A strong condemnation of abortion – even if on communion favorable politicians give advice to bishops to behave “like pastors” -, but also an explicit openness to civil unions between homosexuals. And in addition a confidence: on vaccines “even in the college of cardinals there are some deniers. And one of these, poor fellow, is hospitalized with the virus”. Although it lasted only 30 minutes due to the shortness of the flight, the last with the Alitalia company, the press conference of Pope Francis on the plane that brought him back to Italy from Slovakia is full of arguments.
“In the Vatican they are all vaccinated – he explains -, except a small group that is studying how to help”. And the divisions in the matter he considers “strange”, because “humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines. Against measles, polio, all children were vaccinated and no one said anything”. “Perhaps what happens – he observes – came from the virulence and uncertainty not only of the pandemic, but also for the diversity of vaccines. And also for the fame of some vaccines that are little more than distilled water”. This “caused fear in the people”.
Instead, it is necessary to “clarify and speak with serenity”. On gay marriage, on which the European Parliament has ruled, Francis warns that “marriage is only between a man and a woman: it is a sacrament and the Church does not have the power to change the sacraments. But there are laws that civilly seek to help so many people of different sexual orientation: it is important to help people, but without imposing things that, by their nature, do not go into the Church “.
The Pontiff also gives the example of the French law on the Pacs, “without, however, that this has to do with same-sex marriage: they can use them but marriage as a sacrament is man-woman”. Francis explains that “if those who are homosexual want to lead a life in safety, the States have the civil possibility to support them, give them security on the inheritance, on health. The French have the law on this, not only for homosexuals but for all people who want to associate “without getting married:” but marriage is marriage – he repeats -. This does not mean condemning people who are like this: please, they are our brothers and sisters, and we must accompany them “.
Then urged on the ongoing discussion among the American bishops on whether or not to give communion to President Joe Biden, advocate of freedom of choice on abortion, the Pope reiterates that abortion is “a murder”, it is like “renting a hitman to solve a problem “, but on communion with politicians” the bishops must act as pastors: in the history of the Church, every time that the bishops have handled a problem not as pastors, they have taken sides on the political side “, he warns.
“Communion is not a reward for the perfect – he remembers -. It is a gift, the presence of Jesus in his Church and in the community”. Sky Tg24 envoy Stefano Maria Paci then delivers to the Pope a message addressed to him, sent to him by the Jewish writer Edith Bruck, survivor of Auschwitz, whom Francis had gone to visit in his home in Rome in February. “Beloved Pope Francis, your words on anti-Semitism that has never been eradicated today are more relevant than ever not only in the countries he is visiting but throughout Europe.
I hope that your visit will have some positive effect “, writes Edith Bruck among other things, thanking the Pontiff for his repeated speeches on the subject delivered during his trip to Hungary and Slovakia. And Francis immediately comments:” This is true, anti-Semitism is in fashion, it is resurrecting. It’s a bad, ugly, ugly thing. “Finally a joking moment. To the journalist who tells him that” we are all happy for the surgery, which has produced a splendid result, you are rejuvenated! “, The Pope in fact replies with a smile : “They told me that someone wanted to have the surgery … But it wasn’t an aesthetic thing …”.
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