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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis' flight press conference: Talking to Benedict XVI gives me strength

As usual, the pope responded to questions from journalists who accompanied him on his trip to Romania. During the press conference, Pope Francis spoke about the role of politicians, the European Union and also about Benedict XVI.

The pope said there is a sickness which infects politicians and it is called “corruption.” For this reason, he invited people to help them. 

“We must help politicians to be honest and not to campaign with dishonest banners, calumny, defamation, scandals, and so often sowing hatred and fear. This is terrible. A politician should not spread hatred and fear, but only hope.”

In response to questions regarding the European elections, Pope Francis commented on the old continent. He asked Europe to return to its roots and not to allow itself to be dragged along by ideologies that promote division and threaten European ideals.

“We must get back to the mysticism of the European founding fathers. Get back to this. Europe needs itself, to be itself. Its own identity, its own unity. It needs to overcome, with so many things offered by good politics, overcome divisions and borders.”

“Please do not let Europe be overcome by pessimism or ideologies. This is because Europe is being attacked at the moment, not with guns or bombs, but with ideologies that are not European. These come from outside or from small groups in Europe that are not big.”

Moreover, Pope Francis, who always speaks about the importance in listening to one's elders, spoke of one person whom he always holds near, Benedict XVI.

“I hold his hand and get him to talk. He speaks a little and slowly, but with the same profoundness as always. This is because Benedict XVI's problem is in the knees, not the head. He has a great lucidity and when I listen to him I become stronger.”

He said to be with Benedict is to feel alive and close to the tradition of the Church, always on the move, and not part of a museum.