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Did Pope Francis say these words about the miracle of the loaves and fishes or not:

"This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer"?

Can we understand from this that he does not believe that fish 'plopped' into existence (a disgusting idea unless the miracle includes frying them in batter) but that it involved people sharing what they already had or even that people bought for each other?

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That sounds like the fluff Danny Boyle tried to plook forth in Millions (good movie, except for that line) –  Peter Turner May 2 at 16:28

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What the Pope actually said (from the official translation of the Italian) was

Looking at those five loaves, Jesus thinks: this is Providence! From this small amount, God can make it suffice for everyone. Jesus trusts in the heavenly Father without reserve; he knows that for him everything is possible. Thus he tells his disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 50 — this is not merely coincidental, for it means that they are no longer a crowd but become communities nourished by God’s bread. Jesus then takes those loaves and fish, looks up to heaven, recites the blessing — the reference to the Eucharist is clear — and breaks them and gives them to the disciples who distribute them... and the loaves and fish do not run out, they do not run out! This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer. Everyone eats and some is left over: it is the sign of Jesus, the Bread of God for humanity.

I'm not sure what's unclear about this: the five loaves and two fish were not more than five loaves and two fish, but that small amount of food was successfully shared between the people present. The fish did not suddenly multiply to become five thousand fish and each person get one; they remained two fish, and each person received a part of those.

That is, rather like the widow's jug of oil [1 Kings 17:8–16], the five loaves and two fish were never exhausted. Not only did they not run out, but as well as feeding everyone there was loads left over. This is what Pope Francis means by "they do not run out, they do not run out!"

The bible account does not say that the people brought more than that with them; only that one boy came prepared and he fed everyone. This is the miracle. Everyone shared the boy's meal, and received their fill.

This was part of Pope Francis' sermon on the Sunday after Corpus Christi. The Pope draws an analogy between the sharing of five loaves and two fish such that all in the multitude receive some of that food which Christ makes possible, and the Eucharist, where all receive the completeness of the Body of Christ in a single small particle.

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Pope Francis also called the multiplication a 'parable'. What are we to make of that? Strangely, I find Pope Francis easy to understand but all the commentaries on what he says very difficult. I see the accusation that says that he speaks to the world while trying not to upset the Church. It is called 'Francispeak'. Whatever, he is a very interesting pope. –  gideon marx May 1 at 7:51
    
I must be honest, I love that this miracle is also a parable, a powerful lesson that has been ignored for far too long. Obviously the hoarders are trying to fight the message and twist it. Making it the responsibility of God to feed the starving through the creation of food out of nothing so they can continue living in opulence without feeling any guilt. Go Francis! –  gideon marx May 1 at 8:07
    
Also, you are wrong. The five loaves and two fish became a lot more than five loaves and two fish. Twelve baskets were picked up afterwards. This would have been impossible if a 'small amount of food was successfully shared between the people present'. Either it became a lot more or people were sharing the food they had brought with them. The miracle Jesus achieved was to get people to share, in modern terms, pensions funds invested in development. Could that be what Francis means? –  gideon marx May 1 at 8:40
    
I don't believe I'm wrong. I believe @davidbrainerd's answer (if I remember it correctly) had it right: the miracle is that five loaves and two fish did stretch that far. Nothing else can be inferred from the Pope's quoted sentence read in context -- the sentence before "This is the miracle" is important. –  Andrew Leach May 1 at 8:43
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I think you're reading too much into it. The Pope is quite capable of teaching on the poor -- I know he saw quite a lot of poverty in Buenos Aires -- but on this occasion, on the Sunday after Corpus Christi, he's teaching about the Eucharist. –  Andrew Leach May 1 at 9:36

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