First, I thought this was of interest:
Belonging to a people has a strong theological value. In the history of salvation, God has saved a people. There is no full identity without belonging to a people. No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships.
It's worth thinking about what Pope Francis means by this. Obviously, a traditionalist would agree that "There is no full identity without belonging to a people" - so it's a nice quote to have to hand. I'm not sure though that Francis means it in the same way we would. I suspect he means that we can't show our complete moral nature unless we are in a relationship with others. For us, though, it is more literally a matter of identity: we are so constituted that our sense of ourselves, of who we are, derives in part from the ethnic or national tradition (the people) we belong to.
Second, Pope Francis does seem to reveal himself to be a "progressive" in the interview. I have to be careful to explain what I mean here. I think there is a progressive attitude to life, one which emphasises the "creative spirit," not just in terms of art, but more generally of the way in which individuals and societies "creatively unfold" themselves over time.
Those who hold to this mindset tend to see change as a good thing, as a moving forward of the individual or society. They tend to emphasise open-ended and fluid movement in society, rather than hierarchy, order or convention. They are committed to the process of self-making and the re-making of society.
There is a positive side to this, as a progressive politics will often attract those who are committed to social change rather than passively observing from the sidelines. But the great weakness is that progressives, so committed to what is creatively open-ended, don't have as strong a sense of how we (and the reality we inhabit) are constituted in ways that provide us with our purposes - our intended paths of development that best fulfil who we are. Progressives, therefore, can seem more interested in the process of change rather than having an adequate measure of what the quality of that change really is.
Pope Francis is not radically a progressive, but he does err on the side of progressivism. For instance, he emphasises the idea of history as a movement of progress:
human self-understanding changes with time and so also human consciousness deepens. Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem. So we grow in the understanding of the truth
Here is another example of Pope Francis rejecting the "static":
Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things.
I do have to say that we traditionalists could learn something from Pope Francis when he is in this "progressive" mode. He stresses the need to be dynamic, to be fruitful, to be searching, to be creative, to have audacity and courage. Here is an example of Pope Francis showing a commitment to shaping society:
We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes. We must initiate processes rather than occupy spaces. God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history. This gives priority to actions that give birth to new historical dynamics.
Somehow we have to take the best of the progressive mindset and meld it with the best of the traditionalist one. We have to take the strength of traditionalism, which is to have a close sense of what is good within created reality, and of an order within which these goods can be harmonised, which then gives direction and meaning (a telos) to human actions, and combine it with the strength of progressivism, which harnesses the creative spirit within human nature to shape individual life and to motivate a strong commitment to the shaping of society.