Pope Francis: ‘Three world wars in a single century: be pacifists!’

In the course of the flight bringing him again from Bahrain, Pope Francis speaks about Ukraine and the world’s many conflicts. He talks about his friendship with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, of the significance of guaranteeing rights and equality for ladies, on migration points and in opposition to baby abuse. To German Catholics he says: “Germany already has one nice Evangelical Church, I would not need to see one other one.”

From the Papal flight

Please discover under the working transcript of Pope Francis’ dialog with journalists on the flight again from Bahrain.

Fatima Al Najem Bahrain Information Company: I wish to let you know one thing earlier than I handle my query to you. You might have a really particular place in my coronary heart, not solely since you visited my nation however since you have been elected Pope on my birthday. I’ve a query: how do you consider the outcomes of your historic go to to the Kingdom of Bahrain and the way do you consider the efforts Bahrain is making in consolidating and selling communal dwelling, in all spheres of society, of all religions, sexes and races?

Pope Francis: It was a go to of encounter as a result of the aim was actually to be in interfaith dialogue with Islam and in ecumenical dialogue with Bartholomew. The concepts put ahead by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar have been within the path of looking for unity, unity inside Islam, respecting nuances, and variations, however with unity; unity with Christians and with different religions. In an effort to enter into interreligious dialogue or ecumenical dialogue you want your personal id.  “I’m Muslim”, “I’m Christian”, I’ve this id and so I can converse with id. When your id isn’t outlined, when it is slightly “ethereal” it is tough to interact in dialogue as a result of there is not any forwards and backwards and that is why it is vital and these two [leaders] who got here, each the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Patriarch Bartholomew, have a robust id. And that’s good.

From the Islamic perspective, I listened rigorously to the three speeches of the Grand Imam and I used to be struck by the way in which he was so insistent on intra-Islamic dialogue, to not erase the variations however to know one another and to work collectively, to not be in opposition to one another. We Christians have a little bit of a foul historical past of variations that led us to spiritual wars: Catholics in opposition to Orthodox or in opposition to Lutherans. Now, thank God, after the Council there’s a closeness and we will dialogue and work collectively and that’s vital, a sworn statement of doing good to others. Then the specialists, the theologians will and may focus on theological issues, however now we have to stroll collectively as believers, as pals, as brothers and sisters, doing good.

I used to be additionally impressed with the issues that have been mentioned within the Council of Elders, about creation and the preservation of creation, and this can be a frequent concern of everyone, Muslims, Christians, everyone. Now, the Vatican Secretary of State and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, are travelling from Bahrain to Cairo in the identical airplane, collectively as brothers. That is one thing that’s fairly shifting. That is one thing that has accomplished some good.

The presence of Patriarch Bartholomew – he’s an authority within the ecumenical discipline – additionally did good. We noticed that within the ecumenical service that we had and in addition within the phrases that he pronounced earlier. To sum it up: it was a journey of encounter. For me the novelty of attending to know a tradition that’s open to everybody: in your nation there may be room for everybody. Additionally, I noticed, the King who advised me: “right here everybody does what they need, if a girl desires to work, let her work.” Complete openness. And in addition the spiritual half, the openness. I used to be struck by the sheer variety of Christians – Filipinos, Indians from Kerala – who’re right here and so they stay and work within the nation.

Fatima Al Najem: They need you nicely

That is the concept, I found one thing new that helps me to know and work together extra with individuals. The important thing phrase is dialogue, and to dialogue it’s important to begin out of your id, have an id.

Fatima Al Najem: Thanks, Your Holiness. I’ll pray to Allah the All-powerful to bless you with good well being, happiness and a protracted life. 

Pope Francis: Sure, pray for me, not in opposition to (laughter).

Imad Atrach: Holy Father, because the signing of the “Doc on Human Fraternity” three years in the past to the go to to Baghdad after which additionally just lately to Kazakhstan: is that this a path that you simply suppose is bearing tangible fruit? Can we count on it to culminate in a gathering on the Vatican? Then I wish to thank You for mentioning Lebanon at present, as a result of as a Lebanese I can inform You that we actually are in pressing want of Your go to, particularly as a result of now we do not also have a President, so you may go and embrace the individuals immediately.

Pope Francis: “Thanks. I’ve been pondering quite a bit as of late – and we talked about it with the Grand Imam – about how the concept of the Abu Dhabi Doc took place, that Doc we did collectively, the primary one. He had come to the Vatican for a courtesy go to: after our protocol assembly passed off, it was nearly lunchtime and he was leaving, and as I used to be accompanying him to bid him goodbye I requested him: “The place are you going for lunch?” I do not know what he mentioned to me however we determined to have lunch collectively.” It was one thing that got here from inside. Then, sitting at desk, he, his secretary, two counselors, me, my secretary, my counselor, we took the bread, broke it, and gave it to one another. A gesture of friendship, providing the bread. It was a really good lunch, very fraternal. And in the direction of the tip, I do not know who got here up with the concept, we mentioned,  “why do not we make a paper about this assembly?” So the Abu Dhabi Doc was born. The 2 secretaries started working, with a draft going forwards and backwards, and at last, we took benefit of the Abu Dhabi assembly to publish it. It was one thing that got here from God. You’ll be able to’t perceive it in any other case, as a result of none of us had this in thoughts. It emerged throughout a pleasant lunch, and that may be a massive factor.”

Then I stored pondering, and the Abu Dhabi Doc was the idea of ” Fratelli tutti “; what I wrote about human friendship in ” Fratelli tutti ” relies on the Abu Dhabi Doc. I imagine that one can’t consider such a path with out pondering of a particular blessing from the Lord on this path. I need to say this out of justice, it appears proper that you know the way the Lord impressed this path. I did not even know what the Nice Imam’s identify was, after which we turned pals and did one thing as two pals, and now we discuss each time we meet. The Doc is related at present, and work is being accomplished to make it identified.

Then concerning Lebanon… Lebanon is a sorrow for me. As a result of Lebanon isn’t a rustic in itself, a Pope mentioned it earlier than me, Lebanon isn’t a rustic, it’s a message. Lebanon has a really nice that means for all of us. And Lebanon proper now’s struggling. I pray, and I take this chance to make an attraction to Lebanese politicians: go away apart self-interest, have a look at the nation and have the same opinion. First God, after that the nation, then pursuits. God and the nation. Proper now I do not need to say “save Lebanon” as a result of we’re not saviors, however please, it’s important to assist Lebanon, assist in order that Lebanon stops on this descent, in order that Lebanon regains its greatness. There are means … there may be the generosity of Lebanon. What number of political refugees are in Lebanon! It’s so beneficiant and it’s struggling. I take this chance to ask for prayers for Lebanon, prayer can also be a friendship. You might be journalists, have a look at Lebanon and speak about it to boost consciousness. Thanks.

Carol Glatz CNS: Your Holiness, throughout this journey to Bahrain you spoke about basic rights, together with ladies’s rights, their dignity, the precise to have their house within the social and public sphere and also you inspired younger individuals to have braveness, to make noise; to maneuver ahead towards a extra simply world. Given the scenario shut by, in Iran with the protests sparked by some ladies and lots of younger individuals who need extra freedom. Do you assist this effort of men and women demanding to have the essential rights which might be additionally discovered within the Doc on Human Fraternity?

Pope Francis: We’ve to inform one another the reality. The wrestle for ladies’s rights is an ongoing wrestle. As a result of in some locations ladies have equality with males, however not in different places.  No? I keep in mind within the Nineteen Fifties in my nation when there was the wrestle for ladies’s civil rights: for ladies to have the ability to vote. As a result of till in regards to the ’50s solely males may accomplish that. And I consider this similar wrestle within the U.S. However why – I ask myself – does the girl should wrestle like this to maintain her rights? There’s a – I do not know if it’s a legend – a legend in regards to the origin of ladies’s jewellery – possibly it is a legend – that explains the cruelty of so many conditions in opposition to ladies.  It’s mentioned that ladies put on a lot jewellery as a result of in a rustic – I do not keep in mind, maybe it is a historic truth – there was a customized that when the husband received fed up with the girl, he would say to her, “Get out!” and he or she could not return in and take something. She needed to go away with what she had on her. And (that might be) why they might amass gold to have the opportunity at the very least to take one thing away. They are saying that is the origin of bijou. I do not know whether it is true or not, however the picture helps us.

Rights are basic: however how come on the planet at present we can’t cease the tragedy of younger women’ infibulation? That is horrible. As we speak. The truth that this observe exists, that humanity can’t cease this crime, a legal act! Ladies, in line with two feedback I heard, are both “disposable” materials – that is bad- or they’re “a protected species.” However equality between women and men remains to be not universally discovered, and there are these cases: that ladies are second-class residents or much less. We’ve to maintain combating for that, as a result of ladies are a present. God did not create man after which give him slightly canine for enjoyable. He did not. He created them equal: man and lady. And what Paul wrote in certainly one of his letters about man-woman relationships, which appears old school to us at present, at the moment was so revolutionary that it was scandalous. He mentioned the person ought to care for the girl as his personal flesh. This, at that second, was a revolutionary factor. All ladies’s rights come from this equality. And a society that’s unable to offer the girl her place doesn’t transfer ahead. We’ve the expertise (of this). Within the ebook I wrote “Torniamo a sognare,” within the half about economics for instance, there are ladies economists presently on the planet who’ve modified the financial imaginative and prescient and are in a position to carry it ahead. As a result of they’ve a special reward. They know methods to run issues in one other means, which isn’t inferior, it’s complementary. I as soon as had a dialog with a head of presidency, an incredible head of presidency, a mom with a number of kids, who was very profitable in fixing tough conditions. And I mentioned to her, “inform me, Madam, how did you remedy such a tough scenario?”

She started to maneuver her arms like this, in silence. Then she mentioned to me: how (we) moms do. Ladies have their very own means of fixing issues, which isn’t man’s means. And each methods should work collectively: the girl, equal to the person, works for the frequent good with that perception that ladies have. I’ve seen that within the Vatican, each time a girl is available in to do a job within the Vatican, issues get higher. For instance, the vice governor of the Vatican is a girl, the vice governor is a girl, and issues have modified for the perfect. Within the Council for the Financial system, there have been six cardinals and 6 lay individuals, all male. I modified the lay individuals I put one male and 5 ladies. And this can be a revolution as a result of ladies know methods to discover the precise means, they know methods to transfer ahead. And now I’ve put Marianna Mazzuccato within the Pontifical Academy for Life. She is a superb economist from the USA, I put her there to offer slightly extra humanity to it. Ladies carry their very own, they do not should turn out to be like males. No! they’re ladies, we want them. And a society that erases ladies from public life is a society that impoverishes itself. It impoverishes itself. Equality of rights, sure. But in addition equality of alternative. Equality of alternatives with a view to transfer ahead, in any other case we turn out to be impoverished. I feel with that I’ve mentioned what globally must be accomplished. However we nonetheless have some strategy to go. As a result of there may be this ‘machismo’. I come from a individuals with machismo. Argentinians, we’re masculinist, all the time. And that’s dangerous, however then we flip to our moms, who’re those who remedy the issues. This machismo kills humanity.  Thanks for giving me the chance to say this, which is (one thing that) I carry in my coronary heart. Let’s battle not just for rights; however as a result of we have to have ladies in society to assist us change.

Antonio Pelayo, Vida Nueva: Holy Father, the one time you spoke off-the-cuff on this journey was to discuss with ‘tormented Ukraine’ and to the ‘peace negotiations.’ I wish to ask you in case you can inform us something about how these negotiations are occurring the Vatican facet. And one other query: Have you ever spoken these days with Putin or do you plan to take action within the close to future?

Pope Francis: Good. To start with: the Vatican is continually attentive, the Secretariat of State works and works nicely, works nicely. I do know that the secretary, Archbishop Gallagher, works nicely there.

Then, a little bit of historical past. The day after [the beginning of] the warfare – I assumed this might not be accomplished, an uncommon factor – I went to the Russian embassy, to talk with the ambassador, who is an effective man. I’ve identified him for six years, since he arrived. He’s a humanist. I keep in mind a remark he made to me then: ‘Nous sommes tombés dans la dictature de l’argent’ [We have fallen into the dictatorship of money], speaking about civilisation. A humanist, a person combating for equality. I advised him I used to be prepared to go to Moscow to speak to Putin, if the necessity arose. Lavrov [the foreign minister, ed.] replied very politely – thanks – (however) that it was not crucial for the second.

Since then now we have been very . I spoke twice on the telephone with President Zelensky; then with the ambassador a number of extra occasions. And work is being accomplished to get nearer, to hunt options. The Holy See additionally does what it has to do with regard to prisoners, this stuff… they’re issues which might be all the time accomplished and the Holy See has all the time accomplished them, all the time.

And (then) the preaching for peace. What strikes me – that is why I take advantage of the phrase ‘tormented’ for Ukraine – is the cruelty, which isn’t of the Russian individuals, maybe… as a result of the Russian individuals is a superb individuals. It’s of the mercenaries, of the troopers who go off to warfare as an journey, mercenaries… I choose to think about it this manner as a result of I’ve excessive esteem for the Russian individuals, for Russian humanism. Simply consider Dostoevsky, who to at the present time evokes us, evokes Christians to think about Christianity.

I’ve nice affection for the Russian individuals and I even have nice affection for the Ukrainian individuals. Once I was eleven years previous, there was a priest near me who celebrated in Ukrainian and had no altar boys, and he taught me to serve Mass in Ukrainian, and all these Ukrainian songs I do know them of their language as a result of I discovered them as a toddler. So I’ve a really nice affection for the Ukrainian liturgy. I’m within the midst of two peoples that I really like.

It is not simply me. The Holy See has had many confidential conferences, many good outcomes. As a result of we can’t deny {that a} warfare,  firstly, maybe makes us courageous. However then it tires and hurts and we see the evil {that a} warfare does. This regards the extra human, nearer half.

Then I wish to lament, profiting from this query: three world wars in a single century! The certainly one of 1914-1918, the certainly one of 1939-1945, and this one! This one is a world warfare, as a result of it’s true that when empires, both on one facet or the opposite weaken, they should make a warfare with a view to really feel sturdy – and in addition to promote weapons! I imagine that at present the best calamity on the planet is the arms trade. Please! I have been advised, I do not know if it is true or not, that if we did not make weapons for a yr, we may finish world starvation. The arms trade is horrible.

A couple of years in the past, three or 4, a ship filled with weapons got here from a sure nation to Genoa and so they needed to cross the weapons onto a much bigger ship to take them to Yemen. The employees in Genoa did not need to do it… It was a gesture. Yemen: greater than ten years of warfare. Yemen’s kids don’t have any meals. The Rohingya, shifting from one facet to the opposite as a result of they have been expelled, all the time at warfare. Myanmar, it is horrible what’s occurring… Now I hope one thing will cease at present in Ethiopia, with a treaty…

However we’re at warfare all over the place and we do not perceive this. Now we’re intently affected, in Europe, by the Russian-Ukrainian warfare. However it’s all over the place, for years. In Syria twelve to 13 years of warfare, and no one is aware of if there are prisoners and what goes on there. Then Lebanon, we talked about this tragedy…

I do not know if I’ve mentioned this typically to you: once I went to Redipuglia, in 2014, I noticed that – and my grandfather had been at Piave and had advised me what was occurring there – and all these graves of younger males… I cried, I cried, I am not ashamed to say it. Then as soon as, on 2 November, a day by which I all the time go to a cemetery, I went to Anzio and noticed the grave of all these American boys, [who died] within the Anzio landings. [They were] 19-20-22-23 years previous, and I cried, actually, it got here from my coronary heart… And I considered the moms and of after they hear a knock on their door: ‘Ma’am, an envelope for you.’ She opens the envelope: ‘Ma’am, I’ve the honour to tell you that you’ve got a son who’s a hero of the fatherland…’ The tragedies of warfare.

I do not need to converse unwell of anybody, but it surely touched my coronary heart: when the commemoration of the Normandy landings passed off. The heads of so many governments have been there to commemorate that. It was the start of the autumn of Nazism, it is true. However what number of boys have been left on the seashores in Normandy? They are saying thirty thousand… Who thinks of these boys? Struggle sows all of this. That’s the reason you, who’re journalists, please be pacifists, converse out in opposition to wars, battle in opposition to warfare. I ask you as a brother. Thanks.

Hugues Lefevre I.Media: Holy Father, this morning in your handle to the clergy of Bahrain, you spoke of the significance of Christian pleasure. However up to now few days most of the French trustworthy have misplaced this pleasure, after they found within the press that the Church had stored secret the conviction in 2021 of a bishop, now retired, who had dedicated sexual abuse within the Nineties, whereas he was a priest. When this story got here out within the press, 5 new victims got here ahead. As we speak, many Catholics need to know if the tradition of secrecy of canonical justice ought to change and turn out to be clear, (and I) wish to know in case you suppose canonical penalties must be made public. Thanks.

Pope Francis: Thanks for the query. I wish to begin [with]) a little bit of historical past on this. The issue of abuse has all the time been there, not solely within the Church however all over the place. You already know that 42-46% of sexual abuse takes place within the household or locally. That is very critical, however the behavior has all the time been that of overlaying up; within the household even at present every part is roofed up, and even locally every part is roofed up, or at the very least within the majority of instances. An unpleasant behavior that started to vary within the Church when a scandal surfaced in Boston on the time of Cardinal Legislation, who, due to the scandal, resigned; it was the primary time that [a case of abuse] got here out as a scandal.

Since then the Church has turn out to be conscious of this and has begun to work, whereas in society and different establishments it’s usually lined up. When there was the assembly of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences [on this issue] I requested UNICEF, the UN, for statistics on this [phenomenon], the share knowledge: in households, in communities, in colleges, in sport…

Some say we’re a small minority, however [I say] even when it have been a single case, it might nonetheless be tragic, since you, as a priest, have the vocation to make individuals develop, and by behaving on this means you destroy them. For a priest, abuse is like going in opposition to his priestly nature and in opposition to his social nature. That’s the reason it’s tragic and why we should not cease, we should not cease.

On this awakening, making investigations and shifting forward with accusations, every part has not all the time [and everywhere] been the identical, some issues have been hidden. Earlier than the scandal in Boston individuals have been substituted [i.e., priests were moved], now every part is clear and we’re shifting ahead on this, that’s the reason we shouldn’t be shocked that instances like this come to gentle. Now the case of one other bishop involves mine, there are instances you understand…? And [now] it isn’t straightforward to say: “We did not know,” or “It was the tradition on the time and it continues to be a tradition to cover.”

I will let you know this: the Church is steadfast on this, and right here I need to publicly thank the heroism of Cardinal O’Malley, a very good Capuchin friar, who sensed the necessity to institutionalise this with the Fee for the Safety of Minors that he’s heading. And this does us all good and offers us braveness. We’re working with all that we will, however know that there are individuals throughout the Church who nonetheless don’t see clearly, who don’t share… It’s a course of that we’re enterprise and we’re carrying it out with braveness, and never everybody has braveness; typically there may be the temptation to compromise, and we’re additionally all slaves to our sins, however the will of the Church is to make clear every part.

For instance, I’ve obtained two complaints in current months about instances of abuse that had been lined up and never judged nicely by the Church: I instantly requested for a brand new examine [of the two cases] and now a brand new judgement is being made; there may be additionally this, the revision of previous judgements, not nicely made [not given properly]. We do what we will, we’re all sinners, you understand?

The very first thing now we have to really feel is disgrace, the deep disgrace of all that. I imagine that disgrace is a grace. We are able to battle in opposition to all of the evils on the planet however with out disgrace…. [it is useless].

That’s the reason I used to be amazed that St. Ignatius, within the Religious Workouts, when he makes you apologize for all of the sins you may have dedicated, he makes you go all the way in which to disgrace, and if you do not have the grace of disgrace you can not go on. One of many insults now we have in my land is ‘You might be shameless’ and I imagine that the Church can’t be ‘shameless.’ It must be ashamed of the dangerous issues, in addition to [saying] thanks to God for the nice issues it does. This I can let you know: [we have] all the nice will to go on, additionally because of your assist.

Vania De Luca Rai-Tg3: Your Holiness, you may have additionally spoken about migrants in current days. 4 ships off the coast of Sicily, with lots of of ladies, males, kids, in problem – however not all of them can disembark. Do you worry a coverage of ‘closed ports’ by the centre-right is again in Italy? And the way do you assess the place of some northern European international locations on this? After which I additionally needed to ask you typically: What impression, what judgment do you may have concerning the brand new Italian authorities, which for the primary time is led by a girl?

Pope Francis: It is a problem, it is a problem. Relating to migrants, [this is] the precept: Migrants have to be welcomed, accompanied, promoted and built-in; if these 4 steps can’t be taken, the work with migrants can’t be good. Welcomed, accompanied, promoted, and built-in; we should go ahead in the direction of integration.

And the second factor I say: every EU authorities has to agree on what number of migrants it could possibly obtain. As an alternative, there are 4 international locations that obtain migrants: Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain, these closest to the Mediterranean. Inland there are some, like Poland, Belarus…

However [speaking] of the nice concern of migrants that cross the ocean: lives have to be saved. Are you aware at present that the Mediterranean is a cemetery? Maybe the largest cemetery on the planet. I feel I advised you final time that I learn a ebook in Spanish known as Hermanito, it is tiny and it reads rapidly, I feel it has actually been translated into French and in addition into Italian. It may be learn in two hours. It is the story of a boy from Africa, I do not know if he was from Tanzania or the place he was from, who following in his brother’s footsteps arrived in Spain: he suffered slavery 5 occasions earlier than embarking! Many individuals, he recounts, are introduced through the evening to these boats – no to these massive ships which have one other position – and if they do not need to get on: increase, increase! And so they go away them on the seashore – it truly is a dictatorship of slavery what these individuals do – after which there may be the chance of dying at sea. When you have time learn this ebook, it will be significant.

The migrant coverage have to be agreed upon between all international locations; you can not make a coverage with out consensus, and the European Union should soak up hand a coverage of collaboration and assist, it can’t go away the duty for all of the migrants that arrive on the seashores of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Spain. The federal government’s coverage thus far has been to save lots of lives, that’s true. As much as a sure level. And I feel this (Italian) authorities has the identical coverage… The small print I do not know, however I do not suppose it desires to vary. I feel it has already landed kids, moms, and the sick, at the very least from what I heard, the intention was there. Italy, let’s suppose right here… this authorities can’t do something with out the settlement of Europe; the duty is a European one.

After which I wish to point out one other European duty with regard to Africa. I feel this was mentioned by one of many nice stateswomen now we have had and have – Merkel. She mentioned that the issue of migrants have to be solved in Africa, but when we consider Africa with the motto: “Africa have to be exploited,” it’s logical that migrants – individuals – run away. In Europe, we should attempt to make growth plans for Africa. To suppose that some international locations in Africa aren’t masters of their very own subsoil, that they nonetheless rely upon colonialist powers! It’s hypocrisy to need to remedy the issue of migrants in Europe; let’s remedy it at dwelling too. The exploitation of individuals in Africa is horrible due to this idea.

On 1 January I had a gathering with college college students from Africa. The assembly was the identical I already had with Loyola College in the USA. These college students have a capability, an intelligence, a essential sense [It.: ‘criticità’], a need to maneuver ahead, however typically they can not due to the colonialist pressure that Europe has of their governments. If we need to remedy the issue of migrants for good, let’s remedy Africa. The migrants who come from elsewhere are fewer, they’re fewer, however now we have Africa, let’s assist Africa.

The brand new [Italian] authorities begins now. I’m right here: I want it the perfect. I all the time want the perfect to a authorities as a result of the federal government is for everybody and I want it the perfect in order that it could possibly take Italy ahead; and to all of the others who’re in opposition to the successful celebration, I hope that they collaborate with a essential sense, with assist, however a authorities of collaboration, not a authorities the place ‘they deal with you nicely to your face, however they’re working in your downfall’ [It.: ‘ti muovono il viso, ti fanno cadere’] in case you do not like one factor or one other. Please, on this I name for duty. Inform me is it honest that from the start of the century till now Italy has had 20 governments? Let’s cease with these jokes…

Ludwig Ring-Eifel, Centrum informationis Catholicum: I additionally need to say one thing private first, as a result of I really feel very emotional, as a result of after a break of 8 years I’m again on the papal flight. I’m very grateful to be right here once more….

Pope Francis: Welcome again.

Ludwig: Thanks, it’s good to be again. We within the German group are few – there are solely three on this flight – and we thought: How can we make a connection between what we noticed in Bahrain and the scenario in Germany? As a result of in Bahrain we noticed a small Church, a small flock, a poor Church, with many restrictions and so forth, however a energetic Church, filled with hope, rising. In Germany, however, now we have a big Church, with nice traditions; wealthy, with theology, cash and every part, however shedding 300 thousand believers yearly, who go away, who’re in deep disaster. Is there something to study from this small flock we noticed in Bahrain for the nice Germany?

Germany has an historical spiritual historical past. Quoting Hölderlin I’ll say, ‘Many issues have lived, many.’ Your spiritual historical past is nice and sophisticated, [a history] of struggles. I say to German Catholics: Germany has an incredible and exquisite Evangelical Church; I don’t want one other one, which is not going to be pretty much as good as that one; however I need a Catholic [one], in fraternity with the Evangelical. Typically we lose sight of the spiritual sense of the individuals, of the holy trustworthy Folks of God, and we fall into moral discussions, discussions about contingent issues, discussions which have theological penalties, however aren’t the core of theology. What does the holy, trustworthy Folks of God suppose? What does the holy Folks of God sense? Go there and search what it senses, that straightforward religiosity that you simply discover in grandparents. I’m not saying go backwards, no; however go to the supply of inspiration, to the roots. All of us have a historical past of roots of religion; even peoples have it: Discover it! I’m reminded of that Hölderlin phrase for our age: “The previous man ought to maintain what he promised as a toddler.” We in our youth… we promised many issues, many issues. Now we get into moral discussions, into contingent discussions, however the root of faith is ‘the slap within the face that the Gospel provides you, the encounter with the dwelling Jesus Christ: and from there [you receive] the results, all of them; from there you get the apostolic braveness to go to the peripheries, even to the ethical peripheries of individuals to assist; however [it starts] from the encounter with Jesus Christ. If there isn’t any encounter with Jesus Christ, there will probably be an ethicism disguised as Christianity. That is what I needed to say, from the center. Thanks.

(Working transcription and English translation ready by the Dicastery for Communication)

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