The Church must change “in favour of the dignity of the people but without recanting the essence of the Church,” said Pope Francis, speaking in an interview last month published by state-owned news agency Telam Digital, a media outlet in his native Argentina.
He said, “Since the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII had a very clear perception: The Church has to change. Paul VI agreed, just like the succeeding popes.”
He added, using the image of a tree and its roots, “always in harmony. Rupture is not good. We either progress through development or things don’t turn out right. Rupture leaves you out of the sap of development.”
“The Church has to change. Let’s think of the ways it has changed since the [Second Vatican] Council until now and the way it must continue changing its ways, in the way to propose an unchanging truth,” said the Holy Father.
“That is, the revelation of Jesus Christ does not change, the dogmas of the Church do not change, they grow and ennoble themselves like the sap of a tree. The person who does not follow this path follows a path that takes steps backwards, a path that closes on itself,” he said.
The Holy Father emphasized the role of dialogue... “Since the end of World War II up until today, there have been wars everywhere. That’s what I meant when I said we are living a World War in pieces.”
“I’m going to do a heresy. We are all representatives of God. Every person who believes must testify to what they believe and, in this sense, we are all representatives of God,” he replied to the question of whether it is hard being the representative of God on Earth at this time.
And on his personal prayer life, the pope said it was child-like and “old-fashioned.” “I maintain the piety I had as a child. My grandmother taught me how to pray and I maintain that simple piety of praying, as we say in Argentina ‘the faith of a coal miner,’”.
“Sometimes I say [looking up], ‘You fix this because I can’t.’ And I ask the Virgin and the saints to intercede, to help me,” he said.
“And when I have to make a decision, I always pray … to the light above. But the Lord is a good friend, he has been good to me. He takes care of me, as he takes care of all. We must pay attention to the way he takes care of each of us; he has a different style with each of us. That is beautiful,” he said.
Pope Francis also spoke in the interview about the importance of having a sense of humour.
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