US Catholic Faith in Real Life

TV and Internet? Meh. What the pope really misses are pizza outings.

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c. 2015 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis told an Argentine newspaper that he never watches TV or logs on to the Internet and, perhaps not surprisingly, sleeps well.

Speaking to the newspaper La Voz Del Pueblo, the pope reflected on the little over two years since he was thrust into the global limelight.

He said the swift transition from being archbishop of Buenos Aires to leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was somewhat of a shock. Francis said he had “never!” expected to be elected back in March 2013 and had booked a return ticket home, where an unfinished homily awaited his attention.

The 78-year-old pope said he still misses some of the simple pleasures he enjoyed in Argentina. He seemed to particularly miss being able to pop out for pizza, telling the newspaper that “ordering one in the Vatican is not the same thing.”

A sociable pontiff, Francis also misses the Buenos Aires subway and feels a need to be close to others. “Psychologically, I can’t be far from people,” he said. The Vatican has remained tight-lipped about reports in 2013 that Francis often sneaks out of the Vatican at night to go talk to and help homeless people.

Within the walls of the Vatican City State, the pope also revealed that he hasn’t watched television since 1990 and spends no more than 10 minutes a day reading left-leaning Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Francis isn’t keen on the Internet, either, but manages to keep up with his favorite Buenos Aires soccer team, San Lorenzo, thanks to a well-informed Swiss Guard.

Although at times he appears tired, the pope said his “biological clock” wakes him up at 4 a.m., after a good six hours of sleep. “Afterwards I need a siesta. I sleep for 40 minutes to an hour, I kick off my shoes and throw myself on the bed,” he said.

While much has been made of the recent threats against the Vatican by Islamic State militants, the pontiff said he wasn’t worried. “I am in the hands of God,” he said, joking that he prayed he wouldn’t suffer physical pain, as he wasn’t good at coping.

When his time at the Vatican comes to an end, Francis was clear on how he’d like to be remembered: “As a person who has done his best to do good.”

Image: Flickr cc by Catholic Church (England and Wales)

Published: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2015