VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told thousands of journalists today he loved them and thanked them for their recent work.
“I love you so much, and I thank you for all that you have done,” Pope Francis told more than 5,000 journalists today at Paul VI hall in the Vatican.
“We aren’t called to communicate about ourselves, but on this trinity of truth, goodness and beauty,” he told the journalists at 11am local time.
The newly elected Pope from Argentina spoke to them and their families on the third day of his pontificate.
“Your work needs study, sensibility, experience, like all other professions, but needs to also give special attention to truth, goodness and beauty,” said the Pope.
“That is why we are so close, because the Church exists to communicate precisely this,” he stated.
He thanked the journalists for their “hard work” covering the days since Benedict XVI announced his resignation, adding that it is not easy to communicate to “a vast and varied public.”
“Be sure that the Church reserves a big attention to your precious work,” said the 76-year-old Argentinean.
The pontiff told the professionals that Jesus is the center of the Church and not himself.
“Without him, Peter and the Church would not exist, nor would they have a reason for existing,” he said.
Pope Francis also explained that he chose the name Francis because of what a cardinal told him on the day he became Pope.
“On the election day, I had next to me the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paolo and the prefect emeritus of the Congregation of the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a great friend,” he said.
“When the voting resulted in the election of the Pope, he hugged me, he kissed me, and he told me, 'Do not forget the poor,’" said the Pope.
He explained that the words “the poor” remained stuck in his head, and he suddenly thought of St. Francis of Assisi.
“Man of poverty, man of peace, man who loves and guards the Creator,” said Pope Francis.
“And in these times, we don’t have a good relation with the Creator, right?" he asked the crowd.
He explained that it is the poor man who gives “a spirit of peace.”
“Oh, how I would like a poor Church and for the poor!" he remarked.
The new Pope said some people joked, saying he should have named himself “Adrian” because Adrian VI was a reformer.
“Another told me I should be called ‘Clement XV’ to revenge myself from Clement XIV, who suppressed the Jesuits,” the Pope exclaimed, laughing.
The Pope then personally greeted several Vatican journalists, including a blind man and his yellow Labrador, which he patted.