09 November 2015
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Pope interviewed by homeless man for The Big Issue
A formerly homeless street paper seller has interviewed Pope Francis.
Marc, 51, who sells Straatnieuws in Utrecht, Holland, met the Pope in the Vatican on 27 October with the interview being distributed by the International Network of Street Papers - it will be published in The Big Issue on 9 November.
During the interview the Pope said: “If a believer speaks about poverty, and leads the life of a Pharaoh – this cannot be done.”
The Pope also warned about the Church coming too close to governments in their country.
“Agreements can be made,” he said, “but they must be clear agreements, transparent agreements.” This, he added, “because there is always the temptation to corruption in public life – both political and religious.”
Asked whether he is ever tempted to sell the treasures of the Vatican, the Holy Father replied, “This is an easy question. They are not the treasures of the Church, but the treasures of humanity.”
Explaining why he chose to grant the interview, Pope Francis said: “I want a world without poverty. We need to fight for that.”
Francis’ comments came in the same week that two books detailing the Pope’s attempts to combat financial mismanagement in the Vatican were released.
Marc said: “It was so brilliant that he made the time for me and he thanked me for making such a long journey to meet with him. He thought about my questions so calmly. He took me seriously, that was really great. He is such a kind, wise but also humorous man. We had a really good laugh!”
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