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Pope Francis ‘astonished’ by disruption at US Capitol

Pope Francis ‘astonished’ by disruption at US Capitol

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica Jan. 6, 2021. VATICAN MEDIA

By Hannah Brockhaus

Catholic News Agency

January 10, 2021

VATICAN— Pope Francis has said he was surprised by the news of the incursion of pro-Donald Trump protestors into the U.S. Capitol Building this week, and has encouraged people to learn from the event in order to heal.

“I was astonished, because they are a people so disciplined in democracy, right? But it’s a reality,” the pope said in a video clip published to the website of the Italian news program TgCom24 on Jan. 9.

“Something isn’t working,” Francis continued. With “people taking a path against the community, against democracy, against the common good. Thanks be to God that this has broken out and there was a chance to see it well so that now you can try and heal it. Yes, this must be condemned, this movement…”

The clip was published as a preview of a longer interview with Pope Francis by Vatican journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, who works for the Italian television network Mediaset.

The interview will air on Jan. 10, and will be followed by a Mediaset-produced film on the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, from his youth in Argentina until his election as Pope Francis in 2013.

Pro-Donald Trump protesters penetrated the Capitol Building Jan. 6 as Congress was in the process of certifying the presidential election results, leading to the evacuation of lawmakers and the deadly shooting of one protester by law enforcement. A U.S. Capitol police officer also died from injuries sustained during the attack, and three other protesters died due to medical emergencies.

In the interview clip, Pope Francis commented on the violence, saying “no people can boast about never having a day with a case of violence, it happens throughout history. But we have to understand well that it does not repeat, learning from history.”

He added that “sooner or later,” something like this will happen with groups that are not “well-integrated into the society.”

According to TgCom24, other topics in the new papal interview include politics, abortion, the coronavirus pandemic and how it has changed the pope’s life, and the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine. It is an ethical option, because you gamble with your health, your life, but you also gamble the lives of others,” Francis reportedly said.

The pope also reportedly said that next week they will begin to administer the vaccine in the Vatican, and he has “booked” his appointment to receive it. “It must be done,” he stated.


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