Pope Francis says wants "poor Church and Church for the poor"
VATICAN CITY - Reuters
Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with the media at the Pope VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, March 16, 2013. Pope Francis offered intimate insights Saturday into the moments after his papal election, telling an audience with the press that he was immediately inspired to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi because of his work for peace and the poor, and was embraced by another cardinal amid applause inside the conclave. AP PhotoPope Francis, giving his clearest indication yet that he wants a more austere Catholic Church, said on March 16 that it should be poor and remember that its mission is to serve the poor. The pope made his comments in an audience with journalists, explaining why he chose to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of peace, austerity and poverty.
He called Francis "The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man," and added "How I would like a poor Church, and for the poor".
Since his shock election on Wednesday, the pope has made clear that he would be introducing a different style to the papacy following the resignation of Pope Benedict last month.
On the night he was elected he shunned the papal limousine and travelled on a bus with other cardinals who had elected him.
The next day he returned to the Church-run hotel where he had been staying before the conclave and insisted on paying the bill.
In other parts of his Italian address, much of it unscripted, he said that Catholics should remember that Jesus is the centre of the Church and not the pope.
Francis is taking the helm of the 1.2 billion-member Church at a time of crisis over the worldwide sexual abuse scandal as well as scandals involving intrigue and alleged corruption in the Vatican bureaucracy.
He said the Church, like any institution, had "virtues and sins" and urged journalists to focus on "truth, goodness and beauty" in the course of their work. (Reporting By Philip Pullella and Catherine