If you see Pope Francis at a pizzeria, be cool
All Pope Francis wants is to hang out at a pizza shop and relax.
This week, in an interview with Televisa, Pope Francis reflected on his role as the leader of the Catholic Church, and revealed that all he really wants to do is eat pizza in peace.
“I have the feeling that my Pontificate will be brief: four or five years,” the Pope told Televisa. It is a somewhat vague sensation.”
Pope Francis continued, “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... but it is a feeling.”
What’s more, the pope revealed that there’s at least one particular reason he won’t mind if his pontificate is short. “The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza.”
Just days ago, Madonna revealed to a journalist on the radio that she would love an audience with the pope over a dinner of wine and pasta. Perhaps this is a sign from the pope that he prefers a simpler meal, although we doubt that one could eat pizza with Madonna without attracting attention.
(Photo Modified: Flickr/Raffaele Esposito)
Trump ⟞termined to pursue peace' after Pope meeting
He was granted a short private audience with the head of the Catholic Church on the latest leg of his overseas trip.
The two men have in the past clashed on issues such as migration, climate change and a Mexico-US wall.
Mr Trump is now in Brussels for talks with Nato and EU officials.
He will also hold meetings with Belgium's King Philippe and Prime Minister Charles Michel.
After the meeting between President Trump and the Pope, the Vatican said there had been an "exchange of views" on international issues.
Mr Trump, who BBC Europe editor Katya Adler says seemed star-struck, said of the Pope: "He is something, he's really good. We had a fantastic meeting and we had a fantastic tour, it was really beautiful. We're liking Italy very much. it was an honour to be with the Pope."
Later Mr Trump tweeted: "Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world."
He arrived in Europe from Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he vowed to try to achieve peace in the region.
The US leader began his foreign trip with a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, urging Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation.
Tired of cheese pizza and fish sticks? 10 Lent recipes for no-meat Fridays
It’s Friday. You’re tired, it’s been a long week and you’re hungry. You don’t have energy to think about dinner for yourself, much less for your family. And then you remember: It’s Lent. (Hopefully it didn’t just occur to you that it’s Lent, but if it did, we understand.) Half of the ideas about what you want to make go out the window because, unfortunately, they all include meat. What now?
We asked our editors and staff at America to share some of their favorite recipes as a corporal work of mercy: to (help) feed the hungry. We hope this alleviates some of the stress of Lenten meal planning during a pandemic. We know it can be rough, and we’re right there with you. (We’d love to see your favorite recipes, too! You can share them in the comments section.)
But, if all else fails and you just want to order food, we’ve got you covered there too:
This is my absolute favorite recipe because it is something I’ve learned to put together in less than an hour but with an outcome that tastes like it took much longer (which on a Friday during Lent is key): eggplant, caramelized onion and tomato pasta. The recipe calls for homemade pasta sauce and caramelized onions, though you can use store-bought sauce. Both of these sounded intimidating the first time I tried this recipe, but now they are second nature to me and I can’t use store-bought tomato sauce anymore. If you’re looking for an easy recipe that makes you feel like a star chef, this is the recipe for you. It’s also technically vegan but I always just use non-vegan butter, so it’s more vegan-ish. The point is, make this recipe if you need a win in your life (because at this point in the pandemic, who doesn’t?). You won’t regret it.
Vivian Cabrera, assistant editor
We asked our editors and staff at America to share some of their favorite recipes as a corporal work of mercy: to (help) feed the hungry.
2. Recipe: Cheesy Bean Burrito
After college, when I worked as a volunteer teacher making $200 per month, my community of four loved making this inexpensive, easy dinner: Combine one can of corn (drained), one can of black beans (drained), one jar of salsa (16 oz.) and one block of frozen spinach (thawed excess water pressed out) in a pot and cook on the stovetop on medium low, stirring occasionally until heated. Add cumin (approximately 1 teaspoon) and cheddar cheese (approximately 1-2 cups, shredded) to taste. Stir until cheese is melted and mixed throughout. Serve wrapped in a warm tortilla. These days, this meal is also a hit with both my 4-year-old and my husband, who claims to not like black beans. We’re also fans of these crispy, buttery chickpeas and this cheesy black bean bake, both of which we serve over rice and top with avocado.
Kerry Weber, executive editor
I don’t much care for fish, so Fridays in Lent have usually been an exercise in “what can be done to this sea creature to make it taste like meat?” But a few years ago in El Salvador I discovered a tiny seafood restaurant that made ceviche with shrimp as the sole protein, and I was hooked.
The first time I tried this recipe, I made the mistake of using frozen shrimp. DO NOT DO THIS. Boiling frozen shrimp turns them into pencil erasers. They’ve got to be fresh, which makes them more expensive (but to be honest, you’re not bothering with the scallops, so there’s a cost-saver there). You’ll need a quarter of a cup of kosher salt, a pound of medium shrimp, two lemons, two limes, two oranges, one cup of diced cucumber, half a cup of chopped red onion, two serrano chiles (three for the bravehearted), one cup of diced tomatoes, one diced avocado, one tablespoon of chopped cilantro and a fourth of a cup of olive oil.
After boiling the shrimp (almost flash-boiling them, they only need a few minutes), chop them up and add the juice from the citrus fruits then stir in the cucumber, red onion and chiles. Stick in the fridge for an hour. Then add the tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and olive oil. Let it sit at room temperature for half an hour to warm up the shrimp and the citrus mix. The recipe calls for it to be served in a chilled martini glass, but chez Keane, a cereal bowl from Target works just as well.
James T. Keane, senior editor
My family has been enjoying Skate with Capers and Bread. Skate reminds me of my favorite meals from one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. This recipe is very easy to make with fresh fish, and everyone in the family will eat it (kids included). One word to the wise: After you take the skillet out of the oven, remember that the pan is hot—I badly burned my hand one time but it hasn’t stopped me from making this almost every week!
Heather Trotta, advancement strategist
I was skeptical of this recipe at first, but it’s quickly become a favorite go-to dinner or appetizer all year long. It’s also ideal for Lent: simple, affordable and nourishing. (And because this Lent takes place during a global pandemic, the fact that it also feels a bit decadent in its pizza-ness is O.K.) For the recipe, I double the amount of tomato paste and use more garlic and less cheese than the recipe suggests. Throw some fresh basil on top after baking if you have it. Serve with a simple green salad and crusty bread. And a bottle of red. (Again, it’s O.K. during pandemic Lent.) Perfection.
Michael O’Loughlin, national correspondent
I don’t much care for fish, so Fridays in Lent have usually been an exercise in “what can be done to this sea creature to make it taste like meat?"
6. Recipe: McKinless Family “Tuna Nuna”
To this day I don’t know if everyone calls it this or if my mom made it up but in the McKinless household it was called Tuna Nuna, and if it was a Friday during Lent and we weren’t ordering cheese pizza from Pizza Hut (sad), this was what we had for dinner.
Admittedly, I have not eaten Tuna Nuna (a.k.a. tuna noodle casserole) since becoming a pescatarian at the age of majority and discovering there are other fish in the sea. But I have very fond memories of Tuna Nuna nights, and I’m sure it’s still just as delicious and easy to make.
I texted my mom to get the recipe, which she described as “so simple it is almost embarrassing”:
10 minutes from starting to boil the water to putting it on the table.)
Ashley McKinless, executive editor and host of Jesuitical
Apparently, shakshuka is popular in New York, but I hadn’t heard of it before moving here. It’s delicious. It’s meatless. It’s breakfast for lunch and dinner that involves vegetables and spices. It sort of surprised me, you know, that something like this could come out of my oven. These flavors, really, this gift—for me? Apparently there is debate about the dish’s origins—is it North Africa? Yemen? The Ottoman Empire?—although it is enjoyed across those regions today, from Morocco to Israel to Yemen in different variations. The New York Times recipe was my introduction, although I’d encourage you chefs to look up the dish and find a variation that sounds exciting to you. Ironically enough, the dish is sort of sweet (read: tomatoes, onions, paprika), and eating a sweet thing during this season, regardless of your Lenten practice, is a good opportunity to relish in the goodness of life.
Erika Rasmussen, O’Hare Fellow
Remember when Paul was struck by a blinding light on his way to Damascus (Acts 9)? It was a moment of epiphany that eventually led to his conversion: the perfect story to read and reflect on during Lent. When you “go vegan,” as I did three years ago, you set yourself up for a different kind of epiphany: Meatless and dairy-free foods can be everything you thought they couldn’t be! I love comfort foods—classic American dishes and cheesy homemade casseroles—so I was delighted to discover this vegan mac and cheese recipe. The best piece of advice I can give new meatless-eaters: Discover nutritional yeast it will change your life. The problem is vegan dishes are so rich, complex and delicious that they hardly seem like a “fast” on Fridays during Lent, so I recommend serving this one up on Sunday!
Sebastian Gomes, executive editor
When you “go vegan,” as I did three years ago, you set yourself up for a different kind of epiphany: Meatless and dairy-free foods can be everything you thought they couldn’t be!
175 Of Pope Francis' Most Inspiring Quotes
The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, he said, but that's normal, because 'a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows.
I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.
God never tires of forgiving us we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.
No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.
A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
We all have the duty to do good.
Life is a journey. When we stop, things don't go right.
Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.
We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.
It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.
Find new ways to spread the word of God to every corner of the world.
I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful it needs nearness, proximity.
Situations can change people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good. Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.
If one has the answers to all the questions - that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties we must be humble.
A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel.
Living together is an art. It's a patient art, it's a beautiful art, it's fascinating.
This is the struggle of every person: be free or be a slave.
It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one.
Abortion isn't a lesser evil, it's a crime. Taking one life to save another, that's what the Mafia does. It's a crime. It's an absolute evil.
God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.
I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.
Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.
Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth.
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
Instead of imposing new obligations, (Christians) should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet.
The Lord never tires of forgiving. It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness.
Where there is truth, there is also light, but don't confuse light with the flash.
God's image is the married couple, a man and woman, together. Not just the man. Not just the woman. No, both of them. That's God's image.
Indifference is dangerous, whether innocent or not.
We don't have to expect everything from those who govern us that would be juvenile.
An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock it's beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth. Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.
Worshipping the Lord means giving Him the place that he must have worshipping the Lord means stating, believing - not only by our words - that He alone truly guides our lives worshipping the Lord means that we are convinced before Him that He is the only God, the God of our lives, the God of our history.
He who doesn't pray to the Lord prays to the devil.
From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.
Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.
I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time.
Worshipping is stripping ourselves of our idols, even the most hidden ones, and choosing the Lord as the centre, as the highway of our lives.
Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God.
One who believes may not be presumptuous on the contrary, truth leads to humility, because believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth that embraces and possesses us.
. I think that we succumb to attitudes that do not permit us to dialogue: domination, not knowing how to listen, annoyance in our speech, preconceived judgments and so many others.
Among us, who is above must be in service of the others. This doesn't mean we have to wash each other's feet every day, but we must help one another.
Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way.
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn't marginalise people for this. They must be integrated into society.
Not to share one&rsquos wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs. - St John Chrysostom
You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.
If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents.
The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven, and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.
Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.
My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life, like the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people and from reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing.
Since God created the world, He also created reality.
The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation.
Our faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society&rsquos most neglected members.
The most important thing in the life of every man and every woman is not that they should never fall along the way. The important thing is always to get back up, not to stay on the ground licking your wounds.
If our hearts are closed, if our hearts are made of stone, the stones find their way into our hands and we are ready to throw them.
I believe in God - not in a Catholic God there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!
We need to remember and remind ourselves where we come from, what we are, our nothingness.
Mercy will always be greater than any sin, no one can put a limit on the love of the all-forgiving God. Just
Some people want to know why I wished to be called Francis. For me, Francis of Assisi is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.
In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power.
Money has to serve, not to rule.
Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.
Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.
God makes Himself felt in the heart of each person. He also respects the culture of all people. God is open to all people. He calls everyone. He moves everyone to seek Him and to discover Him through creation.
Truth, according to the Christian faith, is God's love for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, truth is a relationship.
A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.
The Church is or should go back to being a community of God's people, and priests, pastors and bishops, who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.
The Church does not exist to condemn people but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God&rsquos mercy. I
Ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognize what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us.
Truth is a relationship. As such, each one of us receives the truth and expresses it from within, that is to say, according to one's own circumstances, culture, and situation in life.
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. The teaching of the church is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else - God is in this person's life. You can - you must - try to seek God in every human life.
In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests.
The Roman Curia has its defects, but it seems to me that people often overemphasize its defects and talk too little about the health of the many religious and laypeople who work there.
A Christian who does not pray for those who govern is not a good Christian.
In the Church, and in the journey of faith, women have had and still have a special role in opening doors to the Lord.
I love tango, and I used to dance when I was young.
We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of women within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions.
Wretched are those who are vindictive and spiteful.
Living our vocation to be protectors of God&rsquos handiwork is essential to a life of virtue it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.
See everything turn a blind eye to much correct a little.
Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.
First of all, you ask me if the God of Christians forgives one who doesn't believe and doesn't seek the faith. Premise that - and it's the fundamental thing - the mercy of God has no limits if one turns to him with a sincere and contrite heart the question for one who doesn't believe in God lies in obeying one's conscience.
You tell me: Can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.
It makes me sad when I find sisters who aren't joyful. They might smile, but with just a smile they could be flight attendants!
Leaders of the Church have often been Narcissus, flattered and sickeningly excited by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy.
If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy, and people say, 'What are we going to do?' but if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that's nothing.
Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.
You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person.
We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity.
Today, the news is scandals that is news, but the many children who don't have food - that's not news. This is grave. We can't rest easy while things are this way.
Human self-understanding changes with time, and so also human consciousness deepens.
Where there is no work, there is no dignity.
I like it when someone tells me 'I don't agree.' This is a true collaborator. When they say 'Oh, how great, how great, how great,' that's not useful.
If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God.
These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that's a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.
Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.
Justice on its own is not enough. With mercy and forgiveness, God goes beyond justice, he subsumes it and exceeds it in a higher event in which we experience love, which is at the root of true justice.
Pope Francis Says He Just Wants to Eat Pizza in Peace - Recipes
October 4 is the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is a most beloved saint, far and wide, even with non-Catholics. His life was simple, living the Gospel and loving Christ and His Church.
Assisi is in the region of Umbria, the heart of Italy. Food delicacies such as black truffles come from this region, as do many other specialties. I'm just highlighting a few recipes that could be worked into dinnertime, with ingredients that should be on hand. On the suggested menu: Stewed Chicken and Flat Bread from Gubbio (recipes follow), Salad, Pasta such as gnocchi, and Frangipane (Mostaccioli or Paletta di Mandorla). The foods evoke a sense of the fall season, also.
Francis fasted most of his religious life, so it's not completely natural to prepare a great feast in his honor. And the only mention of favorite foods comes from his death bed. The rich noble Lady Jacoba was allowed to serve Francis, and he called her "Brother Jacoba". As he lay on his deathbed, he asked her to be called, and to bring the sweetmeats known as Frangipane, a concoction of almonds and sugar, that she had made before that he enjoyed. Without being summoned she arrived shortly after he expressed his wish, with burial shroud and the sweets he requested. Some sources say he was too sick to eat them.
I'll include the recipes for dessert first. Besides the Meringues from Assisi, we can try to recreate Francis' sweet craving. Evelyn Vitz in her A Continual Feast believes Mostaccioli is close to this requested sweet:
An Italian almond pastry
1 pound blanched almonds
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Approximately 1 cup of flour
Chop the almonds very fine or coarsely grind in a blender
In a bowl combine the nuts, honey, cinnamon, and egg whites. Mix thoroughly. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a thick paste.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the paste until smooth and stiff. Roll out to about 1/4 inch. Cut into diamond shapes, about 2 1/2 inches long. Place the diamonds on a lightly buttered and floured baking sheet. Let dry for 1 to 2 hours.
Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until set. Do not let brown.
Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf shares another recipe that might be a closer match. The recipe, according to tradition, originated with St. Clare. This is the tradition of a biscotti, a twice-baked sweetened bread:
Paletta di Mandorla
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 cups almonds, whole, finely chopped, or 4 cups almonds, ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add the other ingredients and knead until smooth. Form 2 rolls about 1 inch (3 cm) diameter.
Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
When cool, cut into slices 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, and toast in the oven for 3 minutes.
Frangipane today is known as a filling, Frangipane Cream. Here is a recipe from Feast Day Cookbook but there are many other versions.
Gubbio is also in the region of Umbria, and St. Francis traveled there and helped save the town from the ravenous wolf. Remembering the dear wolf of Gubbio, here's some Gubbian recipes: a simple Flat Bread and Stewed Chicken.
This is brustengo, the fried flat bread of Gubbio, fried in a flat skillet. If you make the batter ahead of time, it will thicken slightly it should be pourable, like pancake batter, so thin it down before you use it, if necessary. Serve the bread warm as is or with prosciutto, dried sausage, and olives for an antipasto.
Gubbian Flat Bread
4 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Mix the flour, water, and salt together in a bowl.
Pour the oil to a depth of 1/2-inch into a 10-inch heavy-duty skillet or frying pan and heat until hot. Test the hotness of the oil by dropping a small dribble of batter into the skillet if it browns and bubbles immediately, the oil is hot enough. I keep a candy thermometer in the oil to make sure it is at 375° F.
Pour or scoop and spread about a cupful of the batter into the oil, and when the bread begins to brown around the edges, flip it over carefully to brown the other side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bread and allow it to drain on paper towels.
Use up all the batter in the same way. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get at least 10 to 12 rounds.
From Ciao Italia in Umbria by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.
A fricco is a stew of sorts, and in this easy-to-prepare Gubbian-style chicken stew, it is Orvieto Classico wine that gives great merit to its flavor along with the presence of rosemary, which shows the fondness that Umbrians have for this herb in many of their foods. This dish is even better if made the day before serving.
Fricco di Pollo all'Eugubina
Gubbian Style Stewed Chicken
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 large white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 1/2 pounds cut-up bone-in chicken
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 fresh sage leaves, crumbled
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup dry white wine, such as Orvieto Classico
4 large plum tomatoes, pureed and sieved to remove skin and seeds
Fine sea salt to taste
Grinding coarse black pepper
Get the olive oil hot in a large sauté pan and cook the onion over medium low heat until it is soft and translucent. Raise the heat to medium high and add the chicken pieces. Be sure they are well dried before adding them to the pan. Keep a bunch of paper towels handy for this. Cook, turning the pieces until they are browned on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the wine vinegar and allow it to evaporate. Lower the heat add the sage and rosemary. Continue cooking over low heat for 15 minutes. Raise the temperature to high, add the wine, and allow it to evaporate. Pour in the pureed tomato juice. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and continue cooking uncovered for 25 minutes or until the juices thicken and the chicken is tender when pierced with a fork.
Arrange the chicken on a platter pour the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.
There are many great wines from this region, particularly whites from Orvieto.
I'd add a green salad and perhaps a traditional gnocchi or some pasta to make a full feast day meal.
These are just a few ideas to help walk a little with St. Francis. He might have been smelling the aroma of the same foods being cooked when he walked the streets of Assisi or Gubbio. A blessed feast to you.
Ring and Pallium
The pallium is a sign of office in the Latin Church worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops. It is a white woolen band formed into a circle that lies over the shoulders, with bands extending down the front and the back. There are several crosses embroidered on it, and it is tipped in black silk.
Pope Benedict XVI’s pallium was distinct from that of metropolitan archbishops: the crosses were the color red. He used two different forms: his first was a larger version, based on the more ancient form, which draped over the right shoulder. This is the one he eventually left as a symbolic gesture on the tomb of Pope Celestine V in L’Aquila after visiting the site of the earthquakes there. Later he had a modified version that was narrower and had bands extending from the center rather than the right shoulder, which is presumably the one that will be used by Pope Francis.
The pallium is a sign of jurisdiction, and the pope always wears the pallium wherever he goes. Metropolitan archbishops only wear theirs within their territory and only as long as they hold the office of metropolitan archbishop (i.e., they do not wear it after retirement). The pallium is a sign of office in the Latin Church worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops
The pallium is a reminder of the ministry of the Good Shepherd, who carries the sheep over his shoulder. The pallium is reminiscent of the feedbag that the shepherd carried to feed the sheep. It was conferred upon the Holy Father by the Protodeacon of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Jean–Louis Tauran, the same cardinal who announced the election of Pope Francis from the loggia.
At the time of his episcopal ordination, a bishop is presented with a ring as a “symbol of the bishop’s fidelity to and nuptial bond with the Church, his spouse, and he is to wear it always.” (Ceremonial of Bishops, no. 58). The Fisherman’s Ring is the ring worn by the pope. It is a gold ring with an image of St. Peter, called to be “a fisher of men,” casting his nets. Above the image is inscribed the pope’s chosen name. The ring is a sign of his authority in the past, the ring was used to create the wax seal for papal decrees. For this reason, the ring is destroyed upon the death or resignation of the pope. The Fisherman’s Ring was presented to the Holy Father by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The ring Pope Francis will wear bears the image of St. Peter with the keys and was designed by Enrico Manfrini. The Vatican reports that Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, (d. 2006) former personal secretary of Pope Paul VI, kept the wax cast of a ring made for Paul VI by the artist Manfrini, who had made several medals and other artistic objects for Paul VI. The ring was never cast into metal, and Paul VI always wore another ring that was commissioned at the time of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Macchi left the cast, along with other objects, to Monsignor Ettore Malnati , who worked closely with him for many years. Monsignor Malnati made a ring of gold-plated silver from the wax cast . This was offered to Pope Francis, along with several other possible rings, by the Papal Master of Ceremonies through the auspices of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, retired Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. It was this ring that Pope Francis chose to be the ring of the Fisherman, which was presented to him at the Mass of Inauguration of his Petrine Ministry on March 19, 2013.
Pope Francis says homosexual tendencies are ‘not a sin’
ROME — Pope Francis has said that homosexual tendencies “are not a sin,” while encouraging parents who begin “seeing rare things” in their children to “please, consult, and go to a professional,” because “it could be that he [or she] is not homosexual.”
Asked about his famous soundbite “Who am I to judge?”, the pope said, “Tendencies are not sin. If you have a tendency to anger, it’s not a sin. Now, if you are angry and hurt people, the sin is there.”
“Sin is acting, of thought, word and deed, with freedom,” Francis said.
Asked by Spanish journalist Jordi Evole if he thinks it’s a “rarity” for parents to have a homosexual child, the pope answered that “in theory, no.”
“But I’m talking about a person who is developing, and parents start to see strange things … Please consult, and go to a professional, and there you will see what it is and may not be homosexual, that is due to something else,” he said.
Francis also said that in his opinion, it’s usually challenging for a family to have a homosexual child, as they can be “scandalized by something they don’t understand, something out of the ordinary … I’m not making a judgement of value, I’m doing a phenomenological analysis,” he said.
The pope’s words came in response to a question about comments he made last summer, when he said parents who detect their children have homosexual behaviors should take them to a psychiatrist.
In a new interview that aired Sunday with the Spanish news outlet La Sexta, the pope said he was “explaining that you never throw a homosexual person out of the house, but I made a distinction that when the person is very young and begins to show strange symptoms, it’s useful to go … I said to a psychiatrist, at that moment you say the word that comes out and, on top of that, in a language that is not yours.”
From his comments, Francis said, the media took away “‘the pope sends homosexuals to the psychiatrist,’ and they didn’t see the rest, and this is ill-intentioned.”
During the interview, the journalist alternates between the terms “homosexual” and “gay,” but the pope always uses the word “homosexual.” During his trip back from Brazil, in 2013, speaking with journalists, Francis famously became the first pope to use the word “gay.”
Once a homosexual identity is “set,” Francis said, a homosexual man or woman “has the right to a family, and that father and mother have the right to a son [or daughter], come as it may, and no son or daughter can be thrown out of the home.”
On abuse, it’s a process
The pope was also asked about his Feb. 21-24 summit on clerical sexual abuse, and he said that he understood some victims aren’t satisfied with the results.
“I understand them because one sometimes looks for results that are concrete facts of that moment,” he said. “For example, if I had hung 100 abusive priests in St. Peter Square, it’s a concrete fact, I would have occupied space.”
“But my interest is not to occupy spaces, but to start healing processes,” he said.
The concrete result of the summit, he argued, was to “start processes, and this takes time,” he said, but it’s the only way “for the cure to be irreversible.”
Francis compared the abuse crisis to the conquest of America by the Spanish, saying history has to be understood with the hermeneutics of the time. Prior to the explosion of the Boston scandals in 2002, he said, the “hermeneutics was it’s better to hide it, avoid future evils.”
But “when you hide, it propagates, once the culture of uncovering begins, things don’t propagate,” the pope said, encouraging survivors to come forth.
On Venezuela, and having a coffee with Trump
Asked about the situation in Venezuela, the pope said that the Holy See has tried to mediate but it “failed.”
He said he didn’t make a “judgment of value” on the different actors in the crisis and the failed dialogue attempts, and also revealed that after a failed attempt in 2016, there were other more “discreet, unofficial” attempts, “bridges that have helped a little.”
Venezuela today is facing an unprecedented crisis, with President Nicolas Maduro holding on to power with the support of China, Russia and Cuba, although opposition leader Juan Guaido was also sworn in as president by the National Assembly, following the country’s constitution. Guaido has the support of the United States, the European Union and most of Latin America.
Asked to give an opinion on Maduro, whom the pope has met twice, Francis said it’s difficult to give an opinion on someone with whom he’s spoken just for a few minutes, but defined him as a man “convinced of his thing” and underlined that he met with the successor of Hugo Chavez before the situation “became more acute.”
Asked to give an opinion on Donald Trump he said something similar, that he’s only met with the U.S. president for a short meeting dominated by protocol but defined him as a man who “has his project, has his plan.”
He said that he found it “odd” that people commented on his face that day, as the pontiff looked serious in most of the pictures.
“I often laugh … I must have had liver problems!” he joked.
Asked who he would have a coffee with if he had to choose between Maduro or Trump, Francis said that he’d have one “with both.”
The pope and Melania Trump had an awkward exchange about nut bread, and now we all want to try it
So props to Pope Francis for trying to chat up first lady Melania Trump about potica, a baked specialty from her native Slovenia. And a big ol’ “we feel ya, girl” to Mrs. Trump, who seemed caught off-guard by the question, which took place Wednesday during President Trump’s visit to the Vatican. To further complicate the situation, it involved a translator.
According to accounts from such sources as the Associated Press and the Guardian, the pope gestured toward the president and asked something along the lines of, “What do you give him to eat? Potica?”
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Interpretations of the scene differ, though it seemed that at least momentarily the first lady thought the pope was talking about pizza. The AP concluded that she eventually caught on and said, “potica, ah yes,” while the Guardian suggested she said “pizza.”
The Internet then had some fun, naturally.
Regardless, we’re going to stick with potica, because it’s a heck of a lot more interesting than pizza. It’s also apparently a favorite of the pope, who, according to the AP, routinely talks to Slovenian visitors about it.
But what exactly is potica (pronounced poh-TEET-sah)?
“It’s kind of a sweet bread,” most commonly made with a walnut filling, said Borut Zunic, who works at the Slovenian embassy in Washington. “It’s very traditional.” You’ll also see it in Serbia or Croatia as povitica the Hungarian beigli is a close relative.
You might also see potica referred to as a cake. Consisting of a butter-and-egg-enriched yeast dough that is spread with a nut filling and then rolled up, potica might remind you of babka.
“We’ll have it for holidays or special occasions,” Zunic said, especially Easter, when the treat rivals eggs in terms of importance on the Slovenian table.
“Slovenia, it’s a small country, but it’s very diverse,” he said, meaning you’ll find many variations on potica. It might be shaped into a log or a round loaf with a hole in the middle. Besides walnuts, a sweet cheese-tarragon combo is a common filling, Zunic said. The Slovene National Benefit Society says other fillings might include chocolate, poppy seeds and hazelnuts.
Like a lot of yeasted breads, potica takes time and effort to make. That’s why even back in Slovenia, you’re more likely to grab one at the local bakery or grocery store.
“It’s a dying art,” said Bernadette Kovacic Fitzsimmons, president of the Olney, Md., Branch 108 of the Slovenian Union of America. Fitzsimmons, who helped edit “The Slovenian American Table,” a cookbook published in 2015 by the Slovenian Union of America (available by calling the group), said there are plenty of recipes out there that call for shortcuts, such as using a store-bought refrigerated dough, to make the process less demanding.
Still, as the daughter of two Slovenian immigrants, she’s determined to make everything from scratch, frequently alongside her mother. Slovenian cooks may keep a potica in the freezer to serve when guests show up, in addition to making it for the holidays. More often, it’s served as a snack, or maybe for breakfast. “It’s a little heavy for following a dinner,” Fitzsimmons said.
While her family adores potica (there’s a homemade loaf ready for her daughter’s high school graduation this week), it can be a bit of a harder sell for Americans, she said, because it’s not necessarily as moist as the cakes we tend to favor.
How did QAnon start?
On 28 October 2017, “Q” emerged from the primordial swamp of the internet on the message board 4chan with a post in which he confidently asserted that Hillary Clinton’s “extradition” was “already in motion” and her arrest imminent. In subsequent posts – there have been more than 4,000 so far – Q established his legend as a government insider with top security clearance who knew the truth about the secret struggle for power between Trump and the “deep state”.
Though posting anonymously, Q uses a “trip code” that allows followers to distinguish his posts from those of other anonymous users (known as “anons”). Q switched from posting on 4chan to posting on 8chan in November 2017, went silent for several months after 8chan shut down in August 2019, and eventually re-emerged on a new website established by 8chan’s owner, 8kun.
Q’s posts are cryptic and elliptical. They often consist of a long string of leading questions designed to guide readers toward discovering the “truth” for themselves through “research”. As with Clinton’s supposed “extradition”, Q has consistently made predictions that failed to come to pass, but true believers tend to simply adapt their narratives to account for inconsistencies.
For close followers of QAnon, the posts (or “drops”) contain “crumbs” of intelligence that they “bake” into “proofs”. For “bakers”, QAnon is both a fun hobby and a deadly serious calling. It’s a kind of participatory internet scavenger hunt with incredibly high stakes and a ready-made community of fellow adherents.
I'm sure that all of us are very used to celebrating this feast of Christ the King. It's been a part of the church's liturgy for almost 100 years now. Yet, it's a strange thing that we celebrate such a feast. You may remember, during the life of Jesus, there were a couple of occasions when that huge crowd of people were following him and they felt he could overthrow the Roman empire, the occupiers of their land. They wanted to make him a king. He went into hiding immediately.
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
He refused to accept the kingship. Even when he was on trial for his life and Pilot said, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You say it," but he would not say it. So it is somewhat an anomaly that we celebrate such a feast. He rejected the title. That's why it's very important for us to understand what kind of a king Jesus is, the king we celebrate when we give him that title. Our first lesson today becomes very important because in the Jewish tradition, the king was thought of as a shepherd, a shepherd who really cared for his flock.
In that first lesson, Ezekiel criticizes harshly the leaders of the chosen people because they are failing to serve the poor and the weak, the vulnerable. They're taking care of themselves and letting the people drift away. Ezekiel promises them that God will do something about it. What Ezekiel promises is indeed, God says this: "I (God) will care for my sheep, watch over them. As a shepherd looks after his flock when he finds them scattered, so will I watch over my sheep and gather them from all the places where they are scattered."
How did God fulfill that promise? He fulfills it especially in Jesus. If you look at Chapter 10 of St. John's Gospel, there's a beautiful passage about Jesus: "I am the good shepherd." Jesus, Son of God, is the fulfillment of the promise God makes through Ezekiel and other prophets. "I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and they know me." He's in a relationship with them he loves them. "I lay down my life for my sheep. . A greater love than this no one has than to give one's life for another."
Jesus becomes the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd who, in the Jewish tradition, would be a shepherd-king. So when we acknowledge or proclaim our reverence through Jesus as king, we're really proclaiming him as the Good Shepherd who cares for the sheep, who knows them. "I know mine and they know me." How does that get carried out in the church today? If we listen to the Gospel lesson, it's heard very clearly. Jesus tells us that he is present in the least of those in our midst: the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, those who lack housing, those in prison, those who are sick.
Whenever you reached out to them as he did — that's what he did during his life he reached out to the poor, the thirsty, the hungry, the homeless, and he drew them in. They were his friends. When we think about how Jesus related to the poor and the hungry and the thirsty, it's very important to remember that with him it was always something very personal. He never cured people in crowds. He wanted to have an immediate contact with the person with whom he was relating.
There are many instances in the Gospels. One of the ones that I find most beautiful is when Jesus is on his final journey toward Jerusalem and he's passing through the city of Jericho. There's a huge crowd following him. On the fringe of the crowd, someone cries out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" It's a blind man, a beggar, poor. He had no way to care for himself. He was blind and very poor and vulnerable. What did the people do? They tried to quiet him.
They were saying, in a sense, "Who are you? Why do you think he would care about you? You're nobody" But Jesus stops and he calls the man over to him. Then what I think is most beautiful, Jesus doesn't presume to know what the man needs he respects him and says to him, "What do you want?" Of course the man says, "That I may see." Jesus gives him his sight. Not only his sight, physically, but also the sight of faith where he came to know Jesus. He falls down and worships him as Son of God.
Jesus always was very personal in his relationships, especially with the poor and the vulnerable. That's what the Gospel lesson is telling us. If we want to acknowledge Jesus as our king, we need to acknowledge him as a shepherd-king who reaches out to the poor, the vulnerable, and we try to imitate him. As we heard in the Gospel, that's what we'll be judged on for our whole life. "When I was hungry, you gave me to eat," and so on. "Whenever you did it to one of these, the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me."
In our church leadership today, especially in Pope Francis, we have a Bishop of Rome, head of the whole Roman Catholic Church who is so like Jesus in this regard. In fact, last Sunday when we here celebrated a great saint of the poor, Blessed Solanus [Casey], Pope Francis in Rome was celebrating a day that he had declared, and from now on, every year in the church, the 33rd Sunday of the year will be a day of the poor. He spoke about it when he celebrated the Mass for 500 people, poor people from the streets of Rome and those who helped them, and then he had lunch with all of them last Sunday.
When he did this, he made this proclamation that every year now on the 33rd Sunday of the year, we will celebrate the Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor. In the proclamation that he used to proclaim this, he quoted from St. John Chrysostom. This is a beautiful quote. He says, "If you want to honor the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked do not honor the Eucharistic Christ (at a celebration like this) with silk vestments, and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness."
Isn't that so easy that we could do something like that? Yes, we celebrate beautifully. Last Saturday's celebration was marvelous — 70,000 people celebrating a poor monk who reached out to the poor. But we have to do it more every day. Pope Francis says one of the primary goals of this day is to help Catholics answer the question: who are the poor today? Where are they around me in the area in which I live? When I see them (It's not hard we all know that now.), find ways to share and create relationships with them.
In other words, as Pope Francis has said so often as he has been the Bishop of Rome, go out into the peripheries and find where the poor are, relate to them, serve them, and then you will be honoring Jesus Christ, our King, the Shepherd-King who reached out to the poor. Then every poor person will find Jesus. "When I was hungry you gave me to eat. When I was thirsty you gave me to drink." When? "Whenever you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters you did it to me." That's what we need to do as followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Son of Mary, and now we celebrate as King of the universe.
[Homily given Nov. 25 at St. Philomena Church in Detroit. The transcripts of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton's homilies are posted weekly to NCRonline.org. Sign up here to receive an email alert when the latest homily is posted.]
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Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference from Bangladesh
In a 58-minute conversation with journalists on his return flight from Bangladesh to Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis discussed the Rohingya people of Burma, evangelization, nuclear warfare, and plans for future travel, among other topics.Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Rome Dec. 2. Also pictured is Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Vatican City, Dec 2, 2017 / 06:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a 58-minute conversation with journalists on his return flight from Bangladesh to Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis discussed the Rohingya people of Burma, evangelization, nuclear warfare, and plans for future travel, among other topics.
Here is CNA’s full transcript of the Pope’s in-flight press conference:
Greg Burke: Thank you, Holy Father. First of all, thanks. You have chosen two interesting countries to visit. Two very different countries but with something in common, that is, in each of these countries is a small but very active Church, full of joy, full of young people and full of the spirit of service for all of society. We certainly have seen a lot, we have learned a lot, but we’re interested also in what you have seen and what you have learned.
Pope Francis: Good evening, if we think of here, or good afternoon if we think of Rome, and thank you so much for your work… as Greg said, two very interesting countries, with very traditional, deep, rich cultures. For this, I think that your work has been very intense. Thank you so much.
Greg Burke: The first question is from Sagrario Ruiz de Apodarca, from Spanish National Radio.
Sagrario Ruiz (Radio Nacional Espanola): Good evening, Holy Father. Thank you. I’m asking the question in Spanish with the permission of my Italian colleagues because I don’t yet trust my Italian, but if you would answer in Italian, that would be perfect. The crisis of the Rohingya has tempered a large part of this trip. Yesterday, they were called by name finally in Bangladesh. Do you wish you would have done the same in Burma, named them with this word, Rohingya? And, what did you feel yesterday when you asked forgiveness?
Pope Francis: It’s not the first time. I had said it publicly already in St. Peter’s Square, in an Angelus, in an Audience… and it was already known what I thought about this thing and what I had said. Your question is interesting because it brings me to reflect on how I seek to communicate. For me, the most important thing is that the message arrives and for this I seek to say the things, step by step, and listen to the answers so that the message may arrive. An example in daily life: a boy, a girl in the crisis of adolescence can say what they think but throwing the door in the face of the other… and the message doesn’t arrive. It closes. I was interested that this message would arrive, for this I saw that if in the official speech I would have said that word, I would have thrown the door in a face. But I described it, the situations, the rights, no one excluded, the citizenship, to allow myself in the private conversations to go beyond. I was very, very satisfied with the talks that I was able to have, because it is true that I haven’t, let’s say it this way, had the pleasure throwing the door in a face, publicly, a denouncement, but I did have the satisfaction of dialoguing and letting the other speak and to say my part and in that way the message arrived and to such a point did it arrive that it continued and continued and finished yesterday with that, no? And this is very important in communicating, the concern is that the message arrives. Often, denouncements, also in the media, but I don’t want to offend, with some aggressive (tactics) close the dialogue, close the door and the message doesn’t arrive. And you who are specialists in making messages arrive, also to me, understand this well.
Then, something I heard yesterday… This wasn’t planned like this. I knew that I would meet the Rohingya. I didn’t know where or how, but this was the condition of the trip and they were preparing the ways, and after so much management also from the government, with Caritas… the government allowed this trip, of these who came yesterday. Because the problem for the government who protects them and gives them hospitality – and this is big. What Bangladesh does for them is big, an example of welcoming. A small, poor country that has received 700,000. I think of the countries that close the doors. We must be grateful for the example that they’ve given us – The government must move through the international relations with Burma, with permits, dialogue, because they are in a refugee camp with a special status. But in the end they come scared, they didn’t know. Someone there had told them, “You greet the Pope, don’t say anything,” someone who wasn’t from the government of Bangladesh, people who were working on it. At a certain point after the inter-religious dialogue, the inter-religious prayer, this prepared the hearts of us all. We were very open religiously. I at least felt that way. The moment arrived that they were coming to greet me, in a straight line, and I didn’t like that. One, the other… but then they immediately wanted to send them away from the scene and there I got mad and a chewed them out a bit. I’m a sinner. I told them so many times the word “respect, respect. Stay here.” And they stayed there. Then, having heard them one by one with an interpreter who spoke their language, I began to feel things inside, but (I said to myself) “I cannot let them go without saying a word.” I asked for the microphone. And I began to speak. I don’t remember what I said. I know that at a certain point I asked forgiveness, twice. I don’t remember. Your question is what did I feel. In that moment I cried. I tried not to let it be seen. They cried, too. And then I thought the we were in an inter-religious meeting and the leaders of the other religious traditions were there. “Why don’t you come too?” These were all of our Rohingya. They greeted the Rohingya and I didn’t know what more to say. I watched them. I greeted them. And I thought, all of us have spoken, the religious leaders, but one of you must make a prayer and one who I believe was an Imam or let’s say a “cleric” of their religion, made that prayer. They also prayed there with us, and seeing all that happened and the whole path, I felt that the message had arrived. I don’t know if I satisfied your question but part was planned, but the majority came out spontaneously. Then, I was told that today a program was made by one of you, I don’t know if they’re here or… from the TG1, a really long program, who did it…
Greg Burke: TG1 is still there in Bangladesh.
Pope Francis: Because it was replayed by TG4 and – I don’t know. I haven’t seen it, but some who are here have seen it – it’s a reflection that the message had arrived not only here. You have seen the front pages of the newspapers today. All have received the message and I haven’t heard any criticism. Maybe they are there but I haven’t heard them.
Ruiz: Thank you.
Greg Burke: The next question is from George Kallivayalil, an Indian who has made the trip for the Deepika Daily.
George Kallivayalil (Deepika Daily): Holy Father, your trip to South Asia was huge success, we know that you wish to go to India, too, in this trip. What exactly was the reason not to visit India in this trip? Indians in India, millions of the faithful still hope that Holy Father visit India next year. Can we expect you to be in India in 2018?
Pope Francis: The first plan was to go to India and Bangladesh, but then the process to go to India was delayed and the time was pushing so I chose these two countries: Bangladesh and next door Myanmar. And it was providential because to visit India, you need one single trip, because you’ve got to go to the south, the center, the east, the northeast, to the north for the different cultures of India. I hope to do it in 2018 if I’m alive! But the idea was India and Bangladesh, then the time forced us to make this choice. Thanks.
Greg Burke: And now from the French group, Etienne Loraillere of KTO, the French Catholic Television.
Etienne Loraillere (KTO): Holiness, there is a question from the group of journalists from France. Some are opposed to inter-religious dialogue and evangelization. During this trip you have spoken of dialogue for building peace. But, what is the priority? Evangelizing or dialoguing for peace? Because to evangelize means bringing about conversions that provoke tension and sometimes provoke conflicts between believers. So, what is the priority, evangelizing or dialoguing? Thanks.
Pope Francis: First distinction: evangelizing is not making proselytism. The Church grows not for proselytism but for attraction, that is for testimony, this was said by Pope Benedict XVI. What is evangelization like? Living the Gospel and bearing witness to how one lives the Gospel, witnessing to the Beatitudes, giving testimony to Matthew 25, the Good Samaritan, forgiving 70 times 7 and in this witness the Holy Spirit works and there are conversions, but we are not very enthusiastic to make conversions immediately. If they come, they wait, you speak, your tradition… seeking that a conversion be the answer to something that the Holy Spirit has moved in my heart before the witness of the Christians.
During the lunch I had with the young people at World Youth Day in Krakow, 15 or so young people from the entire world, one of them asked me this question: what do I Have to say to a classmate at the university, a friend, good, but he is atheist… what do I have to say to change him, to convert him? The answer was this: the last thing you have to do is say something. You live your Gospel and if he asks you why you do this, you can explain why you do it. And let the Holy Spirit activate him. This is the strength and the meekness of the Holy Spirit in the conversion. It is not a mental convincing, with apologetics, with reasons, it is the Spirit that makes the vocation. We are witnesses, witnesses of the Gospel. ‘Testimony’ is a Greek word that means martyr. Every day martyrdom, martyrdom also of blood, when it arrives. And your question: what is the priority, peace or conversion? But when you live with testimony and respect, you make peace. Peace starts to break down in this field when proselytism begins and there are so many ways of proselytism and this is not the Gospel. I don’t know if I answered.
Greg Burke: Thank you, Holiness. And now the Anglophone group. Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter.
Joshua McElwee (National Catholic Reporter) : Thanks so much, Holiness. A change of theme. During the Cold War, Pope Saint John Paul II said that the world policy of nuclear deterrence was judged as morally acceptable. Last month, you said to a conference on disarmament that the very possession of nuclear arms was to be condemned. What has changed in the world that led you to make this change? What role have the episodes and the threats between President Trump and Kim Jong Un had on your decision? What would you say to politicians that do not want to renounce their nuclear arsenals nor decrease them?
Pope Francis: I would prefer if the questions on the trip were done first, I say this to everyone, but I’ll make an exception because you asked a question. Now we’ll do the questions on the trip, then I’ll say something about the trip, and then the other questions will come. What has changed? Irrationality has changed (has increased). The encyclical Laudato Si comes to mind, the care of the created, of creation, from the time of John Paul II to all this many years have passed. How many? Do you have the date? (82) 82, 92, 2002, 2012 years. In the nuclear field, in 34 years it has gone beyond, beyond, beyond, beyond, and today we are at the limit. This can be a matter for discussion, it’s my opinion, but I am convinced of my opinion: we are at the limit of liceity to have and use nuclear arms. Because today, with the nuclear arsenal so sophisticated, we risk the destruction of humanity or at least a great part (of it). This with Laudato Si.
What has changed? This: the growth in nuclear armament, it has also changed in that they are sophisticated and even cruel, they are also capable of destroying people, leaving…without touching structures, but we are at the limit, and because we are at the limit I ask myself this question: and this not as a pontifical magisterium, but it is the question a Pope makes. Today is it licit to maintain the arsenal of nuclear weapons as they are, or today, to save creation, to save humanity, is it not necessary to go backward? I go back to something I had said from Guarini, it’s not mine, (but) there are two forms of culture:
First, the inculturation that God has given us, to create the culture through work, through investigation. We think of medical science, so much progress, so much culture, so many mechanical things. And man has the mission to create the culture received by the inculturation, but we arrive at a point where man has in hand with this culture the capacity to make another “inculturation,” we think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This 60/70 years ago, the destruction and also this happened when also atomic energy can not have all the control. Think of the incidents in Ukraine. For this returning to arms, that are to conquer and destroy, I say we are at the limit of liceity.
Greg Burke: Thanks, Holiness. Now they have given me the signal that the questions that we have about the trip are others. So, if you’d like to say something about the trip…
Pope Francis: I would like some more about the trip, because (otherwise) it would seem that the trip wasn’t that interesting.
Greg Burke: (Come, come) We’ve found another about the trip. Come now, Delia Gallagher of CNN.
Delia Gallagher (CNN): Holiness, I don’t know how much you’d like to respond, but I’m very curious about your meeting with General Haling because I’ve learned a lot about this situation being here and I’ve understood that, well, apart from Aung San Suu Kyi, there is also this military man that is very important in the crisis and you have met him in person. What type of meeting was it? How are you able to speak with him? Thanks.
Pope Francis: Clever the question… eh.. good, good. But I would distinguish between the two meetings, two types of meetings. Those meetings during which I went to meet people and those in which I received people. This general asked me to speak. And I received him. I never close the door. You ask to speak and enter. Speaking you never lose anything, you always win. It was a beautiful conversation. I couldn’t say because it was private, but I didn’t negotiate the truth. But I did it in a way that he understood a bit that the path as it was during the nasty times renewed again today isn’t viable. It was a good meeting, civilized and also there the message arrived.
Greg Burke: Thanks, Holiness. I think that Gerard O’Connell.
Gerard O’Connell (America Magazine): Mine is a bit of a development of the questions from Delia. You met Aung San Suu Kyi, the president, the military, the monk who makes a bit of difficulty and then in Bangladesh you met the prime minister, the president, the Islamic leaders there and the Buddhist leaders in Myanmar. My question: what do you take away from all of these meetings? What prospects are there for the future of a better development in these two countries, in the situation also of the Rohingya?
Pope Francis: It won’t be easy to move ahead in a constructive development and it will not be easy for someone who wishes to go back. We are at a point where they have to study things. Someone – I don’t know if this is true – has said that the Rakhine state is one of the richest in precious stones and that possibly there are interests, being a land a little without people to work… but I don’t know if it’s true. These are just hypotheses that are said, also about Africa they say so many… but I believe that we are at a point where it won’t be easy to go ahead in the positive sense and it won’t be easy to go back, because of the awareness of humanity today… the fact of the return of the Rohingya, which the United Nations have said that the Rohingya are the most persecuted religious and ethnic minority in the world today. Well, this is a point that whomever has to go back must do so quickly. We are at a point there… that that dialogue… beginning with a step, another step, maybe a half step back and two ahead, but as human things are done, with benevolence, dialogue, never with violation, never with war. It isn’t easy. But is a turning-point. Is this turning-point being done for the good? Or is this a turning-point to go back? But yes, I don’t lose hope! But why? Sincerely, if the Lord has allowed this that we’ve seen yesterday, that we’ve experienced in a very reserved way, except for two speeches… the Lord promises something to promise another. I have Christian hope. And it’s known….
Greg Burke: Something yet about the trip? Valentina.
Valentina Alazraki (Televisa): On the trip, a question that we wished to asked before and then it didn’t go. We would like to know: a Pope that speaks about asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants every day… did you want to go to a Rohingya refugee camp? And why didn’t you go?
Pope Francis: I would have liked to go. I would have liked to go, but it wasn’t possible. The things are studied and it wasn’t possible for various factors, also the timing and the distance… but other factors as well. The refugee camp came with a representation, but I would have liked to, that is true. But it wasn’t possible.
Greg Burke: Enzo?
Enzo Romeo (TG2) : Holiness, thank you. I would like to ask you two things quickly. One is on globalization: we’ve seen especially in Bangladesh, and it is a reason for the question tied to the trip, that the nation is trying to get out of poverty but with systems that seem for us quite tough. We saw the Rana Square, the place where the building that was used for industrial textiles fell. 1100 people dead. 5,000 wounded. For 60 Euros per day they worked and in our restaurant to eat a plat of pasta and a pizza cost 50 Euro. No this seems incredible, right? In your opinion, from what you have seen and what you have heard, is it possible to get out of this mechanism? And then another thing is this that we’ve all thought: on the issue of the Rohingya, it seemed that there was also the will to intervene by jihadist groups (Al Qaida, ISIS) who right away, it appears, tried to make themselves the tutors of this people, of the freedom of this people. It’s interesting that the head of Christendom has shown himself more a friend in some way than these extremist groups. Is this sensation right?
Pope Francis: I’ll go from the second. There were groups of terrorists there who sought to take advantage of the situation of the Rohingya, who are a people of peace. This is like all the ethnicities, in all the religions there is always a fundamentalist group. We Catholics also have them. The military justify their intervention because of these groups. I try not to speak with these people. I try to speak with the victims, because the victims were the Rohingya people who on the one hand suffered that discrimination and on the other were defended by terrorists – and the government of Bangladesh has a very strong campaign, this is what I was told by ministers, of zero tolerance for terrorism not only for this, but to avoid other points – But these who are enrolled in ISIS are not Rohingya, but a fundamentalist, extremist, little group. But these make the ministers justify the intervention that has destroyed the good and the bad.
Greg Burke: Globalization, the first question…
Enzo Romeo: Bangladesh is seeking to go out from globalization, but at a very high price with the people exploited for little money.
Pope Francis: It’s one of the most serious problems. I’ve spoken about this in the private meetings. They are conscious of this. They are also conscious that liberty up until a certain point is conditioned, not only by the military, but also by the big international trusts and they have put focus on education and I believe that it has been a wise choice. And there are plans for education. They’ve shown me the percentages for the last years of how illiteracy has decreased. Quite a bit. And this is their choice, and I hope it goes well. The believe that with education the nation will go ahead.
Greg Burke: Thank you, Holiness. Jean Marie Guenois from Le Figaro.
Jean Marie Guenois (Le Figaro): So, today Burma is the nation from which you come… before this you went to Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka. It gives the impression that you are going around China. So, two questions on China: is a trip to China being prepared? And, second question, what have you learned from this trip of the Asian mentality and also in light of this project from China? What is the Asian lesson for you?
Pope Francis: Today, the lady chancellor of the State of Burma has gone to Beijing. It can be seen that they are in dialogue there. Beijing has a great influence on the region, it is natural. I don’t know how many kilometers of border Burma has with (China)… also at the Masses there were Chinese who had come and I believe that these countries that surround it, China, also Laos, Cambodia, have a need for good relations. They are close and I see as wise, politically constructive, it can move ahead. It is true that China today is a world power. If we see it from this side it can change the picture, but it will be the political experts to explain it. I can’t and I don’t know. It seems natural that they would have good relations.
The trip to China is not being prepared. Be calm. For the moment, it is not being prepared. But, returning from Korea, when they told me that we were flying over Chinese territory, I wanted to say something: I would so much like to visit China. I would like to. It is not a hidden thing. The negotiations with China are at a high level, cultural. Today, for example, in these days there’s an exhibition of the Vatican Museums there. Then, there will be one or there has been one, I don’t know, of the Chinese museums in the Vatican. There are cultural, scientific relations, professors, priests who teach in Chinese state universities. Then, it’s mostly political dialogue for the Chinese Church, with that issue of the Patriotic Church, the underground church, which must go step by step delicately, as it is doing, slowly… I believe that in these days, today, tomorrow a sitting will start in Beijing of the mixed commission. Patience is needed. But the doors of the heart are open. And I believe that a trip to China will do well. I would like to do it.
Greg Burke: Thanks, Holiness. Now a question more or less about the trip, if we remain on the trip. ABC News.
James Longman (ABC): My apologies, I don’t speak any Italian. Thank you very much for having me on your– I just want to ask if you have seen how much criticism Aung San Suu Kyi, and if you think that she received not having spoken enough about the Rohingya is fair.
Pope Francis: I heard all that, I heard the critics, also I heard the criticism of not being brought to the province of Rakhine, then you went a half day, more or less. But in Myanmar it is difficult to evaluate a criticism without asking, was it possible to do this? Or how will be possible to do this? In this I don’t want to say that it was a mistake to go or not to go. But in Myanmar the political situation… is a growing nation, politically in growth, and a nation in transition, (made up) of so many cultural values, in history, but politically it is in transition and because of this the possibilities should be evaluated also from this view. In this moment of transition would it have been possible or not to do this or that other (thing)? And to see if it was a mistake or it was not possible? Not only for the State’s Chancellor, but also for the president, for the deputies, the parliament. In Myanmar, you always have to have the construction of the country in front (of you), and from there you take, as I said at the beginning, two steps forward, one back, two forward, two back…History teaches us this. I do not know how to respond in another way, (this is) the little knowledge that I have on this place and I would not want to fall into what that Argentinian philosopher did who was invited to give conferences to countries in Asia one week and when he returned he wrote a book on the reality of that country. This is presumptuous.
Greg Burke: Thank you, Holiness! On the trip, Pullella.
Phil Pullella (Reuters): Yes, I would like to return to the trip if it’s possible. The meeting with the general was originally scheduled for Thursday morning. Instead you had to first meet Aung San Suu Kyi. When the general asked to see you first, the day of your arrival, it was a way of saying: I am in charge here, you have to see me first…in that moment did you feel that he or they wanted to manipulate you?
Pope Francis: The request was because he had to travel to China. If these things happen in every case, if I can move an appointment I do it…I don’t know the intentions, but I was interested in dialogue. A dialogue asked for by them and which they came to, it wasn’t scheduled in my visit. And I think that the most important thing…it’s clear that the suspicion is exactly what you said: we are in charge here, we are the first.
Pullella: Can I ask if — you said that you cannot tell what is said in private encounters, but can I ask you if during that encounter you used the word Rohingya, with the general?
Pope Francis: I used the words to get to the message and when I saw that the message was accepted, I dared to say everything I wanted to say. ‘Intelligenti pauca’ (Editors note: this refers to a Latin phrase meaning “few words are enough for the one who understands”).
Greg Burke: Thank you, Your Holiness.
Pope Francis: The lady asked me first. It’s the last.
Alicia Romay (Gestiona Radio): Good evening Holiness! For my part I have a question because yesterday when we were with the priests who were ordained, I thought about whether they are afraid to be Catholic priests at this time because of the Catholic life in the country, and whether they had asked you, Your Holiness, what can they do when fear arrives and they don’t know what to do?
Pope Francis: It’s your first trip, eh, you are the friend of Valentina. I always have the habit that five minutes before the ordination, I speak with them in private. And to me they seemed calm, serene, aware. They were aware of their mission. Normal, normal. A question that I asked them: do you play soccer? Yes, all of them. It’s important. A theological question. But I didn’t perceive that fear. They know that they must be close, close to their people, that yes, they feel attached to the people and I liked this. Then I spoke with the formators. Some bishops told me, before entering the seminary, that they make the presbytery so that they learn many things, and they also learn perfect English, to say something practical. They know English and they start seminary. I learned that ordination doesn’t happen at 23-24, but at 28-29…they seem like children, because they all seem so young, all of them, even the older ones…but I saw them secure. What they had…close to their people. And they care a lot. Because each one of them comes from an ethnicity and this…
I thank you, because they tell me that it’s past time. I thank you for the questions and for all that you have done. And what does the Pope think about the trip: to me the trip does me well when I am able to meet the people of the country, the People of God, when I am able to speak, to meet with them and greet them, the encounters with the people. We have spoken about the encounters with the politicians. Yes, it’s true, it must be done, with the priests, with the bishops…but with the people, this…the people, the people who are truly the depth of a country. When I find this, when I am able to find it I am happy. I thank you for your help. And thanks also for the questions and the things that I learned from your questions.
Thanks, and have a good dinner.
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