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Pope on the plane: Religious freedom will also grow in Islam


During his flight back from Morocco, Pope Francis met with journalists for 45 minutes. He addressed questions such as the situation of Christians in Muslim countries, migration and why he has not sanctioned a French cardinal on trial for failing to denounce abuses.  

ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY IS PROHIBITED IN MOROCCO?

 “(Religious) freedom is always developing and growing. I think of the Christians 300 years ago, who did not approve of the freedom we have today. Progressively one becomes more aware of the faith and the way to understanding it.”

“Now we have removed the death penalty from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 300 years ago, heretics were burned alive. The Church has grown in moral conscience.”

 "Respect for the person also grows. And the freedom of worship also grows. We too must continue to grow.” 

WHY DID YOU REJECT THE RESIGNATION OF A CONDEMNED CARDINAL AFTER NOT DENOUNCING ABUSES?

“He, as a man of the Church, has resigned. However, I cannot accept it morally because legally, even in classical jurisprudence, there is a presumption of innocence as long as the case is still open.”

 “(The Cardinal) has appealed the sentence, and the case is still open. When the second court makes a final judgment, we will see what happens. However, the presumption of innocence must be kept in mind.”

FEAR OF EMIGRANTS

 “It is true that many people of good will, not only Catholics, are a little intimidated by fear. This is usually the message of populism: fear. Fear is sown and then decisions are made. Fear is the beginning of dictatorships.”

 “Those who make walls, whether of wires with knives or of bricks, will become prisoners of the walls they build.”

SOLUTION TO THE MIGRATION CRISIS

 “I once saw a video, made in a prison, where they put the returning refugees, the ones they send back. They are not official prisons, they are prisons for meat sellers, for traffickers.”

There they sell women and children, only men remain. The tortures they recorded are unbelievable.”

“Yes, I won't let you into the country. It is true. It is because I do not have room. However, there are other countries (to which they could go), there is the humanity of the European Union. The whole European Union must speak about this. I do not let them in. I let them drown there. I will tell them goodbye knowing that many will fall into the hands of traffickers, who will sell women and children, kill or torture to make men slaves.

 “One thing that (Angela Merkel) is pushing for is to avoid emigration not by force, but with generosity, with educational, economic investments, etc. This is very important.”