Pope Francis has admitted that he can no longer trust the friends he has made in his position, having felt used by some of them since becoming the head of the Catholic Church.
Francis admitted, “I never had so many quote-unquote ‘friends’ as now. Everyone is the pope’s friend.”
Pope Francis went on to explain, “I have felt used by people who presented themselves as my friends and whom I hadn’t seen more than once or twice in my life. They have used that to their own benefit. But it’s an experience we all go through.”
Speaking of how he now acquires friends, Pope Francis said that he now has to work harder “to distinguish real friendship from relationship between colleagues.”
Pope Francis actually made this admission to one of his old friends, Marcelo Gallardo, an Argentinian journalist who has been pals with the Pontiff since he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the bishop of Buenos Aires.
During the interview, Francis spoke to Gallardo about how high he ranks the importance of friendship, declaring, “Friendship in the utilitarian sense — let’s see what advantage I can gain by getting close to this person and becoming friends — that pains me. Friendship is something sacred. The Bible says to have one or two friends.”
According to the Daily Mail, Pope Francis also doled out some advice on how to acquire friends and how to select them.
“Before considering someone your friend,” Francis continued, “let time test him, to see how he behaves towards you.”
Francis added that true friendships shouldn’t be forced, and friends don’t need to communicate with words.
“Friendship is the unspoken accompaniment of someone throughout life,” the pope explained. “Generally true friendships aren’t forced they happen and then it’s about how you nurture them, letting the other person into your life as someone you are concerned about, as a good presence and because of healthy curiosity to know what he’s like, about his family and his children.”
Francis then registered his disappointment in the fact that the competitive human nature means that people are more likely to make enemies that friends.
He stated, “From war to gossip in our neighbourhood or at work. People talk down, defame others freely, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, even if it’s not true, purely to gain a more powerful position or something of the kind.”
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