Pope Francis Quotes 1–30 of 115 Quotes

Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936) is the current Pope of the Catholic Church. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the son of Italian parents, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. On being elected Pope on 13 March 2013, he chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Below are 30 of 115 sourced Pope Francis quotes. Sources and related information appear under each quote. Use the 'Cite this quote' link to get citation references.

“The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: Said during a gathering of Latin American bishops, as quoted in 'Option for the Poor' alive and well in Latin America, National Catholic Reporter (21 May 2007)

“El cristiano ve a la Iglesia como Cuerpo de Cristo, como el recipiente que guarda íntegro el depósito de la fe, como la Esposa fiel que comunica sin mengua ni falta todo lo que Cristo le dejó como encargo … La Iglesia como realidad “santificada” plenamente y capaz de recibir y de comunicar — sin errores ni carencias, desde su propia pobreza y aun con sus pecados — toda la santidad de Dios, no es un “complemento” o un “agregado institucional” a Jesucristo, sino participación plena de su Encarnación, de su Vida, de su Pasión, muerte y Resurrección. … Al defender su pureza, su indefectibilidad, su santidad de Esposa, la Iglesia está defendiendo el “lugar” por donde pasa el Don la Vida de Dios al mundo y el don de la vida del mundo a Dios. Este don – cuya expresión más plena es la Eucaristía – no es un don más entre otros sino del don total de la Vida más íntima de la Trinidad que se derrama para la vida del mundo y la vida del mundo asumida por el Hijo que se ofrece al Padre.”

— Pope Francis

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More on this quote: The Christian sees the Church as the Body of Christ, as the vessel that guards with absolute integrity the deposit of faith, as the faithful Spouse who communicates without addition or subtraction all that Christ entrusted. … The Church as a fully “sanctified” reality and capable of receiving and of communicating – without error or defect, from its own poverty and even with its own sins — the full sanctity of God, is not a “complement” or an “institutional addition” to Jesus Christ, but a full participation of his Incarnation, of His Life, of His Passion, death and Resurrection. … In defending its purity, its indefectibility, its sanctity as the bride, the Church is defending the “place” through which the gift of the life of God passes on to the world and the gift of the life of the world to God. This gift – the fullest expression of which is the Eucharist – is not another gift among ourselves but the supreme gift of the most intimate life of the Trinity that poured forth for the life of the world and the life of the world assumed by the Son that is offered to the Father.
 • Catechesis (English translation) given by Bergoglio at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, in Quebec (18 July 2008)

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: Said in criticism of the government of Néstor Kirchner, former President of Argentina, in 2009, as quoted in "Pope Francis: the humble pontiff with practical approach to poverty" by Mark Rice-Oxley, in The Guardian (13 March 2013)

“Está en juego la vida de tantos niños que serán discriminados de antemano privándolos de la maduración humana que Dios quiso se diera con un padre y una madre. Está en juego un rechazo frontal a la ley de Dios, grabada además en nuestros corazones.Recuerdo una frase de Santa Teresita cuando habla de su enfermedad de infancia. Dice que la envidia del Demonio quiso cobrarse en su familia la entrada al Carmelo de su hermana mayor. Aquí también está la envida del Demonio, por la que entró el pecado en el mundo, que arteramente pretende destruir la imagen de Dios: hombre y mujer que reciben el mandato de crecer, multiplicarse y dominar la tierra. No seamos ingenuos: no se trata de una simple lucha política; es la pretensión destructiva al plan de Dios. No se trata de un mero proyecto legislativo (éste es sólo el instrumento) sino de una “movida” del padre de la mentira que pretende confundir y engañar a los hijos de Dios.Jesús nos dice que, para defendernos de este acusador mentiroso, nos enviará el Espíritu de Verdad.”

— Pope Francis

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More on this quote: Letter to nuns of Buenos Aires, regarding a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in Argentina (6 July 2010), as quoted in "Nuevo papa Francisco I se pronunció en 2010 contra el matrimonio gay" in Globovision (13 March 2013)
• At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts. … Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God's plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a "move" of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.
 • As quoted in "Cardinal Bergoglio Hits Out at Same-Sex Marriage" in The National Catholic Register (8 July 2010)
  • As quoted in "Is there hope for Francis on gay rights?" by Richard Socarides, in The New Yorker (14 March 2013)

“This is what I want, a poor Church for the poor.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: First audience at the Vatican, as quoted in Pope Francis describes wish for 'poor church for the poor', NBC News, (16 March 2013)

“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. "But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good." Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this "closing off" that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: As quoted in "Pope at Mass: Culture of encounter is the foundation of peace" at Vatican Radio (22 May 2013)

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! "Father, the atheists?" Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. "But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!" But do good: we will meet one another there.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: As quoted in "Pope at Mass: Culture of encounter is the foundation of peace" at Vatican Radio (22 May 2013)

“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying — and this is the fundamental thing — that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: As quoted in "Leading Atheist: Pope Francis “Is The Kind Of World Leader We Need”" by Joe Keohane, at Esquire (12 September 2013)

“The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended. … The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger (and) nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: Response to critics who have called him a Marxist, because of his criticism of capitalist theories in "Pope Francis: I’m Not a Marxist" in TIME magazine (15 December 2013)

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“The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the human soul the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“Ignatius, for understandable reasons, is the saint I know better than any other. He founded our Order. I'd like to remind you that Carlo Maria Martini also came from that order, someone who is very dear to me and also to you. Jesuits were and still are the leavening not the only one but perhaps the most effective — of Catholicism: culture, teaching, missionary work, loyalty to the Pope. But Ignatius who founded the Society, was also a reformer and a mystic. Especially a mystic.”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“[Mystics] have been fundamental [to the church]. A religion without mystics is a philosophy.”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“I love the mystics; Francis also was in many aspects of his life, but I do not think I have the vocation and then we must understand the deep meaning of that word. The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes. Brief moments but which fill an entire life.”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“When the conclave elected me Pope. Before I accepted I asked if I could spend a few minutes in the room next to the one with the balcony overlooking the square. My head was completely empty and I was seized by a great anxiety. To make it go way and relax I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows. I closed my eyes and I no longer had any anxiety or emotion. At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting and the table on which was the act of acceptance. I signed it, the Cardinal Camerlengo countersigned it and then on the balcony there was the '"Habemus Papam".”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“[St. Francis] is great because he is everything. He is a man who wants to do things, wants to build, he founded an order and its rules, he is an itinerant and a missionary, a poet and a prophet, he is mystical. He found evil in himself and rooted it out. He loved nature, animals, the blade of grass on the lawn and the birds flying in the sky. But above all he loved people, children, old people, women. He is the most shining example of that agape we talked about earlier.”

— Pope Francis

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Pope Francis" (Quotes, 2010s, 2013, Interview in La Repubblica:
Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents. I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here.”

— Pope Francis

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Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“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. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.”

— Pope Francis

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Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone.”

— Pope Francis

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Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

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“We will also discuss the role of women in the Church. Remember that the Church (la chiesa) is feminine.”

— Pope Francis

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Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“Transcendence remains because that light, all in everything, transcends the universe and the species it inhabits at this stage.”

— Pope Francis

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Interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace)

“Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 53

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 54

“While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 56

“Our world is being torn apart by wars and violence, and wounded by a widespread individualism which divides human beings, setting them against one another as they pursue their own well-being. In various countries, conflicts and old divisions from the past are re-emerging. I especially ask Christians in communities throughout the world to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). This was Jesus’ heartfelt prayer to the Father: “That they may all be one... in us... so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). Beware of the temptation of jealousy! We are all in the same boat and headed to the same port! Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in the gifts of each, which belong to all.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 99

“The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood. I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection. But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church. Because “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace”[72] and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 103

“Today, as the Church seeks to experience a profound missionary renewal, there is a kind of preaching which falls to each of us as a daily responsibility. It has to do with bringing the Gospel to the people we meet, whether they be our neighbours or complete strangers. This is the informal preaching which takes place in the middle of a conversation, something along the lines of what a missionary does when visiting a home. Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 127

“In this preaching, which is always respectful and gentle, the first step is personal dialogue, when the other person speaks and shares his or her joys, hopes and concerns for loved ones, or so many other heartfelt needs. Only afterwards is it possible to bring up God’s word, perhaps by reading a Bible verse or relating a story, but always keeping in mind the fundamental message: the personal love of God who became man, who gave himself up for us, who is living and who offers us his salvation and his friendship.”

— Pope Francis

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Quote source: 2010s, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium · The Joy of the Gospel: Full text online Section 128

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