Church, he pointed out, is for everyone, and “the problem is when we make a selection – this one is yes and this one is no.” “Forgiveness is for everyone”, “God forgives everyone”, “it is we who get tired of asking for forgiveness,” said the pope. In his opinion, the most important reform that needs to be carried out is a “reform of hearts”, “for all Christians”, he added. In his opinion, it is a daily, permanent job. He also confessed: – I like the thought of an empty hell.
Planned trip to Argentina
In a conversation with the presenter of the popular talk show “Che tempo che fa”, Fabio Fazio, the Pope, when asked if he was worried about his country, admitted that “he is worried because people are suffering a lot, this is a difficult moment for the country.”
When asked if he intended to visit his homeland, he replied that “there are plans to do so in the second half of the year.” He recalled that v Argentina there was a change of power.
– In August I’m supposed to go on a trip to Polynesia, which is far away, and after that there will be Argentina, if it’s possible. But I would like to go, Franciszek emphasized.
Main photo source: VATICAN MEDIA