May 13 Interview with Francis on Return from Portugal
There are some real gems here.Vatican City, May 13, 2017 / 02:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The following is an unofficial transcript of the in-flight press conference on the papal plane returning from Fatima to Rome on May 13, 2017.
Greg Burke: Thank you Holiness, they were 24 very intense hours, as you said, for the Lord, 24 hours for Our Lady. It’s apparent that the Portuguese felt very touched when you said, “We have a Mother,” that they feel this in a special way. 100 years ago Our Lady didn’t appear to three important journalists, she appeared to three shepherds, but we’ve seen how they with their simplicity and sanctity were able to make this message reach the entire world. The journalists make the message arrive – it is seen from the number of nations from which they come – and they’re very curious about this trip of yours. If you’d like to say something first, great…
Pope Francis: First of all, good evening. Thanks. And, I’d like to respond to the first of the possible questions, so we can do things a bit more quickly. I’m sorry when we’re at the halfway point and they come to tell me that it’s snack time… let’s do them all together. Thanks.
Greg Burke: Good, let’s begin with the Portuguese group, with Fatima Ferreira of the Portuguese TV Radio
Fatima Campos Ferreira (RTP): I don’t know what I think about sitting in front of the Holy Father. Well, first, many thanks for this trip. Holy Father, you came to Fatima as a pilgrim, to canonize Francisco and Jacinta in the year that the apparitions mark their 100th year. From this historical point of view, what is left now for the Church, for the entire world? Also, Fatima has a message of peace. Holy Father, you are going to receive in the Vatican in the coming days, the 24th of May, the American president Donald Trump. What can the world expect and what does the Holy Father expect from this encounter? Many thanks.
Pope Francis: Thanks. Fatima certainly has a message of peace. It’s brought to humanity by three great communicators that were less than 13 years old, which is interesting. Yes, I came as a pilgrim. The canonization was something that wasn’t planned from the beginning, because the process of the miracles was in progress but the all of a sudden the export reports were all positive, and it was done – that’s how the story was told – for me was a very great joy. What can the world expect? Peace. And what am I talking about from now on with whomever? Peace.
Ferreira: And what remains now of this historic moment for the Church?
Pope Francis: A message of peace. And I’d like to say one thing … before disembarking I received scientists from all religions who were doing studies in the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, including agnostics and atheists. And an atheist said to me, “I’m an atheist.” I won’t tell you from what ethnicity or place of origin he was – he spoke in English. And at the end, he asked me, ‘I ask you a favor: tell the Christians that they should love their message of peace more.”
Aura Miguel (Radio Renascença): Your Holiness, in Fatima you presented yourself as the “bishop dressed in white.” Up to now, this expression applied rather to the vision of the third part of the secret, St. John Paul II, the martyrs of the twentieth century. What does it mean now, your identification with this expression?
Pope Francis: The prayer, that, I did not write it… the sanctuary wrote it… but also I have tried because they said this, and there is a connection with the white. The bishop of white, Our Lady of white, the white glow of the innocence of children after Baptism and innocence… there is a connection to the color white in that prayer. I believe – because I did not write it – but I believe that literally they have tried to express with white that desire for innocence, for peace… innocence: to not hurt the other … to not create conflict, the same.
Miguel: Is it a revision of the interpretation…
Pope Francis: No, but that vision … I believe that then Cardinal Ratzinger, at that time prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, explained everything clearly. Thank you.
Claudio Lavanga (NBC News): Thank you. Holy Father, yesterday you asked the faithful to break down all the walls, yet on May 24 you meet a head of State who is threatening to build walls. It is a bit contradictory to your word, but he also has – it seems – opinions and decisions different from you in other topics, such as the need to act to confront global warming or the welcoming of migrants … Thus, in light of this meeting: what is your opinion of the politics that President Trump has adopted so far on these topics and what do you expect from a meeting with a Head of State who seems to think and act contrary to you?
Pope Francis: The first question … I can respond to both… I never make a judgment of a person without listening to them. I believe that I should not do this. In our talk things will come out, I will say what I think, he will say what he thinks, but I never, ever, wanted to make a judgment without hearing the person. The second…
Claudio Lavanga: What do you think about the reception of migrants?
Pope Francis: But this you all know well…
Claudio Lavanga: The second instead is what you expect from a meeting with a head of state who thinks contradictory to you?
Pope Francis: Always there are doors that are not closed. Look for the doors that are at least a little bit open, enter and talk about common things and go on. Step by step. Peace is handcrafted. It is made every day. Also friendship among people, mutual knowledge, esteem, is handcrafted. It’s made every day. Respect the other, say that which one thinks, but with respect, but walk together … someone thinks of one way or the other, but say that …. Be very sincere with what everyone thinks, no?
Claudio Lavanga: Do you hope to soften his decisions after the meeting?
Pope Francis: This is a political calculation that I do not permit myself to make.
Greg Burke: Thank you Holiness, now there is a change of places, Elisabetta Piqué is coming.
Elisabetta Piqué (La Nacion): Thanks first of all for this brief and very intense trip. We wanted to ask you, today is the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, but is is also the important anniversary of a fact of your life that took place 25 years ago, when the Nuncio (Archbishop) Calabresi told you that you would become the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, something that meant the end of your exile in Cordoba and a great change in your life. Have you every connected this fact that changed your life with Our Lady of Fatima? And in these days that you’ve prayed before her have you thought about this and what did you think about? Can you tell us about that? Thanks.
Pope Francis: Women know everything, eh! No, I didn’t think about the coincidence, only yesterday while I was praying before Our Lady I realized that one May 13th I received the phone call from the nuncio 25 years ago. I don’t know… I said, well look at that. I spoke with Our Lady a little about this. I asked her forgiveness for all of my mistakes, also of a bit of bad taste for choosing people… but yesterday I realized this.
Greg Burke: Nicolas Seneze of La Croix is coming.