Pope Francis – Named for the Saint who “Is the Man of Poverty and of Peace, who Loves and Protects Creation”

As readers of my blog will know, it is rare that I post anything written by a public figure without a line by line, and even word by word, analysis.

I will make an exception today however.

You will find below the text of the Holy Father’s talk with the media yesterday in Rome. It is well worth a thorough read, and especially the section where Pope Francis explained why he took that name. It seems that this will be his mission statement as Pontiff.

Already a very different tone has been struck by him, as detailed in the linked piece by David Willey, the BBC’s Rome correspondent.

The almost universal welcome for this new approach should not be taken by people as the Church (which is of course its people) rejecting the principles of Pope Benedict. Francis’ predecessor spoke of stepping down because he no longer had the health and vigour to carry out his task. Pope Francis has arrived on the scene full of energy, physical and spiritual, and, in only his first few days, has shown how wise Benedict’s decision was.And a wee word for myself – I noticed that Violet Carson was questioning why this blog seemed to be about religion over the last while. She wanted it back to the law stuff. Well, one advantage of this being my blog, written with the help of course of lots of fine contributors, is that I can write what I want. If I want to detail why I follow the New York Yankees, or why I loved watching Bagpuss and Trumpton when very small, or my recollections of the Sunday John Player League cricket, or of past holidays, or of trips to courts, or indeed of anything, then I will do so. No one needs to read it if they do not want to, though I am always hugely gratified and humbled by the numbers who do, to whom I am thankful.

My religion matters to me.

It matters more than my study of the law, and infinitely more than the machinations of football teams!

So, I trust Violet, and any others who don’t like me writing about it, won’t be offended by me continuing to do so.

I’m now looking forward to attending Mass to hear the priest say during the Eucharistic Prayer:-

Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity
your pilgrim Church on earth,
with your servant Francis our Pope
and Joseph our Bishop,
all the clergy,
and the entire people
you have gained for your own.

And I suspect that a verse or two of “God Bless Our Pope, the Great the Good” might ring out as well.


And so, after that lengthy preamble explaining why I do not need to add commentary to the words of the Holy Father, and with thanks to the Holy See’s website, I offer the words of Pope Francis to the media yesterday.


Dear Friends,

At the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter, I am pleased to meet all of you who have worked here in Rome throughout this intense period which began with the unexpected announcement made by my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI on 11 February last. To each of you I offer a cordial greeting.

The role of the mass media has expanded immensely in these years, so much so that they are an essential means of informing the world about the events of contemporary history. I would like, then, to thank you in a special way for the professional coverage which you provided during these days – you really worked, didn’t you? – when the eyes of the whole world, and not just those of Catholics, were turned to the Eternal City and particularly to this place which has as its heart the tomb of Saint Peter. Over the past few weeks, you have had to provide information about the Holy See and about the Church, her rituals and traditions, her faith and above all the role of the Pope and his ministry.

I am particularly grateful to those who viewed and presented these events of the Church’s history in a way which was sensitive to the right context in which they need to be read, namely that of faith. Historical events almost always demand a nuanced interpretation which at times can also take into account the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly no more intricate than political or economic events! But they do have one particular underlying feature: they follow a pattern which does not readily correspond to the “worldly” categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public. The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, the Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church’s life and activity.

Christ is the Church’s Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Yet Christ remains the centre, not the Sucessor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre. Christ is the fundamental point of reference, the heart of the Church. Without him, Peter and the Church would not exist or have reason to exist. As Benedict XVI frequently reminded us, Christ is present in Church and guides her. In everything that has occurred, the principal agent has been, in the final analysis, the Holy Spirit. He prompted the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church; he guided the Cardinals in prayer and in the election.

It is important, dear friends, to take into due account this way of looking at things, this hermeneutic, in order to bring into proper focus what really happened in these days.

All of this leads me to thank you once more for your work in these particularly demanding days, but also to ask you to try to understand more fully the true nature of the Church, as well as her journey in this world, with her virtues and her sins, and to know the spiritual concerns which guide her and are the most genuine way to understand her. Be assured that the Church, for her part, highly esteems your important work. At your disposal you have the means to hear and to give voice to people’s expectations and demands, and to provide for an analysis and interpretation of current events. Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity and experience, like so many other professions, but it also demands a particular concern for what is true, good and beautiful. This is something which we have in common, since the Church exists to communicate precisely this: Truth, Goodness and Beauty “in person”. It should be apparent that all of us are called not to communicate ourselves, but this existential triad made up of truth, beauty and goodness.

Some people wanted to know why the Bishop of Rome wished to be called Francis. Some thought of Francis Xavier, Francis De Sales, and also Francis of Assisi.

I will tell you the story.

During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don’t forget the poor!”

And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man …

St Francis

How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!

Afterwards, people were joking with me. “But you should call yourself Hadrian, because Hadrian VI was the reformer, we need a reform…” And someone else said to me: “No, no: your name should be Clement”. “But why?” “Clement XV: thus you pay back Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus!” These were jokes.

I love all of you very much, I thank you for everything you have done. I pray that your work will always be serene and fruitful, and that you will come to know ever better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the rich reality of the Church’s life. I commend you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, and with cordial good wishes for you and your families, each of your families. I cordially impart to all of you my blessing. Thank you.

(In Spanish)

I told you I was cordially imparting my blessing. Since many of you are not members of the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I cordially give this blessing silently, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each, but in the knowledge that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you!


Video of the Media Conference can be viewed here.



Filed under Blogging, Catholic Church, Personal

60 responses to “Pope Francis – Named for the Saint who “Is the Man of Poverty and of Peace, who Loves and Protects Creation”

  1. portpower

    Pope Francis`s fine. Count your blessinging in the morning your hand has the control with your fingers to not go through the paper.
    An Irish Blessing.
    As you slide down the Banister of life,
    may the Splinters never point the wrong way.
    I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”.

  2. Bill Fraser

    A lesson of humility to catholics and non-catholics alike. I am not a catholic and am not really religious but I almost envy you, Paul, as your church sets off towards a brave new world of hope for the forgotten. Long may he remain.

  3. Althetim

    Paul, thanks for posting this.

  4. Paul the training of a Jesuit consists of 2years novitiate is known as scholastic,during this period as a scholastic the Jesuit spends 2 years as a junior in classical studies,3years as a philosopher 3years inregent teaching in a Jesuit school,4years as a theologian studying and 1year as a tertian in intensive spiritual training.During these 13 years,the Jesuit is technically known as a scholastic,although the name is not generally applied to him after he becomes a priest, normally between his third and fourth year of theology

  5. Daniel Toye

    Paul these are exciting times. Each Servant of the Servants of God brings a freshness to the role and this does not in any way deprecate the work of their venerable predecessors.

    Pope Francis had my loyalty before I even knew his name. That he turned out to be man of wit and charm and warmth – so much the better. But the same loyalty would be owed if it had turned out to be someone well established in the curia with a penchant for lace, fur, red slippers and all the rest.

    It’s a shame the same cannot be said for certain factions in the Catholic blogosphere. While most of the traditionalists have reacted with charity and goodwill towards the new Pontiff, the perceived shunning by the Pope of ancient liturgical practices has drawn the ire of many. Indeed in one blog, I read one contributor hoping that Francis’ advanced years would lead to an early end to his Pontificate (through death or infirmity, he didn’t care).

    Loyalty is easy when you’re on the same wavelength. It’s when you not and your loyalty is tested, you need to pray for humility. Traditionalists rightly berate the liberals for their refusal to submit to the teaching authority of the Magisterium, now it’s the traditionalists who should live by their code.

    God bless our Pope.

  6. He talks just like Albino Luciani, John Paul I, taken from us, in murky circumstances, after 33 days in the place of St Peter. This man reminds me of Luciani in so many ways, from that bright smile to the way he speaks … and of course, his decision to reject the pomp and ceremony, to put aside the “coronation” aspects to his appointment … just like the former Patriarch of Venice did when he ascended to the post.

    I have enormously high hopes for this man. God Bless him.

  7. Edward

    Pope Francis .He will hopefully live by the prayer of St Francis “Lord ,make me a channel for thy peace- that where there is hatred I may bring love ………………….For by self forgetting that one finds.It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal life Amen.Read the entire prayer and rejoice..This prayer is a way of life and recommended to everyone

  8. As I posted a couple of days ago , we should wish all clergymen and women well in their chosen way if life , BUT AGAIN , are people not missing the point all we hear about is ” god bless our pope ” all fine and well BUT HE’S NOT THE STORY GOD IS , should everything not be about praising god ? Is that not why we have churches and the clergy ? We are mere blood and flesh , and if god was looking at this would he not be a bit confused ? So yes people can celebrate their religious leaders on earth but REMEMBER god is the story .

    • josephmcgrath112001809

      He is this story.

      • No he is not If your a Christian GOD is the only story anything else could be considered idolatry.

        • @Carson Interesting point about idolatry. (Still think your up to tribal mischief here)
          Catholics do not venerate actual objects or people. The intention is to use sacred objects & relics, as a focus for meditation & prayer. Other religions such as Hinduism operate in a similar manner. I would agree though that the ostentatious display of Vatican wealth is distasteful & as a Catholic I have a ‘political’ problem with this..
          Your taking a Protestant Fundamentalist position here regarding what the correct way to address God is. No one group has ownership of theological truth.I fully agree with you that God is the story, but there are a multitude of possibilities regarding ways to consider God.

          • @Paul I think Carson has touched on something here. “God is the Story”
            Do we believe in God? & what exactly God is would make an excellent topic for a blog.

        • bfb

          But we are not mere blood and flesh there is the underlying soul which endures.

          If we are mere blood and flesh then everything is futile

          Supporting the Yankees is futile when there are Red Sox to underperform

    • portpower

      The Pope has only been in a week. Give the Bhoy a chance, Trinity.

  9. cam

    This Pope,any Pope,inluding that nice wee fella, Karol Wojtyla is just a man.
    If some folk choose to believe that he is God’s vicar then that’s nice for them and doesn’t concern me in the slightest.

  10. As I’ve said good luck to him , he’ll need it , but he should start by SACKING cardinal Napier who said paedophiles were ” ill ” not criminals and the cardinals in north american , and Europe who covered up child rape , what a marker he would put down then .

  11. In moderation AGAIN , no bad language just facts .

  12. Lenny Bruce


    Sorry, this is off topic.

    Do you have a legal view on the videos emerging from yesterday’s police operation against the Green Brigade?

    They make for scary viewing.

    • If they break the law , they deserve the wrath of the law , just like muirhead and McKenzie , don’t you agree ?

      • Lenny Bruce

        From the footage available, there doesn’t seem much evidence of law breaking.

        There seems to be hundreds of officers, dugs, helicopters and the like, to “look after” 150 weans. Sledgehammers and nuts. No?

        It’s a form of policing never visited on football fans in Scotland before, and is a very worrying development for anyone who loves going to see football live. It is redolent of the miners strike or a majo demo. Why are Glasgoe police covering up their I.D. Numbers? Why?

        This is all funded by you and me Carson, through taxes (you can filli n your own punch lines here. The comedy value of discussing with a former rangers fan on taxation matters will be lost on nobody).

        If you can take the wider view here Carson, you will realise this isnt a Celtic specific matter, and that your own Green Brigade copy cat groups at the tumbledown old stadium in Govan are equally at threat fromthis type of policing.

    • Monti

      The Green brigade are being VICTIMIZED,by the Police,it really is as simple as that. Carson if you were being recorded on your way to sign on,would you not feel victimized? Also please don’t draw parallels between the Green brigade & those two thugs. The Green brigade raise money for charities & other good work in the community, GOD BLESS THE GREEN BRIGADE! HAIL HAIL!!

      • Victimised ? From holding illegal demonstrations ! So I suppose you agree that the illegal demonstrators in Belfast in support of the flying if the union flag were victims of victimisation ? GOD BLESS THE GREEN SEAT BRIGADE .

        • portpower

          Belfast City Hall – 1 Vs the fleg – 0.

        • Monti

          Personally I don’t think the Butchers apron should be flown at ANY time of the year.

          • MONTIT , you would probably prefer this WHITE flag to be flown on your castle .

            • Monti

              there you go again, bad & offensive language,do you not understand that’s what gets you moderated? Can you not control yourself? You seem to me to be a somewhat, oddball individual,struggling to come to terms that you follow a tribute act,who have never won anything. You won’t gull me into using offensive language because your not quick enough in mind & thought, you support a NEW club who are stained forever from association with the dead club, Celtic are respected the world over,the greatest players in Europe come to play at our stadium & regularly comment on our wonderful fans & atmosphere & also the welcome opposition fans receive at parkhead. Breeze blocks is all you can muster? Really enjoying my football this season, Sevco rent Murray park out to our European opposition,how pathetic is that? You looking forward to your adventure in the Ramsdens cup next season? Can just see your bus heading up to Montrose,flute music blasting out & your all saying ‘what an adventure,this is great’ pmsl lmfao,this has been the FUNNIEST thing that has happened in Scottish football,ever. Your club died trying to reach Celtic, they failed lol, they are GONE!

            • Monti

              I don’t understand that? White flag? are you drinking tonight?

          • david

            You MUST have seen it quite a lot last week on the Falkland Islands , where you live.
            Or do you prefer the Argentine flag?

        • The Green Brigade don’t do rioting. Freedom of association & peaceful protest is not against the law.
          The Tangerine Trekkers get nice police escorts while they disrupt traffic & the general progress of the public. You couldn’t make this crap up. The police harassment of the GB is completely out of order.

      • Budweiser

        Monti and carson,

        We have a post about the Pope and what do you post about – football ! Don’t you know that this is a Saint’s day ? – SAINT MIRREN !!!!!!!!!!!

        Delete,delete, delete,delete,delete—-

        Due to inappropriate dancing and language the rest of this poster’s comments are in ‘ moderation ‘ until there is a ‘football post’.

    • portpower

      All Celtic supporters will have to give the Strathclyde Police 28 days notice before they walk through the gates at Celtic Park.

      • As they are disappearing like snow off a dyke there may in the future no need for ra polis to attend breezblock castle.

        • Monti

          Better breeze blocks than breathing in asbestos dust at the bigot dome….

          • Btw happy st Patrick’s day ! Oh it’s good to be a Muslim , Buddhist , Presbyterian, Roman catholic and Atheist Irishman and women , great to see from your previous posts you don’t exclude .

        • Monti

          We are still not disappearing as quick as an EBT form in Campbell Ogilvie’s shredder machine tho…. I see Sevco have set a world record for the most INFLATED attendance figures, pmsl lol…….

  13. There is darnel ! …..

    Before i set out, i would like to make clear that the following is not ‘whataboutery’ but rather interesting material i stumbled across during my research into my previous post. It is an insight into what is being discussed within closed circles of the Italian press and even open sources from inside the Vatican.

    It is not my purpose to report any of the ‘alleged’ contents of the investigations referred to in trhis post, or indeed any of the purported allegations, but rather an attempt to better understand the events surrounding the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and eventual election of a Jesuit to the role of Bishop of Rome.

    And so I begin ……..

    Thursday, October 11th was a joyous day in St Peter’s Square, as those present celebrated with Pope Benedict XVI the memory of Pope John XXIII, and fifty years from the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.
    But it was a deeply troubled pontiff that spoke that day …..

    “fifty years ago I was like you in this square, with eyes turned upward to watch and listen to the words full of poetry and goodness of the Pope. We were then happy. Full of enthusiasm, we were sure that should come a new springtime of the Church ”

    … Short break ….

    Pope Benedict continued …..

    We were happy, a thing of the past. …. “Today the joy is more sober, is humble. In fifty years we have learned that human frailty is also present in the Church “. ….. There is darnel, there are bad fish.

    Very few have understood, that afternoon in October. The crowd in the square applauded and cried remembering Pope John. …….. Nobody knew that two days before, Pope Benedict XVI had again met Cardinal Julian Herranz, an 83-year-old Spaniard appointed to chair a Commission of an internal Vatican inquiry.
    The inquiry was ordered by the Pope to determine the source of a problem within the Church’s hierarchy and Its employees. Three trusted senior Cardinals (Cardinals Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko, and Salvatore De Giorgi ), were chosen to provide a presentation of the raw material they’d collected.

    Each week, in private conversation, the Pope has noted with growing concern the developments of the investigation: dozens and dozens of interviews with prelates, Cardinals, Laity. In Italy and abroad. Tens and tens of minutes and signed by the respondents reviewed. The same questions to everyone, first, then interviews. Cross-checking. Checks. A framework from which was emerging a lobbying network that the three Cardinals have divided by origin of religious congregation, to geographical origin.

    Finally, that day in October, in the apartment of Ratzinger, for the first time was a document marked, although in Latin, with the words Impropriam influentiam. ….. I doubt it needs translation … !

    December 17, 2012, San Lazzaro.

    The three Cardinals deliver into the hands of the Pontiff the finalised result of their work. …. Two rigid folders bound in red, without header of nearly 300 pages in total, and which under “Pontifical secrecy”, are kept in the safekeeping of Ratzinger’s apartment for the readiness and deliverance into the hands of the next Pope. The decision had already been made. The only ‘knows’ at that time, besides the pontiff, where those who wrote them ……. Only from outside the immediate hierarchy could the “Relationem” as it has become known as, be tackled ………

    So in the week before Christmas the Pope made his decision. Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, one of the three inquisitors and present at the time of the decision later commented: “…. a gesture of fortitude, not of weakness …. for the good of the Church”

    Benedict went on to give a strong message to everyone in the exercise of authority or power that is considered irreplaceable. The Church is made up of men. The Pope has seen the problems and faced with an initiative so unprecedented as far-sighted “.

    The three Cardinals continued to work even beyond the 17th of last December, and some of the follow up revelations began to surface in some Italian media and even open Vatican sources ….. and the story began to unravel ….

    On the last day of his pontificate (Feb 27th), it is recorded that Benedict XVI received three Cardinals of Extenders Relationem in private audience.

    It is reported that he authorised the findings of the Relationem to be shared with the College of Cardinals ….. despite the different factions, the decision was almost assured, history was about to be made …… and I can now better understand how a conclave of ultra conservative Cardinals chose a Jesuit as the new Pope.


    • So if he addresses the major problems within the church if Rome good , if he is going to sweep them under the carpet , what’s all the fuss ? Ps STILL IN MODERATION AGAIN ,

      • @carson, ….. it’s early days …. but immediately one of his first acts was to to remove the grace and favour apartment of ….. Cardinal Law …..(i’ll leave that to everyone else to figure that one out ….), It seems the new Pope don’t do sweeping under the carpet …… interestingly ……. among the journalists to be recieved by the Pope and chosen by lottery (lucky dip ?) …. was one ….. Iacopo Scaramuzzi ……. but that’s for another day …

  14. Ok , still in moderation so I’ll rephrase , the new bishop of Rome should lay down a marker by sacking cardinal Napier .

  15. Newtz , excellent if the new man will meet the challenges head on good on him .

    • I honestly believe he will …. but it will take time ….and it’s going to be a rocky road ……..it appears that he has been elected with purpose …. I really do believe that history ‘could’ eventually judge him Pontifex Maximus ……

  16. Budweiser

    To all.

    This is the first chance that I have had to be on ‘ the computer ‘ in months. I see that I am referred to as ‘ Mrs Bud ‘.
    On reading ‘ Budweisers ‘ comments over the past year or so, I feel a certain sympathy for you all. But please have some sympathy for me, as I have to put up with him for real !
    I have noted some correspondences with a ‘ violet’ and ‘Maggie ‘. Listen girls pelease ,pehlease take him, he’s yours.
    After the police and ambulance brought him back tonight [ geez a kiss innat doll – your speshul ], can I just say that, he thinks that having sex is like a race ie whoever comes first wins ! [ yeah, beat you again – get the picture? ] and that his idea of foreplay is ‘ brace yourself Martha’ .
    He is now lying face down in the carpet with his head in the hamsters’ cage muttering ” I really, really, like your moustache ” whilst the hamsters are playing keepy- up with his false teeth.
    Can I now disappear into the ether saying that I thought Hearts should have won today and that ‘Budweiser’ will probably wake up tomorrow and go about wearing the hamsters cage on his head and not notice any difference in his world.

    • Delbhoy

      If thats genuinely you, Mrs Bud, fair play to ye. Very funny. Drop in again next time hes out cold.

      • Maggie

        I know,I’m loving Mrs B.I could use a gal pal on here as Violet
        doesn’t seem to like me anymore ( not even bovvered btw )
        Great win for the buddies tho’. I think Budweiser will be out of
        commission for days 🙂

    • Maggie

      Mrs Bud
      Hey girl ! Do not try that old trick!!!! Take on another deranged football
      fanatic,you’ve got to be kidding,we’ve all got one of them at
      home,you should have seen mine after Celtic beat Barca,I feel
      your pain 🙂

  17. Maggie

    Back on topic,well sort of.
    There was a great interview with Justin Welby,the new Archbishop
    of Canterbury in the Sunday Times Magazine yesterday.
    A very spiritual,good man who has known his share of troubles
    and human suffering.I was very impressed by him.
    What a wonderful asset he will be to the Christian community,to the
    C of E,and to ecumenism.

    He apparently “startled” the interviewer,Dominic Lawson,by declaring:
    “One of the greatest tragedies of Christian history is the
    Reformation,because of the split of the Church…..We’ve got
    to do something about that.We’ve been going at this ( problem )
    for 500 years.It may take a little longer”

    The article goes on to say “Whatever the differences between the
    Anglicans and the Catholics,the Creed is the heart of both Churches”
    Indeed.More unites us,than divides us.

    After the election of our new Pope,and now this wonderful man as
    Archbishop of Canterbury,I’m very hopeful for the future of Christianity,
    renewal in our church,and closer bonds with the other Christian

    Once again Paul,thank you for stimulating great debate on issues
    important to YOU on YOUR blog 🙂

  18. portpower

    Whoever comes first wins ! 9.5 for the Stuck Landing, Mrs Bud?

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