Pope's in-air press conference: Vatican financial scandals, protests in Latin America, nuclear arms and death penalty
The pope answered the journalist's questions on his trip home from Thailand and Japan. It was a long conference in which Pope Francis talked about different topics. He bluntly restated the problems with weapons and nuclear energy by recalling his visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“There I reiterated that the use of nuclear weapons is immoral, so it must be included in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only the use, but also the possession.”
"It is a personal opinion, I would not use nuclear energy until it's completely safe."
The pope confessed he would like to write an encyclical on peace, but it is a project the next pontiff should face. He criticized the manufacture and purchase of weapons.
"Something ugly is the hypocrisy of the 'arms trade.' Christian countries - at least those with a Christian culture - or European countries that talk about peace and live off weapons. 30:23 This is hypocrisy.
"It takes courage to say: 'I can't talk about peace, because my economy earns so much through arms sales.'”
Another issue the pope couldn't ignore on peace and justice was the situation in prisons and those inside.
"The death penalty has been clearly stated as immoral and that it cannot be carried out."
“Prisons are overcrowded in many parts of the world; they are warehouses of humanity. Instead of getting better, many times they are corrupted. We must combat the death penalty, little by little.”
The Holy Father was satisfied, in a certain light, with the recent financial scandals in the Vatican, which seem to be a mishandling of funds. He explained this is because the corruption was discovered from within, thanks to control mechanisms that are obviously working.
“They have done things that don't seem clean. But the accusation didn't come from outside. The reform of the economic methodology, which Benedict XVI had begun, was implemented. It was the internal auditor who said: something bad is going on here, something’s not right.
"It is the first time the corruption was uncovered from the inside of the Vatican, not from the outside."
Finally, Pope Francis spoke about the protests in Latin America. He was prudent, confessing he cannot do an in-depth analysis of the situation. However, he recalled that just as in any other conflict, dialogue must always prevail.
“How does the Holy See handle this? It calls for dialogue, for peace.”
“But it is in flames as you say, and dialogue must be sought, as well as analysis. I still haven’t found a good analysis done on the situation in Latin America. Also they have weak, very weak governments, who haven’t been able to establish order and peace. For this reason, we’re in this situation.”
At the conclusion of this trip, the pope assured journalists he would like to return to Asia. Perhaps this time he could travel to Beijing, because he has a deep affection for China.
Translation: Melissa Butz