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Pope Francis tells children he didn't want to be pope

Friday, June 07, 2013 - 01:32

June 7 - Pope Francis told a large audience of Jesuit children on Friday that he had not wanted to become pontiff, and that he had decided against moving into the luxurious papal apartments in order to preserve his mental health. Mana Rabiee reports.

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He didn't want to be Pope. At least that's what he said on Friday ... when Pope Francis answered a light-hearted round of Q and A from children gathered at the Vatican. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) YOUNG CHILD TERESA SAYING: "Francesco did you want to be pope?" (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "Do you know what it means if someone doesn't love themselves? Someone who wants to be pope doesn't really like themselves. God wouldn't bless that. I did not want to be pope. " And there was another glimpse into the Pontiff's heart. This girl asked why he refused to live in the luxurious papal apartments, choosing instead a simple hotel-like residence. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "I need to live amongst people. If I lived on my own, a little bit isolated it wouldn't be good for me. You know a professor asked me this question. "Why don't you go and live there?" And I replied "Listen to me professor, for psychiatric reasons." Pope Francis has said he wants his papacy to focus on helping the world's poor. He's setting an example by declining papal privileges, including a lavish summer palace that hosted popes for centuries, and was a favorite retreat of his predecessor Benedict.

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Pope Francis tells children he didn't want to be pope

Friday, June 07, 2013 - 01:32