Pope Francis says "...abortion: it's more than a problem, it's murder, whoever has an abortion kills..." FULL TEXT In-Flight Interview with Journalists + Video

FULL TEXT Encounter of Pope Francis with journalists on the papal flight from Bratislava to Rome, at the conclusion of his trip to Budapest and Slovakia. (from Vatican News.va)

Istávan Károly Kuzmányi (Magyar Kurír): Holy Father, thank you for your visit to Budapest where you quoted the venerable Cardinal Mindszenty who said, "If there are one million Hungarians praying, I am not afraid of the future..." So, here is my question: Why did you decide, after 21 years, to participate as Pope in the Eucharistic Congress beginning with this event? How do you view Christianity in Europe, and what do you think we can do, we Hungarians, about this? Thank you. 
PF: Well, thank you, thank you very much. At the beginning it was not well understood: "But you are coming only for the ceremony, and you aren't going to visit us Hungarians? And some people thought badly. No: I explained that a visit had already been planned -- it was in mind -- to Slovakia and the other began after. But I promised your President whom I met -- this is the third time I have met him -- I promised to see whether it will be possible to come back next year or the following one because the Hungarians have so many values. I was struck by the sense of ecumenism, for example that you have, but with a deep, deep, deep profundity. This is what hit me. In general, Europe - I always say this - must reassume the dreams of the founding fathers of the European Union. The European Union is not a gathering to get things done, there is a spirit behind the EU that Schuman, Adenauer, De Gasperi, these great men: go back there. Because there's the danger to be just a management office, the European Union, and that is not good. It must move precisely toward mysticism, in search of Europe’s roots and bring it forward. And I think all the countries must move forward. It is true that there are some interests, perhaps not European ones, that attempt to use the European Union for ideological colonization, and this is not good. No: the European Union must be indepedent in and of itself, and all the countries on the same level, inspired by the dream of its Great Founders. This is my idea. (FULL Video at bottom of post)
 And you Hungarians: I was with you last year [2 years ago] in Transylvania, that Mass in Hungarian was beautiful.

Bohumil Petrik (Dennik Standard): Vaccination has divided Christians, even in Slovakia. You say that it is an act of love to get vaccinated.  So, when someone is not vaccinated, what would you call that? Because some believers even, feel discriminated against. There are different approaches in different Dioceses on this issue. Even prior to your visit only those who were vaccinated could come to the papal events, then it changed and even those with a negative covid test could attend. How do we reconcile on this issue?
This is important, no? It is a bit strange, no? because humanity has a friendly history with vaccines: we as children, even the measles, the other one for polio... all children were vaccinated and no said "mu", no? This one has come. Perhaps it has come because of the virulence and the uncertainty, not only regarding the pandemic, but also due to the diversity of vaccines, and also the reputation of some vaccines that they are not suitable or that they are little more than distilled water. This has created fear in people. Then, there are others who say they are dangerous because with the vaccine the virus iinside, and a lot of argumentation that have created this division. Even in the College of Cardinals,  there are some anti-vaxxers, and one of them, poor man, was hospitalized with the virus. But, life is ironic. Yes, I can't explain it well: some say it’s because of the difference of where the vaccines come from that there has not been sufficient testing and they are afraid. But thins need to be clear, clarify and speak sincerely about this. In the Vatican, everyone has been vaccinated except a small group under study to know how to help them.

Daniel Verdú Palai (El Pais): On Sunday morning you met with Orbán and one can understand some of the differences. We wanted to ask how the meeting went, whether you touched on the issues of migrants and how you feel about the laws on homosexuals that he has enacted.
I received him, the President came to see me, he carried out this courtesy. It is the third time I have met him, and he came with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister. The President spoke. The first topic was ecology, really chapeau for you Hungarians, the ecological conscience that you have. He explained how they purify the rivers, things that I did not know. Then I asked about the average age, because I am worried about the demographic winter. In Italy the average age is 47, Spain I think is even worse, many villages are empty or with many elderly people. How can this be resolved? The president explained to me the law they have to help young couples to get married and have children. Interesting, it is a law that is quite similar to the French law, but more developed. They explained this to me, there they added something, the Prime Minister and the Vice-Minister about what this law is about. On immigration, nothing. Then we went back to ecology. The family, in the sense of demographics: you can see that there are so many young people, so many children. In Slovakia, too, there are many young couples. Now the challenge is to find jobs, so that they don't go abroad looking for them. But these were the things... The president always spoke, both ministers added some data. The meeting lasted quite a long time, about 40 minutes.

Gerard O'Connell (America): First of all I wanted to tell you that we are all happy about the surgery, which produced a wonderful result, you are rejuvenated!

Pope Francis: They told me that some people wanted to have the operation.... But it wasn't cosmetic!

O’Connell: You have often said we are all sinners, and that the Eucharist is not a reward for the perfect but a medicine and food for the weak. As you know, in the USA after the last elections, there was a discussion among the bishops about giving communion to politicians who have supported abortion laws, and there are bishops who want to deny communion to the president and others who hold office. Some bishops are favourable, others say not to use the Eucharist as a weapon. What do you think and what do you advise the bishops to do? And have you as a bishop in all these years publicly refused the Eucharist to anyone?

Pope Francis: I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone, I don't know if anyone has come in these conditions! As a priest, that is. I have never been conscious of having a person like the one you describe in front of me, that is true. The only time I've ever had an interesting thing happen was when I went to serve Mass in an old age home. I was in the living room, and I said: who wants communion? All the old people raised their hands. One little old lady raised her hand and received communion and said: "Thank you, I'm Jewish". And I said: "The one I gave you is Jewish too!"
Communion is not a prize for the perfect - think of Jansenism - communion is a gift, a present, it is the presence of Jesus in the Church and in the community. Then, those who are not in the community cannot take communion, like this Jewish lady, but the Lord wanted to reward her without my knowledge. Out of the community - excommunicated - because they are not baptised or have drifted away.
The second problem, that of abortion: it's more than a problem, it's murder, whoever has an abortion kills, no half words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA... it is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear! To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to kill a human life? Scientifically it is a human life. Is it right to take it out to solve a problem? That is why the Church is so hard on this issue, because if it accepts this it would be like accepting daily murder. A Head of State told me that the demographic decline began because in those years there was such a strong law on abortion that six million abortions were performed and this left a drop in births in the society of that country.
Now we go to that person who is not in the community, cannot take communion. And this is not a punishment, the person is outside. But the problem is not theological, it is pastoral, how we bishops deal with this principle pastorally, and if we look at the history of the Church we will see that every time the bishops have not dealt with a problem as pastors, they have taken sides politically. Think of the night of St Bartholomew's Day, heretics, yes, let's cut their throats.... Think of the witch-hunt.... at Campo di Fiori of Savonarola. When the Church defends a principle, it does so in a non-pastoral manner, it takes sides on a political level, and this has always been the case, just look at history. What must the pastor do? Be a pastor, don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated. Pastors with God's style, which is closeness, compassion and tenderness. The whole Bible says so. A pastor who does not know how to act as a pastor... I am not very familiar with the details of the United States... But if you're close, tender, and give communion? It's a hypothesis. The pastor knows what to do at all times. But if you go beyond the pastoral dimension of the Church you become a politician, and you can see this in all the non-pastoral condemnations of the Church... If you say you can give or not give, this is casuistry... Remember the storm that was whipped up with Amoris laetitia? Heresy, heresy! Fortunately, there was Cardinal Schoenborn, a great theologian, who clarified things... They are children of God and they need our pastoral closeness, then the pastor resolves things as the Spirit indicates to him.

Stefano Maria Paci (Sky Tg 24): I think you will consider this message I am about to give you as a gift. Edith Bruck, the Jewish writer you visited at home, asked me to give it to you, [it is] a long message signed, "Your sister Edith," in which she thanks you for your gestures and appeals against anti-Semitism on this trip…

Pope Francis: Anti-Semitism is making a resurgence, it is fashionable, it is an ugly, ugly thing....

SMP: You spoke about it with the Hungarian authorities. And a resolution came from Strasbourg calling for the recognition of homosexual marriages. What are your thoughts?
Marriage is a sacrament, the Church has no power to change the sacraments as the Lord has instituted them. There are laws that try to help the situations of many people who have a different sexual orientation. It's important, the States have the possibility civilly to support them, to give them an assurance regarding inheritance, healthcare, etc., not only for homosexuals, but for all people who want to associate themselves. But marriage is marriage. This does not mean condemning them, they are our brothers and sisters, we must accompany them. There are civil laws, for widows for example, who want to associate themselves with a law to have services... there is the French PACS [civil solidarity pact], but nothing to do with marriage as a sacrament, which is between a man and a woman. Sometimes they create confusion. They are all equal brothers and sisters. The Lord is good, he desires the salvation of all, but please, don't make the Church deny its truth. Many people with a homosexual orientation approach penance, they seek counsel from the priest, the Church helps them, but the sacrament of marriage is something else.

Then the Pope added:
I read a beautiful thing about one of you. It said that this journalist was available 24 hours a day for work and that she always lets others go first and she behind, she gives the floor to others and she remains silent. This is what Manuel Beltran says about our Eva Fernandez, thank you!
This is a working translation of a rough Italian transcription.
Last updated at 19:20.
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va - Image Screenshot