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Pope to CBS: Negotiated peace better than war without end

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - Isabella H. de Carvalho - published on 04/26/24

The Pope's interview with CBS was the first one-on-one of a pope with American TV. Excerpts were broadcast on April 24; the full version comes out on May 19.

Pope Francis asks the belligerent nations in conflicts around the world to “stop the war” in an interview with American journalist Norah O’Connell, an excerpt of which was broadcast on CBS on April 24, 2024. 

“Please, countries at war, all of them … Stop the war. Look to negotiate. Look for peace. A negotiated peace is better than a war without end,” Pope Francis said, addressing all nations at war in response to a question on what message he would like to send to Vladimir Putin regarding the conflict in Ukraine.

About the risk of famine and genocide in Gaza, the Pope did not use these terms himself, but explained that he calls the local parish every day, where “there are about 600 people.”

“They tell me what’s going on. It’s very hard. Very, very hard. And food goes in, but they have to fight for it,” Francis said. In response to a question about his influence in a possible peace negotiation, the Pope replied simply, “I can pray. I do. I pray a lot.”

The interview is presented as the first one-on-one interview of a pope with an American television network and was recorded on April 24, in light of World Children’s Day, which will be taking place in Rome on May 25 and 26. The interview will be fully broadcast on May 19, a week before the event.

In the excerpts, the Pope in fact also expressed his worry that children in Ukraine and Gaza “forget how to smile” and “this is very hard” and “serious.”

“Children always bear a message. They bear a message. And it is a way for us to have a younger heart,” the Pope emphasized. 

Stay in the Church

“Do not run away from the Church, the Church is very big, it is more than a temple, it is more. You shouldn’t run away from her,” the Pontiff also said in response to a question about those who feel distant, or like they do not belong in the Church.

“I would say there is always a place, always. If in this parish the priest doesn’t seem welcoming, I understand, but go and look; there is always a place.”

Pope Francis also called climate skeptics “foolish,” pointing out that “climate change exists” even if some people “don’t understand the situation” or refuse to understand it “because of their [personal] interest.”

CBS announced in a press release that the Argentine Pontiff spent an hour sharing “his reflections on the state of the world” as he prepares for the gathering with children, which is supposed to “highlight the new generation as the hope for the future.”

Other sensitive subjects, such as the place of women in the Church and gay rights, will be addressed in the full version of the interview.

Tags:
ChildrenPope FrancisWarWorld Children's Day
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