Pope shares his vision, reform of Church with Italian daily
(Vatican Radio) In an exclusive interview with the Italian national daily, La Repubblica,
Pope Francis said he is seeking to change the Church so that it once again becomes
“a community of God’s people”, where “priests, pastors and bishops, who have the care
of souls, are at the service of the people of God”.
The interview, conducted
by the newspaper’s founder, Eugenio Scalfari, and printed in the edition of 1 October,
runs three pages long. Scalfari had conducted the interview at the Pope’s residence
The Pope told Scalfari that the Church’s objective is not to proselytize,
which he said is “solemn nonsense”, but to “listen to the needs, desires, disappointments,
despair and hope” of the people. The ideal of a missionary and poor Church, incarnated
by Saint Francis 800 years ago, remains more than valid today, in order “to restore
hope to the young, to help the elderly, to be open toward the future, and to spread
love,” he said.
The Church must “be poor among the poor… (and) include the
excluded and preach peace.”
The Pope responded to questions on the concepts
of good and evil, personal conscience, love of neighbour, the common good, and narcissism
among people in power.
Even the “leaders of the Church were narcissistic,
flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy,”
the Pope said.
When asked if the court referred to the Curia, he replied:
"No, there are sometimes courtiers in the Curia, but the Curia as a whole is another
thing. … But it has one defect: it is Vatican-centric. It sees and looks after the
interests of the Vatican, which are still, for the most part, temporal interests.
This Vatican-centric view neglects the world around us.
“I do not share this
view,” he continued, “and I'll do everything I can to change it. 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.”
asked his perspective on the issue of Christianity being a minority worldwide, the
Pope replied: "We always have been but the issue today is not that. Personally, I
think that being a minority is actually a strength.”
Christians, he said “have
to be a leavening of life and love, and the leavening is infinitely smaller than the
mass of fruits, flowers and trees that are born out of it.
“I believe I have
already said that our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and
disappointments, despair, hope. 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,” he stated.
He recalled that the Second Vatican
Council “decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to be open to modern
“The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant
religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was
done in that direction,” he lamented. “I have the humility and ambition to want to