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Pope Francis Calls For A Church 'For The Poor'

Salomon Fuentes |
March 16, 2013 | 9:35 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Pope Francis (Creative Commons)
Pope Francis (Creative Commons)
In his first meeting with the media on Saturday, Pope Francis told reporters that he would seek a more scaled-down Roman Catholic Church.

"Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor," Francis said.

Reuters reports the remarks came as Francis joked with and expressed thanks to the thousands of journalists on hand at the Vatican. When asked why he chose the name Francis, the Pope explained that he sought to model himself after Saint Francis of Assisi, who was an advocate for the poor. "The name came to my heat," Francis said.

ALSO SEE: Pope Francis' First Day

Francis' decision to focus on the poor is not surprising, given he belongs to the Jesuit order and his history in Argentina, where he is now being called "the slum pope." According to Fox News, in his time as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis was known for going to the city's slums and drinking tea with the poor and even washing their feet.

The Vatican spent Friday defending Francis from accusations that he was complicit in Argentina's Dirty War during the 1970s. The New York Times reported that a Church spokemans said the accusations were not credible and that Francis had spent those years protecting individuals from the Argentinian miltary.

Reach Executive Producer Salomon Fuentes here; Follow him on Twitter here.



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