Rorate Caeli

"The Pope: I don’t watch TV, I read only La Repubblica"

Good news: the Pope does not watch TV. On the other hand, his only daily newspaper is to the far left side of the Italian political spectrum.

The Pope: I don’t watch TV, I read only La Repubblica
To an Argentine newspaper: No video-watching, it is a vow he made in 1990

Paolo Luigi Rodari
La Repubblica
May 25, 2015

Rome. The Pope in an interview. “I read only one newspaper, “La Repubblica”, which is a middle-class newspaper [Note: La Repubblica is the newspaper of record of the anticlerical Socialist upper classes in Italy, under the direction of new papal interviewer, Atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari]. I read it in the morning and it doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes. But, I haven’t watched the TV since 1990. It is a vow I made to the Virgin of Mount Carmel on the night of July 15th 1990.

The Pope said so yesterday in a long interview he gave to “La Voz del Pueblo” a daily newspaper from a small, Argentinean town, Tres Arroyos. If Benedict XVI watched [Italian public television] RAI News every evening and leafed through the main Italian and German newspapers during the day, it is not the case for Jorge Mario Bergoglio as he has time to read only our newspaper in the morning.

The interview made news because of Pope Francis’ statement about the world of fanatical football supporters: “Most of the fanatical supporters don’t fight for their team, they are mercenaries” said the Pope. An expert on football, addressing the violence of “futbol” in Argentina he doesn’t use half-terms. The same clear way he uses when indicating the three main evils in the world: poverty, corruption and the traffic of human-beings.”

His condemnation on football is firm. Commenting on the aggression that four players of River Plate football team experienced by a Boca Juniors fan, Bergoglio emphasized: “It’s a shame. They are made savages by those who are overcome by passion, along with aggressiveness - by their incapacity to live in society. It is deplorable that entities like “barras bravas” (fanatical supporters) exist in our country, [but] I know they exist in other countries too.”

“La Voz” also asked Pope Francis if he had ever dreamt he would have become Pope. “Never!” was his reply. Pope Francis’s response to the question about being the second-most –voted-for after Ratzinger in 2005 was: “So they say…in the previous election I was in the newspapers as a likely candidate. Inside [the conclave] it was clear that it had to be Benedict – there was almost complete unanimity, a fact that I liked a lot. His candidature was clear. There were several other “possibles” but no one strong.

As to “the possibility” of being elected two years ago, Pope Francis maintained instead that “in the other conclave I was on the list of likely candidates. But [not] the second time, because of my age (76) and because there were fitter people.”

[Translation: Francesca Romana]