Pope Francis Calls Out Church’s Greatest Challenge During His First TV Talk Show Appearance

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, Crux, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Pope Francis, Queens, NY, Vatican, World News

Currents News Staff

In a rare hour-long interview with an Italian state broadcast network, Pope Francis spoke frankly about his vision for the Church, which he described as a “Church on pilgrimage,” as well as the greatest challenges it faces, namely spiritual worldliness. 

“Today, the Church’s greatest evil is spiritual worldliness, a worldly Church,” the pontiff said. “This worldliness inside the Church makes something ugly grow, that is clericalism, which is a perversion of the Church.”

The Holy Father discussed caring for the environment and the harmful effects of war and spoke strongly about the conditions of migrants who are held in lagers, the German word for the labor camps used during the Holocaust. 

“With migrants, what they are doing is criminal,” Pope Francis said. “They suffer so much to reach the sea. There are videos of the lagers, and I use this word seriously, lagers, in Libya, trafficker camps. The fact that the Mediterranean is the largest cemetery of Europe should make us think.”

After being spotted while visiting a record shop in Rome, the pontiff was also asked about his music taste, and referred to his roots as a “porteño,” a colloquial term for someone from Buenos Aires.

“You’ve been asked if you danced tango, and you said yes, that when you were young you sometimes danced tango,” the host asked.

“Well a porteño who doesn’t dance tango is not a porteño,” Pope Francis said.

The pontiff also shared other personal anecdotes, discussing his decision not to live in the papal apartments in order to be around others, and how as a child he hoped to one day become a butcher. Pope Francis usually ends his comments by saying “Don’t forget to pray for me” and at the end of his TV appearance he added, “For those of you who don’t pray, at least send me good thoughts.”