As a boy, pope wanted to be a butcher

2015-11-06 17:20
(Ismael Francisco, AP)

(Ismael Francisco, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - When he was still knee-high to a grasshopper, Pope Francis never dreamt of becoming the leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics. His secret desire? To be a butcher.

"When I was little, there were no shops where they used to sell things," the pontiff said in an interview published on Friday, as he recounted his life growing up in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

"There was a market with a butcher and a fruit-seller. I used to go with my mother and my grandma to do the shopping. I was little, four years old. And they asked me 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' and I said 'butcher!'."

The revelation came during an interview with a Dutch paper, "Straatnieuws", sold by the homeless in the central city of Utrecht.

The pontiff, the first to grace the Vatican from Latin America, also confided that he missed being able to walk on the streets.

In his modest district of Buenos Aires, there was a small square where he played football, although with little success.

"Those who played like I did were dubbed the hard potatoes. In other words, we had two left feet.

"But I would play, and often I'd be goalie."

It's been a tough week for the pontiff, after two people were arrested last weekend for allegedly leaking confidential documents revealing gross financial mismanagement at the Vatican.

The pope again explained why he had snubbed the grand official Papal Apartments with some 10 rooms, comparing it to "a funnel. It's big, but with a small door”.

"It means isolating oneself. I thought I can't live there, it wouldn't be good for my mental health."

Instead, the pope chose to take up residence in a two-room flat in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence, where he can receive visitors and eat with others in the canteen.

"Like that, the golden cage doesn't seem such a cage," said Francis, who also revealed that he "would love" to be able to go out for a pizza from time to time.

But he brushed aside his new-found celebrity, saying "I don't think about the fact that I'm famous."

"I tell myself, you have an important position now, but in 10 years’ time no-one will still recognise you," he added with a laugh.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  pope francis  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.