July 29, 2013. (Romereports.com) While on his way to Brazil, Pope Francis promised journalists, a press conference on his way back to Rome. Despite being tired, he kept his promise. For an hour and 22 minutes, he held a press conference, where nothing was off limits. For the first time he talked about controversial issues like the role of women in the Church, the Vatican Bank and he even talked about the so called ‘gay lobby.’
See end of post for video clips…
“Quite a lot has been published about the gay lobby. I have yet to find someone who introduces himself at the Vatican, with a ‘gay ID card.’ In these situations, it’s important to distinguish between a gay person and a gay lobby, because having a lobby is never good. If a gay person, is a person of good will who seeks God, who am I to judge? The catechism of the Church explains this very beautifully. It outlines that gays should not be marginalized.”
“I don’t know how the Vatican Bank will turn out. Some say the best thing is to have a bank, others say it should be a relief fund, others recommend it be closed down. We hear about these options all the time. For now, I trust the work the IOR team is doing. We should seek the best option, but whether it’s a bank, a fund, or whatever, it should be based on transparency and honesty. That’s how it should be. Thank You.”
“As far as the ordination of women, the Church has already spoken out and the answer is no. John Paul II made the Church’s stance definitive. The door is closed. But let me tell you something, Our Lady, was more important than the apostles, bishops, deacons and priests. Women play a role that’s more important than that of bishops, or priests. How? This is what we have to explain better publicly.”
“Regarding Bishop Ricca. I did what I had to do under Canon Law, which involves an investigation. The investigation didn’t find anything connected to what’s been printed. We found nothing. But let me add something about this. So very often, when we look at cases like this, we highlight the sins of youth and make them public. But any person, lay, priests or nun, if any person commits a sin and then asks the Lord for forgiveness, they are forgiven. When the Lord forgives, He forgets. This is very important for our lives. I’m not talking about crimes, that’s something different. Child abuse is a crime, but I’m talking about sins.”
He also talked about his working relationship with Benedict XVI and he talked about the date when John Paul II will be canonized, which will most probably be on April 27th and not December 8th as was previously believed.
“It’s like having a grandfather at home. A very wise grandfather. In a family, a grandfather is at home, he is honored, loved and he is listened to. Benedict XVI is a man of great caution …He doesn’t get involved in issues. I’ve told him many a times, ‘Your Holiness, continue with your life, meet with people, come along with us.’ He did agree to come to the inauguration of the new St. Michael statue. I think that phrase sums it up: It’s like having a grandfather at home. He’s like a father. If I’m in a bind, or if I’m faced with something I don’t understand, I can call him.”