The Pope fielded questions for about an hour onboard the plane following his recent visit to South Korea for the Sixth Asian Youth Day. Issues raised during the trip included his take on the ongoing violence against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and about plans for future foreign trips.
The Pope recalled his brief meeting at Monday’s Mass in Seoul with aged, so-called “comfort women” (women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II and who have been seeking an official apology), Pope Francis marveled that “they have not lost their dignity.
“To think that in that invasion they were hauled away as girls to the barracks to be taken advantage of,” he said. The suffering of these women, martyrdom and other kinds of suffering, the Pope said, are “fruits of war . Today,” he continued, “we are in a world at war – everywhere!”