International News

Pope Explains He Also Needs to Go to Confession

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A pope needs friends, needs mercy and needs to reach out to all people, Pope Francis said in two radio interviews released in mid-September.

Pope Francis told Portugal’s Catholic Radio Renascenca that he goes to confession “every 15 days, 20 days. I confess to a Franciscan priest, Father Blanco, who is kind enough to come here and confess me.”

Laughing, the pope said, “I’ve never had to call an ambulance” to carry him away “in shock over my sins!”
In a separate interview with Argentina’s Radio Milenium, Pope Francis was asked how he feels when he hears people refer to him as a global moral leader and a point of reference for all humanity.

“I know that I am a sinner,” the pope responded, and “so I speak with Jesus and tell him, ‘People are so good to think this of me.’ But the good that is in me, I owe to him. It is a gift from God.”

The interviewer, Marcelo Figueroa, a Protestant, was the host of the television program the pope used to appear on in Buenos Aires with Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

The radio broadcast focused on the biblical idea of friendship, a topic for the television program that was interrupted by the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’ election as Pope Francis in 2013.

Pope Francis told Figueroa, “I’ve never had as many ‘friends’ – in quotation marks – as I have now. Everyone is a friend of the pope!”

However, he said, friendship is something “very sacred.” It involves walking alongside another person. Friendship takes time.

And it is not about “using” the other, which Pope Francis said has happened to him, just as it happens to everyone.


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