Some Excerpts from the most recent Pope Francis Interview

popecover-255x217-255x216I blogged about CNN’s treatment of the interview here; full text of it, in English, is here. It’s worth the time to read the whole thing (not very long). My favorite bits:

Kindness and mercy are the essence of your pastoral message…  [Francis:] And of the Gospel. It is the center of the Gospel. Otherwise, one cannot understand Jesus Christ, the kindness of the Father who sent him to listen to us, to heal us, to save us.

Regarding a “superhero” Pope:

The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends like everyone. A normal person.

On poverty and worldly detachment:

Poverty distances us from idolatry, it opens the doors to Providence. Zaccheus gave half of his wealth to the poor. And to he who keeps his granary full of his own selfishness, the Lord, in the end, will present him with the bill. I have expressed well in Evangelii Gaudium what I think about poverty.

On marriage and same-sex unions:

Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.

On Our Lady:

The Virgin Mary is more important than any bishop and any apostle.

On Humanae Vitae and the Church’s teachings on artificial contraception:

The question is not that of changing the doctrine but of going deeper and making pastoral (ministry) take into account the situations and that which it is possible for people to do.

On whether he was ever in love:

In the book Il Gesuita, I tell the story of when I had a girlfriend at 17 years old. And I speak also of this in On Heaven and Earth, the volume I wrote with Abraham Skorka. In the seminary a girl made me lose my head for a week.

On how the relationship ended:

They were things of youth. I spoke with my confessor (a big smile).

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