Quotes of Pope Francis from his first year

  • World
  • Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thursday marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

Below are some memorable quotes from the pontiff, arranged in chronological order.


-"You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are," - March 13, 2013, in some of his first words to the world after his election.

-"He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, we proclaim the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon." - March 14, in his first Mass after his election.

-"Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." - March 16, in an address to journalists.

- "Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation." - March 24, in a Palm Sunday homily.

-"We need to go out, then, in order to experience our own anointing (as priests)...to the outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters." - March 28, in a homily to priests on their mission.

-"Living on 38 euros (30.05 pounds) a month - that was the pay of these people who died. That is called slave labour." - May 1, in a homily reflecting on the victims of the Bangladesh factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people.

-"Men and women of the Church who are careerists, social climbers, who use the people, the Church, brothers and sisters - those they should serve - as a springboard for their own ambitions and personal interests do great damage to the Church." - May 8, to a gathering of superiors general of orders of nuns from around the world.

-"Young people at the moment are in crisis. We have all become accustomed to this disposable culture. We do the same thing with the elderly, but with all these people out of work even they are afflicted by a culture where everything is disposable. We have to stop this habit of throwing things away. We need a culture of inclusion" - July 22, to journalists on the plane taking him to Brazil.

-"We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel...It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door and meet the people!" - July 27, in the sermon of a Mass in Rio de Janeiro.

-"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him? - July 29, speaking to reporters aboard the plane returning from Brazil.

-"Violence and war lead only to death, they speak of death! Violence and war are the language of death!" - Sept 7, during an international prayer service for peace in Syria.

-"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that." - Sept 19, in an interview with the Catholic periodical Civilta Cattolica.

"How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?" - Nov 26, in an apostolic exhortation called Evangelium Gaudi.

-"We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion - one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone." - Dec 9, in a video message launching a campaign against hunger.

-"The grave financial and economic crises of the present time...have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy." - Dec 12, in his message for World Day of Peace.

-"Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don't feel offended (in being called a Marxist)." - Dec 15, in an interview with an Italian newspaper.

-"When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity," - Dec 21, to Vatican administrators.

"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here" - Jan 12, telling mothers at a baptism in the Sistine Chapel they should feel free to breastfeed their babies there.

"To depict the pope as a sort of superman, a sort of star, seems offensive to me. The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps tranquilly and has friends like everyone else, a normal person." - March 5, in an interview with an Italian newspaper.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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