Pontiff spoke with the director of an Italian television news program and stated that he will be present at the Climate Conference, in addition to addressing other topics
From the Editor, with Vatican News
Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis stated that he will participate in the 28th United Nations Climate Conference (COP 28), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which takes place between November 30th and December 12th. The statement was made during an interview with the director of the Italian news program Tg1, Gianmarco Chiocci, broadcast this Wednesday, 1st, on the television channel RAI.
“I will go to Dubai. I think I will go from December 1st to 3rd. I will stay there for three days”, confirmed the Pontiff. Still talking about this topic, he recalled how the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, published in 2015, before COP 21 in Paris, originated. “The Paris meeting was the most beautiful of all. After Paris, everyone went backwards and it takes courage to move forward,” said the Holy Father.
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War in the Holy Land
He also talked about other topics in the interview. Regarding the conflict between Israel and the radical group Hamas, the Holy Father reiterated that “every war is a defeat”. He mentioned that “one slap provokes another, one with force and the other with even more force, and so on”, reflecting on the reactions of the two sides involved, and pointed out that these are two peoples who should live together. “Two peoples, two states. The Oslo agreement: two well-defined states and Jerusalem with a special status”, he summarized.
Remembering the prayer for peace on Friday, October 27th, Francisco reinforced that the world is going through a dark moment, in which it is not possible to reflect clearly. He recalled that, since the end of the Second World War, in 1945, wars have not stopped, pointing out that “the biggest problem is still the armaments industries”.
The Pope also said he continues to closely monitor the development of the conflict, receiving daily news from religious people in Gaza by telephone. “The Egyptian deputy parish priest, Father Yussuf, I call him every day”, he commented, also reporting that 563 people, Christians and Muslims, are sheltered in the religious’s parish, including sick children who are cared for by Mother Teresa’s sisters. .
“The world is at war”
Regarding a possible escalation of the war, the Pontiff admitted that this possibility exists, but faced with what would be “the end of many things and many lives”, he stated that he believes that “human wisdom can prevent these things”. He also warned that men should not get used to the presence of war in the world, and recalled the conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere. “The world is at war, but the arms industry is behind it,” he said again.
Asked about the Ukrainian reaction to the Holy See’s peace initiatives, the Pope said that he thinks of the Ukrainian people, “a martyr people”, and that “we should not judge them today”. “They were a people who suffered a lot and now, whatever makes them relive that, I understand them. I received President Zelensky, I understand, but we need peace. Stop! Stop for a moment and look for a peace agreement, agreements are the real solution to this. For both”, he expressed.
The theme of war came up again when Francis was asked about the most difficult moment of his pontificate. He replied that he went to deal with the war in Syria: “I didn’t know what to do, it was very difficult. I wasn’t used to something like this and also the fear of making a mistake and causing damage. Was difficult. There were also easy moments and not so easy ones. But the Lord always helped me to resolve it, or at least to be patient, to wait to resolve it.”
As for his fears, the Pope replied that some small fears arise, that one thing or another will happen. These days, he expressed that the war in the Holy Land scares him, how this story will end. “But this is resolved before the Lord. Not that the fears disappear. But they remain in a human way, so to speak. It’s good to be afraid,” he shared.
Role of women in the Church
Addressing the role of women in the Church, the Pontiff listed several positions in the Holy See held by women and highlighted their importance. He expressed that “women understand things that we don’t understand, women have a special talent for the situation and this is necessary, I think they should be included in the normal work of the Church”.
Regarding the ordination of women, the Holy Father pointed out a “theological problem”, and not a merely administrative one. “From the theological and ministerial point of view, they are different things: the Petrine principle, which is that of jurisdiction, and the Marian principle, which is the most important, because the Church is a woman, the Church is a wife, the Church is not male , It’s woman. It takes a theology to understand this, and the power of the female Church and women in the Church is stronger and more important than that of male ministers. Mary is more important than Peter, because the Church is female. But if we want to reduce this to officialdom, we will lose,” he declared.
Result of the Synod and fight against abuse in the Church
Another topic discussed in the interview was the Synod on Synodality, closed on Sunday, October 29. In Francisco’s view, the result of the days of work was positive: “everything was discussed with complete freedom. And this is a beautiful thing and we managed to produce a final document, which should be studied in this second part for the next session in October”.
Asked about cases of abuse in the Church, the Holy Father said he continued the work of Benedict XVI. “A lot of cleaning was done. They were all cases of abuse and even some members of the Curia were sent away. Pope Ratzinger was courageous in this,” he stressed.
The Pontiff also warned that this problem continues, and that it should not be tolerated. Regardless of the type of abuse, it “is contrary to the Gospel, the Gospel is service, not abuse, and we see many episcopates that have done good work to study sexual abuse, but also others”, he declared, admitting that “there are still a lot to be done.”
At the end of the interview, Francisco was asked if he had already lost his faith. He replied that not in the sense of losing her, but of “not feeling her and walking on dark paths”. Finally, in a relaxed atmosphere, the interviewer asked who the Pope prefers between the two great Argentine football players, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. “I will say a third: Pelé”, replied the Holy Father, quoting the Brazilian athlete.