“There are so many saints next door.”
The pope has granted another interview — this one, to the director of the Spanish edition of the Italian periodical Il mio Papa.
From Vatican News:
The Pope addressed such topics as the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on future generations and the marginalized, as well as migration and the mission of the Church’s ministers.
The pandemic is changing the world and putting us in crisis, said Pope Francis. However, he insisted, “it is impossible to emerge from a crisis the same as before. Either we come out better or we come out worse. And how we emerge depends on the decisions we make during the crisis.”
The Pope said the issue regards all of humanity, and asked what kind of lifestyle we will leave to future generations. He said we need to stop thinking only of ourselves or the present, and look to the future in the perspective of a humanity which wants to remain in connection with creation. “We must take responsibility for the future, preparing the ground so others can work it. This is the mentality that we have to elaborate in the pandemic, according to the great principle that one does not emerge from a crisis the same as before. We come out worse or better, but never the same.”
…”There are so many saints next door,” said the Pope, referring to all the people who have dedicated their lives to serving those in need.
These people, he added, “did not want to ‘escape’ but faced problems and sought practical solutions to them. God understands that language. And He makes it His own.”
Pope Francis highlighted the fact that our commitment to life is not reduced to health, but continues in our concern for the discarded and for those who have no work. He said we are facing “a great social challenge” which reveals to us how “the throwaway culture has impregnated our way of relating.” For this reason, we cannot continue with the same economic system which he said has injustice sewn into its foundations.
“The pandemic,” the Pope affirmed, “showed us how accustomed we have become to this throwaway culture: discarding the old, discarding the poor, discarding children and unborn children.” Faced with this disregard, he invited everyone to remember that “Every life has value and deserves to be defended and respected.”
…[The pope was asked] about what was in his heart on 27 March in St. Peter’s Square, as he held the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi.
Pope Francis answered that at first he was afraid of slipping up the stairs. However, “my heart was with all the people of God who were suffering, with a humanity that had to endure this pandemic and, on the other hand, which had the courage to strive forward. I climbed the stairs praying. I prayed the time entire time, and I went away praying. That’s how I lived that March 27th.”
He added that the General Audiences without the faithful were particularly difficult for him. “It was like talking to ghosts,” he said. “I made up for many of these physical absences with telephone calls and letters. That helped me to take the pulse of how families and communities were living this.”