As the Pontifex Twitter account reminded us before all this excitement began, Pope Benedict was not known for open communication with the public, so Pope Francis's "smiling" and "mostly off-the-cuff" audience with journalists in Rome on Saturday was (relatively) refreshing and fun. (He recalled that a fellow cardinal comforted him as he received more and more conclave votes and "the situation became dangerous.") The new pontiff confirmed that he had chosen to take the name of Saint Francis of Assisi because he was "a man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man" and added, "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." He also had a special message for the assembled reporters, who he invited to "always try to better understand the true nature of the Church, and even its journey in the world, with its virtues and with its sins." It's a difficult request for the head of such a scandal-plagued institution to make, but we guess it's nice of him to ask.
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