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Peace will be achieved when Russia and Ukraine can talk

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Peace will be achieved when Russia and Ukraine can talk

The Pontiff responded to questions regarding his health, his legacy, the problem of migration, the war in Ukraine, abortion, celibacy and child abuse in the Church.


Pope Francis granted this Thursday, May 25, an interview to the Telemundo television network. A few minutes before his participation in the concluding session of the First World Congress of Eco-Educational Cities organized by Scholas Occurrentes, the Holy Father spoke with Julio Vaqueiro, presenter of “Noticias Telemundo”, in one of the rooms of the Agustinianum Pontifical Patristic Institute of Rome, about his health, his legacy, the problem of migration, the war in Ukraine, abortion, celibacy and child abuse in the Church.

The knee problem and lung infection

Upon his arrival at the Instituto Patrístico Agustinianum, the presenter of “Noticas Telemundo” asked the Pope about his health, about his knee and especially about the concern he had caused at the end of last March when he was hospitalized for several days due to a lung infection.

The Holy Father pointed out that he is much better, that he can now walk, and that the knee has been mending. “Now I am walking again. There are days that are more painful, like today. There are days when not – the Pope indicated – but it is part of the development”. Regarding the lung infection, the Pontiff said that it was something unexpected. “It was acute pulmonitis. But we caught her in time, they told me, and if we had waited a little more hours, it would have been more serious. But I left in four days, I left ”.

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The reform, a request from the cardinals

Another of the questions answered by Pope Francis was in relation to the reform of the Church that he is carrying out in these ten years of his pontificate, in light of the Apostolic Constitution “Praedicate Evangelium”.

The Holy Father said that what he put into practice was what the cardinals in the pre-conclave meetings had said had to be done. “And when I was elected I said, well, we are going to put those things into practice, right? The economic system, the new laws of the Vatican State, the pastoral care of the Vatican Service, which is very important. Of course, part of that pastorality included women who changed a lot within. They are very, very executive, very practical: the lieutenant governor is a woman.” Likewise, Pope Francis pointed out that, as you do things, you realize that you lack everything. “It’s like an insatiable thing in this. For example, this morning I met with the Italian synodal group and, well, an increasing insertion of the laity in taking positions, a declericalization. There are some countries that are too clericalized and that clericalism is a perversion: either you are a pastor or you don’t enter. But if you are a clergyman, you are not a pastor”.

People migrate out of necessity

And when showing him a photograph of a baby wrapped in a blanket inside a suitcase, crossing the river, on the border between Mexico and the United States, the journalist asked him what his message would be for migrants.

Pope Francis said that this is a serious problem, that it is serious there, and that it is serious here, as on the Libyan coast. And in this regard, he recommended a book in Spanish that narrates the life of a boy who comes from Guinea to Spain. He is called Little Brother. “Read it, there you are going to see the drama, the drama of a migrant on the Libyan coast. But this is not very different. Now why do people migrate? For necessity”. Likewise, the Pontiff referred to the problem of African migration, stating that it is necessary to resolve this situation by helping Africa. “But unfortunately Africa is the slave of a collective unconscious, which is Africa is to be exploited. And you always think about exploiting Africa. Rather, the help has to be lifting and making it independent, so that it doesn’t depend so much”.

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For the Pope it is important that dialogues be reached.

On abortion, the Pope leaves two questions

Looking at the current debate on abortion in the United States, the Telemundo journalist told him what the Church’s position was on the matter and asked him about the case of a woman who was raped, if he had the right not to have that son who is the product of that rape.

To this question, Pope Francis responded firmly, pointing out that, “in any embryology book of those that students in their second year of the university study, it is said that, a month after conception, before the mother realizes it, there is all the Organ system already drawn inside and the DNA is clear. In other words, she is a living being. I am not saying a person, he is a living being. So, the Pontiff left two questions: is it lawful to eliminate a living being to solve a problem? Second question: Is it lawful to hire a hit man to solve a problem? And there it is, the Pope affirmed, and they were not going to take it from there, because it is the truth.

Celibacy and sexual abuse in the Church

Finally, they asked the Holy Father about the question of priestly celibacy, about the possibility of reviewing celibacy and whether celibacy had to do with the abuse of minors within the Church.

“Dear, 32%, in other countries 36%, of the abuses is in the family, uncle, grandfather, and all married, or with the neighbors. Later, in the sports venues, later, in the schools… there are the statistics, they are those. So it has nothing to do with the fact that the uncles are married, the grandparents are married and sometimes they are the first rapists. […] I’m not saying that all uncles, grandparents. I’m talking about statistics.

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