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The Pope Pontificates: Memorable Words From His First Year

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Pope Francis' plain-spoken style has won him many admirers — and some critics. Here are some of the most memorable things he's said in the last year:

On naming himself after the impoverished Francis of Assisi: "How I would like a church that is poor and for the poor." (3/16/13)

On the violence in Syria: "How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution is found?" (3/31/13)

On non-believers: "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!" (5/22/13)

On crime syndicates: "I think of the great pain suffered by men, women and even children, exploited by so many mafias." (5/26/13)

Image:
Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives for his general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 29, 2103.Andrew Medichini / AP

On money: ''The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal." (5/18/13)

On waste: "Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry." (June 6)On child labor: "It is my heartfelt hope that the international community will initiate still more effective measures in addressing this authentic plague." (6/12/13)

On luxury cars: "It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can't do this. A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world." (7/7/13)

On drug legalization: "A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America." (7/24/13)

On homosexuality: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" (7/29/13)

On women in the church: "We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more. But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no... That door is closed." (7/29/13)

On the Roman Curia: "Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy." (7/29/13)

On hot-button issues: "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." (9/19/13)

On God's religion: "And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being." (10/1/13)

Balloons with the image of Pope Francis are seen during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican
Balloons with the image of Pope Francis are seen during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican October 16, 2013.© Stefano Rellandini / Reuters / REUTERS

On how to convert: "Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense." (10/1/13)

On economic systems: "As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems." (11/26/13)

On being called a Marxist: "The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended." (12/14/13)

After cold-calling a Spanish convent and getting no answer: "What are the nuns doing that they can't answer the phone?" (1/1/14)

On training priests: "We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God." (1/3/14)

On the Internet: "This is something truly good, a gift from God [but] the desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us." (1/23/14)

On his predecessor, Benedict: ""The pope emeritus is not a statue in a museum." (3/5/14)

On the hype: “To paint the Pope as some sort of Superman, a star, is offensive. The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends as everyone else. A normal person.” (3/5/14)

On the clergy sex-abuse crisis: ""The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that has moved with transparency and responsibility. No one has done more. And yet the church is the only one that has been attacked." (3/5/14)

On stealing the cross from the casket of another priest: "And immediately there came to mind the thief we all have inside ourselves and while I arranged the flowers I took the cross and with just a bit of force I removed it." (3/6/14)

Pope Francis Leads Way Of The Cross On Rio's Copacabana Beach
Pope Francis waves from the Popemobile on his way to attend the Via Crucis on Copacabana Beach during World Youth Day celebrations on July 26, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Buda Mendes / Getty Images

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