Good evening, Holy Father!
Thank you for this time dedicating us, after two days so intense. Certainly there have been difficult times in Ireland – there is always the question of abuse – but also very beautiful moments: the family feast, the testimonies of families, the meeting with young couples and also the visit to the Capuchins, who help so much the poor.
We pass the word to journalists, to start with the Irish … But maybe you want to say something earlier …
Thank you, because if I got tired, I think of you, that you have work, work, work … I thank you so much for your effort, for your work. Thank you very much.
The first question, as usual, comes from a journalist in the country, Tony Connelly, of RTÉ – Irish Radio TV.
Tony Connelly, RTÉ (Radio TV Ireland)
Holiness, Saturday spoke of the meeting he had with the Minister for Children; he said how much he touched what Mrs. Le said on the houses for mothers and children. What exactly did he tell you? And you were so impressed because it was for you the first time you heard about these houses?
The Minister first told me something that did not touch so much mothers and children; he told me – but it was a short one – “Holy Father, we have found mass graves of children, buried children. We are investigating. Does the Church have anything to do with all this? “, But she said it with a lot of education, really, and with a lot of respect. I thanked her, touched my heart, to such an extent that I wanted to repeat it in the speech. It was not at the airport – I was wrong – it was in the meeting with the President. At the airport there was another lady – Minister, I think – and I got confused. But she told me: “Then I will send you a memo”. The memo sent me, I could not read it. I saw that he had sent me a memo. It was very balanced in telling me: there is a problem, the survey has not been completed yet, but it also made me feel that the Church had something to do with that thing. In my opinion, this was an example of constructive collaboration, before … I do not want to say the word “protest”, but of complaint, of lamentation for what in the past time the Church had perhaps favored. That Lady was of a dignity that touched my heart. And now I have that memo, which I’ll study when I get home. Thanks to you.
Now, another Irishman is Paddy Agnew, of the “Sunday Independent”, who is a resident of Rome but an Irish journalist.
He is not the only Irishman in Rome!
Paddy Agnew, “Sunday Independent”:
Holy Father, thank you and good evening. Yesterday, Marie Collins, the Marie Collins victim you know very well, reported that you are not in favor of setting up new Vatican investigation tribunals on the problem of sexual abuse, and in particular of the so-called bishops’ investigative tribunals. taking responsibility on the part of the bishops ( bishop accountability ). Why do you think these are not necessary?
No, no, it’s not like that. It is not so. Marie Collins is a bit ‘fixed on the idea … – I esteem Marie Collins, sometimes we call her in the Vatican to give lectures -, she has remained fixed on the idea of that written “Like a loving mother”, in which it was said that to judge the bishops it would be good to make a special tribunal. Then it was seen that this was not practicable and it was not even convenient for the different cultures of the bishops to be judged. One takes the recommendation of “loving Mother” and makes the jury for each bishop, but it is not the same. This bishop is to be judged and the Pope makes a jury that is more capable of taking that case. It’s something that works better, also because, for a group of bishops, leaving the diocese for this is not possible. So the courts, the juries change. And so we did until now. Several bishops were judged: the last is that of Guam, the archbishop of Guam, who appealed and I decided – because it was a very, very complex case – to use a right that I have, to take on I appeal to you and do not send it to the appellate tribunal that does its job with all the priests, but I took it upon myself. I made a committee of canonists to help me and they told me that, in short, a month at most, the “recommendation” will be made for me to make the judgment. It is a complicated case, on the one hand, but not difficult, because the evidence is very clear; on the evidence side, they are clear. But I can not pre-judge. I wait for the report and then I will judge. I say that the evidence is clear because they are the ones that brought the first court to condemnation. This was the last case. Now there’s another one going on, let’s see how it will end. But it is clear, I said to Marie: the spirit and also the recommendation of “Like a loving mother” is implemented: a bishop must be judged by a court, but it is not always the same court, because it is not possible. She [Marie Collins] did not quite understand this, but when I see her – because she comes to the Vatican at times, we call her – I will explain it more clearly. I love her. we call her – I’ll explain it more clearly. I love her. we call her – I’ll explain it more clearly. I love her.
Now the Italian group, Holy Father: there is Stefania Falasca, of “Avvenire”.
Stefania Falasca, “Avvenire”:
Good evening, Holy Father. You have said, even today, that it is always a challenge to welcome the migrant and the foreigner. Just yesterday it was a painful affair, that of the ship “Eighteen”. Is there your “hand” behind this solution? Is his involvement, his interest?
The paw is of the devil, not mine! [laugh] The hand is of the devil …
And then, many see a blackmail to Europe on the skin of these people. What do you think?
Welcoming migrants is an ancient thing like the Bible. In Deuteronomy, in the commandments God commands this: to welcome the migrant, “the stranger”. It is an ancient thing, which is in the spirit of divine revelation and also in the spirit of Christianity. It is a moral principle. On this I spoke, and then I saw that I had to explain a little more, because it is not about welcoming “alla belle étoile“No, but a reasonable welcome. And this is true in all of Europe. When did I realize how this reasonable attitude should be? When there was the attack on Zaventem [Belgium]: the boys, the guerrillas who made the attack on Zaventem were Belgians, but children of non-integrated, ghettoized immigrants. That is, they had been received by the country but left there, and they have made a ghetto: they have not been integrated. That’s why I stressed this, it’s important. Then, I remembered, when I went to Sweden – and Franca [Giansoldati] in an article made mention of this and how I put this to mind – when I went to Sweden I talked about integration, and I knew it because during the dictatorship, in Argentina, from 1976 to 1983, many, many Argentineans and even Uruguayans fled to Sweden. And there, immediately the government took them, made them study the language and gave them work, integrated them. To the point that – and this is an interesting anecdote – the Minister who came to leave me at Lund’s airport was the daughter of a Swedish woman and an African migrant; but this African migrant has integrated to the point that his daughter has become Minister in the country. Sweden was a model. But, at that moment, Sweden was beginning to have difficulty: not because it did not have good will, but because it did not have the possibility of integration. This was the reason why Sweden stopped a bit, and took this step. Integration. And then, I spoke here, at a press conference among you, about the virtue of prudence that is the virtue of the ruler, and I talked about the prudence of peoples on the number or possibilities: a people that can accept but can not integrate, better not welcome. There is the problem of prudence there. And I think that this is the sore point of dialogue today in the European Union. We must continue to talk: the solutions are found …
What happened with the “Eighteen”? I did not put a hand on it. What did the work with the Minister of the Interior was Father Aldo, the good father Aldo, who is the one following the Don Benzi Opera, which the Italians know very well, who work for the release of prostitutes, those who They are exploited and many things … And the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Bassetti, who was here, also entered the phone, but all the mediation followed, and one of the two undersecretaries, Mons. Maffeis, negotiated with the Minister. And I think that Albania came … They took a certain number of migrants Albania, Ireland and Montenegro, I think, I’m not sure. The others took charge of the Episcopal Conference, I do not know whether under the “umbrella” of the Vatican or not … I do not know how it was negotiated; but they go to the “Better World” Center, in Rocca di Papa, they will be welcomed there. The number I think is more than a hundred. And there they will begin to learn the language and do the work that has been done with integrated migrants. I have had a very rewarding experience. When I went to the Roma III University there were the students who wanted to ask me questions and I saw a student … “I know her”: she was one who had come with me among the thirteen I had brought from Lesbos. That girl was at the university! Because? Because the Community of Sant’Egidio, from the day after his arrival, took her to school, to study: go, go … And she integrated it at the university level. This is work with migrants. There is the opening of the heart for everyone, to suffer; then, integration as a condition for welcoming; and then the prudence of the rulers to do this. I saw, I have a clandestine movie, what happens to those who are sent back and are taken back by the traffickers: it’s horrible, the things they do to men, women and children …, they sell them, but men do the most sophisticated torture. There was one there that was able, a spy, to make that video, which I sent to my two under-secretaries of migration. For this reason, to send them back we must think well, well, well …
And then, one last thing. There are these migrants who come; but there are others who are deceived, at Fiumicino, are deceived: “No, we give you the job …”. They have their cards, all of them, and they end up on the enslaved sidewalk, under the threat of the traffickers of women … This is it.
Thank you, Holy Father. The next question is from the English-speaking group: Anna Matranga, from the American television NBC.
Anna Matranga, NBC:
Good evening, Holy Father! I will return to the topic of “abuse”, of which he has already spoken. This very early morning a document was issued by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he says that in 2013 he had a personal conversation with you at the Vatican and that in this interview he would have talked with you explicitly about the sexual behavior and abuses of ex cardinal McCarrick. I wanted to ask you if this was true. And I also wanted to ask another thing: the archbishop also said that Pope Benedict had sanctioned McCarrick, who had told him that he could not live in the seminary, he could not celebrate Masses in public, he could not travel; it was sanctioned by the Church. Can I ask you if these two things are true?
One thing: I would prefer – even if I answer your question – I would prefer that before we talk about the trip and then other topics … but I answer. I read that release this morning. I read it and I sincerely have to tell you this, to you and to all those of you who are interested: read the notice carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a word about this. I believe the statement speaks for itself, and you have enough journalistic capacity to draw conclusions. It is an act of trust: when some time has passed and you have drawn conclusions, perhaps I will speak. But I would like your professional maturity to do this job: it will do you good, really. That’s okay.
Marie Collins said, after meeting her during the meeting with the victims, who spoke directly with you about former Cardinal McCarrick; he said that you were very harsh in your conviction of McCarrick. I wanted to ask you: when was the first time you heard about the abuses the former cardinal had committed?
This is part of the McCarrick release: study and then I’ll say. But since I had not read it yesterday, I allowed myself to speak clearly with Marie Collins and the group [of the victims], in the meeting that lasted an hour and a half, something that made me suffer so much. But I think it was necessary to listen to those eight people; and from this meeting came out the proposal – which I made, and they accepted it and helped me to realize it – to ask for forgiveness today in the Mass, but on concrete things.
For example, the last, which I had never heard: those mothers … – it was called the “washing of women” – when a woman was pregnant without marriage, went to a hospital or do not know what it was called, institute …, but they were the nuns who held it, and then gave the child up for adoption to the people. And there were children, at that time, who tried to find mothers, if they were alive, they did not know … and told them it was a mortal sin to do this; and even to the mothers who were looking for their children, they said it was a mortal sin. This is why I ended up saying today that this is not a mortal sin, but it is the fourth commandment.
And the things I said today, some I did not know, and it was painful for me, but also with the consolation of being able to help clarify these things. And I await your comment on that document, I’d like to! Thank you. I did not know some of them, and it was painful for me, but also with the consolation of being able to help clarify these things. And I await your comment on that document, I’d like to! Thank you. I did not know some of them, and it was painful for me, but also with the consolation of being able to help clarify these things. And I await your comment on that document, I’d like to! Thank you.
Thank you, Holy Father. Now Cecile Chambraud of “Le Monde”
Cecile Chambraud, “Le Monde”:
Good evening, Holy Father. I hope you do not mind if I ask my question in Spanish and I beg you to answer in Italian for all the colleagues. In your address to the Irish authorities, you referred to your recent Letter to the People of God. In that letter, you call all Catholics to participate in the fight against abuses in the Church. Can you explain to us what concretely Catholics can do, each in their own position, to fight against abuses?
And in this regard, in France, a priest began a petition calling for the resignation of Cardinal Barbarin, accused by victims. Do you think this initiative is adequate or not?[En su discurso to las Autoridades de Irlanda, usted if I refirió a su reciente Carta al Pueblo de Dios. En aquella Carta, usted llama a todos los católicos a tomar parte en la lucha contra los abusos en la Iglesia. ¿Puede detallarnos lo que concretamente los católicos pueden hacer cada uno en su sitio para lucar contra los abusos? In France, a priest has iniciado a petición llamando a que renuncie el Card. Barbarin, acusado por víctimas ¿The parece adecuada esta iniciativa, or not?]
If there are suspicions or proofs or half-proofs, I do not see anything bad about doing an investigation, if one does on the fundamental legal principle: Nemo malus nisi probetur , nobody is bad if you do not try it.
And so often there is the temptation not only to do the investigation, but to publish that the investigation was made and why it is guilty …, and so some media – not yours, I do not know – begin to create an atmosphere of guilt. And I would like to say something that has happened in these times, which will help in this, because for me it is important how we proceed and how the mediathey can help.
In more or less years, the problem of so-called pedophile priests has begun in Granada, a small group of seven or eight or ten priests, who have been accused of child abuse and even of parties, orgies and these things. I received the accusation directly: a letter made by a young twenty-three year old; according to him he had been abused, gave names and everything. A young man who worked in a religious college in Granada, very prestigious; the letter, perfect … And he asked me what to do to report this. I said: “Go to the Archbishop, the Archbishop knows what you must do”.
The Archbishop did everything he had to do, it also came to the civil court. There were two processes. The mediaof the place they started to talk, to talk … Three days later, all written in the parish, “pedophile priests” and things like that, and so the conscience was created that these priests were criminals. Seven were interrogated, and nothing was found; in three the investigation went ahead, they remained in prison for five days, two, and one – Father Roman, who was the parish priest – for seven days.
For almost three more years the hatred suffered, the slaps of all the people: criminalized, they could not go out, and they suffered humiliations made by the jury to prove the boy’s accusations, which I do not dare repeat here. After three years and more, the jury declares the innocent priests innocent, but above all these three: the others were already out of the case, and the complainant guilty. Because they had seen that young man was imaginative, but he was a very intelligent person and he worked also in a Catholic college and had this prestige, which gave the impression of telling the truth. He was condemned to pay the costs and all these things, and they were innocent. These men were condemned by theaverageof the place before justice.
And for this, your work is very delicate: you must accompany, you must say things but always with this legal presumption of innocence, and not the presumption of guilt! And there is a difference between the informant who informs about a case but is not played for a previous conviction, and the investigator, who does the “Sherlock Holmes”, which goes with the presumption of guilt. When we read Hercule Poirot’s technique: for him, everyone was guilty. But this is the job of the investigator. They are two different positions. But those who inform must always start from the presumption of innocence, saying their impressions, doubts …, but without giving condemnations. This case happened in Granada for me is an example that will do good to all of us, in our [respective] profession.
In the first part [of the previous question] he asked what God’s people could do in the matter …
Ah yes, yes. When you see something, talk right away. I will say something else a little ugly. Sometimes, parents are covering an abuse of a priest. A lot of times. It is seen in the sentences. [They say:] “But, no …”. They do not believe, or they are convinced that it is not true, and the boy or girl remains that way. I have the method of receiving one or two people every week, but it is not mathematical; and I received a person, a lady, who for 40 years suffered this scourge of silence, because the parents had not believed her. She was abused at the age of eight. To speak, this is important. It is true that for a mother, to see this … it would be better if it were not true, and then she thinks that the child may have fantasies …
[But we must] speak. And talk to the right people, talk to those who can begin a trial, at least prior investigation. Talk to the judge or the bishop, or if the parson is good to talk to the parish priest. This is the first thing God’s people can do. These things should not be covered, they should not be covered. A psychiatrist told me some time ago – but I do not want it to be an offense to women – than for the sense of motherhood, women are more inclined to cover the things of the child than men. But I do not know if it’s true or not … But this is: talking. Thank you. speak. Thank you. speak. Thank you.
Javier Romero of “Rome Reports TV” belongs to the Spanish group.
Holiness, excuse me, I would like to ask you two questions. The first is that the Prime Minister of Ireland, who was very direct in his speech, is proud of a new model of family different from the one that traditionally proposes the Church so far: I speak of homosexual marriage. And this is perhaps one of the models that generates more clashes, especially in the case of a Catholic family, when there is a person in this family who claims to be a homosexual. Your Holiness, the first question I would like to ask you is: what do you think, what would you say to a father, a father, to whom the son says he is a homosexual and wants to go and live with his partner. This is the first question. And the second one, which, in fact, you also spoke about abortion in your speech with the prime minister; we have seen how Ireland has changed so much in recent years and it seemed that the Minister was, indeed, satisfied with these changes: one of these changes was precisely abortion. We have seen that in recent months, the issue of abortion has come out in many countries, among other things in Argentina, your country. How do you feel when you see that, in fact, this is a topic you often talk about and there are so many countries where it is put …
All right. I start from the second, but there are two points – thanks for this – because they are related to the issues we are talking about. On abortion, you know how the Church thinks it. The problem of abortion is not a religious problem : we are not against abortion for religion. No. It’s a human problem, and must be studied by anthropology. Studying abortion by starting from the religious fact, is bypassing the thought. The problem of abortion must be studied by anthropology. And there is always the anthropological question on the ethics of taking out a living being to solve a problem. But this is already the discussion. I just want to underline this: I never allow people to start discussing the problem of abortion from the religious fact. No. It’s an anthropological problem, it’s a human problem. This is my thought.
Second. There have always been homosexuals and people with homosexual tendencies. Always. Sociologists say, but I do not know if it’s true, that in times of age changes there are some social and ethical phenomena, and one of these would be this. This is the opinion of some sociologists. Your question is clear: what would I say to a father who sees that his son or daughter has that tendency. I would first tell him to pray: pray. Do not condemn, dialogue, understand, make room for the son or daughter. Make room for it to be expressed. Then, at what age does this restlessness of the child manifest itself? It’s important. One thing is when it manifests itself as a child, when there are so many things that can be done, to see how things are; another thing is when it manifests itself after the age of 20 or something like that. But I will never say that silence is the remedy: ignoring the son or daughter with a homosexual tendency is a lack of fatherhood and motherhood. You are my son, you are my daughter, as you are; I’m your father and your mother, let’s talk. And if you, father and mother, do not get along, ask for help, but always in dialogue, always in dialogue. Because that son and daughter are entitled to a family and this is the family: do not drive him away from the family. This is a serious challenge to fatherhood and motherhood. Thank you for the question, thank you. Because that son and daughter are entitled to a family and this is the family: do not drive him away from the family. This is a serious challenge to fatherhood and motherhood. Thank you for the question, thank you. Because that son and daughter are entitled to a family and this is the family: do not drive him away from the family. This is a serious challenge to fatherhood and motherhood. Thank you for the question, thank you.
Thank you, Holy Father.
And then, I would like to say something to the Irish who are here: I have found so much faith in Ireland. So much faith. True, the Irish people have suffered so much from the scandals. But there is faith, in Ireland, and strong. And moreover, the Irish people can distinguish, and I quote what I heard today from a prelate: “The Irish people can distinguish well between truths and half-truths: it’s something inside”. It is true that it is in a process of elaboration, of healing from this scandal; it is true that some open themselves to positions that seem to move away from the faith. But the Irish people have a deeply rooted faith. I want to say it because it’s what I saw, I heard and about which I have been informed in these two days.
Thank you for your work, thank you very much! And pray for me, please.
Thank you. Good dinner and good rest.