Bolaños, after meeting with the Pope: "I see him fit to continue"

Pope Francis, in the wheelchair he uses to get around due to his knee problems, together with the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. / ef

The Minister of the Presidency assures that the Government of Pedro Sánchez shares Francisco's values ​​of "dialogue and solidarity"

The meeting between the Pope and the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, lasted 50 minutes at the Vatican, repeatedly describing his dialogue with the Pontiff as "inspiring", whom he considered "a good man" whose values ​​of " dialogue and solidarity" also inspire the Government of Pedro Sánchez. After his conversation with Francisco, Bolaños is convinced that the rumors that he is thinking of resigning from the pontificate are unfounded.

“He has told me that he is recovering from his knee injury. I see him with a strength and an ability to continue with his pontificate beyond any doubt. It seems to me that he is very committed to the work he is doing », declared the minister in his appearance before the media at the Spanish embassy to the Holy See after his private audience with the bishop of Rome.

For Bolaños there is no doubt that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is going to continue with the "reform process that he is carrying out to bring the Catholic Church closer to the citizenry," since in the conversation he conveyed to him that he is "recovering well" from the problems of knee, which he hopes to have completely overcome "in the near future". His attitude is also very good, since he is "very lively." "I have seen him absolutely fit to continue with his pontificate," insisted the member of the Government.

Bolaños took advantage of the private audience with the Pope, something unusual in ministers, since the Pontiff usually receives only heads of state or government, to renew the invitation so that "when he can" travel to Spain. "It has open doors to visit our country when it deems appropriate," he said, without wanting to go into details about a possible presence of the Bishop of Rome in the celebrations of the Xacobeo or the Ignatian Year, something that is already considered impossible in ecclesial circles.

The conversation addressed some of the burning issues in the relationship between the Government of Spain and the Spanish Church, such as the commission to investigate the sexual abuse of minors committed by ecclesiastics. Although Bolaños did not want to go into detail, he acknowledged that there was talk of "the relationship with the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE)" and the collaboration between both institutions, in which there are "points of divergence" on certain issues that he did not clarify. .

The Pope, he assured, "welcomed" that these differences existed, emphasizing that it is on these points where dialogue is most important. "He has congratulated us that the communication is continuous, encouraging us to continue advancing." In the minister's opinion, the joint working groups between the Executive and the EEC "are working well", although work must continue to reach "agreements in the near future" in some areas that he did not define.

When asked about the issue of sexual abuse committed by ecclesiastics, Bolaños expressed his desire that the Catholic Church "collaborate" with the investigation commission promoted by the Ombudsman. It would be "beneficial" for the Christian community itself to "clarify" this scourge, thus preventing "it from happening again", and also to "give affection and protection to the victims".

The minister gave the Pope an illuminated copy of an excerpt from the Cantigas de Santa María, made by students from a workshop for unemployed youth, saffron from Villafranca de los Caballeros, which he considered "the best in the world", two bottles of saffron oil olive from cooperatives in Jaén and bananas grown on the island of La Palma. These fruits were a gesture of recognition for the solidarity shown by Francisco with the population of this Canary Island during the eruption of the volcano.

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