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Rome Reports

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Pope addresses issues of abuse, abortion and his health in wide-ranging interview

In an interview with Telemundo News, Pope Francis commented on a variety of topics, including his recent meeting with the President of Ukraine.

During the course of the interview, the Pope confirmed he is in good health. Referring to problems with his knee, he did admit that “some days are more painful” than others. He also said that the prayers of the faithful on his behalf work miracles.

Responding to a question regarding Church reforms, the Pope said that any changes he has brought about over the past 10 years have been in response to the expectations of the cardinals at the time of his election. But the more you do, he said, the more you realize how much you still have to do.

Pope Francis commented on what happens when a country becomes “too clericalized”. He encouraged priests to be pastors and shepherds, saying that if someone is too clerical, they are not pastors.

The Pope also responded to a question on migration. He referenced his own experience of coming from a migrant family and confirmed that when people migrate they do so out of necessity.

Pope Francis went on to reveal part of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he met recently in the Vatican. He said the President asked for help in returning Ukrainian children who have been taken to Russia. He also said he thought peace would be achieved the day Russia and Ukraine can talk to each other, “either by themselves or through others”.

Asked whether he is in favor of abortion in the case of rape, Pope Francis responded with another question, asking whether it is lawful to eliminate a living being in order to solve a problem.

Finally, addressing the issue of clerical sexual abuse, the Pope refuted any connection between abuse and priestly celibacy. He quoted statistics that confirm how over 30% of abuse cases take place within the family, or in sports facilities, or schools, regardless of whether or not someone is married.