IVG, same-sex marriage, Europe... Excerpts from Pope Francis' new book

IVG, same-sex marriage, Europe… Excerpts from Pope Francis’ new book

In an autobiography to be published on March 20, Pope Francis retraces, with the help of journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, the highlights of his life and delivers his reflections on the subjects that agitate the world. Excerpts.

An intimate and political Pope Francis

Pope Francis has often shared snippets of memories of his life in Argentina, from his childhood to his election to the papal seat. In a book to be published on Wednesday March 20 (“Living. My story through the great story”, Ed. Harper Colins, 354 p.,; €20.90), he engages in a form of rereading of his life, with the help of journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona. These confidences reveal nothing that has not already been revealed in various biographies, but, in the mouth of the Pope, they take on a more intimate tone.

The Jesuit Pope remains the head of the Catholic Church: he never loses sight of current events and sends out several messages. Regarding abortion, he defends threatened conscientious objection; he calls on Europe not to let itself be drawn into “self-referential populism”; he renews his opposition to homosexual marriage; to those who contest him in the Church, he testifies to his communion with John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Christophe Chaland


“We must always defend human life, from conception until death. I will never stop saying that abortion is homicide, a criminal act, there is no other term: it means throwing away , eliminate innocent human life. It is a failure for the people who practice it and those who are complicit in it. No more abortions, please! It is essential to defend conscientious objection. How help these women? Through proximity and welcome, so that they do not come to the radical choice of abortion, which is certainly not the solution to their problems. We must make it understood that life is sacred , it is a gift that we received from God and that cannot be thrown away like this. I will shout it as long as I have a voice, I have been doing it in my speeches and in my homilies since 1969, the year of my priestly ordination and the landing of man on the Moon.”


“During my trip to Budapest in April 2023, I met the authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps. On this occasion, echoing the speech I gave at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 2014, I I spoke of the need for Europe not to be hostage to parties, a victim of self-referential populism, nor to transform itself into a fluid reality that forgets the lives of people. I spoke of the need to harmony, where each part feels part of the whole while retaining its own identity. Each people brings its wealth, its culture, its philosophy, and must be able to preserve them.

The problem is that today, this is no longer the case, the dream of the founders seems very far away. If I spoke about it in Budapest, it is precisely because I hope that these words will be listened to both by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, so that he understands the pressing need for unity, and by Brussels – which seems wanting to standardize everything – in order to respect Hungarian singularity.”

Same-sex marriage

“I imagine a mother Church, which embraces and welcomes everyone, even people who feel bad and whom we have judged in the past. I think for example of homosexual and transsexual people who seek the Lord, but who have been rejected or expelled. During the synod on synodality, more attention and welcome was asked for the members of this community and their parents. This does not mean that the Church is favorable to marriages between people of the same sex: we have no power to change the sacraments instituted by the Lord. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments and provides for the union only between a man and a woman. We do not touch it.”


“In the bombings of Gaza, I too lost several friends of Argentinian origin: it was an immense pain! People I had known for years, and who suddenly found death by the hand of man “I felt great pain to hear the daily count of victims and the news of the attacks on hospitals. To make my presence known, I remained in contact every day with the priest of Gaza, of Argentinian origin, as well as “with nuns who have been working with the population for years. I also met at the Vatican, at two separate times, the families of certain Israeli hostages and the families of Palestinians stuck in Gaza under the bombs: I can assure you that there is no difference between them! Their looks were the same: those of simple people, who need love. These eyes expressed no desire for revenge, only that of rediscovering the silence of peace and coexistence serene, without threats and without weapons.

Only in this way can there be a future for this wounded humanity.”


“When I think of the Church that will come, it is the theory of Joseph Ratzinger that comes to mind: he spoke of a Church that would move forward, but in another way: it would be a smaller, more particular institution. It was in 1969: in a cycle of radio lessons, the Bavarian theologian outlined his vision of the future, saying that the Church which awaits us will start from a minority, with few faithful, that it will put faith back at the center of experience; a more spiritual, poorer Church, which will become a house for the poor, for those who have not lost sight of God. During these years of theological dispute after the council Vatican II, Ratzinger evoked a crucial moment for human beings, a historical moment compared to which the transition from the Middle Ages to modern times seemed almost insignificant. In this context, there was a glimpse of an attempt to transform priests into a kind of civil servants, of social workers, with a purely political and not spiritual function. This is also why we must fight the scourge of clericalism: it is a perversion which can destroy the Church, because instead of promoting the laity, it kills them by exercising power over them!”

Benedict XVI

“On the morning of the 28th, I went to the Clementine Room to take leave of Pope Benedict: as a great theologian, he gave a very profound speech which impressed me because on two occasions he quoted Romano Guardini, whom I had spoken at length. studied for my doctoral thesis: “The Church is not an institution imagined and constructed at random… but a living reality… It lives in the course of time, in becoming, like any living being, it is transformed… However, his nature always remains the same, and his heart is Christ.”

We all applauded for a long time. On this occasion, Pope Benedict affirmed that, from that moment on, he promised respect and unconditional obedience to the new pope who would be elected at the conclave, and who was among us. In the years that followed, I suffered to see how his figure as pope emeritus was exploited for political and ideological ends by unscrupulous people who, not having accepted his renunciation, only thought of their own. their own earnings and their own little garden to cultivate, underestimating the dramatic possibility of a fracture within the Church.

To avoid excesses of this type, immediately after my election in 2013, when I went to visit him in Castel Gandolfo, we decided together that it would be better if he did not live as a recluse, as he had. first considered, but that he sees people and participates in the life of the Church.

Unfortunately, it was not very conclusive, because in ten years there has been no shortage of controversies and have hurt us both.”

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