Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 1, 2013 / 15:12 pm
In an interview with the O Globo TV network before leaving Brazil, Pope Francis emphasized the “culture of encounter” that must characterize the Church.
The interview, which O Globo called historic, was taped at the Sumare House, where the Archbishop of Rio lives and where Pope Francis stayed during his visit to Brazil. It aired on Sunday evening after the Pontiff had departed for Rome.
The Pope described the “warm welcome” that he had received in the country, saying that the “Brazilian people have a big heart.”
Discussing the security situation during his visit to Brazil, the Pope said that he was “not afraid,” trusting that when it is his turn to die, “whatever happens will be what God allows.”
He explained that it was his desire to be close to the people that led him to request changes in transportation, from a bullet-proof vehicle to one that would allow him better access to those in the streets.
“When you go to see someone, you don’t do so from inside a glass box,” he said, adding that he was grateful to the Vatican and Brazilian security team for their work.
Pope Francis also spoke about the role of priests, who are called to serve their people humbly.
“For me it is essential that the Church be close,” he said.“The Church is mother. Neither you nor I can know a mother who communicates through letters.”