Pope Francis: Looking back at his first month in office

2013-04-12 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was elected exactly one month ago on 13 March and since then he has captivated people around the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, with his personal warmth, his simplicity and eschewing of pomp and his love for the poor and marginalised. One person who has been busy researching into the personality and background of the new Pope is Matthew Bunson, the U.S. author of a just-released biography in English entitled “Pope Francis.” He spoke to Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges

Listen to the extended interview with Matthew Bunson:

Asked for his assessment of Pope Francis’ first month in office, Bunson describes it as “remarkably smooth,” saying the Holy Father “settled in with remarkable ease.” He lists Francis’ pontificate as one of “service, immense prayer and love for the poor” and he also mentions the Pope’s remarkable homilies at his early morning mass and his “deeply poignant gestures” towards the vulnerable and marginalized. “Pope Francis has brought a beautiful prayer voice, a prophetic voice for seeing Christ in others,” he says.

Asked about the feedback to his newly-published biography of the Pope, Bunson says it has been remarkably well received but believes this is more because “it’s a reflection of the way the world has been captivated by the new Pope and they (the readers) want to know more about him and what road we’re taking with him.”

Bunson says his research into the character and background of the new Pope brought to light his very “deep Marian devotion” whilst his personal interests (a love of soccer, opera and reading) showed that Francis “is a well-rounded personality.” His frugal lifestyle is by now well-known and as a case in point, Bunson says the former Cardinal Bergolio would have a simple lunch and his evening meal was often just “a cup of tea and an apple.”