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Unafraid to serve

· Final celebrations of World Youth Day on Copacabana beach ·

The next international gathering of youth will be in Krakow 2016

“I like being a bishop. In Buenos Aires I was happy, I was happy and the Lord assisted me”. “I am also happy to be Pope. When the Lord places you there, if you do what he tells you, you are happy”. To do the work of a bishop “is a beautiful thing! The problem is when one seeks to do that job, and that is not very nice, that is not the Lord”. It is dangerous to “feel superior to others, a bit haughty .... but the work of a bishop is beautiful”, especially if you are able to be “in front of, among and behind the people .... to guide them, supporting communion, and to be guided”.

Pope Francis appeared unexpectedly in the section reserved for journalists on the plane Sunday evening, 28 July, as it took off from Rio de Janeiro to Rome following the 28th World Youth Day.

For an hour and fifteen minutes the Pope met the representatives from the media who have been following him during these days in Brazil, and he answered all their questions without hesitation. The interview resulted with an initial analysis of his visit, during which the Pope said he was “pleased. It was a beautiful spiritual journey that did me good. I am tired but I am fine”. Speaking of the Day he said: “The WYD Rio, in all its components, was beautiful”.

“Yesterday”, referring to the Vigil which took place Saturday, 27 July, on Copacabana beach, preceding the final Mass celebrated on Sunday morning,  he said that “extraordinary things took place. I cannot believe it: the Government says three million were present”.
On the topic of young people he emphasized their great vigour in defending their ideas: “I would say that it's necessary to listen to young people and give them the means to express themselves, and to see that they are not manipulated, because there are people who tend to exploit them”.

Then he answered the personal questions inquiring into his habits. Thus he enlightened the people who wanted to know what was in the black brief-case he carries about with him. He said that he is used to carrying it because “I normally do and we must get used to being normal”, and he assured that his brief-case “does not contain the key to an atomic bomb”, but only personal items and some books. He also confessed to being “a traveling priest”, which is why he sometimes feels as though he is “in a cage”.

The Pope then spoke about his agenda and his next commitments in Rome, Italy, and abroad. He did not miss the opportunity to respond to questions on the topics that currently interest the public. In this way, concerning the future of the Institute for Works of Religion he said: “it will certainly be transparent”. And concerning the alleged difficulty or resistance to reorganizing the Vatican, he said that he has not encountered any resistance, but that he has “found help and loyal people”.

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April 20, 2018

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