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Pope reveals he took his late confessor's cross

Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has confessed that he took the cross of his late confessor's rosary from his casket and he wears it to this day in a fabric pouch under his cassock, hoping to have half as much mercy as the priest.

Francis made the revelation Thursday during an informal meeting with Roman priests. He told the story of the "great confessor" in Buenos Aires who heard confessions from most of his priests as well as from Pope John Paul II when he visited Argentina.

When the priest died, Francis went to pray by his open casket. He said: "I saw the rosary he had in his hand and immediately there came to mind the thief we all have inside ourselves and while I arranged the flowers I took the cross."

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starthrower50 March 06 2014 at 9:00 PM

I wonder how old he was when this happened? Other than the fact that it has seemingly bothered him in the years since then, I'm not sure I would describe it as a theft... more like taking of a remembrance. Was anyone deprived of the cross by his taking it?

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ralph March 06 2014 at 1:06 PM

Old timers used to say, " he'd steal the pennys off a dead man's eyes." Referring to someone of low moral character. Permission or not, one never removes anything from the casket unless the family members personally hand over the item.

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jacqueline ralph March 06 2014 at 1:12 PM

re: Permission or not, one never removes anything

apparently, not true

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Ginger jacqueline March 06 2014 at 2:34 PM

Jacqueline, perhaps Ralph meant "one SHOULD never remove anything ..."

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Tiho March 06 2014 at 7:34 PM

anyone here without sin?

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Tom Tiho March 06 2014 at 7:36 PM

yes, me

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Lynn Brownlee March 06 2014 at 1:31 PM

he is a mortal - man - sinful man.

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gwslc54 March 06 2014 at 5:58 PM


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operpriest March 06 2014 at 12:40 PM

He may well have had persmission from the late priest's family. And, if the Pope was at that time superior general of the Jesuits, he may well have been within his rights to take it, since religious superiors do sometimes function as 'next of kin'. Just a thought.

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Lisa operpriest March 06 2014 at 12:59 PM

its called stealing, and from the dead which makes it worse.
I thought in the Catholic religion the pope was infalliable so I guess that throws that theory out the window, now doesn't it?

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Hannah March 06 2014 at 12:27 PM

I am sure the dear Lord has already forgiven you. God Bless you in your work.

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Wendell March 06 2014 at 12:20 PM

He is human. Good for him

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classicconnusa March 06 2014 at 12:18 PM

lol BIG-DEAL - I took the rosary from my mom's hands at the end and the cross from her coffin. It does her no good at that point and becomes a memento that can invigorate those who knew her at its sight. I believe that most close family members take things as mementoes - wedding rings - rosaries - crosses and other artifacts as mementoes. I am certain that the majority of the time - such "thefts" are not intended to be sold on the "black market" - are fundamentally worthless them selves except in what they represent to those closest to them. I am sure - if asked - and someone close to that person wanted such an item - the deceased would gladly give it to them. Just my opinion!

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cclawnj classicconnusa March 06 2014 at 12:27 PM

I'd like to agree, but if a person has specified that they want to be buried with a particular item or items, their wishes should be respected. In any case, you had some authority over your mother's possessions, whereas the current Pope was wholly unauthorized and, by his own account, was stealing. That having been said, I am sure both God and the confessor from whose hands he took the cross forgives him. I wish something similar was the worst thing I have on my own conscience.

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cmr256 March 06 2014 at 12:10 PM

At least he owns up to his human nature. Quite unlike some of the clergy.

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