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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis talks to press about Benedict XVI, Vatican Bank and 'gay lobby'


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 ofwomen  in the  Church, the Vatican Bank and he even talked  about the  so called gay lobby.  

"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 publicaly.”

The press also learned that the Pope took immediate action, when a priest, whom he appointed to a high ranking position in the Vatican's Bank, was accused of being  previously expelled from a nunciature in Latin America, for allegedly engaging in scandalous conduct. 

"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.”

Just months after becoming Pope, he says he misses the city of Buenos Aires, adding that he would love to go out and walk on the streets. But he says he respects the limits of the Vatican's police.

But in any case, when he does go out, it's quite obvious that he is among the people, up close and personal. He added he's not afraid of attacks, explaining that he thinks it's crazy to be afar from people, to prevent an attack.

The Pope made  it clear that he's not afraid of using simple and clear words to get his message across and that will surely give much to talk about in the future.

- BN