Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Moynihan Report: Letter #78: Pope's press conference

July 30, 2013, Tuesday -- The Pope's press conference, complete transcription
One observation on the Pope's celebrated interview: His praise of the Orthodox liturgy
Here below is the complete transcription of the 80-minute press conference held by Pope Francis on July 28, on the airplane returning to Rome from Brazil.
Though I have not had time to translate the entire text, I expect to have it ready soon. Still, for those of you who can understand Italian, it seemed that it might be useful to send this out now, so that the original Italian is available for you to work with.
The speaker is given in parentheses before the paragraph spoken.
The Pope changes from Spanish to Italian on several occasions, and the text gives the Italian translation for these Spanish sections.
The names of the journalists who asked the questions are also given.
The Pope begins by giving his own reflections on World Youth Day, remarks which are in no way controversial, and then the session is opened up to questions, which the Pope answers, one by one.
I note here one thing only, though I hope to be able to offer further comment on this interview soon.
Toward the end of the interview, a Russian journalist asks the Pope to comment on the 1025th anniversary, currently being celebrated in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, of the baptism of the Rus', the ancient Russian people, centered at the time (988 A.D.) in Kiev.
In response, the Pope makes a very positive judgement on the liturgy of the Orthodox. To my knowledge, this response has been little noted.
"They have conserved that pristine liturgy, no?" Pope Francis says. "So beautiful. We [i.e., the Latin Christians] have lost a bit the sense of adoration, they conserve it, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not count. The center is God and that is a richness that I would like to emphasize on this occasion as you ask me this question."
(Original Italian: "Hanno conservato quella pristina liturgia, no?, tanto bella. Noi abbiamo perso un po’ il senso dell’adorazione, loro lo conservano, loro lodano Dio, loro adorano Dio, cantano, il tempo non conta. Il centro è Dio e quella è una ricchezza che vorrei dire in questa occasione in cui Lei mi fa questa domanda.")
At a moment when many are continuing to wonder about Francis' attitude toward the old liturgy of the Church, it is important to note these words of the Pope, which as far as I know have not been noted by any journalist commenting on this long interview.
I would also note that the remarks on homosexuality, which have been so commented on throughout the world, come at the very end of an hour and twenty minute interview. They come after the Pope has said once -- indicating he is about ready for the interview to come to an end -- that he has kept all the journalists from having their dinner. His words are in response to the very last question of this long session. In other words, the remarks come at the end of a very long and wide-ranging interview at the conclusion of which, humanly speaking, one has to imagine, the Pope was physically rather tired.
This transcription of the interview may be found on the Il Sismografo website, which is quite a useful website for those wishing to view a selection of the latest articles about Vatican affairs (Link: