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Rome Reports

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Press conference on the plane: Women deacons and the secret to pope's vitality

As usual, Pope Francis spoke to journalists on the papal plane returning from North Macedonia. The flight was short, so the press conference did not go longer than 20 minutes.

The pope addressed whether the commission established in 2016 to study the female diaconate had reached a conclusion.

"Everyone thought differently, but they have worked together and have agreed up until a certain point. Yet, each of them has his or her own vision, which does not agree with the others. There they stopped as a commission and each one is studying to continue forward." "There were female deacons at the beginning, but was it sacramental ordination or not? That point is being debated and is unclear."

The journalists also wanted to know where Pope Francis' secret energy comes from on such intense trips. 

"First of all I would like to tell you that I do not go to any witch. I don't know. I really don't know. It is a gift from the Lord. When I'm in a country I forget everything, but not because I want to forget it, I forget it, and I'm just there. Then this gives me perseverance. On trips, I do not get tired. Afterward, I get tired. After. But, where does the strength come from? I think the Lord gives it to me. There is no explanation."

The pope also explained the two things that impressed him on this trip. First was the tenderness of the Missionaries of Charity and the second was giving First Communion to children in Bulgaria.

"To see these sisters who took care of each person, as if he or she were Jesus." "I saw those children who open themselves to life with a sacramental decision. The Church takes care of children. They are limited; they must grow; they are a promise. I had experienced this very strongly. I felt at that moment that these 249 children were the future of the Church, they were the future of Bulgaria."

At the end of the press conference, Pope Francis recognized this Portuguese journalist for her 100th papal trip.