Friday 22 November 2019

Worst thing about being Pope is I can't pop out for pizza

Pope Francis in the Vatican yesterday
Pope Francis in the Vatican yesterday

Nick Squires

The freedom to pop out for a pizza is the main thing Pope Francis misses two years after being elected the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, he revealed yesterday.

In a wide-ranging interview to mark his two years on the Seat of St Peter, the Argentinian Pope said the only thing he regretted about being made pontiff were the restrictions to his movement, largely because of security concerns.

"The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognised, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza," he told a Mexican television channel, comparing his life now with how it was when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

"In Buenos Aires I was a rover. I moved between parishes and certainly this habit has changed. It has been hard work to change. But you get used to it."

He may not have to wait too long for his pizza-yearning to be satisfied - he is scheduled to visit Naples, the home of the classic Italian dish, on March 21.

Two years to the day after being elected Pope by his brother cardinals during a secret conclave held in the Sistine Chapel, he was asked if he liked being pontiff and replied: "I don't mind."

He said that when he had travelled to Rome to attend the conclave, he had no idea that he might be elected.

He brought a small suitcase and fully expected to be on the first plane back to Argentina after the election of a successor to Benedict XVI, who became the first pope since medieval times to resign voluntarily.

Pope Francis (78), said he had an intuition that because of his age, his papacy would be a short one.

"I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years, even two or three. Two have already passed.

"It is a somewhat strange sensation. Maybe it's like the psychology of the gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won't be disappointed and if he wins, is happy." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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