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La Repubblica Does It Again!

Not the United States variety (which is closed for the day), but the Italian newspaper. Eugenio Scalfari, its founder and the "Cardinal of Italian laicità," has interviewed Pope Francis, at the Pope's initiative. And La Repubblica, realizing its scoop, has provided an English translation.

Here is one exchange that carries further (or does it?) our discussion on mysticism.

And you think that mystics have been important for the Church?
"They have been fundamental. A religion without mystics is a philosophy."

Do you have a mystical vocation?
"What do you think?"

I wouldn't think so.
"You're probably right. I love the mystics; Francis also was in many aspects of his life, but I do not think I have the vocation and then we must understand the deep meaning of that word. The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes. Brief moments but which fill an entire life."

The rest is here.

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Just from the excerpt above: I don't know if it's a sign of playfulness or humility or wiliness, but "what do you think" is a striking question to ask at that point. Pope Francis is certainly at ease in an interview, and seems to actually enjoy it.

My goodness, there's a fellow you really would like to hug and whisper "thank you" in his ear.