On 3 Dec 2012, the Pope joined Twitter and ever since, @pontifex has been tweeting pretty regularly, May the Lord Bless Him.
Based on a curation of some of his tweets in which he weighs on weighty matters like God, Jesus, Evangelism, poverty, unemployment, and hunger, the IndiaFacts team has prepared a mock interview with the Holy See.
Basically, the methodology was simple: “based on the Pope’s X tweet, Y would be the interview question to which the X tweet is the answer.”
Q: What is the principal mission of the church?
A1: The principal mission of the Church is evangelization, bringing the Good News to everyone.
Q: What is the most optimum time for conversion?
Lent is a time of grace, a time to convert and live out our baptism fully.
Q: Are there any other situations where you seek to convert?
A: The Church is ever on a journey, seeking new ways to announce the Gospel.
Q: What is the greatest story of suffering you’ve heard of?
A: Auschwitz cries out with the pain of immense suffering and pleads for a future of respect, peace and encounter among peoples.
Q: What are your views on suffering, for example, Earthquakes, Tsunamis or say, even Auschwitz?
A: Suffering is a call to conversion: it reminds us of our frailty and vulnerability.
Q: What is the best way to evangelize and convert people?
A: Practicing charity is the best way to evangelize.
Q: What is the opportunity you see to promote charity?
A: There is so much indifference in the face of suffering. May we overcome indifference with concrete acts of charity.
Q: Who are the possible targets for conversion?
In short: The sick, the poor, those who’re suffering, the unemployed, and those who lack love.
A1: Lord, help us to recognize you in the sick, poor and suffering.
A2: Today people are suffering from poverty, but also from lack of love.
A3: O Lord, comfort all those who suffer, especially the sick, the poor and the unemployed.
Q: Why do you think people are facing so many problems? What is your approach to fight them?
A1: Inequality is the root of social evil.
A2: The only war that we must all fight is the one against evil #prayforpeace
A3: May we never get used to the poverty and decay around us. A Christian must act.
Q: For the people who were suffering from poverty – has conversion to Christianity freed them from poverty?
A: The Lord put it clearly: you cannot serve two masters. You have to choose between God and money.
Q: So…in other words, conversion to Christianity has not actually freed them from poverty?
A2: The Church, by her nature, is missionary. She exists so that every man and woman may encounter Jesus.
Q: If Conversion is not actually alleviating people from poverty, then why do we need the Church?
A: The Kingdom of Heaven is for those who place their trust in the love of God, not in material possessions.
Q: How to begin the conversation with the target regarding charity and conversion?
A1: We are all sinners. We are all called to a conversion of heart.
A2: At times we are slaves of sin. Lord, come to free us!
Q: Aren’t all of us born divine and nobody is a sinner by birth? Your comments…
A: Lord, grant us the grace to know we are sinners.
Q: What does it take to start charity and promote conversion?
A: True charity requires courage: let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need.
Q: Who are the people who’ll help you with conversion?
A: The Christian family is missionary: it announces the love of God to the world.
Q: How do you brainwash young people to work for conversion?
A: Dear young people, put your talents at the service of the Gospel, with creativity and boundless charity.
Q: Who are the members of God’s family? What is your message to them?
A: We who are Christians, members of God’s family, are called to go out to the needy and to serve them.
Q: You said conversion is the principal mission of the church. Is education part of this mission? Any message to the teachers?
A1: Thank you to all teachers: educating is an important mission, which draws young people to what is good, beautiful and true.
A2: Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.
Q: You seem to focus so much on Catholic Christians. Are non-Catholic Christians not members of God’s family? What is your message to them?
A: Division within a Christian community is a very grave sin; it is the work of the devil.
Q: You might have heard that Hinduism has a concept of Religious Pluralism. They talk of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam, and they’re happy to co-exist with Christianity while they follow their own religion and traditions. What is your message to Hindus?
A: How many kinds of moral and material poverty we face today as a result of denying God and putting so many idols in his place!
Q: The last question: is it not possible to serve mankind & humanity, without seeking conversion?
A: See the answer for the first question in this interview.