I did not want to be Pope, Francis tells students

Pope Francis

The pope was elected in March.

The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, who has railed against “careerism” in the Church since being elected to his post three months ago, said on Friday that he never yearned for the post.

Popes are appointed by cardinals in a highly-secretive process.

The Argentine-born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, formerly the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was seen as a surprise choice by most Vatican watchers.

“No, I did not want to be pope,” Francis said in an unscripted question-and-answer session with students from Jesuit schools. “A person who wants to be pope does not love himself.”

He also explained to students why he had refused the large apartment normally reserved for Popes, preferring to stay in the Vatican guest house instead.

“I need to live among people: if I lived alone, maybe a little isolated, it would not be good for me,” Francis said.

At the start of the meeting, the Pope said he did not want to read the five-page speech he had prepared because it was “a little boring,” and told the students that he would make “a little summary” and then take questions from them instead.

(dpa/NAN)

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