On the plane bringing him back from his apostolic trip to the Far East, Pope Francis answered several questions from accredited journalists, referring to the topics of nuclear energy, Vatican finances, and global geopolitics.
As an obligatory point of passage, the papal press conference at an altitude of over 30,000 feet has become, over the years, a kind of flying magisterium by which the sovereign pontiff talks about the most burning news stories.
In this way, Pope Francis reaffirmed his opposition in principle to the military use of nuclear technology: “The use of nuclear weapons is immoral, which is why it must be written into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and not only its use, but also its possession, because an accident, or the madness of a ruler, the madness of one person could destroy humanity.”
In terms of civilian nuclear power, the pontiff did not hide his reservations: “The use of nuclear energy is very ‘limited’ because we have not yet achieved total security…This is a personal opinion, I will not use nuclear energy until its use is completely secure.”
On the question of Vatican finances and the management of Peter’s Pence, the pope returned, without naming it, to the alleged fraudulent purchase—for several hundred million euros—of a property in the heart of London: “Then what happened, happened. A scandal. They did things that appear not to be clean.” Without denying the seriousness of the affair, Francis added: “there is capital that is not administered well…it is not good for these things to be happening inside the Vatican. But they are being resolved by internal mechanisms that Pope Benedict XVI introduced, and that are beginning to work.”
On South America, the Argentine pope—perhaps just because of its origin—did not wish to comment: “I still haven’t found a good analysis done on the situation in Latin America.”
As for the situation in Hong Kong, the successor of Peter was careful to spare the Beijing regime responsible for an explosive situation, dismissing the subject: “when we think about it, it’s not just Hong Kong. Think about Chile, think about France, democratic France: a year of yellow vests… It is better to put things in perspective and to call for dialogue, for peace, so that problems can be resolved. And finally: I would like to go to Beijing, I love China,” he said.
Cardinal Zen recently commented on this subject, “The Vatican has not said anything about the Hong Kong crisis so far. Pope Francis, who speaks of so many topics in the news, who speaks against the United States, against the mafia, against so many things, said nothing about Hong Kong. He does not want to upset the Beijing government. He hopes to make a trip to China, and under the influence of Cardinal Parolin, his secretary of state, he is too diplomatic and too political.”