Vatican City, Jun 7, 2013 / 08:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told thousands of children who gathered at the Vatican on Friday that he did not want to be the head of the Church before his election.
“Someone who wants, who has the desire to be Pope doesn’t love themselves, but I didn’t want to be Pope,” he said at a June 7 meeting in Paul VI Hall.
“Do you know what it means if someone doesn’t love themselves very much?” he asked the 7,000 children from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania in response to a girl’s question.
The students were accompanied by their teachers and family members, as well as alumni of the schools, on the trip to the Vatican.
Pope Francis chose to speak off-the-cuff for a little over five minutes instead of reading a five-page set of remarks.
He then answered questions posed by a few children, who waited on the side of the stage, close to where he was sitting.
One of them asked him why he had chosen to live in Saint Martha’s House instead of the Papal Apartments in the Apostolic Palace.
“I can’t live alone, do you understand?” he remarked. “It’s not a question of my personal virtue, it’s just that I can’t live alone.”
“A professor asked me this question, ‘why don’t you go live there?’ and I answered, ‘listen, professor, it’s for psychiatric reasons’ because that’s my personality,” the Pope said.