Yes, right, 20 centuries later. So when the talk you could say to them: but you are Christians (he laughs).
Will you allow me a criticism…
You perhaps seldom speak about women, and when you speak, you address the issue only from the perspective of mothering, woman as bride, woman as mother, etc. And yet women are now leading states, multi-national corporations, armies. In your opinion, what place do women occupy in the Church?
Women are the most beautiful thing God has made. The Church is a woman. Church is a feminine word. We cannot do theology without this femininity. You are right, we don’t talk about this enough. I agree that we have to work more on the theology of woman. I said it and we are working on it.
You don’t see a certain underlying misogyny?
The fact is that woman was taken from a rib… (he laughs heartily). It’s a joke, I’m joking. I agree that we have to study the feminine question more deeply, otherwise we cannot understand the Church herself.
May we expect historic decisions from you, such as a woman as the head of a dicastery, I’m not saying [the Congregation] for Clergy …
(He laughs) “Beh, many times priests end up under the authority of their housekeepers.
In August you will travel to Korea. Is it the door to China? Are you pointing to Asia?
I will go to Asia twice in six months. In Korea in August to meet young Asians. In January to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Church in Asia holds great promise. Korea represents so much, it has a beautiful history behind it. It didn’t have priests for 200 years, and Catholicism advanced thanks to the laity. There were also martyrs.
With regard to China it is a great cultural challenge. Very great. And then there is the example of Matteo Ricci who did such great good…
Where is the Church of Bergoglio going?
Thanks be to God, I don’t have a Church, I follow Christ. I didn’t found anything. From the point of view of style, I haven’t changed how I was in Buenos Aires. Yes, perhaps something little, because one has to, but changing at my age would have been ridiculous. Regarding the plan, however, I am following what the cardinals requested during the General Congregations before the Conclave. I am going in that direction. The Council of eight cardinals, an external body, comes from there. They requested it so that it might help to reform the Curia. Something, by the way, which isn’t easy because you take a step, but then you see that you need to do this or that, and if before there was one dicastery they then become four. My decisions are the fruit of the pre-Conclave meetings. I haven’t done anything alone.
A democratic approach…
They were the decisions of the cardinals. I don’t know if it’s a democratic approach. I would say more synodal, even if for cardinals the word isn’t appropriate.
What is your wish the Romans for the Feast of their Patrons, Saints Peter and Paul?
That they continue to be good. They are very friendly. I see them at the audiences and when I go to the parishes. My hope is that they do not lose their joy, hope, and trust despite difficulties. The Roman dialect is also very nice.
Wojtyla learned to say a few phrases in the Roman dialect: Let’s love each other [volemose bene], let’s get to work [damose da fa’]. Have you learned any sayings in the local Roman dialect?
Just a little for now. “Live and let live” [Campa e fa’ campa’].
Courtesy of Il Messagero.