S+L logo

Papal Plane Press Conference

November 3, 2016
pppc
CNS photo/Paul Haring
On his return trip from Sweden last Tuesday, Pope Francis spoke with the journalists on the flight answering their questions about a range of topics including welcoming refugees, female priests, secularization and his meetings with Venezuela’s President.
Commenting on the new direction of Sweden to close its borders to refugees, the Pope stressed the clear difference between the "migrant" which "must be treated with certain rules" because they have the right to migrate and "it is regulated by the law", and the 'refugee', who comes from a situation of war, hunger and anguish. Thanking Sweden for what it has done over the years to deal with this kind of problem, Pope Francis pointed out that it is not “human” to close the heart, but at the same time it is necessary to have prudence.
The Pontiff added it is very important for any country accepting refugees or migrants, to make sure that they also take steps to ensure they are properly integrated into their host nations, a process which takes time. He went on to warn that a country can pay a political price if they take in more refugees than they can integrate properly. In this context, he warned against the formation of ghettos for refugees or migrant communities, saying this was a “dangerous” development that should be avoided.
He was then asked, if it will ever be possible for women to be ordained priests in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis replied, "The last clear word was given by St. John Paul II, and this remains." The Holy Father reiterated that women can "do many things better than men." "The Church is feminine," said the Pope, "there is no Church without this feminine dimension, because it is feminine and Mary is more important than the Apostles in terms of the theology and mysticism of the Church”.
In regards to ecumenism, the Pope recalled two initiatives carried out with other churches. For example, with the Evangelical Church, in Caserta, and with the Waldensian Church, in Turin. Both had at their heart the theme "of forgiveness,” to heal past wounds. The Pope admitted that "the Catholic Church did not act in a Christian way with them."
Finally, he was questioned about his meeting with the Venezuelan President Maduro. And the Holy Father confirmed he had been asked to mediate in the ongoing dispute between the government and the opposition in that country. He stressed that dialogue is the only way out of this crisis.

For more of the in-flight Papal Press Conference, check out Vatican Connections Fridays at 8 pm ET!

Related posts
The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis
FacebookTwitter
Sebastian Gomes talks about and reflects on a new and complex story with far-reaching implications. Read his reflection: 'The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis.' ...read more
Homily of Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Pentecost
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of Pope Francis' Homily in commemoration of the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Holy Father gives us his thoughts and words on this celebration of new life. ...read more
Pope Francis’ Message for The 52nd World Day of Communications
FacebookTwitter
Read Pope Francis' Message for the 52nd World Day of Communications. Jan 24. He will be focusing on the overarching theme of "fake news." What is so "fake" about fake news? Full Text below. ...read more
Salt+Light’s Top 5 Favorite Pope Francis Quotes on Pro-Life
FacebookTwitter
In regards to the March for Life in Ottawa today (March 10), here are some of Salt+Light's Top 5 Favorite Pope Francis Quotes on Pro-Life from throughout the years. ...read more
Text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day. Curtesy of Aleteia Magazine. ...read more