An Interview with Pope Francis on Twitter

A mock interview with the Holy See.

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/527746932253286400

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/449130515887435776

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/531025372884635649

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/560029550466199554

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/580311879878246400

Q: What is the best way to evangelize and convert people?

A: Practicing charity is the best way to evangelize.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/558918164604399617

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/479931670137540610

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/552056983063244801

A2: Today people are suffering from poverty, but also from lack of love.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/549882640409456640

A3: O Lord, comfort all those who suffer, especially the sick, the poor and the unemployed.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/521974984948723712

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/460697074585980928

A2: The only war that we must all fight is the one against evil #prayforpeace

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/377453964012183552

A3: May we never get used to the poverty and decay around us. A Christian must act.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/451631034631610368

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/545523426970963969

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/489711167850291200

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/403895673617002496

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/562551828340944896

A2: At times we are slaves of sin.  Lord, come to free us!

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/547345924297465856

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/568002002296258561

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/381317258955337728

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/549146503822848001

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/409323276469411840

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/556669826853134337

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/473766101554196481

A2: Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/439686629196705793

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.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/516852512628826112

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!

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/344761245183913984

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.

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces
  • amar

    The
    job description of pope is for conversion.That is what he is supposed
    to.This so called Mock interview actually has great answers by Pope .The
    institution of Pope is not for propagation of Islam or Hinduism.
    The problem here is that Hinduism has tied itself in knots.Rules have been set down that one can only be born a Hindu and not converted to Hindu.
    Religion,
    like anything else, is out there in the market.One who sells it best
    ,will sell more.While forcing by the power of sword and threat of death
    is despicable ( as well as enticement) , any one is free to advertise
    their religion and make people convert to their own religion.This is
    what Buddha himself did.
    It
    is time for Hindus to think about propagating their own religion .It is
    time for Hindus to use the same selling methods that Christians have
    used( I dont ever recommend the threat of sword conversion adapted by
    some religions).It is time for Hindus to introspect why lower castes
    left hinduism.It is time for hindus to reform their own religion, get
    rid of rigid casteism, allow conversion from other religions( Arya Samaj
    started this years ago, but never really took off .This was because
    there was no designated position for the incoming converts)
    When
    Apple and Microsoft are trying to sell their computers, the one who
    make their product more attractive and get better salesmen will do well
    and the other will decline and may be perish.

  • Dr. MS

    On this awful solemn day 9 African Americans were killed in a Southern Baptist church, in the US, while praying. The gunman is suspected to be a White Christian Supremacist (a Racist). You can catch the details at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/us/charleston-church-shooting.html?_r=0

    Will the Pope confront and correct those who preach greater and greater gun ownership in the US, militarization of the police and hatred for people of color, those who are poor, those who are different or those of poor countries?

    Heinous act was committed today…and that too in a Church. Churches are the most segregated environments in the US, and even in some parts of Europe. Kindly remember, based on numerous studies, colonialism, slavery and racism are far worse than casteism. Casteism has to go…though caste itself might be simply cultural identity, difference or separation. Casteism is different from caste. But it is time TISS, and other schools of social work start talking about global racism, global slave trade (and that too of Indians as indentured servants), enslavement of colored people, colonialism…that have been conveniently ignored in many books and curricula in India.

    Heinous act has been committed in a church today. Nine African Americans shot and killed while praying in their Church..

  • Radha Rajan

    Sandeep first, brilliant, hilarious questions to answers the (un)holy see already gave the world. On a serious note, just as Muslims tell you jihad is not real but metaphysical, the unholy see also tells you conversion is not conversion as I understand it, doesnt mean fishing in misery or getting people to change religions thru fraud, bribe or greed for money, but metaphysical and that conversion also mean conversion of christians. And the unholy see will also say evangelisation is not proselytisation, and that proselytisation is only message of gospel, not conversion and of course he runs back to square one where he says conversion is metaphysical. You see they have it all worked out in the minutest detail to tell idiot hindus who want to do inter-faith dialogue. Of course there is no dialogue. We listen nod our heads in total agreement and come away happy the Vatican invited us for dialogue..

  • cool

    Interviewer forgot to ask one imp question.

    How come so many popes have been murdered or assassinated??

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_murdered_popes

  • Dr. MS

    There were five categories of people in North America who were target of conversions: Black and Brown slaves ; Native Americans (sometimes also known as Indians) whose land was stolen and whose rights were decimated ; prisoners and the incarcerated ; poor immigrants…and those who are perceived as “having strayed” (like Jews, or Christians who follow Buddhism, Atheism, Agnosticsm, etc.).

    In countries like India everybody is a target for conversion…

    Unless non-Christians help remove or eliminate poverty, isolation, ignorance and get rid of identity conflicts in their communities, among their young or their members and make sure mental health issues are adequately addressed…conversion will not stop.

  • _chAyA_

    brilliant!