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Why he chose the name Francis


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There were links to articles on another thread, but I wanted to share his entire talk here.




Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the the Paul VI Audience

Hall, the Holy Father greeted over 6,000 journalists and those working in

the media as well as for the Holy See, accredited either permanently or

temporarily, to cover the events related to the Conclave. He addressed them

with the following words:


"Dear friends, I am pleased, at the beginning of my ministry in the See of

Peter, to meet with you who have worked here in Rome at this very intense

period that began with the surprising announcement of my venerated

predecessor Benedict XVI, this past 11 February. I warmly greet each of



"The role of the mass media has been continuously growing in recent times,"

he said, "so much so that it has become essential to narrate the events of

contemporary history to the world. I therefore especially thank you for your

distinguished service these past few days-you have had a bit of work to do,

haven't you?-when the eyes of the Catholic world, and not only, were turned

toward the Eternal City, in particular to this area that has St. Peter's

tomb as its focal point. In these past few weeks you've gotten a chance to

talk about the Holy See, the Church, her rites and traditions, her faith,

and, in particular, the role of the Pope and his ministry."


"A particularly heart-felt thanks goes to those who have been able to

observe and present these events in the Church's history while keeping in

mind the most just perspective in which they must be read, that of faith.

Historical events almost always require a complex reading that, at times,

can also include the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly not

more complicated than political or economic ones. But they have one

particularly fundamental characteristic: they answer to a logic that is not

mainly that of, so to speak, worldly categories, and this is precisely why

it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wide and varied

audience. In fact, the Church, although it is certainly also a human,

historical institution with all that that entails, does not have a political

nature but is essentially spiritual: it is the people of God, the holy

people of God who walk toward the encounter with Jesus Christ. Only by

putting oneself in this perspective can one fully explain how the Catholic

Church works."


"Christ is the Church's Shepherd, but His presence in history moves through

human freedom. Among these, one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, Successor

of the Apostle Peter, but Christ is the centre, the fundamental reference,

the heart of the Church! Without Him, neither Peter nor the Church would

exist or have a reason for being. As Benedict XVI repeated often, Christ is

present and leads His Church. In everything that has happened, the

protagonist is, ultimately, the Holy Spirit. He has inspired Benedict XVI's

decision for the good of the Church; He has guided the cardinals in their

prayers and in their election. Dear friends, it is important to take due

account of this interpretive horizon, this hermeneutic, to bring the heart

of the events of these days into focus."


"From this is born, above all, a renewed and sincere thanks for your efforts

in these particularly challenging days, but also an invitation to always

seek to know more the Church's true nature and the spiritual motivations

that guide her and that are the most authentic for understanding her. Rest

assured that the Church, for her part, is very attentive to your precious

work. You have the ability to gather and express the expectations and needs

of our times, to provide the elements necessary to read reality. Like many

other professions, your job requires study, sensitivity, and experience but

it bears with it a particular attention to truth, goodness, and beauty. This

makes us particularly close because the Church exists to communicate Truth,

Goodness, and Beauty 'in person'. It should be clear that we are all called,

not to communicate ourselves, but rather this existential triad that shapes

truth, goodness, and beauty."


"Some people didn't know why the Bishop of Rome wanted to call himself

'Francis'. Some though of Francis Xavier, Francis de Sales, even Francis of

Assisi. I will tell you the story. At the election I had the archbishop

emeritus of Sao Paulo next to me. He is also prefect emeritus of the

Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes [O.F.M.]: a dear, dear

friend. When things were getting a little 'dangerous', he comforted me. And

then, when the votes reached the two-thirds, there was the usual applause

because the Pope had been elected. He hugged me and said: 'Do not forget the

poor.' And that word stuck here [tapping his forehead]; the poor, the poor.

Then, immediately in relation to the poor I thought of Francis of Assisi.

Then I thought of war, while the voting continued, until all the votes [were

counted]. And so the name came to my heart:: Francis of Assisi. For me he is

the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who love and safeguards

Creation. In this moment when our relationship with Creation is not so

good-right?-He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man .

Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor!"


"I wish the best for you, I thank you for everything that you have done. And

I think of your work: I wish you to work fruitfully and with serenity and to

always know better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reality of the Church.

I entrust you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of

evangelization. I I wish the best for you and your families, for each of

your families, and I wholeheartedly impart to all of you the blessing."


After personally greeting some of the journalists present, Pope Francis, in

Spanish, concluded: "I told you I wholeheartedly imparted my blessing. Many

of you don't belong to the Catholic Church, others are not believers. From

my heart I impart this blessing, in silence, to each of you, respecting the

conscience of each one, but knowing that each of you is a child of God: May

God bless you."

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