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New interview with Pope Francis on 2nd anniversary of election

March 13, 2015

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In a wide-ranging interview with the Vatican correspondent of a major Mexican media company, Pope Francis discussed drug trafficking, the success of evangelical Protestantism in Latin America, the conclave that elected him, the synod of bishops, curial reform, and clerical sexual abuse.

Hesitant to use the word “sects” to describe all evangelical Protestant groups, the Pontiff, according to Vatican Radio, said evangelicals have found success because they are close to the people; the Church in Latin America, in contrast, has a certain clericalism that creates distance from the people. Evangelicals have also found success where priests preach “disastrous” and overly abstract homilies.

Recalling the 2013 conclave, he said:

During the vote I was praying the rosary, I usually pray three rosaries daily, and I felt great peace, almost to the point of insentience. The very same when everything was resolved, and for me this was a sign that God wanted it, great peace. From that day to this I have not lost it. It is 'something inside’ it is like a gift. I do not know what happened next. They made [me] stand up. They asked me if I agreed. I said yes. I do not know if they made me swear on something, I forget. I was at peace.

“After I came out and I did not know what to say,” he continued. “And you are the witnesses of everything else. I deeply felt that a minister needs the blessing of God, but also that of his people. I did not dare to ask the people to bless me. I simply said: pray that God may bless me through you. But it came out spontaneously, also my prayer for Benedict.”

Pope Francis did not say whether he would retire but said that “an institutional door has been opened” with the resignation of Pope Benedict.

“I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years; I do not know, even two or three,” he added. “Two have already passed. It is a somewhat vague sensation. Maybe it's like the psychology of the gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won’t be disappointed and if he wins, is happy. I do not know. But I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more.”


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 13, 2015 1:18 PM ET USA

    Between 1980-2007 I attended many Masses in Mexico. Homilies in the large cities there resembled homilies here, no more abstract, no less. Things were different in rural areas where liberation theology was rampant among priests and religious. If one of my inlaws may serve as an example, the rural order of nuns who cared for her was more interested in sending her for revolutionary training in Nicaragua than in nurturing in her a respect for the "institutional church" and the papacy.