Returning from his visit to Fatima, May 12-13, 2017, Pope Francis held his traditional inflight “press conference” with journalists onboard the papal plane touching on a wide range of issues.
The first questions related to his just-concluded Apostolic Pilgrimage to Fatima, on his visit, the Holy Father reflected: “Fatima certainly has a message of peace. It’s brought to humanity by three great communicators that were less than 13 years old, which is interesting. Yes, I came as a pilgrim.”
When asked what remains now of this historic moment for the Church, Francis said: ‘a message of peace.”
A correspondent asked the Holy Father about his upcoming May 24 visit with US President Donald Trump, asking his opinion about his “meet[ing] a head of State who seems to think and act contrary to you.”
To this Pope Francis responded, “I never make a judgment of a person without listening to them. I believe that I should not do this. In our talk things will come out, I will say what I think, he will say what he thinks, but I never, ever, wanted to make a judgment without hearing the person.”
“Always there are doors that are not closed. Look for the doors that are at least a little bit open, enter and talk about common things and go on. Step by step.”
“Peace is handcrafted. It is made every day. Also friendship among people, mutual knowledge, esteem, is handcrafted. It’s made every day. Respect the other, say that which one thinks, but with respect, but walk together … someone thinks of one way or the other, but say that …. Be very sincere with what everyone thinks, no?”
When the correspondent followed up his question with : “Do you hope to soften his decisions after the meeting?,” Pope Francis answered: “This is a political calculation that I do not permit myself to make.”
The Holy Father also responded to an assortment of other questions ranging from Medjugorje, Lefebvriani, Marie Collins, and ecumenism.
Pope Francis’ May 12-13 Apostolic Pilgrimage to the Portuguese town for the centenary of the Marian apparitions marks Francis’ 19th Apostolic Visit abroad and his 28th country visited.