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I've been looking for some things that the new pope has said while a Cardinal. Whatever I find, I'll post here. Please add to the collection, and feel free to post excerpts you like of what has already been linked to.

For English translations of Pope Francis' homilies and letters, please visit There is a good collection there, most dating from 2008.
Here is an interview with him from 2012: “Careerism and vanity: Sins of the Church”.

An excerpt:

Quote:In his speech during the Consistory and in his homily on Sunday 19th February, the Pope stressed the fact that the cardinalate is a service and that the Church cannot build itself. What are your thoughts on Benedict XVI’s words? 

“I was struck by the imagery evoked by the Pope, who talked about James and John and the tensions between the first followers of Jesus on who should be first. This shows us that certain attitudes and arguments have existed in the Church since the beginning. And this should not shock us. The cardinalate is a service is, it is not an award to be bragged about. Vanity, showing off, is an attitude that reduces spirituality to a worldly thing, which is the worst sin that could be committed in the Church. This is affirmed in the final pages of the book entitled Méditation sur l’Église, by Henri De Lubac. Spiritual worldliness is a form of religious anthropocentrism that has Gnostic elements. Careerism and the search for a promotion come under the category of spiritual worldliness. An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth… Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.”

What does a cardinal’s role really involve then? 

“Cardinals are not NGO representatives, but servants of the Lord, inspired by the Holy Spirit, which is the One who is really able to differentiate charismas, unifying them in the Church. A cardinal must be able to difference between charismas and at the same time look towards unity. Aware that the creator of difference and unity is the Holy Spirit itself. Cardinals who do not enter this frame of mind, in my view, are not cardinals in the way Benedict XVI would like them to be.”

This Consistory was held at a difficult and tense time in light of the Vatican document leak. How do the Pope’s words help us to view this reality? 

“Benedict XVI’s words help us to live this reality form the point of view of conversion. I liked the fact that the last Consistory was held on the threshold of Lent. It is an invitation to look at the Church, holy and sinful as it is, to look at certain shortcomings and sins, without losing sight of the holiness of so many men and women who work in the Church today. I must not be scandalised by the fact that the Church is my mother: I must look at its sings and shortcomings as I would look at my mother’s sins and shortcomings. And when I think of her, I remember the good and beautiful things she has achieved, more than her weaknesses and defects. A mother defends herself with a heart filled with love before doing so with words. I wonder whether there is any love for the Church in the hearts of those who pay so much attention to the scandals.

Can you tell us show the Roman Curia is perceived from the outside? 

“I see it as a body that gives service, a body that helps me and serves me. Sometimes negative news does come out, but it is often exaggerated and manipulated to spread scandal. Journalists sometimes risk becoming ill from coprophilia and thus fomenting coprophagia: which is a sin that taints all men and women, that is, the tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects. The Roman Curia has its down sides, but I think that too much emphasis is placed on its negative aspects and not enough on the holiness of the numerous consecrated and lay people who work in it.”
Catechesis by his Eminence Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J (video ofhim speaking, simultaneously translated into English):
Here is his Lenten letter from this year:

And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. (Joel 2:13)

Little by little we become accustomed to hearing and seeing, through the mass media, the dark chronicle of contemporary society, presented with an almost perverse elation, and also we become [desensitized] to touching it and feeling it all around us [even] in our own flesh.  Drama plays out on the streets, in our neighborhoods, in our homes and -- why not? -- even in our own hearts.  We live alongside a violence that kills, that destroys families, that enlivens wars and conflicts in so many countries of the world.  We live with envy, hatred, slander, the mundane in our heart.

The suffering of the innocent and peaceable buffets us nonstop; the contempt for the rights of the most fragile of people and nations is not so distant from us; the tyrannical rule of money with its demonic effects, such as drugs, corruption, trafficking in people -- even children -- along with misery, both material and moral, are the coin of the realm [today].  The destruction of dignified work, painful emigrations and the lack of a future also join in this [tragic] symphony. 

Our errors and sins as Church are not beyond this analysis.  Rationalizing selfishnesses, does not diminish it, lack of ethical values within a society metastisizes in [our] families, in the environment of [our] neighborhoods, towns and cities, [this lack of ethical values] testifies to our limitations, to our weaknesses and to our incapacity to transform this innumerable list of destructive realities.

The trap of powerlessness makes us wonder:  Does it make sense to try to change all this?  Can we do anything against this?  Is it worthwhile to try, if the world continues its carnival merriment, disguising all [this tragedy] for a little while?  But, when the mask falls, the truth appears and, although to many it may sound anachronistic to say so, once again sin becomes apparent, sin that wounds our very flesh with all its destructive force, twisting the destinies of the world and of the history. 

Lent is presented us as a shout of truth and certain hope that comes us to say "Yes, it is possible to not slap on makeup, and not draw plastic smiles as if nothing happened."  Yes, it is possible that all is made new and different because God remains "rich in kindness and mercy, always willing to forgive" and He encourages us to begin anew time and again.  Today, again, we are invited to undertake a Paschal road toward Life, a path that includes the cross and resignation; a path that will be uncomfortable but not fruitless.  We are invited to admit that something inside us is not going well, (in society or in the Church) to change, to turn around, to be converted.

Today, the words of the prophet Joel are strong and challenging: Rend your heart, not your clothing: be converted to the Lord, your God.  These [words] are an invitation to all people, nobody is excluded.
Rend your heart, not the clothing of artificial penance without [an eternal] future. 
Rend your heart, not the clothing of technical fasting of compliance that [only serves to keep us] satisfied. 
Rend your heart, not the clothing of egotistical and superficial prayer that does not reach the inmost part of [your] life to allow it to be touched by God. 

Rend your heart, that we may say with the Psalmist:  "We have sinned." 

"The wound of the soul is sin: Oh, poor wounded one, recognize your Doctor!  Show him the wounds of your faults.  And, since from Him our most secret thoughts cannot hide themselves, make the cry of your heart felt [to Him].  Move him to compassion with your tears, with your insistence ¡beg him!  Let Him hear your sighs, that your pain reaches Him so that, at the end, He can tell you:  The Lord has forgiven your sins."  (St. Gregory the Great)

This is the reality of our human condition.  This is the truth that approaches authentic reconciliation between God and men.  This is not a matter of discrediting [one's] self-worth but of penetrating, to its fullest depth, our heart and to take charge of the mystery of suffering and pain that had tied us down for centuries, for thousands of years, [in fact,] forever. 

Rend your hearts so that through this opening we can truly see. 

Rend your hearts, open your hearts, because only with [such a] heart can we allow the entry of the merciful love of the Father, who loves us and heals us. 

Rend your hearts the prophet says, and Paul asks us -- almost on his knees -- "be reconciled with God."  Changing our way of living is both a sign and fruit of a torn heart, reconciled by a love that overwhelms us.
This is [God's] invitation, juxtaposed against so many injuries that wound us and can tempt us temptation to be hardened:  Rend your hearts to experience, in serene and silent prayer, the gentle tenderness of God.

Rend your hearts to hear the echo of so many torn lives, that indifference [to suffering] does not paralyze us. 

Rend your hearts to be able to love with the love with which we are beloved, to console with the consolation with which we are consoled and to share what we have received. 

The liturgical time the Church starts today is not only for us, but also for the transformation of our family, of our community, of our Church, of our Country, of the whole world.  They are forty days so that we may convert to the same holiness as God's; that we become collaborators who receive the grace and the potential to reconstruct human life so that everyone may experience the salvation which Christ won for us by His death and resurrection. 

Next to prayer and penitence, as a sign of our faith in the force of an all-transforming Easter, we also begin, as in previous years a "Lenten Gesture of Solidarity."  As Church in Buenos Aires, marching towards Easter and believing the Kingdom of God is possible we need that, in our hearts torn by the desire of conversion and by love, grace may blossom.  [We need] effective gestures to alleviate the pain of so many of our brothers who walk alongside.  "No act of virtue can be large if it does not also benefit another...  Therefore, no matter how you spend the day fasting, no matter how you may sleep on a hard floor, and how you may eat ashes and sigh continuously, if do not do good to others, you do not accomplish anything great."  (St. John Chrysostom)

This year of faith we are traversing is also an opportunity God gives us to grow and to mature in an encounter with the Lord made visible in the suffering face of so many children without a future, in the trembling hands of the elders who have been forgotten and in the trembling knees of so many families who continue to face life without finding anyone who will assist them. 

I wish you a holy Lent, a penitential and fruitful Lent and, please, I ask you all that you pray for me. 

May Jesus bless you and may the Blessed Virgin care for you. 


Card.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.
An Ash Wednesday Homily from 2011


It captures our attention, the kindness with which our hearts are touched today. It is a maternal tenderness: Return to God, allow yourself to be reconciled to God, harden not your heart, listen to the voice of the Lord. Show yourself, as you are, to the presence of God: as a sinner…and empty out your heart, make room for the Lord to enter. The Church speaks to us as a mother and she wants us to start this Lenten time with this goal, to walk towards the Lord. Towards an encounter with the Lord. That encounter that takes place within our heart. For this purpose: to cleanse our hearts of all those things which distract us from this encounter, or [which] disturb us from this encounter. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us: "Look, this is not about dressing up your soul, but, rather, about changing it…with almsgiving…with fasting…that is, thinking with attitudes of service and detachment…and with prayer, which is a petition to God. Alms, fasting or penance and prayer." To make room in your soul and to bring forth an encounter with the Lord.

But watch out! Do not do this for the sake of appearances because the enemy of the Christian is hypocrisy; Jesus wants us with an open heart, He ought not find us with hypocritical attitudes and thus He tells us:

“Look, cleanse your heart of weeds.”

"But how, Lord?"

“With prayer, penance and almsgiving.”

"Ah…but that's hard!"

Yes it is, like pulling weeds. That way your heart prepares for that encounter with the Lord. Return to God, allow yourself to be reconciled to God, harden not your heart, listen to the voice of the Lord. Make a place for Him in your heart, by means of prayer, penancand almsgiving, that He may come to you.

That's the invitation extended to you by the Church today, at the start of Lent; and the ashes imposed on us by the Church reminds us what a vanity is anything that is not Jesus, the Lord. And we [ought to] approach to receive the ashes with that great desire to return to the Lord, to convert ourselves for Him, to harden not our heart, to listen to the voice of the Lord, to make a place in our heart where we might encounter the Lord.
An interview with him from 2009:
Homily by His Eminence Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, during the Holy Mass in which he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation, given in Rome, Basilica of St Lawrence Outside the Walls, on 18 February 2012

Quote:In the prayer at the beginning of Mass we made an appeal to God the Father: “May your help, merciful Father, make us ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit”. We need the help of God to understand the voice of the Spirit, the newness of the Spirit. The Spirit is always new, always comes to renew. That’s what we heard in the first Reading, the prophecy: “I am doing something new”. So does God, so does the Spirit. So we ask God’s help to be attentive to the voice of the Spirit, to the new things.

Making everything new. The Gospel tells the story of the paralytic who was renewed by the power of the Spirit and of Jesus. The Spirit was in Jesus. Jesus is the one who sends the Spirit to renew everything. Jesus is the only one capable of starting everything anew, of beginning life again. Let us think about the life of this paralytic, the physical life, and also the inner life – because the Lord heals the soul first: “Your sins are forgiven”. Jesus has the power, with the strength of His Spirit, to renew the heart. We must have confidence in this. If we do not have confidence in the power of Jesus Christ as the only salvation, the only one who can make all things new, we are fake Christians. We are not true Christians.

Jesus does not force you to be a Christian. But if you say you are a Christian you must believe that Jesus has all the strength – the only one who has the strength – to renew the world, to renew your life, to renew your family, to renew the community, to renew everybody. This is the message that today we must take with us when asking the Father to make us attentive to the voice of the Spirit that does this work: the Spirit of Jesus

Today, following the invitation of my friend Don Giacomo, whom I treasure so much, and we all must pray for him, because he’s somewhat ill... Shall we all pray for him? Yes or no? I can’t hear anything ... If the prayer is like that, we’re done for... Shall we will pray for him? Yes!

The call for today is to perform these confirmations on you who come to receive the strength of the Spirit of God: believe in the power of the Spirit! It is the Spirit of Jesus. Believe in Jesus who sends you this Spirit – to you and all of us: He sends the Spirit to renew everything. You are not fake Christians, Christians only in name. You are Christians with your words, with your hearts, with your hands. Feel like Christians, talk like Christians and do the work of Christians. But you alone could not do it. It is Jesus who will give you this Spirit, will give you the strength to renew everything: not you, but Him in you.

And with this thought of Jesus who is the only salvation, the only one who brings us grace, who gives us peace, brotherhood, who gives us salvation, let us continue the celebration of this Mass with the recitation of the Creed, the profession of our faith.

(He has spoken about  Don Giacomo, whom he mentions here, at greater length later: )
A letter he wrote to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (June 22, 2010), on marriage:

Quote:Dear Sisters,

I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires. The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex.

The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.

I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a "move" of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the Nation [patria], before this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Ghost that may place the light of Truth amid the shadows of error; it needs this Advocate who may defend us from the enchantment of so many sophisms with which this bill is being justified, and which confuse and deceive even people of good will.

That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have. Cry out to the Lord that he may send his Spirit to the Senators who are to place their votes. That they may not do it moved by error or by circumstantial matters, but rather according to what the natural law and the law of God tell them. Pray for them, for their families; that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray that they may do great good for the Nation.

This bill will be discussed in the Senate after July 13. Let us look towards Saint Joseph, to Mary, the Child, and let us ask with fervor that they will defend the Argentine family in this moment. Let us recall what God himself told his people in a time of great anguish: "this war is not yours, but God's". That they may succour, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.

Thank you for what you will do in this struggle for the Nation. And, please, I beg you, pray for me also. May Jesus bless you, and may the Blessed Virgin protect you.


Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio s.j., Archbishop of Buenos Aires
An interview with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from 2007 on the fifth General Conference of the Latin American bishops:

More about that conference (and Cardinal Bergoglio's comments on how it proceeded) here:
An interview with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergogli (from 2007) about baptism and the sacraments.

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