Fr. Lombardi: Thank you, Holy Father. The first question we’ll do as usual, from our Polish colleague, Magdalena Wolinska from TVP. Here she is.
Magdalena Wolinska-Riedi, TVP: Holy Father, in your speech at Wawel, in your first speech immediately after arriving, you said that you were happy to begin getting to know Central Eastern Europe. I come from Poland, and in the name of the nation I would like to ask you how was Poland for you in these five days, how did it seem?
Pope Francis: But it’s a special Poland, because it was a Poland invaded once again, this time by youth. But Krakow...what I have seen, I saw very beautiful. The Polish people...so much enthusiasm! But look, this evening, with the rain, and long streets...it wasn’t only the youth! Even the elderly! It’s a goodness, a nobility! I had an experience of knowing the Polish people when I was a child, and where my father worked many Poles came to work after the war. They were good people, and this has stayed in my heart. I rediscovered this goodness of yours. It’s a beauty. Thank you.
Fr. Lombardi: We give the word to another of our Polish colleagues, Ursula Rzepczak from Polsat.
Ursula Rzepczak, Polsat: Holy Father, our young children were touched by your words, which correspond very well to their reality, to their problems...but you also used, in your speeches, you used the words, the very expressions, of the language of the youth. How did you prepare? How were you able to give so many examples close to their lives, to their problems, but also with their words?
Pope Francis: I like to speak with the youth, and I like to hear the youth. They always put me in difficulty. They tell me things that I haven’t thought of, or that I’ve partly thought of. The restless youth, the creative youth, I like them! And thence I take that language. Many times I have to ask myself: what does this mean? And they explain what it means! They explain to me what it means...but I like to speak with them. They are our future, and we must have a dialogue. This dialogue between the past and the future is important. Because of this I underline so much the relationship between the youth and grandparents. They must speak with...when I say grandparents, I mean those who are old and those who are not so old...but me, yes! To also give our experience, which they feel as the past, as history and they take it up again and carry it forward with the courage of the present, as I said this evening...but it’s important, it’s important! I don’t like it when I hear it said: ‘but these youth say stupid things!’ Even we say many of them, eh! The youth say stupid things and they say good things, as we do, as everyone does. But hear them, speak with them, because we must learn from them and they must learn from me, from us. It’s like this. And this is how history is made, this is how it grows, without closure, without closure. I don’t know, it’s like this. This is how I learn these things.
Fr. Lombardi: Thank you very much. And now we give the word to Marco Ansaldo from La Repubblica, who will ask the question for the Italian group.
Marco Ansaldo, La Repubblica: Holiness, the repression in Turkey, the 15 days that followed the coup, according to almost all international observers were perhaps worse in respect to the coup. There were entire categories affected: the military, magistrates, public administrators, diplomats, journalists. I cite data from the Turkish government: it speaks of more than 13,000 arrests, more than 50,000 people torpedoed. A purge. The day before yesterday, the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced the critics and said: ‘Mind your own business’ - in front of external critics. We would like to ask you: until now you haven’t intervened, you haven’t spoken. Perhaps you fear that there could be repercussions on the Catholic minority in Turkey?
Pope Francis: When I had to say something that I didn’t like to Turkey, but of which I was sure, I said it, with the consequences that you all know (Editor’s note: a reference to his comments on the Armenian Genocide). I said these words … I was sure … I didn’t speak because I am still not sure with the information that I received on what is happening there. And I listen to the information that is arriving in the Secretariat of State and some important political analyst, I am studying the situation even with the councilors of the Secretariat of State and the thing still isn’t clear. It’s true, harm to Catholics must always be avoided, and all of us do this...but not at the price of the truth! There is the virtue of prudence; this must be said, when, how, but in my case, you are my witnesses that when I’ve had to say something that involves Turkey, I’ve said it.
Fr. Lombardi: Now we give the word to Frances D’Emilio, who is a colleague from the Associated Press, the large English-language agency
Frances D'Emilio, AP: Good evening. My question is a question that many are asking in these days because it has come to light in Australia that the Australian police would be investigating new accusations against Cardinal Pell, and that this time the accusations involve the abuse of minors that are very different from the previous accusations. So, the question that I ask which many others ask is: according to you, what would be the right thing for Cardinal Pell to do, given his serious situation and in such an important position and the confidence that he enjoys from you?
Pope Francis: Thank you. The first information that arrived was confusing. It was news from 40 years back that not even the police made a case about at first. It was a confusing thing. Then, all the rest of the accusations were sent to justice. Right now, they are in the hands of justice. And one mustn't judge before justice judges, eh. If I were to say a judgement in favor of or against Cardinal Pell, it wouldn't be good because I (would) judge before. It's true that there there is doubt and there's that clear principal of the law: in dubio pro reo (Editor’s note: the phrase is a Latin expression meaning in favor of the alleged guilty party), no? But, we must wait for justice and not make a first judgement ourselves, a media trial, or...because this doesn't help. The judgement of gossip and then, one can...we don't know what the result will be but be attentive to what justice decides. Once justice speaks, I will speak. Thank you.
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Fr. Lombardi: Now we give the word to Hernan Reyes from TELAM, I ask you to come near. As we know he’s Argentine and represents Latin America in the midst of us.
Hernan Reyes, TELAM: Holiness, how are you after your fall the other day? We hope that you are well...after the fall...
Pope Francis: Ah! The fall.
Reyes: This is the first question...and the second question, last week the secretary-general of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, spoke about a mediation from the Vatican in Venezuela. Is this a concrete dialogue? Is this a real possibility, and how do you think that this mission with the mission of the Church can help in the stabilization of the country?
Pope Francis: First, the fall: I was looking at the Madonna and I forgot about the stairs. I was with the thurible in hand. And when I felt that I was falling, I let myself fall and this saved me, because if I had made some resistance, I would have had consequences. Nothing. I am wonderful, I am very well.
The second, the second was? Venezuela. With Venezuela, two years ago I had a very, very positive meeting with president Maduro...then he asked for an audience last year, it was Sunday, the day after arriving from Sarajevo. But then he cancelled that because he was very sick with an ear infection and couldn’t come. Then after this I let some time go by and I wrote a letter to him. Then, there were contacts...you mentioned one...of an eventual meeting. Yes, yes. With the conditions that are made in this case. And if you think, right now...I am not sure, I can’t guarantee this, eh. Clear? I am not sure! But I think that in the group of the mediation, someone, and I’m not sure if the government also - but I’m not sure - wants a representative from the Holy See. This until the moment that I left Rome. But things are there. In the group there is Zapatero from Spain, Torrijos and another, three...and a fourth that is said from the Holy See...but of this I am not sure. Okay.