Pope: I Stay in Hotel for My 'Psychiatric' Health

Francis gets frank in talk with students
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2013 7:47 AM CDT
Pope: I Stay in Hotel for My 'Psychiatric' Health
Pope Francis smiles he listens to children reading out their message during an audience with students of Jesuit schools and institutions in Italy and Albania, at the Vatican, Friday, June 8.   (Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis has revealed that he never wanted to be pope and that he's living in the Vatican hotel for his "psychiatric" health. Francis got very personal today as he met with thousands of children from Jesuit schools across Italy and Albania. Answering their questions one by one, Francis told them the decision to become a priest had been difficult for him and that he had suffered "moments of interior darkness" when "you feel dry, without interior joy."

But he said he went ahead because he loved Christ. Teresa, a bright-eyed redhead no more than six, asked Francis flat out if he had wanted to be pope. After joking around ("Someone who wants to be pope does not really like themselves," the Telegraph reports him as saying), Francis replied: "I didn't want to be pope." As for turning down the papal apartments, the Telegraph notes that Francis said, "It's a personality problem. I need to live with people. If I lived alone, I would feel a bit isolated and it wouldn't be good for me. It would be bad and boring." (More Pope Francis stories.)

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