Monday 19 March 2018

I never wanted to be Pope – Francis

Pope Francis blesses a pupil of a Jesuit school at the Vatican
Pope Francis blesses a pupil of a Jesuit school at the Vatican

Nick Squires

Pope Francis has said that he never wanted to be made Pontiff and that he has decided not to live in the official papal apartments because of an aversion to being alone.

The former archbishop of Buenos Aires was speaking at a gathering of children from Jesuit schools after being asked whether he had wanted to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Anyone who wants to be Pope doesn't care much for themselves, God doesn't bless them. I didn't want to be Pope," he said.

He joked that he had chosen to eschew the grand apartments in the Apostolic Palace for "psychiatric reasons".

"It's not just a question of riches but also a personality issue. I need to live among people, and if I lived on my own, perhaps a little isolated, it wouldn't do me good," he said.


Instead, he is living in a suite in the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican's only 'hotel' – a modern residence opposite the walls of St Peter's Basilica, which accommodates visiting prelates and lay people.

Francis, who has rejected much of the pomp and circumstance of office since his election in March, said his choice was also motivated by wanting to lead a simple life and to set an example.

"These days, there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that's a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer," he said.

Earlier in the week, the Argentinian Pope, said that throwing food away was akin to stealing food from the plates of those with not enough to eat. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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