Pope Francis expressed his thanks Wednesday for prayers following the death of three of his family members in a car crash. He listened as priests expressed condolences in several languages during his weekly audience at the Vatican. "Even the pope has a family," the 77-year-old said following the crash in Argentina. "We were five siblings. I have 16 nephews and nieces and one of these nephews had a car accident and lost his wife and two little ones and is in critical condition. I thank you very much for your condolences and prayers."
The pope looked pensive at the start of the audience, two days after he returned from a trip to South Korea. But he brightened when he greeted members of San Lorenzo, the Buenos Aires-based soccer team of which he is a fan, which won the Copa Libertadores, South America's prestigious soccer trophy. "I greet the San Lorenzo champions," Francis said, smiling broadly. The club is "part of my cultural identity." He shook hands with team members, who brought along the trophy, and grinned when he was given a red-and-blue team jersey and posed for photos with them.
- The Associated Press
First published August 20 2014, 5:37 AM