Pope Francis' Interview with Argentina's Infobae Reveals the Pope's Thoughts on Priestly Celibacy, Nicaragua's Church Persecution, Homosexuality and More - FULL Video

Pope Francis is interviewed by the Argentinean website Infobae, on the 10th anniversary of his pontificate. He discusses his hopes for change in Venezuela, an end to the war in Ukraine, the situation in Nicaragua, the "discipline" of celibacy, "evil resistances" in the Church, his vow to Our Lady not to watch television and much more.
In an extensive interview, with Daniel Haddad, owner of Infobae, the Supreme Pontiff also spoke about the drama of drug trafficking in Latin America, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, his daily customs and even "machismo in the Vatican."
Near the Pope during the interview was the replica of the Virgin Undoer of Knots, a painting of Johann Schmidtner from the 1700s, and that Francis, when he was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, discovered in the 1980s while finishing his doctoral thesis in Germany. Before the interview with Infobae he looked at her for a few moments. (Below are excerpts - See Link at Bottom from Full Text)

—It is 10 years since the day you were anointed Pope. Do you have memories of that day? What comes to mind first?
—I wanted to remember several times what happened. I really didn't realize what was going to happen. How, you didn't have a vote? Yes, many had votes there, but in the conclave there is the phenomenon of deposit votes. Sometimes you don't know who to vote for and then you wait a bit, and give it to someone who isn't going out, to see how things go. It's how the Holy Spirit moves you, isn't it? I came quietly here in the morning, at noon, and some made jokes to me in passing, that I didn't understand. Even when I got to the dining room, some bishops from central Europe said to me, "Come on, Your Eminence, what can you tell us about Latin America?" They took me an exam. As I left the dining room, a cardinal came running from behind and said to me, "One moment please, is it true that you had a lung removed?" I told him “No, they removed my right upper lobe because it had cysts”. "Oh, and when was this?" And I told him "In the year 57". And he said “These last minute maneuvers…” and he turned around. And there I revived. That's when I realized that there was a campaign for and a campaign against. I went, I took a quiet nap.
Another interesting memory is that, when I arrived —this is what psychologists would say to the dishonest unconscious—, before entering the Sistine, I met Cardinal [Gianfranco] Ravasi and we began to walk in the large hall before the Sistine. And I told him, "Do you know that I use his books for my wisdom classes—I used, now I don't give them anymore?" And I began to explain to him and we began to talk about the wisdom books and we both went into orbit, until we heard a shout: “Are you going to enter or not? Because I'm going to close the door." The unconscious of not wanting to enter. They are things that one does not handle.

—Was it very different from the 2005 election?
-No. The dynamic is the same. This one got one more vote. In 2005 it was in the first afternoon vote. In this one it was in the second of the afternoon. In the first one, the trend was already seen.
And there I want to pay tribute to a great friend, Cardinal [clap] Hummes, who was sitting behind mine and approached me in the first vote and told me "Do not be afraid, so the Holy Spirit works." I get excited because he died little and loved him very much. And when in the second vote I was chosen - I had two thirds and followed the scrutiny, there all applaud while the scrutiny continues - he got up, hugged me and told me "Do not forget the poor." This touches me. A great guy, Hummes, a great man. A great man. He died a few months ago. Silent, but marked the course. Well, the poor, what do I know: San Francisco. Francisco, Point. So when Cardinal [Giovanni Battista] re asked me "What name do you want to wear?", I said "Francisco", Punto.

—You traveled to Brazil in 2013 and on your return a Brazilian television journalist asked you about the gay lobby, and you said "I'm not who." First, he denied that there is a gay lobby, he said you can be part of many lobbies, but he said "I'm not the one to judge anyone." Leaving aside the choice or sexual preference, would a person who has complied with the rest of what the church mandates be able to receive communion? Or I turn him around and ask him: would you give him communion?
—I said three things about people with homosexual tendencies. One in Brazil, which is the one you mention, and I said like this: "If a person with a homosexual tendency is honest and seeks God, who am I to judge them?" On the return trip from Ireland I said —they asked me, and I said— “I ask parents that if they have a son with homosexual tendencies, or a daughter, that they have them at home. [That] They are not thrown out as punishment. Let them accompany you." The third was in the interview with the Associated Press where I talked about criminalization. Criminalization is a serious problem: there are around 30 countries that have criminalized this in one way or another. And almost 10, [with] the death penalty. Almost 10.
These are the three times I have spoken publicly on the subject. The great answer was given by Jesus: everyone. All. Inside everyone. When the exquisite ones did not want to go to the banquet: go there to the crossroads and call everyone. Good, bad, old, young, guys: everyone. All. And each one resolves his positions before the Lord with the strength that he has. This is a church of sinners. I don't know where the church of saints is, here we are all sinners. And who am I to judge a person if they have good will? If he's more of the devil's gang, well, let's defend a little. But today a lot of magnifying glass is put on this problem. I think we must go to the essentials of the gospel: Jesus calls everyone and each one resolves his relationship with God as he can or as he wants. Sometimes [one] wants and cannot, but the Lord always waits.
On Priestly Celibacy Pope Francis said: 
— But regardless of that, in the event that celibacy is not mandatory —not that celibacy disappears, that it is not mandatory— do you imagine that the existence of priests with the possibility of being married, as there are in other churches, could help to that more people join the priesthood?
-I don't think so. In fact, in the Catholic Church there are married priests: the entire Eastern rite is married. All. All the eastern rite. Here in the Curia we have one —just today I came across it— that his wife has, his son. There is no contradiction for a priest to get married. Celibacy in the Western church is a temporary prescription: I don't know if it is resolved one way or another, but it is provisional in this sense; it is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever, whether you like it or not. Whether you leave or not is another matter, but it is forever. Instead celibacy is a discipline.
"So it could be reviewed."
-Yeah. Yes. In fact all of the Eastern Church are permitted to marry. Or those who want. There they make a choice. Before ordination the option to marry or to be celibate.

—I'm going to ask you something—don't take it the wrong way—about his daily life. I saw him walking very well but a few months ago I saw him in photos in a wheelchair. Could you tell us what happened?
"It was kind of weird." The origin was that my tendons ached, due to inflammation, it seems, and I was walking poorly. And that bad walk broke a bone in the knee. My doctor told me "You have to operate." I said “Again? It takes anesthesia, six hours of operation..." A year and months ago... And the anesthesia takes two or three years to wear off, the effects. “No, but it's local”, he tells me. “What are you going to put, distilled water in there?” So I said no. And the physiotherapist tells me "No, this can be cured with magnetotherapy, laser and a little physiotherapy". And he got the bone to heal. Now I am rehabilitating myself from all that, that is, stretching the tendons, the muscles. The bone is fine. That's what happened.
—How many hours do you sleep per day?
-Six. From 10 to 4. After lunch, half an hour.
"Yeah, half an hour.
—A curiosity: in the book El pastor you comment that since 1990 you haven't watched television. Can I know why?
-Yeah. July 15, 1990. It was with the community watching television and some things appeared that are not good for the heart. Not a sinful thing, but those relativisms that weaken the heart. I got up, because I didn't like it, and I left. very restless I don't know why I left if it wasn't such a big deal. And the next day —that was on the night of July 15— at the mass for the Virgen del Carmen I felt that I didn't have to see her, period. And I said enough and made the promise. It is not a totally closed thing. For example, when a president takes office, when I was in Argentina and someone took office, I watched television. When the plane crashed at the Aeroparque [LAPA flight 3142, in August 1999] I also watched television. I allow myself a few things but brief, brief. But in general I don't see, I don't see at all. I do not see.

—Before, he told me that he missed walking around the city of Buenos Aires. What other things, if anything, do you miss about Argentina?
—That is fundamental, because that kept me in continuous contact with people, and that is very varied. Things that remain very engraved in my mind and that sometimes changed my attitude. When I had to take the bus that passed through the Devoto prison—I had to go to a parish for Devoto—this happened to me several times: I was in line and almost all of them were mothers. Almost all were mothers. So I always thought about the mother of an inmate, what that woman feels, what that son feels. And that fostered in me a special closeness to the prisoners. Every year on Holy Thursday I go to wash my feet in a jail.
And in parentheses, I want to say one thing that I learned here. Prison directors are very good here, they are very good, but the women are better. A woman prison director, I don't know how she does it, but she has a capacity for management, a capacity for closeness... A prison run by women and one run by men is a different climate. Although the men's is going very well. The other day, for example, I received from a prison in a province of Italy six inmates who wanted to visit me and they came with the director, a judge, a policeman. There were six inmates here with me. Which the director of the prison was very good. But the director is much better because, I don't know, she is motherhood, it's the way. I have anecdotes about this, of course. Every Holy Thursday I go, so I see different things.
—There are many more women working in the Vatican.
-Yeah. And that is necessary. Machismo is bad. And sometimes celibacy can lead you to machismo. A priest who does not know how to work with women is missing something, he is not mature. The Vatican was all very macho, but it's part of the culture, it's no one's fault. It was always done that way. Now they are working more. An example: the Economy Council is made up of six cardinals and six lay people. The laymen all male of course. It was necessary to renew and I put a man and five women. Things changed like this. It was necessary to appoint vice-governor in the Vatican. The governor is the cardinal, he is 78 more or less, the cardinal [Fernando] Berges, a capable Spaniard. He was secretary of Monsignor [Eduardo] Pironio. A man of much experience. He loves Argentina. And instead of putting a lieutenant governor, he put a lieutenant governor. And he feels much more helped because they resolve; women resolve, and resolve well.
I once received a very high-level head of government, a mother and a professional, a professional who later went into politics and is doing well. And I asked her how she had managed to resolve a very difficult conflict that had occurred in that place; nobody could solve it and she managed to solve it. The answer was this, I think she can help a lot, she is a woman. She looked at me, silence. “As we mothers do”. I don't know what she meant, but "as we mothers do" she solved the problem. They have another methodology, women. They have a sense of time, of waiting, of patience, different from man. This does not diminish the man, they are different. And they have to complement each other.
"Is it true that you don't use a cell phone?"
“I never had one.
—When they made me a bishop they gave me one, in [year] 94, 92. At that time it was a shoe. I said "I'm never going to use this". "Okay, make a call." There, in front of the person who gave it to me, I called my sister: "How are you doing?" Boom! I cut off. I gave it back. And never again.
He gives me great freedom. Because I find out everything: you have my phone or leave the [message] and I'll call later. In other words, for me it is not an impediment. Of course, I recognize that my secretaries have cell phones.
—That means you don't see Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
"No, not that world.
"But someone tells you."
Yes, yes, I'm up to date. And I write by hand.
"Let's see, how is that?"
—When I was studying in Germany I bought a typewriter in one of those Angebot [garage sales] that the Germans have, for 45 marks. They get rid of everything they can on Fridays. And I took a liking to it, it was [with] a memory of a line. I took it to Buenos Aires when I returned and used it until I came here, and there it stayed. And then I already grabbed by hand.
—And how do you send an email?
-By hand.
"But he gives it to someone."
—And I give it to the secretary and he sends it. Yes, all by hand. Be careful, I do not want to say that it is better than the other, no. It is a limit that I have, a disability, let's say.

"Holy Father, do you pray at any particular time?" In your room, in the chapel? Where do you pray?
—In the morning I celebrate mass right away, if I don't have mass outside. At six in the morning I have mass. Before I do a little prayer, and after too. I get up at four, at five I'm already praying there in my room; 5:50 I go to the chapel and there I celebrate mass. Generally alone or with a priest who comes, accompanies me, and that helps me, when there is another it helps me more. And then the day begins.

—Luis Novaresio, who does some very intimate interviews, always asks the same last question: "We die, and what happens?" What do you think happens in the next moment?
—A very great light, a very great happiness. A very great encounter, on the path of the encounter with God. Some stubborn out there thinks that... or it may be that they don't have that path. But I believe that until the last moment God waits and helps. There is a very beautiful medieval capital in the cathedral of Vézelay —I don't know if it is the 10th century or the 11th century, somewhere—, south of France. On the one hand, Judas is hanged and the devil is pulling him down. On the other side is the good shepherd, who leads him away with an ironic smile. That's the drama: who wins in the end. And this one wins. Always.
—I'm going to take you to topics that are a little harsher, international. The question is no longer for the pastor but for the head of state, and he will be able to answer what he can. But I imagine, knowing how you are, your enormous concern for what began more than a year ago very close to here: the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the number of war crimes that are being committed. The bombardment of the civilian population in Ukraine is impressive. I know that at the beginning or before the beginning of the Russian invasion, your diplomacy made calls, negotiations. Do you speak to [Volodimir] Zelenski, did you ever speak to [Vladimir] Putin in these times?
Not in these times. I spoke with the Russian ambassador, a very worthy person, excellent. I received a response to my request to go see Putin from [Sergei] Lavrov very correctly, yes, of course, but later. But with Putin after the war, no. He came here three times before. He is a cultured person, very cultured.
Can you imagine a solution in the short term?
“They are all working for this. They are all working. [Narendra] Modi can do something, I don't know. I know that there are several rulers who are moving. There is an Israeli group that is moving well. But we don't know how it can end. Work for peace… I would like to mark one thing about war.
This war hurts us a lot because we have it next to us, but the world has always been at war. At least for a century. We forget about Yemen, for example. Yemen boys. We forget about the Rohingya, Myanmar, all that war drama. We forget about Goma, in northern Congo, and Rwanda. Of course, since this war is from the neighborhood next door, we already have it very close, it catches our attention. But we do not stop fighting.
Once a serious person, a university student, a very serious professor, told me: "Look, if weapons were not manufactured for a year, world hunger would end." The gun industry is awesome. Four years ago, I think, a shipment of arms arrived in Genoa from another European country, on a relatively small ship, to be transferred to a larger ship bound for Yemen. And the stevedores did not want to load it. A gesture, but it's nothing. The gun industry is awesome. Well, they told me this: when an empire feels weak, it needs a war to make it stronger. And also a war to sell the weapons it has and to test the new weapons. Someone says —I don't know if it's true— that weapons for World War II were tested during the Spanish Civil War. But there is always something to try new weapons.
I think the world has been at war forever. We have been at war for a century, not to go any further back. From 14 to 19 there was one; 39 to 45, another. And this one. But one after the other. When the 60th anniversary was fulfilled, I think it was from the landing in Normandy, all the heads of government got together to pay homage and they made me see the photos. But we often forget that there were 30,000 boys left on the beach. I think of the mother who receives the letter: "Ma'am, we congratulate you and I have the honor to announce that her son is a hero." But her son is over. Every November 2 I go to celebrate mass in a cemetery. Once I went to Anzio, which is the famous American landing, here, near Rome. American cemetery. I was looking at the graves: 19, 20, 22 years old. That is war.
When I made a trip in Romania and Slovakia I had to go through several small towns, because you couldn't use the helicopter and because that was the road. People knew the time it happened, because these things are known immediately on the radio. And they were waiting outside, in the little towns, in front of the houses, to say hello. Boys, young people, young married couples, everyone. But old were just the old ones. And where are the old ones? They're not here. They were in the war of 39-45, back.
—The last three questions have to do with Latin America. The first has to do with Venezuela. The United Nations Bachelet report speaks of rape, electric shocks, political prisoners, forced disappearance of people. It reminded me of the dark night that Argentina lived under the military dictatorship, but 40-odd years later. 
Do you see any glimmer of hope that the regime in Venezuela can be modified?
-I think if. I think so because it is the historical circumstances that are going to force them to change the way they have a dialogue. I think if. In other words, I never close the door on possible solutions. On the contrary, I encourage it.
—The second has to do with Nicaragua. At first it seemed to take it only with the opponents or with those who thought differently; in fact, he has just expelled 222 opponents into exile. But I also see a very strong attack on the Catholic Church. They kicked out the nuncio, now they ban Holy Week processions. And [there is] a phrase from the president saying [that] "the bishops, the priests, the popes, are a mafia." What do you think about this?
—With great respect, I have no choice but to think about an imbalance in the person who leads [Daniel Ortega]. There we have a bishop in prison, a very serious man, very capable. He wanted to give his testimony and did not accept exile. It is something that is outside of what we are experiencing, it is as if it were bringing the communist dictatorship of 1917 or the Hitlerite dictatorship of 1935, bringing the same here... They are a type of rude dictatorships. Or, to use a cute distinction from Argentina, guarangas. Guarangas.
—The last one in Latin America is about drug trafficking. It has taken states, it has penetrated governments from Mexico to the south. Argentina is experiencing something horrible in Rosario, and perhaps in other parts that do not have so much press or publicity. There are different schools of thought that see the decriminalization or legalization of consumption as a possible solution —and I say possible because it is an issue that I am not familiar with. Do you believe in that?
— No, in principle I don't think so. I tell you the truth I did not delve into that matter. But it seems to me that it's like, I give a cool example, hand in hand. With the son who hits his mother and well, to solve the problem we are going to change the whip, so that it is not so harmful and we are going to give him a softer whip. They are things of destruction. The drug problem is the destruction of the person himself, of the mentality. you destroy yourself It is self destruction.
Translated Excerpts from the Spanish Source: https://www.infobae.com/america/mundo/2023/03/10/el-papa-francisco-opino-sobre-nicaragua-es-como-las-dictaduras-comunistas-o-hitlerianas-grosera/
Please note that at times certain terms or expressions do not translate directly into English