Friday, November 8, 2019

Dreams do come true...

...if you are a kabbalist!


(click images to enlarge)



HISTORY IS MADE TODAY! ✨ 
This is Sandra Gering, a dear community member and student who seven years ago gave @davidghiyam, her Kabbalah teacher, a donation to translate the Tikunei haZohar into English. She said that her dream was that when it was finished she would donate the Tikunei haZohar to all major museums in the world and hand deliver it to the Pope, himself. The first volume of Tikunei haZohar set was published this past month. 
Today, on the New Moon it Scorpio, which according to the Zohar is the most powerful day of the year, Sandra personally gifted the Pope the first English translation of the Tikunei Zohar published by The Kabbalah Centre! ♥️✨

Instagram, Kabbalah Centre Los Angeles, 30 October 2019



Monsignor Kiernan Harrington, Vicar of Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, introduces Francis to External Affairs Director, Vincent LeVien, and Sandra Gering, who gave Francis a copy of the first English translation of Tikkunei Zohar.


The Tikkunei Zohar is the type of book Francis loves to read.



Instagram, Zohar Project, 30 October 2019The Zohar in the hands of Pope Francis from earlier today. 
This is Sandra, a dedicated student of the Kabbalah Centre, who sponsored the translation and printing of the Tikkunei Zohar in English for the first time in history! (Available soon in our bookstores) 
Thank you @sandrageringinc for your tireless efforts and desire to be a beacon of Light. Your support of bringing the Tikkunei Zohar to the world - and to the Vatican - is nothing short of a miracle✨✨✨ 
#zohar #tikkuneizohar #vatican #zoharproject #peace #onesoul #kabbalahcentre #sharing



Francis likely read the entire book in under a week.

Francis gives a huge spiritual hug for such a fantastic rabbinical gift.



‘The Repair of the Zohar’ 
The Pave the Way Foundation has presented a replica of the Tikkunei Zohar to the Vatican Library. On hand for the special ceremony on November 4, 2019, were Gary L. Krupp, the organization’s founder and president, and board member Vincent D. LeVien, as well as the replica’s creator, artist Sandra Gering. The Tikkunei Zohar was written in Aramaic and loosely translates as “the repair of the Zohar,” with the Zohar itself translating as “splendor” or “radiance.” concerning the mystical aspects of the Torah and provides the basis for the study of the Kabbalah. Ms. Gering describes the text as “70 corrections to soul must journey through life to reach the highest level of love and unity with all mankind.” Her replica prints the words of the Tikkunei Zohar on silver paper bound into a book, which she considers to be a manifestation of the sacred text. Bringing such an object to the Vatican, where it will remain close to the gap between religions and conflicts through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. 



The Pave the Way Foundation presents Vatican with special Replica of Tikkunei Zohar.




Soon to be added to the Vatican Library.



...“I never studied art,” Gering tells artnet News. “I just have a gift to be able to see 10 to 20 years ahead.”

Last summer, after more than 25 years in operation, the venerable gallerist closed her brick-and-mortar space. But unlike other gallery closings, the decision wasn’t motivated by finances (the gallery was doing as well as it ever had) or real estate, nor was Gering retiring per se (she still works, though not as much as she once did). Instead, she wanted to refocus her time on other, more spiritual aspects of her life.

Today, at age 75, she is as active as ever. A practitioner of yoga for more than 50 years, she stands on her head “every single morning, no matter what.” In 2013, she appeared in Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” music video, dancing with the energy of a young child while an impressive mishmash of art world cognoscenti looked on.

And now she’s in the throes of what, for her, is her most important undertaking yet: a special edition of the Tikunei haZohar—a 4,000-year-old kabbalist text, written in Aramaic, about the 70 corrections that a soul must make before they reach nirvana.

What’s more, she tapped some of her closest artist friends to help out. The manuscript will be encased by two interlocking tablets created by artist and designer Ghiora Aharoni. Underneath the text will be a drawing done by Ryan McGinness. And Leo Villareal, one of the many major artists Gering helped lift to fame, created the cover, a tree of light illuminated by 70 small LEDs—one for each correction.

The book, set to be produced within the next year, will be an edition of four and is dedicated to women around the world. One has already been accepted into the collection at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan. Gering hopes to place the other three with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Ethnological Museum at the Vatican, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

“I want it to be about plurality of religion,” she explains. “And that we’re all the same soul and that we all need to reach this particular point, and do the work that we are supposed to do on this earth.”

Gering, who was raised Jewish but never identified with the ritualistic side of the religion, has long identified as a spiritual person. She realized it at an early age.

“When I was three, I had a dream that I had to bring all peoples together,” she says. “I was on a beach alone, and from that time on, I was I felt that I was connected to some universal force. Throughout my life, I’ve always listened and done what my heart tells me to do.”

That’s what makes the Tikunei haZohar project—a first-class artist’s book, essentially—so special. It perfectly symbolizes Gering’s achievements in the two most important facets of her life: art and spiritualism...”

Why Sandra Gering Closed Her Gallery to Take On an Even More Ambitious Project: Reaching Nirvana, ArtNet News, 18 July 2018










The Tablets reconceives the traditional idea of the reliquary as contemporary sculpture, a commission to house a hard-bound edition of the Tikkunei Zohar (an appendix to the Zohar, the writings central to the Kabblah). The sculpture’s form draws from the intricate, allegorical essence of the ancient, sacred book of spiritual corrections within, and employs one of Aharoni’s signature constructs—the use of text as a medium—to translate the spiritual import of book’s writings into the visual narrative of an artwork.

The form of The Tablets evokes ancient Cuneiform tablets or the original tablets brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses, and its letters—sculpted aluminum extending from the front through to the back and curving with its rounded form—manifest a fluid, transcendent energy that collapses the distance between the ancient and the contemporary into an intersection of spirituality and artistic expression.

The exterior structure of the work is formed from Hebrew text taken from the beginning of the Book of Genesis. The raised letter, which seem to be separated by voids, might be read as an allegory of humanity’s topography of corrections. However, the sculpture’s typography of conjoined letters creates an interconnected entity of text circumscribed by one continuous, flowing space—creating a parallel contemplation between what exists and what is absent in both the metaphysical and the material.

The Tablets begins with the Hebrew word “b’reishit”—both the first word of Genesis and the subject of the 70 commentaries within the Tikkunei Zohar. B’reishit also begins with the Hebrew letter “bet,” which has a numerical value of two—an allusion of a state of dualities, be it the twin forms of The Tablets that are perceived as one, or a parallel realm where dichotomies have the potential to be unified.

‘THE TABLETS’ Enters The Permanent Collection of THE VATICAN, Ghiora Aharoni Design Studio, accessed 5 November 2019












What is the Tikkunei haZohar?

The Tikkunei haZohar is an appendix to the Zohar that originally planned to have 70 sections emulating the 70 aspects of Torah by expounding on the ‘Bereshit’ of Genesis. This work digresses all over the place and gets into many topics not in the Zohar.  On top of that, it is poorly written but one thing it is, is vast. The overall theme of the Tikunei haZohar is to fix and give aid to the ‘Shekhinah’.  Tikkunei haZohar explains that ‘the redemption’ will only occur through study of Torah (Talmud) and study of the Kabbalah.  The Tikkunei haZohar sees the Kol Nidrei as fundamental to the survival of Talmudic Jews because Talmudic Jews are seeking to annul the vows that God made in his anger to destroy the Talmudists for their failures. In annulling human vows, the Talmudists hope that God’s divine vows will also be annulled. As below, so above.  The book laughably purports in its text to have been written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Rabbi Elazar in the 2nd century but was likely written in Italy in the 16th century. Its wikipedia entry reads, “Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was involved with Tikunei haZohar more than with any other book, and he stated that Tikunei haZohar is of such different holiness and wisdom that it is beyond compare to the rest of the holy Zohar.[3] He also said that, "Concerning the book Tikunei haZohar, one thousand books would not suffice to explain the secrets that are to be found there."[4]”  To call it insane, is to be too kind.



The Tikkunei Zohar which Sandra Gering presented to Francis during his weekly general audience.



During his lifetime, Rav Brandwein continued to write the commentary on the Zohar after the death of his teacher, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, and also began to write a commentary on the Tikunei haZohar entitled Ma’alot haSulam (“Ascents [rungs] of the Ladder”).

For the first time, Kabbalah Centre Publishing has the merit to publish an English translation of Rav Brandwein’s translation and commentary on the Tikunei haZohar for those whose hearts yearn to taste of the Tree of Life of Rav Shimon bar Yochai. Tikunei haZohar Volume 1 is the first in this series of commentaries.

Tikunei haZohar contains seventy different interpretations (tikkunim) by Rav Shimon bar Yochai of the Hebrew word beresheet, the first word of the Torah. Rav Shimon had fled the government that had issued an edict to kill him. While he and his son Rav Elazar hid in a cave in Peki’in for thirteen years, they were taught the entire Tikunei haZohar from Elijah the Prophet and Moses. There were no other disciples present, except these two, which is why there are no conversations among the disciples in the Tikunei haZohar like there are in the Book of Zohar and in Zohar Chadash. It is known that the Tikunei haZohar will help to hasten the coming of the Messiah and is related to, and was put aside, until the Messianic era.

TIKUNEI ZOHAR (ENGLISH-ARAMAIC) VOL 1, The Kabbalah Centre, accessed 5 November 2019




This is another rabbinical book which Francis was more than happy to receive because its main theme is one he is in total agreement with. The Tikkunei haZohar is about fixing God’s mistakes in the world in order to hasten the coming of the ‘moshiach’ by nullifying God’s word.  Francis and his reign has been all about correcting God’s mistakes in his Church and the world while invalidating the word of God. It’s a match made in hell.



Related:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Halloween from Francis!






Francis’ scary reflection on death sounds an awful lot like what the Talmudic rabbis teach!




Dear young people of Scholas Occurrentes gathered from so many nations of the world, I celebrate with you the end of this meeting. I want to stop there. I wish to dwell on this: the end.

What would become of this encounter if it did not have an end? Perhaps it wouldn’t even be an encounter. And what would become of this life if it did not also have its end?

I know some will say: “Father, don’t put on a funeral face.” But let us think this through. I know from a good source that you kept the question of death burning throughout this entire experience. You played, thought, and created out of your differences.

Good! I celebrate and thank you for this. Because, you know what? The question of death is really a question about life. And keeping the question of death open, perhaps, is the greatest human responsibility towards the question of life.

Just as words are born out of silence and return to it, allowing us to hear their meanings, so it is with life. This may sound somewhat paradoxical, but… It is death that allows life to remain alive!

It is the end goal that allows a story to be written, a painting to be painted, two bodies to embraced. But watch out, the end goal is not found only at the end. Perhaps we should pay attention to each small purpose of everyday life. Not only at the end of the story – we never know when it ends – but at the end of each word, at the end of each silence, of each page that is being written. Only a life that is conscious of the fact that this exact instant will end works to make it eternal.

On the other hand, death reminds us that it is impossible to be, understand, and encompass everything. It comes as a slap in the face to our illusion of omnipotence. It teaches us throughout life to engage ourselves with mystery. This gives us confidence to jump into the void and to realize that we will not fall, that we will not sink, and that there is always Someone there to catch us. Both before and after the end.

The “not knowing” part of this question results in fragility that opens us to listening to and meeting other people. It is that rising above the commotion that calls us to create something, and urges us to come together to celebrate it.

Lastly, the question of death has driven different communities, peoples, and cultures to be formed throughout the ages and throughout all lands. These are stories that have fought in so many places to stay alive, while others were never born. That is why today, perhaps as never before, we should touch on this question.

The world is already formed, and everything is already explained. There is no room for open questions. Is that true? It is true, but it is also not true. That is our world. It is already fully-formed, and there is no place for unanswered questions. In a world that worships autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-realization, there seems to be no place for the other. Our world of plans and infinite acceleration – always speeding up – does not allow for interruptions. So the worldly culture that enslaves also tries to put us to sleep so we forget what it means to stop at last.

But the very oblivion of death is also its beginning. And a culture that forgets death begins to die within. He who forgets death has already begun to die.

That is why I thank you so much! Because you have had the courage to confront this question and to pass – with your own bodies – through the three deaths that, by emptying us, fill us with life! The ‘death’ of every instant. The death of the ego. The death of one world gives way to a new one.

Remember, if death is not to have the last word, it is because in life we learned to die for one another.

Finally, I would like to thank especially World ORT and each one of the people and institutions that made possible this activity in which the culture of encounter has become tangible.

I ask each of you please, each in his own way, each according to his own convictions: don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you.



Monday, October 21, 2019

The Pachamama Drama


Pachamama idols learn to swim in the Tiber






Paolo Ruffini (Vatican’s chief communications officer) and Fr. Giacomo Costa, S.J. (Secretary of the Commission for Information) weigh in.



“The great mistake was to bring the idols into the Church,” replies the cardinal, “not to put them out, because according to the Law of God Himself – His First Commandment – idolism is a grave sin and not to mix them with the Christian liturgy. To put it out, to throw it out, can be against human law, but to bring the idols into the Church was a grave sin, a crime against the Divine Law. That is a deep difference.” 
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller 
(11 minutes 38 seconds in video below)



Cardinal Müller chimes in...



Francis responds...


“Good afternoon. I want to say a word about the statues of the pachamama that were taken from the church of the Transpontina – which were there without idolatrous intentions – and were thrown into the Tiber. First of all, this happened in Rome, and, as Bishop of the Diocese, I ask pardon of the persons who were offended by this act. Then, I want to communicate to you that the statues which created such attention in the media, were retrieved from the Tiber. The statues were not damaged. The Commander of the Carabinieri desires that you should be informed of this recovery before the news is made public. At the moment, the news is confidential, and the statues are being kept in the Italian Carabinieri Commander's office. The Commander of the Carabinieri has expressed his desire to follow up on any indications that you would like to give concerning the manner of publication of the news, and any other initiative you may want to take in this regard: for example, the Commander said, “the exhibition of the statues during the Holy Mass for the closing of the Synod”. We’ll see. I have delegated the Secretary of State to respond to this. This is a bit of good news. Thank you.”







Alexander Tschugguel comes forth as the person who threw the Pachamama idols into the river.


Developing...

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Francis unveils new sculpture during his ‘World Day of Migrants and Refugees’ mess that depicts St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary as Chasids


(click images to enlarge)

Want to bet that that the Hasid’s briefcases contain Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi’s ‘Tanya’ and the entire ‘Kabbalah’?



The 20-foot sculpture was unveiled during mass on the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday.

Depictions of Christ's parents Mary and Joseph have been included in the piece.

Pope Francis once famously likened the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to the migrations of millions of refugees fleeing wars.

[...]

Mr Schmalz, whose past creations include 'Homeless Jesus Christ' - depictions of Jesus sleeping rough on benches outside cathedrals - said his latest piece took a year of working "obsessively, from 4 in the morning".

"Angels Unaware" is facing in a direction intended to portray the boat sailing towards St. Peter's Basilica, he said.

"It's one thing to say you're being welcoming but to show it with a piece of bronze artwork in St. Peters Square is really powerful," he said.

"This is not a museum here."

The sculptor said Pope Francis made his appreciation clear.

"He put his two hands on his heart, looked at me for a moment," he said.

"That gesture, he really showed to me how much he thinks this is a suitable sculpture to promote his ideas."

Vatican sculpture dedicated to migrants unveiled, BBC News, 30 September 2019


Monday, September 23, 2019

Francis appeals to the UN to save poor from glo-bull warming






I would like to thank the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, for convening this meeting and for drawing the attention of Heads of State and Government - and of the entire international community and world public opinion - to one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time: climate change.

With the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, the international community became aware of the urgency and need for a collective response to help build our common home. However, four years after that historic Agreement, we can see that the commitments made by States are still very "weak", and are far from achieving the objectives set.

Along with so many initiatives, not only by governments but by civil society as a whole, it is necessary to ask whether there is a real political will to allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer the most.

With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral" (Laudato si', 112), capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.

While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. We are still in time. Let us not let it close

I would like these three key words - honesty, courage and responsibility - to be at the heart of your work today and tomorrow. May they accompany you together with my best wishes and with my prayer.

Thank you very much.



Related:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Francis continues his drive to replace Catholic education with a one world global enviromental religion NGO “education alliance”







Francis’ Message for the Launch of the Educational Alliance

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
In my Encyclical Laudato Si’, I invited everyone to cooperate in caring for our common home and to confront together the challenges that we face. Now, a few years later, I renew my invitation to dialogue on how we are shaping the future of our planet and the need to employ the talents of all, since all change requires an educational process aimed at developing a new universal solidarity and a more welcoming society. 
To this end, I wish to endorse a global event, to take place on 14 May 2020 on the theme Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance. This meeting will rekindle our dedication for and with young people, renewing our passion for a more open and inclusive education, including patient listening, constructive dialogue and better mutual understanding. Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity. 
Today’s world is constantly changing and faces a variety of crises. We are experiencing an era of change: a transformation that is not only cultural but also anthropological, creating a new semantics while indiscriminately discarding traditional paradigms. Education clashes with what has been called a process of “rapidification” that traps our existence in a whirlwind of high-speed technology and computerization, continually altering our points of reference. As a result, our very identity loses its solidity and our psychological structure dissolves in the face of constant change that “contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution” (Laudato Si’, 18). 
Every change calls for an educational process that involves everyone. There is thus a need to create an “educational village”, in which all people, according to their respective roles, share the task of forming a network of open, human relationships. According to an African proverb, “it takes a whole village to educate a child”. We have to create such a village before we can educate. In the first place, the ground must be cleared of discrimination and fraternity must be allowed to flourish, as I stated in the Document that I signed with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar on 4 February this year in Abu Dhabi. 
In this kind of village it is easier to find global agreement about an education that integrates and respects all aspects of the person, uniting studies and everyday life, teachers, students and their families, and civil society in its intellectual, scientific, artistic, athletic, political, business and charitable dimensions. An alliance, in other words, between the earth’s inhabitants and our “common home”, which we are bound to care for and respect. An alliance that generates peace, justice and hospitality among all peoples of the human family, as well as dialogue between religions. 
To reach these global objectives, our shared journey as an “educating village” must take important steps forward. First, we must have the courage to place the human person at the centre. To do so, we must agree to promote formal and informal educational processes that cannot ignore the fact that the whole world is deeply interconnected, and that we need to find other ways, based on a sound anthropology, of envisioning economics, politics, growth and progress. In the development of a integral ecology, a central place must be given to the value proper to each creature in its relationship to the people and realities surrounding it, as well as a lifestyle that rejects the throw-away culture. 
Another step is to find the courage to capitalize on our best energies, creatively and responsibly. To be proactive and confident in opening education to a long-term vision unfettered by the status quo. This will result in men and women who are open, responsible, prepared to listen, dialogue and reflect with others, and capable of weaving relationships with families, between generations, and with civil society, and thus to create a new humanism. 
A further step is the courage to train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service to the community. Service is a pillar of the culture of encounter: “It means bending over those in need and stretching out a hand to them, without calculation, without fear, but with tenderness and understanding, just as Jesus knelt to wash the Apostles’ feet. Serving means working beside the neediest of people, establishing with them first and foremost human relationships of closeness and bonds of solidarity”. [1] In serving others, we experience that there is more joy in giving than in receiving (cf. Acts 20:35). In this regard, all institutions must be open to examining the aims and methods that determine how they carry out their educational mission. 
For this reason, I look forward to meeting in Rome all of you who, in various ways and on every level, work in the field of education and of research. I encourage you to work together to promote, through a shared educational alliance, those forward-looking initiatives that can give direction to history and change it for the better. I join you in appealing to authoritative public figures in our world who are concerned for the future of our young people, and I trust that they will respond to my invitation. I also call upon you, dear young people, to take part in the meeting and to sense your real responsibility for the building of a better world. Our meeting will take place on 14 May 2020 in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican. A number of seminars on related topics will take place in various locations and help us prepare for this event. 
Let us seek solutions together, boldly undertake processes of change and look to the future with hope. I invite everyone to work for this alliance and to be committed, individually and within our communities, to nurturing the dream of a humanism rooted in solidarity and responsive both to humanity’s aspirations and to God’s plan. 
I look forward to seeing you. Until then, I send you my greetings and my blessing. 
From the Vatican, 12 September 2019. 
Francis 
______________________________________________________________
[1] Address during a visit to the “Astalli Centre”, the Jesuit Refugee Service in Rome, on 10 September 2013.




 
Related:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Francis says the Blessed Virgin Mary tells him what to do



“I arrived yesterday evening in the Vatican. Before beginning a trip and on my return, I always go to Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani, so that She accompanies me on the trip as Mother, to tell me what I must do, to guard my words and my gestures. With Our Lady, I go safe.” — Francis



Does anyone really believe the Blessed Virgin is directing this wrecking ball of destruction?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Another in-flight interview — ‘the criticism is coming from everywhere!’







From the flight Antananarivo-Rome

Two and a half hours after the Air Madagascar flight to Rome took off from Antananarivo; Pope Francis met the journalists accompanying him and spoke, answering their questions, for about an hour and a half.

Julio Mateus Manjate (Noticias, Mozambique):  During your visit to Mozambique, you met with the President of the Republic and with the Presidents of the two parties present in Parliament. I would like to know what your expectations are concerning the peace process, and what message you would like to leave for Mozambique. Also, two quick comments on two phenomena: the xenophobia present in Africa and the impact of social network in the education of young people.

Francis:  The first point, regarding the peace process: a long peace process, which has had its highs and lows, but that in the end ended with an historic embrace, identifies Mozambique today.

I hope that this will continue, and I pray that it does so. I invite everyone to make an effort to ensure that this peace process is carried forward – because, as a Pope before me said, everything is lost through war, and everything is won through peace. (Pius XII) This is clear, and it must not be forgotten. It is a long peace process, with a first stage that was interrupted, then another stage. … And the effort made by the leaders of the opposing parties, not to say enemies, is to go towards each other. It is also a dangerous effort, some risked their lives, but in the end, a conclusion was reached. I would like to thank all those who helped in this peace process. Starting with the first, with a cup of coffee…

There were many people present; there was a priest from the Community of Saint Egidio - who will be made Cardinal on October 5 (Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna). Then, with the help of many people, including the Community of Saint Eigidio, this result was achieved. We must not be triumphalistic in these areas. Triumph is peace. We do not have the right to be triumphalistic because peace is still fragile in your country, just as it is fragile in the world. It needs to be treated in the same way that newly born things are treated, like children, with much, much tenderness, with delicacy, with forgiveness, with patience, in order to make it grow and make it strong.

It is the triumph of the country: peace, peace is the victory of the country, we must understand that… and that goes for all countries, that are being destroyed by war .

Wars destroy, they make us lose everything. I am dwelling a bit on the theme of peace because I have it at heart. It is true that, a few months ago, when the landing in Normandy was celebrated, there were heads of States there to remember what was the beginning of the end of a cruel war, and also of anti-human and cruel dictatorships such as Nazism and Fascism... but, 46,000 soldiers died on that shore – that is the price of war. I confess that when I went to Redipuglia for the commemoration of the First World War, I cried out “please, never again, war!” When I went to Anzio to celebrate All Soul’s Day, in my heart I felt that a conscience must be built: wars do not solve anything; on the other hand, they make those who do not want peace for humanity richer.

Forgive me for this appendix but I had to say it before a peace process, for which I pray and will do all that I can so that it goes forward – and I hope that it grows with strength.

The second point, the problem of youth. Africa is a young continent, it has young life, if we compare it to Europe. I will repeat what I said in Strasburg: mother Europe has almost become “grandmother Europe”. She has grown old, we are experiencing a very serious demographic winter in Europe.

I read of a government statistic that states that in the country, though I do not remember which country, in 2050, there will be more pensioners than working people, this is tragic. What is the origin of this ageing of Europe?

I think – this is a personal opinion of mine - that well-being is at the root. Being attached to wellbeing – “We are comfortable, I am not having children because I need to buy a villa, I want to go on holiday, I’m fine like this, a child is a risk, you never know…” But this wellbeing and tranquility is something that will age you. Instead, Africa is full of life. I found in Africa a gesture that I had come across in the Philippines, and in Cartagena, in Columbia.

The people who raised their children in the air, as if to say, “this is my treasure, this is my victory, my pride”. Children are the treasure of the poor. But they are the treasure of a homeland, of a country. I saw the same gesture in Eastern Europe, in Iași, especially that grandmother showing the child: this is my triumph… You have the task of educating these young people and of making laws for these young people. Education is the priority in your country at the moment. It is a priority that one grows, having laws on formation.

The Prime Minister of Mauritius spoke to me about this. He said he had in mind the challenge of developing a free education system for all. The gratuitousness of the educational system: it is important because there are high quality educational centres, but at a fee. There are educational centres in all countries, but they need to be multiplied so that education reaches everyone. At the moment, the laws on education and health are the priority there.

The third point, on xenophobia. I read on the newspapers of this xenophobia, but it is not only an African problem. It is a human disease, like measles… It is a disease that enters a country, enters a continent, and we build walls. But walls leave only those who built them. Yes, they leave out many people, but those who remain inside the walls will be left alone, and in the end, they will be defeated by great invasions. Xenophobia is a disease. It is a disease that is “justifiable”, for example, to maintain the purity of the race – just to mention a form of xenophobia from the last century. And very often, xenophobia rides the waves of political populism. I said last week, or the one before, that sometimes in some places I hear speeches being given that sound similar to those made by Hitler in ’34. It’s as if they wanted to return to the past in Europe.

But in Africa, you, too, have a cultural problem that you have to solve. I remember speaking about it in Kenya: tribalism. There you must educate, in order to bring together different tribes, to create a nation. Not long ago, we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide: that is an effect of tribalism. I remember in Kenya, in the stadium, when I asked everyone to stand up, shake hands, and say “no to tribalism… no to tribalism…” We have to say no. It is about closure. There is also domestic xenophobia, but a xenophobia nonetheless. We must fight against this: both the xenophobia of one country towards another, and internal xenophobia, which in the case of some places in Africa and along with tribalism, leads to tragedies such as that of Rwanda.



Marie Fredeline Ratovoarivelo (Radio Don Bosco, Madagascar):  You spoke about the future of young people during your Apostolic visit. I think that the foundation of the family is very important for the future. Young people in Madagascar, young people live in very complex family situations because of poverty. How can the Church accompany young people in light of the fact that her teachings are considered outdated and in light of today's sexual revolution?

Francis:  The family is certainly responsible for its children’s education. The young people of Madagascar’s way of expressing themselves was very touching, and we also saw it in Mauritius and with the young people of Mozambique from the interreligious meeting for peace.

Giving values to young people, making them grow. In Madagascar the problem of family is linked to the problem of poverty, to the lack of employment and, often, also to the labour exploitation. For example, in the granite quarry, workers earn a dollar and a half a day. Laws protecting work and families are fundamental. Also family values, that are there, but that are so often destroyed by poverty: not the values, but the ability to pass them on, and to improve the education of the youth.

In Madagascar we saw the Akamasoa Association, the work being done there with the youngest so that they may grow in a family that is not their birth one, yes, but it is the only possibility. Yesterday in Mauritius, after Mass, I found Msgr Rueda with a policeman, tall, big, who was holding a little girl’s hand, she was about two years old. She had got lost, and was crying because she couldn’t find her parents. The announcement had been made and meanwhile, the policeman was comforting her. And there, I saw (understood) the drama faced by many children and young people who happen to lose family ties, despite them living in a family – in this case it was simply an accident. Also, the role of the State in protecting them and sustaining their development. The State needs to take care of the family and of young people. It’s the States duty, a duty to sustain them. Then, I repeat, for a family, having a child is a treasure. And you have this awareness, you have awareness of treasure. But now it is necessary that all of society have the awareness to make this treasure grow, to make the country grow, to make the homeland grow, to make the values that give sovereignty to the country grow. One thing that struck me about the children in all the countries, is that they were greeting me. There were even little ones greeting me, and they were joyful. But I would like to talk about joy later.


Jean Luc Mootoosamy (Radio One, Mauritius):  The Prime Minister of Mauritius thanked you for your concern regarding the suffering of our fellow citizens who have been forced to abandon their own Archipelago by the United Kingdom after the illicit separation of this part of our territory before independence. Today on the island of Diego Garcia, there is an American military base. Holy Father, the Chagossians who have been in forced exile for fifty years want to return to their land. The United States and the United Kingdom will not allow this to happen, notwithstanding a United Nations resolution from last May. How can you support the Chagossians’ will and help the people of Chagos to go home?

Francis:  I would like to repeat what the Doctrine of the Church says about this: When we acknowledge international organisations and we recognise their capacity to give judgment, on a global scale – for example the international tribunal in The Hague, or the United Nations. If we consider ourselves humanity, when they make statements, our duty is to obey. It is true that not all things that appear just for the whole of humanity will also be so for our pockets, but we must obey international institutions. That is why the United Nations were created. That’s why international courts were created. Then there is also another phenomenon which, however, I say it clearly, I do know whether it is relevant here. When the liberation of a people comes about (a people obtains independence) and the occupying State has to leave – many independence processes have taken place in Africa – from France, from Great Britain, from Belgium, from Italy – all of them had to leave, some [of the countries] have matured well – but there is always the temptation to leave with something in in the pocket: Yes, I give freedom to this people but I take some crumbs with me… I give freedom to the country but from the ground up, what’s underneath remains mine. This is an example, I do not know if it is true, but I want to say: there is always the temptation… I believe that international organizations need to propose a process of accompaniment, recognizing the predominant potentials, what they were able to accomplish in the country, recognizing the good will to go away and helping them to leave totally, in freedom, with a brotherly spirit. It is a slow cultural process for humanity and these international institutions help us a lot, always, and we need to go forward strengthening the international institutions: the United Nations, that they might take in hand once again their role; that the European Union might become stronger, not in the sense of domination, but in the sense of justice, of fraternity, of unity for all. I believe this to be one of the important things. And there is another thing that I would like to take the opportunity to say after his intervention. Today geographical colonialization does not exist – at least not many…. But there are ideological colonializations that want to enter into the popular culture and change those cultures and homogenize humanity. It is the image of globalization like a sphere, all of the points being equidistant from the centre. Instead, true globalization is not a sphere, it is a polyhedron where each people preserves their own identity but it united to all of humanity. Instead, ideological colonization seeks to cancel the identity of others to make them equal and they come at you with ideological proposals that are contrary to the nature of that people, the history of that people, against the values of that people. And we must respect the identity of peoples, this is a premise to defend always. The identity of the people’s needs to be respected and thus all types of colonialization will be cast out.

Before giving the word to EFE – which is a privilege, it is “old”, it is 80 years old – I would like to say something more that struck me about the visit. What struck me about your country is the capacity for religious unity, for interreligious dialogue. Differences between the religions are not to be cancelled out, that we are all brothers is to be underlined, that everyone needs to speak. This is a sign of the maturity of your country. Speaking yesterday with the prime ministry, I remained surprised at how they, you, have worked at this reality and live it as necessary in order to live together. There is an intercultural commission that gathers together… The first thing that I found yesterday when I went into the bishop’s resident – this is anecdote – was a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Who sent them? The Grant Imam. We are brothers, human brotherhood is the foundation and respects all beliefs. Respect for other religions is important. This is why I tell missionaries not to proselytize. Proselytizing is valid for the world of politics, of sport – I root for my team, for yours – not for a faith. But, Holy Father, what does evangelization mean to you? There is a phrase of St Francis that has greatly enlightened me. Francis of Assisi used to say to his brothers: “Bring the Gospel, if it is necessary also with words”. That is, to evangelize is what we read about in the book of the Acts of the Apostles: testifying. And that testimony provokes the question: ‘But why do you live like this? Why do you do this?’ And then I explain: ‘Because of the Gospel’. Proclamation comes before testifying. First live like a Christian and if they ask you, speak. Testifying is the first step and the protagonist of evangelization is not the missionary but the Holy Spirit who leads Christians and missionaries to bear witness. Then questions will come or won’t come, but what counts is the witness of life. This is the first step. It is important to avoid proselytism. When you see religious proposals that follow the path of proselytism, they are not Christian. They are looking for converts, not worshippers of God in truth. I want to take this opportunity to emphasize your interreligious experience which is extremely beautiful. Your prime ministry also told me that when someone asks for help, we give the same hope to everyone, and no one is offended because we feel like we are brothers. This unifies the country. It is very, very important. At the events, there were not only Catholics, there were Christians from other confessions, and there were Muslims, Hindus, and all of them were brothers. I saw this even in Madagascar and also in the interreligious meeting for peace of the young people, with young people of different religions who wanted to express how they live their desire for peace. Peace, brotherhood, interreligious co-existence, no proselytism, these are things that we must learn to foster peace. This is something that I must say. Then another thing that struck me – I saw it in three countries but I now refer to Madagascar, we left from there – the people on the streets, there were people there of their own accord. At the Mass in the stadium under the rain there were people who were dancing under the rain, they were happy… And also the nocturnal vigil, the Mass – they way there were more than a million, I don’t know, the official statistic says so, I would say there were less, let’s say 800 thousand. But the number is not important, what is important is the people, the people who went on foot the evening before, were there for the vigil, who slept there – I thought of Rio de Janeiro in 2013 [World Youth Day], they were sleeping on the beach – they were people who wanted to be with the Pope. I felt humbled, very small before the greatness of a people. What is the sign that a group of persons is a people? Joy. There were poor people, there were people who had not eaten that afternoon in order to be there, they were joyful. Instead, when persons or groups separate themselves from that popular sense of joy, they lose it. It is one of the first signs, the sadness of those who are alone, the sadness of those who have forgotten their cultural roots. Having the awareness of being a people is to be aware of having an identity, of having a conscience, of having a way of understanding reality and this unifies the people. The sign that you belong to a people, and not to an elite, is joy, common joy. I wanted to emphasize this. Because of this, the children were waving that way, because their parents joy had rubbed off on them.”

Cristina Cabrejas (from the Spanish Agency EFE which celebrates its 80th anniversary of foundation):  First of all, we take it for granted that one of your plans for the future is that of coming to Spain. We hope this will be possible. The first question I would like to ask you: in view of the 80th anniversary of EFE we have asked various persons, world leaders: what do you think the information of the future will be?

Francis:  “I would need a crystal ball… I will go to Spain, if I am alive, but my priority regarding my journeys in Europe is for the smaller countries, then the larger ones. I do not know what communication in the future will be like. I think, for example, of what communication was like when I was a boy, before TV, with radio, with newspapers, even illegal ones, that were persecuted by whoever was in power at the time, volunteers would sell them during the night… even orally. If we make a comparison with today’s, it was precarious information, and that of today might be precarious in respect to that of the future. What remains as a constant in communication is the capacity to transmit a fact, and to distinguish it from the story, from the report. One of the things that harms communication, from the past, from the present, and for the future, is what gets reported. There’s a very good study that was released three years ago, done by Simone Paganini, a linguist from Aachen University, which speaks of the movement of communication between the writer, what is written, and the reader. Communication always risks passing from the fact to what is reported, and this ruins communication. The fact is important, and always to be close to the fact. Even in the Curia, I see it: there is a fact and then everyone embellishes it with something that is their own, without bad intentions, this is the dynamic. So, the communicator’s discipline is always to return to the fact, to report the fact, and then to give my interpretation is this, they told me this, distinguishing the fact from what is reported. Some time ago, they told me the story of Little Red Riding Hood but based on what was reported, and it ended with Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother putting the wolf in a pot and eating it. The narrative changed things. Whatever the means of communications, the guarantee is fidelity: ‘it says that’—can it be used? Yes, it can be used in communication, but always attentive to ascertain the objectivity of ‘it’s said that…’. It is one of the values that needs to be followed in communications. Secondly, communication needs to be human, and by saying human, I mean constructive, that is, it needs to be beneficial to the other. A message cannot be used as a means of war because it is anti-human, it destroys. A little while ago, I gave Msgr Rueda an article that I found in a magazine entitled, ‘Drops of arsenic on the tongue’. Communication needs to remain at the service of building, not that of destruction. When is communication at the service of destruction? When it defends inhuman projects. Let’s think of the propaganda of the dictators of the last century. They were dictators who knew how to communicate well, but they instigated war, division and destruction. I don’t know how to say it technically because I am not well-versed on the subject. What I wanted to do was to underline the values that any means of communication must always maintain so as to remain consistent.”


Cristina Cabrejas (second question):  Let’s move on to the trip. One of the themes of this visit was the protection of the environment, of the trees, threatened by deforestation and by fires. In this moment this is happening in the Amazon. Do you think that the governments in that area are doing enough to protect this lung of the world?

Francis:  “Regarding Africa. I already said on another trip, within the collective unconscious, there is a motto: Africa can be exploited. We would never think: Europe can be exploited. We must free humanity from this collective unconsciousness. The area where the exploitation is strongest is on the environment, with deforestation, the destruction of biodiversity. A couple of months ago, I met with port chaplains and at the audience there were seven young fishermen who fished with a vessel that was no longer than this airplane. They fished with mechanical devices as is done today. They told me: in a few months, we caught 6 tons of plastic…. We have banned plastic in the Vatican, we’re working on it. This is a reality affecting only the oceans. The prayer intention for this month is specifically for the protection of the oceans, that give us the oxygen we breathe. Then there are the great lungs, in Central Africa, the entire Pan-Amazonic basin, and then there are other smaller ones. We need to defend ecology, biodiversity, that is our life; to defend the oxygen, that is our life. It comforts me that carrying this struggle forward are young people who are, who have a tremendous conscience and who say: the future is ours, do what you want with yours, but not with ours! I believe that the Paris Agreement was a good step forward, and then the others as well… These are meetings that help raise awareness. But last year during summer, when I saw that photo of the ship navigating the North Pole like nothing, I felt anguish, and just a little while ago all of us saw the photograph symbolizing a funeral for the glacier in Greeland that no longer exists. …All of this is happening quickly, we must become aware beginning with the little things. Are government leaders doing everything? Some more, others less. It is true that there is a word that I must say which is at the basis of environmental exploitation. I was moved by the article in the Messaggero by Franca [Giansoldati], which did not mince words and which spoke about the destructive, rapacious operations, and this not only in Africa but also in our cities, in our civilisations. And the horrible word is corruption: I need to do this and in order to do it I need to cut down trees in the forest and I need the government’s or the state’s permission. I go to the people responsible – and here I am literally repeating what a Spanish entrepreneur told me – and the question that we hear when we want a project approved is: “How much am I getting out of it?” said brazenly. This happens in Africa, in Latin America and also in Europe. Above all, when someone takes on social or political responsibility for personal gain, values, nature, people are exploited. Africa can be exploited…. But do we think of the many laborers who are exploited in our societies; we have people who recruit and benefit from cheap labor in Europe, the Africans did not invent it. The maid who is paid a third of what she is due was not invented by the Africans. Women deceived and exploited for prostitution in the centers of our cities was not invented by the Africans. Here too there is this type of exploitation, not only environmental, but also human. And this is corrupt. And when corruption is within the heart, get ready, because anything is possible.”


Jason Drew Horowitz (The New York Times, United States):  On the flight to Maputo you acknowledged being under attack by a segment of the American Church. Obviously, there is strong criticism from some bishops and cardinals, there are Catholic Television stations and American websites that are very critical. And there are even some of your closest allies who have spoken of a plot against you. Is there something that these critics do not understand about your pontificate? Is there something that you have learned from your critics? Are you afraid of a schism in the American Church? And if so, is there something that you could do – a dialogue – to keep it from happening?

Francis:  “First of all, criticism always helps, always. When someone receives criticism, that persons needs to do a self-critique right away and say: is this true or not? To what point? And I always benefit from criticism. Sometimes it makes you angry…. But there are advantages. Traveling to Maputo, one of you gave me that book in French on how the Americans want to change the Pope. I knew about that book, but I had not read it. Criticisms are not coming only from the Americans, they are coming a bit from everywhere, even from the Curia. At least those that say them have the benefit of the honesty of having said them. I do not like it when criticism stays under the table: they smile at you letting you see their teeth and then they stab you in the back. That is not fair, it is not human. Criticism is a component in construction, and if your criticism is unjust, be prepared to receive a response, and get into dialogue, and arrive to the right conclusion. This is the dynamic of true criticism. The criticism of the arsenic pills, instead, of which we were speaking regarding the article that I gave to Msgr Rueda, it’s like throwing the stone and then hiding your hand… This is not beneficial, it is no help. It helps small cliques, who do not want to hear the response to their criticism. Instead, fair criticism – I think thus and so – is open to a response. This is constructive. Regarding the case of the Pope: I don’t like this aspect of the Pope, I criticize him, I speak about him, I write an article and ask him to respond, this is fair. To criticize without wanting to hear a response and without getting into dialogue is not to have the good of the Church at heart, it is chasing after a fixed idea, to change the Pope or to create a schism. This is clear: a fair criticism is always well received, at least by me. Secondly, the problem of the schism: within the Church there have been many schisms. After the First Vatican Council, for example, the last vote, the one on infallibility, a well-sized group left and founded the Old Catholic Church so as to remain “true” to the tradition of the Church. Then they developed differently and now they ordain women. But in that moment they were rigid, they rallied behind orthodoxy and thought that the council had erred. Another group left very, very quietly, but they did not want to vote. Vatican II had these things among its consequences. Perhaps the most well-known post-conciliar split is that of Lefebvre. In the Church there is always the option for schism, always. But it is an option that the Lord leaves to human freedom. I am not afraid of schisms, I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people’s spiritual health. Let there be dialogue, let there be correction if there is an error, but the schismatic path is not Christian. Let’s think about the beginnings of the Church, how it began with many schisms, one after the other: Arians, Gnostics, Monophysites… An anecdote is coming to mind that I would like to recount: it was the people of God who saved [the Church] from the schisms. The schismatics always have one thing in common: they separate themselves from the people, from the faith of the people of God. And when there was a discussion in the council of Ephesus regarding Mary’s divine maternity, the people – this is history – were at the entrance of the cathedral while the bishops entered to take part in the council. They were there with clubs. They made the bishops see them as they shouted, “Mother of God! Mother of God!”, as if to say: if you do not do this, this is what you can expect… The people of God always correct and help. A schism is always an elitist separation stemming from an ideology detached from doctrine. It is an ideology, perhaps correct, but that engages doctrine and detaches it… And so I pray that schisms do not happen, but I am not afraid of them. This is one of the results of Vatican II, not because of this or that Pope. For example, the social things that I say are the same things that John Paul II said, the same things! I copy him. But they say: the Pope is a communist… Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism. There’s the ideology of the primacy of a sterile morality regarding the morality of the people of God. The pastors must lead their flock between grace and sin, because this is evangelical morality. Instead, a morality based on such a pelagian ideology leads you to rigidity, and today we have many schools of rigidity within the Church, which are not schisms, but pseudo-schismatic Christian developments that will end badly. When you see rigid Christians, bishops, priests, there are problems behind that, not Gospel holiness. So, we need to be gentle with those who are tempted by these attacks, they are going through a tough time, we must accompany them gently.”


Aura Vistas Miguel (Radio Renascença, Portugal):  We know that you do not like visiting countries during the electoral campaign process, yet you did it in Mozambique, one month away from elections, the president who invited you being one of the candidates. How come?

Francis:  “Yes. It was not a mistake, it was a freely decided choice, because the campaign process that begins in these days took second place in respect to the peace process. What was important was helping to consolidate this process. And this is more important than a campaign that had not yet begun. Weighing out the two things, the peace process needed to be consolidated. What’s more, I also met with the two political rivals, to underline that this is what was important, and not to rally for the president but to emphasize the unity of the country. What you are saying is true, however: we must separate ourselves a bit from electoral campaigns.


source: Pope Francis' in-flight press conference: full text, Vatican News, 10 September 2019.