Pope Francis spoke to Argentina’s national news agency, Télam, in a longform interview. The questions and discussion were conducted in Pope Francis’s native language, Spanish.
The pontiff fielded questions on a variety of topics including climate change, the pandemic, poverty and his own decade of the papacy.
At one point in the interview, Pope Francis was asked about the endurance and longevity of “multilateral organizations” — and whether they are able to affect peace. Notably, the pontiff spoke about the role of the United Nations and dismissed the organization as powerless.
“After World War II, trust was placed in the United Nations. It is not my intention to offend anybody, I know there are very good people working there, but at this point, the UN has no power to assert its authority,” the pope said.
Pope Francis stated that he did not mean to point fingers or offend anyone with the observation — and that the UN can occasionally offer meaningful help — but ultimately the charter of the UN does not allow it to be of much use.
He continued, “It does help to prevent wars, and I’m thinking of Cyprus, where Argentine troops are collaborating. But in order to stop a war, to resolve a conflict like the one we are seeing in Europe right now or like others around the world, it has no power. I don’t mean to offend. It is just that its constitution does not give the organization that kind of power.”
An English translation of the interview was made available by the Vatican’s official press outlet.
Last month, Pope Francis put to bed any rumors of an upcoming resignation from the papacy.
In a meeting with over a dozen Catholic bishops visiting the Vatican from Brazil, Pope Francis discussed his health and plans for the future of his reign. The pope told visiting Archbishop Roque Paloschi that resigning from the Holy See “does not cross his mind,” according to the Portuguese edition of the Vatican’s official news service.
However, the pope did not feign great health, reportedly telling the bishops that he was facing many challenges, but that he wished to live the life God gave him until the end.