(Vatican Radio) Addressing the media as “dear friends”, Pope Francis spoke of how
the role of mass media continues to grow and how it is indispensible for telling the
stories of contemporary society. The Pope thanked the media for the service they have
rendered over these past days, jokingly remarking on how hard the media has been working.
He spoke about the complexity of recounting historical events like the election of
a pope and of how important it is to present such an event in the light of Faith.
“The Church” – he said – “does not respond to an earthly logic” and can be difficult
to communicate effectively because “the nature of the Church is spiritual, not political”.
This is the only perspective in which the work of the Church can be presented, said
“Christ”, he continued, “is the centre, not the Successor of
Peter…Christ is the reference point at the heart of the Church, without Him, Peter
and the Church would not exist”. The protagonist of all these events, said the Pope,
is the Holy Spirit: “it was He who inspired the decision of Benedict XVI for the good
of the Church, it was He who inspired the choice of the Cardinals”. It is important
to keep this in mind, he added, as we try to interpret the events of the past few
Pope Francis then reflected on what he called the “trinity of communication:
Truth, Goodness and Beauty”. “We are not called to communicate ourselves, but this
trinity…the Church exists to communicate Truth, Goodness and Beauty”.
then departed from his prepared speech to recount why he chose the name “Francis”.
Some people, he said, still don’t understand whether he named himself after Francis
Xavier or Francis De Sales or St Francis of Assisi. He described how, during the conclave,
he was seated beside the Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paolo and Cardinal Claudio Hummes,
a close friend of his. “When the matter became dangerous” – said Pope Francis – “he
comforted me”. And when the votes were being counted and it was clear the Pope had
been elected, the Cardinals began to applaud and Cardinal Hummes “embraced me and
kissed me and said: ‘Don’t forget the poor’…and that struck me…the poor…Immediately
I thought of St Francis of Assisi…Francis was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a
man who loved and protected creation.” That, said Pope Francis, is how the name came
to mind. “How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor” – he added.
Pope then continued his account of the name choice by saying how some had suggested
he take the name Pope Adrian, because of his association with reforming the Church.
And in reference to the fact that he is a Jesuit, the Pope added how others said he
should call himself Clement XV to get back at Clement XIV who suppressed the Society
of Jesus in 1773…
Pope Francis concluded his encounter with representatives
of mass media from all round the world by extending his best wishes to them, their
work and their families. He imparted his apostolic blessing, however, in silence
– out of respect, he said, for the fact that “not everyone present belongs to the
Catholic faith and others do not believe.” “I respect the conscience of each one of
you”, he said, “knowing that each one of you is a Child of God. May God bless you”.