March 27, 2023

In an interview granted to the Associated Press agency, the pope notably returned to the consequences of the death of Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis, 86, regularly grants river interviews. The latest was collected on Tuesday – and published this Wednesday – by Nicole Winfield, in charge of the Vatican for the American agency Associated Press. This interview is his first public speech, outside ceremonies, since the death of Benedict XVI on December 31, 2022. Francis took the opportunity to respond to the controversies that followed, including those of the private secretary of the German pope, Mgr Georg Gänswein, of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, German, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of Cardinal George Pell, Australian, who died on January 10. The latter would have qualified the pontificate of “catastrophe” and “disaster” according to a text initially anonymous, now authenticated.

“Criticism is a right”

Francois replies: Criticism allows you to grow and improve things “. Moreover, the pope prefers that she expresses herself even if she “disturbs a bit » and disturbs « lhas tranquility “. He would prefer that he there is no criticism ” but ” they mean that there is freedom of speech “. And even if they are only Rashes the opposing voices are an antidote to the dictatorship of distance, when the emperor is there and no one can tell him anything “.

The pope rejects everything link between the death of Benedict XVI and the latest round of criticism. Rather, he attributes them worn out by a 10-year government “. On March 13, 2023, Francis will indeed celebrate the tenth anniversary of his election. He observes that ” when some started to see (his) flaws, they didn’t like them. ” And not ” ask for one thing “: that we express ourselves ” in front and not behind his back. As such, he pays homage to Cardinal Pell, who did not mince his words. ” He was a great guy, great he said of the prelate to whom he had entrusted the reform of Vatican finances. ” He had the right to criticize him, because criticism is a human right “.

“Being gay is not a crime”

Would the recent charges lead Francis to give up? He repeats that if he had to decide, which is not on the agenda, he would call himself ” bishop emeritus of Rome ” and no ” pope emeritus » and that he would live in a house of priests of the diocese. He also considers it premature to decide legally on the situation of a retired pope. In this capacity, he pays strong homage to Benedict XVI, who was like a ” father ” for him. ” If I had a doubt, I asked for a car and I went up to consult him he reveals. ” He was a lord, old fashioned “. He adds : “ some wanted to use it, he defended himself “.

On the other hand, Francis was very critical of the current synod of the German Church, led, according to him, by ” the elite » and not by « the people of God “: “ the danger is that something very, very ideological will seep in ” so ” the Holy Spirit is going home because ideology wins over the Holy Spirit “. And open about homosexuality: Being gay is not a crime, but a sin “. Must be distinguished ” between a sin and a crimee” hoping that the bishops who support anti-homosexual legislation “ unjust “have” a conversion process ” because “God loves us as we are. “.

The Pope also gave a series of details about himself. Francis says to himself in good health ” but recognizes that the diverticulosis for which he was operated on in the intestine on July 4, 2021 is ” income “, ensuring however that” everything is under control “.

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