Pope Francis explains why he chose his name, urges a ‘church of the poor’

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St. Francis of Assisi (seen here in a stained glass window at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii) is the patron saint of animals. RNS file RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom

St. Francis of Assisi (seen here in a stained glass window at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii) is the patron saint of animals. RNS file RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom

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The new pontiff explains his choice of name in off-the-cuff remarks to journalists on Saturday, and emphasizes care of the environment. He also gives them only a silent blessing in respect for non-Catholics and nonbelievers, potentially a controversial move.

  • Grace Reale

    I have heard many good things about Pope Francis I. I certainly like his concern for the poor and the environment. I believe he is far more likely to follow the guidance of Jesus than the money brokers of the Vatican. I have not heard one word about his attitude toward the role of women in the future church. Does anyone have a clue?

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  • I am a simple man, a simple Buddhist Monk, and I would like to say I have been following Pope Francis since he has been elected. I would like to say thus far in my belief he has been great, and a very humble man. I believe the True Vicar of Christ is upon us and I wish him well. May he and his parishioners be blessed always.

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  • John McGrath

    Unless he appoints women as Cardinals we will know that women are low down on his hierarchy. Cardinals do not have to be priests, do not have to be male.

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