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Pope Francis

Birthdate: 17. December 1936
Other names: František, Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technologist and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus . He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, concern for the poor and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian aesthetic, he is known for favoring simpler vestments void of ornamentation, including refusing the traditional papal mozzetta cape upon his election, choosing silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring, and keeping the same pectoral cross he had as cardinal. He maintains that the Church should be more open and welcoming. He does not support unbridled capitalism, Marxism, or Marxist versions of liberation theology. Francis maintains the traditional views of the Church regarding abortion, marriage, ordination of women, and clerical celibacy. He opposes consumerism, overdevelopment, and supports taking action on climate change, a focus of his papacy with the promulgation of Laudato si'. In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Since the publication of Amoris laetitia in 2016, Francis has faced increasingly open criticism from theological conservatives, particularly on the question of admitting civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.

„… exclude the need for appearances: what counts is not appearances; the value of life does not depend on the approval of others or on success, but on what we have inside us.“

—  Pope Francis

As quoted in "Imposition of the Ashes - Homily of pope Francis" at www.vatican.va (5 March 2014) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/2014/documents/papa-francesco_20140305_omelia-ceneri_en.html
2010s, 2014

„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“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: 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.

„I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2015, Announcement of the Jubilee of Mercy
Context: Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.

„The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the human soul the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: 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.

„Every step, every effort, every test, every fall and every recovery has a sense within God’s design for salvation, as He wants life – not death – and joy – not pain – for His people“

—  Pope Francis

Ash Wednesday General Audience (1 March 2017), as quoted in "Pope Francis: ‘we do not go to heaven in a carriage’" at Vatican Radio (1 March 2017) http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/01/pope_francis_‘we_do_not_go_to_heaven_in_a_carriage’_/1295741
2010s, 2017
Context: Every step, every effort, every test, every fall and every recovery has a sense within God’s design for salvation, as He wants life – not death – and joy – not pain – for His people … This doesn’t mean that he did everything and we don’t have to do anything.

„How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — "but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist." It is that, scandal.“

—  Pope Francis

Homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta (23 February 2017), as quoted in "Pope: Don't put off conversion, give up a double life" at Vatican Radio (23 February 2017) http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/02/23/pope_dont_put_off_conversion,_give_up_a_double_life/1294470; also quoted in "Did Pope Francis Say It Was Better to Be an Atheist Than a Bad Catholic? at snopes.com (28 February) http://www.snopes.com/pope-francis-bad-catholics/
2010s, 2017
Context: What is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: "I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money …" A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — "but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist." It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.

„Not only does each person have the freedom and the right to say what they think for the common good, they have a duty to do so.“

—  Pope Francis

Statements on his official plane traveling from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, reported in "Pope Francis: 'You cannot make fun of the faith of others (15 January 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSV-GD9gA-U
2010s, 2015
Context: Not only does each person have the freedom and the right to say what they think for the common good, they have a duty to do so. Because while it is true that is wrong to react with violence, If my good friend Mr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch in the nose. … It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. … There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Mr Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit. … One cannot make war… kill in the name of one’s own religion, that is, in the name of God.

„Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.“

—  Pope Francis

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.
2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica

„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 (and) nothing ever comes out for the poor.“

—  Pope Francis

Response to critics who have called him a Marxist, because of his criticism of capitalist theories in "Pope Francis: I’m Not a Marxist" in TIME magazine (15 December 2013) http://world.time.com/2013/12/15/pope-francis-im-not-a-marxist/
2010s, 2013
Context: 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 (and) 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.

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„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.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: 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“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: 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.

„Ignatius who founded the Society, was also a reformer and a mystic. Especially a mystic.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: [[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.

„Ignatius, for understandable reasons, is the saint I know better than any other. He founded our Order.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: [[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.

„He is the most shining example of that agape we talked about earlier.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica
Context: [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.

„An often narcissistic and utilitarian vision, unfortunately, leads not a few to consider persons with disabilities as marginal, without grasping their manifold human and spiritual richness“

—  Pope Francis

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the Conference Organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, Clementine Hall, Saturday, 21 October 2017. https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2017/october/documents/papa-francesco_20171021_convegno-pcpne.html
2010s, 2017
Context: We recognize the great development there has been over the course of recent decades with regard to disability. Greater awareness of the dignity of each person, especially of the weakest, has led to the espousal of courageous positions for the inclusion of those who live with various forms of handicap, so that no one should feel like a stranger in his own home. Yet, at the cultural level, through a prevailing false understanding of life, expressions that harm the dignity of these persons still persist.
An often narcissistic and utilitarian vision, unfortunately, leads not a few to consider persons with disabilities as marginal, without grasping their manifold human and spiritual richness. In the common mind-set, there is still too strong an attitude of rejection of this condition, as if it prevents one from achieving happiness and self-fulfilment. It is demonstrated by the eugenic trend of ending the lives of the unborn who show some form of imperfection.
In reality, we all know many people who, despite even serious fragility, have found, albeit with difficulty, the path of a good life, rich with meaning. Likewise, on the other hand, we know people who are seemingly perfect, yet they despair! After all, it is a perilous deception to think we are invulnerable. As said by a girl whom I met on my recent journey to Colombia: vulnerability is intrinsic to the essential nature of mankind.
The answer is love: not that false, saccharine and sanctimonious love, but that which is true, concrete and respectful.

„Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2015, Address at the White House
Context: Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.

„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.“

—  Pope Francis

Catechesis http://www.arzbaires.org.ar/inicio/homilias/homilias2008.htm#49%BACongresoEucar%EDsticoInternacional given by Bergoglio at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, in Quebec (18 July 2008)
2000s, 2008
Context: 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.

„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.“

—  Pope Francis

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.
2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica

„Jesus’ reminder urges each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we have a person before us. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart in order to see how much generosity everyone is capable of.“

—  Pope Francis

2010s, 2015, Announcement of the Jubilee of Mercy
Context: Jesus’ reminder urges each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we have a person before us. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart in order to see how much generosity everyone is capable of. No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house where everyone is welcomed and no one is rejected. Her doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace may find the assurance of forgiveness. The greater the sin, the greater the love that must be shown by the Church to those who repent. With how much love Jesus looks at us! With how much love He heals our sinful heart! Our sins never scare Him.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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