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Pope Francis in His Own Words
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The moment the identity of the newly elected 266th pontiff was revealed, it was clear to the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square, and to the watching world, that this pope was different in fascinating and exciting ways — the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and the first to take the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.

When Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, spoke from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, he greeted his audience colloquially: “Brothers and sisters, good evening.” He told a joke, commenting that his fellow cardinals had “gone to the ends of the earth” to find him. Then, downplaying his power and position, he proceeded not to bless the crowd but to ask them for their blessing: “I ask a favor of you,” he said, bowing humbly. “Let us make, in silence, this prayer: your prayer over me.”

Francis has repeatedly foregone the fancy dress, lavish accommodations, and other luxuries of his position, emphasizing pastoral work with the sick and the poor and always seeking to empower the underdog (including his favorite soccer team in Buenos Aires — San Lorenzo). This revealing collection of his own words, gathered from sermons, interviews, and the Pope’s books, prompts understanding and insight into his way of being and believing — and inspires goodwill, love, and hope.
Published: New World Library on
ISBN: 9781608682492
List price: $12.95
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Copyright © 2013 by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Lisa Rogak

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, or other — without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.

Text design by Tona Pearce Myers

Quotations from Spanish-language sources translated by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Francisco Collazo

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.

First printing, May 2013

ISBN 978-1-60868-248-5

eBook ISBN 978-1-60868-249-2

Printed in the USA on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper

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On Age and Aging

On Argentina

On Argentina’s Dirty War

On Argentina’s Leaders

On Art and Artists

On Asking Catholics for Their Prayers

On Aspirations

On Assisted Suicide

On Atheists

On Baptizing the Children of Single Parents

On Beauty

On Being Chosen as Pope

On Being Right…and Wrong

On Birth Control

On Bridezilla Weddings

On Buenos Aires

On Cardinals

On Catechists

On Catholic Life

On Celibacy in Priests

On Character Flaws

On Child Labor

On Children

On Choices

On Choosing the Name Francis

On the Christian Life

On Christmas

On the Church

On the Church in Buenos Aires

On Church Politics

On the Church’s Emphasis on Suffering

On Cities

On Citizenship

On Civilization

On the Conclave

On Conversation

On Creativity

On Death

On the Death of Argentinian President Néstor Kirchner

On the Death Penalty

On Democracy

On the Devil

On Dignity

On Doubt

On Drugs

On Education

On Elitism

On Evangelism

On Exclusivity

On Faith

On Family

On Foreign Business

On Forgiveness

On Fragility

On Freedom

On Giving Money to Beggars

On Globalization

On God

On God’s Gifts

On God’s Promises

On Good Intentions

On Gossip

On Helping the Poor

On Himself

On His Appointment as Pope

On His Family History

On His Greatest Fear

On His Humility

On His Mission as Pope

On His Mother’s Reaction When He Joined the Priesthood

On Homilies

On Homosexuality

On Hope

On Human Beings

On the Human Mystery

On Human Trafficking and Slavery

On Humanity

On Hypocrites in the Church

On Idolatry

On Images and Information

On Immigrants and Immigration

On Indifference

On Inequality

On Injustice

On the Jesuits

On Jesus

On Jewish–Catholic Relations

On Latin America

On Law

On Leadership

On Life

On Life in the Twenty-First Century

On Listening

On Love

On Lying

On Marriage

On Maturity

On the Media

On Mediocrity

On Memory

On Mercy

On the Mistreatment of Children

On Money

On Morals

On Neoliberalism

On Parenting

On Parties and Partying

On the Past

On Pedophile Priests

On Pessimism

On Politicians

On Politics

On Pope Benedict XVI

On Possibilities

On Poverty

On Power

On Prayer

On the Priesthood

On Priests Who Stray

On Prison Visits

On Public Transportation

On the Relationship between Church and State

On Relativism

On Religious Diversity

On Religious Experiences

On Religious Life

On Religious Vocations

On Responsibility

On the Role of Pope

On the Roman Curia

On Rome

On Salvation

On Scandals in the Church

On Schools

On Sectarianism

On Self-Sufficiency

On Service

On Silence

On Sin

On Soccer as a Metaphor for Life

On Social Justice

On Social Media

On Spiritual Worldliness

On Statistics

On Suffering

On Suicide

On Tango

On Teachers

On Technology

On Television

On Time

On Truth

On Uncertainty

On Unity

On Vanity

On the Vatican and Money

On the Virgin Mary

On Vulnerability

On Waiting

On Washing the Feet of AIDS Patients

On Wealth Inequity

On What the Catholic Church Owes Its Parishioners

On Women

On the Word of God

On Work

Timeline of Pope Francis’s Life


About the Editors


I’ll just go with the guys on the bus.

The newly elected Pope Francis, speaking to his limo driver and security detail after his initial introduction to crowds in Rome

With the election of Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope of the Catholic Church in March 2013, attention has turned worldwide toward not only what he will do as pope but how he has lived — and preached — in the past. So far, it’s very clear that, compared to other popes, he has led a humble and unconventional life. For instance, as a cardinal, instead of asking to be addressed as Your Eminence, he preferred to simply be called Father Jorge.

Some of the first photos to be published after he was introduced to happy throngs of worshippers in St. Peter’s Square reveal that humility and the desire to serve the poor run deep in his blood. One photo showed him kneeling to wash a woman’s feet, while news reports told of his performing the same service for AIDS patients. It’s hard to imagine his predecessor at the Vatican doing likewise.

It’s clear that his humility and desire to meet with the people on their level — whether they’re Catholics or not — has already won him huge numbers of fans. He cracks jokes, doesn’t hesitate to challenge his country’s leaders on their inequities, and pushes away chauffeurs and luxury transport in order to press the flesh with commoners. And numerous news stories have shown that he offers great compassion toward those who have long been ostracized by churches of all stripes.

At the same time, he shows that he’s a real person, with human desires that he indulges wholeheartedly (well, at least a few… ). After all, when was the last time you heard of a pope who admitted to loving tango and who had pledged his undying loyalty to one Buenos Aires soccer club since childhood?

He also walks his talk, which instantly won him respect and admiration around the world. During his tenure as a cardinal in Buenos Aires, Bergoglio refused to live in the luxury accommodations in the palace that previous cardinals called home. Instead, he rented a spartan one-bedroom apartment where he cooked his own simple dinners, took the bus to work, and persuaded the diocese to allow