Pope Francis describes pressures of the papacy: ‘Sometimes, you feel you are numb’

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Pope Francis describes pressures of the papacy: ‘Sometimes, you feel you are numb’

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Pope Francis opened up about his daily life, private thoughts and personal struggles in a wide-ranging interview with an Argentinian priest.

The pope sat down for an interview with Guillermo Marcó, a priest from his home country of Argentina and former head of the Press Office of the Archbishopric of Buenos Aires when Pope Francis was in charge of the see.

In their lengthy interview, the pope opened up about his prayer life and the pressures of his position. Speaking about the responsibility of running one of the world’s oldest living institutions and the politics that come with it, the pontiff was open about his exhaustion.

“The Holy Spirit gives you many fruits, but no one ever talks about the things that make you numb,” the pope lamented. “And sometimes, you feel you are numb in the face of situations that should make you suffer greatly and make you move, without missing the opportunity”.

UNITED NATIONS ‘HAS NO POWER,’ POPE FRANCIS SAYS

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JUNE 29: Pope Francis leaves after the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis led the Holy Mass for Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of bishops and cardinals. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – JUNE 29: Pope Francis leaves after the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis led the Holy Mass for Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s Basilica in the presence of bishops and cardinals. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

The pope also gave passing comments on handling scandal and crisis in a worldwide church that has been rife with catastrophe over the previous decades.

“One of the things I learned here is that we do not know how to manage crises, and crises are what make us grow,” Pope Francis commented. “When you transform a crisis into conflict, you lose. Unity is greater than conflict, in other words, conflict diminishes you.”

Early in the interview, Pope Francis clarified that his entire life has been propelled by the help of others, stating that his job is informed by those he has pastored. 

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JUNE 29: Pope Francis leaves after the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis led the Holy Mass for Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of bishops and cardinals. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – JUNE 29: Pope Francis leaves after the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis led the Holy Mass for Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s Basilica in the presence of bishops and cardinals. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

“My heart is a warehouse, it’s full of things I keep. I have to expand the shelves all the time. In this I am a bit of a ‘collector’ in the good sense of the word, I don’t want to lose any of the good things that people give me,” the pope told Marcó. “People gratify you so much, with examples, with words, with one or two deeds. The priest is there to teach people, but I believe that we learn a lot from people if we look at them”.

Asked whether he still prays every day, the pope responded affirmatively, and said, “Yes, that’s right, because if you don’t pray in the morning, you don’t pray anymore, because you are caught in the meat grinder.”

VATICAN - 2022/06/29: Pope Francis leads the Holy Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Basilica. (Photo by Stefano Costantino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

VATICAN – 2022/06/29: Pope Francis leads the Holy Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica in St. Peter’s Basilica. (Photo by Stefano Costantino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

POPE SAYS SOCIETY DOES NOT ‘KNOW HOW TO LIVE’ WITH THE RISING PROPORTION OF ELDERLY CITIZENS

In recent months, the pope has agreed to a noticeable uptick of personal interviews. 

World leaders, journalists, and the Catholic faithful have paid extra attention to the pontiff after a series of health concerns and resignation rumors threatened a coming reshuffle within the Vatican.

The pope has also opened up in recent months about his own struggles with the Holy See, speaking about his old age and fragility.

However, the pontiff clarified he has no intention of resigning anytime soon.

Pope Francis presides over a mass celebrated by U.S. Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican for the participants into the World Meeting of Families in Rome, Saturday, June 25, 2022. The World Meeting of Families was created by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and celebrated every three years since then in different cities. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis presides over a mass celebrated by U.S. Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for the participants into the World Meeting of Families in Rome, Saturday, June 25, 2022. The World Meeting of Families was created by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and celebrated every three years since then in different cities. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
((AP Photo/Andrew Medichini))

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Pope Francis, during a long-form interview Monday, applauded the United States for revising its laws on abortion.

The pontiff said he respected the court’s decision but did not yet know enough about the U.S. legal system and the topic’s history to discuss its jurisprudence.

“I tell you the truth. I don’t understand it from a technical point of view,” the pope said of the SCOTUS ruling. “I have to study it because I don’t really understand the ruling 50 years ago, and now I can’t say whether it did right or wrong from a judicial point of view.” 

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