Here are some highlights from the pope’s in-flight press conference:
Africa is full of life….The people who raised their children in the air, as if to say, “this is my treasure, this is my victory, my pride”. Children are the treasure of the poor. But they are the treasure of a homeland, of a country….
Xenophobia is a disease. It is a disease that is “justifiable”, for example, to maintain the purity of the race – just to mention a form of xenophobia from the last century. And very often, xenophobia rides the waves of political populism. I said last week, or the one before, that sometimes in some places I hear speeches being given that sound similar to those made by Hitler in ’34. It’s as if they wanted to return to the past in Europe….
We must fight against this: both the xenophobia of one country towards another, and internal xenophobia, which in the case of some places in Africa and along with tribalism, leads to tragedies such as that of Rwanda….
We need to go forward strengthening the international institutions: the United Nations, that they might take in hand once again their role; that the European Union might become stronger, not in the sense of domination, but in the sense of justice, of fraternity, of unity for all….
Proclamation comes before testifying. First live like a Christian and if they ask you, speak. Testifying is the first step and the protagonist of evangelization is not the missionary but the Holy Spirit who leads Christians and missionaries to bear witness. Then questions will come or won’t come, but what counts is the witness of life….
When is communication at the service of destruction? When it defends inhuman projects. Let’s think of the propaganda of the dictators of the last century. They were dictators who knew how to communicate well, but they instigated war, division and destruction…..
We need to defend ecology, biodiversity, that is our life; to defend the oxygen, that is our life…..
I am not afraid of schisms, I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people’s spiritual health…..
The schismatics always have one thing in common: they separate themselves from the people, from the faith of the people of God….. A schism is always an elitist separation stemming from an ideology detached from doctrine….
The social things that I say are the same things that John Paul II said, the same things! I copy him. But they say: the Pope is a communist… Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism….
The pastors must lead their flock between grace and sin, because this is evangelical morality. Instead, a morality based on such a pelagian ideology leads you to rigidity, and today we have many schools of rigidity within the Church, which are not schisms, but pseudo-schismatic Christian developments that will end badly. When you see rigid Christians, bishops, priests, there are problems behind that, not Gospel holiness.