When Pope Francis was asked to speak to students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy on Friday, he decided to drop his planned speech and answer questions from the students instead, the Independent Catholic News reports.
The Holy Father didn’t mince words, even when Teresa, a bright-eyed redhead no more than 6 asked Francis whether he wanted to be pope. “Someone who wants to be pope does not really like themselves,” he said, laughing, Agence France-Presse reports. He continued, “I did not want to be pope.”
Another student asked why he chose to live at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican hotel, instead of the Apostolic Palace.
“It's for ‘psychiatric reasons,’" the pope said. “That apartment [in the Apostolic Palace] isn't so luxurious either, don't worry. But I can't live alone, do you understand?”
Drawing from that concern, another student asked the pontiff whether he gets to see his friends from elementary school.
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“My friends are 14 hours away from here by plane, right? They're far from here, but I want to tell you something, three of them came to find me and greet me and I see them and they write to me and I love them very much,” he said. “You can't live without friends, that's important.”
Pope Francis went on to speak about global poverty, a topic he addressed on the United Nations World Environment Day, when he compared wasting food to stealing from the poor, the Telegraph reports.
He told the students global poverty was a “scandal.” He went on to say, “In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons.”
But Pope Francis said he wanted the children to remain optimistic. “Don't let yourselves be robbed of hope. Please, don't let it be stolen from you,” he said.