Pope Francis has been making headlines ever since he was elected the Roman Catholic Church’s leader six months ago, and now he’s getting even more attention. “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God,” he said in an interview, essentially taking a dig at the Catholic Church hierarchy by condemning its “Vatican-centric view.”
“I believe in God, not in a Catholic God. There is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation,” the pope said in the interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, as quoted by the Inquisitr. “Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think we are very far apart?”
The 76-year-old Argentinean pontiff added he does not agree with everything his religion stands for: “This Vatican-centric view neglects the world around us,” he said. “I do not share this view, and I’ll do everything I can to change it.”
Pope Francis plans to do so by being more involved with the community. He stated his plan: “The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.”
Eugenio Scalfari, the co-founder and former editor of La Repubblica, was surprised to get the exclusive interview with the pope in the first place, but even more suprised at the pope's comments.
“‘God is not Catholic,’” Scalfari quoted the pope as saying, according to NBC News. Confused, he asked Pope Francis to elaborate, and the pontiff reportedly replied, “‘God is universal, and we are Catholic in the sense of the way we worship him.’”
Pope Francis was reportedly taken aback when he was elected pope by the conclave in March. He briefly thought about refusing but then accepted his role. “When in the conclave they elected me pope, I asked for some time alone before I accepted,” he said in the interview. “I was overwhelmed by great anxiety, then I closed my eyes and all thoughts, including the possibility of refusing, went away.”