Below, please find the full text of his interview in English:
Interview with Pope Francis: “One has to take the secession of a nation with grain of salt.”
“Our world economic system can’t take it anymore,” says the Bishop of Rome in an interview with La Vanguardia. “I’m no illumined one. I didn’t bring any personal projects under my arm.” “We are throwing away an entire generation to maintain a system that isn’t good,” he opines with respect to unemployed youth.
“The persecuted Christians are a concern that touches me very deeply as a pastor. I know a lot about persecutions but it doesn’t seem prudent to talk about them here so I don’t offend anyone. But in some places it is prohibited to have a Bible or teach the catechism or wear a cross… What I would like to be clear on is one thing, I am convinced that the persecution against Christians today is stronger than in the first centuries of the Church. Today there are more Christian martyrs than in that period. And, it's not because of fantasy, it’s because of the numbers."
Pope Francis received us last Monday in the Vatican - a day after the prayer for peace with the presidents of Israel and Palestine - for this exclusive interview with “La Vanguardia.” The Pope was happy to have done everything possible for understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.
It's a contradiction. Violence in the name of God does not correspond with our time. It's something ancient. With historical perspective, one has to say that Christians, at times, have practiced it. When I think of the Thirty Years War, there was violence in the name of God. Today it is unimaginable, right? We arrive, sometimes, by way of religion to very serious, very grave contradictions. Fundamentalism, for example. The three religions, we have our fundamentalist groups, small in relation to all the rest.