During the return flight to Rome from Armenia, the Pope held a press conference of questions and answers with journalists for about an hour.
An Armenian journalist asked him what message he wanted to leave the country. In recalling the tense relations of Armenia with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the Pope had the following to say.
"I wish these people justice and peace, I pray for this because they are a courageous people. I hope they find justice and peace.”
The Pope touched on more topics. He spoke about and explained the reasons behind Benedict XVI resignation.
Pope Francis wondered if "Nowadays, what with us living longer, can we lead a Church once we get to a certain age with all those aches and pains? Benedict resigned with courage and prayer, and with Science and Theology. He opened this door. But there is only one Pope, the other one is a Pope Emeritus. Perhaps in the future there will be two or three, but they are Emeritus.”
He was also asked if he worried that the Brexit would cause the disintegration of the European Union.
"For me, unity is always better than conflict, but there are different ways of unity . . . and even fraternity, and here comes the European Union; fraternity is better than animosity and distance. Fraternity is better and bridges are better than walls. ...and here I come to the Charlemagne Prize, which is given by the European Union to discover the strength that it had from its roots. It is a step of creativity, and also of "healthy disunity,” to give more independence, more liberty to countries of the Union, to think of another form of Union, to be creative.”
The Pope also shared how displeased he was with the media for saying that that women could be deacons, only because he accepted a commission to study their role in the Church of the first centuries.
They asked him whether the Church should apologize for having marginalized homosexuals. He repeated that the catechism says "that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. One can condemn, but not for ideological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior...Certain manifestations are a bit too offensive for others, no? ... But these are things that have nothing to do with the problem.”
With an articulated tone, the Pope said that "the Church should not only apologize to this person who is gay which has offended but also apologize to the poor, exploited women, children exploited at work or having blessed so many weapons. (...) When I say Christian Church I mean Christians! The Church is holy, sinners we are. Christians must also ask forgiveness for not having accompanied so many decisions, so many families. "