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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis lamented that the usage of weapons by civilians to defend themselves is changing into a “behavior.”

In an interview on Tuesday with The Related Press, the pontiff, who has often criticized the arms business, was requested concerning the massive variety of weapons in civilian arms and frequent massacres in america. Francis expressed concern about how recourse to weapons has develop into “behavior.”

“I say when you must defend your self, all that’s left is to have the weather to defend your self. One other factor is how that must defend oneself lengthens, lengthens, and turns into a behavior,’’ Francis mentioned. “As an alternative of creating the hassle to assist us stay, we make an effort to assist us kill.”

Francis has denounced the arms business as trafficking in dying. Francis mentioned he needs to attract consideration to the issue by saying: “Please, let’s say one thing that may cease this.”

The AP requested the query concerning the proliferation of weapons amongst civilians after latest days noticed a number of shootings, together with in California.

Listed below are another key takeaways from the interview.


Saying “we should stroll patiently in China,” Pope Francis views continued dialogue with Beijing because the guideline in his efforts to safeguard his flock, who’re a small minority within the Asian nation.

The AP requested what comes subsequent within the diplomatic overtures between the nations.

“We’re taking steps,” Francis replied. “Every case (of a bishop’s nomination) is checked out with a magnifying lens.” The pontiff added that “that’s the primary factor, the dialogue doesn’t break.”

As for Chinese language authorities, “generally they’re a bit of closed, generally not,” Francis mentioned.

The pope sidestepped a query about how the Vatican’s relationship with Taiwan impacts the dialogue. The Holy See is among the few states to keep up formal ties with Taiwan as an alternative of with China.

Francis has been criticized by extra conservative factions of the Catholic Church for a 2018 settlement with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in China, given how that nation’s Communist authorities have at occasions imprisoned clergymen. Amongst his harshest critics is Cardinal Joseph Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.

Within the interview, Francis referred to as Zen, who’s 91, a “charming outdated man,” and a “tender soul.” He recounted how, when the cardinal got here to Rome this month for the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI, the pontiff invited him to the Vatican resort the place Francis lives. In entrance of the pope’s personal research is a statue depicting Our Woman of Sheshan. Francis mentioned when the cardinal noticed it, ”he started to cry, like a baby.”

Zen was arrested final yr after he fell afoul of Hong Kong authorities over his participation in a now-silenced democracy motion.

Pope Francis has stepped up his criticism of discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ group. He referred to as legal guidelines criminalizing homosexuals unjust however reiterated Catholic Church educating that gay exercise is sinful.

Bantering with himself, Francis articulated the place: “It’s not a criminal offense. Sure, however it’s a sin. Superb, however first let’s distinguish between a sin and a criminal offense.”


The 86-year-old pontiff was requested to evaluate his well being.

“I’m in good well being. For my age, I’m regular. I’d die tomorrow, however I’m underneath management. I at all times ask for the grace the Lord will give me a humorousness,” he mentioned.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was the primary pontiff in 600 years to resign. Following Benedict’s dying, Francis was additionally requested concerning the want for guidelines for any future retirement.

“After some extra expertise … then it may very well be extra regularized or regulated,” he mentioned. “However for the second it hasn’t occurred to me.”

The pope urged that East Timor’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning independence hero was certainly allowed to retire early slightly than face prosecution or punishment following intercourse abuse allegations.

Francis additionally denied he had a task in deciding the case of a well-known Jesuit artist whose seemingly preferential therapy solid doubt on the Vatican’s dedication to cracking down on abuse.

He acknowledged the Catholic Church nonetheless had a protracted technique to go to take care of the issue.


The pontiff warned there’s a danger {that a} reform course of within the German Catholic Church over requires married clergymen and different doable liberalizing strikes would possibly develop into harmfully “ideological.”

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