Seoul to Rome: The Pope's plane interview in full

Pope on the flight

Returning from Korea, the Pope covered many subjects with his travelling press corps - including 'licit' counter measures to unjust aggression, and where he would like to travel next. America Online has the full transcript.


But the most revealing comments from Pope Francis were in response to a question about his relationship with the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. In his answer, Pope Francis signalled that he might, at some stage, follow Benedict's example.

Q. What kind of relationship is there between you and Benedict XVI? Do you have a regular exchange of opinions? Is there a common project after the encyclical (Light of Faith)?

A. We see each other. Before I departed [for Korea] I went to visit him. Two weeks earlier he sent me an interesting written text and he asked my opinion on it. We have a normal relationship.

I return to this idea, which may not be liked by some theologian. I am not a theologian, but I think that the Emeritus Pope is not an exception. But after many centuries he is the first Emeritus. Let us think about what he said, I have got old, I do not have the strength. It was a beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage.

But if one thinks that 70 years ago emeritus bishops also were an exception. They did not exist, but today emeritus bishops are an institution.

I think that the Emeritus Pope is already an institution because our life gets longer and at a certain age there isn't the capacity to govern well because the body gets tired, and maybe one's health is good but there isn't the capacity to carry forward all the problems of a government like that of the Church. I think that Pope Benedict made this gesture of Emeritus Popes. May, as I said before, some theologian may say this is not right, but I think this way. The centuries will tell us if this is so or not. Let's see.

But you could say to me, if you at some time felt you could not go forward, I would do the same! I would do the same. I would pray, but I would do the same. He [Pope Benedict] opened a door that is institutional, not exceptional.

Our relationship is truly that of brothers. But I also said that I felt as if I have a grandfather at home because of his wisdom. He is a man of wisdom, of nuance that is good for me to hear him. And he encourages me sufficiently too. That's the relationship I have with him.

Full text of the Pope's interview CLICK HERE.

Related coverage:

Pope on Korea trip: memory, hope, witness (Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis in Seoul (The New York Times)

Pope Francis meets Jesuits in Seoul: "Don't scold the people of God, console them" (Vatican Insider)

Pope Francis greets former 'comfort women' during Mass in Seoul (Japan Times)

Who needs a Popemobile? Francis shuns his personal helicopter and takes the train to Mass in Korea (The Daily Mail)

Pope's trip opens major opportunity for Church in Asia (Ucanews)

Korean nuns voice joy, gratitude for audience with Pope (CNA)

La presse coréenne salue le voyage du pape François (La Croix)

Photgraphic coverage:

The Big Picture (The Boston Globe

On YouTube:

Pope talks about Iraq, his health and future travel plans (Rome Reports/YouTube)

Pope Francis squeezes into Kia in Seoul for South Korea tour (The Telegraph, London)


Pope Francis Surprises, Speaks English In South Korea (CBS, New York)

Papal travels effect on the world (CNS)

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