Interview granted by Pope Francis during his recent return flight from the United States
On child abuse: “When a priest abuses it is very serious because the vocation of the priest is to make that boy, that girl, grow towards the love of God. Instead this is squashed and this is nearly a sacrilege… One must not cover these things up. Those who covered this up are guilty. Even some bishops covered this up, it is a terrible thing.”
On Africa and the migrant crisis: “They went to pick up the slaves there, then its great resources. It’s the exploited continent. And, now the wars, tribal or not. But they have economic interests behind them. And I think that instead of exploiting a continent or a nation, make investments there instead so the people are able to work and this crisis would have been avoided.”
On rejecting migrants: “You know what happens to all walls. All walls fall. Today, tomorrow or in 100 years, they will fall. It’s not a solution. In this moment, Europe is in difficulty, it’s true. We must find solutions. We must encourage dialogue between nations, to find them. Walls are never solutions. But bridges are.”
On the notion of creating “Catholic divorce”: “That doesn’t exist. Either it wasn’t a marriage, and this is nullity – it didn’t exist. And if it did, it’s indissoluble. This is clear.”
On women priests: “That cannot be done. Pope St. John Paul II after long, long intense discussions, long reflection said so clearly. Not because women don’t have the capacity. Look, in the Church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman. It is “la” church, not “il” church. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests. I must admit we are a bit late in an elaboration of the theology of women. We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true.
Source: Vatican Radio, September 28, 2015