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Pope talks to reporters about democracy, Paris archbishop, EU Christmas document (Vatican News)

In an exchange with reporters who accompanied him on his return flight to Rome on December 6, Pope Francis spoke about dangers to democracy, the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris, and an European Union document that had suggested avoiding references to the Christmas season.

The European document “is an anachronism,” the Pope said, and conveys only “watered-down secularism.”

Regarding Archbishop Aupetit, whose resignation he had accepted, the Pope said that charges of an improper relationship deserved investigation, “but it should not be the public that condemns.” He reminded reporters that they knew little or nothing about the charges against the archbishops, and “if we don’t know the accusation, we can’t condemn him.”

Enlarging on his talk in Athens about dangers to democracy, the Pope said: “The weakening of democracy is caused by the danger of populism.” He went on to refer to “the danger of these references to international economic and cultural powers.” However, he closed by saying: “That’s what comes to mind, but I’m not a political scientist.”


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