On his return flight from Sarajevo to Rome Pope Francis told journalists a final decision on the highly debated Mejugorje apparitions could be close, and disclosed the “cancer” of consumerism as a theme in his coming encyclical on human ecology.
Read CNA’s full English translation of the Pope’s inflight news conference below: Fr. Federico Lombardi: We saw you “scatenato” (Italian for “unrestrained”) with the young people and so we thought we might be able to ask you some questions ourselves. Pope Francis: What does “scatenato” mean? Fr. Federico Lombardi: It means full of energy because truly the young people were very happy. We have chosen three questions by drawing. If you want some more we will ask you more. We’ll let our Croat, Silva Tomasevic, who is here pose the first one. Silva Tomasevic: Good evening, Holiness. Many Croats arrived on pilgrimage and they are asking if Your Holiness will come to Croatia. But as we are in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is also a great interest in the judgment on Medjugorje. Pope Francis: The problem of Medjugorje … Benedict XVI in his time created a commission presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini and there were other cardinals and theologians, specialists. They made a study and Cardinal Ruini came to me and consigned the study to me after many years. I don’t know, three or four years, more or less. They did good work, good work … and Cardinal Mueller told me that he would do a “feria quarta,” in these times, eh. (Editor’s note: “feria quarta” is a once-a-month meeting in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during which current cases are examined) I believe that it has been done the last Wednesday of last month, but I’m not sure. But, we’re at this point of making decisions … and then they will be announced… but only some guidelines will be given to bishops on the lines they will take. In Croatia, for the visit to Croatia, I don’t know when it will be. But, now I remember the questions you asked me when I went to Albania: “But, you’re beginning Europe from a country that doesn’t belong to the European Community.” And I replied, “It’s a sign, to begin to make visits in Europe in the little ones in the Balkans that are martyred, those nations, they’ve suffered so much … and for this (reason this is) my preference. Fr. Federico Lombardi: We’ll let Anna Chiara Valle of Famiglia Cristiana pose the second question. Anna Chiara Valle: You spoke of those who deliberately encourage an “atmosphere of war,” and then you said that there are the powerful who speak openly of peace while selling arms under the table. Can you delve deeper into this concept? Pope Francis: Yes, there is always hypocrisy… For this reason I said it’s not sufficient to speak of peace, peace must be made. And he who only speaks of peace and doesn’t make peace is in contradiction. And he who speaks of peace and encourages war, for example in the sale of arms, is a hypocrite. That’s how it is. Fr. Federico Lombardi: The third question to Katia Lopez from the Spanish-language group. Katia Lopez: Holy Father, in your meeting with young people you spoke openly about the necessity of being attentive, cautious with what you see. I’ll say it with the words you used precisely, “creative fantasy”... can you elaborate on this concept? Pope Francis: We’re talking about two different things. The modality and the content. If the way is a way that hurts the soul which is being too attached to a computer, this is how in your soul you take away your freedom. You make yourself a slave to the computer. It’s curious. So many families, fathers and mothers, tell me, “We are at the table with our children and they have their cellphones and…” It’s another world. It’s true that the virtual language is a reality that we cannot deny. We must take it on the good path because it is a progress of humanity, but when this takes us away from communal life, from family life, from social life and even from sports, from art and I remain hooked to the computer, this is a psychological illness, for sure. Secondly, the content. Yes, there are dirty things that go from pornography to … (unintelligible in the recording) ... to empty programs, without words, for example those that are relativist, hedonistic, consumeristic, and all of these things are encouraged. And we know that consumerism is a cancer of society and relativism is a cancer of society and of this I’ll speak in the coming encyclical that will come out within the month. I don’t know if I’ve answered. I said the word “dirt” to say a general thing, but we all know this… and also there are very concerned parents who don’t allow computers to be in their children’s rooms. Computers must be in the common rooms of the home. These are small aids that parents can find to avoid this. Fr. Federico Lombardi: Father, thanks… the organization says that we have distribute the food. Pope Francis: We’ll be on the ground within a half our, they say… Fr. Federico Lombardi: Thank you, Holiness.