March 12, 2014
Pope wants a “poor Church” after Saint Francis of Assisi
In an audience with members of the international press, the pontiff explained why he chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi and said he would like “a poor Church and a Church for the poor.”
The Vatican Pablo VI Hall where the press address took place received such statements with a major applause.
The pontiff thanked reporters for their conclave coverage during these past days and went to describe the moment of his election recalling that the emeritus archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, cardinal Hummes -who he called a “great friend”- was next to him giving him “comfort.” “When the votes reached two thirds and the cardinals applauded, he huged, kissed and told me ‘don’t forget about the poor’”.
That was when the Argentine pope told media that the word “poor” entered his mind and made him think of Saint Francis of Assisi giving him no doubt that he would choose the name of the Saint of the poverty, peace and defence of Creation.
Recalling some anecdotes about the conclave and charming media, the pope said that some cardinals asked him to name himself alter Adriano VI, known as “the reformer," or alter Clement XV so that he could “take revenge” on who supressed the Jesuit order.
“The Church does not have a political nature but spiritual”, it is the people of God that “walk to their encounter with Jesus and only in that perspective it can be known what the Catholic Church does,” Francis added thanking the media for their job, acknowledging the difficulty to report the Church’s events and that communication must seek “truth, kindness and beauty” just like the Church does.
The first Latin American pope in history finally blessed reporters in Spanish and saying “many of you do not belong to the Catholic Churhc and others are believers but respecting the conscience of each of you and give you my blessing knowing that each of you is a son of God.”