Pope Francis' interview with Telam's Bernarda Llorente Pope Francis' interview with Telam's Bernarda Llorente  (Vatican Media)

Pope: A crisis calls us to take action and embrace humanity

Pope Francis grants an interview to Argentine news agency Télam, and discusses the ongoing Synod, wars and global crises, and his desire to visit Argentina and Papua New Guinea.

By Vatican News

"Exploitation is one of the origins of war. The other origin is of a geopolitical nature related to territorial dominance."

Pope Francis made that point in an interview with the Argentine Télam news agency, in which he also discussed other topics like false messiahs, artificial intelligence, the Synod, and Apostolic Journeys he would like to make.

Crisis of humanity

He spoke first about the many crises facing our world today.

"I like the word 'crisis' because it has internal movement,” said the Pope. “You come out of a crisis from above, not through machinations. You come out of it from above, and you don't come out of it alone. Those who want to emerge alone turn that path of exit into a labyrinth, always turning in circles.”

He highlighted the importance of teaching young people to resolve crises, saying it “brings maturity” and teaches us to recognize false messiahs.

Bernarda Llorente, the Télam journalist who conducted the interview, asked the Pope: “What is humanity lacking, and what does it have in excess?”

Pope Francis responded by highlighting the need to promote "true values".

"Our world lacks protagonists of humanity who demonstrate their human role,” he said. “Sometimes, I notice that there is a lack of the ability to manage crises and bring forth one's culture. Let's not be afraid to let a country's true values come to the surface. Crises are like voices that point out where we need to take action."

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Dignity of Work

On the subject of labour, Pope Francis emphasized the dignity of work and the grave sin of exploitation.

"Work gives us dignity. However, the greatest betrayal of this path to dignity is exploitation,” he said. “Exploiting people for personal gain is one of the most serious sins."

The Pope noted that some people call him a communist when they comment on his social encyclicals.

"It is not true. The Pope takes the Gospel and says what the Gospel says,” he pointed out. “Already in the Old Testament, Hebrew law required the care of widows, orphans, and foreigners. If a society fulfills these three things, it goes ahead wonderfully."

"And I clarify that I am not a communist, as some say. The Pope follows the Gospel," said Pope Francis.

Technological oppression

Asked about technological advancements and their implications, the Pope highlighted the primacy of the human person over scientific progress.

"The criterion for cultural progress, including artificial intelligence, is the ability of men and women to manage, assimilate, and govern it,” he said. “In other words, men and women are the masters of Creation, and we must not give up on that. Personal mastery over everything. Serious scientific change is progress. We must be open to that.”

War and security

Returning to the topic of war, he made a call for nations to pursue dialogue in hopes of peace. “I believe that dialogue cannot be nationalistic only,” he said. “It is universal, especially today with all the communication facilities available. That is why I speak of universal dialogue, universal harmony, and universal encounter. Of course, the enemy of this is war."

Pope Francis said he believes that "exploitation" and "territorial dominance" are the origins of wars "fostered by dictatorships."

For the construction of peace and the common good, the Holy Father called for national self-awareness. “You cannot dialogue with others if you do not have awareness of where you stand. When two conscious identities meet, they can dialogue and take steps toward an agreement, progress, and walking together."

Church moving in harmony

Regarding the ongoing Synod on synodality, Pope Francis acknowledged that the Church needs to adapt to the times of every age.

"From the beginnings of the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII had a very clear perception: the Church had to change. Paul VI agreed and continued, as did the Popes who succeeded them,” he said. “It is not just about changing fashion, but about a change that promotes the dignity of individuals. And that is where theological progression lies, in moral theology and all ecclesiastical sciences, even the interpretation of the Scriptures, which have progressed in accordance with the Church's sentiments. Always in harmony."

Importance of hope

Pope Francis concluded the interview with a discussion about his relationship with God.

“The Lord is a good friend,” said the Pope. “He treats me well.”

He also emphasized the importance of being able to laugh and embrace the virtue of hope.

"We cannot live without hope. If we cut off the little hopes of each day, we would lose our identity,” he said. “We don't realize that we live on hope. And theological hope is very humble but it is what seasons daily seasonings.”

Regarding his Apostolic Journeys, Pope Francis said he would like to go to Argentina.

"Speaking of the farthest places,” he said. “I still have Papua New Guinea left.”

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17 October 2023, 10:32