The Argentine Pope is on this week’s cover of the famous magazine “Paris Match,” generally reserved for sports and stage celebrities. The magazine published a long interview with the Pope by Vatican expert Caroline Pigozzi, where such topics appear as poverty, human dignity, criticisms of capitalism and the environment. In sum, there is nothing new (there was thought of some revelation on an eventual trip to France, greatly desired by the country’s Catholics), or “scandalous,” (not even a reference to the question of the gay ambassador Laurent Stefanini or to Monsignor Charamsa’s outing), but only the topics dearest to him.
Striking, however, are the colorful personal details that the Argentine Pope reveals in every direct conversation with the press. For instance, his gratitude for his Jesuit formation which gave him “the discernment dear to Saint Ignatius, the daily search to know the Lord better and to follow him ever more closely.”
Or his devotion to Saint Therese of Lisieux, “one of the Saints that speaks to us most of the grace of God and how God takes care of us,” to whom he entrusts himself again today in moments of difficulty, or to her parents, Louis and Zelie, whom he will canonize next October 18, “a couple of evangelizers that witnessed the beauty of faith in Jesus, within the domestic walls and outside.”
Striking also are statements such as: “I have always been a priest of the street” and “now also I would like to walk through the streets of Rome, a very beautiful city.” Perhaps dressed “simply as a priest?”, he asks the journalist. “I haven’t abandoned altogether the clergyman’s black under the white cassock!” says Bergoglio, confirming once again his desire “to eat a good pizza with friends.”
“I know it’s not easy, in fact almost impossible. What is never wonting to me is contact with the people. I meet so many, many more than when I was in Buenos Aires, and this gives me much joy! When I embrace the persons I meet, I know that it is Jesus who holds me in his arms.”