Pope Francis

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The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!

Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936) is the current Pope of the Catholic Church. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the son of Italian parents, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. On being elected Pope on 13 March 2013, he chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Pre-papal quotes[edit]

The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.
The Church is defending the “place” through which the gift of the life of God passes on to the world and the gift of the life of the world to God.
Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.
This is what I want, a poor Church for the poor.
  • El cristiano ve a la Iglesia como Cuerpo de Cristo, como el recipiente que guarda íntegro el depósito de la fe, como la Esposa fiel que comunica sin mengua ni falta todo lo que Cristo le dejó como encargo … La Iglesia como realidad “santificada” plenamente y capaz de recibir y de comunicar — sin errores ni carencias, desde su propia pobreza y aun con sus pecados — toda la santidad de Dios, no es un “complemento” o un “agregado institucional” a Jesucristo, sino participación plena de su Encarnación, de su Vida, de su Pasión, muerte y Resurrección. … Al defender su pureza, su indefectibilidad, su santidad de Esposa, la Iglesia está defendiendo el “lugar” por donde pasa el Don la Vida de Dios al mundo y el don de la vida del mundo a Dios. Este don – cuya expresión más plena es la Eucaristía – no es un don más entre otros sino del don total de la Vida más íntima de la Trinidad que se derrama para la vida del mundo y la vida del mundo asumida por el Hijo que se ofrece al Padre.
    • The Christian sees the Church as the Body of Christ, as the vessel that guards with absolute integrity the deposit of faith, as the faithful Spouse who communicates without addition or subtraction all that Christ entrusted. … The Church as a fully “sanctified” reality and capable of receiving and of communicating – without error or defect, from its own poverty and even with its own sins — the full sanctity of God, is not a “complement” or an “institutional addition” to Jesus Christ, but a full participation of his Incarnation, of His Life, of His Passion, death and Resurrection. … In defending its purity, its indefectibility, its sanctity as the bride, the Church is defending the “place” through which the gift of the life of God passes on to the world and the gift of the life of the world to God. This gift – the fullest expression of which is the Eucharist – is not another gift among ourselves but the supreme gift of the most intimate life of the Trinity that poured forth for the life of the world and the life of the world assumed by the Son that is offered to the Father.
  • Está en juego la vida de tantos niños que serán discriminados de antemano privándolos de la maduración humana que Dios quiso se diera con un padre y una madre. Está en juego un rechazo frontal a la ley de Dios, grabada además en nuestros corazones.

    Recuerdo una frase de Santa Teresita cuando habla de su enfermedad de infancia. Dice que la envidia del Demonio quiso cobrarse en su familia la entrada al Carmelo de su hermana mayor. Aquí también está la envida del Demonio, por la que entró el pecado en el mundo, que arteramente pretende destruir la imagen de Dios: hombre y mujer que reciben el mandato de crecer, multiplicarse y dominar la tierra. No seamos ingenuos: no se trata de una simple lucha política; es la pretensión destructiva al plan de Dios. No se trata de un mero proyecto legislativo (éste es sólo el instrumento) sino de una “movida” del padre de la mentira que pretende confundir y engañar a los hijos de Dios.

    Jesús nos dice que, para defendernos de este acusador mentiroso, nos enviará el Espíritu de Verdad.

2013[edit]

If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good.
We all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace.
This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.
  • The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. "But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good." Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this "closing off" that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.
  • The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! "Father, the atheists?" Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. "But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!" But do good: we will meet one another there.
    • As quoted in "Pope at Mass: Culture of encounter is the foundation of peace" at Vatican Radio (22 May 2013)
  • You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying — and this is the fundamental thing — that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.
  • The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended. … The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist.

Interview in La Repubblica (2013)[edit]

Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace
  • Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.
  • The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the human soul the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God
    The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the human soul the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.
  • Mystics have been fundamental to the church. A religion without mystics is a philosophy.
    Ignatius, for understandable reasons, is the saint I know better than any other. He founded our Order. I'd like to remind you that Carlo Maria Martini also came from that order, someone who is very dear to me and also to you. Jesuits were and still are the leavening not the only one but perhaps the most effective — of Catholicism: culture, teaching, missionary work, loyalty to the Pope. But Ignatius who founded the Society, was also a reformer and a mystic. Especially a mystic.
  • I love the mystics...The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes. Brief moments but which fill an entire life.
    [Mystics] have been fundamental [to the church]. A religion without mystics is a philosophy.
  • God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us...Our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone.
    I love the mystics; Francis also was in many aspects of his life, but I do not think I have the vocation and then we must understand the deep meaning of that word. The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes. Brief moments but which fill an entire life.
  • When the conclave elected me Pope. Before I accepted I asked if I could spend a few minutes in the room next to the one with the balcony overlooking the square. My head was completely empty and I was seized by a great anxiety. To make it go way and relax I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows. I closed my eyes and I no longer had any anxiety or emotion. At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting and the table on which was the act of acceptance. I signed it, the Cardinal Camerlengo countersigned it and then on the balcony there was the '"Habemus Papam".
  • [St. Francis] is great because he is everything. He is a man who wants to do things, wants to build, he founded an order and its rules, he is an itinerant and a missionary, a poet and a prophet, he is mystical. He found evil in himself and rooted it out. He loved nature, animals, the blade of grass on the lawn and the birds flying in the sky. But above all he loved people, children, old people, women. He is the most shining example of that agape we talked about earlier.
  • I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents. I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here.
  • I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.
  • God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone.
  • I think so-called unrestrained liberalism only makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker and excludes the most excluded. We need great freedom, no discrimination, no demagoguery and a lot of love. We need rules of conduct and also, if necessary, direct intervention from the state to correct the more intolerable inequalities.
  • We will also discuss the role of women in the Church. Remember that the Church (la chiesa) is feminine.
  • Transcendence remains because that light, all in everything, transcends the universe and the species it inhabits at this stage.

2014[edit]

I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded.
  • Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.
    • As quoted in AWAKE! (February 2014)
  • When we shut ourselves in any form of selfishness or self-complacency; when we allow ourselves to be seduced by worldly powers and by the things of this world, forgetting God and neighbour; when we place our hope in worldly vanities, in money, in success. Then the Word of God says to us: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”. Why are you searching there? That thing cannot give you life! Yes, perhaps it will cheer you up for a moment, for a day, for a week, for a month … and then?


Misattributed[edit]

  • It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church and give money— for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history do not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in His name.

Quotes about Francis[edit]

Sorted alphabetically by author or source
Who am I to judge?
He is urging his army to think more broadly. ~ TIME
He talks about Christ’s love like a man who has found something wondrous and wants nothing more than to share it. ~ TIME
If the Church becomes like him and becomes what he wants it to be, it will be an epochal change. ~ Eugenio Scalfari
He’s offering very universal ideas — not closing the door and saying you have to be a Catholic in order for good things to happen. This is the kind of world leader that we need in a position of power that the pope has if we want hope for a more universal community. ~ Roy Speckhardt
  • The papacy is mysterious and magical: it turns a septuagenarian into a superstar while revealing almost nothing about the man himself. And it raises hopes in every corner of the world — hopes that can never be fulfilled, for they are irreconcilable. The elderly traditionalist who pines for the old Latin Mass and the devout young woman who wishes she could be a priest both have hopes. The ambitious monsignor in the Vatican Curia and the evangelizing deacon in a remote Filipino village both have hopes. No Pope can make them all happy at once.
  • The five words that have come to define both the promise and the limits of Francis’ papacy came in the form of a question: “Who am I to judge?” That was his answer when asked about homosexuality by a reporter in July. Many assumed Francis, with those words, was changing church doctrine. Instead, he was merely changing its tone, searching for a pragmatic path to reach the faithful who had been repelled by their church or its emphasis on strict dos and don’ts. Years of working closely with parish priests have taught him that the church seemed more comfortable with narrow issues than human complexity, and it lost congregants and credibility in the bargain. He is urging his army to think more broadly.
    • Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias, in "Pope Francis, The People’s Pope" in TIME magazine (11 December 2013)
  • Francis and Benedict appear to get on well: both men flatter each other, and Francis was especially generous with quotations from Benedict in his recent exhortation. In any case, Francis needs to keep his predecessor on his side, for it was Benedict who codified the conservative views of John Paul II, the hero of many Catholics, particularly those on the right of the spectrum.
    Francis will continue the policy of both John Paul II and Benedict on détente and fraternal relations with Judaism. (Francis plans to visit Israel in May.) But with his experience working with the Muslim immigrant population of Argentina, Francis will extend a warmer hand toward Islam than Benedict, who famously infuriated that religion’s clerics with a scholarly aside in an otherwise innocuous speech. And he has proved himself amenable to Protestant, evangelical piety, scandalizing conservative Catholics in Argentina by kneeling and being blessed by Pentecostal preachers in a Buenos Aires auditorium.
    While still in his home country, the future Pope also said that priestly celibacy is a recent development (it dates to about the year 1000) and has seemed open to change. Again, in Argentina, he startled conservatives by attending the funeral of a rebel bishop who left the church to marry, comforting the deceased prelate’s widow, who used to concelebrate Mass with her husband.
    • Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias, in "Pope Francis, The People’s Pope" in TIME magazine (11 December 2013)
  • He talks about Christ’s love like a man who has found something wondrous and wants nothing more than to share it. “He is waiting for us,” Francis says. And when he comes to the end of his homily, the script drops once more. “This thought gives us hope! We are on the way to the Resurrection. And this is our joy: one day find Jesus, meet Jesus and all together, all together — not here in the square, the other way — but joyful with Jesus. This is our destiny.”
    • Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias, in "Pope Francis, The People’s Pope" in TIME magazine (11 December 2013)
  • I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is…
  • I continue to be pleased with what Francis is talking about and his openness — despite papal authorities’ attempts to retract his statements. … He’s offering very universal ideas — not closing the door and saying you have to be a Catholic in order for good things to happen. This is the kind of world leader that we need in a position of power that the pope has if we want hope for a more universal community. … Had he been rigid and conservative in his approach, I think he really would have kept pushing on the backs of those who were ready to flee the church. So what he’s doing gives some solace to those who are a little more progressive, which is a growing number in the church. It gives a chance for those folks to remain involved. I think that from a Catholic standpoint he’s doing the right thing. He’s doing pretty much all he can do for the good of the Catholic Church.
  • Pope Francis had quite a 78th birthday. The pontiff began Wednesday with prayers and a birthday celebration with tango dancers near St. Peter’s Square. His day ended with a historic diplomatic breakthrough between Cuba and the United States — and the disclosure that the Argentine pope played a key role as broker.
    Francis is being credited for helping bridge the divide by first sending letters to President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba, and then having the Vatican host a diplomatic meeting between the two sides in October.
    “The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision,” Francis said in a statement released Wednesday night by the Vatican.

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