Cardinal Hollerich, S.J. - Copyright: Vatican Media

A Chat With Cardinal Hollerich

New Cardinal of Luxembourg Speaks to ZENIT and Other Journalists, Also in Japanese

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The new cardinal of Luxembourg says that even if Pope Francis expressed his desire to visit the small countries in Europe, that he would not likely be inviting him any time soon to his small country, suggesting Francis has more important peripheral priorities.
He told this to ZENIT when they inquired about a potential papal trip, when speaking to journalists in the Holy See Press Office around the Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals days before the Synod.
Undergoing Personal Conversion to Christ
Responding to what were his hopes for the Church, and what he would like to change. “The first thing I have to change is myself,” noting he also needs to get used to the new context.
 Pope Francis, he went on to recall, always invites us to a personal conversion to Christ.
“We have to undergo a conversion to Christ so that the Gospel can really be heard,» he said, underscoring: “We have to change ourselves to show Christ’s message can be attractive today.”
Wouldn’t Dare…
Zenit recalled how on a recent papal flight, during the press conference on the return trip, Francis when asked if he would visit Spain, noted how when it comes to upcoming European trips, that his focus would be on the smaller, more peripheral countries.
Asked whether he hopes for Francis to visit the small flock in the small country of Luxembourg, he said: “I would be happy but I wouldn’t dare invite the Holy Father to Luxembourg because Luxembourg is not exactly the peripheries.»
«I think there are so many other places which should first be a priority for the Pope.”
Country of His Dreams
When the new Jesuit cardinal who knows Japanese, and spent years in the country, was asked about the Pontiff’s upcoming trip there and to Thailand, Nov. 19-26, 2019, he said: «The Pope loves Japan. He wanted to be a missionary in Japan. I think for him this is really a dream.” “He was not sent, but when he was prevented, he sent some Jesuits to Japan. They had the chance to go and learn Japanese from them.”
“I think for him,” he pondered, “I really think he is going to the country of his dreams.” Journalists also were impressed when two Japanese journalists asked him questions, and he spoke freely with them in Japanese.
Jesuits Back to Mission
Someone asked about whether there was Jesuit influence on the Pope, to which he responded: «very small.» “I’d like to see the impact of this Pope on the Jesuits,” he said smiling.
“The Pope,” The cardinal observed, “helps put all the Jesuits back to their first mission to serve the Church.”
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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