Returning from Marseille to Rome, Pope Francis held his usual in-flight press conference. He spoke to journalists about migrants—a central theme of this trip and of his pontificate. The Pope was asked if he felt his decade long call for solidarity towards the reception of migrants had failed.
I will say no. I will say that growth has gone slowly.
There is more awareness today. Not because I spoke about it. But because people have become aware of the problem. So many people are talking about it. It was my first trip. I want to say one more interior thing. I didn't even know where Lampedusa was. But I heard the stories. I read something and in prayer, I heard: you have to go. Like the Lord was sending me there on my first trip.
The Pope also touched on topics relating to the trip itself, such as his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and the country's upcoming law on euthanasia.
We didn't speak today on this issue, but we talked about it at the other visit.
When he came and I told him my opinion: with life you don't play, whether it's the law of not letting the baby grow in the mother's womb, the law of euthanasia in diseases or old age, this I don't say is a faith thing, it's a human, human thing; there is the ugly compassion.
During the press conference, the Pope spoke about the ongoing peace mission for Ukraine and the Vatican's efforts in returning the thousands of children taken from their homes. But he expressed some frustration over the ongoing conflict.
Some frustration is felt, because the Secretariat of State is doing everything to help this, even the "Zuppi mission" has gone there. There is something with the children that is going well. But this war brings to my mind that it is also a little bit affected not only by the Russian-Ukrainian problem, but also the sale of weapons, the arms trade.
Marseille marked Pope Francis' 44th international trip. As he returns to Rome, his schedule remains busy as he prepares to create 21 new cardinals on September 30 and open the Synod on October 4.