Pope Francis: Your Lovelorn, Tango-Dancing, Soccer-Supporting Pontiff

Pope Francis apparently joined the priesthood after having his affections spurned by a girl.

  • Share
  • Read Later
AFP / Getty Images

Pope Francis posing with the emblem of San Lorenzo soccer team during his previous role as Argentina's Cardinal.

As Pope Francis settles into his role as the supreme pontiff, the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics continue to find out new things about the Holy Father — for example, that he apparently joined the priesthood after having his affections spurned by a girl who lived in the neighborhood where he grew up in Argentina.

(PHOTOSThe Rise of Pope Francis)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was 12 years old and living in Buenos Aires when a budding courtship was snubbed out by the girl’s father. “If I can’t marry you, I’ll become a priest,” the future Pontiff reportedly told Amalia Damonte, now 76. “Luckily for him, I said no,” she told the Daily Telegraph, explaining that her father had already disciplined her for writing a note to a boy.

The first Vicar of Christ from outside Europe has also confessed a love for dancing the tango and supporting local soccer team San Lorenzo de Almagro — he is number 88,235 on the club’s membership roll.

“We feel enormous honor that the new Pope is part of our club,” San Lorenzo official Alejandro Maccio told reporters at the stadium last week, according to the New York Times. “He has been a great fan for many years, and we hope this will help us.”

(MORE: Pope of the Americas)

Aptly nicknamed Los Santos, or ‘the Saints,’ the club was founded in 1908 by a local priest named Lorenzo Massa; its logo is blue and red to represent the colors of the Virgin Mary’s robe. San Lorenzo currently sits seventh in Argentina’s Primera Division after defeating Colon Santa Fe 1-0 on Sunday.

Pope Francis also used to dance the tango during his youth, and admits to being a fan of national music legend Carlos Gardel. “I like it a lot. It’s something that comes from within me,” the 76-year-old said during an interview in 2010, according to NDTV.

Some fear there are darker stories in the Pontiff’s past as well. Critics are demanding a further explanation of the Catholic Church’s close ties to Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship in the 1970s and ’80s. Francis himself has had to repeatedly dispute claims that he was complicit in the kidnapping of two priests in 1976, according to the New York Times.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis’ younger sister, María Elena Bergoglio, told reporters that she never wanted her sibling to lead the Catholic Church and worries that the position will bring him “infinite loneliness,” reports The Week.

PHOTOS: Catholics in Latin America Rejoice Pope Francis

1 comments
WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

Where's the real story, the one about why the last pope abdicated? We know he quit his job because it was found out that there was a group of gay clergy in the vatican, and they had been blackmailed by other vatican clergy, but we have not heard if the pope was one of the blackmailers or one of the blackmailed.

Nor have we heard how this ties in with the "corruption" which got the Pope's butler so upset he leaked secret documents to the press.


Media, do your freaking job.