But, she told me, “I’ll send you a memo.” She sent me a memo and I haven’t been able to read it yet. I saw it was a memo, that she sent me a memo. She was very balanced in telling me, “There’s an issue, the investigation has not yet finished.” But, she made me understand that the Church has something to do with this. For me, this was an example of constructive collaboration, but also of, I don’t want to say the word “protest” … of complaint, of complaint for that which at one time maybe the Church was of help to do. That lady had a dignity that touched my heart, and now I have the memo there that I will study when I get home.
Greg Burke: Now, another Irishman, exchanging places, which is Paddy Agnew, who is from the Sunday Independent, a resident in Rome but an Irish journalist.
Paddy Agnew, Sunday Independent: Holy Father, thanks and good evening. Yesterday, Marie Collins, an abuse victim that you know well, said that you are not favorable to a new tribunal for Vatican inquiries on the issue of abuses, new inquiries on the problem of sexual abuse, and in particular on a so-called tribunal of inquiry on bishops, bishop accountability. Why do you think this is not necessary?
Pope Francis: (speaking over the last part of the question) No, no, it is not like this. Marie Collins is a bit fixated on the idea that came up. I esteem Marie Collins so much. At times, we call her to give Vatican conferences. She is fixated on the idea, the idea of the “madre amorevole” (editor’s note: The motu proprio, “As a loving mother”), in which it is said that to judge bishops, that it would be good to have a special tribunal. Then, we saw this wasn’t practical and it also wasn’t convenient for the different cultures of the bishops that had to be judged.
You take the recommendations of “madre amorevole” and you make the “giuria” (Editor’s note: a special commission of bishops) for each bishop, but it’s not the same. This bishop is judged and the Pope makes a “giuria” that is more capable of taking that case. It is a thing that works better and also because not all bishops are able to leave their dioceses. It’s not possible.
In this way, the tribunals, the “giurias” change. And that’s what we’ve done up until now. Rather many bishops have been judged. The latest is that of Guam, the Archbishop of Guam, who appealed. And, I decided - because it’s a very difficult case - to take the privilege that I have of taking on the appeal myself and not sending it to the council of appeal that does its work with all the priests. I took it upon myself. And made a commission of canonists that are helping me and they told me that when I get back, after a maximum of a month, a recommendation will be made so I can make a judgment. It is a complicated case, on one hand, but not difficult because the evidence is clear. I cannot pre-judge, I await the report and then I will judge. I say that the evidence is clear because there is this evidence which led the first tribunal to the condemnation.
This is the latest step. Now, there’s another and we’ll see how it ends. But, of course, I told Marie that the spirit and also the recommendation of “as a loving mother” is being done… a bishop is judged by a tribunal, but it isn’t always the same tribunal, as it is not possible. She did not understand that well. But, when I see her, sometimes she comes to the Vatican, I will explain it more clearly. I love her.
Greg Burke: Now, the Italian group. Holy Father, Stefania Falasca from Avvenire is coming.
Stefania Falasca, Avvenire: Good evening, Father.
Pope Francis: Good evening.
Falasca: You said also today that it is always a challenge to welcome migrants and the foreigner. Well, precisely yesterday a painful matter was resolved, that of the Diciotti ship. Is your hoof behind this solution? What was your involvement?
Pope Francis: The paw of the devil.
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Falasca: Yes, then the second question: many in Europe see extortion on the backs of these people. What do you think?
Pope Francis: The welcoming of migrants is something as old as the bible. It’s in Deuteronomy, in the Commandments. God commands welcoming the migrant, the foreigner. It’s so old that it is in the spirit of revelation but also in the spirit of Christianity. It’s a moral principle. I spoke about this. Then, I saw that I needed to bit a bit more explicit because it’s not a welcoming with the “Belle etoile,” no! It should be a reasonable welcoming. That’s why Europe is all in this. And when did I realize how this reasonable welcome must be? When there was the terrorist attack in Zaventem (Editor’s note: the Brussels Airport), that that young men, the guerillas that made the attack on Zaventem were Belgians, but sons of migrants, not integrated, from ghettoes! That is, they were received by the country and left there, and they made a ghetto. They were not integrated. Then I remembered when I went to Sweden, and Franca (Editor’s note: Franca Giansoldati, Vatican correspondent for il Messaggero) in an article mentioned this, of how I explicitly made this though and when I went to Sweden, I knew it, I spoke about integration, as it was, because I knew because during the dictatorship in Argentina, from 1976 to 1983, many, many Argentinians and also many Uruguayans escaped to Sweden and there the government would integrate them immediately. It taught them the language, gave them a job and integrated them. To the point that, this is an interesting anecdote, a Minister who came to bid me farewell at the airport in Lund was the daughter of a Swedish and an African immigrant. This African migrant was so integrated to the extent that his daughter became a minister. Sweden was a model. But in that moment Sweden was beginning to have difficulties, not because it did not have the good will for this, but because it didn’t have the possibility of integration. This was the reason for which Sweden stopped for a bit. (After this step of integration) And then, I spoke during the press conference among you about the virtue of prudence, the virtue of the government. I spoke about the prudence of peoples, about the number or the possibility. A people that can receive but does not have the means to integrate [migrants], it’s better not to receive them. There, there is the issue of prudence. And I believe that this is the real core of the dialogue today in the European Union. We must continue to speak. Solutions will be found.
What happened with the Diciotti? I didn’t put my “paw” there. He who did the work with the minister of the interior was Fr. Aldo (Editor’s note: Fr. Aldo Bonaiuto, member of the Association “Giovanni XXIII”), the good Fr. Aldo that continues the work of Fr. Benzi, who the Italians know well, who work of liberating prostitutes, those that are exploited… The Italian Bishops’ Conference also was part. Cardinal Bassetti was there, but at the telephone, he guided everything by way of one of his two under-secretaries, Fr. Maffeis (Fr. Ivan Maffeis, director of communications) negotiated with the minister. And I believe that he went to Albania. Albania, Ireland took a number. Montenegro, I think not. I’m not sure. The others were picked up by the Conference, I don’t know if under the umbrella of the Vatican or not, I don’t know how it was negotiated there, and they’re going to a better world at Rocca di Papa (Editor’s note: an Italian town near Rome). They will be welcomed there. The number I believe that it is more than 100 and there they will begin to learn the language and to do that work that is done with integrated migrants. I’ve had an experience that was very gratifying for me. When I went to Roma Tre (University), there were students that wanted to ask me questions and I saw a student that “I know this face.” (Nour Essa, see story here, editor note), and it was one that had come with me among the 13 I brought back from Lesbos. And that girl was at the university because Sant’Egidio from the day after at school, to study, had integrated her at a university level. This is the work with migrants. There is an openness of heart for everyone, suffering, then integration as a condition for welcoming and then the prudence of those who govern for doing this. I have seen a clandestinely made film of the things that happen to those who are sent back. They are taken by the traffickers. Painful, the things that they do to the men... the women and the children, out! They sell them. But to the men, they do the most sophisticated torture. There was one there that was capable, a spy, of making that film that I sent to my two under-secretaries for immigration (Editor’s note: Fr. Michael Czerny and Fr. Fabio Baggio, undersecretaries of the Migrants and Refugees Section). For this, to send them back you have to think well. Then, one last thing: there are these migrants that come, but there are also those who are tricked at Fiumicino. They are tricked. “We give you work, they give you documents.” And they end up on the sidewalk enslaved, under threat from traffickers of women. That’s it.
Greg Burke: Thanks, Holiness. Let’s go to the question from the English-speaking group. Anna Matranga from the American television, CBS.
Anna Matranga, CBS: Good evening, Holy Father. I’ll return to the subject of sex abuse about which you’ve already spoken. This morning, very early, a document by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’ came out. In it, he says that in 2013 he had a personal talk with you at the Vatican, and that in that talk, he spoke to you explicitly of the behavior of and the sexual abuse by former-Cardinal McCarrick. I wanted to ask you if this was true. I also wanted to ask something else: the Archbishop also said that Pope Benedict sanctioned McCarrick, that he had forbidden him to live in a seminary, to celebrate Mass in public, he couldn’t travel, he was sanctioned by the Church. May I ask you whether these two things are true?
Pope Francis: I will respond to your question, but I would prefer last first we speak about the trip, and then other topics. I was distracted by Stefania, but I will respond.
I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested. Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word about this. I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions. It’s an act of faith. When some time passes and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak. But, I would like your professional maturity to do the work for you. It will be good for you. That’s good. (inaudible)