Pope: Advice From Cardinal Led to Name 'Francis'

'Don't forget the poor,' friend told him

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 16, 2013 7:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pope Francis met with the international media today and shed more light on why he picked the name Francis. As the votes were being counted and it became clear that Jorge Bergoglio would be the next pope, a fellow cardinal from Brazil turned to him and said, "Don't forget the poor," he recalled. "Right away, with regard to the poor, I thought of St. Francis of Assisi, then I thought of war," he said, reports CNN. "Francis loved peace and that is how the name came to me." St. Francis, he added, was a "poor man, a simple man," and the new pope said he wanted a church "for the poor."

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, speaks to four cardinals who say a four-minute speech by Bergoglio in the runup to voting lifted him from a so-so candidate into front-runner status. "He spoke of the need for catechesis and the need to address the poor," says one, along with "the question of justice and the dignity of the human person." Bergoglio told his fellow cardinals that the church needed to stop navel-gazing at the Vatican and start focusing on social justice in the world outside Rome. Click for more on how his election came to be.

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a meeting with the media at the Vatican Saturday.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis pats the guide dog of a guest during a meeting with the media.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Pope Francis gestures during a meeting with the media.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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