Pope Francis: “The Lord blesses everyone, everyone, everyone”

Interview by Fabio Fazio in the program “Che tempo che fa” of the Italian television channel Nove talks about the recent document “Fiducia Supplicans”

Blessings for everyone, also for “irregular” couples, imitating God who is “good” and not “punishing” and “blesses everyone, everyone, everyone”; the “fear” of a war escalation and humanity’s capacity for “self-destruction”; the confirmation that he has no intention of resigning and the announcement of two trips: to Polynesia, in August, and to his native Argentina, at the end of the year. These are some of the topics discussed by Pope Francis in the interview given to journalist Fabio Fazio for the Italian program “Che tempo che fa”, broadcast by the Italian television channel Nove this afternoon, January 14. Already in 2021, Francis had given an interview to the same popular program (at that time broadcast on Rai); Today, a new conversation of less than an hour to reflect on issues related to current events, the challenges of the world, of the Church, of the pontificate.

Blessings for “everyone, everyone, everyone”

The Pope responds to a question about the document of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Fiducia Supplicans, which opens the possibility of blessing couples in “irregular” situations concerning Catholic morality, including same-sex couples. Document that has left a record of diverse, even contradictory, reactions. Francis recognizes that “sometimes decisions are not accepted” but many times “it is because we do not know”; then reaffirms that principle of “everyone, everyone, everyone” already expressed during the WYD in Lisbon: “The Lord blesses everyone, everyone, everyone, who comes. The Lord blesses all who are capable of being baptized, that is, to each person. But then people must enter into conversation with the blessing of the Lord and see what is the path that the Lord proposes to them. But we must take them by the hand and help them walk that path, not condemn them from the beginning.”

Confessors forgive everything

This is “the pastoral work of the Church” and it is a “very important” task of the confessors, to whom Francis reiterates the invitation to “forgive everything” and treat people “with great kindness.” He himself, he reveals, in 54 years of priesthood, only once denied forgiveness “due to the person’s hypocrisy”: “I have always forgiven everything, but I will also say it with the awareness that that person may relapse, but the “Lord forgives us, helps us not to relapse, or to relapse less, but he always forgives.”

The Lord “is not scandalized by our sins, because He is father, and accompanies us,” affirms Pope Francis, trusting that he likes to wait for hell to be empty.

The risk of wars

Once again, as in these 100 days of conflict in the Middle East and in these almost two years of aggression against Ukraine, the Pope stigmatizes the horror of war: “It is true that it is risky to make peace, but war is more risky “. And he talks about a meeting he had last Wednesday with a delegation of children from Ukraine: “None of them smiled. The children smile spontaneously, I gave them chocolates, and they did not smile. They had forgotten their smile, and for a child to forget his smile is a crime. This makes war: it prevents you from dreaming.”

“Behind wars,” insists the Bishop of Rome, “is the arms trade. An economist told me that, at this moment, the investments that generate the most interest, the most money, are arms factories. Invest to kill.”

Fear of war escalation

Then, the Bishop of Rome confesses a personal fear: “This escalation of war scares me, because this fact of taking warlike steps in the world makes one wonder how we will end. With atomic weapons now, which destroy everything. How will we end? How will we end? “Noah’s Ark? This scares me. The capacity for self-destruction that humanity has today.”

So much cruelty towards migrants

In the interview there is also space for the topic so dear to the Pontiff, that of immigrants, with the memory of the hug he gave to Pato, the young Cameroonian who lost his wife and his 6-year-old daughter last year due to from hunger, heat and thirst in the desert between Tunisia and Libya. Francis received him in November in Santa Marta. “There is a lot of cruelty in the treatment of these immigrants when they leave their homes to arrive here in Europe,” he says, recalling the dramatic situation of many people in the Libyan concentration camps and the tragedy of February 2022 in Cutro, on the coast from Calabria. “It is true that everyone has the right to stay in their own home and to emigrate,” says the Pope, but “please do not close the doors.” What is needed is a “well-thought-out” immigration policy that helps “take the immigrant problem into our own hands” and “eliminate all these mafias that exploit immigrants.”


Turning the focus to the Church, the Pontiff speaks of reforms. The first thing that must be implemented is “a reform of the hearts”, then we move on to the structures that “must be preserved, modified, reformed according to the objective.” But the first thing to do is “change the heart” and cleanse it of malice and envy, the “yellow vice that ruins all relationships.”

No to resignation, yes to trips to Polynesia and Argentina

Finally, there is a question about his possible resignation from the pontificate: “It is neither a thought nor a concern, nor even a wish. It is a possibility, open to all Popes, but at the moment it is not at the center of my thoughts and of my anxieties, of my feelings”. To confirm these words, Francis announces the two trips planned as hypotheses in previous interviews: Polynesia and Argentina. In Argentina – where he was officially invited with a letter from the new president Javier Milei – the Pontiff could go at the end of the year: “Their people are suffering a lot. It is a difficult time for the country. The possibility of making a trip is being considered in the second half of the year, because now there is a change of government, there are new things… In August, I have to make the trip to Polynesia, very far away, and after this I would make the trip to Argentina if it can be done. I want to go there. Ten years are fine, it’s fine, I can go.”

Salvatore Cernuzio – Vatican News