UP Catholic 10 27 2017 E Edition Page 9

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC October 27, 2017 9 BY HANNAH BROCKHAUS CNA/EWTN NEWS In a preface to a new book of interviews, Pope Francis outlined his approach to speaking with jour- nalists, explaining that he thinks interviews should be like a conversation and this is why he doesn't prepare answers in advance. "For me interviews are a dialogue, not a lesson," the pope wrote. "I do not prepare for this," he said, stating that he usually declines to read the questions when they are sent in advance, instead opting to answer organical- ly, as he would in an actual conversation. "Yes, I am still afraid of being interpreted badly," he said, but added that as a pastor, it's a risk he's willing to take. "Everything that I do has pastoral value, in one way or in another," he said. "If I did not trust this, I would not allow interviews: for me it is clear. It's a manner of communicating my ministry." Pope Francis gave his thoughts on interviews, and why and how he gives them, in a preface written for a book called "Now Ask Your Questions." The book, a collection of both new and old inter- views with the pope, was compiled by Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, editor-in-chief of La Civilt Cattolica. In the preface, Pope Francis explained that for him, giving an interview is not like ascending "a pul- pit" to preach, but is a meeting between him and the journalist: "I need to meet the people and look them in the eyes," he wrote. He said he likes to speak with people from both small magazines and popular newspapers, because he feels "even more comfortable." "In fact, in those cases I really listen to the ques- tions and concerns of ordinary people," trying to answer "spontaneously" and in a "simple, popular language," he explained. He takes the same approach in press conferences aboard the papal plane when returning from apos- tolic visits, he said, though he sometimes imagines beforehand what questions journalists may ask. He knows he must be prudent, he said, and he al- ways prays to the Holy Spirit before listening to the questions and responding. Historically however, Pope Francis wasn't fond of giving interviews. I may be "tough," the pope said, but I'm also shy, stating that as archbishop of Bue- nos Aires, he was a little afraid of journalists. "I've always been worried about bad interpreta- tions of what I say," he wrote. As with interviews in the past, he said he was hesitant to accept Father Spadaro's request, though eventually he did and gave two long interviews for the book. The compilation also includes various conversa- tions with fellow Jesuits, which Pope Francis said are the moments he usually feels the most comfort- able and free to speak. "I'm glad they've been included in this collection," he said, since he feels like he is speaking among fam- ily members and doesn't fear being misunderstood. Included in the book "are also two conversations with the superior generals of religious groups. I have always requested a real dialogue for them. I never wanted to give speeches and not have to listen to them," he said. "To me, to converse always felt the best way for us to really meet each other." These conversations, which take place in meetings and interviews, are united in form to how he delivers his daily homilies at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta every morning, which is sort of his "parish," he said. "I want a Church that knows how to get involved in people's conversations, that knows how to dialogue," he explained. "It is the Church of Emmaus, in which the Lord 'in- terviews' the disciples who are walking, discouraged. For me, an interview is part of this conversation of the Church with the people of today." Pope Francis: Interviews aren't preaching, but conversation L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO Known for giving spontaneous interviews to journalists while traveling, Pope Francis arrives in Bogota, Colombia for his papal trip to the country on Sept. 6, 2017.

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