An interview with Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ first interview with an Italian television channel was granted to TV2000 and InBlu Radio, the Italian Episcopal Conference’s broadcasters.

In a 40-minute question and answer session, the Pope speaks to web and news directors Paolo Ruffini and Lucio Brunelli, about his reflections on the fruits of the Extraordinary Holy Year, which he describes as “a blessing from the Lord”, on the changes the Church needs to undergo, on the idolatry of money and attention towards the poor.

A brief preview of the interview was aired after the special reports on the ceremony for the closing of the Holy Door.

The “blessing” of the Jubilee
“I can only report the news that’s been coming from all around the world. The fact that the Jubilee was not just celebrated in Rome but in very diocese in the world, in the cathedrals and churches the bishop had indicated, universalised the Jubilee a bit. And it did a great deal of good.

Because the whole Church experienced this Jubilee, there was a Jubilee atmosphere. The diocese have reported people approaching the Church again and encountering Jesus: it was a blessing from the Lord (…) It is an ecclesial line where mercy is, I wouldn’t say discovered because it has always been there, but strongly proclaimed: it is like a need.

A need that is good in a world afflicted by the illness of a throwaway culture, the illness of a closed heart, of selfishness. Because it opened up people’s hearts and many people were able to encounter Jesus.”

“Mercy Fridays”, exploited girls
“I visited girls who had been rescued from prostitution. I remember one African girl, she was beautiful, very young and had been exploited – she was pregnant – beaten and tortured: ‘You must go and work’, she was told… And as she recounted her story – there were 15 girls there each of whom shared their stories with me – she said to me: “Father, I gave birth in the winter, in the street. Alone. On my own. My baby girl died.”

They had forced her to work up until that day because if she didn’t make her exploiters a lot of money she was beaten and even tortured.

Another girl had had her ear cut off… And I thought not only about the exploiters but also those who pay the girls: don’t these people know that their moment of sexual satisfaction means their money is going towards helping the exploiters?” Continue reading



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