He said: “Restorationism has come to gag the Council. The number of groups of ‘restorers’ — for example, in the United States there are many — is significant.”
“An Argentine bishop told me that he had been asked to administer a diocese that had fallen into the hands of these ‘restorers.’ They had never accepted the Council.”
“There are ideas, behaviors that arise from a restorationism that basically did not accept the Council.”
“The problem is precisely this: in some contexts, the Council has not yet been accepted. It is also true that it takes a century for a Council to take root. We still have 40 years to make it take root, then!”
External pressures on Germany’s ‘Synodal Way’
Asked about the “Synodal Way” in Germany, and the charge by some that it is heretical, Pope Francis referenced a letter he wrote to German Catholics in 2019.
“I wanted to write a letter about your Synodal Way. I wrote it myself, and it took me a month to write it. I did not want to involve the curia. I did it by myself. The original is Spanish and the one in German is a translation. That is where you will find my thoughts,” he said.
Francis also said he told Bishop Georg Bätzing, the chairman of the German bishops’ conference, that “in Germany, there is a very good Evangelical Church. We don’t need two.”
“The problem arises,” he said, “when the synodal path comes from the intellectual, theological elites, and is much influenced by external pressures. There are some dioceses where the synodal way is being developed with the faithful, with the people, slowly.”
Discussing the war with Ukrainians
The interview with Jesuit magazine editors was published after it emerged that Pope Francis discussed his stance on the war with a Ukrainian delegation on June 8.
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One participant, Myroslav Marynovych, the vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, described the meeting as “very significant.”
He said: “We all left the meeting feeling grateful to the pope for the opportunity to share our thoughts and were truly inspired. This conversation was very significant for all of us.”
“Of course, it does not mean that from now on, the pope will view the world through the Ukrainian prism. Indeed, in the future, it might be important for Ukrainians to hear the Vatican’s perspective on certain issues.”
“However, today there is one thing we can be certain about: communication crises must be resolved via friendly communication. And that is what we tried to do while in the Vatican.”