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Pope Francis addresses journalists aboard the plane heading to Sarajevo

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Text of Pope’s Press Conference on Return Flight From Sarajevo

Pope Responds to Reporters on Way Back to Rome

Below is a ZENIT translation of the press conference with Pope Francis and journalists on board the plane held on the return flight from Sarajevo to Rome Saturday evening:

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Father Lombardi: Holiness, thank you for being here in our midst, and for having greeted us all. We thought that you would be very tired this evening and therefore, that we could not take advantage  … Then we saw you “unleashed” with the young people. So, okay, now we can also ask you some questions.

Pope Francis: What does “unleashed” mean? Explain it to me well …

Father Lombardi: It means that you were really full of energy. The young people were very happy. Now we have chosen three questions by drawing lots and then, if you wish, we will ask others, otherwise we will stay with the three questions …

The first we ask of our Croat Silvije Tomasevic, who is here:

Silvije Tomasevic: Good evening, Holiness, naturally many Croats have come here on pilgrimage, who ask if Your Holiness will come to Croatia … However, as we are in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is much interest in your judgment on the phenomenon of Medjugorje.

Pope Francis: On the issue of Medjugorje, in his time Pope Benedict XVI established a Commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini; there were also other Cardinals, theologians and specialists there. They carried out the study and Cardinal Ruini came to me and gave me the study, after so many years – I don’t know, 3-4 years more or less. They did a good job, a good job. Cardinal Muller [Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] told me that he had had a “feria quarta” [an apposite meeting] during those times. I believe it was held the last Wednesday of the month, but I’m not sure … [Note of Father Lombardi: in fact, there has not yet been a feria quarta dedicated to this subject]. We are there to make decisions. Then they will be told. For the moment only some guidelines are given to Bishops, but along the lines that will be decided. Thank you!

Silvije Tomasevic: And the visit to Croatia?

Pope Francis: The visit to Croatia? I don’t know when it will be. Now I remember the question that you asked me when I went to Albania: “You begin the visit in Europe to a country that does not belong to the European Community,” and I answered: “It’s a sign. I would like to begin to make visits in Europe, beginning with the smallest countries and the Balkans, [they] are martyred countries, they have suffered so much!” They have suffered so much … And that’s why my preference is here. Thank you!

Father Lombardi: Now, the second question will be asked by Anna Chiara Valle of “Famiglia Cristiana.”

Anna Chiara Valle: You have spoken of those who deliberately foment a climate of war and then you said to young people: it is the powerful who speak openly of peace and surreptitiously trade in weapons. Can you deepen this concept?

Pope Francis: Yes, there is always hypocrisy! Therefore, I have said that it’s not enough to talk of peace: peace must be made! And one who only speaks of peace and doesn’t make it is in contradiction; and one who speaks of peace and favors war – for instance, with the sale of arms – is a hypocrite. It’s that simple …

Father Lombardi: Then the third question is Katia Lopez Hodoyan’s of the Spanish-speaking group.

Katia Lopez Hodoyan: (question in Spanish). Holy Father, in your last meeting with young people you spoke in detail of the need to pay much attention to what they read, to what they see; you did not say exactly the word “pornography,” but you said “evil reveries.” Can you deepen this concept of the waste of time…?

Pope Francis: They are two different things: the ways and the contents. On the ways, there is one that harms the soul and it is to be too attached to the computer. Too attached to the computer! This does harm to the soul and takes away freedom: it makes one a slave of the computer. It’s curious, in many families the father and mother tell me: we are at table with our children and they are with their phone in another world. It’s true that virtual language is a reality that we can’t deny: we must lead it on the right path, because it’s a progress of humanity. However, when this takes us away from common life, from family life, from social life, but also from sport, from art and we remain attached to the computer, this is a psychological sickness — certainly! Second: the contents. Yes, there are filthy things, which go from pornography to semi-pornography, to empty programs without values: for instance, relativistic, hedonistic, consumerist programs that foment all these things. We know that consumerism is a cancer of society; relativism is a cancer of society; I shall speak about this in the next Encyclical, which will come out this month. I don’t know if I’ve answered you. I have said the word “filth” to say something general, but we all know this. There are parents who are very concerned who do not allow computers in their children’s rooms. The computers should be in a common place of the home. These are little helps that parents find to avoid precisely this.

Father Lombardi: Thank you, Holy Father! The organization says that the distribution of food must be done and these other things … We will land in half an hour…

Pope Francis: Thank you for your work, for your effort on this trip. Thank you so much, thank you so much for your work! And pray for me, thank you!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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